Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas 2006

I hope everyone had a great Christmas (no PC-ness here!) and was able to enjoy family, friends and the reason we celebrate this time of year.

With the exception of the two-hour delay at LaGuardia causing us to get back to the apartment a little after 1am, our trip to NYC rocked. We stayed plenty busy, played the part of tourist by taking nearly 200 pictures in the six days and hitting the major sites the capitol of the world had to offer. To get a better idea of our adventures with accompanying pics, check out the blog Paula keeps here.

The highlights of the trip for me included (in no particular order):
1) Seeing Les Miserables at the Broadhurst Theatre. It was incredible, to say the least. I’ve seen four Broadway shows now and I rank them in this order: Les Miserables, Wicked, The Lion King, and Phantom of the Opera. I honestly almost got choked up in the last scene – it was that good.

2) Going to Ellis Island. We hit the Statue of Liberty, too, but her torch wasn’t a candle to Ellis Island. Paula hit on it in her post, but there’s something to be said for the feeling of a place where millions and millions passed through to begin a new life.

3) Meeting people. Dave is from South Carolina and headed for an 18 month tour in Afghanistan. He has a daughter who just graduated from college and he’s LDS. That was a cool connection; we met him while grabbing some pizza after putting our name on the 1½ hour waiting list at Serendipity. Nice guy.
Met an ex-NFL player and his family while chillin’ in the lobby of our hotel; they were really nice. He played 9 years in the league, 6 with the Bills as their center. He’s going to law school now and they live in New Jersey.
A couple from Rockdale County at LaGuardia sat across from us as we waited for our flight. Paula Zahn was on CNN with this report about racism in America, the focus on white people being racist towards others (of course there was a clip from the Michael Richards debacle) and how not that much progress has been made since the 60’s. Meanwhile, I’m sitting next to my Hispanic wife having an enjoyable conversation with a black couple.

4) The crowds. You have to take New York in doses and by Day 6 I was ready to get back to the slow Atlanta pace (this from one who hales from a town of 200 in Wyoming. I’ve evolved), but there’s something to be said for being part of the massive hordes of people. I know NYC isn’t even the biggest city in the US, but the throngs and throngs of people all on the street is incredible and something everyone should experience.

5) Being with my wife. I’m not trying to win points here (I did that with the trip and the bracelet from Tiffany’s. I should be set for a while), just stating the facts. Life without hardships is a wasted life; it isn’t the Creator’s divine plan for his children to float through life without challenges and obstacles to overcome. But, if the opportunities present, there should be brief periods when there isn’t a care in the world.

That’s what New York was: no punk kids from dysfunctional families for Paula to worry about, no monotony of work for me; no meals to prepare, no house to keep up; carefully planned budgeting and saving for the past nine months abolished any worry of spending too much money.

It allowed me to reconnect (not that we ever disconnected) with my best friend, remember the wonderful idiosyncrasies that inspired my break up with Abby, quit my job, move to a new state and start this phase of my life. I’m no cockeyed-optimist; I honestly look forward to life’s challenges – they’ve always made be better and the Lord has always seen me through. But it sure is great to be able to step back a enjoy everything I’ve been given.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Happy Birthday... Cyber Commorancy!! It turned 1 on the 13th and what a year it's been. It all started with a suspended license and has culminated with the untimely death of my beloved car - The Buck. How poetic, really: starting with a car I shouldn't be driving to a car I can no longer be driving. It's the circle of life, a wheel of fortune. Where's Simba?
Speaking of my recently expired car, I just want to say thank you to all those who have expressed their condolonces on our behalf. And while there is a sense of loss, let there also be a sense of hope; in this little place we call mortality, our lives pass by as it were unto us a dream and the only thing that remains is the burning flame of memory and the joy that fire radiates. Such is the case with The Buck: though metal and rubber have passed on to that big open road in the sky, the memories shall never leave us (unless we suffer from amnesia or alzhiemers). But I digress...
In the past 12 months, Cyber Commorancy has discussed such topics as football, Halo, an appendectomy, politics, morality, Bode Miller, burglaries, automobile accidents and marriage. I revealed to the world I love to write and am working on a novel; I shouted out to family and friends, games and my old college car. There hasn't been much this little blog hasn't talked about... it's grown up in a hurry. It's had to - such is the world in which we live. But more importantly than topics is the legacy it has established.
Cyber Commorancy is a pioneer of sorts. I'm not saying it's a revolutionary as Al Gore and his invention of the Internet; however, it's led the way to a blog revolution. My wife has a blog, her sister Natalie has a blog, (they spend hours reading blogs about people they don't even know while Will and I roll our eyes because NONE OF US HAVE ANY IDEA WHO THESE PEOPLE ARE!!!), my brother and his wife have one, my sister Rachell has one, Will has one...I guess four or five people isn't a revolution. Oh well, I'm going to say it is. Now it's on the internet and it must be true.
Anyway, I've rambled on and on. It's been a crazy year...the craziest of my life, to be completely honest...but it has also been the best. And I'm just glad Cyber Commorancy and all of you have been there to share it with me. Happy Birthday, each and every one!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Shout Out: The Buck

We called it ‘The Buck’.
The ‘I’ decal had vanished somewhere in the Wyoming wilderness, leaving it to read BU_CK. Almost nine years old when I paid Shane and Miriam $3000 in straight Benjamin’s, it was no stranger to the road – a warrior in training, it had logged 165,000 miles upon purchase; even so, the best was yet to come.
The Buck had a rough initiation…roommates named Nathan, Archie and Zach ensured that. But it persevered and overcame to create a legacy of longevity and reliance. In memoriam, I feel inclined to recall some classic moments. Sit back and enjoy some of the exploits of the greatest college car a broke guy could have.

No plumber, just a crack
Though a minor incident, it is really the first of many “What the…” moments. A small crack in the windshield; Nathan pushed on it with his right thumb to be clever and it quickly expanded across the base. Thanks, bro.

Disengage! Disengage!
The Buck was the lone witness to my disengagement from one Valerie Barker. I had no cell phone, so the drive from Frannie to Billings and back was the longest road trip I ever took (the list of road trips we took together can be found below), though it was only 140 total miles.

Fire code violation
It wouldn’t set any records in Guinness, but still…We were headed out to create some mayhem and had a crew – 11, to be exact – and just one ride. Four in the front seat, four in the back, Nathan, Anna and Kristina in the trunk. We drove the 5+ miles to our destination, “The Fire Tunnel”. There’s a picture floating around somewhere…very incriminating…

Rocky Mountain High…and low
Archie and Zach wanted to borrow my car…to drive to Colorado. Archie wanted to bring up his motorcycle and only my car could be fitted with a hitch; on the conditions of ‘you break it, you buy it’, returned with a full tank of gas and obviously intoxicated I agreed. It got back in one piece, but hearing such things as ‘100 mph towing a trailer’ and ‘we had to borrow a gas cap’ have since made me question this move.

“Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…”
Winter is full of adventure when it comes to driving. The Buck had its fair share of moments. Taking the corner for the cut-off to Grand Targhee en route to a great day of snowboarding I went too fast and ended up stuck in a snow bank; coming down the mountain, the Buck became a ping-pong ball, bouncing from one snow bank to another; Archie opening the passenger door and hooky-bobbing at 30 mph on an ice-covered Rexburg street; throwing Archie’s $1 double-cheeseburger at him and it ending up on my upholstery. Good times

We went shooting clay pigeons – Archie, Zach, Archie’s brother Sam, me and some girl named Angie. I threw the bird and Sam was supposed to shoot it; a gust of wind and a slow trigger-finger later, the clay pigeon crashed into my windshield, sending three cracks sprawling across the top. Two years, six months later the crack Nathan made across the bottom found neighbors at the top. Perhaps it was fate…

“I’ve been everywhere, man, I’ve been everywhere…”
Long road trips :
Rexburg to Denver…and back (1,464 miles)
Rexburg to Mesa…and back (1,812 miles)
Frannie to Mesa…and back (2,356 miles)
Rexburg to Minneapolis…and back to Frannie (2,075 miles)
Frannie to Sacramento…and back. (2,200 miles)
Frannie to Minneapolis…to Nashville…to Augusta (2,100 miles)
Nine 325 mile round trips from August to Atlanta in two months (2,925 miles)

The Buck will be towed from apartment 1714 today, December 7th, 2006, never to be driven again. It leaves with 238,000 miles, a cracked windshield, a stolen gas cap, remnants of a BYU-Idaho sticker in the rear windshield and hundreds of pleasant memories that will never die. Viva el Buck!!!

Monday, December 04, 2006


Almost a month since the last post; my bad. A lot has happened, actually, so this is just going to be a little catch up post... a blogging buffet, a hodgepodge of happenings, echoes of events, a cornucopia of...stuff.

Concert time: Paula and I rolled with Natalie and Will to The Fray concert. (Check out the blog Paula keeps for pic’s.) It was sweet. They're really good live, almost better than on the CD, which was cool. I did feel a little old, though, with a large contingent of the populous proud graduates of the class of ’07-’10. There were a ton of cameras going off the whole time; a guy next to us about our age said “How does it feel to know you’ll be in the background of 1000 MySpace pictures tomorrow?” Hilarious because it's true.
A week or two after The Fray, Paula decided I could use some culture; we went to an opera at the Atlanta Civic Center. It was The Barber of Seville. All I knew about it was 1) it starred some guy named Figaro 2) he was a barber 3) in Seville 4) Bugs Bunny did a spoof in some Looney Tunes episode 5) it was going to be in Italian 6) I don’t speak Italian.
Two types of people are in this world: those who enjoy the opera and those who hate it like a root canal without Novocain. My wife is the former, I am the latter. I can do a lot of stuff that is in that realm: the theatre (Broadway stuff), art exhibits, classic novels, fine dining…but opera? No. Unfortunately, I will be unable to accommodate my wife in this area. As she goes shopping while I watch football, I'll find something else to do the next time an opera is in town. Like sleep.

Not as think as you drunk I am: My name is Logan, I was a recovering alcoholic, dry for 26 years, 10 months and 16 days. Then I fell off the wagon.
Paula and I attended the birthday celebration of our dear friend Melissa at Carrabba's Italian Restaurant. Evidently it was the only restaurant in all Gwinnett County because it was packed. But we finally got a table and ordered drinks. I ordered my standard issue Ginger Ale with lime; the server asked if I wanted that on the rocks. I said yes, lots of rocks. Melissa’s fiancĂ© Greg also ordered a ginger ale. (As a side note, I’m a big Greg advocate – he’s cool, a doctor and looks like Jack on Lost. )
Anyway, The our drinks are brought out (we had 12 or 13 in our party) and Greg and I both get our ginger ale served in tumblers. It was different, but the place was packed, our server sounded like English was not his native language, so I didn’t worry about it. Until I took a drink. It went down really warm. I didn’t think it was ginger ale; I asked Dr. Greg if he concurred. He did. It was gin. Straight gin. This might not sound like a big deal, but as card-carrying Mormons, we don’t drink alcohol. I was the life of the party. (JK! We sent ‘em back and got our sodas.)
I was talking to my mom a couple days later and mentioned the occurrence; evidently, this wasn’t my first drink. When I was maybe 10 days old, my great-Grandma Bessie was watching me as my parents went Christmas shopping with my aunt and uncle. My mom asked how I was when they got back; Grandma Bessie said I cried and seemed a bit colicy, so she gave me some whiskey and sugar and I fell right asleep. Mom was horrified.

Blood is thick: We (Paula, her brother Ty, and I) rolled to AZ from Atlanta over Thanksgiving for Ben and Ryanne’s wedding in Mesa. (Again, see Paula’s post for pictures and such.) It was 1900 miles each way. Tickets are ridiculous expensive over Thanksgiving ($1000+ for us to fly) so I rented a car off of for $20/day. It was a 2007 Chevy Equinox with 4300 miles on it when I picked it up…it had 8400 when I dropped it off six days later. They probably should change the oil.
It was a really good time. I really enjoyed seeing my family and meeting Ryanne’s family. They are really nice people, very genuine and accommodating. My dad put me on the spot at the luncheon, telling me I needed to say something about Ben in about five-ten minutes. Some guy stood up right before me and said some stuff; let’s just say his rambling made my job really easy. That is all.
Anyway, it was quite the trek; we made the drive out straight through, much to the dismay of everyone but me. On long drives it’s like I become part of the vehicle and can just go and go and go. I drove 20 of the 26 hours on the way out and 18 of the 26 on the way back. One word, two syllables: Road Warrior.

BYU4LIFE: BYU beat Utah on the final play of the game, an amazing feat of strength shown by senior quarterback John Beck as he threw a touch down from the 12-yard line 34 yards across the field, across his body while in the grasp of a defender to the far side of the end zone to Johnny Harline for the TD.
Beck is 2nd in the nation in completion percentage and pass efficiency, 6th in passing yards (He missed the Utah State game with ankle injuries; his back up passed for over 300 yards, which would have put John at 3rd in passing yards.) and tied with Heisman favorite Troy Smith with 30 TD’s (again, in one less game).
I’m not a blind fan; BYU would get rocked if they played one of the top five teams in the nation; I think they’d be within a touchdown of any team ranked 6-10; I think they’d have a good a shot as not with any opponent 11-20. I predicted at the beginning of the season on this blog BYU would finish the regular season at 10-2 and MWC champs. Who’s the man? Me…and Beck…and Harline…and a lot of other people.

*&$%!: This is an expletive. Last week, Wednesday, I was driving home from work and was hit by another car – a 1996 Jeep Cherokee – and it bashed in my back door on the drivers side. The kid just wasn’t paying attention and nailed me; even now I am getting upset as I write. Anyway, the claims adjuster for this kids insurance company – Progressive – came out and said the damage is a total loss. I think that’s stupid because I still drive it to work, but because the damage is estimated at $2800 (overbid if you ask me) and my car doesn’t book for that much, they want to cut me a check for what it books for ($2000) and then I’m supposed to sign the title over to them!
Whatever. I’m going to tell them to gut me a check for a hundred or so less than the book value and I’ll go to a salvage yard, find a door and replace it myself. What am I supposed to do? Try to find a decent car with $2000? Seriously. The anger sharks are swimming…

That’s about it. Side notes: Nancy Pelosi is crazy…The BCS lives down to its billing…Reggie Bush may live up to his…Kramer’s career is over…Michael Irvin’s should be…Britney Spears is white-trash and a joke…The UN is the international version of Britney…The new Bond movie rocks…The USC-UCLA game also...I’ll be 27 soon…I’m hungry now…