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.