I'm not in Sterling anymore... or am I?

Naturally there are a lot of big differences between living in Sterling, CO and living in Provo, UT. Just for starters, here in Provo I open the door to our house and my line of sight is immediately accosted by the mountains. Some days they seem so close I feel like I may have to get a restraining order against them.

A Room with a View

Sterling on the other hand is so flat that scientists and geographers passing through have to remind themselves that the world is round.

The people in the two places are very different as well but that is to be expected. They speak differently (you'll never hear fetch in Sterling) and dress differently (I have yet to see a legitimate cowboy hat in Provo) and spend their Friday nights much differently (we go to bed at about 9pm here in Provo). But even with all the differences I've come to notice two incredible similarities in what people say about both Sterling and Provo.

1. If you don't like the weather wait 5 minutes

Growing up I felt like this was a strictly Sterling and NE Colorado thing. Then I heard it in Laramie, WY. Then I heard the exact same thing in Armenia. Now I hear this almost bi-weekly in Utah. I'm starting to think that this is just what people say about the weather in their area regardless of what it's really like.

People just love making comments on the weather because it's one of the few things we all truly have in common. Or it could be like Oscar Wilde pointed out, "Whenever people talk to me about the weather I always feel quite certain that they mean something else. And that makes me so nervous."

2. It is the Meth Capital of the World

This one really blew me away. I had grown up thinking that Sterling's claim to fame resided inside these two facts:

a) It used to be the regional headquarters for the KKK
b) It was the undisputed Meth capital of the world

I could let the weather thing go but this was just too much. Not that being the meth capital of the world is anything to be proud of, but at least it's something unique. Honestly how many meth capitals of the world could there be? Is it like a roving kingdom? Did Sterling suddenly get usurped by these mountain-dwelling meth dealers?

I decided to look into it myself and analyze the government's breakdown of the meth kingdom. Turns out that per capita, Wyoming is the meth capital of the world. I guess I should have known that because I've been driving through Rock Springs and Green River my entire life.

And so the search continues to find something completely unique about Sterling, CO. Maybe the two-headed calf in the museum?


Bring Back the Epistle

Gone are the days when an emotionally explosive epistle was option #1 for initiating change... or at least making you feel better. People these days just don't write seething letters to the editor, they do not nail their 95 complaints to their neighbor's door, and they most definitely do not quit their jobs in style with a written assault on the institution of their former employment. A lot of this probably has to do with the advent of the Internet. Sure you could send an epistle in an email but it loses so much of its power. A real letter has real staying power. An actual hand written epistle becomes less of a letter and more of a proclamation.

But every once in a while, some courageous soul will bring this literary form back into the spotlight. In Toronto, a Whole Foods Market employee has blasted the company with a nuclear epistle worthy of some of the greatest epistles known to man. If you would like to read it click right here.

It is not that the writing is particularly memorable or that this kid is a great rhetorician, it's just that he grasped what history has been teaching us all along, "The pen is mightier than the sword." His epistle has gone viral and I'm hoping to see some more epistles in the future. Maybe we'll even get some down at Vivint.

I think I'm going to start becoming a man of letters. My first epistle will be to my congressman. I feel like that is a good place to start because I've never done that before and it's such an American thing to do. The Art of Manliness shows us how to go about it.

Here are some great epistles to wrap your mind around.


Brain Spew

There is so much to say... I literally have not known where to start, so I haven't yet.

I could talk about the beauty of the city coming closer when we drive across the Bay Bridge in the morning or the stunning skyline silhouetted across the bay at sunset.

I could talk about the man who entered the BART train with a real giant snake slung over his shoulders and sat right next to Paige...

I could talk about the overwhelming hospitality of Mitch, Janet, and Sunny dog, and all of Janet's awesome freebies. Along with the charm of Alameda, of course.

I could talk about the Conservatory, the incredible teachers, funny classmates, and odd class exercises we do. Or the giant epiphany I had the other day and how I've come to a new threshold. Or how much a sweat in a 9 hour dance day. mmm.

I could talk about how much I miss my man, what an amazing support he is, and how I couldn't even come close to pursuing my goals without him.

Maybe I could talk about all of these things. Maybe I will. Maybe I should sleep first...


It is not Good that Man Should Be Alone

Hilary has only been gone FIVE days but I'm already starting to realize that the Good Book was right on when it said:

(Genesis 2:18)

I really don't feel like I'm responding well to this challenge. I've been drowning my sorrows in Otter Pops and Saturday morning X-Men cartoons.

There is also a funky smell coming from the sink. Hilary doesn't tolerate funky smells so I can logically deduce that if she were here the sink wouldn't smell like the back streets of Armenia, I wouldn't be wasting my life watching the same cartoons which I wasted my life watching when I was 8, and people at work wouldn't treat me like a war veteran/widower.

But maybe I can play that up and get a few extra days off this month. "I'm sorry boss, I just can't focus on my work... ever since my wife left me...." *sniffle* *single tear running down the cheek* *Forlorn look out into the western horizon*

Well, if they don't buy that I'll have to pull myself together and just get by on Popsicles and cartoons until my lady returns.


Round Two

Have you ever had a really positive experience or relationship or vacation that once you leave it, you yearn to go back? But when you actually go back to that thing or person or place, you realize it's not a amazing or magical as you once thought it was? Not that ___(whatever it is)___ is less awesome or influential. Just that you perceive it differently.

Maybe it's because whatever it is has changed. Or you have changed. Or you already knew what to expect so the magic is gone.

Funny how that happens.

In other news, I started my first day here at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance! I'm here for round two of the summer intensive program. Day One was sweaty and sore. I have a feeling there will be many more days like that in the next four weeks...


Independence or Insanity?

If you haven't celebrated the 4th of July in Provo, UT you haven't experienced patriotism at its highest (or most insane) level. The folks here in Utah Valley make Glen Beck look like a Communist. We love our country just like everyone else, but at the annual Freedom Parade we couldn't tell if we were waiting for a parade or a Miley Cyrus concert. People, including us, camped out on the side walk over night just to get a decent look at the parade. You don't believe this is real? Check it out. We have proof. We were there.

The philosopher Nietzsche once said that,

“Insanity in individuals is something rare, but in groups, parties, nations and epochs it is the rule.”

It gets better. Not only were the people watching the parade insane, the people in the parade were just as crazy.

It was a fantastic way to celebrate America's birthday. Nothing says America like a bunch of Star Wars characters marching down the street on a hot summer day. I promise you won't see that anywhere else but here. We love the USA.


New Marriage: New Calling

It was only a matter of time. You can only be new and unknown for so long when you've got a wife who has a smile which is so radiant that it attracts small aircraft. We have been in our ward two weeks as a married couple and we have been drafted into the Lord's service.

We start next Sunday as team teachers for the 16-17 year old youth. I remember myself at that age and I'm sure we are going to have to put up
with some real jokers and clowns but we are looking forward to taking on the challenge. It will also be very rewarding to teach together and get to know the youth of the ward. Hilary and I were very blessed to have wonderful teachers growing up in our individual wards and we want to do the same for the youth of the Provo Peak 7th Ward.

Plus, we can be stern if we have to be.