Sunday, March 30, 2008

Spiral Jetty Excursion 2008

I took a humanities course a long time ago when I was going to college down in the Proves. While in the class, I learned about the Spiral Jetty for the first time. I've been intrigued by this thing ever since I first learned about it. So the true story goes that this artist guy named Robert Smithson decided to create a humungous piece of art out in the Great Salt Lake back in 1970. I've heard that people in the '70s were always doing weird stuff like that. Smithson's humungous art piece is known as the Spiral Jetty, and it's not only weird but it's pretty darn awesome too. So like I said, I've been intrigued by this art since college and went out to see the piece for the first time last May with my little sister, Melanie. Melanie and I had quite the adventure the first time we went out to the Spiral. The trip was a lot more treacherous than we had imagined, and I nearly got us stranded out in the middle of nowhere when my car nearly ran out of gas. You see, I seem to have a slight problem with estimations. In other words, if I tell you something is about a mile away, it's probably really 2 miles away. If I say it should take you about 2 hours to get someplace, it will probably end up actually taking 3 or 4 hours. If I think that I can get to someplace on a quarter full tank of gas...Okay, you probably get the picture. So last year, Melanie and I discovered that a trip out to see the Spiral is a bit more like a trek than just a simple joy ride, but it's worth it. I think the Jetty is really beautiful. Smithson made it out of the black basalt boulders found all over the beach. The basalt boulders are from local volcanic eruptions that occurred millions of years ago, cool. And both times I've been out there, the lake has been this really cool purpleish color due to a buildup of minerals or something like that. The whole setting around the Jetty is really pretty and very peaceful. I took a bunch of shots on our way out to the Spiral, but once we finally got to it, my camera's battery decided to die...I guess I overestimated how much power the blasted thing had stored up. Luckily I was able to get a couple shots of the Spiral, but I'll have to try and get some better shots next year. I think the best time to go is during March and April when the water isn’t covering the Spiral. Melanie and I went last May, towards the end of the month, and the water was pretty much covering up the Jetty. The Jetty wasn’t covered up when Melanie, Maria, and I went this past weekend, so we were able to hike down to it and walk on it. It was so much fun to go out to the lake this weekend, and I'm really glad Maria came with us this year. Maria was a real trooper during the trek and only got a little mad at me for thinking we would only have to hike like a half mile...We had to hike a bit more than that, oops. If you're interested in making the trip out to see this thing, here are some really simplified directions...Don't worry, I didn't come up with those mile estimations, so you can trust 'em. I'm definitely planning on going again next Spring.

How to get there: Drive to the Golden Spike National Historic Site, 30 miles west of Brigham City by following signs on Utah State Route 83 through Corinne.

Once at GSNHS, just follow the signs on the gravel road to the Jetty, which is about 16 miles from the Golden Spike monument.

Taken in the car, on the gravel road leading to the beach and the Spiral.

Melanie and Maria

Closeup of Melanie and her gorgeous locks blowing in the wind

This is a linear jetty found a half mile before you get to the Spiral. I heard that this one was created for some sort of oil rigging project a long time ago.

Almost there...

This is the best shot of the Spiral that I could get before my camera died.

Melanie on the tail of the Spiral. Check out the black boulders Smithson used to construct this thing. These black rocks can be found all over the beach and up on the hills surrounding.


My little sister, Maria, took off for Manhattan early this morning. I'm really excited for her and all the new people she'll meet and new things she'll get to experience up there. I'm also really bummed, for selfish reasons, that she moved away. I miss her so much already...Thank goodness for iChat. Fortunately, Maria and I got to hang out this past weekend before she left. Maria's the coolest. I'm glad she's my sister.

I must've said something super funny...or at least Maria thought what I said was super funny. Maria's usually the only one that ever laughs at my jokes.

Here I am trying to make Maria laugh...This must've been taken back in 1984ish.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Bread Rabbit Time

Lex, this one's for you. Ruth outdid herself this year for sure.

In honor of Easter, Luke decided to break out his beloved flips. Nice.

Only Maya could pull these off.

What do bread rabbits, flip flops, and glittery pink shoes have in common? That's right, Easter. It was weird having Easter so early this year. It didn't feel very Eastery to me, and the bread rabbit seemed to emerge much to soon. But Easter it was, and the Merrills tried to make the best of it. Here's a vid of the childrens running around my parent's backyard trying to find some carefully hidden Easter eggs. The snow's nearly all melted, but the grass is looking really sad. I can't wait until the whole yard is nice and green.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Best American Stuff

Last year I picked up a book called The Best American Nonrequired Reading. It's edited by Dave Eggers and is a compilation of short stories, fragments of stories, transcripts, screenplays, television scripts, and a lot more stuff like that taken from many different sources. A new edition is put out every year. Here are a couple of lists included in the 2006 edition that I have:

Best American Fake Headlines
From The Onion

1. U.S. Children Still Traumatized One Year after Seeing a Partially Exposed Breast on TV
2. Doctor Unable to Hide His Excitement from Patient with Ultra-Rare Disease
3. Breathalyzer Big Hit at Cop Party
4. Hilary Duff's Number One Fan Tasered
5. Latest Bin Laden Videotape Wishes America a "Crappy Valentine's Day"
6. Cocky Pope-Hopeful Ready to Make Some Changes Around Vatican
7. Neverland Ranch Investigators Discover Corpse of Real Micheal Jackson
8. Evangelical Scientists Refute Gravity with New "Intelligent Falling" Theory
9. Fritolaysia Cuts off Chiplomatic Relations with Snakistan
10. CIA Realizes It's Been Using Black Highlighters All These Years
11. Bush to Appoint Someone to Be in Charge of Country
12. Rest of U2 Perfectly Fine with Africans Starving
13. Bush Braces as Cindy Sheehan's Other Son Drowns in New Orleans
14. Area Baby Doesn't Have Any Friends
15. Google Announces Plan to Destroy All Information It Can't Index
16. Bush Nominates First-Trimester Fetus to Supreme Court
17. Activist Judge Cancels Christmas
18. Cases of Glitter Lung on the Rise among Elementary School Art Teachers
19. ESPN Courts Female Viewers with "World's Emotionally Strongest Man" Competition
20. Bob Marley Rises from Grave to Free Frat Boys from Bonds of Oppression
21. 133 Dead as Delta Cancels Flight in Midair
22. U.S. Troops Draw Up Own Exit Strategy
23. Rove Implicated in Santa Identity Leak
24. Chicago's Shedd Aquarium Admits Panda Exhibit a Ghastly Mistake
25. Blacks, Whites Put Differences Aside, Work Together to Make Better Burger
26. Study: Watching Fewer Than Four Hours of TV a Day Impairs Ability to Ridicule Pop Culture
27. Protest One Person Short of Success
28. 180 Trillion Leisure Hours Lost to Work in 2004
29. Bloodless Coup a Real Letdown
30. "Tony's Law" Would Require Marijuana Users to Inform Interested Neighbors
31. America Still Searching for Funniest Home Video
32. Cost of Living Now Outweighs Benefits
33. Report: U.S. Foreign Policy Hurting American Students' Chances of Getting Laid Abroad
34. Scientology Losing Ground to New Fictionology
35. Bush Challenges America to Produce the Perfect Romantic Comedy by 2009
36. Date Disastrously Bypasses Physical Intimacy, Goes Straight to Emotional Intimacy
37. Bush Vows to Eliminate U.S. Dependence on Oil by 4920
38. Police Search of Backpack Yields Explosive Bestseller
39. Genie Grants Scalia Strict-Constructionist Interpretation of Wish
40. Report: 92 Percent of Souls in Hell There on Drug Charges
41. Philandering String Theorist Can Explain Everything
42. NASA Chief under Fire for Personal Shuttle Use
43. Terrorist Has No Idea What to Do with All This Plutonium
44. Mythbusters Team Struck Down by Zeus

Best American Things to Know about Chuck Norris
From Chuck Norris Facts (

1. Chuck Norris created the hole in the ozone layer "to get a better look at the sun."
2. When Chuck Norris claps, the lights always turn on. Even if he doesn't have a Clapper.
3. Chuck Norris doesn't read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.
4. Chuck Norris counted to infinity--twice.
5. There is no chin behind Chuck Norris' s beard. There is only another fist.
6. Chuck Norris's hand is the only hand that can beat a royal flush.
7. The grass is always greener on the other side, unless Chuck Norris has been there. In that case the grass is most likely soaked in blood and tears.
8. Chuck Norris grinds his coffee with this teeth and boils the water with his rage.
9. Chuck Norris is the only person in the world who can actually e-mail a roundhouse kick.
10. Two wrongs don't make a right. Unless you're Chuck Norris. Then two wrongs make a roundhouse kick to the face.
11. Chuck Norris once rode a nine-foot grizzly bear through an automatic car wash instead of taking a shower.
12. Chuck Norris has to use a stunt double when he does crying scenes.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Winner of the Spys

So I totally conducted a random drawing for the awesome oversized Spys. And the winner is Pepper! Pepper, I know you'll give the Spys a good home...The UB's gonna love them on you. I'll get your mailing address from Kai and send them over asap.

Katie, I would have loved to see you in the Spys as well and wanted to use them as an excuse to go and visit you and the boys. I guess I'll just have to think of another excuse to go and see you. How are your Tevas holding up?

Jon...Well, I'm sorry Jon. Better luck next time.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Weekend Happenings

Melanie Got Married!

Luke singing to Melanie the night before their big day. Luke wrote the song himself.

Wedding Day

Melanie with her best friends from school

Sisters helping with makeup before the party

Merrill kids gathering for a photo with our new brother. We didn't go with this pose for the final shot.

The Beautiful New Couple...Isn't Melanie's dress amazing? So pretty.

I Turned 28.

Lukey enjoying some birthday cake.

Miss Maya

March Sunday Vid.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Does anyone want some oversized sunglasses? Some oversized Spy sunglasses? I got these pretties a couple years ago and have only worn them a few times.

They don't fit me right. I've always had a hard time finding shades that fit me. I end up buying sunglasses, only to have them start slipping down the bridge of my nose shortly after the purchase. I try to avoid getting ones that don't fit me by doing the head shaking test in the store before I buy, but that doesn't seem to prevent the slippage later on. Anyway, I recently got myself a new pair of shades. This time, I was sure to get the kind that plaster themselves right onto my face and wrap around real nice and tight. These babies aren't goin' anywhere...I hope.

When I went out in search of a new pair of sunglasses, my aim was to avoid getting really big ones. I tried on lots of pairs but somehow ended up getting another huge pair of shades. Like the great Jessica Alba once said when talking about her oversized sunglasses, "I never felt right in small ones."

So. Since I have my new pair of wrap-arounds, I want to get rid of the Spys that don't fit me. If you want the Spys, just comment and I'll send 'em to you. If more than one person comments by the time I post again (next Wednesday prolly), I'll choose the winner by way of a random drawing. I'll let you know who gets the Spys next week. Just keep in mind the problem I had with the slippage. If you've also struggled with this problem in the past, these may not be the shades for you.