Sunday, July 30, 2006

¡Viva México!

If you were quick enough in the last entry you would've seen that the flag behind us in the picture is the Mexican flag, and that's because we spent the weekend before the Fourth of July in Ensenada, Mexico! Woo-hoo!! Yeah, that was an incredible weekend! We did everything from clubbing to riding 4-wheelers on the beach, from sleeping on the beach to playing golf at this insanely nice golf course, from getting fake tattoos to getting robbed. Yeah, what a weekened. :-) Some of the highlights:

As mentioned, we did hit up Papas & Beer a few times while out there, though I only went once (I was too tired to spend the hours of 12am-3am in a club every night). It was actually pretty fun, though some parts were pretty gross. Maybe some day in the future when I'm with guys that don't give a darn how I act or look or whatever, I might just consider going and dancing again. Just maybe.

We took some 4-wheelers onto the beach and had a blast! Despite our best efforts, only a few minor injuries were incurred. We did happen to get the police involved, but that was just kicking us off of some part of the beach. We did find some sweet ramps to take, got to drive 40mph through the Ensenada streets like a red-neck version of Hell's Angels, and have a few vids of it all for proof. It was awesome. And, with a little more luck, we left with Trent narrowly avoiding buying a whole ATV. Hehe.

We did have a hardy round of golf that proved more physically beneficial than a 30-minute ab workout! Our golf game consisted of us rounding up 95 golf balls that had flown outside of the driving range nets, smuggling them onto the course, getting caught using them, eventually using all of them before the end of the 9th hole, and utterly destroying a $300 driver, totally on accident of course. The story behind each of those events is long and full of hilarious details, but I don't have the time right now. Ask me if you want a full report. ;-)

We finished the 4-day weekend trip off with a day at the beach in San Diego, followed by a firework show that most of us missed anyways, but hey, the trip was great. We ended up not killing one another after staying in close contact for 72 hours and had some gnarly stories to share later. Plus, we all came back with those ridiculous farmer's tans burnt off our skin, only to have them return within a week, like a dog to its vomit...ok, maybe not so revolting, but still - those tans are embarrassing.

¡Que viva México!

After a long hiatus

I've been a bum the last month and a half, I know it. So much has happened, too. But, it's water under the bridge, and now's the time for another burst (hopefully habit-forming as well) of entries into this crucial yet often-times overlooked portion of my life. .... And here it goes.

My time out here in sunny california is drawing to an end, with just a little less than 3 full weeks of work left to do. I can't believe so much time has already passed, but at the same time I'm grateful that the end is in sight. I'm feeling trunky again, like on my mission, and for some of the same reasons. While out here I basically restrict myself from anything that can only be done on weekdays from 8am-10pm and Saturdays from 8am to 4pm, which includes basically everything. I haven't been able to watch TV (which I haven't done basically since April), I haven't been able to spend much time on the phone due to work hours and unavoidable and annoying time zone changes, I haven't been able to see old friends or family, I'm with the same guys all day, week, month, and summer long, and we've all developed our own lingo, inside jokes, and mutually-beneficial habits. Much like a mission, but not as "severe". (Not that a mission's bad, on the contrary!) I'm excited to be able to spend time with my family and just chill on the couch, or on the lake, or watch TV or something like that.

The flip side of the coin has already been partly expressed. Allow me to repeat - you may recall: I'm with the same guys all day, week, month, and summer long, and we've all developed our own lingo, inside jokes, and mutually-beneficial habits. That's one thing that's gonna be really hard to part with. I've become such great friends with such great guys that the sudden departure and separation is already causing some heartache, and I'm still 20 days away!! I've celebrated with these guys, I've laughed so hard that I couldn't breathe with these guys, I've been so sad that I've almost (maybe once...maybe...) cried with these guys, we've avoided arrests together, we've done service together...we've been through a lot. And we know each other personally and have close relationships with each one.

I've wondered why life takes turns like this, and seems to just play with your emotions. I know that it isn't, because we're all growing together and preparing ourselves to be more functional adults in society, but still - I'm part of a group of over a dozen guys that would do anything for the other, but we're only together for these 4 months, then we all part our different ways, some forever. In the mission we were with our companions and best friends for 2 YEARS and left the field and had to recuperate from the sudden yank from the steady flow of our lives into the status quo lifestyle of a typical young adult. I'm not anticipating any recuperation or emotional trauma, but I am saddened by the foreknowledge of friendships lost paths separated. It's gonna be a mini trial, but I know it will be good for me (and us).

This predicament reminds me of a poem that I wrote last year when a friendship of 4 young adults was being broken up by a mission, by an engagement, and a break-up. I was part of the breakup...but that's not important now. Either way, I remember sitting on my couch upset and angry at life and why our awesome friendship had to change, and I just started writing. I don't know what to title it, so I just named it Continue. Here it is:

Anthony Gardner

When first they meet, the best of friends,
Each listens, helps, and shares;
They feel a special union made:
They know each other cares.

They enjoy each other’s friendship,
Learn their plans, their hopes and dreams,
And a special tie unites them:
An inseparable team.

They pass through times of gain and loss;
Their relationship fares well.
They never want their bonds to fade,
But only time will tell.

Like falling snow in winter’s wake
Time silently transforms
The plans and hopes of these best friends;
In each new paths are born.

New paths will lead to different ends
Not heretofore arranged,
Requiring that each best friend
Adjust and his route change.

With change there comes an unvoiced fear
Of pain and friendship lost,
And stinging views of future strife
May coat their words with frost.

Why do they change, the hopes and fears,
Of friends who’ll never part?
Of plans they’ve made for coming years;
What changes in the heart?

The friends may doubt and drift apart,
But one thing holds them close:
A common love and knowledge pure;
Their value cherished most:

Their trust in Christ, while on their knees,
Like glowing embers strong,
Won’t fade or flicker in the breeze
Of words or deeds gone wrong.

Such faith and hope in Christ’s great love,
And in His grand design,
Imparts to each a tranquil heart
That brings a peace of mind.

Their friendship is not happenstance;
This doesn’t come and go,
The Savior must had meant for them
To meet down here below.

So come what may in life’s long day,
They trust in heaven’s love,
And know their friendship, strong and pure,
Will continue up above.

The Spirit’s voice may lead us all
On paths unseen before,
But friendships such as this, in Christ,
Will live forevermore.