Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Last Thursday Rosalinda and I drove to Oregon to visit my roommate Jeff and do some sight-seeing. It was really very enjoyable. Once again, I will have to post pictures later, though I've posted some from Rosa's camera. Some of them are on film and will need to be developed.

Thursday: The drive took us 12 1/2 hours, including stops, to get to Scappoose, OR where Jeff lives. It is a little town on the outskirts of Portland (about 30 minutes away). After driving down a winding forest road, you need to take a steep gravel road up to his house which is set on a few acres of land. It was nice and secluded and very beautiful.

We got there around 6:30 in the evening and had some time before it got dark, so we decided to go to a nearby waterfall and to look at some of the locations in town where Twilight was filmed (Rosalinda's request). When we got to one of the locations we found that there was some sort of outdoor festival going on at the edge of the Columbia river in a really cool looking neighborhood. Most places we went in Oregon were picturesque and seemed to have their own feel. All the buildings had so much character. I'd never been to places like these that had a particular feeling to them. It really was a photographer's dream. However, it turned out to be my nightmare because I only had one roll of film and I kept "saving" it. Turns out I have 9 shots left- that was dumb.

In Front of Bella's House

Anyway, we walked around the festival where they had live music and food and a fire-twirling man haha. Not to mention the very interesting people in attendance. It was so cool and it was a warm evening at sunset. Beautiful.

Friday: Friday we decided to do some hiking around Multnomah Falls by Mt. Hood. It was very pretty. Other trails took us to other waterfalls nearby. Jeff's sister Amy came along and we all had a fun time. Afterward, we drove into Portland to walk around town. Portland is really a beautiful city. It is nestled in the hills and built next to the Columbia river with all sorts of bridges and trains. The city itself is surprisingly clean. It's streets are full of interesting people (some a little scary looking) and musicians. We also stopped by at a shop that TNT was filming an episode of some series at. It was kind of fun to see all the equipment and know what everything was.

Rosalinda got Ben and Jerrys ice cream which we ate in a kind of events square in the middle of the city. We walked through expensive stores and just kind of got the feel of the city. I think Jeff may have even enjoyed it a little- even though the thought of going into town was disgusting to him.

That night we ate at a little Mexican restaurant in Scappoose before we went to see Transformers 2. The food was better than the movie... but it was still entertaining enough. I think we probably spent the night talking with his family and watching funny youtube videos.

Saturday: Saturday morning we got up early to drive down to Tillamook to visit the cheese factory. It was a two-hour drive, but Rosalinda had been looking forward to the cheese. We got ice cream after sampling the cheeses and then drove to Oceanside which is just a few miles away. Oceanside was worth the drive though. It is a really pretty beach with all sorts of rock formations and caves. Despite the perfect weather that we had down there there was a constant cold wind at the beach. The water was freezing of course, but we had fun looking at starfish and other creatures and exploring rocks and caves.

The town itself was really interesting. The forest comes right to the edge of the beach and so the houses are built among the trees. The design of the houses was a kind of mix somewhere between a beach house and a cabin. It was really interesting- something I've never seen before. In California you pick the beach or the mountains, you can't have both. But this was some kind of hybrid. Still, I think I'd rather have a warm beach.

In the afternoon we went Kayaking on the Columbia. It was a really warm day and it was fun to cruise around on the river for awhile. We spotted bald eagles and basically kayaked right up to some cows. We splashed each other which kept us cool and just kind of enjoyed the afternoon.

Rosalinda and I had decided to make dinner for the family that night and together, with Jeff, decided to do a BBQ since the weather was so nice. We made kabobs with salmon and steak and veggies along with twiced-baked potatoes, corn on the cob (BBQd), watermelon, cantaloupe, and limeaide. It was delicious. We had strawberry food-cake with vanilla ice cream for dessert. The strawberries were picked from Jeff's garden and were very sweet. Jeff's sister and brother-in-law were visiting with their kids and we all had a nice evening.

Sunday: We slept in, which was really nice, and had a lazy few hours where we played/listened to the piano and read before we left for the singles ward at 1:00 in the afternoon. The ward met in Beaverton and it took about 45 minutes to get there. It met at 2 and it seemed like Jeff and his sister felt almost as out of place as we did since they hardly ever went to the singles ward.

We met Jeff's other Brother and sister-in-law and their two kids and spent the evening talking with them and the rest of the family. We also spent some time laying on the trampoline which we seemed to do a lot- it was relaxing and the weather was perfect. We decided to leave that night however, and drove through until we arrived back in Provo at 11:30am.

Jeff's family was very kind and fun to talk with and get to know. We didn't want to leave. It felt vaguely familiar and I don't know exactly why. Maybe it was because we spent time with the family and that setting is what made it familiar. Life there is definitely a lot different from life where Rosalinda and I grew up. It is a lot more quiet... a lot more serene. It is a place that seems to give time for a person to think and ponder and to have time to himself. It was beautiful.


I had a few thoughts on music tonight as I ate dinner. I thought about how music can be such a complement to the world. I feel like it is at these times that I enjoy it most. Piano music at sunset while reading an old-fashioned type of English book. An intense and invigorating instrumental beat while driving through winding forest roads. A soft lazy tune on the couch during an afternoon thunderstorm. It can really help a person to experience the world in a fond sort of way.

Music can also be a distraction from the world. I suppose that this is very useful at times. Tonight I ate at a burger joint near campus at the bar. I had one earbud in but decided to take it out when I began to take interest in the conversation the grill cooks were having. One of the girls was being taught the ways of the grill by her coworkers. It must have been her first day. It was interesting to see how they explained how to present a corn dog vs. a corn dog on fries or about how when you know when to put food on a tray vs. just setting the food out for pick-up. They talked about what they liked doing best whether it be fries, grill, or "set-up." I found "set-up" particularly interesting because it was like their own language. I have no idea what that job entailed, but apparently it was someone's favorite thing to do at work.

It was then when a large group of preteen (oh, I guess they were older) girls decided to join me at the bar. This is when the ear buds went in and I realized that sometimes using music to shut out the world isn't so bad.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Last weekend I went to Moab with some friends and had a blast. Maren, Wendi, Rosalinda, Tyson and I drove up on Thursday and came back Sunday. I will have to post pictures later.

We got there around 6 or 7 Thursday night and drove around for quite a bit of time trying to find an available camp site. Luckily, we found our home at King's Bottom on the edge of the Colorado river. When we found the site, it had been pouring like mad. We were slightly disheartened, but mostly excited and in awe. When that much water lands on mountains of sandstone, waterfalls start appearing all over the place. It was amazing. The rain stopped just as we were ready to set up camp, which was perfect. We ate at the first open restaurant we found which turned out to be a good one.

Friday we went white-water rafting on the Colorado river and had a blast. It was sunny, warm and clear. Our raft guide was fun and we even got to rescue a raft in our party that got flipped on the largest rapid of the day. We got back to town around 3 and decided to go for a dip in a nearby stream. It was warmer than the Colorado river... and clearer. We went up to a waterfall and jumped in from rocks. Wendi wasn't so sure about the slippery moss that covered the rocks, but they made for good slides. We walked around town for awhile and went on a small hike near our campsite before eating and going to bed.

Saturday we went into Arches National Park and went on several hikes to different arches. One of the hikes (Sandstone Arch) was a lot of fun because it is in this large crevasse between large masses of sandstone and a very fine sand covers the floor. We took off our shoes and climbed up rocks and explored the area for awhile. The weather was cooler with occasional light rain. It was just about perfect for a day of hiking. While we were out, however, our tent had been ransacked. Apparently the criminals were naked transvestites because they stole guys clothes and a bag of makeup. My whole bag had been stolen and Tyson had three pairs of short taken from his.

I wasn't too bummed out because I had my wallet and keys and phone. They did steal some clothes that I really liked including my boars shorts, but maybe they needed them more than me? Anyway, that didn't keep us down. I insisted that we follow through with our plans to go take a bath in the stream we visited the day before. I won't go into details about how I managed to do that when the only clothes I had were the ones I was wearing.

Saturday night we ate at Zaks and had a fireside dance party which was rockin. It was highly enjoyable and is one of my favorite memories form the trip. The couple at the campsite next to ours, however, must have had a much more fun night. Apparently they believed their tent was sound proof and didn't think that their extremely loud mating sessions would be out of place in such a natural environment... I mean, the chipmunks were doing it.

We did some off-roading on Sunday and got Wendi's Jeep muddied up in Canyonlands National park and stopped at a few scenic points. By the time we got back to Provo we were so ready for a shower and real sleep, but it was well worth it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mind your own!

As of late, I have become extremely annoyed with the apparently large population of people here that invite themselves quiet unabashedly into other people's business. Let's get one thing clear... I am not like you and I don't plan on ever being anything remotely similar to your version of the ideal, upright Mormon citizen of Provo, Utah. If you keep insisting on calling me "we" or "us" and assume that I, like you, have a huge stick up my butt, I am going to have to hurt you.

Okay, let me explain. Apparently one of the people described above heard about a certain camping trip to Moab that I will be going on tomorrow. And would you believe it, there are boys AND girls going. I know- devilish. This person saw fit to contact the authorities immediately. I mean, you have to right? Boys + Girls in Moab = sex. Everyone knows that.

Anyway, a few white lies later, questions were dropped about this scandalous trip. It drives me mad. That isn't the only thing that has happened this week. Some people just love serving. They seem happy to do just about anything for anyone. They are so enthusiastic that they kindly sign you up to participate. Well, news flash- I will volunteer my time when I have time to volunteer. I know I sound like a selfish grinch, but I had 4 hours of free time today that I had to clean, cook, pack, do laundry, and drop by the store.

BAH! You know what the ironic thing is? The more that these people try to impose their self righteous impossibly unfun ideals on me, the more I want to do the things they would have a heart-attack over.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Cruise for Christmas

It is done- booked and paid for. For Christmas I'm going to the Caribbean on a cruise with my family. It leaves (from Miami) on the 20th and comes back on the 27th. We will be visiting:

Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (private island)

St. Thomas, USVI

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Grand Turk (Christmas day)

I am pretty excited... though I think it'll be strange to not have a traditional Christmas and Christmas dinner. I want to save up and pay for my family to go horseback riding at Half Moon Cay as a Christmas present. The ride takes you to the highest point on the island and swimming through the shallow water of the beach. I've always wanted to go in the water with a horse.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Books and Stuff

So I have started a book-club type blog thingy. I've wanted to do it for some time, but I never had a base of people really interested in doing it. Well, I kind of joined this "cult-classics" book club and now I have a base. I didn't start the club, but I started the blog. Eventually I want to start doing movies and art and poetry and all that cool stuff too... but for now I will stick with the club and see how that goes. Anyone is welcome to join! Just tell me if you want to and I will make it so you can post on the blog too.

Here is the link