Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Solstice

About twelve hours ago was winter solstice, or the moment of the year when the northern hemisphere is at its maximum tilt away from the sun. This means the days will get longer and longer from now until the summer solstice (at 5:26 am on June 21). A poem:

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"Solstice"

I am hibernating.
I am so cold that I can't run, not even to a warm place. So cold I can't get out of bed to get another blanket. I can't remove my shirt to put on a warmer one. I can't leave the house to go to a house with a fireplace. I can't stand under the cold water and wait for it to turn hot. My roommate is a cheapskate and keeps turning the thermostat down to 60.
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Ha! You thought it would be about the timelessness of space and rotation of planets or about the changing seasons and fleeting nature of existence itself. But it was just about being cold.

If the days are getting longer now, why doesn't it start getting warmer until after February? I have thought about this. Perhaps a little demonstration.

So you are sitting in a bathtub full of tepid water and I walk right in without knocking. To keep things simple, let's just assume you are fully clothed, for whatever reason. Hey, if you want to bathe in your clothes that's your own business. I don't want to know anything about it.

So you and I begin a conversation that you would deem rather ordinary except for the fact that I am dropping an ice cube into your tub every ten seconds. We continue discussing the weather, movies, school, and work (but not politics, religion, or art of course) until your teeth are chattering. I notice and say: "Oh, I'm sorry. Is this making you cold? I am out of ice anyway." Then I turn around and walk out leaving you alone in a pool of ice water. It will take you quite a while to warm up again, don't you think?

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Epic Saga of the Unjust Ticket (Chapter Five and Conclusion) or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Courts

It has been two and a half months since a near-sighted cop made a (bad) snap decision to pull over a red subaru on a rural Lindon road. And for two and a half months its driver has sought justice. Today his struggle ended. There is no more to be done. The courts have made their decision and it must stand regardless of the opinions of the Lindon City Police, the defendant (that's me), or anyone else. Has Justice been served? Each person reading must decide for him or herself.

How did it end? Gather round and I shall tell you.

Lindon Justice Court was in session at 9:00 am. I was early, the first one in the courtroom. As the proceedings began I noticedthe prosecutor coming in and out of the courtroom escorting people out one at a time. These were people meeting for their pretrial, like me. My turn came. I remembered back to practicing my meltdown stare in the mirror this morning. I was going for a "Shane" type of persona. You know, honest, self-assured, fearless. Rather than sitting down in any sort of office as I expected, we stood in the hallway and he explained that the officer had not answered any of his calls or emails. "Let's hear your side of things." Ok. I explain to him essentially what I told you in earlier posts, except with much more professional language. I casually (but intentionally) mentioned that I had taken photos of the street.

He asked to see them. Crap! What do I do? Do I show him my evidence so he can prepare to shoot it down in a trial? I take a chance. "They're in my car. I'll be right back." Crap, is this a good idea? I bring them in. While he looks at them, I mention that this is a 5 megapixel camera, and these shots can be made into the size of a cereal box before they become pixelated.

His response was surprising. "I'll tell you what. I'll drive out to the address on the ticket. If the line is dotted, I'll ask the court to dismiss the case. If its not, I'll schedule a trial" Wow. Cool. He's calling my bluff, except I am not bluffing! I mean, woohoo! We go in and he tells the judge. I leave.

Did that just happen? I hoped he didn't go to the wrong address or look at the wrong part of the road or anything. Well that was last Monday. Today in the mail I got a document which said my case had been dismissed.

HOORAY! I WIN! As my friend John Christensen would say, "You gotta have faith in the system."

It has been a long journey my friends. I would like dedicate my victory to my brother English, who suggested I fight this ticket, my home teacher, who gave me some tips for trials, my uncle Cy, a state prosecutor, for arming with knowledge and bureaucratic paperwork that I would have used had this thing gone to trial, and finally, to the prosecutor, who was after the truth and not a broke college student's textbook money.

And thank you, loyal reader, for joining me on my quest. We laughed together. We cried together. Together we wondered why Lindon Justice Court has a hitching post for horses. And in the end, we were victorious. We came, we saw, we didn't pay. Then we stopped at DI afterwards to celebrate. Thank you. Amen.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Bah.

Why I am writing a blog entry when this take home final is due so soon?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Elixir of Life

After class yesterday I stopped in at the computer lab to do a few uninteresting things. I stayed for about thirty minutes hoping the mucous-hardening wind and stinging driven snow would calm slightly and give us all a fighting chance.

Hold that image of the weather in your mind for a minute. Romantic isn't it? Now add a lone figure with squinted eyes and huddled shoulders clasping his lapels and flipped collar to his throat as though for survival. The sun is blocked by cloud cover, but its that part of the day where Apollo, probably distracted by a vibrating cell phone, has been shoved off balance by envious Nyx, and is in that frantic but strangely elegant act of teetering. The moment seems eternal, but in fact it is ending so gradually that nobody notices until Apollo tumbles gracelessly over the Oquirrh mountains and we all have to switch on our headlights.

Well the romance vanishes immediatly once your face and hands are greeted with an unexpected shock of pain rather than cold. Yesterday in my Sensation and Perception class we had talked about why extreme cold feels like pain, but this information does nothing to alleviate it. And while one might reasonably assume that some sturdy canvas pants will block the wind and least soften the biting cold, one would be wrong.

Wait a sec, I am forgetting something. Before I step out the door a small reminder bell is ringing in my head. There is some sort of secret weapon...what was it? Instinctivley I swing my backpack across one shoulder and unzip the middle pouch. Of course! The Union Building had given me my annual made-in-china christmas gift, and this year it was something worthwhile. Sleek, polished, confidently nestled in my bag was my new insulated steel thermos. And even better, I had had the forsight to fill it with hot water and a teabag before leaving the Christmas party. It didn't matter that I had used Orange Ginger Mint, a flavor blend with one too many, or that it had this ugly Union Building logo on the side.

I sipped and pushed the door open, beginning the journey across campus back to my car. The wind still bit deeper than an ill-mannered three year old. The snowflakes still pelted my numb face, but liquid heat was flowing into my body faster than the weather could steal it. Yes! Up the stairs.....now to the business building.....I am halfway there! Crosswalk.....toward the intersection.....Oh no, I am going to miss the little white stick man! The orange hand won't even be blinking by the time I get there! I'll have to wait in pensive agony until Stick Man returns.

The pause in stepping allows me to drink more deeply than before. YES! One passionate gulp, then another, and then the cautious exhale with closed eyes.....and more, MORE! My frenzy is interrupted by Stick Man, who gives permission to resume walking. Soon I am at my car, then driving home.

The more you think about what you have read, the more you will realize this is an advertisement for insulated thermoses. But it was intended to promote herbal tea, because really it was the tea that was that saved my life, not the thermos. Yes, I know. You've tried herbal tea before and were none too impressed. Fine, I can accpet that. But realize that you have matured since then, and so have your tastes. You are older and wiser, and the long awaited time has arrived wherein you will, from now on, enjoy herbal tea. It is here to stay.





Don't fight it.