Saturday, February 26, 2011

Dr. D and the Cheese Whiz.

 I'll try to keep the purpose of my blog alive here...SKIING!  Oh man.  Today is the first day I haven't skied in two weeks.  (and looking out my window at all that new snow is making me seriously doubt my decision not to)  But I'm beat and really needed this day off.  Here's the best part about my two week ski marathon...I got paid to do it!  And I got paid very well!  Presidents day weekend and the days surrounding it is the busiest time of year for ski school, so I had to work my regular schedule plus my days off.  And though I'm exhausted...I'm pretty stoked about that.  For the entire two weeks I had clients that we're wicked good skiers, and for the most part they all just wanted to learn how to ski in Utah's famous soft powder!  Oh I cannot describe the delight.  Powder runs and face shots day after day, it was so great!  Some of my clients were serious VIPs too.  And they had requested me to be there coach.  Filthy rich VIP + requested private lessons x deep powder days = A very happy Dallon with a newly bulging wallet.  I can't believe the money those people through around.  Let me tell you how these people roll.  First of all, the ski school manager pulls me into his office to assure I'm on my best behavior, then I had to pick up my client (a 14 year daughter) at the Waldorf Astoria (which is definitely no Motel 6) where I am greeted by the Hotel Manager and the President of Guest services, both of whom implore me to do a good job.  In the lobby someone even wiped my dripping nose for me.  When I dropped daughter off with parents at the lodge, they had a table reserved for them and a server waiting.  Have you been in a ski lodge before?  Then you know that there is no such thing as reservations and servers, it's a mad house and every man is on his own.  Not these people.  This went on for three days, and at the end of every half day private lesson where I just skied with Lauren from England on my favorite powder runs, dad would slip me a Franklin!  I never asked why they were so VI, but they were VNP (very nice people) as well, so it was great.  I had several other private lessons and several children's group lessons.  All my kids lessons were black and blue level skiers, so it was more of the powdery steeps for me!  All these kids were awesome too.  I got to ski with most of them every day, keeping my classes pretty much in tact, a large number of them were British and none were rubbish!  I honestly had so much fun with those kids.  Thanks to crazy little Cole, I am now fondly known as Dr. D, due to his efforts everyone is calling me that now.  And thanks to adorable Sofia, we were all known as Dr. D and the Cheese Whiz.  Kids are so hilarious!  Yesterday, at the end of my 14 day marathon I will admit that I was nearing the end of my patience and abilities to entertain 9 year olds, and I may have gotten a bit crabby.  But at the end of the day when little Jimmy chewed out his mom for not giving me a big enough tip because I am "the best ski coach ever!" then giving me a big hug and actually crying when he had to leave, just totally made it all worth it.  Thanks Jimmy, hope to see you again next year!  I love my life!

Paul, Me, and Jimmy
VIP Lauren
VGS Lauren (Very Good Skier)


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Less Than Jake

I mentioned that I listened to my MP3 the other day, and it reminded me of the good old days.  What I didn't mention is the thought that came to my mind while listening was that music these days just isn't as good as it used to be.  This made me realize two things, first was that I'm old, the other was that I'm not that old and I really wanted to go skank it up in a pit at a concert!  So when my brother called to tell me that one of my all time favorite bands whom I had only seen once in concert (and I was about 500 yards from stage packed in with thousands of other stinky kids at a warped tour years and years ago) were coming to town, I got pretty stoked.  I had reservations at first, things like: "I'll be the oldest guy there!" and "Oh man I'm going to be so sore afterwards."  But I took my girly pants off and in the spirit of my new personal anti-boredom campaign, I bought tickets.  And it was awesome!  It'd been way too long since I'd been to a concert.  I missed the thumping bass drum, the flashing lights, the sore feet, the stinky B.O., and the rebellious kids with their ska patches and checkerboard ties.  My feet hurt, my ears were ringing, and some weird drunk girl wouldn't leave me alone, but that all didn't matter because I was at a ska show!  And as it turned out, just about everyone their was a washed up ska kid from the 90's, just like me.  Thanks Less Than Jake for reminding me how much I love a good ska/punk show and keeping me young!  (even if I didn't punch and kick in the pit with my doc martens on!)

 

 

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

In the last 7 days...

 My saddest moment was when I ran out of sugar puffs.
I baked Heath chip cookies, from scratch then gave them away.
My best friend was Brockwell, age 4, from Florida. (He's on the left in the photo atop my blog)
I skied 7 times.
I fixed my phone with dental floss.
My happiest moment was watching Midge accept my cinnamon challenge, and failing.
I doorbell ditched my neighbors.
I bought a plant.
My best meal was a plate of very pretty, very dead, very raw...fish.
I took 5 showers.
My most giddy moment was seeing fireworks and pretending they were for me.
I spent almost $1000, but got nothing new, well, except for the plant.
My biggest surprise was when I discovered my left eyebrow is retarded.
I only watched 14 surfing videos on you tube. This one was my favorite.
I listened to my MP3 player and the songs reminded me of high schoo1.
A turtle scared me.  
I remembered that it was valentines day.
My car got cleaned.
I gave my neighbors cookies.
I updated my MP3 player.
I played with legos.
I babysat again...it was just like last time. 
I bought Less Than Jake tickets.

My new plant!
My first batch of cookies EVER!
So pretty, so dead, so raw.



Friday, February 11, 2011

I have a new calling.

The Driftwood Files: Smooth Like James

Driftwood manor backyard show.
Mojos in Ogden
Probably one of the greatest consequences of the creation of Driftwood Manor was the creation of Smooth Like James.  SLJ was our band.  That's right, we had our own band!  It all started when we realized that among the residents of Driftwood we had the talent and equipment necessary for a band.  So we just started jamming one day.  Goofing around really, and it was so much fun!
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          5 folding tables = one awesome stage.

Peach Days in Brigham City
   It started like this:
Bass:      Guitar:      Piano:     Guitar:     Drums:     Vocals:
Dallon    Reed         Trevor                      Spicer       anyone

Then it changed to this:
Bass:      Guitar:      Piano:     Guitar:     Drums:     Vocals:
Adam     Reed         Trevor                        Jon           Dallon
Adam     Reed                         Benny        Josh          Dallon
Rick       Reed                         Benny        Levi          Dallon

So at one point or another, these are the members of Smooth Like James:  Dallon Williams, Reed Capener, Trevor Jackson, Ben Spicer, Adam Taylor, Jon Cook, Josh Law, Benny Johnson, Rick, and Levi Phippen. 

I have added links to their facebook pages, in case you want to be creepy.

After the original line up.  Adam Taylor moved in and was conveniently a bass player.  Well not convenient for me, cuz that bumped me to vocals.  Which I did NOT like, more on that later.  Then Spicer moved out and in his place moved in Jon Cook.  Also a drummer.  Convenient.  This was the lineup for our first show.  Then Jon got married so the first non resident joined the band, Adam's friend (now everyones friend) Josh Law took over on drums.  This is how it stayed for a long time until Trevor got married.  So we only had to look within the walls of the manor to find Benny, a kick-a guitarist.  This started the first big re-haul of the band and re-write of songs without the piano.  It pretty much stayed that way until we had our first little fallout.  Due to Josh leaving for China, and a broken collar, and other lameness, we were done for a bit.  Then, completely randomly, we got invited to play another show, so we quickly recruited Levi Phippen and his pal Rick, re-learned all the songs and played the show.  From that show we got invited to do another, and another, and another and the reunion tour was on!  It was a great time!  Finally though, life caught up to everyone and we were done.  We had played shows all over Utah with bands from all over the country.     Some bands of note are:  Dropsonic, Royal Bliss, The Monikers, Blind Iris, Love You Long Time, Woodly Bog and so many more I can't think of them!  We played small private events, house parties, huge university events, battle of the bands comps., athletic events, coffee shops, concert venues, and just about any other venue you could think of.  One time we played a show at a sorority party, then at a battle of the bands in one night!  We recorded a CD, even though it was in our early days and we ended up being a much different band than that.  We printed t-shirts and at one point we were looking at record labels.  We were a very mixed group as far as what our personal influences were, which honestly made it 
hard at times, but also made us that much more diverse.  Song writing was a little backwards for us, the guys would come up with a tune, and I'd come up with lyrics for that tune, and we'd play with till it worked.  Which was probably my only real contribution, because I sure as heck couldn't sing!  Man I sucked!  I do feel I got better at singing as we went along but better still equaled really really bad.  Shoots, the ward choir didn't even want me.  My favorite story is when we were at a show and I overhead a conversation that went like this:  
Kid 1, "I really like this place, but for some reason they keep having that Smooth Like James band play here."  
Kid 2, "That's because the guys in that band run this place." (more on Driftwood Venue in another post)
Kid 1, " Oh really?  Well I really like the band's music, but every time I hear that kid sing it makes me want to shoot myself in the head!"
Kid 2, "Be carefull man they are all still here!"
Dallon, "Hey come on man, I am definitely not worth shooting yourself!  I know I suck, we're just doing it for fun you know!"
Kid 1, complete awkward star struck silence.  He apologized the next day on the bands myspace page.  I thought the whole thing was hilarious and ran and told everyone!  We all knew I sucked, but my good friends didn't care.  Besides, I had a pretty good stage presence!  And apparently my stage presence was enough for some to make up for my crappy singing, because those three years in this band also directly correlates with the easiest most successful time I've EVER had...with the ladies!  Giggity!  Being in a band was definitely had direct effects on our popularity, and I loved ever second of it!  In Logan, for at least a little while...we were kind of a big deal!  I honestly can't remember a more confident time in my life.  The whole thing was very good to me.  I think it was for all of us too.  Adam still performs in bands, but I think all the rest of us are retired from the rock star profession.  
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This was one of our very first shows.  We weren't good.



video
                           We made a music video.  Kinda.
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This was a party we had to celebrate our one year anniversary.  This is in our backyard.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Master Chef Dallon!

Not Chief, you Halo nerds...  So I'm getting kind of restless.  This is nothing new really, I often get restless.  The difference now though is that I struggle to find an outlet for my restlessness.  In the past I could ease the tension on my boredom simply by calling one of the fellas or peeps and go on some random usually legal adventure.  Times have changed and I am now forced to find new avenues of boredom fighting.  So, I have expanded my horizons and loosened my standards and I am embarking on a quest to find new hobbies, learn new skills, go on new adventures large or small, and overcome this restless plague.  This mental list I have created for myself may include things like:  Learn how to juggle, peruse the craigslist "free" section and find a treasure, get to the top of one of downtown's skyscrapers, sing and play my uke on the street for some pocket change, paint something, build a dresser, make a music video, turn toilet water into jello, do a cartwheel, or... learn how to cook stuff.  To name a few.

So, in the spirit of my name game...yesterday, I did this!





I mentioned some stuff about bread here.  Then my friend Jill mentioned a recipe she had for bread, also here.  Then Jill posted her recipe on her blog for me here.  Then last night...I made some bread.  It's super yummy!  Anyone that knows me, knows cooking is not one of my 3 fortes.   I burn, or in some other creative way, ruin everything I try to cook.  I am horribly impatient when it comes to cooking, so I will always find something else to do while waiting for the cooking to be done, then, indubitably, I will forget about it  until I can smell the smoke, or until I find it 2 days later all cold and gross in the microwave where I left it.  Cooking for my lonesome is tough, so much time and effort when I can just go to a dollar menu, besides, home cooking would probably destroy my figure.  Not even frozen food, tv dinners, or boxed meals of the mac and cheese variety can withstand my kitchen handicaps.  So...this was actually the very first time in my entire life that I have purchased and used ANYTHING from the baking goods isle.  And not ruining it is a very blog worthy accomplishment!  I feel empowered and engorged with culinary confidence!  Thanks Jill!  And thank you Tauna for the supervision and cooking tools!

Anyone else have something fun, creative, random, adventurous, dangerous, illegal, scary, funny, exciting, or in any way not lame for me to do?  Let me know!  I'm in a mood.

Also, apparently my blog activity is directly correlated with my level of boredom.  Lame.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Driftwood Files. Beginnings.

 A recent slap of nostalgia has prompted me to write a bit about my life in college, of which 75% consists completely of my time at Driftwood Manor.  So I'll just focus on that part.

This is Driftwood Manor.  It is in Logan. Yes, it was kinda pink...
  
 

It all started with a dream I had in high school that me and all my bff's would live together in college.  At first it didn't quite turn out that way as we all somehow picked different schools, no school, or missions.  But on my mission I plotted my dream into reality and when I got home I immediately started looking for a place to fit all 7 of us.  And came across this place.  Picked mostly because the landlord turned a cheek to the zoning laws that made it very illegal for 7 of us to live there, and the next 4 years were history.  I'm not sure who or when the name Driftwood Manor started but on close inspection the house looked like it was made of driftwood.  The place soon became legendary.  It became a city hub for parties, concerts, movies, the tunnel of love, ski jumping, spaceship rides, and much much more.  All of which will be blogged about because you all need to know how awesome I used to be!

For now though, here is a little bit more about the Manor, and it's residents:

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The original crew except Bret.
The Nessie Alliance. (2nd gen. residents)

The ratios were usually pretty good.
We had a pool!


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The infamous annual roof skiing!  Wow, we sucked, but that didn't matter!

Driftwood Manor came with pool table, air hockey, arcade games, outdoor drive in theatre, wrap around porch.  At one time the manor actually consisted of the Main Manor, Chickwood Manor, and Littlewood Manor.  It was used as a full concert venue, and was investigated for eviction three times, all failures.  In the almost 4 years I lived there, I had over 30 different roommates, and up to 9 lived there at one time.  It was the best time of my life.  I can think of at least 3 marriages that are linked to the house.  A band was formed, a concert venue was created, friendships that I will always have and some that I don't really care to ever have again...all because of Driftwood Manor.   It was the most fun place to be.  If I wanted to meet new people, I would just go home.  There were always people there, and always something to do there.  Rent for the entire house was only $700, and there was always at least 7 of us in there.  I'm pretty sure my grandmas window shades, and couch are still there.
Visits from Isildurs Heir.
Kenny's bed.
 
So, I will now sporadically write posts about Driftwood Manor, they are...The Driftwood Files.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cocktails and concubines.

I couldn't stay awake all day today, now lying (laying?) in bed I can't sleep.  Lame.

So, story time it is.  This is a story about my very first day working on the cocktail cruise as a bartender/cocktail waiter.  First of all, in my non-drinker naivety, I was apparently making all the drinks WAY too strong.  Although the "strength" of a drink is very subjective.  The fellas thought it was great, the ladies thought I was doing it on purpose for evil intentions.  Really I just didn't have a clue what I was doing.  I still don't know what the crap triple sec is.  Anyways, that's all irrelevant to the story.  There is this barbie and ken couple on the boat, they were very obviously in honeymoon bliss and wanted me to take a picture of them.  So I obliged.  I posed them in front of the beautiful Maui sunset and took a few pictures.  Then I recommended that they hold their hands up together in the shape of a heart in front of the setting sun and she just loved that so much.  So...we spent the next 15 minutes coming up with fun, sexy, crazy poses for these two love birds.  It was kinda fun; silly drunk people do anything I tell them!  Then this cleavage clad lady wanted a picture with me so hubby took the camera.  We got posed right in front of the sunset just perfect and I put on my best bartender smile when blondy in love grabbed my cheeks and wet my lips with all she had!  I didn't even have time to resist, (which I wouldn't have if I did) She latched on while her husband started clicking like the paparazzi at Justin and Selena's prom!  Oh man!  giggity giggity!  I felt violated, used, taken advantage of...and it was hilariously awesome!  I wish I could have been there the next morning when in a hungover stupor the new groom turns on the camera and sees his wife making out with some complete stranger!  Oh man, that was just the first day!  I could go on and tell stories about the lady that tried to get up on the railing to dance and when I ran over to pull her down to avoid a man overboard scenario she took off her underoos and showed me her lady stuff in appreciation.  Or the crazy indian man that told Tera they could make beautiful babies and proceeded to chase her around the boat until she hid in the bilge tank.  Or the lady that came on board doped up on pain meds and trapped me behind the bar and started licking my face.  But I'm getting tired now, so I'll try to sleep again.  Drunk people crack me up, and remind me every time why I'm so glad I don't drink!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Really important things that matter to everyone!

I really miss Bulgarian bread.  Every morning we would go downstairs to the bakery (sometimes alone!, don't tell prez.) and pick out a soft warm loaf.  It was SO delicious.  Our bread is pretty weak in comparison.  I'm sure I could find some good fresh bread here somewhere, but it's not in the basement of the building I live in...  By the end of the day the loaf would be hard.  No preservatives.  But that was ok, we would just make Lyoutinitsa Pizza!  The next day, we'd go get a new loaf.  I miss that.

 I am really hungry right now.  But I really didn't want to cook any of my gross boxed meals.  However, I am really enjoying this bowl of marshmallow mateys!  I really wish I had more motivation to learn how to cook, and then...to actually cook.  I do enjoy using my George Foreman though!  Thanks Reed.  Epilogue: my roommate James is now joining me for some mateys.  He drinks whole milk.  And his photography professor is dumb, so he says.  I hope he doesn't think it's rude that I'm typing while he is talking to me.

Everyone around my new place goes to bed at 9.  Is that weird to anyone else?  James and I just got in trouble for talking too loud...  I am going to a new singles ward right now.  I have some pretty strong opinions on singles wards but I'll save that.  This new one, doesn't seem that bad though.  And I'm getting a lot of  "new guy" attention.  Which I have to admit, is kind of fun.  It feels a lot like when I have really long gross hair, and then I cut it missionary short, that kind of attention.  Like I'm suddenly less of societal menace.  This ward went to a Grizzlies game the other night.  We lost, but it was fun.  In addition to being the new guy, I was apparently also the only person in the ward (or the stadium that night) who knew anything about hockey.  As was evident by my proudly touted Grizzlies jersey.  You know how when you make a dumb joke, and a pretty girl laughs so suddenly you feel empowered to make all the stupid jokes in the world and everyone will laugh at them?  Well the hockey game was kinda like that.  I yelled a few times, danced like an idiot on the jumbotron, and generally made a lot of unnecessary noise...and everyone seemed to love it, so naturally I kept going.  Afterward I felt like a complete burro.  But at least everyone knows I was there.  I felt like I was in college again!

How is it that I can still see a picture of someone I know on vacation in Hawaii and still feel jealous?  I really wish that I was one of those people that just up and leave for two months to some far away, exotic, politically and physically dangerous land and come back with dreadlocks and new outlooks.  They always have awesome pictures and amazing stories.  I get so jealous of people that get to travel the world and have amazing adventures!  How do they afford that by the way?  I want to do so many things that it often gets so overwhelming.  Backpack Europe, ride a bike from Alaska to Argentina, raft the Amazon, discover a new tomb in Egypt, climb a tower at Angkor Wat, swim with sharks on the great barrier reef, surf all of Polynesia, ski the Alps, and go to Boise!  Then my pictures album screen saver comes on, and I remember all the people who are jealous of me.  Still though, Machu Picchu!

It's about 0 degrees outside, and there is some type of small flying nat buzzing my head right now.  Shouldn't he be in some larva form in the peet moss right now?  No matter how many times I smack the thing it doesn't die!  Really annoying.  Speaking of 0 degrees, the past few days at work have been brutal!  I'm talking legitimate frostbite danger brutal.  The parents of those children in ski school have no souls...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Hi. I'm Dallon. I'm a Mormon.

The church that I belong to is Called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Most of the world refers to members of my church as 'Mormons'.  This is because we believe in a book of scripture called "The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ" in addition to our belief in the Bible. 

I was recently reading an article in a magazine that my church produces about the website www.mormon.org that has a feature where regular members of our church can create small profiles introducing themselves to whomever would like to learn more about people who are Mormons.  The article and the website have made me think of personal experiences in my life when I meet people and they are curious about my religion.  For some reason there have been lots of new little bullets on my visitors map (right side of my blog) from all over the world so I wanted to introduce myself to anyone who might be interested or mildly curious.

I have spent the majority of my life in Utah where the center for the church is.  There aren't very many people in Utah who don't know about Mormons, but I also spend a majority of my time living in other places in the world where I meet many people who know very little about my faith.  One of the most common phrases I hear from friends after they learn that I am Mormon is, "But your normal!".  I usually take this as a compliment and a bit of laughter.  Because, well...it's true!  As you can also find on mormon.org, us Mormons are just regular people, we do regular things, and we don't have horns, or shrink heads, or have 11 wives.  I am not sure what people expect when they meet a mormon, but apparently it's not a normal person!  In some regards however, I guess we are not normal.  The first things that usually stands out about me is that I don't drink alcohol, coffee, smoke, or use any kind of drug.  My friends who do not share my faith though find this very useful as I can always be the designated driver!  Another thing that has often set me apart, is my behavior on Sundays.  I believe that Sunday is a day set aside to honor and worship my Savior by attending church services, focusing on spiritual matters, and limiting wordly activities.  I treat Sundays as a day of rest and worship.  So I probably won't go surfing or skiing on a Sunday.  These things are preached as part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ who is the founder and leader of my church.  There are many many topics I could choose to talk about concerning my faith and religion but I would refer you to these websites for more information on that.

www.mormon.org and www.lds.org

But I would just like to say, that as the name of the church implies, us mormons, and I as well, believe 100% that Jesus Christ lives, is our Savior, Lord and Christ.  That the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is His church, restored again to the earth.  And it is through Him that I have found so much peace, love, and happiness in my life.  One other standout trait people have noticed in me is my constant happiness despite regardless of life's' circumstances, and this happiness of mine holds it's roots firmly in my memberhsip in the LDS church, and my faith in my Savior Jesus Christ!

So I'm not trying to push my religion on anyone, I'm just inviting you to learn more if you are interested, and to help anyone understand a little better that if you meet a mormon, you probably don't have to turn and run!  In fact, you could easily make a really good friend!

Go here to meet more Mormons like me!