Featured

Perfect Timing

Well, hello friends new and established! I’ve been off the radar for a minute, so my apologies to everyone who has been wondering what ever became of me.

I would like to kick off my blog with something awesome and profound. Matt Banner @ On Blast Blog suggests polishing the opening post and starting strong. Somewhere in his 40 tips for blogging is a quote about it never being the perfect time for anything.

However, there’s something to be said for mission accomplishment. I have been trying to find 30 min just to sign up but between driving for Uber, launching a business with my girlfriend, and chasing after two 6 year old terrors, it has evaded me. One key to getting shit done is being opportunistic with time, and right now is the perfect time to stare at my phone since life just gave me a great big slap on the sciatic nerve! Ugh, what incredible pain to suffer. I’ve never experienced anything like this before, but the last 7 hours has been relentlessly awful. Really, though, I don’t know which is worse-the actual pain or the frustration of being so incapacitated that I have to be dragged to the bathroom!

Well, considering the pen is mightier than the sword and I can’t even lift my head without agonizing pain, it is indeed the perfect time to get blogs up and other screen time efforts underway. I have a project I hope to post on IndieGoGo and events to line out for vending. I will be posting updates on all of my efforts here as well as my own ramblings. 

So, pretty as my first blog may or may not be, here it is!

post

I have a lot of good stuff to fill my blog posts with, so I can roll with the ocean scene for a first. I was 18 years old on a cross country road trip when I first saw the Atlantic. Since then, I could hardly imagine living more than a couple hours from an ocean. Feeling small, so miniscule while gazing at the vastness is curiously enlightening. Few things in this world can ground you in the moment like that. Except a child’s love πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading!

Advertisements

Day 22: It Could be Worse

“Well, it can’t get any…”

YES, it can. It can always get worse than it is. When someone near me begins to utter that phrase, I am sure to cut it off before they finish. Not that I’m superstitious, but I believe this phrase always precedes absolute complacency. 

I was reminded of this last night (or maybe early this morning) as my girl jumped out of bed. Apparently, the commotion outside rudely interrupted her sleep and she just had to run around the house, turning lights on and bitching up a storm. Dogs barking, people yelling, and a blip of a siren shook the complex last night. 

As it turns out, our neighbor has been trying to help her brother get himself together. I don’t know the full extent, but I see it in just about every dark, grungy corner of the city. I’ve heard the justification, and it truly breaks my heart. These people, at least some of them, just want to be okay. They want to not be cold, not to feel the pangs of hunger, not to be alone, not to feel like the pile of shit society at large makes them out to be. They want someone to care about them and to truly believe that better days lie ahead. Every conscious moment of their existence, they surely suffer, and if a little smack is all they are presented with, can you really blame them for making that choice? 

I’m not saying it’s acceptable, as I see the more nasty side of it just as well. Kids with a bad attitude, many times running from parents that have done their best for them. These kids were sheltered from learning their limits. They travel in packs like mangy dogs, and anything they can throw in their faces, goes. Those are the ones you see yelling at imaginary people, breaking any random thing that catches their eye,  and throwing their feces at people or buildings. Catch them early enough, and just maybe a short stay behind bars will be a wake up call. However, it doesn’t take long for the smack to find them, and at that point there is tragic little hope of recovery. 

He was standing outside with a cigarette when I came home. I looked him in the face, and with the warmest smile I could muster I gave him a greeting. He tried to say hi back, a couple of times, and all I saw was pain in his face. My girl was anxious, asking me if I had all my tools, if I locked the truck, if I had my phone, because that guy was standing outside. 

I went to bed feeling rather shitty. I have been struggling to force food down my throat all month despite my stress induced lack of appetite. In the middle of the night, hearing everything go down and remembering that man’s face, made my heart ache for him. I don’t know what he did to bring the K9 unit down on himself, but I know he is suffering. I know the eyes of a thug, a con, a shifty up-to-no-good, poised to strike at the next opportunity some unsuspecting victim left open. I also know the eyes of pain, confusion, and desperation. 

As the situation wound down, my girl commented on him trying to retrieve a white cross off the ground as he was getting hauled off. I imagine that in the blur of his mind, with nothing but a bleeding arm and the clothes on his back, it was the only thing in the world he could anchor himself to. 

It brought me to remembering that it could always be worse. I reckon sometimes that I have hit rock bottom and lost almost everything and everyone that used to mean something to me, but that really isn’t the case. I’m grateful that as bad as my life is, I’m reminded just how much worse it could be. 

Day 21: Life Goes On

I’m alive. I’m all kinds of things that go against expressing positivity right now. 

But, I’m alive. Odds are that I will still be alive tomorrow and the rest of the week. 

The end of my world as I knew it may have already come, but it wasn’t the end of my life. 

At some point I hope to feel like a complete human being, so to start, if only for the sake of this post, I will be thankful to be alive. 

Day 20: Knowledge

Throw an ad up on Craigslist for a calculus and physics tutor, and what do you expect to get? You might guess a chorus of crickets, and odds are pretty good you would be right. 

I would say that the moment I landed my first project this summer in an effort at self employment, I knew it wouldn’t last. Unless your bit is roofing or siding, the arrival of winter means the drying up of construction jobs. What is a free lancer to do? 

Well, I have been snapping up tutoring gigs because I am academic like that. About the only offer I could not take up was microbiology. Mind you, I have grown my share of cultures, so I was tempted to take a stab at it! The guy looking for physics and calculus thinks something went wrong with his post because my reply is the only one he got. What’s wrong is thinking that people with that kind of knowledge are looking for any thing to make a buck. Most people with such capacity are making money hand over fist, and if they aren’t now, they sure are working towards it. 

I’m the odd one in the whole damn city’s gigging economy that’s packing 5 years of scholastics! If I have to swim in a low yield market, at least I can swim at the top. 🐠

I’m thankful for my time in university. It was a great growing experience for me, and I had been working for it since I signed the dotted line for Uncle Sam in 2003. 

Day 19: Forgiveness

Today would easily have gone down in the ‘Always Something’ section if not for having to glean something positive from it. 

Eleven in the morning, and I’m trying to decide whether I’m going to work or taking the girls to the zoo. It was written on the calendar, yes. Just not on the day marked 19. I had no idea, and nothing about it was mentioned. So it was that I was sending an email to apologize and reschedule. A day at the zoo would be worth it, though. 

Well, a child’s extreme hunger collided with a tooth coming out and before we knew it, the morning was long gone and the afternoon was sneaking away. Alas, we realized there was almost no chance of finding parking at the zoo on free admission day, and the light rail only runs every 30 min on Sunday. My girl was not about to suffer the crowd and the wait on the MAX for a little more than a mere hour at the zoo. 

The day being shot, I was content to sit down to a simple puzzle by myself, though not everyone else was. It drives me crazy that we fail to launch when it comes to doing something as a family when it’s nothing more than a simple trip to get there. 

However, I am grateful today that people work with me through my frequent need to reschedule. I suppose the best way to do so in this case is to forgive my crazy family for these days that our plans unravel. 

Day 18: Individuality

I am unique. I don’t mean that in the sense that we all have things that are specially ours, like fingerprints or gene code. I mean that I am very frequently found comprising the narrow margins of likelihood. 

I am obscure. I’m not highly sought after and I’m not notorious. For those that know me and have seen me in my best moments, I am remarkable. Those that don’t know me very well have probably only known me for being strange and aloof. 

Sometimes, people like to converse with me. Often, this is because my thoughts and perspective shed new light on matters, provoke new thoughts, or reignite enthusiasm. People like brainstorming with me and coming up with ideas. Where topics carry weight, my organization additionally lends to being able to prioritize actions on ideas. 

Sometimes, people really don’t like talking with me. I can all too easily damage my relationships with blunt force truthfulness. I disarm perceived personal attacks with stone walls. I challenge assumptions. I question unsupported claims of truth. I listen to what’s said, but I absolutely make my own mind up about matters. I find myself having to defend my statements when they aren’t popularly received, but at no point do I let the popular vote determine my own course of action. 

Uncanny, bizarre, strange, and mystifying. As Genie said, “you’ll never have a friend like me!” Unlike the Genie, though, not everyone wishes for someone like me in their life! πŸ˜›πŸ‘ΎπŸ‘€

Day 17: Survivalism

From greatest to least in order of possessions, we have: RV-ing, car camping, pack and camp with livestock, bivouac camping, and finally, Survivalism. 

Camping is something you do for enjoyment, and as such you inevitably have to strike a balance between extracting the benefits of nature and sacrificing the comforts of a domicile. Usually, it’s a simple matter of finding your comfort level and matching your activity to it. If the smell of fresh air and authentic sounds of nature is all you care for, but you are not about to give up a night without a mattress, there is a conventional way to do so. If all you need is food, water, and to stay dry, there is a conventional means to achieve that, as well. 

I have taken my chances in the wilderness travelling by foot, carrying nothing aside from the contents of my pockets. It’s certainly a spiritual experience if nothing else! Thirsty? Just where are you going to find water if you don’t have a map? Are you going to find it before you suffer debilitating dehydration? If you find water, is it going to be safe to drink, or are you going to get giardia? Food? Let’s see, there’s berries you probably can’t eat, rabbits you can’t get closer than 20 feet to, and if you happen to find water there’s a chance it will lead to fish at some point downstream, but then you will have to figure out how to catch them (hint: probably not your bare hand). Then, assuming you do manage to get food, what do you expect to do with it? You may want to cook it, although if you have the fortune of fish, it’s not entirely unpalatable raw-I even hear it’s popular in some cultures! What about shelter? Hyper and hypothermia are very real concerns in a matter of 24 hours or less when you don’t have so much as a garbage bag to cover yourself with! At some point, it becomes clear that this isn’t an exercise in pleasure. 

Of course, when I venture out like this, I’m doing so knowing how to start a fire with nothing but two sticks, how to make traps and projectile weapons with a single boot lace, and several ways to construct shelters using natural materials and features. Still, you find a new sense of being alive when you realize that you can do so without absolutely anything that must be made available by another human! 

I’m thankful for my sense of life, because no matter what happens to me, I will always know the simplest things- fresh water, clothing, food of any quality, walls and a roof- to be luxuries of society. 

Day 16: Experience

But first

Are you experienced? 

Ah! Have you been experienced? 

Well, I have 

Hendrix couldn’t have said it any better! 

I’ve seen a rich man beg I’ve seen a good man sin I’ve seen a tough man cry

I’ve seen a loser win and a sad man grin I’ve heard an honest man lie

I’ve seen the good side of bad and the downside of up and everything between

I’ve licked the silver spoon drank from the golden cup and smoked the finest green

I stroked the baddest dimes at least a couple of times before I broke their heart

You know where it ends yo, it usually depends on where you start

Just because I’m a 90’s kid, and the radio still plays the shit out of it, I have to admit I relate. 

I used to have a key chain tag that read, Been There Ate That. Even at the time, it was quite appropriate. Escargot to Rocky Mountain Oysters, lobster and filet mignon to natty ice and a mayonnaise sandwich, fruits whose names I will never remember to salads grown in my own garden, I am pretty much an insatiable gut. The only taste bud limits I’ve ever hit were lobster intestine sushi rolls and limburger cheese. 

Travel. Man, I’ve seen some incredible places. I circled half the US with my high school best friend before I left for boot camp. I got stationed in Okinawa, deployed to mainland Japan and the Phillipines, deployed to the desert via layover in Germany, vacationed in Australia, visited buddies in Seattle, and got stationed in Pendleton for my last bit of the Corps. I tried to go back home to Colorado, but a record (and roof) breaking winter caused me to think twice and instead I went back to Australia to live and work (and get my finger stuck in a ring). After a year there, it was back to Colorado to pick up my truck and belongings for a road trip to Oregon via Shasta and Redwood Forest up the 101. I’ve been everywhere, man, I’ve been everywhere. 

We won’t talk about the sex life! Let’s just say it mimics my taste in music. I am classically trained, and misfortunately conditioned. I can listen to just about anything from Mozart to Megadeth, Lemongrass to Lil Wayne, Tommy James to Thriftworks. 

Activities? Oh, man! Skydiving, bungee jumping, paragliding, scuba diving, deep sea fishing, surfing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, mountain climbing, speeding at 130mph, racing dirt bikes… I mean, there’s plenty I haven’t done yet, but I’ve always sought new adventures and taken the opportunities when they come around. 

Substances? Well, enough to know what not to fuck around with! Nota Bene, I am talking all substances, including Bayer and Bacardi! I have decided on a strict policy: if it doesn’t grow, it doesn’t go. Even then, I try to stay away from nicotine and my intake has been much more moderate than in the past. 

If life is about experiences, I can honestly say that I have lived, and today I am thankful for my awareness of the world I live in.