April #2

The last entry was on Tuesday.  On Wednesday (April 30), I went to my new Kung Fu and Tae-kwondo classes.  I only have one more left in the first.  I’ve been learning some unarmed techniques and a sword technique.  In the second, we were visited today by two of the instructor’s former students, the “first black belts” that he trained.  Their names were “Mike and Joe” or “Jim and Mark” or something…  The one was starting to go grey, and the other’s head I think was shaved bald.  I thought I heard that they had a school in Provo…  Anyway, they trained with us.  They were pretty good; we had some brief and very low-contact sparring, and I gained little advantage against either of them.  Before that, the instructor (Elden) put us in a circle around a center person.  We were each assigned numbers, and when our number was randomly called out, we gave a verbal warning and then launched a single (no-contact) attack against the person, then they countered.  During my time in the middle, the bald guy came at me and I overreacted with a reflexive block, hitting my hand against his shoulder or arm or something when I otherwise wouldn’t have touched him.  I seemed to over-extend my finger somehow, left index…  By the time the class was over, my finger was unusable.  By the time I got home it had swelled up.  My mom helped me tape on a splint she had.  The next morning, it was still swelled…  Not painful at all, except in attempting to bend it.
On Thursday (May 1) I gave the Honduras mother a short ride down the road after morning work when I noticed her waiting in the cold for the bus.  In the afternoon, I showed off my finger to the kids after seeing them fighting on the lawn nearby, telling them it was a consequence of fighting.  Leaving there, I went to my mom’s work.  She got her boss to come examine my finger.  He suspected a torn ligament (it was my middle knuckle on the finger), but advised an X-ray.  My mom called a place and got me scheduled for Friday at 2:00; the office was in Park City.  I tried to tell her to wait till the next day to make the schedule, to see if it healed at all first…
I napped a bit at home that evening.  I was first awoken by Monde Sifaya calling and asking if I wanted to go to a movie with Bernice and her.  I declined…  Next, I was woken up by my noisy brother and sister clattering around.  I went downstairs, and was finally jolted into total consciousness by a call from my new (old) work, Hunan Garden, asking if I could come and deliver food.  That was at ten minutes to seven.  Three hours later, I came home with 47 dollars.
I’ve somehow been feeling very lonely these days…  I think back to her sometimes.  The last time I passed through spring, my life as I knew it was fading away for her sake….
Anyway, today, Friday the 2nd… my mom and I talked about it and decided that we would save our money and cancel that X-ray appointment, since all we thought would happen no matter the diagnosis would be that the finger would have to be splinted.
I also discussed with her the situation of the Texas polygamists.  I wrote about that in my journal here maybe a year or two ago, and my conclusion then was that I could not in good faith defend the religious rights of those who were willing apostates from their own gospel, since I knew their beliefs were insincere already by default.  How could they ask for religious liberty to live a religion they don’t even believe in?  How could I defend that?  What they really want is decriminalization, not liberty.  But with the state-sponsored kidnapping of those hundreds of children, I’ve been sorely tempted to reconsider and take their side.  My mother was less supportive of what she saw as no more than socially-upheld abusers, basically predators.  After defending Biblical polygamy to her and insisting that it was society’s redefinition of historical marriage (in both age and number of spouses) that made the Texas polygamists “illegal”, I finally concluded that my basic motivation was that I as a Church member did not agree with our common practice of entirely sidestepping the topic by merely saying, “We stopped doing that a century ago,” with all the misunderstanding that phrasing can leave the multitudes of uninformed — I decided that my approach could not be other than to both defend and champion it Biblically, else I would be as big a liar in my faith as every Christian who has criticized it.  Do I believe in polygamy?  Not for me now, but historically, both God and I believe in it, yes; and I care nothing for the perverted social conditioning of critics, who incidentally suffer such a moral void themselves that any moral judgment they give is unfit even to be heard; or if they think themselves moral, they yet suffer from theological illiteracy, knowing no more of the ways of God than does a gay Episcopal bishop.  It doesn’t matter if the entire world believes something is morally wrong that the word of God justifies, or the other way around — we still will all die together and find ourselves in the Lawmaker’s hands.  But anyway, I more fully adopted my mother’s view that, marriage ultimately belonging to God and not to government or civilization, the correct way must be to hold to God’s definition of it as revealed through his oracles, and not defend another way.  We also seemed to agree in opinion that (besides revelation from God, obviously) it was compulsion that differentiated the current FLDS polygamy from old Mormon polygamy.  Ecclesiastical training is one thing; parental force is another.
I had one other issue to bring up here…  I read recently an article about a certain organization failing to outlaw the human insemination of animal females, leading to fears of human-ape hybrids.  My thoughts were: The organization has no reason save blunt-headedness to NOT outlaw it; their defense of themselves was only, “Such a hybrid CANNOT happen, so why should we outlaw the attempt?”  In that case, what possible harm would it do them or anybody to just outlaw it, if it was already an impossibility that nevertheless concerned so many?  Also, I thought that there’s no substantive moral difference between a fertile human hybrid and an infertile one, and if the proponents are simply saying that a fertile hybrid is impossible and thus should not be forbidden, well, duh, then what about an infertile one?  Is it possible?  Lastly, I thought how ridiculous it was that some of the opponents made such arguments as that there may become an “army” of hybrids, or that they would take over certain jobs, or give us some structural threat or competition… or that they would become a “human mind trapped in an ape body”…  Terribly stupid ideas.  A man-ape, if not abortive already, would at best have the capacity of a severely mentally retarded human.  They would probably have to be looked after in some zoo-like mental institution (well, I presume some institutions already are quite zoo-like).
Well…
I opted to open a new entry instead of continuing to edit the old one… because entries left open too long are like bread on the countertop.  Let me while I’m still awake try to continue with April…
…Ah, forget it…  I’m done for…
My mom told me that Shelley Ramdeen called while I was away at work today.  I made 71.  I was out about 5 hours.
Ah, I hope I can stop missing my previous friend…  Maybe just… more time apart, and I’ll forget just like she forgot…
Guess I’ll either edit this or have an April #3.
It’s Saturday the third.  I just had a long, long phone chat with Shelley…
Last night, I forgot to mention, David from Hunan asked if I could work weeknights next week.  I told him yes, except for Wednesday.
April 7, Monday – Apostasy
Before afternoon shift I bought some lunch at the Arby’s there on my corner, then went over to the SLCC campus on the other corner to eat (I’ve done that about three times now).  Afterwards, I wandered around that school, making my way out back to the Institute building.  There was one class going, and the teacher spotted me in the hall and called me in.  There were only two girls there as students; they were discussing the conference talks.  The teacher looked familiar…  It was old Ralph Swiss from the LDSBC Institute!  He said he’d been teaching there for some years already.  We talked a very little more and then I went to my work.
At school, I met Masami and we drove to Smith’s together for some light shopping.  I went back to school later and met Monde there, giving her a lift home.  Well… I didn’t record “why”… but I assume Tugsuu called me… so that evening I went to her house.  Her parents were there.  She also had a Mongolian friend there, “Chanar” (who at first seemed very sarcastic; she apparently was already walking the same road Tugsuu has chosen) and we three went to Walmart and back.  On the way there, I got offended because Tugsuu insisted that I turn off the conference rebroadcast I was listening to, complaining of a headache.  I took it as just another mark in the tally of why we could never be… although we eventually had a nice enough time at the store when her friend started being more friendly.  We left with ice cream.
April 8, Tuesday – In Justice
This day, I went to that court place just north of the city library to ask about my ticket.  I had withdrawn my remaining funds, about 400, and decided that I was prepared to pay it — I expected it to cost at least 150 or 200.  What was my surprise to find that I wasn’t capable of paying it anyway…  It was 432 dollars because it had been in a construction zone.  I again resigned myself to resistance of such inequity and made a court appointment: May 29, 9 a.m.  I had been informed by that same hearing officer that if I could not pay, a deal of community service might be worked out.  Even if I could pay, I wouldn’t hand over such an insane amount, not unless I was insanely rich.
(Later on, I started to think about a possible legal defence, although I expect instead to work off the amount: I would ask his positioning as he sat parked on the freeway, which should have been facing the traffic; I would ask what he did between the time he lasered the car in question and the time he began pursuit, which should be nothing; I would ask him to describe my car, which will probably omit the big ugly dent in my front right corner that would have gone right past him; and I would allege that the police officer had no way of maintaining eye contact with my vehicle, since there was a hill right after that spot and he was accellerating from zero; that he failed to definitively identify the car he lasered; and that lacking ability (other than his guess, and the blur going past him at 78 mph) to prove the car was me, he couldn’t even show that he hadn’t mistakenly pulled over the wrong car.  Well, it might as well be true, since my memory of the day is that I perhaps did exceed 55 going under that bridge, but from maybe 700 East down to the curve where he pulled me over, I had like a good citizen sensed my excess and had slowed to maintain the speed limit.  Nothing I did was worth anything near 400 dollars.)
Later at school, I was talking with Shelley.  We haven’t talked much at all during the semester; she seemed uninterested.  But this afternoon, we started talking and just kept going.  At last, I took her home; she lives in Tugsuu’s old-old apartment complex, “Valley Hi”.  Her parents were here for conference, so I met them…  Later we went back to school to check on Monde (I’d told Monde I’d come back after dropping Shelley off), but I couldn’t find her.  We then went to Wendy’s for some food, then back to her place.  We talked at great length in her parking lot, then more outside her door… then I left.  Out of pure concern, I asked her if I could call her later.  She also wanted me to phone her to assure her that I’d not killed myself from tiredness on the drive home.
She pledged me to privacy about our topics… having, I guess, already felt the sting of gossip in her life.  I myself have only a limited respect for privacy, thinking it primarily a refuge of the self-ashamed.  But I realize that gossip blurs the informative with the destructive, and promotes ignorant opinions.
April 9, Wednesday – Old Friends
At the school library, Rekha Selvaratnam appeared and asked for three dollars so she could make copies of a cute book made by one of her classmates.  Of course I couldn’t refuse.  Next, Monde urgently needed to retrieve some of her books from home, so we did that.  Back at school, I worked on some of my religion class homework (which class I’ve now failed because of not handing in the “grading sheet” at the semester end; my transcript says to “ignore” the failing grade because I was repeating the class anyway… stupid…).  I met up with Lee “Joe” Jaehyun and we were both hungry, so we went to the ZCMI foodcourt and ate together; we bought food from Chang Chun, the Chinese booth.  We parted at his house, and I went back to school and ran into Namkyu in the library.  We haven’t talked much since January… and my chat on this day wasn’t much better than that silence, as he kept suggesting to me everything he thought I needed to change to be more successful, which was basically everything.  Well, I thought it was rude, and didn’t like his ideas anyway, but I did try to take him seriously to see if I could learn anything, since he was once a friend, I thought.  I guess he may’ve had a few good points.  I think I’ve forgotten them by now, anyway.  After that, Monde and I went home.
April 10, Thursday – Moving Up
After my second shift, I went to the Assembly Hall downtown to catch the last of the graduation ceremony.  Tugsuu was there, and her parents; Shelley was there with hers, since she was singing in the choir.  I believe Masami was graduating, as well as old Jennifer and her friend Luciana, and a few others I also wouldn’t mind not seeing again… cold girls…  I got a picture afterwards with Tugsuu, then went to school and shared the refreshments.  I happened to meet Lee Sun-moon (a former student, and the wife of another former student, Park Jaehee).  She remembered me more than I did her.  I told her of my visit to Korea.  She had her infant son Chan-young there, as well as her little sister Eun-gyeong, who I think was going to enroll in the school.  Later, I talked with Hungarian Alex, then went to Masami’s house to pick her up for some driving.  After that, I visited Quinha, then left at the arrival of her “landlord”, Ben (I had assumed they were a couple).
April 11, Friday – Forfeiture
After morning work, I rushed to pick up Masami and go to her driving test.  I watched it from the vantage point…  Something was clearly screwing her up that morning, since it was the worst performance I’ve seen from her out of the three or four we’ve done.  I knew long, long before she finished that she wouldn’t get a license today.  On their return, the instructor told me that she needed to complete four hours of driving school before testing again…  We called some schools and visited; all too expensive.  Masami told me she was thinking of giving up.  I didn’t discourage the thought…  She hasn’t paid me any gas money (although she did pay to help recover the cost of her accident last year with the car of Tanner Mullin); and I haven’t asked her to, since she’s Japanese.  But… my car is aging prematurely… and her slow improvement has become very taxing.
I went to school, then home.  I passed a house on 2300 East, close to home, that was having a garage sale.  Shane had told me about this place earlier; there were some swords for sale here.  I stopped and looked at them, choosing a dual-blade weapon (one from each end of the sheath, a longer one and a shorter one) for 30 dollars.
At home, I watched the movie “Enchanted” with my parents.  It was… very wrong, how that princess was corrupted.  Tugsuu called asking for a ride for her parents the next day; she wanted to take them to the zoo.  Norah from my ward had earlier contacted me asking to go to Provo on Saturday evening, and hearing this, Tugsuu withdrew her request, thinking the schedules might conflict.  Later in the evening I realized the greater importance of her situation, and called her back to tell her I would certainly take them, but I couldn’t reach her…
April 12, Saturday – Cancellation
Hmm… I’d better go quicker.
I spent most of this day shopping with Monde, Mable, and Quinha; we went to Walmart and Ross.  Monde told me that Rekha was expecting her (and allegedly me, too, whether as driver or guest I can’t say for sure) for evening company.  I was still a bit hooked on Rekha (though I was quickly erasing my former affection), and I was persuaded to call and ask Norah if there was another way for her to go to Provo.  She said that she’d just postpone her visit.  Later at Mable’s, I overheard Monde cancelling the visit on the phone.  (Actually, I was told later that Rekha, feeling exhausted that night, had been the one to cancel it.)  I was offended that I had effectively given up two other favors for friends, Tugsuu and Norah, just to be cancelled on like this.  For some time I had been carrying Rekha’s plate in my car, waiting for the chance to return it.  After that phone call, I went out and got it and left it in Mable’s place for Monde to take responsibility for; I was tired of seeing it.  I also took the girls’ things from my car and left them inside, then rushed back home, hoping to salvage the drive to Provo; but Norah had already made other plans (redoing her hair).  Tugsuu, as I learned afterwards, was able to make it to the zoo with her parents some otherhow, so I didn’t feel quite so bad for betraying her reliance.
April 13, Sunday – Sabbath Breaking
This day, I taught a lesson in church, completed my tax forms with my mom, visited my grandma, Ruth, then went to Tugsuu’s place late at night to help her with her own taxes.  We both fell asleep during the attempt.
Hm, busy night tonight — Hunan, and my mom’s office.  There are two more weeks of April that I’ll write later.
It’s just after 1:00 a.m. now, Sunday morning, May 4.  The restaurant was a ghost town, so I left at about 9 after eating a big plate of pork fried rice.  I only made 39.50.  I came home, then went to clean the office…  Shane and I took over this job from Shanna, whom my mother could no longer endure going late, and this is our third weekend of it.  Shanna owes me a small amount of money, but as I walked out to my car to head down there I decided that since we’ve taken her job, and since it’s so much easier for us to do since we split it into two parts, I would feel fine about dropping the debt.
Anyway…
April 14, Monday – Corrobory
No work…  I and Tugsuu went to the school library to finish her taxes.  I saw Hungarian Alex, who offered me one of her free tickets to a movie on Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. at the Gateway theatre.  When we were finished, I went home to get my taxes, then came back and got Tugsuu and her parents.  As this was their last day here, I accompanied them to: Smith’s, Cindy Lee Cafe (for lunch; I took them there, dropped off our envelopes at the post office, and came back), Gateway Mall, T.J. Maxx, Ross, and Shopko, and finally to Orem to visit and eat with Tugsuu’s friends Ogie(?) and Gaanaa(?) and their two daughters Michelle(?) and Sara(?).  During our visit, Tugsuu and I went to get gas, and I let her drive back to the house.  After our meal, I ended up playing with the girls (who at first had made themselves terrified of me) as the others chatted.
As we were heading back to Salt Lake in the dark, I noticed two cars speed past me on the left, and then saw some cop suddenly flash on his lights and attempt to pull over the slower of the cars.  I was not about to co-operate in any way with any more of the highway robbery I had recently suffered…  The cop and his prey were ahead of me on the road; they were then in the middle lane.  I was in the right lane.  I feigned confusion, first keeping speed with them as if to pass them, forcing them both to slow, and then slowing down as if to stop.  Finally we had all slowed to walking speed, and that demented officer was able to get over to the right lane in front of me, where he stopped kind of faggishly right there in the lane, blocking the scattered traffic behind us.  At last he went off the road and I calmly passed him.  His window down, he jutted his crooked, thieving finger at me as I passed, then made what I thought was a threatening gesture, but later realized was probably a demand to pull over in front of him.  Anyway, I ignored his stupidity and resumed my journey.  Tugsuu saw it too and remarked, “I think he wants you to pull over,” to which I replied, “No… he’s just telling me to go.”  Other than that, my passengers seemed completely unaware of the affair.
Back at Tugsuu’s, I said goodbye to them…  They were on their way to Chicago on Tuesday.  I felt very sad as I left…
April 15, Tuesday – Gung Fu
In the afternoon, I went to Temple Square, then to school, then took a nap in my car.  I woke up at about 6:20 and hurried over to the theatre.  I was escorted in and checked for weapons… then I took my seat.  Surrounding me were Alex’s other friends…: her tall roommate Julie, school security guard Lee(?), some other guy Luke(?), and school staff Renato, the married Michigan girl, and a guy Hernan.  The movie was “Forbidden Kingdom”; this was a screening.  It had some really nice scenery which I very, very much enjoyed.  By the end, I decided that my own Kung Fu was terribly insufficient for lack of training…  I left with a resolve to walk a stricter path.
I stopped by Ko-ryeo-jeong on my way home and ordered two kimbap.  The woman there (the one who had once offered Bomie Lee the phone numbers of the many guys she knew) started chatting, asking about Bomie.  I told her we hadn’t spoken for some time, and that we’d broken up long ago, which seemed like news to her…  (That makes her all the more insensitive, if she actually did think we were a couple and still tried to prostitute my “girlfriend”.)  She told me how cute she thought Bomie was (why? to make me feel worse about losing her?).  I shook my head.  “She’s getting fat”.  The woman scolded me…  (Well, my intent is not to be unkind to her at all, but only to eradicate my own renegade attraction to her, which will never benefit either of us again.  The attraction lingers still… but it’s very weak now.  I’ve taught myself to shudder at the thought of being close with her.)
At home, I was visited by Meredith and Scott from the ward and reminded of a stake young adult meeting on Sunday.  Some time after 1 a.m. that night, Shanna called, stranded at some gas station.  I stayed up as she called another friend, waiting for her to call back.  She didn’t, so I assumed her friend had got her.  I slept, and at about 2:30 she roused me asking for money, I assume to repay that friend.
April 16, Wednesday – Questing
Monde Sifaya wanted a ride to work in the morning.  Later, I went to Mable Shea’s but found nobody.  I went and hiked Ensign Peak, exercising a bit at a midway point, then at the summit I went down from the monument a ways and sat and thought a while.  I walked down the southwest side of that hill rather than returning to the trail.  I visited Temple Square again, listening again to the conference clips.  Before work in the afternoon, I bought some Arby’s food.  After work I took State Street home and passed by a Kung Fu school called “Master Lu’s”; his classes were a hundred a month.  I stopped by my mom’s office and worked on a computer image with her.  I next went to a Kung Fu school near my house, “Shaolin Arts”.  It’s run by some white instructors; the one I met was a girl named Tammy Johnson.  She was able to sell me on a class which would offer weapons training; it was 145 for a month, and then there was an overpriced uniform, 50 dollars.  I thought the investment would be worth it…  I was scheduled for Wednesdays at 4:00, but starting this week on Thursday.
At night, I went down to traffic school for my March ticket.  After class, I asked the instructor about lasering on the freeway, and he gave me the idea that since the laser would give him a bit of extra time before I passed, it was possible that that cop wrote down my license plate.
I’d been checking the community education catalog for fighting classes; there was a Taekwondo class on Wednesdays.  I rushed there (Hunter High School) after traffic school, paid for it (42 for two months), and jumped in.
On 2300 East on my way home, I went over this huge pothole that came with the construction being done that road.  I went and put a decent flashing barricage up on top ot if…  At home, Shanna’s car wouldn’t start and Shane refused to help her, since he hates her friends she goes to see.  It last he relented and helped her.
April 17, Thursday – Remembering
On the way to school, I saw a flipped SUV…  Rekha appeared at the library and talked to me.  She had sensed I wasn’t happy with her.  She stayed and talked a little, and I decided that if she kept treating me kindly, befriending her again was inevitable.  She showed me some Internet pictures of Sri Lanka before leaving.
At noon, I went to my mom’s work and waited for their lunch break, then took her and her new colleague, Meredith (a different one), to eat at Arctic Circle (well, my mom drove, and I paid).  After that fun visit, I went home and napped before going to my afternoon shift.  That behind me, I came home and showered before going to my first Kung Fu class.
That evening, we had a birthday dinner for my mom.
-Steve
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