Monday, December 31, 2012

It sure doesn't feel like two weeks Part Two... Because it wasn't

My trip down to Utah, as I had mentioned before, was for an archaeological survey.

We make it to Logan by 7ish, eat at Chili's, and head over to Ken's house. There is light talk and a beer or two. Ken expresses his concerns with the upcoming elections.
Oh goodness.

I have all but forgotten about this blog. So much happened between October and now that... I am not going to post it all here.

But! I am going to post a link referencing Podcastle, even though I don't think anyone has seen this blog. is a website with fictional "drive to work" length stories! Some are much better than others, but it has authors that are well and not-so well known.

I'm sure it will be mentioned again.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It sure doesn't feel like two weeks Part One

I leave Corvallis by 7:00 and hit Portland at about 9. Close to the boundary of town I see 2 hitch hikers with a dog. I'm going almost 60mph, and my thoughts are almost too slow to process. Stop, don't stop, stop!
On the side of the road, I start rearranging the things in the back of my car to accommodate. It's close to 38 degrees outside, and just before the rainy season.
The two walk up with day packs and a half breed pitbull. A girl, mid 20's - Egypt, and a fella in his late 20's - Cal. They were holding a sign I didn't see that said BOISE on it. Funny how these things work out.
Now for the most interesting 8 hour car ride I've ever had.
Cal and Egypt are both baccalaureates from Michigan state, and have been backpacking since about June. Besides this excursion across the country (relying on the kindness of people and restoring their faith in humanity) the pair have been to several other countries beside.
They claim that they haven't had a bad experience yet, and haven't had to turn down a car ride due to strangeness of any drivers. I drive them all the way to Boise, stopping occasionally at rest areas to nap and to fill the tank.
I ask questions. Many of them. They answer happily, and in great detail. We get to Boise, I buy them breakfast at Rockie's, and drop them at the Chevron station on I84. The seed for travel has been planted in my brain, and I can feel it taking root. I'm sad to have them leave my car.

After leaving Egypt and Cal, I stop by and visit BoiseDylan. He's an ex... something, and always a good friend, our relationship founded at Burning Man. But... I don't think his current live-in girlfriend knows about me or our past, and I duck out of there unscathed, unquestioned, and slightly bemused. I grab a coffee at the infamous Flying M, screw around for a bit downtown, balk at the concentration of hipsters, and head out to meet Erin.

Erin responded to my Couch Surfing request to stay in Boise, and works in the Black Cat Tattoo parlor.
She is phenomenal. Willing to put me up for more than one night and invite me to spend time with her friends. I'm sure that should she ever read this she'd roll her eyes at my silly praise, but as my first CS experience I am blown away.

When she gets off work we head to her house. A nice place tucked in a quiet neighborhood decorated with Erin's artwork, giving it a personality all its own.
On top of everything else, there's a whole bedroom to crash in.

Now, I'd lived in Boise before. Downtown there's a club called the Balcony which I'd never been to, but have heard all about. Erin and I have dinner, meet up with her friends at Old Chicago.
Then to the Balcony. I don't know what to expect. I've been in a club once, and generally avoid them at all possible costs. It's crazy - full of all types of people, with the loud pop/club music that's probably at every club in Idaho if not the country, and a raised dance platform on the floor.

This was by far the best night out I've had in a long time.

I roll out of bed at around noon. I think. I drive back up to BoiseDylan's place, and catch him before he heads off to work. Turns out there's a party in Nampa, and Ib (BoiseDylan's roommate and longtime Burner Buddy) is gong out shortly. I have brunch with Ib and a couple of his friends in town, and tentatively take the address this party is at. I'm not sure... Paul and I are leaving for Boise tomorrow and Erin's got a party thing in Boise tonight...

Turns out the party is on an organic farm that has an intentional community living on it. Bobby and Brandy are the ones hosting, and again, I set to asking questions. The farm so far has been successful for them, and there are more than I thought in the area. They sell their organic produce throughout the year, and trade with other farms in the area for things they want or need in a bargaining setting. This is highly encouraging. I want this. As Brandy is describing their way of living, I am tempted to remove all my belongings from Oregon, and  settle down temporarily on the farm to learn about how things work there. Another seed planted.

I leave temporarily to check on Erin's party, find her and the crew living it up, I stay for a bit drink a beer, and return to Nampa.

I don't sleep, and am in a weird frame of mind meeting up with Paul. He's pretty tolerant of my shenanigans though, and we chat all the way down to Ken's house.

**Let me back up a bit here. I met Paul in Texas at the Gault Site the summer of 2011. He was the director for the field school I was attending and also the person who referenced me to Utah State University Archaeological Services (USUAS). I look up to him as a teacher, future colleague, respected archaeologist, and well rounded person.
Ken is the boss at USUAS and lets use his spare rooms when we drive down from Boise.**

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cake and... Utah?

I love baking, but I don't own many cook books. I'm a cheater. I use the internet to tell me how to cook things instead of testing a multitude of recipes in antiquated home journals and pot luck specials. My favorite website to use is All Recipes. There's a recipe for dern near everything, and thousands of people read, review, and rate them. Yesterday I made David's Yellow Cake, and it turned out ridiculously well.

I found out yesterday that two of my friends' favorite type of cake is yellow with chocolate frosting. Even though it shouldn't, this boggles me. Of all the things I used to request when it was my birthday, or have cravings for, none were ever so simple as yellow cake. I wanted cheesecake, cinnamon rolls, cobbler, or almost any fruit pie. In fact, given the choice between cake and pie, I would never choose cake. But I was happy to make it, and I'll concede that sometimes simple is better.

Tomorrow I am leaving for a ten day archaeological survey in Tooele County, Utah. And I am pretty excited. Referred to USU from a post-grad colleague, having only an Associates in Anthropology, and probably being the youngest on the crew, I'd say that this is going to be some sweet-ass experience! This is for a land exchange. Though I know what that is, I'm not exactly sure what this will entail. It will be my first survey. I went on a dig earlier this summer with a similar crew near American Fork, and we found bits of pottery, a fractured mano, and evidence of a fire pit. Minimal, I know. But! Stuff nonetheless.

Thankfully, I can catch a ride from Boise to Utah, instead of driving all the way from Corvallis. Looks like it's gonna be a good month.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Flying M, past due.

"A short man, alone, with a fanny-pack, and some gold bracelets around his wrists, is sitting opposite me, farther from the door. He is small in stature, perhaps in his late sixties. The thin hair covering all of his head is white, though his face clean shaven and dawning a pair of thin rimmed glasses. He is in plain dress and eating a scone open mouthed, smacking his lips. Which he seems to do with or without food.
At the table directly across from this gentleman is a group of three - an older woman, a middle aged woman, and a man with his long hair separated into two buns on top of his head. The conversation is fluid, though it seems the women are mostly listening. He introduces the two, his voice deeper than you would expect, carrying a tone of assurance possessed only by the secure or those pretending to be so; the older a professor of photography at the university, the younger a blacksmith and marathon runner.
The table farthest from me is currently seating another older gentleman with very large reading glasses, a short beard and dark gray hair, receding and balding. His long sleeved collared flannel shirt is a solid dark burgundy, and the shirt beneath it a light yellow cream color. He is mouthing the words to the song Lollipop, by the Chordettes, and gazing into the screen of the laptop."

What seems like more than a year ago in a coffee shop - downtown Boise. What has happened between then and now feels like it could have stretched over 3 or 4 years.

It's all irrelevant now. 

The best thing about life is that every pointed progression sends the meaningless flotsam of the past into the depths of  Forget. 
The best thing about life is change.
The best thing about life is personal growth.

The best thing about life is having lived.