Into the Fire

I’m back from Utah, and I’d like to share a little bit about that in this post. In addition to it though, now that I’m back, I’m officially on the downhill slope out of summer and into everything else. Lots of things in my life are picking up steam, becoming more intense, becoming more real, and it’s got me on full alert. I’m really anxious right now and I’ll tell you why at the end of the post. For now, let’s see how my trip to Utah went!

In a word: awesome. I wrote a pre-Utah post about my itinerary and some hopes and goals and stuff, so if you missed that, I’ll point you back to my previous post, “Back to Utah. . . Again.” I’ll start with the day I left, which happened at 4 a.m. I slept in the evening, so I woke up around 10:30 the night before and couldn’t sleep so I just plowed through. I watched How I Met Your Mother, played some games, took a walk outside, and actually attempted to sleep. We got our start and left at 4. The route to Ogden is through Wyoming, which despite all the bad publicity has some killer sunrises. Where else are you going to have an unobstructed view than on the great plains? I got many pictures of the sunrise. I played some of Hilary Duff’s new songs for my dad, and I set my iPod on so we listened to that the whole way there. It’s a seven hour drive by the way. We stopped at Little America for $0.75 ice cream cones. That’s a good deal, especially considering the quality of the ice cream! The other notable tale is my dad’s ticket. Apparently it’s state law that if an emergency vehicle is parked on the side of the road, you’re required to merge left. My dad wasn’t aware of this law (nor was I) and we were stopped and my dad was given a ticket. Wanna know how expensive? Not $50, not $100, not $150, but $210. What? How much is a texting while driving ticket? It doesn’t matter. He has to pay $210 dollars for not merging into the left lane. That’s obscene!

Whatever, so we made it into Ogden around 11 and checked into our hotel. We went to lunch at a place called Karen’s, which was okay, but not anything special. Worst bacon I’ve ever had, but still. Then we went and walked to Union Station which was beautiful with its fountain out front and painted horses for Pioneer Day. Then we looked at the train engines that were retired. After that we went to an art gallery thinking it was a pawn shop, and we went to this neat retro store that sold things from the 50s-ish era. My dad loved it. We checked out this weird grocery store/German deli and then walked through a park to see the amphitheater. I was just impressed there was an amphitheater. I think we went back to the hotel room after that and we hung out there for a little bit before we drove up to the school. We picked up my book (The Known World) and looked around my residence hall. It’s pretty cool. It has two community kitchens and a community lounge among other things, but that’s all the really interesting stuff. We also got one final tour of what a room looks like and the meal plan system, which makes a lot more sense now. I think after that we just went back to the room and at some point I fell asleep until 4 in the morning. I couldn’t get back to sleep so I figured out the Wi-Fi and used my computer for a bit until I tried to sleep again, with no avail.

The second day was really jam packed. We looked for things to do all morning and ultimately decided to go get the rest of my business done. I wanted to talk to the financial people to figure that crap out, but it turns out the 24th of July is Pioneer Day in Utah, which means basically everything is closed, including the school. I didn’t get to meet with them which was a huge bummer. So we went to a diner where we had a good brunch and my dad discovered something. Since Pioneer Day celebrate the Mormon pioneers who entered the Salt Lake valley and there are (surprisingly) some people in Utah who aren’t Mormon, last year a movement picked up to mock the holiday. Instead of Pioneer Day, some people celebrate Pie and Beer Day. That was just hilarious to me, but I also felt that was very disrespectful to make a mock holiday. Oh well, people will be people, even if those people resemble donkeys more than humans. Next on the agenda was walking around some more through a nice little shopping center. We found an arcade called Fat Cats, but we went to the second floor for iFly, an indoor skydiving place. We didn’t do it because it was expensive and required training, but we watched some other people and it was intense! It looked SO fun. I really enjoyed when the instructee messed up his maneuver and accidentally attacked the instructor. Nothing is funnier than a man flying toward another man with his foot (or crotch) aimed directly at the crotch (or face) completely out of control. We checked out a rock climbing wall too, but decided not to do either. We went back to the hotel to get the truck and we went go kart racing. That was really fun, but it was only me and my dad, and I’m not that good at racing go karts so he almost lapped me. Still, I enjoyed it a lot. Then I went to Jurassic World on my own while my dad did who knows what. That movie was epic. I won’t discuss to much of it, but it was really intense and pretty gruesome. Blue and the t-rex though were the MVDs (Most Valuable Dinosaurs). I loved the movie, and it was the first time I’d ever seen a movie solo.

After the movie, I went back to the hotel and my dad went to his AA meeting. I feel asleep half way and we went and got dinner after he got back. The dinner was good, but I was really tired and really cranky that night, so I just went home and slept. We got up at five the next morning and packed everything up and left. For those who’ve read my past posts, leaving Utah is always hard for me because I want to be there so bad. Even though it was hard, it was easier than the other times because I knew I wasn’t going back to high school, I was going back to home state to see my friends for the final month of the summer before I say goodbye. It actually felt kinda good. I got killer pictures of the sunrise in Wyoming again, and I stayed awake the entire ride home (both ways, don’t know if I mentioned that). I played my iPod again and we made it through 95/99 songs. We stopped at Little America again and there was no ticket this time. We made it home alright, and that was basically that. My trip to Utah everyone. Despite the Pioneer Day pitfall, it was awesome and my goal to get my dad to love the area was a success. He really seemed to enjoy Ogden as a kind of Fort Collins with really close mountains, lots of brick houses, and an east coast feel. It’s an odd mix, but it’s a charming city. I’m really happy with the trip and I can’t wait for the next time I head out there, essentially permanently.

Alright, so why am I anxious? Well let me tell you. It really boils down to this last month of summer and all the decisions and problems and events and things like that. The entire ride home I was contemplating what I could do to make the trip better, and I have at least three friends who want to come with me out there. That made me wonder if I could organize a sort of “Goodbye Road Trip” sort of thing? Sort of on that note is also the events of August and the final month with my friends. I’m gonna miss them. Every moment counts now. Like the title suggests, I’m out of the frying pan and into the fire now. That’s not exactly what that phrase means, but still. It’s getting heated. One month left to make memories.

Mom, if you’re reading this, please don’t read any further. Please respect my request and don’t read further. If you do, don’t you dare try to confront me, dad, or the other kids about this until I approach you with it, because I won’t talk to you about it until I’m ready. So please, stop reading now.

What’s really bogging me down though is my mom and dad’s feud. I asked my dad if he’d deliver me to college, and he said he’d love to, but if my mom is planning on it, then he won’t. I was expecting that answer, but what it really felt like was a slap in the face. My dad is so adamant in not speaking or associating or even being near my mom that he’d skip out on taking me to college. What that tells me is that he hates my mom more than he loves me. He can’t see beyond his own desire. Combine that with the song “Little Toy Guns” by Carrie Underwood and it just killed me.

They were married once. It just echoes back to my other posts. I came from their love. I’m living evidence that at one point they loved each other, and now I’m being torn by them. Add into the mix my dad’s reaction to my mom’s wedding. He told me today that it was scheduled for a little before I go to Utah. His reaction was essentially calling my mom insane. In light of her recent struggles, he said that she shouldn’t be making such a massive decision. Do you know how hard it is to hear one parent call the other unstable? To hear my father condemn my mom and her marriage as foolish shredded me. I don’t care if he’s right or not. This is a marriage, and the least you can do is wish the couple well being. He wants absolutely nothing to do with my mom, but he’ll keep track of her life and then tell me how much he doesn’t approve of it. That’s selfish and it inflicts pain on me. He isolates himself from her in every way except to say how foolish she’s being. In Ogden, he told me he’d considered moving out there for work, and even bringing the kids with him. He said he’d take the kids because he thinks they’d rather live with him than with her. How can I take that? He told me he wanted to legally “kidnap” my siblings and move to another state to keep them away from my mom. It’s just one blow after another that has me feeling torn apart. I’m in the fire now, and I can’t stop it.

So as you can see, things are really intense for me as the summer boils down to an end. Thanks for reading, and your discretion is much appreciated. I’m looking for more topics to write about, so if you have anything you want to hear about, casual or serious, I’m open to suggestion. Right now I’m leaning towards a top ten best/favorite sitcoms or a “review” of Inside Out. Until next time!

P.S. I just felt like putting this video in here too, because it rocks and somewhat relates to the title.

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