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strange mostly peaceful mood.. today’s observations..

April 19, 2010

Still getting over a cold, not much sinus trouble, but that somewhat pleasant foggy-headedness, safe to drive, but a little dopey, even though didn’t take any cold medicine.

Woke up around..hmmm.. well it was just past noon when I got out of bed. Forgot what I dreamed about, don’t always remember, but slept well enough.

Took a bath with pleasant mineral pain-reliever bath salts, shaved head (takes awhile, I got a big head!), got out, got dressed, home appraiser scheduled to arrive fairly soon, mom offered to pay for my lunch so I wouldn’t cook, wanted kitchen to stay nice for the guy, so I went to Panda Express, had chow mein, orange chicken, beijing beef (don’t get these 2 together – taste is too similar, and both have lots of sugar) and hot and sour soup which is excellent for colds! Spicy Asian food is my top choice for clearing sinuses. Wonderful stuff!

Came home, picked up guitar, went to class.

Been working on “Hotel California,” been practicing the strumming pattern incorrectly, it turns out. Some strum patterns are tough! Taking a guitar class at college is a unique experience. It’s actually beginning classical guitar – techniques even experienced guitarists (unlike myself) are not used to. The teacher was patient though, tapped out the right rhythm pattern for me before grading me. I got the chord changes right. And, decided to sign up to play in the beginning guitar ensemble (seems strange and rather stupid to have beginning students perform. I know, the idea is for us to get over stage fright, but we would have less stage fright if we waited until we were more skilled before performing.)

The tunes, apart from “Hotel California” are all unfamiliar to me – mostly single notes being picked or minor chords, all dark sounding, since we are learning the first few notes on the fretboard. Actually, that is not a good reason for these to sound dark, happy melodies can be played in first position too! Ah well, dark and Spanish sounding is what these sound like. Tricky to play too!

The Filipino chick sat next to me again, but decided to switch seats part way through class and sit behind me with some other dudes. She’s a strange one. Maybe it’s cuz I barely talked to her. I was concentrating on getting the tunes right. She does seem like a bit of an attention-fiend. She’s got a boyfriend, and is.. hard to describe, kinda flaky.. so doesn’t get much attention from me. Any girl with a boyfriend or husband, that is how it is, whether they are flaky or not. Flaky.. kind of a silly adjective. I need to be a better writer.. What do I mean by that? Well, a bit off.. hmm.. Many of us are to some degree, I’m certainly odd myself, but my oddness and her oddness do not complement each other. She’s ok company in class, sometimes.

There’s a 15 year old girl in there. Occasionally young kids show up in college classes. This girl is Pentacostal, a certain type of pentacostal that wears dresses and has really long hair. She’s blond, not sexy at all, skinny, but sorta cute, a sweet innocent kid. She’s tried several times to get me to come to her church. A little sneaky about it, asking me to come see a play. I asked her if it was a Christian play, and she said yeah. I politely declined, saying I’m not a Christian, she asked what am I?

I have been waiting for that question for years! I get fixated on Buddhism sometimes, and play out imaginary conversations with imaginary people in my head, and for many years could not honestly identify myself as anything, and sometimes really wanted some sort of religious and/or spiritual affiliation. I’ve been studying Buddhism for awhile (and written tons of posts on the subject – see tag cloud to the right), and told the girl I’m Buddhist – sort of… Which is the best way I can describe it.

Our little discussion was in the middle of class, so by necessity had to be quite brief. She asked how Buddhists get saved, I said it’s not really about that, at least not in Christian terms. I wasn’t able to say much more, didn’t want to interrupt the teacher. She asked if Buddhists prayed to the Buddha statue. Protestants of many stripes get hung up on statues. I remember in Sunday School, all these Old Testament stories about idol worship – all the heathen (as in – non-Hebrew, therefore BAD) tribes that worshiped idols living in Canaan-land, who had to be eliminated (as in – genocidal warfare) before the Hebrews could inhabit the area, the “promised land.”

The heathen tribes as described in the Bible sound horrible – child sacrifice and so forth, but how do we know? History is written by the victors, and God or no God, some groups win battles and some lose. Who knows what really went on.

The conquering of Canaan was seen as inspiration of and justification for killing of Native Americans. That is what the European settlers believed. They saw themselves in the Old Testament, identifying greatly with the horribly violent Hebrews, but then, back then, maybe just about everybody was horribly violent. Ah well.

I digress..

So, this girl’s idea was that Buddha was an idol and Buddhists prayed directly to statues. I said no, a statue is a statue – a symbol. She asked if Buddhists pray to Buddha, I said some do, but I’m not into that. She asked about meditation. I told her she was right about Buddhists meditating. That was pretty much it. She hasn’t pursued the matter further, and I feel good about that, because she doesn’t need to hear this from me. If she’s happy with her faith, great, I have no desire whatsoever to convert anyone, and don’t need planting any doubts on her mind to be on my conscious.

She’s a nice presence to have in class, though. It’s good there are some naive and innocent people left in this world and I hope she stays at least somewhat innocent as she gets older.

After guitar class, I went back home. I had planned to go to the library where I tutor a Mexican dude – I help him with his English – it’s a volunteer thing, part of a literacy program. He’s a cool guy, but today, not a healthy guy. He called me before I left for class, telling me he’s sick. Both of us been hit by colds twice in the past few months, actually.. I think one of the times he got sick was just minor food poisoning, but anyway..

I don’t like tutoring much. He’s a very good student, but I get stressed out being around other people, even people I get along with well, and it is hard to be in charge, and hard to be in the library with other tutors and students nearby. I am too sensitive to noise, and have difficulty not being really agitated. The plus is that I spend the hour following the tutoring session browsing. I have at least an hour twice a week to look around if I want to before the library closes. Overall, I love the library, except in the tutoring area when it gets full.

I had been awaiting the movie “Kick-Ass” for many months, and it finally came out this past Friday, so I went to a matinee – matinee price is now $7.50!! Shocking!!

The movie wasn’t that shocking, partly because I’d read about it, and partly, have become de-sensitized by seeing other gory, controversial action flicks, some of which I’ve liked (such as “Pulp Fiction,” “Blade 2,”) and some of which I have not (“300,” “Sin City,” “Watchmen”).

This one wasn’t as bad as “Watchmen.” “Watchmen,”.. well, worst part was the blue naked dude – most guys just don’t dig seeing other guys naked, just how it goes. Also, “Watchmen” was more pornographic than I expected. I read the graphic novel several times, and it wasn’t as.. well, graphic, as the film.

I like women, but don’t watch porn. Sex is something I do (..not recently), not something I want to watch happen.. so sex scenes are generally more aggravating and bothersome for me to watch (in part because of my rather puritanical Protestant Christian upbringing) than stimulating.

“Kick-Ass” – wow, still reeling a bit from that one.. it really is a shocking thing to see a costumed 11 year old girl (not costumed provocatively at least) wielding guns and sharp objects, shooting people in the face and hacking and slashing her way through probably a hundred guys, massive amounts of blood everywhere (though not as ridiculous as the blood spurting in the first “Kill Bill,” which I mostly did not like either). No, they went for more realistic bloodshed, I’m guessing, but since I’ve fortunately never actually seen a real person get shot through the head or stabbed or throat slashed, what do I know?

Anyway.. yeah, I suppose some would consider me sick because I really did like this movie. It was totally nuts! Quite well-made, and I don’t remember the actress who played the non-costumed romantic lead (she’s probably 18 or 20,  I’m guessing) of the title character, but DAMN, was this girl hot!  Ok, I must admit feeling frustrated they showed part of her boobs but not all, that’s harsh! I may not like seeing sex happening, but do like seeing boobs! I can imagine sex, thank you.

Of course, I still like escapist fantasy. I still want to be the ultra-violent vigilante who kills bad guys, but this generally ain’t how the world works. At least there was a tiny bit of honesty in the film. None of these superheroes have super powers, and don’t always land on their feet..

Gosh, I wish I were more grown up, instead of still hoping to meet the life-changing, super-sexy and yet in some ways angelic woman, and kick major ass, but I am a quiet guy, never met “that” girl and don’t kick anybody’s ass. Back in the day having a black belt was a big deal (no I don’t have one, just making a point) and most guys could not fight in a highly trained way, but since Ultimate Fighting and MMA came out in the 1990’s, tons of dudes have learned to fight effectively! It’s become a scarier world since I was younger.

Feeling kind of out of it, from the film, from cold symptom of fatigue, from not having eaten in awhile, and the sky being overcast and the weather humid, I walked out of the theater into the parking garage, and decided to drive as close to the top as I could, the top being reserved for county vehicles, and check out the view several stories up.

It was mostly overcast. The city looks beautiful from a few floors up! So many trees it looks like a forest with buildings here and there, and the wind was blowing fairly strong. I saw a most amazing site, and no, didn’t have my camera with me.

There was the most narrow horizontal line ripped through the clouds, and the sun shone down in rays, which I have seen before, but never, ever, like this. There were rays shining diagonally downward on left side and right side, but cloud cover in between, and then these perfectly straight lines starting showing gradually filling up the middle. I am not a theist, but I almost expected God, or perhaps a massive angel to show up. I did not know such sites were at all possible in nature. I am sure this will never ever happen again as it did, not in the rest of the history of time.

I am not utterly horrified that I didn’t have a camera. I did feel that way in December, when I was up in the hills, and seeing wind blow across a pond, and such colors! I felt horrible then, but this time just decided to experience it. Not get hung up on capturing it. Good use of Buddhist teaching- not getting attached.

I stood watching this amazing beyond words display of nature, and felt the wind, and decided that since nature is impermanent and impersonal – the sun is not aware or concerned that i am watching its rays shine down, why should i worry about being at all significant? Maybe it’s ok to be pretty much nothing, except for a nice, quiet guy who helps his parents, sometimes writes interesting things, and is good to people. I actually relaxed some while I was up there.

I came home. Made some food, checked email, browsed emusic, and found some AMAZING tunes! See the blog right below this one.

Now, I am tired, mostly accepting my life as it is, even if it doesn’t feel super great, I don’t feel too bad, screwed up fucked up in the head still somewhat, but .. not too bad.

I got shelter, I got running water, I got clothes, books from the library for free, a few people to occasionally talk to, probably earning a good grade in guitar class, possibility of moving to a more sane town out-of-state, and I can write and draw a little bit, and I can be kinder to myself and get better at really just not giving a damn about things!! So I don’t get laid any time soon, oh well. So I don’t figure out a career goal soon, oh well. So I don’t do much that I would consider significant, or create anything great, or even work on much right now, except just being calm, at peace, content. That’s what I need to do, and that is what I’m doing.

Well then.

Going to get something to eat, read a little of a Buddhist book, or another about being an artist, maybe draw a bit, practice the guitar (actually, not that, even thinking of doing so causes me anxiety, that can wait until tmw. during the day),  take half a sedative so I can sleep, and then, sleep. Tomorrow is tomorrow. Now is now.

Now is good enough!!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 22, 2010 5:11 AM

    great experience. nice writting. thanks for sharing

    • tomschronicles permalink
      April 22, 2010 2:24 PM

      you’re welcome!

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