Having Monday off was a nice event, particularly when my mental calendar wasn't at all planning or preparing for it. There's just so much I'm trying to get done and accomplished right now, that having an extra day off wasn't on the radar at all. That sounds silly, but true; I'm actually busy enough with enough on my mind that I wasn't looking forward to time off. Amazing.
Brien and I drove up to West Jordan Monday to see Mom. If you've not seen the haze in Salt Lake and Utah county, then you have no true concept of disgusting. It is SO nasty. We enter Utah county via Spanish Fork Canyon, and we drop down from crystal clear skies into this thick fog that initially looks pleasant and inviting, until you realize it's not nature that's done this, but just the pollution of northern Utah. It's thick, it's gross, and it's another reason I'm glad I don't live in northern Utah.
Anyone who knows much about me knows how much I hate Utah drivers. My niece Makayla started referring to them as Utards. That may be politically insensitive, but once you've been on the highway with them, you'll probably call them much worse. They switch lanes time and time again without warning, just so they can feel they're ahead of the other guy; they speed at upwards of 90+ in every lane except the fast lane; one could be driving on a 6-lane stretch of I-15 and find no one in the right 4 lanes, but the left 2 lanes are jammed packed with idiots fighting over whether to go the speed limit or not. No one seems to have ever read the sign, "Keep right except to pass." And everyone seems to believe that God is their copilot. Literally. I hate Utah drivers. Literally.
So with this in mind you can imagine my reaction when approaching Provo on the I-15, drivers around me passing me, weaving in and out of traffic, no semblance of order in any lane, that suddenly I find a cop on my tail with his lights on. I'm happy to say I kept my cool (last time I was pissed at a cop I said a few things I shouldn't have and it cost me $300+ and 10 hours in a driving class). But after this guy walked away from my window, I wanted to punch somebody. With all the asinine drivers surrounding me, I was pulled over for going a bit too fast (I was going 70 in a 65, with much of traffic speeding past me), and for changing lanes too soon after turning on my blinker.
I WAS ONE OF THE ONLY ONES ON THE FREEWAY USING MY FREAKING BLINKER! YOU PULLED ME OVER FOR NOT PERFECTLY FOLLOWING THE LAW THAT NO ONE ELSE IS FOLLOWING?!?!?!?!
Needless to say, the officer didn't even give me a warning. He just instructed me on my blinker, and pointed out to me that technically my insurance covered me in Arizona, but not Utah, and I needed to update it. That was it. Asinine. I hate Utah drivers. And Utah cops who seem to not be aware of the Utards around me.
While there're other things to discuss about that day, I was most surprised by events of the week. Tuesday morning I found out from students that the mother of 2 of my students had passed away. These are two girls I've come to care for and admire, but also the stepmother of this lovely young woman I've been spending time with. To my surprise, Nicole hadn't said a thing to me. This was an awkward time, and more than once I recomposed a thought or text when I reminded myself that this whole event wasn't about me. I mean, technically, although I am marginally crazy about this girl, we've only known each other a little over a week, which makes me a stranger in a time of family. So I did my best to be supportive, encouraging, and patient. I went to the viewing Tuesday night, and to my surprise, Nicole drove up from Vegas without even telling me she was coming; it made sense, but I wasn't aware she would be able to get away from work. I spent a moment with her two younger sisters, and Nicole walked in while I was talking to the older of the two. I offered consolation to her father, and then stepped out. Again, it wasn't my place to make it about me.
So this all led to, eventually, a more pleasant week with time with Nicole I wasn't expecting. We got to see each other Wednesday night for a few minutes, and Thursday night, due to some words from her younger sisters, I got to meet the rest of the family and have a formal introduction to her father (I wasn't planning THAT so early.) We spent a few hours together, and following the debate trip on Friday and Saturday, she and I spent a few hours together at her family's place last night.
She's a pretty special girl.
That's all I'm going to say about that.
I should mention that our trip to Kiefer's Memorial at West Lake High was a ton of fun. The kids did great, I learned a lot, and it was a really memorable couple of days.