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Showing posts from 2009

Dreamscape

It's been about seven months since I've written anything substantial here; although the void doesn't seem to have lasted longer than the blink of an eye. It's amazing how quickly your life can change - how quickly something or somebody can take hold of you and extract you completely from your old life. Where everything seems different from your point of view, from waking up in the morning to scrubbing the last morsel of food off a dirty plate. Any previously deemed monotonous tasks are revitalized and no longer completed grudgingly.

What sparked my interest in returning here to write something stemmed from a few things including a new found curiosity to both write down and share my dreams and a rather curious soundtrack that played during one of my work nights. Of the many calm inducing songs that were played over the eight hour shift was that of Erik Satie, Gnossienne 1.

They say the more you think about your dreams, including talking about them and writing them down, t…

I've Killed Something Beautiful

Apt and eager to take on the uncertainties of this beautiful April morning, I opened my front door and took a deep breath. Exhaling and looking out at the clear sky I felt something land on my shirt with a buzz. I instinctively brushed down with my right hand and took a step back to see a yellow jacket fall to the floor. My screen door closed as I backed into the kitchen while the wasp squirmed a bit on the floor as it flipped itself over. Having a bad experience in the past I panicked and stomped down with my right foot and twisted it counter clock-wise. I turned my head away and winced after hearing the barely audible 'crunk' as I ended the life of something beautiful.

I wouldn't say it ruined my day but it certainly put a damper on things - as I spent the rest of the day mulling over my split-second decision. The corpse is still there, right in front of my door; I'm not sure when I'll pick it up. I remember when I had absolutely no problem killing insects - I eve…

My Son: A Fiction

I never knew how to be a good father. I always figured it would come to me naturally; it seemed to me that the art of parenting was part of our physiological structure - much like love, you can't simply read about it in a book. Thinking back to my childhood when my father was still alive, while my memory is vague, I remember his charming smile. He wasn't around often because of work, but from what I can remember he was a very cheerful man and always managed to make me smile. My fondest memory was the day he taught me how to throw a curve ball. We were in the back yard all night it seemed - until I got it just right. Upon catching the last ball he jumped up and cheered and we ran toward each other. He grabbed me by the sides and lifted me up above his head and twirled me around in the air. After setting me down he took his right hand and rubbed the top of my head and told me how proud he was of me. While I didn't get to see him that often, he made a significant impact on me…

Tripod: A Fiction

Three rooms, three people - ever since my accident, this is what my life has been confined to. For the past several years though, I've discovered that the uncertainties of the outside world are just as frightening as the truths that emerge behind closed doors. There's a delicate balance of peace within these walls, and even though I'm completely aloof in terms of my direct influence on the psychology of this family, I am completely submerged within it. I can't really walk that well, and as the days go by it feels harder to breath.

I spend most of my time with the son. He's very calm, quiet, and gives me just the right amount of attention. Unlike his sister who is constantly on the phone, gossiping to her girlfriends about the way a certain guy looked at her during school that day. Between phone calls she likes to pick me up from under my shoulders and twirl me around in a circle several times until she gets dizzy. She then plops me down on her bead and almost viole…

25 Things

1. I like to walk around my apartment in complete darkness.

2. Every time I see myself in a mirror I make a habit of saying, "hi there!" - which always makes me laugh.

3. I can't fall asleep without some form of a cover.

4. I'm the only person I know who doesn't own a cell phone.

5. My favorite thing to write with is a standard wooden #2 pencil.

6. When I was younger - when I found someone I was attracted to, I would always join their first name with my last name to see if they sounded good together.

7. In one of my biology classes in High School, my instructor passed around a taste test for everyone in the class to sample. We were discussing genetics and the test was to illustrate the presence of dominant and recessive genes. My instructor explained that there should be at least one or two people in the class who wouldn't be able to taste the sample - they would be the ones with the recessive gene. After putting the sample in my mouth, I didn't taste a thing. …

My Haven

I remember the first time I stepped foot in a library. It was during a school day in my third year of grammar school. I'm not exactly sure of the reason for the trip, but I know it was a field trip; all of my classmates were there. I think perhaps it was required for all third year students, just to get us acquainted with the concept of a library. I wonder if they still do it; I'm assuming it was a town tradition. Whatever the reason, I am very thankful. I might not of otherwise discovered such a beautiful and serene place. I had never seen so many books in one area before. While the rest of the students clumped together in their separate niches that would continue to grow and evolve all throughout grammar school and beyond, I broke away from the stares of my peers and ventured off along the walls, scanning the titles of the books I could see. After circling the entire room, I discovered a staircase that led upstairs to yet another huge room lined with books. I grabbed a text …

Change

I could see it coming. I didn't want to believe it, but my subconscious could no longer maintain the illusion. After ten years, you really know someone. The way she smiled. The way she kissed me. None of it was the same anymore. She wasn't cheating on me; she's not that kind of person. Day to day though I could feel her slipping away. She no longer felt for me the way I still felt for her. It's not her fault though, nor is it mine. Emotion is purely reactive and is not something we can control despite our inherent free will.

A few months after we started dating, while neither of us believed in the idea of marriage, we came to a consensus that we would stick together no matter what. We often discussed the idea that somewhere in the world there would always exist someone else who we found more attractive than one another. Removing ourselves from that never ending and fruitless search, we maintained a fiction that we were each others soul-mates. We would support each othe…

Performance-Based Relationships

A few months ago I happen to catch a segment of a Dr. Phil show on game addictions. Being an avid gamer myself in the past, despite my contempt for the host, I took an interest in what they were saying. He's not really a doctor, so I'm going to be calling him Phil from now on. Anyway, at the moment I started watching, they were talking to a man in his late twenties, early thirties about an online game he played and the friendships he formed. Phil asked him what sort of character he played and the man replied with, "an elemental shaman". Phil laughed at him as if he were a child and proceeded to ask him why he enjoyed playing the game so much. He went on to say that it was a hobby like any other. He enjoyed the experience of playing in an alternate world and the mechanics of the game-play, along with the interactions with hundreds of others and the friends he acquired. Phil then asked him, "You actually have friends in the game you play?". He said yes and th…

Chance

Through the fog of his breath, he spins his key chain clockwise like he always does to find the correct key to open his apartment door. There are two similar keys for different locks located right next to each other and after a two years, he never knew which one was which. Every night coming home, he would blindly choose one of them and try his luck. He could have easily separated them or put an identification marker on one, but he was comfortable with the idea that he would never know for sure which one to choose and that he would forever need to take a chance. Being as bitterly cold as it was tonight, he regretted slightly this silly commitment, but he figured the comfort he would feel as he entered his home would be that much more worth it.

Kicking his shoes off next to the door and sliding his jacket off and onto the back of the a chair in his kitchen, his body slowly adjusted to the change in temperature while his face emitted the slightest smirk. He proceeded to squeeze his walle…

Ink

Crossing his legs on the corner of a bench in his favorite park about a block from his apartment, he propped his notebook up against his knee and proceeded to jot down his feelings for the day. Looking up only a few times to make sense of his thoughts by gazing into mesh of colors that made up the tie-dyed horizon, he maintained a steady conversion of memories to ink until the surface of the paper reflected exactly what existed in his mind. With each new sentence, a new smirk emerged on his face as he the relationship he had with himself continued to evolve.

Meanwhile the earth continued to revolve, revealing less and less of the sunlight that allowed this boy to make the most important connections of his life. With the wind picking up slightly along with a drop in temperature as the sun left the sky, he scribbled his last words for the day. He slipped the pen in his right-hand pocket and after closing his notebook, he placed it at the very edge of bench to his left. Being in a relativ…

Birds Eye View

As discovered from Timothy "Speed" Levitch in one of my favorites films Waking Life, Thomas Mann admitted that he would rather participate in life than write 100 stories. As a writer this must have meant that while he was writing his stories, he would have preferred to be somewhere else. To me, this could have been for two possible reasons. One, a physical problem: he was in a situation where he couldn't actually participate. Maybe he was stuck in the hospital or his wife was away. Two, a mental problem: perhaps even though he said he would rather participate, his personality prevents him from doing so. Either he prefers to just watch as the world goes by from a birds eye view, or he sees things that are unfolding in front of him that he would rather now be involved in. I consider the latter to be a possibility because some folks wish that they were ignorant so that they could be happy. As the saying goes, ignorance is bliss.

In a sense, what Mann is saying is that he wou…

Holding Hands

"Have fun tonight sweetie, make some friends!", his mother said as he stepped out of the car. With a bland smirk he glanced at her and said, "I'll try, mom". He gently closed the door and made his way over the side entrance of the church. The other kids were doing the same, but they were running. When he got to the door, he looked back and waved as his mother drove away. Taking a deep breath, he opened the door and entered the last place he'd prefer to be on a beautiful Sunday evening.

Through the first door way with his hands in his pockets, he strolled over to the meeting room where everyone was. Amongst the chatter, he squeezed through the crowd and sat down on one of the benches. After about five minutes, one of the grown ups in charge walked to the center of the room and starting calling out names by age, and sorted the children into groups of ten or so with an appointed instructor. Hearing his name, he quickly popped off the bench and shuffled over to …

Walking Cliches

Have you ever imagined yourself as nothing more than a blip on a radar screen, drifting to-and-fro among millions of others? Perhaps as a flower in a field of daisies as they sway back and forth together as the wind blows, or a random color in a box of crayons? Are we content with the idea that we are just like everyone else? I'm guessing the general answer would probably be no. What it seems like is that most folks make every effort possible to be different. Makes you wonder why.

Many of us are raised with the idea that we are special and unique, and that there's one thing we can do better than anyone else. To me, this simply is not true. But I would imagine that it is this teaching that promotes growth in many people and leads them to successful careers. It urges us to find this one thing that is special about us, to find a direction, and to feel like an individual. While this may not be the only factor that contributes to how we live ours lives, it certainly has a large effe…

The Art of Fiction

Swinging his arms with the natural movement of his body; putting one foot in front of that other as if each step would add another day to his life, he continued his steady jog down the sidewalk on main street towards the bridge that leads into the city. With his eyes transfixed on the lights of the sun as they bounced off he moon and streamed their way through the earth's atmosphere to illuminate his path, he trudged on through the night's cool air.

Navigating himself across the street before the bridge and through the enclosed entrance, he continued on to the separated walk area on the left side. Having a slight incline, he strained a bit to keep up his pace, but tried his best to ignore the pain as he approached the plateau. Having no real destination, he used the moon as his compass and continued to make his way across this man-made structure with a spherical glow in his sights.

He chose the left side so that he could see the oncoming traffic. While there was a divider, it wa…

Fluid Emotion

Imagine a big bowl of liquid happiness. You can't simply use your hand and scoop it out as you please, but instead you must use two fingers and pinch together as much as you can before it evaporates. Slowly I'm coming to the realization that happiness and fulfillment are extremely temporary and fleeting. You don't simply find it; you must constantly work to hold onto it. You often see in the movies someone who becomes happy and blurts out something along the lines of, "I'm so happy, I could die right now". This might lead you to believe that once you achieve it, you won't ever lose it. This might be why I have trouble with Buddhism and the "enlightenment" process. Like most of my posts, I have done no research prior to writing them. I am under the assumption that once you become enlightened, you are indefinitely fulfilled. It all seems like a final destination, and of course I have huge issues with anything that's considered to be final.

A fr…

The Wistful Author

I'm not sure if it's just the authors I have been reading, but beneath all of the stories there seems to be an underlying tone of melancholy integrated into each sentence. I went to a museum of art yesterday with my father and stepmother and we took a small tour in which they explained how they used an x-ray to authenticate each painting. By scanning through each layer, you can see how the painting was produced, step by step. By doing this you can better imagine what the artist was thinking while they worked. The first layer of one painting contained a sketch of a woman's face, and the complete product was that of a flower garden.

If only this were possible with literature. I remember watching an interview on television of an author of a book about her family. The interviewer brought up that while reading her book, even though it wasn't written from a third person perspective, he felt as if she was doing just that. Mind you this was several years ago, so I'm not exa…

The Blogsphere

After a little early spring cleaning, I came across a comic strip my mother cut out for me a few years ago, as seen above. I was always very quiet and I used to blog often because writing was my strong form of communication. So you can see why my mother thought this comic was funny. I found a similar one on the internet, which can be seen below. I think the purpose that they were created was to poke fun at some people's need to jot down every detail of their life and post it on the internet. Especially nowadays, communication between parties such as child and parent is reduced to light chit chat, while most emotions and feelings get expressed through a vast social network known as the internet. It's no longer enough to just experience something and share it with a few close friends. By posting your thoughts on the internet, you're exposing yourself to many more people, and so you're likely to get much more feedback. And we all love feedback.

Limits of Human Kind

I was at a party a few days ago and I found myself playing the ever popular Guitar Hero with some friends. I was a bit drunk at the time so I wasn't playing as well as I could have if I were sober, but I wasn't doing too bad. On the song selection screen, I paused on one of the songs towards the bottom that sparked a memory. A few summers ago I played this game non-stop for weeks. I mastered the lower levels quite fast. As the songs got progressively harder, I spent more and more time trying to get the technique right. When I got to that one song though, I hit a brick wall. After a few hours of playing the same song over and over again and becoming increasingly frustrated, I shut the game off and went for a jog. I would come back to that one song the next day, the day after that, and so on until after about a week when I finally was able to complete it. I did a little celebration dance and then continued on to the next song. I did worse on this song than I did my first attempt…

Criminal Justice

First off I would like to thank Jennifer, the author of the blog Cozy Toes for her recommendations. The lecture by Daniel C. Dennett led me to a cute little comic strip that illustrates the issue with free will.



The Dilbert comic along with parts of the lecture left me wondering about the law and criminal justice. Being inherently passive, I've never been too concerned about the law. I figure if I'm content enough with the way things are, there's really no reason for me to get involved. I do watch the news and read up on articles from time to time, but it's just not all that interesting to me.

I've always been very humble in the fact that I could never really know anything for sure. Terms such as right, wrong, good, evil, and morality have meant nothing more to me than just words whose meanings were fabricated and linked to religions and other belief systems. So naturally I've never felt any sort of need to become involved with politics. From my point of view, ma…

Secularist Marriage

I always thought marriage was founded by religion. So I never really understood why atheists and gay couples ever felt the need to get married, except maybe for the benefits. Perhaps marriage was strongly tied to religion in the past, which might be why religious folks fought so strongly to prevent same-sex marriages, but after a quick Miriam-Webster visit, there is no mention of religion in the definition.

From a religious point of view, marriage is the symbol of god's plan to match two people up together. I would imagine that most religious folks believe in soul mates, so this ritual would serve a dual purpose. So what does marriage mean to everyone else? Maybe it was just invented by the government as incentive to the rest of us to get married, have a family, and further perpetuate the ideal American dream.

Going along with my most recent blogs, perhaps marriage is simply a communication from one person to another that states both parties are ready to stop the search for their id…

Fading Attraction

Yet another interesting conversation with my psychology major friend leaves me feeling somewhat conflicted. We were talking about past relationships and whether or not people kept in touch after a break-up. I ask her if she talks to her ex-boyfriends at all, and she says no for the most part. Being very naive on the subject, I couldn't wrap my head around why. She then tells me about a psychology study that suggests that after about three years, a certain sort of attractiveness for another fades. From what she tells me, this has been linked to why most marriages fail after an average of three years. So according to this study, even if you date someone for a few years, break up, wait three years for the feelings to go away, you are able to forget about this person altogether. Perhaps this is the reason they say, 'time heals all wounds'. Just wait three years, and just like that you rid yourself of the pain and longing for another. But is it that simple? I suppose its just t…

On Relationships

Perfection and ideals are purely conceptual by nature, so compromise is essential. This applies to many things, including a careers and relationships. Everyone carries around in their mind an idea of a perfect world. Some concept of an ideal is formed and used as a scale to measure potential real-life situations. As they go through their lives, they choose options closest to their ideal as possible, thus lessening the need for compromise. As better options become available, things are often replaced. Now, unless you believe in soul mates, this includes romantic partners. Compromise is what makes this world go around. When it is absent or has not been established, conflicts occur. Perfection does not exist, and there will always be a gap in people's ideals.

Here's a small excerpt of something I wrote a while ago after scrutinizing the film Before Sunset:

"In a sense, we all have that one person who we compare everyone else to. It may not be your ideal mate, but it is a perso…

At the Bookstore

After my third visit this week, I was finally able to finish my book. I'm surprised I wasn't kicked out. I was there for over three hours today; I actually used the bathroom twice. In my little nook, on the most uncomfortable wooden chair, I devoured one of their books, for free no doubt. I wonder if they secretly keep track of how long people stay there. Every time one of their employees walked by to straighten out the books, I wondered if they were checking on me. I never really looked up though. I'd see people pass me, but only glance at their shoes. I'd take a brief millisecond break from my book and wonder what kind of person they were.

I did look up though when I noticed they worked there. I was curious what sort people they hired. Most of them were women, a mixture of ages. I think I only saw two men there, out of about ten. After chapter 42 or so, I stood up to stretch. I glanced around the corners of the bookcase where I was sitting and noticed an employee head…

Follow Your Passion

Whenever contemplating a career path, you always get someone who tells you to follow your passion or dreams, while others will say to stick with what you're good at. What if you don't really have a passion, any special dreams, or anything you're particularly good at?

When you think of the word passion, you think of a strong feeling. When someone has a strong passion for something, they spend an abundant amount of time and thought on it. It should be abundantly obvious to a person what their passion is. I'm hesitant in admitting I have any real passion though, because nothing really sticks out. Everyone's passion levels are different, so it's safe to say that even a person with a 1/10 on the passion-o-meter, it's still a passion. I suppose the one interest that stands out from the rest would be considered the person's passion, the one thing that gives that the person the most pleasure.

This world is run by passionate people. I'd say the more passiona…

February 14th

Two and a half beers in, floating on the last hour of the day, I'm an emotional mess and I have no idea why. I don't really celebrate or even follow holidays, but naturally all the fuss leading up to today coaxed me into feeling this way. Falling asleep the previous night, I imagined my perfect day. Despite how cliche it might have been, it still felt right, and I fell asleep while clinging to the most comfortable image.

I accomplished most of what I wanted to today, but not without lasting afterthoughts. I visited my great grandmother of 86 years. I was hit with an emotional spark a few nights ago, which gave way to a feeling I hadn't experienced in a while. A split-second change of thought, and I suddenly felt the need to become closer to everyone I knew. The first face that popped into my head was that of my great grandmother's. I imagined giving her a hug and asking if she'd like to play scrabble sometime. So that's what I did today. I ended up visiting for…

The Illusion of Free Will

While struggling to fall asleep the other night, I found myself pondering the idea of free will. Like all moments, day or night, whenever I get a free moment to let my mind wander, I always begin by asking myself, "what do you believe?". This happens quite a few times during the day. I'm not sure why it's so important, but I'm constantly in a state of questioning myself. I'm at a point in my own personal philosophy in which I will refrain from calling anything a fact. I'm a human. I'm faulted. How could I possibly know anything for sure? By always using the verbs to think or believe, I'm implying a theory, to the best of my knowledge.

So I'm staring up at my bland white ceiling wondering why the hell I can't put myself to sleep, and then I start wandering, keeping myself awake for another couple of hours. I then ask myself what I believe. Reverting back to a conclusion I came to several years ago, I reiterate to myself that we're just …

A Mute Story

The other day I was watching the tail-end of a news cast and when it was over I decided to flip the channels to see if anything interesting was on. I very much despise television as a whole, but I do enjoy many shows on the travel channel such as No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain or Samantha Brown. Neither of those shows were on unfortunately, so I stopped on a decent movie I had already seen and pressed the mute button because I needed to make a phone call. After the call I had forgotten I had the t.v. on and decided to check my email. I stuck on my headphones, selected shuffle on my music player, and carried on my daily Internet habits.

After a quick stop by Lifehacker, I noticed a flash out of the corner of my eye beyond my computer screen and realized the what is was. I sat there and watched the remainder of the movie without sound. In combination with the lyrics and gentle tones of the music that was playing, I created my own set of stories by observing the ever changing faci…