Thursday, August 28, 2008
I'm back in school and I think I'm going to LOVE it. I am taking classes that interest me, aside from Biology.... (who knows? I may become keenly interested in that as well). I have been uber stressed about whether or not I should withdraw from school and concentrate on saving up money for my move to Guam in January, or if I should go to school ('cause I realllllly wanted to) and spend a semester saving up in order to be able to move to Guam. I was also considering staying back from Guam, because I'm really excited about school. Anyway, Now I can do both (thank you, Dad) and I am now really excited for both, and really optimistic.
Biology 1010 (all about frog guts or something)
Raquetball (PE credit)
Intro to Theatre (all things to do with stage production)
Digital Media Essentials (multimedia software; web design, video, photo, sound, flash animation)
Script and Text analysis (the nitty-gritty of storytelling)
so... 14 hours. not bad and I think I will love this semester. I still intend to go to Guam in January... unless something big changes before then. I plan to make a documentary of wildlife on Guam. I am going to try to get a marine rig for my camera so I can take it scuba diving, but those things cost more than my camera did. This semester I hope to learn some skills to help me in developing my portfolio, I also think I will learn some major important techniques for writing, so I hope to finish a script before the end of 2009.
now.... to buy books and such.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I know I've blogged before about my "new outlook" on religion... I have realized that everyone can find the answer they want. And I feel that the answer that I have gotten was a direct result of the attitude I have had. I have said I have no animosity toward the church or it's members. But that is probably less true that I have let on. I have been fed up with mormon culture for a looong time. And I feel that there are many things about the church that have become common practice, though not actual principles of the gospel. I have allowed this aversion to misinterpretation to affect the way I hear or see the good intentions of those around me, and in turn, this has affected my views of the church as a means and not an end. I have had an eye peeled for examples to prove my point that the church has many flaws, I am now realizing that these are not inherent flaws, but rather inadvertent missteps by its members, who deserve a little forgiveness for their humanity.
Anyway, coming to accept that I have not thoroughly examined these things has been a difficult thing to do, But also exciting in a way. I realize that I have had a bias, and other logical errors that make me eager to reattempt. One if the things that has complicated the process of deciding to give the church another try, is that I have recently become involved with someone to whom the church is very important. I have been hesitant to say "yes, I'll go to church.. even though I feel I have found irreconcilable differences with it" and this has led to discussions about the church between us which showed me those fundamental attribution errors that I have made about the church and its members.
I don't want to do anything for the wrong reasons. Especially when it involves someone else. So I took a long hard look at whether or not it was worth it to me to try Church again, for myself... not with regards to my relationships with others. I have decided that it is worth it to me. though I'm sure some will say that I have decided to go back to church to please and appease a girl... and it may seem that way, but it is because this girl has been involved in my introspective, philosophical, religious and spiritual exploration. but the choice is mine, for me.
I have also been trying to decide whether or not to go to school this semester. I didn't make up my mind until today (The first day of classes --a little late, huh?). It's crazy to thing that I had made up my mind to be proactive and take care of my financial aid paperwork before summer classes even started (I didn't go over the summer, but I wanted to get a jump on the application process). I have run into some major issues. first of all, I am under the age of 24, which means that I must have my parent's tax information on my Financial Aid application. Now, I think this is one of the dumbest things... I havent lived at home for nearly 6 years now. And thought my parents have done a lot to help me out, I don't think they consider me their dependent. I suppose time flies when you're having fun. This has been a really relaxed summer for me, and I guess getting financial aid kinda slipped down the list of priorities for me. but at any rate, I never got that information, partially because I didn't want to continue hassling my parents for their information, and partially because I was pretty sure it wouldn't be forthcoming anyway. My dad said he could find that information, but that he thought it would be bad for me. My mother emailed my sister to ask her if she had her tax info, and sent me a copy of the email.... that was all I ever really heard from her. And it seems somewhat like the forwarded copy of the email, to me was to wash her hands of responsibility for the task by showing that she had done her part in asking for it. maybe not, but it confused me to get a copy of an email to someone else without anything directed to me in the email. so it seems like more of an insurance thing.
So, today was the first day of class, and I decided to stay in bed. I wasn't sure if I would be able to go to school, and I was really tired. So I decided that indecision would be my choice. However, when I got up this afternoon, I began thinking of how much I really wanted to go to school this semester, and I decided to ask my dad for his tax information.
My dad told me that he would rather just shell out the cost of my tuition than go through all the red tape of dealing with the IRS and running the risk of getting no financial aid in the end.
I'm really grateful for that. I can now be excited for school, as well as be excited to move to Guam next year. the two can both become realities! So, my inclination to avoid my problems by pretending they don't exist... it didn't work, I'm just glad that I don't have to spend a year making up for my summer of procrastination.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I should have known.
I can't help but think I must be doing things all backwards. I make these choices, and I am resolved to them. But then for some reason I will sabotage myself. And afterwards, while I lay totally discombobulated, disoriented and confused by my own behavior, I suddenly realize how my plan was set to fail from the start. I don't know how to explain it. I guess I'm really good at not considering things that may deter me from what I want, because to consider them would to be to consider failure and I really don't want to do that.... hence.... psshh.
Okay now I'll give you more specifics, my dearly confused reader. Fairly recently I told my Bishop that I was done with the church. I was really straight forward with him about my reasons, and he was very reasonable about it. He has this genuine concern for me. And it seems like after the conversation, he seemed confident in me and my plans. He praised my honesty with him and myself, told me that (for what it's worth) he would pray for me. And he told me that he was sure I would find my way, one way or the other. Then he asked me if I wanted a calling and I accepted, but that's a different story.
Since that time, I haven't been to church, I haven't read my scriptures, I haven't fasted or prayed, I haven't... Yeah, I'm not practicing.
At the same time, I haven't started drinking, I haven't smoked (okay, herbal cigarettes for film props... but they are NASTY) I haven't fornicated, I haven't gone off the deep end. I'm just being good on my terms, instead of by the terms of an organized religion. I acknowledged that I was still going to be living in Utah, surrounded by practicing mormons. And I thought 'know what... that's going to be a problem for you, Evan' and this is why.
I like girls. but not very many. I have liked girls who are non-LDS, I have liked a couple who are, but in choosing to be inactive, I was also choosing not to get involved with someone who is active. How could I expect someone who loves the church to love me, too? It's not fair. At the risk of sounding like an egotistical ass, I think I have something that many many many mormon boys don't have, so it has happened before that girls who have "RM" on their checklist end up being attracted to me.
But why can't I make the choice easily to not pursue LDS girls? I like LDS girls. LDS girls are good people, people I want to be around. But how? I don't agree with what they believe...
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
I got a problem. I like doing fun stuff. Fun stuff costs me money. I should be saving that money to realize a bigger goal.
Also, fun stuff cuts into my working time. I would MUCH rather be having fun (even sleeping) than working, and with my new working arrangements (work when I want to) I find it hard to commit to work when there are so many things I would rather prioritize.
Seems like I'm having some trouble keeping my eye on the prize. I know I'm going to need a LOT of money to make a smooth transition to island life. I guess I feel like it's far enough away that I don't need to consider it in my immediate decision making.
I have a couple of ways of rationalizing my spending that make absolutely NO sense.
first, if I happen to find say... 20 dollars. then I feel justified spending a little extra money. That makes sense right? I can splurge and eat out, or I can go bowling with friends.... $20 extra bucks to be spend however I want! But, I spend that 20 dollars several times. I will spend it one week on bowling and the next week, when friends are going to Olive Garden or something, I think "oh yeah, I found that 20 bucks... I can afford it!" knowing full well that I have already made a purchase based on that exact reasoning. Dumb. A recent example of this is when I cashed out my coin jar/goldfish bowl and had a little more than 50 dollars.
Another thing I do is refrain from spending. This always catches up with me. I will forgo a trip to Taco Bell or "Cafe West", and cite this as justification for spending 15 bucks later. even though I would be hard pressed to spend HALF that amount on food at either of those places for some reason I think it's money I can spare all of the sudden.
If I set my mind to it, I can pinch pennies like nobody's business. But every once in a while I start getting this urge to splurge, and I feel like I deserve it, or earned it rather. Anyway, starting next monday, I intend to stop eating out, stop making those "little" $5 purchases (5 times a day) and start being as frugal as possible. Hopefully I will qualify for some financial aid this fall.. checkin' on that in the morning!
Saturday, August 9, 2008
I found this really old, fictitious story I wrote over 3 years ago that I never finished.... I dunno where it was supposed to go... I only wrote it because I was able to maintain a sort of lucid dream as I wrote it in which I didn't have to consciously move the story forward, but I could explore my surroundings very vividly.... dunno if that makes any sense.
I wait for the hissing that would announce a complete stop, and a completed leg of my little trip. I'm getting off here. The bus rocks slightly --like a boat-- with the shuffle of my fellow passengers, as we filed onto the curb one by one. The misty air stings my eyes as I looked east. No the light stings, and the mist amplifies the light. But I take little time to observe my surroundings. Why grow close to something I am leaving behind? Now I trudge up the slight incline toward the light. as I watch my feet, my steps grow shorter, I develop temporary destinations to attain, A light pole - posters scattered among the tacks and nails, "lose weight!" ...but I don't need to. "Make money while you sleep!" ...but I can't. 'Call me now for your free reading!" ...Sorry, but I don't care for fairy tales.
A new center of focus, the window of New Delhi Sandwiches, "Help Wanted."... Amen. "100% Natural herbal remedies." not my cup of tea. "ORDER TO GO" how had I missed this one? That's my bag, baby... but I've got to run.
Now around the corner and toward the steps. Going down. I am inconsiderate and I don't care, as I barge by those who are less sure of their footing. Relax people I'm a professional! I reach the bottom almost a full second before the next guy, I'm making good time. I Pass the water fountain- greening with age. Yet the figures are children at play, how is that? ...must be the fountain of youth.
I arrive at the place and sit, I sit on the place- a dilapidated park bench that had seen at least four decades. It bears the etchings of a thousand different people, characters, individuals. yet one marking was not so unique from another. they, as a whole, were nothing special, why then, would someone labor so hard to make their niche. It blends into a pattern so easily ignored. I couldn't stop myself, my pen.
when I finished my masterpiece it had a sparkle that stood out from the rest, still wet. I had made my point. Tomorrow it will fade like the others.
I suddenly wonder why it was so important to come to this place, but when I think about it, it wasn't that I needed to come here per se, but to get away from the familiarity of my dim and depressing dorm, it would probably not be so intolerable to a stranger, but experience takes the shine out of the light, when I stay to long in one place it is a real enough fact that the floor creeps up and the ceiling sinks down... and most definitely the walls move in. So, I've taken a break, I'm taking the time to address what is always at the forefront of my mind, but always blurred by the fact that I just am, sometimes I get overwhelmed by the fact that theres no way not to be- just to think. I will always hear, and always see, even with my eyes closed. so I change where I "am". now, what is on my mind? ....
...sorry my mind drifted. but I'm back... there is a Frisbee in the air, a dog on the ground, between them a field of attraction that anyone can recognize as a universal concept... and the universe will bring them together without fail. if the universe was fair and consistent it would have brought her to me, Why then, is she not seated by my side? I know there is a reason why. Could it be that she is not my Frisbee? it seems total nonsense to consider, but I try, when I resurface from within, I see the dog is gone and the day is abroad. The sun pushes at the shade from a weeping willow, and it is relenting. I make a timeless comparison. She is my sunshine. that is to say, my world revolves around her, and she is a billion miles away.
If I stay here much longer the pigeons will think I'm a recent addition to the bench. time to move. the sidewalk is slick where its not jagged and cracked, years of foot traffic have taken all irregular bumps from the surface. when I consider all the weight that has passed over it, one person (or two) at a time, I wonder how far the concrete has been mashed into the ground, bit by bit, pound by pound. Squirrels are darting about, congregating at the base of the larger trees in the park, I wonder if they actually communicate, I'm sure they could, but the question of whether they actually do arises when I consider that none of them seem to listen to the others, they concentrate so hard on what they have to say that they spare no time for silence, they could be an evolved species by now if they would just listen and cooperate.
Theres a gazebo set back in the shelter of a thick of trees, its smooth painted wood surface strongly contrasting the dark, rough bark of its surroundings. inside there is a couple, whispering. are they discussing a secret? thier secret to love? I shortly contemplate the possibility of eavesdropping from without the building. stealing some knowledge. but I know better, and I question the fact that such a impulse even entered my head. I keep walking, my posture a little less proud.
Monday, August 4, 2008
they are called Black Kids, and they sound so much like The cure I can't believe they aren't being sued for copyright infringement. but then again they have some of their own sound in there.
my favorite songs, Look at Me When I Rock With You, Hurricane Jane, and Hit The Heartbrakes
My little brother is in town for a week, I haven't seen him in 3 years, and now he's almost at tall as me. He still has the same mannerisms as he had as a 10 year-old, except now in a more awkward 14 year old body. He has the same laugh, only now he doesn't have such a squeaky voice, in fact it's kinda a creepy low voice, but i guess I've gotten used to it. My older brother lives up the block from me and he has a boat, so today the 3 off us went out on Utah Lake... after 3 attempted launches we gave up, the boat kept threatening to overheat, and on the last run it started burning oil something fierce, we decided to call it quits. Instead, we went and tubed the Provo River again (we took him Saturday as well) this time it went much faster, and no one dragged bottom.
My older brother works nights so I set up my hammock in my room for my little brother to sleep in. Since there was nothing good in the dollar theater, we went and played Pool at Ozz for about an hour. I didn't ask if he knew the rules... but he didn't break any so I guess he does. Gave him some pointers, I'm pretty much broke right now, so I didn't want to get any food there, but afterward, on the way home we grabbed some slurpee's at 7/11. Been a while since I played pool, and probably as long since I had a 7/11 slurpee.
Nothing big to report this time around. I am establishing some contacts in Guam, hopefully I can have some friends by the time I arrive, hopefully I can even find a roommate, and someone who can refer me for a job or somethin'.
Till next time!
Sunday, August 3, 2008
I don't know exactly what to say... I'm making a big change in '09. Ever heard me talk about the Gypsy in me? I feel like I was destined to live with my livelihood and possessions able to pack and leave at any moment. I have been conflicted with following that lifestyle and "securing my future" by staying put for long enough to do things in an orthodox manner. Ever since I can remember, I wanted to live in California.... Now I can't imagine making that work for me (not that this point in my life). I came to Utah looking for --don't laugh-- some diversity(okay you can laugh) but I didn't realize I was coming to the single most exclusive society in the nation. Maybe things would be different in SLC, but it seems like everyone is either a lover or a hater around here. I was just looking for somewhere with a lot of people, expecting for diversity to follow. But I think Mormonism is kind of a blanket identity that is woven into everyone's existence and seems to squelch any real diversity in people's personality. I guess I liken Mormon culture to Kudzu in the South. Kudzu was brought to the south to provide vegetation to the area, something for cattle to eat I think. anyway, the plant took over the place, permeating the countryside and choking out all the other types of plant around it. Mormon culture is like a creeping ivy. It envelopes the area until its all you see... Sure, there may be a great variety of trees/people, but they are covered in kudzu/Mormonism so thats all you're ever going to see. Driving down 51 in Memphis you don't see any variety in scenery, in Provo, you don't see any variety in culture.
So. you guessed it, I need out. I was doing okay here because I was feeling good about going to school and accomplishing something. I've made it here this long because I made myself stay put in order to get 2 years of residency so I could enroll in school at UVSC. I was actually looking forward to this fall semester because I think I may actually enjoy school. Last semester was my first, and I had no idea what to expect... and I hated being blindsided by things that everyone else took as a given, this coming semester was going to be great because I now know how school works, what teachers expect, how to register for classes, setting up a schedule that allows me to have some free time... hell, I'm even getting financial aid this time around (hopefully)!
But just as I was getting comfortable, someone got me thinking about moving. When that happens I fixate on the idea and really nothing else can distract me from it. Suddenly my great rent rate wasn't that great. School seemed like an obligation, Utah seemed like a cage.
I'm going to try to keep this short. I hear it gets boring to read my blogs when they go too long.
After a lot of research and pondering I decided to try to leave the continent. I knew a girl from Ecuador a long time ago, she told me it was the greatest place in the world and I got kinda enamored with it from all of her stories. Ever since I have wanted to live in Ecuador, and learn spanish, ride a turtle around, learn about another culture and maybe even help them out by building an orphanage or something. It seemed like a great experience and I have been planning to make it happen for over 6 years now... and I have made no progress. In fact, I realized recently that I have enjoyed the dream of going to Ecuador much more than I ever would enjoy the reality of going, I haven't even really done much research on the country, maybe out of fear that I would become disillusioned to it.
So I'm moving to Guam. I was browsing through Craigslist, looking through all of the states looking for a viable option/alternative to Utah. right in the middle of them I saw Guam. "Guam? what the heck..." I started doing my research on the island and I can't explain... it felt like exactly where I have always wanted to live. I read stories from the residents, and even when they are complaining I can tell they have an immense love for the place. Even the ones who "got out" recount the experience with fondness. I read up on their economics, the culture, the pros and cons of being secluded from the mainland... I feel like I have exhausted my sources for new information but I continue to scour for it, and find it. I can't hear enough about it!
Don't think that this is some infatuation with the idea of leaving the country. I am pretty much dead set on my plan.
here it is.
1. Work and go to school this semester at UVU. This will give me time to find connections, iron out the details of what I need to do to get there, save up money, wrap up my obligations here, get another semester of school under my belt, find an exchange program that will allow me to start a new semester at the University of Guam in Jan '09 so I don't have to wait and waste an entire year (getting residency/tuition) before I start going to school out there. I also intend to get a job as a bartender here in Utah (I think there are a couple of bars around here... mostly I guess I'm going to just learn how to mix a ton of different drinks, but some time behind the bar would help exponentially) and in Guam, work in a hotel bar. (their main hustle is tourism for Asians).
2. In January, move out to Guam. Start school under an exchange program and get some generals out of the way. Get a job and a mode of transportation (probably a dual sport motorcycle and later, a car). Housing is relatively cheap out there, so I will probably find a place a little bigger than I need, that way you can have a place to stay when you come visit, and I 'll have room to do what I want.
3. Like I said, I will probably work in the tourism/hotel industry since that is their main source of income. If not, I will get a government job - possibly with the Forestry dept.
4. I will be taking my video camera. I intend to make a documentary on the subject of the Invasive snake species there, the Brown Tree Snake, which has had a tremendous impact on the natural eco system of the island(though they are nocturnal, and therefore not a prominent issue to life on Guam, there are over 5000 snakes per square mile on the island).
5. I will probably be there for 3 years or more. If I am able, I intend to buy a house there. Housing is cheap for now, but it's about to start going up in the next couple of years due to the influx of military previously stationed in Okinawa.
6. I intend to live life on my terms. I am not running from anything. I am running to the thing that makes me happy.
I'm not done wandering, I'm doing this all while I still have it in me to do, and when I am too tired to continue I may settle down and do the whole "grown up" thing. but for now, I'm taking advantage of the fact that I have no obligations to anyone but myself.
"I got no strings to hold me down, to make me fret, to make me frown...."
I will be keeping you all posted on this. I haven't gotten too detailed in this initial post because I have already run longer than I should. More details to come. I'm sure in the meantime you will be asking me "why guam"... maybe I'll make that a post of its own.
Thanks for reading,