What i learned in 2009

I have been thinking a lot about 2009 over the last few days. As the end of each year approaches, I typically find myself waxing nostalgic about a great many events gone by, teeming with regret over others, and petrified with fear that I may find myself a year from now facing year 2(insert a high number here, probably 6-9) without a great deal to show for it. I like to, in this circumstance, attempt to mentally catalogue the things that I have learned, be they positive or negative, so that by 30 I may reach a state of relative perfection/nirvana. So here are a few of the things that I learned throughout the last 365 days.*

1. Passing a kidney stone is an activity apparently not only reserved for men in their mid-late 40's. Also, passing a stone is every bit as unpleasant an endeavor as I had imagined it would be. I mean, so many times that I lay awake at night, or beneath a blanket of clouds, or sitting in the calm, sublime quiet of nature, pondering the likelihood of a future passing, and just what such an even would mean for my bowel region. Imagining, amidst the scuttling clouds, or in between dreams, the fiery agony of a tiny, pin sized stone forcing its way through the narrow tracts of my abdominal plumbing. I guess what I'm saying here, is I learned that passing a stone is a real BITCH.

2. Hearts (especially my own) are finicky. They betray us at the moment least expected. Perhaps mine functions mostly improperly.

3. I am not as eternally immune to puking my guts out as I thought. 14 years of strict vomit avoidance came to a close, as I puked a record 4 times this year. Some of that puking may have been my own fault.

4. Living alone and getting trapped into occasional 40 minute conversations with the cat lady from the dwelling below, is very much preferable to living with daily toilet seat urine, constant and every present rotting refuse in the kitchen sink, and carpet that turns bare feet black. Even if that conversational snare involves discussing cat dander, skin and inner ear problems, missing wind chimes and watches, 2 year old Dodge Calibers, the merits of a 5 disk CD changer, the life, times, rescue scenario, and history of (and personal introduction to) at least 4 different cats, the scalding nature of her shower if I happen to flush my toilet, and the 1600 dollars a month paid to her by social security for having been a working woman all her life.

5. Graduating from college has put me no closer to obtaining a "grown up job" than have every fantasy book I have read over the last year. And I read WAY more fantasy books over the last year than I did college books throughout my distinguished academic career. I guess what I'm saying, is I might as well have pursued a fantasy degree, for all the bloody good history has done me.

6. Related to number 5, a history degree was a poor, pooooor life decision. And in this economy rife with absurd government spending, and no large scale job recovery in sight, history may have very well damned me to a much longer career in the food service industry than I had heretofore desired.

7. I hate serving food to people. But I suppose I have been learning this the last 3 years. But I REALLY learned it this year. It sort of really sank in when I realized that graduating college didn't mean an insta-job as I had always expected it would. "Just getting a degree is all that matters." -Lots of People. BULLSHIT.

8. Being an uncle is about as great as I could have ever imagined. And in conjunction with that, I don't think I am quite as excited to have my own little bundle of screaming, pooping, puking, fussy joy as I thought I was. Had someone offered to sell me a mostly cute baby for under $50 dollars several months ago, I'd have probably made such a transaction. Until I realized how much those things don't sleep, how much breast feeding sucks (no pun intended,) how limited one's actions, activities, and comings and goings become, and how much those things cry and get pissed off at basically nothing. I'm suddenly okay that I am childless. I shall continue to enjoy my niece. Until she cries or poops. Then, off to find my sister.

9. I apparently have a propensity to be, what I assume is a realist, but really is more likely a pessimist or a cynic.

10. While owning a motorcycle does make for easy dates, it has yet to secure me the wife I had always assumed it would. Perhaps I simply need to give it more time.

11. I have discovered that I love cuties at least equally as much as I love candy, and have therefore been able to greatly reduce my artificial sugar consumption through a treat paradigm shift; natural treats instead of high fructose corn syrup.

12. Number 11 was misleading; I still eat a lot of high fructose corn syrup.

13. Each year I find I love more people than I did the year previous. Being somewhat of an antisocial person, I thought this number would likely plateau. I guess this year especially, I have learned that I have a greater capacity to love people than what I had previously suspected.

14. This capacity unfortunately, seems to escape me in the realm of permanent female companionship. I've got philia-agape down, now I just need to work in an eros-agape combo for the win.

15. After 10 plus years, I will never EVER grow tired of NOFX.

16. I am not allergic to bees and/or wasps, as was made evident by the dual stinging I received at the hands (asses, really) of 2 very cruel creatures during the summer. On the same day, no less. While on a motorcycle.

17. Idaho bees apparently hate me way more than Utah bees.

18. I have the ability to ruin most subsequent kissing, upon breaking up with someone. Good luck girls. And sorry?

19. The likelihood of my own personal wall of shame seems ever more eminent. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of a wall of shame, it is thus; a wall in one's parents' home which showcases the triumphs of wedlock amongst the various siblings of the household--all save one. And the wall is potently more shameful if the one happens to also bear the title of "first born." WIth both baby sisters married, and a baby brother well on the road to successful post missionary 3 month courtship, I seem doomed to suffer a fate worse than embarrassing high school pictorial revelation--THE WALL OF SHAME.

20. I'm not nearly as afraid of 28 as I was of 27.

21. Even after a year, a bidet is STILL the best 90 dollars I have ever spent. EVER.

22. After 2 months of intense effort, the left side of my face grows a much more respectable beard than the right side.

23. Respectable, in reference to my beard, is probably relative to, say, a Native American. Or a 15 year old boy.

24. Even if you are a strangely unattractive female working at the 7-11 (not that an unattractive person working at 7-11 is strange, mind you) a mostly obese female patron will still take a great deal of offense if you ask her, "So when are you due?" Especially when said obese female's boyfriend says, "Ouch," and then chuckles in response. I suppose there are a lot of lessons learned there. First and foremost, you never ever, under any circumstance, for any reason, whatsoever, at all, in any situation, ever, ask an obese female "when she is due." Never ever. EVER. Secondly, an obese female who has just been asked this question can stare an almost palpable, noxious look of death so potent, that man cannot even know, nor angles tell the true consequences of being on the receiving end of such a look. Thirdly, if ever I have an obese girlfriend/wife/friend, I shall never take her into 7-11 after 10:30 pm on new year's eve.

These are the things which have most readily come to mind, upon pondering the important life lessons learned in 2009. As more come to me, I shall let them be known. Because I know you all hang on every word, every experience noted in the annals of this blog. Because my life is SO interesting. Because everything I learned in 2009, you should certainly take into account and personally apply. Ignore these lessons at your own peril.

Go ahead. Take a big girl into 7-11. DARE YOU.

God bless, and happy new year.

*please note the time this was posted. SAD.


Fat suits

Why is buying a well fitting suit in Utah about as easy as finding a blonde headed girl with flare jeans, Ugg's, and a Bumpit artificially elevating the hair around the crown region of her head who DOESN'T think that Twilight was the greatest thing ever written/moviefied? I realize that was a confusing sentence. Let me break it down.

You will never find a fake blonde with Ugg's and a Bumpit who does not think that Twilight is a masterpiece. And for whatever reason, finding a suit that isn't tailored to fit an obese mutant with a giant crotch and an unnaturally tiny waist is night unto impossible.

I don't get it. From what I can tell, fashion is and has been moving in a fitted direction. Gone are the days when having a 34" opening at the bottom of one's pant leg is considered awesome. So why then, has the suit industry not figured this out? I mean granted, I was suit shopping in Dillard's and Macy's. However, I hardly doubt I am alone or a minority in my desire for a suit that doesn't feel like wearing sweat pants. I don't know what sort of person needs an extra yard of fabric in the crotchial region. And someone with a 34" waist certainly isn't filling up that extra crotch baggage with a gigantic, penis concealing pannis.

Pleats. Who is still putting pleats in pants? Again, it makes the crotch area look fat, with all that extra bunched up fabric. Why do I need enough leg room for 3 legs in my pants? Why does anyone? I understand that skinnies aren't for everyone. But why not make the suits fit nicely? Fit, is the key word here.

So I browsed through suit, after "tailored" suit, and all pants were like fat suit pants, minus the fat. Baggy sweats with giant crotches. Maybe it is the local culture? The fact that most people buying suits are going on missions and therefore have no care for fashion? Or are old men who are in Bishoprics, and therefore are oblivious to the importance of pleat avoidance?

Finally, after a great deal of searching, I was able to find a "fitted" suit that was sold in separate pieces. But the vast majority of suits through which I sifted were tailored to fit an imaginary person with 30" thighs, a watermelon sized pannis, and a 34" waist. Although I have aspirations to someday fit that profile, for now I will stick with the fitted suit.


Christmas heart attacks

I think the worst thing about Christmas time, is the inevitable end and the subsequent return to real life. Back to my lonely hovel in SLC. Back to a job that makes me want to blow my brains out (possibly with my Christmas .45) on a daily basis. Back to an ungodly commute through wretched miles of construction and icy roads. Back to wondering if and or when my gutless Japanese-Mexican dream machine Javier will break down again, thus raping me of all financial security. Again. Back to the impossibility of finding a job which doesn't involve servitude with a fake smile, and thanking the fat, greedy, ungrateful masses for their patronage while silently cursing them in my heart, wishing for the aforementioned .45. Back to searching the many job forums, sifting through endless employment opportunities for which I am unqualified and for which 300 other (probably more qualified) people shall be applying. At least my bed in SLC is better than my Nephi bed. And I have a bidet. So I suppose there is THAT to look forward to.

I'm going to miss my siblings who are scattered about Utah, mostly in the far northern region. I'm going to miss threatening to feed my 4 month old niece cuties and shrimp cocktail, while her mother threatens me with an awful, screaming death. I'm going to miss food spreads; cheeses, shrimps, crackers, meats, cauliflowers, nuts, cookies, more meats, breads, treats, snacks, and then probably more treats and possibly even more snacks. I'm going to miss feeling like a heart attack is eminent at any moment, and the feeling that I can't eat even one more bite of something. And then subsequently eating several more bites of EVERYTHING. I'm going to miss not being surrounded by homeless vagrants when I use the interweb. I'm going to miss playing Scategories and thoroughly kicking everyone's ASS. I'm going to miss white elephant family gift exchanges, particularly the creature head constructed out of a deer asshole. This exists. Sort of a family heirloom. Mostly, I'm going to miss the comfortable feeling of being at home.

Come back soon Christmas. Stop taking so long to get here every single year.

Actually, I take that back. Take your time, Christmas. By the time you pass next year, I'll be on the waning end of 28. Which means 29 is next. Which means 30 comes right after that.

Dear God, spare me from single at 30. Dear Santa, please give me a 2011 Christmas wife, or a Christmas heart attack. Either will do.


Sold some gift cards to a murderer

the other day.

This guy came in to Carrabbas about 11 in the morning. He expressed interest in purchasing some gift cards, and I was happy to oblige him, as we are having a contest. He bought 500. After he left, my manager informed me that the man had recently slain his brother in law. I was mostly pist because last year he bought like 3000. I guess that million dollar bail hit his pocket book pretty hard.

Apparently his meth-head brother in law decided it would be prudent to attack him with a chair. The accused then proceeded to shoot him in the chest about 8 times. Which seems about right, if you think about it. A chair VS 8 bullets. I mean, a chair is way bigger than those bullets, and I'll be damned if I'm going to let some crack head beat me to death with a chair.

I just think that maybe it wasn't so smart for the accused to shoot the chair wielder 8 times. Possibly a little excessive. I think it might be a little difficult to claim pure self defense on that one. Unless of course the scene was akin to a movie. Maybe crack head took a couple in the chest, and just kept advancing with that menacing chair raised above his head. Maybe after a couple more, he just started to laugh, and said something like, "You think mere bullets can stop ME?" At which point, he continued to advance, and the accused continued to shoot.

More likely the accused probably just really really hated crack head, and was caught up in the thrill of burying as much lead in his chest as was possible in a 4 second time frame. Think he's gonna be in trouble.

Lessons to learn here: Chair VS gun, a bad idea. Crack + chair = poor decision making. Crack head brother in law + chair + 9mm = too many bullets to avoid a nefarious murder charge. I guess the ultimate lesson--drugs and small guns are bad for both parties.


A christmas miracle

Every now and then the Virgin Mary appears in a tree trunk. Or on a tortilla. Or some other miraculous location not involving a tattooed chest. When such an event occurs, the Catholic community often erects some form of a shrine to protect the location of the holy appearance. Although, in the case of the Virgin in the tortilla, I am not sure what they did with that. Perhaps it has been preserved in some sort of a frozen sanctuary.

I used to think that such things were just silly coincidences. Until I had my own such experience.

Last night I was at work. Sometimes, when bored and hungry, I cut the middle out of a loaf of bread and eat it. I typically only do this toward the end of the night, when we have an overabundance of bread left over, which shall soon be tossed out anyway. I am not a completely amoral person, simply cutting out the middle of an entire loaf of bread when there are starving people all over the state, nay, world.

After consuming the center piece, I was left with a doughnut shaped husk, which still contained about an inch and a half of soft center bread. So I dug out most of what remained with 3 fingers. One of my co-workers, Jen, who happens to be my arch nemesis, had a plate of food in the back. She being nowhere in sight, I placed the chunk of middle-bread on her plate, surmising that she would probably enjoy it with her meal.

Moments later, she approached me, asking what it was supposed to be. I replied that I didn't know what the hell she was talking about. She said, "You mean you didn't do that on purpose?"
"Do what on purpose?"
And then she showed me the miracle.

Unknowingly, my hand had been blessed upon extracting the middle-bread. This perfectly formed creature, possibly a sheep or a cow, was unwittingly sculpted by my apparently holy hand. With Christmas being very near, this can be none other than one of the stable animals that was present at the birth of our Lord. Perhaps the cow, who lent its manger. Or the sheep, who provided a measure of wool for the manger lining.

I may have to reconsider the enmity shared between me and my nemesis. This may have been a sign to bury the hatchet. Although, if that were the case, I would think that I'd have extracted a dove from the center of the bread, rather than a sheep/cow.

I'm so confused.

No sleeping

I guess I never thought I'd have to rely upon a homeless shelter to provide me with internet usage. Here I sit, surrounded by vagrants in worn, puffy coats and beards that have certainly not seen a trimmer of any sort in months, if not years. Their heads in the loving embrace of crusty, stained beanies, filthy hair cascading out the back, some times in a pony tail, other times spilling over the shoulders like a polluted waterfall. Others have been short on hair for years, yet what remains is wildly unkempt. A man nearby softly mutters to himself sitting sideways in a chair, legs dangling over the arm, dripping boots leaving dirty brown rivulets of snow melt down the upholstery on the side. The stench of stale sweat comes and goes, undulating with the passage of bundled up men passing to and fro. Many sit or wander expressionless, with faces rendered implacable after years of vagrancy and rejection. Some are gathered in groups, talking about God knows what listless, homeless, possessionless, jobless, and often hopeless men talk about. The depth of the snow. The frigid, pitiless wind. The insatiable hunger of drug or alcohol addiction. Lost family. Disloyal friends. Failed dreams. Perhaps hope.

As a man in a dark blue uniform gently prods a sleeping lump of rumpled coat, informing it that sleeping is forbidden, I remember I am in the Salt Lake City library. Which is sort of synonymous with a homeless shelter. Only with way more books, and strict laws against slumbering.



One, two, three.

The last couple weeks have been busy, to say the least. I have relocated to a studio that does not provide me with access to the interwebs. In the past, my beloved blackberry with the faulty roller ball has refused to allow me to post comments on blogs via the hi-tech T-mobile 3/8's G mobile web, so I am therefore testing to see if I can even make a regular post with said device. This poor little blackberry is somewhat akin to Sloth from the Goonies; he has been dropped many, many times, and has therefore been stricken with a measurable amount of cellular retardation, the least of which being the ball that refuses to scroll downward 94% of the time.

Kind of sucks, laying in bed typing on a blackberry. For some reason the blood seems to evacuate from my pinkys, causing a mild numbness in said pinkys. Perhaps this is caused by the betes' kicking in early, and my circulation is already being thwarted. I often have cold feet.

I digress.

Pray that a christmas miracle will occur, and I shall find some way to acquire the interweb. Also, that my less than adequate pinky circulation is caused by something other than early onset diabetes.