Today I had a god-like experience. I realized that in my repair hell last week
I was unable to tighten a bolt all the way because I stripped some of the
threads in the hole during an ambitious attack with a screwdriver. At the time
I just let it pass, but I have been noticing some annoying sounds when going
over bumps which would be the bracket the sway bar is mounted on rubbing
against the threads of this exposed bolt. So today I decided to fix it.
I just needed a 5/8" tap to rethread the hole, so I went to Home Depot and hooked up.
When I got the car all set up and inspected the stripped hole, I noticed a major problem: The hole wasn't just stripped, it was also at an angle, the entire hole was deformed. This would make the repairs difficult. If I were to re-thread the hole straight up there would be another hole coming off at an angle. This could make the bolt unable to be tightened which would require some serious metal work in order to create a new hole. My car could have sloppy handling for a long time. This prospect made me nervous, I could just put the bolt back in and life with the grinding sound, or attempt a re-thread whose failure would condemn the car with sloppy handling for a long time.
In the end, I got over these fears and got that tap up there and starting cutting new threads. The actual action of it was god-like, light resistance as it turned and little pieces of metal falling out. Kind of like a knife through hot butter, or a sharp chainsaw through a log, but with a light touch. Eventually, the new threads were ready. I got the bolt in there and turned. It went in perfect! It was so badass, the feeling of accomplishment! Now the suspension is quiet over bumps and the handling is much tighter. Yes, very good stuff today.
So lots of stuff goin on now. Japan is coming up in a few weeks, I’ve already
blown $2,000 on plane tickets and a hotel for a few nights. It’s a good chunk
of change, but I think it will be worth it.
I’m going to spend a few nights in Tokyo to get used to the time difference and then move on to Sasebo to meet my “new family/work thing”. I predict it will be kinda rough for the first few days being that they don’t speak English well and all. Here are some excerpts from e-mails:
“That there is e-mail asks!” “Is it vigorous?” “Give a telephone if arriving at Sasebo.” “Please give me a mail, when you will stay in our house,”
Yea, it took me a little while to translate those. But it all makes sense after a while. I figure I will get by with my fundamental knowledge of Japanese and hand signals for the first few days, then we will find a common ground between English and Japanese upon which we can communicate.
I love the feeling of preparation for travel, giddy nervousness. I can’t wait to leave this life behind for a few weeks and experience the reality of another situation.
Ah, so I decided to repair my car. The bushings for the front sway bar were
wearing down and I decided to replace them. It seemed simple enough: remove a
few bolts, remove the sway bar, then replace bushings and put sway bar back on.
These four little steps turned into two days of repair hell.
First thing after gettting my car on ramps, the first bolt I come to is all rusted to hell. I break out the penetrating oils and dump em on there, let them soak in for an hour or so. Next, I struggle with the bolt for about 4 hours before it breaks off in my hand, then I get to fish it out with some vice grips. 1 bolt, 4 hours. Next, I move to the other side, and its rusted too, oh yay! I struggle with it for a few hours and then call it a day.
The next day I struggled with it for another hour before giving up all hope and breaking out the cheater bar(metal pipe). Gave it a good crank and destroyed that bolt too.
Then removed about 8 more bolts, luckily whomever worked on this car before used anti-seize grease when they put the bolts on so these bolts came off without much hastle.
Next, removed the sway bar and drove to the auto store to get new bolts. Driving without the sway bar was kinda like walking drunk, the handling was all sloppy and cruising down the road at 40mph created a wierd bouncing/floating sensation.
Finally, got back home, replaced the bushings and bolted the sway bar back up over the course of a few hours. There is constant force between bolts so to get the bolt holes lined up you have to jam a screwdriver up there, then use vice grips to hold the hole in place and pray they don't fly off. It was a serious pain in the ass. I kept hitting my head on the ramps and the ground.
Anyways, I finally got it all up then took the magical test drive. My car has almost no body roll around corners now, woooo!
Look at a wall. This wall has been doing more than I have over the past few
days. I'm totally bumming out. Just laying around the house, trying to pack on
a few pounds for my adventure to Japan. But despite this goal I still have the
feeling of being a bum, kind of like I've hit rock bottom or something. Like
I'm just wallowing around in my own shit. This feeling is amplified by all the
action I got two weeks ago. Kind of like hearing music after becoming attached
to a comfortable silence.
Life now is more a mental exercise than a physical one. I want it to be physical again my mind becomes a prison after a while. But thats a good thing, otherwise I would turn into a pure hermit.
Writing, typing is a good way to pass time. It feels like I am achieving something. Like maybe after digging around for a while in my writings I will find a key to happiness, or a new way of living, something new and good to believe in.
Anyways, its refreshing to think of all the different levels that are experienced in one's life. As a being aware of its own existence, as a being not aware of its own existance, as a being existing in the things it sees. But maybe thats too general, but the point is that there is a lot of shit out there; you can feel trapped anywhere all day long, but something else exists beyond your own cage that you can find given enough effort.
So then the real question is "what is effort" and "how the hell do I get some". Honestly, I'm still searching for the answers to those questions. I've tried thinking about something very hard to get effort, and usually that doesn't work ; there are flaws inherent in every plan, if you look hard enough you find them and end up not doing anything. I've tried not thinking about something in order to get enough effort; this doesn't work either: when you don't think you don't see the point in doing anything at all so you just end up sitting on your ass. So the answer to finding effort lies in some a combination of thought and non-thought. Enough thought to get a basic plan together and then enough non-thought to ignore potential problems and immediatly enter into the action of the new situation. But, there is another trap on top of this, if you just hold onto the words or the directions that are supposed to make things so easy you become lost in them thinking you are taking the right steps towards action. In order to find action you must mentally destroy the instructions for action and just act. If you cling to these words you are lost.
Ah, so now I am home again, finally. Man, traveling is great, it really gets my
blood going. I can find the Sarah Michelle Gellar I seek on the road. Traveling
is certainly like nothing else in this world. I advise everyone to take a two
week vacation by yourself at least once a year to get nice and centered.
Living like a nomad, every other night in a new hotel; new faces, new city, new streets. It will wear you down , it will make your home seem a million miles away, but it will make you feel like another person and at the same show you parts of yourself you never saw before. Stuff like this is the essence of life.
Anyways, I was never able to get an internet connection up so all recordings of my travel were uploaded together. The begining is at the bottom of this page.
Well, the ride home was kinda wierd.
It was kind of like being on an airplane for 24 hours. Except there is more stuff to look at, and the seats recline back a little more. I had many strange experiences on board.
First off, I had to wait 3 hours for the late train to arrive in Tuscon, it was a pain in the ass. Apparently Amtrak isn't known for its timelyness, but I didn't realize the full magnitude of this quite yet.
Next, I find myself on the train next to this 60 year old lady. We didn't talk much but she brought be food without me asking, it was kinda wierd. She treated me like her long lost grandson or something, it was pretty sweet.
About 9 hours later another train ahead of us gets into a wreck with a tractor, so we are stuck on the line for something like 4 hours. Later on another train breaks down ahead of us for another 4 hours. At this point we are about 8 hours behind schedule. Everyone is getting really bitchy.
I couldn't sleep on the train because people kept walking around and a rather large person was sitting behind me so I couldn't get into a full reclining position. It was like trying to sleep in a dining room chair.
After my shitty 8 hour nap (if you could call it that). It turns out Amtrak has decided to bus us from San Antonio to Dallas to make up for lost time.
My old lady friend forces 6 bucks on me and I go get breakfast. When I get back I try to give her money to her, but she just won't take it, so I keep it. A few hours later we are almost at San Antonio and the old lady starts getting sick, she asks for a barf bag and starts heaving into it. It was pretty nasty. When we arrive at San Antonio I help her off the train and she gets carted off to one of the busses.
After that, we board busses for a 5 hour ride. Good god that got old fast. After an eternity we arrived in Dallas, I got real happy when I saw the skyline of downtown, after all this traveling it was good to be home. I hopped on the DART rail at union station and rode it down to Parker, where my parents picked me up and we had a great feast of a dinner at a nice Japanese Restaurant.
Yup I'm in Phoenix, Arizona now. Phoenix is a dump. Its just a big flat maze of
porn shops, 6 lane streets, highways, McDonalds and gas stations. I spent a few
hours today just driving around and thats all I could find within its limits.
The real action lies just outside the limits of Phoenix in a suburb named
Chandler, about 20 minutes away from downtown Phoenix. Chandler has a mall,
movie theatres and actual eateries. I spent a good amount of time there today.
I also found a desert garden park just outside Phoenix. Its pretty sweet. Deserts are cool places kids, they have all these little animals running around and a warm climate of 104 degrees. Still, its a dry 104, so ya don't sweat as much. Its more like being put in an oven than being in a sauna. Personally, I prefer it to the cooler but moister climate of Dallas and good god almighty I wish I was back in San Jose where its nice and cool, seriously its like outdoor air conditioning there because of the ocean.
Anyways, I dumped my rental car today, so its busses, trains and taxis back to Allen. I am aleady starting to miss the car, that relaxing whine when you hit 70, the brake screech every time you stop. But seriously, it did have better handling than my firebird kinda felt like driving a go-cart or a car in a video game and it would toss ya back in your seat when you floor it from 0 to 40 and when ya rip the wheel to the left to make a U-turn and floor it and spin out a little and go up on the curb and catch a little air like a skateboard before crashing to earth then turn the wheel back she straightens out pretty good (better not tell the rental company that one). Rental car, I salute you!
Ok, now I just need to see if I can get my recently obtained long distance card to work so I can figure out if the bus station at Phoenix airport opens at 5AM so I can catch the bus and get to Tuscon before 8:40AM to catch the train to Dallas. Yea, good stuff. Its action land out here folks!
Ah, another day in Las Vegas. I went to just about every casino and mall on the
strip today. It was pretty sweet, about 6 hours of walking, seeing something
new with each step. Its the city version of hiking. I have come to many
1) The girls here are super hot, I'm talking Sarah Michelle Gellar hot (people who know me know that I have a very critical eye towards women) they rival the girls in Las Angeles, San Fransisco and San Jose. I think many hot girls come to Las Vegas because of the shopping. I walked through about 4 different malls today, hidden away inside the casinos, its fucking insane. These girls are super hot. I have devised a good way of checking them out without them noticing, I call it the "eye flick". I shift my eyes right into theirs for a split second and then go immedatly back to straight ahead eye mode, within this split second I take a mental picture and then when I'm looking straight ahead again I am actually looking at this mental picture. Sometimes it is necessary to "eye flick" several times in order to get a good mental picture.
I'm getting so spoiled out here, so many hot girls. I am getting even more desensitized to beauty than I ever have been before. I see a really hot girl and instead of wanting to talk to them or imagining fucking them I just think to myself, "yup, shes hot" and just keep moving. The wierd thing is I haven't masterbated in like 2 weeks, I figure I would be an insane hot-girl-o-phile by now, but I seem to be quite the opposite.
2) I don't like gambling. Before now I have always fantisized about blowing a few hundred on blackjack or craps. But actually walking by the tables, seeing so many of them. It just seems pointless to gamble for some reason, I have all this eye candy here so I really don't see the point. Gambling might be fun, but the eye candy is too great. Maybe if I stayed in a casino/hotel I would feel the urge to gamble. Same thing with drinking, I passed by countless bars, but just didn't feel the urge to drink.
3) Las Vegas is a giant adult theme park masked in the guise of a city. Its feels like a giant Six Flags with gambling, beer, strippers and music. If I ever came here again I would have to stay in a casino/hotel instead of this motel 6.
4) Wierd shit can happen at any moment. I was walking through one of those malls and all of a sudden this statue on a fountain started moving and talking then lasers started shooting out of its eyes onto the walls, after a few minuites the statue went back to its normal position like nothing had happened. When I passed it again I expected it to do something, but it just stayed as a normal statue. Then I walked on some wierd opera music and a guy in a clown suit on stilts controlling a human marionette via thick cables. Next, there was this solid bronze statue on the street, suddenly it moved and shook a guys hand before moving back. I stared at it for a while, but it just stood there. I saw another statue like it, I stared it down for a few minutes but it didn't move. I suspect it was human, but have no evidence to confirm this.
Conclusion: Las Vegas is the most intresting place I have been to yet on my little adventure, it has girls, and other assorted eye candy.
I'm glad I opted for simple drive-by camera action instead of lugging it around everywhere, I was able to enjoy myself more without it.
So tomorrow, on to Phoenix, Phoenix will probably be a good way to wind down from the never ending entertainment of Vegas.
So, now in Las Vegas. My first impression of this city wasn't so good, streets
are wayyyy overcrowded and messed up. They are solid black with these little
barely visible white bumps separating lanes. Freeway enterence ramps don't use
the traffic light system like they do in LA so the freeways are all jacked up,
its like the high five in Dallas all the way. I would much rather be driving
around LA than Las Vegas, LA seems to have a street planner that knows what he
is doing. I must have spent 30min or more waiting at traffic lights to drive a
few miles to get something to eat. Its so bad you have to judge the cars in
front of you to decide whether or not to go through a green light because they
might be stacked up from the intersection ahead of you, leaving you stuck in
the middle of your intersection. Man what a pain in the ass these streets are.
Anyways, after getting something to eat and driving down Las Vegas Blvd (the main las vegas street that you see in commercials, it is lined with casinos and entertainment facilities for miles) a few times. I decided to park and walk around. After a few minutes I was in serious visual overload. Theres so much shit around everywhere its almost ludicrus.
I was just walking down the street, then boom, im in front of a pirate ship and there are pirates flying around everywhere and explosions along with some creepy techno music and a soft female voice, a few steps later I'm in some wierd outdoor fashion mall with upbeat dance music playing, next I'm inside some rainforest thing inside of a casino, next passing by Siegfried and Roy's tigers in a large zoo like clear plastic cage. Then the street forces you to go into some wierd indoor mall where the ceiling is painted like the sky and the lighting is soft blue. After wondering around the mall a little bit I saw a clock, 4 hours had passed. So I decided to head back to the hotel.
If I was a cartoon there would be little bubbles floating up and poping above my head to indicate how fried my brain is. All this stuff was pretty sweet though, with all the people around and all the distractions its easy to forget your own existence and just become your surroundings for a while.
For tomorrow I'm gonna go back and walk around all day. I'm trying to decide if I should bring my camera or not. The camera kind of brings me back to reality, it can't lie about what it sees. I can either allow myself to be totally absorbed in my surroundings without any distractions or always have this little voice in my mind saying "holy shit, that would make a badass picture" which would of course require me to stop and take a picture, bringing me back to reality.
I really want to take some pics so I can look back at them later on but at the same time I don't want to blow the experience of being here. I will probably go cameraless tomorrow, the experience of being here is worth much more than the experience of looking back.
On a side note, I've been looking for a long distance pre-paid calling card for internet access for a few days now. I have hit countless AM/PM's, 7-11s and circle Ks to no avail. I figure they probably sell them at Wal-Mart or something, but dammit, I can't find one. I drove for 30min in Las Vegas, I found a Sam's Club, but I don't have a card, oh well. I'll just upload all this shit when I get home.
So I'm in LA now, West Hollywood area. When I got here yesterday I was in a
kind of stimulus overload. There is a shitload of stuff here. The West
Hollywood area has the clustered feel of Deep Elum in Dallas; heavy traffic,
old buildings. This hotel is just a renovated old building; ceilings are pretty
low, floors creak when you step on them. Its pretty cool though, its just a few
steps away from Hollywood Blvd, where all those stars are on the pavement.
What supprised me most about this town is how nice everyone is. In Dallas people seem disconnected somehow, like they are all in their own little worlds and don't have time for anything else, here people seem more connected to the ground they walk on. Even the hispanic immigrants are nice. They smile, say excuse me, thank you and hi. I suppose this has something to do with dealing with tourists all the time.
Today I was blindly driving down Sunset Blvd looking for a park I found on the internet a few days ago, I thought it was close, but somehow I missed it and ended up in the Beverly Hills area of LA. It was like going from Deep Elum in Dallas to the best areas on the Dallas metroplex times 2 in a flash. Its all these shitty liquor stores, narrow lanes and no center median and then boom, a median filled with lush grass, tropical trees all over the place, wide lanes and nice houses, welcome to Beverly Hills.
I figured I missed the park somehow, so I just kept driving. All these windy roads and hills, it was very nice. Suddenly, I came upon a state park so of course I turned in, found the trail-head and started hiking. It was pretty sweet, a few miles and some rough climbing and I found myself at the top of the world. A perfect view of the Beverly Hills/Hollywood/Downtown areas.
I saw a few women on the trail. They had nice clothes and looked nice, very hot by Texas standards. Really any of them could have been TV/movie personalities. But for some reason I wasn't intrested. When I'm in my room in Allen, I look up really hot girls and it seems so cool, I think to myself "wouldn't it be cool to meet a really hot girl like that" and get a strong positive emotional feeling towards them. Now that I am practically surrounded by hot girls/media personalities I don't really seem to care. Infact, I almost have a feeling of discust when thinking of meeting a TV/movie personality here. I guess that whole star thing seems much cooler when it is percieved on TV/my mind and not in real life.
So tomorrow I head for Las Vegas. In a little while I'm gonna go hunting for a good restaurant.
So this is my last night here in Gilroy, CA. Pretty wierd, I have changed a bit
to fit my surroundings; I've been minding my manners and trying to adopt the
Californian "clear" accent. Man, here at my aunt and uncles house life is so
high class, wine with every meal, quiet neighborhood, badass view. In
comparison, my house seems like a dump, I almost don't want to go.
Ah well, this time tomorrow night I will be flying solo in some motel 6 in LA. Now that will make my house look much better I'm sure.
Today I went hiking through some trails. It was pretty cool, not another person in sight. Walking through the hills in the fresh coastal air is very peaceful.
Ah, its getting kinda late. Time to hit the hot tub. I guess that will be my final battle in this campaign.
Wow, today was pretty sweet. Went to San Fransisco, saw the golden gate bridge.
Then my cousin and his wife took me out to a badass Japanese restaurant. The
restaurant was very authentic, you sat on the floor and they had a little
enclosed area for each family and the only thing to eat with was chopsticks, no
forks or anything. Anyways, it was pretty sweet, I had some Asahi to go with my
nigiri(raw salmon, squid, and a few other raw fish over little rice balls).
They ran out of the little bottles of Asahi so I got a 32oz, it was pretty
My cousin and his wife are pretty cool, I really don't get to see them much. It was pretty badass to drink some beer with them and hang out. I see them so rarely they seem like strangers, but after a few drinks they seemed like family again.
So the day after tomorrow I pull out of here and head for LA. I can't wait. My aunt and uncle are pretty cool, but I am starting to feel like their son or something, I am starting to feel kind of like a kid again; always getting carted around. But they have been great, not everyone gets to know their extended family the same way I have.
Tomorrow I get my rental car and will get to drive around a little. My cousin gave me a map to a hiking trail that leads to a very scenic view that overlooks the valley. Should be good stuff.
Today has been interesting. I have pretty much had the house to myself all day,
it has given me time to read. My aunt and uncle have a study which is full of
Christian books. I have browsed through a few of them, it has given me some new
perspectives on religion. I spewed forth all these ideas below, it might be
kinda hard to read because I didn't edit it at all.
I was raised as a Christian, after a while my parents gave me the freedom to choose a religion at will, I chose to practice Zen Buddisim as it makes me feel good. My experience of Christianity has been predominantly negative.
The church I went to seemed focused on politics, open argument over what was taught in sunday school for example was common. Then there were concerns over money and all kinds of other stuff. Sermons consisted of me trying to stay awake, I genuinely tried to care, but it just didn't connect with me, it always seemed like something was missing. I suppose I just didn't see how Christianity would improve my life. Of course there was the fairy tale about how giving faith to Christ would make him take care of you, but I never bought it. All that stuff about how things will seem real bad, but god always has a plan for you. That stuff never gave me any comfort. The things taught in church seemed like they would make good cartoons and fairy tales and an intresting book; but it wasn't something I wanted to devote my life to. It just seemed like an eternal hell of suffering ironically. It taught that you as a human are never right, you are impure, you are bad, no matter what you do you are a sinner. Its just like the military, they start by wearing down your ego, your will to resist. Then they fill you up with information that practically forces you to unquestioningly follow them. If we were to take Christianity to another step we would end up like those in Iraq. Killing the sinners, sacrificing our selves for our lord as suicide bombers. Leading the innocent sheep through the valley of darkness with AK47s and hand grenades. Killing satan by killing those who refuse to bow down before God. Christianity just seems like a big war to me. But I do realize that Christianity gives some people satisfaction in life. It can create meaning and happiness where there was none before. But I have been able to fulfill the need that christianity satisifies in other people by other means. I believe that the answer to all life's problems lies within the self, you just need to unlock it through careful introspection and by transendentenal meditation.
Some people say the secret to life is to "Find what makes you happy, and do it". Finding what makes you happy is a difficult task. Often things that really don't make you happy seem to make you happy in your mind. But your mind is the gateway to all action, before acting it is normal to run the idea through your head, as a result of this what you actually do comes under certain limitations. So in order to discover what makes you happy you must try as many things as possible and then stick to the ones that make you happy until they no longer make you happy. This is how life should be led.
Christianity is an odd thing. To me it seems very limiting. The religion begins with the assumption that all things on the earth and within the realm of humanity are innately evil. The only way to cleanse yourself of this evil is to believe in and worship an entity named God. If you do not do this, or do this the wrong way then you will remain evil. Christianity is based on a lot of faith and belief in something which has no true physical definition, but has a very solid spiritual definition. The religion in general always seems to take on the role of a disapproving father. Always telling you that the things you do are wrong. On top of this the bible has so many interpretations, so many books, so many ideas of exactly what it means to be a Christian. So the faith is tainted in a sense. Conflict is inherent in the religion ironically between followers of the same religion. In general, Christianity seems to take people and make them place their hopes and dreams in another place. It takes the power of an individual away and places this power in the hands of someone else. It seems to say, "You have no right to be here living the way you want, so just give up and cease to have faith in yourself, have faith in God instead, he will take care of you". Zen Buddisim tends to place belief in ones self. The idea is that everyone has power over their entire life locked within themselves. The practice of this religion is to discover this and use this power. All the questions that Christianity can't answer are answered in zen. In nothing and everything at once within and without yourself. Personally, I would rather place my belief in the here and now. I want to master my life, be responsible for it, tame my emotions, become at peace with the world around me rather than carry on a war against myself, fighting myself in all my sins, at war with my sinful surroundings. I will take peace with myself and surroundings here and now, rather than the eternal struggle Christianity would like.
Christianity and Zen Buddisim have similiar goals. The goal of Christianity is eternal salvation in heaven. The goal of Zen Buddisim is eternal salvation on earth. The means by which these two religions seek their goals vary. Christianity believes that salvation in heaven is attained by believing in a spiritual power. Zen Buddisim believes that salvation on earth is attained by a certain kind of meditation which will allow you to see everything through objective eyes. Who is to say which religion is better than the other. Religion is not something to be debated, religion is not some global experience that should be attained. Religion is a personal experience, everyone must decide for themselves what religion is right and then seek it as they see fit. Religion can become either the guiding light in ones life or a few hours every Sunday morning. The ultimate goal of religion is to serve the individual. If someone believes that causing pain to themselves is the right way, then that is what they must do. If someone believes that praying to a spiritual entity is the right way, then that is what they must do. If someone believes that finding the void is the right way, then that is what they must do. Life is not about right and wrong. Life is about individual experiences. Do what makes you feel like your life has meaning.
I am in the midst of a war. All around me is evil, I am the shephard which drives the evil out. I am a devout Christian who writes books and runs a church for a living. The lord Jesus Christ gives me strength to keep on writing and to keep on preaching.
I feel purified by the holy spirit that God has empowered me with.
I feel no hate, no anger, no sadness the lord gives me power to break through it all.
I feel no hate, no anger, no sadness zen gives me the power to accept it all.
Zen gives me the strength to keep on writing and to keep on meditating.
I feel purified by the great void that my humanity has empowered me with.
I am in the midst of peace. All around me is good and bad. I allow both to be equal in my eyes and accept both into the core of my being. I am a devout zen buddist that writes books and meditates for a living.
Today was pretty cool. Got to see the ultra rich area of Pebble Beach. It was
crazy upscale, all these badass cars everywhere, hot girls, good italian food
at some small restaurant.
Later on we went to Pfeifer beach, it was pretty nice. But when you get down there its really cold and windy despite its beauty (kind of like some women).
In other news, I'm starting to get some new viewpoints of life. In your mind you have this idea of how things are in other places. You think of and all these mental images appear, but you live there for a few days and the mental images start to fade away and become replaced with the reality of your situation.
Before I came here I had this idealistic notion of The entire concept of it was based on names, like "hey im in CALIFORNIA, wow how different". But its starting to be like "Yea, im just in another place, it looks and feels neat". I'm starting to realize the power of the mind to create a fantasy. The kinds of feelings I get from the fantasy are not the same as the ones I get in reality. I used to think that the power of reality was much greater than the power of fantasy. I thought that if a fantasy can be this good then the reality must certainly be better. This, however, does not seem to be the case. It is important to hold onto fantasy. It can destroy the limitations of the reality you percieve with a mind grounded in reality.
When I used to be sitting in my room, living alone, people seemed like this distant and magical thing. But out here people are begining to seem just like people. Its kind of hard to explain; people used to seem like these huge pieces of jagged rock jutting out of this otherwise beautiful painting, but now people seem like a part of the painting itsself, if there were no people the painting would seem incomplete somehow.
Well, I guess I've rambled enough. I had a lot more ideas that seemed cool when we were on the road with sheer cliffs to the ocean below us and a point where the sky seemed to meld with the the ocean, but sitting here in this room these notions don't emerge so readily.
Wow, so I'm in California now.
The plane trip wasnt too bad. Not much turbulence or anything, but it seemed to take eternity. I alternated between reading and naps during the flight. Wish I had a DVD player or something.
When I got off the plane I realized I had entered a kind of paradise. The air was cool and everything smelled fresh for some reason. The first thing I noticed were the hills on the horizon, they are always there. It gives the land a sense of depth and beauty you don't see in Dallas. I should have hooked up with a picture, but I was too distracted.
My aunt and uncle are cool. They hooked me up with my own room and act as tour guides. They are starting to feel like cool parents I never had. I was in the study reading and my uncle pops in, "Want a gormet beer?" he said. It was kinda wierd, no where in a million years would my parents ask me that. The beer was very good, it was a local brew, kind of sweet like Miller High Life, but it had just enough bite to give it good character.
Throughout the day everyone was running around saying Nob Hill this, Nob Hill that. It turns out Nob Hill is a grocery store. It was hard to keep from laughing. Nob Hill is a vague sexual reference that got engrained in my brain somehow from a night of drinking.
For dinner we had T-Bone steaks and wine around 9pm at night. It kicked ass. I'm starting to feel real high class or something, everyone around here has nice houses and drives BMWs. It feels like an alternative childhood where my parents are really my aunt and uncle and my surroundings are more upscale.
To add to this feeling of alternate reality, I was sitting on the couch watching Enterprise, then a commercial came on: "Thank you for watching UPN, Bay Area", kind of wierd. It really locked in the idea that I am in another place.
Wow, so my monster trip begins tomorrow. Earlier in the week the idea of flying
again freaked me out, but now, I feel pretty confident about it. I got a few
new books to distract me, good stuff.
I spent yesterday drawing out all the maps and everything. Today I got all the reservations I need. My itenerary is:
Fly to San Jose
6 Days in San Jose at my uncles house
Drive to LA
2 Days in a North LA hotel
Drive to Las Vegas
2 Days in a Las Vegas hotel
Drive to Phoenix
2 Days in a Phoenix hotel
Ride bus to Tuscon
2 Days in an Amtrack train from Tuscon to Dallas
Yea, I'm looking forward to it. Fourteen days exploring and doing stuff. I'm gonna bring my laptop and digital camera so maybe I'll be able to do some updates on the road.