Through neglect, I've pretty much murdered my blog. My last post was... november? Ouch. But I don't feel this is MY fault--it's just the road life has taken me down lately. Put less romantically, my life has been boring as shit. Things like opinions, motivations, and emotions that were the fuel for this blog have completely run dry. I really would not be purposefully anti-social when people ask "Dan, what's up?" "how are you doing?" "what've you been up to lately?" and all i have to respond with is a shrug. The times i did get charged up, or i guess charged down, were when I'd get drunk enough and eventually get SUPER depressed-- during those moments i'd turn to a journal,scribbling quickly, angrily, and sloppily, not to a public blog. In some sense, my drinking had come full-circle. I was a madly depressed, self pitying wretch when i used to blog at Adventures In Adversity. ( the old pages from 2001-2002) I was a freshmen in college who stayed cooped up in my room, felt sorry for myself, and never drank once and didn't talk to anyone. Soon enough, obviously, i joined the human race and was pretty happy till about... recently. Why was I getting depressed?
So I've begun these sort of science experiments on myself. The first was sobriety-- I am a believer in the zen view of life, i find a lot of value in the ups and downs. I like the diversity of experiences. I think transcience is beautiful. After all, that's life, right? Why deny it? When you are feeling shitty, or things go bad, you need to just experience it, fully. If you're down in the mud, just roll in it. It's a powerful thing, and makes the highs feel better. Those good days are just...GREAT. You know? The problem was there was nothing to feel "good" about. Nothing I wanted to do, nowhere i wanted to go. So sobriety was the experiment-- just.... flatlining. And it was/is weird. I kind of enjoy the massochism of it. It's also put things into perspective. For one thing, I'm back to liking the little things. When you're living the up and down rollercoaster, you completely overlook everything in the middle. I wasn't reading anymore, I wasn't painting. Except playing D&D on sundays, which were secretly the only part of the week i looked forward to, I had basically abandoned the things which interested me. Like.. as i noticed having fun was slipping through my fingers i grabbed more and more, pushing it out faster. So, now i don't feel pressure to go out or else potentially miss out on meeting an amazing girl-- i'll stay in and read. I can sit around and focus on painting. So that's where I'm at. I'm pretty freaking anti-social, and not very happy about it. I had discovered that without beer I could give a flying fuck about meeting new people, and that's too bad. But I think I'm comin 'round. I got pretty drunk last thursday and it was super fun.
I've gotten a lot of painting done. I've read a bunch of books. I want to do more of both, and have started on polyphasic sleeping. That's probably what I'll be blogging about, but I think I'll save it for when I need something to do to keep me from falling asleep....
And let's take a few things into consideration. I've been pretty up with the polls lately, but had absolutely no belief in the numbers ~ there's a point where fear, pessimism, and emotional guarding just take over. I think the negativity of this race has taken its toll on a lot of people, and in a lot of different ways, and not one way for the better.
Now that it's over, I hope that the Americans on the red side of this election can take in John McCain's words from his concession speech, in one of the few bits of election speech he has given that I approve of, because Obama's election is a huge step in world affairs, and in a way I hadn't noticed before he actually got on stage to give his acceptance speech. It's not just a victory in blue over red (if it was going to be, I would have voted for Ralph Nader again.)
I'm fucking ecstatic about this victory,don't get me wrong, but you know what? I'm not even really thinking about health care, the ending of the war in Iraq, or the economy. People compare Obama to the Kennedy political legacy, and for a few reasons~ youth, race relations, ideas, political energy; but honestly, Kennedy was a Catholic~ that was his most major hurdle, and now we have a black man, with a Kenyan father, who went to school in Indonesia who will be sworn in come January.
I could have cared less about the election, actually, until my english friend in Japan had me read "The Audacity of Hope: thoughts on reclaiming the American dream" by Obama, and what is SO significant about this election is summed up when he said to me "You realize if Obama gets elected it will be so f***ing cool to be an American", which was a slap in the face after being afraid to announce my nationality in public for 2 years.
Do you actually know what that's like? To live over seas during the Bush presidency, and be afraid to even say you're NOT Canadian? And supposedly foreign policy was MCCAIN'S strong suit?? I see that as the president's chief duty, and I saw the tables flipped on that one. When I saw the Obama family walk out as "America's new first family" I was thinking of that, I was thinking about the people in Kenya sitting around watching the American election, the people in Japan writing and recording music videos about him, his 95% approval rating in Europe, the middle-eastern rulers who respect him and whom we need diplomacy with BADLY, the 280,000 people who came to watch an american presidential candidate in Berlin, despite our crushed international opinion and problems.
Not to mention seeing the whites and blacks literally crying over the importance of this. Jesse Jackson with tears actually streaming down his face~ To see pragmatism mixed with ideals makes me want to continue this more in the tone of a political pundit, because honestly it has been a long time since i've had faith in any american politics.
think about this, in 1908 who would have taken the odds that there would be a black president before the Chicago Cubs won the world series again?
The American ideal is that you can "pull yourself up from your bootstraps", which is generally a republican saying. We have just seen the American dream. That's cheesy, super cheesy, but especially in a growing global community it is especially true. this is a man whose father was a kenyan immigrant, grew up bi-racial, who was poor growing up raised by a single mother who died early, then a pair of white grandparents, who literally had everything stacked against him, worked hard, got into one of the best schools in the nation, became the first of his race to be the president of the harvard law and review, turned down a salary of millions to help poor people organize in a community, ran for public office and wrote books to pay off his school debt. Is that not the republican dream realized? Talk about tax policies, if you think Reagan was a communist as well, or if you think the Bush economic policies were successful, but don't slander what is possibly one of the greatest american stories in a generation.
Let's get away from my "feelings" and take a non partisan look the future, and energy. Where is the REAL discussion on energy in this election season? Oh, it's there, if you rummage to the bottom of CNNs editorials, or spend awhile googling, but why isn't being covered by the television journalists rather than gallup polls, identity politics, and gossip news? I have large interests in some of the key issues right now -- the energy issue is probably the most important crossroads our country has ever come across in an election, and where is the information? and when i say "energy issue" I don't mean "gas prices"; I think 80% of Americans think they are the same thing. I could care less about gas prices-- in fact, jack them up higher, it will only do us good. But what about that stuff gasoline is made from...oil? and what happens when it's gone? and how do we pay to drive when it's going? You can hear plenty on CNN and FOXnews about drilling ("55% of americans are now in favor, etc..." "John McCain says that we will see results in two years" "Barack Obama does NOT support offshore drilling! What do you think?") But it's not the news' job to tell us what we're thinking, the news is supposed to HELP us think. So what about the rest?? Where do we drill? How much will it produce? How fast? Are you getting these facts from oil company CEOs? What does a scientist say? What does an economist say? How much oil do we NEED to drill to lower costs? Do we have that oil? How long will it last us? What happens to us after we start drilling? But all of that is second to... why would we even WANT to drill more oil? Lets look at THOSE questions.
The fact of the matter is that the American style of living has to change, either stop using oil, or invent something else in its place. Our infrastructure doesn't fit into the space made for us by the rest of the world, you can't hammer a square block into a circular hole very far before it breaks -- it was sustainable for a short period of time, and it was nice. You could buy a big car, you could live in a suburb or, hell, even out in the rural area in a big house, and you could drive every day 30, 40 minutes to work, and your kids could all drive to school, and you could drive 10 miles to your favorite supermarket, and it could all balance out. We've taken ideas of comfort and turned them into what we think it means to be "American". Unfortunately it DOESN'T balance out -- people think that "energy issues" are about getting gas prices back down to maintain that balance again, but no matter WHAT, that model has to go. People are saying "DRILL, BABY, DRILL!", but what will that do??
I mean, we CAN drill, because here's the argument: " We should keep more of our dollars here in the U.S., lessen our foreign dependency, increase our domestic supplies, and reduce our trade deficit ", but I can't understand why this is the REPUBLICAN stance, because this is what it means -- we turn the United States into San Francisco or New York City. We all move into apartments, ride our bikes around town and take the commuter train to work. Preserve oil, reduce plastic manufacturing, recycle your garbage or carry around a refillable nalgene bottle. So, lets raise gas prices, like I said, I think every city should be built like that, because that's the REALITY of what it takes to prolong our oil use. Unfortunately, that wouldn't be what would happen, would it?
So why is it on the Republican ticket?? Because it's good for business, in the right now. Lets say you are John McCain on the Republican ticket, and you are running for the incumbent party, and George Bush has built its administration on oil policies, and oil companies are more successful at the moment than ever in history. So now you've been given 49 million dollars to your campaign by the big oil companies. I have no doubt that they plan on competing in the new energy market, whenever that appears, because they didn't get rich by being stupid. But, if they can buy policy that allows them to sell more oil, right now the most profitable substance on the earth, that's what they'll do. It has nothing to do with the fact that oil is GOING to run out, and it's getting there, and it's hurting our country to continue its use; they want you to use it because it will make them money. You want to use it because they tell you that you don't have to get rid of that Ford F150 and big white house with a picket fence. "My friends, we have to drill off shore. We have to do it. It’s out there and we can do it. And we can do that. The oil executives say within a couple of years we could be seeing results from it. So why not do it?"
via videosift.com Why not do it indeed? If we open up drilling, it will be 2030 before what it yields starts affecting price, and if oil prices are rising a dollar a gallon per year (at least) right NOW, how high do you think they'll be by 2030? I'm guessing they'll rise by a lot more than our drilling will be able to offset, especially considering that the 3 billion people in India and China are starting to drive cars now, too. And even if the drilling we open up DOUBLES our oil production, hell, TRIPLES it, QUADROUPLES IT, we'll only be producing a tiny fraction (tinier by then) of what we consume.
Not to mention, when things start getting increasingly expensive, you're not going to give up your F150 and white picket fence house, you're going to lose them.
Option number two? Alternate energy. And saying "Invest in cheap, clean nuclear energy!" doesn't count because there's a secret you're not being told... your car doesn't run on nuclear energy, it runs on gasoline.
In other words, use technology that's being developed (and could have been developed 30 years ago) to make the ammount of oil we use equal to what we can produce, rather than trying the impossible policy of trying to make the oil we produce equal to what we use. Not to mention it's possible to produce these cars and technologies to cut our consumption before the yields of drilling are ever felt. If Detroit is making the most efficient hybrids and ethanol cars in the world, and the ethanol is being produced in Wyoming, those jobs aren't going over seas. Why on earth do we want to "lessen" the ammount of oil we're importing to use in Japanese and European cars, rather than eliminating both of those outsources of wealth?
Oh, and also, there's another small problem with the McCain energy policy -- if we try to continue our use of oil, it's going to be a lot harder to drill in Alaska when it's under water.
numbingly bored today. Nothing to do at the office, I'm faintly looking forward to getting home and doing some painting, but just not feeling inspired in the least bit. Not in the mood to read. Don't feel like wasting time and watching TV, don't feel like going to a bar for a beer, not charismatic enough to call a friend. This might just still be my emotional hangover from the big week I had at squaw valley and san francisco, but I don't think that's it; this is what happens what I get sober for too long. Now I know that sounds ridiculous, but I'm serious. I get completely lazy and totally devoid of any sort of "drive" to do anything. Nothing seems to matter, and I don't feel like wasting time or energy on anything. This is how I wrote depressing blogs through my freshmen year and played insane ammounts of Diablo II while barely passing my classes, not making any friends, and not even channeling my discontent into any sort of constructive art work, while everyone around me was drinking and partying wildly. It was an awful year. If you want to know what a prohibition version of dan is like, maybe you don't remember these old blogs. I've decided to meet Adam in the break room and make myself a cocktail that I'm not really in the mood for.
I've updated my blog. See? my profile picture now reflects the filty wreck I've grown up to become, the title is no longer "hiroshima" (ah, so sad to see you go old friend!) and it's now dedicated to being my normal blog. Psh, normal? Let's hope not! The word I meant to use was regular.
I might have to retire my old blog, and just link it to here. I'm at work, doing nothing. I'm bored, and everyone's moving places and my friends are moving from japan, or back there, or whatever, and it's driving me crazy with these internal dialogues! Am I reverse-home-sick? these internal dialogues: (stream of consciousness) ~~ I've got a life, yes, what am I waiting for? Should I be waiting for something? I feel like I'm waiting, but I mean to be looking. So I'm passively looking, how is that different than waiting? But the problem is I don't know what I'm looking FOR. Do I want a new job? Yes, but, not immediately. But why not immediately? I dunno, that just seems inconvenient. But if I'm in Reno why not keep this job? If I'm wanting a new job, does that mean i want to move? I don't know if I want to move, so I want a new job, or if I just want a new job, and that means moving. Basically, I am back in Reno, and everyone is practically married and I'm bored. I liked being the different guy everywhere I went. But I have some art commissions here, I could get more? I have a studio, and an easy job, and know everyone in reno, why do I want to move? Maybe I don't and I'm just "adjusting". I should be saving money at this job though, I don't understand where all of it's going. I'm not really buying anything. Why on earth did I buy a NEW car? I feel like blaming someone for that, but how stupid would that be? It'll be smart in the long run, if I stay in the states, that is. I don't want a car, and don't want to live in a place that demands one. I want to take the subway, the train, the bike, the walk. Maybe a scooter, tops. Either way I feel like I'm wasting money, wasting time. I need to paint more, ride my bike more, eat less, or better anyways, buy cheaper beer, be more social, more confident, more personal, more relaxed. Those can be my immediate goals...
Junk like that, rubbish huh? and the worst part is that my most recent little mental trap is circular. It doesn't seem to have a root or solution, no clear circumstances that bum me out and toss me in those ruts anyways. I mean, within just the past two weeks I've been on the net searching for apartments in Boston, signed up for job-post emails from Japan, tried to apply to the JET program, told danny to find me a job in the UK, considered asking my boss to transfer me to the office in the bay area, and I almost flipped out at John's suggestion we move to fricking ANTARCTICA. But, do I even want to move?? Why am I doing this to myself?? Ugh, now i feel silly for writing such a dumb post. Maybe I just need to stop reading Kerouac. No moral lesson today, kids!
I've been sort of re-locating my life. Not that I've been too "busy" to blog, but I sort of felt that now that I live back in Reno, there is no point to my blogging. This didn't really require any rationalization for me, but as I've gotten a little depressed , I had to give this some second thoughts. So, while you might not need "updates" on my life any longer, I shouldn't bump my life into a lower tier just because it's being lived in a different continent than before. Also, that's pretty vain of me to think I was only blogging because I had a group of fans or something that wanted to know what I was doing. So, instead, I am going to blog for myself. Yes, I will renew the celebration and chronicling of my life, a testament to its worthiness of being lived.
Here's what has particularly inspired my blog, besides being bored at my cubicle; Man decapitates passenger aboard Greyhound bus in Manitoba Whoah! what's going on here? I remember, around the turn of the year, discussing that 08 was going to be a year "of big things". Important things, epic events, change. And not just Barack Obama-style change, but I feel like the stagnation of this country is catching up, and something is going to fall off. How long can the rest of the world go up in flames while we shop at Wal-Mart? How long can we be distracted by front news covers of petty crime stories and celebrity news, while our own disastrous war reports are buried on page12 next to the pet classifieds?? I dunno exactly, but I think you have a gist of what I mean. But either ways, 2008 seemed to be rolling in with powerful force, and my new years was the herald my prediction.
I'm not making a political point here, but I'm being proven correct-- once the gas prices soar and the economy shrivels, things start getting a little more acute, don't they? There are these "issues" all of a sudden. Things are evolving on a world scale, coming to a head, and we have these bizarre crimes developing in the shadows. Back to the bus decapitation story. "While we were watching the door, he calmly walks up to the front with the head in his hand and the knife and just calmly stares at us and drops the head right in front of us.[...] There was no rage in him. He wasn't swearing or cursing or anything. It was just like he was a robot[...] "
cue office e-mail conversation cameron:Sounds a hell of a lot like the work of a nightbane to me… probably one of the dudes who stole a piece of Stonehenge recently…
me:Hah!! Someone stole a piece of Stonehenge? Dude, you think we have like an epic scenario playing out here? While Obama struggles to come to power to bring justice to the world, other darker and ultimately more important wars of power are happening unknown? Do you think the dude who got decapitated was unknowingly King Arthur’s last direct descendent??
cameron:Or possibly the GRAND DAUGHTER OF CHRIST or Dracula? I dunno man, sounds a hell of a lot like a movie/graphic novel to me.
me: right, what I’m pretty sure is happening is the Omega cult is making a sudden return. Generally they take a century or two to surface; the introduction of Christianity, the barbarian sacking of rome (very successful, as the dark ages lasted hundreds of years), the Inquisition, civil war, assassinations of the 60’s/9-11. But due to the global spreading of “hope” and “unity” they are forced to re-surface faster than they’d planned on? Drastic measures~ after the invasion of iraq and the code of Hammurabi stolen, along with the piece of stone henge and the head of last of the line of Alpha - heir of Alexander/Arthur/Abe Lincoln they can finally open the portal to the end of the universe? And what about this? NASA astronaut Edgar Mitchell says alien Earth visits covered up I mean, it might not just be a year of big things, but astronomical; are we not just coming to a head, but a horizon? Are our silent interstellar watchers going to finally pass judgement on our volitile, ambitious, race?
I'm actually feeling sort of jealous for conspiracy theory nuts for once ~ at least they must be on the edge of their seats. I moved back to Reno hoping to get "involved", somehow reap full rewards of my citizenship which i felt was so dearly missed, but I'm in probably the dullest moments of my life since high-school. What can I do? i've got the ol' office job, and I'm trying like hell to make things happen, well, hitting the bar every night after work anyways hoping to make "contacts". Any ideas, anyone?
I thought I lived in the countryside, but I'm at Alex's house now (he's a JET) and he lives out in the middle of NOWHERE. Perched up on this hill, this tiny city was an hour and a half bus ride out from fukuyama. And it's still freezing here. It took me some 20 garbage bags full of stuff thrown out to move out of my apartment, i mentioned some of this earlier, but they just kept coming! I got everything mailed home, and that cost about 550 dollars. So, after all of that, I am SO GLAD to be gone. I sat around in my empty apartment for a bit, thinking if there was something I had to do, and when I couldn't think of anything I walked out, locked the door and dropped the key in the mail slot. And I guess that's it? I guess I wasn't necessarily looking for some sort of closure, but... I feel like someone's going to find some excuse to charge me money or something like that.
Now I just have my backpack, my sanshin strapped to it, and my skateboard, and I feel pretty freaking cool.
I have today and tomorrow to kill, then friday i need to be in hiroshima to meet mikey. But what am I going to do? I sort ot of want to split this tiny town and see something more... seeable, but, I don't have anything in mind. I don't have anything to write, either. Welcome to my life. (which, right now, is awesome.)