Thursday, December 15, 2005

Best Be Updatin'

Has it come to this? Every new blog entry just an excuse about why I’m not blogging? I have a guilty need to explain my absence--if only to stall the inevitable emails asking if I’ve died. I haven’t, but I might as well have -- at least until after Christmas.

I’ve got a book going to press in a week, and the last few weeks I’ve been staying late into the night trying to get it finished. Who sets these imbecilic deadlines? Oh right, my boss.

When the work day finally ends, I eat and go to bed. On the weekends I refuse to even look at a computer. Which makes blogging kind of difficult.

So to Grace, Nardac, Kris, Kim, Adam, CL, Brad, Edwige, Jill, and anyone else who reads this blog regularly: Merry Christmas! Y'all are swell. Enjoy your holiday shopping and whatnot. Don’t get trampled.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I Don't Ski

Some giant bulimic god has gorged itself on snow cones and purged all over my city.

That’s the kind of snow that has been dumping these past few days. Slushy, crusty, and plentiful. This week, Utah has anything but the “Greatest Snow on Earth.” Utah License Plates, you lie.

Granted, having snow everywhere isn’t without some charm. It changes things up a bit; reminds me that there are seasons and whatnot. And at least it’s consistent with the ideal Christmas environment portrayed in movies and television. And last week when my friend broke her foot while dancing the “boot-scoot boogie” or whatever the hell it was called, we were able to run outside and gather snowballs to ice up her foot and keep down the swelling so she wasn’t screaming with pain all the way to the hospital.

But I’m through making excuses for the snow. Really, nothing good can be said. I don't ski, I don't snowboard, I don't frolic about. T'aint worth it.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Happy AIDS Day, Everyone!

I hope you all have a wonderful World AIDS Day. Just be sure you're in bed by midnight, because that's when the HIV Fairy of Happiness comes. If you've been good, she'll leave immune-system boosting drugs under your pillow. But if you've been bad, you'll wake up full of dirty needles.


I'm going to hell.

Support World AIDS Day

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Saturday: driving. Sunday: ocean. Monday: blog-friend. Tuesday: high school friends. Wednesday: clubbing. Thursday: cabin with family. Friday: shopping. Saturday: high school friends. Sunday: driving.

That’s the abridged version, which is less expensive and easier to follow. The full version is what I wrote in my head, as events were unfolding. I had twelve hours of driving, in both directions, to organize my thoughts. They unraveled again as I settled back into everyday life. Now those thoughts are all abridged. I wish they weren’t. But I think my brain has a Walmart philosophy: keep it short and cheap. We don’t make money with ponderings. There are too many goods that need storing. It's a matter of space. Sentimentality just isn’t cost-efficient.

Jill, in contrast to me, has a boutique-like mind. She fully digests experiences, keeps them dust-free, and brings them out for company. We had lunch together, and then dinner, because one meal isn’t enough when you have a lot of catching up to do. She reminded me of so many things I had forgotten. I told her that when I am an old man, I will have to call her to remember that my life was good. I will be bent, feeble, and cranky and she will tell me about high school and all those small, delightful things the Walmarts of the world don’t have room for.

It has been a long time since high school, but every year we meet at Thanksgiving. Jill, and Cing, and Mariann, and Luis, and Wilson, and Alice, and Shirley, and Jean, and sometimes Raina, Chan and Magi.

Every year there are new girlfriends and boyfriends and husbands and babies. Actually those last two have only happened once. Mariann is the only mom. She keeps her mini van stocked with toys and her CD player stocked with kid-songs. She still has her sanity though, still giggles at everything. I would have cried if she didn’t.

This Thanksgiving get-together was our 11th annual, but no one keeps track. We had to count it out on our fingers. Cing is our glue. She organizes it all, making sure it still happens every year. Thank God for Cing.

I had fun singing with Jean again. We worked on a four-part harmony, which she arranged, gasping with delight when we blended just right. Made me think of the days when we would ditch 6th period, sneak off to my house and spend the whole time on the piano making up vocal harmonies. And watching Blue’s Clues. I don’t remember why we watched it. I have a Walmart brain, remember.

We all made the food, ate it, did the dishes. We looked at photographs and read excerpts from the literature magazine we created in high school: Stop That Goat. The choose-your-own adventure story we wrote for issue #3 was still hilarious, all its twists and turns fresh again. Why did almost every choice in that story end in some horrible death?

Alice couldn’t make it to the party this year, busy with her new-found karate skills. But I saw her Wednesday when she showed me her apartment in Venice and the boyfriend she shares it with. I like him much better than the last one. She met this new guy in Japan, when she used to live there. She’s lived in a lot of places since high school, been all over. She wins the prize for the most changed of our group. But years of shared-experiences have a way of melting the years of distance. She’s still Alice. I still love her to death.

She was my rave-buddy, back when we did that, so it was good go out dancing with her and Wilson. The club was packed and the rooms had Reggae-dub, house, and strange old-school mixes. There were also spontaneous dance circles and amusing drunk-dancers. Many WTF moments. It was a good time.

And I still had time to meet new friends. Grace has been reading and commenting on my blog for quite a while now. So it would be dumb not to meet up when she lives so close to my home in Cali. I think with most people, I’d rather keep things net-only. I don’t feel some big need to meet everyone in person.

But I’m very glad I met Grace. We went out for Indian food, then watched some funny videos back at her condo where she introduced me to Cannibal: The Musical. We spent the rest of the time talking. And she was so easy to talk to. I think I kept her up way past her bedtime. It’s refreshing when someone is just like they present themselves on their blog. Grace was a joy to hang out with. And she even offered me Depeche Mode tickets. I wish I could have gone! You rock, Grace.

I’ll wrap this up.

It's hard when somewhere that used to be your home becomes your home again for so brief a period of time. I was watching the snow fall on my way back to Utah and thinking of how far away I live, and not just in physical distances. The years that melted away when I saw those old friends have already grown back. Life goes on. No room for these lengthy laments. I have a Walmart brain, remember, nevermind that I hate Walmart.

Friday, November 18, 2005

I'm Off

I'm ditching this state tomorrow to spend 8 days in California, which used to be my home. This is an ideal time (as it is fast becoming unbearably cold.) When I get back to Utah, there will inevitably be snow on the ground. This happens every year. I cry and cry and cry, but the snow doesn't go away.

If I can stomach the dial-up connection at my home in Cali, I'll do a little blogging as well. It should be a good week. I'm going to meet a fellow blogger for the first time, see high school friends, spend time with family, eat lots of delicious turkey, and, best of all, see the ocean again. Don't get me wrong, I love the pungent stink of the Great Salt Lake and all its accompanying bugs and bogs. But I miss the ocean.

If I'm not back in 8 days, don't wait up for me. It probably means I'm staying.

Bye Bye, fatheads.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Writing Again

Remember that one time when I said that I'd write again "soon"? Turns out that was a big lie. Who knew?

But I'm going to be honest with you people. I haven't been writing because last week I fell down the stairs in my house and broke both my legs. I couldn't even get across the room to reach my cell phone to call for help. Every movement was excruciating. I survived for five days off a single stale cracker and some granules of laundry detergent. The kind with bleach. Finally, some people from my work stopped by and took me to the hospital. The only thing that got me through it were thoughts of this blog.

Remember that one time when I said I was going to be honest? That was the bleach talking.

But honestly, some may be eager to hear details relating to my previous post about the girl. While it is true that I am dating her, and we've been spending a lot of time together, there isn't much more to it. I was trying to buy time, to explain my long absence. We can leave it at that. I am not in love.

Which reminds me of the time I was trapped in my house with two broken legs. Did I ever tell you about that? It gave me a lot of time to think. At first it was empty kinds of thoughts-- like who would sign my cast and whatnot. Then it got deeper: if I had fallen down in a forest, instead of my house, and no one was around, would I have made a sound? And deeper still: maybe I hadn't fallen down the stairs at all-- maybe the bottom of the stairs had toppled down on top of me.

I will try to write more, because I like writing when I am actually doing it. But other things have been on my mind. Complicated things. Like the probability of falling down stairs. And the probability of never falling in love.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

So Sorry

I know I haven't been updating lately. The girl on the left has been occupying my time. New posts soon.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Buy one, Get 29 Free

If you’re going to go skydiving, 30 is a good age to do it. That’s what I told my friend Varsey, as her 30th birthday approached. I had it all planned out. Some friends and I were going to pay for her ticket, fly her up high somewhere, toss her out the plane, then have a special “screening” where we all watched the DVD, openly delighting in her fear. It was going to be great.

Going to be. She chickened out before plans were set in motion. Too much stress, she said. Having just gotten a new job at a private school, she insisted her life was stressful enough without dealing with the thought of plummeting hundreds of feet. I was all for doing it anyway -- dragging her bound and gagged into the plane and tossing her out like a sack of potatoes. Surely she would thank me for it later. But no one else thought that was a good idea.

Still, something had to be done. That something took place last Friday. Varsey thought she was going on a blind date, set up by myself and my friend, Shauna, who were to double with her.

We showed up at her house with her date, Dave, in tow. He presented her with a single rose. She grabbed her coat, and off we went. Varsey seemed pleased with Dave, who is the type of person who is always grinning. These kinds of people are either pleasant or really scary. He was the pleasant type. We approached my car and he the opened door for her to get in. When he shut the door, she found herself setting next to someone else, holding out another rose. She looked a little shocked. “Hello!” she said, scooting over. “I guess we’ll just have to make more room.” But Dave was gone, and I was already driving away.

“Where’s Dave?” she asked.
“That’s not my name,” said her new date.
“We’re just going to leave him behind?”
“Leave who behind?” I asked. “Are you feeling okay, Varsey?” Shauna, of course, couldn’t stop laughing.

I stopped for gas, and Varsey’s new date said he needed gum. By the time I was finished at the pump, a third guy was emerging from the store, with another rose.

“But he told me he was just getting gum.” Varsey said, with mock irritation.
“I did get gum,” said the third guy, holding it out for her. “Want a piece?”

By now she knew what was going on, of course. But Varsey’s good at playing along. I drove for a few more minutes, parked, and we all got out of the car.

“You’re turning 30,” I told Varsey. “I figured we’d all go some place nice.”
We walked into the mall food court, taking in the circle of cheap fast food joints packed with teenagers. “Take your pick,” I said.

By the time she got food and found a table, there was a fourth date waiting for her, with another rose. Date #3 feigned anger and stormed out.

“What was that all about?” the fourth guy said, glaring at Varsey. “I thought we didn’t keep secrets from each other.”

It continued like this. My cell phone would vibrate in my pocket. Shauna or I would kick the guy under the table, he would find an excuse to leave, and another guy would show up with another rose. Well, it didn’t always go that smoothly. Sometimes the guy didn’t take the hints, and sometimes the new guy didn’t show up when he was supposed to. Sometimes I even forgot I wasn’t supposed to answer my phone, to the annoyance of Jodi who I had to pretend was my mother.

“Stop calling me, mom,” I would say.
“Shut up, son,” said Jodi who was a few stores away with pools of men waiting to be sent out. “Another one is on the way.”

We had a couple surprises. At dessert, a guy I’d never seen before, sporting tattoos and bandana showed up. Apparently Jodi scooped him up randomly, to replace a no-show. He was “interesting”, to say the least, insisting on giving Varsey a kiss before leaving. Jodi sent out other passer-bys, which made things all the more entertaining. It didn’t take long before we had an audience, half the food court nosily trying to figure out what was going on. Varsey played along nonchalantly, taking it all in stride.

The pile of roses on the table grew until it reached 29. “One more date to go,” Varsey said.
“Excuse me?” said date 29. “All of a sudden I’m not good enough?”

Finally, Dave, her original date, showed up with the 30th rose. It was over. I can't say I was disapointed. You can only stand so much time in a food court. We finished off the night at a campfire, in the woods below a friend’s house. Smores are a good way to end anything, I figure.

By now, it may be that you are gagging on the cuteness of it all, your wind pipe stuffed up with thick chunks of cute. I don’t know what to tell you. This kind of thing is commonplace in Mormondom. Just this week, we had a follow up surprise party for Varsey. Everyone came bearing gifts: 30 of something -- 30 pencils, 30 eggs, 30 band-aids, 30 toilet paper rolls. The main entertainment was a video of the date, which had been taped more or less discreetly. Overly cute? Yes. A good time? Yes.

Still, when I turn 30, I’m going a different route. No need for something complicated and elaborate. No food courts, no campfires, no cute gift ideas. None of that for me. My first idea was the better one, after all. I just want a plane, some anti-anxiety pills, and a long, spiraling plummet. And smores. Don’t forget the smores.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Fall Colors

Photos taken in the Bountiful hills. Cameras don't do it justice. Best seen live.

Friday, October 14, 2005


Here are some things that have happened:

On my daily walk, I start kicking over toadstools that grow all over this pasture near my work. My coworker turns to me and says, “You’re like that one guy, Gargomel, on the Smurfs.” Then I think to myself: Isn’t that the worst insult ever? To be compared to a hideous old man who lives alone with his cat. Fact is, I do live alone. But I don’t have a cat. Also, I’m totally not an old man. Hideous? Eh, I get her point.

While climbing on the roof to drain my evaporate cooler, I slipped on a tile. I slid a good 10 feet on the wet roof but managed to grab on the storm drain before going over the edge. As I was dangling there, my phone started to ring. Part of me REALLY wanted to answer it, just so when they asked, “What are you doing?”, I could say, “falling to my death.”

Death Cab for Cutie sound fantastic live. This was a pleasant surprise. Not so pleasant was the drunk guy dancing next to me. Even though there was a metal gate between us (segregating the intoxicated) his proximity began to get on my nerves. At one point he would dance like a marionette puppet, “feeling” the music like no one I’ve ever seen. The next minute he would yell out, “Fuck you, Ben Gibbard!” Huh? Which is it, drunk guy? Do you like him or hate him? You can’t have it both ways.

Canadians have their own Thanksgiving? That’s adorable. At the dinner celebration I went to, it was all turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberries -- staple foods of the American version. So here’s my question: Do Canadians eat the same food for their day of harvest as Americans? I tried to ask, but no one at the dinner was Canadian. It was at that moment I began to wonder what the hell we were doing.

In the hills above Bountiful, Utah, God reached down his gigantic hand and turned up the planet’s saturation knob. Just a little at first; streaks of oranges and reds and yellows mixed with green. The higher we hiked, the higher he twisted. A mile up and the world was vibrant, overwhelming wonderland of color. Since when did trees come in that many varieties? What’s up with that, God?

Nothing else has happened. Nothing. Oh, and one of those five things is a total lie. Just thought you should know.

Monday, October 10, 2005

I'm not working, I'm not blogging

I have Columbus Day off! I would like to take this opportunity to thank Columbus for whatever it is that he did, which I think had something to do with inventing gravity.

What a handsome devil, that Columbus.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Best Cellphone Accessory Ever

I so want this "Retro Handset" for my cellphone. There's something magical about using 30-year-old technology for no good reason. Of course, after a few walks down the street with this thing, chatting away, looking like a crazy person, the novelty would start to wear off. Too bad. I'll never be as cool as this guy.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I Like Pot(s)

If you make pots for a living, it’s a statistical certainty that your personality will fall under the “quirky” category. The potter that teaches my class definitely matches this description. He’s a stocky man with a thick, scraggly beard, a severe stutter, and a tendency to over explain things. But he’s amazing at what he does. He pulls the clay into beautiful shapes with deceptive ease. As the pot spins around, small alterations in his hand positions produce stunning results. When I attempt the same, terrible, terrible things happen.

Yes, my pots are utter crap, but I have only had two lessons. Beginner’s handicap. Once I figure out how to keep all my cylinders from turning into wide, saggy bowls, I’m set.

My classmates consist of a coworker, a couple of mom-types, and a fat, tattooed biker. They’re all pleasant, unassuming folk. It’s turning out to be an excellent choice for a post-college-personal-enrichment activity. Spinning pots is messy, squishy fun. The brownish clay-water that dribbles out of my cupped hands looks like a chocolate smoothie. After each lesson my forearms, shirt, and pants are plastered with dried clay. It feels good to get dirty.

Maybe next I’ll try mud wrestling.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Why Not

I saw this on Kim's Notebook and curiosity made me try it:

1. Delve into your blog archive.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.

And here's my sentence:
"I can't remember the last time I've had fries so good I'd kill for them."

As true today as it was whenever it was that I wrote it.

The End.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Wake Up, It's 1969

Does anyone else feel that NASA needs a spanking? If I was an angry, abusive father, and NASA was my naughty little boy, I’d whoop him good. Going back to the moon is cool and all, but why is it going to take us another 13 years? Sure, we’re going to throw in a few more tricks the second time around. We’ll stay there longer, have newer, spiffier toys, prep ourselves for Mars and whatnot. But THIRTEEN YEARS? More than a decade to prepare for what we already did over thirty years ago.

My parents saw the first moon landing when they were 21. I’ll be 38 before I get to see one. Something seems wrong here. For one thing, Disneyland has been lying to us for years. Where is our space age future? The kind where rockets to the moon are as common as subway trains. Where are all the robot butlers and Astro Cola? Where are our shiny silver leotards?

I blame the Russians. They go and ditch communism, try on a spotty version of democracy, and lose their superpower status. Now they’re a neutered, defanged version of what they once were. They don’t scare us, and consequently, we don’t feel like we have to beat them at everything. With the Russians off our backs, we forget all about the moon.

I can imagine what people thought, staring up at Armstrong taking those first steps. I’m sure many imagined that by the year 2018, they could purchase a summer home on Venus, or go for a Sunday drive along the rings of Saturn. Well, sorry, people of 1969, you were horribly mistaken. 50 years later, it'll just be the moon again. That's right -- a bright, shining future of summer reruns.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Chats about Death

"This next song is about death, and how it doesn't really exist, and how we're all going to live forever."
--Rufus Wainwright, opening for a Tori Amos concert, 2002


Our conversation this weekend went something like this:

Jeremy: "Are we still on for Saturday?"
Sheri: "Well, it depends."
Jeremy: "Depends on what?"
Sheri: "On whether or not my grandmother dies."
Jeremy: "She's dying?"
Sheri: "For some time now. My grandfather is getting restless. He wants her to just get on with it."
Jeremy: "That's terrible."
Sheri: "I know. It could really mess up our plans."

Her grandmother did die, and it did mess up our plans. We changed the party location from her family cabin to a cramped basement, up in the hills. She got there late, driving back from southern Utah where she had spoken at the funeral. She said she tried to tell jokes to break the tension, but everyone kept bawling...

Jeremy: "Like you were standing up there drowning puppies?"
Sheri: "Yeah, like that."

Flash forward to later that night. It's after 1 a.m. and a few of us hang around and bring out the guitars. New Guy, a janitor/musician, plays a song he wrote about his uncle. He's doing the soundtrack for a Sundance entry and is really into experimental stuff. When he sings into the thunder tube, high-pitched and slightly off, I kind of want to laugh. But the rest of the song is heart-felt, and sad. He makes it sad. His 72-year-old uncle, who had never spoken a word of English to him, was shot down by the police.

New Guy: "He had a way of communicating with me that didn't require we use the same language."

and later...

"...there was a trail of blood, all the way up the stairs. He was an old man. How can he look threatening?" New Guy is wiping his eyes.

Two conversations about death on the same day, but only one of them gets to me. So far, Death and I, we've kept our distance. He doesn't get in my way, I don't get in his. So I wonder, next time we encounter each other, could I still make jokes? Or should I be spending more time practicing my guitar...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

From the Bowels of the Internet

Not too long ago I hooked this blog up with some code from the wonderful people at StatCounter. This gives me information on who visits the blog, where they visit from, accurately counts the number of visitors, etc. It has become my joy, of late, to check on the google searches people use to find this blog. Yes, sometimes the blog is listed on page 128 or so of these searches, but people find it nonetheless. Who searches 100 pages of google results anyway? Well, crazy people do. And lots of crazy people stumble upon this blog. Here are some of my favorite searches:

"illegal turtles from chinatown" -- If there's one thing I hate about Chinatown, it's all those freakin' turtles.

"naked gathering photos" -- Can't say I've posted any of these, but if you're interested....

"i put the grrr in" -- Thanks a lot, Grace. You've led them to me!

"my parakeet squeaks" -- I'm sorry to hear that. Have you thought about having it killed?

"i luv jeremy" -- As do I. Will you be my internet girlfriend?

"mormon pornstar" -- Really, I'm flattered.

"brittany spear's wedding dress" -- Okay, let's make one thing clear: I have never once mentioned Brittany Spears on this blog, nor do I ever plan to. Where is this coming from?!

"fleshy entrails" -- My god! What are you looking for man? Whatever it is, I don't have it!

"nipples on pornstars" -- To save you the trouble of further inquiries: Yes, pornstars have nipples.

"meth vomit blood" -- Okay, I brought that one upon myself.

"Peta and snickers" -- The Ethical Treatment of Animals and a delicious, nougaty snack. There's a combination everyone can enjoy.

How I love it all! The more deranged people of the internet find my blog, the happier I am. To encourage more of these searches, here are some suggestive keywords:


That should keep 'em busy.

This Ain't Sarcasm

I've been listening to the judicial confirmation hearings all day long, for two days straight. Not because I have a particularly strong interest in politics or the confirmation process itself, or some kind of perverted need to hear the drawl of long-winded senators. The reason is simple: it has increased my productivity. Ever since I tuned in, I have been finishing projects in record time. I listen to senators postulate endlessly, to Judge Roberts' brief, jargonistic replies, and I find myself designing my pages faster. As they all blather on, I'm arranging text and graphics more efficiently.

I can't explain it. It doesn't make sense to me. But who am I to argue with progress? By all means, senators, perpetuate the discourses and diatribes. I'll keep listening, and getting more done.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

How About This

I think there should be some kind of cubicle exercise chair. (Note to inventors: start inventing.) It could be as simple as a regular chair with pedals attached. Or maybe I could just mount an office chair and desk onto an exercise bike. I could even rig it so peddling would power the computer. That'd keep me motivated.

Here's my Photoshopped prototype:

We Have Walls

My fingers are crammed into a wedge of rock. My fat boots are only partially lodged in a shallow crevice. Already I can feel my weight tugging me from the wall. I hastily scan the too-smooth surface for a better grip. My thoughts are this: Spiderman is a fraud. First of all, even if he does have some kind of magic ability to stick to walls, surely the weight of his body would rip his skin off. Yet he still manages to stick to sheer objects like lint on velvet, making the whole ordeal look ludicrously easy. Then again, unlike me, he doesn't make a habit of climbing rock walls with gigantic hiking boots. Score one for Spiderman.

Twice more up the wall, a couple of bloodied knees later, I finally get wise. This time I go barefoot, my toes reaching into small cracks and lifting me with ease up to higher, smoother areas. I almost feel like I can shed the harness. Almost. The lack of boots cuts my climbing time in half. I slap my hands on the top of the wall with satisfaction. Then I propel back down, slowly, preferring to keep skinned feet from slamming on sharp rock.

I've decided I like rock climbing. Even the heights-thing. Even the total-body soreness afterwards. Really, any intense activity outside a cubicle is welcomed.

All around my building, the walls are going up. The warehouse below me is being doubled in size. We hear drilling and banging and screeching metal. Every day at exactly 3:30 p.m., I take a walk with some coworkers. We circle the block, stopping to admire the new calves behind a neighbor's wooden gate. We collect wormy apples from the ground to feed the horses. The area is a strange mixture of rural and industrial. There are concrete office buildings within view of a duck pond. We pull fresh plums from a stumpy tree half a block from construction cranes.

Then, at the end of every walk, we stop to watch the walls. Some days they are pouring them, other days lifting them. All the cement reminds me of the half-finished complexes dotting suburban Dakar. Those walls looked like the gray, flaky ribs of something prehistoric and complicated. These walls are simple, plain, lacking flair.

I find myself wanting to climb them, to discover the cracks on their sheer surface. I want to see something exciting somewhere in this scene of expanding workspace. We have new walls, but nothing new.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Big Fat Mormon Wedding

I flew home for two days to attend my youngest sister's wedding. As soon as I touched down in LAX, saw the swirling chaos of the airport, stood forever on the curb waiting for my ride while listening to that harsh, unending chorus of car horns, and then spent the next hour stuck in traffic, relaying hasty messages via cell phone for my mother -- I felt nothing but dread for the upcoming weekend. That Death Cab song kept flowing through my head. The one about Los Angeles:

"...I can't see why you'd want to live here."

I spent 18 years living there. Life in Utah feels so unrushed, so underwhelming in comparison. But looking at the palm trees lining the road near my house, I couldn't help but want to stay right where I was. Something about those palm trees made me want to move back home.

The wedding itself took place in a temple, as is the practice among devout Mormons. My sister went with the temple in San Diego, one of my favorites. It looks like it's cut from the horizon. The architecture has been described as "spaceship gothic." Sounds right to me.

Got sunburned afterwards as I snapped photo after photo following the sealing ceremony. We had a wedding photographer but I couldn't help myself. It was all too picturesque.

Then of course the reception, which was every bit as elaborate as for my oldest sister. This time instead of a Paris theme, it was 1940s hotel art deco. The colors: red, white, and black. The flowers: roses.

First, a thousand different poses with the wedding photographer, my mother insisting on every possible combination of relatives and friends. She was in her usual overstressed panic which I've learned to both love and hate. I couldn't help but laugh the next day when she realized that in the midst of all the posing, she had forgotten to ask for a shot with just the immediate family.

Second, standing in a line for an hour greeting well-wishers, stating and restating my obvious relationship with the bride, fixed with a perma-grin and an epileptic hand. I did not recognize my old piano teacher and she did not recognize me. One of us had lost 100 pounds, the other had put on a couple feet.

Third, the food, the stuff I'd been staring at all during the wedding-line torture hour. But I only had time for a few bites before I felt compelled to pick up my camera again.

Fourth, the entertainment, the best part. My father has conditioned us all to love "old-timey" music. He is a pianist and 20s, 30s, and 40s are his specialty. This music has always been a big part of my family life. I can't listen to "I Don't Know Why" without pangs of sadness, picturing my great-grandmother singing the words at her 100th birthday party, the year before she passed away. This time my sister sang it, as a tribute to my grandparents, walking over to them with the microphone. It was touching. She sang several songs while my father played and her new husband accompanied with his guitar. I was shocked at how good she sounded. I know she can sing well, but sometimes I forget how suited her voice is to the genre. She was vibrant, energetic, glowing. When she sang "Cheek to Cheek" I felt my eyes grow moist. I felt like one of those blubbery fat ladies you see sobbing in the pews in movie weddings, mascara dripping from their eyes. When it's your little sister, you're allowed.

The rest of the night was all cake, bouquet tossing, and dancing -- the usual wedding business. We all watched the bride and groom drive away when it was over, toilet paper fluttering behind their car, cousins blowing bubbles, and my mother and aunt screaming, "Bye bye fatheads!" at the top of their lungs (as is tradition in my family.) We were red-faced and laughing by the time the car was out of sight. That's a good way to end a wedding, I'm thinking.

For the second night in a row I stayed up in the early hours of the morning, this time helping with the clean-up and then eating cold wedding food as we discussed how the evening had went down. Now it was more than palm trees that was making me feel homesick. There are so many times in my life here in Utah when I wish I could just gather around a dining room table late at night, eat cold food, and talk with my family.

Sorry Death Cab, I know exactly why I want to live there.

Friday, August 19, 2005

The Blog Cabin

Turns out Abraham Lincoln, the great emancipator and assassinatee, had a blog. You can read it here. The posts are in reverse chronological order, so if you want get the full civil war experience, start from the bottom and scroll up. Do enjoy.

"The Blog Cabin" was actually written by Eric Snider, a humor columnist and movie critic. Check out his website and/or blog. I'm a fan.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Not Just Talking Soup

I did it. I threw away the ham.

I had stopped picking at the leftover half not long after the party, when I couldn’t stand the thought of one more honey-baked slice. Still, the ham remained in the fridge. It was all about guilt, about not wasting. The Indians would use all parts of the buffalo, you see, and although this was more out of necessity and not so much about maintaining some abstract equilibrium with nature, still, I couldn’t bring myself to toss the pig.

I emailed my mother on her cruise ship with my dilemma. How long will ham last in the fridge, I wanted to know, and how can I turn it into soup? Specifically, that sublime soup she makes every year, just after Christmas. She took time from her wilderness excursions and tango lessons to reply. Soak small white navy beans overnight, she said. Boil them in tomato juice. Then something about bay leaves, onions, cutting ham off the bone, words to that effect. I have to be honest with myself. I'm not Mr. Chef-boy America. I only cook for special occasions, and usually when a girl is involved, one that needs impressing. The rest of the time, I'm okay with an aluminum can. I'm okay with barely edible oven-ready meals. I'm at peace with my sub-par gastronomic choices.

I decided against the soup, but left the ham in the fridge, just in case I changed my mind in the middle of the night. Perhaps I would be jerked awake with an overwhelming urge to chef-it-up. I could see myself jumping out of bed, rushing down the stairs, and doing a little dive and roll towards a wooden spoon and cutting board.

This never happened. The soup, like so many of my projects, did not make it past the concept. Just like the several dozen unfinished music loops, left dormant on my computer from attempted techno mixes. Or the hundreds of self-made promises that I will pick up the violin again and not throw away 13 years of lessons. Or all the unopened tablature books lying next to my guitar. Or the half-white, half-painted canvases, still bearing faint graphite marks from old pencil sketches. Or my sparsely-weeded garden, one abandoned work glove buried deeper every day in fresh batches of green. Or the stack of short letters never mailed to friends in France or Senegal, because I keep thinking I will spell-check the French. Or all those futile attempts to pursue a meaningful romantic relationship...…

I always feel like I'm a project or two away from accomplishment. Just a few simple tasks away from feeling content. But it's never the case. I scatter out my interests in fifty directions, and in turn I'm left with little to show for my efforts. I really admire the uber-motivated folk, the kind who like to talk about how they won’t let anything stand in their way and how they follow their dreams and whatnot. Well, maybe admire is too strong a word. Let's try...loathe. Yeah, that sounds better. I loathe how I can't get anything done.

Except maybe two long blog posts about ham. I’m all over that.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Dog Heads in the Night

Went water skiing yesterday. The skiing part didn’t last long though, on account of the choppy water. So I switched to tubing, which was better suited to the conditions. Unfortunately the whole experience has left me with some kind of rigor mortis, sans the death part. Everything is sore...everything! In retrospect, I should just have let go of the tube when I was rolling around in the water, or somersaulting in the air. When your body isn’t used to holding onto things in extreme conditions, it has the tendency to make you pay for it later.

Crazier than water stunts, however, was the ride home, along a dark mountain highway. There was this horse trailer in front of me, and I’m staring at it and suddenly I see something huge. Maybe it was the fatigue or all the lake water I inhaled, but I swear I saw a gigantic dog head, peeking out from the back of the trailer. I mean, this dog’s mother must have had romantic relations with a dinosaur for it to have a head that size. The dog swayed back and forth in the trailer, its movements so natural and convincing I decided I must be losing my mind. We were driving too slow for my taste, but I couldn’t change lanes. I was transfixed. I kept staring, and the dog kept staring back at me, jiggling its head.

But when we hit a major highway, and were at last surrounded by lights, I realized I was not staring at a dog with a severe case of elephantitis, but rather the ass of a very large horse. The spots on the horse ass still formed a dog face, even with all the light around, but the illusion had shattered. Stupid horse. It was much cooler as a dog.

Capped off the night by watching the meteor shower into the wee hours of the morning. The night was clear and the shooting stars left long trails across the sky. Made me think of Ray Bradbury’s short story, “The Rocket Man” --- the part where an astronaut’s son looks up at the night sky and points to a shooting star. It’s his father’s rocket, tragically breaking apart in the atmosphere. The mother smiles down at the kid, and says, “Make a wish.”

Nice man, Ray Bradbury. I met him once at a book signing. He was chewing on a hamburger, little pieces of food flying out of his mouth while he was signing my book. I was supposed to meet him a second time, years later, when my dad was doing the music for a radio show version of his book, “The October Country." But illness prevented him from showing up to the recording. Consequently, my initial impressions of him remain. Nice man, great writer...nasty, sloppy eater.

Not that water sports, phantom dog heads, or Ray Bradbury have anything to do with each other. Unless, of course, they have EVERYTHING to do with each other. Or did I just blow your mind?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

To Whom It May Concern:

This is an automatic blog entry, set to be posted in the event of a global cosmic manifestation. If you are reading this, it means the Rapture has taken place and your friend, Jeremy, was scooped up into the sky.

It also means that, for reasons of your wickedness, you were LEFT BELOW. Do not panic. It is normal to feel Post-Rapture Anxiety (or PRA as it is most commonly known). Take a deep breath, relax, don’t think about all the nasty eternal damnation awaiting you. Take solace in the fact that lots of people will share your terrible fate. You’ll be partying it up with the likes of Courtney Love, Sean Hannity, and Haitian dictator Francois ‘Papa Doc' Duvalier, just to name a few.

In the meantime, rest assured that Jeremy is in a much better place, eating delicious nachos and chillin’ in the clouds with his homeys. Perhaps you should think about sending him a check in the mail. Maybe he’ll put in a good word for you.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Ham and Murder

I've been holding onto a gift certificate for a honey-baked ham since Christmas, waiting for a good opportunity to use it. The company I work for seems to tailor their gifts to the needs of families and not to single people. Or at least not single people of the non-obese or gluttonous variety. Really, it's hard to finish off a gigantic ham by oneself. Yes it can be done, but it's hard.

I've been waiting for occasions all year to use the ham, but when opportunities had arisen, the certificate was nowhere to be found. (Well, it was SOMEWHERE to be found, but if it wants to hide under piles of junk in a kitchen drawer, it should first state its intentions). Every once in a while it would turn up again, but by then I had neither the time nor the willpower to plan an elaborate party. I actually almost brought it with me last week when I was invited to a Seder dinner. Thankfully I realized the fullness of my stupidity before I could embarrass myself. That would have been good. I can see it now:

"Hi everyone, sorry I'm late, I had to stop by and pick up this big juicy hunk of dead pig. I know it violates your religion and everything, but it's honey glazed. HONEY GLAZED!"

No, that would not have gone over well. Still, I kept waiting for a special occasion. So when I stumbled across this "How to Host a Murder" game, I thought: perfect. Cheesy costumed role-play and delicious pork. A winning combination. And so I planned it, invited 7 friends, and collected my ham.

One has to accept a certain degree of comfortable geekiness with these things. It all comes together like a high school drama improv game. You're assigned a character, you dress up, you attempt an accent, you fail miserably. The game was set in a 1920s Chicago speakeasy and in the beginning we were moderately successfully with the correct accents, but in the end we ran the gamut of bad impersonations, from British whore to New York urchin, until we inexplicably all settled into Southern accents of privilege. WTF?

The point is, we ate the ham and it was fantastic. And the game was a blast, turns out. I wouldn't at all be opposed to doing something like it again. Maybe next year, next ham.

P.S. I was a golfer -- puffy pants, cap, and argyle socks.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Five Reasons to Buy a Baby Cow

1. Calves are cute, miniature versions of real cows.

Kind of like fun-size snack bars, or Tom Cruise.

2. Calves have large, freaky eyes.

If I ever wanted to make an artsy concept film, all I would have to do is zoom in on an eyeball as it looks around for about 5 minutes, splice in some Philip Glass and BOOM. Film festival gold.

3. Calves can eat the weeds in my garden.

Because having to weed a garden is a horrible, horrible thing. I don’t see how anyone could possibly enjoy it. But I can tell you one thing: if I ever find such a person, I will take them aside and I will murder them.

4. Calves are large enough to feel like a real pet, but small enough to be tucked away, out of sight.

I can keep mine locked up in the pantry until I require its presence. Then, as soon as the novelty of owning a calf wears off again, back into the dark closet it goes. Maybe I could even vacu-pac it into a dresser drawer, next to my socks; save even more space.

5. When you’re bored with your calf, you can eat it.

The world would be a better place if this applied to all relationships. Bossy relative, annoying neighbor, obnoxious spouse? Cannibalize, cannibalize, cannibalize.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


My parents are on a cruise in Alaska, my sister is traveling in Russia, my brother is preaching in Mexico, my other siblings are enjoying the California sun. What am I doing here, tied down, in the often-dreary confines of northern Utah?

I have the travel bug, the itch. I want to get in my car and drive, all night and all day, sleep at rest stops, make small talk with small-town gas station workers. I want to abadon my car in a parking lot, find an airport, get on a plane, fly. I want to catch the bus from the airport to some distant stop, get off, walk unknown neighborhoods. I want to find a run-down motel, book a room for a week, and flirt every day with the Hispanic maid. She can be pretty or plain, I won't be picky. I want to get out of this house.

Maybe it's just me feeling sick. When you stay home all day, without any particular purpose other than to be sick, the walls can get to you. It's not that I stayed in bed the whole time. I worked on invitations for a dinner party, re-strung my guitar, watched Battlestar Galactica reruns, shopped online for sheet music, ate cold pizza, threw-up, and read myself unconcious. But it was too much time indoors, alone in this house.

I'm going to work tomorrow. I plan on feeling up to it. Then I'm going to seriously look into taking a trip. A long trip. Somewhere with pygmies or Eskimos or gigantic insects. I'm not picky. Just far away, out of this state, out of this house.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Friday, July 29, 2005

This is just to say...

I put up a new profile picture. But on closer inspection, I think it makes me look evil. It didn’t look so dark on my computer at home. So I might have to change it again. In which case, there goes an hour of my life I can never get back.

I was supposed to go to a Jewish Seder last night. Well, that’s what I thought. Turns out I was completely wrong. Good thing I left a message on the answering machine of the host letting her know that I’d be late. She called back and explained that it would actually take place on Sunday. Why did I think Thursday? In fact I was CONVINCED it was Thursday. So much so that I had planned my week around it. Altered my life plans. Structured the very fabric of my being around the fact I would be eating unleavened bread on Thursday night.

But Sunday makes much more sense. It’s a religious dinner. Of course it would be Sunday. So, my plans cancelled, I did what anyone would do: I took pictures of myself. And now I realize the picture I’m using for this blog is freaky. Thanks a lot, last-night-Jeremy. If I had a time machine, I’d totally go back and bitch-slap myself.

EDIT: I lightened up the photo quite a bit and it looks less creepy-internet-pervert-out-to-molest-your-daughters. This is good.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Marriage-a-Thon (and on and on)

It’s that time or year again. Seems like everyone I know (and their poodles) are getting married. That’s what happens when you live in Mormondom, where the wedding punch flows like cheap liquor at a frat party. A never-ending flow. And I’m stuck in the middle of it, attending reception after reception, carting around gift registries, filling out cards with good advice, dressing up, dancing to the caustic thump of bad DJs.

I’m used to it now, and it’s really not all bad. There have been some enjoyable weddings. Yesterday was an all-day affair. I took the day off work, got up early, and headed to the Logan temple. My good friends Stephanie and Robert were tying the knot and I was to take photographs outside after the sealing ceremony. If you ever have a chance to go to a Mormon temple open-house (the free tour before they’re closed to the public), I would highly recommend it. The sealing rooms are breath-taking: the luminous chandeliers, the alter, the mirrors that reflect everything a thousand times.

Robert is from the Czech-republic and had to translate for his mother throughout the ceremony. She just sat there and beamed. I had stopped by their house the day before to show Stephanie the wedding slideshow I was making for them. Robert’s mom, who was seeing all the photographs for the first time, kept gasping with delight. Made all those hours worth it. Later, when I was going through the line at the reception, she held on to my hand tightly and kept thanking me in Czech. You can’t not like the woman.

Of course there are bad parts. Taking photographs in the hot sun when it’s over 100 degrees outside is akin to chewing on jagged bits of scrap metal. Then, racing back to my house to insert the photos and videos into the slideshow in time to make the luncheon... well let’s just say that was also “fun.” As the DVD is burning, I’m trying to throw on fresh clothes but foolishly answer the door and have to spend time shooing away a man trying to sell me coupon books. Then I’m on the phone trying to convince a caller that no, I’m not selling my house, despite my number being printed in the newspaper. I’m not looking forward to the calls I’ll be getting with that screw-up.

Finally, at the reception I can relax, my only concerns are to restart the DVD when it runs its course, and take a few candid photographs of the goings-on. The reception hall is classy, tastefully decorated and completely void of lame DJs. There is a large chocolate fountain with platters of fresh fruit. I enjoy myself.

Of course, the wedding season is far from over. Just the night before I was at my cousin’s reception and in a month I will fly to California to see my younger sister married.

Myself, I’ll probably spend a good many years waiting to catch that garter. I’m nowhere near marriage-ready. That requires dating someone for more than three months. Hah! One obstacle at a time.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Can I tell you how much I love Podcasts? They make my everyday existence so much nicer. I spend 8 hours a day in a cubicle, mouse clicking away, headphones blaring some kind of audio distraction. Sometimes it’s books-on-tape, sometimes NPR, sometimes SomaFM, and sometimes MP3s. I’m always looking for some kind of new audio distraction to make the day less monotonous. Sure the design process itself is intriguing, but when you work on books, some pages are a lot less thrilling than others.

Enter podcasts. Apple recently released iTunes 4.9 which has podcasting built in. Now it’s really easy to subscribe and listen to all kinds of interesting shows. For a phenomenon that started just last year, it’s amazing the diversity of what’s out there. I’ve decided to list a few of my favorite shows for y’all. Even if you’re stuck with an IBM PC, you can still use iTunes (or a straight RSS feed) and enjoy this stuff.

Cinecast - Movie reviews and such. Updated weekly.

Tips from the Top Floor - Helpful advice on digital photography. It’s not all techie, so it’s easy to understand. Produced three times a week by some German guy.

Earthcore - a Podcast-only novel, read by the author. It took me a while to get past the author’s annoying character voices. His women just sound creepy. Plus, he tries a bit too hard to sound badass. But the story seems interesting enough, Crichton-esqe with a sci-fi theme. New chapters come out weekly.

EDIT: I just finished this one. DON'T BOTHER with it unless you like pointless horror novels. Bad writing, bad plot. Don't waste your time.

Engadget - Weekly news and discussion about technology and new products. I find it entertaining. It speaks to the nerd in me.

MacCast - Like engadget but focuses solely on Mac-related stuff.

Science@Nasa - all kinds of space-related news and stories. Interesting stuff. The male host’s voice can be a bit distracting, however.

Accident Hash - great mix of “pod-safe” music (not owned by a record label). Some real gems in there. Updated frequently.

And for a good directory of podcasts: Podcast Alley

Monday, July 18, 2005

Hotter Than Yo Mama

The high in northern Utah is going to be a mere 90 today. You have no idea how happy this makes me. I am crying tears of joy as we speak. Crying like a diseased orphan who has tasted chocolate for the first time. You see, it's been over 100 degrees for about a week now and my evaporative cooler is broken. That means the temperature inside my house is only slightly cooler than the surface of the sun. Why does it have to be so hot? I blame global warming, because I like to make outrageously misinformed statements when naturally occuring weather cycles anger me.

I've been camping out in my basement, where it's much colder than the rest of the house. I have multiple fans going and have established laws banning the wearing of clothing.

Come Wednesday, a repair man will be stopping by to fix my defunct cooling system. By then, I expect I will have lived so long in my cave I will have forgotten how to interact with the outside world. I will wonder where this strange, uniformed man-ape came from and whether or not he is edible. When he makes the cool air come back on, I will surely think he is a powerful god sent to bring back the great snows. Perhaps I will have established a successful maintenance-man centered religion, complete with clergy and virgin sacrifices, before I finally regain my senses.

Yes, it is THAT hot.

Luckily, over the weekend I escaped some of this heat by fleeing to the mountains. Brighton, a popular Utah ski resort, is pretty magnificent this time of year. I was waylaid at one point on my trip when a large, shaggy horse stopped in the middle of the road. Then I noticed there were people all around this ugly horse taking pictures. Then I realized this horse was a moose. And not an intelligent moose. She was standing in the middle of the road eating gravel! Who does that?

I saw several other moose on that trip, meandering about like they own the forests or something. I think the plural of "moose" should be "meese." It works for geese, don't it? I am so sick of these mother-effing grammatical exceptions.

Back at the resort, we (friends and I) had an entire manor to ourselves, thanks to these friends' string quartet performing for the manor owners. But it all ended too soon. It was a sad, sad time when I drove back down to the sweltering city. I contemplated doing a 360 on the freeway and starting a few head-on collisions. You know, kill everyone for their own good.

Yes, it is THAT hot.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Two Down

I'm all giddy-like. My second book came in today, hot off the press. It's just so tremendously satisfying to flip through 10 months of hard work. I'll look at certain pages and remember exactly what I was thinking or doing when I designed it. That spread on Ben Franklin -- I was listening to NPR. That sidebar on labor unions -- I was eating a fat, delicious taco. Which makes me wonder why I have a hard time remembering other things.

Because you're all visual learners, I grabbed the camera here at the office, made sure no one was looking, and snapped a photo of me and the book. I would look happier but at the time I was wondering when the stupid self-timer would go off. Oh, and the plant from my cubicle somehow got in the way. You get the point.

Two books on Pennsylvania out of the way. I'm so glad I've moved on to other states. I was so sick of it. If Pennsylvania and I were dating, we would totally have had a long, painful break-up. Now the wretched state is no longer my problem. All I have to say is that those middle-school kids better learn from this book, or so help me, I'll hunt them down and beat them with it. Beat them senseless.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Porch Fruit

I found a severed head on my porch this morning. I had opened the door, expecting only to retrieve my weekly delivery of delicious hormone-free milk when I first spotted the head. It wasn’t your ordinary, run-of-the-mill decapitated head. The insides were stuffed with jellybeans, tootsie-rolls, and lollipops. Also, the head was a piñata.

I had to think back. Who would murder a piñata and deposit its remains on my porch? About fifty people sprang to mind. After narrowing the list down to people I actually know, I figured it out. I remembered getting a call last weekend while I was driving to Wyoming inviting me to some Mexican-themed party. I had to decline the invite because I was on my way to spend a few days attacking the Snake River with raft and paddle. The party-goers must have messed around with some piñatas and then, drunk on the fiesta spirit, decided to cast their leftovers on my porch.

The piñata looked like it was hand-made at the party -- yellow with two black spots for eyes and one large, black gaping mouth. Pretty shoddy craftsmanship. It is times like these when I wish I led a secret double-life as a homicidal maniac. Then I could procure a REAL severed head and leave it on THEIR porch. Maybe I could even stuff it with candy.

But the head is not important. In fact, what I really wanted to write about was the river trip. Three days of rafting, camping, and general outdoorsy activity. Very satisfying. The Yellowstone corner of Wyoming is breathtaking. Nothing better than floating down a river with densely packed pine trees on rolling mountains, visited frequently by deer and bald eagles. Plus, the Snake has good rapids.

On the second day, the layers of sunblock, sweat, dirt, and bug spray got to be too much. For the first time in my life I grabbed some soap and bathed in the river. It wouldn’t have been so bad if a raft hadn’t passed by with leering onlookers just as I was shampooing my hair. I felt like a dirty hippie.

But who cares, camping is great. Two weeks ago I camped with some friends at Bear Lake, which straddles Utah and Idaho. We enjoyed a 1 a.m. swim in the freezing lake water. Nothing so refreshing as not being able to feel your limbs. We were looking for the Bear Lake Monster, which is rumored to frequent the waters. I swear I saw a glimpse of it, although the blurred splotch I saw was more than likely just an artifact of hypothermia.

I love the summer. I love the sun. I love sleeping under the stars. Much better than the 8 hours a day I spend in this freezing office. It’s 97 degrees outside and I have to wear a jacket. They have the air conditioning pumped way up so the warehouse workers downstairs don’t get too hot. It isn’t natural. I come in and freeze and go out and sweat. One of these days I’m just going to lose it and heads are going to roll.

Keep your eyes on your porches.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Purple and Red and Yellow

Anyone remember Orbital's, "Little Fluffy Clouds"? I think it got some radio play in the early 90s. There's this line: "The sunsets were purple and red and yellow and on fire and the clouds would catch the color..." It keeps repeating over and over again in true classic techno style. Anyhow, it kept running through my head over the weekend after I hiked Ensign Peak (above Salt Lake City) to see the sunset and watch fireworks. Amazing sunset. INCREDIBLE sunset. And we could see firework shows from about 6 cities at once. Hurray. Now enjoy the photos.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

One Year and Counting

It's my blogivesary! I have now officially been blogging for a year. Raise your hand if you've been reading since Day 1......crap, do I hear crickets chirping? Yes, I do.

I've never managed to post daily, but I try to keep the posts coming at least weekly. My readership is pretty small, but I have managed to breach 10,000 hits. Really, that's good enough for me.

And now, in this special anniversary edition, I'm going to list my all-time favorite posts. Click on one, when you get a chance, and have yourself a sit. If you're reading this, then you're guaranteed to like these posts. I'm a big fan myself.

Here's to another year!

TOP TEN All-Time favorite Posts:

1. Why, Dex, Why? The trauma of receiving too many phone books.

2. Champagne and Big Macs How I became a French stereotype.

3. Walmart Banshee Walmart induces uncontrollable hysteria.

4. Holy Sandwich, Batman! The Virgin Mary: mother of God AND a tasty snack.

5. Punch, Punch, Punch Voting time is fun time.

6. Please Pass the Adipose My frustrations with not being able to gain weight (which, unfortunately, is no longer a problem for me).

7. What the Scrap? The Great Scrapbook Crash of 2011.

8. Obsess Me Why I need an obsession.

9. Tamped On The magical world of feminine hygeine.

10. I, Cellphone Robots, technology dependence, and the horrors of losing my cellphone.

11. Marriage-a-Thon My very first post! Two wedding receptions in one night, stuck in the car with my mother. What could go wrong?

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Dear Judge Judy

Why you gots to be so effin mean all the time? You is always screamin and bitchin and gettin all mad and I'm all like, that is so unneccessary. You is like some kind of female madman.


Sunday, June 19, 2005

The Downward Spiral

What could be better than a 1,500-foot-long spiral made up of earth and rocks? Everything, that's what.

I went to go see the Spiral Jetty on Friday and I was sorely disappointed. The newspaper made it sound so much cooler. Also, the website made is sound much easier to find. Why do we live in a world of lies?

I invited a couple friends to go with me, but when we all met up on Friday, seven more people showed up and we had to take two cars. This was a bad idea and contributed to us getting lost on more than one occasion. The Spiral Jetty is somewhere on the northern tip of the Great Salt Lake, accessible only by rocky dirt roads that seem to go on forever.

Although the website told us to take the "main gravel road" from the Golden Spike Historical Site (where the eastern and western railroads met up way back when), there were several main gravel roads. And of course we went down the wrong one, made the wrong turns, and ended up staring at cows way out in who knows where. By the time we figured out the correct path, the light was failing and the other car wussed out and left.

This is where my stubbornness kicked in. You don't drive around for three hours, only to turn around and go home without seeing the gigantic pile of rocks you came to see. My car pressed on until the road narrowed and we had to drive slowly over boulder-strewn paths, trying to find a big abandoned trailer so we'd know where to turn next. These are the times when I wish I had an 4-wheel drive instead of my tiny, micromachine of a car. It's great in the city, but it's not supposed to go off-roading. Why haven't I learned this?

We kept driving, despite all common sense, dodging rabbits who kept jumping in front of the car and large owls that would wait until the very last second to flap away from my oncoming headlights. Finally, after passing all the designated cattle guards, finding the rotting old boat and trailer, and turning onto the final stretch of dirt road, we had to stop. My car could no longer traverse the terrain without getting butchered. We got out and hiked the rest of the way, fighting the setting sun. I wasn't about to miss getting some photos after all this trouble.

We happened upon two ladies who were relieved to find other people. "We're not the only crazy ones," they laughed when we caught glimpse of them. They explained that they had just came from the jetty but were upset they had forgotten their cameras. We decided I would email them some shots if I could. The light was almost gone at this point, and we ran the rest of the way. Finally we reached the jetty and I was able to squeeze out a few pictures.

Seeing the twisted piece of 70s concept art was not as cool as it should have been. Recent rains had washed away the encrusted salt covering and darkening skies made it hard to see the pinkish hue of the algae-ridden saltwater around it. But the point was that we had made it there, despite the bad directions and the bad roads and the suicidal bunnies.

It's one of those things where you're all pissed off but then it's suddenly all over and you think, "wow, that didn't suck so bad after all." The Spiral Jetty turned out to be just a bunch of rocks, yes, but the craziness of getting there was really the entertaining part. Good laughs, good friends, good memories. You know, the kind you'd talk about if you lived in one of those coffee commercials where you reminisce, perched over steaming mugs.

But none of us live in a coffee commercial. Let us never speak of it again.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

What Blogger Am I?

So I'm participating in a little blog swap game. The information is all on Mike's blog. The list of the participants is one post up. One of them was assigned to me at random. Basically you have to guess which blogger on that list I'm imitating. I'm using their style but writing about my own life. So without further ado....


there’s this woman at work who’s way too fucking friendly. she’s always saying “hello” and shit ... several times a day. plus, she keeps coming by and wants to engage me in long conversations about her life and about her kids who keep screwing her over. what the fuck? do i look like a fucking therapist to you lady?

and why can’t i get up to go to the restroom without someone already being in it??? the restrooms at work are single rooms so only one person can be in it at a time. i fucking HATE how i have to walk WAY THE FUCK over there just to have to walk way the fuck back. i mean FUCK! my cube is all the way out in bumblefuck...that’s way too far for my lazy ass. why can’t they put the restrooms closer?? and then whenever it’s finally free it smells like the nastiest shit ever. what the fuck do these people EAT?

i’m really not that pissed off right now but i’m annoyed as hell. it’s only tuesday and already i want to get the fuck out of here.

.:What I'm Listening To:.

Electric Skychurch: Together. relaxing electronica, all downtempo. it’s really just the same song over and over again but with some variation. decent album but nothing too special here.

R.Crumb and His Cheap Suit Serenaders: Singing in the Bathtub. old time nostalgia type music from the twenties era. r.crumb is a famous comic book artist from the sixties who does this as his hobby but he never performs anymore. this shit isn’t for anyone who doesn’t know the genre but i like it.

Death Cab for Cutie: The Photo Album. this is some good shit. i admit that ben gibbard can sound whiney at times but he writes good hooks. plus, most the time i think his voice is soothing. some of the songs of this album just do it for know?

.:What I'm Reading:.

Stiff. this is some funny shit. it’s all about cadavers and what happens to them. i’m only a few chapters into it but i’ve already learned about decapitated cadavers used to practice face lifts, the history of nineteenth century body snatching, and exactly how the body decomposes. it’s sounds like some nasty shit but mary roach somehow makes it all light-hearted. i don’t want to donate my body to science now...fuck.


tonight i’m going to go see a concert in the park. WOOT! WOOT! i *HEART* concerts in the park...especially when the weather is nice like this. i think i’m going to wear this shirt i got with a monkey on it. it’s soooooo cute. cute as all fuck. uhm. yeah. anyway, i have to get back to work now.


is it friday yet?

[i won't join in the procession that's speaking their peace.
using five dollar words while praising his integrity..]

Monday, June 13, 2005

Friendly Neighborhood Moment

I’ve been in my house for about a year and up until recently, contact with my neighbors had been extremely minimal. I had waved to them, said “hello” in passing, and even nodded in their direction while mowing my lawn. That’s really all I felt was required of me. It’s a lot of work to stop and get to know a complete stranger. Sure it starts all innocent but next thing you know they’re expecting you to pick up their mail while on vacation or to notify the police if you see them being shot at. Bah! Who do they think I am, some kind of magical helper monkey?

But in all actuality, it pays to have good neighbors. Last week, one of my neighbors saw me struggling with my sprinkler system and decided to trot on over to help me fix it. Despite the fact I hadn’t spoken more than three words to him ever before, he seemed very eager to help me. When neither of us could figure out the problem, I told him that I’d just call a friend and not to worry about it. I moved on to another project (changing the pads on my swamp cooler). Next thing I know, my neighbor is yelling up at me while I’m on the roof. I walk to the edge, peer down and see that he has invited yet another neighbor to work on the problem. Suddenly they’re suctioning debris out of my pipe and fixing the valve. Boom, my sprinklers come on. Problem solved. How nice is that? So now I’m going to help one of them install some software on his computer. We figure it’s a good exchange of favors, since he’s computer illiterate and I’m pretty much house-maintenance illiterate.

Plus, I found out all kinds of interesting things about my block: how three houses had recently been repossessed; how our former neighbors across the street were busted for having a meth lab in the basement and carted off to prison. Suddenly the neighborhood became a lot more interesting.

Mr. Rogers was right, all along.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Two Wonderful Things

This post is nothing but links.

#1. Radiohead performed by a bluegrass band. A friend (wilkesyachtingco) sent me this. I'm a big fan of Radiohead and also like the occasional bluegrass song. But mixed together? Pure comedic bliss.

#2. The Ad Guy Starter Kit. I bet I wouldn't have ignored my advertising degree and pursued graphic design if I had heard about this. I'm so going to order one.

Have you found anything wonderful on the internet lately? If so, please post it in the comments section.

Monday, June 06, 2005

House Guest

Months and months ago I wrote about freaks and how I missed their company. My reasoning was their weirdness adds a little spice to life, that they provide instant entertainment and a welcome diversion from the normalcy of everyday living. I am a big dumb idiot.

Ladies and gentlemen, a freak is living in my house and I want him to go away. This unhappy situation didn’t come about by me wandering the streets in search of some weirdo to entertain me, like I had previously planned. If that was the case, I could easily get rid of said freak with little or no guilt. No, this is situation is a product of my own idealism. If I didn’t care a spit about helping people in need, then I wouldn’t have this problem.

I know this guy from church. Lets just call him “Shmames.” Shmames sits in the back of Sunday School and provides long answers to simple questions that usually end in him reminding us all about how he knows more about everything than anyone else. On a few occasions he’s cornered me and began recounting his life story. The problem is, Shmames doesn’t understand the concept of transitions. People with regular social skills might began a conversation like this:

“Hey Jeremy. How’s it going?” Banter ensues, then: “...Speaking of people with credit card debt, I’ve had a hard time with that myself....”

Instead, James...err.. I mean Shmames, would approach the conversation like this:

“Hi Jeremy. I’m going through bankruptcy. I used to have a 60k a year job and now I have nothing and I can’t hold a decent job and I work at McDonalds despite having three Bachelor’s degrees. I’m now living in my car.”

“Good afternoon to you as well,” I would say.

Shmames gets to the root of what he wants to say and doesn’t bother with transitions or pleasantries. And the root of what he wants to say is usually an incredibly long monologue about the unfortunate and often too-intimate circumstances of his life.

But I admit I feel sorry the guy. He just can’t seem to get things together. I mean who wants to live out of a car? That’s just so sad to me. So when he asked if he could stay at my house for a few days until he got his pay check, I agreed.

Now Shmames and I are going on day four and if he doesn’t leave today I think I’m going to lose it. Shmames likes to approach me and immediately begin babbling on about horribly inane things that make me wish I had Alzheimer’s. For the first few minutes, I’ll feign interest. He’ll blather away and I’ll nod and say “mmm, okay, uh-huh,” etc. Then, when I can no longer stand it, I’ll try to interject and with phrases like, “How interesting. Well, I’ve got to take care of this thing, so...” and then he says, “Oh okay. But you know...blah blah blah” and keeps at it. So I look away and stop paying attention and he still doesn’t take the hint. Then I get up and leave, and he FOLLOWS ME. He’ll be at me heels, yakking away as I take out the garbage, do the dishes, watch television. Once he even followed me into my bedroom and kept talking as I began to change my clothes. I had to shoo him out and close the door before he finally got the hint.

What I really want to say to him is: “Shmames, shut the f*** up!”

But I suffer from my own social malady of sorts. I have “nice guy” syndrome. I’d rather put up with his banter than to have him stare at me like an injured puppy. The best solution is for him to leave, go away, never return! And it better happen today, or at the very least tomorrow. He’ll be back to living in his car, for sure, since he figured out his McDonald’s paycheck won’t cover his living expenses. I wish I could do more for him, but everyone has their limits.

Perhaps it isn’t very charitable to be selective in who we choose to help. For instance, if Shmames was a cool guy and a good conversationalists, I wouldn’t have a problem at all with him crashing for weeks at a time. But Shmames is what he is: a nut job. So he’s getting the boot. I can take no more. I’m wiping my hands.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Nevada Road Trip

Photos from my business trip to Nevada

Some highlights:

The colors are sublime -- oranges and greens and browns, hot, glittering pools. Nothing has been done to sharpen/brighten the colors in these photos. This is the actual color. Looks painted, no? It's in the black rock desert in the middle of nowhere; privately owned so we had to track down the caretaker in a diner in this tiny tiny, po-dunk town. He was an interesting guy: part-time cattle driver, part-time pilot. He jokingly told us he wouldn't let us in unless we were Republican. I lied to him. The geyser is always on -- shooting out streams of water constantly, like a little fountain. The water spills off pocky sides into little pools, glittering all pretty-like against the sunlight. It was "discovered" in the 60s when some people hit a geothermic pocket drilling for water. Then it just formed on its own.

Ah, the basque. They settled Nevada way back when and have a big presence in cities like Elko. They're big sheep herders, those basque, so there was a lot of sheep on the menu. My opinion of them as a people considerably improved, having met Basques before that were mostly grumpy and irritable. I figured it had something to do with them not being able to figure out if they are Spanish or French.

There were Indians. EVERYWHERE.

Oooh, pretty. The kind of place that makes you think, am I still in Nevada? We didn't see any wild horses though. Just deer, and cows, and lizards. Also we saw a bald eagle up close. I was so going to murder it and mount it on my wall.

This place was cool. Unlike most of the state, there is no vegetation, just flat, salty ground stretching white into the horizon. The Burning Man festival takes place there in the know, that bizarre, naked gathering of neo-hippies up to no good. It's a good location for it, seeing as they can't possibly be bothering anybody, out there in the middle of nowhere. Still, the caretaker for Fly Geyser loathes the whole thing -- says they're messy and loud. Plus, I doubt many are Republican.

They found a 10,000 year-old skeleton in these caves. Sparked a huge controversy between the local Indians and scientists. Some wanted to study the bones, some wanted to bury them again. Plus, some crazy people have come up with a few interesting theories based on the fact there is evidence the bones have a Caucasian origin. Google it.

Crazy, freaky people live there. I was secretly hoping I would run into the cast of RENO 911. No luck.

Hours of meetings with the state historian. Lots of trees. Didn't make it to Lake Tahoe, thanks to blabbing archivists. Cried myself to sleep.

We took this road on the way back. It's called the "Lonliest Highway in America," but in truth it really isn't that lonely. I've seen lonlier roads. MUCH lonlier. This one, eh, a little backwards maybe but still has its fair share of visitors. All the stopping along the way caused us to miss the Great Basin National Park. Damn those delicious smoothies.

Oh my gosh, WTF? We're driving down the lonely highway and all of a sudden there's this big tree covered in hundreds and hundreds of shoes! (see photos). I was tempted to leave mine there but then I realized I needed them for wearing.

Overall a great trip. Lots and lots of driving and and work but mostly a lot of great sight-seeing. Also, I ran over a bunny. I was going 90 mph and it just appeared in the middle of the road, blinded by my headlights. It would not move and then CLUNK-CLUNK, I squished its little head. Sorry Grace, I'm a bunny killer.

The End.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Living All Retired-Like

If I haven't been updating lately, blame the elderly. This is a good rule of thumb in general when anything goes wrong. It just so happens that in this case it really is the fault of the elderly. As soon as I returned from Nevada, I had a week of reunions with my grandparents and various relatives. My grandfather has 11 siblings, which makes for a lot of great-aunts and great-uncles within an inch of dying. You know it's a party when the guests arrive with oxygen tanks in tow. And then, keeping with the spirit of Memorial Day, we visited cemetery after cemetery, spreading flowers and glee. We did this for 5 days. Chatting, eating, sleeping, kicking it in graveyards... Life moved very slowly, as if I had entered some bizarre sci-fi time-slowing anomaly. But I'm not complaining. I was well fed, relaxed and honestly, scrubbing bird poop off the headstones of dead relatives can make you feel a strange connection to them. I had a good time with the old folks. And they didn't even harass me about getting married (much.) In fact, upon seeing the interior of my house, one great aunt said, "Oh, you don't need a wife. She'll just mess up the place." EXACTLY.

Bad birds!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Hot Desert Action

It's true that my posts haven't been of a very high caliber lately, and this post will be no exception. But I figured I should post SOMETHING, since I'll be out of the state until next week and won't get another chance. "Out of the state" must be interpreted in its most minimal sense, since I'll really just be in a bordering state, Nevada. Now if I was going a couple states over to say, Oregon, then I'd be all like: oh my gosh, wow!

But I'm not.

Sure Nevada seems mostly like old, rotting flesh on the belly of the Earth where people go to gamble and test nuclear weapons, but I've recently learned it's much more interesting than we give it credit. I'm currently designing a book on Nevada history and my visit there will be my first official business trip. I'll be accompanied by the editor and photo researcher of the book and we'll be photographing plant life, wild horses, ghost towns, geysers, historical sites, and doing some other research. This is exciting to me, despite the fact I'll be traveling with two older women who likely will only be interested in discussing such topics as knitting and how to wind a pace maker.

I joke. They are fun people and it should be a fun trip. Expect a post all about it when I return. That's IF I return. I might just find I really like it there and take up permanent residence. I'll survive by mooching off the hippies at Burning Man and eating delicious cactus. There are also lots of fossils I hear. I could probably eat those, too. It's a regular smorgesborg, out there in Nevada.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


I spent the weekend photographing rocks. Hundreds and hundreds of rocks.

If you haven't been to Arches National Park, you should go. If you don't, you are swine. Why? For one thing, it is most freakishly sublime experience you are likely to have short of discovering religion or listening to really good Trance. It is hauntingly beautiful, and not in the scary "Cirque du Soleil" sense. Rather, it really makes you think: what in tarnations was Nature ON when it worked up this place?! Probably LSD.

Everything is red there: the hundreds of twisted, stone arches, the rocky canyon walls, the gritty, beach-like sand. If Martians were to crash-land in the middle of the park, they'd take a look around and think, "Boring! Been there, done that." Then they'd fix their space ship and fly back home. We'd better pray the Martians stay away from Arches if we want to benefit financially from their tourism.

It was totally worth the 5 hour drive from my home in Northern Utah. I met up with my french friend, Pierre, who makes an annual trip to the United States to satisfy his uncanny obsession with the desert. He is an amateur photographer with really expensive equipment which made my brand-new digital camera look like rotting feces. Still, as I learned from our early, early morning photo shoots, it's the lighting that matters. I was able to take some amazing photos, which you can see by clicking here. If you don't click on the link, it's probably because you enjoy murdering small children. Nothing else makes sense.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Staring Has Never Been More Fun

Just when I thought that I had run out of ways to waste my life away, I found "The Stare Game." If you've ever played this game in real life, you know how wonderfully pointless it is. You stare at another person until one of you blinks and, consequently, loses. This version is mildly diverting, but still flawed. For one thing, it requires the presence of another person for it to work. Well, now you can play it against a non-living, badly drawn representation of an actual person. Thanks to the internet stare game, my weekends are booked for months to come. Thank you, Mr. Internet.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

I Jew You Not

I woke up early and drove to the airport this morning to give away some of my personal property to a complete stranger. Why? Well, the short answer is the Jews made me do it. The long answer also involves Jews, so if you’re feeling anti-Semitic, you might want to take a cold shower or go for a jog before reading this post, you know, to relax yourself. It’s THAT Jewy.

Well not really...I just wanted to use the word “Jewy.” It rolls of the tongue, does it not?

A friend invited me to a fancy Passover dinner at my alma mater, Brigham Young University. We did the whole deal -- the ceremony, the hymns, the symbols, the bitter, bitter herbs. It was hosted by a professor of Hebrew and Jewish studies who was very good at explaining the significance of every part of the festival to non-Jew, all-Mormon participants.

I had to quickly familiarize myself with the terminology of the Passover, as I was forced to play the role of “patriarch,” since no other men were sitting at my table. The patriarch is required to lead several parts of the ceremony, reciting lines on cue, distributing symbolic food, etc. The patriarch is also required, as it turns out, to be royally screwed over.

Early in the festival the patriarch takes the middle of the three Matzahs (unleavened bread), and divides it in half. The smaller half gets wrapped up and hidden away; in our case passed around under the table where the patriarch can’t see it. Towards the end of the festival, the hidden Matzah is produced, and the patriarch must haggle with whoever ends up with it to ensure its return. The meal cannot end without the patriarch distributing the final piece of Matzah for everyone to eat.

And this is how I ended up driving to the airport early this morning to meet one of the girls at my table before she flew off to parts unknown. I brought with me the fruits of our strange little haggling session:

one camping tarp, unopened
waterproof matches
a roll of toilet paper
some colored pencils
a black trash bag
one spoon
one fork
a box of cake mix

Don’t ask how we settled on this list. It was all fun and entertaining while it happened, but waking early to drive to the airport several days later, all I could think about is how much sleep that stupid piece of bread was costing me.

Oh those silly, silly Jews. What will they think of next? It’s times like these that I’m glad I’m Mormon. We don’t do weird things like haggle over bread. I mean, how could we? We’re much too busy baptizing our dead and voting Republican.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Please Don't Leave Me!

New post coming soon...I promise. And I ain't just lying for romantic favors.

Monday, April 18, 2005

25 Thoughts About Turning 25

1) I am no longer under the oppression of the “young males cause accidents” statistic. Goodbye high auto insurance rates.

2) Add two zeros in the middle of my age, and you’ll always know the year.

3) This will stop working in 2010.

4) I feel like I already have Alzheimer’s, considering I can’t remember anything that’s happened in the last 25 years, up until this very moment.

5) I’m doing what with the who now?

6) Things feel eerily similar to how they did when I was 24, except that now the square root of me is 5.

7) Having 5 as your square root really isn’t that cool.

8) My mother called and left two messages where she sang every version of the “happy birthday” song she knows, including those from restaurants she frequents. It took two messages because she had to stop and start over several times. My mother is whacky.

9) A friend in France called, which was nice, although I now know I have lost all ability to speak and understand French before 10 a.m.

10) When you have previously gifted a friend with “Get in Shape, Girl,” a disturbing book featuring 7-year-olds in leotards from the 1980s, they are sure to retaliate.

11) Cake gets

12-24) drivel

25) I don’t mind 25. But I fear 26. Fear it like the very devil.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Cha Cha Chi

I wish I was could do normal things, like touch my toes. It’s like I have rigor mortis or something, without all the decomposing and living in the ground. I can barely reach my shins. What’s up with that? If I was morbidly obese, then I’d have an excuse, but really I have none. High-set hips?

A friend suggested I try yoga. He says it helps flexibility, relaxation, inner-peace and whatnot. “Hell no,” was my reply. I’ve seen what yoga is all about -- a lot of bending in freaky positions named after animals. But then I found this DVD called “Yoga for Inflexible People.” Wow, that’s me, I thought. How did they know?

I’m happy to say that the DVD is now collecting dust. About the only position I could handle was the “mountain pose” (which involved standing up straight, no bending whatsoever). Everything else was just bothersome and/or painful. Screw Yoga.

So then I tried Tai-chi. A guy at my work is teaching classes for free. We did a lot of stretching, which wasn’t so bad. Then he had us go through all these positions named after monkeys. Long story short: I can’t tell my yin from my yang, no matter how many times he says to suck in the yin and blow out the yang. What does that even mean?

And now I got suckered into dance lessons, once more at the prodding of a friend (it’s like I can’t make my own decisions). They’re taught at a dance studio with two other couples, so we get individual attention, which helps. We learned the cha-cha this week, and thankfully I was able to handle it just fine, despite having to swing my hips around like a desperate hooker.

When I was studying in Senegal, everyone danced, all the time. If you didn’t dance, you were either crippled or white. I’m the latter, and so I would do my best when people in the markets would start banging on pots and a large woman would grab me and expect me to fling my arms and legs about in some semblance of rhythm. You wouldn’t believe how those people can fling their limbs! Forget the cha-cha-cha, forget the yang, forget the chi, that kind of dancing was FUN. I miss Africa.

Friday, April 08, 2005


Last week I learned that small turtles are lethal. I was in Salt Lake, looking at art, and I had an overwhelming urge to buy a pet. Maybe it was the abstract sculptures of dogs in that funky museum my friend had taken me to, or that angry, one-eyed rooster from my dreams. I don’t know, but it pulled at me. My beta fish had frozen to death last winter so I was still petless and not getting any younger. I needed SOMETHING.

Then it hit me: a turtle, now that’s a perfect pet. They’re slow, stupid, green, and round. (ironically fulfilling every requirement I have in a girlfriend). I decided I wanted a tiny one that consumes very little and that would be perfectly content living on an island in a fishbowl with a plastic palm tree, his only friend.

But there were no tiny turtles in any pet store I visited. And I visited A LOT of stores (three). I was told by every pet store owner that small turtles are ILLEGAL. What the hell? How can a turtle be illegal? Can you snort it, sniff it, inject it into your arm? Yes. But it turns out they’re illegal because they carry salmonella on their shells. And small children can put the turtles in their mouths and become infected and die.

This, of course, is an extremely stupid reason to make something illegal. Small children can also drink Windex and die. Is Windex illegal? Hermit crabs have shells, and children probably stuff them into their mouth, but I’m pretty damn sure it’s not a crime to buy a hermit crab.

The smallest turtle a pet store is allowed to sell is 4 inches long. 4 inches! It might as well be 50 feet. I wanted something TINY so I could buy that palm tree and the fishbowl island and cover the turtle’s little world in darkness with the flat of my hand on those cold nights when I like to dress up like god and smite things.

Vanquished, I settled with another fish. It’s better than nothing. In the meantime, my friend says she’s got the hook-ups with a shady pet store that knows how to get around the law. I hope she succeeds in getting me a turtle because I can tell you one thing--after all that trouble--I’m so going to snort him.