Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Weekend Update

So I had a great weekend. I spent a lot of time doing lots of things that make me happy, and I'd like to share some of what I did with all of you.

I had some friends that got married last weekend, and when I found out that they didn't have anyone to make their wedding cake, I volunteered to help them out. They wanted to cover it in fondant, which doesn't taste as good as buttercream frosting, but is very pretty, and is easier in many ways to handle than buttercream frosting. I baked the cakes on Wednesday and frosted and fondant-ed the cakes on Thursday and then went to the reception in Fruit Heights on Friday. I got to wish the happy couple the best and talk with friends and eat some of the cake and have an overall decent time there. Seeing as I was already up north, I decided to stop in and visit the Callahan's. Let me tell you how I know the Callahan family. A few years ago I met a girl named Jan Callahan. She and I just clicked. You know those people that you meet, and after minutes of talking you feel like you have known them for years? This was Jan and I. We were only neighbors for a few great weeks before she moved back home to Farmington to finish a degree and work up there. We still kept in contact, and I began to travel up to Farmington every month to have dinner with her family and other friends. Her family is great too, and I really enjoyed getting to know them as well. Well, Jan got a job in Hawaii, and had numerous goodbye parties since many of us knew that the odds of making it to Hawaii were pretty slim, and that we wouldn't be seeing her for several years. She flew to Hawaii and went out swimming with a big group of her new coworkers, life guards and very athletic people and such, and the current of the river pulled her under. It was really rough for everyone, especially for her family, but I was very grateful that I had had the chance to say goodbye. I thought it would be for years, I just hadn't known it would be for the rest of my life. After a few months, her family decided to keep having their monthly family dinners. One month they pulled out a box filled with random stuffed animals and little things that people tend to accumulate over a lifetime. These were things of Jans that her family didn't know what to do with. I took a small stuffed animal, named him Maurice (the dash pig) and have since kept him in my car so the spirit of Jan Callahan can accompany me on all of my adventures.

So, I still go up to Farmington every now and then to visit with the Callahan family. In many ways they feel like they are my own family. I stay and talk with them until almost midnight, and hear many funny and entertaining stories from them. And at the end of the conversation, when I was beginning to feel that I needed to go, they asked me if I wanted a snare drum. They were big into helping out local drama departments, and had bought a snare drum at DI (big thrift store) to use as a prop for a production of The Music Man. They bring out this cool old Slingerland drum that has a really cool shell. Black with gold confetti all over it and bits of what looks like mother of pearl. The heads are shot, and it looks like there might be a little bit of water damage, but I'm going to have a buddy help me fix it up, and it should be a fun thing. So I had a good time on Friday.

First thing Saturday I went out to American Fork where I practice with my British Brass Band. Sometimes I wake up annoyed to be getting up early on a Saturday, and sometimes it takes me a while to get out of it, but there are some really beautiful songs that the band plays, and some of these songs don't have any parts for percussion, so I just sit in the back on the stage, close my eyes, and let the music just wash over me. Quite the experience. And I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to be a part of this great ensemble. Beautiful harmony, and so many great people!

Well, after that I stopped by the honda dealership to get some motorcycle oil and an oil filter for my motorcycle. I stopped and got some food for me and Mikey, my buddy that is helping me to fix my bike. I take it to his house and have a good chat with him while we eat, and then he had to go change a timing belt for some other friend of his. Oh, and he informed me that the Honda people had given me the wrong type of oil filter. *Sigh* So I got back on the freeway and headed back to Orem to the Honda dealership. Beautiful spring day, my arm out the open window of my car, I felt so relaxed and happy. George Strait's new song "I saw God today" came on the radio and I took the time to look around and notice how beautiful Utah is this time of year. I've taken to carrying my camera around these days, so I whipped it out and took a few pictures so I could share with all of you what I saw. With majestic snow-capped mountains on one side, and a lake on the other. Cool older buildings on center street in Provo, and some flags that were put up for the olympics. Funny how the olympics come right to my back door the one year I spend in Argentina. Oh well! That's just my life I guess. It's all good. So even though I had to go back and forth more than I would have normally liked, I actually enjoyed the extra time I spent in my car by myself. It was just a good day.

So after I delivered the correct oil filter to Mikey, I go to the city recycling place, where they turn yard waste into compost, to try and get some "black gold" for my garden. Most people take trucks there, and a guy in a front-loader will take a big scoop of compost from the huge pile and just dump it in the bed of whatever truck or trailer is next in line. This is the cheap way to go. They usually have 5olb-ish bags of compost for those of us that don't have trucks. This is the slightly pricier option, but more convenient because it allows for neat transport of the limited quantities that we novice gardeners require. Unfortunately, the Provo compost place was out of the bags, but told me that the Spanish Fork compost place still had some. I had really been looking forward to gardening and the weather was great, so I decided that driving the ten or so miles down to SF would be a worth while undertaking. I go down there, and find the place, but the guy there (He looked like a 'Hank' to me, so that's what I'm going to call him) cheerily informs me that the Provo compost people are liars, and that their bagger machine was down and wouldn't be fixed until sometime the following week. Seeing as the SF compost place was right behind a K-mart, I figured I'd go there and find some kind of containers to put some compost in. I had a 5-gallon bucket already, and wandering around the store seeing how expensive any substantial container was, I decided to buy some normal 13-gallon kitchen trash bags and fill them up with my bucket. Knowing that compost can be a bit heavy, I decided to spring for good trash bags, and bought some force-flex, figuring that they would do a good job. I returned to the SF compost place and Hank tells me to load up whatever I need and then he'll take a gander at it and tell me how much I owe for it. I start scooping compost into the trash bags with my buckets and decide that I either need more hands, or need to think up a better system for doing this. It was hard to hold the bag open while trying to maneuver a bucket full of compost. I finished loading that bag about half full, and when I tied it up and started to move it into my trunk. Turns out, force-flex bags are crap for transporting compost. Holes started almost as soon as I picked it up. I had the brilliant idea that I could line my bucket with a trash bag and then scoop up enough compost to fill the bucket and then tie off and load it into my car. It would be less pressure on my crap-tastic bags, and I had plenty of them to use up, and so I went with this. There was this hickish family (mom, dad, son in his late teens or early twenties) sitting in an old white truck waiting for their bed to be filled with compost that were just watching me. It was a little uncomfortable, and I felt that I had to explain that I needed compost, but that I had to bag it myself since the place had run out of bags. 'Dad' slowly nodded at me and just said "Way-hl, at leest yah got yerself a systahm" (by the way, I reserve the right to make subtle exaggerations in my posts to enhance any given story)

So I load myself up ten bags full of black-gold, loaded carefully into my trunk and drive over to Hank's "office" and he comes over and takes a good long look into my trunk and says, "How's about we just let you take it?" I shoot a meaningful glance at the remaining huge pile of compost and ask him "Well, won't the compost inventory guy get upset?" He said, "Well, I reckon that's me, so nah." I tell him thanks and ask him if he'd like some baby tomato plants, seeing as I had extra, but he said "Wuhl, thurs nawt much more I lahk than a gud tomater, but seein as I live me in an apartment I don't see as I have enuff space to be growin much." So Hank and I parted ways, and I went to my garden to put the compost to good use.

Now, my garden is in a rather shady part of town. Over behind the mall, in an empty lot right next to the train tracks. And I mean RIGHT next to the train tracks. I spread my compost over my garden and then took my seeds and my baby tomatoes and had a great time getting all dirty planting them. After a good watering I left them to do their thing. I really hope some what I planted actually sprouts and/or grows. It will be fun to watch and wait and see!

Then I went home and showered and got dressed and saw a planetarium show and went to a dance in the Pendulum court. All in all it made for a pretty great day.

Oh, and for those of you that have expressed skepticism as to the actual reality of my motocycle, so I'm posting a few pics of him in all his dissasembled glory!


  1. Pretty cake and nice bike. Don't kill yourself riding it though!

    I was shocked to see that you had updated your blog. Honestly, I had stopped checking it because there was never anything new. So I'm glad there's something on there to read now.

  2. Hi, Nice drum!! did you ever get round to cleaning it up? any chance you could send me some pictures of it? Kindest regards Paul paulshaz@blueyonder.co.uk