Salt Lake City.

I live there now. In a place just off of 1700 South and Foothill Drive. I have my own room, which is nice, and a TV in said room, which is also nice (and a completely new experience).

I live in Salt Lake City now because I work in Salt Lake City now. I'm an intern for the Deseret News, working in the New Media section of the paper. Which basically means that, for the time being, I'm a glorified comment-moderation monkey. See, every story printed in the D-News is formatted for publishing online, complete with a comments section. And those comments get CRAZY. And someone has to sort out the madness, delete the profane or ridiculous comments, and approve the ones that are halfway coherent. (Very few are completely coherent.)

That someone is me.

Okay, so it's a bit of a dumb job at the moment. But I only started this week, and I'm learning to do a few other things as well. Besides, I have to admit -- wielding the Hammer of Comment Deletion +5 can be quite a rush.

Eventually, I'd like to help doing some other stuff -- podcasts, blogs, videos, and the like. One of my co-workers has already told me they need someone to review PS3 games for the D-News' pop culture blog. Alas that I do not have a PS3. But this might be my impetus to get one. I know it would make my brother happy -- he's been trying to get someone to play Call of Duty 4 with him for weeks, especially now that he's finished with his program at Purdue. Moving out and paying tuition (which I haven't done yet) is going to put a damper on things. We'll see.

The whole situation just makes me feel very... adult, somehow. I mean, I'm never going to take another class (barring a midlife crisis and a return for grad school or something). From here on out, it's find job, get paid, rinse, repeat. And call me lame or boring, but that sounds fantastic right now. I walk the streets of downtown SLC on my lunch breaks and find myself surrounded by other businesspeople, with fashionable ties and keycards on lanyards around their necks and busy looks on their faces. And I feel like I belong with them.

Not that it's been my lifelong dream to be a Utah yuppie, but, you know, it's better than being a Provo zoobie. I feel like I've been treading water for the last two years of college, and I'm definitely not feeling that now.

One minor hitch -- I still don't know a soul up here. I have two roommates in my duplex -- one is about to move out, his spot thus far unfilled. Another empty spot awaits. I do have one roommate who is sticking around, and I've gotten along with him fairly well so far. He often works nights, though, so we don't see each other much. Which has largely left me to my own devices from the hours of 6:30 p.m. to whenever I happen to get tired. I've been fine this week, gorging myself on NBA playoff basketball (ye gods, how I've missed you, ESPN!). But I anticipate a vasty nothingness in my life when the playoffs end (or at least, when they end for the Jazz), and that is a bit unsettling.

To illustrate my point: one thing I've been overjoyed about in moving to this area is that I'm five minutes away from Rice-Eccles Stadium, and as summer nears, that means one thing: Real Salt Lake. They may be terrible, but they're still live soccer, and I adore watching live soccer. In fact, I went to the game last night. By myself. And I stayed there. For the whole 90 minutes. IN A BLIZZARD. (I was glad I stayed till the end, too -- though the game was well in hand by that point, Andy Williams put away a brilliant goal just as the clock hit 90:00. It was some kind of reward for my blind, idiotic fortitude, I think.) And while I was there, I didn't notice my isolation at all, because I could focus on what was happening on the pitch. When the game ended, though, and I trudged back to my snow-covered car, trying to regain the feeling in my fingers, I realized that it was sort of a pathetic thing to do -- drop twenty bucks to see a terrible team, in a match that didn't matter, in the freezing cold, alone. I still wasn't sorry I had gone, but it did give me pause.

Then again, I've only been here for six days. I'm sure I will meet more people. And if not, well, I've got a pretty big place, with a big front deck and a beautiful view of the valley, and a hot tub out back and a big-screen TV in front of a leather sectional couch inside. Surely someone would at least be willing to take advantage of that. (Please?)

When will I learn?

I may or may not have just done it to myself again. Just once in my life I wish I wouldn't repeat the same usual mistakes. Or, if you prefer, stnanks. Ask for details.

this is me

Found this on the interwebs someplace:

A woman has a close male friend. This means that he is probably interested in her, which is why he hangs around so much. She sees him strictly as a friend. This always starts out with, you're a great guy, but I don't like you in that way. This is roughly the equivalent for the guy of going to a job interview and the company saying, You have a great resume, you have all the qualifications we are looking for, but we're not going to hire you. We will, however, use your resume as the basis for comparison for all other applicants. But, we're going to hire somebody who is far less qualified and is probably an alcoholic. And if he doesn't work out, we'll hire somebody else, but still not you. In fact, we will never hire you. But we will call you from time to time to complain about the person that we hired.

duck and cover

One way or another, we'll all need each other
Nothing's gonna turn out the way you thought it would
But friends and lovers, don't you duck and cover
Cause everything comes out the way it should

Everybody here's got a story to tell
Everybody's been through their own hell
There's nothing too special about getting hurt
Getting over it, that takes the work

Cause one way or another, we'll all need each other
Nothing's gonna turn out the way you thought it would
But friends and lovers, don't you duck and cover
Cause everything comes out the way it should

Blessed are the hungry, blessed are the weak
Blessed are the humble, blessed are the meek
Blessed are the ones on the other side
Blessed are we for just being alive

One day I stopped wanting anything at all
The heavens opened up like a waterfall
No use in worrying about when it ends
Just for now be thankful for what i get

Cause one way or another, a man's gonna suffer
It makes no difference the way you wanted it
But friends and lovers, don't you duck and cover
Cause everything comes out the way it should in the end

Seems like life is a palindrome
You cry when you die, you cry when you're born
In between it's all about the ups and downs
Add 'em all together, they cancel each other out

Cause one way or another
One way or another
You won't get what you wanted
You'll get enough, for sure
One way or another
Winter pays for the summer
You won't get what you wanted
But what you got'll be good

-- glen phillips

I will possess your heart

I have another boring, lonely weekend to look forward to. I had a date but she broke it off (well, I gave her an out, and she took it). I'm still forced to entertain my grandparents, who were supposed to have gone to Yellowstone but instead decided to lounge around here all week and make us amuse them. My bracket is utterly busted. All my teams have lost. Even the Jazz couldn't beat the Lakers last night. I am awash in a sea of blah.

I sometimes wonder if I even want a weekend. Seems to make me feel worse. I can't wait to get out of here, where no one knows who I am, and those that do know who I am don't ignore me.

At least Death Cab will keep me company.

Carrying the banner

I am officially going to be a Deseret Morning News intern this summer. I'll be working on the online section of the newspaper, which is great, because that's the way the industry is moving, and it will really round out my experience and make me more marketable.

Consequently, I'm going to have to find a place to live up there. My first day is April 28, right after finals. So I'm gonna have to get going there. I'm surprisingly excited to move out again -- living at home has been good, what with the free food and the extra pocket money, but also terribly lonely and isolating. It'll be interesting to get a place up near the U and see how student life is up there. I'm sure I can find an LDS roommate and a student ward. That prospect is very exciting.

My life is moving forward. Maybe a bit faster than I'd like. But I think it's a good thing.

A letter

To whichever females it may concern:

Please do not hide the way you really feel because you're "afraid of hurting his feelings." Be honest, always. It will save everyone a lot of trouble in the end.

I will never hold it against you if you are honest with me. I will respect you more for respecting me and caring about me enough to tell me the truth up front. You can tell me no if I ask you out. You can tell me you're not interested. I've been rejected before. You're not the first, and you won't be the last. I can take it. And I will have a higher opinion of you for your candor.

If, on the other hand, you insist on letting me get the wrong impression, and letting me keep that impression, because you're too chicken to say how you really feel, I will be more angry. It will make things worse. It will always make things worse.

Also, do not tell me how "nice" or "sweet" I am. I know I am these things. I am tired of hearing about them. I am especially tired of hearing about them from girls who have just rejected me. They do not soften the blow.

Don't make me drag your real feelings out of you. Say what you mean. I promise I will do the same. It will be the best thing for everyone.

Thank you for your time.

(By the way, if anyone who knows anything about karma is reading this: when do I start getting a dividend for my tireless, exhaustive kindness and service to every living creature on the planet? Isn't that supposed to start bringing some good vibrations my way? Can I get a ruling on this? Because, even though I love being kind, and it's the way I'm built, and I wouldn't change it for anything, I sure would like to see some people returning the favor in my life.)

Never say never, dude

I think a lot about causality these days. I think about the everyday choices I make, and what effect they will end up having on my life. Because I get this feeling that they play a direct role in who I am and what I do and what I am becoming. I have this notion in my head that even the tiniest things -- like what to eat for lunch, or whether to go to the restroom or not at a certain time, or a nod of the head to a stranger, or whatever -- will end up dramatically changing the course of my day or week or year or life.

I could have said something today that I think really could have changed my life. I didn't say it.

I want to see the road map, the ever-growing and changing sketch of every decision I've ever made. I wish I knew where the other choice would have led me. I want to plot out my own personal string theory, and play out every possible outcome, like reloading a quick-save on a computer game over and over until I get just the right result. Because I feel like I have all this potential, I feel like I could have been anyone other than me, if I had just been given a little inside information.

I sometimes wonder why I'm so blindly optimistic.