When I was younger I had an atrocious tendency to buy a souvenir whenever I went somewhere special. I was under the impression that I needed some cheap knickknack in order to have memories about wherever I went. My room back home is filled with all sorts of useless shit that now means nothing to me and serves no purpose other than collecting dust. Of course, taking advantage of these impulses is a big moneymaker for tourism. Now that I’ve realized this I’ve gotten much better, and now I generally only purchase souvenirs as gifts for family members. That’s what I did in Costa Rica, even though the temptation to buy crap for myself was still present. The only thing I got for myself was a jersey for Costa Rica’s national FC, something practical that I actually use. Costa Rican souvenir markets carry a lot of paraphernalia, most of it very eye catching. I remember seeing a glass pipe that had a clay sloth hanging off the stem, and I briefly considered getting it for an uncle who is a chronic enthusiast. At Disneyland all I got was a Yoda shirt, and at Yellowstone I did as I had in Costa Rica. I am more mature know, and have learned the hard way that any memory that needs some tacky ass souvenir isn’t a memory worth making effort to retain.
Tag Archives: Montana
First of all, let me make it clear that NOBODY (except for maybe some very kind friends and family) would want to watch a movie about my life. My life as I have had it so far, anyway; who knows what may happen down the road. I challenge you to find something that would be film worthy:
I lived in Japan until I was six, which was far too young for me to know the difference between there and America; living on a US Army base especially blurred that. I actually did some modeling for Japanese magazines as they have a big demand for gaijin children so readers will want to get these clothes because Americans supposedly wear them. The first few years following my family’s return to Washington is excrutiatingly dull. After then I was involved with Boy Scouts for several years. My original troop dissolved because my dad was the scoutmaster but he got deployed to Iraq and there was no one to replace him. That was followed by a few years where I was very lonely and depressed much of the time, most of my time was spent playing PC games. Then I joined another troop and while it was very rewarding it would make a horrible movie.
The last few years have been a bit more film worthy. My time at junior college was much like my time in the second troop I was in. I won far more accolades though. I have allready blogged quite a bit about my time in Costa Rica and Montana, so click on those catagories if you want to know more about all that. Here I am now, I have left my Theological literature class and am killing time until my African Civilization class. Every hour seems like a juggle between reading Boethius, Gogol, and the Epic of Sundiata.
If anyone could make a rough concept of adapting any of these events into a film I will be highly impressed.
My plan for this Summer was to spend most of it reading. When I was younger I read quite a bit but I fell out of habit for several years and I just largely stopped reading for fun. I grew up without cable (so it was a huge deal when I got to watch Spongebob at a friends’ house), and when my family finally got a satellite I started watching TV and not reading as much. When I got a 360 was the final nail, especially since I had about two or three years of games to catch up on.
So it was for the next few years. When I started junior college I began to read a ton, much more than I ever had before. However all that was for school, and then I certainly had no time to read. When I took my creative writing class in my last quarter I had decided that this Summer I would be reading a lot. Well, it didn’t happen. My Summer turned out to be to busy for that, as I went to Disneyland, Montana and Yellowstone, in addition to my overnight campus orientation. When I wasn’t doing any of that I was pretty much either blogging or watching Breaking Bad; which incidently started showing right when I first got satellite but I didn’t start watching until this June when AMC began to replay the entire series to prepare for the Final Episodes.
“I’ll just read some other time!” Was a common thought.
However, when I start university I will finally be reading fiction again. I signed up for a Russian Literature class and a Theological Literature (I’m going to a Benedictine school)one. Both of those have like seven books apiece, so this semester I will more than compensate for my lack of reading this Summer. I have never had any desire to read Anna Karenina, but I will have to. Needless to say I won’t be able to choose what books I will be reading.
Now I have enough energy to write about my trip. It was another church group trip, superficially like the one I did last year in Costa Rica. Rather than build a house for a family, this time we hosted a vacation Bible school for a church in Montana. The town we stayed in was one of the smallest functioning town I’ve been to, the only place to go shopping was an IGA and there are no chain restaraunts; as a result many people take the hour long drive to Billings once a week to get stuff they need. Walking down mainstreet felt really does feel like being in the Wild West. Several bars, bootmakers, horse suppliers and such line the street, there is even a 1%er clubhouse with a door that reads “patchholders only.”
The VBS program was a huge success, it went much more smoothly than it ever does at my church. Granted I am comparing working with 60 kids to working with upwards of 200 kids. As I do every year, I was part of the drama team. This year the five part drama was about David, I played Jesse and one of King Saul’s henchmen.
That Wild West vibe I mentioned was more then superficial, at one point we worked on a cattle ranch doing various jobs like fencing and mending chicken coops. However, those jobs were merely the openers for the main event: banding. For those of you not in the know, banding is a method of castration where a tiny rubber band is streched and put around a poor soon to be steer’s testicles. It took our whole team to do that. One person gave the calf milk to disract him, several more held him down, and I and one other had to actually do the banding part. Thankfully it’s done with plier things that open and close the rubber bands. I never thought I’d ever fix a cow. For dinner that day we ate fried bull balls, from a different bull mind you. Pretty good actually, as long as you don’t get a chewy one.
After we left the town we drove to Yellowstone. Going there has never exactly been a dream of mine, but I absolutely loved it and I am so glad we went. Even pictures can’t do it justice, you really have to go there and experience the sounds and especially the smells. When you smell the minerals and gasses it the geological and thermal forces at work make themselves clear. Personally, I think Old Faithful kind of steals the thunder of everything else. Don’t get me wrong it’s definately worth seeing. My favorite parts were the areas that have several hot springs, mud fountains, and are right next to bison herds. I have admired bison for some time and have seen them before, but seeing hundreds of them elavates it to another level. We could only stay at the park for two days, then we headed home.
Overall I would say the trip was very rewarding for me, though not lifechanging like Costa Rica was. I didn’t bring a camera but here are some pictures to give an idea of what I saw:
I’d love to post more but I have over twenty episodes of Breaking Bad to catch up on.