Thursday, December 13, 2012

Blog Moratorium

For an undetermined period of time, there will be no new posts on the OFR. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What you didn't know.

What you didn't know, is that while I was up in North Dakota, I went through a short period of depression.

You didn't know that at some point, I started drinking lots of alcohol, smoking cigarettes (mostly), and chewing tobacco.

You didn't know that part of the reason I was coming back to Utah was to get away from that lifestyle.

If you knew that, you probably didn't know that another reason I came home was to try to fix things with a certain girl, and that 6 days before I got home, that girl got engaged.

In the last three months, I've been able to get back to the right path. It's been rough at times, but it's been great.

It hasn't been easy to let go of some things from the past, but I've done it. Old friends and new friends have been a great help and support during the transition.  Honestly, the buzz from a Marlboro Red might be something that will always haunt me from time to time.

You probably didn't know that I have a girlfriend now. She's pretty amazing.  If you don't already know her, well, I'm not going to introduce her here.  She's been an inspiration and a great motivation to get me right with God. I appreciate that immensely.

I'm glad I came home. It was important that I did so. I'm glad that my reasons got me here, even though not everything panned out as planned. I appreciate what got me here, even if it hurt like hell.  Decisions were made, and we all have to live with the consequences, good or bad. Isn't that what life is about? Being responsible for your own future, your own choices?

I choose to be happy. I choose let the past stay in the past, and look forward to a bright and wonderful future.

I apologize to anyone and everyone that I may have, at some point, hurt or offended. It's not in my nature to want to hurt anyone. This was never my intention.

I'm a chemical guy now.  I pump chemicals into oil wells to make them produce more oil, and to protect the equipment and personnel in the field from deadly gasses. Well, the field techs do all this. I mostly manage the field techs, our equipment, and represent our company in the the corporate offices of our customers.

From time to time, I still get to put my boots on and take huge chemical containers to the field, pump them into wherever people need them, be it a holding tank or a drilling rig mud pit.

It will take time to recover from the wild party/miserable mess/amazing experience/good time that was North Dakota.  But now, I'm back in Utah, and things are and will ever be totally different. The only constant, really, is that I'm still in the oilfield.

I think we all expected this. 

I'll be writing again soon. I promise.

The Oilfield Romantic  

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The OFR Volume 2: To hell with surrender. Ride or die.


I’m a good man with a good heart
Had a tough time, got a rough start
But I finally learned to let it go
Now I’m right here, and I’m right now
And I’m hoping, knowing somehow
That my shadow days are over

My shadow days are over now

I feel like giving up on the blog would be like throwing up my hands in surrender to the challenges I've been faced with lately. All I have to say to that is,

To hell with surrendering.

Now, I'm not sure how many people will actually stop to read this thing, but at the moment, I don't really give a damn.  I don't write it so much for you as I do for myself.  Kind of like playing the piano, in that regard.  There will always be someone who can play, or write better than I can.  The difference is, I play and write from the heart.  

I'm starting a new chapter in my life, in a new (old) place, but everything is different this time, especially me. It will be interesting to face the old challenges with a new perspective, and the new challenges in an old setting.  

However it might sound or read, it will be honest. I believe that's the most important thing about all this; honesty. 

I'm currently on the side of the road, hood up, shut down, and overheated.  I've been pushing the truck pretty hard since last night over mountains and through canyons, and unfortunately the thermostat just won't take it anymore.  

Am I discouraged? Not really. I'm more annoyed at the fact that I'm not sure when I'll make it to Denver tonight, as I have a BBQ I need to make, and a date I need to meet there. But, seeing as I had some down time, I figured I'd come out and say this.

Tough times don't last, tough people do.

I'm ready. I'm ready for life to throw at me whatever it has in store. I'm ready to be kicked and punched, and shot and stabbed by it.  I'm ready to work my hands raw to achieve my goals, and to conquer my giants.  

I'm ready to fall in love again, and to have my heart broken again, if that what it comes down to. I will never let the fear of failure stop me from trying over and over and over, because one of these times, I'll have success.  I'll find the right girl and make the right deal, and I'll get everything I ever wanted in my life.  

Until then, stay strong, Romantics.  And read on, if you care to.

The Oilfield Romantic

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The sun will rise.

The sun will rise, the world will turn.
The flares and the fuel will continue to burn.
The pumps will pump, the trucks will roll,
and a broken heart will take no toll.

The rigs will drill, the fracs will frac,
and my friends and family will have my back.
The generators will hum, and the sirens will sound,  
and the Oilfield Romantic will never back down.

Watford City, Keene, Mandaree, Kildeer, Williston, Tioga, Epping, Grenora, Bowbells, Stanley, Sidney, Epping, Newtown, Arnegard, Alexander, Glenburn, Minot, Bismarck, Ray, Ross, White Earth, Williston. 

I will miss hearing these names everyday, seeing these towns every day.

I will miss seeing the trucks roll in and out of the yard, the drivers waving and nodding at me, the clear nights and all the shooting stars, and the amazing North Dakota sunsets and sunrises.

I'll miss living out of the K&G and the Cenex, the Food Pride and the Black Gold Suites.

I'll miss my friends, my family here.  I'll miss the rigs, the fracs, the flax fields, and the sunflowers.

North Dakota has been a wonderful and challenging stage of my life.
I'll never, ever forget you.

I feel like I'm in the last week of  my mission.  When you've put so much of yourself into a place, bled for it, sweat for it, cried for it; That place becomes a permanent part of who you are.  You beg to God that you can someday return. You hope and pray that the people there are taken care of, and protected from harm.

Pieces of my heart have been left in many different places- Denver, Grand Junction, Brundage Canyon, Concepcion, Temuco, Victoria, Talcahuano, Gorbea, Canete, Carahue, Camilo, Wamsutter, Neola, Roosevelt, and now, the peace garden state.  

A large part of my heart will always be here, just as a big part of it will always be in Chile.

Someday, and I know that day will come, the parts of my heart that are left over will be given to a very special girl.

Until then, I'll always have the oilfield.

It might take my life someday, but it will never break my heart.

The Oilfield Romantic

I'm not sure how much longer the blog will continue, or if it will continue at all.  This has been an amazing journey into my own heart and soul, and I appreciate everyone who ever took a minute to read through it.  

Thank you all for sharing in this experience.  I love you all.

Gregory George Page II

Thursday, July 5, 2012

This is dedicated to North Dakota.

So... I'm sitting at SLC INT...   I missed my 6:00 AM flight, which is super lame, because being the 5th of July, everything else is totally full, and I have to be on standby for both of my flights.Who knows when I'll finally get back to the land of Scandinavians and endless green rolling hills.

Let's sit down and talk. By the way, thanks for reading this. You are a wonderful person.

I'm going to miss North Dakota. I might just be the first and only person you ever hear saying this, but I love North Dakota.  It has truly changed my life in ways that might be difficult to put into words.

I went up there about 8 months ago, partly to try to start a business, partly to run away from heartbreak, and partly just to say I did it.  I've made some money working there, lost a lot of money working there, and have had some crazy experiences along the way.

It's not just the scenery that I'm going to miss (although, that is definitely part of it).
Mostly, I'm going to miss the people that I associate with the very thought of this out of the way, forgotten place.

I might just give credit to those whom I think will actually read and appreciate this little blog of mine.

I've spent most of my time up there in a little town called Tioga. I've been renting a little shack in a town called Minot, but because of work, Tioga has been more like home to me up there.

When I got up there initially in November, the only places I had heard of were Williston (because of the oil boom) and Bismarck (the state capital).

Now, I'll talk about some of the awesome people I've met and have come to love, respect, and admire.

Rex Short.

Rex is a crazy red neck Texan who refers to Texas as "his country". He worked in Iraq for 7.5 years as a logistics manager of sorts for KBR.  Basically, he was in charge of 1500 people who built cities in the desert for the US armed forces.  When he was there, he had some long nasty hair to go along with his gnarly goatee. Imagine lieutenant Dan. In fact, he showed me a picture of him with Gary Sinise, who was there visiting soldiers and touring around with USO.  It was a very ironic photograph.

Well, after doing some heavy duty logistics in the Middle East, dispatching frac fuel for Western Petroleum is just a walk in the park for him.  While other dispatchers are constantly flipping out and losing their minds trying to make everything fit together, Rex just sits back and takes the calls, sets up the fuel transports, and talks to his wife on the phone.  All the while, we BS all night with the drivers and other people that work with us. We have a great time.

From Rex, I've learned to not sweat the small stuff. Everything gets taken care of, and his most quotable saying, "You can only do what you can with the resources you're given."

I've translated this attitude into pretty much every part of my life.

This guy is making peanuts compared to what he should get paid. He performs logistics miracles on a nightly basis, without ever breaking a sweat or losing his composure.  It's unreal.  I'm proud to say he's one of my all time heroes.

Jason Watts.

Jason is General Manager of the WP terminal in Tioga.  He arrived sometime in March, as the old GM was being transferred to Canton, Ohio.

Jason is a straight up cowboy from Colorado.  He has a hot head, and can get really worked up when people don't do their jobs, but he's done some awesome things with the terminal, as far as I can tell.

What I'll remember him saying most, and it was quoted in an earlier post,

"There are good days, and there are bad days."

What I take from this, is basically that you take things as they come.  You work through the hard times and make the best of it.  I've seen him deal with some pretty messed up situations in a very cool way.

Even when he chewed my ass hardcore for screwing around too much at night, he quickly talked to me again and explained why he had been so hard on me. He built up my confidence in a great way.   He is an awesome manager.

Andriana Pucciani.

Her last name is spelled Puchany, although it should be Pucciani. Apparently, back in the day, someone changed that. The Italian spelling is much cooler.

She's an Italian/German girl with dark olive skin and pretty green eyes. She was born and raised in Tioga.

I met Andi a 8 days ago. Let me rephrase that. I actually met her a month or two back, when she started working for the summer as a daytime dispatch assistant/administrative assistant.

9 days ago, she agreed to get some breakfast with me, which turned into her making me breakfast at her house.  We didn't know each other from a hole in the ground, but we became fast friends.

She made me an awesome dinner the next night, before I had to make the long haul back to Utah.

I call her Bambina. She has an awesome outlook on life, and a very positive attitude. I love that about her. I think I found the coolest person in Tioga. We talk about...everything and nothing. I'm going to help her with her piano/guitar skills, and she's going to help me with my fishing skills, or lack thereof.

Ramanda and Micheal Nash (and Madse, Mae Mae, Mikey, Ashley, Halley, and Han Solo).

I love these people. They live in Glenburn, just north of Minot. I'm related to them by marriage, but I consider them close family. They let us crash in their basement the first week we were in ND.  Every time we went up there it felt like home.  Ramanda is an excellent cook! She's like another big sis, and Mike is like a big bro I never had.

Gary Conlee

Gary is a Chicago native who ended up in ND with the air force; he found a girl in Tioga and married her. He's been there ever since, and he is a fellow "logistics manager" at WP. We really rag on each other pretty much all the time while we're working. It's great fun, and we're pretty good buddies. He tells me all his crazy air force travel stories, and gives cool insights on life as well.

He's convinced that I'll end up stuck in Tioga for the rest of my life.  He keeps telling me that some girl will get me to stay there forever. I keep telling him he's full of crap, but he doesn't ever let down. It's so funny.

Mark, Skyler, Ethan, and the Jimmy John's crew.

These guys. These guys are crazy. They live in my house in Minot, and take care of it while I'm gone (which is always).

I love these guys.  They are so hilarious.  We have great times when I'm home, and they welcome me every time with a sort of party.

We get into all sorts of mischief together. It's a party.

Lucas Medelez

Lucas is a recent convert to the church, has a huge heart, and is pretty much just hard core awesome.  He's always there when you need him with a smile and a good attitude.  Pretty much a brother from another mother.  He's another gun toting air force dude who's good to have on your side.  Pretty sure he's one of the best guys I've ever met.

I will miss the sunrises, the sunsets, the crazy oilfield traffic, and the bright lights of all the drilling rigs dotting the landscape at night.

I'll miss the great friends I made up there, and the good (and hard) times we had up there.

North Dakota has made me a better person. I love more, laugh more, smile more, and live more because of this forgotten wonderful place.

Here's to you, North Dakota.

The Oilfield Romantic

Friday, June 29, 2012

A circle of trust, and a windy airstrip.

Much like Robert DeNiro in a certain dumb/funny movie, I have a circle of trust.

Lately, there have been a few new people added to that circle. That makes me happy.

There are also a few people who are no longer in my circle of trust.  It doesn't make me sad as much as it disappoints me.

I give people just enough trust to prove themselves, but not enough to have anything over on me.  At least, not in the beginning.

I can count on one hand the number of people who know all my deepest, darkest secrets, insecurities, fears, ambitions, and dreams.  They might not each know all of them, but collectively, they do. This is more of the "inner" circle.

The "outer" circle isn't making me very proud. 

Otherwise, things are good. I'm stranded somewhere in southern Wyoming, I'm starving and sleep deprived, but there is an upside to everything.  This airstrip has wifi, and my dad has a plane and is currently flying over here to pick me up.

My dad is kind of awesome.
Gotta see the positives. 

What was I supposed to do, curl up in a ball and start crying?
This isn't the worst thing that's happened to me. Not by a long shot.

So on a terrible day, just imagine, that you could be stranded at an airstrip in Dixon, Wyoming after 30 hours without sleep and 300 dollars spent in diesel.

As I set my trusty Halliburton back on the ground against a giant loader bucket, laid out my jacket and my vest on the ground to lay on, I looked up at the sky at a cloud shaped like an old man's face. He seemed to be smiling at me as if to say, "You crazy kid. You'll look back on this one day and laugh."  Moments later, the old man was gone.

I think I'll just laugh about it today and get it over with.

The Oilfield Romantic

P.S: North Dakota just got a whole lot better. I'm suddenly hating the idea of leaving.

In the very first post I talked about looking for the perfect North Dakota sunset. 

The one last night must have been pretty close.

Monday, June 25, 2012

This is why everything is so "awesome" all of a sudden.

People might be wondering why all of a sudden, all of my facebook statuses are about everything being "awesome" or life being wonderful, etc.

Let's talk about this. 

The simple reason for which everything is suddenly "awesome" is simple: 

I decided that it is.

The problems, difficulties, and challenges in my life have not suddenly disappeared, I haven't suddenly won the lottery and paid off all my debts, and I'm not some kind of rock star-famous-beloved person by the world at large.  There are in fact people who probably hate my guts. I don't know who they are, but they might exist.

At some point recently (I'm not sure when), I decided that I would be a shining light bulb of positivity.  This may have had something to do with the trip I made with my best friend to Tennessee.

Bonnaroo was an eye opener, a moment of clarity, maybe even a kind of turning point in my life.

Amazingly, and almost immediately, things started falling into place.  People started coming through for me, work suddenly became fun, my days off became amazing, and I was offered my dream job (back home and for even more money than I currently make, I might add).

I have the most awesome friends in North Dakota.  I'm talking about Skyler Sprouse, Ethan Mckinnon, the crew at Jimmy John's, Andrea Flores, Lucas Medelez, Kylee Gamas, and the whole crew here at Western Petroleum North Dakota.

I also want to mention Ramanda and Micheal Nash and the kids. I love them.

I have some of the best of friends in Utah and Colorado, like Chett Wills, Dakota Mecham,  Mike Danelek, Allison Silva, Michayla Egbert,  Cody Young, Jason Stroud, My brother, Rondee, and Quintin Grillone.

I have the most awesome family. Over the last 5 years, I've learned to really appreciate them.  Like every family, we are full of quirks and problems, even drama from time to time, but they are amazing. I love them.

I am really good at my job.  Logistics is like a game to me, and I never lose.  I've learned so much from being here.

The project that brought me up to North Dakota turned out to be a much bigger pain in the butt than it was worth, but I don't  regret my sudden decision to pick up everything I had to move up here.  It has been a priceless, albeit challenging, experience.

I have been able to travel around a bit this last year and a half.  This isn't because I have tons of money, because I don't. I've even lost tons more money than I've even made up to this point in the year, but being creative and ambitious, I've still been able to see some cool places. I've met some amazing people.

Life is not without its challenges. It's not without heartbreak, or hardship.  I've had my share of disappointments, to say the least.  People have seriously let me down.  People I relied on to really be there for me, suddenly bailed on me. People for whom I had some very high hopes.  And you know what?

I'm okay. I'm better than okay.
I'm awesome.

I've found new people who, for now, I really can rely on to be there for me when I need them.

Life doesn't have to be about suffering, or being unhappy.  Life is much too short for any of that to be prolonged more than it has to be.  

Take a page out of my book.  I'm about to give you 10 of the rules by which I live.  These aren't all of my rules, but they are a few. 

1. Wear sunscreen. Just kidding, although this is really important for people who are lightly complected. I'm fortunate enough to not be one of those people. Moving on.

Okay, seriously. 14 of my life's rules:

1. Decide that your life is challenging, but amazing. IT WILL BECOME SO.  You're an American. You're more blessed than 96% of the rest of the planet. Don't you dare take that for granted. Many people have bled to keep the stripes red.

2. Accept what you can't change.  Stressing to death won't change the way things are, only hard work can ever do that. This takes me to my next tenet.

3. THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR HARD WORK. Work to live, don't live to work.  When you work, work your ass off and be the best at what you do, even if it's flipping burgers. Someone has to do that, so you might as well do a good job.  

4. Take 5 minutes every night to think about 3 things that were great about your day.  You will sleep better. 

5. Tell someone you love them.  I don't mean any random person (although I've done that too), maybe your mom or girlfriend or wife/husband or best friend or whoever. 

6.  Help someone every chance you get, but not at the expense of your own well being.  Sometimes you have to be self sacrificing, but don't make yourself unhappy to make someone else happy.  If you can't enjoy helping someone, you're seriously doing it wrong. 

7. When things go seriously wrong, take a minute and laugh about it.  It's better for your health than getting all steamed up and angry. 

8. If you get to work and realize you hate your job, think about all the people that wish they had a job, then quit being a bitch.  Make your job better by changing your attitude.

9. This is kind of a big one.  Think about what you really want.  Then think about what you're doing to get closer to that. If you aren't doing anything to attain what you really want, you need to seriously re evaluate the decisions you're making. And for all you young whipper snappers like me, don't worry if you don't know what you want.  We're at that point in our lives when we figure that stuff out.  Going on crazy adventures really helps you do that, and I'm a huge advocate of that. Crazy experiences will get you a bit closer to the "light bulb" moment when you know what you want.  

Also, it's okay if "what you want" changes from time to time.  It doesn't have to be the same forever. We constantly change, and even your deepest desires can change as well. No big deal.

10. Quit spending money you don't have, on shit you don't need, to impress people you don't even like. This will seriously help your financial situation.  

11. Instead of spending money on #9, use your hard earned cash to have meaningful experiences.  That's literally what I do. 

12. Turn off the damn t.v. You're literally spending time and money watching other people live their lives and attain their dreams. Go out and live the kind of life people would want to watch on t.v.

13. Take the word "impossible" out of your vocabulary. It's a real waste of breath. 

14. Smile as much as possible. This might require thinking of things that make you happy.  It will also require you to step up your dental hygiene. This is too neglected nowadays. Flossing is really quite important. 

There are probably a hundred country songs about this crazy tragic, sometimes almost magic, awful beautiful life.  They kind of have a point. 

Life is crazy. Life is awesome. Stop talking about living.

Get out there and start really living your life.

That's what I'm doing.

The Awesome Oilfield Romantic

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Where I stood.

Please pause whatever is playing and play this video. Then, continue reading. 

Part 1

"I don't know how you do it", I said.

"Do what?" he replied, stoically. 

"Do this, all of this." I waved my hand, pointing to everything. "Living between a rock and a hard place."

Then he took a long drag on his Marlboro Red 100, and said something I'll never forget.

"There are good days, and there are bad days." 

Part 2

He was done running away. He was done looking for himself.
He was deep in regret, for having walked away.

He saw her in every sunrise, every sunset, and every mile of the road.
She was at the airport, at the truck stop, with him when he stopped to sleep after a long haul.
She was across the bar, in a brunette girl, strong and ambitious.

He told me he was going home. 
He had been wrong all along, he said.
Then he swallowed hard, as if to distract himself from a growing fear, looked at the clock, then the calendar. I could read his lips as he read "June, July, August...twenty ninth, thirtieth".

I asked him why he was doing it. Why he was going home, if it was such a long shot.

He said, "If there's a one percent chance that she'll forgive me, that she'll give me a shot at giving her everything, a one percent chance that part of her is still in love with me;

If there's a ninety nine percent chance that I'll move my life across the country only for her to break my heart and burn it;

If all the cards are stacked against me, and that she'll decide she's happy being safe, 
that she's happy without true magic, without adventure, and real passion,"

He took a shot of everclear and said,

"I'll take that chance."

And he will. 

And I will.

The Oilfield Romantic

Monday, May 21, 2012

Chapter 27:Getting [it] done. This might be offensive.

“What is moral is what you feel good after, and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

Serge & Ernest (2 Geniuses at a bar)

This is a piece that I requested to a very good friend of mine. It started out with him trying to tell me a secret, which he didn't ever get around to telling at the time.

But, it was one of the most revealing conversations I've ever had with someone about myself. It went beyond what is written here, but this was a sample of it.

This isn't all exact, and a lot of it is paraphrased. I may or may not agree with some of the things said in this, but that doesn't really matter. It's what was said, more or less.

First of all, I'm a busy man. Not because I have a long list items to do, but because I don't want fill my day with meaningless errands that are not beneficial to myself. I was asked to do a small excerpt, and I'm doing it. Why? I'm not entirely sure. Why not? I'll let you decide. I was commissioned for a short entry because of a series of simple conversations that put me in a impressive light. One, in particular, started with me pointing out a characteristic that is often less than favorable (see attached speech) and then admitting that I envied that particular trait. He was flattered, and moreover intrigued. He had talked to me previously about his blog and the increasing audience and their involvement. Me, not daring to turn down an opportunity to offend so many people at once, decided to take time out of my "busy" day (I'll get around to you later, porn) and write a page.

Honest: Free of deceit and untruthfulness; sincere.

Honesty, is a dangerous, but powerful tool. I've seen my father cry and act out in anger because I answered a question honestly. It was a question he asked every time I had the grace of his presence. The question of religion. I don't mean this as a tattle on my father for not liking my life choices because his reaction was, what I want to say, based in an honest concern for myself. At first, I took it as disappointment, which for me, as a son, is utter failure. As a son, I'm a failure, which is to me, is a success. Sons are supposed to inherit their father's possessions, beliefs, ambitions, friends, and, if you ask Sigmund Freud, even their wives. I add the final to emphasize the ridiculousness of this notion of creating carbon copies. I'm not even saying I'm an exclusion to the rule. I one day hope to reproduce so that I can make a smaller idol of myself, hopefully with less flaws and more strengths. So why am I so adamant about expressing my failure as a son? Is it so hard to conceive that my father is imperfect and does not portray my image of my future self? No. Am I acting out to get the attention I was deprived from? Hopefully, not, but I'm not a psychiatrist. As soon as I hear a good suggestion from my dad, and it's in my best interest, as seen from my point of view, and I turn it down, just to turn it down, I'll let you know.

And now, a conversation that occurred between me and Greg Page, also known as "The Speech." This is not the full speech, the real one was much longer and more in depth.

Me: "Greg. I have a dark secret."

Greg: "Really? What is it?"

Me: "I want to tell you. Believe me, I do. This is a secret that I have not told anyone, but you would have the best perspective on it."

Greg: "Why me?"

Me: "Because you are one of the most [messed] up people I know. You really are. Do you take the sacrament every week at church?"

Greg: "Yes. And I never miss church."

Me: "Even after committing an act that would otherwise prevent you to in accordance with the church?"

Greg: "Yeah, maybe. Depends"

Me: "You do these things and you rationalize them with yourself not because you enjoy being wicked, not because you are rebelling, but because you have to. You NEED to do those things. You will go crazy if you don't do those. If you had a choice before you and you had to kill a man and you knew all the rational behind it, you could do it, and all you would have to say is, "you gotta do what you gotta do." and that is scary."

Greg: "So, what are you trying to say?"

Me: "I'm just saying you've got balls."

Greg: "Okay, cool."

Me: "Please don't hurt me."

I am a consequentialist.
My philosophy is that the end justifies the means.
It means that the benefits from something outweigh the harm done by the process. For example if somebody cured cancer, but had to kill 1 cancer patient to find the cure, they might say that curing cancer made the loss of 1 life to save many worth it. Of course, the family of the dead patient (and the legal authorities) might see the matter differently.

 The only right thing to do is to accomplish the task at hand. To me, it seems wrong to leave it undone.  

If the reasoning is sound, the only thing that matters is making it happen.

I think this is part of an interesting personality trait that may or may not explain the way I think and work.

Social dominance orientation (SDO) is a personality trait which predicts social and political attitudes, and is a widely usedsocial psychological scale. SDO is conceptualised as a measure of individual differences in levels of group-based discrimination and domination; that is, it is a measure of an individual's preference for hierarchy within any social system. The concept of SDO as a measurable individual difference is a product of Social Dominance Theory.

I think we'll talk more about this on the next one. 

Now, excuse me while I hop on a plane to Denver...then Salt Lake...

The Oilfield Romantic

Monday, May 14, 2012

Special Guest Post: A Man in the Arena

Hey everyone, here's a positive and forward looking piece from a very good friend of mine.  I'm glad to see his/her  words on paper (so to speak).

Inhale deeply. Slow your heart.

While some of my friends would say I'm personable and can get along with most anyone thrown into my path, I feel my nature and optimism gets construed as a person without worry, fear, doubt, pains, simply because I try to be a kind person even while chaos erupts through my life. I know there are others like me out there, some probably even reading these words right now. The bright and happy person whom everyone perceives as having a great, maybe even perfect life. Never truly understanding that we are human and we have the same emotions as the person throwing a grand spectacle.

I recall when I was younger, how often I heard and thought things would be easier when I got older. Things will be easier once I finish college. Things will be easier when I get the job I want and live where I want. The only problem was it was the greatest lie ever told to me. Once we have the education, the career, the basic securities of life, there is only one direction to look, and that's inside. Inside the very depth and soul of your character and your being, and true introspection is one of the greatest gifts and burdens given to us by our heavenly father. Because at that moment, we are forced to confront the true fears of life, they aren't employment or material possessions, they are the eternal life bonds that make this life worth living. Family, Christ, faith, friends, the things that actually require work and sweat and blood, never can you walk into a room take a two hour test and walk out knowing you'll have never to deal with the difficulty of human emotions relating to loss. No that joy is reserved for college classes, I've taken so many exams that I cursed, but the ironic thing is two years after completing my higher education, I barely remember a word of those exams. You know what I do remember, you know what echoes through my mind and soul, every word I've ever said in spite to someone or the words I never said to those I cared about because of my own doubt and fears. Those are what pang me, those are what keep me up at night.

So yes, from outside appearance I am happy, I have a great life that many claim they "wish they had" but I promise you, be content with what you have. Never envy others for a moment, because they have the EXACT same fears as you, possibly even worse simply because the minor worries of their life have passed and all that lay before them are the grand ideas encompassing our true lives. But since finding myself in my faith, I must say that these issues become worth it, every tear, every drop of blood, every bead of sweat, I wouldn't trade a second of it. It has molded me into someone I am proud to be, someone who can see life in a grander, I'll be it more daunting, scale.

I encourage you to look inside, face what we all fear most, and then run at it. Headstrong, confident, with every emotion on your sleeve and shatter the barriers you believe you have. When you challenge your own introspection you grow by the greatest measure, my friend Greg and I have had many a heart felt conversations on this topic and we always reach that conclusion. If I'm not falling on the ground asking why is this so hard, then it wasn't worth it!

"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

Positive Power. Keep fighting.

The Oilfield Romantic and Friends

If anyone has anything they'd like to share with the rest of the class...don't be timid! It can be anonymous if you want it to be. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I saw blood and a bit of it was mine.

All we want out of life is to be happy. What brings us "happiness" varies from person to person.  It seems kind of useless to me to say that I'm just looking for "happiness". More importantly, I'm looking for what will bring me that happiness.  

Stepping back a bit, what is happiness, in the broadest, most Webster sense of the word?

Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. A variety of biologicalpsychological,religious, and philosophical approaches have striven to define happiness and identify its sources.                                                                      Okay. What is it that will bring me to the sources of happiness?Biologically...good health. This is something I've been really kind of taking for granted.  I am in great shape. Seriously, I'm physically in my prime.  I haven't done much working out since my senior year of high school...I haven't gained unnecessary weight... and I haven't lost much muscle tone.  I don't get sick, and I've never had a major injury that affects me in any way. 
I realized the other day, that so many people would give anything to be in this good of shape, to be able to physically handle the rigors of the life I live.  The other day, I went with some friends to climb the rock wall at the local YMCA... I went up one of the more difficult walls in probably thirty seconds, and I'd never really done much climbing before. I discovered that it was something I'm really good at, and something that I want to cultivate and improve on .  

Psychologically...I have an overactive mind.  I have to be constantly challenged, or else I get bored. When I get bored, I do stupid [stuff]. When I do stupid [stuff], I become unhappy. I am a workaholic for that reason. It keeps my mind busy, and keeps me from getting into trouble.  

Religiously...let's talk about why it's not easy to find happiness.  We ask ourselves "why is life so hard? Why is it so hard to find a measure of grace and joy, and a lasting peace and happiness?
I'm gonna turn it over to my friend Jeffrey R. Holland for this one-
You will have occasion to ask those questions. I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience.Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that [we all] have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. [Everyone, at some point] will have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary.
Now, please don’t misunderstand. I’m not talking about anything anywhere near what Christ experienced. That would be presumptuous and sacrilegious. But I believe that [we], in order to come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know something of this price that has been paid, will have to pay a token of that same price.
For that reason I don’t believe [life] has ever been easy.  I believe it is supposed to require some effort, something from the depths of our soul.
If He could come forward in the night, kneel down, fall on His face, bleed from every pore, and cry, “Abba, Father (Papa), if this cup can pass, let it pass,” 16 then little wonder that salvation is not a whimsical or easy thing for us. If you wonder if there isn’t an easier way, you should remember you are not the first one to ask that. Someone a lot greater and a lot grander asked a long time ago if there wasn’t an easier way.
The Atonement will carry us. When you struggle, when you are rejected, when you are spit upon and cast out and made a hiss and a byword, you are standing with the best life this world has ever known, the only pure and perfect life ever lived. You have reason to stand tall and be grateful that the Living Son of the Living God knows all about your sorrows and afflictions. The only way to salvation is through Gethsemane and on to Calvary. The only way to eternity is through Him—the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
I testify that the living God is our Eternal Father and that Jesus Christ is His living and Only Begotten Son in the flesh. I testify that this Jesus, who was slain and hanged on a tree, 17 was the chief Apostle then and is the chief Apostle now, the Great High Priest, the chief cornerstone of His Church in this last and greatest of all dispensations. I testify that He lives, that the whole triumph of the gospel is that He lives, and because He does, so will we.
On that first Resurrection Sunday, Mary Magdalene first thought she saw a gardener. Well, she did—the Gardener who cultivated Eden and who endured Gethsemane. The Gardener who gave us the rose of Sharon, the lily of the valley, the cedars of Lebanon, the tree of life.
I declare Him to be the Savior of the world, the Bishop and Shepherd of our souls, the Bright and Morning Star. I know that our garments can be washed white only in the blood of that Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world. I know that we are lifted up unto life because He was lifted up unto death, that He bore our griefs and carried our sorrows, and with His stripes we are healed. I bear witness that He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities, that He was a man of sorrows acquainted with grief because upon Him were laid the transgressions of us all. 18
I bear witness that He came from God as a God to bind up the brokenhearted, to dry the tears from every eye, to proclaim liberty to the captive and open the prison doors to them that are bound. 19 I promise that because of your faithful response to the call to spread the gospel, He will bind up your broken hearts, dry your tears, and set you and your families free. That is my missionary promise to you and your missionary message to the world.   

Okay, thanks Jeff.

I was walking far from home... I saw blood, and a bit of it was mine. The rest belonged to Christ.

I've never intended to get very religious in my blog, but tonight is the exception. I'm really quite proud of my faith, and I respect the faith of others.

Attitude is everything.  Learn to appreciate what you have, and all the beautiful things that are already in your life.

That's what I'm working on. Loving my life for what it is already, but always striving to make it even better.  -This is a picture of me at work ->

My life's greatest ambition?  To be a great husband and father, and to support my family by doing something I love.  While I don't have a wife or kids, I can at least do something I love (and get paid for it).


The Oilfield Romantic

Friday, May 11, 2012

Chapter 26: Can we forget about the things I said when I was drunk?

...I didn't mean to call you that.

I'm feeling really positive today.  Really.

I have no idea why, but I'm feeling great.  Some really stressful things have been happening lately, but today nothing is getting me down.

If I could get another chance, I'd put it in a zip lock bag...

The song currently playing might just be my personal theme song. Countless times in my life, I've gotten into my car or truck, only to think "I'm seriously my own worst enemy."  What a silly notion, although so true, for so long.

Story time. 

I came up to North Dakota to chase after another adventure. This time, it was washing trucks and equipment in the oil field.  I found out over the last 5 months, that I can't do this on my own.  I could do it alone, but at the cost of having any kind of social life.  I've seen my quality of life consistently worsening and worsening.  I've been burning the candle at both ends, as it is said.  

I'm exhausted.  I've been lonely. I've been stressed.  I think it has taken a few years off my life. Really.

Luckily, I have some of the best friends in the world who have kept me going, who have believed in me, who haven't given up on me.  I'm talking about Reed, Jason, Skyler, Chett, Tyson, and Freddy. 

Things haven't gone exactly as planned, but things rarely do.  The last couple months, I have been reflecting on life, figuring out what it is I'm chasing after.  In the very first post, titled "Looking for Something", I talk about this.  

I've come to realize, that everything I've ever wanted is actually everything I already had: a wonderful family, and friends that care about me.  

I've been searching for a place that feels like home, somewhere I belong.  I recently realized that I feel at home when I'm with the ones I love.  

I think that in all this running around, looking for something, I have actually been running away instead; running away from the truth, that I had everything I ever wanted, and was afraid to reach out and take it.  

Today, the sun is shining in North Dakota.  It's one of the few beautiful days we've had in the last month.  I should really be asleep right now, but I had to go take care of some business with a client, and now I don't want to go back to sleep.  

I have a long night ahead of me, dispatching from 6:30 tonight til 7:30 in the morning, and the same tomorrow night.  

Now for some more honesty. 

Last Sunday, I went to stake conference.  I had worked about 10 straight days, and the final two days I was awake for about 48 hours.  I considered not going to church, just getting home and crashing, but something pushed me to go to church.  I'm glad I did.

Being waaaay out of it that morning, I couldn't really keep my eyes open for the first half.  Once I was actually sort of awake, a guy named Brother Mclellan got up and spoke. He wasn't a member of our stake, in fact I think he was from Colorado, and I don't know where they found him.  But he told an amazing story of how he got into the oilfield to pay of debts and support his family, but had to basically give up everything in his life for work, including church.  

He talked about living out of his truck, not eating well for weeks at a time, sometimes not even showering for days at a time.  He talked about how slowly he was losing his testimony of the church, of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  At one point, he had a very scary experience in a blizzard in Wyoming.  He almost froze to death, but was miraculously okay.  

His whole story hit home for me, in such a way that I kind of just burst out crying in the middle of the meeting. Quietly, mind you, I wasn't sobbing and blubbering like a child. But it was pretty intense for me.  No talk or testimony in church has ever affected me so strongly as that one.  It sounded like the story of my life...wandering around, chasing work, getting stuck in Wyoming (I had a scary run in there as well a few times).  

Slowly but surely, I have been weakened, bit by bit, to where I was doing things I would never have considered doing in my entire life.  Not taking care of myself, destructive behavior, etc.  My language has degraded into pure roughneck/sailor speak.  Not pretty.  I've even thought for a long time about getting some ink done.  (Even I'm asking myself, "Really?")

I'm going to make the best of all my alone time- and I have plenty of that. I'm going to work on myself.  I'm going to read the scriptures more, pray more, meditate more, and get back to who I was when I got off that plane from Chile.  

I'm in control of my life. I choose happiness, not destruction and sadness.  I love my family, I love my friends, I love my life. It's crazy, and unpredictable, but it's good.

INTERRUPTION- In the middle of writing this blog from the trailer fabulous domicile at Western Petroleumville, ND, my next door neighbor (next trailer hookup neighbor) John Kent and his wife Angela invited me over for dinner before me and John went to work. John is one of the driver's I dispatch.  

We had a warm meal of breaded chicken, corn, and mashed potatoes.  We had civilized conversation for a couple of hours. I told them about my family, and everything I've been doing the last few years. They told me about their kids, and their home in Idaho.  You see, the when I got out of that cool

I think today they somehow felt they needed to invite me over to their camper for dinner. And this was at the same time I was writing about having a positive outlook on the future, despite the difficulties of the present.

I'm so thankful for the people that bless my life on a daily basis!  Yay for being positive!

The Tentative Good News

An oilfield chemical company has offered me a job- wait for it...wait for it- back home in Utah.  We haven't worked out all the details yet, but it is the opportunity I think I've been really waiting for. I'm excited to spend some extended time close to my family (and friends in Utah/Colorado).  

 And another thing...

There is a girl out there, waiting for me to step up, and be the man I was born to be. I'm going to live life to its fullest, and I'm going to find her. Guess I'm not quite as cynical as I thought. 

...and keep it in my pocket, keep it in my pocket.

I guess I'm still...

The Oilfield Romantic