Sunday, July 27, 2008



Really, it was a hoot. It's funny how quiet conversation can be when everyone's pouring into what they're doing. That's the funny thing about community, especially an artistic one. When everyone is comfortable with each other, conversation isn't a necessity, just a great part of what's going on. And there's something inexpressible about being around a group of friends all encouraging each other and giving great input on what kind of art you're working on.

Which brings me to this: I wrote a very short story, about two and a half pages, that was a bit of an aesthetic exercise. So here's a paragraph, actually my favorite paragraph. Please, read it, and let me know what you think. I'd love to send the whole story to you if you're interested. It's very short.

"The silence in the reddening light had a weight to it; a feel of importance, a touch of necessity. The smallest of breezes touched his cheeks and the leaves of the tree above him, allowing the branches to whisper in the sunset."

So it's rough, it's out of context, but now it's out there. Let me know what you think, if you get the chance!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Care for a tour?

hello there! 

It looks like you've caught me in the middle of doing absolutely nothing. 

But since you're here, why don't I take you on a little tour of our lobby, and maybe take a peak at the str
eet this little hotel of ours sits on! 

Sounds like a good idea to me, so let's gooooooooooooooooo!

No, really, I'm not doing anything. 

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the Days Inn, here in picturesque North Seattle!

It does look pretty nice, I'll admit. We're standing right at the mouth of the parking lot, a place that I like to go and sit in the middle of and enjoy the quiet. Let's take a look across the street, and see our surroundings. 

So here on the left is the Echo Lake Tavern. When guests ask where they can get a drink, I send them there. It's also where they tend to stumble in from
 in the wee hours. That's Aurora sliding south toward Seattle, and out of the frame to the left of the bar are the tiny little one-level apartments. To the left of that is the porn shop. And yes, we get the occasional patron wa
ltz in, merchandise in hand. The question: "Do you have a DVD player?" is thankfully answered with a "No."

There's a filthy urban beauty to Aurora between three and five thirty AM. 

Looking for a room? WELL TOO BAD.
This is truly one of my favorite things to see here at the hotel. I'll admit, it is due to a little masochistic joy I get when I see cars driv
e up, see the window, then drive off. That's right! I mutter under my breath, No more rooms!

"Baby, Imma take you to the next level!" Well that's what I'd imagine our elevator here to sound like. Interesting things happen when it's just you and your imagination to keep you company. 

Well there's more to come, but it's six AM, and that means it's time for bed! Good morning, kids, and goodnight.

Monday, July 21, 2008


As many of you know, I am currently a hotel night desk clerk. As many of you know, I really enjoy this job, the quiet nights to myself, and the KARAZZY characters that wander in that I enjoy with cautious amusement (Careful, you might get stabbed). Anyway! Like I've said a few times, I enjoy the solitude, I love it so much. 

But my time here is winding down. A new chapter in life is about to begin, and between you and me, hopefully this one will have a little more action and romance (Blam, blam! Kisses!) Let's wander back to the point, shall we? Seeing as how I'm almost done with this job, another person has been hired to replace me (which on its own is an interesting thing. Of course I'm happy that they were able to find someone, but it's weird knowing this person is "my replacement"). 

Seeing as how there is someone new, they need to be trained. Seeing as how this woman is taking my position, she needs to be trained on my shift. Hence, my solitude has been shattered. Broken, like the camel's back, the straw of finality placed upon its burdened hump. Perhaps I'm exaggerating.

The fact is that it's an interesting feeling. You might get so used to being alone, and then suddenly, you get to hang out with a stranger for four hours. Now we're not constantly interacting, I think she's watching "Get Rich or Die Trying" staring the bard "Fittee Cent". But the double-edged sword comes into view. I'm happy to have company, but annoyed to lose my peace and quiet, as it were. 

And can we talk for a moment about personal space? Now I'm not afraid of a good hug, that's for sure, in fact sometimes I like to say I have a "personal black hole" instead of a "personal bubble." But if I don't know a person, I think that coming within... say... six inches of my person is a little awkward. Would you agree?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Microwaving the Unmicrowavible

I had a Tostino's pizza this evening. I didn't have an oven, so I microwaved it against dire warnings. I kind of has a pizza stew instead of a pizza pie. It did its job.

I am a pretty emotional person. At its best, I can be a good listener, a sensitive person who tries to help. At its worst, I can be "emo." It's fine, I'm growing as a person. 

There is something about my emotions that I value. First, it is how God made me, and he wants me to learn how to become the best person I can be with them, embrace them, grow. The beautiful thing is this: when I feel my absolute worst, my most "emo," when I feel like I'm being filled with emptiness, I know where I can go, I know what I can do. 

I need God. I need prayer. When I don't know what I need, when I don't know what comfort I want, all I have to do is pray. All I have to do is stand in the silence and feel. God knows what I'm feeling. God knows what I'm trying to say. When I've got a weight that I can't understand sitting on my heart, I can simply sit in the quiet and give it to God. I can say absolutely anything, there's nothing God gets tired of hearing. I can say nothing, and God knows exactly what I couldn't or didn't want to say. 

When I am ecstatic, when everything is going my way, when my joy comes spilling out of my body, I can share it with God. I know God helped me get there. I can share it, I am thankful, I am filled. 

There is one major part of prayer that I am working on: God speaks through the silence. I am trying my best to listen. 

Now I love my friends. I have some of the best in the world, probably better than yours, I'm not going to lie. Here's the thing: I desperately want to invite them to Church. I love them so much, I want them to know about this comfort that I have, this joy that I have, all of it that God wants to share. I want them to know because I love them. For some reason, however, I'm terrified. I'm so scared to ask them to come, just even once. But I'm tired of compartmentalizing, I'm tired of putting people in places in my mind. I want them to know that most important part of my being, my relationship with God, and I want them to see where that all stems from. 

Now I have to listen, I have to love the silence. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


In reference to the previous post (read it), a friend of mine told me this morning that I shouldn't be afraid of whales, seeing as I live on land. I submit for inspection exhibit A:
Any one of us could have been that sea lion. You, me, like... puppies or babies too.

Juicy Confessions

It's okay, you can laugh. To the left is one of the most frightening images I have ever seen in my life. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, I am terrified of whales. 

I was chastised by a friend the other day when I confessed my paralyzing fear. She told me it was foolish, that whales eat things smaller than I can see. I told her that didn't matter, I was still scare out of my scuba gear when it came to these gentle giants (OF TERROR).

I explained (or at least tried) that it's really not a question of being eaten. That wouldn't be so bad, kind of a warm, squishy jacuzzi that was eating away at my flesh— that's how I imagine a whale's stomach to act at least. It's not a rational fear of whales, not at all. I think what I'm really afraid of is just... large things in water. Oh, and coffins, but that's a different story for a different time!

What is it about water? I'm not afraid of say, a mountain, but if it was underwater... if I couldn't see all of it? Gee whiz, that's scary. Giant squids? They haunt my dreams. Submarines? They haunt my waking hours. I admit, perhaps that was an exaggeration, but really, large, dark things underwater— well I think I've made my point. 

Is it a phobia? I looked it up, I think it's called: "bigwetthingaphobia" which personally, I think is terribly unoriginal. 

Golly, doesn't that scare you? I'm on a roll now.

Really, I'm not sure what this is... I think it's a submarine, all I know for sure is that I am quivering.

Now you know how to scare me. Just put me in a large pool of water with... something else and presto! Terrified Kyle. Enjoy it, jerk. Then go scare some kids, since you love it so much. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Stop that, it's not funny.

I had been spending a lot of time reading "internet comedy sites" at work, thinking it was a fun way to kill time. I noticed, however, that I was becoming a negative person, a judgmental and crude person, and was often scared  by my own observations.

Let's take a couple of steps back. I like to think that I'm a pretty funny guy. I'd tell you a joke right now to prove it, but I'm really just not in the mood for that, but if you're reading this you probably know me, and you probably know if I'm funny or not, so I 'll leave that to you. But as I was reading these sites, I realized that their comedy just isn't funny.

I don't mean "not funny" in the way that, say, a Garfield strip isn't funny, I mean that these sites are cruel, hurtful, lazy, and just in bad form. Sites like,, (or whatever it's called) and so on don't seem to know what comedy is. 

These sites, you see, are devoted to making fun of completely helpless people. They find people online, on the street, or in the public eye — people who are perhaps socially awkward or people who honestly have done nothing wrong or strange to anyone (on top of that in fact, I have seen extensive ridicule laid upon the mentally and physically handicapped) and proceed to mock them for the world to enjoy. It's cruel, it's not funny. And you know what? When it comes to comedy, it's just plain lazy. It's easy to make fun of someone, it's easy to insult people. That's why stand-up comics tell each other to make fun of the audience when they run out of material. Quick and dirty jokes that get a laugh.  

There are several types of jokes I am 100% sick of hearing. Men and women are different, we know. Sure it can be funny when used tastefully and sparingly, but women don't always love shopping 24/7 and men aren't always watching "the game." Extended comedy routines about the differences between African Americans, white people, and Latinos only encourage racism in my opinion. "Oh man, white people are like this, but black people are like this! HARHAHARHAHAHA." Thanks for belittling the thousands of people who fought for equality (this faux pas is committed by all races, I'm not singling anyone out.) Rednecks are people too, quick making fun of them. 

Now one might imagine a very small amount of comedic room left once I remove these common elements and tasteless insults, but believe me— there is so much more comedy, with such higher quality. Even slapstick can be done with brilliance. All I'm saying is work hard for a laugh, or if you're not the type, encourage those who do. Support well done character comedy (i.e. Arrested Development) over the easy cash ins (i.e. Meet the Spartans, which hit #1 at the box office. God cried that day). Remember, you often choose what you laugh at.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Tales By Request

I've been told a few times that the things that happen to me here at work should be written down. A lot of them are, but they're tucked away in various journals and blog pages that only real die hards could find and order them. I am not one of those people, so without further ado, I present "Hotel Hilarity: Confessions of a Night Shift Desk Clerk — Greatest Hits" (do you think publishers would dig that title?)

First thing's first. I was only about a month out on this job, still screwing up in one way or another about every shift when a gentleman walks in at around three in the morning demanding to speak to a manager. The shade of cherry filling his cheeks told me he was either drunk or worked up, so I kindly told him that I was the only one there, seeing as how it was three in the morning. He demanded that I call the manager at home. Trying to avoid having to do something that would definitely put my on the bad side of my employer, I tried the non combative route. "Is it something I can help you with? Why do you need to speak to the owner?"
"Your back door doesn't work, and it's next to the handicap spots. That's illegal, and I want to talk to your manager about it." This one could go on and on, so I'll just sum it up. Ask for the details in person, I'll gladly give them all to you. Long story short, he called two different Days Inn hotlines to speak with someone so that he could complain, and was upset to find no one was answering the phone at three in the morning. I eventually got him to go to his room, where he told me that he had called his lawyer, and he was going to take the matter up with corporate. Godspeed, sir. 

Who can forget the Tupac lady? Late one night, two women walk into the lobby asking if they can get a room. I tell them the price, to which they react with an elongated "sh************t" and then ask if they can just crash on the couch. No, I said. You can sit down for a moment, but that's it. I could smell the alcohol clouding out of their mouths about nine feet away, so I just wanted them to leave peacefully. Luckily for me, they were rather friendly in that "holly crap you are so drunk" way people can be. As I kindly ushered them out of the door a moment later, one turned and asked in a rather passionate tone: "Yo, you like Tupac?" I was awfully tempted to continue that conversation, I'll admit, but my sheer terror as to what two completely drunk women might do if my partiality to west coast rap was revealed (especially in all of its superficiality. I can talk for a grand total of five minutes on the subject). 

Two more.

One night, a young man kind of half-jumped, half-spilled into the doorway. Perhaps the best word to describe him (but hopefully not judge him) was "dude." He pushed his beanie back up off his brow and asked about room prices. I was answered again with something along the lines of "sh*********t." He turned to leave, but a brilliant idea struck him like beauty to a poet. He turned to me and asked: "Could you cut the price in half if I give you a bud?" Admittedly, my naivety in these topics led me to believe he was offering me beer, not drugs. "No thanks," I said. "You sure some weed won't change your mind?" I directed him to the Travelodge up the street. 

One night, I saw a suspicious character walk in. He headed upstairs, without a word. I decided to go on my rounds, I didn't trust him, and we've had homeless folks sleeping in the hall before. True this guy looked a bit put-together, but something about him... well I didn't see him on my rounds, so I assumed he had a room and was sleeping peacefully. Early that morning, just as I finished putting out breakfast, he came down and used about half of our pitcher of milk, and ate a waffle and several bowels of cereal. He then laid down on one of our ultra-comfy chairs and fell asleep. I wasn't sure what to do. I found out the next day he was a "vagrant" if you will, and got in a bit of a fight with one of the other help desk employees later in the day when he refused to leave.

And many more! Ask me about the guy who comes in for only a couple of hours, or the people who get upset when they find out that their travel agency made money when they booked their room here. Drunks, kids, oh and the marshals who were looking for someone with a warrant on their behinds, checked into a room facing the parking lot for a bit of a stake-out. Hard to believe I'm only here for about another month. I'll miss the danger. Chicks dig the danger. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Can I share something with you? I will anyway, I trust the people who(m?) I know read this. 

You could say that the New Testament breaks down into two basic categories (did I scare you away? Fear not, things get juicy), the gospels and the epistles. The gospels being different accounts of Jesus on earth (fascinating!), and the epistles being various letters from different apostles (encouraging!) 

Here's where the real personal stuff comes in. Recently, I discovered that I was only reading the letters, the epistles. They are constantly reminding us to "be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves" (Romans 12:10) and how much we are loved, how all of us are loved no matter what we do, no matter who we are. That we can't lose God's love, and how we can and should become like Him, and love each other, gaining the best lives possible and sharing this joy with other people. I wasn't reading the gospels, I realized, because I was afraid. 

The epistles, while true, are written by regular people who are sharing truth with other regular people. I knew that I was missing out on the words of Jesus, God himself. I was afraid of what he was going to say. With the letters, I can easily say to someone: "Look at the context. What did it mean then? What does it mean now?" Since it was coming from normal people giving God's word, it seemed, perhaps, more flexible. Perhaps there was room for human error. The words of Jesus, I felt, left little room for discussion. I was reluctant to take part. I didn't want God to have said anything I couldn't perhaps work around under the guise of human error. 

I decided this was something I had to meet head on. I started from the beginning, chapter one of the first gospel (Matthew) and faced my fear. As I read, I was caught by what I seemed to be afraid of. One of the first things Jesus says is, "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is near." (This, I realized, means something far different coming from Jesus than the man on the street corner shouting at you. I can only imagine it being so full of love, Christ telling you how he wants you to be apart of what's going on) Even now I feel the ache of not being able to articulate how this is more a message of hope then condemnation. But you know what? Jesus bailed me out. 

He moves on in his message, giving the "beatitudes," blessed are the meek, the persecuted, etc. Next comes love. Love, love, love, that's what it all boils down to. Love God, love others, because that's what God wants. I realized that I was afraid of the most liberating thing about my faith. God knew better than me, imagine that. 

My relief continued. I thought of how silly it seemed to thing there was no room for discussion in what Jesus said. That, really, is a terrible fallacy that has crippled so many. he spoke in parables, he spoke in riddles, he often spoke in a way that he absolutely knew would cause discussion. He wants us to talk about it, to wrestle with what he says. When it comes to love, however, there's no wiggle room, but I think you're going to find it hard to find someone who doesn't like that idea. 

In the end I was happy for my struggle. It allowed me to re-discover what I believe. God wants us to wrestle with it. He doesn't want us to take everything and swallow it without question. There wouldn't be much worth believing in if that was the case. There would be no interaction, no relationship, just a big thing in the sky watching us, shaking its head when we screwed up. But thankfully, that's not how it is. God wants dialogue with each other, with Him, with what we have and what we discover. 

Forgive the ramblings, if you made it all the way to the end I'll buy you a treat.