Monday, December 31, 2007

My Year in a Nut's Hell

2007 began for me with an ethereal stop into a cozy English pub to ask for directions. It was called The Pelican Inn, and everyone inside was really drunk and really British and slightly helpful. Eventually we gave up on our destination, as the roads were all washed out. But Evan and I couldn't help but shake the feeling that if we went back looking for The Pelican Inn in the daytime instead of on a spooky, foggy morning on New Year's Day, it just wouldn't be there. Especially because we weren't even in England. We were in the woods in Sausalito, CA. That's kind of how I feel about this whole year. In ten years when I look back, I don't know what I'll have filed away in my brain for 2007. So here's my attempt to cement proof I even did this year before it vanishes into the mist.

So. By the holiday.

New Years was spent camping in the Redwoods, my favorite place on earth, with Evan, Justin, and Wiggle. It rained the whole time and was freezing and beautiful.
On Valentine's Day I took the girl I've loved for years to dinner. She told me I "get" her. Then she told me about this other guy, and when it comes to who actually gets her, it's him. I don't get it.
Saint Patrick's Day was spent at Los Hermanos, peddling yucky "Mexican"food to a bunch of grouchy old Mormons who don't believe in tipping or wearing green.
On Easter I bore my testimony in church.
Mother's Day was spent getting ready to go camping and to Disneyland with my mom and step-dad and 5-year-old sister.
My Father's-Day phone call was cut short because dad was at work at Home Depot, and I was at in my apartment in a scary Eskimo ghetto.
Independence Day was a let-down, since it doesn't ever get dark enough for fireworks in Fairbanks, AK in July, and I ended up on a plane most of the day anyway. The company barbecue consisted of hot dogs, to which I'm allergic, so we went and ate pizza in a bar.
Pioneer Day started out on a plane as well, on the way back after giving up on that horrible job. We opted out on fireworks and went to see Hairspray with Caitie and her mom. It was wonderful, and we saw fireworks from the freeway on the way home anyway.
Halloween was spent at my new job at a school for euphemismed girls. I didn't get to dress up as Urkel, as I had planned.
Thanksgiving was also my birthday, and I had to work, but my friends did Thanksgiving dinner with me at Tara's house before I had to go to work. Wills made a Turkey, and Evan dressed up in full pilgrim regalia for the occasion. Jordan lured me unwitting into a reenactment of the first Thanksgiving by stealing the food off my plate, even though I was the one who cooked it. The when I stabbed him with my silverware in an attempt to steal it back, he made me sit in the corner, which was referred to as "Oklahoma." That night the girl I took out on Valentine's Day told me she was still interested in me and was considering leaving her boyfriend for me.
I got to play Santa for Maggie, since she and Rusty and the folks were in town again for Christmas. Then off to a 14-hour shift at work, during which that same girl let me know that she had chosen to stay with the other guy. Bummer.

Most of the big events in my life fall on holidays. But lots of other stuff happens, too.

2007 was the year that:

My dad's second divorce was finalized. He celebrated by going out with his new ex (Darla II: The Meltdown, as opposed to the woman he left mom for, who was named Darla I: A New Hope) and getting drunk or worse and not showing up to Home Depot for over a week. He lost his job and his apartment and now lives with a maid named Rosa, we believe. He's gone dark ever since he was supposed to show up at the rehab center in Healdsberg where he was during my mission.

I learned a traditional Eskimo greeting: "Hey! Can I have two dollars?" I would fend off the throng of Eskimo beggars by beating them to the punch and asking them for two dollars before they had a chance to ask me.

I bought the most expensive thing I've ever owned: a Nikon D40 camera for $650 in Alaska. That's more than my computer ($300 including the scanner/printer) and my car (another $300) combined. Got some great pictures with the camera, and I have them all backed up on the computer now.

Our house was broken into and burgled. Burglarized. Whatever. I just know it wasn't "robbed" because the biotch ladycop on the phone gave me such a hard time about reporting the wrong crime. Anyway, someone took all of our stuff out of the house last week while we were all asleep. The take: Jordan's iPod, Aarons record player, speakers, and record collection, the apartment DVD player, and my Nikon D40 camera and my computer. Bummer. The cops only dust for fingerprints if there has been a homicide, apparently, which begs the question, "who do I have to kill to get the police to do their job around here?" I had even dusted everything the morning previous. Oh well, when did the police ever help anybody?

Also my car broke down. Been getting rides from some great friends, including Ryan and Evan, foremost.

I came up with a surefire new weight-loss method: poop more. An easy way to ensure it works is to get food poisoning by eating a chicken burrito at Beto's at 2:00 a.m.

I got all enrolled for school and will soon be taking classes at UVSC,which will soon be UVU, and hopefully will soon have a film program. For now I'm a Behavioral Science Major.

I finally got my Utah driver license and registered to vote as a Republican. Glade says that makes me an official Utahn now. Before you get your hopes up, Mom, I just registered as a republican to help swing the primaries in favor of Ron Paul. A little party crashing, if you will. Soon as March rolls around, I'm back out.

Evan and the gang and I finished our film, Lords a-Larping. Episodes two and three are slightly stalled in the works, but will come eventually, have no fear.

I was invited to be in the musical program, Joseph Smith: The Prophet. We recorded a DVD and a CD. Wonderful testimony builder, that.

I watched my two best friends as one started to drift away from the church and the other started swimming toward it. I love those guys.

I went to see Wicked in L.A. with Evan, Ronnie, and Sheri, and fell in love all over again with the ocean. I also went to Vegas with Glade and Evan, and again with Evan and Tara.

I was called as FHE committee chair in my ward, which is the second time I've had that calling in this ward. Also I don't like it, but whatever.

I've started to actually enjoy reading the Book of Mormon. Weird.

I've also started receiving notices about my ten year class reunion this May, which has me a bit freaked out. I need to hurry and do something with my life.

Anyway, that's my life this year. Obviously, other stuff happened, but that's what I'm going to look back and remember. Some happy, some sad. Mostly anti-climactic, I feel. Lots of build-up to something awful. Lots of fizzling out. But I also feel fresh hope on the horizon, like the first spring breeze. I'm happy, healthy, and I feel an energy I have missed for a while now. Things are going to move forward, whichever way that is from here.

Finally, a more philosophical note. Sometimes in this life, we are carried along. Sometimes we are led. Other times we are given directions, and have to walk about on our own. And sometimes we're merely released into the wild, to see which way we'll go. Our path is tortuous, and is meant to be. Usually, as we're coming around a bend, we make the mistake of thinking that in the direction in which we're currently headed lies our final destination. "That's where I'm headed," we think, "and so it must be where I'll end up." But the twists and turns are leading us somewhere unexpected. Coming up over a hill usually reveals only more hills. If your final destination were whatever you could see from here, you might as well stop right now, because that hill and this don't really differ so much. But we move forward based on the faith that beyond all the hills there is a beautiful blue lagoon, people waiting to greet us with drinks in hand, a peaceful end to the journey. So for now we trudge along and find beauty in what we have. We know that just because the road bends south toward the barren dessert, or north toward the frozen forest, it doesn't mean that that's where we're going to end our journey. Unless we stop walking halfway through....

If you zoom out far enough from the rainbow, you might see that it's just a sheen of oil leaking from under your broken-down '93 Ford Tempo, into a mucky puddle of stagnant water that has been ever growing these last six weeks of relentless dismal rain. That's when you squint your eyes and just look at the rainbow, and give thanks to God that He showed you this infinitesimal beauty in the midst of a vastly grey and dreary world.