Celebrating Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument’s Golden Birthday! 

The vast and austere landscape of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM) offers a spectacular array of scientific and historic resources. Encompassing 1.9 million acres, the Monument was created on September 18, 1996 by presidential proclamation – the first monument entrusted to BLM management. World-class dinosaur excavations have yielded more information about ecosystem change at the end of the dinosaur era than almost any other place in the world. Among the fossil finds, paleontologists have identified dinosaurs not previously known to have inhabited this region, as well as several new species.

The vast landscapes of GSENM offers visitors a variety of recreational opportunities for a wide range of users. From the solitude of lonesome canyons to the excitement of winding rugged backways, the Monument is truly a treasure.

Plan your visit and learn more: http://on.doi.gov/1fJIy7a

Photos by Bob Wick, BLM 

About to get drunk off wine, eat dinner and watch a horror movie naked all by my lonesome to finish off my day off

You came into my life, this amazing ray of light in my darkness.

But this is why I don’t let people in, because you disappeared faster than you flattered me.

And while I know circumstances are no one’s fault, I cannot help the sadness that follows, because you gave me a comfort I thought I’d lost, and now I’m right back at the empty actions again.

Out of Gas (i)

On a night in the early summer driving home my mind clicked it all together. After sitting through three hours of Boyhood, Modest Mouse’s 1999 compilation Building Nothing Out of Something aligned dots for my appreciation not only of that album but the entire band. “Never Ending Math Equation” to “Interstate 8” to “Broke” skipping to “All Night Diner” to “Baby Blue Sedan” and last “A Life of Arctic Sounds” on this evening showed why Modest Mouse occupied half of my six disc CD player, and were also the only “band” whose music remained on my iPhone.

A couple years ago Pitchfork put out a documentary about Modest Mouse’s second full length album The Lonesome Crowded West. I thought one of the songs sounded great, so I listened to it on Youtube and got the CD. This was just about the time that my mom got a new car and handed down her car to me. Until my third year of college I didn’t have a car, so the immediate freedom of my own motorized transportation at the tail end of summer felt great. That I got my car and the middle of this album featured a track called “Out of Gas” of course had to fall that way.

That connection between driving and Modest Mouse’s music was brought up in that documentary and would be mentioned by friends, who had their own highway tales with This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About playing as their soundtracks. I remember driving one Saturday night and deciding to hop on the highway because I had never driven alone on the highway. High school was always bumming rides and cruising in the burbs and the first two years of college when I return home followed the same pattern. A car hitting speeds of 60, 70 or 80 miles per hour was not act I saw myself capable of; once I got on the highway, I tensed up I wasn’t keeping up with the traffic and other cars whizzed by me. Those few miles under the speed limit was far too slow for this three lane road. Eventually I caught up to the third wave cars that passed by me, as the sun was setting with “Trailer Trash” playing. I’m not sure what it was then—and still don’t know now—but I guess that was my highway moment.  

I ventured back onto North Carolina highways alone to drive myself to school and lived off campus with a newly under my possession car. I gained a freedom I never previously considered to not have. The ability to drive where and whenever I wanted and not being tied to someone’s whims or schedule was a unexpected but welcome change. There were all of these roads opened up for me to explore and whether I did or did not was inconsequential, the gas was in the tank to take me there. 

The return back to school after a summer of mostly trying to forget what happened the previous year ended up with me driving around at night. That combined with a quickly forming dislike of the people I lived with had me wanted to leave my new home instead of winding myself up in knots sitting alone in my room. I drove constantly to Real Estate’s Days to get lost in the closing minutes of “All the Same”: circling parking lots, driving back roads of campus and cleansing my head with the warm late summer air.

Days never left my CD player, but I started to fall into This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About and Building Nothing Out of Something. The initial, second, third and twelfth listens of those opening tracks of both albums that made me want to rush and immediately buy them.

The opening strums of “Dramamine” and the every twisted syllable of “I’m the same as I was when I six years old / And o my god I feel so damn old / I don’t really feel anything” from “Never Ending Math Equation” made sense of the confusion of should, or could, be one’s most exhausting year of college. Eventually I got and fell into both CDs; driving around and eventually finding latter cuts that spoke even louder to those days.  



(“Talking Shit About A Pretty Sunset”)

Those lines encompass how I feel so many days when I’m unsure what to do with all of the thoughts in my head and when further thinking makes it feel like they’re attempting to pull me apart. That was what I latched onto with Modest Mouse I never quite did any other rock band was the circular nature of their lyrics. Contradictions that seemingly made sense on one day and were pure nonsense on another until one day they were all equally clear.  

That kind of realization made me want to keep listening to their music so I continued forward with The Moon and Antarctica. The opening tracks of “3rd Planet” and “Gravity Rides Everything” bowled me over. Over and over again I could not stop listening to them, so I ordered the album on their strength alone on the hope the rest must be as strong. But even if the album stood up to impossibly high bar that I my mind built, my attention was being pulled and split by my eventual girlfriend. My relationship with Modest Mouse had to be put on hold. But I never stopped going back to those two songs, as each listen opened my eyes and allow my mind to feel as wide and ready to shallow anything thrown into it.  

Modest Mouse I had been told made music for long drives for people with a lot to think about. But this time their focus was no longer on the road, not even above the roads, instead they’re high, high in the clouds. I loved that spreading of their wings. Yet, there is something about tires speeding up down highway ramps and curving on wooded cut through neighborhoods that spoke more to me as I was trying to figure out exactly what I wanted from that new chapter of my life. I don’t think I ever found exactly what I was looking for back then, nor do I think I really should have, but still listening to those opening songs from The Moon and Antarctica makes me excited for the day I have new roads to travel. 

words get in the way

sehun can’t help but be a little bratt, when it comes to hogging luhan. sehun barely workds — as a part time float to different locations of the cafe he’s employed at, he basically works at his leisure. but luhan — luhan has some desk job that sehun doesn’t actually know much about; other than it’s the typical monday through friday, 9-to-5 kind of drill that sometimes keeps luhan from eating dinner on time.

and sehun doesn’t live with luhan, either. he’s got a key and he lets himself in whenever (which is nearly every day) and is always anxious for luhan’s return. not that luhan has any idea; he comes home and sees sehun sprawled on the couch staring at the tv, and assumes his parents drove him out again.

the fact of the matter is that sehun is terribly lonesome for luhan. the affection he doesn’t get from his parents is easy to forget when the void gets filled with crinkly-eyed smiles and tender touches to the apples of his cheeks.

sehun is terrible with words. probably because he’s a seventeen-year-old male on the verge of graduating in a bubbling pit of hormones, adolescence and rebellion. the only proper words he ever gets out is disapproval of his parent’s coddling, and sweet-talking his way out of trouble with the school administrators. luhan never punishes him or lectures him — probably because sehun never complains about hardly seeing him. it’s an odd relationship; sehun accepts that luhan is busy with work, luhan accepts that sehun is a moody teenager.

their emotional connection is something quiet but beautiful, sort of like still water littered with rose petals. luhan is the water, sehun is the rose petals.

the alarm goes off at six a.m. and sehun is the first to groan, reaching over luhan and shutting it off. luhan hums tiredly, already resigning himself to the inevitable wakeup. sehun deters him from slipping out of bed by instead slipping his arms around the older man’s waist, drawing him into his embrace, nuzzling into his neck. 

"call in sick," sehun says, nipping at luhan’s earlobe. they’d been too tired to do anything last night, falling into bed and sleeping almost immediately after they’d each had stressful days.

luhan chuckles, “i can’t, brat. someone needs to bring money into this house.”

"tell your boss you’re dead," sehun suggests, his fingers dancing along the lines of luhan’s pelvis. luhan’s skin is soft as the morning dew. 

"i don’t think it works that way," luhan says softly, although by the way he relaxes, sehun knows he’s won this battle.

"have a three day weekend with me," sehun’s lips trail down the column of luhan’s neck.

"you should go to school," luhan chides, but his tone isn’t reprimanding. 

"just… stay," sehun requests, softly. he doesn’t know how to say more — how to say ‘i love you’ or ‘i don’t want to be without you’.

luhan understands.

the rose does not need to explain its existence, resting on the surface of the calm water.

it just… is.

You can tell a lot about someone by the music they listen to. Hit shuffle on your iPod/iPhone/iTunes/media player and write down the first 10 songs. Then pass this onto 10 people

I was tagged by deanmartiann and harrybelafontes, thanks for tagging me! I’m doing 15 though

• Fly Me to the Moon - Frank Sinatra

• When I Say I Love You - Shy Girls (Saux Remix)

• Lonesome Town - Ricky Nelson

• Everybody - Ingrid Michaelson 

• No Better - Lorde

• You’re Nobody ‘Till Somebody Loves You - Dean Martin

• Scar Tissue - Red Hot Chili Peppers 

• It Feels so Right - Elvis Presley

• Don’t Wanna Wake Up - The Score

• My Way - Frank Sinatra

• Lost In a Summer Night - June Christy

• Maureen - Jim Reeves

• Dreams Money Can Buy - Drake

• Fly Me to the Moon - June Christy 

• One Silver Dollar - Marilyn Monroe

I tag viviens-leighs


Josh: “I got Chris, I got Chris from Motionless In White right here. Chris, how are we doing today?”

Chris: “Who are you?!”

Devin: -flips off camera-