Monday, December 8, 2008

politics, they're so confusing

I recently saw a bumper sticker that said something like, "When Bush first took office, gas was $1.40." Now obviously this person meant it as a slam on Bush and it being completely his fault for the (up till recently) ridiculous gas prices. By that logic then, I wonder if the same guy is now praising Bush for miraculously figuring out a way to lower gas prices by a whole 3 dollars a gallon in just a matter of months (I've even heard some people say it is headed back under a dollar). Heck, we should try to get him a third term. Now in a year or two or three, when gas inevitably goes back up to lets say $3, I wonder if that same person will change the name to Obama and have it say when Obama took office, gas was $1.40. I highly doubt it.

Now I don't mean this as a defense of Bush, or to say you aren't aloud to dislike a political leader. I'm sure they do in fact occasionally do things wrong that aren't for the best, but seriously, stop complaining everyone. Stop blaming every little inconvenience in your life on the president, government, or political party and deal with your own problems. Unfortunately, I don't doubt that in a few months the other half of the country is going to start their nonstop complaining about what they don't like about Obama. Can't we all just trust that the president isn't an evil warlord or antichrist, but that they really do have the best of intentions for our country and are doing what they truly believe to be the best for everyone?

I imagine as I write this, that people from different political camps are contemplating how ignorant I then must be of the other (not theirs) political party to not hate them with a passion as they do. Maybe I am ignorant, but if so, I'm glad.

I really wanted to stop there, but I just had to write that yes I know there are such things as abortion or gay marriage that people will just absolutely never change there passionate minds about and therefore the opposing sides will just always hate each other. How unfortunate.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Good things to come

It must be a good omen when your amount of cereal left is equal in proportion to the amount of milk left.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Of one thing I am sure, It's a friendship so pure. Like a leaf is to a tree.

I always wondered how I would feel when the time came. I suspected its arrival at anytime over the last 3 years now, and now its here. My life long friend and companion has passed away. Yeah, so she was just a dog, but a darn good one, and they don’t call them man’s best friend for no reason. I once saw people on tv dramatically crying and going through therapy after their pet died, and I wondered how much I would be affected by the death of my own close pet companion. Well I am pretty sure I’m not about to go through any sort of emotional crisis, and really, my day to day life here in Idaho won’t even be affected, but I am still fairly saddened. When I first heard the news, I didn’t know what to think or how to react. It was weird, rather than just responding, it was like I had to think about what to do. Am I supposed to cry? not care that much? Whats the proper/normal response to a pet death? All that kind of rushed through my head that instant and I kind of just didn't do anything. Maybe it was just the shock of it. Eventually, after thinking about the memories and her death a bunch, I have gotten a few lumps in my throat and have shed a tear or two. To be any less effected would almost just seem cold and inhuman. After all, I grew up with that dog, and she was the only constant friend I had since the 4th grade. My next trip home won’t be warmly welcomed by a smelly loving dog excited to see me, yet too lazy to get up knowing full well that I am gonna come to her. And she won’t be there to give me that look asking if I was feeling just so generous as to take her for a ride in the truck on our way to the park or for a swim at the beach.

And oh the memories the two of us have shared. All the hikes at the back bay or the river jetti from way back when, and the trips to the lake at the park, or dog beach. Each time her wanting to swim till death if we only allowed her, and not stopping until every floating piece of anything was taken out of the water. Then there was the time she got all her fur wrapped up in burs in Arizona and it looked like she had curlers all over, and we all spent hours getting them out, even with her help. And how we used to play hide and seek, or even just hiding treats for her to seek out and find. All the tricks she knew were grand as well, and was so smart in learning them.

Then there are all the odd things she had about her that were quite funny such as her own pet rock that she took with her everywhere and wrestled with it all hours of the day and pushed it around across the front yard. Then there was the stuffed animal monkey who she liked at first but then became terrified of after it slapped her in the face and starting laughing at her. She always had her favorite spot in the house that she would never leave, like the old stair landing where she could see everyone in the house. She always knew all the rules so well, but how to ever so slowly break them to keep us from noticing until we just didn’t care any more. And her lovely howling/singing anytime a siren passed by (the neighbors weren't quite as enthusiastic about that unfortunately).

Sure sometimes I got really mad at her, like all the times she chewed up so many things of mine, but now they are all items to remember her by. I'm gonna miss that dog, but we still have Jack around, and at least we know all dogs go to Heaven.

To end this I will leave you with the lyrics of a song about the friendship dogs can bring and the adventures that are shared:

"Bron-y-aur Stomp" by Led Zeppelin

Ah caught you smiling at me,
That's the way it should be,
Like a leaf is to a tree, so fine.
Ah all the good times we had,
I sang love songs so glad
Always smiling, never sad, so fine.

As we walk down the country lanes,
I'll be singing a song,
Hear me calling your name.
Hear the wind within the trees,
Telling Mother Nature 'bout you and me.

Well if the sun shines so bright,
Or on our way it's darkest night
The road we choose is always right, so fine.
Ah can your love be so strong
When so many loves go wrong
Will our love go on and on and on and on and on and on?

My, my la de la come on now it ain't too far,
Tell your friends all around the world,
Ain't no companion like a blue eyed merle.
Come on now well let me tell you,
What you're missing, missing, 'round them brick walls.
So of one thing I am sure,
It's a friendship so pure,
Angels singing all around
My dog is so fine.
Yeah, ain't but one thing to do
Spend my nat'ral life with you,
You're the finest dog I knew, so fine.
When you're old and your eyes are dim,
There ain't no old Shep gonna happen again,
We'll still go walking down country lanes,
I'll sing the same old songs,
Hear me call your name.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


The person I am currently sitting next to randomly told me to write about babies, so here I am with my thoughts on babies. I haven't generally had too much of an opinion on babies at this point in my life. I have been happy about a few specific babies coming into this world, but quite honestly for the most part want the majority of them to be quiet and leave me alone until they can talk to me.

There is one specific baby right now that I look forward to meeting. I am to be his uncle which is a pretty big thing if you think about it. Though we have no say in the matter, He and I have a future together and I guess it is pretty much entirely up to me as to how much our futures will be intertwined. Right now I live far away, so it is hard to have any relationship at all. I just have pictures of this little guy who looks not even close to being related to me and I, without knowing him at all, want him to like me. I want to be someone he looks forward to seeing and feels there is something worth learning from. I know from a few experiences that uncles can be pretty fun, and I hope I can be that. But anyways, this is supposed to be about babies, not me.

I hope to make babies of my own someday, though the thought of having children of my own right now absolutely terrifies me. I wonder if that fear goes away when the right time comes, but for now it is very strongly there; Especially after hearing the constant screaming coming from my neighbors house. But I for some reason think mine won't be that bad. I always thought it would be really fun to have a bunch of kids, but I'm not so sure now. I was thinking moreso that it would be fun to have a bunch of grown adults that were siblings and all my children, but having 5 or so toddlers to teenagers sounds like a nightmare, but possibly fun at times too.
I hope I'd be a much better parent than my neighbors are though, and I think I would be. I had a big part in successfully training 2 dogs growing up and I imagine that is the closest thing to it, even though it probably isn't close at all. But hey, I was successful in that, and luckily I won't be alone in the task.
Right now I am imagining the day that I hold a being that came directly from me and has me all over him and inside him, wow what a crazy thought. Seems crazy that I should have such capabilities. But it is likely far far away.
Anyways, those are my random quickly typed out thoughts on babies. In summary, I don't really think about them much, like a few particular ones, and hope to make a few of my own someday. Thats all

Monday, September 29, 2008


Just yesterday I bought $180 worth of groceries. I can't remember my mom ever spending over $120 for our whole family growing up. Obviously, prices have risen, but I also bought more stuff than I could probably eat in a month. Which is why I did it. I hate going to the grocery store. Once I'm there its fine I guess, but I hate knowing I have to go soon and not having food to eat if I don't. So this time, everything that does not parish within a month, I bought a ton of. I bought 2 loaves of bread, 4 bags of english muffins, a bunch of cans of chili, couple cereal boxes, couple different frozen food items, some frozen fruit, like 4 packages of deli meats (its nice because unopened, they last till like december, same thing with cheese which I also bought a bunch of). I wish fruit lasted a long time but unfortunately I will have to eat all my fresh fruit by the end of the week, or else it will go bad. Same thing with lettuce. I like to always have some sort of lettuce around, whether for a salad or a sandwich, but its so annoying because it goes bad like 3 days after opening. Then I am lettuceless until next months grocery trip.

I was recently wondering, do apples or oranges get ripe or unripe? It seems all other fruits you can tell by looking at them or feeling them whether they are ripe or not, but apples and oranges you just have to bite and hope for the best. Are mushy apples too ripe? It doesn't seem that way because I have left apples in the fridge up to 2 weeks and found them as crispy and fresh and good tasting as ever. Thats all

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Life In Current Form

Life has changed a lot since summer it seems. I now live in a new place, a nice one with nice folk. The only bummer about the place so far is the noisy neighbors who have children that just yell and scream at each other for no reason sometimes as early as 5:30 in the morning. Which is quite annoying with the thinness of the wall between my bed's headboard and the kids room. They really might as well be in my room and jumping on my bed while they're at it. I may not have it as bad as my roomate Reed though who often has to sleep through their DVD menu stopping and starting throughout the night. The only other complaints I have of the place is the great lack of windows. We only have one window for all of the living space, and then one for each bedroom. The bathroom doesn't even have a window. And the one window we have is covered by a patio, so there really is never any natural light in the place. And it has a lack of close parking for friends to come over, but really other than that, you can't beat it.
It has been nice to have people always around. My old living situation was practically by myself, so if I ever wanted people around, I had to go somewhere. Now if I want to be alone, I can either go in my room and sit through the screaming neighbor kids, or go somewhere else. But luckily I haven't really had any desire for alone time, so I have quite liked having the fun people always around.
Much of my time as of late has gone into the making of our future coffee table. I have really enjoyed getting back into the creative process of making something useful. Though I must admit not too much creativity was involved as all I really am doing is sanding and oiling a giant block of wood. Plus I stole the idea for the creation of it from a magazine, but mine will be different and better. I guess I just love doing anything with wood. I really have come to think that I have to find a way to make that what I do. Finishing wood and making ugly wood look and feel amazing really is one of my favorite things in the world to do. Once I got started I just couldn't wait to keep working on it till I could see the final outcome. I pretty much lost all desire to do anything else when working on it, and I'm almost done. Just have to wax it and finish the little legs for it.
School this semester is likely to be the most busy semester of college I have yet experienced. I am taking more units than I ever have, and they are almost all upper division classes full of lots of reading and plenty of papers, and plenty of class presentations and speeches. I am also taking a class called book arts which should be fun, but really stretch my creative abilities as I have to write and construct my very own creative cool looking books. I don't think I have ever done anything close to that before in my life. It should be fun though, and hopefully I will make a cool book or two. I never knew how creative books could actually be until taking this class. I never really contemplated how much creativity and craftiness can go into the cover and type of paper and everything. Last night I made paper in the class which was actually quite fun. I never imagined it to be so easy, and also was quite surprised how it works. I got a little carried away in the creative part of the paper making and started throwing in all sorts of things into the paper to make it look cool. Things like bark, leaves, and other little spices and such to add color and texture. Now I have 7 fairly useless pieces of paper as they are full of little bumps and ridges and leaves that make writing on it not too easy, nor easily readable. But hey, its cool looking paper. I kind of want to make a little hobby of paper making now, but it does require the purchasing of certain devices and tools that I don't currently have, but didn't seem too expensive.
So life is pretty busy as of late, and seems it will be for the next year or so, but it seems to be full of good stuff for the most part.
God bless us, every one

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Realisation

When I was 14 or so, it seemed everyone over 20 was so old and mature. Now that I am well past that age, it still seems that they were much older and grown up than myself at the moment, and now the 14 year olds seem so much younger than I was at a similar age.

Real Dialogue from the Flying M

Scene: group of 3 firemen walk up to the counter.

1st fireman: "I'll have a not too hot mocha."

2nd and 3rd firemen: Nonstop teasing of 1st fireman saying things like, "how can you be a fireman and order something not too hot? ... rookie"

It gave me a laugh. They were relentless on the poor guy.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

I got a name

This last week got me thinking... Every first day of school, the professor calls out everybody's name to take roll, and there always seems to be that one person in the class who after hearing his or her name called, says, "please, call me ___ (some sort of nickname)." And it sometimes seemingly has no connection to their original name. So it got me to thinking, what if I, in this room full of strangers, just decided to start going by a different name. I wondered if I could pull it off and remember to respond when called upon. Could be a fun thing to try, and then if I liked it, maybe carry it out into other social circles of my life.

The name I would probably choose would be Jack. I have always liked that name, and always kind of wished it was my name. I was told I was almost named that but Shaun was eventually chosen over it. Not that I have anything against Shaun, it does have a nice meaning and all. its just that growing up, I never once knew of a Jack within a decades age of me, but always had five other Shauns, Seans, or Shawns, just within my group of friends, which definitely got kind of annoying. The sad thing about Jack, is that I recently heard it is currently on the top ten list worldwide for newborn boy names. Kind of takes the fun out of the name, but I like to think I started the trend with naming my dog Jack 11 years ago. Plus it is a bit of a family name as it was my Grandpa's name. Plus C.S. Lewis, my favorite author, when he was only a toddler and hardly able to talk, pointed at himself and said, "Me is Jack," and was henceforth called that the rest of his life. I'd also like to be able to consider myself a Jack of all trades someday, and know a little bit about everything. Plus it is just a simple, cool, old fashion name. So there are many reasons for my liking the name, and so I think from here on out, I declare, me is Jack.

Nah, I'm only kidding.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Be True to Your School

Well Summer is over. It was a rather busy and fun one which unfortunately made it go by way too fast. I really wish I could have just one or two weeks more of nothing, but too late. Now I am back to the life of always feeling like I should be doing something that I'm not. Here I am entering what should be my last full year of school. I haven't stopped this school routine in the last 18 years of my life, and I have come to realize I have a very big love/hate relationship with school. The things I hate about it are obvious: the stress, the deadlines, the commute, and the always having something I should be doing or reading instead of doing what I want and reading what I want. The things I love about it are that it kind of makes you feel intellectual to be going to school, the class discussions, the couple funny professors, the occasional learning of interesting things that are usually quickly forgot, and the challenge of being forced to think about things you wouldn't think about otherwise. The other thing I like about school is that even though you have no idea what to do with your life, you at least feel like you are accomplishing something with your life while you are in it. I can feel perfectly fine not having a real career because, well, I am in school. Sadly, I only have 1 more year of that feeling. Then I have to be a real grown up. Maybe thats why I stretched this whole thing out into 6 years.

So in about a year from now, I should have myself a bachelors degree in Communication/English, and a minor in Philosophy. So I guess that is supposed to tell people that I can think well and communicate those thoughts well in the English language, and maybe even write them down. I don't really feel all that competent in any of those categories, but hopefully I can convince someone otherwise. Thats all

Monday, August 4, 2008

Camping Next to Water

Got back from Junior High camp friday night, and never really going to any camps growing up, it was nice to experience the fun that they are. Plus being part of the staff included such luxuries as not really having any rules to follow, $12 tab at the snack shack, stay up as late as we like, take naps during free time, not sleeping in tents but a rather luxurious lodge, getting to go first in the food lines, and being part of the band allowed us to not have to wake up for the staff meetings (which I kind of feel like we should have gone to anyways, but oh well), as well as the luxury/awkward feeling of junior highers thinking you are rock stars or something and wanting your autograph. Luckily the junior high girls seemed to pay much more attention to Scott and Caleb who interestingly are the 2 taken guys in the group. The last day Caleb had to hurry out of the chapel to avoid any more crazy junior highers wanting his autograph and to shake his hand. I mostly just had to answer the question, "what is that little guitar thingy you play?" a million times. Its a mandolin everyone. Scott and Kate had to leave a day early, so leading worship the final morning was up to Chad and I along with a few new recruits. There were a few disastrous moments of us looking at each other wondering what the heck is going wrong with the song, but we made it through ok. I am very thankful that we weren't counselors as well cause if there is one thing I am not good at in life, its talking to and dealing with junior high aged kids. Maybe I could have used the learning experience.

I didn't get a chance to do the any of the fun camp things like the zip line, lake, floating down the river, or archery, but I did play lots of cards, and made a few new friends which is always nice. I was rather tired through most of the trip probably due to getting hardly any sleep the first night due to the heavy snorer in the room, but luckily I seemed to sleep ok the rest of the week. I even heard the suggestion of myself moving to Portland. Pastor Jim, the speaker of the week who is a Pastor in Portland, put it this way, "when did you say you were moving to Portland again?" All I could do was laugh and say, "you never know, maybe someday." It would be nice knowing I already have a small group of friends in the area as well as a really amazing church that does amazing things in its community, but I don't really see that as too big of a possibility in the very near future. Caleb told me its not really an option anyways, so all I can really say is, maybe someday. The message of the week was quite a challenging one that is probably deserving of a blog of its own.

It was weird but also kind of nice to not have cell phone reception for the week. Whenever I wondered where someone was, I couldn't just call them to find out, but had to go searching over the large camp. Haven't experienced that since I lived in England.

Now for a few small stories from the week:
It was fun to relive the old dormlike life and share a room with friends and sleep in bunk beds. Caleb and Chad however shared a big bed which is how this dialog came to be:
Chad- Caleb, I woke up last night and our knees were touching and intertwined
Caleb- so did you leave it or move?

That response just really got to me. Maybe you just had to be there.

Other notable one liners:

Scott- she stooled on my stool.

That has a story of its own to go with it, but you probably don't want to hear it.

And the story of the week was probably this:

First night there we have a big staff meeting to learn about everything and meet the other staff people.
As an introduction, we were to give our name, what our part is for the week, what church we are from, and as an ice breaker, the camp director Rich tells everyone to tell a story of your worst personal injury or worst injury personally witnessed. Scott immediately jokes to Caled and I and says we should make up stories of seeing our grandmas die to just really bum everyone out. So after going through a few people telling standard stories of broken legs and such, we get to this one special middle aged character. He starts off by saying, gosh, I've seen so many I don't really know which one to tell, but the one that really stands out, that still gives me nightmares to this day is... He then proceeds to tell this story. I probably don't use the same wording, but its something close to this.

My wife and I are in our car which is like a first aid kit on wheels, and we see this young kid (bout the same age as our campers) jumping off a ramp on his skateboard into the street. As he jumps, with his friend and girlfriend watching, this car comes out of nowhere and hits the kid. My wife and I jump out and call the paramedics. I go see how the kid is doing, and my wife goes to the friends to comfort them. So I try to help the kid, and as we are waiting for the paramedics, the kid dies in my arms. The end

The room is then silent and awed by this story until someone says, jeeze, nice question Rich. It was an awful story, but also almost hard not to laugh at the fact that guy would actually tell such a story to a room full of strangers.

So that was my last week. A rather fun time indeed.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

One year to the day

This Day in History

On August 3
1492 Christopher Columbus left Spain with three ships. The voyage would lead him to what is now known as the Americas.
1914 Germany declared war on France. The next day, World War I began when Britain declared war on Germany.
1923 Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as the 30th president of the U.S. after the sudden death of President Harding.
1933 The Mickey Mouse Watch was introduced for the price of $2.75.
1936 Jesse Owens won the first of his four Olympic gold medals.
1943 Gen. George S. Patton verbally abused and slapped a private. Later, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered him to apologize for the incident.
1949 The National Basketball Association was formed. The league was formed by the merger between the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League.
1956 Bedloe's Island had its name changed to Liberty Island.
1966 Lenny Bruce overdosed on morphine at the age of 40.
1984 Mary Lou Retton won a gold medal at the Los Angeles Summer Olympics.
1992 The U.S. Senate voted to restrict, and eventually end the testing of nuclear weapons.
1995 Eyad Ismoil was flown from Jordan to the U.S. to face charges that he had driven the van that blew up in New York's World Trade Center.

2007- Shaun moved to Idaho

Yep, been here a full year to the day now. Still is weird to me to think that I actually live in Idaho. Who could have ever guessed it. People still look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them I moved here from Huntington Beach California, but its been a pretty good year. And now we start the 2nd.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Something to Remember

If you have a dermatology appointment, it is probably not a good idea to get sunburned the day before.

Monday, July 21, 2008

It is the summer of my smile

The past week or two has involved a rather enjoyable trip back to the place I grew up. I think growing up here kind of made me take for granted how cool of a place this really is, and being on vacation here gives a new appreciation for it all. Plus when you are on vacation you don't have to worry about any of the work and high costs of living here. Plus you have a mom that is perfectly happy in spoiling you with anything and make any meal for you whenever you like. Plus you have friends that are all rather eager to see you and excited for you to be around. But then again, you have to answer the dang question of, "how's Idaho?" 50 bazillion times to people who don't really care but feel they have to ask (not that I wouldn't do the same thing). The trip has been full of good times. Had breakfast at my brother's house 2nd day here, a birthday party for Elliott Saturday, and lunch at Aunt Mary and Uncle Lori's house where we ate, drank, and beed merry (I know beed isn't a word, but I like it). All the places were full of great food. My brother makes some mighty good tender ribs. It's all going by so fast.

Now for some lists.

Things that have changed in the last year around here since I left:

1. Both my sister and her husband have new jobs.
2. My brother and his family live in a new house and has a new car.
3. My old bedroom has been completely remodeled and is quite nice now and is without that weird smell (which had nothing to do with me). Dad's office is all new too.
4. My dog Sadie looked near death last time I was here, but now seems quite lively once again. Though she is still growing new little tumors.
5. My 4 best guy and girl friends are now dating each other, weird.
6. My sister in law is pregnant.
7. It is now illegal to talk on the phone while driving here.
8. Our trash company now makes us recycle instead of doing it all themselves like before.
9. All my friends seem to now have full time careers.
10. Kids are bigger and Elliott can have full conversations now.
11. I think that's all.

Things which are the same:

1. People
2. TK Burger is still awesome.
3. In-n-Out is still awesome.
4. Beach is still there.
5. Niece and Nephew still remember me, but were just a little shy at first.

Things accomplished thus far:

1. Beach day, which included the most fun wiffle ball games ever, and I won, yippee.
2. Skunked Dad in cribbage
3. Took old dog Sadie to the Beach for a swim.
4. Saw Dark Knight at midnight: awesome, even with the holes in the story.
5. Went to dentist and everything is all good. (2 years ago I went, and the lady said, "and don't wait another 2 years to come back." I showed her.)
6. May have found a place to live when I get back to Idaho which was very needed, and with good people. Thank the good Lord, always providing things like that.
7. Got haircut.
8. Enjoyed it all
9. Almost forgot, but I got my dog Jack a girlfriend. She'll be ready to make babies with him come September so that his name will live on, and he won't die a virgin. Hopefully she'll like him though. The bitch apparently hasn't liked any guys in the past (I'm not cussing that's what their called). But Jack is quite a Stud so I think she won't pass him up. I mean who could turn down this face?

10. And another thing I forgot, 2 bike rides. One enjoyable one through a dark probably not that safe park to the Orange Circle (old fashion little downtown where they often film movies set in the 50's such as That Thing You Do), and then to Rite-Aid for some ice cream. On the way back through the park we came across a couple abandoned giant ice blocks. So we pushed them up the hill and rode them down a few times. The other bike ride however was on the most uncomfortable mountain bike ever and was literally uphill both ways. At least there was a nice jacuzzi as our destination.

Things hoped to accomplish still:

1. Build my own cribbage board.
2. See remaining people I hoped to see while here.
3. Spend more time with friends.
4. Play Basketball
5. Enjoy it all

That's all I have to say for now I believe.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Real dialog from the counter of flying m

teenage girl asks, "Is the hot chocolate good iced?"
joe: umm, you mean chocolate milk? (or something close to that effect).

Monday, July 7, 2008

Magic Bus

I ride the bus to school, and on this bus I can sometimes come into contact with the strangest of people. Most of the riders are students, like me, taking advantage of the free bus system for BSU students, but then there is also the middle age people just trying to save on gas money as they go to their daily jobs, the occasional old lady, and every now and then a traveling hobo or two. I usually like to keep to myself in these public places, and just listen to music and stare out the window as I sit in my nice cozy spacious seat. I’ll occasionally say hello to the regular people I see every day, but that’s about it.

The thing that bugs me the most about these daily commutes is when the bus is almost full, there are more people coming on, and some people don’t make the seat next to them available for the new passengers. They just know that someone else will do it, and they will be left to their nice cozy row to themselves. This complete disregard of other people in these situations really angers me. I think part of this is just my jealousy of these people because I too want the seat next to me to be open for comfort reasons. However, I am always the one to kindly allow for it to be open so that the new passengers get all the available seats to choose from, while the other jerks are sure to guarantee themselves the nice spacious arm and leg room. I sometimes wonder how nice life might be if you just didn’t give a darn for other people in situations like these, and only looked after what you wanted for yourself. I bet I could find myself in many more fortuitous situations if I were to take such a stance, but I like to think Karma keeps up with people. It seems in these situations though the new passenger almost always chooses the seat next to me. I guess I should like that people see me as a friendly enough face to sit next to, but sometimes I just really wish they'd choose someone else to sit next to.

A few years back I once rode the greyhound bus from Las Vegas to Flagstaff and had to be one of the people to choose my seating companion for the next 5 hours or so. I didn't really like too many of my options, but eventually had to pick someone and so I chose a middle aged lady who looked a little hippyish. We talked for a little bit, and she informed me that World War III was coming and I was gonna be drafted pretty soon. Well, it sure has been a pleasure talking to you I thought.

Anyways, on one of my more recent bus experiences, as usual the new passenger chose the seat next to me. It was the second time this same guy has sat next to me, and he is about as odd as they come. First off, he has a beard down to his belly button, zz top style, then he is balding, and then he has the hairiest arms and legs possible. On this day, he was wearing a long sleeved collared shirt with a tie, rather short shorts, then black socks with brown dress shoes. He sits next to me and immediately spreads his legs out nice and wide-like clearly encroaching into my territory of the seating arrangement. The first time he sat next to me, he said nothing, but frequently made hand motions as if talking to someone, or giving a speech and pointing his finger to really drive his point in to the listeners. On both occasions, the man took place in his favorite activity of twirling his mustache, just about every 30 seconds or so. He has a pattern with this which is this: finger comb his few hairs back, twirl mustache for about 20 seconds, and then either finger comb again or put his hand down, then wait about 15 seconds, and repeat. Sometimes he will start the move of his hand upward to start the activity, but change his mind mid-move, put his hand back down, wait 5 seconds, and then go ahead and go for it. He seems to prefer the right side of his mustache for his twirling, but will occasionally go for the left sided twirl. Then as the bus goes on and the passengers slowly slim down and multiple rows of seating open up, you would think he might move to a new row so that he could have all the leg spreading room he could want, and have it all to himself. But no, he stays right there, spread eagle, boxing me in and making me crouch my body and legs up against myself to make room for my backpack and all.

Such are the experiences of public transportation. I should probably be a little more befriending.

Homework Break

I am taking a break from writing for school to write for pleasure. I have to write a long paper relating C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia to Plato's Republic. It has been annoying thus far. It seems every time I think I've got something to really start going with to try to prove, I will keep reading trying to find more material to help prove my point, but instead I just read something that completely contradicts what I had hoped they were gonna say, and I then have to completely rethink everything. It is getting annoying.

Nevertheless, I really like this Plato guy. C.S. Lewis was clearly strongly inspired by him, and I have always been a huge fan of Mr. Lewis. What amazes me most about Plato is his theology. His thoughts and ideas about who God is and what He must be like are quite similar to standard Christian theology. The amazing thing about him though, is that he didn't have a book to read that is supposed to tell you all about who God is. He just figured it all out logically concluding that God must be all these things and this way for Him to be God at all, and He could be nothing else. I also heard that Paul the apostle was a bit of a Plato enthusiast. I should probably give some credit to Socrates too since you never really know which one of them really came up with all of this, but it was Plato who wrote it down, but he wrote it down through the dialog of Socrates, so it all gets quite confusing.

Being raised so heavily in the Bible, I never really thought that ancient people outside of the Jews or other Biblical characters ever thought about God similar to the way I do now, or even worshiped Him, but some did. It seems rather obvious now, but I never really thought about it.
Alright, thats about it.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

First Encounters of the Good Kind

I seem to remember first meetings with people quite well. Almost every friend I have I can remember my first meeting with and how it happened and what was said, and what I thought. So I kind of want to know if other people remember their first meeting of me, what was said, what happened, and what their overall impression was. I think it would be fun to know, even if it wasn't good. I'd assume it all turned out good in the end if you are reading this now. And if you are willing to do this, I will gladly return the favor and tell my first memories of you. Though I am now realizing the problem of you going first, which could remind me of something I wouldn't have thought of otherwise. But if you are still game, maybe we could work out a simultaneous switch of stories. I am now thinking that likely no one will take the effort to do that. Oh well, just tell me, or tell me you want to hear my first story of you, and I'll go first. Hopefully I can live up to my claim.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Year #2 out of high school, 04-05

Here is the 2nd installment in my little quest to sum up the past 5 years of my life. Enjoy it if you can.

This was the year of Bible college. The previous semester my friend Simon went there and from visiting him there and seeing the beautiful campus along with all the wonderfully friendly people, I knew it was something I too must do. I was definitely ready to go out and meet some new people and it seemed like the right place for it. So I went, and strangely, right before moving, I reconnected with a few old friends from high school, and even developed a small crush on one. So now that I was at a nice new place with plenty of wonderful people, I kind of wanted to go back home and hang out with my recently reacquainted friends. I also for some reason became a bit of a recluse and was not too eager to meet new people. I mostly spent all my free time in the library either doing homework or writing long emails to people. Being the slightly socially challenged person that I sometimes am, the internet became my social outlet, and thats a bit of a sad way to live really. But I would just write to friends back home all day, and with a few of them now working in offices, there was always someone there to write back, and this was enough to keep me happy. Nevertheless, some people forced their way into my life, and others I eventually, towards the end of the semester, became good friends with.

One of the forcers was a friendly girl who went by the nickname of Peanut. I worked security at the school, and one day, while on shift, she brought a dead decaying rat to me. After that, we were friends. Not really sure how that turned into friendship, but all I remember is one day she just asked me to be her boyfriend, just for the day. I agreed, and so she sat next to me in chapel and ate lunch with me. We would sometimes pass notes back and forth in class like we were in junior high. She was a character that girl, and would always find fun little ways to annoy me such as coming into the library to throw tennis balls at me, or take something from me and hide it. I don't think the librarian liked her too much though. Our little friendship was short lived though. She drew on a small hand towel once and gave it to me as a token to remember her by, but I think I had to use it for something once, and so I took a picture of it, but it itself is now long gone. I have hardly talked to her since.

There were some memorable people from this place. The director of the school would say some of the the most ridiculous things in his sermons that made sense when in context, but would would make us laugh hysterically when we would joke about them afterwards. Such examples are, "I love to see women breast feed," or, "I don't care if its sacrificed to the devil, it's good." If you can figure out the proper context of these, I will give you a dollar. They may have not been too frequent, but there were some definite good times and good memories from this semester.

One of the only lasting friendships to come from the semester though was Caleb Jim Mckim. I think we mostly became friends because he, along with 3 other guys I knew, all decided to go to the extension campus in York England the following semester. So we all figured we better get to know each other, and he, being the guy he is, made it pretty easy to do. So now it was spring 2005 and the five of us were all headed for England. It was my first real experience of leaving home for an extended period of time, and leaving a home is an interesting experience. I knew I was coming back of course, but just knowing you aren't going to see all these people you love for 4 months was weird to go through.

My first flight across the world was something I'll never forget. Its so weird to just have 8 hours of a day suddenly missing from your life and its morning outside but your body just knows you should be in bed in the dark somewhere. When we got there, the people at the school told us to just wait until night to finally go to sleep and we will be fine: yeah right. I think we maybe lasted an hour before finding our beds. I hardly slept at all that first week there. Plus my mind was depressingly busy thinking about pointless things that for some reason made me sad regarding a few friendships. So unfortunately the beginning of this amazing experience was spoiled by my then easily saddened self. A few of the girls from the school even started calling me Eeyore from time to time. I eventually got over it though, and did end up having some of the best times of my life over there. Living with 4 very close friends in an ancient really cool city and sleeping in a building that was itself older than my home country was amazing to say the least. I still often long for those days again. Other than a little homework we had to do, life was so simple. We had to walk everywhere we went and got a sufficient allowance from the school to live off. The 3 day weekends they gave us usually involved a day trip to somewhere else cool in England. I met tons of people over there, some of them just for a day and never to see again, and others for a little longer, but I will never forget that old walled in city. That place had many characters, such as the homeless guy with the cell phone, or the crazy Italian guy Paulo who owned the little deli down the street, or the Hindu people who owned the Indian food restaurant and would joke about selling Elephant meat. I'll never forget the Yum Yum's at Copeland's bakery neither. Our own school had plenty of characters as well. My goal of the semester seemed to be to play a prank on Steve on a weekly basis. Some were pretty mean, such as giving him a heavy dose of laxative tea without his knowledge. Still feel a little bad about that one, but it was quite funny. All the other ones usually just were clever ways of dumping water on him from different locations. The school staff were characters as well. There was Mike and Helen, the old proper English couple, Ed Major, who would say "I'm only kidding" after almost every sentence (which eventually turned into a bit of a gag between all our friends), and the dean of men Doug, who was the nicest man ever but also would cause the most awkward situations where he would get close and stare you right in the eyes as if looking into your soul and ask you how you've been doing as if wanting to hear every personal detail about your life. I also lived with a missionary family for a week which was fun at times. They were a nice group. There was only a total of 40 or so students, and only 12 of them were boys, so we all got to know each other pretty good. Overall, it was a 4 months that I will forever look back upon fondly. Going home was a sad time saying goodbye to everyone, but it was also exciting to get back and be home.

So that was that year. Quite an adventurous one full of new experiences. I think I grew up a bit more this year. Learned a few things such as all the basic living things like making your own food to eat, and the like.

Significant passings of the year: Johnny Mishriki - loved that little guy.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

As Tears Go By

I have this problem where I can't ever see somebody I care about cry without myself crying, or at least really wanting to cry and have to try really hard to hold it back. I kind of like to think of myself in some ways as more of mans man, but I am probably far from that, and I am not too afraid to admit that I do cry from time to time, which is good because I am probably going to share that a little too much in this post. I can't go to a funeral without crying or at least getting a huge lump in my throat trying to hold it all back. It doesn't matter if I knew the person or not, but just seeing the other people there and what they are going through makes it happen.

Something like this happened just last week. My good friend Chad came into town to surprise his sister Tori for her birthday. I was lucky enough to be right there for the surprise, and after Tori's immediate jump of excitement and joy for seeing her very loved brother, her face turned quickly to tears. They weren't sad tears though, it was like she was so happy by the surprise that she just couldn't help but cry. They were tears of joy I guess you would call them. When I saw this, like my usual self, my eyes slightly watered up and I had to fight back the few happy tears building up inside of me. Kind of silly I know. Luckily I managed, and I think nobody noticed.

After that, I started to think about the different kinds of crying there is. I have seen a few people cry lately, and it seems most people immediately associate it with deep sadness, but that is not always the case, or at least not directly. There are the tears that sometimes can come while reminiscing of joyous past times. These are probably more common than you'd think, but I guess they are a mixture of happiness and sadness as you are thinking fondly of times past, but with a small longing of those times mixed in. The saddest of the sad tears are the ones associated with the death of loved ones, but lets keep this a happy discussion. Last week I also saw a mother begin to cry a tiny bit as she watched her all grownup child who is about to leave home interact with her friends. It was pretty sweet. I could just imagine all the little thoughts and memories that caused each little happy/sad tear.

Then there are the tears that start out sad but can lead to happiness such as the kind told to me by a story from my friend Kylee. In the last year her phone has broken twice, and when she went in to get a new one, they were gonna charge her $50 for it. That obviously is annoying to anyone, but especially for someone whose phone continually keeps breaking for no good reason, and so, overwhelmed by this annoyance, she began to cry a little. This must have scared the employee a bit because he said hold on a sec and went and got the manager and got the fee waived. They were then happy tears. (In allowing me to use her story she said I had to emphasize that she did not cry just to get a free 50 bucks, but that it was just overwhelming with everything else in her life as she is about to take part in a distant move to Kansas City, which won't be cheap.)

Anyways, back to the happy tears. I haven't experienced too many happy tears of my own, and after seeing a few of them, I think they should maybe happen more often to people. One of my experiences I can think of was caused by a story I once heard from my Dad. It might be more of a mixture of happy and reminiscent tears, but here it is. He said that when my sister was 1 and basically about to die from spinal meningitis (the doctors had pretty much given up as they had done all they could), my Grandpa (who was not much of a religious man by any means at the time) prayed asking God to take him instead as he had already lived a full good life. I don't know why exactly, but when I heard this, it really got to me. It just really amazed me that he would do that, and I guess I was amazed by it to the point of tears. I think I got away with that one without anyone noticing too. Luckily, God didn't fully answer his prayer, and I was lucky enough to still have both an older sister and a grandpa in my life. Many good books have caused me tears too, and whether they are caused by a happy or sad story, I think any tears caused by a good book are in actuality happy tears.

Not really sure what my point is to this whole thing, but mostly just wrote it to share some good stories I guess. Don't cry too much though, at least not in public, it makes people feel uncomfortable. Or maybe that's just me because I might start too, but then again, you might get a free 50 bucks.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

To Mi Padre

Today is Father's Day, and since I am a bit of a bad long distant son, I didn't personally send my dad anything, but just did my usual have my sister or mom cover for me. I should work on breaking that habit, but since it is the day of, the best I can do is write a bit of a love letter to my great dad for him and anyone else to see how much I really care for him, and how great he really is. Perfect he is not of course, as nobody is, but to put it simply, he really is just a great dad to have. Not only is he my father, but my friend, and has always encouraged me to follow my dreams, and did the best he could to turn me into the best I could be. In a world where just having a dad there at all is no guarantee, I thank God greatly for giving me you. I still remember in Kindergarten when we had Father and Son day at school, and we rather unsuccessfully tried to fly a kite, and then built a little shelf together. At the end of the day I said it was the best day of my life, and I doubt I could argue with that today. I remember the countless bedtime stories you made up of the toebiting crocodiles followed by our bedtime prayers, and the occasional making up of silly songs on the spot with your guitar. Its hard to fight back tears of joy thinking of all the wonderful memories. You've taught me a fair share of your talents too, and I can only hope to be close to as good at them as you are someday.

Anyways, Dad, I really wish I could be with you and all the family on this day, but for now, I guess this and a phone call will have to suffice. Just one more month and we can hang out.
I love you Charlie

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bald is Beautiful

Today in class I had a wonderful form of entertainment to keep my mind occupied for a good while. It was a bald man with a penny stuck to his head. He wasn't too close, so I was a little unsure whether I was seeing this correctly or not. I wondered if it was there on purpose as if it was maybe some sort of new alternative healing act; like perhaps the penny was creating some sort of magnetic field that was to draw new hair out or something crazy like that. He did still have the poofs of denial (thanks for that phrase Kylee) going on the sides, so he wasn't completely bald. I also wondered how it was possibly stuck there that well as it was not even close to being on a level surface at all. I kept a close eye on the guy though, and after a while I saw him reaching for an itch on his head. He missed on the first few swipes, but then he got it, and for that split second he looked rather confused. He looked at what the item was that he just took from his extended forehead, then placed it in his shirt pocket like nothing ever happened. Apparently he didn't know it was there.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Astral Weeks

Well, this last week before I head back to the stressful living of papers and tests in summer school was a good one. A week to remember in fact. Something fun seemed to happen every day. We'll start on Wednesday, since I can't remember Tuesday. Wednesday started off with a fun lunch at a nice little restaurant called Rick's Press Room in downtown Meridian. The rest of the day included card games, a picnic at the lake, a movie, and good friends all around.

Thursday was Boys day in Boise, which seems to be becoming a semi-regular event for us boys. It contained good food, lots of walking, little shopping, relaxing time in the park with a book, and more good food. I headed back to Nampa around 5ish, and once back, was kidnapped by 3 girls and taken back to Boise to go to Anthropologie. Alright, maybe I conceded to the kidnapping, but I'm a little embarrassed that I actually agreed to go to a female clothing store instead of watch the Laker game. Once there, I sat on a couch with some good books, and waited. We then met up with some more friends, some of the very same ones I was with earlier in the day, and had more good food. On the way back I learned that I kind of know a former Miss Preteen USA. Thats right, The Miss Preteen of the entire United States of America from like 10 years ago: crazy. That was the end of that day.

The next day I helped a friend move some stuff for like an hour, then headed to Caldwell to go to thrift stores with a great new friend. Found some good things like a snoglobe (only it was leaves falling, not snow) of an old man holding a rake with a bit of a frown on his face and a pipe in his mouth. For only 50 cents, I kind of had to buy it. I then had to talk myself out of buying a cool old Record player cabinet from like the 60's that still works. Maybe if I had somewhere to put it. I then had some more good food, had some fun losing badly in a game of rummicube, and then headed back to Nampa. Flying M had some good music going, so I hung out there. After that, I hung out with the band The Great White Jenkins who were some really cool, really fun guys who we had a lot in common and a good amount to talk about with. We all had a good time and spent like an hour and many dollar bills trying to get the Cleveland Browns stuffed football out of the claw machine that grabs the stuffed animals. Caleb, being a big Browns fan, has been eyeing that thing for quite a while, and the band was bound and determined to get it for him. It was in a pretty much unreachable spot, but we tried nonetheless and grabbed 2 giraffe looking animals in the process just to get them out of the way. We tried several different strategies at getting to it, but all proved to be failures, but hey, we got two giraffe looking creatures out of it, plus a really great time. To all my California friends, they are gonna be playing at UC Irvine on June 14 if you want to hear great music and meet cool people.

The following day, which was Saturday, involved a high school graduation party/siesta. Here there was good food, good people, and a PiƱata stuffed with white flower that the poor blindfolded kid kept on hitting without knowing he was smacking flour all over himself. It was a good time. The night time was work time, and we once again had music. After work, I once again hung out with the band of the night who were on their first tour and fresh out of high school. They were a nice bunch, and somewhere along the lines, I was wondering why something seemed familiar about them, and then it hit me... They are real life incarnations of characters from the old show freaks and geeks, this bunch:

They looked like them, and even had very similar personalities. I almost think someone should tell them of this cuz they could probably do something profitable with their likeness to these characters. They were a great group though, and I wish them well on the rest of their first tour.

Today I worked in the morning, have a meeting with my book club this evening, and a Laker game to watch tonight. Life is least until tomorrow.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Year #1 out of high school : 2003-2004

Well, summing up a past year of your life turned out to be a more time consuming and difficult task than I expected. After going back and reading my journal from the time period, I am quite surprised to see how much I have changed in the way I think about things. Some of the stuff I wrote literally makes me cringe and want to burn it so nobody ever reads it, but other stuff I never want to forget about. I apparently was a rather unhappy person that year, and was sure to let my journal know about it. While reading it, I wanted to go back and slap me in the face and say get over it. I let some things affect my happiness much too easily. I'm glad I have learned to be a generally much happier person since then, but I guess as I now go back and recap that year, it might look like I am just going back to re-complain about it all over again, but I guess thats what it was really like, so here it goes:

The first year out of high school was mostly filled with loneliness and boredom wondering what happened to all my friends from the year before, and what the heck I was supposed to do with my life now. Most people seem incredibly eager to experience the freedom that comes with graduating high school, but I more dreaded the end of my senior year. Everyone I knew growing up and everyone I saw everyday, some for the past 12 years, were all no longer a steady part of my life. This one place where I spent more of my life than anywhere else was now in the past. I didn't always enjoy high school, but having to go somewhere everyday where there was always people and friends was nice.

That first summer out of school had its moments. Immediately upon graduating I headed to the Grand Canyon where I managed to make the 2 day hike across without dying. That is an experience I'll never forget. I remember standing at the north rim looking across thinking you got to be kidding me if you are saying that we are gonna hike all the way to that faintly visible strip of land on the other side. For any California readers, the best way to describe this really is to imagine standing on top of Saddleback mountain looking out to Catalina Island without there being water in between. After making it out, possibly more sore than I have ever been in my life and hardly able to walk, my Dad and I headed for my grandfather's house, or Grandpa Hodi as I've always known him. This trip was to be my last experience of him being a human being capable of communication. A couple months later he would decide on being done with the whole life thing and basically gave up. I still look back at that trip wishing I would have talked to him a little more; gotten him to tell me his life story or something. I'll never forget that last real goodbye though, and the sturdy, strong handshake this old feeble man gave me. I never really knew him that well, but always admired him and thought he was the coolest old man ever. I remember once hoping that he would at least last till I had a bit of a family of my own, just because I would want them to have known him. I knew it was a stretch, but I for some reason have always wanted people close to me to know him; words are not enough to describe him, and to me, he was worth knowing. Anyways, upon his arrival into the after-life, he was nice enough to leave his offspring with lots of cool things, and through my dad I have very gratefully acquired a fair amount of them myself. Other than that trip to the Grand Canyon, and the other trip when he died, not much of anything else of significance happened that summer.

When the summer ended, most of my friends then went away to college, while I, not knowing what to do, just went to community college a couple days a week. I thought this was wonderful being able to be a full time student while just having classes 2 days a week. With much of this free time I had, I started playing the guitar seriously for the first time which was nice to start to become somewhat decent at. After a while however, my Dad saw me as wasting my life away spending far too much time sleeping in at home and was relentlessly on my case to go out and get a job or something. I suppose he was correct, but man did I not like him at times during that time. Forcing me out of bed early in the morning when there was absolutely nothing for me to be getting out of bed for, and always finding annoying jobs for me to do around the house was what he seemingly lived for. He even resorted to dumping cups of cold water on me a couple times to get me out of bed since it was past 8 am. You may be thinking this harsh, and most definitely my father reading this probably regrets it and thinks he was too hard and will apologize to me, but no apology is really needed. I probably needed a good kick in the pants, and I am glad to have some ammo on my kids someday to be able to tell them how easy they have it and that I would get water poured on me if I wasn't out of bed by 8 am. Its a good story to tell really, and for that reason alone I like that it happened. Don't worry Dad, your still a great guy to everyone. Soon enough however I got a pseudo job working for an old friend of my Dad's named Gary Erickson. Gary was a jolly old man who built and repaired guitars out of his garage. I liked guitars, and the thought of making one myself was altogether incredibly exciting. The thought of someday holding in my very arms a real sounding instrument I built myself from scratch was a dream to say the least. I had recently become a big fan of the sound of mandolins and so I decided I would build one of those first. Something strange somehow happened though and my time with Gary changed from me learning how to build instruments to me helping him build a studio in his backyard. I guess it did the job of getting my dad off my case, and I still learned a good deal from him and am grateful for his friendship, but that mandolin is still sitting as a pile of wood in my parents garage. I did get a complete fretted neck, but the rest of it is just scrap wood. Not finishing that is possibly the greatest failure of these first five years, and it is still a dream of mine to someday finish it and continue on with that hobby.

Overall, I rather disliked college this first year. A few classes were interesting, but I kind of dreaded going to class and hardly ever talking to anyone. Pretty much all of my social activity for this year revolved around my friend Simon (after he decided to quit normal school and move back home, and then again after he got Mono at Bible College and once again moved back home). Simon started BBSB (Backyard Bible Study Brigade) which was our weekly meeting at his house for a good time with friends and a quick Bible Study. I also learned how to play poker this year which ended up being the only thing my friends ever wanted to do for quite some time.

Significant deaths of the year: Grandpa Hodi, Uncle Jesse, and Trevor Win'e

So that is pretty much my first year out of high school for ya. Nothing too eventful happened and I made no real new friends, but I think the overall boringness of it made me realize that I had to get out and experience something new, which was what I did the following year...

Friday, May 30, 2008

Sturman's smoke shop

Yesterday entailed a trip into downtown Boise where I visited my new favorite store, Sturman's Smoke Shop. Mr Sturman is one of my favorite people right now. I am yet to see this jolly old man without a cigar in hand which makes me feel kind of bad for his lungs, but he's pretty darn cool. He is a personality that can easily put a smile on your face, and loves to share any knowledge he has on any number of topics; makes you feel right at home. Usually in stores like these which are usually just full of old men and sell small, very expensive items, I always feel like the owner or worker is annoyed that I am in there and that they have to keep a very close eye on me, and I definitely felt this way at first, just out of habit, but Mr. Sturman quickly made me feel like I belonged. I noticed one of my favorite books behind his counter and asked him how he liked it which led to a great discussion of books and people, and he showed us a very valuable book on pipes with amazing pictures in it. He also holds Bible studies with his friends, in his smoke shop. This is definitely what a store should be, a place for friends to meet, discuss good topics and of course purchase a thing or two.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Shaun King's Dream

Last night I dreamed I was watching a movie that was the absolute saddest story/movie ever. I think I was also once again a character in the movie which is why it was even sadder to me. I remember in my dream crying quite a lot like it was happening to me, but also thinking at the same time this is the saddest fictional story ever. I then woke up realizing that it wasn't already a real movie and thought to myself that it really should be a story for all to see. I then had this discussion with myself: "I should write that down right now, nah I'll do it in the morning, I'll remember. Story like this I surely won't forget."
Of course I now have no idea what the heck my dream was about and can't for the life of me remember. All I seem to be able to remember is an old lady holding a baby in an old room, but even that is rather vague in my mind. It probably wasn't all that great anyways.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Then one day you look and find 5 years have got behind

Well, this summer marks 5 years out of high school. Crazy to think about how fast it has gone by. There is no reunion planned that I know of, but I think it would have been nice to see everyone again. Makes me wonder about what I have to show for the first 5 years of my adult life. Well, I have 5 years of schooling to show; however, no degree, just give me another year or so alright. Despite no degree, I do think I have some life experiences in those 5 years that I would not trade for any degree. I have lived in 4 different locations, each one adding a little twist to the person I have become, and have even had a month of pretty much living in a car as I traveled to far distant lands. I've done a lot, and haven't done a lot more, I've learned a whole bunch, and forgotten a whole bunch too, but have been slowly growing up through it all. I've changed plenty. Things I used to care about don't really bother me at all now, and the opposite is true of other things. For instance, just last week I bought a pair of old navy shoes for $12.99 that are close to the exact same thing as van shoes that go for $40 or so. 8 or so years ago, this action would have have seemed inconceivable to me, but now, I like these shoes even moreso for their having no real brand, and feel that they are even cooler because I got them for under $15. Anyways, I wonder how my life might be different if I just went straight into a 4 year university, lived on campus, and got that degree straight up. Well, I would have likely only lived in 2 different locations, school and home, and I would have completely different friends, and be in a very different situation than I am now. Maybe it would have been better, you never know, but it just as well might have been much worse. Living on a college campus with the same great people for a couple years is no doubt an amazing experience, but I don't think I'd change everything I did for that.
Anyways, I have decided just for my own pleasure, to write out the last five years of my life in a sort of memoir, or summary. I will be writing this more for myself than any of you as it will be just a recap of each of the last five years of my life so that I won't grow old and forget about what life was like at this age. It probably won't be too entertaining, but if you care to get to know me that much, then read on. You can look forward to the next couple of posts being a past year in the life of Shaun. I might get bored though and throw a random one in there just to keep you few readers on your toes. To end this, here is a song that I kind of stole the title to this post from. In case you haven't noticed, pretty much all of my titles are stolen from songs that relate in some way to that post. This one is quite good, so I am going to share where I stole it from. Here it is:


Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an off hand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but its sinking
And racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in the relative way, but youre older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the english way
The time is gone, the song is over, thought Id something more to say

-Pink Floyd

Monday, May 12, 2008

I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours

Last night I once again dreamed I was Batman. I haven't had one of these since I was a kid I think. They are always kind of scary because people are always trying to kill you, but they are also totally awesome. The best thing about this one was that it was a mix between me just watching the new Batman movie that is to come out, and me actually being Batman in the movie. Since I knew it was just a movie, I knew Batman would triumph in the end and that I was pretty much invincible. I was beating people up left and right, 3 at a time, and may have even killed a man (yikes!). But they were all bad guys, although none of them were the usual enemies of Batman which was kind of disappointing, but probably less scary cause I still am frightened at the thought of my dream as a kid when my dad was actually Batman and the joker was trying to kill me to get at him. I also had a sweet jetpack that I could fly around in. I know, Batman doesn't use a jetpack, but my Batman did. It was also odd because it mixed my real life into the mix. Real people in my life were in it, but they of course didn't know I was Batman. And there was even a girl. Anyways, I defeated the bad guys in a very non-traumatic way that was kind of disappointing. They had machine guns, but for some reason never shot me, kind of like real movies I guess. If the movie is anything like my ending, I will be bummed, plus I didn't even get the girl in the end. Maybe I just woke up too early.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Those Were The Days

It seems I have reached that age when I can say, "well back in my day...." Of course I realize how young I really still am, but my how things have changed since my childhood. A few weeks back I was with friends reminiscing about the popular music of our younger days and how great it is compared to todays pop music. I must say I somewhat enjoy that feeling of superiority to the younger generations. Nobody born after 1995 can say they know what life without cell phones, computers, or internet was like and countless other things just like that. My philosophy professor always talks about how it is his dream to become the old man who sits on his front yard in a lawn chair with hose in hand ready to spray any youngin who dares step on his lawn, and then to go for a walk only to stop and stare at the local neighborhood construction site for a good 10 minutes before yelling, "Only took 2 of us to do that job in my day."I can almost picture myself being that man someday. I of course hope to be much more friendly than that, but I'm sure I will think such things.

A couple weeks ago , during a class break, I decided to go get myself a candy bar. I had been craving one for quite some time now and I couldn't even remember when the last time I had one was. So I went down to the little concession stand and noticed there was no price listed for any of them. I pondered what the price might be for a second, and decided to go ahead and get it. Once I saw the price get rung up, I immediately regretted my decision: $1.16 for a candy bar. Being the frugal man I am, I hate spending money on such pointless things as candy even if it is just a dollar, but I especially hate it when it is over a dollar. Now I am not too ignorant to know that this price isn't really out of the ordinary, but I guess I kind of hoped being at a school they would maybe have cheaper prices since everyone there is a poor student. After 5 years of college, I should definitely know better than this. With everything from books to food, the only time you get cheaper prices for anything as a student is when you are off campus. So anyways, even though I wanted to reject the cashier right then and there, in order to avoid any embarrassment or whatnot, I pulled out two $1 dollar bills and reluctantly handed them over for this overpriced reese's peanut butter cup. After leaving I reminisced about my old grade school's vending machines where you could get a candy bar or bag of chips and a soda for exactly $1. Thats right, 50 cents for a soda, or 50 cents for a food item, or $1 for both. It was the best deal ever really. Those were the good old days. The prices were never raised until sometime midway through high school which is when I stopped buying from them. I'm sure my parents can talk of the days when they could get both for a quarter or something like that, but I am just glad I was born in time to experience really being able to get something satisfying with just 1 dollar.

I then proceeded to eat this item, and I didn't even enjoy it. If sugar poisoning was a real disease, it felt like I was injecting it right into my veins by eating this thing. Have peanut butter cups always been that stinking sweet? I have always loved those things, but this one seemed to taste like I might as well have been pouring sugar down my throat. I was sorely disappointed by this high priced item I just bought. Thats all folks.

Monday, May 5, 2008

God Put a Smile Upon Your Face

Today it happened. The not so anonymous lady who I wanted to make smile came in to my place of work. If you don't know the story, then read 7 or so blogs down. When I first saw her, my heart jumped. It was the feeling from back in high school when a girl I had a huge crush on just walked up and I was planning to ask her out. Not really a fearful nervousness like that describes, but more a fun nervousness like, oh boy, here it goes. However, my palms were sweaty, and nervousness was indeed erupting inside me. My mind raced, what am I going to say, or do? Does she possibly know? Neither myself nor her were at the counter just yet so I made my way to it. She had sat at a table for a sec, then stood up, looked my way, and then left. Well, that certainly wasn't what I had in mind; maybe next time I thought.

The next time was 5 minutes later. She must have stepped next door for a few minutes. This was good because now I was no longer caught off guard, but had some time to get my wits about me. Unfortunately other customers were about, so I couldn't give her my full attention at first, but she went ahead and ordered in her usual semi-demanding way. It was now just me and her. Her small order was quickly coming to a conclusion with nothing as much as a smirk even cracking yet. I had to think fast, but what can I possibly say or do that is remotely worth a smile? I settled for the only thing to come to mind. Uhh, "How's the weather out there today?" I asked. Is there any small talk more ordinary or mundane that that? Thats like the standard topic of discussion when you have absolutely nothing to talk about with someone but can't stand the silence. Its so easy because pretty much everyone knows something about the weather and can easily comment on how they like it, but its also so boring. Is that really the best this little brain of mine can do? how lame.

Nevertheless, it worked. This small little expression of saying something that wasn't required in the transaction, but was just said to acknowledge the other person as an actual person, actually was able to bring out a short but sweet smile directed right at me. Almost disappointingly easy. She looked up, smiled brief but big, and said something like, "it's great, we can sure use more days like this." Yippee I thought, my feeble effort actually worked. I made her smile, or maybe just the weather did, but if so, it at least was my bringing up of the weather that brought it out. It was short and maybe not as grand and exciting as hoped for, but it did indeed happen, and she really did look genuinely happy for my existence that split second. Maybe next time I will introduce myself just for the heck of it, or maybe not. I will at least try for a string of consecutive visits with a smile. We'll see how that goes. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wait till the summer comes along

I feel like a little kid again in regards to my anticipation of summer. I don't know if its more how much I disliked school this semester and can't wait for it to end, or if its really what the summer holds that I am more excited about. Both parts will be just as sweet I'm sure. Unfortunately I will be taking summer school right off the bat, but at least it is a class that I will have great interest in. Just that the commute into Boise 4 days a week for just 2 hours of class will really get old. Also, even though I am not too close to too many of them, it will be a bit of a bummer to not have around all the local university students who will be leaving in the summer. But lets look more at the good things this summer has to offer such as warmth and sunshine.

So far, I can't seem to break my habit of putting on a sweater before I step outside only to find out that it is much too warm for multiple layers. I do really like sweaters, but it will be nice to no longer need one. I am so excited to have free time to do things I want without some sort of paper lingering over my head that I know I should be doing instead. Such things might include reading a book that isn't required for school, or perhaps fully recording an entire song, or some sort of writing project, who knows. I just hope I'm productive in some way. We have already had a few glimpses of how wonderful it is to have concerts at the coffee garage with the doors open and tons of people around, and it is quite an enjoyable experience. Plenty of bike riding will take place as well. There will be weddings and road trips. Even though I have already experienced a cross country road trip of my own, I can't help but be a little jealous of Caleb and Tori's month and a half long adventure across the eastern half of the country. But Joe, Diana, and I are hoping to conquer the west with a little road trip to my hometown and many stops along the way. That is definitely something to get excited about. Oh so much to look forward to. For some it has already begun, but for me, I have a little less than 3 weeks to wait, and when it finally comes it will be oh so sweet. What are you looking forward to this summer?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Some Mother's Son

Today I feel like one of those little kids who cries, "I want my mommy" whenever anything goes wrong for them away from her. Last night through this morning I felt sicker than I have in quite some time. The last time I felt this sick was probably last summer when I experienced heat exhaustion. Though that only lasted until I cooled down and threw up, and then I was back to normal. Plus I had family there to take care of me. This sickness however is not going to be cured by a little throwing up session. Luckily I already feel better than I did whilst trying to sleep last night, but definitely not 100% just yet. Last night made me miss more than ever my loving mother. There is nothing like the feeling of being taken care of when sick, and my mom was always quite good at this. Maybe a little wimpy for a grown man to feel this way, but I guess I always have kind of been a little bit of a mama's boy. I was craving like none other just the simple act of her placing her hand on my forehead to tell me if I had a temperature or not. Just knowing someone is there to look after you is the greatest feeling ever when you are sick. Anyways, just wanted to say thanks to my mom for all the times she has taken great care of me when sick, and that it is hard to get used to not having. I'll live.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Here Today

The other night I had a dream I was back in high school. It was at basketball practice and we were preparing for a big game. It was exciting. Practicing with all the old high school friends and coach Bernie with all of us working towards a goal. It was fun. When I woke up I had no idea what year it was, how old I was, what state I was in, what day of the week it was, or what I was supposed to do that day. Took me probably a good 20 seconds to sort that all out: 2008, 23 (really! already?!), Idaho (What room is this? definitely not my old California bedroom I am in... oh yeah), Monday, and I work on Mondays. The dream seemed real enough to confuse me that much. It was weird.

Yesterday I daydreamed of the future. I was visiting home for a big family gathering . It was at Aunt Mary and Uncle Lori's house as they always have been. Aunt Mary still called me Baby Shaun as she always has, and Uncle Lori gave a good long speech and prayer as he usually does, but with me was something new, a wife and kids. Crazy, I thought, seems so unfathomable, but that just may happen someday. Everyone was there, and instead of me wandering around by myself, as a single member of a big family, occasionally mingling with others, I was now a small group of people that were members of a much larger group. Pretty vivid for a daydream I suppose; I really thought it out. It was weird to imagine.

Today I will live in the moment. I will go out and enjoy the day. I will get done what I need to, and I will enjoy The Invasion concert tonight alongside countless good friends.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Weekend Update

For my latest writings go here:
It fit better into the shakim household blog, so thats where I posted it. Its my Idaho family blog in case you are wondering, and everything written was referring to them, so thats where it belonged. Ok, thats all.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Real dialogue from the counter of Flying M

Scene: middle age couple walks up to counter and girl orders a mocha. Boy customer then proceeds with this:

Customer: What do you have that tastes like chocolate milk?

Me: Umm, I could make you chocolate milk.

Customer: No, I had that, didn't like it. I'll take whatever she got.

(Once they left I laughed for hours thinking about this)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The smile you smile

There is this customer at work. She isn't a regular, but she does come in from time to time. She is an elder lady probably in her 60's and is always with her husband. The thing about her is that she has never smiled at me. Some people were born smilers, or maybe they are just happier than most, I don't know. But this lady isn't one of those. She just seems to have one of those faces that doesn't smile on a regular basis. Sure, she smiles when around friends of hers, but to me, the unknown server of her coffee, a smile has never been received. That may sound weird, after all, probably a majority of the customers don't, and I most surely am not always smiling back either. But I kind of know her, not personally, but of her, and we know a lot of the same people. She knows all my friends, and they all know her. So I guess I kind of feel like we should have this connection or something, but no one has introduced us (not that they really have any reason to), and so to her, I am just there to serve coffee. So I serve her like usual, maybe with an extra bit of courtesy thinking that we might know each other someday and want to have a good reputation to build off, and she isn't particularly rude at all, but she isn't nice in any way either. Then my friend Caleb (whom she knows) will walk up and she will be all smiles and friendly as ever. Then, done with Caleb, she turns back to me in her non smiling, borderline frowning face. It seems to be this way every time I see her. This kind of gets to me: I want a smile. She seems in short supply of them, but I want one. I want something about me to be able to bring out a smile in someone else, and no better person to try on than a person who is not a habitual smiler. Her husband is all smiles and as friendly as anyone, and has even introduced himself to me, but her, a smile seems to rarely crack except for good reason. So I have a goal; make this woman smile at me, and at me only. And not just one of those yeah I'm pretending to be nice, fake smiles (I don't think she does those anyways, which might be a good thing), but a real genuine I am happy you are a part of my life at this moment smile, which is probably rarely given to a stranger from anyone. I have some rules for this goal which are these:

1. I can't use the "we know the same people" approach. Thats too easy and anyone smiles in a situation like that.

2. Likewise, I can't be introduced to her. I won't allow it. Everyone smiles when introduced, or at least they should. After all, the best way to make a good first impression to people is to be smiling. No one likes a frowner.

3. She can have no preconceived notion of me being someone she should be nice to. I must be a complete stranger. I have to bring out this smile by my simple charm and nothing else. This may be difficult to uphold since she has seen me a number of times now and even in places outside the coffeeshops employee-customer scenario, but a smile was not received there either.

So there you have it, my latest goal in life, to bring a smile out in an elder lady. I hope it doesn't sound like I am trying to get a smile from an old hag or anything like that. I know of nothing but good things about this person and she is no doubt as friendly as I am. I know plenty well that I am not all smiles, especially during my commute to and from school when, after a late night of homework, I want people on the bus to just leave me alone and sit next to anybody but me. But these are just my personal experiences with her thus far, and I want to change them myself without the help of others. It should probably be a regular practice to try to make people smile, but lets just start out with this. I don't know what I will do to achieve this the next time I see her, but I hope something will come to me. Wish me luck.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Good Day Sunshine

Today's weather is hard to beat. I am glad there was something asked of me to get me out of bed and enjoy some it. It is bright blue, not a cloud in the sky, and the sun is warm, yet with the perfect touch of briskness in the air to make the sun even more enjoyable to feel. It was so nice to be outside in short sleeves sucking up the sun. I never realized how enjoyable that can be until I couldn't do it for 4 months. I walked around a beautiful university feeling quite scholastic as I made my way to its library. I was glad to have parked far away so I could enjoy the walk. I think I will take out my bike today and ride downtown.

toilet paper

I live in the upstairs of a church owned house where they use the downstairs as their church office. Seems weird to me to have a church office in the middle of a regular neighborhood, but I guess if you think about it, thats where a church should be. Anyways, yesterday I spent almost the entire day in this house. It was very nice to have a lazy day after a not so enjoyable week of school and late nights of homework, but also makes you feel like a waste of a human being by the end of it. Anyways, as I wasted a day away up here all the while planning on leaving and going anywhere at any minute, something happened; we got toilet papered. Right under my very nose. I am sure it was the church's youth group members that did it because I remember hearing a bunch of youngsters outside talking to each other. I thought nothing of this because people come and go down there throughout the day making all sorts of noises, youth group meetings seem to happen regularly. They only toilet papered the small little walkway leading to my door which leads to nothing but mine and my roomate's little upstair bachelor pad and has no connection to downstairs. They did a decent job of decorating this small path, but whats strange is that this house has two enormous trees and a nice size yard that really is the most perfect target of any tp artist. It has endless potential. They however bipassed all the trees and just concentrated all their efforts and resources on my front door path. I guess all I can say is I admire their artistic integrity in having very little resources and deciding to do one small little area really well rather than a huge terrible job. I feel a little foolish not catching them in the act; not that I would have done anything, but I guess still just my presence appearing would have given them a good scare sending them running. I even recall hearing them through my window ask each other what was upstairs as they left, and wondering where the stairs were because they had never seen any inside. I wish I could have told him, "Well, thats because there are none inside, and you just toilet papered a stranger." I suppose I could relay the message to the intended target.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Crazy Squirrel

My neighborhood has a nice population of squirrels, and this morning one managed to scare the bajeasis out of me. My front door has a few steps going up to it with walls on both sides, and my morning routine usually involves a quick sprint and a jump down these steps as I try to get out to my car as quickly as possible: partly because its  quite cold, and partly because I am usually running borderline late. Its probably the only thing close to exercise I currently get. Anyways, this morning, as I took part in this routine of mine, and made that final leap off the last few steps, I noticed out of the corner of my eye a very quick movement approaching my landing space. Luckily I landed before it got there, but once landed, it was less than a foot away from my foot and headed quickly right at my ankle as if it was planning to climb me like a tree. For a second I pictured it doing just that and stopping at my face to take a few swipes at my eyes with its little hand like claws. Maybe I did something to tick it off, or maybe it was protecting its new babies, or maybe it had rabies, or maybe it was just plain insane. I didn't know, but for that split second, I expected the worst. So I of course immediately upon landing jumped as high as my adrenaline would take me whilst letting out a small yelp of fear. I believe the poor little squirrel however was just as scared as I was, and ran away as fast as I have ever seen one move, climbing up the tree next to me and traveling far far away. I suppose he was just on his morning routine as well, and was completely unexpectant of a flying human to be landing on his route to his tree. It just so happened that on this fateful day our two routines collided in climactic fashion.  End of story

Kathy's Eulogy

So a daily customer of Flying M passed away last week, and since I was unable to make it to the funeral, I figured I should at the very least share some of my memories of her. I don't even know her full name, but just knew her as Kathy, the elder lady who came in every night for a small cup of coffee and a cookie. I once thought of her as my favorite customer just because she was so simple to serve and always tipped an undisclosed amount of change. Could have been pennies for all I know, but its the thought that counts right? My interactions with her were simple and short, but memorable nonetheless. They usually went as follows: Hi Kathy. Hello (in her low quiet tone of voice with a bit of a smile/smirk on her face). The usual? she nods. Do you want the house coffee or the coffee of the day? She just laughs and shrugs her shoulders expressing that she really doesn't care. Then says, "I'll try the ___ cookie" She would then pay, I'd give her the change, she'd stick her hand in the tip jar dropping a few coins, and then head over to the bar for a seat. Later she would come back for a refill with the same smirk and odd look in her eye and tip a few more coins. In her seat she would often dance to whatever music was playing and bob her head. I don't know how, but she seemed to be able to hear any conversation from anywhere in the room, and if religion or theology ever was the topic, she would approach saying, "Jesus told me to get up and come over here." She would then just say all I can do is praise Jesus, thats really all you can do, or something like that. Then go back and sit down. In the last two months or so we talked a few times when I was in just as another customer like her. It would usually just be small talk where she would smile and chuckle after almost everything I said, and I would smile back after everything she said even though I usually didn't understand any of it. Before I knew it she would be standing close with a grandmotherly hand on my back, almost enough to make me feel slightly awkward, but I knew it was just her being her loving self. Her glasses, her cowboy hat, her sometimes slightly hairy face, and occasional loud mumbling to herself are all things I think I will miss. I've heard stories of her riding a skateboard around which I am very sad to say I never got to witness. She brought an odd enjoyment to my job, and I hope in some small way I was able to brighten up the last six months of her life of which I knew her. Goodbye Kathy