Vision is awesome

Just some random pics I took today. I wish I had Photoshop so that my learnings from Prof. Godsil could be good use!

I had a dream that made me do something out of the ordinary this morning. I woke up, thought about the dream I had just had, and cracked up laughing. Hard. And for a while too. And then again later in the day. I dreamed that a male elk/sea lion with a massive rack of antlers ran up behind an unsuspecting group of female elk/sea lion and tripped one of them with his antlers. Everyone ran away, but the tripped elk/sea lion just lay there, with eyes really wide as if it was startled, and just farted a bunch of times. That was it. Farting will always be funny.

I’m heading back to the midwest on Monday, and this time I plan to take it a little slower. I’m in no real hurry, so I want to take a few extra stops to take some pictures of anything I find interesting on the drive back, anything I wanted to capture on the way here but didn’t because I was in a rush. I should be back around Wednesday night. I can’t wait to wear a coat!

Here’s some music I’ve been blasting through the headphones lately:

Kylesa- Spiral Shadow
Deerhunter- Halcyon Digest
Alcest- Escailles De Lune
Gold Panda- Lucky Shiner
Spoon- Transference (on vinyl, wooo!)

I also just rewatched Dog Day Afternoon with Al Pacino. Oldie but a goodie. In my top 10 now for sure.

Hasta luego amigos!

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Well…

After a long hiatus, I have returned. And for my first matter of business, I would like to apologize to all of my faithful readers out there. For a while, I had slipped into a period of time where stress was getting the best of me, and it prevented me from being productive and doing things that I knew that I enjoyed and were good for me. I needed to get a grip on the reality of things, and some good people back in the midwest helped me clear my head a little bit. They allowed me to see my situation from a different perspective and gave me some options to consider. With the advice I’ve gotten, I think it makes the most fiscal sense for me to count my losses and head back to the midwest. Around Thanksgiving, I have decided to move in with my grandparents in Dubuque for a little while. That way I can work for a little while with minimum expenses so that I can save up for grad school. Not only that, I’ll be closer to most of the people that care about me, and having them around will be comforting and healthy. With this decision comes a sense of guilt and a small sense of failure, as I have put Gabe in a difficult situation as he needs to find a new roommate and I have failed to thrive out here. It’s a tough economy these days, but there is always room for more effort. I’ve enjoyed my time out here with Gabe and the rest of the people I’ve met, but realistically, this makes the most sense.

I have started a few projects since I last wrote on here. I have begun the arduous process of looking at grad programs. Thus far, I have found 2 programs that suit my desires. The first is at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, and the second is at Loyola University. I have begun my application for the Chicago School program, and will shortly be working on the Loyola one as well. I also plan to find at least 2 more programs that will satisfy my urge to learn. The other project has to do with my real father. After talking to my boss, who lost his son to his apparently toxic ex-wife in court, he reminded me that there is always two sides to every story. I would like to eventually meet my real father and hear what he has to say and see if I look like him at all. I’ve tried looking him up online and in the yellow pages, even going so far as to go down the list of numbers with his name one-by-one asking for him. After about 4 or 5, it just got to be too intense. One day I’ll find him though, and I will finally get to have that conversation.

After what seemed an eternity The English Premier League returned this weekend after the break for international games! The highlight of my weekend was however slightly dampened with another Liverpool loss. They had a busy 2 weeks off the pitch as New England Sports Ventures, the owners of the Boston Red Sox, became the new owners of the prestigious club. This ownership switch came, with firm resistance from the old owners, just in the nick of time, as the club nearly slipped into administration and lost 9 points. But with a bit of good news came bad, as they lost the first Merseyside derby of the season at Goodison Park 2-0. Troubling times at the Kop, but only fairweather fans lose the faith.

So…I have taken an embarrassingly small amount of photos while I’ve been here, but here are a couple that I took recently, right down our street.

Sunset on University:

The beauty of dilapidation:

Thanks for being patient, more to follow soon, I guarantee it! Hasta luego!

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Finally…

I had a dream this morning. I was at a university in a lab where this old man and his female student assistant conducted tests to create walkable cloud paths out in space. At one point I was out in the clouds, walking around haphazardly with the girl, who made sure I wouldn’t walk on the wrong clouds or else I would fall through. We bounced around for a little while and then we just laid down in the comfy clouds. Then we were suddenly back in the lab and the old man says to the girl, “I’m going to send the iguana to the 2nd planet.” So he puts his pet iguana out on the wire track outside the lab in the cloud area and a platform flips around so that the iguana has nowhere to go but out into the clouds. It slowly starts walking the cloud path, toward the second planet.

That dream was really vivid this morning, and I felt that it really needed to be recorded in some way. I could analyze it, with my skills picked up after that dreaming class I took, but I’ll let you readers interpret your own meaning.

But to the big news, I finally got a job! It’s nothing special, and it’s only part time, but at least I’m finally making some cash. I was looking stuff up on craigslist, and I replied to a chef, chef Scotty, who needed transportation around the area to deliver his homemade food. He goes out MWF, and we are only out for about 4 hours at a time right now, but he pays 7 an hour with 35 cents a mile, and then I get a delicious lunch made with organic food everyday. So it’s pretty much just us two goin around to different businesses and asking if they want lunch, which just consist of different wraps. He seems like a pretty ambitious guy, with plans of expanding and a good mindset. I’m glad it worked out, because based on the nature of his minimalist job posting and quick response, I was worried he might be some guy trying to hijack my car and taking everything I have, so on Wednesday, I brought a knife, just in case. Luckily, I didn’t have to use it.

Also, I am putting my soccer referee qualifications to good use here next weekend. I registered to work a tournament, so I should be getting some good money from that as well. They told us about this tourney in the class I was registered for, and I’m crossing my fingers that I don’t get assigned to work with Prince. I’m not quite sure he’s literate. I also registered to work a whole league, but I haven’t been scheduled for that just yet. Hopefully it will start to get steady.

Tomorrow should be a busy day, I have work from about 8:30 til 12 or 1, then Gabe and I want to work out, and then we’re traveling north to Flagstaff for a concert! We saw the date on a myspace page less than a week ago and decided on a whim to check it out. Tix were only 17 each, so it should be well worth it. We get to see High on Fire, Kylesa, and Torche, so if you couldn’t guess by the band names, it’s going to be a pretty brutal night filled with metal and moshing. I’ve already started practicing my headbanging. Here are a couple of links to their music for those interested:
Kylesa: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-islnrxO7c
High on Fire: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFah1rC5Zq8

Something else I’m excited about is that I streamlined my wardrobe a little bit the other day by donating some shirts. Gabe has a very minimalist closet, and it inspired me to do the same. Live simply, my friends.

Here is some music I’ve just recently gotten into:

Bear in Heaven-Beast Rest Forth Mouth
Women-Public Strain

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Random-Eyes

Even with all this free time that I have had recently, I still somehow manage to forget that a good way to spend some of it would be to write a new blog post. But I’m here now, so this is what I got:

I just watched a British movie and heard some things I had never heard before. Two greetings stuck out in particular that they used quite often. One was “Heyya” and the other was “Watcha”. I love the Brits and their unique vocabularies. They speak the same language we do and yet they sound infinitely more interesting and witty. How is that?

I’ve got one more day left in my Class 8 soccer refereeing certification class and I will be an official official. The class is quite difficult after having spent the majority of my life around the sport and have devoted nearly half of my self-concept to the game. I say that with no sarcasm at all…I was determined to get a perfect 100/100 on the multiple part test, but I was disappointed today when I missed 1. I’m not too upset though, because I’m positive I’m still in the running for winning a prize as one of the top 3 test scorers. The class wouldn’t be so terrible if it were without this guy named Prince, who, cannot for the life of him stop arguing with the instructor about rules that he believes are right. I wish he would just shut it so we can get on with it and get out of there. At least the place is air conditioned…

I wanted to mention the new obsession I’ve found with a certain culinary combo. It’s simple really, yet not quite the most traditional. You ready? Peanut butter and vanilla yogurt. Sound crazy? Try it. The textures go surprisingly well together. You just put a little PB on the end of a spoon, dunk it in the yogurt, and snack away. Delicious.

Also, I have no idea if anyone else does this or something similar, but sometimes, I will be listening to a conversation, watching a movie, or listening to music, pretty much any type communication where talking is involved, and a random phrase will get stuck in my head. It gets stuck because I will take that phrase and count out the syllables of the phrase on my fingers, alternating back and forth, 1 finger on each hand. I will repeat the phrase over and over in my head and each time count out the syllables on my fingers, mixing up the direction and speed as I go. The phrase is typically short, no more than probably 12 syllables long, but I never know that when I pick it out, which is why I count. And it’s never anything special, it could be the most mundane sentence and for some reason my brain will count it out. It’s something I’ve always done, for no reason in particular, that I felt like sharing.

I also sometimes think of brilliant poetic lines in my head that I always tell myself I should write down, but never do. Typically they happen as I’m laying in bed thinking, hence the laziness to find a notepad. Maybe I’ll start mining that creative juice at a less tired time and see what I come up with. The problem is, it’s hard to sit and think of something, it mostly just comes to me out of nothing. I don’t really have a creative switch I can turn on and off. Or maybe I do…I’ll have to do some bioelectrical spelunking inside of myself sometime soon and see what I find.

One more thing: I played some guitar today after I ate my delicious dinner that I made for myself which consisted of what is now becoming a regular dish: the mustard/breadcrumb covered chicken salad w/ homemade vinaigrette. J. Wigs taught me that one and it is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. But about the guitar sesh…I felt as though my skill had increased significantly out of no where, my strumming hand just seemed to be working so well now. Speaking of J. Wigs, I had a conversation with him about playing guitar pertaining how when you reach a level of skill when you are able to express yourself creatively with your hands, it’s an amazing feeling. Tonight, as I realized my hands could do more than I thought they could, I was able to reach that point. It may not have sounded like much, but I had never felt myself release so much emotion and creative energy with just my hands. It really is an amazing feeling. I think I’m starting to enjoy this whole guitar playing thing…

More to come soon, including pictures! Hasta luego

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Fulfillment

I went with Gabe today to his ASU racquetball club, one of his many activities he is involved in. I played a few matches, and even though I wasn’t very good, I still had a really fun time running around and whacking that rubbery blue ball. It went much smoother than the last time I remember playing: My Dad used to play racquetball a lot and would take me with him, and one day I got to play with him. It was all going smoothly until he smashed one off the wall and wound up going right into my eye. My parents put a big steak on it. Anyways, as I was playing today, I realized that Gabe utilizes his free time really wisely. When he’s not doing homework, at school, or working, he almost always has an activity to go to or something to do that is fulfilling in some nature. It instilled a desire in me to begin doing things that make my life feel more fulfilling and interesting, so when I’m done with a day, I can honestly say that my time was well spent. I mean, what is a life if you’re not living it? I’ve already started with a few things, such as joining a men’s soccer league, a softball league, and have begun the arduous process of learning the guitar, although not yet very honestly. But I want more. I’m going to start playing the guitar even more, I’m going to start keeping my dream journal again, maybe even an actual journal, and I’m going to start reading more, probably not as much as I did when I was a kid (I read so many of those freakin Goosebump books, I was even in the fan club!), but more. I want to learn to cook more tasty things so that I can add recipes to my lifetime repertoire. All of these things, I think, will help me optimize my time and happiness. Especially now that I’m unemployed, these things will all help to pass the time and keep me occupied. Oh! And I want to start doing crossword puzzles. I gotta have something to keep the mind goin’.

So I start a certification class for soccer refereeing  tomorrow. It’s a three day process, with a 3 hour session tomorrow and two 8 hour sessions on Saturday and Sunday. I’m hoping that I can start reffing right away so that I can start makin’ some much needed cash. I’m bummed though, because the class cuts right into my Sunday soccer match, so they’ll have to manage without me this week.

Here are some things I’m going to start getting after once I find a job: plane tix for x-mas time, framing some of my photos for potential sale and for decoration, grad school apps, and, of course, my 2014 world cup savings.

It’s late, I need some shuteye so I can accomplish all of that fulfillment! Hasta luego!

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Monotony

Well, it’s just been more of the same things here in Arizona. The weather has been unforgiving and extremely predictable, as its been over 100 and sunny pretty much every day I’ve been here. I still have not found a job, and I’m getting really bored of sitting and watching movies/surfing the internet for far too many hours each day. I get out of the house and lift/play soccer/softball a few times a week, but it’s just getting really old, really quick. I need something fresh to kick-start me, to get me going. Once I get my job, I’ll actually get to enjoy this time where I have no priorities and can feel good about sitting in front of a screen.

Something that has been a little out of the ordinary has been the mail I’ve received in the past couple of days. Today I received a card from my loving Grandmother, which contained an extremely relevant and encouraging message, a check, and a recipe for pork/beef roast. She’s the best. And the other day, I received a postcard from a friend abroad, which also brightened my day a little bit more, even in this blistering sun. And speaking of blistering, I burnt the top of my hand pretty good the other day whilst cooking some toast. I really hope it leaves a nice scar so I can make up a cool story about it.

I’m disappointed in myself, as I have yet to go on a real photo adventure here in Arizona. I would do it with all the spare time I have here, but it’s just so damn hot…every…day. But here are a couple I have taken:

This one was taken tonight, where the sunset just made everything glow a beautiful color.

Another taken tonight of two of the many cats in our complex. Intense, aren’t they?

And finally, here are a couple that I took in New Mexico on my drive right off the highway.

That’s all for now. Hasta luego.

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Day and Night…

…the lonely loner seems to free his mind at night. That lyric was a lot more appropriate than I actually intended it to be haha. But yeah, the title of this blog post actually refers to the fact that I played soccer tonight and will be playing again this coming morning. I’m gonna be one tired little Cluub…Oh yeah, and it’s supposed to be 109 degrees tomorrow…awesome.

Sandwiched between both of those activities, I will be forcing myself to wake up at 5:30 am in order to watch on of the biggest English football games of the season. My Liverpool Reds take on Manchester United at Old Trafford. The Reds have the momentum behind them as they come off of a decisive midweek win in the Europa League, while Manchester United are looking to pick themselves up after a midweek draw with Rangers in the Champions League. Wayne Rooney will also be aiming to change the headlines to something slightly more positive as his reputation has been brought into question following his alleged affair. Old Trafford is a tough place to win for away teams, however, and Liverpool have not looked near as good as their rivals thus far this season, although the return of Joe Cole is welcome and should give some much needed creative and support to the slightly out-of-form Torres and the talismanic Gerrard. Needless to say, this one should be a cracker. That’s why getting up at 5:30 will (hopefully) be worth it.

Also, I wanted to comment on the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I did not like it. Just a less funny rehash of Forrest Gump with a gimmick. Too long too. What a waste of time.

Here are some other albums that have been blastin’ out my speakers lately:

Menomena- Mines- Really great lyrics and drumming. It’s weird and creative and super catchy too.

Kylesa- Static Tensions- Two drummers, heavy riffage, need I say more?

Opeth- Some Swedish (or something) metal band that changes from really melodic acoustic passages to brutal, pounding metal on a dime. So good.

Ok bed time. If you all have a chance, check out the song When I’m Small by Phantogram. I doubt you’ll be disappointed. Hasta luego!

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