Saturday, September 20, 2008

Big Apple Pie in the Sky 08

Mark already blogged about the Big Apple Pie in the Sky trip at (with the same post title), so there are two blogging witnesses that it was a great trip. The picture above was taken from the "Top of the Rock" by a security guard who apparently wanted us to take home a piece of the New York sky more than anything else. We saw "In the Heights," a new musical that won the 2008 Tony for best musical. It also won for best choreography, which was my favorite part of the show. I recommend seeing it. We also had some delicious orange juice.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Goals and Aspirations

Micah says he wants to be an olympic diver. He says anthing is possible. I believe him, but I'm also wary about whether he can get ready for London 2012. Especially with his rigorous ice skating training (Claire just won't let him slack off on that). But he practiced today on his bed, and his toe point really is pretty good. He also has a pretty good tuck, despite not having stretched since June. That little 14 year old British diving sensation just better watch out. Judging from the above picture (disclaimer: it may or may not be Micah), what scores would you give Micah?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

This Is About And For Camie

Camie. I first met her when John M. and I were frantically trying to find a place to live at the end of the summer of 2005. There were some openings in her neighbor's apartment, but they weren't home. So we went to Camie's to see what the inside was like. Camie showed us around graciously. When we started down the stairs to the basement, the fragrance of her perfume wafted to my nose, and I couldn't help myself; I told her she smelled good. I like to think that that is why we've been friends since.

In the few months that Camie and I were neighbor-friends, she often gave me rides to the Metro on her way to work. These were precious moments, people. We'd talk about her work, and that's all I remember talking about. But I remember dreading coming to the Metro stop and forcing myself to get out. We probably started calling her car The Black Beauty around this time.

One time Camie, Anna, and I went to a movie, and when we came out we saw that The Black Beauty had a flat tire (or was it Anna's car?). Even though Camie was wearing pointy boots and a fancy, soft, smooth coat, we changed that tire in around 3.5 minutes. It was the most efficient tire change outside professional racing.

Camie and I have a standing, annual date: her work Christmas party. There was the year her drunk co-worker humped my leg, which was also the year I forced that guy to proclaim his sexual orientation to the group, the year that neither of us knew anybody but the crepes were so good, and the year that the gay, turquoise and pink suit wearing man brought a pretend girlfriend.

Camie has given me furniture, taken me to dinner, invited me to parties, picked me up from the airport, and helped me feel good about myself. The only thing I've done for her is help her move once, and she fed us McDonald's. In return for all her kindness, I will attempt to respond to her tag:

10 years ago I was following Camie's footsteps at CHS as a senior. I didn't know it at the time, but I think the special feeling I felt in those halls everyday was Camie's influence.

Today I need to study for the bar. And everyday until July 29. I also need to make home teaching changes, revise my resume, write a cover letter, and make sure there are enough elders to help a girl move on Saturday.

Snacks: chips and salsa. Especially black bean and corn salsa. I love salt.

If I were a billionaire I would pay off all my student loans and my truck. Then I would buy a place in the city. Then I would replace all the clothes I've been wearing for years. Then I would save the rest since I don't have a job. Maybe I'd buy Camie a present.

At this point in my life, I would live in NYC, DC, Chicago, San Francisco, Tokyo, or London.

Jobs I've had: piano teacher, grunt at a nursery, reading tutor, MTC teacher, summer associate at a hospitality corporation, intern with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission's Montgomery County Planning Board's Legal Counsel.

There you go, Camie.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Neighbor-Friends and Ho Goods

Preparing for the bar stinks, people.

Camie, at, blogged about how great (and rare) it is for neighbors to be friends. Well my neighbor J-LLoyd, my roommates, and I have become great neighbor-friends. Each Sunday we have Boyz Brunch, and it is delicious every time. That may currently be my favorite part of the week.

On Saturday night, Nikki, April, J-LLoyd, and I went to Shoppers because we needed supplies for Boyz Brunch and munchies for our movie. I like Shoppers, even though they cater to a section of the population of which I am not a part, because they play nothing but the best music, and I literally sing out loud for most of the time I'm there. The store next to Shoppers is Home Goods. As we pulled into the parking lot, the stars aligned and I noticed that the "M" and the "E" on the sign were not lit, making the store the perfect place for all your prostitution needs. We took several pictures below the sign, in poses that suggested promiscuity, but my favorite was with April, leaning back against the brick, one hand behind her head, and the other hand holding her personal watermelon that she put up her dress (she looked pregnant). It was ho funny.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

OBX 2008

Duck Beach 2008 was the best Duck yet. I've been 3 times now, and each time I love it more. We left MD at 5 am on Saturday, and had good conversation the whole way down. Thanks, E., T., K., and A. The rest of Saturday was lounging on the beach - actually I was standing for most of the day because I kept seeing people I know. Turns out the meat market loses some of its unappealing marketness when you know (appropriately) more of the meat. Saturday night was a drum band party at V.'s house, and M & M and I had a little dance reunion, just like back in the B-Low C.

Sunday was church in Nags Head, with YSAs strewn throughout the building. M. gave a great talk. We had a healthy bocce ball tournament, and my team, Team Claire, dominated with 2 wins, one loss. The team that surprisingly beat us, Team Accuracy, only played twice, which is important to note. I ventured into the pool with M.C., and my skin hasn't even melted yet. I think we then squished the entire house into the hot tub.

Monday was all day on the beach. Several of us got up and witnessed the sunrise. It was indescribable, so I'll describe it like this: there were deep colors, vibrant colors, peace, and happiness. I played some soccer, tried to body surf, read my book, etc. Great day. Monday night was karaoke, which was as wild as sobriety can muster.

Tuesday and Wednesday were more of the beach, the lighthouse, Blizzards at DQ, movies, pool, hot tub, good conversations, etc. It was great, and I was sad to leave. I think my favorite part was sleeping outside on the deck. M. and S. joined me out there, and felt the goodness of the stars, orange moon, breeze, and sunlight at 6 am that woke us up. There is still much to report about the beach, but that's all I can think of now.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Short Update, Mostly For Myself

I haven't done much the last couple of days. I started today with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull at the Uptown with Matt C. The five days prior to Tuesday I was extremely busy with my family. We went around DC, then Gettysburg, Philadelphia, my graduation, and more of DC. My parents, siblings, and their spouses minus two came. Incredible. I've been pretty lonely since they've been gone. I have fun with each of them, and together we're awesome.

Micah E. thought it would be funny to send a message to our mutual Facebook friends to encourage them to poke me. This was a bad idea. The poke function is annoying, and the name is offensive. So I'll get him back, somehow. But thanks to all the people who thought of me enough to poke. I also appreciated G. Ridd, Jessica S., and Eric C. coming to the graduation. Oh and Micah E.

This weekend is Duck. I'm getting really excited to sleep outside under the stars, listening to the the waves and feeling the breeze. I don't know why everyone thinks I'm crazy for sleeping outside at Duck.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Flames On The Side Of My Face

I had a dream the other night. I was in an old mansion like on the movie Clue, and I was trying to hide from a fire-breathing dragon. The dragon was only a little taller than me, and I wasn't too scared, but I still didn't want to get torched. So I went into a room to hide. I noticed that the room had a table saw in it. I looked around for something to better disguise my hiding place, and found a small, open box of wood. I threw the box over by the door, which now had an open window in it, hoping that the smell of the wood would confuse the dragon and keep him (or her) from smelling me. I was so relieved with this plan. Right before I woke up, the dragon poked its head in through the window in the door and started sniffing.

I have 4 comments on this story:

1) Dreaming about fire-breathing dragons that are only as big as you are is funny.
2) I hid in a wood workshop from a fire-breathing dragon. I walked into a tinder box ready to go up in flames.
3) At least I had the foresight to masterfully confuse the dragon with the scent of the wood by tossing the box by the door and standing lamely over in the other corner, thinking I had done enough.
4) I think the dragon is my exams, and the scent decoy is my poor preparation for them.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Peeps are Gross

This yellow mutant may or may not be Eric's car for the next few days. Give him a honk.

One time I went to Shoppers with Micah. He bought Peeps. That's gross. But what's worse is that Micah ate an entire box of Peeps before we even left the parking lot.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

One More Transportation Story

I often leave school late at night. Metro is my ride home. Trains don't come very frequently late at night, and after a long day sitting at school, I often pace the platform while I wait for the train. One night last semester I arrived at the Metro in somewhat of a daze. I was exhausted, I had been studying all day, and I just needed to get to bed. So I slowly paced the platform.

At one end of the platform I noticed large cables at the entrance to the tunnel. I checked the other tunnel and noticed the same large cables in an identical formation. This was interesting to me as I stared in my daze. After a minute I realized that a voice was speaking over the intercom. I eventually realized that the voice was the woman in the security booth and that she was speaking to me.

Now, the security booth is at the entrance, which is not near me. I have descended the escalators from the entrance and walked the length of the platform to the very end. If I were to speak to the woman, she would need to exit her booth and I would need to yell so that she could hear me. So I realized she was speaking to me. She kept saying (read in your best ghetto voice), "Sir, whaddya doin at the enduh the platform?!" Notice that this is not a request to remove myself or a general safety announcement; it is a question. How was I supposed to respond? Should I yell back at her? Should I go back up there and tell her I was waiting for the stinking train to come? I was confused. I turned and looked up in her direction (I couldn't actually see her). I took a step or two toward the center of the length of the platform.

About a minute later, the same woman came over the speaker and told me to step away from the edge of the platform. The message definitely was directed only to me. I angrily stepped back a little. I really wanted them to leave me alone. I never entered any restricted area, and I was perfectly fine where I was originally, and I had already moved once for the faceless speaker. Then a final announcement said that since there were only 4 to 6 car trains at this time of night, everyone should move to the center of the platform to facilitate loading. I resumed my pacing.

Apparently studying all day makes me look like a terrorist or a suicidal maniac. My consolation is that I was important enough to have 3 personal announcements over the intercom in the Metro. Thank you, over-zealous security guard, for keeping Metro safe from me.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Tire Slashing on the Tarmac

So I'm not a frequent blogger. I just don't feel like I'm good at it. But today, I will post about the time when Baltimore-Washington International Airport left me to wander the tarmac, like a child whose mother forgot about him.

Now, I was not in the United States on 9/11/01, and I wasn't much of an airplane traveler before that, but I know that airport security is tighter now. Or at least you'd think it would be. We can only bring certain things on planes in small quantities, we must remove our shoes in public, and all that. I even had to stand and wonder what was going on one time when a security officer felt the inside of my waistline. I'm still unsure of what he was looking for, assuming he is moderately chaste. Anyway, the point is, airport security is supposed to be tight, controlled, and, well, secure.

Last Christmas I flew from SLC to JFK in NYC. It was fantastic to fly into NYC when it was still dark and see all the lights of the city below. Of course, it would have been more fantastic if the child behind me hadn't been making so much noise the whole night that I couldn't sleep at all, but whatever. I waited at my gate for my flight from JFK to BWI for a couple hours. During that time, the fire alarm went off three times. Each time it would ring for several minutes. Each time, nobody moved. I looked at all the airline employees, store workers, and custodians, and they all went about their business as if nothing were blaring in their ears screaming for them to evacuate the building. I think the only thing the alarm did was to motivate more people to line up at Starbucks. I was happy to sit. I didn't want to go outside or miss my flight. I figured I'd move when I saw flames.

Finally it was time to board. We walked down the extension thing, down the stairs and outside into the frigid wind. There were ropes and painted lines clearly directing us where to go as we made our way around the plane to the door. There were also easily identifiable officials directing us. Besides the wind, there was no problem. Then we landed in Baltimore. I figured it would be similar to JFK, with ropes and lines and officials directing us to safety in the terminal. I stepped off the stairs and looked around. There was nothing but a vast, flat expanse of tarmac, and passengers milling about. Some passengers decided to head toward the terminal, but although there were many doors, none was marked as an appropriate entry for passengers. I looked and saw other passengers slowly walking in every other direction. Some passengers started to shout what they thought were the appropriate actions to take. Some told us to head for the doors, others said to stay put, and others told us to head for the extension thing that you normally use to board and exit planes. I was flummoxed. It was like the great mist of darkness in Lehi's dream. I couldn't believe that BWI would just leave us without direction to wander and explore the tarmac. I started to head for the doors that I assumed lead to the terminal. Finally, an official-looking person told us to head for a certain staircase that lead into the terminal through one of the extension things.

Doesn't it seem like a post-9/11 world would require BWI to direct us and make sure we went where we were supposed to go? I could have just run off to slash airplane tires or steal baggage off one of the trucks. Fortunately, I'm not like that, and it seems my fellow passengers were not either.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Time When I Almost Burned Barber Brothers Ford to the Ground

Writing about my heart full of hate on Valentine's Day might not be the best decision, but I'm not a real blogger (still deciding whether I want to keep doing this), and I've never been so poorly treated by anyone or anything. I determined today to never buy another Ford vehicle in my life and to do my best to persuade my loved ones and anyone else to avoid helping Ford in any way. I have had sincere thoughts of egging Barber Bros., but how would I chuck the eggs from Maryland? Recounting the entire experience is too painful and convoluted to list here, but the experiences include being hung up on. Which is the worst. I've always hated that about as much as soggy bread and wet socks. When I asked what I had done to be treated so poorly, the little girl in Utah on the other end of the line exasperatedly said that I wasn't understanding the situation and that I was trying not to. Which is ridiculous, of course. She didn't seem to understand that the problem was that Barber Brothers Ford didn't think it needed to comply with federal and Utah state law by signing the title and writing in the odometer disclosure. I spoke with the manager after the little girl hung up on me and he said that they were doing me thousands of dollars worth of free service and going above and beyond the call of duty. But really, all I needed was a stinking signature and five numbers written down on a piece of paper, in the normal course of their business. That is not thousands of dollars worth of work, and it certainly isn't a mere favor to me - federal and state law require it. You might think that I know that because I'm a law student and I'm anal about things like that, but you'd be wrong; the title itself states that it is the duty of the owner to write in the odometer disclosure. You'd think that Barber Brothers would know that since they are in the business of selling cars, but even if my title was the first one they had ever seen, they could have just read the two lines that say they have to. Okay, I'm not done ranting, but I'll be done ranting through this medium. Jerks.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Amy's Soiree

I've known for a long time now that Amy is incredibly talented. I've gone to her place many times to take advantage of her piano. Every time I do, I make Amy play and sing something for me. She hosted another recital last night. She hosted one about a year ago, and it was one of the best gatherings to which I've ever gathered.

Last night was at least as good. Perhaps better since Amy asked me to be emcee. I behaved myself well, I think. The other two times that I have been emcee are my two most embarrassing moments of my life. To explain why the first is embarrassing, perhaps all I need to say is that I wore a doo rag. I hated every minute of it. The second was fine except for the jerk in the third row yelling for me to quit talking. I hate him now. I think he attends school in DC, so perhaps one day we'll meet on the Metro and I'll push him in front of an oncoming train. Anyway, last night was much better.

I played "Rhapsody" by Johannes Brahms. It was not stellar. But people were nice with their feedback. Especially Ali who said that she played the same song years ago for a recital. Which reminded me of the time when I was a senior in high school, and I went to a recital to play. A few numbers before my turn, a small boy got up to play his song. I thought perhaps he would play a simplified "Fur Elise" or something with a title like "Bouncing Butterfly." But instead he played my song. I should have quietly slipped out the back of the room vowing to never play again, but instead I got up and played the same song. Stupid little boy. Oh well. At least Ali also shared her experience of breaking her toe as a Lamanite Warrior Dancer in the Palmyra Pageant.
Anyway, the evening was great, and the treats that Micah and I brought were the first to go. Now all we need to do is load up the chairs and return them to the church, because I made a wise choice and bought a truck.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Not Apathetic, Just Not Interested

The shuttle this morning was packed with Obama fans. Obama is speaking at AU today. I went to the main campus to get a book at the bookstore. As I walked down to the law school, I saw the long line of people waiting to get in. The security guards forced me to walk down a different sidewalk, and areas were roped off. The line went from the Bender Arena, up the hill, around the corner, down Massachusetts Ave., past the Seminary, around the corner, and into the neighborhood.

I would like to attend and see and hear Obama. I would like to be part of the event. But what I find myself fascinated by is not Obama or what he'll discuss. What fascinates me is the phenomena surrounding the event: the people, the security, the line. I want to know the issues and have opinions about policies and positions, but what I really like is observing the craziness that accompanies it.

I overheard some women on the shuttle. They discussed all kinds of political issues. They laughed and scoffed together as they presented sound opinions based on polls, studies, and results. Age, economics, wars, race, Bush, everything. It all is relevant, and they covered it all in the 10 minutes we had, but its not what gets me going. This town is an interesting place to live and attend school, but my passions don't quite fit what this town seems to be built on. I was more fascinated by the tacky turquoise eye shadow the one woman was wearing and the masculine laugh she had.

And then I reached my favorite spot on the walk from main campus to WCL: the modern/minimalist house that is getting a huge addition and renovation. I can't decide if I like it what they're doing to it. I mean, they're ruining the effect of the short width, tall singular gable, and simple design with the 3 flat-topped, cube additions. If they had just put gables on the additions then there would at least be a repeating pattern and uniformity. But regardless, I could ponder that far longer than what Obama has to say today.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Ordinary Mediocrity

I just received all my grades from last semester. I am happy to report that I managed, through my very best average efforts, to maintain my mediocre GPA.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Team JJJ and The Core

Last night Team JJJ, 2 of the funnest people in the Land of Lovers and me, hit up the racquetball courts. I haven't seen J.L. for probably 2 months or more. It was good to laugh with her again.

I should explain the fervor for racquetball that has been burning in this area. About one year ago a small group of friends and I (The Core) started playing racquetball at the local community courts. We have played nearly every Thursday night. The courts have no heat or AC, so we freeze in the winter and sweat in the summer. The humidity often makes the court as slippery as the ice rink in the National Sculpture Garden. Yet we faithfully gather every Thursday for a friendly battle. After the matches we often watch The Office together while munching on some delicious treat. For a while, Thursday night was the only thing worth living for. Now I just really like it. The day is full of trash-talking emails, and the night is full of destroying everyone on the courts.

Sometime during all this we noticed that our racquets had names. They became our identities. Much like American Gladiators. I am Ripper. There is also Torment, Raptor, Hot Shot, Havoc, and Laser. My favorite parts include yelling "DESTROY!" every time your partner in doubles has a high shot, or Torment calling short serves "eshort."

There is much more to tell, like the few weeks the courts were closed because I complained to the park service about the urine in the courts, or the time I broke up a drug deal, but some other time. For right now I'm just glad I was able to play last night with Laser and J.L.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Mormons

A kid in my class just announced that Romney is ahead of McCain in MI, and then said, "We're all going to be Mormons by the end of the week," to me. I clasped my hands together like Mr. Burns (on the Simpsons) and said, "Yes, yes you will." But what disturbs me is that apparently I don't have The Glow. Can't he tell I'm one of Them?