Sunday, March 30, 2008

Nylon Woman

You talk too much - she says and lets her head drop, her hair barely concealing the upturned corners of her red-rimmed mouth.  The whites of her teeth shine through her bangs as rays pushing through the clouds, teasing.

I may talk too much, but you - are so beautiful, you have to know that I feel this way.  What haven’t I done right?

I what? - a simple question.

You don’t say enough - a  complicated answer.  He does talk quite a lot, but he doesn’t realize it.  It’s almost always the next day when he remembers telling her about everything he’s done, and all that he’s going to do, but can’t remember a single thing she said to him.  I was just answering her questions, I wanted to be thorough.  I ask questions, right?  Why wouldn’t I?  And so he tortures himself, with good reason of course, because he does ask too many questions.

Just yesterday, at the dinner table with his family on a Sunday.

How is the market? - his mother asks, even though she had just visited him yesterday to  pick up a few “groceries” and left with a bottle of Vermont maple syrup.  She has fixed pancakes, eggs, bacon, and toast for dinner on this particular occasion, and placed the bottle of Vermont maple syrup, label out, directly in front of his plate.  She had bought the most expensive bottle available, sure that the money spent would impress her son and somehow make it directly into his pocket.

It’s great, just great - he pauses, continues - You know, I’ve been considered for a promotion.

Oh? - His father sets down his fork, leaving a pice of egg trapped against a syrupy soaked pancake.

And he goes on to tell his parents all about what has been happening with his job, his apartment, his close friends.  They have so many questions, and he doesn’t hesitate to answer each in full.  He leaves that day feeling as if he has truly impressed his parents, that their boy is growing up to be someone responsible.  And so it surprises him to hear her ask about his parents; how they are, what they’ve been involved in, how their health is.

My parents?  Why? - he asks, remembering that she had met his parents, though only once, on accident.  This is good, she’s asking me more questions, she wants to know more about me.

Did you have dinner with them yesterday?

Oh, yeah.  They looked good.  It was just nice to see them.  I think they really miss me; you know, I don’t go home very often.  It’s just weird to go back there when - she’s cutting me off.  What’s wrong now.

There, you’re doing it again.  Turning it around - and she begins to turn around as if to leave.

I emit a quick Wait!, and grab her arm.  She turns back

What am I turning around, what? - And he honestly doesn’t understand her.

Everything comes back to you, always.  Your parents may know you, but you really can’t say the same about them - she says in desperation.

Alright, so - he slows down to think - Can you wait here for one moment? - he asks her and turns to walk away.

She has grown tired of putting up with him and his vanity, but she waits, knowing that it would hurt him for her to leave.  It’s not always conversation and ignorance; sometimes they do things together.  The kinds of things that you would like to remember and not let go easily.  And she also knows, deep down inside where her own vanity lies, she can help him come out of it.

He walks to the end of the walkway where they have located themselves in the park.  This intersects Greenleaf avenue, where several covered benches hold people waiting for the next bus.  Next to the benches, a nylon woman slows her bike and steps off, pulling a small bag off of her shoulders.  He steps forward to the nylon woman in an attempt at conversation between strangers.

She is still waiting back at the beginning, near 30 yards, exactly where he hopes she will stay I hope she waits for me, it might mean that she really does like to be around me if she’s still there when I get back. Looking on as the nylon woman talks to her with his hands, she convinces herself that this is good.  That what he is doing, whatever it might be, is good, has to be good, because this nylon woman is smiling, with her nylon covered plastic helmet.

The only thing that the nylon does not cover is her wizened face, and he looks into it as he asks her a series of questions.  Nylon woman answers succinctly, taking long drinks of water between each yes, no, or barely longer string of words that she lets him have.  When his barrage of questions continues, she seals her water, reaches in her bag, and pulls out another bottle.

I have a spare, here - nylon woman says and hands him her extra bottle of water.

Oh, you don’t have to - he says. Why would she give me her water, she’s the one riding the bike.

Don’t - she interrupts - Just drink.

And he does.

When he arrives at the spot where she was standing, he is the only one there.  She has already left.  He waits three minutes, checks his watch, and leaves with the empty water bottle in his right hand.

Back at her house, she hears a knock on the door, which is unlocked.

Come in - she says, while keeping her eyes on her book - It’s unlocked.

Hey - he says as he steps into her room.  She is so beautiful, even now, maybe even more so with her glasses and the way that her hair is right there.  You were gone, and though... I knew you might be.  Where did you go? - he asks.

I just came here - and she sets down her book.

Did you walk the whole way? - he asks.

Yes - she says - It was nice.

Have you eaten yet? - he asks

My mother and I shared two sandwiches, half and half - she says, with the motion of her hand landing perpendicular on her other, cutting through the air.  She laughs with herself and looks up at him, placing her glasses on the book, brushing hair out of her face, smiling.

How is your mother? - he asks Did you see the nylon woman?

She is great - as her smile grows - She asked about you.  I told her everything.  What’s with the water bottle? - she adds, as if it’s the only thing she doesn’t understand about him.

Did you see the nylon woman? You must have seen her - he asks - She asked about you.

Oh? - she questions - And what did you tell her?

I told her I’d have to get back to her - he says.

What do you need to know? - she says, and leans forward.

I need to know that you saw the nylon woman, that she was beautiful, and everything she said about her family and we shared the water and she knew everything about me through the questions, and not through the answers.  I need to know that you will let this become something that you can give yourself to.  I need to know who and what and how you are.  I need to know exactly what you need to do to be you, and how I can be by your side.

I need to know how I can be by your side.  Can I be by your side? - he asks.

Friday, March 28, 2008

So Much Drama

I am backstage right now, somewhere in the middle of act two scene three, and everyone is eating trail mix. I had a couple fish tacos with my parents before the show, and Reed and I are planning on getting some pita pit inside our bellies after the show, so I am staying away from the trail mix.

I'm glad that my parents came up today to see the play. I guess it just shows that they love me if they're willing to drive a total of fourteen hours in two days to see me act in a jane Austen play. What great parents I have. Or, "great parents, you have," in Yoda speak.

Act three is coming up. Better go.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I'm Kind Of Busy

Ever since I've come back from Spring Break, I've been busy.

I knew that this week was going to be hectic because of the play, but I didn't realize how tired I would be.  Having Wade here was great too.  I wish I could have hung out with him more than I did, but the play wouldn't let me.

Here's a list of fun things that Wade and I were able to do while he was here though; play basketball at the Rec center, watch a movie with friends, go out to dinner, eat breakfast at the Honker with Kenton, and talk.  It was all great, and it reminded of me of the time when he was here all the time.  If I move to Portland, that may be one of the main reasons...

Tonight was opening night of Pride & Prejudice, and I play the part of Mr. Bennett, the cynical, and yet loving, father of three girls.  I can see a little of myself in  Mr. Bennett, except for whole wife and children thing.  Anyways, tonight went well, and I was proud.  My parents will be there tomorrow, and you should too.  I might try to post a new blog from backstage during act two, who knows.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Takin' It Easy

Reed and I have been relaxing at my house, and it's been great.

I love having time to read, and not worry about school or work.

I also love hockey, and there are only a few games left in the regular season.  I can't wait for the playoffs.

Steak for dinner was good.

This is spring break at its finest.  And sadly, the last spring I'll have for a while.  How's yours?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Sketchy City & The Emerald City

I made a claim to Reed today that we are having the best Spring Break that NNU has seen since we have been students there.  I think I actually meant it.

The day in Canada was one of the better days I've had in the past year.  We walked on sidewalks, drank coffee in coffee shops, read books in book stores, and ate real Canadian cuisine.  Vancouver is a huge city, and it is full of people.  Even though we were there on a Monday, the streets were absolutely packed with people.  And sure, being in large cities can be intimidating, and downright scary at times, but it was even more exaggerated in Vancouver.  Not only were we in a city we had never been to before, but we were in a different country, and we annoyed the Canadians with our American ignorance of their culture.  We left the main downtown area once during the day to go visit a bike shop, and it was definitely a scary experience.  I'm just glad that I wasn't alone, and that I was walking during the day.

Even though we were afraid to upset these people and the natural balance of their lives and city, one person surprised us.

We were looking for parking near the stadium when we first got into town so that we didn't have to walk far after the game, and we ended up pulling into a parking lot a couple blocks away.  To make a long story short, we discovered that they were using it as a lot for a film crew, but the parking attendant (Canadian), realized that we (American) were visiting, and she helped us out.  She gave us an awesome parking spot for free, and then we talked about the hockey game, and we laughed and had a great time.  At the end of the conversation, she said "See, Canadian's are nicer than you think."  It was awesome.

Turns out the movie they were filming was The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, the last movie that Heath Ledger was filming, but now has Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell.


Anyways, the hockey game was amazing, totally amazing, Ryan's house was amazing, this trip has been amazing.

Quick note also:  we spent a few hours in Seattle today with my cousins Sheena and Dawn, and it was a gorgeous day.  We had lunch at a sandwich shop called Specialties, and I loved it.  It was just nice to see my cousins and catch up.

I know this post has been long, but there was a lot to cover, and a lot I even left out.  Now we're in Portland, things should slow down, which is okay with me.  I'll keep you updated.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Northwest Conquest

Reed and I started out yesterday to conquer four of the northwest's major cities in four days.

We were in Boise yesterday.
We're in Seattle tonight.
We'll be in Vancouver, BC tomorrow.
And Portland on Tuesday.

We like to call it the Northwest Conquest, or North Conq for short.

The drive from Nampa went quick, and I discovered that my car begins to shake at 75mph.

Other than that, the only thing you need to know is that I'm staying organized. I have an "important things" bag. It's ziploc, and inside are all of the items in the picture below.

Passport to get into Canada tomorrow.
Two tickets to see the Vancouver Canucks play the Pheonix Coyotes.
Cash for depositing at the nearest bank.
Two recent paychecks. (See above)
Two buttons to be sewed back onto my work shirt.
Trusty Jet Stream pen.

I hope to add more as the trip goes along.

See you in Canada!

Friday, March 14, 2008

To Build A Home

Over the past week, the one thing I have thought about more than any other is home.

I have been listening to a song by The Cinematic Orchestra and Patrick Watson called "To Build a Home" at least three times a day for the last few days.  It is an amazing song.

Although a soft bed with fresh sheets can be comfortable, there are things in this world, instances and ideas that can provide just as much comfort as the feeling a clean bed can.  Certain songs give me this intangible comfort, and To Build A Home is one of those.  Even though it isn't real, and I can't hold it in my hands, I can let this song surround me.

One of my friends once said that whenever she heard a song called "Deliver Me", it made her feel safe.  I kind of mocked her for this, but it was before I had heard "To Build A Home" and felt safe myself.

I had the pleasure of introducing this song to several of my friends tonight.  We turned off the lights in my apartment, laid down on the couches, and just listened for six minutes.  The words about home filled the air, mixed together with the sweeping piano and beautiful string melodies.  And even though I will be at my house in four days, I was home tonight.

I've been thinking a lot about home lately.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Day Like Any Other

Today has been pretty good thus far.  My one and only class was cancelled, so I've just been hanging out and taking it easy.  One thing that was great about today was that I got to go to lunch with Grant, and Grant is fun to talk to.  We haven't had much of a chance to talk since this last summer, so I thought going to lunch would be a good idea.  And it was.  Not just because we got Panda, but because it was good to see how things are going in his life, and to just talk for a while.

I know Grant reads this, so I'm just trying to butter him up a little.  Otherwise, I would have said all of how I really feel about him.  But not really.

Anyways, that was pretty much the only thing I've done today, and now I have to go to work.  I have entirely too much homework to do before tomorrow.  And I have late homework that I haven't even started.  It just builds up and makes me want to do it even less. It's a a bad habit to get into.  So tonight I may just have to pull an all-nighter to get it all done, which is fine, because Spring Break starts tomorrow!  And I am way too excited.

To show you just how excited I am, I want to leave you with this GIF I found online.  It makes me laugh out loud when I'm by myself.  Have a great Thursday.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

This Is For Chad

I just finished reading Slaughterhouse 5 last week. I liked it a lot. I have another book by Vonnegut that serves as his memoirs, kind of. It's called A Man Without a Country. Anyways, one thing I've appreciated about him is his respect for the Bible, more so than any other classic American author I have read. Here's a passage from that book.

"How do humanists feel about Jesus? I say of Jesus, as all humanists do, "If what he said is good, and so much of it is absolutely beautiful, what does it matter if he was God or not?"

But if Christ hadn't delivered the Sermon on the Mount, with its message of mercy and pity, I wouldn't want to be a human being."

Monday, March 10, 2008

Common Moments Best Left Unspoken

Some of the best moments that can be shared between people are those that take place after life-changing events.  When people share these moments together, the kind of moments that you will never forget, it brings about a level of closeness that can be experienced nowhere else.  The connection is made when the group of people is leaving this moment, coming out on the other side of the challenge or trial, and they take the time to share silent reflection.

I have experienced this several times.  When I was a teenager and my dad owned a boat, we would spend hours on the lake or river as a family.  Even though I had a great time riding in the inner-tubes and swimming, the best part of the day was always the drive back to the dock.  If we were on the Willamette river, we might have driven far up river, several miles away from our truck, and it would take fifteen minutes to drive back to the loading area.  During this time, we would wrap our wet legs in beach towels and face forward, letting the wind dry our hair.  As we let the setting sun soak our backs, we would silently share everything with each other.  In my mind, I told my parents that I was happy for the way they raised me at the end of every boating trip.  I told my brother how glad I was that we had each other to rely on.  My parents would tell both of us that they were proud of us, that they would be proud of us no matter what we grew up to do, but they would say it without sound.

I also felt this on the way to my friend's mother's funeral.  The drive to the cemetery took close to 30 minutes.  And although the car was void of talking the entire way, I couldn't imagine being anywhere else at the moment.  As I looked out at the expansive fields of yellow wheat and grain that made up most of the scenery on the way, I drew comfort from the fact that I wasn't alone in how I felt.  Words weren't necessary to create the bond in that moment, and I will never forget it.

Driving home after saying goodbye to a good friend at the airport, watching the news with classmates as two towers collapse, or simply walking from the chapel to your cabin at church camp after an amazing time of worship.  These are the moments that affect lives, that have affected my life.  The closest connections can be made through shared experiences, whether they are happy, or sad, trying, or comforting.  No matter what they are, they are meaningful, and I will never forget them.  I hope sometime this week you can take the time to remember moments like these that have changed your life, and the people that were there throughout it all.

These moments wouldn't exist without those people.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Just To See If It Works

I set up a mail to blog address, so now whenever I am somewhere with only my iPod and no computer, I can still write emergency posts!

So even though I am sitting at my computer right now, I'm wasting time typing this out on my iPod touch. I love technology.

Reppin' and Preppin'

I've decided that if I want to increase the amount of enjoyment I experience at work, I need to try and laugh more.  This has proved to be very easy, because the people I work with do funny things.  They don't walk around making faces or cracking jokes all day long, it's just the things that they say and do normally that make me laugh.

One girl gave a manager a prolonged back rub while he was standing at a computer station.  Funny because I thought about how awkward it would have been if I was in that situation, on either end.
Another coworker referred to Ellen DeGeneres as Ellen Degenerate after quoting her favorite lines from Finding Nemo.  Funny because she thought it was funny.
So many people are sick at work on Saturdays and Sundays because of hangovers.  Funny because I don't have to worry about it, and they bring it on themselves.

But I've found the best way to make myself laugh is to try and always say something positive when coworkers are being negative or trying to include me in gossip or degrading jokes.  Even though I'm being positive and encouraging, it often leaves the other people confused.  Most of the time they just don't expect that response.  I don't want to make it seem as if I think I'm above them in anyway, and so I think I need to find a happy medium between encouragement and sympathy.  The whole thing is just so funny to me.  I love work experiments.

Also, I've been preparing for life after college.  This should be the beginning of a running update.  I'll keep you posted as everything starts to fall into place.  Anyways, I sent an e-mail to an apartment complex nearby about their studios or one bedrooms.  I'm still looking around for someone planning on staying in the area for the summer, and maybe I could bum around with them.  Who knows.  Also, I might get a TV.  Nice.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Late Night Early Morning

"It's 1:30 in the morning.  I was going to work on my resume, but I think I'm just going to go to sleep."

Phil just said this, and I have never agreed with him more.  I have homework due last week.  I own books that haven't been read.  I have "umpteen-million" things to do.  And as much as I love Fridays, this one just needs to end.

Today: (slightly lame, but at least I'm honest)
NHL '07
Lunch: Chicken Caesar Wrap, fermented ketchup
Watch Phil play Madden '07
Skip Class
NHL '07
Open all the windows and cool off
Clean Room
Watch Viral Videos
Watch Reed play Madden
NHL '07
Red Robin: Mozzarella Sticks, Half Mac and Cheese with Chicken, Roy Rogers
Talk to Reed, Chris, Ryan
Lay Around
Observe Day

Observations: More work, less hockey, more healthy food, less immobility.

Starting tomorrow.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

How Do You Do The Right Thing?

I recently started a netflix account, which I share with my roommate Reed.  Not only is it fun to get movies in the mail, but it also puts movies I want to see at top priority in our apartment.  We don't have to argue about which movie to watch because, hey, I just got RoboCop in the mail today, and we should watch it so I can send it back and get RoboCop2!

I actually haven't rented RoboCop, or its sequel.  Yesterday, I sat down with Reed, Ryan, Nate, and Kylee to watch Do The Right Thing.  I rented it because it was highly recommended to me on netflix, and I had wanted to see it for a long time.  I'm glad I did.  I t was a great movie, and I wish Kylee wouldn't have such a bad habit of falling asleep while watching movies, because she missed out.

Do The Right Thing is a film by Spike Lee about one hot day in urban New York.  It follows the lives of the people living on one city block as they try to survive the ever increasing heat and the increasing tension between peace and violence among the many races represented on the street.

The title is hard to decipher, just like the difference between right and wrong in certain situations.  This is pointed out at the end of the movie in the juxtaposition of quotes by Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.  One man claims that we must strive to achieve peace and brotherhood; that the old tradition of an eye for an eye will not stand if we are to become a community.  The other man claims that passiveness is stupidity, and self-defense is intelligence.  The movie leaves it up to the viewer to decide which side they should take if they want to "do the right thing".

Thankfully, I haven't come in contact with much racial tension where I have lived, but I did have an experience yesterday.  I was at Panda Express when a customer in line began to scream at an employee about the origin of their name and whether or not she was "legal".  It reminded me that whether or not I choose to ignore racism based on my situation and surroundings, it still exists.  It's still a problem that needs to be overcome.  I have to agree with MLK, Jr. on this one.  Love will bring us together.

Do we mean that, or do we simply say it and act on the opposite?  There's a lot of love in this world.  There's a lot of hate in this world.  Love.  Hate.  Do the right thing.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

What Else Is There To Do?

Life is coming around to slap me on the back of the head in two months, and I'm not ready for it.  This is an obvious reaction to the end of college, I know, but who really is ready?  I'm ready to be done with school, to end this section of my life, but I don't know how to start the next.

I imagine walking down the street next week and running into someone who will offer me the perfect job, but I'm sure that when next week rolls around, I'll be in the same situation right now.

By the way, the perfect job, in case you didn't already figure it out, would be to get paid to read books for a ridiculously rich person that doesn't have the time to read.  You would read the classics, maybe some new novels, eventually make your way through all of Shakespeare.  Obviously, rich people are extremely busy being rich, but they must stay on top of the intellectual circle.  Therefore, I would be their surrogate eyes, and simply fill them in on all the important details at an established time once a week.  Perfect.  Conversations with friends would go something like this:

"Have you read any good books lately?"  I ask, sincerely.
"No," he/she replies, "I haven't the time to read for pleasure/leisure anymore."
"Oh, how horrible," I say, truly sympathizing with them.  And then I would add, for good measure, "Would you like me to read for you?"

Obviously, my perfect job scenario extends far into the fantastical depths of my mind.  I've just  always had a desire to continue learning even after I may become a "teacher"; I don't want to become stagnant or cynical as I grow older.  It seems to me that reading books may be one of the few remaining remedies for this.

There's a First for Everything

Hello.  This is the beginning of the blog that I have finally decided to start, and hope to keep writing in for a while.  I like to write, so a blog felt like a good thing to have.  This way I can stay up on my writing, and maybe even improve.

But I've already gotten ahead of myself.  I haven't explained what this blog is, or even who I am.  I am Chris, I am nearly a college graduate, and I enjoy things in life which deserve to be enjoyed.  These include, but are not limited to, ice cream, good books, matinees, dance parties, warm days in the spring, cool days in the summer, and coconut macaroons.  I think these are the types of things blogs should be about, and these are exactly the types of things my blog will be about.  I hope you like them as much as I do.

So stick around; I'll be talking about questions, speculations, and insights about life and the rest.  Kind of like a family dinner. (I tried really hard to tie this into the picture above, which my good friend Reed took with his nice camera.)