Monday, March 14, 2011

Beginning semi-introspective

Instead of spending time writing I've been doing my best to finish a couple of books over the last week or so. I enjoy reading immensely so I find it to be kind of a bummer when I don't find time to read. When I had a flat bike tire it was easy to find time because most mornings I'd take the bus down to work so I'd have time to read on the bus and more time to read before my shift started, but I'd lose time in the evenings because instead of only needing fifteen minutes to get home on the saddle I was at the mercy of the thumb gods. It's not easy hitchhiking after dark, especially with my goofy mustache, but more often than not something worked out before I got too far north. This, however, lead to two situations where I was without food to eat for a couple of days at a time because, by ten o'clock, I wasn't asking to get dropped off at the supermarket when I'd need to find another lift home from there. A pain in my ass, if you ask me, but no one asked me so I just made it work.

Anywhoo I've been able to read two books that I got myself for Christmastime. Just today I finished up Jon Krakauer's Where Men Win Glory, more or less a biography of Pat Tillman, a former NFL player who enlisted in the Army after 9/11 and was killed by friendly fire while on patrol in Afganistan. It was a pretty good read, well-researched and well-written. And, ironically, prior to this I took a leisurely stroll through Acid Dreams - The Complete Social History of LSD: The CIA, The Sixties, and Beyond. This contained sort of a who's who of big name people from the fifties, sixties, and seventies and their experiences turning on. Beat writers, artists, politicians, millionaires, scientists, musicians, all were dabbling in psychedelics, many of which were developed and tested by the CIA and other government organizations in an effort to develop a truth serum to be used during the Cold War. Interesting read, all the same, sprinkled with excellent quotes from many different characters. Caused me to add a few titles to my “To Read” list and also brought my attention to some music I hadn't listened to in a little bit. The 13th Floor Elevators always put a smile on my face.

Instead of reading and writing, though, most evenings have been spent with leafy greens and the television on, which makes me feel even more lazy than usual. As I indicated a few days ago, Stop Making Sense has been on more or less repeat recently at 25 Heather Lane, Apt #115. And, really, I can think of few better ways to spend an evening than pressing play, getting in a Talking Heads trance for about 90 minutes and then coming to “Once in a Lifetime” and literally wondering “Well, how did [we] get here?” I don't have time to delve into great detail about my Stop Making Sense experiences, but, I'm a fan, and I find it remarkable how each song on the DVD is at once similar and entirely different from each of the other songs. I appreciate the band, the DVD, and their commitment to creativity more with each viewing. It continues, and probably will always, boggle my mind in one way or another.

Another evening last week found me reuniting with The Big Lebowski. This was glorious. Sometime during my shuffle of things in July (I think.It might have been memory isn't that good..) my copy of Lebowski disappeared and it's yet to surface. I'm not sure if I left it somewhere at home, if I loaned it to someone (I don't think this is the case. I'd like to think I'd be better at keeping tabs on one of the THREE dvd's I have, well, had out here. Now I'm down to just Wayne's World and Stop Making Sense. That's really all I need, I guess. Also, I found it funny but when I was typing dvd's I missed the 's' key and hit the 'a' key. I don't care who you are: that's funny.) or it just got left behind one of the places I stayed in between. So it had been a good few months since The Dude and I had a chance to kick back together and it was especially nice to have that time to reconnect. So, yes, “The Dude time” is more important than “The 'Pad time.” My apologies to those affected.

This all leads me to ponder whether six weeks is an incredibly long amount of time or an incredibly short amount of time. I've got about six more weeks here and this is causing me to go in many directions about where I'm at in life. I think I'm taking my job too seriously, which is kind of silly considering I wipe down dirty tables for a living. And, for whatever reason, I'm choosing to leave this pretty good job, in a pretty nice climate, with pretty good weather, and pretty good scenery, and pretty pretty girls to...move back in with my parents, unemployed? What the fuck is wrong with me? I don't know. I'm finding myself bored out here, and I'm quite certain that working in a restaurant, especially a restaurant six thousand or so miles from my hometown, is not something I'm be interested in doing for even a minor portion of my future. But, holy shit, it's going to be tricky to extricate myself from this place.

I'm at a point now, where, more or less, I know I want to get busy living very soon, I'm just not quite certain I know what I want to do to get busy living. Living out here for well over a year has kind of put me into a holding pattern: I know I'd like to take another step in life, I'm just not sure in what direction I should be stepping. Compiling this angst is the very place I'm heading back to is where I felt stalled out and trapped before I...moved out here. I've resigned myself to the fact I may go home and be somewhat miserable and I'm okay with this, just the simple act of moving home for a summer to pursue activities I've been wanting to do for a little while now while I was working makes me wonder if, while not working, I'll actually feel in a position to spend money to goof off when I've become kind of terrible at spending money.

How, for example, am I going to be able to go on hikes and travel places unless I buy a car? Guess I have to buy a car. F. My problem with savings is, well, I see it as savings. Not spendings. So, once money enters my savings account it has a tendency to stay there. I'm pretty sure I'd surprise quite a few people with the total, considering the goof-off things I've done for the past couple of years, but am I saving to the point where it is negatively impacting my everyday life? I don't know...or should I, instead of using a savings account, be looking to deposit some funds in a tax shelthered IRA or some other kind of retirement account? I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO SOMEONE WHO'S A FINANCIAL PLANNER PLEASE TELL ME WHAT TO DO ASAP.

Savings is good, I suppose, but shit, I've saved this money so I can take time off and have fun, didn't I?! Or do I just save it to save it? The world may never know...until I get home and I get started.

I'd really like to buy a road bike this summer but I'm already hesitant to because Ma-dukes is no longer working for Leon Leonwood's sporting goods and outdoor gear company. I'm not sure if I'll be able to pony up full price for something like that. I'd love a kayak, too. And I'm not sure yet but I might be in the market for a new hike stove and I'm considering trading in my tent for a slightly larger model. But, F, full price for all of this hoopla? And maybe new boots, too?! And then I'd need racks for the kayak and potentially the bike, too. This is a sticky situation. Hell, maybe I should just try to get a job there working a couple of days a week for a couple of months. That's actually not a terrible idea, come to think of it.............


Returning to car talk for a minute, right now I'm torn between getting an old Volvo 240 wagon when I get home or getting a little bit newer, little bit nicer pickup truck, for the purpose of capping the bed and having it act, more or less, like a wagon. I could sleep in the back of either, not that I'm planning anything like that......

But what are some thoughts on this? I've already done the Volvo thing once to mixed reviews from myself. While I had it the Blue Bird was a dream to drive and cost very little to keep on the road, but at the same time she started to fall apart not long after we became partners. So, the whole age-factor could unnerve me a little bit, and I'm not sure how many Volvo wagons were made with manual transmissions. The last thing I want in a new-to-me car is an automatic. That's just amateur hour. But, see? More questions that I'm asking myself. And I won't be doing anything with these thoughts for close to two months? Why the shit am I fixated on them now? Maybe I'm a worrier. Fretting over things gives me something to do to pass the time and this fretting allows me to actually feel like life is somewhat difficult, when most things out here are skewed more towards the easy living, joke kind of lifestyle. In a sense, the easy living lifestyle I enjoy so much out here is motivating me to search for a career more up my alley, as I know I can easily not think, blink, and have been out here for another few years and wonder, “Well, how did I get here?” And, no, Ma, while I find Pat Tillman inspiring for the choices he made, a four or five year commitment is something that doesn't really do it for me.

All this is probably just fluff to cover the fact that by this time next year I'll be a farmer on a quiet spread, tending to my crops like they did in the old days. Or, maybe not.


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