Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Get the Mules Out of the Barn

Salt Lake City -- 30 Aug 2010: After a 14 year hiatius, we're back. After leaving the University of Nevada in 1996, I put down my weekly column to pursue other interests. I left for Carson City to work for the Nevada State Legislature. It was a lackluster position. I mostly sitting in committee meetings watching my boss, Assemblywoman Segerbloom, give testimony and watching the wheels of small state politics slowly turning. I was still living in Reno during the legislature session, working at a bar and trying to adjust leaving school. In a word, I was in hell. I was powerless. I was living in limbo. Broke, exhausted and bored, the end of the legislature session could not have happen fast enough.

I left in the middle of the summer of 1997 for Las Vegas. I said good bye to friends, most notably my best friend Fitz Whaley, and took a job for the Southern Nevada Strategic Planning Commission. All things seemed right in the world until I learned that the job fell through, I was out of money and my only salvation was taking a job for an electrical company and move back in with my mother. Nothing for nothing, not the worst thing to happen to me but certainly not a good use of my political science degree. I spent the next two years carving out a living (with my mother's good graces) running conduit, bartending and playing rugby. Rugby was my only outlet for my frustrations. I wasn't living up to any idea of what I thought I should be doing -- I couldn't afford my own place, I was driving a fourth-generation Mercury Topaz and had absolutely no success with the ladies. Cracking skulls on the weekends with a bunch of miscreants, drinking away any ambition and trying to find my own path led to a lot of depression.

That's what made a rare opportunity to move to Salt Lake City so appealing. An older friend on the rugby team, Steve Keyser, offered me a job in Utah as his body man. He needed somebody to do this, do that. It was an unique chance to leave Las Vegas on my own terms and a chance at a new life. The reality is that the only thing that I knew about Utah was summed up in the movie Fletch when Fletch came to Provo to investigate a story. While Steve and I had a falling out about a year later, he was good to me. Steve was a cowboy. He sold me an Infiniti for next to nothing, helped me acclimate to Utah and showed me that opportunity is what you make of it.

That, in a nutshell, is how I got to Utah. People often ask me how I got to Utah from Las Vegas and I always say, "a series of bad decisions." The reality it wasn't one decision but a group of them made in very quick progression. All throughout college, I wrote a human interest column for the University's newspaper, The Sagebrush. I had a bit of success. I realize this first post doesn't reflect my voice and is a far cry from the humor columns that I wrote for four years. Without a doubt, I am rusty. I am going to try and flex my writing muscles once again and I am inviting anyone who stumbles upon this blog to give me a chance to develop. I am going to try and write a human interest column about myself, my friends, my girlfriend, my adopted town and my interests. I will be posting once a week on Fridays and I hope that the endeavour will garner a handful of readers.

Regardless of what happens, I am excited about writing and publishing again. It has been too long since I dedicated myself to a project that was simply for myself. I hope it is worth your time as well.

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