Saturday, June 25
Sunday, January 30
Saturday, January 8
With a recent eviction behind me, I had a lot to look forward to in 2010.
It proved to be another banner year for travel -- in fact I was only 531 miles away from becoming an Alaska Airlines’ MVP. I visited both the Arctic Circle and the Southernmost point in the US at Key West--and seemingly everywhere in between. I rang in the New Year in Alaska’s capital of Juneau. Next stop on my Alaskan adventure was Nome-ward bound, where I walked onto the frozen Bering Strait and could just barely see Russia from my house (really!). I spent a week in Sitka (think The Proposal) and drove down the Alaska-Canadian Highway through Fairbanks, the Yukon Territory, British Columbia and throughout southeast Alaska before stopping to spend my summer in Juneau. (The drive down was much nicer than the unfortunate three-day ferry ride back to Anchorage where I saw many whales and even more toilet bowls).
I visited the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and met an Olympic athlete first hand. I had the opportunity to go to a gay wedding in Phoenix and visit the Grand Canyon and Sedona (where I had both my aura and chakras read). In September, I visited Seattle for the wedding of friends and drove through the Olympic Peninsula on the way toTwilight’s very-own Forks, WA.
In October I visited (and fell in love) with Minneapolis/St. Paul. The following month I travelled throughout the East Coast, visiting friends in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Atlantic City, Washington D.C., Monticello and Baltimore.
My final trip of the year to the Southeast (New Orleans, Atlanta and Miami) included a Cozumel-bound cruise with the Backstreet Boys.
My parents visited Juneau and caught a glimpse of the beauty of Alaska by mountain climbing and seeing black bears and bald eagles from just feet away. My forays into the wilderness were rather limited but I found time to mountain climb, sea kayak and glacier trek.
Along with the Olympics and the opening of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race, 10 months worth of training culminated in me completing my first marathon in New York City. I also spent much of the summer playing racquetball, backgammon and bridge.
After accidentally subscribing to a PETA newsletter, I became vegan for 35 days (no small feet while living in rural Alaska) --ending it healthily with a KFC Double Down.
In an effort to become more cultured, I bought season theater tickets and a season pass to the Anchorage Opera. While in New York I saw the Pulitzer Prize-winning Next to Normal, Nathan Lane and Bebe Nuewirth in The Addams Family, Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth in Promises, Promises, my friend Preston Sadlier in Edward Albee's Me, Myself and I, American Idol Jordin Sparks in the Tony-winning In the Heights and the Greenday rock opera American Idiot.
In addition to the Backstreet Boys’ cruise, I saw Boyz II Men in concert at the Alaska State Fair and listened to music in New Orleans’ famed Preservation Hall. I’ve also spent time improving my own musical skills by purchasing and learning to play the guitar.
Two promotions later, I moved into my new role supporting Wells Fargo Alaska Development Programs and Marketing. Thanks to a healthy tuition reimbursement, I also enrolled in graduate school and am currently pursuing my MBA.
I continued to build great friendships in Alaska -- though many of them are leaving for the lower 48. With more time on my hands, I became a Big Brother to a 12-year-old middle schooler. Me and Sarah Palin’s relationship hit an impasse when Todd himself escorted me off their property. Despite very few options (“the odds are good, but the good are odd”) I went on a couple of dates (date a porn star, check) and was four days shy of going the whole year without being kissed (thank you, Taylor!).
I also traded in the car that travelled the country on road-trips everywhere from Florida to Alaska, escorted celebrities and CEOs and put me through college as a pizza delivery boy. In its place, I am the new proud owner of a 2011 Toyota Rav4.
2009 proved to be the best year ever while 2010 introduced me to an even better life. Looking forward to 2011.
Monday, November 22
Tuesday, September 7
Monday, July 26
Saturday, June 26
Wednesday, June 9
I just spent almost thirty minutes trying to post this ad on craigslist. for some reason, it wouldn't let me.
Guess I'm just not supposed to have friends.
Tuesday, June 1
Monday, May 10
Tuesday, May 4
Monday, April 26
- Seeing Mt. McKinley, North America's highest peak
- Visiting Fairbanks
- Santa's Workshop at the North Pole (including the World's Largest Santa Claus--50' tall)
- Driving through the Yukon Territory
- A trip to Whitehorse, YT
- Spending the night at a quaint bed and breakfast
- An all day ferry through the Alaskan Peninsula to Juneau (watching Ugly Betty the whole way)
Sunday, April 25
Tuesday, March 23
Wednesday, March 17
Wednesday, March 10
Saturday, February 13
Monday, January 18
Tuesday, January 12
Sunday, January 10
Friday, January 8
Wednesday, January 6
Sunday, January 3
Saturday, January 2
Thanks to Southwest Airlines and Kurt’s domestic partnership discount at Enterprise I was able to go to many places I’d never been before. Highlights included going to see a taping of Ellen with three of my best friends (we ended up on national television); going to Magic Mountain (and ending up in First Aid for most of the day); Disney World with my sister; Stonehenge (Washington); visiting church history sites in Nauvoo, Carthage, Kirtland and Palmyra; hiking Angel’s Landing at Zion National park; throwing up on airplanes, in hotel rooms and on interstates; visiting Cleveland, Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City; camping in the Adirondack’s; bobsledding on the Olympic course at Lake Placid; standing under the falls at Niagara; my first time visiting Mexico (Tijuana!); and riding a tandem bike along the streets of San Francisco.
I had a lot of fun at home, too. Watching hours of TV on Thursday nights with some of my best friends in the world, getting food thrown at me, midnight movie showings (Star Trek, Indiana Jones, Twilight to name a few) climbing up through waterfalls, cruising town in limousines, mastering the art of catching spit gum in my mouth, Lost parties, almost auditioning for roles in low budget movies, avoiding scabies, clubbing, watching Weeds and Glee, traveling an hour just to see a $3 movie, watching friends try (and fail) eating contests and cementing my title as the King of Catan.
Despite having to part with my croquet set after an unfortunate incident at the airport, my friends came through with another set and along with that, I filled my obsession with games with a healthy dose of running charades, Aggravation, Battleship, ‘Cupackes of Catan’ and Skipbo. (Proudest moment: despite her best efforts, I succeeded in winning every game I played against Kaylene).
2009 was spent much like my 1999 music-wise, with new hits from Christina Aguilera, Britney and the Backstreet Boys blasting my iPod. I had numerous celebrity sightings including viewing Britney Spears from 32-rows back and meeting up-and-coming star Gary Go at a Mika concert. Also, me and Zac Efron share a special connection having used the same phone as he did in HSM3. I danced with Ellen (sort of) and rocked with No Doubt in concert. In tribute to my favorite show, I dressed up as Kenneth the Page (from 30 Rock) for Halloween. I became friends with the undeclared winner of a drag show and gained a whole new appreciation for all things So You Think You Can Dance.
I graduated into high fashion this year. I’ve gotten at least a hundred compliments on my glasses (no exaggeration) and at one point had to prostitute myself out to a homeless person to have them returned. I grew out my hair long enough to fro it and was told upon moving to Alaska that I should consider becoming a model.
In other noteworthy news I succumbed to the pressure and joined Twitter (and Tumblr and Google Wave). My blog hit 20,000 views and a piece I wrote was republished on a popular religious site enabling me to cross off one more item on my lengthy bucket list.
At the end of year, I gave up both my jobs and moved from Seattle (one of the hardest things I have ever done) to Alaska leaving things in the trusty hands of 'the new Mark'. In Alaska I have since been evicted, taken my first dance lessons, remain undefeated at ‘Grabwhich’ and ‘Taboo’, made pornaments and had my battery die twice before installing an engine block heater I plug in every night. I ended the year in a hotel room in Juneau, by myself, watching Julie & Julia.
But I’m happy, grateful and looking back with fond memories of another wonderful year. May 2010 be even better!
Friday, January 1
Tuesday, December 29
Friday, December 25
I thought Christmas might be a little lonely in Juneau, but I was able to spend it with some of my favorite people and closest friends: Christina Aguilera, David Archuleta, Mariah Carey and the boys from *N Sync.
Sunday, December 20
Tuesday, December 15
Saturday, December 12
Saturday, November 28
Tuesday, November 24
- My first Sunday here, not one, but TWO people bore their testimony about escaping from a bear
- It's already been - 10°
- Even though its gambling, I played Bingo with the Relief Society President
- More than one boy has already taken me out to dinner
- Lots of people here love Skipbo
- It was a rough start, but there have been at least 3 conversations (not just compliments, whole conversations!) about how cool my glasses are
- Most people in the ward refer to me as "the trendy Mark"
- I got a pair of Hugo Boss dress shoes that are bitchin'
- One girl refers to me as "Hot Mark"
- You have to plug in your car here at night, or it won't start in the morning
- I've heard three of the most homophobic things ever here -- it feels like I'm in Utah
- I've had the time to finish Weeds and The Chronicles of Narnia since I've been here
- I appreciate people back home a lot more
- Work is easy
- I think most people here genuinely think I'm a cool, lovable guy
- I don't have to work 70 hours a week
- My CraigsList roommate hasn't killed me yet
- I get paid for lunch
- I haven't cried since my first couple of days here
- I have stuff to do every night I choose to
Saturday, September 5
he's never truly protected one soul,
they all die anyway, and what good
solace is cheap. The signs are clear:
the drooping wings, the shameless thinking
and self. It's time to stop.
The guardian angel lives for a month
with other angels,
sings the angelic songs, is reminded
that he doesn't have a human choice.
The angel of love
lies down with him, and loving
restores to him his pure heart.
Yet how hard it is
to descend into sadness once more.
When the poor are evicted, he stands
and the bank, but the bank sees nothing
it its way. When the meek are ovepowered
he's there, the thin air
through which they fall. Without effect
he keeps getting in the way of insults.
He keeps wrapping
his wings around those in the cold.
Even his lamentations are unheard,
in for the long haul, trying to live
beyond despair, he believes, he needs
everthing he does takes root, hums
beneath the surfaces of the world.
Thursday, September 3
Saturday, August 29
Monday, August 3
Sunday, July 19
Sunday, July 12
Tuesday, June 23
Sunday, May 31
- The only material possession that would make me a happier person is a complete set of nice dishes
- I am absolutely finished playing the role of 'back up' or 'stand in'
- I think you are a coward
- I'd give anything to be Elder Johnson again
- The 'Gospel' has provided the majority of the motivation in my life to strive to be a better, loving person. The 'Church' provides none of it
- If you never are going to hold up a sign for me that says: "To me, you are perfect" you aren't worth it. And you never will be
- If I were to draw a Venn Diagram of "Qualities that Make a Good Person" and "Qualities that Make a Good Mormon," there would be very little overlap, if any
- 'The Church is wrong' is not a valid excuse to leave
- Without reservation or exclusivity I can confidently say that I care more about you than you do me
- My heart is still recovering from the damage you caused but I'm almost ready to love again without fear or reservation. No thanks to you