The end is near

I was at work. Brandi was scratching my back, somewhere in between the Aloha computer system and the coffee machine. Not a lot of space there. Brandi and I share work back scratches because Claire doesn't like scratching backs, and Brandi's boyfriend Roberto is an apparently less than adequate back scratcher. So we fulfill our needs. In between restaurant machinery.

There we stood. In the carside carryout door walks 2 fellow employees. Brent and Jessica. Dressed like they just went to the gym. Brent just recently got Jessica a job. They are dating or something. Not a cute couple.

Only about 10 inches of space between my crotch and the counter with the coffee maker. Jessica is carrying a sack of Swedish fish. Who the hell doesn't like Swedish fish? "Hey. Anybody want some Swedish fish?" I didn't even really want any of those fish. But I took 3. Because they are Swedish fish.

They both snuck past my crotch. Faces, inches away from mine. Swedish fish in my teeth. 30 seconds later, they returned for another body graze. Out the door they went.

30 seconds after that, Clay Drinkwater, proprietor of Carrabbas Italian Grill calls a meeting. "Hey, just so you guys know, 2 people who work here have the swine flu. Just make sure you are washing your hands often, blah blah blah."

Shit, thought I.

"Um. Which ones?" Said I.

"Brent and Jessica," said he.

"Oh," said I.

I then thought about how much I appreciated that that filthy, infected, numskull of a dummy girl LEFT the doctors office to come IN to Carrabbas to INFORM us that she had indeed contracted that most infamous of flu's, and then SHARED HER SACK OF SWEDISH FISH WITH US.

Dumb dumb dumb.

I was/am just a little bit livid.

A. Apparently, this couple, a true Darwinian masterpiece which (cross fingers and toes) I certainly hope beats the odds of relationship failure and goes on to produce a whole litter of little geniuses, forgot that PHONES EXIST. Typically for the purpose of communicating a message to someone one can't/shouldn't/doesn't want to see. Like, when one has the swine flu. Or AIDS. Or something.

B. When you get AIDS and are all excited about the novelty of it, do you go shoot up some celebratory heroin and share a needle with your buddies? No. You shoot up alone, and give the high fives later.

You got H1N1. It's sort of a novelty. I get it. But when you come to work to tell your boss that you can't come to work for a while because your're CONTAGIOUS, maybe you shouldn't share your AIDS fish with everyone who wants a hit.

Swedish fish. Who's gonna say no??

My mind is blown. I can't fathom how 2 people could be so inconsiderate, let alone stupid. I swear if I get the damn pig flu from this I'll...I'll...

Probably write many blogs, as I shall be quarantined in my room for a lengthy period of time. Possibly dying. Or turning into a pig.

Remember the Napkin post? Brent was the napkin. He no longer qualifies as a napkin.

I'm doomed.


Waiting for the rapture

It is interesting when you find yourself really enjoying something that you used to despise. Like boring stuff. I used to HATE boring stuff. But now I'm like, totally into boring stuff. Like nature. Pondering. Alone time. Pondering in nature alone, for a time.

Today a friend and I piled on my motorcycle and drove the Alpine loop. Probably the third or fourth time I have done this in the last month or two. Even if I wasn't on a motorcycle, I'd still love it. Because it is beautiful.

We stopped at some pullout on the American Fork side of the canyon. Also taking a scenic break was a family; mom, dad, and 2 kids. One, a boy of about 13 or 14, and a girl a couple of years younger. And they were TOTALLY PIST that their parents drug them away from the Nintendo Wii to go on some stupid drive through the mountains. The father was yelling things like, "Way to go guys, way to ruin this for everyone! You make everything fun a terrible experience!" And, "Should we leave? Should we just leave? Is that what you want? Great guys, just great. I don't even know why we try this stuff." And then the kids were way bummed because mom and dad made them pose on a rock for a picture. You know, to capture that happy moment in the annals of family history.

Over plodded awkward boy, a probable one foot in one year grow spurt made readily apparent by his overly awkward gait. Long, gangly legs supporting a chunky torso trying its best to catch up to the gorilla length arms, maladroitly swinging at his sides. Upon reaching the photo op (which really was a silly place for a photo, with the road as the backdrop,) he faced the camera, cocked his right knee and placed his foot about calf high on the rock, right forearm laying perpendicular across his thigh, and awkwardly waited for mom to do the deed. Picture taken, he slunk away from the rock, sooooo annoyed that he had to take such a stuuuupid picture. I was with him there, it was a totally stupid picture.

Upon watching this whole exchange, I couldn't help but remember feeling the exact same way. I would have been pist if my parents made me go on a random drive in the mountains at that age. Was pist whenever they did. Soooo boring. I had way too much shit to kill via Nintendo to waste time on such nonsense. The princess certainly wasn't getting saved in a station wagon on a mountain. It is funny how some of the things we most hated, eventualy become the things we most love.

I'm still waiting to love bees and spiders and onions and grasshoppers and mathematics and school and cantaloupe and needles.

Maybe when the rapture comes.


BYU prayer fail

The title of this post makes more sense if you have ever been HERE.

I have a dear friend. One of my best friends, in fact. One of the best guys I know. However, our friend groups rarely overlap. Most of his friends dwell somewhere amongst the categories of bros and/or cougs. A coug being a stereotypical BYU cougar. The khaki pants. The denim shorts. The cross trainers. The BYU apparel. Which is fine. He is a much better, far less judgmental person than I. I just appreciate fashion. Sue me.

There is one irreconcilable problem that I typically have with these cougs; their absolute belief that God somehow favors their football team. It makes me nuts.

I let him talk me into going to a BBQ on Saturday. I knew it would be a coug fest, but I conceded. He lured me in with the promise of tri tip steaks. Such a trap, those steaks. I didn't have a chance. So as I inevitably took over the meat cooking endeavors (which typically happens at BBQ's I attend, since I don't trust people not to overcook meat) I watched the back yard slowly fill up with cougs, eager for the holy conquest to begin in a few hours. I was friendly. I was cordial. I cooked the meat. Ultimately, I felt alienated. Because I always do when surrounded by cougs. I don't feel like I fit in.

So it came time to devour the meats over which I had slaved and sacrificed my good smelling body. Totally had to shower after that. For the second time that day. As is customary around Mormon meals, a prayer was to be offered over the food. A blond haired female with a BYU shirt tucked into, what I would say were some pre-tty risque shorts for a cougar coed, offered a most inspired oration.

"...annnnnd please bless our football team that they will do awesome, and totally play to the best of their abilities against the other team..."

Okay. Even though I think that praying for a football team is ridiculous to say the least, I was prepared to let that go with a simple eye roll, sigh, head shake combination. Which nobody would see anyways, since their eyes were closed. And if they weren't, shame on them.

As soon as she began to so eloquently plead with Heavenly Father on behalf of our Christian crusaders, some asshole emphatically began to loudly whisper, "Say win! Say win! Say win! Say win!."

"And please, Heavenly Father, bless that our BYU football team will win today. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

I sort of just sat there for a moment, neck bent at a 45 degree angle, slack jawed and incredulous, staring at her from behind my Kim Jong Il sized sunglasses.

Then I looked around at everyone else. No shaking heads. No looks of incredulity. Nobody whispering, "Reeeally? Did that reeeeally just happen?" I was a man alone.

At that point, I decided it was time to shove some medium rare tri tip down my gullet, and get the hell outta there.

I hate football. I never watch it. Ever. I sat down and watched all 3 hours of that wretched game, just because I wanted to see BYU lose. Why? To simply feel validated in my conviction that GOD DOESN'T CARE ABOUT FOOTBALL. And he CERTAINLY doesn't care about BYU football, as was made evident by the trouncing they received at the hands of Florida State. I wanted to text that girl and tell her that the 7th ranked BYU probably lost to the unranked FSU because of her blasphemous prayer.

It is a game. Will God answer the prayer of the tide end that prays before the game to play at the best of his abilities? I don't see why not. But I'm pretty damn sure that He grows just a little weary from the flood of Provo pregame fan supplication inundating the heavens on fall Saturdays.

Maybe next time they pray for the cougs to win, they should throw in a quick petition for newly pressed khakis to rain down from the sky.



This post is completely uncharacteristic of what is typically found on this blog, so bear with me. Just trying to branch out a little.

She woke up alone for the first time. She rolled over. And then over again. She shouldn't have been able to do that. She took a deep breath. He still seemed to be there. Had she not rolled into the indentation so foreign, yet familiar, she might have convinced herself that he was more than a memory.

She wept in the predawn light. Slow, rolling sobs, like lazy swells in a deep sea. Her thoughts floundered in that sea, unable to take hold of anything substantial, sinking ever deeper into despair.

Women in her family live forever. The men fade out, while the women paint vibrant pictures on an endless canvas. Although hundreds of seasons had come and gone, she knew she had much to paint. But her inspiration was gone. She felt as though all the colors had faded away along with him. She would never paint in color again.

She woke up for the second time, completely alone. She woke up afraid. The room had never been so quiet. There was no deep, steady breath to melt away her fear. She was unable to imagine the rhythm of his heartbeat, beating in time to hers. There was no heart beat, save her own.

She was afraid to clean the house. Terrified to sweep the last vestiges of him off the floor. Of wiping his last fingerprints from the bathroom mirror. Of scouring the impression of his lips from the cups. Of throwing away the last jar that he opened with his hands.

She was afraid to walk out the door. The fear of never returning home to him again held her fast. If she never left, she would never have to come home to an empty house. She would never have to go out alone. She would never have to shop for 1. She would never have to face the world with nobody to protect her.

She woke up alone for the third time. Anger filled her heart as the early morning sun stole its way into her room, splaying shadows on the wall. She watched the shadows slowly sink into oblivion, along with her fear and sorrow. The matching heart beat was still absent, but everything was illuminated.

Damn him for fading away so soon. His promises were rendered lies through his passing. His heart was gone. He promised it would always beat for her. His eyes were forever closed. He promised they would always look out for her. His lips were forever silenced. He promised they would always speak the truth to her. He was forever gone. He promised he would never leave.

She scrubbed the floor with wild abandon, her angry tears washing away the last remnants of a man gone. She made great streaks across the bathroom mirror, damp rag clutched in her hand, as though clinging to the last dregs of her sanity. She scrubbed every dish in the house, as though contaminated by some foreign, nefarious pathogen. She washed every stitch of clothing, and emptied every garbage can. She scoured his essence from her life.

She woke up for the fourth time, more alone than ever before. Again, she watched the shadows on the wall. As they made their slow journey downward, she felt herself descend into numbness. She remembered a time when everything was vibrant. She remembered watching the shadows until he awoke. He was her reason to get up.

She could see him sitting in the chair. From there, each day, he said the words that made every day beautiful. He said what only she had ever heard him say, what he had promised to say to no other. She could hear the words, as though a whisper from unseen lips.

She stood in a home that she owned, with no debt. He had looked out for her, even with closed eyes. Although silenced, she could still hear his voice throughout every room in the house. Although physically gone, every article in the home was a memory, was him. Her heart beat in time with his until he passed. She had but to listen to her own heart to hear his. Just as it had always been.

She woke up for the fifth time alone, but content with her memories.


Things that made me smile recently

The bro with the popped collar that deemed it necessary to continue wearing his dated shades with the small, mirrored lenses while ordering tacos. And then eating said tacos. Protected from the sun. This made me smile, due to the fact that I think most bro's have figured out that popping the collar is a rather laughable fashion offense. So it's a real treat when some tanned relic of 2008 is still starching that collar. Keep it goin' guys. PLEASE.

This guy. Jim Adler, the "Texas Hammer." Please watch the first part of the third video down, 18 wheeler truck safety. HAI! Also, Cell phone ban video is pretty great. "Sai-unce sayuz..."

The guy in the Dane Cook hat at Rice King. First, Rice King in an of itself is enough to make me smile. $4.99 sesame chicken special with ham friend rice, pepsi, and an egg roll? Get out. The reason why the Dane Cook hat is so funny, is because...well...it's a Dane Cook hat. That's like wearing a "Conan O'brien" hat. Or an "Arnold Schwarzenegger" hat. The idea that some comedian would think, "I should probably put my name on a hat," and that said hat would subsequently be marketed at performances, and that some dude would be like, "Geez. I like Dane Cook SO MUCH. Seriously, SO MUCH. And I want everyone to know this. I shall wear his name on my head," is a little ridiculous. It isn't like he is a sports team. He is a guy. A hat of a guy is weird.

Accidentally falling asleep on a trampoline for the first time in years, while looking at the 5 visible stars in the Salt Lake area.

The Hispanic yard sale in a field. Patrick and I were driving to get tacos, and as we were passing an abandoned field full of miserable, dead, yellow weeds, I was pleased to see a gathering of Central Americans selling various wares. Rather than choosing one of the many grassy, shady, street side locations throughout greater Provo, they picked a dead, sweltering, shade-less field from which to peddle their used merchandise. They didn't even lay down blankets. They just tossed everything down on the dead grass and dirt, and sat there, dripping in sweat, awaiting a host of patrons sick of blowing their money on exorbitantly priced articles from DI; from whence most of the items being vended probably actually originated anyway.

Patrick's mustache wax.

The end.

The day after

September 11th was weird for me. I mean, not yesterday, but the real one. The one that sunk us, for better or worse, into a couple of endless wars. That painted a presidency. That spawned all sorts of patriotic "let's put a boot in everyone's ass" country music hits. That birthed an entire industry of magnetic car ribbons, ranging in every color imaginable under the sun, with any theme a person could dream of, i.e. "Support Our Transgendered Hypoglycemic Hispano-Americano P.O.W.'S." That finally made fashionably relevant the 5 dollar Old Navy American flag Tee. That set the path for a multi-million dollar industry in "Stop/F*** Bush" bumper stickers, air fresheners, and sundry other paraphernalia. That created an "access uhv evul." That ultimately took the lives of thousands, and altered the lives of millions.

I was quietly nestled away in the MTC. Which would be an acronym for "Missionary Training Center," for those of you who are non-Morms.

That morning, I was sitting in a large group meeting. We had those a few times a week, where we would gather for some indoctrination. Our teacher was about 15 minutes late. Upon arriving, he seemed troubled. In our little bubble, the only thing of which we were aware or concerned, was the massive amount of cereal digesting in our bellies, and how far away lunch seemed.

He approached the pulpit/microphone, and said, "Sorry I'm late. A couple of planes were high-jacked and crashed into the World Trade Centers." Cue collective gasp, jaw drops, wide eyes, and raised eyebrows.

He paused, and took a deep breath. We had all simultaneously scooted to the edge of our seats, absolutely silent, ready for life shattering news. One could have heard an Angel Moroni tie pin fall to the floor.

"I think...well...I'm not going to tell you what I think. Okay. Were going to start by singing hymn number...."

And that was it. He didn't say another word about it. And there we sat, in absolute shock, while he rambled on for an hour about who knows what. Something churchy. Like any of us could spare even a speck of attention, for all of the swirl of emotion/curiosity/shock, roiling in our heads.

Class ended, we ran to our room and got out a contraband radio that my companion for some unknown reason had squirreled away in his suitcase. I guess he thought, as he was packing his bags, "Well, maybe I should bring this radio, in the event that a terrorist attack occurs upon our beloved country, and the MTC doesn't see fit to give us ANY INFORMATION.

As soon as word got around that we had this most forbidden of all devices, everyone was huddled around, listening to what few sketchy details we could pick up. Soon enough, however, we had to be in class. Learning another language, or some such nonsense.

Later on, the MTC president got on the intercom and gave us a few details. Mostly, we had to live vicariously through our parent's letters, news clippings, and pictures. Such a strange way to experience one of the most significant events in our Nation's history.

The worst thing was, I didn't even get to wear patriotic garb when said garb was all the rage. By the time I got home, 2 years later, the Old Navy flag shirt had sunk back into fashion irrelevancy, and Toby Keith was already wayyy overplayed. At least there are still enough cancers in existence that those magnetic ribbons will always be fresh.