For my birthday I went hiking up the Logan River Trail and then to Panda Express and then to Hyrum Reservoir, with guests rotating in and out as their schedules permitted and only a few stalwarts making it all the way through. This year, fed up with month after month of soul-crushing isolation, I took matters into my own hands like never before to make something happen and invite people to it instead of just hoping someone else would take care of everything - a couple of my graduate school friends helped, but I didn't ask them to or drop hints about my upcoming birthday. I had a rough plan in mind and invited them to it and then they offered their assistance. The last time I took this much initiative to plan basically anything was a surprise party for someone else years ago. I had also planned to watch the classic sci-fi "Metropolis", but we ran out of time at the beach and I decided to adapt rather than insist on a strict schedule to the point where it ceased being fun. That movie's kind of an acquired taste anyway.
I had reached out to this one guy years ago because he was also autistic and needed friends, and continued to invite him to things sometimes, but I rarely saw or talked to him. I knew he was gay, but that fact almost never crossed my mind because it simply wasn't relevant to anything. I had not the slightest clue why he asked to talk to me in private when we got to the beach. He began, "Remember when you asked if I'm interested in anyone?" No, I had no memory of asking him that or anything like it. I don't ask people about that kind of thing, mostly because I don't care. But he continued before I could say anything. He said, "Well, I'm interested in you."
He hastily went on, "I know I'm probably not your type," which was true enough, and not just for the obvious reason. And it should have been the simplest thing in the world to just say, in case there was any confusion, in case whatever mannerisms caused everyone on the school bus to call me "faggot" five times a day had also given him an erroneous impression at any time, "Sorry, I'm straight" - not a strictly accurate statement, but close enough for the present intents and purposes. Yet I couldn't bring myself to say it, because it felt in that moment like such a cruel and gratuitous thing to say, a bit of knife-twisting, and I thought back almost a decade to Kelsey's attempt to comfort me after I caught feelings for her.
If it helps, I've always had that problem. Straight girls.
It didn't help. It destroyed my faith that God loves His children, as I imagined how much it must suck to be gay because of that very problem, no matter how accepted by society or even religion one may eventually be. So now I didn't say anything.
We hugged, and I was very grateful that I'd kept my shirt on as I always do at the beach. He said, "I would have kissed you for your birthday." We let go. He said, "I'd still like to kiss you."
That didn't register, but after a moment he interpreted my blank stare as consent (it wasn't) and moved in. Oh well, I thought, it's only a kiss, and I'd kiss a guy if I were an actor playing a gay character, so it's not like it's the worst thing in the world that I'll never do under any circumstances, and anyway, the few kisses I've shared with women didn't mean anything either so the difference is kind of arbitrary. I stood stiff as a board and let him do it and then we rejoined the others. That's all he's going to get from me, so I'm not sure if it made him feel better or worse.
My neighbor Hailey got some pictures of me that I don't hate, that rarest of rarities. She saw me walking along the beach and made me go back and start over. I'm glad she did.
Later it transpired that Hailey and Mia had both observed my contentious comments on public Facebook posts without me being aware of it. Hailey found them alarming and Mia found them amusing. So I'm still not likely going to stop.
One of the greatest birthday presents I could ask for was delivered a couple days later in the form of a 22.5-year prison sentence for Derek Chauvin over his murder of George Floyd. Though far less than he deserves, it's about as much as one can expect under current laws. I think Peter Cahill is about as fair and impartial a judge as you can get, and I'm not surprised in the slightest that his sentence didn't give either the prosecutors or the defense what they really wanted. But the fun doesn't stop here. In a few days, Chauvin and his now ex-wife begin their trial for $21,853 worth of tax evasion - yes, 1092.65 times the amount he murdered George Floyd for - and this fall, he begins his federal trial for civil rights violations in both the George Floyd case and another one where he split a (black) teenager's head open with a flashlight and pinned him down for 17 minutes for no reason. If experiencing joy as I watch this fascist pig's life get ruined is wrong, I don't want to be right.
Of course, even a fascist pig has friends and family who love him. (The emotion bootlickers feel toward him isn't love - it's more akin to the mindless biological drive of a male preying mantis to let his mate tear his head off.) Chauvin's mother reminded us that he isn't Satan incarnate. She extolled his years of service as a police officer and his dedication to the job, conveniently neglecting to mention how many conduct complaints he accumulated during that time. She didn't want him to go to jail for a long time because she might be dead when he gets out. And she maintained that she believes in his innocence. Okay, so she isn't wrong to love her son or to be distraught over the situation, but I'm sorry to say that love has made her delusional. If I ever have a son who murders someone and everyone in the world sees the murder, I don't intend to show up in court to try and protect him from justice. Familial love and parental mortality are not arguments for letting people out of jail early.
Chauvin, we were told, has run through what if scenarios in his mind constantly since the day of the murder. What if I hadn't volunteered to work that day, what if I hadn't responded to the call, and so on. Notably absent were the questions he actually should be asking himself: What if I had taken my damn knee off his neck? What if I had moved him onto his side like Officer Lane suggested? What if I had offered medical assistance after his pulse disappeared? What if I hadn't completely disregarded my law enforcement training and ethics? Excuse me, but are we really supposed to sympathize with a 19-year police veteran for whom nine and a half minutes isn't enough time to make a split-second decision? Are we really supposed to feel bad that he feels bad - assuming he does, though we've seen zero evidence of that? Get out of here. He's had ample opportunity to apologize and/or show some degree of remorse. He never has. Not once. And the obvious reason is that he's a fascist pig who doesn't think he did anything wrong.
He did express his condolences - not an apology - to the Floyd family on this occasion. And all I could think of was a line from Kylo Ren (aka Matt the Radar Technician) on Saturday Night Live: "Hearing that Zack lost his son really struck a nerve with me. Especially since I'm the one that killed him."
I feel bad because I don't know how long it was there and I only noticed it when I stepped on it with bare feet, but somebody left a yellow flower at my door a few days ago. Such a vague little gesture that I can't even guess at its meaning, and yet it must have one because its placement was clearly premeditated because my door is separated from the sidewalk by at least two meters and a fence. Nobody could have dropped the flower there by accident. They could have flung it, perhaps, if they were walking by with it and something startled them, but that seems contrived. Only like five people still in Logan are supposed to know where I live, and I can rule out three of them, leaving one or both of my next-door neighbors who hate me as the most plausible candidates. Maybe I have a stalker, but I couldn't begin to guess who that would be when there isn't currently a single woman at work or church that I've ever had a conversation with. If someone is stalking me based on my looks alone she's in for quite a disappointment.
Of course, I'm not assuming any romantic intent behind it since I don't know what intent was behind it but that would still be weird if a guy did it so I'm assuming a guy didn't do it. I looked up the symbolism of yellow flowers specifically: joy, sunshine, friendship, new beginnings. But was that level of thought put into the color scheme, or does all the intended symbolism rest in the plant genitals themselves regardless of detail? Anyway, I put the flower in a bottle of water and left it outside but it died quickly. I laid it to rest on the concrete lip around my doorway. It disappeared. Either an animal that eats dead yellow flowers but not grass wandered through, or whoever gave it to me took it back. I've kept a casual eye out for that type of flower growing anywhere around here with no success so far. It was either purchased somewhere or plucked a considerable distance away. Since I didn't have the foresight to get a picture of it, you'll have to take a leap of faith and trust me.
A few days later, someone left me cookies, and I reached a logical conclusion and got all excited that my stalker was stepping up her game. But then one of the five people still in Logan who are supposed to know where I live admitted to leaving them just as a random nice gesture. How was I supposed to know? Who does that? So the mystery of the flower remains. Dear flower giver, if you read this, I was just kidding when I called you a stalker. Don't be hurt by my lack of reaction or response, as there was really nothing I could do when I have no idea who you are or what the little yellow flower was supposed to mean. Please feel free to keep leaving stuff or doing whatever else you have in mind, unless you're a guy. It's fine if you just want to be friends but it would still be weird if you're a guy.
An even more surprising but more easily explained surprise came in the form of an email from Debbie, whom long-time readers of this blog will remember from a long time ago. I've been thinking about her periodically since she is in large measure responsible for the direction my life has taken and it just makes me wax philosophical about how events build on each other and how God brings things about and so on. During the summer of '16 she often texted me in the evenings to say I could come over, so I dropped everything and rushed over and we sat on the balcony outside her apartment and talked. Then her neighbor Steve usually came home from work while we were talking and she invited him to join us. I kept my feet propped up on the third chair hoping he would take a hint, but he wouldn't. As things turned out I remained friends with Steve long after Debbie and I parted ways, and he stayed in the same apartment complex, and last year when I found out someone was selling his contract here I jumped at the chance to be his neighbor, changing wards for the first time in seven years and embarking on a fresh start that so far has been an epic disaster. But I know God wanted me here for some reason.
Anyway, the email was full of feedback that I had long ago accepted I would never receive for the book manuscript I sent her fifty-six months ago, back when I used to send it out to people who said they would read it and then didn't. I hadn't actually asked for any feedback but she gave me some for the first chapter and it was so brilliant that I knew I needed her to critique the whole thing before I dared try to publish it. And then she just got busy and stopped. And then almost a year later when she broke my heart she tried to cheer me up by telling me she'd started reading it again, and that was the last I heard of it until just the other day. My first reaction to the email was "Holy crap" and my second reaction was embarrassment that she read such an old draft. I've learned a lot and done plenty of revising since then and compared to my current draft, the one she has in her possession is garbage. I'm not even sure how much of the feedback is still applicable. Do you see, Debbie? I moved on. I got stronger. I don't need you anymore. In all seriousness though, it was great to hear from her.
Fifty-six months. I had to check the math again because I couldn't believe it.
This is a nostalgic time of year already, even more so than usual for me, because today I've been in Utah for nine years. Nine years is almost ten years which is a sacred number to humans. Usually 7-Eleven celebrates the anniversary of my arrival by giving out free Slurpees but it's canceled this year because I've written one too many controversial things. As ridiculous as this will sound coming from one who just turned twenty-seven, the passage of almost a decade makes me feel very old. Because in human terms, not getting into the geological timescale where our existence as a species represents only a couple minutes, a decade is a freaking long time. For the overwhelming majority of us it's more than a tenth of the time we have on this planet. Often much more. In my case, I've felt for a long time like I'm going to die in my early forties, and that may just be wishful thinking on my part but I do know I haven't got a chance in hell of making it to ninety unless medical science advances sufficiently to replace every organ in my body. Which it probably will, but I won't be able to afford it because I live in a country that thinks healthcare is a privilege.
Barely out of high school, I embarked on the nightmare, I mean adventure that is adult life. I wasn't nearly as afraid as I ought to have been. As year after year has gone by I've experienced more pain than I could have imagined, much of it caused by my own mistakes that I still get to suffer from long after I've learned from them. I've grown into a different person and all that jazz. If I could go back and speak to that naive little boy, I would offer the following advice:
- Don't procrastinate.
- Don't stay up until two in the morning just because you can.
- Don't seek unhealthy coping mechanisms when you feel isolated.
- Don't isolate yourself by withdrawing from the people who actually care about you.
- Pay attention to your bank balance and email inbox.
- Don't be so dogmatic and inflexible about politics.
- Don't fall in love.
- Always pay rent on time.
- Talk to your academic advisor regularly.
- Avail yourself of the counseling services on campus that you already paid for.
- Don't be afraid to talk to the registrar's office, professors etc. when you screw up and need help. That's their job. They're not going to yell at you.
- Don't be afraid to stand up for what you believe in.
- Don't be so dogmatic and inflexible about religion.
- Seriously, don't fall in love.
- Participate in as many clubs and activities as you can before, I don't know, a global pandemic cancels all of them. Hypothetically.
- Communicate with people who are pissing you off instead of harboring silent resentment.
- Don't work at a call center in a misguided attempt to boost your confidence.
- Don't eat too much candy.
- White privilege is real, and racism in the United States is much worse than you think it is.
- Be patient with yourself even when it seems like nobody else is.
- I'm not kidding. No matter how hard it is, don't fall in love.
Wow. I can't believe I just wrote something like that without being sarcastic. But the real treasure was the friends I made along the way. And lost. I've lost a lot of them, too. Most of the Facebook friends I met in the dorms my freshman year have unfriended me by now. But the random girl who politely declined to be kissed by me at True Aggie Night has stuck with me for all these years, and that counts for something. The girl I actually did kiss unfriended me after a few years though.
Nine years from today, I hope to be typing away at my latest upcoming bestseller, watching my dogs play in the surf beneath the glorious sunset over Bora Bora, Tahiti, a smile on my face as I think of all the money in my bank account. My wife Felicity Jones is half a world away making another Star Wars anthology spinoff prequel Disney+ exclusive series, but that's okay because one of the few things I love more than her is Star Wars. Though admittedly it's been a little less interesting ever since we made contact with actual aliens and learned the secrets of interstellar travel. At first they tried to annihilate us, but it was just a relief to finally face enemies we could actually see instead of another global pandemic, and then they apologized and we let it go because we were screwed if we kept fighting anyway. Felicity's and my adopted alien children have all grown up (they have a short life cycle) and dispersed to three far-flung solar systems which we rotate between for Easter, Christmas and St. Zarquon's Day. Most of Earth's tourism is now siphoned off to the improbable single-biome tropical planets, which is how I got this prime piece of real estate in Tahiti for so cheap, even though I could have paid a lot more because I'm loaded.
I've just recently completed my third involuntary move this year, and it had fine well better be the last one for a good long while. It was the first time since 2012 that I had to call around to a bunch of apartments which, to recap, is slightly below "stabbing myself in the groin with an ice pick" on my list of favorite activities. So I'm very, very grateful to my friend Terrah for volunteering to make all the actual calls for me, helping me move, and giving me food after I had to spend most of the contents of my bank account on this contract. I feel as though I should grovel at her feet or follow her around like in those TV show episodes where Character A saves Character B's life and Character B tries to repay Character A by following them around and being a nuisance. She says, however, that my friendship is payment enough. Most peculiar.
I somehow ended up in a highly coveted spot that's pretty cheap but not a total craphole, in the same complex where I used to chill on the porch with the infamous Debbie. And her neighbor used to chill with us and we both liked her and were jealous of each other at the same time without knowing it, but she's long gone and he still lives here and we're friends and when I found this contract for sale, I thought that was really cool and snatched it right up without remembering to clarifiy once and for all that it was a private room. The complex has both shared and private rooms but I was specifically looking for a private room because I'd rather sleep in a dumpster than a shared room. So I got to stress about that for a couple weeks but I tried to relax and remember that whatever abuse God sees fit to subject me to is for my own good. Come to find out, it is a private room and I only have one roommate because there are only two bedrooms because the laundry room takes up the space where a third bedroom would otherwise be. I will praise and adore my God forever.
It's well worth the tradeoff of being able to hear every footstep my upstairs neighbors make, and having the view outside the living room and bedroom windows blocked by recycle and garbage bins, respectively. And I'm only a little bit upset that the second time I used the dryer, the coin slot got stuck so that I'm out fifty cents but neither I nor anyone else can actually dry clothes with it for the foreseeable future. And I do mean stuck. I mean I literally pulled on the slot with both hands while propping my feet up against the dryer door. My next thought was to whack it with a hammer, which would be therapeutic whether or not it worked, but I restrained myself. I'm only a little bit upset about that. If it never ever happens again I'll be fine.
I love this place, but it's bittersweet at the same time to leave the stake, let alone the ward, that I've been in for seven years. I wanted to leave but also I didn't want to leave. I have a lot of good memories and a lot of horrific memories associated with the Logan YSA 36th Ward and I guess what it comes down to is that I needed a change and a fresh start, for psychological reasons if nothing else. Everyone who was there when I showed up is long gone and now so am I. The vicinity I lived in was ideal for other reasons, and almost everywhere I go on a regular basis is a bit farther away now, but taking different routes to get there is nice. I've been walking to Utah State University's campus the same two ways for seven years. The first time I walked to it from this place was nothing short of exhilirating. That feeling alone convinced me, rationally or not, that better things are yet to come.
I'm even ridiculously excited about the new school year that I'm not a part of. I love the atmosphere on campus when it bustles with people and activity, and I've missed that over the summer. I like being able to go to campus when I want to be around people, and go home when I want to be alone. I'm excited for all the incoming freshmen with their whole lives ahead of them, and I hope they'll make better choices than I did and have a better experience than I did. And I love the campus itself, the trees and the grass and the buildings, even for all the painful memories I have with it and the changes it's undergone and the fact that it's not a living thing. I love it deeply just like I love this town. They've both become a part of me, and I'm sorry if I sound high or something but nostalgia really hits me hard. Maybe I do need a change and a fresh start, but there are worse places to be stuck.
I've been on a Rammstein kick lately, listening to their albums "Sehnsucht", "Mutter", and "Reise, Reise" probably half a dozen times each over the last couple weeks, consecutively or shuffled in with everything else. And they're a perfect example of the amateurity of my love of music. Allegedly their music is a German metal subgenre known as "Neue Deutsche Härte", but all I know or care about is that they have guitars and frequently sound too epic for German or English words to describe. And nicely enough, even though I thought I only remembered a couple dozen German words from both times I took the introductory course, I keep picking out additional words and phrases with further listenings. But recently I was very quietly singing along with "Keine Lust" on my headphones, trying to match Till Lindemann's voice, when Mackenzie gave me a weird look and asked "Are you okay?" And I said I was fine but she kept giving me the weird look, so I asked for clarification and she clarified, "You sound like you're whispering something evil."
That was when we were waiting for people to show up to go to a campfire, but no one had shown up except for us and another friend of hers who doesn't like me, so I was letting them talk and tuning out into my own little world of Neue Deutsche Härte. She tried to think of other people she could invite but several people were out of town and no one else knew who she was because she's always gone. I mentioned that the ward just wasn't as cohesive and didn't do so much stuff together since Debbie left. Then Mackenzie dropped a bombshell: "I don't actually love Debbie."
"What?" I said. "How -"
"Oh, I have nothing against her as a person," she said. "It's just I'm always hearing 'Debbie is so nice -'"
"Maybe if you were nice, people would say that about you too."
"Oh, I'm not jealous, I'm just tired of it."
All this drama simmering under the surface for who knows how long, and I had no idea. Wow. But anyway, no one else showed up so it was just the three of us going. On the way there, she predictably blared Taylor Swift from the car speakers loudly enough to cause hearing damage and I had to turn my own music up as high as it went to keep hearing it because as much as I like Taylor Swift, that wasn't the mood I was in. Then we got there and I took my headphones off and acted sociable, but she wouldn't let it go. Every time I said something under my breath she thought I was singing Rammstein again. For example, she said something that reminded me of a bit from the BBC's talking animal sketches, so I started quoting it under my breath and she gave me another weird look and said, "Maybe you shouldn't listen to that."
She kept getting annoyed at me (as she often does) for speaking too quietly like that. "I feel like your voice is just this frail, weak wispy thing," she said, "that could just be blown away in a moment by... anything." That's just the voice I was born with and she can't accept it.
But anyway, when we got there Mackenzie and her friend set about setting up the fire, rejoicing that there were no boys around to tell them they were doing it wrong, and Mackenzie went off gathering up little sticks and I wanted to be helpful so I went off gathering up little sticks too. But she got back first and she said she had enough sticks and mine weren't needed. Dejected, I tossed them in a little pile by the fire anyway, feeling that they were an apt metaphor for my entire life's work. But karma was swift in its execution for a change, as the fire died down not long afterward and she was forced to start putting those exact sticks on it. "Wow," I said, "it looks like my sticks are coming in handy after all."
"Thank you, Christopher," she said through gritted teeth and a forced smile.
I watched her put some more on and then couldn't resist adding for good measure, "It sure is convenient that these sticks were already lying here."
She looked me in the eyes across the fire and said, "I'm going to murder you."
But I'm still here, because underneath her mean callous heartless exterior, she is kind, loyal, fun-loving, phenomenally intelligent, and so on. And being afraid of her isn't even a big deal because really, it's just the same kind of high that normal people get from roller coasters and horror movies. Everyone needs a bit of fear in their lives or they feel unnatural. But anyway, a couple days later after ward prayer she and some other friend were lying in the grass talking about intellectual stuff and I invited myself to sit nearby and listen, and at one point he was like, "When things say 'Names have been changed', do you think they really change the names or just use the real names and say that to throw you off? Because who would know?"
And Mackenzie turned and flashed me an enormous grin and said, "Yeah, who changes names??"
(It was funny because I change her name on my blog. For all the good that did me.)
Rammstein - Amerika (Again)
I've posted this before, but what better way could there be to celebrate Independence Day than with this immensely patriotic and flattering song? More patriotic and flattering than "Born in the USA", anyway. I could literally listen to it eighteen times in a row.
A couple weeks ago Mackenzie was back from California where she spends most of her weekends for some reason, and I was sitting by her in church and she was wearing a funky skirt with two rings of pom-poms around it. The top leftmost pom-pom, closest to me, was badly disfigured by (I assume) all the people who had played with it. I tried to manipulate it back into its proper shape, touching only the pom-pom and that's all, but she huffed, loudly enough for the strangers in front of us to turn around, "Could you maybe not touch my skirt?"
"I was just trying to fix the pom-pom..." I said. The strangers turned back around, their interest already dissipated.
"It's not fixable," she said. And then she gave me a quizzical look. "Are you afraid of me?"
"Kind of," I said.
"Sometimes I think maybe," she said, "but then I think no, he couldn't be..."
I mumbled something. Probably "sorry". I don't remember.
"Can you understand," she continued, "how it might be kind of awkward to talk to someone who's afraid of you?"
"Yeah," I said. (Of course, the context would be completely different. As Margaret Atwood is often paraphrased, "Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them." And Mackenzie, being an ardent feminist, must be acutely aware of this.)
"What if you were afraid of them and they were afraid of you?" she went on. "Would that be easier, or would that make it worse?"
"I don't know, I guess it would depend... When I talk to awkward people, it's just twice as awkward."
"I sat by someone in Relief Society that you should talk to."
"How do you know she would be scared of me?"
"I can just tell. Let's see... that's her, in the blue dress. You don't need to like date her or anything, but I just think it would be good for you to talk to her."
"Go up to her and say, 'I like your dress.' And if she doesn't respond much to that, say something like 'Did you make it yourself?' And if she doesn't respond much to that, you're off the hook."
Alas, she slipped away before we could say anything to her. "I don't see her anywhere," Mackenzie said as she scanned the crowd. I did, but I opted not to mention it.
Later that day, at ward prayer, I said, "Do you want to know why I'm scared of you?"
"Because I'm a girl?" she guessed without missing a beat.
"No," I said. "I mean, yes, that's part of it, but not the primary part."
"It's so strange that you're scared of girls but you feel more comfortable hanging out with them than guys," she said.
"Normally, by this point, having known you for so long, I would be relaxed with you, like with Debbie -"
"You aren't scared of Debbie?"
"No. Did I seem like it?"
"When was that? Was it like at the beginning of last summer, before we hung out all the time, or?"
"I don't remember, it's been so long since we were all in one spot."
"Well, anyway, the main reason I'm scared of you is that I feel like I always have to walk on eggshells to -"
"Oh, yeah," she said, waving me to not continue, "you told me about that."
"And then, yes, the other reasons are that you're a girl, that you're pretty, that you're - never mind."
"I just was going to say that you're 'powerful' and stuff, for lack of a better word, but then you would think it was sexist of me to be intimidated by -"
"No, i's only sexist if you - never mind."
"How come you get to change your mind and not say things, but I have to say them anyway?"
She smiled. "Because I have the power in this relationship." ("Relationship" in the generic sense, obviously.)
"And if I tried to seize more power, and be assertive and stuff, would you push back?"
"Of course," she said. "That's how relationships work. They're a power struggle until someone comes out on top."
In the car afterward, Mackenzie asked, "Would it be all right if I criticized you?"
"You do that all the time," I said.
"No, it's more of just that we disagree," she said. (I feel like we actually agree 95% of the time, but she fixates on the other 5% instead and badgers me about it, and then as a result sometimes I play stupid and pretend to disagree just to mess with her.) "I mean, are you one of those people who would rather be told you have spinach in your teeth, or just find out on your own later?"
"I believe it's important to know the truth, even if it sucks beyond belief. If you break me into a thousand pieces, I will rebuild myself into a better me." (Not really. Broken things don't rebuild themselves.)
She laughed nervously. And we went on like that until in a very roundabout way she managed to convey what she had in mind. But that's none of your business.
"Guys. Chris's blog is the stuff of legends. If you’re ever looking for a good read, check this out!"
- Amelia Whitlock
"I don't know how well you know Christopher Randall Nicholson, but... he's trolling. You should read his blog. It's delightful."
- David Young
About the Author
C. Randall Nicholson is a white cisgender male and a Latter-day Saint, so you can hate him without guilt, but he's also autistic, so you can't. Unless you're an anti-vaxxer, in which case the feeling is mutual. This blog is where he periodically rants about life, the universe, and/or everything.