maybe in one or two years.

Work has been more awesome than usual lately. It might have something to do with the fact that I’m not in grad school anymore. [hallelujah!] But very recently, it has a lot to do with Freddy — the German journalist who I had the pleasure of showing around Bozeman yesterday. After an insanely delayed flight, Freddy showed up in my office after being awake for more than 30 hours, donning his effortlessly hip European wears, ready to hike. So after a taco at the taco stand [i’m obsessed], we took off up Hyalite Canyon.

I instantly regretted taking my car. The air conditioning is giving it a good ol’ college try, but coming up short and this was one of the hotter days we’ve had. I almost apologized to Freddy, but he didn’t seem to mind at all. He didn’t fuss. He didn’t fidget. He didn’t once stare at his smart phone. He soaked in the scenery through his open window and felt present.

Our conversations were easy and comfortable and slow. Freddy was exhausted and making the switch to speaking English. I was tired and completely fine with the refreshing break of silence or near-ambivalent conversing. For about five minutes we tried to remember the name of the movie “Cliffhanger.”

– The guy, he hitchhikes the plane… not hitchhike… that’s not the word…

– Hijacks?

– Yes, yes… HIJACKS the plane…

I still didn’t know what movie we were talking about for many more minutes.

Things became simple and beautiful. His observations were comical and heart-warming. Once during the day, he quickly turned around to me and said…

– So do you feel you have a pioneer spirit then?

– Pardon?

– From Texas to Wyoming to Montana? Do you feel like a pioneer?

The answer — of course — was fumbling and black and white, back and forth. Yes. No. Yes, because of this. No, because of this.

It was a simple, lovely day and it made me wish that I was like that more. That I wasn’t always so pre-occupied with what was next. That I wasn’t cripplingly concerned if the ones around me were entertained. Being present and simple and curious and fine.

We hiked up to a waterfall in Hyalite Canyon and sat as close as we could. The cool mist was a paradise I didn’t realize I was craving — which is, by the way, the best kind of paradise.

We sat there for almost an hour. We talked about everything, in the most random manner. Or we just sat. It was perfect.

FREDDY

“I’m considering becoming an alcoholic… maybe in one or two years…”

[my favorite quote from the day. freddy langer, ladies and gentlemen.]

lovely little things.

these days, I have to remind myself to stop and breathe in life. love the little lovely things.

like the awesome card from your bff:
bees_knees
or the valentine from your dear friends and their BABY… their beautiful, wonderful babe:
jack_valentine

or remembering to watch your all-time favorite movie near enough to valentine’s:


I swear I interpret this film differently every time I watch it. I love it.
and I’m determined to drink a blue ruin someday.

or giggling throughout the day at the misfortunes of your partner in crime.
[which might make me horrid.]

or the full-on incredible valentine’s present from your mom:
crystal_and_hef mom_note

the little lovely things.

pinging joy within.

xxo.

go and enjoy yourself.

So much snow and sickness for a week or so made cabin fever inevitable.  It was time to get out.  Get to Salt Lake, see fresh faces of friends I haven’t seen in so long.

Friends from different walks of life at different times, living in one city… and they all became friends!  A circle of friends, all connected.

And go see my favorite band!  Arcade Fire!  They’re playing in Orem tomorrow night… so exciting.  An adventure.  An escape.

We went through Idaho Falls and were making great time.  Through Pocatello… sun starting to set… beautiful golden light… snow disappearing.

Car slowed quickly.  I asked…

– What’s the matter?  Are we getting pulled over?

– What?  No.

Evan looked at me very worried.  I still didn’t catch on.

The car [evan’s car] just stopped working.  Slowed down.  Stopped.

Crap.

We tried everything.

Evan gave it more oil.  Checked other motor things.

We did chants for the car as we tried to start it…

– GO, CAR GO!  GO, CAR GO!

Nothing.

I was in disbelief…

– Try it again.  It has to work.  We have to go have dinner with our friends.  Get to the concert.

– Rachel, it’s not going to work.

– Try it again.

It didn’t work.

The car had to be towed.  We decided it would be best to get it towed all the way back to Idaho Falls… for reasons too logical for a blahg.

We waited.  Cracked a beer.  [we found our favorite favorite oregon beer at a random IF grocery store…!]  We waited for the tow truck.

Todd showed up.  He was driving the tow truck.

He rigged everything up, we got what we needed out of the car…

– [whispering] This guy is a character.

– Yeah, he is.

Todd was a short guy, smelled of smoke, gruff, moved with a purpose.  We got in his cab of his truck.  Justin Timberlake was playing.  Hmmm… Todd and I might actually get along.

I, of course, sat real close to Todd… in the middle of him and Evan.

We were quiet for a long time.  Evan on the phone a lot trying to figure things out.

I started talking to Todd… asking about his life.

He’s been in Inkom, Idaho [population 738] for 47 years [his whole life].

He has five kids from 29 to 16 years of age.

And that was all I got out of him for a while.  Evan and I started feeling less sorry for ourselves and started to laugh at it all.

– It could be a lot worse.

– Yeah, it’s only a car.

– And money.

– Yeah, but that’s only money.

And Todd chimed in.

– This job is hard sometimes… I see a lot of fatalities.

And it hit us.

We are so lucky.

We all realized that and we started to talk more.  More like we were humans.  Dealing with human things.  Life.

Jackson is expensive.  Kids are expensive.

– You two married?

– No.

– Oh.

– How long have you been married?

– 29 years!

Math, math, math… He got married at 18!

The more we talked, the more we just randomly opened up.  We cursed every so often.  Complained.  Vented.

– Buddy, you better get her to that indie rock concert.

– Yeah, I know… I’m tryin’.

– Says it’s her favorite… Gotta keep the lady happy.

[like i wasn’t even there… sitting right in between them… hilarious… ah-mazing.]

Started talking about families.

His kids.

– They’ve had their fair share of DUIs.

– Oh, I’m so sorry.

They’ve spent their time in jail.

– It’s just a rough place to grow up sometimes.

And then we were to the shop in Idaho Falls all of a sudden.  Evan got out of the car to deal with things.  I asked.

– Is there a lot of meth down in Inkom?

– Uhhh… No, not really.  A lot of cocaine.

– Oh, yeah?

– Yeah, my wife and I used to deal.  Used to use a lot too… It was just so much damn money.  I’ve been clean for 19 years now.

– Wow.

And then we just talked and talked [for what was in reality minutes… but felt like years of a friendship unfolded] about addiction, family, darkness, reality, light, hope.

Then, on his own time, he drove us to our hotel and helped us unload all of our stuff from the truck to inside.  He didn’t let me carry more than him… it was cute.  And when he left he looked me straight in the eye, shook my hand and said…

– Hey girl, I hope you get to your concert.  Go and enjoy yourself.

 

oh.

Random Day.

[oh, so random.]

This morning, working out at a gym in a class.  A woman, a stranger, is my partner for a lot of things and she just keeps talking about how she has to get somewhere, she’s going to be late…

Woman:  I have to be at the radio station in ten minutes!

Me:  Oh, cool.  What radio station do you work for?

Woman:  What?  I don’t work there… It’s K-A-X or K-L-M or something, I don’t know.

Me:  Oh.  Well why are you going?

Woman:  I’m getting interviewed.

Me:  Oh, cool.  For what?

Woman:  I don’t know.

Me:  [thinking.] Okaaaaaay, I don’t believe you now.  Whatever you are up to, I do not believe you are going to any radio station to be interviewed for anything.  All the sudden I think you’re going to bomb something and I am taking extensive mental note of everything about your apperance. [saying.]  Neat.

Then I went to grab a coffee and sat, reading the paper, when a man came up to me and said…

Man:  Okay, I just have to ask.

[for some reason this made me unbelievably nervous.]

Me:  Allllriiiiight.  If you have to, go for it.

Man:  Where did you get your boots?

Me:  Oh, a thrift store.  Yeah, someone told me they’re old snowboard boots… like some of the first.  There’s no right or left foot and sometimes, if I’m dancing or something, they get really hot.  [ramble for a bit longer.]

Man:  Can I take a picture of them?

And thus began the awkward coffee shop, sitting down, photo shoot.

Here’s me standing awkwardly in my kitchen so you can see the mentioned boots.

 

Then I went home and watched this video a hundred times and laughed from preciousness overload:

You should watch the whole thing, but it gets really good around 2:00 minutes.

And then there was a babysitting job that deserves it’s own post entirely.  It was moving.  Still processing it.

Then I went to our local, awesome store, MADE, and while perusing, I bumped into a man with scraggly hair and a red leather jacket.

My first thought was, that is one strung out European on vacation.

Nope.  It was David Arquette.  And at a second glance, he just looks styley… not high.

Anywho, I got excited.  Small town girl gettin’ all silly over celebrities.

Random.

[random.]

be forewarned.

I had big Valentine’s plans.

Big Valentine’s plans for you… the reader… subscriber.

I was going to share with you an entry in the journal [it’s like a blahg but with pen and paper… more work] about love.  Love as a question.  Love as a doubt.  Love as a choice.  Love as a mystery.  Love as a hindrance.  Love as an inheritance.  Love as a relief.  Love as a surprise.

I was going to scan it in and everything… and I might still… but not now.

The day became too busy.  I’m sitting here now, later than earlier, dinner being cooked for me [by the way, feminists, i’m scoring major points for us tonight], wine being drank, nothing that takes more time than typing or shoveling food or lifting a glass to lips is going to happen tonight.

My day was [unexpectedly] filled from start to finish.

Started with working, sitting in bed.  Working and skyping with my best friend and listening to KHOL… my friend, Colleen, playing love songs.

Requesting my favorite song ever.  And then when I heard the bells and drums of those first few bars, I jumped outta bed [still in my scandalous pjs] and danced all around the bedroom, the apartment:

The best start to a morning EVER.  And then she played Seal and then Boyz II Men and well, I was in bliss.

And then a friend wanted to do lunch and YES, of course.

Because I haven’t really figured out romantic love… I haven’t.  My boyfriend knows this.

[that’s him… trying to get in the shot.  jk, love.]

But I know the truth in the love of friendship.  And when a friend calls, you say, “yes”… because it’s love.

So we lunched and it was hilarious/delightful.

And then I rushed home to make the cake that is my Valentine’s gift to the bf.

I wish someone would have filmed this kitchen adventure.  It was comical/tragic.  I would’ve made millions on the movie rights.

Recipe Book:  Pour the chocolate batter into the cream batter and fold it.

Me:  Ummmm…. The “chocolate batter” is in balls and has weird pockets of whiteness in it… I’m just gonna pick it up and plop it in the whitish bowl.

The cake could very well be horrible.  We’ll find out later.

Then a friend called and wanted to go for a drink.  And I said “yes”.  Because of love.  And because of the love you choose and want and the laughter in love and yes and yes.

We went to a crowded bar and sat at a table next to a man eating dinner by himself.  He warned us…

– Be forewarned, I usually like to flirt with young, cute girls.

– Ha.  Okay, we’re officially warned.

But he really didn’t flirt with/bother us at all.  Didn’t even really talk to us.

My friend [the cute one] and I tried to figure out what to drink.  It’s 2-for-1s at this bar’s happy hour, so we had to agree on a drink.

– Are margaritas two for ones?

– I dunno.  I thought last time you got one you had to pay more.

– Hmmm… I should ask.  I kinda want a marg.  Would you want one if they were two for one?

– No.

– Ha.  Okay, we’ll get beer.

So we had our beers and had a great time catching up and laughing at ridiculousness around us.  The older man next to us finished his meal, paid and then came over to me and put his hand on my back.

He put a ten dollar bill on the table and said…

– Here.  Have the margarita.  You should always get what you want on Valentine’s Day.

I was so taken back.  So surprised.

Then he left.

The kindness of an older man.  Sitting alone.

Who was he?  Who is he?  What is the love in his life?  What is the story of the love that has been in his life?

Sitting, eating alone, watching the world go around, making note of silly little problems and being human enough to recognize the beauty in the silly little problems and oh, wait… the even more beautiful sister of those problems that is the silly solution… the random act of kindness.  Gorgeous.

LOVE.

[randomness.]

[beauty.]

Happy Valentine’s Day.

I hope you get what you want.

lethal poison for the system.

After running some errands today, I decided I wanted a Dairy Queen Blizzard.

Okay, who am I kidding?  I had brought along coupons I’ve been saving for DQ.

The whole point of this excursion was to get a Blizzard.

Driving through town, towards DQ, I saw a hitchhiker.  And I thought to myself,  Self, you got nothin’ goin’ on today… Take this guy wherever he wants to go.

So I pulled over and asked…

– You need a ride?

– Oh, yeah!  Thanks!

He got in and we figured out where he needed to go.

– Thanks for pickin’ me up; I’ve been standin’ there for a while.

– No prob.  Hey!  I was gonna go to Dairy Queen and get a Blizzard.  I got a coupon; you want one?!

– Uhh… Ohhh… No, I don’t eat that stuff.

– Oh, yeah, no, okay… I’ll get one on the way back.

[…from driving you to a place that I do not need to go.]

I was so embarrassed.  And the drive was so so awkward.

We got to where he needed to be and said our goodbyes.

I drove back to town less excited [but still excited] about my Blizzard.  Ugh.

The worst part?  My coupon was 2 for 1 Blizzards.

NO… I did not get two delicious candy ice cream treats for myself.  But it did cross my mind.

At least I did get to hear this song on 89.1 KHOL whilst driving around…