Friday, December 24, 2004

Eve and Hark

Well I hope you all are enjoying the weekend and Christmasness. My dad and I went up to Big Cottonwood Canyon and snowshoed up day creek, a short but steep climb. We went about 3 miles in total and saw about 10 people in total as well. Most of the time, it was just father-son bonding time. Not that we chatted, mostly it was huffing and puffing up the revenes in 17-23 degree clear skies. Say what you will about Utah's politics (and Lord knows I have), but the scenery here is specatular and reminds me why I love it here. I drank about 70 ounces of water on the trip thanks to my parents fancy Camelbaks. Afterwards, we ate a hearty lunch and plopped down to watch the NFL game.

What a life. My sister got Dankso shoes with my grandmother via my car (which I co-own with my fiancee). It was one of the best moments of my life when my sister was begging to use is tough being a little brother to a bossy big sister, and then marrying one. My mom went to her Pilates class in the morning too.

Tonight we go to my Father's female cousin's house (don't ask me to remember all those twice removed things) for our annual rotating family christmas party. My uncle Stewart and his family are in town from DC so it will be more fun than usual. My nuclear family is on help-mode as it is our year to host next year.

Depending on who hosts, the party can be very formal and fancy or very whatever. This one will be nice, but still have an air of whatever. We do a book exchange (of new books) and someone is assigned the job of Santa, or nowadays, elf. Part of the game of the night is too make sure some people in the family don't get too drunk and the race to make it to Saint Mark's midnight mass. Since these relatives live on Walker Lane and we have to help with the clean up, I doubt we will be able to make it, which will make me upset. I love singing Christmas carols, even if I am tone-deaf.

My personal favorite is "We three kings" because it has a funky beat, followed by "Hark! The herald Angels sing" as the best closer of all time. When I was a kid, I used to think that it was "Hark, the herdald angel, sings" and I thought Hark was such a terrible name. Gabreil's cool, but Hark?

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Small Lake City

This is what my mom calls it, and I think it is a great name. Because, at least where I shop and live my life, I tend to run into people that I know from elsewhere, like when I go to the airport.

Of course, this is happening all over the country, as people are cloistering themselves into ever-bluer/redder communities, even within Red or Blue states. This self-isolation and "purification" I think is a natural, if not an unfortunenate, human tendency. This is the kind of thing leads down the road to Civil War and Genocide.

Not that me shopping at CostCo will eventually lead me to join into a Holy War against Wal-Mart shoppers, but you get my point.

Posting will likely go down this weekend but I hope everyone enjoy Christmas or the fact that others are enjoying Christmas (like no lines at the movies or ski resorts, etc.)!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Home for the holidays

Well, I don't have to go far, but it seems like a world away. Tonight I am going up with my fiancee to my parents for dinner and then dropping her off in the morning at the airport. She goes home to Chicago, and I will go back up to my parents, this time for the weekend (and Christmas).

We all these holiday traditions in my family, most of which I am looking forward too. Also, my sister is coming in tonight for the weekend which is cool since I haven't seen her in so long.

Speaking of which, I saw a kid from High School at the local bagel shop today (where I got a coffee) whom I had wondered about. He was the type of kid who wasn't school smart but you could tell is actually quite brilliant and creative. Appearantly he has patented (or is trying to do so) a music machine for DJs and performs up in Park City with this device. He and friends are trying to attract attention from the entertainment industry when the Sundance Film Festival starts in a month and a half (which of course is mainly in Park City, UT and not in Vail, CO as my East Coast friends think). I wish him the best of luck. He was one of those guys who, even though he lived in his parent's basement for a couple years and didn't go to college (as far as I know) was pretty smart and ambitious in his own way.

Certainly, he is a lot smarter than some of the over-degreed and under-accomplished people I know from all walks of life. I hope I really don't fit into either catagory.

Eight is enough?

A squeaker up in the northwest: WA AG Christine Gregoire (D) is now up 8 votes over St. Sen. Dino Rossi (R) in the recount for governor. Hypocritically, the state party now is asking Rossi to concede, despite the fact that they thought 42 or so votes was "a tie" last time. Now of course, this is after the recount of the recount. And this isn't even counting the 500+ erroneously not counted King Co. Votes (which presumably will break for Gregoire at the rate of 58% or so). But still...Let's see what the WA supreme court says today (I'm watching it on C-SPAN now). In any event, I hope this woman wins, but what a nail biter.

And you thought 537 votes was close...

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

trying to go without TV

We have come so dependant on the idiot box that our whole lives revolve around it: our language, our culture, our schedule. And it annoys me too that us folks in fly over country have to watch TV on someone else's schedule: either the Northeast or California. It is funny how the blue states dictate when "primetime" is. TiVo was practically meant for that vast swath of land between the coasts.

I find that TV makes me more upset than happy most of the time. Although it occationally makes me laugh, and for that I am greatful. But there is so much watering down of people, issues, and events that drives me nuts. It is as if our television has to be like our beer.

When I was in Europe they too focused on the mundane, but also spend a sigiificant portion of time talking about what was happening in Africa or the Middle East and the US. And it didn't take a military invasion for these people to learn about other parts of the world. Part of it is that, even when they do the weather report, they are reminded how close they are to Africa and Turkey and Russia. Their geography forces them to be conscious of more of the world than nearby states or Canada, or Mexico. The closest we get to that is a discussion of "El Nino" and a blurb about a horriffic set of deaths in China or Japan or some place along the ring of fire. But then the subtext of newscasters is, "well there are plenty of them Asians anyway, no big loss." Of course, when 5 idiots living along the Missippi in Missouri die in a flood, it makes national headlines, as if their lives are more precious than those who died in a Tsunami.

As for other weather phenominom, we occationally have "the inversion" in Salt Lake during the winter. This is when High Pressure traps all our pollution in the Salt Lake Valley (I watch the weather on TV). As a result we realize what selfish pigs we are for having to drive ourselves everywhere instead of using public transit, walking, or living closer together. After all, the Los Angeles Valley is about the same size, but they have quite a few more people living there. Of course, more people don't think about this and just complain about it, as if they had no part in it. Personally, I like the wake up call that the inversion brings, but my Parents and my Aunt and Uncle like to brag about how they literally live above it.

See, my parents live in Emigration Canyon at about 5,500 feet. So every winter morning this time of year they get to drive into the gunk. My Aunt and Uncle experience the submergence much later in their commute because they live in Park City, which is higher up and further away.

So like I said, I am trying to go without TV today and as much as possible in the coming days. So far, I have vaccumed up the living room and kitchen, listened to David Sedaris on archives and read some "Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim" stories (as well as read online and talked to my grandmother. Give me strength.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Still Donnie Fowler for DNC

I was just endorsing him based on his letter that was posted on MyDD before. Now I am much more excited about him after watching him on C-SPAN (thanks Kos). Go to his website and read up. I bet you will like what you see.

nothing doin'

Today is the beginning of a week of nothing, which is nice I guess, but the silence of activity is deafing. So it looks like I am going to have to invent some tasks and come up with things to get family members for Christmas, including myself.

Other than being pretty poor these days with lots of expenses and only one salary, I feel so blessed with all the necessary and unnecessary conforts, it is hard to find things I really would like or need. Especially when there are fellow citizens getting shot at who have no proper armor.

My Christmas wishes were that there would be no more Rumsfeld, no more Cheney, no more Bush. But so far, so bad. I guess there is always New Year's.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Black yourself out

Sometimes I wish I didn't read the news. I tried today by watching football and going Christmas shopping. But then a saw how many people died in Najaf and the preminition that more death and violence will come as we get closer to January 30th.

Now there is no law school for several weeks to distrast me from watching the world spiral out of control (and into the toliet). At least there is Christmas and my family stuff to do. I recommend that everyone finds something to do until the 30th. After that, Bush's next puppet government will be in place (or else they will find some irregularities or some other reasons to null the vote).

So how about those Colts?