News from my Corner of the Universe

going from most recent to oldest

08/22/99 - Ok, ok. People have been pestering me enough. I'll update this thing. But you won't like it (or maybe you will). Either way, this will be long.

So much has happened. The summer is over and school starts tomorrow, the 23rd. I confess to mixed feelings. This is the start of what will be my last year as an undergraduate. What a relief that will be, being a graduate. Perhaps I will work immediately and go back to grad school later (because a bachelors in creative writing or psychology isn't going to get me too much). My grades last semester were as I suspected. Three A's and one C. Ah, well. Them's the breaks. However, I'm excited about this semester. I'm taking my last workshop class, creative nonfiction writing. Then there are my two psych classes, environmental psych and the psychology of death and loss. Lastly, because I have room for fun classes, I'm taking a recording and production class. That really sounds like fun. The best part, though, is that I have no Monday or Friday classes. It's almost like I have a four day weekend, every weekend. Well, except that I'm still going to go to work on those days. But still.

As for work, I got promoted recently. I was just the office assistant at the English department at the University of Arizona. Now I'm the computer troubleshooter. More pay, more prestige, less hard manual labor. I moved a lot of furniture this summer, before this promotion. I'm not complaining. I know more about computers than the entire English department combined . . . ok, there are a few who know more than me, but not many. The other exciting news at work is that my boss had her baby, a month early. She still keeps up via email and the periodical visit to the office, but she's officially on maternity leave. The baby is doing fine, now actually starting to grow.

Ok, I know you are all wondering . . . what did I think of Star Wars? Ok, maybe no one is. Maybe I'm just writing to a void. That's ok. It feels good to spout and vent. I liked it (the movie). Lots of eye-candy, as was expected. I went the second night it was open (didn't wait for the Utah trip) because Jason came to visit, all sudden like and he, Kari and I wanted to do something. I remember many times when I leaned over to Kari or Jason and just said "that's cool." And it was. Except Jar-Jar Binks. I was one of those who hated that character. The worst addition to the Star Wars universe we have ever had. Comic relief is one thing, but he was not really even funny to me. He was out of place, as was the two headed announcer during the pod race. On the other hand, the best parts were the pod race and the final duel between Qui-gon, Obi wan and Darth Maul (hope I'm spelling those right). Talk about intense. All in all, though, this was the weakest addition to the Star Wars saga. The story-line just didn't have enough meat for me. Sorry, Lucas. You let your directing skills stagnate after 20 years of disuse.

The trip to Utah did take place. And then it did again. The first trip up was with my family, as was anticipated. Kari had already been up there for a week in Orem. While there, I spent a lot of time with her and my brother, Jon. We went to a nickel arcade, went shopping and other fun activities. With the family, we went to a part and had a picnic and other nice activities. The little neices, Sarah and Rachel, have gotten used to me now and also really liked Kari, too, so we had fun watching them on a playground one afternoon. My nephews, Josh and Caleb, were also fun guys to hang around with. I can't believe how much they have all grown. While there, Kari's family had a barbeque with my family. There was some confusion with Kari's grandparetns, who thought it was an engagement party or something for Kari and me. Well, no. We are not ready to take such a step yet.

Anyway, upon returning, I went back to work, poor. During the course of the summer, I ended up staying (obviously) at the English department, but also working at the apartments in which I used to live. Oh, yeah. I moved, but more on that later. Then my sister Heidi came home from her mission in Australia, on July 8th. I'll admit I was glad to have her home, but a certain headache came with it. My old roommate Joe, infatuated with Heidi since the spring of 1997, started acting weird. Especially when he was uninvited to the airport. Other odd things with him also began to happen. He started treating me poorly. I confess that I was not completely for him dating Heidi again, but the main reason was because of the time involved. She had just barely returned home and Joe already was pressuring her into dating. Me no like. But right after that, Kari and I went up to Utah again, to see an Alphaville concert and see her cousin's homecoming from his mission. Alphaville is one of those 80's bands that a lot of people liked but forgot about after their first couple of hits. They are still around, but play mainly in Europe. I should have been born a European. Oh, wait, I was. Only problem was that I didn't stay that way. I honestly think my tastes are more European than American. I don't like most of the junk they play on the radio. To be honest, a lot of my new music tastes are groups no one has heard of that publicize themselves off the internet. To me, that's the way to go. Anyway, the concert was great. The trip up there was long and we got pulled over once (although the cop was really nice and only gave a warning). Staying up there was interesting and fun. I stayed with Kari's family, in her brother Christian's room. Christian slept on the couch and didn't mind, because it was much cooler, temperature-wise, there. I got to know him during my stay, as well as the rest of the family. One night, we all went camping at Dead Horse Ridge (or something like that). It was very nice there, except for the lesbians the next camp over who made a bunch of "noise" that night and then complained the next morning (after quiet hours had ended) when we were making noise. Ah, well. So what that it was seven in the morning. They shouldn't have been drinking anyway. Well, I got no sleep that night, so I had no sympathy for them. Christian and Kari's dad and I shared one tent and she and her mom got the other. Both Christian and Chris are snorers, so I kept getting woken up. I was so tired. But it was a fun trip. The next day, we went hiking around a little bit at the arches state park. Lovely views there.

Christina had her birthday while I was up there so I went to visit her that night. Liz was there, visiting with her daughter Hannah. Haven't seen much of her, first living in New Jersey and now Oregon. Kari and I went to go have dinner with Debbie one night and had a good time with her. Then the night before we left was a Utah holiday, July 24th, so we set off a bunch of fire works. I can't tell you how much fun that is. Too bad Arizonans aren't allowed that luxury. Ah, well. Upon returning home, Kari and I went straight to Sierra Vista to see Heidi's homecoming. A bunch of guys were there, hoping that now was there chance. No such luck for them. Joe was there and got told by Heidi that she was not interested in dating him (for which I was glad; it was too soon). Anyway, Joe went home early, upset. Other than that, the homecoming was really nice. It was the first time all the family was together (minus Chris and Liz's husbands, but including their children). Because of distances, I don't get to see Deb, Liz and Chris very often. We all had a big family picture taken together, with Kari as the photographer.

Then back up to Tucson. I had convinced Heidi that going to the University of Arizona was a better idea than anywhere else, so she was preparing to come here, all the while, boys coming to visit and propose. Things with Joe heated up, got a little more intense. I really don't want to go into details, except to say that I feel I was being treated unfairly for his failures with Heidi. So, I started talking to a friend of mine, Ammon Trejo, about moving in together somewhere else.

Meanwhile, back on the ranch . . . never mind. The saga of my life continues, but I'm going to do so later, hopefully tomorrow. Goodnight.

5/17/99 - Only moments away till the release of the new Star Wars movie. I will not be one of the first to see it and that's ok, although I really do want to see it. Perhaps if I go to Utah, I'll see it with the family. The whole trip to Utah this summer is still a bit up in the air, for several reasons. I am really concerned about money again. Ah, the life of a poor college student. I'm torn between going and not. Guess the decision will have to be made soon, though. Kari is meeting her family up in St. George, Utah, at the end of the month. My family is leaving for Provo, Utah at about the same time. In theory, I can go and see both families up there. Ah, time sharing. I would be quite drained by the experience, to be sure.

Anyway, school has ended and summer begun! I am excited and relieved. The end of the semester saw me working on several papers (as usual). One 17 page research paper and a 13 page research paper both came out with very high A's. I feel I did pretty well grade-wise (except the writing class, where I'll probably get a C, but oh, well). Sadly, the grades were not posted yet. Hopefully tomorrow. I have started doing the reading I love and swimming to cool off. I'm still working at the English department for the summer and perhaps getting another job. Don't want to look yet if I end up going to Utah for a week at the end of the month. We shall see what happens.

I will hopefully update this soon, as there are other things to write about but I'll wait.

4/24/99 - So, what's been going on? A whole lot. Nothing. Everything. We'll start with classes. My fiction class has been frustrating, to say the least. Jonathan Penner gave me my first D, because he didn't like my writing. Well, he rarely gives above a C anyway (gotta fight that grade inflation, you know). That was my first story. My second story earned a C+, which actually made me feel a little better. My final story got a solid B, which is ironic, considering it's my most simple of the three. I earned the illusive B and can die happy. No, not really, but, um, yeah. I'll have to post that story on the web and see what you all think.

My other classes are pretty tame, pretty normal, although they are quite interesting. I have had to write a bunch of papers and do a ton of reading for them, though. Ah, it's not all bad. Semester's almost over and I can't wait.

Personal life? Well, Kari and I are dating and admitting it. We weren't too forthcoming at first because we were still getting used to the idea. That and the fact that we were just having fun at first. We've grown a bit attached now and enjoy each other's company quite a bit.

My brother Jon came here to visit me for Spring Break. He came on a Thursday morning (thank you, Mom) and went to classes with me. He wasn't that intimidated by the big school and the older people, which was good to see. He'll do well at school (if he only learns that teachers really do want to see his homework--just kidding you, Jon!). That Friday night, he, Kari and I went to a Philip Glass concert called Monsters of Grace. For those of you who don't know, I'm a Philip Glass fan and it was my idea to go. His music is intriguing and dark, instrumental and repetitive, yet strangely innovative. For those of you who saw the Truman Show, his music is featured on it. Anyway, this concert had him playing keyboard with several musicians playing live instruments, all with computer animated 3D imagery being projected on a huge screen. It was very cool.

Saturday, Jon, Kari and I went to Sierra Vista. Jon needed to go home and Mom and Dad wanted to meet Kari. They (my parents) seemed to really like her. Maybe it helps that she used to play violin, a skill that both Mom and Karyn are working on. This visit was just for Saturday and we (Kari and I) returned to Tucson that night.

Kari's mom came down from Utah around that time, too. She had met me once before in California (see my last news update for more info on that time) but I wasn't dating her daughter at that point. I think she likes me, even if she sometimes has a hard time knowing what to say to me (I think I am the most respectible person her daughter has dated and she doesn't know what to make of that *wink*).

Jason came to visit me during my spring break. That was pretty cool. We went out to eat at this horrible restaraunt. I wish I remembered what it was called so I could warn you all away. The ambiance was lame, the service was sluggish and the food was unsatisfying. Ah, me. Those cheap little country cooking kind of places. Anyway, Jason and I ended up talking about writing and philosophy. He is about to graduate from U of A Sierra Vista campus (yes, he and I did graduate from Buena High School in 1992 and I still have at least a year to go *sigh*).

Around that same time period, my computer went down. Yes, it was my own fault. No, I'm not telling what happened. Let's just say that I ended up reinstalling nearly everything. Thankfully, I didn't lose my precious data (I would have been sooooo ticked). I also ended up having to buy a new hard drive (10 megs), which helped put me back into poverty. Ah, well. It was worth it. The good thing is, I've taught myself how to work on these dang computers and can fix my own problems. I pity anyone who works regularly on a computer and still knows nothing about them.

Valentines day was nice this year. Did I do anything special for Kari? Well, she complained that giving flowers is a waste, because flowers are dead. So, in a surprise move, I got her a potted house plant. She is stretching the ability of her green thumb trying to keep it alive, but it hasn't died yet. That was probably the best Valentine's day I've ever had (and that's all the detail you need).

April has gone pretty fast. Let's see, what has happened recently. Oh, Kari and I met the family up in Mesa to see the Mesa temple Easter Pageant. That was pretty fun. Only problem was the rain. It was cold. Arizona has stayed relatively cool this year (shocking as that may seem). Everyone huddled under a big blanket and warded off the rain with umbrellas. Unfortunately, the people in front of Kari and me were joking and laughing and making noise. Quite distracting. Oh, and there was a little girl in the lap of one of the people in front of us who just had to hold on to an umbrella, even after it stopped raining. Quite frustrating. In fact, I was ready to grab that umbrella away from her (except that's rude, never mind what they were doing). Despite that, it was a fun trip.

Hmmm, what else. Lori Johnson-Stone, whom I dated once a long time ago and last year was in her line when she got married, came down to visit me. Her marriage is not going to well (no details there because it's not my story to tell) and needed to talk about things. She may be moving down to Tucson soon to attend the U of A (which is what she should have done nearly two years ago). It was good to see and talk to her. She and Kari got along quite well. They found they have several things in common.

Speaking of friends coming and visiting, Brynne came to visit a while ago (in February? I can't remember any more). She also really got along well with Kari. That visit, we went out to eat, but I can't remember much else that happened. Ah, frustrating. I've waited too long to write.

Two weekends ago (the same one that Lori came down), I went with Kari to a small production put on by the private (read "rich") school where she works. The classes each had a part to play, and Kari wanted me to see her class (preschoolers). I would like to say it was fun. The thing took forever to start (over a half hour late). Once it started, things weren't too bad, but it did kind of drag on and on until the fire alarm went off. Some little kid pulled the alarm, sending everyone outside. Darn! Right during the closing number. Eventually, people went back in, but many (read "most") went home. Kari and I did not stay to the bitter end. She basically was babysitting during the whole thing and was tired, plus all the kids had been gotten by their parents, so her job was done. I would like to say that at least I got to spend time with Kari, but even that isn't true. She was busy tending and I had to sit in a different spot. The worst part for Kari was worrying about all the children at the fire alarm. They were running all around and she couldn't tell if all of them had come out or not. She was stressing. But it's over now and all is well.

One other thing. Either in March, Kari and I went to Paula Robinson's wedding reception, up in Mesa. Her new last name is Carlisle. Because of my misunderstanding, we missed the wedding, which was in her backyard, but got to eat the food (heh heh! Just kidding!). The decorations were amazing. Their backyard had a renaissance feel to it, all done by her family members. I got to see Paula herself for all of five seconds, long enough to learn that she met her husband online. Well, that's cool. Besides the stress that any bride seems to go through, she seemed pretty happy.

At first, Kari and I felt a bit out of place. I didn't see anyone I knew and just ate in silence (they had a feast set out, not just some wimpy appetizers). Finally, I saw people I know, old friends whom I hadn't seen in ages. For example, Lydia was there. She is one of Paula's friends whom I got to know back when I first came off my mission. She's married now, to a really nice guy whose name I don't recall offhand. Most young married Mormon people tend to be in their own little world, but these two were really with it and Kari and I really enjoyed talking to them. Jessica Escoe (as I knew her) was there. She was the first person who I kissed after my mission, but was also a good friend for a time. Then she got engaged to someone from my mission, Daniel DeKock, and that kind of faded. Daniel was (I don't know if he still is) kind of jealous and so I just stayed away. It was good to talk to Jessica, though. The last person I saw there was Desmond Johnson, an old missionary companion (we served together in Troy, NY). He and I had our little and unimportant arguments when we were together, but I always enjoy seeing him. He's also married, has a kid and is still one himself. It was also good to chat with him. I left that night feeling really good, as if I'd been given a gift at Christmas, seeing those people who have meant a lot to me.

I think that is enough for now.

2/18/99 - This will be a quickie. I have a modem, courtesy of my friend, Dave. I work with Dave in the English department. He's the computer specialist for the department. Nice guy. Eventually, Jennifer Natoli says she will get me one of my own, but we'll see what happens (*wink wink* to Jen). As a result, I have downloaded all sorts of programs and such and am utilizing them in all sorts of creative ways. Even the game demos I've downloaded have been used creatively ("I really NEED a break from my homework right now").

Michelle and I are talking again. I'm really glad, because she has been a good friend for over a year and I would hate for that to disappear for no good reason. At any rate, when I mentioned to her the games I downloaded, she said "it must be a guy thing." Well, for the most part, I think that is true, although Kari Olson (whom I have mentioned before) likes games almost as much as I do.

Classes have been going well enough ("We'll see about that when the report card comes out!"), but I'm getting a little itchy to graduate. It should be time for that (but it isn't, so I'll endure). I'm taking a physics class, a film and literature class (in which we watch Alfred Hitchcock movies; I love it!), an emotion class and advanced fiction writing. Pretty fun stuff.

For those who are wondering, Kari and I are . . . kind of dating. I mean, we don't really call it that. This is actually quite recent. The truth is, we're not really worried about things right now. Just having a fun time together. Only problem is, what do we call each other? ("Yeah, my . . . well, not my girlfriend, my . . . special friend, no, that's not it either!") No, the wedding isn't being planned yet, we are not praying about anything yet and we are not going to lose any sleep over anything at this time. That's all.

Been writing again, pleased with my output. I posted a story tonight, for those that are interested.

Saw Jon and Mom last Saturday. That was good fun. We went out to Subway after Jon's singing performance (which I arrived just in time for the end because I didn't have the map and got lost because that is not a part of town with which I am familiar). A few days prior, I talked to Dad and Jon via the internet using a free program. Didn't have to pay a dime in long distance fees (but the computer itself cost a bundle, so don't go buying a computer JUST for free long distance).

I could say more but I'm tired, so . . . time for bed.

1/12/99 - A new year? Where did 1998 go? *sigh* I never seem to keep up. Let's see. What has happened since last time I wrote. First off, the semester finally ended (and not a moment too soon). I was so drained by the last semester and it didn't help that near the end, I had little motivation. The good news is, I was able to finish the several writings assignments in a timely manner (and I had a bunch of them). I got one C, but I almost don't care. The professor never explained what was expected of us and I always felt unprepared for tests. I was just glad the class ended.

Not long after school got out, I went with my good friend Dan (who was visiting from Minnesota) to Mount Graham, near Thatcher, to go camping. We even bought camping equipment for the occasion, including MRE's (Meals Ready to Eat, for those who don't know). While up there, it got cold. We set up camp (got there kind of late) in the dark and started a nice fire. It was a beautiful spot. I really like Graham better than Tucson's Mt. Lemon. There was no snow up there, but this has been a lame year for snow. Dan and I found ourselves eating every two or three hours (good thing we brought enough food) and weren't sure why we were so hungry. We later realized that it was to keep up our body temperatures (more on that later). In the middle of the night, it got so cold, Dan woke up and restarted the fire (waking me up in the process). I think three hours of sleep would be generous for that night, but it was worth it. So peaceful there, no pressures or anything. That morning, some rangers were there doing some cleaning in the camp area and I had to ask how cold the night had been. His conservative estimate was 9 degrees, well below freezing. And Dan was worried he was wimping out earlier because he though he got too cold in the thirties. He felt vindicated that it was well below the thirties. Anyway, that was a pleasant little adventure.

Not long before Christmas, conditions became such that being around Michelle became awkward, for both of us. We have since talked to one another again and have decided that for now, it appears that the best thing is to spend some time apart. A year after we got together, we part company. Perhaps some day, we will be able to be friends as we were before.

My brother Jon came and spent a night up here with me in Tucson. This was after my family, including Debbie and my grandma, both down from Utah, came to Tucson and we all went to the Pima Air Museum. It was a fun occasion and having Debbie around was a special treat. Then Jon stayed and the rest of the family went back to Sierra Vista. We had a good time, as usual. Rented a couple of comedies and laughed our heads off that night.

Unfortunately, I never got to spend as much time as I would have liked with Debbie, but she did come up one day while Dan was still in Tucson and they went with Joe and me up to Mesa to see the lights on the temple. It was very pretty. I think the Mesa temple has more lights at Christmas than the Salt Lake temple even. We left Dan up in Chandler with his mom and Debbie stayed on our couch (it is a nice couch, mind you) for the night. The four of us also went out to eat earlier and had a good time.

Christmas was in Sierra Vista with the family. I gave up my room so Grandma could have a place of her own to sleep, so I was in the room with the pullout bed, the same room Santa came to visit. Must have slept through it all. I had a very nice time with the family, especially enjoying the new trampoline (one of those really big ones). Karyn and Michael seemed to enjoy it the most, and with both I played on the trampoline, had my special time with each.

In my spare time, I did a lot of reading, because I really didn't get to do much fun reading over the last semester, something I really missed.

New Year's Eve was spent with Jamie. Not feeling like going out anywhere, we watched a movie and ordered pizza. At the appropriate time, we turned off the movie and watched the ball drop on TV in New York City. I had a really good night (really!). Unfortunately, we have reached a point where it is better to spend less time together for a while. I am saddened by the necessity but recognize the need to be apart from another of my dear friends.

One last story to tell. My friend Kari Olsen invited me to go with her to California. Um, the exact place? I don't know. Some suburb somewhere outside of LA, but I don't remember the name. Orange County somewhere (I'm really not up on my Cali geography and I'm openly admitting it, so no mocking will be tolerated). A cousin of hers had a missionary farewell this past Sunday. We left on Friday the 7th and drove six hours. Normally, a drive like that will kill conversation after a while, but we talked almost the entire way. The most memorable part of the drive, besides the conversation, was seeing the San Diego temple all light up. In 1993, I got to go with my family through the open house that was held for that temple. It is a beautiful place. Repeatedly, Kari warned me of her odd family. I got to meet her mother, grandmother, aunts, cousins and a grandfather from the other side of the family. Nice people. Kari's mom was not sure what to make of me, though. I think she kept wondering what was up between her daughter and me, despite Kari's insistence that we are just friends. You all know how parents are.

The most memorable part of this weekend was the beach. Up until my first trip to Rocky Point a year ago, I haven't spent much time at beaches. I have come to love going to a good, quiet beach. It was so calm, so beautiful there. Kari and I walked around, chatted, I took a bunch of pictures (hopefully some will come out) and just soaked up the ambience. As soon as I get some money, I'll have to develope the pictures and put some up.

The farewell was . . . a farewell. It was good, but I was distracted. The ward we attended had a bunch of children and weird people making a lot of noise, so I could barely hear.

The drive back was also lively in conversation. I did all the driving, so I can now say I've made a drive longer than the two and a half hours it takes to get to Thatcher from here (seven if my mom drives *smile*). One mental note: don't drink sparkling cider directly from the bottle while you are driving. Get's messy.

Joe and I have a new roommate, Mark Anderson. He is a great guy and we all have a great time. Mo kind of decided to take off suddenly. It was a snap decision because of his opportunity to go to Chile for the break (he had to have things settled before he left). Mark moved in on the second and promptly paid for cable for us. What a great guy (that's not the only reason, though)! School starts tomorrow and I'm not prepared. My schedule is not even close to being set, although I'll get it figured out in the next couple days. Just not ready for school to start, though. I want a week or two to waste and read and hang out with friends (yes, I'm becoming somewhat social again)and watch the X Files late at night and stuff like that. Oh, well.

That's all for now.

11/30/98 - Well, November came and is about to leave. The semester is about to end (thank goodness). I'm tired. But let's see if I can catch you all up a little bit.
First, Thanksgiving. My dad was gone visiting his parents on the other side of the country, so the group was unusually small. Just my mom, both brothers, Karyn and me were there. The meal, as a result, was not nearly as huge as it has been in the past (what with ten of us and all). Remarkably, I didn't stuff myself, although I ate plenty. I just don't eat as much as I used to eat. While at home, I spent good quality time with Jon and Karyn, watched several movies (including one even my mom liked), played tennis twice (the second time in the rain) and started a beaning contest. The object was to serve the ball as fast as we could towards the other person's body and hope they don't move fast enough to dodge. Quite fun. Hardly any injuries.

I also got to see Jason this weekend. It has been a little while since we've been able to chat and it was good to see him. He stayed and watched part of a movie with Jon and me, as well.

Let's see. What else? Oh, last weekend, I went to Thatcher and visited Brynne, my good friend. We had a great time. First, we went and had a picnic up on Mount Graham. It got chilly up there, but we went on a long hike and saw the Gila valley lights and had a good talk. Later that night, we went to the Hot Wells, natural hot springs. The sky was clear and full of stars. Just gorgeous (although getting out was a little chilly). The drive to and from the hot wells is long, about an hour, but worth it. Lastly, that night (or rather, early in the morning), we watched a movie we rented. Sunday, as I was leaving to head back to Tucson, I saw an old friend of the family, Brooks Udall. In Tucson, you forget that there are some places you can go and see people you know. Thatcher is one of them. So I talked to him a while, then went to visit the rest of the family. After a nice visit, I drove home. A tiring but enjoyable weekend.

School has managed to keep me very busy and tired. So has my attempt at a social life. I've managed to get both Michelle and Jamie mad at me, so I don't have to many friends in Tucson that do want to talk to me. Hey, that's ok. I haven't much time for that, anyway.

Other than that, things are going great.

11/12/98 - I forgot to mention anything about Halloween, last time I wrote. I dyed my hair blonde again and went as Fred, from Scooby Doo (you know, that wonderful old cartoon about a loveable, if somewhat annoying dog and the gang of dumb humans that followed him around). Fred was the leader of that gang and probably the one with the least personality. I can just hear him saying "Let's split up. Velma, you go with Shaggy and Scooby. Daphne and I will be in the Mystery Machine . . . looking at clues. Yeah."
Anyway, Michelle went as Velma (the red hair was perfect), her sister was Daphne and her brother was Shaggy. To top it off, we had a stuffed dog as Scooby and even a box labeled "Scooby Snax." It was great. We went to a party that night and we got the most attention for our costumes. Several people even took pictures. When I get one developed, I'll have to put it up here.
Saints be praised that we had a break yesterday. Something about veterans or something, I don't know (Just kidding!). All I know is that I needed to be away from school for a while. I have been getting burnt out by the semester. What did I do on this special day off? Nothing. Well, that's not true. I did some studying, playing on my computer, watched a movie, and basically bummed around most of the day. I loved it. Just what I needed. A lazy day.
Let's see, anything else? Well, I talked to Jason on the phone on . . . Monday(?) and Kat on the phone Tuesday. I watched the newest version of "Les Miserables" with my friend Jaime on Tuesday night. It was a good movie, but I don't think it did justice to the story. In some ways, it was too hollywoodized. Oh, well. It was fun. Last night, I went to Michelle's and we hung out for a while. I saw the work she has done out back where the ramada is. I never did put pictures up of it. After the initial structure was completed (which I did a lot of), Michelle has continued working on the area, planting a garden, lining up tiles and cementing them in place for a floor, and now, building a very sturdy work table out there. It looks really good.
Well, that's about it for now.

11/6/98 - For those who still worry, I am healthy now. Doing very well, I think. Except that I had to stay up late all week to study for my history of the middle east class test, which I took this morning and am still not sure if I did very well. *sigh* What can I do?
Anyway, the semester is finally coming to a close. I have one month left and then finals. That will be nice. The weather is finally turning chilly (while the rest of the country is freezing and/or getting snow). There are a string of birthdays in my family at this time of year, including my dad, my brother Michael and Heidi, the one on a mission to Australia. I won't be able to talk to the last two, but the first one, my dad, I was able to talk to on his birthday. We had a good chat and it sounds like he had a good time with the family at home.
I didn't actually end up going to Fall Sing a couple weekends ago. Traffic was terrible leaving Tucson and Michelle and I each thought we were meeting the other at the other's house. Well, we left late. Still had a good time, though. Things seem to have normalized there. We are going out tonight, in fact, to a Howard Jones concert (not a terrible, obnoxious, evil one like I know my parents are imagining as they read this). That will be fun.
Tomorrow, my brother Jon and Sister Karyn will be coming here to visit and hopefully, Jon will be spending the night. I always look forward to spending time with him. Or maybe go down there and spend the night in Sierra Vista and return in the morning. We'll see.
Not much else right now.

10/21/98 - Note: in last time's news, seen below, even as I wrote it, I realized there was no "perfectly" gracious way to say what needed to be said. Any and every word could (and maybe has been) scrutinized, but to what avail?

So, without further ado (or maybe much ado about nothing?), I give you, the news. I'm sick. Really sick. My body can't decide whether it is cold in really hot weather or really hot in cold weather (as in today's case). I have body aches in places I didn't know could ache (can hair hurt?). I feel like an old man right now. Speaking of feeling old, I remember when I could count up my gray hairs as under a dozen. Well, no more. I find that, unless I keep the sides of my head shaved, I have the salt and peppered look. But you know what? I look distinguished (or rather, I would if I didn't still have these braces on my teeth, I mean, really, a man my age!). Speaking of braces, I had an orthodontist appointment today. Things are moving along and my hope is (perhaps I'll be disappointed, but at least I see some kind of end in sight) that these accursed (actually, not really, because I'm used to them by now, but it would still be nice to be done with them) things will come off some day in the relatively near future (barring any unforseen circumstances).
I'm hoping to go to Thatcher this weekend to see some friends and to see EAC's Fall Sing performance. My hopes are two-fold: first, that I am healthy enough to go anywhere (seeing as I've only had the energy to sleep lately), and second, that I have someone to go with me. Michelle might, but it is difficult (understandably, to be sure) for her to spend too much time with me as she adjusts to the change in our relationship.
In other news, did I mention I'm sick? I may be in pain, but at least I have no energy, either.
Enough for now. Tune in next time for more exciting adventures in the life of the boy wonder (hey, I couldn't say "man wonder," because that sounds silly, and heaven forbid anyone accuse me of being silly), me!

Press Release!

10/14/98 - For anyone who wants to know (and you should be asking yourself if it is even any of your business), Michelle and I have decided, after nearly eleven months, to go our seperate ways. We had a long talk last night and felt it was best, for now. Who's to say what the future may hold? We are still friends and I'm going to help her tonight with a paper she is writing. I have nothing but the highest regard and respect for her and have nothing negative to say about our time together.

In other news, I am sick of school. Well, that isn't really news, is it? My classes are keeping me busy, but I'm trying to find time to write. I'm starting to meet other writers and share works with them. Jason came up here last weekend and we got to spend some time together. My brother Jon also came to visit. Karyn was going to, but ended up staying in Sierra Vista.

I don't update the page very often now, because I guess I don't have the same interest I once had. However, I'm trying to get on the ball and will be doing some things with it soon. Honest.

9/23/98 - Well, I had my twenty-fourth birthday on the seventh. I'm old now (or something). It was a good day, punctuated by my spending time with the family, playing tennis with Jon and teaching Karyn the basics. With my birthday money (and then some), I went and bought a new hard drive for my computer. Did I mention I had a computer? Much better than the old piece of junk I had. I spend lots of time on that, but I don't have a modem yet, so I haven't done much on the web page in a while (as any regulars I may have know well). Someone has promised to give me one as a late birthday present, though, so soon . . .
School has been going well enough. LOTS of reading, though. I enjoy my classes. Unfortunately, all my professors thought it would be a great idea to either test me or have me write a paper (or both) at the end of September, so next week will be busy.
Jon and Karyn came up and visited me for a day while my mom was up here in Tucson. The three of us had a grand time.
I'm no longer a blonde. Cut off all that light hair because I was getting sick of the hair I had on the sides and back. The original idea was to cut just that and leave the top (the multicolor effect), but making the transition between the two took way too long, so I just cut it all off. Easier. And I was just getting used to it, too. The good thing is, both times (both when I died it and when I went natural again), I got good comments about how I looked (when you've got it, you've got it).

8/24/98 - School started today. While I wasn't surprised, I confess to being caught unready. I was enjoying the days of lazy hedonism, being able to just hang out and swim and read and play on my computer and stuff. Now I actually have to worry about studying and balancing my time. Ah, well. Anyway, I'm dealing with it well enough, I suppose. I am taking 12 credits right now, while contemplating taking another class to make a grand total of 15. We shall see. My classes are: 1) History of the Middle East, 2) English literature, 3) Literary analysis and 4) Minds, the Brain and Computers (a quasi philosophical cognitive psych class). Should be fun (although the price of the books is not).
Brynne came to visit me this weekend. We went hiking and to a church social (at which she was amazed that guys approached her, an event that doesn't happen at the mostly girl school of Eastern Arizona College). We went swimming later that night (Saturday) and stayed up late talking. It was a fun time.
My sister Debbie came down to visit Arizona for a week, so I got to spend some time with her. Thursday, I went down to Sierra Vista to hang out with the family, and Friday, she came to Tucson and we got some alone time. She and I went hiking, too. Unfortunately, she didn't get to stay in Tucson (or Arizona) for very long, but it was a good visit.
Last Saturday (a week and a half ago), my roommate Joe came home with a box of blond hair dye. He said I should join him. He was just lightening his dark hair a little on top. Well, I went all the way and have blond hair now. I'll put a picture up soon. Yes, you read that correctly. I'm a blonde now. My dad just kind of shook his head and muttered something about my crazy hair, but in general, I've gotten positive comments. Some people liked it especially because I seem so mild mannered and non-wild.
Michelle and I spent a week apart that ended last night. We decided we needed a break from each other to reevaluate our relationship. We had a good long talk last night and things are cool.
Guess that's enough for now.

8/11/98 - The summer has gone way too fast. That's all I can say. A lot has happened and obviously, I haven't kept up on my page. First off, the most recent news. My friend Lisa Ballentine is now married (can't recall for the life of me her new last name) and her husband, Vinnie, was baptized this Sunday. I gave a talk on baptism beforehand. It was a very special occasion, despite the major monsoon storm outside. Pretty exciting, actually.
Michelle and her family left for a week to be in Idaho and Utah and such. I missed her greatly, but kept myself amused with my new computer. No modem in it yet, so I still have to use the school computers. We shall see how the money situation goes. I installed a CD Rom in it and a sound card by myself. It's fun, teaching myself all this stuff (kind of like how I taught myself to make a web page . . .)
Just how did I afford this new computer? I got both a Pell Grant and a scholarship, which left me with some surplus money. No, I don't try to spend it as fast as I can, but I've been needing a new computer for a while. This was a good investment, I think. Plus, I've still been able to save some. For the first time since I've been home from my mission, I am not entirely hurting for money. But I'm no rich man.
Been trying to get back into writing again but it is hard. It's summer and it's hot and I'm difficult to motivate right now. We'll see.
My brother Jon came to visit me a week and a half ago. We swam, played tennis (I still beat him, but he's getting better each time we play), looked at music stores, watched a movie, and just had a fun time male bonding and stuff. You know, it's nice to have a brother I can do things with now. The kid towers over me by a couple inches, but I can still wrestle him to the ground.
My sister Liz came down to visit. She has been staying in Idaho for the summer (where her husband is from), but really lives in New Jersey. She brought her darling girl, Hannah. Hannah was a little scared of me (men in general do that to her), but we were eating something at the table and she and I began showing each other the food in our mouths (hey, she's not yet two)(I think), and after that, all was kosher. Liz and I got to chat for a while and I went to Sierra Vista twice to visit while she was there.
My oldest sister, Christina, had a birthday recently. I called her up that night and we chatted for about an hour. She is a good sister and someone I've always looked up to.
My friend since seventh grade, Jason Cook, is coming down tomorrow to hang out with me for a short while. He and I are both writers (the common bond between us, although he is more active than I right now). I can't understand why he still lives in Sierra Vista, but he likes it there. He recently went to Oregon on vacation and hopefully will show me pictures tomorrow.
The ramada that Michelle and I are working on is almost done, although lately, she's been doing most of it. Right before she left on vacation, she and I put the roofing on it. Since then, she's been putting tiles on the ground and making a garden and things like that. We could have finished it a long time ago, but we only work on it when we feel like it. Will have pictures when it's done (just because I can).
A week and a half before Michelle left for Idaho, she, her sister Lynnette and their friend Phoebe and I all went down to Rocky Point, Mexico, again. It was really nice there. Except the humidity. It threatened to rain much of the time (but didn't, because Rocky Point only gets three inches of rain a year). we found a beautiful and calm beach where we spent much of the weekend. I had goggles and went diving for shells and stuff. It was sooooo much fun. Afterwards, we felt so dirty and smelly and desperately needed showers, so we rented a hotel room (we slept on the beach the first night, although I technically didn't sleep). We showered and took a long nap (mine longer than most; everyone else actually slept at least a little). That night, the power in the hotel went out. It was a newer hotel that, as far as I could tell, wasn't even finished yet. Probably rented out rooms to pay for the completion of it's construction. The shower got plugged up and almost flooded the bathroom, too. Pretty fun stuff. It was so hot for that couple of hours before they got the power back on. Anyway, it was an enjoyable weekend.
My childhood friend, Dan, has called recently with his new circumstances. Seems he's finally found a girlfriend worthy of him. Only one problem: they got together at the end of the summer and she's about to go to Idaho for a school year. *sigh* Is it unfair or what? But that doesn't seem to concern either of them very much. I mean, they'll miss each other, but nothing will change between them (that's the plan, anyway).
Major storms have been hitting this area. Pretty exciting, if you ask me. I love the monsoons. Gives us a break from the 100 plus temperatures around here. Not much more to tell here, but this was already a long one. I'll stop now.

7/6/98 - Had a good July 4th weekend. Relaxed for a good portion of it. Saturday, I went with Michelle to Lake Patagonia and had a little adventure there. Read about it here. Yesterday, I was called to be the Elder's quarum executive secretary for my church. It will be official next Sunday. Next Saturday, my sister, Elizabeth, will come and visit for the first time in a year. She's bringing her daughter, Hannah, too. Unfortunately, my brother-in-law cannot come with them. The monsoons are officially here, so we're getting rain just about every day now. Pretty exciting. I'm sick of these hot days. Don't care if it is a dry heat; it's hot. Now, with the rains, it cools off for a couple hours, then the rest of the day, it is muggy and nasty. Humidity is evil!

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