Sunday, July 26, 2009

When you disappear from people's lives...

So first, I got a new car. Wha!?!? I really did! Ha! I haven't taken a pic for you yet, so hang tight. I will unveil her this week - spruced up and looking hot. I've even named her already. It just... came to me.... like a message from above. But until then... here's some (attempted) philosophical blather. If you would like to step away for a moment and pull on your tweed blazer with leather elbow patches and done some spectacles, now would be the time.

This thought just came to me as I was doing a little Facebook searching. I am waiting for some laundry to be done - and thought I'd peruse some Facebook "friends" to see who they knew and if I knew them and la la la. To be quite honest (and maybe someone can explain this to me), I hear people say "Like, OMG I could LIVE on Facebook. It's soooo addicting, like, I am on there all day!" Cough. Which, I don't get really. What do you DO all day on Facebook? I only venture to my little page when 1. I've been notified that something has transpired or will transpire or someone is adding me as a friend... you know... the usual notifications and 2. When I'm bored and feel changing my profile pic will take up a good 10 minutes. And that's it! Shrug. One of life's real mysteries.

Anyway... as I was saying...

I was doing a little perusing. Checking out this and that. Seeing if that one boy I've only seen at church a handful of times is listed and if we know any of the same people. That sort of thing. Then I start typing in names... ya know... "names." As in, of people that I've long since stopped interacting with but am reminded of every now and again. And yes, it's people I've stopped interacting with by choice. One of THOSE situations. But don't you always wonder, long after break ups or you go your "separate ways" if sometimes they are reminded of you in some small way? Like you are reminded of them sometimes. Of coures, not in a "what if" kind of way but in an "oh yeah... they were in my life for awhile" kind of way. Or even "I wonder where their life is right now" sometimes... or "wow... I never thought I'd forget that person and I did." All those thoughts. I have them. I would imagine other people have them. And I always wonder if two people have them for each other - even when they've moved on and are quite happy and contented in their own little life happenings and progressions.

I stumbled upon one such individual on me Facebook perusing just now. My thought processes were thus, "Huh. I remember that. And I remember how important you were back then and how you're not even on the mental radar now... and haven't been for a very long time." But even still, even when we forget someone, we don't really forget them. Some people really do change our lives; even mold our character, and we don't even realize it until it's all said and done and we can look back and say "Oh yeah... I remember you. You really changed me." I think those I've found an emotional attachment to, or who have given me the most trial and even hurt me the deepest, are also those who have been instrumental in refining me the best. The lessons we learn and the people we become are so incredibly effected by the relationships and interactions around us, it's hard to really completely forget anyone completely. Those kind of people don't really ever disappear from my mind, though they may disappear from my life. They've left their mark; and just like a whiff of that lavender laundry detergent your mom always used or hearing that old song you sang together on a wispy summer evening, the memory of those who have impressed us most comes back like a silent ghostly mist drifting through our minds, "Remember this..."

I looked at a few pics of a person I'd left behind almost 2 years ago. He'd created one of those albums that has random pics from a multiplicity of activities spanned over several years. Many of them I recognized as being activities we shared together. But, any of the pictures I was in during those activities, weren't there. Everyone else was there, but I wasn't there. So, maybe someone truly can disappear from your life completely; become a nameless body you're still wanting to forget. I didn't feel bad about it. I'm happy where I am and how it all turned out - and of course, I'm a much better/smarter/functional person because of it. In fact, my not being there made me feel I had left my mark on this person too. And though I've stopped TRYING to forget them, and have really mentally filed the experience away in the back of my mind's filing cabinet, I don't mind them showing up sometimes when nostalgia snatches 10 seconds of my time. These things are best remembered, accepted, and most importantly, applied to our future selves. Wouldn't our most heart-wrenching experiences be such a waste of time if we completely forgot them? What good what it do? Even if we're trying to erase someone, after years and years, you can't truly erase them. They've left their mark. And it's clear I might've really left a mark on this person because I'm not there in those pictures. It gave me some closure knowing that I might've made an impression - though - I feel that perhaps the mark I left is still a bit of a wound. And that makes me feel... some regret. Regret that my mark may not be so easily filed away as "lessons for later" as his mark is for me. I'd hate to think that the mark I leave with people, years and years later, still causes them to feel any sort of negativity inside... causes them to keep trying to erase me from their memories. The challenge comes (in many cases like mine) in forgiveness. Which we all know that forgetting is part of forgiveness. It's such a peace to feel that "forget" when you've worked long to forgive. And again I don't believe that means you wouldn't recognize someone on the street you've attached such emotions to, but rather, you've forgotten why you left each other and it doesn't hurt anymore anyway. That's the forgetting, I believe, that comes with forgiveness. It's the healing... and moving forward.

People may disappear from our lives... but they're not really ever erased from our minds and even our hearts. We all leave our marks... impressions... our footprints. We all teach each other and reteach each other... and everyone does it at their own pace. Some still need to leave you out of their pictures... while some pause for a moment to remember the happy moments... and then quickly press on with their lives. I'm glad to be pressing on.

Monday, July 20, 2009

“Ignorance! Persecution!” The “Pro-Gay Rights” but “Anti-Everyone Else’s” paradox someone should explain to me.

A couple weekends ago, a couple was asked to leave Temple Square because of the provocative way they were kissing and groping each other. They were asked to leave by Church security and subsequently sited for arguing with security and not leaving when asked.  Though both individuals admit to having been drinking and both were being boisterous and disruptive to those around them, they were shocked and of course, deeply offended that they were asked to stop their conduct. It would stand to reason, anyone participating in such conduct would be asked by any sort of security personnel in any public area to desist their actions or leave the area. This couple took it a step further and proceeded to cause such a disturbance on privately owned property – Temple Square. However, though this seems reasonable enough that Church security asked this couple to essentially "stop or leave" because of such behavior and most especially because it was taking place in an area owned by an organization that has the authority to make such a request, the ensuing battle that ensued the following Sunday was, in my opinion, illogical, ridiculous, and hypocritical. The community that supports the lifestyle this couple chooses to participate in came out in droves to protest this seeming "injustice." Of course, the crowd could not stay in the area designated for such protests, but insisted on once again coming onto property owned by the Church and acting in such a way that security, once again, asked them to remain in the public areas where they could peaceably continue expressing their opinion. Naturally, they shook their fists at the heavens and cried "Ignorance! Intolerance! Persecution!",  and instead of conducting themselves in a lawful manner, proceeded to essentially continue trespassing on the Church owned property until authorities had to be called to escort them away. I guess they didn't get the idea that all bad behavior, regardless of lifestyle, is STILL not prohibited on Temple Square. But hey, guess what, they're rallying AGAIN today. Maybe 3rd times the charm, eh?

Clearly, the couple asked to stop such behavior on Temple Square that sparked such a protest was a gay couple and the surrounding gay community was waiting in the wings to decry such an outrage.  I mean of course, anytime a gay couple is asked to stop doing something that would be asked of anyone participating in such inappropriate acts (heterosexual couples included), they once again shake their fists to the heavens and cry "Ignorance! Persecution! We want to be treated the same (oh but only sometimes… not today though)."  And of course, if it's a religious organization asking such a couple to RESPECT their belief system just as those who choose to participate in the gay-lifestyle particularly demands that their lifestyle be respected as well, well break out the torches and pitch forks! I guess they are above such nonsense as "acceptance" or "agreeing to disagree" or "standing up for what you think is right" if what is being stood up for happens to go against THEIR opinions. Next thing you know they will rally in front of Buddhist temples in Cambodia demanding that they be able to keep their shoes on when they go inside! I mean, the monks probably only want "them" to take their shoes off cause they're gay. If a heterosexual person didn't want to take their shoes off they'd let them right in anyway! It seems the patterned response to any perceived "infringement" on the gay-lifestyle is trespassing, disorderly conduct, and blatant mockery of another organizations principles, "How dare you, Church Organization! How dare you use the same right I have to vote to express YOUR opinion." What did Tom Hanks call it, oh yes, it's "un-American." It's un-American to vote for what you feel is right, for what you see as a potential moral decline of society. It's un-American to peaceably campaign for your cause. Oh, I keep forgetting, it's only un-American because the Mormon Church did it. That's a hard one for me to grasp. Right if you do it, wrong if they do it.  Somehow, that doesn't scream "democratic system" to me. But then again, I'm one of them Mormons.

The point is this, if people want to stand on public sidewalks surrounding Temple Square and protest the Churches support of Proposition 8; if they want to make signs that express their desire for gay-couples rights to marriage and hold them high in front of Church headquarters; then I think they should be able to. On public property it is an American right to express your opinion and enjoy the right of free speech. If you think something is amiss, if you find a social wrong in others opinions and want your voice to be heard, then you should utilize your right to do it. But don't you know that the person you are protesting against has that right too? Don't you know that on privately owned property, the entity that owns that property can manage it any way they'd like and if YOU are doing something that is deemed unacceptable and against standards set by that entity on THEIR property, you'll be asked to leave? No? Well in that case, perhaps I'll gather up my Singles Ward and hold a Family Home Evening activity on the lawn of a gay-couples home and boisterously discuss the Family Proclamation and how marriage should only be between a man and a woman. Perhaps we can hum a few bars of Come Come Ye Saints into your open windows and yell at your friends when they come to spend a pleasant evening at your home.   Oh, and when you ask us with utmost courtesy to leave? We're going to shake our fists at the heavens, trample your rose bushes, and exclaim, "Ignorance! Persecution! Intolerance!"   and come back next week as a Stake.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I've lost my patience. I can't do it anymore. It's time to get a new car.

Currently, I drive a 99 Ford Ranger. Why do I drive a 99 Ford Ranger? Well, there are a lot of reasons. Okay, there's one reason... and it's the only reason for over a year I've been driving a manual shift, no AC (yes, NO AC... it's 100 degress outside... and 300 degrees in this car) brain jolting, no radio signal receiving, slip-and-slide in the snow, broken speedometer, leg in the door crushing, death cab of a 99 Ford Ranger; I don't have a choice.

Beginning of April last year I drove a 97 Saturn LG. It was a sweet little ride. Shore it wasn't anything particularly special or exciting, but it did more than just get from A to B. It had AC, it was a small car built for small bodies (those of 5'1 to be exact), and all its nobs and dials worked. I recall it had a few little "quirks" that made it a "good ol' college car" - but I don't remember them beacause the heat of the cab of my Ranger has now boiled down and leaked any bad memories of that cool little vehicle out my ear. All I remember now is pure luxury. I drove the Saturn - deemed the Speedy Marshmellow - for almost 4 years. And on University Avenue and 3rd North in Provo April of last year, its age and mileage finally caught up with it. Other than the electrical system short circuiting and frying my battery dead, come to find that during it's last repair some expensive this wasn't properly adjusted into that and thus, resulted in a break down in a busy intersection and a promised $1500 repair. We bought the Saturn for $2000 respectively. Yeeeeeeah... not worth essentially "re-buying" it. And though I had a full time job at BYU Independent Study at the time, it was a fairly new job (perhaps about a month in) and I was just trying to gather myself after a long stint of a combination of a temp job and Banana Republic. Needless to say a lofty car repair NOR a "new car" wasn't even remotely in the cards. However, several lucky situations had come together for my "no car" problem. First, my little brother had left on a mission February thus leaving a functioning 99 Ford Ranger not being driven by anyone, and secondly, I was planning to go to Europe for a year, so I didn't really need to worry about a new car until I got back. Sweet. I sold the Saturn for $500 respectively and drove the truck of doom (lovingly referred to... ahem) for about 2 months until I left for San Franny... wow... this exact time last year (Mind blown!). You all know the irony... after a month in San Franny, I came back to the 99 Ford Ranger, and have been risking my life, and at the very least my sanity, on the roads since. Now with my feet under me again and the searing Utah summer finally boasting 100 degrees, I can't wait any longer.

For my job I travel a lot. Especially in the Fall. Last year, I seriously dreaded having to drive my truck all over the state for various presentations and appointments. Dreaded it. Having a job that requires you be out of the office is very cool, but not so "cool" when you have to drive a 99 Ford Ranger with no A/C. I arrived at many a school jostled, sweaty, and have you ever tried to dismount from a truck in business casual skirts? Well the world gets to see everything you have to offer most of the time. That truck has taken my DIGNITY! Along with melting my make-up and de-poffing my hair. It's all been very traumatic. And after the heat has cranked up this weekend as well as Fall promising another very active time for me to be on the road for my job, AND the fact my psyche has only now just recovered from my many many many slipping and slidding near death experiences on snowy roads for which my truck requires three 60lb sand bags in the back to even attempt gripping the road, I've had it. I'm done. The Ranger must be retired to Huntington and await my missionary brother to return if it hopes to continue it's ridiculous ventures as a college-student car. It barely even deserves THAT label. Good things missionaries come back humble. Mwhahahha! Sucker. I've been grateful for its availability - but now I'm ready to move up in the vehicle world! I'm ready for air conditioning and dammit, a radio signal and EVEN, automatic shifting. Heavenly clouds part, a pillar of light comes through, angels sing.. "awwwwwwww....."

So here's the trick now. I don't know what I want, and I've never had a car payment before. Well, I want a 2010 Honda Accord but lets be honest, I've not quite "arrived" there yet. No no... I need to be sensible, but I am NOT necessarily looking for "cheap." Remember, I'm a career woman now and prefer to steer away ( ha ha.. steer... it's a post about cars... ahem) from "college student-esque" cars. I also don't want a manual nor do I want it to be white! I hate white cars. My last two cars were white and I feel my personality demands something more than white. Red to be honest... just anything but white. So there's what I don't want - here's what I'd like:
  • Nothing older than a 2005
  • Nothing over $9500
  • Because... I want to pay it off in 36 months THUS keeping the payments CLOSE to $230-ish (insurance not included)
  • Sedan preferable
  • Sun-Roof happily accepted
  • Radio/CD player a must
  • The BEST A/C conceived that won't cause any sort of over-heating and will work even if it's the last thing functioninng in the car.
  • Under 60,000 miles
  • Of the following Makes: Hyuandai, Any Honda (num num), and Toyota. But of COURSE I am open for suggestions. I realize Honda's and Toyota's maintain their value and thus my specs might be pushing it - but hey - those deals are out there!
I've researched the Hyundai's most. I really like the style of the 2005 Hyundai Elantra GT and it usually meets all the above specs (and then some). However, if you my few readers and "i found this blog when I was bored" explorer, have an opinion of what sort of car I should get, or what sort of car would fit into the above stipulations, or OWN such a car, let me know! My brother has made me promise that I will not be buying anything without his presence and consent (not the missionary one clearly - another one - 1 of 3), so I'd like to come to him with some knowledgable suggestions when we go out car shopping this weekend.

Oh how I look forward to the day when I post a picture of myself, in my new car, an air conditioned breeze whipping my hair around my face, and a dreamy "I've finally arrived" look on my face. Oh how I dream of that moment... yearn for it... I'm so ready.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I'm not a violent person, but sometimes a cat needs to be kicked, literally.

My cat Lila has started doing something rather… strange ( and I refuse to show you a picture of her in this post because I don't want you having any sympathy).

 Alright, it's not so much strange as it is FREAKING ANNOYING! When she came to our home, she was a rather solemn cat, prone to find places to be by herself and generally did not hang out in the public areas. She was also not much of a vocal feline, nor did she claw things or jump up on tables, nor do any of those things that other more unruly cats tend to. She was a very well-behaved fuzz-foot and we all got along swimmingly.

Now, it seems the honeymoon period is over…

 At first it was cute. She began to be more social. When I'd come home from work she'd run to the door, I'd give her a pet, and then she'd proceed to follow me around the apt for the rest of the evening. If I were watching TV for an hour and then decided to move to my room, she would follow me. She'd follow me to the bathroom, in the kitchen, and anywhere else I happened to wander. It's not a big apt, but it was clear she liked hanging around whomever was home. Aw, she loves me. I bought her a pink color.

 Well, then she started to claw at things, like the couch. Honest to heaven she'd never clawed at a couch in her kitten days back in Provo. It was one of my main selling points actually "She doesn't even claw stuff!" Well apparently now, a year later, in her teenager angst she's begun clawing things. I'm hoping this can be solved with a squirt bottle and claw post (to be purchased within the next two weeks). Again, I can handle this. It's regular cat behavior… but the phrase "de-clawing" has now become a very amiable course of action. We'll see if the squirt bottle can take care of it first… before we take more drastic measures.

 Of course, then there's the routine she likes. During the week, I feed her a half can of cat food around 7:30am while I'm getting ready for work. She's used to this and knows when I wake up and start stumbling around, it's time for her to eat too. This is where she becomes slightly vocal, but not anything annoying. What's super though, is her routine knows no weekends. That's right! She starts her meowing at7:30am on the nose on Saturdays and Sundays as well. Fo real cat? Have some flexibility! Live a little! Be spontaneous! Eat at 9:00! So I stumble up and feed her and stumble back to bed. She likes breakfast when she likes it, and I can bend to that whim.

 However, the claws, the routine, these things I can handle. Now comes what I absolutely can NOT handle. Lila has taken to scratching at our bedroom doors at odd hours of the night. Why?!?! I don't know! But she is persistent! And it's probably the most annoying thing I've experienced in a very long time (and we have loud neighbors). I have no idea why she's suddenly decided that scratching at our bedroom doors at 1:30am is the best idea she's ever had, and I have no idea to what end she is scratching, but she DOES it! Over and over and over. Finally, after all hopes have been dashed that she'll get bored and give up, I have to get up, open the door, and sternly point down at here and yell-whisper "Lila! No! Stop it!" What's really weird is she actually does "stop it." So, I GUESS we can say that's good – but it's only after having been woken up by her incessant scratch scratch scratch scratch which really is the most annoying part. This weird scratching at night used to be hit and miss, but for the last handful of nights she's persistently done it. And I can't even explain how tired I am of having to get up and tell her "No! Stop it!" usually right after I have fallen asleep. Retard cat! Last night, as she began scratch scratch scratching at our bedroom doors at the routine 1:30am, I got up, threw open the door, picked her up (she could tell she was in trouble) and fighting the urge to chuck her across the room, walked out and put her as far away from our doors as possible – which in our apt means about 10 yards. With all the control I could muster, I set her down and said "No! Oh my hell Lila stop it!" And she playfully rolls on her back and looks up at me like "So you're up. Can we hang?" I go back to bed…


Scratch scratch scratch….


I open the door, look at her like "if I kick her… nooo no, I shouldn't kick her", shake my head, leave the door ajar, and go back to bed. She wanders in… looks around… hangs out… and leaves. Yep. That's it. She didn't scratch again. What's REALLY strange is that she's obsessed with Nikelle's room. She's not allowed in there at all, and boy does she hate it. She hangs out by her door hoping with every hope she has that THIS time, she'll gain entrance into this bit of the apartment she has yet to explore. She scratches at Nik's door a lot, which again, weird, but of course to no avail. And Nik is not as kind to her as I am – and if SHE has to get up – cat will likely be kicked.

Thus, the point is, I have no idea WHY she feels she needs to scratch at our doors at all hours of the night and secondly, why she's suddenly started doing it! Why?!??! And I don't know what to do to make her stop. I'm hoping that with a squirt bottle and 5 days of soaking, she will get the hint. Do you think? Does anyone have any idea (other than a swift kick to the head) how to make her STOP thinking she can scratch at our doors at weird hours of the night? DAH! It's driving me nuts – and wearing me down. I tell you I could crawl under my desk and sleep for 2 hours right this minute. Maybe I should take her to a park and let her get all her energy out in the grass or something. She acts more like a dog then I solitary well-mannered cat! Squirt bottles and running out her energy – that could be the ticket. And I'd prefer to try those more "civil" methods of training then just knocking her out. And even if it comes to that, I couldn't do it. Thought, I know Nik would take it upon herself to "take care of our the problem." Shifty glance… subtle nod… slink into the shadows. Yeeeeeees…. Take care of the problem. Cough.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Death Hike Triumphs Again!

Behold! Lake Blanche herself!

On Saturday, Nikelle and I did our what we've deemed the "death hike." Something we've decided to do annually since its inception. As in the hikes inception, about 3 years ago. What, you might ask, is the death hike? Sounds like something you'd never want to do again, yet alone annually. Let me tell you of the tradition that is the Death Hike.

3 years ago we had planned a hiking trip to Zions. Particularly we wanted to hike the Subway/Left Fork Canyon. In preparation for this, we had to procure a variety of "gear" including food, first aid kits, and of course, stylish hiking sandals known as Chacos. These sandals were our hiking foot wear of choice as they are specifically designed for such activities. Plus, I like how they wrap around the big toe. We both got some new Chacos but of course, felt it would be prudent of us not to make the Subway their maiden voyage and thus, broke out ye old Hikes of the Wasatch trail guide to pick a nice short trail to break in our new shoes. Lake Blanche was the winner. It mentioned wild flowers, a sparkling lake at the top (first clue... TOP), and was only about 3 miles (come to find, 3 miles ONE way). And our enthusiastic hikers eye never rolled over the elevation climb of this "easy" hike (2700 ft). We hit the trail around 10:00am that fateful day 3 years ago. Our hike climbed thousands of feet in elevation in only 3 miles and every time we thought it was "just around the corner" we hit another football fields length worth of ascending switchbacks and death climbs. We. Were. Not. Prepared. Words were said... crass words... as we kept praying for the end to come. Once it finally did, it was breahtakingly beautiful and well worth the climb. However, since we had not been very mentally prepared for such a hike, we didn't explore much and rather, rested for an hour and turned around and took on the descent aka the very worst part of the hike. I'd MUCH rather ascend then descend - if you know what I mean. OH and it was hooooooot. So hot. And much of the trail did not boast much tree cover. Of course, we felt really good about ourselves for accomplishing such a surprising feet, regardless of the exhaustion and blistered feet from our "break our shoes in with an easy hike" venture. But we also came out with a goal: "next year, we're going to take that thing on and be prepared for it."

And we did just that. Except this time, even though we were mentally prepared for the ascent, the switchbacks, and the elevation climb, we did not have enough water. I know I know. What kind of hikers are we not having enough water? We both had our camelbaks, but alas, we started a little late in the morning again and ran out of water halfway down the trail... it being very hot and we being very dusty, it was not pleasant. This round we did explore a lot more and discovered this hike is even more of a gem than we'd originally thought. There are several hidden lakes near Lake Blanche (Lillian and Florence respectively), with streams connecting them and flowers, fantastic rock formations, and wild life. Incredible. So even though the hike beat us again that year with our running out of water, we were determined to push through again.

Well last summer I was in Provo and when Death Hike time came around, I actually ended up being in San Francisco. SO! Lets skip right over that year to this year... year 4 I guess it is!

We were going to lick the hike this year. Lick it REAL good! We had snacks, we had plenty of water, we had excellent shoes, sunscreen, cameras, and an 8:00am start. Perfect! Except for... those ominous looking clouds. Hmmm. Well, the ominous looking clouds turned out to be awesome for awhile. It kept the trail nice and cool for the grueling ascent. Another happy discovery was because of the unusually rainy Spring we've been experiencing, the foliage was very abundant and we felt we were bush-walking through a jungle at some points. Another treat was the incredible abundance of pink, orange, white, and yellow wildflowers growing happily on the mountain face. It was so lovely... and then the rain. Just as we reached the top, it started to sprinkle. It wasn't too bad and we didn't mind it much as we continued to cross over the red rock cut by the glacier that created Lake Blanche millions of years ago (I'm such a smarty pants). We approached the lake and had ourselves a little snack time as we observed its wonder yet again. Then, the rain started to come down a bit harder... and the wind picked up a bit... and before long I had goose bumps and was wishing I'd brought a jacket. That cut our sitting still moment short and we decided it best to walk about. We started towards the other two lakes and felt we needed to explore more than we had in previous years. As we were walking, I noticed a "animal" movement not 50 yards ahead of us, "Dude! Look over there at that thing... I know it's weird... but it totally looks like a monkey!" It really did look like a monkey, and I was fascinated by what in the world it could be. Well it scurried off and I was determined to discover how monkeys had found Lake Blanche. We followed it for a time and finally realized it was, in fact, a beaver. I'd never seen a beaver before and was pretty excited about the whole thing. I tried to take some beaver video, but it failed so I didn't. Just think of Narnia and "the Beavers" and that's what it looked like; squat, maybe about 20olbs, and fuzzy. I was pretty excited about the whole thing.

Eventually the rain let up but it remained overcast. To be honest it was perfect hiking weather and though we had hoped to gain some sort of color on our pale skin, it was nice to not worry about the heat. We lounged about the top for awhile and then decided it was time to descend. And it's a good thing we decided when we did - because suddenly the rain returned and the wind picked up something fierce. It was freezing and I'm thinking the whole time "why can't we beat this hike!! There's always SOMETHING!" And of course, the descent is always hell. Ha! It's really rough. I mean - clearly after all the ascending you have to do all the descending, and I always find myself wishing for the thing to just end. Our legs were all sorts of wobbly when we finally make it back to our vehicle - BUT - again it's always well worth it - as the next pics will happily prove:

A bit of the trail... you see how lovely? Yes.

Nik hiking down to Florence... or Lillian... whatever.

Lets say the previous pic was Florence.... and it makes this Lillian.

Say cheese flowers!

I would like you to note that this tumbling waterfall was in fact NOT a tumbling waterfall last time I went. It was a trickling waterfall ending in a pool of sun-warmed water and leisure. It's amazing how nature works, isn't it?

Next year, next year we'll do it ALL perfectly! Nik and I joke that we are going to make a Death Hike Album showing our Death Hike ventures each year... and you'll be able to see our life progress through each pictures. One year men will appear, and then children, and then more children, and then big children and their mens and womens, and then grandchildren, and then dead old people smiling happy amongst the wild flowers as the Death Hike has finally fulfilled it's namesake. Seems about right.

Monday, July 6, 2009

My first round of Golf... ever! And a Happy 4th of July!

It's been a summer of firsts. Or rather, I've just gotten more ambitious and have been trying new things. I make casseroles now. Ya know, so I can eat it for at least one meal a day all week and save some moo-lah in the process. I've been playing Ultimate Frisbee too, which I guess I've played during prior summers, but not with "skill" and "many other people." So I guess I could qualify it this way "I play Ultimate Frisbee with something resembling skill" for the first time this summer. I also took up tennis this summer. Or AM taking up tennis currently. My friend Crowther and I are getting pretty decent. I mean, we've only had two rounds of play, but I can see some improvement! Now that I feel I have the hang of it - I'm going to see what I can do to learn some technique. Plus, it doesn't hurt to take advantage of the sun for several hours a couple times a week... or everyday anytime I can possibly venture outside! I love being outside. And I'm fairly certain that I have that seasonal depression syndrome... disorder... whatever. Though my last 3 winters have been uncannily CRAPPY, it wasn't due to the snow for the most part. Rather, twas due to life circumstances. So I can't say for sure if seasonal depression plays a hand in my dread of winter; or if life's crappy happenings have just happen to fall during the winter months for the past while and thus I fear winter all the more when I might otherwise not. Again, THIS approaching winter seems to have some more life stability and thus will function as my "control" to see if I really am extra depressed in the winter because its winter.

ANY-WAY! The point of this post is to discuss my newest ambition; Golf. For some reason I had it in my mind if you didn't start golfing earlier in life - like say High School - you really can't pick it up. It was this mysterious "man sport" I felt might be beyond my natural athletic prowess. Yes, I had a "golf block" in my mind. Thinking I'd never really be decent enough to enjoy the sport. Granted, I'd only ever been to a driving range or mini-golfed on many a "first date", but never actually played a round of golf beyond the occasional Wii game. Still, for some unknown reason, I'd already resigned myself to sucking at it. Well, come to find...

This weekend I went to Emery County for the 4th of July. Holla! I had Friday off work and, after playing my new sport tennis in the morning, left SLC around 10:30 and arrived in Huntington around mid-afternoon. After dinking about for a couple hours my little brother, Taylor, said "alright, lets go golf." Er... golf? I've never golfed! Not ever! Yeah! YEAH! I want to try golfing! So Taylor and I loaded up some hand-me-down golf clubs that included a myriad of clubs inherited from brothers and mom, and headed to the Millsite Golf Course in Ferron. I was pretty excited about the whole thing. I'd finally get to play a real round of golf and see if I really would completely suck at it.

Here is the brother and our golf bags. Check out that yellow one. Isn't that rad? Old School! We be golfing Vintage!

With Taylor as Coach, we began our 9 holes. He got off to a decent start; beginning with a nice high strait drive on the first hole. Great. I hope I can even keep it on the green! Of course I golfed from the "women's" line which honestly - is really far beyond the mens. I mean, are women THAT disadvantaged? Psh. We're even closer than the Senior golfers! D'oh well. It's my first time so I can't already start scoffing at gender discrepancies on the golf course (but really - Seniors? Psh).
Alright, here I go, my first drive. Bend the knees. Check! Line it up... left left.. my left... Check! Bum wiggle. Check! Concentrate. And... WOOSH! Connect! Sail much farther than either of us expected in the air and landing comparable to Taylors ball. Wha!??! Well both Taylor and myself were rather surprised and my high strait drive. Huh. Beginners luck? Maybe. I actually do have beginners luck most of the time. But as the day progressed, it seemed that this luck was more of a natural ability to drive a golf ball. Now, my short game sucked. Chipping and putting left something to be greatly desired. But my drives - oh yes - they were pretty stinking good!
Here I am just before one such drive of awesomeness!
And what Emery County golf experience would be complete without a cow on the course? I ask you!
And lastly, Millsite Golf Course is a little gem here in central Utah. The scenery was lovely. I can see how this sport is very therapeutic.
We didn't keep score - because that would've been discouraging - but I'd say my first golfing experience was pretty good! In fact, I want to go back and try again. Taylor mentioned it would be addicting - and I think he's right. Perhaps I can even call myself a golfer one day. Eh? Well at any rate - perhaps my next "golf date" we can skip the mini-golf and go strait to a real course. Impress them with my wicked driving skills. Maybe even act like it's my first time and then BAM! "Ohhh te he he... was that good?" Grin. Eye bat.

The rest of my weekend consisted of going camping with the family where it rained for several hours and after we'd made it out to the camping spot my Grandpa favors at the edge of the WORLD, realized we'd forgotten our tent poles. Yep. So we ended up sleeping in the back of cars and mooching off some relatives. It all worked out in the end and I was able to relax in the sunshine with my novel and soda. Mmm hmm. It's the American dream really; being able to cook meat outside wherever and whenever we want; enjoying the beauty, uniqueness, and grandeur that is the US of A. Can't think of a better place anywhere else in the world really. I count my 4th of July, though low key, a success and now am gearing up for the REAL Utah Holiday - the 24th of July. Now you want to see a party... come to Utah for Pioneer Day. Thems some good times! Maybe I'll play a few rounds of golf... or tennis... or ultimate frisbee... and cook a casserole to top it all off. Pioneers dig casseroles.