lost earrings

27 07 2009

Today I went with Will to play some pick-up soccer in the city.  And today, for the third time in my adult life, I have lost one of my earrings while playing soccer.  I don’t know what it is about soccer that causes my earrings to abscond; I wondered first if they think to themselves that the grass looks like a nicer place to be than through my skin.  The point is that I’ve never lost an earring except for when playing soccer.  Not tennis, not mountain biking, not fight club. Not sleeping or cooking or driving.  Never.

Believe it or not, the most interesting thing about this situation isn’t the fact that I only lose earrings playing soccer.  More interesting by far are instances not occurring today at all.  They’re from the PAST.  My first example is as follows:  before I went to play soccer and lose an earring today, I found myself spontaneously shopping for earrings in Target and at the piercing pagoda in the mall a few days ago.  I haven’t had a desire to switch up my earrings at all.  I actually even asked myself, during said shopping expedition, why I was even looking for earrings in the first place.  I had no reason, but I looked on as though I did.

Then, two nights ago, I awoke around 4 in the morning from a dream in which I was looking for my earrings in my bags and in the bathroom.  I was pretty frustrated and started flinging my belongings out of my bag in search.  I remember thinking that it was going to be annoying to try to find a replacement set that I liked as much as I liked my current earrings, which I’ve probably had for about 4 years and for 2 ears.  Hmm…  funny.  Because “years” and “ears” rhyme, and because I’d already established the use of ordinals in describing the “years” and was able to easily assign another ordinal to the other, coincidentally rhyming objects in the pair.

I’m sure you’re interested to know what I make of this set of occurences.  Certainly you’re wondering if I, with my ever-stranger guestimates about the nature of time, am going to chalk this up to a freeing up of the fabric of time for a couple of instants, allowing me a hidden foreknowledge which I unwittingly use to react to events to come.  Or maybe you’re thinking that I’m guessing this is proof of the laterality of time, when there is no “now” or “later,” but there is only THIS and it’s all happening all at once and that’s how it’s so easy to know “now” what’ll happen “later.”

To end the suspense, I’ll admit that I’m leaning a little more towards B.  My earring hypothesis is as follows:  the loss of my earring happened, and as it’s the kind of thing that my mind would like to take care of as soon as possible (I’ll definitely go out looking for some new ones tomorrow, though I still haven’t taken care of my car’s sticking EGR valve because it’s not nearly as important), I began to anticipate this event of urgency with a pre-urgency that did it justice:  two clearly meaningful and unusual precursing events, one a dream and the other an unconscious intuition of a need to search for new earrings.

Because in the end, what’s intuition but excuse to buy things?  No wait!  What I mean to say is that intuition may be the human being’s compass, always pointing the listener towards the anticipated outcome in the grand scheme.  We…  we’re totally pawns and stuff.

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elf and old times

20 07 2009

whether it is coincidence that tonight is my first night alone in three weeks and that i suddenly feel like writing, i do not know.  what i do know is that i had a full day of doing things by myself and that, by the end of that day, i felt i had news enough to share and enthusiasm enough to bear the telling.  huzzah!

news, you ask.  good question.  i mean it.  well put.  to answer your monosyllabic query with an equally brief response, yep.  now that that’s out of the way, i want to take a moment to talk about a moment.  i’m not one for living in the past.  i’m not satisfied to recollect past triumphs over a beer or two and talk about the good old days and call it a life.  occasionally, though, i will take a little dip in my oceans of memory and have a sincere smile, for reals.  i’m convinced that nobody else will find my evening as affirming as do i, but it’s for that very reason that it’s just as well that you’re not a clone of me.

to wit:  tonight, alone in mike and kelli joyner’s house in campbell, california, i had microwaved popcorn and beer for dinner and watched elf, starring will ferrell and zooey deschanel.  what a stupid evening, you may say.  well you, my friend, have a very tiny mind, and it’s locked in a world boxed in by brangelina’s adoptions and the jonas brothers.  of course it is a stupid evening.  but the fact that i’m so very pleased by it makes it a terrific evening indeed.  i’ll even tell you why.

much of my life has been spent on activities coldly calculated to yield an objectively reasonable return.  that’s fine, but i think sometimes that i was denied a spontanaeity gene or two, as i usually have ongoing projects that on which i fall back when my time is unaccounted.  i learn to play songs that i keep in a queue, or finish a book i started too long ago.  i generally try to spend free time constructively for some reason—even with others.

but a handful of christmases ago, when i was back in goldsboro with little to do but visit with people from high school who didn’t greatly annoy me, i ended up at a dude named amol’s house.  if you haven’t met him, it’s a-MOL, not a-mall.  i may have just saved your life.  anywho, at some point, we decided to go to the cinema and see the then-new will ferrell movie, elf, at the now-defunct goldsboro moviehouse, the litchfield.  i was reasonably happy with this decision.  and then i was confused when amol pulled his car into the winn-dixie, the grocery store near the litchfield, instead of the theater parking lot.

“mole man, what’s up?” i innocently inquired.  my insubordinate enquiry was met with a stern glare of the eyes and a lightning-quick smack to the jowls.  no wait, he just replied “beer, man.”  and i, confused, questioned him further.  “are we going to drink a bunch of beer before we go in?”  “no,” he replied as he pulled a six-pack of high life off the refrigerated shelf, “we’re gonna sneak it in and drink it during the movie.”

whoa!  this kind of movie-watching experience had never occurred to me!  and it scared me!  what if we got caught?  won’t other people smell the beer?  won’t the bottles clink in our pockets?  i actually asked these questions, because i was not well-versed in playing it cool back then.  amol dismissed my concerns and even offered to smuggle in more than his fair share of three if it would make me more comfortable.  i don’t remember if i took him up on it, which probably means that i did, and we snuck that sixer of high life into the movie, and we drank those beers during the showing.  and it was a great night in my life, even if i didn’t remember it as such until recently.

because it’s not a feat or accomplishment that makes life worth living.  it’s not how big your house is or to what school you went.  it’s not how many chicks you’ve bagged and if you got video of it.  no!  it’s about the dumb stuff you did just because.  it’s about weighing the pros and the cons and realizing that what you do doesn’t have many of either and going forth anyway.  because what matters at all, in the end, besides doing stuff that makes you smile?

and so i’m going to remember this night of remembering elf watching with amol while dining on beer and popcorn as a really good night for as long as i can, and, to rip off kurt vonnegut, if that isn’t nice, what is?

also, i have reaffirmed my little crush on zooey deschanel.  even as a blonde, i like her.

and in the end, i think it bears repeating, nothing matters in the end except what you’ve done that’s made you smile.  oh—others too.





a year out of work

17 07 2009

Fact:  it is now precisely one year since my final working day in North Carolina.  And here I am.  I think I’ve learned some things.  I’ve definitely come up with some new ideas.  I’m still myself at the core.  I have no idea what else to say at this point (it’s not a coincidence that I’ve not been posting of late), but I thought I should commemorate the passing of the year with a post of some kind.

How about:  I no longer believe in man’s reason?  Or:  I think enlightenment may be an aberration of the workings of the universe?  I’ve thought these things recently, and I probably believe them, but I don’t feel much of a need to explain or defend them.  I don’t know why.  That’s most unlike me—you probably know that I will flog a dead horse with the sharpest tongue I can conjure ad infinitum.  I generally don’t believe anything until I’ve said it twenty different ways and I can believe that I’ve made it make sense to someone besides myself.  But now, and maybe it’s just this week or so, I couldn’t care less if my thoughts escape my mind; or if they make sense; or if they’re real or not.

I have one admission to make, in the interest of maintaining my written integrity.  I don’t actually think enlightenment is an aberration of the natural world.  It’s a path.  Everything’s a path.  Maybe I liken it to becoming a referee instead of playing the only game set before you.  I don’t believe in the greatest good or anything, but I think that the basic mechanism asks us to live out our lives emotionally, teaching ourselves to abide by ever-higher ideals, and leaving the earth an improved, shinier soul.  Just another path, anyway.

I apologize for not feeling optimistic and cheerful today.  I don’t know what it is.  I’m pretty sure it’s a petty set of problems, as I know I’m annoyed with my car being broken into, two BS parking tickets, and my computer dying (oh—another reason I’ve not been writing much lately).  I’ve barely been bothered by any of these events, but maybe they’re piling up on me a little, even though I know better.  Justice isn’t in the days, you know.  It exists as much as does reason, I think.

In any event, I’m a year out and things have changed and things have stayed the same.  And I found a sealed first pressing of Depeche Mode’s Violator today for twelve dollars, so maybe I should just buck up anyway.  Of course, I’m gonna open it up and listen to it.  A “collector” I am not.





ripped off in the incredible city of san francisco

8 07 2009

i wish i had something of interest to report.  i do.  but things are boring.  well, my car was broken into in san francisco.  and my computer, my little 15-inch powerbook buddy, seems to have given up on life, probably taking with him all of my photos from this journey, a handful of written work, and a tiny piece of my heart.  but maybe the story is in the fact that this isn’t a story.

i’m just saying, i remember having my car broken into about 8 years ago.  stolen stereo and sub, jacked up ignition, etc.  ironically, this was also during a period of living out of the car, but don’t take this to mean that i do this often.  coincidence.  anyway, i was inconsolable.  i threw things.  i kicked things.  for weeks afterwards, i cursed the name of someone whose name i did not know.  i considered it further evidence that i was an unlucky person, one who was always being crushed under the weight of a capricious world evil.  i was always waiting to get a break, and never surprised that the break didn’t come my way.

when i tell people i was never exactly sure why i wanted to take time away from working and living in a single place, and that i’m not sure what i’ve learned as a result, and that i’m not sure when or why it will one day end, i am telling the truth.  but then, i do get to recognize that in moments like these, when a couple of nasty things happen to me in a single day—things that are quite inconvenient, situation considered, that have cost me valuables and security and will cost me more of my ever-dwindling savings—when i would have typically reacted poorly, angrily, and sourly in the past, i now feel in no way affected.  or at least feel affected very little.  after surveying my car, i realized that i was walking back to will and jessica’s place with a little grin on my face, even.  it was nice to recognize that i knew an event was just an event, a thing just a thing, and that nothing fundamental, nothing important, had changed.  it’s a good feeling.  i’m not saying i would like for more of my more essential tools to be stolen or destroyed to prove that i don’t have to give a shit.  but if it is all taken away from me, i don’t think i’ll regard it as such a disaster, which is kind of a relief.

to belabor the point, i remember a couple of years ago, my bike was stolen from work.  i didn’t get angry, which was an improvement, but i was definitely upset about it for a few days.  i felt a little sorry for myself.  it’s true.  i moped.  i didn’t feel at all touched by any manner of sadness or self-pity today, though.

i know it’s not purely this trip, this time alternating visiting great friends and spending time alone in incredible locations, that is hammering out this sense of importance into something i quite like, but i can certainly say that it’s part of it.  so maybe it’s not the simplest thing to put into words for people who wonder what i’m getting out of this trip, this time, these things i’m almost randomly doing.  i can’t do a cost-benefit analysis with this tripe, that’s for sure.  but, i like it as it is.  i like it fine.

tangentially related, as much as i seem to forget about it when i leave, i continue to feel extremely right in the san francisco area.  the people here are my people.  smart, interesting, amusing, curious, generous, thoughtful.  should i live here?  this is what i wonder to myself as i publish before putting away my friend’s shiny, newer mac that works just fine, unlike some macs i know.