Thursday, December 15, 2011

December 15th, 2011


I'm not dead. Just lazy. Made a drink with Root and cream soda to take the edge off of a long day at work and man...did it do the trick. in the future I should have more free time so I can write a bit more in here. All that's really important, all that any of you need to really know about that life is good and grand. Friends and family will be back in town and my girlfriend will be over in 20 minutes then we are off to dinner. Have a magical night, I know I will. more thing. I bought an DSLR camera the other day. It is rad. I celebrated by going to Disneyland. Really. Pics to come. G'night!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

October 20, 2011

Sitting here in the jury assembly room hating everything. The Maricopa superior court deemed me a fitting candidate to potentially serve on a grand jury. Apparently there are 3 trials scheduled for today and there might be close to 150 people in the room so I think the odds of not being picked are pretty good. I hear if I am picked then I could potentially be on a jury for something like 2-3 months. While the idea of not going to healthcare for a few days each week for 2-3 months does sound appealing, I'd rather not have to as this place makes the DMV look awesome. They just called the first group of jurors, apparently we are being called in groups of 10. Most the jurors seemed like pretty normal people, but there was certainly a standout.

Meet Dixie Love. She appears to be a middle-aged southern lady with a meth problem. Patchy skin, missing tooth and horrible BO somewhat confirms this theory. She was sitting across from me. When your name is called you are supposed to respond "here" and retrieve a juror badge. She responded "present". Anyone remember the kid in school who would spend present instead of here or who would emphasize the A's in data? That was Dixie Love, except with a southern, toothless draw.

Good news! They have switched the TV next to me to Roseanne instead of the news because let's face it: Gadhafi's death and subsequent fall of his regime pales in comparison to the trials of tribulations facing the Connors. I hope DJ doesn't act up or Darlene just casually rebels while wearing flannel. Why is it that the people that should be selected for juries are never selected but the people who look like they spent last night licking the street outside of bars do? If I am ever in a courtroom setting and my fate is left up to people like this then I am convinced that the terrorists have won. Why try to destroy our culture through physical violence when our own cultural decay will rot us like the morbidly obese nation we have become? I realize I sound dreadfully cynical but it is hard not to be when you are placed in a situation like this. I was reassured by a judge that this was going to be a fulfilling and rewarding civic duty. Frankly, I am happy to just not be eligible for service for two more years. I figured I would sit next to the other girl that has an iPad that way we can be judged as the elite together.

Speaking of, I rode my bike past the laughable occupy Phoenix protest. I think there were seven people who refused to be moved. The dedication and commitment to this noble cause is truly an inspiration our founding fathers would be proud of, sigh. People come into my bar each weekend and talk to me about how great the event is and show me their signs against the 1%. Then they excuse themselves from the conversation to answer an important call on their iPhone. The hypocrisy of these individuals is abhorrent. I like the protests in theory, but when they are treated as a social event then the power of the protest diminishes. People in Phoenix are missing the point, as usual. It's hard to be optimistic about change and progress when you are surrounding by these individuals. If I lived in a different political climate my tone might be more positive.

In other news we fired our most experienced bartender at work so now the buck falls to me. This means I will be working more than I already am and while the prospect of more money is certainly appealing I am valuing my time much more than my coffers at this point. I've worked hard enough to have a very comfortable and relaxing holiday season and I want to enjoy it. I am fearful I will have spent my late 20's working and my personal relationships suffering as a result. I know my girlfriend is probably annoyed she sees me as little as she does even though she won't say it. I don't deserve her patience and sincerity.

I'm going to happy hour with the ex. We've been friendly as of late and it's good to have her as a friend again. I can bounce ideas and have conversations with her that I cannot with anyone else. Being with my current company makes me especially cognizant of that. I always say I will write more and then I always never do, so I will make no such promise this time around except to say that I am aware of my lack of effort that can only be attributed to laziness. I can do better I just need more time than I have.

Monday, June 27, 2011

the Value of Nothing

It's Monday and I am at home. I have wanted to put something in here for awhile but I didn't have anything to really write about. Well maybe I did, but I could not justify the importance of actually penning it so I simply didn't. Then, as I was at work, I was reading an article about the tiny island nation of Nauru. Basically this tiny island in the South Pacific used to be incredibly wealthy. The result of ample natural resources (primarily Phosphate) and a relatively low population. Many resources + small population = $$$

That's not the end of the story though. Apparently their resources all but dried up and the island was ruined. Now it faces calamity on all fronts. No money, no food, poor investments, global warming and a decimated ecosystem. Foreshadowing for the US eventually? Maybe. Is that the point of this entry? No.

I like to read the comments to every story I read because it gives me insight into the type of people that read articles like that. I read through about 30 comments or so when I get to one where somebody says, "This story goes to prove that even though this story is about nothing in particular, it is about everything." Now obviously the story was clearly about something. He must have missed the part about the island's fall from grace; a Utopian society on it's knees. I'm guessing his reading comprehension skills are quite low: Standardized testing should confirm this. His thoughtless comment got me thinking though and ultimately inspired this entry. Sometimes it's okay to write about nothing. Sometimes nothing is one of the most important subjects we can write about because life is not a movie.

The majority of our days are unremarkable, unless you are my friend Alecia, who travels the globe in search of adventure, but even then I am sure there are days where nothing happens. The fact remains that nothing happening to us during our day may just be the most common thing everyone in this world shares. We all know the feeling of time passing without us noticing. The expression, "I can't believe it is_____ already!" comes to mind. Its okay when nothing happens, sometimes we should be thankful that nothing happens because not everything that happens is good and not everything good that happens actually is.

This is contradicted by one of my favorite films, Adaptation. Easily Nicolas Cage's best role, aside from maybe Con Air. I won't recite the plot to you, but there is a period where Charlie Kaufman, played by Nic Cage, takes a film writing class. In that class he speaks out about how there is nothing to his screen play, that writing about flowers is boring and he cannot bring it to life. Essentially, nothing happens. The teacher of the film class derides him for thinking nothing happens in life and posits that something is always happening in life. The complex drama that goes on each day in each life is unending and limitless. And he's right too.

When nothing is going on then everything is going on. I retreat to my thoughts in my mind and start to try and rationalize things that have happened to me; I try to justify my reactions and feelings. I am blissfully unaware of everything around me. I have no idea what has happened to people around me during the day. The kind smiles, the nods of familiar faces as I pass them through the halls, the people with their eyes towards the ground, the people talking to themselves, all of them have something to say but we never really ask. We've all been trained to auto-respond with simple phrases and planned conversations. Seldom do we allow ourselves to interact with others when there is nothing going on.

Sometimes I see people sitting by themselves, heads down with eyes on their cell phones, texting or watching something with their ear buds blocking them off from the rest of the world. I see them sitting there scratching at their microwaved lunches and sometimes I wonder how they are feeling. Part of me wants to ask, to go up and ask what's on their mind. Why are they just sitting there closed off from everyone? Instead of letting something happen I am comfortable with nothing. I don't approach that person because I feel we don't have anything in common, but I don't really know that. I know that they are different than me and in my vane sense of the world I regard them as not worth talking to despite what I am thinking. I grab my brown bag from the refrigerator, fill up my water and head back to my desk and continue with nothing. Then I read an article about a small island where there is nothing and it inspires me to write about nothing. There are plenty of things I could write about, but I choose this. The world moves too fast because we are all busy doing nothing.

When we interact with those around us, when we bother to get to know someone, that's when life happens and the cycle of nothing slows down. We find ourselves laughing and loving, and sometimes it is okay to laugh and love about nothing because sometimes nothing really is everything. Nothing is only nothing when we choose it to be. Nothing is everything when we want it to be.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Today I am at peace. I've come to terms with some things in my life and I guess it makes me a smarter, wiser person. Somethings will change whether I drive the change or not and just taking the time to enjoy the ride is important. When I become consumed with a future that doesn't yet exist it serves only to spoil the present.

I struggle with this concept daily. Today I made peace with myself that while there are plenty of things I want to be doing, I need to recognize what I am doing. Work is taking off for me and I am actually getting onto the career path I want to be on. This should result in me getting much more satisfaction out of my day job. With the new job came a nice little raise, so my reliance upon the bar will slowly start to wane. I am starting a new bar this weekend and I am excited about learning new and complex drinks and being challenged.

I've been hitting the gym on a semi-regular basis the past few weeks and it has done wonders to my mood and self-esteem. I am making myself a promise that once I am back in shape and back to where I was lifting before that I am going to join a crossfit gym and make it fit into my schedule. Half the reason I moved to where I am is because there is a crossfit gym within walking distance. I could start right now if I wanted to, but I don't want to embarrass myself just yet. I will probably still embarrass myself, but if possible, I want to limit that embarrassment.

I've also been coordinating my company's participation in the special olympics. This is the first real project that I am truly managing and getting it from start to finish on my own at my pace. I am actually incredibly happy that this will be the project that I complete as I leave my department. I participated in the special olympics last year, rather unwillingly, and ended up having one of the most amazing times of my life. I am so excited to be more involved in the program this year and to be working with some of the most sincere and dedicated people I have had the privilege to work with. I'll write more on that as the olympics as they get closer.

The other major thing that happened was that I repaired a severely damaged relationship with Krysten, my ex. I didn't want to write about her and after this I won't, but to be fair it is more about me than her. I told her that we could catch up and check in with one another since we had dated for as long as we did and I was fairly nervous about the entire thing. Our relationship ended rather poorly and with a lot left unresolved so I wasn't exactly eager to see her. I had no idea how I would feel, if I would feel anything for her, how I now viewed her: There were just so many unknowns.

We met at a bar we used to go to and at first things were awkward, but once we got to talking I realized that I was completely over her as I sat talking to her. We talked as friends, not as jilted lovers and it felt really good. One of the things I always loved about her was her personality, it was what I fell for in the first place. Knowing that I could now appreciate her as a friend and not a potential relationship was a major stepping stone for me and my psyche. I left feeling happy for her, but more importantly, happy for myself. It proved to me that in the year and half since we broke up I have still been growing. And I couldn't be more happy about the possibilities that come with that feeling.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

So I decided that I needed to go to an ATM. Carrying $400 in cash is dumb, especially when riding the light rail. My trip to the ATM!

City Symbol of Phoenix
View from my garage
Just down the street on the corner
Sidewalks in downtown
Old downtown High School, now college campus
Statue Garden
Some of my favorite buildings
Why I like these buildings
Other views
Found the ATM

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I Did Not Save Any World

It’s good to have a night at home. I was going to go to the gym, and I was going to run errands, and I was going to go out, but instead I opted to stay home and watch a movie all by my lonesome. I had heard some good things about Scott Pilgrim Versus the World so my decision was easy as it was the first thing that came to mind anyway.

The movie was, indeed, good. It was good for a couple of different reasons, each one striking a different chord in me.

1. The movie took place in an alternate videogame/reality world. What I mean to say is that the common events of the videogame world collided with real life and all the characters accepted this as fact to their reality. I grew up as an avid gamer so it was fun for me to hear the old video game themes and see the old power ups.

2. The movie focused on the effects of a past relationship and the impact it can have on a future relationship. A lot of movies attempt to do this, but they never really succeed without seeming trite. This movie did a brilliant job by just being real about the awkwardness of the entire thing and showing that love does not need a grand gesture or overdone romance to regain one’s footing.

3. In true ancient Greek fashion the hero, Scott Pilgrim, must perform a catharsis before he can overcome his enemy…himself. It’s interesting to see ancient Greek themes woven into current stories.

4. One message in the movie is that everyone has a past and that while you can never forget your past you can move on. It’s something I have been wrestling with for some time now. I’ve accepted my past and I have learned from it and now I am ready to move on with my life. For whatever wrongs I’ve done I know I have atoned for them and that justice has been served.

The movie was better than I was expecting it to be and it’s because I never know what to expect from Michael Cera. He always plays the same character which is the weak and timid guy that is too afraid to do anything for his own benefit and constantly puts his feelings aside for what he perceives as the greater good. I can empathize with his characters because unless I am drunk that is exactly what runs through my mind. I watched a about a fraction of Youth in Revolt, so after watching Scott Pilgrim Versus the World I really want to go back and finish it.

I don’t think I will have the time for that until next week perhaps. Given my constant juggling of two jobs and saving what little time I have in between for a social life I do not typically have nights like this. As a result my writing and my motivation to write has greatly suffered. This week I have to close the bar Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Friday night I am going out with some co-workers to Scottsdale to do my annual dress up like the tool I was in college and pretend to enjoy Scottsdale Socialite Company for the evening trip. I actually really like the people that are going out but I loathe the environment; I got enough of it in college. Saturday morning (at 8-fucking-AM!) I have a work meeting at my bar which means forced cleaning while simultaneously being hung-the-fuck-over, drunk and tired. Then that same afternoon I have a five hour tattoo session followed by me closing at work that night. I realize after writing this that I will most likely not want to do anything Sunday, so maybe I will finish the movie then.

Found some new tunes this week that I am really really enjoying during the day at my office. Some of the albums that are in my current rotation:

1. Cut/Copy – Zonoscope

2. Cold War Kids – Mine is Yours

3. The Civil Wars – Barton Hollow

4. The Decemberists – The King Is Dead

5. Discovery – LP

6. Mumford and Sons – Sigh No More

7. Neon Indian – Mind Ctrl: Psychic Chasms

8. Snake! Snake! Snakes!! – Self Title

9. The Love Language – Libraries

10. Gospel Claws – C-L-a-W-S

An entry with two lists! Never thought I’d see the day.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Penis Pipe

I’ve been lazy. Not about writing, about life. I have not penned anything because there really hasn’t been too much to write about. Life keeps on turning pages on more quickly than I care to read and I opt for the cliff notes. I’d be concerned but honestly my days have, lately, not been noteworthy. In fact, all the progress I have made in my adult life has taken a backseat to my most recent antics.

Part of me wanted to be more responsible this year than I was last year but judging by the opening month of 2011 that has been a complete and utter failure. Not only have a managed to drink gallons of alcohol more than I typically do, I have been rather promiscuous as well. I made a resolution to floss more and use more condoms. My teeth are very clean. Last week was my first time going back to the old STD doc in a long while:

Me: Hello old friend, we meet again.

STD Doc: I am going to put a pipe cleaner up your dick and derive satisfaction from this.

Me: This is a poor way to deal with your jealousy but I understand I have no choice in this matter.

STD Doc: You are correct, you do not. (Inserts pipe cleaner)

Me: Unintelligible noise accompanied by a strained face.

STD Doc: Looks like today is your lucky day. Do you want an HIV test?

Me: Fuck off.

This isn’t how the actual interaction took place, but you get the idea. STD tests, actual now called STI tests, are never fun and always embarrassing. The questions are always funny though and in hindsight it is fairly easy to laugh. Anyways, the doctor gave me a clean bill of health a week later so that was awesome news. Getting the test actually inspired me to get up off my ass and start doing things I had been shelving for some time. My house really needed a detailed cleaning: Cleaned. I really needed to get back into the gym on a regular basis and eat better: Gymin’ it and acquired healthy foods. Need to start stacking cash to prepare for events later in the year: Bank account is quite healthy.

It feels good to be accomplishing the small goals that I put forth. It was pretty easy to do with a rather light schedule at the bar this past week, so this week should really challenge me to stick with it since I have to work every night up until Super Sunday. Good for my bank account, bad for my social life and extra-curriculars. This is probably a good thing though because lately I have felt sort of lost. Despite the positive outcomes of my decisions I am looking for something more than just good fortune.

I am pushing myself to stay focused till August when I finally plan on moving. Not just to the city but to another state. I’ve gone over my next move for a couple of years now and the move that truly makes the most sense is going to Chicago. Gone are the reasons of the past where I wanted to pursue comedy. I want to move to Chicago to be around the people I miss, the people I found I had a lot in common with during college. I am not worried about leaving other friends behind because the ones I still talk to I know distance is not a factor. I just increasingly feel like I just don’t belong in Phoenix. I love Phoenix for what it is, but I have never been comfortable with the idea of calling it my home. Who knows, I may change my mind about Chicago but come August I will be somewhere else, but always in your heart.

In other Chuck news: I’m flirting with growing my hair out. I hope I look really good but probably just look like a goofy loser and stop mid-way through the awkward middle stage of hair growth. That’s as real as I can get I think. My heart hurts. Goodnight.