Thursday, December 4, 2008

Semi-Trucks to Moab

I figured since I didn't write much in November I'd post another real quick quick.

I'm going to reflect on my Thanksgiving road trip. I hope that's alright. My sister lives in Albuquerque. Its ten hours one way down to what the locals call the "Land of Enchantment". I guess why I want to reflect on my road trip is because a guy can learn a lot alone in a car for ten hours straight. And you learn more than how long you can sit in the same position or how long you can go without having to pee. I think what I want to reflect on is passing semi-trucks.

Between Moab and I-70 there are hardly any passing lanes. You have to jump out into the oncoming traffic if you want to pass the semis. The technique is pretty simple. Pull the car near the center line so you can look to see if there is anyone coming. Make sure there are no turns coming up. Make sure there are no hills. Make sure someone else isn't passing already. If all the answers are go, then you go.

But there are the tough ones. I remember one time I was passing a big two-trailer this weekend. I looked, it was clear of cars, no corners, just a little hill. I moved out into the oncoming lane and punched it. My little Volvo is a great car, it means well, it really does, but really can't back up any of its bark. Well, I'm passing this big two-trailer and I realize that the angle of the hill is steeper than I thought and I couldn't see if there was really a car coming from the other side. As my Volv did its best, I reflected what I would feel first if a big semi crested the hill right then and came crashing through the metal of my hood. I wondered if it would be my shoulder into the seat belt. I wondered if it would be my knees against the dashboard. Maybe I wouldn't feel anything at all. I thought that maybe what I was thinking right then I wouldn't ever remember because when that semi hit I would forget the last twenty three years. I reflected that of all the days to die Sunday is the worst because you'll ruin everyone's week when they get the news. I thought about Heaven. I thought about Hell. I thought about God and Jesus. I thought about my little brother. I thought about breaking my hands and never playing the guitar again. I thought about how the semi-truck driver would feel when he got out and saw my broken body hunched over in my mangled Volvo. I thought about how the hospital bed I would be in if I survived would never feel like my bed back in my apartment, and how much I loved the bed I had in my apartment. I thought about if people would miss me, who I would miss. I wondered if I would miss at all. I thought about what I would do if no truck came at all and felt good. I felt like I didn't want a truck to coming crashing through the metal of my hood. I started feeling stupid about not being more careful. That my mother would be disappointed. I thought about when that last time I talked to her was. 

I was different when I put on my turn signal and got back into my lane.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Breaks in Trees

So, I'll get personal for this one. Eight years ago this last November I had a close close friend of mine die. You know what, I'll say I had a best friend die. Don't worry, this post won't be a downer. I'll start the story here though. I have crappy teeth, like no matter how many floss jobs, or mouth washes, or brush-twice-a-days, these pieces of junk won't keep together. Filings, crowns, root canals, rebuilds. Its a dental textbook in there. Well, when I was about to graduate high school I had a root under one of my molars die. It hurt worse than anything. I took some hard stuff and waited for the pain to stop. I finally fell asleep and only remember being woken up by my dad coming to see how his boy was holding up. I don't write much about my dad on this but he's a man's man. He knows just what will help. Anyways, he's asking me what's up, and I tell him I have to admit something to him. It was the drugs for sure, but I think there comes a point when you have to get something off your chest so you can breathe right again. 

I told him that I had taken the car out a few years before. I told him that Matt's parents had called Nate and told him that Matt's time was coming and that he had better come say his peace. They told him to bring me. The problem was that Nate had a driver's license but no car. I had a car but no license. So, I just decided in my fifteen year old mind that I didn't care and drove the extra car we had over to Nate's and then the plan was he would drive it to the hospital in Seattle. I told my dad that when I got to Nate's I found out Nate didn't know how to drive a stick. Again, for some reason I just did not care, so I drove the thirty miles into the city. We got there, Matt was incubated. He'd been on a ventilator for weeks. His lungs were mush. His mom and dad were crying. They hugged us like we were life jackets. Me and Nate didn't say much on the way home. My dad was crying hard, he said, "Its okay son, its okay."

I guess what I learned is that you don't know anything until you look back at it. I think of life as being stuck in the Washington woods and every once in a while you get to a break in the trees and you can look back and see how far you've come, see if you've gone up or down, see which way is the way to go, then you just have to go back into the darkness. I think that's why my dad cried cause he was seeing through the break in the trees, seeing he had raised a good son. I wonder what Matt's parents saw, they probably see now how much people can love somebody, probably see how much people can go through. I think that's why I still think about taking that car out, it was a break in the trees when I could look out and see the way to go.  

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pre-scooped Ice Cream

I'd just like to start with a little blurb about the current condition of my education. I'd like to describe my education as "facebook." Its facebook in the sense that it is really what takes place. I don't go to school to learn or read, I go to school to facebook, at least the evidence points that way. Sometimes three, maybe four times an hour, I'm checking for new photos, funny status updates, and new friends I haven't yet found, when I'm lucky I strike up a little facebook "chat". All while being lulled to sleep by Prof. I-Know-Everything-Except-How-To-Be-In-The-Slightest-Funny. Facebook is my counter-attack.

So I voted. Took me two hours, but I voted. Ah, a fresh breath of democracy. I have to admit something here as I reflect, once the results came, I felt that I had more of a fantasy football experience. I read politics for months, months, months. CNN, BBC, I even lowered myself to FOX, I read Politico.com, Realclearpolitics.com. I watched and watched. Read the candidates websites. Debates. NPR. I figured I was informed. I like Obama, as you've read. But then, as I realized after the old lady had handed me my ballot, we vote on a lot of stuff all in one day. I did my best, left a bunch of them blank,  placed the ballot in the oh-so-secretive ballot box, smiled at the old lady, and walked home. I went to some parties. I went to the winners' parties, went to losers' parties, ate beautiful crumbs from the table of the bourgeois. But by the end of the night, I thought, "Dang, all the people I voted for won." I've never played fantasy football, but I'm pretty sure it feels something like that. 

One party in particular struck me. The Republicans. They know how to party. I walked into a five star hotel, the men leaving were in suits and the women smelled like perfume. I saw guys my age cleaning off the dishes and the reporters taking to cameramen who were packing their bags. Spent campaign signs and the children of the candidates sitting on the side looking worn out and ready to go. I grabbed a coke, poured it from the bottle into a glass and then watched one of those guys that was my age bring out a huge serving bowl full of already scooped ice cream. What? I felt the disconnect. I saw my boundaries. It was like in The Truman Show when Jim Carrey gets in the boat and sails until he hits the wall. He saw the boundary. Anyways, I cracked some jokes about it, but it was a moment of reflection. I buy ice cream when I'm trying to impress a girl, and we usually buy it in the carton, eat it with plastic spoons that always break. But here they were serving pre-scooped ice cream. No cartons, no server, no soft-serve, nope, pre-scooped, and stacked into a pyramid. I like to think of myself as a learner and here I learned, learned that I don't know the half of it. I wasn't taken back by the pompous-nature of the party, ironically of people who want to represent people who eat ice cream right out of the carton. I wasn't taken back by the beauty of the girls at the party, though they were mighty fine. It was this ice cream that showed me there is so much left to be seen. 

 

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Gold isn't Golden

I like my gym. I signed up about a year ago and its been nice. Its small and cheap and not very crowded. I haven't ever been picked up on by a man or a woman. I just go in, work my triceps, and get out. Just the way a gym should be. Also, my gym is like a half mile away from my house, so I'm really left with out an excuse to go. I don't think I've gotten skinnier, but I don't think working out is as much about getting skinnier as much as it is about not getting fatter. 

So, I was walking back to my apartment after kicking my own butt down at my neighborhood gym and I saw something rad; a hub cap propped up against a tree. I had a moment of hope, a moment of motivation that maybe the world isn't going to Hell, maybe we do have the best years ahead yet. 

I think its because of the proppedness of the hub cap. Hub caps fly off all the time, I admit it, but the odds of that hub cap landing just like that against that tree on my way home are too obtuse to be legitimate. Someone along the way stopped and helped someone else over something as insignificant as a hub cap. The person helped and the person helping will never see each other's faces. The helper doesn't get to write off on his taxes because of the hub cap service. The whole thing is awesome and telling. Awesome because it leaves and impression and telling because it shows that people are not as cold as we make them out to be.

As I walked by I thought about Jesus. I thought about His Golden Rule. I thought that that hub cap's proppedness has to be tied back to the Golden Rule. The helper must have thought, "Man, I hated having to buy four more hub caps because I couldn't find that one that fell off. I don't want that to happen to someone." How could it be so lost in other aspects of life? The rule and its golden appeal? Other than Jesus and the Rule, I thought about how nowadays gold isn't worth much to anyone except bankers and Fort Knox guards. Girls want platinum baby. But I don't think that that's why its the golden rule. Its called that way because gold used to be great, used to be valued as the highest. And if that is the case, let's just call it the Bentley Rule, the Platinum Rule, the Dolce and Gabbana rule. Its the highest rule to live by. Its a moral reasoning system in and all by itself. 

I walked in my house and thought about all the hub caps I had seen propped throughout my twenty-three years. I thought about the last time I had propped one, or if someone had propped one for me. So long as hub caps are propped, I think we'll be okay.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Who You'd Follow Into A Fire

So, as I watched John McCain tonight I couldn't help but thinking, "Dude, this guy is awesome." Now, to have you understand me correctly, I figure we've really got to check out what I mean by 'awesome'. I guess just think of awesome as meaning 'impressionable'. And let impressionable mean something like, "something with the capacity to leave an impression." Because John McCain left some kind of impression. Let's just say in the same way a burned out house leaves impressions on the trees around it. I couldn't stop watching because I kept anticipating him to drop the 'f' bomb, or scream some racial slur, or worse, say something that didn't start with "Senator Obama...". I guess I had to keep watching, really, for the same reasons that I can't really take my attention off my crazy grandpa Billings. I just want to be able to say I saw the crazy thing he did. Its pathetic actually. Its like politics are the longest, most boring, expensive sports around, with athletes that aren't athletic. Anyways. 

What I'm really getting at is that through my experience with the campaigning, I've come to a mantra. 'Mantra' is a sweet word, wait, did I spell it right? The mantra is, "Would you follow them into a fire?" The situation is this: One night an apartment building in your neighborhood catches fire and you go running to see what's up. There are tons of people outside, the fire fighters aren't there, and somebody is screaming for someone, anyone, to go help save 10 kids who are trapped. In the crowd of people there are tons of people willing to go, but one person stands up and says, "Alright, I need four other people, we'll go in, we'll grab two kids a piece, and get out of there." Now remember, there are tons of people in the crowd, so no one is going to care if you yourself don't go, but you feel obligated, so then you ask yourself, looking at this person who has stepped up to the task of leading the group, "Would I follow them into the fire?" It really comes down to the fact that a job has to get done, and people's lives are on the line, and who is going to get it done. You know, Get 'er done. Kyle, Justin, Katie, Cj, Dad, everyone else who holds my love, I would follow you. But you aren't this person, nope, the person who volunteered to lead is Barack or John. I would follow Barack, Barry, B. Hussein Obama, which ever you prefer. You know, the democrat.

I'm not going to tell you why. Na, I'm going to focus on why you'd follow someone into a fire. I would follow Kyle because I know he would be brave. I would follow Justin because when I couldn't carry the fat kid anymore, he would do it. I would follow Cj because he would let the kids grab their stuffed animals. I would follow Katie because she would never let anyone know that she was the leader, we'd all just know. And my dad, well because he knows how to make a kid stop crying, and kids crying in a fire just make it worse. I guess I realized that trust really relies on what makes you feel secure with a person, and you can test that by seeing when you won't trust, and if that trust goes all the way into the place that may end your life, then it is trust indeed. John McCain is awesome, see?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Catch 23

You know, sometimes I feel like I only learn things after the damage is done. Like you only learn that you don't know math until after you've bombed the test. You only know you cannot write until after you've flunked the paper. You know you can't communicate until after you're told to shut up, and so, and so forth. 

I guess every time it happens, I am stuck with the same question of why. Why can't I just learn from Kyle, he does this crap all the time? Or Justin, he's a good one, messes up like everyday? Why is it that I must learn after mistakes are made? Ahhh.

And it seems that the more I go without stepping on toes, or getting pulled over, or over drafting, the more I'm called naive, ignorant and young. I can't understand why respect only comes from being stupid and making the same mistakes as everyone else.

So here I am, stuck, messing up, trying to learn, but she already walked out. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pedestrians on Corners

Dude, you will not believe what happened. I was in the middle of a police sting operation, oh yes. It was incredible. Absolutely. But, I'll say it like I usually do, you know, start somewhere and end up somewhere you weren't thinking. I figure I like to do this with my writing because it makes it less like writing and more like designing a roller coaster. You think you're going to go on just another ride when I know the whole thing was designed to hopefully make you puke. Maybe that's actually stupid and kind of selfish. Well, either way, you're probably going to keep reading huh? Sucker. K, back to the cops.

So I was driving down the street. Well, actually riding in a car that my friend was driving. We saw this guy walk up to a cross walk, and we were just too dang close to the cross walk by the time he got to the corner to stop. No big deal. This happens all the time right? People walk to cross walks and wait for a pretty good opening, or if a driver sees them waiting, obviously wanting to cross, the driver stops, and then the pedestrian heads out there. Usually if a driver sees a person walking in the cross walk they stop and let them keep going. Well, not today, oh no, today was the day to end all, "Driver sees them waiting, obviously wanting to cross." No, today was the day that you were supposed to screech your brakes and see if that sucker was going to walk across the street or not. It was a sting. Complete illegal entrapment. The guy who had walked to the corner right as we passed the rational point-of-no-return, was a cop, in street clothes, and there was a convenient motorcycle cop there just waiting to write a ticket. Sometimes the government isn't a government at all, but more like a big brother who's only aim is to find a reason to beat you up. 

What happened next is half way to where we are supposed to be. My friend, let's call her Rachel, she was amazing. By the time old tight pants had walked up to the car, she was already meticulously articulating the most pristine argument for why the event that had just happened was in fact not a violation of any law and that it was absurd to have wasted everyone's time in pulling us over. She was incredible. I hadn't seen so much pure resilience since my friend Tyler stood up to this bully Max when I was a kid. The cop wrote her a ticket, I was told to look up the definition of entrapment, and we were on our way. I did look it up. I wasn't wrong. 

Entrapment, according to dictionary.com; the luring by a law-enforcement agent of a person into committing a crime.

Had the pedestrian not been on the police department's payroll, it probably wouldn't have been entrapment. 

I hadn't seen somebody like this for a while. Like I said, since Tyler taking on Max. I saw a person in a tough situation be tough. She didn't cry. She didn't get pissed. She just was tough. There it is, it was so refreshing. For so long now, people just keep saying tough things can't be solved, or they just spit the word "change" around. But maybe it isn't about the solving at all, maybe its more just about being tough. Seeing her like that, with no apologies, it was so empowering. If she can be tough to cops and time-wasting injustice, then I can be tough too. Tough to ridiculous political ads, tough to professors, tough to haters, and tough on myself when I'm being a wusse. If we all lose all the time, which most of us do, then shouldn't we start focusing on something other then winning? Maybe like that you played a tough game, or made a great pass, that you stood up to the bully even though he broke your nose and gave you a black eye. If winning were everything than wouldn't we like cheaters a lot more? Doesn't that retrospectively put more emphasis on honesty? I don't know. I just know when I saw Rachel be tough, it did something for me.  




Saturday, September 6, 2008

School Shoes

You know, there is something I miss when it comes to going back to school after the summer; new shoes. To me, now, as I reflect, it was always such a way to indicate that you had had purpose, the fact that you had worn out a pair of shoes. In 5th grade, I needed two pairs of shoes; my school shoes and my soccer shoes.  I would have worn my school shoes for soccer if the grass hadn't been so slick. My school shoes were everything. They were my runners, my hikers, my explorers, my detention shoes, my walk home shoes, my get-nervous-when-you-see-that-one-girl shoes, and through it all they wore out. But now, now is a different story. 

I can't remember the last time I bought new shoes because the last ones had worn out. Now I buy shoes for work, and another pair for running, maybe two pairs for running, and another pair for Saturday night, and another to walk around the house in, and another pair to hike in, and another pair to get-nervous-when-you-see-that-one-girl-in, and another pair for summer, and another for when it snows, and another for when it rains, and then all those in black and brown, so I can appease my mood. All of them likely to be given to charity, not because they've worn out, but because I'm too busy wearing a different pair. This sounds like a sermon, but I'm not bothered, I'm religious. I see pretty good parallels. I think a great indication of how distracted we are in our lives, or maybe how afraid of commitment we are, or maybe a bunch of other things, is according to how many unworn pairs of shoes we own. The ones that just clutter up our closets. 

But there is more. I think, coupled with it, is how often we go looking for a different pair when we have a perfectly good pair at home. Why we look is really where we should focus. I think the truth is we look because we are told to look. In 5th grade, I didn't listen to anyone, I was my own man, as indicated by my shoes. But now, now I'm some other suckers man. Society's man. As indicated by my shoes. I think my respect goes out to the guy you only see in the shoe store around August, because he's the one who remembers when you need to buy shoes; once a year, with your mom, right before 6th grade starts, hoping to find the toughest pair, with a little bit of cool in them, because the ones on your feet are being held together by glue.  

Monday, August 18, 2008

Lucifer the Bird

Justin, you amaze me.

Our desperate attempts to control things are just ingredients to become old and unfulfilled. Birds fly away, and if the bird didn't, I'd argue that it really wasn't a bird at all. Instead it was a reprogrammed creature designed to help mankind feel like it really was in control of elements that, in a more realistic perspective, they have no control of at all. But, again, this is just setting up the pins so they can get knocked down, because we get phone calls, phone calls about cancers, phone calls about car wrecks. All bitter reminders that we are one random cellular malfunction or one person's sleeping problem away from realizing our own inablility to control.

I think the liberation comes when you enjoy the ride. I've never surfed but I'm going to draw the simile anyways. K, so, we need to view life like surfing because you can't control the wave, you can only control your toes and enjoy the ride, and always go back out for more. Just except the fact that you might drown and go out anyways. Go back out because that's why you came to the beach.

Back to the bird. Lucifer, adieu, our hope is that you find some hot Robin and move into her nest. And that might just be the hope for us all.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Natalie

It seems like the only times I know a Natalie is when it has to do with love. I loved a Natalie once, my friend loved a Natalie, and my other friend said that she hated a Natalie because her brother loved her.

Love is, love is a ghost. Its extremely hard to describe with words and everyone has their own version of what they saw. It comes and goes when it wants and the more you try to trap it, or take a picture of it, the more you're accused of staging the whole thing. And I think if you asked someone who has fallen in love at first sight to describe what it feels like you would discover that it sounds a lot like someone's experience of seeing a ghost. It took their breath away and they never ever will forget it. My parents fell in love when they first met, my dad said to me once, "When I touched your mom's hand for the first time it was like I had known her for a thousand years." He never was the same, still can recall every detail almost forty years later. I constantly touch hands now, just hoping it will be like turning a corner in my house and seeing my grandma or something. Yet, the more I hope for it, the more I want the easy road of first-sight love, the more I only hear of other people's ghost stories. Then there is that part of love being just like a ghost. A person's drive to see one, to experience it, to have their own story that tops someone else's, makes them crazy, someone a ghost would never want to be around at all. One more. Love is like a ghost because it is constantly misdiagnosed. I can't tell you how many times I've found myself with head way over my heels yet when I discover it, it was really some punk kid playing a prank. No ghost at all.

Maybe that's why we sleep in the dark, all alone. We aren't waiting for ghosts, we're waiting for love. You know what, hold on, I'm not done. There isn't just one ghost. Sometimes love is hard because we get so stuck in seeing the same ghost over and over, the same love over and over, and then they're gone. But maybe there is the problem, there could be a better love just around the corner, but we are stuck in the hall crying because the last ghost said he isn't coming back. That's just when the next ghost might just show up, when we don't want to see another one ever again.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I see, I need

I remember back when I was a kid I used to have a lot of energy. Tons. But my folks never had me checked for that old ADHD thing and I don't know why. I guess its a good thing. Who needs pills for something they don't have, know what I mean? Anyways, I'm thinking that my parents should have had me checked for "spontanious buyer" syndrome, cause baby, I got a real serious case. Consider last night.

I've been looking for a motorcycle/scooter for a long time now. I've determined it will be a great way to save gas, but kind of dangerous, and I'm not strapped for cash right now, which only makes me want it more. Wait on that. Looking around, that's a smart consumer trend, but constantly looking at things you don't need is bad. You all of the sudden, when the perfect deal comes, say, "I need that." No you don't, you don't need it at all, you didn't need it to begin with. If you never would have looked, you never would have needed. Well, with the scooter I keep telling myself that I need it because I'm trying to thwart the evil gas god and his plot to make my life hell. I constantly, like constantly, check craigslist and this free classified ad website for the "deal of the century." The reality is, I don't need a scooter, I mean, its not a need. Not like I need water, though its the same word. We use the word 'need' so often that it just doesn't have very much weight anymore. Like a couple weeks back when I had to wait for a girl to find her chapstick because she "needed" it. You crazytown? Alright, alright, guys have their "needs" too. Like a scooter, see, its a great example. I need a scooter. No, no I don't. Back to the point. Well, wait, one more. Childhood was a good place to start, here is why, remember when you went on that field trip in elementary school and your teacher constantly told you, "You can look but you can't touch." You're kidding right? We need to outlaw that saying, forever. That only makes kids want to touch it more. It turns into like the only thing they want to touch, that's it, that's all. Forget all the interactive dinosaur crap, they're thinking about that funny looking pot in the last exhibit that is forever now filed away in their mind with a little label, "No Touchy". You grow up, and you realize, "Dude, people had to touch that stupid piece of crap that you say is so important to get it in the museum, plus, someone made it by hand, and if I had the dough, I could probably buy it and put it in my cupboard where pottery is supposed to be." I really feel that all the tension from the "No touchy" training we receive as kids comes out as spontanious spending when we are adults. The point. I was looking on craigslist last night and saw "$200 Scooter, 125cc" Say what? I called the guy, it was 10:10, "Hey, this is Dave, sorry its so late." Went and bought that sucker right then. The scooter doesn't even work. I was chatting with my friend Emily Fitzgerald, who still needs to move back from Boston by the way, and had to say good-bye cause I had the, "So you say I can look but not touch huh>?" urge. Again, the scooter doesn't even run.

Came home, put it in the garage, and now I have this weird urge to sell it, maybe someone else will pay to touch it...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Liberals...

So, the funniest thing happened today. Alright, I take it back, not THE funniest, but A funny thing happened today. I was sitting at work avoiding drawing attention to myself and I got a text message on the old celly cell cell. "Are you still an Obama supporter?" That may not sound funny, but the source was what made me laugh. A girl I dated a little bit a few months back. Hadn't heard a thing since the old "looks like the ball is in your court now" talk. She was from south-east Idaho, maybe the most red place on Earth, maybe. Pressing on. I said that I was, and asked if she was also. She said no and said that she thought he was scary. I asked whether it was because he looked like Steve Urkel or because of the issues. She indicated that she was scared about the issues, I asked which ones, after which she reported a barage of one liners. "The war, partial birth abortion, his desire to tax everything he can, his entitlement programs. I also doubt his patriotism." Awesome, just awesome. I thought, "This is definately going on the blog." Not to mention when she wrote, "Dave, you're an interesting guy, quite the contrarian." Con what? Amazing.

The interesting part was when I asked her, "What does liberal mean?" I was sneaky, yes, in that I totally knew what liberal meant, at least as it is written on dictionary.com, but I wanted to know how it was defined in her mind. "The opposite of conservative- socially, morally, and fiscally." A common definition I assume. If I were to shoot just one corner of that broad-sided barn I would probably aim for the fact that according to that definition, liberal is really anywhere conservative isn't, liberal is then retrospectively defined only in terms of conservatism, which may be true according Derrida but I don't think that's what we mean when we say liberal, though some liberals may be overjoyed to feel that way. I think in this definition too much can easily be assigned to the liberal side by simply stating the conservative side. For instance, "Conservatives hate the devil." The previous definition would then assign the belief to the liberal side of loving the devil, when in reality only my friend Justin loves the devil, so both are false. That last one was for laughs. I told her I didn't support either side of the ticket. I thought that it categorizes people too simply and the moment someone had the label, listening to the other side stopped. Once we join the conservative or liberal orders, it seems we only listen to conservative or liberal radio stations, watch conservative or liberal news, hang out with conservative or liberal people. I see that as the same as the day you discovered you were a mouse, and follow me here, all you did was listen radio stations that constantly told you, "You're a mouse, you're a mouse, you're a mouse." One voice is no democracy. No, it isn't, it's Saddam Hussein for twenty years in Iraq, or Mugabe in Zimbabwe for the last almost thirty years. Thus, I see the liberal/conservative argument as a detriment to democracy. I'll probably be called liberal by the conservatives and "Hey dude, that sounds pretty dead on" from the liberals. Blah blah blah, I think what we need to be focusing on is what is best for us now with acknowledgement that our choices directly affect the future and its ability to have the best. Who decides what's best? In the ideal world, well, "we the people" my friends, "we the people".

Until the ideal world is created or formed through atomic bonds, which ever you prefer, I think the last thing we should do is close ourselves in our "I'm a mouse" box and only listen to mouse bands playing mouse music singing about how sweet it is to be a mouse. I think that for democracy to even exist the other side must be voiced and listened to, no matter how liberal it is. Word.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

LCD Soundsystem

I don't think that I'm bipolar. I think I'm more like bicontinental, you know, like a Seattle to Santiago. Moods are so sensitive. One bad look and I'm on a plane to the depressed Northwest, or so it seems. That's where the LCD comes in.

Months ago, Justin and I were in his Civic. He's got some big six by nines in there so everything coming across is in charge and so it was with Daft Punk is Playing at My House. I hadn't heard something so fresh in a while. So secure in what it was. I stole the files from Kyle and boarded the plane, fastened my seat belt and put my chair in the upright position.

So often I think that we see change like we see stains on shirts. We know just when it happened because we watched the whole thing. That blasted spaghetti noodle fell off of its prong right on to our shirt as we delicately attempted to put the whole thing in our mouths so that we wouldn't have to slurp in front of her parents. Forgive my run on. The whole event right before our eyes, watched as our shirt became something we didn't buy, something now totally nonreturnable. But then there are the more subtle changes, the changes that are more like the spaghetti stains that you got from cooking the sauce. The ones you don't see until you go to put the shirt back on and you ask, "Little devil, how did you get on there?" Those kinds of changes. They make as much of a difference but you didn't see the change happen, you only see the effect. The stain was right next to your collar. Life is packed with them. Looking in the mirror I see the night of Daft Punk is Playing at My House as a stain on my collar, a sneaky change. The night I got a free flights from Seattle to Santiago, all with the bottom of that blissful Ipod circle. But I didn't see it until I realized that I had been in Seattle and somehow got to Santiago. LCD is mood changing, which in turn, is life changing.

"And all the furniture is in the garage-ah."

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Forty Car Train

With the advent of video recording, people have the ability to watch events more than once. A boring way to start a Monday morning post, but as you've read for the last month or so, you're just going to have to trust the fact that when I guide you down the garden path we will end up somewhere comfortable. I wonder if this weekend was recorded by someone, cause I would like to watch it again. I swear my life is like a forty car train that ran head on with a mountain and it takes ten minutes for it to stop. I'm sitting at my desk, in my wonderful cubicle, its 9:42 am, and the cars still feel like they're piling up.

I guess the metaphor of a train wreck feels like it fits because of the way my mind works. I seem to be set on a course, Seattle to Boston, but then, as though the heavens had planned it, I'm suddenly being rerouted for repairs down to San Antonio, never to see Boston. Friday night was the crash, Saturday after noon the reroute, Sunday night the repairs, and I'm back on the tracks, hesitant. Happy to be moving again, but hesitant because I was lucky to survive the crash. Wondering what the Boston skyline looks like from the station, sad I won't see it with these eyes, but excited to know what's going to happen once I get this old engine opened up.

Metaphors on metaphors. This weekend was amazing. Here's the rosetta stone to the train. Friday night we split ways, Saturday afternoon we were the same place at the same time, Sunday night, well, that's not for blogging eyes. Hahaha, ba na now.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Bah

Dude, I can't believe how much I seem to leave out of reach. Take for instance my own personal happiness. I seem to leave it in the way of thieves, banks, television shows and heart breakers, and just a little too far from myself that, in case of an emergency, I can't get to it until after the damage is done. How backward. Okay, I confess, it is the loss of my ipod that has sent me into such a tailspin. The other day I was listening to Justin Timberlake, I like him, he's got some good beats, and I was listening to the song, "What goes around." I thought, "Its weird that he has taken such a serious topic and made it into such a rad tune." Dude, then low and behold I'm watching Jay Leno last night and they had that little girl from Definitely Maybe on there and she was complaining about her ipod being stolen. "Ha," I thought, "you shouldn't have put all your happiness into a piece of metal, you should have been more like me." Went to the car this morning and realized I had left all my happiness in a piece of metal, and now that little piece of metal is gone, and my happiness didn't get out before it was too late. Bah. I called around, ipods are expensive man, plus all the music, plus the footwork to get it back. I really need to just get my happiness back, but I figure having the ipod will at least give me some music to listen to while I figure out how to do that. "What goes around, goes around, goes around, comes all the way back around." Should have thought happy thoughts about that little girl.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Stupid grey skies. There are a ton of reasons I hate grey skies, the strangest I think is that fact that there are no shadows. Its weird I know, but it just gets to me. Maybe its the round about way that a shadow can make you happy.

Take for instance the circumstances which have to occur for a shadow to be cast. Sunlight is crucial, I guess there are alternatives, but lets be real here. Being outside is definately something that will enhance the experience, and last but not least, it's Cartesian evidence of existance. Without a shadow, being chained to the wall of a cave and being outside by the beach have just about the same feeling. I think the oddness comes from that premise. Without shadow we exist just a little less, like vampires and their reflections. Something about being able to at least stand in the way of a little light. Its a confidence boost.

Take away the sun, take away identity. Blame it on the weather.

Monday, June 2, 2008

A Beautiful Dichotomy

So, McKenna took the bus up and I drove her back. It was a good moment, paradigm. We started talking about...well, I guess just about everything. Something about marathons, then something about how you can't know that you can do something until its done, then something about Machu Pichu, then the inspiration for this post, "The Mayans did incredible things because they didn't know what they couldn't do." Changed. I consider myself changed. I'd never heard it like that before. I think the right pieces were all there I just needed to see it from a different angle before it became clear.

It seems most days I rely on the fact that I only know what I can't do. I can't be late, I can't listen to music too loud, I can't eat junk food, I can't lie, I can't, I can't... I'm a believer in rules, I'm aware of plenty of things I can do, that's not the focus. The focus of the "can't" list is really the difficulty in differentiating between which "can'ts" are actually "cans". What I would be able to do with my days if those tricky "can'ts" weren't there. The can'ts seem like walls in my mind that increase in height and width everday. I guess that's why her statement felt like such a cut against the grain, because I had never really considered life without the walls of the can't. Without the walls that tell me no. I almost find comfort in the knowing I can't ever be where I think I can't be, so I just become content with being trapped in my doubt. University Parkway just north of the Texaco was the frist time I had considered the possibility of not having the walls and where I could be without them. Maybe building temples on the tops of mountains built of rocks a thousand times my weight.

It was the first time I had actually believed that that was a maybe. Thanks McKenna, you are something.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sneaky=Sneaky

According to Socrates, if you are to get out of the cave, someone has to drag you to the entrance. Kyle, you've done it.



Let's speak hypothetically for a second. Say that I had a girlfriend which I had broken up with and still had contact with. One night we joke and talk about making out, the joking goes too far, and the event happens. As happens probably 99% of the time, the girl wants to have a "talk" after and discuss "our future". This is where Kyle opened my eyes. The question posed, is it equally bad that the girl went over looking for emotional fulfillment through commitment when compared to the guy just looking for action. Kyle said yes, and I agree.



How I support Kyle is based on one axiom. Sneaky=Sneaky. Both parties were trying to deceive the other. The girl was going over hoping to somehow work out a deal of commitment to her, and the guy was hoping to somehow work out a deal to get a rise, while both hold this information from the other. I had never considered it like this before. The girl didn't want to be used for the guys fulfillment, but a guy doesn't want to be used for a girls emotional fulfillment either. I always thought the guy was the one to blame, but really, the sneaky girl is just as responsible. Yet the controversy seems to come when the friends find out that you hooked up with your old girlfriend. "Man, you were just looking for a piece weren't you?" My answer used to be, "Dude, I'm sorry, I thought she was cool with it." But now my answer, and I feel so liberated about it, is going to be, "Pshhh, that girl was just looking for a piece of commitment!"

Thanks Kyle, I feel the chains lifted. Now I can hook up with ex-girlfriends freely and blame it on them. Word.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

You're Welcome to Ask Questions...

I think it would be fun to open the blog to questions, you can ask anything you want, my opinion is far reaching. Just write your questions in the comments section of the previous answer and I'll answer as I see fit. Sweet!!!

The First...

Question: Hetero in Provo asked: A potential homosexual advanced on me a week or so ago and I am friends with all his friends and was becoming close friends with him, now I dont know how to treat him. I dont want to hurt his feelings but I'm not totally comfortable around him.
How do you ween off a gay?

Answer: Same way they told you to avoid drugs in 5th grade I figure. You've got the be direct approach. You've got the cold shoulder approach. You've got the provide an alternative approach, and one other. In our culture today, the gay movement is begging for respect and equality. I respect that equally. My view is that people should just live and, unless under threat of life or personal safety, let others live. If they desire respect and equality, then they usually have figured out that the only real way of obtaining it is to be respecting and equal themselves. If you feel like he is coming on too strong, use one of the 5th grade techniques, and he should respect it. If it doesn't work, be the first hetero to sue a homo for sexual harrassment, it will be a good precedent. Consider yourself answered.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Grass, Cookies, Cement, Disorientation

Kyle, oh Kyle, your comment about the flaw of absolute mathematics was so insightful. Life isn't algebraic, this is believed. You can't always balance both sides. Here is to you buddy...

I was thinking the other day, as I lay on the grass after a run, how just good life is. I thought about what made it that way. I think it was a cookie moment, you know, when you just say, "These are so good, what is in them?" Two ingredients. Simplicity is a key ingredient, but the bonding agent is just awareness.

If we were to make cement, that's what we would need, awareness of the beauty of simplicity. Follow me, the first thing that happens when things get dark is that I lose my bearings. Like when you've been laying in bed for a while and you have turned over so many times that you can't remember which wall you are facing, or where your door is. I hate that, I have to turn on the light. It runs parallel with life I think. The first thing that happens when the lights go off is that you lose your bearings, and then it gets worse as you try to get comfortable, then you can't remember how to get out. If we were just aware we would be fine. Simplicity is beautiful, and our awareness of it can be turning on the lights in our room. Kyle, I think you should just focus on the simple fact that your lungs work, that you are warm when you sleep, and that your stomach doesn't go ignored.

As long as you are aware of that, I think really which way you are facing won't matter as much.

Monday, May 12, 2008

My Grandpa has a Girlfriend

He's 87. Retired nuclear rocket physicist. Enjoys crossword puzzles and yelling at the TV. Is convinced the world is cooling, not warming, and enjoys long afternoons of solitaire on the computer. Has trouble with stairs and laundry, but makes up for it in dandelion pulling and taking the recycling to the curb. When it comes to food, he is a connoisseur of sweet pickle relish and steamed carrots.

I imagine this would be pretty close to the singles ad that my grandpa Billings must have posted to score this girlfriend of his. I think they've been dating for like five years. They usually stick to the basics, dinner and then he'll listen to her talk about her grand kids. I guess why I'm writing about this is because yesterday he walked in from his day long date with his girl and saw me sitting there and watching a limited commercial break version of Shakespeare in Love on Fox, my myself. He had the biggest grin; almost a century old and he's still got it going on, even more then the 23 year old. This guy goes on more dates then I do, this is a fact, but I'm not jealous, na, I am just hoping this is genetic.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Anger is Tough

I was pissed, seriously pissed. Wait, I don't get mad, I just get a mix of sad, frustrated and confused. With that said, I've never been so mixed up in my life. Come Tuesday morning, I wake up and I have to remind myself why I'm mad, I mean mixed. That's where I'll dwell today, why anger is tough.

I have a hard enough time remembering to brush my teeth and then to floss them. "Brush then floss, brush then floss." It's a constant rhyme that I repeat on my way to the sink. Yet I still fail. Now, let me present my anger side. I've realized that anger comes from the premise-You should have known better. I think that is why people get more angry with people that are closer to them, when compared to strangers, because people that are close to you have a greater capacity to know better. The reason they are closer to you is simply because you have developed a deeper pattern with them. You know their steps, you know their moves, you've developed a comfortable habit of interacting. With the mix of anger and habit, it seems to point to my first argument that anger is tough. Explained: Anger is tough because you have to constantly remind yourself that that person who you are close to is not in the groove that they have been in, they aren't the reason you love them anymore, they have broken the mold, and it's hard because they really are the same, it's just that you're mad because they should have known better. The whole thing gets better when they have shown they know, but then what do you do with your anger?


I guess I'll just waste it on a stranger like everyone else... I'll call ya later...

Monday, May 5, 2008

Grinding the Gears of My Five Speed Mind

Sometimes I take pride in how well my mind has been put together. Other times I'm smacking the dashboard begging it to start. I guess that's where I'm at; side of the road, rain on the windshield, trying to turn it over, not getting any closer to where I want to be.

She wanted answers when we were driving back. I just saw it differently. I thought she wasn't in any position to be asking questions. But if I were to identify where the switch from 5th to 2nd occured, I'd probably put it right around when she asked, "Are you going to give me a second chance?" I was reconsidering the first chance I had given her. I think anyone would if they went looking for their girl and only found her after opening the door and turning on the lights and giving them time to get out from under the blanket. Then the first thing she wants to know is if she gets a second chance.

I don't get mad, I don't. I just get a really confusing mix of sad, frustrated, and disappointed. I think it was the timing. Not enough clutch and too much gas. Or maybe the pitch of the hill we were on, just the wrong angles; my girl and my best friend. They say they didn't touch each other, but touching or not, the engine is still dead. Whatever it was, here I am, side of the road, rain on the windshield, tyring to turn it over, not getting any closer to where I want to be.

The Genesis of an Exodus

I've got a lot. A lot to share, a lot to hold back, a lot to get out, and a lot to hold in.