Thursday, April 29, 2004

I have always admired people with passions, definite passions that they live and breath. I have known people who are soccer-obsessed and they have posters and gear and friends who play. They spend all their free time practicing, playing or watching others play. They know about the famous players, the best soccer equipment and who won the World Cup. I know people who have passions for music, rock climbing, medieval literature, Myst, yoga, cooking, jewelry making, biking, traveling, redecorating, and writing, and they know their craft inside and out and wallow in every new development in the area. It is what they do when they have nothing else to do and what they think about doing when they are doing something else. I would like to know what it is like to be intensely focused and informed on one singular activity or subject. I feel like a dabbler of sorts who lives vicariously through other people's passions and sifts off the surface layer of knowledge but doesn't delve into deeper tissues or really get involved. I would say my passions are acting (which I am currently running away from), backpacking, yoga, traveling, language, cooking, music, writing, poetry, dancing, bicycling, rock climbing, beading, sewing, building, art galleries, junk stores, stars/astrology, drendrology, people watching, holistic living, animals, and reading. In fact, I think this list could just go on and on, because these are things I like to do, am interested in or would like to know more about. I didn't have a specific goal for this post but I have just arrived at an interesting conclusion; my passion is for learning and experiencing as much as possible. I don't want to focus on one solitary activity, I want to do something new everyday, feel something uncomfortable, learn from other's passionate exuberance. I have a passion for experiencing other people's passions.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

This song, this song explains it all...

The Ballad of John and Yoko
John Lennon

Standing on the dock at Southampton
Trying to get to Holland or France
The man in the Mac
Said, "You've gotta go back"
You know, they didn't even give us a chance

Christ, you know it ain't easy
You know how hard it can be
The way things are going
They're gonna crucify me

Finally made the plane into Paris
Honeymooning down by the Seine
Peter Brown called to say
"You can make it okay
"You can get married in Gibraltar, near Spain"

Christ, you know it ain't easy
You know how hard it can be
The way things are going
They're gonna crucify me

Drove from Paris to the Amsterdam Hilton
Talking in our beds for a week
The newspeople said
"Say, what're you doing in bed?"
I said, "we're only trying to get us some peace"

Christ, you know it ain't easy
You know how hard it can be
The way things are going
They're gonna crucify me

Made a lightning trip to Vienna
Eating chocolate cakes in a bag
The newspapers said
"She's gone to his head
"They look just like two gurus in drag"

Christ, you know it ain't easy
You know how hard it can be
The way things are going
They're gonna crucify me

Caught the early plane back to London
Fifty acrons tied in a sack
The men from the press
Said, "we wish you success
"It's good to have the both of you back"

Christ, you know it ain't easy
You know how hard it can be
The way things are going
They're gonna crucify me
The way things are going
They're gonna crucify me
The way things are going
They're gonna crucify me
Life is one constant fluctuation. Last Monday, I was nervous and worried about getting a summer job. I had called the Washington Conservation Corps only to discover that all the crews had been hired and had been working for the past two weeks, at least. My only hope along this avenue was a single opening with the Rainier crew. In my mind, this was my last possibility; my Student Conservation Association application had only been sent to Death Valley and while the prospect of learning about desert life is appealing, my heart really wasn't 't in that job. So I spent the morning trying to figure out how to get housing or work out a commute to Mount Rainier so I could be on a trail crew.

Things took a turn at the end of the day and I learned that my application had indeed been sent to two places in the Skykomish Ranger District. I breathed a bit easier that evening.

Unfortunately, work at the Mad Market got worse. I received an ultimatum from the Front End Coordinator. Since I began working there, my till has been over the 2.99 limit five times. According to Mondia, a Front End Manager, me, should be able to maintain an accurate till. She gave me seven days to prove that I could keep my till in line. I spent the entire day on pins and needles. A group of middle schoolers came through my line at lunch time and they all paid with moist, crinkly, folded bills. I about died. Do these kids want me to get demoted? I survived day one and two but on the third day, I ended up 20 dollars over. Now, I don't know if I will actually be demoted because there are many pressing items that demand Mondia's attention and the pay cut may not kick into effect until I actually quite at the Mad Market anyway, so I'm not too broken up. I guess as you read in my previous post, it's the principle of the thing and management informed me of my final three transgressions all at once so I didn't even realize I was off track.
But again, this even was tempered with the awesome interview I had at the REI job fair. I was even invited back for a second interview with the front end supervisor.
I received an email telling me that my acting class was canceled. Apparently, not enough people signed up for the class and it had to be canceled. Now I signed up for soccer, yoga and acting and finally dropped the yoga class because I thought two classes would suffice. I also had my choice of five or six acting classes. I guess I just chose to drop the wrong class and take the wrong acting class.

I was hired by the Skykomish Ranger District to work on their trail and wilderness patrol crew over the summer. I am really excited and I went to REI and bought a pair of boots which I shouldn't have and will now have to return.

I was able to register for another acting class on Wednesday nights, which theoretically, I already have off. I had to do some juggling for this Wednesday but the acting is back in business.

Sometimes I get frustrated with the flux of my life and long for the steady even routine of Missoula. But I am realizing more and more that I enjoy the downs. I just need to look at them as challenges, life experiences, that make my life richer and make the wonderful things that happen in my life all the more sweet. I would not be nearly as thankful for my Skykomish job if I hadn't been convinced that my only option was spending the entire summer indoors at Death Valley. I hope that I can continue to look at these disappointments as more of a learning opportunity because that is really, in essence, what they are. I am living life, and life's not easy.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

The day started out with so much potential. Saralita and I both got second interviews at the REI job fair, I bought a pair of heavy duty hiking boots and basked in the afternoon sun on our adorable porch. But things never stay fair for long in this world.
I fucked up. That's right, strong language and everything. I had seven days to prove that I could keep my till at work within $2.99 of what the computer says I should have or I would be demoted from Front End Manager back to cashier. Today, on my third day, after two days of success, I screwed up the entire thing and was $20.00 fucking dollars over. I have the word zero written on my thumb with permanent marker. Every time someone hands me a stinking, wrinkly, wet bill from their pocket or purse or bra or whatever I cringe and take extra care to handle the thing with precision. But no, I can't even give people their fucking change back. Why do we let people get cash back with debits. You know that's what it was. I hate my job and being a Front End Manager and I don't want to work there anymore. I don't care that I am going to be demoted and I don't care that I'll take a huge pay cut and even get suspended for a day. I hate the principle of the thing. I still fuck up even though I take the greatest care and precautions not to. If I can see a way to improve, I'll step up to the plate and improve, but I've done everything right. Even my manager didn't have any advise for me. Fucking $ 20.00 over. They should be happy that I'm evening out all the fuckers who consistently are $2.00 under.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

One word
Frees us of all the weight and pain of life:
That word is love.
Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus

Friday, April 23, 2004

There are two elementary things that are nearly impossible to do without your left thumb. The first is buttoning up your pants. Now, if I had cut 2/9 of an inch off of my right thumb, I might not dread dropping my pants nearly as much. However, as it stands now, every time I have to button my pants, I have to push and pull with my other fingers to get the button out or into the loop. I'm sure you can imagine the close calls I've had because nobody has to pee worse then when they are in the bathroom trying to get their pants undone. The second is tying shoe laces in bows. For some reason, I tie my shoes in such a manner that it is crucial that my left thumb creates the loop of the tie and then pulls out of the loop smoothly. However, I have been bandaging my thumb whenever I do anything active and it just follows that if shoes are going to be tied on, that I am doing something active and therefore, have bandaged my thumb. The bandaid gets caught on the shoe lace and my hand gets stuck in a knot tied to my feet and now I'm walking around trying to find the nearest bathroom so I can somehow get my pants unbuttoned and pee! I guess, I'll just have to boycott pants and tie my shoes in knots.
What elementary things do you have problems executing or could imagine being difficult if a body part was damaged or missing?

Monday, April 19, 2004

[a ponderable from Chris]

I do believe that I have zero readers, which is fine. My ramblings don't need to be discovered yet. And...I'm not sure I want to be asked anything. Anything. That's a big step, and yes, I'm living on my own, and working and even been to a year of college, but anything?

I want everyone who reads this to ask me 3 questions, no more no less. Ask me anything you want. Then I want you to go to your journal, copy and paste this allowing your friends (including myself) to ask you anything. Anything.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Life seems to be so solitary, but I have chosen it to be that way. Despite the fact that I live in the heart of Seattle, the hub of the Northwest, surrounded by thousands of people, a few of which, no doubt, like to do the same things I do, like reading, writing, hiking and laying on their backs looking at the sky, ceiling or stars, I find myself alone. I feel ambivalent about this juxtaposition because I like to be alone, listening to music, really hearing the poetry in the lyrics, composing prose in my head, reciting things I've memorized and thinking and ruminating over past events and future ones as well. On the other hand, I want to share experiences with friends, making them more potent and plump. Sharing with someone allows you to experience double time, in that you are able to absorb your reactions along with your friends, and later revisit the occasion and relive it in yet another manner and dimension. I am happy that I am content when I am alone, but I have not overcome my loneliness.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Without Your Eyes

Through your eyes, the drab leaves
of November burst with vibrant green potential
to become causeways for chlorophyll in the Spring.
Simple songs, short syllables and azure, cloud-spotted
skies reveal profound, complex meaning and telos.

Through your eyes, your blue eyes, the fall
of rain, planets dancing between twinkling
stars, hushed giggles in the twilight and the
homeless who beg for one more piece of grimy
change are more than observable occasions.

Through you eyes, they are feelings that I can
prod, poke and comprehend like knowing that this
has happened before, feeling a small ant on my
scalp and watching fuzzy black leech into color
when I stand up too quickly.

Without your eyes, I am obtuse, self-absorbed
and loud. But through your eyes, I am grounded,
hurt, happy, hollow, content, sensitive and in love.
Mysteries don’t need solutions and I understand
lyrics, space, why I cry, time, this poem and God.

Through your wonder-widened eyes that droop in
weariness and crinkle with laughter, I see the apple’s
core, the animal’s skeleton and why there is truth,
sensitivity, compassion and exhaustion. Your eyes see
beauty in monsters, meaning in Haikus and green in brown leaves.
"First you jump off the cliff and then build wings on the way down." -Ray Bradbury

I can think of so many opportunities that I have passed up because the cliff was too steep, the landing below too hard, or the fall too breathtaking, too risky, too hazardous. I remember jumping off the high dive into Grizzly pool after swimming lessons. Sometimes my neck hurt, sometimes I worried I had really hurt myself. They eventually took away the high dive. I never found out why but I can hypothesis that there had been too many casualties and it was too dangerous for its own good. Fortunately, the jump off the cliff of opportunities is not as mortally dangerous as high dives and though the landing may be rough, the water hard as rocks, and the downward plunge breathtaking and heart stopping, taking a risk, taking the step into unknown air will ultimately be an elevation to higher plateaus. Right now my cliff is a soccer league I joined at the University of Washington, finding and establishing friendships with people (other than my lovely/ perfect/ awesome housemates), spending my Fall and Winter in a meaningful and life-changing way and realizing that things will never be comfortable. I guess, you can't think about the results of your actions too hard or you will always take the safer route. Jumping into things unprepared forces you to improvise, be creative and rise to the occasion. God, I hope I can still walk after soccer practice tomorrow!

Monday, April 12, 2004

This BLOG, this foreign word/concept, is like a message in a bottle. I am scratching a note onto a piece of cloth with a talc-like stone or charred stick. I am trying to communicate my thoughts and feelings verbally across an incalculable space and time to a person unimaginable. I don't know what distant shore my bottle will land on, nor do I know who will brush off the sand and salt, uncork it and read the dusty trash my fingers and mind created. Where did I get the bottle in the first place? And, assuming I landed on this solitary island with only a bottle and cloth and charred stick, did I drink the contents of the bottle before or after I washed ashore? Is it possible that I am stranded on an island because I drank the liquid from the bottle or did I drink because I was stranded? This bottle doesn't have a label or identifying mark. It is only an orifice of cold green and wooden cork without any fluid or bile and it is mine to fill with messages, stories, thoughts, feelings and poems. I am sending a message in a bottle to distant shores and I hope the ether carries it to alien shores far away. Perhaps my bottle can't rescue me from my isolated island but with it, I can communicate and share and preserve myself in a verbal, if not physical, form.