Sunday, October 25, 2009

Let's get awkward...

As you may know, my sister is getting married in May of 2010. I only have one sister. And she is three years my junior. I'm as comfortable with this scenario as last year's winner of the International Hot Dog Eating Contest was with the contents of their stomach after the timer went off and they had a minute to hold still.

That said, I'm looking to beat her to the altar, and contestants are encouraged to apply... and quickly.

Some of the perks I'm willing to throw in, for the right candidate, include:

- A Season Pass to Alta Ski Resort, annually, for the duration of the matrimonial union.
- A place at my lavish and desirably located condo. Which is, I may add, kept meticulously clean to a professional level.
- Meals, often ethnic and/or vegetarian via my preference, though I can cook anything, and pretty well at that.
- Of course, the inherent benefits of marriage - tax cut, social position, partnership, blah blah blah.
- An enthusiastic and passionate partner for: outdoor adventures, globe-trotting, conversation, etc, etc.

In following with Ghandi's beautiful words, "Be the quality you seek," I wouldn't expect anything from a candidate that I do not expect from myself. Here are the pre-reqs advised for anyone wishing to apply, as well as some things that can be expected:

Self sufficiency to an acceptable, adult level. Candidate must possess the motivation and initiative to strive for multi-faceted personal growth, including but not limited to:
-A basic level of satisfaction with own life.
-Pursuit of educational and intellectual development, at the college level and beyond.
-A command of at least the English language; competent communication skills.
-An interest in health and nutrition, and an active lifestyle.
-Financial health - no outstanding debt to mafia or casinos, or obscene lines of credit.
-Ambitions, at the least, toward a career, and steps in that direction (i.e. school, employment...)

* I don't smoke anything, drink alcohol, or indulge in recreational substance use. Nor do I detest those who choose otherwise; however, that will be a tenet of the union, and on that note, no pets.

*I enjoy the company of people from all walks of life, and ideally, a partner would have a charisma that allowed the same, as well as relatively presentable manners, and social intelligence enough not to offend the masses, or cause riotous outbreaks in public.

* I enjoy skiing, climbing, hiking, the arts - modern dance, literature, galleries of stunning images captured by stroke of hand or lens, opera, musical performances in general. I like to attend events and lectures that stimulate the mind and heart. I enjoy the pain and gratification of self improvement, from breaking down my own misconceptions about the world to tearing the flesh off my palms on a route.

I am open a ceremony in one of these, eventually, although this or possibly even this could be negotiated for the time being.

Thank you for your time.


Author's note: This is a joke. While a charmed happily-ever-after is by no means unappealing, I'm not actually thinking my sister's upcoming nupitals a legitimate impetus for marital connection.


Friday, October 16, 2009

In on a Friday

Listening to children babble, waiting for their breathing to indicate sleep, so I can go upstairs and clean the dishes from their dinner. Spent the morning in similar fashion, baking a pie and walking around the block with a child while it cooled, hand in hand, talking about sidewalks and late-blooming lavendar, sighing in the windy breath of fall as it sent leaves past our ears.

Another hour or two and live bluegrass will be racking my body with a non-negotiable instinct to dance and move to beats and riffs. I'll be one in a crowd, a nameless face, a simple afficionado out for a night's fix of rhythm and social stimulus, albeit with a degree of anonymity.

Later still, in a place quiet enough that ears buzz with sound's absence, I'll have to talk myself out of page of someone's fiction, or someone's historical record, whichever way you'll have it, fighting my eyelides for another second of artificially lit morning. Lay it on the floor, face-down-spine-up as I assume the same and the lights go off, except those twinkling through the stained glass to remind me that the city is still there, alive and well, though I sleep.

And tomorrow, I'll be someone's go-to, I'll travel across the face of this valley and back, I'll do this and I'll have done that, and things will be delivered and I will be liberated slowly, painstakingly from the bonds of a weighty to-do list.

Come Sunday, I'll travel to the desert for a week, to become further aquainted with that renegade love for climbing. I've warmed up the musculature, torn the pads from my fingers under the light of halogen bulbs, pressing off molded plastic, fighting gravity. Days in the gym will hopefully lend some grace to the coming days on the rock.

I was made for this. Life. All of it.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Things I love about SL,UT right now.

- The Wasatch range and it's delicious canyons, the smell of sage, texture of scrub oak, and vibrancy of fall color in the maples and aspens.

- The Bombay House/India House/other fantastic Indian restaurants

- The Thai Orchid, especially that one darling waiter who remembers everyone.

- Alta Ski Area, the people who live, work and play there and the job I looking forward to returning to. Oh, and the epic powder.

- The beautiful people and friendships I've come across, learned from, loved deeply and been nourished from. My friends' children, their intelligence, compassion and unique personalities.

- The academic opportunities and atmosphere of having 8 sizeable colleges in one community. Lectures, people, films, readings....

- Ski premieres and the rhythm of the ski culture. I'm particularly impressed with the growing Telemark culture, and the quality of the videos they're producing.

- Climbing outside, inside, urban, and the interesting folks who do it.

- Film festivals in general - the Salt Lake Film society, Sundance, Banff, Wild and Scenic...

- Proximity to Moab and redrock desert, which I could write a comprehensive 'love list' for as well.

- Rocks. Granite, quartz, sandstone, limestone, conglomerate...

- Library system where I can go online, place an order for some obscure item, pick it up a few days later. The stock of foreign films, music and literature in the SLCO lib system is prolific!

- The LDS Church. Say what you will against it, but there is an interesting and well preserved historical culture. The Temple is iconic and lovely, the quarry is impressive. The people of the Church are often musically talented, dedicated to their families, goal oriented, hard working and kind. If you're an inflexible anti, at least you have something well defined and organized to pit your opinions against.

- The religious diversity. Again, say what you will, many don't look at Salt Lake as a diverse place. Salt Lake is home to an Islamic mosque, a Hare Krishna temple, a Buddhist temple, virtually every Christian denomination, and a myriad of other religious communities with loyal, dedicated followers who have strong faith and beautiful things to say about life. Not to mention the incredible architecture and impressive history of some of the buildings here.

- Ballet West. The UMFA. The Utah Symphony. The Opera. Kingsbury Hall, the UofU Modern Dance program, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Madeleine Children's Choir, the Eccles Organ Festival, Art Access Gallery...

- The efforts to create efficient public transportation - TRAX, the Frontrunner, UTA bus service.

- Crossroads Urban Center and their initiatives to end hunger, domestic violence, and to promote sustainability and education without restraint.

- Catalyst Magazine and the City Weekly

- Gallivan Center summer concert series

- $2 Ice skating at the Cottonwood Heights Rec center

- The variety of international languages spoken here, which is actually quite staggering thanks to the Universities, immigrants, and missionary program.

- The Icelandic community, the Greek community, the Tongan community, the Hispanic community, the Asian communities...

- Bowling at Sue Rich

- Silent movies at the Organ Loft

- Momos, Chai and Tibetan noodles at beloved Tibetan restaurants.

- The bullseye formation of the 215 loop, I-80 and I-15, and the grid system, all of which make it easy and efficient to get around town.

- Although I'm not really a part of it, yet, I admire the biking community and how often I see people commuting on two wheels. And how much they seem to enjoy it, come together, and throw fun events like warehouse concerts and Critical Mass rides.

- Affordable rent and a relatively healthy economy, all things considered.

- The sheer passion of people here - especially in terms of politics, athletics, spirituality - it seems that the people I meet are motivated to be well informed, to understand, to accomplish the goals of the causes to which they subscribe, to push themselves in the disciplines they pursue. It's so potent that you can't take a back seat here without diluting yourself. It's an inspiring thing, and only sometimes aggravating.

-An International airport

- Proximity to family - I can fly home to Boise in an hour, drive in five.

I could go on. Glad to be back.