Adam's Important Show

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

There and back again.

That's a pretty pretentious title for this post. It won't live up to it.

Amy and I broke up almost 6 months to the day after we started officially dating. A couple weeks ago. I truly did not expect it to happen. While we were dating, I remember wondering to myself if there were anything that could possibly drive us apart. I never for a moment believed that we were in some kind of pre-reality relationship euphoria and still don't. I always felt like we skipped over that part completely. Or, at least, I did. I felt that way because I never thought Amy was perfect. That sounds odd, but I can explain. At the beginning of our relationship I had to reassure myself that she was who I wanted to be with, that I wasn't making a wrong choice. And I wasn't. But it took me getting over my desire to have something crazy and exciting, something that makes your heart race. Most everyone desires that, especially the older they get (it should be the opposite, shouldn't it?). But I realized that each and every time I've felt those particular emotions toward a girl, it's been a disaster. And I realized that I had very likely, all along, been inducing those emotions in myself for other girls simply because they didn't give me what Amy gave me.

Which was what? Amy didn't play games with me. She wasn't coy. She didn't force me to chase her. She was up front and honest about her feelings for me. So I missed the thrill of the hunt. But that wears off. It always does. Once I realized that I was only feeling reluctance to be with Amy because I wasn't feeling that thrill (that thrill that had, so far, gotten me absolutely nowhere), I didn't care. I brushed it aside. I made the deliberate decision to be with someone who had all of the qualities missing in the girls from before, someone who simply appreciated me, who was grateful to spend any time at all with me, who didn't make demands of me, implicit or explicit, who instead simply trusted me to treat her wonderfully and deserve her and earn her devotion.

And so it was. Everything was great. It really was. Except, it wasn't perfect. Not that either of us expected it to be, but there were mistakes and warning signs, the gravity of which I am only just beginning to understand, and at this point I'm fairly certain our eventual breakup was unavoidable. Ironic, considering that while we were dating I couldn't think of any reason we'd ever break up. I was so sure...

And why wouldn't I be? She was an unbelievably awesome girlfriend. For all the reasons I've mentioned and probably a hundred more. The more time we spent together (which was a lot), the more drawn I was to her. The more I appreciated the small nuances in her personality. The more I enjoyed her. The more at home I felt with her. The more I loved her. She became my best friend. Bryan Cranston's character on Malcolm in the Middle (the dad) said something about love, about his wife, that's stuck with me since I heard it. He said that being in love with someone means that no experience is complete until you share it with them. Amy became that for me, and me for her (I'm fairly sure, anyway). It was great. I loved it. We got engaged and planned to be married in late September, about nine months after we'd started dating.

But our actions have consequences, good and bad, and you can't erase bad behavior with good intentions. I won't explain the details. While I have discussed some of them with people I trust, I'm not interested in making a permanent record of mistakes that can and, hopefully, will be put away and forgotten. It's not fair to myself, and it's certainly not fair to Amy. I love her too much.

That was part of the problem, in the end. I loved her too much to not be absolutely sure that we were ready to be married, and over a relatively short amount of time I became convinced that we were not ready. After some very intense soul-searching, prayer and counsel from loved ones, I came to the conclusion that the only possible way to save our relationship would be to end it. We couldn't keep dating anymore. Our time together was up. There were too many things to address, and we could only effectively address them in isolation from each other--apart, confronted with the real possibility of never getting back together. Is there a chance we get back together? Yes, absolutely. Is it likely? I don't know. People don't often change enough. I know I can change and I know I will. But I am only half of this equation. Meanwhile, we must seek opportunities to get to know other people, to learn and grow and improve our relationships with others and with God and do it all for ourselves, to make it part of who we are and not something we prop up on the struts of a comfortable romance.

For now, I will miss her. In fact, I think I'll always miss her. It's been said to me by well-meaning friends and family that if Amy and I don't get back together, we will both surely find others who will make us happy. While I appreciate the sentiment, it's always hard to even consider eventually replacing someone whom you loved for so many reasons, reasons which you know cannot and will not be duplicated in any other person. I was told by a close friend that, while it sounds extremely unromantic, love is common and love happens all the time. I think that's true, but the point he misses is that while "love" is hardly unique, the combination of two people that fall in love always is, and that makes aspects of every love unique and inimitable, and I already feel grief and loss at the prospect of losing all the wonderful uniqueness of my relationship with Amy and of her herself. I miss her adorable chipmunk cheeks, beautiful teeth, exquisite lips and big, pretty eyes. I miss the way she greeted me enthusiastically on the phone, the way she laughed at my jokes, her own sense of humor that cracked me up all the time, her kindness, her desire to reach out to others and make them feel like they were included, that she was thinking of them, that they were her friends. I miss how she would go out of her way to make me feel good, make me feel supported and cherished and appreciated. I miss the way she smells. I miss the way her hair feels against my cheek. I miss the way she slept on her stomach and how she would grunt softly and sweetly when I'd touch her or kiss her while she slept. I loved kissing her. I loved hearing her talk about her art and hurt for her when she expressed her artistic dreams that she was not yet able to follow. I loved the way her eyes lit up when she saw me. I always loved being around her. I've never adored anyone more. She was my favorite. I hope that this is not the end of us, but if it is, I trust that it is for the best and the only moments I will regret from our relationship are the ones that contributed to its end. I love you, Amy. I will always think about you and I will always love you.

I'll end this with one of my favorite photos of my pretty Amy, stolen shamelessly from her Facebook page.

Friday, April 15, 2011

My favorite.

It has been brought to my attention that I have not updated my blog in several months. That is true. I pretend like this blog is a journal of sorts but that notion falls apart rapidly when I don't actually post on it. So it seems like at this point I should post the story of the most significant thing that's happened to me during my hiatus. For some reason, I don't feel like doing that. Instead of writing the STORY of the thing, I'd just rather write about the thing. The thing's name is Amy. We met about a little over three months ago and started dating not soon after. I don't think we've been apart a day since then.

Amy is wonderfully kind, sweet and good. She is strong but never overbearing. She is rational but never harsh. She is artistic but never unintelligible. She is happy but never annoying. She is pleasing but never cloying. She is intelligent but never arrogant. She is ambitious but never unreachable. She is funny but never hides herself. She is open but not all at once, loyal but not naive, and beautiful but never satisfied. She loves people not because she's afraid if she doesn't no one will love her, but because she desires for people to feel loved and takes responsibility for what she desires and I'm so glad she found me.

Monday, September 13, 2010


The US national basketball team won the FIBA world championship last night, proving yet again that black people are way better at basketball than anyone else. Particularly Kevin Durant. The guy is a complete freak. And he's not a freak the way LeBron is a freak. LeBron uses once-in-a-generation athleticism and strength to overpower and overwhelm his opponents. Kevin Durant is something else entirely. Kevin Durant is skill personified. He's more like Larry Bird than LeBron James, and I know that sounds ridiculous but think about it. Larry Bird was one of the whitest guys to ever play professional basketball (Chris Mullin was #1 of course) and I mean that in the best way possible. Larry Bird made his physical shortcomings absolutely irrelevant. It didn't matter that at 6'9" he could barely dunk the ball. It didn't matter that he was about as quick as the Tin Man. It didn't even matter that for years he sported the worst mustache Western society had seen in a century.

Bird's intelligence, court vision, skill and hand-eye coordination were off the charts. Sure, he was extremely talented but he never relied entirely on his natural abilities. He was a student and scholar of the game. His fundamentals were airtight. He saw everything before anyone else. Every night he played he was the smartest and savviest player on the floor. He had ice water in his veins. He was comparable and intimidated by absolutely nobody. He smiled while he torched you. He was the one player of whom the also-incomparable Magic Johnson said "Of all the people I play against, the only one I truly fear is Larry Bird." He had supreme self-confidence and could take over a game from the tip-off but loved nothing more than making his teammates better. And he had the sweetest jump shot the NBA had ever seen before, or since. Kevin Durant is becoming that kind of player, and he already has a jump shot that would have placated Mark Whalberg during his racist phase. Kevin Durant is not big, nor is he particularly strong, but he doesn't need to be. He finds the space, the gaps and if he can't, he'll rise up in your face and shoot the purest shot you'll ever have the privilege of not blocking. His teammates love him. His fans love him. If his passing, handling and defense catch up with his scoring ability, he'll likely be the best player in the NBA and he'll be that player for years and years.

I don't want to say KD carried Team USA during this past tournament, but he was the primary scorer almost every night and, most amazingly, I don't think he had a single off night. In nine straight games. He went off for 38 points at 56% shooting against the Lithuania Jean Claude Van Dammes. And he did that all with teammates he hasn't played with before extensively and with FIBA rules instead of NBA rules (and believe me, subtle rule changes can really mess with your game). He was more than impressive. And yes, he was also playing with the "B" team, since the team consisted of very few of the NBA's very top players at each position so that gave him more room to perform, but it doesn't matter. He showed signs of being the force to reckon with for the next ten plus years. He's talented, humble and a team player. I really wish he didn't have to play in Oklahoma City.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

This is the MWTOTY.

I love this time of year. The weather cools off, the leaves change and everyone starts getting ready to hibernate for the winter. The real reason this is the best time of year is because of sports. The rest of it isn't so great. I'm not huge into skiing and I don't sled because I'm not twelve years old. I no longer feel obligated to spend time outdoors if I don't want to, and that's because just about everyone can get behind cold-weather excuses for apathy and laziness. Don't feel like going hiking? Who would? It's freaking miserable outside. Nobody wants to walk around in snowy weather. Stepping in a slushy puddle would make Nelson Mandela kick Lou Ferrigno in the balls. Don't want to go to a movie? Neither does anyone else, just get Netflix and wait out the chill. But I can't stand those people who brag about all the winter stuff they do and make you feel like a worthless turd because you spent the last seven days pretending to hate watching Fear Factor reruns. "Oh yes last week I skiied, then I snowboarded for thirty hours straight. The powder was un-be-liev-a-ble. Two days ago I went snowmobiling. O M G it was so beautiful, so amazing. So what have you done lately?" Hey screw you. Screw you right in the pants.

You're not obligated to do anything outside of work and the holidays once it starts getting cold. This means I get a roughly 4 month break from my mother asking me why I don't have a girlfriend. It's too cold for a girlfriend, Mom.

Anyway, back to the sports part. We have college football, the NBA, the NFL and even the MLS, and for a few magical weeks in November, they all four overlap. (But not baseball. Baseball can suck hobo toes.) College football is the crown jewel. It's like a rare and beautiful animal. A mammal, of course, warm-blooded but full of cold rage and cheerleaders. College football is perhaps only tainted by the aristocracy of the BCS, but the magic is still ineffable and permeates the institution from the stadiums to the TV broadcasts and floats down upon the fans like a pre-warmed blanket that smells of Jessica Biel's neck and forearms. If college football were a woman I would have long ago taken wise Beyoncé's advice and put a ring on it. What it is, girl.

Ah, the spectacle, the intrigue. Will Boise State crash the NC game? When will BYU's QB situation be settled? When will Frank Beamer cut off his goiter and raise it as his son? Will Mark Mangino be fat? Yes, yes he will.
He was actually fired after last season, but I suspect his fat will remain employed. On his body.
The NFL is interesting and I follow a few teams with players I like, but doesn't capture me like college football. No, the next best thing is the NBA, which I follow pretty obsessively. It has its flaws, but it's a wonder of skill, talent and athleticism that is not duplicated in any other sport or league in the world. Then, of course, there's the MLS. The MLS is like women's basketball, only way way better and with men playing soccer. People like to dump on it because it's a second rate league and doesn't compare to the EPL or Superliga or whatever. That is so stupid. We have smaller fan base, far less history and tradition, more popular sports to compete with and salary caps. It's like your buddy shared a band with you that he has loved for years, you start to like them and then his other friends get mad at you because you're just discovering this band. And then they all pee on you. It doesn't make sense.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Praying for the wave to come now. (Australia pt. 3)

Thursday dawned warm and sunny. The previous days had been sunny but a little cooler. Now, one of my many flaws is that I occasionally lock my siblings out on the porch when they annoy me. Another one of my flaws is that I don't plan ahead well, and I'll often forget important things that I need. Crucial things. And I don't mean important like I forgot and left my bagel in the freezer. I mean important like survival, like the time earlier this year I forgot to bring the food with me on a camping/fishing trip and my brother, brother-in-law and I were forced to eat the fish we caught there. We were lucky my brother caught the two fish he did or we probably would have eaten each other or bugs.

So one thing you think of when you go to Australia, particularly Sydney, is the beach. Specifically Bondi beach. Even if you don't know the name of it, you've seen it. Every postcard of Sydney is either the Opera House with the Harbour Bridge, or Bondi beach.

Well, Thursday was beach and cliff walk day. The plan was to head a bit east of Sydney (which is located in a large inlet so the water is north of downtown) and walk, starting a bit south of Bronte beach and heading all the way up north to the inlet of the inlet, as it were. There's a bunch of stuff to see along the way. You'd think that, headed to the beaches on the very day the weather turns unbelievably nice, one of us would have thought to bring a swimming suit. But nope. We didn't. Already I'd been hauling my backpack around everywhere. I had to. We had stuff we needed in it. And Sean had brought his own bag along every day except the first. So it's not like we didn't have where to put extra stuff. It was really kind of tragic. A once in a lifetime opportunity to swim at one of the most beautiful, famous beaches in the world and we couldn't be intelligent enough to bring something to swim in. I blame myself. And Sean.

The day ultimately involved just a lot of walking. We started at Waverley Cemetery and went north. I don't really have any photos of this day, but Sean does and I'll post them here soon. You can follow our route from that link: Waverley Cemetery, Bronte, Bondi, up through all the reserves and parks to the lighthouses, then to Signal Hill, The Gap, cut to Camp Cove, up to Lady Bay, around the lighthouse at the tip and then took a ferry from Watson's Bay back to Circular Quay. The walk took virtually all day:

At Waverley Cemetery, I upset the dead by chasing lizards around the graves. At Bondi, we saw a couple topless women just chilling out by the beach. We tried to get a closer look but.. wait, nevermind. We ate lunch at a little place a ways inland from Bondi and instead of going back to the beach and then north, went sort of northeast expecting to hit the coast again without realizing the cliffs rise up rapidly just past Bondi and there are neighborhoods and houses built right up against the cliffs. We wandered around, lost, for around an hour and somehow, by sheer luck, we took a guess at a side street and ended up exactly where we were trying to get to (if you're looking at the map, check the corner of Raleigh Street and Lola Road). That place was an open area along the cliffs that we could walk. There Sean stepped on dog poop while warning me not to step on dog poop ("Adam, watch out f--DAMMIT") and spent about 10 minutes then and intermittent periods throughout much of the rest of the day trying to clean it off his shoe. Every time I turned around he was pawing at the ground like a bull. With OCD. At The Gap Park, Sean took a photo of a spider. At Lady Bay Beach (and, I admit, at my urging) he tried to take a photo of some nude men. Yeah, it was a tiny nude beach, called Lady Bay Beach, and the only people on it were like three middle aged dudes. Nice, right? At the lighthouse north of that, Sean chased a bird around and almost fell off a cliff. Those last two events didn't happen in sequence, but it's funnier that way.

After that we went to this bar that we had heard was having all you can eat pizzas for like $21. We came to discover, however, that the pizzas were of sufficient size that three of them ($7 each) was more than we wanted to eat anyway, so we just bought two. The bartender looked like a younger, prettier Drew Barrymore. I may or may not have mentioned it to her.

Friday, August 27, 2010

This is the past that's mine. (Australia pt. 2)

The next day, we set off west to the Blue Mountains near the town of Katoomba. We'd read about the area online and it seemed like most people weren't terribly impressed, but we went anyway. Listening to people on the internet is a stupid idea. It was awesome. Katoomba is a park town along the lines of Jackson Hole or Park City, with that nice outdoorsy atmosphere and shops and restaurants leading up to the park.

The park itself (Kanangra-Boyd) is beautiful and there are some amazing trails that run through the place. At the top of the valley, overlooking the dense forest, it's dry and temperate. At the bottom it's like a cold rainforest, kind of like you'd see in southern Alaska (no pine trees, though), dense and green and wildlife everywhere. It's really cool.

Above the valley.

We went down the Giant Staircase, which is a 900-step, super steep stone (and metal) staircase literally cut out of a vertical cliff, into Jamison Valley. It's tough enough just getting down, my legs were shaky and unstable by the end, we weren't about to try it going up (and from the looks of things, not many other people did either). At the bottom, we happily marched along the foot of the cliff for an hour or two to Katoomba falls, and then up we went.

It wasn't the Giant Staircase, but it was a tough climb up, especially after the descent and hike along the bottom. The climb back up took us at least an hour, at which point we found ourselves about a mile or so--across a deep chasm cut by the falls--from the road back to town. So we paid about $9 for a tram that took us over the falls--something like a 6 second fall to the bottom of the valley.

I ate the second half of my lunch on the tram. This excursion may very well have been the thing I loved the most about the entire trip. It was scenic, fun and exhausting. I'd do it again in an instant. Next time I think I'd like to take a crack at going up the Staircase.

The next day, Wednesday, was Darling Harbour day. We got on a ferry that took us from Circular Quay to Darling Harbour and then hit every place we could. We first went to this wildlife place. I can't remember what it's called--it's like an aquarium but for bugs and lizards and stuff. They also had some bigger animals there, various marsupials (kangaroos, koalas, etc), birds and a huge crocodile. Nice place, I liked it. I got to pet a stag beetle.
Ha! Who sleeps in a tree, am I right?
Then we went to the aquarium. That was pretty neat. Lots of fish.

And this turtle, who appeared to have fatally collided with the floor.
After the aquarium we went to what I think was the biggest IMAX screen in the world and watched a movie about the Hubble telescope. I really liked it. Very educational, and also: space.

By that time it was late afternoon. We'd wanted to go to two more places but both were closing at 5 pm, so we did a quick half-hour tour of the Maritime Museum and decided to save the Powerhouse Museum for another day. So there we were enjoying ourselves in the Maritime Museum with about 10 minutes left before it closed and some guy in a jumpsuit starts following us around like some kind of a jerk. He was trying to herd us out of the museum, like we were freakin' sheep or something. And I was like, no way I'm leaving an instant before I see the South Pole exhibit. So there we were leaving without seeing the South Pole exhibit, passing the gift shop. We considered buying some souvenirs but screw those guys. We left and headed around the harbor, looking at the menus of the restaurants along the way. Expensive, but not prohibitively. We went to McDonald's, though. Usually I love McD's but this time it was crap. It was this piddly little three-sided joint with an army of aggressive gulls and pigeons squawking at you, trying to steal your food and poop on your table. And the food was pretty terrible. The best part was when some kookaburra swooped in and landed on a lamp above this family and squawked so loudly that all the other birds flew away in a panic and the poor family thought surely Armageddon had begun.

From there we headed off to the "golden bucket" tower to see the city from above at dark. I forget the exact name of the place, but the views were beautiful. They would have been better if we could have gone outside ($50 extra to do so), but we made do with the inside.

Then we ate some ice cream and that was that.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sleep for a while and speak no words. (Australia pt. 1)

At about 1 am Monday morning I got off a plane from LAX to SLC. As I got off the plane, I struck up a conversation with a beautiful Latina girl who looked just like Eva Mendes. It was a nice ending to my trip. We'd arrived in Sydney, Australia just over a week before. At 6 am local time. The first thing we did after we got off the plane was take a train to Sydney's Central rail station. From there, we walked out onto the street with all our stuff. The weather was nice for 6 am in spring. We guessed a reasonable route to our hotel and set off. We got to the hotel about 30 minutes later (only got a little lost). We couldn't check in yet, so we used the lobby and lobby bathroom as a hotel room, changing and trying to wash off the fancy smell of 24 hours on planes and in airports. At about 10 am we left our stuff with the desk and went to church. Before we left for Australia, Sean had located a singles ward right down the road from where we were staying. It was mighty convenient and we didn't have anything else planned, so off we went. It was fun. Besides a few missionaries and a small family of other American tourists, there were no white people there. White people don't seem to like church very much these days. Anyway, it was fun, we met a bunch of people and made friends with a couple local girls who gave us their numbers/emails so we could get in contact with them later in the week if we wanted.

After church, we shot off down the streets at random trajectories. We finally came across a restaurant that was recommended in one of our two travel books. It was a Korean place, and we were feeling adventurous so we were trying to decide between eel and octopus. Fortunately the menu had photos of the food and I saw that the eel came with what appeared to be three different kinds of mushrooms and nothing else. So we ordered octopus. It was crunchy. We found our way back to the hotel, checked in and fell asleep for 16 straight hours. We woke up the next morning ready to go. We'd decided to roughly follow some of the recommended itineraries in one of our books. Seemed like a decent outline for a plan. We took a train to Circular Quay ("key") and started looking for our first stop, Customs House. We wandered around for like 40 minutes before someone showed us where it was, right where we'd been wandering but not well-marked. As we came back out, we noticed a free city tour starting up and as they started to walk away we were right behind them and the guide asked us if we would be joining them. There were a couple cute girls in the group, so we said yes. The tour lasted about 3-4 hours. It was actually a really nice way to spend our first full day, getting to know the city itself. The tour was free because they were also trying to sell pay-for pub tours and drinky ferry tours. That was sort of a common theme in Australia. Everything was about drinking. The whole social scene was about drinking. Being that my travel companion is married and that neither of us drink, it made it a little tough to meet girls. Had we been so inclined. And I'm not saying we were. Truthfully, we didn't see very many cute girls at all. I talked to the cutest girl in the tour group and she wasn't even Australian, she was German. It was a sad moment for me.

This is the tour group. Jumping. That's me in the back. I wasn't real excited about the jumping part. Or the photo part. This is also the only photo we have with both me and Sean in it.
After the tour ended, we used the bathroom for number ones at the Sydney Opera House and went to the Harbour Bridge. We walked across it, walked around Luna Park and then ate at a restaurant called Ripples, right on the water. We were starving. We got fish and chips, but they gave us a TON of food and we couldn't eat it all. Oh well.

This is the exact meal. Ours seemed bigger, though. I stole this from another blog since I refuse to photograph food.
This is the view from Ripples. I also stole this image.
Our waitress was very nice and had a beautiful accent. She gave us a newspaper. Then we caught a train back across the bridge and went back to the hotel.