Haunting

David Bowie was primarily a music icon. But my fondest memory of David Bowie was a viewing of a movie of his years ago. We were all ready to watch a terrifying horror movie, and my friend said he had the scariest possible movie for us to watch. We expected it to be something horrifying, we’d just watched a pretty disturbing clip from another movie. He put on Netflix, started playing ‘Labyrinth,’ we watched for many tense moments waiting for a jump-scare. Then the scene cut to a bunch of puppet goblins. I couldn’t stop laughing, we realized it was just a trippy movie not a horror movie. And Bowie’s crazy goblin king ‘Jareth,’ it was such a different movie I couldn’t tell how I felt about it as a standalone piece but it was more different than other movies I’d ever seen. I don’t think I’ve watched something quite so unique since.

Bowie was used to being different. I’m a part of a younger generation, so I didn’t watch his transition from obscurity. I know it only from articles, heresay, and his music. I can’t fully comprehend just how much of a shift a figure like David Bowie was to an ever-watching and critical public. He was so strange as his Ziggy Stardust persona. Yet he somehow made being his unique sort of strange the ‘in’ thing. He made it in a way that few others could ever hope to replicate.

And now that he’s passed, there’s something especially haunting about his last video. And something haunting in general about art made by people who knew they were about to pass. People caught in a current of uncertainty about the coming void and existence and who chose to sublimate that potent emotion into something that would persist after they were gone.

Bowie’s recent music video of him frail and on a hospital bed, it reminded me a lot of Johnny Cash’s cover of the Nine Inch Nails song ‘Hurt.’

Works like that stick with me, these pieces from tortured music legends who know their time has come. They’ve seen so much of life, and experienced it all. And they’re uniquely capable to capture something of the beauty in the darkness while they wallow in it.

Death is inevitable, and everybody faces it in their own way. But Bowie’s still alive in his music and his legacy. Like he lives on even after death.

Just like Lazarus.

May we all live to affirm life as they did, before that unceasing void.

Time Won’t Stop Passing

I want a fulfilling life.

In pursuit of that dream, I craft goals, I pursue them, I throw myself far away from my comfort zone. I try to overreach so I can find myself becoming more than I was prior to the pursuit. And when life happens to take you into its indifferent current, having somebody who supports you and believes in you through the dark times of self-doubt is a blessing.

And now no matter how hard I try to cope, there’s emptiness where there used to be a presence. I strive to find the meaning in it, create my own, and still too much remains unanswered for me to feel fully at peace.

Too often reality can be a cruel experience.

Days, months, years pass, and there are sharp moments where it feels like just yesterday. I look inside myself, and no text seems to fit the hurt.

I wish I could find the perfect words.

I want to live.

Movement vs. Action

My life’s gained quite a bit of overall activity as of late, and in the midst of all this activity I’m reminded of an Ernest Hemingway quote that I’ve loved for a very long time, which is that we must “Never confuse movement with action.”

Hemingway was famous for having a very active lifestyle. He traveled all over the globe. He reported on the Spanish Civil War. He went on safari in Africa. He interacted with countless lives, had countless adventures, basically any words I write can only bring forth bland images of his vibrant life well-lived. I could only dream of living quite so active a life, but I’m sure some people out there will be blessed enough to live just as fully as Hemingway did.

I’ve done my best to stay in a state of doing in my life, I just try to stay moving as much as I can. But there are moments where I feel this strong impulse to take a step back, take a deep breath, and remind myself that anything I do should be for a productive purpose. That I shouldn’t just be doing things for the sake of doing things. For the sake of established habit. I should be taking actions for the sake of improving myself as an individual, and doing what I can to improve upon those actions to optimize their benefit.

But there are sudden moments where I find myself wondering if it’s all futility. If I’m just Sisyphus pushing a rock up a hill, and that life is just a strange punishment for some original sin of existing. Some joke of a Higher Power on us all.

I’ve been in a state of constant happy movement, but I had a weird, sleepy, semi-objective look at my life today while I was waking up. A rampage of questions bombarded my groggy mind. Am I taking the steps I need to take with my life? Is this a place from which I can springboard into something more? Will things shift? I feel okay about the trajectory brought on by my life’s more recent actions, but in my more introspective moments, questions like that haunt me. I’m sure they haunt most of us, but maybe it’s just me. I hope it’s just me. I’d wish that type of sudden hesitation on no one.

I’m not advocating second-guessing every other step you take in life, nobody can live like that. He who hesitates plays a dangerous game. But I do think it’s best, in the midst of heightened movement in life, to occasionally take a step back and try to ask yourself hard questions about your actions. To see where you’re going to make sure you’re moving in a good direction.

But when you know you’re doing what you need to do in your life, and you’re taking productive actions that bring you forward, and that state of action brings you joy, there’s only one real option from that point onward.

Push harder every damn day.

Work Life Balance

I think we’re all torn on where to draw the line for ourselves between our working lives and the rest of our lives.

If you let it, some work can confine and consume you. It can suffocate your mind to a rigid mindstate where you don’t let your thoughts drift much outside of thoughts of work. It’s even worse when you don’t make as much money as you would like, or you don’t love what you do. Or you aren’t being paid to do what you love, which is writing for me. There’s a million different ways to look at it, work’s a topic we all have unique opinions on. We don’t always love our day jobs. But for those out there in the world who have found jobs they love, more power to you it’s a blessing.

I’ve found writing is phenomenal therapy. It helps you get into a different mode. Helps you get into a place where you feel a sense of freedom and greater control. If I remember correctly I think it was JK Rowling who said that it seems almost all writers write to get a greater sense of power and control over their lives, when the rest of the world tries to make them into a certain person, or force them into a mold, or just generally exert its will over them. And with that pressure comes a greater desire to write, that we may feel free.

I’m just running my mouth. Or running my mind right now, I don’t know what the parallel figure of speech would be for typing. I’m learning to find ways to enjoy what I do. Bits of it feel fulfilling. I’ll try to maintain positive momentum towards that perspective.

We are all constantly finding ourselves needing to adapt to our ever changing life circumstances. I’m just having another moment in my own life where I need to learn how to evolve.

Here’s to hoping we can all adjust our swings to the curveballs life throws.

The Count

I don’t remember precisely at what point I figured out how to count, but I do remember one very early memory from my childhood involving Sesame Street.

I was young as hell. I was sitting Indian style in front of the family television. And I remember seeing that creepy counting vampire counting things, and being happy as hell about it, laughing after every number. He helped teach me what 1 represented and what 2 represented, and I’m pretty sure lil’ toddler me was nodding my lil’ toddler head all like ‘oh I get it.’

Actually now that I’m recalling it better I’m pretty sure he was counting in Spanish. Basically I’m saying Sesame Street played a strong role in my early childhood education. A period of relative purity for me. And seeing this video and its strong contrast with the purity of my childhood with its vulgarity, it was just too much for me to bear.

I’m pretty sure I cried laughing the first time I saw it.

You may have seen this all ready, I watched this video a while ago, but I just saw an episode of Sesame Street while I was perusing the airwaves and it jogged my memory of this video and I felt like I needed to just jog the collective blogosphere’s consciousness about how funny this video was. It’s a PSA from the Count concerning his trouble with a strong impulse of his. It delves into the Count’s dark journey and battle with addiction, and he relays in song just what specifically he’s addicted to.

Laughter is the best medicine, but it doesn’t seem to cure The Count of his addiction. In my opinion this is one of the greatest implementations of unnecessary censorship for the sake of comedic value in the history of unnecessary censorship. Everything works. Every line damn, nothing even feels like a stretch. It sounds ridiculous, but each one sounds like an actual plotted joke.

The original “Song of the Count” video is great standing on its own. The way he just goes up to everything in his house, smiling at the camera and running off numbers like counting was his own personal fetish, and how he sings the song with such conviction damn, it’s just the best. He truly means it, that’s what kills me about it. It was the easiest possible thing for somebody to dub to add a new twist on it, but it took a keen eye to see an opportunity for making this so damn funny.

Damn all this thinking about Sesame Street is just reminding me how awesome Sesame Street is, and what type of impact it probably has on millions of random kids all over the planet. I’m pretty OCD about numbers now, and have been for years. I blame The Count, and to a lesser degree my paranoia. I wonder how many adults now have early memories of learning random things from Sesame Street.

I know I do.

Jackie Kennedy

Within the last year I have developed a steep fascination with Jackie Kennedy.

I’m thinking about this again today because I just saw a documentary yesterday talking about how LBJ swore into office on Air Force One and I saw that iconic image of Jackie Kennedy next to him. It jogged my memory of a strange experience I had involving her, and then reminded me that we were on the eve of the anniversary of her passing away. And the only reason I know that now is because I had a really curious experience a year ago.

I had a weird dream in which I was at a cousin’s house, and then somehow or other I fell down a flight of steps and ended up in some downstairs exhibit with a bunch of expensive art. I fell down because I’m a klutz I guess, or I don’t know I just fell. Then a few minutes passed, and then I noticed somebody else falling down the steps wearing a blue dress. Then she got up and started talking with me, and it was then I realized she was actually Jackie Kennedy. She kept saying her husband was upstairs, and we had this long conversation, and at the end of it she gave me a really nice hug and was just really kind to me. Then she told me she knew people who would be interested in me, but it didn’t really feel like she was talking about relationships.

I do tend to think that most dreams don’t mean anything, but that one felt more vivid than life to me. I truly don’t understand what is happening when we dream. For one thing, I don’t really understand what life itself is all about, and I guess none of us are really for sure what exactly is going on. But it’s experiences like that which make me believe that there is some type of spiritual world or some collective consciousness or something, whatever it is there’s something beneath the surface of existence which we aren’t meant to understand. Most people won’t believe me, that’s all right. I’m not really trying to convince anybody but it really just was a strange experience for me. Maybe somewhere in my sub-conscious a year ago I recalled that it was the anniversary of her passing. But I know for a fact I hadn’t thought about Jackie Kennedy in depth prior to that dream. Then I just woke up, read her Wikipedia page, saw that, and tripped out.

Aside from all that, Jackie Kennedy lived a very fulfilling life outside the few years that JFK was in power. She was actually a very accomplished horse rider, and won several championships as a child. She studied history, literature, art, and French in college. She worked for the Washington Times-Herald newspaper as a journalist and photographer, where she got the opportunity to interview the likes of Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon. Everybody knows about her impact during the Kennedy era, but in her later years she even worked as an editor. She was big on saving and renovating historical buildings, and led the charge in restoring Grand Central Station in New York City. It looks amazing now, damn. Basically she was a boss.

All in all few people have put their intelligence and grace to such productive use in a singular lifetime, and she’ll forever remain an icon of the best of what American culture has to offer. It would be a general plus for society if more people like her came into the world.

Commencement

There’s something bittersweet about commencement.

It’s funny how, now that I sit down to write, I don’t quite know how I feel about it all. I’m a few days removed from commencement now. And I’m realizing just how many confusing emotions graduation brings out. It’s a bittersweet event. Within the moment it didn’t feel quite so for me, but in retrospect it kind of does. Just a little.

So much pomp and circumstance and symbolism. We move the tassels I suppose to symbolize our moving from one place to another. I think. I actually don’t have any idea why we do that, but it’s got some meaning. It must. But it’s just funny how we see our classmates walk, we walk, we shake hands and get our diplomas, we all take pictures holding our diplomas, we all celebrate our getting our degrees, but it’s an empty diploma holder. We all ready have the diploma, so we only walk for the symbolism of it all and for the sake of the moment.

It goes to show you the importance of symbolism in our culture, and how much society actively celebrates academics and strives to recognize that it’s something of value and importance. I’m not really disagreeing with any of it, but there is something funny about there being no actual diploma in the ceremony.

Every graduation is a whole sea of caps and gowns, and a sea of faces as well. Hundreds of people, sometimes thousands, some of whom you’ve never even seen prior to that moment where you realize you’re all graduating from the same institution. It’s strange knowing that you have shared the independent experience of going to the same school, yet you never really feel that sense of connect with all those other people until that final moment where you realize you’re all graduating together.

Some of my classmates I’m likely to see again here and there, but the majority I’m likely to never see again. At least for a very long while, until some distant day where we might cross paths again somewhere down the line.

I had all ready graduated in December, but there was this curious finality about going to the ceremony itself. It drew a line in the sand for me, and made it more tangible that a period of time was officially done in my life. Something I was all ready good with. But it’s just a different feeling to have it ended with an elaborate celebration instead of having it ended by just not going there anymore. I was debating whether or not I should in the weeks leading up considering I didn’t feel much of an urge to celebrate, but I’m glad I walked.

It’s over, my undergrad career is a wrap. It’s been a wrap. My right contact just suddenly rolled up into my eye and burns like hellfire, so I’ll take that as a sign from God that I’m rambling too much. I’ll wrap up the post commenting on how they call it “commencement” instead of just graduation. I’m now reminded of a saying I’ve recently heard, which is something to the effect that it’s called commencement because it’s not an end, it’s a beginning. As something good is about to commence within your life.

I like that paradigm. Hopefully this is the start of something positive for all of us.

Best wishes to all the other graduates out there!

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

I want to spend this post talking about how I wish I could forget how Mayweather beat Pacquiao on Saturday.

That’s a musical montage of clips from Eternal Sunshine. Beautiful video. Somewhat unrelated to my train of thought, but this video conveys my mood after the fight. So many memories of great Pacquiao fights ;(

For those who have not yet seen this movie, watch it. It’s a master piece of a film with its own unique heart-breaking ambiance and dream like feel. It’s not for the faint of heart. I was reminded of it as I drove home for an hour after watching the fight through the types of back roads that trigger introspection and daydreaming, and I thought about how I wanted to just forget that Pacquiao lost the biggest fight of his career. Shouldn’t affect me but it does as a fan. He’s still a Hall of Famer, but his legacy will always be he was the guy who everybody thought could beat Mayweather, but who could not. More hugging and defensive fighting than I would like, but that’s Mayweather he knows how to score points win rounds and box smart. He deserved the win.

My viewing experience of Pacquiao Mayweather was negative on a few levels, but it was nice watching it with a lot of people. I tend to enter an unexpected emotional maelstrom every time I watch a live Pacquiao fight, which overall clouds my judgment. I just love that guy too much. They’re both rich though so really nobody loses besides the boxing fans for not getting as much action as would have been nice. It all really doesn’t matter in a few days. People all ready don’t care anymore since the fight was so boring. And nobody wants to talk about it, almost like nobody has an opinion about it anymore. And why does nobody have an opinion about it anymore? Is it really just because everybody was so insulted by the fight getting so hyped up and then not living up to that hype at all and being so boring? Or is it something else entirely?

My mind was in conspiracy mode on Saturday night as Pacquiao was fighting. I thought the ref Kenny Bayless was letting Mayweather hug too much, and Bayless really was especially early on that dick. And I’ve all ready accepted he lost, after watching the fight again and watching him get jabbed in the face once or twice every ten seconds, perfectly countered here and there. Mayweather doesn’t knock people out he just pisses people off because nobody can hit him clean and he throws precise counters without brawling. It makes for a dull fight. But dammit why won’t anybody talk about the fight? Nobody wants to talk about it, oh my God.

Oh my God. It’s almost like the doctor from this movie who erases memories just went by everybody’s homes in the night with his creepy assistants (basically creepy alternate universe versions of The Hulk and Frodo) and took our every recollection of the fight. Nobody remembers there was a fight anymore. Maybe that guy could get to every house in one night, maybe. If Santa can do it that guy can do it.

Maybe Santa did. Maybe that guy’s Santa. Could it be oh my God.

I’m all ready forgetting what I’m really trying to say with this post. I’m all ready forgetting, what’s happening oh my goodness.

Oh my God maybe that guy just came by and erased my memory mid-type, set me back in my chair, and made me forget what the hell I was saying. Holy shit.

=O

Versatile Blogger Award

It’s pretty cool to get these blog awards because it means that fellow bloggers enjoy the writing I’m doing. In this case I was nominated by the very talented SherinaSpeaks!

You can visit her awesome blog at https://sherinaspeaks.wordpress.com/

Thanks for the nomination Sherina!

Here are the rules for this award:

1) Thank the person who gave you this award.

2) Include a link to their blog.

3) Nominate up to 15 bloggers for the award.

4) Give 7 facts about yourself

And so the random facts begin.

1. My favorite basketball player is Derrick Rose. He and I also share the same birthday, which makes me partly believe that we are kindred spirits. I’ll pretend you’re not laughing at that last sentence while I also let you know part of me believes the mistakes I make in my life lead to disastrous effects on Derrick Rose’s basketball career, a connection I believe is both ridiculous as well as surprisingly consistent throughout my life, the details of which shall remain vague for blogging purposes, and a connection which I feel is slowly being transferred to Andrew Wiggins. And yes you guessed right my second favorite basketball player is Andrew Wiggins and my previous favorite basketball player was Steve Nash. There’s three facts you didn’t care about knowing for one fact you didn’t care about knowing BOOM take that, eat it, mmmmm, delicious. Moving on.

2. I love Smoothies. I enjoy pretty much all variations of fresh fruit smoothies. I try ridiculous fruit combinations and they always end up tasting spectacular, but mango must be in all of them, as the background taste of mango is the greatest of all background tastes. I have also found that the Amish make delicious smoothies go figure

3. My favorite boxer is Pacquiao. He’s just so awesome and lovable and I will indeed do a Pacquiao vs. Mayweather post next week before the fight because Godammit I may never get another chance to write a timely post about Pacquiao, AKA the most lovable sports athlete in history.

4. I play the piano. I started when I was young, stopped for like a long ass time, then picked it back up in college for therapeutic purposes. It sets my mind at ease during those days where I just need to zone out and not think too hard.

5. I love history. Pretty much anything from the start of civilization to now, it all excites me. I think I love history because of the way it shows what things are possible, both good and bad. Matter of fact I love all history, go back to the dawn of time till now, till future nows, man history’s the bomb YEAH FUCK YEAH *fistpump*

6. I love to read BBC World News. I almost never go to other news websites, I just feel like the Brits understand good journalism. And they have no incentive for any sort of political spin on American issues. I have a need for getting unbiased political news, especially on the national scale, and the BBC provides just that for me

7. I can’t whistle.

I next nominate http://peachesandpoppycock.com/ for the award!

Thanks so much for reading my blog guys! Stay tuned next week I’m going to be putting up a post about Pacquiao Mayweather! Feel free to like comment and subscribe!

Sinkholes

I have an irrational fear of sinkholes.

I know I know, they’re horrifying, I agree. I completely agree, imagine feeling the ground around you sink just on a regular ass day?

Like you just go into your friendly neighborhood Starbucks, realize it’s a little too pricy, then travel a couple extra blocks to get into the nearest Dunkin’ Donuts for an iced coffee. Nice, score, triumph. Delicious coffee and caffeine. Fantastic all around. You go outside, observe a few passing pedestrians, ponder life as you watch a dog piss on a fire hydrant, you smile and walk over to the crosswalk. You jaywalk across the street, smile shy to a passerby who keeps eye contact longer than expected, check your texts as you sip your coffee with your other hand, think you’re having the most regular day ever then WHAM!

You feel your leg drop into a depression, as if its been caught by a Walker from the Walking Dead. But instead of a zombie, you get caught by a sudden hole in the ground, which grows exponentially all around you as if God Himself wants to swallow you into the Earth, and you meet your demise in that dark and sudden abyss.

I’ll wait for you to stop shivering in the corner at the thought of it all. Go on, it’s okay it’s just a hypothetical story, you’re safe now shhhh shhhhhhh.

That’s basically my inner monologue every time I get thinking about sinkholes. Tell me that’s not a terrifying thought. Sure there are far more pressing concerns, but something about all of that just strikes me as deeply disturbing.

There’s limestone and sandstone and carbonate rock being built upon just about everywhere. Everywhere. Then some passing ground water comes on by, all unassuming and gentle over years and years, just a wandering stream through a thirsty world. Then after several years maybe decades have passed, that stream’s made itself a gigantic hole. So it can swallow up your gotdamn car.

The more I think about it the less irrational this fear feels to me, though one should never live in fear. Even the people in the Walking Dead go on living after everything has fallen apart around them. I don’t think it’s too far a jump to say that sinkholes are just as pressing a threat to humanity and society as we now recognize it as a zombie apocalypse.

I’m of course being ridiculous, but sinkhole awareness is something we should all have. Not that I have any idea what to do about it, just trying to inception a personal fear into all of you. I’ll leave you with an extensive sinkhole compilation I’m just now looking up on youtube, oh my God, for your viewing horror.

My God I didn’t even realize that a situation where somebody falls into a sinkhole during a regular ass day actually happened until I just saw this video literally just now while trying to find a video to end this blog post on. Oh my God. If you’re all ready afraid of sinkholes after reading this far, don’t watch that video above. I don’t want you to have nightmares like I’m about to.

*shivers and clumsily hits ‘close’ on youtube browser*