Sunday, December 28, 2008

Busking in 2008

As I've mentioned in earlier posts, December is my month for busking, which I do for money, sure, but mostly for the stories it generates. While less eventful than last year, I had three good ones this month:

1. While in the middle of We Three Kings, someone started stuffing something down the front of my shirt. A voice said, "Can I put this in your bra?" I stopped playing, of course, and saw my uncle standing there.

2. One of the employees came out of the Lion House on South Temple. She offered to bring me some hot chocolate. It was so nice of her that it made me sad to say no. To drink it I would have to stop playing, and I wanted to keep playing. She seemed really distracted and embarrassed to be talking to me. Maybe she thought I was cute. Too bad she was like sixteen years old or maybe something could have happened. How great would that story be?

3. During O Holy Night, some wiseguys in a car stopped at a stoplight shouted: "You suck! Go back to France!" (Probably my favorite busking experience this year.)

From Wikipedia:

Some people stereotype buskers as being unemployed, homeless or beggars. Most buskers are not, and these terms are normally derogatory when referring to a busker. Some people will heckle buskers and stigmatize them as such regardless of their social status.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A follow-up to the previous post. Thanks to eped for showing us where to donate to Tim Dechristopher's legal defense fund.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

More good than 3/4 of a lifetime of voting anyway

I haven't spoken to Tim for a little over a year, and he might not even remember my name, but when he and I worked together for Outback Therapeutic Expeditions, I spent a couple of weeks working with him day and night, trying to help troubled teens to quit doing drugs, getting in fights, sleeping around, and getting involved with gangs. He was a good instructor and he would never avoid doing what was difficult if he thought it was what needed to be done.

Now everyone knows that that is how Tim is. In case you haven't heard, some local troublemaker thought up an ingenious new white-collar brand of monkey-wrenching, and carried it out yesterday.

Trib article
KSL article, with video

That troublemaker was Tim, and he's gotten such a good response that there's talk of raising the money to buy the $1.7 million worth of land that he bid on. Or at least the money to bail him out of jail. (He's facing felony charges.)

And if that doesn't work, there's talk of an Obama pardon. John Podesta, Obama's transition team leader, has been trying to prevent this lease anyway.

Well done Tim. Good luck to you.

(If a fund is created to buy Tim's leases, I'll post a link to it here.)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmastime, Schmistmastime

Hi everyone. I like the tradition of the Christmas newsletter because it is so powerful. I think its most effective use is showing that as of when it was sent, its author hasn’t died yet. But beyond that, it has all sorts of uses. It’s like a once-a-year blog entry or the paper version of saying “Look at me!” It’s also useful for showing all of the friends that you secretly hate that you are doing WAY better than they are. Sort of like an update for the Joneses informing them that they have got a lot of work to do if they are going to keep up with you.

Anyway I think it’s customary for me to say all of the cool things that have happened this last year. Well, today at work I saw that someone left their book lying around, and we put it in the lost and found. The book was called Left Behind. I thought that was kind of neat.

I have been applying to graduate school, which is not even a little bit fun. Really it only adds to the increasing amount of time that I spend trying to convince other people that I’m worthwhile.
My five-month stint in Alaska was a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it was a good experience during which I learned a lot, saved some money, made new friends, and had a lot of fun. On the other hand, and I’m afraid to admit this, it caused the global financial crisis. Yes, that whole thing was my fault. I was saving my money, and when I had a nice big chunk, I invested it into a mutual fund. Two days later AIG went bust causing President Bush to learn a new word: “cataclysm” (like I said, a mixed blessing).

So anyone who lost their 401k or their job, It was my fault. I am very sorry. Let me know and I will bake you some cookies. Probably snickerdoodles.

Many of you are probably concerned about whether I am dating anyone. That’s nice of you. Thank you.

Busking if going well. It is actually a higher paying job than I have ever had before. And it’s more fun than just about any job either. So why not do it full time? Well, my hands go numb after about one hour, and people are not as generous during business hours or during the non-Christmas season. And I like Christmas songs a lot, so I don’t know if it would be as fun during the rest of the year.

Well, that about does 'er. Even though it’s cold out, the plants are dead, I’m still single, not rich, and I spend my free time writing boring essays for committees to read, at this very moment I am warm and have plenty to eat. I have good friends and a great family. I am happy most of the time and incorrigibly optimistic.



Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Perhaps the coolest text message I've gotten in the last several months:

4 men. 1 car.
3864 miles. 56
hours of driving
in a 64 hour
span. Sugar Bowl
2008/2009! Go
Utes! You in?

Friday, December 05, 2008

El Esquiar

Salt Lakers are some of the skiingest folks in America, but it seems it is only us white folks who ski. Sure, sometimes I see some Japanese tourists up at Alta too, but that's about it. So imagine how great it was to see a Mexican couple skiing today. At least they looked Mexican. Not that I can tell a Mexican from, say, a Honduras-ian, or whatever people from Honduras are called.

They looked happy too, and it made my day. We don't see enough diversity up there. Unless you count guys who wear those pastel waterproof pants or burberry plaid ski jackets (gays, probably, but you never can tell).

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Wow, two glaring errors in previous posts of mine. Oddly, both have to do with time and the passage thereof. In reverse chronological order, they are:

1. I am not actually a Cancer (anymore) nor was I ever a Leo. I did the backward/forward thing wrong and it turns out I am a Gemini. So watch out, because Badass T.R. has got pushover T.R.'s back!

2. Swirly Patterns is not five years old, but is actually only four. I don't know how I decided that I had started this thing in 2003, but somehow I did.

Now before you criticize me too much, I just want to remind you about Badass T.R.

Also: how come you guys didn't catch my errors either?

Another one of the vampire costume. There's some green thing going on in this one. Glistening, maybe?