Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Calm Before The Storm

I had the week off last week so Krishelle, Uncle Will and I decided to head south and just drive until the weather became acceptable. Fully expecting the possibility of having to drive as far as Guatemala, I packed several weeks of clothes and some Cipro and we were off. Naturally, as is always the case with any trip we ever take, no real plans were made before entering the vehicle. And we didn't think we would need any kind of map, especially after deciding to go see the Grand Canyon, as we figured the largest hole on Earth should be pretty easy to find. Wrong.

But our general lack of any sense of direction drew us into a town called Seligman which I believe you can only find if you're not trying to find it. We met all four people that live there (rather, we were given the stink eye by three skeptical residents; the fourth gave us a key to our motel room at 1:00 in the morning at a place that hadn't had any guests since the Gold Rush). The next morning we drove around, back and forth, back and forth, until one woman eventually pointed the way to the Grand Canyon, which we looked at for exactly three minutes and twenty-two seconds before getting back in the car, turning until the little "S" appeared on the dash, and flooring it for the next six hours. Meet Tucson.

In Tucson we attempted to go two full days without moving. Mostly a success (I say "mostly" due to the implausibility of packing and using catheters).

Saturday we thought it would be a good idea to cross the border into Mexico in an attempt to witness the drug wars first hand. After experiencing a disappointing lack of action and one horrific burrito smothered in what seemed to be a mixture of runny mayo, sour cream, and some kind of egg puree that had been sitting out in the sun for way too many fiestas, we made our assent back into the mother land.

Reality hit on Monday morning when the professor I do research with called me and said in a panicked voice, "I need to own every minute you have this week." Apparently she wasn't kidding. 78 emails and three 18 hour work days later (I'm actually not exaggerating), we have seemed to produce a pretty decent presentation. Unfortunately I had a perfect storm of other extremely time consuming activities come to a head in the last three days--all contributing factors to the 18 hour days (thank heavens for 24 hour access to the law building. I think.).

So here we are.

I'm not always sure what all the sacrificing is supposed to achieve. I only know that if I stop working, the unproductivity will feel much less satisfying. Maybe that's just a result of an abnormal amount of energy. Maybe all this energy I seem to dig out of every corner is ironically taking me to an early grave. Or maybe it's just all going toward some bigger cause that on weeks like this I start to have a hard time remembering. Not really sure what I'm trying to articulate tonight. Just hoping that all the distractions don't cause any of us to stop savoring the stranger moments of our sometimes chaotic lives.

~It Just Gets Stranger

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Feeding Room

I attended a wonderful conference for the J. Reuben Clark Law Society for the last three days. This is where Mormon attorneys and law students gather in one place to hear 40 different people give the exact same rendition of the history of the founding of both the society and BYU Law School. In addition to the speeches, the society serves around the clock meals to the hundreds in attendance. As a part of this endeavor, one room in the center of the frighteningly gigantic institute building at the University of Utah campus was designated solely for the purpose of feeding. The tables spanning the length of the room were consistently piled high with mounds of food, replenished almost magically for three days. Naturally, I spent the vast majority of the conference in this room. So did my friend Sarah who started on the opposite end of the longest table from where I began my animal-like mastication yesterday afternoon, meeting 45 minutes later at the middle somewhere near the over-sized muffins. Because of our firm dedication to testing the limits of this mysterious room, I have decided to add another row onto my resume under the service section for my help at this years JRCLS conference. My contribution: "food". If asked during an interview what I specifically worked on in regards to the food, I'll just tell them it was mostly consumption and clean-up. Mark my words: in two weeks time, I will have a job.

~It Just Gets Stranger

Monday, February 1, 2010

Baked Potato Recall

Last week was sort of strange. That is, even without driving two hours north to view a jump-rope show put on by a bunch of kids in bright orange shirts, last week was strange.

This had a lot to do with my friend Corey who, out of the goodness of her heart, brought dozens of baked potatoes wrapped in tin-foil to school to hand out in what looked like an odd attempt to turn BYU Law into a soup kitchen (which may be fitting very soon if more of us don't start finding jobs). Her explanation: someone gave her over one hundred potatoes--so naturally she didn't know what else to do with them but bake for a full Sunday afternoon. Thinking these would be a nice Monday morning treat for one hundred of her closest friends, she piled them into grocery sacks and hauled them to school.

After several people reluctantly took the potatoes throughout the day (mostly out of awkward obligation) one girl briskly walked over and informed us that she had just found an article that explained that baked potatoes that have been wrapped in tin-foil and then cooled to room temperature have a frighteningly high probability of containing life-threatening Botulism. This was the first time in my life that I've ever heard an average consumer consider issuing a recall on baked potatoes.

Fortunately it seems I escaped unscathed--this is probably a result of being completely immune to absolutely every disease known to man (it's one of my New Year's resolutions). Either that or the gods don't have the heart to add face-paralyzing Botulism to my already severe cases of Tuberculosis, Ebola, Lohan (remember him?), Bacterial Meningitis, Tonsillitis, Pancreatitis, and the entire alphabet of the Hepatitisies. So it's either immunity or pity.

On a positive note: I have now gone seven weeks without taking either a sleeping pill or a Lortab. If I was in some kind of support group I would save that announcement for a really good time. Like when someone named Bob breaks down crying at one of our meetings because he made a level three Codeine shake the night before to wash down his last twelve Vicodin which makes Suzy scream out, "there's no hope for any of us! People can't change!" (I've clearly never been to any addict meeting of any kind--although I think I need to find one to help cure me of my incessant need of Mexican Food on a daily basis). But my hand is almost completely healed from the surgery and I'm finding natural ways to relax (in large part thanks to my flexibility class which is changing my life one day at a time).

Love you all.

~It Just Gets Stranger