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.