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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Disjointed thoughts

Two days ago at work I got to go deliver some samples to a Chemistry lab in South Salt Lake. The guy who met me was excited to talk to me and take my samples. We chatted for a while and he asked if I wanted to take a tour. It was lunch time so I figured why not? I'll consider it part of my lunch break. He showed me the lab and introduced me to some of his employees, who were all cute women, I felt important. It was really nice. He kept introducing me as a "new client who is a geologist." It was really cool being that respected at such a young age. Now obviously the man probably doesn't personally respect me as much as he was acting. Mostly he just wants business and the company I work for has money to provide business, so he wanted to treat me right. I liked it though, unfortunately my opinion on who processes our samples is not really a strong one. That aside, I drove back to the office with a big smile on my face the whole way. For the first time that I can remember I was treated like I was incredibly important. I was given the VIP tour of a chemistry lab and talked to like a professional. It was really nice.

Tonight I was in Provo to go to a party with a friend. It was nice to see her, but the party sucked. We left and saw Paranormal Activity 3. It was a scary movie. Terrible story, great suspense and just a good element of fun to it. We are 25 and 26 years old (me being 25) and we both were asked for our ID's. Strange, but whatever, it happens now and then still. We laughed and showed our ID's. On the way in the person taking the tickets also asked for our ID's. At this point it was just kind of silly. She asked him if he was serious and he said yeah, sorry. He laughed when he saw our ages and said we both looked very young. I supppose we looked offended because he quickly changed his statement to "No, you both just look young, you look your ages." Yes, clearly I look 25, which is why you asked to see proof that I was older than 16. Oh well, such is Provo.

I went to In and Out after I left her apartment. It was 1am, it was still open. I went inside and realized that every female in the entire town of ..Orem? looked exactly the same. Not the "same" that you get in Logan or Layton where everyone is white and modest, but eerily the same. They all had the same medium to long and straight hair style, they all used the same amount of hair bleach, they all did their makeup the same, they all had the same style of graphic t-shirt on. It was kind of disturbing. There had to have been about 20 females around my age in there and beyond some of them being fat and some of them being skinny I would have had a hard time telling any two of them apart.

I like my Subaru. It isn't that special, there really isn't anything about it that is better than all other cars. It's fairly plain looking with a hood scoop and spoiler. It's very fast from 0-60 but pretty typical at speeds over 60. The handling is better than most and the AWD is wonderful in the rain. The interior is plain but functional. It's just the perfect car for me. It's just enough of everything I want, but not too much. It's not a red hot Mustang that screams "give me attention." It's not an overly classy BMW that screams "I want people to know I'm important" and it's not a huge truck screaming, "I think I'm a tough guy." but it's almost as fast as a Mustang, almost as nice as a BMW and honestly.. it probably does better in poor road conditions than a truck, or any AWD vehicle for that matter. Subaru sets the bar for that.

Trisha left on her mission. That's weird to me given our history together. She never struck me as the type who would serve a mission, but religious beliefs can make people do strange things. I wrote her a letter last weekend. I just got around to mailing it on Wednesday though. It wasn't very long. I didn't really have much to say. It will be sad not having her around for 18 months. Not that we really saw each other, but she was someone I knew I could always call and talk to for hours about nothing. I'll miss that. I'll always wonder what could have been if I were more impulsive and would have been able to go through with taking our relationship further. It's both fortunate and unfortunate that I critically think about everything before acting on it.

I have a hard time getting rid of old things that I have sentimental attachments to. A few nights ago I fired up my old Windows 98 computer. Unfortunately rather than firing up I heard a large electrical pop and then nothing. I blew a fuse I imagine, so something with the power pack is probably bad. The computer is old, very old. For the most part any file I needed off it made its way to my XP computer (which still works just fine.) I have a couple games old games on it that would be fun to play, but only for a few minutes. It seems that there would be no reason to keep a busted computer than wouldn't even be used if it weren't busted, but I just couldn't throw it away. I ended up stashing it in a closet. I don't know why, I'll never fix or use it again, but I just couldn't get rid of it. It was a good computer.

Last weekend I bailed on a sort-of-but-not-really date to go hang out with my cousin. Probably is a good thing. I really don't have much interest in the girl, I was mostly just going because I really needed to get out. His dad bailed on him earlier that day and my mom said I'd go hang out with him without first asking what my plans for the day were. I was a little irked at first, but I'm happy she did. He's a fun kid. He reminds me of me when I was 14. We played NCAA 12 against his two buddies and smoked them. It's sad that his dad would bail on him. I remember when I was younger his dad would hang out with me, even coached my basketball team once, not that he had any idea what he was doing, but it was nice. Growing up without a dad sucked sometimes.

The Cardinals won the World Series. I can't tell you how much I don't care. Baseball sucks.

I'm definitely not ready for Winter. I'm even less ready for it because of my job. I'll be out on Sevier Lake for much of the winter. That sounds quite miserable. Yeah, sure it's Southern Utah which is considered warm to most people, but it's really not any warmer there than it is in Salt Lake. Maybe 5 degrees or so. The elevation is still roughly 4500 feet. It is in the Great Basin just like Salt Lake and the weather patterns are roughly the same. To make matters worse the mountains in the area are small (by Great Basin standards) so there is nothing in the way to break the wind and it blows at about 20-30 mph every day. If it snows a lot, it's going to be a long Winter. I suppose it's worth both the money and the invaluable experience though. Most geology graduates would kill for this job right out of college. I need to remember that.

I sleep now.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Working at Chili's vs. Working as a Geologist

In this blog post I will compare and contrast being a waiter vs. being a geologist and the benefits of each to see which is a better job for me.

First let's compare the shifts:
Chili's - Any time, any place, any length.
Geologist - Typically M-F, 8-5. Sometimes long field hours.

Advantage: Geologist

Dress Code:
Chili's - A black shirt and jeans.
Geologist - Business casual sometimes and grungy clothes you are okay with destroying others.

Advantage: Chili's

Pay:
Chili's - $2.13 an hour + tips.
Geologist - A whole hell of a lot more than $2.13 an hour. No tips.

Advantage: Geologist

Commute:

Chili's - 5 minutes through Logan traffic.
>>>Biggest commute danger - hitting a cat.

Geologist - 45 minutes through I-15 traffic
>>>Biggest commute danger - getting run over by a semi trailer and dying.


Advantage: Chili's

Work related perk:
Chili's: Half off food for me and up to 3 friends.
Geologist: All expense paid trips to field sites to do work.

Advantage: Geologist

Items I received on my first day at work:
Chili's - Apron and a menu
Geologist - A laptop

Advantage: Geologist

Co-workers
Chili's - A mix of pissed off people who have been working in restaurants for far too long and really hot 18 year old females.
Geologist - Mostly really nerdy old guys and married women who gossip too much.

Advantage: Chili's

How often I have to ride in elevators:
Chili's - Never
Geologist - Typically 4 times a day.

Advantage: Chili's (i HATE elevators)

Potential for advancement:
Chili's - Becoming a shift manager and making $14/hr
Geologist - Learning powerful software, learning invaluable skills and being able to become valuable asset to a company or potentially start your own consulting firm.

Advantage: Geologist

Your ultimate function at work:
Chili's - To bring people who were too lazy to make food for themselves food and kiss their asses hoping for $5.
Geologist - Research and help put together data of the quantity and quality of ores that can be extracted from places in the Earth.

Advantage: Geologist

Geologist wins 6-4.

Monday, October 3, 2011

25 years makes you old.

The other night I was driving home and as I was driving along someone cut me off. I didn't slow down much more than I absolutely had to, to avoid hitting the other car. They then hit the brakes so I simply changed lanes. The person then honked at me and flipped me off.

At an earlier time of my life I'd have probably honked longer and flipped off with two hands, but that night I was simply indifferent about it. Whatever, bad night for them I guess, it happens. They downshifted and sped off.

At an earlier time of my life, with 270 all-wheel turbocharged horsepower at my command, I'd have downshifted and blown past them. That night I simply continued driving and thought nothing of it.

I then realized that in the last 3-5 or so years I grew up a lot. I didn't get pissed off at the angry road rage driver. I didn't try to race away from them and I didn't waste gas, tires and clutch just to show someone that my obviously fast car is in fact fast. That's cool. Though I can't really figure out why. College certainly didn't teach me that (all college taught me was that sometimes I have to do stuff I don't want to do so I can get ahead, and an extensive vocabulary of useless geologic terms) and it's not like I hang out with older people now. Most of my friends are in their early 20's still.

It's not like I have a family or serve any crucial purpose to anyone. I'm certainly not afraid of a little danger. If I got a speeding ticket at this point in my life I could handle it much better than I could as a 21 year old. I simply didn't feel the need to show this guy, who would likely forget about me 20 seconds later, how much of a bad ass I was. It would have served zero purpose.

It's hilarious to read things that I wrote in my late teens and early 20's. I was such a jerk. I had no sense of tact and everything I wrote was simply driven by rage and emotion. Yeah sure, now and then I still rage over something, but it's rare and usually done tactfully.

I have a very recent ex-girlfriend, who is now engaged, that I can guarantee has never told her very LDS fiance the truth about our relationship. Earlier in life I'd have made sure to let him know I was there first, now I just figure that's cool. They're happy. Good for them. Everyone deserves to be happy sometimes. Two nights ago I had another girl from my life invite me over for a late night visit. I texted her the next day and she didn't reply. This would have pissed me off four years ago, but now I just smile at the pseudo-romantic experience we were able to share with each other that night and understand that she just wanted a hook-up. That's fine. We all do now and then.

It's no wonder insurance for a 25 year old is so cheap. We really chill out a ton right as we approach this age.

Maybe it's because over the course of human history, 25 is actually beginning old age. Sure in the 21st century I'm in the beginning of my life still, but humans haven't always lived to be 80 years old. There is a stat I heard of life expectancy in Ancient Rome being 22. Yeah sure, as a mean life expectancy, but you have to take into account that a third of humans died before their first birthday. Even then humans had discovered how to live longer healthier lives up into their 50's. I'm talking about pre-history.

How long do we really think humans lived when we roamed the African savannah (without sunscreen!) competing with warthogs and hyenas for food and shelter and drinking water from ponds? I highly doubt too many lived past my age. This can kind of be seen in how some of our bodies really do begin to break down at this age. I'm lucky. I still feel as healthy as I did at 14, but I've spent the better part of my life as a student playing the occasional sport and having hobbies and jobs that consisted mostly of simple inside work and large amounts of sunscreen, sunclothes and portable water when I needed to be outside. I have friends who complain about waking up to back pain at my age or who have arthritis developing in their joints. We begin to get wrinkles in our 20's and some of us (like myself) begin growing a few strands of gray hair. Many people gain weight around this age as their metabolism slows. Many female bodies start beginning to show signs of gravity and many males begin to bald. How nice is it though that, barring some unexpected event, I'm not even a third of the way done with my life yet?

For most of human history, a 25 year old would have been one of the older humans in the world. I suppose that is almost still true today with our absurd birth rate, but that is tangent. Maybe evolution caused that the people who become calm and content at this age, while keeping a firey passion of everything through their youth, were able to live longer, thus produce more offspring with this trait, and this is why humans become emotionally mature in their mid-20's. Maybe God simply designed us this way for reasons we can't understand.

All I know is that I'm happy my auto insurance is cheaper now than it was 7 years ago.