Monday, May 19, 2008

it's always faster going back

Went hiking up north over the weekend. It was, as usual, a great experience with lots of good pictures.

When I hike alone, I tend to phase out. Thoughts envelop me as my feet find the way themselves. Sometimes I reach an almost meditative state, unaware of my the panoramic surroundings that I traveled hours to find. I'll stumble on a rock and snap out of my trance, blinking and trying to judge how far I've walked since my last conscious moment.

However, the experience always turns out enjoyable and very spiritually fulfilling. While I'm sure my appreciation for my surroundings wains in this state, it does allow me to cover good distances. This time I hiked about 12 miles or so to the spring of a creek and beyond. When my breathing hinted at fatigue and my toes burned from stubbing every rock in the path, I decided to head back--the only way back was to retrace my steps. Going home, my feet find easier footings--no doubt eager to remove boots and rest--and the down-hill trail pulls me along. The way back is always faster, not in time or distance, but in perception.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

a stone through from satire

Sustainability: the buzzword of my generation. Seriously, it's everywhere and on the lips of every politician, architect, and even ex-girlfriends. It all has me wondering: what if the future never happens.

For us, that is. What if we're all wiped from the earth in one of the cataclysmic events of science fiction or the day of judgment predicted by various religion. Isn't the world scheduled to end in 2012 anyway?

Wouldn't we look stupid.

So much talk about reversing the effects of our wasteful society when we should have been living it up! Cut down as many trees as your chainsaws can handle, dump whatever chemicals you deem worthy of the local river, burn as much gasoline as you can. Just go nuts! That's what we should have been doing. But, instead, we're whining about the polar bears. Who cares about the polar bears! The world is going to end in a few years anyway!

Can you imagine how much stuff we could do, not worrying about the consequences? Why save for retirement? Go out and spend all that 401K money on a new high-definition television and surround sound. You can watch all those nature shows and feel like you're actually there. Hell, actually go there. Spend that money for a private jet and personal guide to go on a 4 year globe-trotting adventure. Get that money out of the bank and put it into your life!

As for the nation, you had better vote in the coming election because it will be the last. This is it people, the last president of the United States. After we're all gone, whatever alien race or evolved species to find our remains will blame him or her for our destruction. We better make it count. Don't worry about economics; that's future talk. The stock market means nothing in the face of four years of liquidated funds. "Spend, don't save," ads will proclaim to the masses. "They'll be no tomorrow!"

We could declare global peace, but why ruin a good thing right? After all, we've only got a few years to go, might as well grab all the oil we can to make the most of our motor driven years.

Students should quit school. Why prepare yourself with an education that won't come to any use? And why puzzle out the mysteries of life when you won't have time to appreciate the answer? Be free writhing throngs of academia! Break your bonds of self-betterment and join the world of the moment!

Of course, if the world doesn't end, that would cause problems.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Clouds graced the valley for the first time in a while today, satisfying my need for climatic variety.

I've been feeling a bit down--summer dull drums. However, this morning I woke to overcast skies and gusting winds, providing a welcome respite from the summer heat. I biked all over my neighborhood, spending as much time outside as I could to soak up the beautiful weather. Glorious.

The picture is actually from the afternoon, after most of the clouds have pasted through. The sun burned through them by noon.
Weather effects my mental attitude in ways I don't normally realize. Tourists take the Valley's 300+ days of sunshine for granted; while locals commonly curse the heat and repetitive climate. Here, we love the rain, the wind, the clouds.

Someday, I hope to move where it rains more often. People say I'll tire of it easily, but somehow, I'm sure it wont loose it's novelty. The romanticized notion of spending a rainy morning in a coffee shop (not Starbucks, I hate Starbucks) and watching the rain fall over my morning paper and the rising steam of my heavily steeped, caffeinated drink consumes my aesthetic sensibilities.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Apathy while Reading

The book I'm currently reading bores me. I just found out.

But do I put down the book and start another? No. It's a curious phenomenon that I've witnessed myself performing in the past. I will have no interest in a book I'm--presumably--reading for pleasure, yet I'll continue to read it regardless. Sometimes it takes me about a hundred pages to realize I don't really care about what I'm reading.

So I keep reading. All the while thinking about other things, only going through the motions.

I think it has something to do with optimism on my part. The book will get better. The cover looked so interesting. The author is so well-known. All these factors feed my drudgery as I search in vain for a reason to continue reading. I loose interest, loose the story, loose all understanding.

There's pride on the line too. I want to be able to tell people, "Yeah I read that." Honestly, I'm a bit pretentious that way. I fancy myself one of the literary elite, knowledgeable in the world of novels, essays, and literature. In reality, I only seem knowledgeable when compared to the products of a generation lost to television.

You know, the word "literature" always dumbfounded me. Throughout my education, I've signed up for English classes because I enjoyed reading and discussing the books other's termed literature. To me, they were just great books. How does something become "literature" and who decides? If it were up to me, of course, literary conceptions would change a bit--induction of graphic novels, science fiction, and good magazines for starters.

Regardless, I seem to be needlessly trapped in a book no one ever told me to read. No doubt, I'll finish it but not for pleasure, for completion. Something will not let me stop--like a drug addict without the high or the Pink Floyd video. I must finish the action I started (I swear I'm not OCD).