Wednesday, November 24, 2004

To sleep perchance to wake

There are countless things about the general life experience that I find inexcusably irritating. However one thing above all rears it's ugly head time and time again on, what I feel, is an unreasonably common basis.
The simple fact that as a living creature we are required to lay in a state of unconsciousness for a good period of any given day is something I have a hard time dealing with. It's something that so many people take for granted. The facts are, doctors say that to remain a healthy individual one must sleep eight out of every twenty-four hours. Now with some pathetically basic math we can conclude that that means we must lie unconscious completely unaware that time is passing us by for a third of every day of our lives in order to be able to live at all healthily. At the average life span of 72 years that translates to and even 24 years. TWENTY-FOUR YEARS! Twenty-four years of our lives on average are spent lying prone to the world in a short term coma unable to experience that life that we have been blessed with by whatever divine providence we believe in.
Now I realize mind you that to rail against something so intangible as the concept of needing rest is rather a waste of breathe in a lot of ways. But damn it we have so many doctors practicing so many different methods of attempting to increase our lifespans that I don't see why no-one has attempted to devise a method for allowing us consciousness for the fullness of our years without the obvious detraction that sleep-dep can cause.
Why is that so much to ask.
Yeah, so that's what I think

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The great game

It seems strange that life can be nothing more than a series of events written as definitive wrinkles on the surface of your brain. And at the same time unfold into the miasma of a treacherous and impenetrable fog. How we see the everyday. The waking, breathing, seeing, thinking, day to day existence of all humanity, can be at one time so simple and laid out before us, and then again so complex as to be unfathomable to even the greatest minds.

I see my life so far as a passage through a many gated labyrinth, wherein lies the lessons one must learn in order to survive in todays society. Never give away too much to too many. Never hold everything to yourself. Never let fear bar your path to happiness, but never let bravado carry you away to an uncertain fate. All these things are simple on the surface. And yet so infinitely complex when you attempt to implement them into decisions.

The other difficulty lies in that you never know when a decision or lack of one is going to actually make or break you. It's like playing poker when you don't know how many chips you have let alone how many you're betting on each hand. You can have the best hand in play and hold out till the end, and circumstances can make you fold. Or you can have the worst hand, and something chooses to have you bet it all. Call it fate, serendipity, god, nature, what have you. You are NEVER in complete control. You can only choose when to take more cards or not, when to fold early, and when to move on to a different table. You can bluff, but that's a great way to flip on the great switch called Kharma. To bluff in this game means to not be true to yourself, and to take everyone elses playing for granted. There is no winning in bluffing, because something won through a ploy will always turn around and get you kicked from the next hand, which may well be THE hand. You can stop playing. But to stop playing means to hand in all your chips and never play again. Because contrary to some belief systems, this is the only game you'll ever know.

The largest lesson in life that I've become aware of is that no matter what happens, no matter what actions you take or how you react to any situation, it all lies on your shoulders. You can cop out and say that others are cheating, you can call a crooked dealer, but ultimately what you end up with is your lot and that's all there is to it. No amount of lament or complaint is going to change the cards you're holding. The only thing to do is stick around to see the next hand. And yes it very well may be just as bad as all the others, but if you don't see it, you'd never know. And that's always the worst. To know that SOMETHING may have come from playing and that NOTHING can ever come from NOT playing.

So I guess the point of all this is that I'm not ready to cash in yet. I'm not ready to let the cards lie and not buy into see them. I'm going to keep playing until it's someone ELSE'S turn to call a crooked dealer. Because there is never NOT a loser. No matter what game you play, in order to win you have to beat someone or something else. So I guess the real question is, who am I playing against right now, and what do I have to lose.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

thanks...i guess

Well, we're approaching that time of the year where everyone decides it's time to try to remember that we should appreciate our friends, family and be thankful for what we have.
*(and at the same time expect large donations of material objects)*

I've never had a whole lot of interface with the "holiday season." I was raised as a Jehova's Witness, and even though I rejected the faith at a young age I never had much motivation to invest myself in, what they refer to "worldly," holiday goings on. While in a long term relationship with someone that had grown up with the traditions of thanksgiving and christmas I was somewhat beholden to adopt them into my life, but once again I am free to depart from the pop culture celebration of bastardized pagan rituals.

But I must admit that the one thing I approve of about the whole season is the idea that we should stop and remember to appreciate what we have and what we've learned.

So I'm going to be a rebel and start early, I'm going to try to recognize what I have to be thankful for.

Let's see...

I must admit to having made friends with some pretty cool people lately, and at the same time having held onto some pretty cool friends that i've had for years. The people in your life are an important thing to learn to not take for granted, and are one of the hardest things to ever give enough credit for.

I think that I should really be grateful for having a good, reasonable, tolerant, easy-going, and mature roommate. Mark is a good guy, and I appreciate him as a roommate quite a bit, *(and not just because I can use his laptop while my puter is down for the count)*.

I'm thankful to the existence of music that I can enjoy...heh...
I'm listening right now to Incubus, while they're not my favorite band exactly, I like quite a bit of the songs they have made and that counts for quite a bit. But in general, listening to music and just having the ability to hear music that I like definitely improves my mindset and life in general...

I'm not exactly sure if I can be thankful for it seems to be an unsure thing at best, I've had multiple knee injuries in the last twelve months, I'm still getting over a pretty vicious cold, and I have a pulled muscle in my right shoulder...yeah I think I'll skip health for right now...though I would appreciate it if I had it...

I'm most certainly grateful for the fact that I have a job and a place to live and food to eat, in as much as, not to long ago, that was in some serious doubt. I managed to pull out a homerun in the bottom of the ninth in order to take home a tie....because I don't think I can say that I've come up ahead...I've just managed to not quite lose everything.

But, that's something in and of itself. Survival is not something to take for granted either, it is actually one of the things that I like about myself. No matter how far I fall, or how hard I land, I'll always at least get back on my feet. I might find myself standing in a knee deep pile of shit, but at least I'm not lying in it.

So I guess that's what I'm thankful for at this point, that and myself naturally, there are a lot of things about who I am that I like, and they almost equal those that I don't....but that's the way of things right? People are always their worst critics...

Well, that's all for now, oh how quickly we lose inspiration....:P

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Blissful agony

Time off from work is definitely a thing that can go both ways. You either enjoy the respite from the daily grind of doing seemingly pointless tasks at the behest of your appointed superior, or you greatly regret the span of time that this allows you to stop and think about what you're actually doing with yourself...

While working *(i.e. during a standard work week)* you don't really have the wherewithal to contemplate your station or position, you react to necessary changes, pattern yourself to consequence and move on from one uncomfortable and laborious task to the next. Sleep when you need to, eat when you can, and generally exist as a proxy to your inner self.

While in a state of limbo between work weeks, otherwise known as the weekend, you have the blessed opportunity to suffer from your own minute by minute decision making. Every moment is something of your own devising, something that you've invented either to enrich, entertain, or relax yourself. You can let others make choices for you in how you spend your time, but largely this is a dissapointing and ultimately unfullfulling activity. So there you are, caught in a moment, faced with the challenge of creating a diversion for yourself so as to not dwell on exactly how mundane everyday life, and the pursuance thereof, is. And it seems so easy at these junctures to reflect on the simplicity and straightforewardness of the work week. How painfully easy it is to slip once more into the monotonous, mindless, droning sense of being a cog in a wheel forever turning to the crank of industry, being worn down little by little in each revolution. And how your sense of self seems to drain into the basin of community conciousness that is a significant part of most work enviornments. And how it actually feels GOOD...

to be nothing more than another cog, no more or less important than the next.
But sad at the same time, because in this world, cogs are as interchangeable as firing pins in the same model handgun...and when you've turned your last turn, and your no good for any more'll be replaced without much more than a minor hiccough in the grand scheme of things.

So it does feel good to be an individual and make your own decisions and be your own person, because at least no-one can replace you. But it's so much more damned work...

Oh well, I guess that's the price of free will, the eternal nagging question, "What if I had watched a movie with them instead of trying to read this stupid book...?"

Saturday, November 13, 2004

laughed till I stopped

Another beautiful day in the neighborhood. The one thing that I can count on getting up every day, is that at some point during the day, doesn't matter when or where, I will regret not having a camera on me at all times...*(need to work on that)*

Well, it hasn't been storming here to much, been mild weather aside from a few downpours of sudden rain that disappears as quickly as it starts. That's bound to end soon. The tourists that are here at this time of year are either big execs in board meetings, or the really die hard outdoors enthusiasts that think tents are for pussies, makes for an interesting mix.

As for me, another day another 86,400 seconds of my life accounted for and tallied up to experience. Went down to Bakersfield over my weekend. The ride down was like a bad acid trip, in a 65 ford mustang that has no defrost let alone heater at 3am with a guy I barely know driving. A friend of a friend that happens to be obsessed with going as fast as possible around blind corners on icy roads in a car that is screaming for an alignment with offsized wheels.
Not to mention the fact that I was operating on about 3 hours of sleep from the previous night and had been up since 6am the previous morning. Not a pretty picture, terrified for most of the trip as I slipped in and out of conciousness, seeing things in the road coming to that I could have sworn were huge backhoes and various types of large tractor, and that just happened to be a combination of poor light, bad angle, and a lot of sleep dep causing me to halucinate. Scrunched into the back seat of a car that you could DRIVE from the back seat perfectly fine if the front were removed, with my 290 lb bodybuilder roomate, trying to use a little dog stuffed animal as an impromptu pillow, one leg tucked under me on the seat the other one sharing the space between the two front seats with my roomates, trying to snuggle with the steel interior of the front door panel while speeding around corners with cliffs on one side and granite walls on the other does not make for restful sleep.

Then comes the leg which *(naturally)* you're desparate to readjust but also unwilling to jostle the driver too much as he's already committing crimes against physics. Nothing good comes of this I can tell you...


I survived, and actually had some fun in Bakersfield as much as that might surprise some of you.
Went out to eat at an actual restaurant for the first time in months, got some more winter gear, bought some basic cooking stuff and food... and the drive back wasn't nearly as harrowing...probably because I managed to sleep through a lot more of it...good times!...;)

So, another day shall dawn, another sight shall pass me by, cameraless, and I will work and sleep and maybe eat.

life is peachy