Monday, December 6, 2010

The best things in life are free. a statement so old that most can bring it up in conversation without hesitation. but it is not alone in this world of well known statements. in everyday life, we hear many people make a statement so profound or so real that we can't help but instantly fall in love with it. maybe it is un-original to look to the ideas of other people in order to say what we have to say, but as many great minds have come to the realization on, there are only so many ways in which something may be said. I view the quotes of great minds, or at least the minds under the influences of great times or great things, can give more meaning to a life than the thoughts of thousands of days. As one of my favorite professors once said, if others have already well stated the facts, make things simple on yourself and simply quote them.
Though we might not always admit it, most of us cannot find our own sense of eloquence in a given situation. we instead fall upon the word of others to fulfill our needs in the situation. we might not always know the authors of the words we use, but we still use them as if they were our right. Maybe it is our right to use those word we ourselves could never fully bring ourselves to place both time and effort in creating them. and yet still these quotes are the key function to our own stories. If you think about it, you yourself have probably referenced quotes of the many great leaders and authors of our history in order to more accurately say who you yourself are.
For my own part, I would have to say from the outright that the quotes of great minds are by far more profound than my own. I think that those who I choose to take lessons from are those who I listen too without and arranged signal or expectation. what other great mind have once agreed upon are great things for me to reference my life around. being human is a strong thing, but being a truly unique human is almost impossible. I feel stronger with the traditional words of the many cultures of the past, than I do with the thoughts of the present or the future. But still the words of men and women I have never met, can have as much bearing on my own life as several days worth of thought.
The words of Shakespeare, Tolkin, Frost, and even Disney, have made my life more interesting than those who have decided more laws and policies than I have. Anything that i hear has the ability to make my life better, but if I myself must first choose to make myself better with the many parts of my own life. I like finding the quotes of great thinkers and writers and applying them to my own life, not only because of some self-centred need to once again rise above the people who refuse to accept the insight of other people. When the words of others present themselves to us, does it not make more sense to head the lessons, and thoughts of tha many people you have heard from than what you yourself are able to think of?

Unreasonably optomistic: politics at its finest.

Recently I bore witness to the ever disturbing world of the political system. In the process of watching Joe Miller, Lisa Murkowski, and Scott McAdam's, squabble ceaselessly over the senate seat for the state of Alaska, I have come to relieve that I truly hate politics. The whole of the system reminds me of the rather pathetic life of a high-scholar.
Each of the candidates made it seem like they were the exact center of the universe, and each of them also stressed the belief that they had to have their own way. I found myself wondering if it would not be better of a service to the state to simply vote for the idiotic adolescent down the street who once lit the cat on fire, simply because he shared the same points of view as the rest of the candidates. In the end I came to the realization that our politicians on the whole really are teenagers.
When I almost constantly find myself thinking that I'm smarter than these politicians not only because of the decisions that they make, but also because most of them haven't figured out how not to get caught in the act of scandal usually involving drugs, sex, or money, the three things on the minds of every teenager in America.
So I find myself wondering again which one of these over-aged teenagers I will side with.
And yet when choosing which of these many child at intent individuals I would side with made me question if I myself would be a better choice for the position. could I do the job, probably, but I would never want to. the system is designed to make sure that any individual can keep it moving, and a that every individual is equally represented. the irony of this statement is that I never particularly felt represented in these debates. there is no requirement for me to have faith in the people I elect, and in truth I rarely do. on the whole these individuals and myself have few if any thing in common.
that being said however, I can at least see fit to find the humor in these situations. the hypocrisy of these situations as one candidate condemns another for a specific action while they themselves are in the midst of preforming it. they will claim one side of an issue, while they openly receive funding from the other side, or they will stage the most amazing photo ops, that will never be true. In the end our political systems find us all feeling somewhat unsure, something that was made for the sole purpose of leadership now has us keeping doubts about its effectiveness. the humor and the irony of this situation is what holds my attention, not the candidates themselves.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

F@#& me moments

there are moments in life that no matter how clean cut and proper you are, the thought F@#& ME! will always creep into the human mind. I don't mean a moment that you really hate what is going on with life, you realize that you have to run back to the office, or that your car now has a flat, or even that you just stubbed you toe one the single hardest surface in you house. no, these do not qualify as F@#& ME! moments.
A F@#& ME! moment is a moment in which everything has gone so far past the point of recover ability. things have gotten so bad that nothing in this world will ever be the same if things keep going the way they are. these are moments that you realize that your life is about to change in a manner that no one and nothing is ever going to help you recover this moment. in my life there have been only four true F@#& ME! moments.
The first of these moments was when traveling around Berners Bay just north of Juneau standing in the bow of an air boat. we first hit a sharp turn, and then went straight towards a very steep back on the side of the river. the F@#& me moment in this case came when the boat ran headlong into, and furthermore up the bank. The instant we struck the bank, my father and I went sent straight back towards the very rapidly moving blades of the aircraft engine. clearly we did not go headfirst through the whirling death that awaited us, but still, this was a moment that literally screamed for the phrase F@#& ME!
the next of these moments would come when I was in high-school as I came to believe that I actually could compete for wrestling. this thought pattern led me to an awkward position, namely one where a three hundred pound wrestling coach was using me for a demonstrational aid while pressing my face into three inches further into the floor than one would usually find possible. among the cracking ribs, and tearing muscles my body was screaming for me to stop the illusion and go back to a none contact sport.
Later still in life I would find myself a working man, driving a piece of crap machine down a treacherous trail, when the smallest corner of the machines awkwardly shaped bed caught the side of a tree and flipped me sideways to the natural passage of the trail. in addition, the sudden change in direction made the machine stand up on its rear tracks while catapulting me several feet over the already impressive height of the machine I was on. while completely airborne, and watching the ground churning below me under the tracks of the wild machine, I did indulge myself in the loud statement of "F@#& Me!". this was by and large the most frightening of the many F@#& ME! moments to roll down the line.
The last of these F@#& ME! moments was far less physically dangerous, but still involved me suffering a lasting moment of deepest F@#& ME! feeling's. I received an email from I ex, demanding that I explain things long settled in the past, simply for the fact that she has not yet been able to prove that I am more responsible than her for the way the relationship ended.
These are the few and unforgettable F@#& ME! moments of my life. they might not seem like much, but they are far and above among the most memorable things to have ever happened to me.

Drink up me Hearties

In my life I have been surrounded by those who drink. I pass no judgement, in all reality I'm half Irish and can drink just about anything under the table, but in my past experiences, I have very few good moments with other people drinking around me.
I was an RA for two years, and in that two year most of the sleepless nights I happened to come across were tied directly to some young individual having to much to drink. I have watched five separate fellow RA's be fired for drinking on duty or with their residents. I've watched multiple individuals with alcohol poisoning preforming the roll of shame, as they left the building strapped to a gurney. I've seen the aftermath of projectile regurgitation all over the hallways and bathrooms of the floors I worked on. in short alcohol has rarely been a very good part of my life, with most of my past experiences involving playing the hard-ass who can't just let people have fun. When I turned twenty-one however my visions changed slightly.
I am not a raging alcoholic who solves every problem with a substance found in the bottom of a bottle. I will however admit that since the point that I turned twenty-one I have been known to partake in nights of drinking with friend and family, from which I have come to two separate conclusions: one in moderation it will make your nights much more interesting, and two in excess, your nights are really going to suck. I have had both.
Good nights with alcohol have midwifed some of my favorite writings, and even made many of my favorite movie significantly more enjoyable. though they might not be the most proud statements in my life, there is no way that I can say that they weren't fun when they happened. I have become more eloquent with some of my more quick witted friend who seemed to suffer from the opposite effect. I have had great fun dancing with friend who would never step out on the dance floor otherwise. Alcohol has made for a few good moments in my life, but it has also had the opposite standing in some moments of my life.
Break ups are never good, but adding a six pack and free text messaging to this mixed is never a good idea. for the first time in my life, I fully understand just how bad the use of a cell phone can be. even worse is the fact that she and I were both drunk at that moment, and neither one of us wants to claim what happened was fueled by this act to some degree. let this be a lesson to you, drinking and break-up mix as badly as drinking and automobiles. drinking is best without the many different complications of a relationship.

Good moments

Good moments come up on occasion, whether it seems like it or not. Whether given to us by Karma, fate, or random accident, there will always be some moments that stand above the rest in terms of value to our happiness. I once watched two children go to an envious form of excitement upon discovery of a bubble machine. I watched these two play for several minutes with these bubbles swirling around them, and nothing seemed to bother them in that amount of time. this is not to say that all good moments will bring us to this childlike sense of wonder, but it is realistic that some moments in time will give us some great sense of peace or calm in the crazy world we live in.
In my life, I typically enjoy these moments more than the big ones. Big moments like weddings, births, new jobs, graduation, or any of a number of other huge life changing moments, tend to be filled with so much emotion or stress, that I lose the value of the moment until after it has already happened. I much more prefer the small moments; finding five dollars on the street, watching old re-runs of mythbusters and marveling at the humor that accompanies science, waking up on a Saturday morning after sleeping late and noticing that your significant other is still dozing peacefully next to you, these are the kinds of good moments that I love.
I know that I sound like a hopeless and helpless romantic with these examples, but lets be honest, most people would agree with me. more people favor a cheeseburger and fries than a teaspoon of beluga caviar in terms of comfort food. So I find myself more and more thinking about the moments like these as the best moments of my life.
my good moments never really made me extraordinarily happy, but they do tend to make me content with the peace of the world. watching a young lady thoroughly embarrass the class smart-ass with a single well placed comment, gives me some hope for the future. Finding some extra cash in my back pocket and being able to get a six pack for a weekend of relaxation, that can make a person happier than having some grand view of the world answered after months of intensive research. Cliche as it might sound, I love these moments simply because I don't have to worry about them happening; they never fail to show up in day to day life.
so here I sit drinking a beer, watching a sitcom that I've seen a few times over and yet still laughing at the jokes, and and chatting on facebook in the off moments, with friend I haven't seen in years. These are good moments, and I rather enjoy them.
most people hate high-school, whether they are in it now, or whether it was twenty years ago. Jock, cheerleader, emo, preppy, nerd, geek, wannabee, suck up, fit in, they all had roughly the same experience, they believed themselves to have a harder time than anyone else in the school. there is of course no truth to this idea, almost none of them have any difficulty, and outright, none of them have any clue as to what constitutes a rough time of things. why am I now making a social commentary on high school? because despite my best efforts, I find myself once again walking through the front doors of my old high school at the start of each school day.
Now I work in that same school I once grew up in.
Yes I realize that statement might seem rather sad to some people, but at the same time, its the best paycheck I've ever had, and I'm already paying into retirement at age twenty-two. still, I find myself face to face with the exact same personalities and characteristics as they were when I was there. Not even the faces have changed that much. the same groups are still popular, they sit at the same tables and clog the same spots in the hallways; it feels like watching a bad remake of an even worse movie.
And yet even while watching these poor attempts at pathetically simulated "coolness", I remember the things I did on the very spots they stand in. The first time I kissed my first girlfriend, the first classroom in the high school I ever had class in, the same teachers and staff that had always been there. Memories rise to the surface faster than I can control them, and I find my mind drifting in and out of the past and present on a day to day basis. it can be more than a little odd watching the young fools of this next generation making the same stupid mistakes, in the exact same spots as you did only a few years earlier.
Odder still is when the people you work with are the same ones who taught you. and because it is a small town, most of them also happen to be on speaking terms with your parents, grandparents, friends, distant family, co-workers, former classmates, and of course every person you really do not like. and yet every part of that past history is laid bare at their feet. They know who and what you were in the past, and that can occasionally make them think of you more as a student then as a colleague. Still, in a world where I find myself returning to high school day after day it can indeed be an educational experience.