September 30th, 2005
I love my cats but sometimes I want to mix them up with vegetables, soy sauce, a few peppers, and rice. In some cultures this would be considered perfectly normal. In our culture, however, it's perfectly normal to come home once in a blue moon to find a cupboard wide open and everything inside (fish food containers, vitamins, etc.) strewn about the room--and of course everything that could be ripped to shreds is ripped to shreds.
This is what I came home to yesterday afternoon and although I have four cats there was no question who the culprit was: Monkey.
Monkey was born in a litter box. I was at work that day when I received an Instant Message from Vipasanna freaking out that Kitten (a.k.a. The Electric Pookaloo) had started giving birth and must have thought she needed to "go", so to speak. So Vipasanna's loosing it and having watched dozens of kittens born over my life I tell her to calm down, get a warm, wet wash cloth, get the kitten, wash it off softly, then put it in a box full of bathroom towels and put that in my room (with Kitten in it because, as we later discovered, she had no clue about this whole mother cat thing).
So this was Monkey's start in life. His name, at first, came from the fact that he had a deformed tail that looked like a metal clothes hanger that had been bent in five or six different places (the kind of thing you see on a beat jalopy as a stand-in radio antenna). As he got older he was obviously the most curious of all the surviving kittens (one was stillborn) and as soon as he was able he'd climb to the top of anything he possibly could and shake and bang and generally get absolutely fracking crazy.
Now I still haven't figured out why Monkey gets this stick up his little round arse. For months he'll be his hyper, crazy, attention junkie self and that's just dandy, it's Monkey, and you gotta love the little guy. Then one day out of the blue he must think to himself, "I think today I shall get into that cupboard and destroy everything in it! Woahahahaha!" The three other cats will usually sit closely by in some sort of fascination as if to say, "Woah, oh man, he's gonna get his ass in soooo much trouble!" and like CSI junkies they might "peruse" the crime scene a little bit before deciding it's time to sit in a windowsill.
And now for your moment of Zen:
Is it possible to be without perception of self?
September 28th, 2005
It's 10:17pm and I'm working. Normally this wouldn't bother me so much but I've been getting to bed at a more "normal" bedtime as of late and on top of that I need to be at work an hour earlier tomorrow morning for a training day. So instead of grumbling (too much) I'd like to share a good memory with you.
This last Saturday I rode my bike down to Eugene just to get out in the air. I stopped at a little grocery called Sundance and parked the bike. A hippie came up to me, pointed to the stuffed animal hanging from my backpack, and asked, "Is that 'Animal' from The Muppets?"
"Yeah," I said with a smirk, "He wanted to come for a ride."
"Oh," responds the hippie. "You wanna hear a joke?"
"Sure, why not?"
The hippie comes a little closer and while looking my bike over asks, "What's small, green, and smells like porn?"
"I don't know," I say thinking no matter what the answer is I'm enjoying interacting with a _real_ hippie after so many years. "What?"
"Kermit's finger," he says not quite sure whether I'm going to laugh or say something derogatory. I grin and shake my head. "That's bad," I say while locking up the bike. "I usually don't remember jokes but somehow I think that one'll stick with me." He then walked away to do something with one of his friends in the adjoining parking lot and I went into Sundance.
When I walked into the little store I did a quiet look-see as I used to know someone who worked there and as I knew they were entirely unpredictable I wanted to be prepared--my psychic sense doesn't always kick in so I sometimes have to revert to senses one through five which is just fine. I walked to the west side of the store and felt a little strange, the guy in red, black, and white motorcycle gear walking through a little store where hair was in dreds, women were in one piece summer dresses, and the general atmosphere was fairly laid back. It took me awhile to reorient myself but I finally found the Holy Cow burritos, something we don't have up here in the city, and picked out my favourite: Vishnu's Dream. Next I grabbed a bottle of my favourite Genesis juice (strawberry-honey-lemonade--and I am so allergic to it) and went outside where I sat on the bench and enjoyed this wonderful and perfect sized lunch.
I couldn't help but realize something while I was outside. I don't think I've ever, in the hundreds of times I've been to Sundance, just sat outside on the bench. I went there to get groceries then I left. Stop and go. Not a big deal really, I mean, would you hang outside of Safeway or Albertsons? But Sandance, I knew, wasn't like any of these big chain stores. Sundance was filled with wonderful, earthy good energy. In fact I realized something rather interesting while I sat there enjoying the early afternoon breeze: this little organic grocerie a little south of the University of Oregon held more positive memories for me than any other place in Eugene.
So many happy memories there walking through the narrow isles knowing almost everything there was healthy. Happy memories alone or with someone I loved deeply. Only happy memories. And I can't say that about too many places.
And so now that I'm back in Portland and the Genesis Juice has been greatly enjoyed the bottle has been rinsed and put in the recycling bin where it should go. Maybe some day it will again hold some amount of healthy, organic juice for you to enjoy.
Take care and goodnight,
September 27th, 2005
Look into my eyes, look into my eyes! Not around my eyes, look into my eyes!
There! You're under!
Those ideas you had as a kid? Forget them. Adults are just big kids that make bigger mistakes but know how to look good while they're doing them and I should know I'm a stage performer and I always look good which is important but beside the point though when you wake up you'll believe I am the most drop dead gorgeous hunk of man flesh in existence.
Also, you're happy, happy, happy, I mean you're as happy as you were that one time when you found that one thing in the locker of that high school kid when you were only in sixth grade before your mother found out--and when I release you you'll have a new memory, a happy memory that you got away with it.
In a moment I'm going to snap my fingers and you're magically going to have power over space and time and going to have everything you want--as long as I agree to it, of course.
Three, two, one. You're in the room!
September 26th, 2005
Tonight I feel like a peanut. You know, small, hard, but fragile, and filled with salt and fatty goodness. D'ya ever feel like that?
I went out this afternoon to jog. I really needed to get a work out and push myself to the edge. I took my daughter out to the path behind the house with her new skateboard and taught her how to ride it. I did more walking than running...but I enjoyed the sunset and the trees and flowers.
I feel very tired. Emotionally, spiritually tired. I said tonight I'd write about karmic bullseyes, smart bombs, the horizon, and daisies but I think for now it's more important that I be a daisy. Or as General McAuliffe replied to the Nazi's when they demanded his surrender: "Nuts!"
September 25th, 2005
This afternoon my roomate and I watched a film called A Love Song for Bobby Long. I had contemplated renting the DVD before as Scarlett Johansson was in it but the whole John Travolta thing--he's good in some films but he's hit or miss. On the other hand I have to say I have thoroughly enjoyed EVERY film Scarlett Johansson has been in (that I've seen) which is not a distinction she shares with any other actor/actress I've come to have a great deal of respect for.
I really enjoyed this film. A few times I felt myself close to tears. Is it okay to feel pain for someone you care about even though it's not part of your pain or experience? I sometimes think I am a strange creature but that's just how I am so there we go.
On a related subject I've lost interest in choosing films I want to watch or the next CD I want to buy. If I let other people do all the leg work for me they get to choose and I get to be enriched. To Vipasanna, thank you for picking such great movies lately. What a wild winning streak you've been on. To another, thank you for the music suggestions (even if you may not be aware you tossed the suggestion my way). Thank you both.
So tomorrow remind me, I plan to talk about karmic bullseyes, smart bombs, the horizon, and daisies.
P.S. Went to the beach this afternoon, check out my Visions.
September 24th, 2005
A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away the room was dark except for a few candles. I sat on the floor. I didn't really have to sit on the floor. In fact, the floor was a very uncomfortable place to sit and the person who was on the bed was a very uncomfortable person to be with at that moment.
For a young empath.
I was very full of myself at the time. Didn't think anything could touch me. I knew what I was doing, I'd seen the worst there was to see, experienced the worst there was to experience, I thought I was invincible.
Now that I'm older I see that even empaths can be naive. Maybe I was able to experience other people's emotions in a more in-depth way, but I wasn't invincible. And maybe seven, eight, nine years could go by but that imprint of the experience would always be there waiting for the perfect opportunity to take hold and amplify itself a thousand fold.
I had the experience a few times during 1998. God, that was the only time I smoked a carton of cigarettes--in two freaking days! For lack of a better scape goat I said it was just an emotional break down. 1999. 2000. 2001. Every year at least one day a week it would fill my day, this emotion, this thing I'd never seen before that night sitting on the floor speaking calmly helping someone I loved and it was here a thousand times louder and louder and louder. That emotion, a disease that waited for the right soil to grow in--it was patient and waited for the right time to take over.
And that time was the year 2000.
It was the reason I had such a difficult time giving up cigarettes, this toxic emotion. Smoking was the only thing I knew that would keep the deamon from rearing its ugly head, this thing I had caught from someone I loved. I caught it like the flu--*cough* *cough*--but I stopped smoking and I started jogging and I started facing it and when I needed to I cried and I cried.
And (for the most part) I don't let anyone see my tears.
Sometimes that's the way it needs to be. Sometimes you do something and maybe people remember and maybe they don't but you do because it wasn't the kind of thing any old bloke would do and you remember because you were especially succeptible and some days, like today, like tonight, it pushes and pushes trying to get you to go over that edge of acceptance but no, you won't allow that emotion to take control so you're stuck on the precipice neither balanced nor falling.
There are many things I feel that way about. This one...it wasn't something I was aware of until the summer of 2000. Wake up call, that one. So many others...so many others I choose...or another way to put it is that I choose to take the hard road now because what I really want in the long run is worth tears and pain and lonelines and if you look deep, deep down into your soul and acknowledge your deepest wounds and your real reason for coming here in the first place--then no matter how much it hurts it's all good.
I call that Faith.
Do you understand?
After awhile, of course, the brain is conditioned to ignore such things. Do you remember the first time TV networks started showing their logos in the bottom right hand corner of the screen during TV Programs? Oh, how annoying that was!!! Now they're showing advertisements during the programs--and our brains are getting used to it.
I will never be conditioned to or subserviant to this thing or its sisters, brothers, or cousins. I do not care what is written on my grave but it will not be a memory when it should be an idea.
Do you understand?
P.S. %*(&@%$ (*&#$ (*&#@$ &#@!!!!! What an expensive lesson I have learned today!
September 23rd, 2005
Don't really have a whole lot to say today. Throats hurting a little bit but that's my own fault for having a rather acidic diet this week (although I have been staying away from coffee!). During my lunch hour I went with a co-worker to a few motorcycle shops to check out rain proof gloves and it was my first time having a possibly less experienced rider behind me--and keeping from gunning it like I typically do was just as challenging as riding behind a more skilled rider. Oh, and I checked my time off and I've got 40 more hours available and oh yeah, baby, wouldn't it just be cool to take that off right now, wouldn't it wouldn't it? But alas, I must be a good boy and save that for a (literally and figuratively) rainy day.
Plans for this afternoon/evening:
- Get out on bike
- Get out on bike
- Get out on bike
- Pick up something (can't say what, it would ruin the surprise)
- Go home
- Eat chips and Pace (that and me playing with my hair--some things just don't change ;-)
- Watch Battlestar Galactica
- Watch Little Britain ("I want that one!')
- Go out to movie (Vipasanna's 27th b-day)
- Come home, get in hot tub, drink glass of wine
- Get to bed at decent time or else!
Then tomorrow I don't know what I'm going to do but I know if I spend Saturday with Vipasanna I'm not going to be completely there because my spirit is somewhere else thinking something else and I need to allow those thoughts to run all the way through so we can do something interesting and fun Sunday. Both days, however, I need to have my camera so I can take some pictures to share here on The Temple. My daughter, by the way, says I can take a picture of anything, including but not limited to garbage, and make it look good. What do you think?
And what does that say about perception?
Really. Think this one over from every possible angle. You might be surprised what you learn about the universe.
Take it easy,
September 22nd, 2005
After weeks of letting mail pile up in my inbox I decided to respond to people. A few were short, a few were long, but unlike Goldilocks all were just right. I've also taken some time to reorganize The Temple a little, add a few pages, and a my first ASP.NET page (the entrace). And I'm working to commission some artwork from a very talented Portland artist so I'm looking forward to that.
So tonight I'm gonna try to convince you to get a motorcycle. Here are my top ten reasons:
10. Singing in a helmet while you're listening to something on the headphones is a blast. And nobody's gonna look at you like you're a freak because nobody can see your face! Plus the helmet allows you to better tune yourself thus train your voice.
9. You're out in nature. The air, the smells, that bumble bee that just hit your helmet, it's all there and real and present and vibrant.
8. Riding a bike is a way to look forward to going to work in the morning. I don't even think about work when I put on the helmet, just what round-about route I'm going to take. And frankly parking lot traffic doesn't bother me as much when I'm out in the fresh air.
7. Riding is a rush! Think about it, you can do 0 to 60 in a few seconds (as long as you hold on for your life) and shoot past even the fastest sports cars. Rushing past traffic on a mountain highway passing lane at 90mph--not much beats that!
6. If you take the classes and take riding seriously you'll becoming a safer driver. Lets face it, if you are forced to develop the advanced skills to keep from becoming someone else's hood ornament you're going to be top notch on four wheels.
5. Bikers are a family. If you've never ridden you probably don't notice, but when bikes pass each other in opposing lanes they stick out their left hands with (usually) two fingers extended as if to say, "Hey, you've got two wheels? I've got two wheels! Lets be friends!"
4. Four wheeled vehicles are expensive and don't retain their value whereas bikes are just the opposite. You can buy a car for $20k and the moment it's off the lot it's only worth $18k. After you pay it off it might be worth $5k. A decent bike, on the other hand, can be purchased for a few thousand and if taken care of will retain most of its value when sold.
3. Quite a few bikers talk about biking causing your sixth sense to kick in (and I've been surprised to read articles about this in biking magazines!). What I've found is that because biking demands you be in a good mental and physical headspace (to be safe that is) your conscious and subconscious minds have to work more closely together--and this is like watering the soil your psychic energy grows from. Trust me, the more you ride the more open you'll be to your sixth sense (both on and off the bike).
2. Lets face it, gas is expensive and middle eastern countries and the oil cats have their hands so deep into our pockets it's not funny. Sure, we can get a hybrid but in 5 to 8 years the battery needs to be tossed (and replaced for upwards of $5,000) and those things are toxic! Get a motorcycle, get the same gas milage, and keep battery acids out of the garbage dumps. Heck, get an electric moto if you're really concerned, those things get over a hundred miles on a charge.
1. Cause everyone wants to be just like me! Ha ;)
That said my hooligan isn't terribly happy with me because I took Satori to work the last couple of days. Hey, I washed and waxed her up all nice and shiny, she deserves sun and fresh air as much as the next RX-8! I will get back on the hooligan tomorrow morning, though.
I need to hit the road. It's either to the beach, just around town, or to Eugene. I keep thinking oh, oh, I'm going to take ride x but then my guides tell me to wait, I'll know what I'm doing Friday night or Saturday morning. Either way, I need to have my next door neighbor help me adjust my chains before I do another 200-400 mile trip.
So if you see a guy on a naked sport bike with Animal flailing about in the air behind--that's me! The human, not the Animal! Oh, what's the difference anyway! ;)
September 21st, 2005
I've come to believe that if you're psychically inclined you have a fairly good understanding of your personal workings in regards to this gift. Now that doesn't mean you can adequately or easily explain it to others--realistically it's difficult to describe and/or teach another person a skill when it's something we consider a talent we had at birth or something we've only recently just learned.
Take spatial orientation, for instance, or in my case the inability to get lost. I was born this way and have in fact intentionally attempted to get lost in cities and in the woods but somehow always manage to find my way from point A to point Z without too much difficulty or concern. My daughter, however, would have a difficult time telling me how to get from her Dojo to our house which is about 5 miles away (a trip she's taken hundreds of times). I could teach her to pay closer attention, how to use a map, and how to use the sun and the stars to judge not only the approximate time of day but also as a general compass but unless she puts a real substantial part of her life energy into it over an extended period of time she's never going to train her brain to do what mine's just always done.
Except near vortexes (such as Mt. Shasta) where I'm capable of getting just as lost as anyone!
Learned skills can be just as difficult to teach. Take software programming, for instance. I've been programming more or less since I was fourteen and I'll be honest, it's never been "easy" for me. Programming can be extraordinarily challenging as the more you learn the more you realize there is to learn after which there's still more and more and more and more. This idea that people commonly impose on me that because I have a job as a software engineer that I must know everything about computers is erroneous--statistically speaking, there's no way anyone could know even 1% of everything there is to know about these machines and... Off topic, wasn't I? The point is I could teach you how to put together a basic web page, for instance, and then how to setup a server to host it, upload it, etc., etc., etc. Now if I just learned that skill my knowledge won't be complete; it may be difficult to get everything across without communicating something that isn't quite correct or confusing the both of us. At best we can share the experience of learning something with another person but teaching them as an expert authority takes time and experience.
There is, of course, a reason I'm rambling so and that is that I'd like to be able to just say what I mean about such things and know that others will understand what I mean to say but so often I find that people assume to know what you mean often before you open your mouth which makes trying to explain things and communicate with people extraordinarily difficult.
Did you get all that?
When it comes to sharing something about a psychic ability this is doubly so! Muggles, as I sometimes call people who are not consciously aware of their psychic abilities, tend to have very black and white ideas about what constitutes psychic abilities and therefore don't pay attention or assume to much when the topic comes up. Hence why they're not "in tune" with their "vibe".
Take for instance a certain someone who recently accused me of tracking their visits to The Temple. Truth be told if you're reading this now I can tell quite a bit about you. I know what your IP address is, when you visited, how often you visit, and what web pages your browser is loading. Take a look, here's the latest Traffic Facts PDF report for The Temple. From the screenshot above and to the right I can tell you that The Temple is most often loaded by people at my house (it's set as my home page so...). I can also say that Vipasanna visits The Temple from her work, that someone I met earlier this year reads my journal from work and home, and that a very old and beloved friend drops by from time to time to see how I'm doing (and/or to see how they're doing, hehe). These reports tell me a lot but here's a tid-bit for you: I rarely, if ever, use them.
Here's something that's key: I don't need to use them.
So here I am going about my day to day routine just minding my own business. I get up in the morning and I feel strange. I got enough sleep but I feel a little burnt and for some strange reason I almost went downstairs to go outside to smoke though I haven't smoked or really craved cigarettes in over six months. I'm in the shower and I have a sudden bout of smoker's cough which I gave up after I stopped smoking and my phlegm is dark in colour as if I'd been smoking and my mouth has that morning after taste smokers know all to well and I have to brush my teeth twice to get it out. I go to work and things are superficially same old, same old, yet I have a constant feeling of dread and am being overly critical of myself for the smallest things--I must be insecure because I have a sports car and a motorcycle and my helmet's visor is a mirror or I have this feeling that I don't deserve to be loved because I didn't speak up in a meeting and on and on and on and the entire time I keep behaving as if I need to take a cigarette break.
Now that may not seem like much but that's how I've learned to tell if a certain someone is thinking about me, these experiences when composed in such a manner constitute their empathic signature as it relates to me. Other people have different signatures. If I know someone well and am around them often I have more chances to determine what their signature is. Do I often get a strange sense of joy when I see the colour blue that I might not normally have? Do I suddenly hear a song in my mind? Do I feel a strange desire to go hiking and hug trees (literally hug them)? Does my mind start changing a lot in circumstances where I don't typically experience inconsistency? Do I feel cornered? Do I crave cigarettes? These are all different clues that relate to different people I know. The more I'm aware of these signatures the less I'm surprised when I get the e-mail or the phone call or the whatever.
There aren't too many surprises when you're tuned in.
Does that make my life easier? In some ways I guess you could say so. If someone who treated me poorly is around the corner waiting to pounce I get a pretty strong feeling that they're there--but at the same time I get to empathically experience the feelings they're having about me (and likewise my feelings about their feelings about my feelings about their feelings and so on) which is not a comfortable feeling. Could I block that off? Yes, most of the time I can (when I'm feeling emotionally or physically off balance it's much more difficult). Honestly, though, I choose not to at this point in my life. The discomfort I sometimes go through is nothing compared to the knowledge I've gained about myself and my abilities have grown enormously every time I have the courage to stick with the experience. Some day, perhaps when I've learned to acknowledge these signatures more quickly, I will open and close myself to those types of intuitions as needed but for now I keep the door open to all knowledge however pleasing or difficult it might be.
P.S. Watched Garden State this evening. Good movie. I wanted to share this quote with you: "There's a handful of kid things I kinda missed." I can relate to that a lot. Anyhow...
September 19, 2005
So I just started learning ASP. NET the other night and as part of that grand experiment I copied The Temple from the "My Documents" folder on the computer in my boudoir to my MP3 player which has more than sufficient space for a personal web site and hours and hours (and hours) of music, books, and Coast to Coast AM shows. That's besides the point, though, as I can't listen to The Temple while I'm riding my hooligan. The point, which I might say in fewer words if I were less wordy today, is that The Temple is now portable and I can use my lunch breaks to write my journal entries instead of waiting until I have a chance (typically 10 or 11pm). That being said it is not in fact my lunch break as during that time I stopped at the bank to deposit a check then took an undefined route back to work (which took ~45 longer than necessary but that's what happens when you're on a hooligan and there's sun out) and am now sitting here at a completely different time thinking what it is I want to say.
And perhaps today I don't have much to say. In fact some days I have very little to say. Today? All I can say is I've had a very difficult case of "the Mondays".
Oh yeah, wasn't I talking about ASP.NET? Well, I'm going to learn some.
September 18th, 2005
Today...well technically yesterday...I got up at 8am. That's 8am on a Saturday. That's a "not really a morning person" getting up early on a weekend. That's a "I'd really rather sleep in" kinda guy getting up early after a week of early days and late nights. And that's (almost) a miracle.
As I'd mentioned previously my next door neighbor, an all around excellent fellow with enough talent and skill in certain areas to make me look like an absolute wanna-be (that's a compliment if you ever stumble across The Temple), asked if we could go riding together sometime. A few days ago we agreed to this Saturday, 9am sharp. 9am? Ha! But I got up as if it was a work day (wishing I could have gotten 2 more hours, of course), took a nice, long, long, hot shower, grabbed the gear, checked the bike over, and then went out with him into the chilly morning air and fog.
I've only been riding for a little over a month or so but this is the first time I've ridden with someone else. Sure, I've come up behind bikers and bikers have come up behind me, but doing 200 miles behind another biker is a different experience than going alone. On my own I decide the speed, I decide how and when and where to go. If I'm in a beautiful area I might slow down to take a moment and soak in the scenery--hey, I might own a fast bike but it doesn't dictate my speed as much as my heart and mind do.
So there I was, a month or two of experience under my belt trying not to look like too much of a schmuck behind someone who's been riding since they were 18 and he's screaming around the corners and taking me up on a twisty back highway from Hillsboro, Oregon, up to Astoria. And it was cold and chilly and foggy and Aslynn needs some rainy weather gloves (I've got some nice gloves for sunny days--but they get wet and they get CHILLY in the wind!). Then we hit some real good twisties for about 20 miles or so and there were thousands (I am not kidding) of cyclists getting together for a little thing called Cycle Oregon and we're forced to dodge and corner and corner while dodging people peddling, peddling, peddling through the mountains.
Saturday's ride was the most challenging ride for me to date. I had to learn to work with another rider, to catch up on portions of the road I felt comfortable (I hope those bike cops aren't reading this ;), watch the road and not fixate on my neighbor's tail lights, and most difficult of all I had to dodge cyclists one after another after another while trying to plan my turns, shift gears, and insure that I didn't overshoot the next corner or come around too fast and unintentionally give a motorcyclist a little push into the ditch. Quite difficult, very tiring, entirely rewarding!
On a tangent I thought, "My god, are these people (the cyclists) nuts? It's cold and wet out here and this road goes for miles and miles and miles and miles! They've gotta envy me, I'm having a great time, making great time, and the only things that are sore are my hands and my butt!" Then I thought, "You know, I like these crazy people. They have a lot of strength and commitment. I'll bet when some of them wave they're thinking how kewl it is that we're both on the same road sharing the same air and the same forest but in each our own way. Maybe someday I might train and do some long distance cycling too, I'd love to join them. And maybe one day they'd like to moto and they'd be more than free to be at my side. What great people!"
Do you want to know what the high point of the ride was?
We'd just gone through Seaside then merged onto highway 26 East when early fall leaves flew through the now warm air and enveloped me. There were only three or four but there was this beauty to it all, the first time I've ridden a bike through fall leaves and I thought it will be so beautiful to see the leaves change colour this year and dance on the air with me as I ride and think and ride and hope and ride and meditate and live and grow and be.
With leaves surrounding me.
September 17th, 2005
Sometimes the days pass and I write a lot in my head. Unfortunately I do not have a pad of paper and a pen in my head but a white board and some of those stinky dry erase markers. And sometimes when I get out of the shower I do this little dance while I dry off and accidnetly bump up against with the towel and well, here's what's left...
So this afternoon Vipasanna and I went to look at hybrids. Neither of us is seriously thinking about getting a vehicle but I was curious how good the technology has gotten so I took a test ride in the Toyota Highlander and Prius hybrids. Both were great vehicles, I was enormously impressed. Also sat in a Honda Accord hybrid. Sometime, when we have more time, we're going to check out the Ford Escape and hopefully by the time either of us are serious about vehicle hunting there will be more hybrids or alternative energy vehicles than gas guzzling road monsters.Little Britain is awesome! And I am a very bad, bad boy...
Earlier this week I spent the first hour of my mornings fading in and out of sleep as I listened to the sessions with Chief Justice nominee John Roberts. It was quite interesting and contrary to much of the propaganda I heard/read from some news sources, he's seemed to be quite objective, intelligent, and had his head on straight. Granted, an intelligent person can answer questions in a manner that is intended for the best result, but overall I got a good impression.
But then, that's just one pygmie's opinion.
So one morning while I was listening I had this strange dream that I was a laywer and I was arguing a case with someone else that I know and I was a bit nervous because I didn't have a law degree but somehow people thought I could do it and I thought I'd be fine. No, this was not some kind of empathic intuition about Judge Roberts, I know where this dream came from, thank you very much. NPR was only a catalyst and sometimes that's just how it is.
When I was 18 I thought about going into law but I didn't think I'd ever be able to afford it (excuse) and I was socially retarted at that time (true) and I didn't want to defend people I knew were guilty or prosecute people I felt were not (very true). I'd completely forgotten about this past interest over the years and it was good to remember it again as I'm finally, for once, in a headspace where I'm more than just theoretically aware that I write my life and I get to decide what's in the next chapter whether that be law, becoming a major positive influence at my work, going cross country on a motorcycle, or getting a sex change and becoming a new age guru claiming that I'm from Planet 9.
Seriously, though, going in and out of hypnogogic sleep for an hour in the mornings has been enormously helpful. I hear the news and then go into partial sleep and this puts me in a state where I'm aware and my guard is down. Subconscious and conscious mind both are lit up brightly and I get to say hey, I've got these associations with law or with life decisions or with conservative types. Then I get up, go into the shower, and ask myself what I've learned from the experience. No hiding, just acceptance followed by a little shampoo and conditioner.
Did I mention lather, rinse, repeat?
The last three or four weeks have been interesting. As many of you know I was under psychic attack awhile back and after verifying its source (quite by accident!) I thought that perhaps these kinds of energetic impressions might be best communicated when someone was experiencing cognitive dissonance.
So this week I had some similar feelings...mostly cognitive dissonance combined with "past" type memories but not with the same kind of negativity I was picking up before--unfortunately being just a psychic empath I don't see pictures but I get strong feelings and sometimes I know which direction they're coming from--but being psychic doesn't mean you get a freaking return address! So I'm having these and thinking nah, this Monday something terribly difficult happened in my life (as well as many others') and so I thought I was just being nervous, upset, and insecure about that + Vipasanna has been feeling down in the dumps which I pick up whether we're in the same room or twenty miles away from each other so yadda, yadda, yadda...
Aslynn, trust your intuituion you big boob!
Anyway, I need to get up early in the morning. My next door neighbor and I are gonna go moto and rip up some roads. He owns a sexy silver little Yamaha FZ-6. Me? I've just got my hooligan.
Oh, oh, oh, last but not least, I need some new music and I want something completely different! Bah!
September 14th, 2005
So I'm watching "Trauma: Life in the ER", a program on Discovery Health Channel, last night. Three motorcyclists are brought into the ER. None of them are wearing helmets. All of them come in t-shirts and blue jeans or shorts. The narrator says that at least two were riding in the country and for some "unknown" reason shot through curves and into ditches (he even mentioned one was lucky enough to miss the trees). Should I mention the motorcyclist on tonight's episode was drunk as a skunk?
As I watched I saw the skill which the doctors and nurses use to help these patients. These people have the right stuff yet after seeing so many motorcyclists why don't they know anything about it? Here's a wild guess: 95% of the motorcyclists they see are what serious riders might term "squids" or "skin doners".
So what is a squid?
Generally speaking, it's a new or reckless rider who rides beyond their capabilites (that's breaking serious rider rule #1: Ride within your limits!). Squids are easy to spot too. See a rider wearing a t-shirt, shorts, and tennis shoes? That's probably a squid and you'll find them riding sports bikes and Harley D's. Yeah, they're cool, they don't need to learn, they haven't gotten in a crash yet (or one they'd admit to), and screw what you think, they're having a good time!
Are these serious cyclists? You tell me. All I know is they're always the ones on the stretchers.
Now I've got this tag on the right inside hip of my Joe Rocket pants that reads: "Riding motorcycles can be very dangerous. This product cannot protect against all injuries. By using this product, you observe that you are riding at your own risk." The first time I read this I laughed out loud. Was some lawyer overly bored that day or are some people so litigation happy that they believe a room of sane people (who are probably already biased against motorcyclists) are going to believe that a pair of pants, however well padded, is going to protect someone from a VW Bug, Hummer H2, or a pissed off Grizzly Bear (yes, unfortunately this has happened to at least one motorcyclist)?
As I've told my daughter motorcycling is only as safe as the rider. Step one, of course, is having a bike that's in top condition and taking care of it. Step two is wearing the appropriate gear for the conditions. Step three? Knowledge, practice, rinse, repeat!
If you're interested in motorcycling the two best books on the market are Proficient Motorcycling and More Proficient Motorcycling by David L. Hough. Study, study, study! Cycling may connect you physically with the earth but don't fool yourself, it's a serious mental activity and those with the mental skills are those that keep both tires on the road.
Take classes from the Motorcycling Safety Foundation (in Oregon that's Team Oregon). These classes are affordable and include classroom time to discuss and go over many of the ideas, concepts, and skills presented in the beforementioned books, as well as time on the bikes learning and improving one's skills. Classes include beginner, intermediate, and advanced.
Obviously book and classroom learning won't teach you everything you need to know. Practicing tight turns and quick stops in a parking lot isn't adequate training for a freeway that's transformed itself into a parking lot. At some point you have to hit the road and get used to traffic and dogs and angry dogs carrying bones in their mouths and pedestrians and angry pedestrians carrying bones in their mouths. At some point you're going to have to hit a little gravel while going around a tight country corner and feel the back tire loose traction for a split second while your heart jumps a beat and then come around the corner to find a school bus stopped so you hit the breaks a little to hard and the back tire skids and you keep on that break so you don't low side, ride that fucker out, and come to a nice, well controlled stop several car lengths behind the bus. At some point you're going to have to push your limits and your comfort zone a little bit to know what it's like to experience a little discomfort and remember that a motorcycle is a powerful machine and you can bloody well hurt yourself by riding beyond your skill level.
Can you name anything else like that? What I mean to ask is if you do anything else "beyond your skill level" are you capable of getting hurt or hurting others? Think about your family, friendships, and relationships. Have you had instances in your life where you weren't wearing safety gear? What happened when you didn't signal your intentions (or pay attention to other people's)? Did you always ride at a safe speed and did you get into wrecks when you weren't? Ever exceed your "sight distance"? Ever wish you could go back so you could have slowed down before hitting that busy intersection?
Life is full of crashes. You can do one of two things: Assume you know it all or learn, practice, and never stop challenging yourself. Who do you think has fewer, less serious crashes? And why did the squid cross the road?
September 13th, 2005
Many apologies, for the second night in a row I don't have a picture to share with you. I'd make up an excuse but I prefer the truth and the truth is tonight I'm too freakin' lazy. And to be quite honest I don't feel like writing but every time I look away from the screen and think about doing something else my gut says just get it out and goto bed and then I think that's an okay way to share a reflection too because and after all I am human and such.
For those who don't know me well I've become more and more reclusive over the years. I don't have too much interest seeking friendship and social events outside my immediate family nor do I often feel the need to. And truth be told my level of trust in other human beings...well, the last five years haven't been all roses where trust is concerned.
I am much happier doing things on my own. Very content. I know what I want to do and I can do it successfully. There's my goal, I do the work necessary to get there. Motorcycling, for instance. I know I just want to get the road under me and say practice on some twisties for twenty minutes. I put on the headphones, the gear, and I'm off listening to NPR as I plan my entry and exit points on the curves, no confusion, no strings, no bull, just me and the road.
Over the last month I've had offers from two different people for social activities, one to motorcycle and the other to take a ride in a Cessna possibly down and over the Oregon beach. And though I plan to do both I feel no strong drive to do either in any immediate fashion. Some would say it's because I'm afraid, that whole trust issue, but I don't find it to be that. I guess with the motorcycling it begs the question, "Will I enjoy motorcycling with someone else?"--and I'm somewhat afraid of possible dissapointment. With the plane I don't know, though my stand-in excuse is that I don't want to be another statistic on the evening news.
Of course there's no hurry one way or the other. Just one of those things I think about.
September 12th, 2005
Have you ever lost something you valued? Have you ever learned to value something after you've lost it? Have you lost something only to realize the value you placed on it was misplaced? Do you miss the things you've lost?
Have you ever gained something you value? Have you ever learned to value something before you'd gained it? Have you gained something only to realize the value you placed on it was misplaced? Do you value the things you have?
Do you have anything? Have you lost anything? Can you really own anything or loose anything except yourself right now at this moment or at any given moment? Is loss simply an experience we believe is somehow the opposite of gaining?
Two riddles:How can you loose more things than you gain?
How can you gain more than you loose?
Do you understand?
September 11th, 2005
I feel out of sorts today. Okay, honestly I've been feeling out of sorts since the last few days of my vacation. I've been doing some work on my own as well as some energy work with Vipasanna but overall I have a feeling that another personal transformation is on the not so distant horizon--and I feel reluctant to leave my cocoon this time around.
It would be so much easier if I had a better idea what was around the corner. Sure, I've always survived in the past and unlike many I get that intuitive vibe about what's around the corner, have a vague idea about when to expect it, but never the specifics.
So I don't really know what to write about tonight. I'm tired but not tired enough to hit the sack yet and I don't have much on my mind with the exception of this want and desire for answers that are somewhere around the corner and they may or may not be declared in the way I want but then that is how the universe works.
And so Aslynn will finish up the night folding clothes and watching a documentary on 9/11 and reading hybrid reviews.
September 10th, 2005
Yesterday was a pretty long day. I woke up a little after 6am, which is early for me, dropped my daughter off at school (she usually rides the bus), then went in to work where I took a Leadership Training Seminar I'd signed up for a few days before. So I was a little tired when the morning started and I was substantially tired by the end. In the afternoon I went home, pick up my roomate and daughter, dropped daughter off at Karate so she could spar for a few hours, and we went off and did other things. We all ate Chinese at 8:30 then came home and watched Battlestar Galactica and Little Britain (after the kid went to bed of course, no way I'm letting her watch this kind of filth until she's a dirty old man like me!). So around midnight I get in the hot tub, read, listen to Coast to Coast, then play a little Diablo II then hit the sack.
After a long day like that it's not unusual for me to want to sleep in the next day (if it's not a work day, that is). Though I haven't done this often over the last five or six months the last few weeks I've found myself exhausted more often than not due to a number of different factors. This morning was one such morning.
One strange thing I've noticed is that each time I've slept in I've had some fairly intense dreams about the old home I spent years 3 thru 17 (and many restless nights beyond). A little background information for you, about 5 or so years ago my parents sold their country home so they could move to the city. Their desire to move was, at least emotionally, as if they'd said, "We're getting a divorce." They'd just had that house for most of my memories and there was something wrong about them leaving the old homestead. So being the person who always challenges his reality I helped them move. While the moving truck was in transit I spent some time alone in the house taking some pictures (for nastalgia's sake), saying goodbye, and saying prayers and in fact blessing the house so that the harsh memories that might lay in those walls wouldn't be transfered to the new family.
And I would have burned sage too but you work with what you have!
The picture you'll find above was taken in the living room. In the center of the picture on the floor is a black blob which is, in actuality, my camera's (fanny) bag. Interestingly, this is the same place I set my camera bag in the dream (although the large couch was along the wall to the left still).
When I have a dream with psychic meaning I know it. I can't really explain why, there's just a "yes" feeling that goes along with it telling me it has something to do with something in the "awake" world outside my own mind. Last night's dream, however, was not one of those dreams but I find myself wondering why I keep dreaming of the old homestead. They're not upsetting dreams, they're not dreams of loss or of wanting to go back. There's something underlying all this.
So let me share it with you.
It started in the back yard having come from another dream with another family in the past who's lives were burried over. I walked by the back kitchen window and looked into the house which looked like it was at the very last stages of being moved out of. I walked onto the back porch and through the back sliding door and I'm trying to get my digital camera to work but it's being uncooperative. I set the bag down by the couch in the living room and change from the large zoom lens (which isn't much use indoors) to the regular lens then see my parents, sister, and daughter walking down the hall towards me. I take a picture but the flash doesn't go off. In the LCD display I see a dark picture of my daughter appear a little lighter, a little lighter, and I delete it because I know I can get the thing to take a decent picture. Then we're in the kitchen and we say goodbye to my father, he's going to Mt. Shasta, California and he has a ride. Although it's strange for our family to split up this way I didn't find it strange in the dream and knew we'd all meet up. My sister and mother are going together but in a little bit and I, I'm going to get my camera to work, take some pictures, then ride my motorcycle down.
I have no hard conclusions yet but I can say this, the camera symbolized my conscious need to understand and take 'snapshots' of these repetitive dreams--and I'm only just getting a better understanding. There is other symbolism in this dream but most of it wasn't in my previous dreams at the homestead so it may or may not be related. We'll see.
I have always been good at dream interpretation. My method was fairly simple, I listen to your dream and think about it until I come to some understanding then I ask questions to confirm or deny certain assumptions I'm making until there are no longer any hidden areas or blind assumptions. Accurate dream interpretation should be straight foward, interactive, to the point, and devoid of "symbolic superstition" (i.e. water always represents the subconscious, the colour blue always represents masculinity, etc.).
While reading The Voice of Knowledge my roomate brought up how there's not much difference between the awake world and dreams and at that point I realized that I'd been using what I'd call "The Theory of Dreaming" to analyze dreams, both psychic and otherwise, all my life. The theory goes like this: while you are awake you are dreaming, while you are asleep you are dreaming, the only difference is that while you are awake the dream is shared.
Put in psychological terms while we are awake we're projecting our mental/emotional/psychological reality onto the objective reality "outside" of our bodies. For instance, I might wake up feeling a bit grumpy and so I'm bound, by the very nature of psychology, to project much of this onto sentient and non-sentient objects in the outside world. While we are asleep projection IS the dream.
I suggested to Vipasanna yesterday that the definition of wisdom is when our internal dreams most closely reflect the external. In other words when our projects of the universe more accurately reflect how things "really" are then we have what we choose to call wisdom.
So why are dreams important?
While we are "awake" its very difficult to separate the projections from the objective reality. While we "sleep" our projections are the reality, they define the universe, they are what we believe.
Now do you see why it's so important to understant your dreams?
September 7th, 2005
This morning I was in the shower listening to NPR when I heard another story about hurricane Katrina. "Great!" I'm thinking to myself, here we go again, more finger pointing while people are dying (and we still think humans are evolved just because we've invented toilet paper [which, quite frankly, is one invention I wouldn't want to live without]). Fortunately, this wasn't another tale about tail wagging or culpability but instead an eye opener.
They were talking about people's pets and how there were groups of people doing their best to find and take care of animals that got lost/ran away during the storm. It interested me at first because--well, if I were a governor or a mayor I'd put all my thought into infrastructure, support, energy, keeping the peace, search and rescue, rebuilding, etc., etc., etc. With all of the responsibility on my shoulders, with the complexity of the job, would I stop and think, "What are we going to do about Mrs. Johnson's parakeet?"
So there are people out there looking and helping animals. There's a place out side the astrodome where they're taking pictures of pets and owners and taking care of the animals while the people try to take care of themselves and find their loved ones. Wow, I thought, these sound like some pretty cool, if a little cooky, people. A bright ray of intelligence in a situation highlighting the failings we all share as a culture.
And then came the shocking point: these organizations had a pet disaster recovery plan in place long before this storm. They were organized. They had people. They were trained.
Lets compare that for a moment to FEMA as well as the State and National Goverment. Lets not finger point, lets simply ask if a gaggle of regular citizens can be more organized and on top of things than our Government, what does that say about the priorities of our leaders?
Before you answer that you might want to know that a subsidiary of Halliburton has much of the rebuilding contract for that area. Hey, we're short on National Guard troops (because they're not where they're "supposed" to be) but we're never short of goverment friendly companies who overcharge for nation building and New Orleans rebuildin'! Hurray to greed.
And thank the Gods for pet owners.
September 6th, 2005
This summer I went to this psychic fair. I didn't go with too many expectations one way or another, just something new to do. And besides, wouldn't it be interesting to be in a huge ballroom full of people who have psychic gifts? And what are their gifts, their ideas, their takes on this strange experience called life?
When you really start to open your mind you begin to see just how many ideas are part of the global consciousness.
For instance, love for Sports. What's with that? I've struggled my whole life to understand some people's fanatacism about a bunch of people trying to take a big leather ball from a bunch of other people and get it to one side of a large rectangular grassy area. And then there's people that smack little balls around bigger grassy areas trying to protect them from puddles of water and sandboxes (for the latter I can't blame them, especially if my cats have been anywhere near them!).
When looking at an idea, any idea, it's important to understand a few things. First of all an idea by it's very nature exists. We can say, "The Earth is flat," and we know it's not, but the idea has validity in that someone can believe in it and that gives it power. Likewise, if someone loves drinking beer and watching footy with their mates their idea or perception of this game has validity--to them--and therefore it has power--for them.
Schemas, Dogmas, Ideologies, Religious, and Spirital beliefs are all this way. Is a given belief true? Was Jesus Christ, for instance, resurrected on the third day? Say it never happened. So what? The Crusades still happened, the 700 Club is still on, and people will continue to argue about having prayer in school.
I digress and apologize briefly as not to get off subject again!
Belief is important and it doesn't matter if something's objectively true or not to have power. That's just how we understand and paint our individual universes. At the same time there's something I value about finding beliefs that have validity in the "objective" (replicatable) sense of the term. And that's a hard thing. You've gotta be open minded, for starters. Then objective--and sometimes that means accepting beliefs that challenge your ego. Willing to look at an idea or phenomena from multiple angles (until you can't think of anymore). And never, never, never, accept any theory as absolutely true as it only capable of representing your best understanding of a phenomena at any given point in time.
Not easy, not easy at all, and few are capable or willing to live in this manner.
About a year ago I started looking at the idea of "psychic attack". Long story short a psychic attack is just that, when someone attacks you or a loved one psychically. There are, of course, various theories about how this happens, why this happens, and how to protect oneself and they're varied yet similar and very, very interesting, at least in my view.
I didn't really have an opinion one way or another. If I had many of the symptoms of a psychic attack was it really me being attacked or was I psychologically attacking myself, at least on a subconscious level?
I kept myself from dwelving too deeply into it, though, as doing so can lead to a psycho-spiritual sort of hypochondria. "Oh, I feel a little tired and depressed, some jerk must be thinking ill on me!" This kind of attitude, when observed too often, can quickly turn into a conditioned mindset that limits one from taking responsibility instead of accepting Occam's Razor--i.e. these things could have more easily been caused by a lack of sleep, not enough excercise, and a poor diet!
There were times, though, that I wondered if a friend of mine were attacking me in this manner (like me she's quite "sensitive"). It seemed to happen when she was envious or angry with me--even if I didn't know about her feelings yet ("know" in the conventional sense of the term, that is). Being a psychic empath doesn't help, of course, as I'm already super sensitive to her moods--but was I sensitive to her feelings about me and my life if/when she was at work? So I began to make mental notes. I feel X, Y, and Z today and I believe this might be an attack. Later I might collect several of these events then confront her about it finding that some were hits and some were misses. So I weeded out X and Z and only paid attention to Y then asked her about those times and wow, 90%+ accuracy, especially if she was feeling anger, envy, and was upset with me, all at the same time.
Sound a little crazy? Well, dig into quantum physics a little bit and it's not so crazy after all. Our thoughts have an effect on the quantum level and no scientist will argue with the last 30 years of evidence, it's quite astounding (and often unbelievable). Plus information on a quantum level, which experiments have shown can be effected by "the observer effect", have an instantaneous rate of travel--do you understand what I'm saying?
So last week I felt like I was being psychically attacked and it was strange. I was having a vacation and I was feeling absolutely wonderful and getting out and riding my bike and having a fucking awesome time then suddenly I felt like someone was standing beside me criticising me all the time--and it wasn't in my voice. I found myself looking at shirts and going, "Oh god, I look so 80's in that"--a criticism only one person would have made about me. So I'm thinking I'm just a little tired and I'm sad because I finished the motorcycle trip and I don't have any more big plans (or $$$ for said plans) for my vacation so I say it must be that, it's a "perfectly rational explanation". But I keep having those kinds of negative thoughts. "I'm not affectionate enough with my daughter," and, "I need to treat my cats better," and, "I'm stubborn," and, "I don't listen" and on and on and on.
Big clue? These aren't things I typically think about myself.
Now if this were a psychic attack I knew who was doing it but I wasn't going to assume. Besides, if I don't take responsibility for insecurities based on past criticisms how will I grow? So I'm giving myself a little extra compassion and on September 3rd I write a little in my journal wondering what's up but feeling it's something big and mention psychic attack as one possibility. I upload that web page, check my e-mail a few minutes later, and guess what? A certain two page letter from a certain someone, a certain someone I haven't heard from in almost a year.
Eileen Nauman, a Shaman with a website, says about psychic attacks, "Just by standing your ground and staying in your own, personal balance, can make people angry at you."
That's what I believe started the attacks in the first place. I stood my ground, stood on my own, and maintained my personal balance and they found I wouldn't be told how to dress, how to parent, how to take care of my cats, and so on.
I've been thinking about this experience, the first where I've come to the personal conclusion that psychic attacks absolutely exist, and have come to several other conclusions. First and foremost, though people can consciously choose to send negativity towards others it's usually performed by those who aren't consciously aware of it. It doesn't take a witch or a shaman or a pagan or a psychic, just someone who's angry and obsessive. Also, people who have been deeply wounded and their wound corresponds to their strongest hopes--wounds and hopes they believe have in some way been harmed--make the most powerful and arguable dangerous psychic attackers (including to themselves!).
So why do I think all this?
After much thought I've come to believe I used to psychically attack certain people a great deal--even when I seemed like I was happy with them. I wasn't aware of it, of course. I was in this headspace of if I loved someone and they loved me then they'd step in line and do A, B, and C (these specifications were, of course, very specific and very self-serving). When they didn't do A, B, or C, the only conclusion I could come to was that they didn't love me so I'd get upset and I'd confront them and say, "I love you, I think you're great, I think you're wonderful, but...yadda, yadda, yadda," and my friend would either take it or not then avoid me.
It was always that "but" that got me into trouble. Pity it took me a decade to figure that one out!
So I never went up to people and asked them if they felt I was psychically attacking them. I didn't care, there was a deep part of myself that was hurt badly and I rationalized to myself that 1) they deserved whatever negativity I had to send their way and besides 2) they had it all and there was no way my being upset was going to do anything to their story book existence. Back then I cared about my own person story and I couldn't really see anyone's else's, not in real time, not without a self-serving component.
Funny how things change. Or do they?
Late last year the person I believe I spent years unknowningly attacking psychically contacted me. What did I pick up empathically? Fear. No way was this person going to trust or be vulnerable with me again, or at least not any time soon. And you know what? I don't blame her one bit.
My karma, I accept it and whatever comes from it.
So psychic attack, an idea which to me has power. Is it real? You can decide yourself but it's worth checking out. And more than anything it's one more reason to burn some sage and heal those deep parts of your heart that are so easily denied.
P.S. Vipasanna, when are you gonna get your endorsement so we can go play Ponch and John? I get to be Ponch! ;)
September 4th, 2005
Don Miguel Ruiz has outdone himself again with his book The Voice of Knowledge. Now this book has an awesome plot and the main character is someone anyone can identify with, both their successes and their failures, their personal quirks, weaknesses, and strengths. The best part of this story is perhaps the ending--in-as-much-as it's not really an ending but a new beginning. This book, which I suggest everyone take some time to read, will shortly be added to my Books page. Enjoy.
Oh, and while I'm mentioning things like this check out a little movie called Ghost World. Thanks Vipasanna, I really enjoyed it!
[Flashback] Monday August 28th, 2005...
I woke up early. My mom and daughter were up and I Love Lucy was on the tele. I watched a little then forced myself down the hall into the bathroom to take a warm shower under that killer shower head my twins somehow survive every day--oh wait, they're still taking baths--then got my things together, walked out, sat down and watched more Lucy. She was convinced her marriage to Ricky wasn't legal because of a minor mispelling on the marriage certificate and Ricky thought he'd play a joke on her when she went down to Town Hall to check it out, yadda, yadda, yadda, Ricki was in for more than he bargained for.
No one was making breakfast, which was rather unusual, so I got out the eggs and some biscuits and set forth. A small breakfast of high carb foods is one of the best things you can have before hitting the road on a long moto trip so down the hatch, brush the teeths, get the gear on the bike, back, and head, say your goodbyes, and give your hugs. I opened the choke on the 919 before starting it up then rolled down the driveway in neutral, pulled in the break, and sat there for a few minutes talking with everyone. Though I was aching to be on the road there was no rush, I'd be out there on my own soon enough and it was an eight or ten hour day ahead of me. "Call me when you get home," says mom and, "Make plenty of stops," says dad and "I wanna ride," says daughter and "Bye," says I before flipping the helmet visor into place and rolling out of the drive.
I'd topped off the tank the day before so there was no need to stop in weed--which is good since it was full of Harley snobs. As one of my Team Oregon instructors had said, "Ten percent of Harley riders are at home, the rest are on the streets"--and that was his polite way of saying a lot of them aren't serious about rider skills or common courtesy, like waving at oncoming bikers. It's a rant, I know, but it's pathetic when 40% or so of 15% of all bike owners won't politely wave just because your ride doesn't say Harley on it. Wouldn't it be a nicer world if we all just waved, you know, just for the hell of it? Everyone else does it so it's not such a terrible thing to imagine, two bikers waving at each other. What can I say? Weed Harley riders are/were snobs and I had no interest in stopping at a gas station, having one walk towards me thinking I was riding a Buell, then making a face when they saw the wings on the gas tank.
I took highway 97 up towards Klamath Falls. The weather was cool but there were few clouds and I looked forward to midday when I knew things would heat up (they didn't, but I'll get to that). There was some road construction just north of Weed so I had the wonderful opportunity to balance the bike for about fifteen minutes waiting for the pilot car to come back around our way and lead us through the treacherous road construction. Once past that I played with the throttle a bit keeping up with traffic, most of which was going in excess of 80mph. No problem, straightaways, and yes, as soon as I got up to some of the flat lands south of Klamath (two of which, ten miles long each, I used to call "The Great Borings") those little green bugs were hitting me again so I pulled off in downtown Klamath at the Shell, topped off the tank (an essential biker survival skill) then walked into the bathroom, relieved myself, and cleaned the face shield--and, I realized later, put a nice scratch on my daytime visor which, fortunately, only I can see but not so much as to get in the way of my vision--especially not as much as 50 green bugs (100 green wings) in varying states of death and/or life.
Of course as soon as I got past North Klamath Lake the face shield was again covered in those little green winged beasts so I stopped at the first gas station, took off my helmet, and saw in the reflection of the visor that my jacket was completely covered in the things. Oh, nasty, and I can't put it in the washer so I'm thinking how am I gonna clean these things off and when I get to Eugene and grab a bite to eat people are gonna be giving me some strange looks so I take a minute to wipe a few dozen off, wipe, wipe, with little to no effect, get back on the bike, put on the headphones, helmet, and back out into traffic where I'm now looking ahead for signs for that country highway that leads West of 97 towards Medford but I'm not going towards Medford, that wouldn't be any fun when there's so much road to meet!
The higher I got the colder I got. Should I pull over, put on something warmer? Nah, it's too nice out, the fields, the cows, the mountains looming ahead. Beautiful. Then oh, there's the turn, slow down and SHIT......stop real quick, there's a line of a dozen cars at the southern entrance to the Crater Lake State Park so more practice straddling the bike and listening to Coast to Coast over the MP3 player while thinking how much I hate stop and go traffic on a motorcycle. I mean, you're standing there then you have to get up enough speed (~10mph) to be able to lift your legs up then you've gotta stop and sometimes the time between start, lift feet, stop, drop feet, start, lift feet, isn't more than a few seconds so instead of being able to move in a steady line, like in a car, your movement is halted. Fifteen minutes later it's $5, no I don't need a map, I've got one thank you, then up the road, past a couple of Harley riders who do not wave, and up the twists and winding incline through the blind corners and it's colder, colder, colder, and by the time I reach the top it's really cold and what do I do? I park, take a trip to the little boys room, drink a bottle of water, get bike back on the road. Do I take off my jacket and put on a turtle neck or take time to zip the inner lining of my jacket? Nope, it'll get warmer as I head down the mountain, I tell myself so back down the twisties and it's getting colder and colder and oh, I'm taking my left hand and putting it down on the warm, warm, warm engine and wishing I had cruise control so I could take my right hand off the throttle and do the same.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. If I had the choice to sit here and write in my journal or shake in my boots while biking through the mountains I'll take the slight discomfort of a little cold any day. And that's not to say I don't enjoy writing in my journal but it's just not the same as fresh air and a vibrating crotch rocket between your legs *evil grin*
Now this new highway I was on, just past Diamond Lake, is 183 or some such thing and I don't believe I've ever been on it before, which in itself is a rare thing as I've been over most of the mountain passes in Oregon at least one or two or seventy times and OH MY GOD was this just the most beautiful ride. Motorcycle enthusiasts, can you say, "Canyon Ride"? I'm not going to say too much, no words are adequate. River on the left, cliffs on the right, tight twisties and 50-90mph the whole way through!
Next time I'll have one of these so you can share the experience vicariously with me, unless of course you're sitting on the back screaming at the top of your lungs.
Next up: rain!
It's been awhile since I've lived in Eugene but I should have remembered, I should have just known: When the weather reports say 10% chance or precipitation IN EUGENE that means they left out a zero. So 10% my ass, it's 100% and I'm on I-5 heading north and I've NEVER riddin on rain before and I'm remembering all those stories about how the road is slippier on two wheels after a fresh rain, especially when it starts since car oil will come to the surface and get on the tires--oh, go slow, Aslynn, be safe, Aslynn, we aren't gonna slide under a semi are we, Aslynn?
No worries, though. 30 minutes later I felt fine (except on corners where I had to lean the bike over) and was zooming through Cottage Grove and wow did it start to pelt down. I quickly learned that most of the rain is pushed off the helmet by the wind but sometimes your left index finger makes a dandy windshield wiper and it's the fine mist kicked up by leading cars that really covers the shield in a hard to see through fog. I learned the safest place on the road is usually where other tires have already been, that it's truly important to keep safety coushions and exit routes, especially when most drivers think, "Oh that poor fellow in the cold and rain" and you're thinking "I sure as hell hope I don't fucking hydroplane!" It's all about the shoes you're wearing, isn't it?
Oh, and did I mention all that rain completely cleaned my jacket and bike? Nature's washing machine, woohoo! No more bugs ;)
It stopped raining once I got off the LCC exit into Eugene. I'd hoped to spend more time in town but it was raining on and off, I didn't know anybody I could stop and say "Hi" to, and it was getting late. Took a right onto that street--I'm so bad at street names--and around the curves past that bus stop where I met a beautiful soul around the curves by the jogging track where I jumped over a few snakes when I first tried to get into jogging and under the bridge that I'd walked over blind folded one night with a friend seeing what it would be like to walk three or four miles using canes as our eyes. Another right, another left, and there's the house I used to live in, right on thirteenth, left into the alley.
McMineman's High Street Brew Pub. I used to live half a block away, behind the Circle K. If I was lucky enough to have company and money at the same time I'd go over and score a burger and some conversation. When I return to Eugene I often stop at this old hang out and if they're available I get one of two booths at the back and look at the old posters while pondering over whether I want a burger with fries or those awesome tater tots or maybe I'll have a salad.
This time I sat at the booth by the window and it was a good thing I didn't have company as my gear, jacket, tank bag, and back pack, took up almost all the space. Although I haven't been drinking coffee I asked for a cup to warm my hands and give me a little boost for the last leg of the trip back up to Portland. What did I order? Oh yeah, a cold turkey sandwhich. I ate half and stuffed the other half in a box and the box in my backpack and so on and so forth.
Oh yeah, work called while I was out on the road so I gave them a ring and talked through a few things before eating.
Back on the road. West on 11th then right onto Belt Line where it started raining cats and dogs! One or two inches of water in a few spots and I was kicking up water. It was SOOO fun!!!
Left onto Highway 99. I'm listening to NPR now, I've run outa Coast to Coast AM episodes and am not interested in listening to music. Is anything interesting happening in the world? Well, there's this black kid that likes to beat up his little brothers and sisters and they're not too smart in continually provoking him. Same shit in the middle east and a hurricane's taking its time over Mississippi (that's M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I! :) Up through Corvalliss, my butt's aching, up closer, closer, closer to Portland. The sun's out now but it's still cold, especially my gloves which aren't the water proof variety (like I said, 10% means 100% dummie!). Are we there yet? Are we there yet? I don't want to ride in the dark so I'm constantly checking the clock.
Of course if it was 9am I would have kept riding up to Vancouver B.C. or "There is no 'as the crow flies' when you're on a bike."
And so finally home. It was so strange getting off the bike. My first 350+ mile trip on a motorcycle, something I've dreamed about doing since I was a little kid, and it was over. I pulled the bike into the garage and watched as the garage door inched its way down to meet the concrete. My bike, my beautiful Honda 919, sat there with a smile of satisfaction as if to say, "I'm ready for the next trip."
So am I.
September 3rd, 2005
I'd parked in the shade because it was ninety degrees in the sun and when I wasn't moving it was sweltering under the helmet. When I lifted my mom's little digital camera up to my helmet I didn't think, "Lets move the bike, the lighting isn't right," I just took a deep breath of the fresh mountain air, clicked the "shutter", then put the camera back in the tank bag then explored farther up the mountain.
No matter how much you'd like to make it otherwise, that's how life is. You might have a fancy fangled digital camera, but if it's 350 or so miles away it aint gonna do you a bit of good. And the sun's so bright and the shade's so dark and your helmet's on so it's hard to frame the picture and yes, you could probably move the damn bike into the sun but you're only stopped for a minute, two tops, and don't want to go through the long and tedious ritual of taking the gear off, making sure to put the helmet carefully on the ground, etc., etc., before putting everything back on and doing your safety checks, fastening the chin strap tight, etc., etc., etc. And so you get home and the picture is fine but not as good as it "could" be and you tweak the contrast and brightness a little then crop and resize it to fit nicely on your journal and it's just "ok". And no matter how much you'd like to make it otherwise, that's how life is.
I keep coming back to that thought these past few days. For a number of reasons I've been experiencing an enormous amount of emotional flusterination. Am I under psychic attack? Do I need two more weeks holiday (please God, give me the winning lotto numbers! ;) ? Have all the responsibilities I've taken on over the past five or six years made me completely fatigued? Has my intuitive sense gone into complete overload (sometimes I see much more than I'm ready to accept)? Is the loneliness of celibacy and having few friends eating at me or are the ideas of society so easily absorbed by a sensitive driving me up the proverbial wall? Am I really looking for a change in my life and if so is that what I need to improve myself and the lives of those around me and if so is this change internal, external, both, or neither? While does my mind and heart toil so these past few days?
And so there are good days and not so good days and such is the way of things. Tomorrow I will write about a very good day, the last day of my motorcycle trip, my trek up from Mt. Shasta to Portland through the Cascade mountain range's most beautiful scenic areas, through cold, wind, and rain, to finally arrive at my home, my little X marks the spot on God's green earth where I wake and sleep and breath and grow and write these words to you tonight.
September 1st, 2005
I know you're gonna hate me but I'm gonna be naughty tonight and I'm not gonna write about my last day on vacation 'cause I'm gonna be selfish and opt for sleep instead of spending 30 minutes writing. On the bright side here's a picture of my daughter and I taken a year or so ago at OMSI. I admit, I've never really liked pictures of myself but then I'm not the one making the silly face in this one!
I spent some time this afternoon--after making a major cleaning of my bedroom--uploading a few photographs to Jones Soda Company. Now I don't drink much soda pop anymore, maybe once a week, but they've got this Blue Bubble Gum Soda that is just the bomb. First time I saw it I thought, "OMG, what next?!" but I bought some as a surprise for my daughter, tried some, and have been addicted to the bubbly blue stuff ever since.
Anyhow, if you'd like to see my photography on a bottle of Jones Soda someday browse to the Jone's Soda Photo Gallery and do a search for 'Aslynn' then vote for my photos (but only if you like them! Be honest! :)
Anyhow, I'm off to take out the garbage and recycling then to listen to some Coast to Coast AM and drink this yummola bubble gum soda. Take care and rabbits, rabbits!