29 June 2006

i'm all lost in the supermarket

there's an area near the supermarket check-out counters where all intelligence goes to pot. it's like the Bermuda Triangle for common sense and reason. even if you are not drawn into actually buying something off the shelves stocked with candy, magazines, tabloids, horiscopes, travel-size tissues, mini flashlights, Armoral wipes, giga pets, etc. you stare at the plethora of impulse buys with a sort of hypnotic interest. all of a sudden someone turns the volume down on everything and you find yourself thinking of times when a little can of Static Guard would be useful. or you can't take your eyes off the magazine featuring the most popular pregnant celebrities. who gives a rip if the older gentleman in front of you can't figure out which way to swipe his debit card? did you know you can get a bag of 100 straws for a dollar? the three-year-old twins screaming about gum in the cart behind you only draw your attention away for a moment, then it's back to a small plastic tub of gummi bears or the newest version of the Reeses peanut butter cup.

out of no where it's your turn to interact with the cashier. somehow all of your things have been placed on the conveyor belt and are now being scanned and bagged and pretty soon you're going to have to gather together enough brain power so you can figure out which way to swipe your own debit card. you reluctanly look away from the bold headline that reads, 'HUMAN MOTHER GIVES BIRTH TO ALLIGATOR BABY' and offer a shy 'hi there' to the cashier. like blood rushing to a limb that's fallen asleep, you slowly but surely become your regular self and the noise of the supermarket once again registers in your ears. the transaction is completed and soon you're off to the parking lot forgetting most, if not all of what was once your entire world...

and in the next visit to the supermarket you'll go through it again. almost every time.

24 June 2006

greasy burger

summer time is also burger time. here's how:
  1. buy lean ground beef
  2. make a personalized patty by hand with garlic salt & black pepper
  3. grill over hot charcoals, add and melt (sharp cheddar) cheese if desired
  4. serve on a substantial bun (no Western Family or Wonder) with
  5. ketchup, brown mustard, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles
  6. and if you have them, sauted mushrooms
  7. and if you really want to make it a kicker, skip the sharp cheddar and add crumbled bleu cheese
and of course along side the burger serve watermelon, under-mayoed potato salad, salt & vinegar chips, and rootbeer. that's a good summer eve'nin'.

19 June 2006

Mormon Miracle Madness

it's mid June in Sanpete County and Pageant - as it is fondly called here - is in full swing. this year is special. it marks the 40th season of the pageant and attendance is expected to be up two percent compared to last year... this is big.

the Mormon Miracle Pageant involves nearly everyone in the county. sign up sheets for try-outs are passed around in April, hours of preparation are volunteered by folks of all ages, the Sanpete Messenger sends out a complimentary 'Pageant Issue' to every household with several full-color photographs, and this morning i heard our neighbors leave for Manti at quarter after six and they usually don't get home until well after eleven... this is huge.

the first time i saw the Manti Pageant was two summers ago and even though my bum was numb half way through the show, it was a spectacle to say the least. now, my honest opinion is this: the show itself is too long and quite awkward though it does have its moments of dramatic genius. i'd try to describe more of it for you but you really should see it for yourself - for the experience if nothing else. i have no desire to see it again and in a lot of ways it seems as silly and unnecessary as another reality show about the making of a boy band. but i must say that while the pageant is ridiculous, way over the top, and may even teach false doctrine (according to some of the Christian Fellowship websites i've visited) it brings this community together like nothing i've seen for a long time - i mean, we're talkin' hundreds of people here. i'd say that's a good thing. and for that i'm willing to let it dazzle itself - and its spectators - to death. lots of people say they like it. why argue? it's summer time. let's go get some ice cream or a snow cone or somethin'.

13 June 2006

insert thumb here

this summer i'm working at a service ranch for the fourth year in a row. when i tell people this, one of the first questions they ask me is if it's a camp for troubled youth. afterall, if it's not girls/scout camp it must be a reformation program for wayward kids who need the evil dried out of them (hence the eight-day desert hikes with nothing but a bottle of water and a fist full of peanuts). but on the contrary, the ranch i work for is neither boondoggled nor butt-kicking and if the kids are troubled, it's only in as much as all youth are troubled.

this ranch is located on eighty acres of juniper forest near the Wastach Plateau and most days it's pretty hot and dusty. that means my nose has to do more filtering and that means more boogers - the kind you can't ignore. now i was brought up by goodly parents who taught me to refrain from picking my nose in public. it's an ugly and offensive habit. but i've noticed that several people have found a way around this all-but-universal rule... and that is the thumb-pick. indeed, the thumb is the key!

for some wonderful reason picking one's nose with one's thumb, while it's not admirable, is permissible and therefore it happens quite often in public - even church. so now that i'm filtering all of this dust and making lots of tar-boogers in the midst of the campers and my fellow staff members, i find myself thumb-picking on a regular basis. i honestly don't know if this is okay or if i'm really embarrassing myself (and my mom if she could see me). i admit i feel a little sheepish sometimes when i thumb-pick but other times i don't even realize i'm doing it until i'm well under way.

i guess the most important thing to keep in mind is nosebleeds. even if it really is just an arid climate issue, people are still going to wonder if i was picking my nose.

05 June 2006

a public service announcement

summer is in full swing and that means it's time to get comfortable (nothing's worse than a sweaty back).


it is not okay to go driving in your car without a shirt on.
that goes for everyone.

thank you.