Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I saw a butterfly today, which is unusual. It's kind of cruel, actually. Spring is cruel enough as it is, but to start this nonsense in February is criminal. My understanding is that there is a rodent somewhere to be blamed for this.

Today I had my phone interview with Coldfoot. Maybe this is only an illusion created by an experienced recruiter (her name is Stephanie, if you're curious), but I feel the place sucking me in. For one thing, It's the only one of the four places that I mentioned yesterday which has granted me an interview. I sometimes claim to be a determinist, and I feel like even more of one while job hunting, you know? Coldfoot is not my first choice of jobs. But I was the one who applied. Not only that, but the application asked me for my three top job choices. I selected "Trail Guide" in the first box and left the other two blank. They interviewed me anyway.

According to Stephanie, Coldfoot was started by a group of 900 prospectors who had been lured up an arctic river by a speculative trading post owner and his unsubstantiated claims that the region contained gold. The steamboat captain transporting them, afraid of the river freezing solid and trapping the boat, dumped his passengers on the banks impossibly short of their destination. What happens when you leave 900 people in a valley so desolate that even the Eskimos had left it abandoned for hundreds of years? They start a city.

They named it Coldfoot because 800 of the prospectors left within the next few months, and not for the reason you and I both thought it would have that name.

Even though they had been lied to, they searched for gold anyway and found it. Many of them became rich.

Now, there's two directions to go from here.

1. Stick it out. It's hard, sure, but you'll find what you're looking for and it will have been worth it. Gold, riches, peace, etc.

2. What Stephanie didn't tell me was what happened to the other 800 people who went back to wherever they had come from. I'm sure they were pretty happy too, more or less. They got cold feet, gave up, went home, and were probably about as glad with their decision as those who stayed.

I heard someone once say that a happy story is just a story which we haven't heard the ending to yet.

And herein lies the trouble with Spring. All of our goals that we accomplished disappeared in November, and we have been coasting on them ever since. But, if like me, you carried your unaccomplished goals through the winter, here they are lying on your front lawn, the melting snow exposing their disuse and decay, food spoiling in its unbroken sealed-for-freshness cellophane.

You want to start on the rest of your life, but first you have to shovel the rotting fetal carcasses into the dumpster, with all the neighbors watching.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Choose your own adventure

Remember those things? One thing about them, they're the only books that I have ever read that were written in second person. Want to play?

It is March. You quit your job three months ago. You spend three months not working. You start to look for new jobs. You are torn between becoming an adult and having a summer of adventure. You have four choices of jobs.

If you choose to be a river guide in Moab, turn to page 2.

If you choose to work as a multisport tour guide in Southern Utah and Arizona, turn to page 17.

If you choose to work as hiking and float trip guide in the Arctic Circle, turn to page 25.

If you choose to take the full time job of a responsible adult, turn to page 40.

I'm not interested in which one you think I should do. I am interested in which one you would do. Oh, by the way, none of these have been offered to me yet. But they are all possibilities still.

Friday, February 22, 2008


I call this one "Future".

"And if you need a reason...

...I'll give one to you."

(it's from a Zombies song)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Be. Expressive. B.E. Expressive.

There are some words and phrases which are popular right now from various TV shows. I know they can be useful for expressing yourself, but they're getting overused and you sound a little bit like an airhead when you use them. Fortunately, there are great alternatives to all of them. And with your help, these will become popular in a few months and we will be remembered as the avant-garde hipsters that said them before anyone else! (When that happens, we can move on to the next big thing).

1. "Not so much"

Sure, this one was fun for a while, but now... less so. Did you see what I did there? "Less so" can replace "not so much".

2. "Sketchy"

I never used to hear this word until snowboarders started using it. Now it seems like everything is sketchy. So in light of America's recent pilfering of British-isms (remember "cheers?"), I recommend "dodgy" as the new "sketchy". Try it once and you'll be hooked.

3. "Meh."

This one was my favorite once. But then we started seeing it on Subway commercials and worse. You know something has run its course when it appears on a Subway commercial. Let's keep most of the word, but make it unique. "Feh" is my favorite, but often an "Mm" will do, especially with a small shrug.

4. "I know, right?"

To be honest, I still say this. It was especially hilarious in Juno when she would just say "right?" to show agreement. However, I remembered the other day that they used it on Mean Girls, and wasn't that like four years ago? It's time for it to go. One thing we can do is borrow a popular Northern US expression. "Init". "Init?" is the same as saying "Isn't it?" or in other words, it's a contraction of a contraction. I expect this expression will meet the most resistance on its road to popularity, but if you have a hard time accepting it, I recommend watching the movie Smoke Signals. That one came out long enough ago to be retro.

I'm sure there are other ones that need to phrased out of use. Suggestions?


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Criticism is the highest form of praise

Facebook has enough political groups to choke a llama (or a donkey, or elephant). One that was inevitable from the start is: "I'm a Republican, but if McCain gets the nomination, I'm voting Obama". Here's a quote from their message board (which incidentally reflects the opposite opinion of this group):

I think Obama is the worst. Why you might ask? Simple, he actualy beleaves the crap he spewes. Hilary she just does what ever the polls say.

Let's leave the four spelling errors aside for a moment and just focus on the fact that Obama is being criticized, not for any of his convictions, but for believing them and sticking to them. I think Obama should recruit him for his campaign.

My kind of politics

Today Swirly Patterns continues its increasingly popular series on Facebook politics.

On the message board for the group "Mike Huckabee is a closet fatty" (Huckabee has lost about 110 punds since 2003 through diet and exercise), Rachel of Northwestern University writes:

It's ok to be fat, but not fat AND intolerant. Huckabee is a ho.

Why can't we switch from arguing whose policies are better (come on. like you really understand economics.) and just switch to voting for whoever is better at making fun of the other guys. I, for one, would watch more debates if this were the case.


Well it's not just the Obama haters that frighten me. Some of my own political allies are just as bad. For example, on the "1,000,000 Strong Against Mike Huckabee" message board on Facebook, Alisa of Portland Oregon writes:

He hates true followers of Christ, and is only running because he is in league with Satan. As such, he listens to his master (Satan) because he and his master do not want an honorable priesthood holder leading this great nation.
In addition, Tennessee and Arkansas were just hit by a tornado after Satan's minion won there. Who says the Lord doesn't speak to his children?

I wouldn't presume to know every way in which the Lord speaks to His children, but I think we can assume that he doesn't kill people with tornadoes every time they don't vote how he wants them too. I can prove it!

-August 11, 1999: A tornado hits Salt Lake City FOR NO GOOD REASON
-November 7, 2000: George W. Bush is elected president, especially in Utah
-January 20, 2001: George W. Bush is inaugurated
-Next 8 years: George W. Bush starts an unnecessary war which results in more American deaths than 9/11 and more Iraqi deaths than occurred under Saddam Hussein. Also, the economy tanks. Also, he's kind of dumb. Admit it. No tornadoes hit Salt Lake.

One thing about God: he doesn't typically punish anyone before they do something wrong. So if he were still as into vengeance as he was back in the Moses era, we would have been hit by the Tornado after we all voted for Bush. (When I say we, I don't mean myself, obviously, because I voted for Gore.)

Is that not enough proof for you? Don't worry, I have more. Have you seen the movie Crossroads with Ralph Macchio? (Not the one with Brittany Spears.) One thing I learned from that movie is that if you are in league with Satan, he makes you shred on the guitar! But does this guy look like he's shredding?

No. And furthermore, that's a bass he's playing, and everyone knows that playing the bass is what you do if you can't hack it on guitar. It's the new "second fiddle". If Huckabee were in league with Satan, he'd be playing lead and his band wouldn't suck nearly this bad.

This guy is not quite good enough to be the Servant of the Devil either, although we're getting warmer:

That said, I still kind of like "Satan's Minion" as a nickname for Huckabee.