Thursday, December 30, 2010

Total Limbo

I'm waiting for my financial aid refund to come through.

All of my nervous energy, all of my insomnia, all of my obsessive internet crawling can be blamed on this one simple fact. At the beginning of the month, it was easy to accept brokeatude because the day when I would no longer be broke was so far away. It was past Christmas and past the new year so I put it in the back of my brain and tired to make a few extra beans here and there. I did get a day of work and mom and dad did generously give this Christmas, which is probably what saved me from total insanity.

I want to do better this term in school. Having to drop a class really irritated me, especially since I know I could have made up the work I missed. New term, new opportunity though.

Another thing I want to get going is my mixing. I may not go far or be super famous at it or anything but the sheer fact that I can do it is therapeutic. I would love to play to a crowd, and I get the feeling that I'll get the chance to if I apply myself. I think though that I'll start feeling better as soon as I start messing with a set of decks. Through everything, spinning tracks has always made me really happy.

But I have to wait for money. Which is fine really but at the same time incredibly frustrating. This whole month has been a lesson in patience and trusting the ebb and flow of the universe. I'm starting to get it but I'm still kept up at night.

I'll get through, I always do somehow.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Get Out of My House

Another class essay, this one is about college room lotteries. Enjoy!

At some point in time, I think almost everyone has lived with a roommate. I'm not talking about living with parents or even a relative. I speak to those who have been tossed into a living situation where they must co-exist with a total stranger. This situation is encountered mostly by college students who, because of lack of funding and high enrollment rates, often have to live with someone else to survive. Most students have little to no say as to who they end up living with. If they are lucky, the decision is made based on compatibility surveys or personal choice. However, students are often placed together based on an arbitrary room lottery system. This kind of arrangement can throw two people together who might not even be compatible as friends, much less as roommates. Room lotteries take two or more random people and force them to share a living space for at least one term (or semester) if not the entire year. Room lotteries do not take personality, living habits or cultural background into consideration. With a room lottery, it is always possible for two people with incompatible personalities to be matched together. People generally try to avoid others with whom they share no common ground. A room lottery will match these people together and then expect them to live together without difficulty. If students were allowed to participate more in the process of selecting a roommate, they could focus more mental energy on doing well in school.
Not everyone has a bad experience with a roommate assigned to them at random. Sometimes, students are assigned someone that they end up being compatible with. The roommates become friends and sometimes they remain living together for the entirety of their college career. Even if the roommates don't end up being bosom buddies, this type of living situation can help students develop tolerance for those that have differing opinions. It also can teach students how to appropriately deal with conflict and respond to stressful situations.
Room lotteries are a quick way to assign housing to a large number of students at once. They also eliminate the possibility of people choosing not to live with anyone but themselves. With student housing being at a premium, there often isn't enough room to accommodate people who wish to live alone. Group situations are also cheaper. With the costs being divided between multiple students per living space, even colleges that take care of housing as part of tuition can cut costs by filling dorm rooms with as many students as possible.
Everyone has their own personal habits, personality quirks, and tastes based on cultural background and the environment in which they were raised. The whole process of college is stressful, especially to students who are leaving home for the first time. Many of these students have not had the opportunity to live in an environment where they are free from parental influence. They are not used to having to motivate themselves to pick up dirty socks or kill the mold monster in the sink. On top of this, students are expected to make progress on an academic level. The whole idea of being self sufficient and self motivating is difficult when one has total control of their environment. More problems occur when there is another person, or several persons, are added to the situation. Each member of the arrangement desires some measure of control and disagreements are bound to happen, even in ideal conditions. Too often, roommates in a dorm situation are in disagreement before they meet each other. They may not share the same beliefs, or have beliefs that are in direct conflict. An extreme example would be a Christian being paired with a Satanist. When people disagree on a sensitive topic, it affects every interaction they have with each other. The disagreement will also be tenser because everyone has to remain in close proximity. A simple complaint about someone forgetting to vacuum can turn into a catastrophic argument that ends badly. The recent trial of Amanda Knox shows what can happen if roommate rage is allowed to fester for too long. In the trial, evidence was presented to suggest that Knox was angry with her roommate and that because of this anger she stabbed her roommate several times. Most roommate disagreements do not reach this level of violence. There are several college students, however, that have been through at least one situation where they feared someone would get violent if things didn't improve. Many students are hesitant to bring up these issues to Residence Assistants or other people in authority for a variety of reasons and so they deal with the situation by avoiding it. They find themselves staying with friends or in extreme cases, sleeping on a park bench.
Fundamental disagreements can also breed an environment full of mistrust. Safety concerns for college students are numerous. New students are cautioned heavily on making sure they lock their doors and that they don't walk around alone at night. They must constantly be aware of threats found in the world outside their dorm room. On top of all of these concerns, many students find themselves in a situation where they don't trust the person or persons they are living with. This mistrust can arise from people simply having a difference of opinion. Not trusting the person one lives with is extremely stressful. It also can lead to poor choices in reacting to situations as they arise. For example, student A has a difference of religious opinion with student B. Student A is convinced that student B is a heathen, based on their first meeting, which involved both students simply unpacking. Student A noticed that student B had a piece of literature that went against his beliefs. Later in the term, student A ends up missing some property. Even if there is a possibility that student A simply misplaced his property, his first reaction is to accuse student B. On the other hand, some people will exhibit poor judgment and steal from their housemate. There is no typical reason why someone chooses to steal another person’s property. It could be vengeance for real or imagined slights, jealousy, or even because the person just has a compulsion to steal. Whatever the reason, the possibility of losing things makes it difficult to focus on getting an education.
When I lived in a dormitory situation, I found it very difficult leaving valuable personal property alone with my roommate. The roommate did not initially do anything to betray my trust, but because I was dealing with an unknown entity, whose beliefs differed greatly from mine, I found it impossible to let my guard down. At the same time, my own issues and hang ups prevented me from discussing the issues I had with her. As a result, the conflict between us escalated to the point where there were threats of violence. Complaints to the Residence Assistant fell on deaf ears and the school did not offer any other sources of mediation. At the time, I was not familiar with how to deal with the situation at all. I am sure I am not the first and only college student who has problems dealing with conflict. I can say with certainly that I would have benefited with more information on how to deal with conflict. If the school insisted upon matching people up randomly, some instruction, even if it was through print or sent electronically, could help students better prepare for conflict. More and more, colleges are instituting programs and classes that deal with conflicts between roommates. College is a time of transition and suddenly having to live with someone else adds even more stress. I believe that students would benefit from more resources on campuses for mediating conflicts. With mediation, students also would learn how to deal with conflict in an appropriate way and hopefully feel that they could do something before the disagreement got out of control.
Dealing with drama involving roommates is often cited as a reason for poor academic performance. Unfortunately, most schools don't accept this as an excuse even though conflict is created through room lotteries that are often mandatory for students wishing to live on campus. If colleges do not want to eliminate the room lottery system, they must acknowledge and give allowances for the problems that room lotteries potentially cause. Even though more proactive steps are being taken to deal with conflict between roommates on college campuses, something has to be done about the way students are placed with each other. Living with another person is a large commitment that shouldn't be taken lightly. Dating couples who are contemplating marriage prepare for the commitment of living together by often seeing counselors or seeking religious counsel. It is a little bit different with college students because the living situation is expected to be temporary. A married couple is presumably staying together for the rest of their lives. They combine their possessions and resources in anticipation for a permanent arrangement. College students are not expected to combine bank accounts or buy property together. College students are also not expected to spend a great deal of time with their roommates, certainly not the kind of time people typically spend with a romantic partner. Still, care should be taken when placing students together because they do have to live with each other. It is impossible to completely avoid someone sharing a common living space. Filling out compatibility surveys is a good start but I think students should at least have the opportunity to meet with each other in person, if possible, before they are expected to live in the same space. If meeting in person isn't possible due to distance or time constraints, the people involved should meet via telephone or through an internet conference. Having a roommate isn't an easy thing to deal with in even the best of circumstances. Colleges should be mindful of the diversity of students and try to match people based on similar interests and beliefs so that students can focus more on getting an education and less on being angry at or fearful of the person they live with.

An Essay about Depression.

This is an essay on depression I wrote for a class. I got a fairly good grade on it. Works Cited are at the bottom of the page. I hope someone benefits from this. :)

Depression is a disease that affects thousands of people in all walks of life and in all cultures. It is even considered a leading cause of medical harm in developing countries. Despite its prevalence, depression is a disease that many people misunderstand. As a sufferer of depression, I hear a lot of people tell me that it is “all in my head” or that I should “just get over it.” Another misconception of depression is that it will simply go away once someone has been prescribed medication. Depression is a topic that many people do not wish to talk about. It is easy to understand why people who do not live with depression choose to avoid it as a topic of conversation. In general, when people hear that a friend has depression, they avoid that friend. It could be because they feel that their depressed friend will make them depressed or that they don’t know what to say to help. Many times, the avoidance response isn’t even a conscious decision. Because of the social pressure to not burden friends and family with negativity, many sufferers of depression do not wish to learn anything about their illness. Even though the disease may negatively impact their lives, they are hesitant to find out more information because they feel that learning about the disease acknowledges the fact that they are indeed ill. Doctors depend on input from patients in order to recommend treatments and evaluate the progress of treatments already in place. If a patient isn’t honest with the doctor, the doctor can only make guesses as to how to treat their patient. On top of this, doctors are pressured by pharmaceutical companies to sell “quick fixes” to as many patients as possible. This pressure tends to create a less than desirable relationship between doctors and patients, making patients even more hesitant to speak up.
A large majority of people believe that there are no physical symptoms associated with depression. Even people who have been diagnosed with depression do not believe that there are physical symptoms. A survey in Atlanta concluded that “72% of people with major depression did not believe, prior to their diagnosis, that painful physical symptoms such as unexplained headache, backache, gastrointestinal disturbance and vague aches and pains, were common symptoms of depression.” (World) yet over 75% of the respondents to the same survey reported that they were bothered enough by these symptoms to go see a doctor. Patients have a tendency to not go to a doctor unless something causes a significant disruption to their daily life. When a physical symptom comes up, especially one that is debilitating enough to affect performance at work or in school, many people wish for the condition to simply go away. They treat the problem as a disease in and of itself, rather than figuring out if it is a symptom of a more complicated illness. They go to the doctor with their physical complaints, and too often, depression isn’t even discussed. Doctors, when presented with unexplained physical symptoms rarely think of depression. As a result, a patient may be subject to a wide variety of tests that yield no useful results. Patients could avoid tensions with their doctor and doctors could save patients the aggravation of fumbling around for an answer if depression were discussed as a possible diagnosis.
When people do see a doctor for depression, they are often prescribed medication. Psychiatric medication has increased in popularity significantly in recent years. With the introduction of drugs such as Prozac, more and more people have been turning to psychiatric medications in order to cope with depression. In 2002 it was estimated “that around 46 million prescriptions were written for psychiatric medications” (Davis-Berman and Pestello) even though the documented side effects of these medications are quite unpleasant. Side effects can be uncomfortable and even life threatening, and yet people are hesitant to ask their doctors about them. Many sufferers of depression think that once they are on medication, the process of treating the disease is over. Advertisements for anti-depressant medication tend to mislead consumers into thinking that taking one pill will cure them. Advertisements also have a tendency to gloss over the potential side effects of the medications they are trying to sell. Even though some depression sufferers do see immediate improvement with the first medication they try while suffering no side effects, this is the exception rather than the rule. There is no magic pill that works for everyone. Each medication has different effects on the brain and no two brains are exactly alike. Unfortunately, the hesitation by patients to discuss the side effects of the medications they are prescribed often lead to a worsening of depression symptoms. The mental and physical side effects of medications, especially those that involve sexual function, often make the patient suffer symptoms of depression that are worse than the original complaint.
Patients are also hesitant to speak with their doctors after a diagnosis because they feel that their doctor will not take their complaints seriously. Many patients feel that they are rushed through the diagnosis and feel that they are pushed into taking medication. Some doctors prescribe several medications at once; sometimes it seems with complete disregard as to how the medications will react with each other. Several patients with depression report having bad experiences with doctors. Patients who are dissatisfied with doctors soon seek out the advice of others, often through internet chat forums. In a study of postings found in chat forums designed for depression sufferers it was found that, “Posters sometimes challenged diagnoses and treatments that they or others had been given by their physicians. In this situation, they sometimes suggested alternative diagnoses and medications. Posters who had been ‘‘involved’’ in the mental health field for an extended period of time seemed to see themselves as ‘‘quasi-experts’’. They seemed to feel that in some ways their experiences made them more knowledgeable than doctors.” (Davis-Berman and Pestello). These same posters also felt that they were qualified to give advice about the type of medication taken and the correct dosage. If doctors are unsure about the effects of anti-depressant medication, it seems unlikely that the average person has enough knowledge of the subject to be qualified to give out medical advice. Most doctors agree that psychiatric medications can be dangerous if taken improperly or stopped suddenly. Doctors often caution patients against diagnosing each other because when it comes to medication, no two people are identical. What works for one patient has the potential to kill someone else.
Generally, when someone seeks the advice of a physician, they want to have their health concerns taken seriously. There is a prevailing attitude amongst sufferers of depression that doctors do not take what patients say to heart. Sometimes, sufferers of depression feel that doctors believe that they are “crazy” and will do anything to get the patient out of their office. This encourages people to adjust their medications themselves or quit them entirely. When symptoms get worse, the patient is hesitant to return to the doctor because of previous negative experiences.
Even though there are millions of people under some sort of treatment for depression, there are countless others who are suffering in silence. In 2005 the World Health Organization reported that three-hundred-forty million people worldwide suffer from depression, yet it is estimated that three-quarters of people with a depressive disorder never receive any treatment. This is partially because of the belief that depression is something that only affects the mind. Surveys of physicians and psychiatrists in several countries suggest that there are many doctors that do not believe some unexplained physical symptoms can be a sign of depression. Employers do not believe depression is a legitimate reason for poor job performance. Several people with depression, including myself, have reported negative actions taken against them after they inform their employer that they may be suffering from depression. Because it is difficult to prove the existence of depression in a tangible way, there are people who use the label of depression as an excuse for poor job performance and attendance. The prevailing attitude then becomes that anyone who complains of depression must be faking it. People who genuinely would be diagnosed with depression become concerned with the stigma associated with the label and try to tough things out on their own. Also, most health plans offered by employers do not cover diagnosis and treatment of mental health problems, even though there are some physical issues associated with the disease. Many anti-depressant medications are expensive and often, to find a treatment that works, it takes months of experimentation with quite a few different drugs. Toughing it out seems like a better option, especially since there is no way to guarantee that treatment will be effective. Toughing it out also keeps the disease a secret from co-workers or supervisors.
In order to combat depression worldwide, I believe several things need to be taken into consideration. First, the public in general needs to be educated about depression. It seems that the only things people know about depression is what they see on ads paid for by the pharmaceutical industry. It needs to be understood that depression is a legitimate illness both by doctors and the public so that people will be more willing to seek treatment. More and more doctors are admitting that the current methods of treating depression are not effective and that more patients would be willing to accept treatments if they worked better. Doctors are also starting to discuss new treatments and the need for further education about depression. These are positive steps in the fight against depression but there is more to be done. Employers need to become more aware of depression and its symptoms and offer a way for people to get treatment if they need it. People who have depression need to be more up front with their doctors so that they can have the best treatment possible. Depression sufferers also need to be honest with themselves as to what treatments are working and what treatments are not.
Depression can be a debilitating illness and the stigma of diagnosis can make the problem even worse. Rather than relying on information based on misconceptions of the disease, doctors, employers and patients need to work together and educate each other. Through effort, mutual understanding, and honesty about symptoms and side effects, depression is a disease that can be beaten.
Works Cited

Davis-Berman, Jenifer, and Frances G. Pestello. "Taking Anti-depressant Medication: A Qualitative Examination of Internet Postings." Journal of Mental Health 17.4 (2008): 349-60. Web. 26 Nov. 2010.

"People with Depression Unaware of Painful Physical Symptoms of Depression." World Disease Weekly (2005): 1112. 28 June 2005. Web. 26 Nov. 2010.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fyrewolf Gets a Gig

A video I made...might turn into a regular series.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Rest in Peace Ryan "DJ Ribble" Beaton

A fellow DJ and a pillar to the EDM community died yesterday due to cancer. He had a rare cancer, usually only found in children, in his jawbone. The tumor broke his jaw and he went through massive re-constructive surgery. At first the doctors thought they had gotten out all of it and any residual that might be left would be killed by chemo therapy and radiation. The cancer came back and attacked the new tissue in his face. Within a couple of months it spread through his entire body and he just couldn't fight it anymore. He wasn't much older than I am and leaves behind a wife and a whole lot of electronic music heads who loved him for his positive attitude and his willingness to help up and coming local DJs through his online radio program.

Through the whole ordeal, surgeries, a huge tumor on his face, setback after setback...he was positive. He had the words "I'm Alive!" under his picture in the forums. He freely posted pictures of himself on facebook and in the forums with the tumor and after his surgeries. In every one of those pictures, he had a smile on his face. The man was a testament of how someone could be positive through a time of overwhelming adversity.

I tried to post yesterday but couldn't. Thinking about it now still makes me cry. Ryan, I wasn't a close friend but through your music and positive energy, I got to know you. I am glad you are free of pain, and at peace again. Even though you are gone from this life, your energy and music will live on in the hearts and minds of many.

Rock on at the Bridge, friend.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Keep Her Around!

I sent this to the Editor of the Eugene Weekly (a local news publication). I don't know if they will publish it or not but it gave me an opportunity to rant:
A friend mentioned to me that they saw a letter in the Eugene Weekly about my car being an eyesore. I haven't been able to find the letter, and I'll admit that there is a large possibility that the letter doesn't exist and that my friend was slyly dissing my car. However, the discussion has prompted me to write a letter to you about said vehicle. I call her the little blue pill. She is a 1993 Ford Festiva. There are several Festivas in Eugene but mine is probably the most noticeable. She is blue, with a grey fender on the passenger side and there is no drivers side fender. You can hear her coming from a few blocks away and she doesn't sound like a $h!tty four banger. A lot of people in Eugene like to stare at the pill disapprovingly, especially downtown. I think if people knew why I kept her around, maybe they wouldn't be so upset that I drive "a loud eyesore". First of all, she gets 45 miles per gallon of gas in town and around 48 on the highway. After a tune up and an oil change she will likely get over 50 on the highway. Second, she is cheap to insure. I pay $280 for an entire year of insurance. Third, because of good engine maintenance I hardly have to put money into her for repairs. Yeah, she looks worn down but she is economical. Plus I own her outright, so if excrement hits the cooling device at least I've got a mobile shelter.
If you see her and she offends you, I'm sorry you feel that way. She has served me well for many years and yeah she isn't pretty but she is a testament to endurance and fortitude in the face of a crappy least I like to think so. Too often people throw out things because they are no longer aesthetically pleasing even though there is a lot of use left. I think now is the time people should think about keeping things around a bit longer.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Life Lessons in Video Games

This is an essay I wrote for a class...I got an A on it so I figured I'd put it out here on the blogosphere. Enjoy!
It has been my personal experience that quite a few people have a low opinion of video games. I have heard parents say they contribute to obesity in children and teachers say that they contribute to violence in schools. Many parents I have spoken to have said that they would rather their children not play video games at all. They do not see the value in staring at a screen and pressing buttons. At first glance, it does seem like a rather large waste of time. Sitting in front of the television and pressing buttons is not very engaging to those just sitting and watching the button pusher. Moving a few fingers less than an inch over and over again doesn't burn much in the way of calories. But while the body isn't doing very much, the brain is in full gear, assimilating the information on the screen and turning it into a wealth of useful tools, relevant to life outside of the virtual world.

Regular video game play contributes to a keener sense of hand eye coordination. When I was younger, my coordination was poor. At first, my parents put me through many types of therapy, however my coordination still did not improve. The problem was that I found the exercises boring, so I never did them. Eventually they decided to try a more unconventional approach. They had heard that some games help children with hand eye coordination and decided to get me a Commodore 64 computer and the game Frogger. At first I was terrible at it. I couldn't move the joystick in the proper direction without looking at my hands. I then lost track of what was happening on the screen. Soon my frog was overcome by an angry alligator or a rogue fish. After hours upon hours of game play, I got to the point where I could beat the game on a regular basis. When I later got a Sega Genesis game system, I encountered the entirely new challenge of games that required a controller with more than one button. This type of game requires learning the layout of the controller by touch as well as remembering what button does each action on the screen. Again, I started out horribly. With enough practice, I soon became adept. I even became skillful at the art of button combinations. I no longer needed to look at the controller in order to make the game do what I wanted it to do even as the complexity of the games increased. As I improved, I began to notice a change in my daily life. I didn't drop things nearly as often and my teachers noticed that my handwriting began to improve significantly. I went from being very clumsy to having at least some dexterity. My overall confidence in school increased because I was able to function better. Through my experience I learned that improved hand eye coordination is a skill that benefits from practice. Video games made practicing fun and encouraged me to become more skilled in an area that was frustrating.

Video games improve more than just dexterity. Being able to plan and keep up with situations that change rapidly are lessons that children can be taught at a young age through video games. Games that are more complex than just timing jumps and attacks allow for practicing strategy and managing resources in a variety of situations. Some games, such as first person perspective shooters, require players to make decisions quickly. Players have to figure out where to hide and where the enemy is while conserving ammunition and other game resources. Each game has its own secrets and pitfalls. Through trial and error, players begin to learn how to size up all types of situations. They can think about developing a plan b, a plan c and even a plan d at times. Games that pit human players against each other add an additional element of unpredictability. In the real world, people face decisions every day. As people age, the ability to make a decision quickly tends to diminish. Some studies suggest that decision making skills are improved and retained better through practice. Video games provide this practice in a relaxed and fun setting.

The ability to learn and adapt from making a mistake is a skill everyone will need eventually. It has been said that the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. In order not to repeat a mistake, people have to do things differently when a similar situation presents itself. When players repeat a level in some video games, the level doesn't change. Through simple repetition, players will eventually figure out the solution. Young children benefit from this type of learning because it is a gentile introduction to the idea of not repeating bad decisions. The consequences of losing in a video game do not involve the possibility of bodily injury. Video games are not a substitute for real life experience but the lessons learned build a good foundation for children. Through experiences with video games, children can learn how to adapt from mistakes in a safe environment. The only consequence of making a mistake in a video game is that you have to do something over. At the same time, players learn how to change course and not make the same mistake twice. By learning adaptability early in life, children can be better equipped to dealing with mistakes as adults.

To be good at video games, players have to learn how to lose with grace and dignity. One lesson learned through years of playing online games in particular is that there is always someone better. In any given moment, the champion can turn into the loser and the loser can be on top of the world. Learning to be calm about losing and learning from the loss as opposed to flying into a fit of hysterical rage builds a sense of good sportsmanship that applies to a wide variety of non-virtual situations. Video games can sometimes encourage very unsportsmanlike behavior, however. One example that comes to mind is a case of game rage caught on camera. In this video, an adolescent was playing the online multiplayer game World of Warcraft. During the course of the game, another player decided to kill him at random. Rather than changing servers or just turning the game off, the player proceeded to scream profanities at his computer. The entire tirade was caught on a hidden camera placed in the room by his brother. This unfortunate overreaction was then uploaded to the internet where several thousands of people watched this young man look like a fool. The video game provided a situation where the young man in question could have made a positive choice in his reaction if he experience was supplemented by parental guidance. The parent in the video did not seem offer any positive guidance. In fact, she seemed more concerned with telling her child to “Shut up” and quit disturbing her. While playing games, children need to be monitored by their parents to assist them in learning the skills to deal with losses in an appropriate way. The video game may present a situation where players lose, but they wont tell the player how to react.

Being part of a team is sometimes essential to the success of an endeavor. Video games teach players of various backgrounds to come together for the common goal of winning. Many games present situations where it is impossible to win by yourself. By combining resources and different skill sets, players learn how to develop strategies by coming to a consensus. Some games involve quickly working together and some games can have players talking together about a strategy for days or even months. Groups of players can be from a few members of a squad to a giant battle consisting of over one hundred players per team. A person who plays online games also runs into people of many different beliefs and cultures. Despite these differences, and sometimes because of them, players learn how to win together.

The thrill of winning is motivation for children to learn skills and concepts they wouldn't explore on their own until much later in life such as improving hand eye coordination and learning how to make decisions quickly. They can practice the concepts they learn in an environment that is safer than most. Children benefit from the lessons that video games teach. They gain confidence in the face of unpredictability, faith in the face of defeat and the ability to work with a team. They learn how to plan ahead and how to formulate strategy. They learn concepts about economy and managing resources. They even learn better motor control. All of these lessons are impact children in a much more positive way if they are supplemented by parental guidance. Video games do not teach by themselves and video games are not always a positive influence. Video games can also encourage inactivity and anti social behavior. With proper guidance and someone to tell them when to turn the game off, video games can be a useful tool in teaching children how to deal with life.

Through playing video games, I have been shot a million times, fallen into just as many holes and have been eaten by countless extra terrestrials and zombies. Through all this, I have learned how to adapt, how to lose gracefully, and how to make friends with people of differing beliefs and I had a lot of fun doing it. The lessons learned weren't lost to boredom or the severity of the situation. Every video game has its own lesson to teach, even if it is just simply that your princess is always in another castle.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hoodni: A small biography


A small biography

Vital Statistics

Age:3 years

Weight:9.5 lbs




Pictured above is my kitty, Hoodini. He came into my life in the summer of 2007. I was visiting my parents house and while conversing in the garage with my dad I noticed a tiny black and white creature staring at me. I turned to it and said "Hey, kitty kitty!" which sent the creature scurrying for the bushes.

A short while later, the skittish kitten ventured into the driveway again. I asked my dad how long the kitten had been hanging around. He told me that three months prior a cat had a litter of kittens under thier shed and that he had been trying to catch them so they could be adopted into loving homes. The kittens were in a dangerous situation in my parents neighborhood. They lived near a field inhabited by a pack of coyotes and the neighborhood children tended to be mean to outdoor cats. My parents also had a dog that was very unsympathetic to cats in his yard.

Being a cat person, I decided I would try and help capture at least one kitten. I asked my husband to try and help corral our black and white observer. As we approached from both sides, the kitten had a bright idea and thought it wise to hide up inside the engine block of my dads Jeep. Unfortunately this got the poor kitty hoplessly stuck. We worked for over an hour trying to extract him from his sad situation. Eventually we managed to extract him and place him in a pet carrier. The kitty was frightened and the animal shelter was closed so I volunteered to take the kitty back to my house until I could call the shelter.

Fostering Fail

Of course I never called the shelter. When I got home, I pulled the kitten out of the carrier and comforted him. The long ride home and the events leading to his capture had him quite scared.

First Picture

After holding him for a while, I realized that I was quickly getting attached. My husband, who said after we got our second cat "NO MORE!" was getting attached to the little guy too. As days passed, we noticed that he got along with our other two cats as well. We named our new little furball Hoodini (intentional mispelling) because of his abilty to escape our sight by hiding in the wierdest of places. The name also lends itself to a whole host of interesting nicknames.

Hoodini's favorite Websites

Pet of The Day
A website dedicated to pets.
Each day a new cat, dog and pet is featured. The site also has a forum where users can get advice
about all things pet!

Remus' Catster Page

Caster is a site all about cats. Besides information about cats, users can make individual

pages about their kitty friends. This page belongs to Remus, Hoodini's adopted fur brother

and best friend

Page created by: Kristina Hanson

Last modified: November 23, 2010

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Title Goes Here...

I am not entirely sure how long I have been staring at my computer. I've been trying to make sense of what is going through my head, even though grasping everything seems impossible. Maybe I am skirting the edges of my perception or maybe it is just a matter of stepping outside of the box.

What is the box, exactly?

Somehow I know I am stepping outside of it. Maybe around it, maybe tapping on its door and then running off to hide...where?

It wasn't that long ago...I was walking through my door and staring into the rest of my life wondering how I had ended up standing in front of myself. I could have always asked but I knew that I didn't have the answer.

I didn't really have much time to think about it.

I am trying to pin myself to something time passes the whole notion becomes irrelevant. seems to be the meaning of life.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

3:07 AM on a Saturday Night

Up and down up and down up and down...


I am struggling with my sense of self. More accurately it is my sense self related to people around me. I am quite happy at the fact that the Giants are going to the world series. For some reason this bit of sports news makes me gleeful in ways I haven't felt in a long time.

I do love baseball.

Anyway, I find myself at the precipice of getting something I have looked for for a long time. I do have to step into unfamiliar territory to get it though. I'm resourceful, I'll figure it out.

At least that is what I want to tell myself. I haven't been this unsure around someone in a long time. It isn't a bad thing necessarily but I don't want to look like a fool.

*sigh* The good things never come easy.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Mothers Tears

Another repost from my other blog...enjoy!

The rain fell silently, soaking through the moonless night and chilling it to the core. It was one of those nights that drove people indoors to cuddle up with each other and converse in the language of love. On nights like these, life stops for a moment and all that is cold and lonely falls away, replaced by an inner peace that can only be described as heaven on earth. The deepest cold brought out the warmest joy and all that was wrong in the world faded away as people fell asleep embraced by something more powerful than the storm. As the rain fell, people held their comforts close,afraid of what might happen if everything was suddenly ripped away. The sad irony is while people are comforted by the closeness that the cold brings, they are also afraid of its tendrils that lie in wait threatning all that they hold sacered.
While the city lost itself in slumber, a few stragglers wandered through the darkness. They were the untold element of the city, the part that was swept under the rug and excluded from conversation. They were the people that affirmed the status quo and reassured the masses that everything was just fine the way it was. On that cold, wet, September night, one girl wasn't thinking about status quos or governments or the machines they managed. She wasn't thinking about the cold or the darkness. She was thinking about survival. A survival so profound and sublime that it extended beyond herself, beyond conciousness, beyond the capacity of human reasoning. It was beauty and necesity. It was the very meaning of life itself. Her survival had been threatened and then taken from her all in the name of due process and civil order. While the city slept hidden from the rain, the girl stood in the middle of it, fighting for something society forgot long ago.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Giving up...?

A person close to me has been struggling with feelings of depression for quite a while. It seems sometimes like he has given up on life in general. He gets a lot of crap because of his disablity, especially since it is one that can't be seen. Simple things to most are difficult for him and when people get angry with him for "screwing" things up it really hurts. I even catch myself getting angry when I know I shouldnt. It makes me feel awful when I don't know how to help. I know since I'm not living with it I can't begin to understand but I still want to do something. How do you let someone know that you haven't given up when they have given up on everything?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Late night thoughts...

It is 1 am...well a little bit after actually. I'm sitting here, alone with my thoughts. I end up being alone with my thoughts quite a bit thanks to the work I do. Tonight, I'm thinking about judging people. I've noticed lately that I am quick to call someone a jerk or an asshole. I have to stop myself and think are they really a jerk or are they just behaving badly? Is it an isolated thing or are they really that bad? I don't want to be guilty of casting stones because I know I am not without sin. I try my hardest but I am only human and am prone to lapses in judgement. Part of living in harmony is the establishment and respect of boundaries. Most of the time, the poor choices made by others does not cross into my boundary sphere. It makes me wonder exactly though how I should feel about the awful things people do to each other. I know it makes me sad but should it anger me too? Jesus taught tolerance and peace. In other places in the Bible it says we should obey the people God has put into power because they rule with Godly law. I don't see the actions of some of our leaders as godly at all. Is there a reason why God would put ungodly people in places where they would do the most damage? I pray quite a bit and I often find myself speaking to the Father because I am confused. His ways are not our ways, this I know but sometimes I wonder why our ways are so different. Maybe we were dropped here as an alien experiment. For all we know we could have been the product of an accident or a cosmic fart. No matter what though, I think that the creator of the universe dwells within every part of it and as consciously aware beings we are driven to understand our creator. Maybe focusing on this drive rather than succumbing to greed, or something equally as destructive, will bring us closer to the peace we seek.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Throwing the baby out with the bath...

The game of nationstates ( if anyone is interested) is a game that emulates real life. People in power dislike those who have an opinion that differs from theirs. The site is "at will" meaning any use is presumed to be "at will"; that is, the site and/or moderators are free to discharge individuals "for good cause, or bad cause, or no cause at all," and the user is equally free to cease using the site. In playing this game (and getting terminated from the site in accordance to this at will relationship) it made me painfully realize how screwed up this idea is. The idea is one that had roots in logic so that rule breakers could be dismissed without fear of punishment. Of course though, there are those that abuse this type of relationship. Is there a way to fix it? I wonder if there is a way, by putting enough minds together, something can be logically and peacefully done about the illogical way the innocent get treated because of the necessity of punishing the guilty.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dark Forest magic the gathering deck

A work in progress...this is what I could build with the cards I have right now. As I test it and get more cards I'll update. I'll put my other decks on here too :-D NERD POWER!

10 [DDE] Swamp (2)
10 [CHK] Forest (2)

// Creatures
1 [LE] Smokespew Invoker
1 [ST] Hollow Dogs
1 [FUT] Cutthroat il-Dal
1 [8E] Maggot Carrier
1 [7E] Gorilla Chieftain
1 [CHK] Villainous Ogre
1 [GP] Poisonbelly Ogre
2 [MI] Restless Dead
1 [DK] Bog Rats
1 [LRW] Nectar Faerie
1 [CS] Zombie Musher
1 [ON] Anurid Murkdiver
1 [MM] Bog Smugglers
1 [UL] Giant Cockroach
1 [JU] Nullmage Advocate
1 [5E] Grizzly Bears
1 [7E] Giant Spider
1 [MR] Wurmskin Forger
1 [CHK] Moss Kami
1 [CHK] Order of the Sacred Bell
1 [US] Treetop Rangers
1 [8E] Elvish Pioneer
1 [ON] Wirewood Elf
1 [4E] Ironroot Treefolk
2 [10E] Rushwood Dryad
1 [PY] Pygmy Razorback
1 [DK] Scavenger Folk
1 [9E] Craw Wurm
1 [GP] Gruul Scrapper
1 [SC] Woodcloaker
2 [DS] Tel-Jilad Outrider
1 [FD] Tyrranax
1 [JU] Centaur Rootcaster
1 [CHK] Orochi Ranger
1 [MR] Fangren Hunter

// Spells
1 [IN] Recover
1 [ON] Aphetto Dredging
1 [OD] Morgue Theft
1 [ON] Swat
1 [TO] Restless Dreams
1 [TO] Waste Away
1 [TSP] Assassinate
1 [SH] Death Stroke
1 [A] Paralyze
1 [BRB] Sandstorm
1 [MI] Binding Agony
1 [6E] Fatal Blow
1 [B] Fear
1 [7E] Giant Growth
1 [IN] Whip Silk
1 [DK] Venom
1 [5E] Venom
1 [7E] Stream of Life
1 [PY] Jolrael's Favor
1 [US] Lull
1 [MR] Journey of Discovery
1 [ST] Natural Spring

Repost of Dream Journal 3-27-2010

This is a dream I had written down on 3/27. I put it on facebook but decided to repost here for everyone to see...Ive been accused of having a vivid imagination lol. I hope you all enjoy this foray into my strange mind :)
It was pitch black, the kind of dark that makes you think twice about being outside. I glanced in the review mirror as a whisp of an exasperated and nervous sigh escaped into oblivion. I asked myself, "what the hell am I doing here?", a mantra to go along with the intermitant tap of my finger on the steering wheel. I suddenly felt the chill of the night air through to my core as my phone sprung to life. The text gave me a place to go. I checked the review mirror again and started on my way. Was that someone behind me? As I drove, I saw the lights getting closer. I pushed my car harder and harder and the lights got closer and closer. I felt my car start to give and the check engine light came on. I could smell smoke and the heat suddenly washed over me as I felt the other car hit my rear bumper. I heard a thunder clap and my vision went white...and then I woke up in my bed as my alarm started to sound.

I watch way too much Sci Fi...Dream Journal 6/3/2010

I found myself in a large structure. From the view I can tell it is some sort of control tower. Various alarms are going off all around me and I can see from what looks like a radar screen that we are surrounded by a large number of red dots but not a lot of green ones. There was an old man, military type, barking orders through a PA microphone. I had hardly registered where I was when I saw a missile, one of OUR missiles, crash right into the side of our building. Everything erupted in chaos. In the confusion I made my way to a helicopter pad. Rows and rows of choppers in various states of repair and function surrounded me on all sides. I saw a woman directing orders in the middle of the confusion. I walked up to her almost impulsively and asked her, "Do you need a gunner?" She pointed at a helicopter that was about to take off. I ran and jumped into the back seat. The pilot took off without a word. As soon as we were in the air, we were surrounded on all sides by alien creatures. They were about 4 feet across wingtip to wingtip. They had 8 claws down the side of each "wing" and had very large stingers at the end of short tails. They seemed to be dripping a slimy clear liquid from what looked like a gaping mouth filled with pointy black teeth. They attached themselves to the sides of the helicopters and started ripping away metal and melting it with the slimy liquid. I watched several choppers go down in flames as I shot as many aliens as I could out of the air with the rear and forward guns. Suddenly an alien burrowed through the side of my helicopter and attached itself to me. I tried to fight it off as it latched onto me with its claws and started stinging me. Thats when I woke up...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My thoughts on oil

I've been asked a lot lately what I think about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and about what I think of oil in general. I hear a lot of talk about people being hypocrites because they speak of wanting to stop suckling at the teat of the great oil mother while at the same time using products that are at least manufactured using the energy off of oil. This is what I have to say on the subject:

There is honestly no way to live completely petroleum free. We can thank the assholes who own the lions share of the production base...what better way to have job security than building (and supporting with a LOT of funding) a system that NEEDS your product. Any headway on renewable energy has been cut off. We could be living entirely on alternative energy sources but a LOT of people would suddenly be broke. Since wealthy people hate giving up the lifestyle, here we are. Oil is a drug and we are all addicted to it. It would be nice to just drop off of the grid but that isn't going to happen because everything uses petroleum at some point...there is always living in the woods in a cave and wiping ones ass with a leaf but I'm sure someone would take exception to that eventually because you'd be trespassing on someones property...then it is off to jail and back into the arms of sweet sweet consumption. Society is win.

We have been groomed to NEED oil...and no one bothered to take exception to it when something could have been done. Now we are reaping what we have sown through decades of inaction. Now all the action in the world short of a violent revolution or a catastrophe is going to change things. Violent revolutions use oil though (and waste a lot of other resources on top of it all) and we are getting closer to a catastrophe each and every day. When all the oil is gone...then people are going to have to think of something else. It makes me sad that the oil is going to last way past my great grandchildren. I would hope though that as the old oil barons die, new ideas will start to prevail over greed and the status quo.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I am a Jackrabbit...

I was doing a lot of thinking today about spirit animals. I've taken a lot of tests online about spirit animals and the one that keeps coming up consistently is the Hare. Hares (The Jackrabbit in particular) have always fascinated me. They are survivors of the harshest climes, peaceful and intuitive. Most people think they are pests but they are a necessary component in the great circle of life, especially in the desert. I identify a lot with jackrabbits. I am kind of a nervous sort around new people, I'm always making sure I don't paint myself into a corner and I can be one place and then in another place in the blink of an eye.

I found this on a spirit animal website:

"Jackrabbit’s message is, always be alert. When walking in a strange neighborhood pay attention to your surroundings . Keep away from your enemies; you know who they are. Change your fears into faith. Learn to "freeze" when you want to avoid detection. Develop clairaudience to hear psychic messages. You are fertile with new ideas and now is the time to act on them."

I try to live my life this way. Until now, I really didn't think that these were qualities associated with the Jackrabbit. Most people when you ask them what their spirit animal is they say something along the lines of the Wolf or the Bear or maybe some type of big cat. Animals that are romanticized and often thought about. I do identify with some aspects of the wolf, and I love the grace and demeanor of the Cat but am I a wolf, am I a cat? The answer is a resounding NO! I have always been a desert creature, a wary creature, a survivor, a jackrabbit. Even some of my mannerisms and way of speech can be considered "rabbit like" . This is something people have told me but I really never believed it until I got introspective about it. The first thing that people usually associate rabbits with is how much they reproduce. They do this for a reason and whether we humans understand the reasoning behind it or not is really irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. I'll admit the reason why I was so resistant to believing that the Jackrabbit was my spirit animal was because of this negative connotation. Now that I think about it, it seems kind of an ignorant reason to be denying a part of my nature.

I am a Jackrabbit, a survivor, nervous around predatory people but friendly once I get to know them and know they aren't going to bite my tail off. I am a creature of peace and a creature of the desert. Now I'm learning to be a Jackrabbit of the forest. It's taking some time, but I think that through instinct and intelligence, I will survive just like I always have.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My cat, my friend

I was thinking a lot today about my cat, Remus. The cat that went from an awkward little ball of striped and spotted fur to a huge bulk of a feline and in the process has worked his way into my heart. Over the years, I've gotten used to having him around, to the point of ignoring him a lot of the time. I think it is easy when you've been around someone (and yes Remus is a someONE, just because he is a cat it doesn't make him any less of a being) for so long to take them for granted. It really makes me wonder how many people do this. I also got to thinking about how much I would miss Remus if something were to happen to him. Does he know how much I appreciate his company? I spend way too much time being upset with him, at least it seems like it. He does what all cats do...gets into things he shouldn't and scratches things he shouldn't scratch. It seems like lately I've been yelling at him more than I've been telling him I love him. I know that I've been way stressed out but I shouldn't take it out on my friend. What if he isn't the only friend I've been abusing? It makes me think about how I've been treating the people around me.
I shouldn't take my stress out on my furry friend. In fact I should be showing him love and affection because in all his annoying catness, that is exactly what he is trying to show to me.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sore Observations

I'm sitting in front of my computer...glad I can finally sit up but still a little sore. I've had an interesting few days. I'll start with my birthday (the 5th). I spent some time outside, got myself a good lunch and reveled in the fact that I was around to enjoy the semi-sunny afternoon that Oregon decided to bless us with. At some point, I got a text from my neighbor. Her car blew a hose and she needed a ride to the auto parts store. Of course, the parts house didn't have a simple piece of plastic...they informed us that Ford was the only one who makes said plastic hose and they wanted over $60 for it. All this part is is a plastic tube with a hose barb at the inlet and two on the outlet. It's simple, it's stupid...but it's expensive. Going to the junkyard would be a far better idea than giving Ford more money (and helping them justify making such a crappy part to begin with). The next day my neighbor needed to get to her mid term so I happily volunteered. I'm glad I did! The drive up to the Lane Community College (hereafter referred to as LCC) is beautiful, especially when it is sunny out. Thursday was such a wonderfully sunny day! The whole landscape seemed alive and vibrant, more so than usual. I got my financial aid paperwork in (I really needed to if I want to get into summer term). Afterwards we got some Taco Bell and sat back and watched a LOT of TV. Mostly police shows and Lets Make a Deal (Wayne Brady, I love you lol). We did go to the junkyard, but it closed right as we pulled in. On the way there and back, I was amazed at the diversity of the cars and trucks around here. You rarely see the same make and model twice. I figure its the huge diversity that makes it so no one notices my car. We got to the junkyard Friday though. I would love to spend more time just checking the place out. I love junkyards, though. I did end up working on Saturday. I walked more in one day than I usually do in a weeks time so I am really sore. I need to work back into walking long distances again although I don't think I'll be able to get back into the shape I was in before because of my bad foot. It makes me feel kind of old but at the same time I have to accept my limitations...and get educated to the point where I can get a job that doesn't involve miles upon miles of walking. At least I have today to relax, which is just what I needed. Happy Mothers day to all moms by the way!

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Fourteen Precepts of the Order of Interbeing by Thich Nhat Hanh

A friend of a friend had this note on Facebook. These reminders are from the book, "Peace is Every Step." by Thich Nhat Hanh, A buddhist monk who emphasizes practicing mindfulness. Here are 14 easy steps to help you develop and maintain a legitimate human soul. These really spoke to me, and I encourage everyone to read, share and discuss.

1.Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory or ideology. All systems of thought are guiding means; they are not absolute truth.

2.Do not think that the knowledge you presently posses is changeless, absolute truth. Avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present views. Learn and practice non-attachment from views in order to be open to receive others’ viewpoints. Truth is found in life and not merely in conceptual knowledge. Be ready to learn throughout your entire life and observe reality in yourself and in the world at all times.

3.Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education. However, through compassionate dialogue, help others renounce fanaticism and narrowness.

4.Do not avoid contact with suffering or close your eyes before suffering. Do not lose awareness of the existence of suffering in the world. Find ways to be with those who are suffering, by all means, including personal contact and visits, images and sound. By such means, awaken yourself and others to the reality of suffering in the world.

5.Do not accumulate wealth while millions are hungry. Do not take as the aim of your life fame, profit, wealth, or sensual pleasure. Live simply and share time, energy and material resources with those who are in need.

6.Do not maintain anger or hatred. Learn to penetrate and transform them while they are still seeds in your consciousness. As soon as anger or hatred arises, turn your attention to your breathing in order to see and understand the nature of the persons who have caused you anger or hatred

7.Do not lose yourself in dispersion and in your surroundings. Practice mindful breathing in order to come back to what is happening in the present moment. Be in touch with what is wondrous, refreshing, and healing, both inside and around yourself. Plant the seeds of joy, peace, and understanding in yourself in order to facilitate the work of transformation in the depths of your consciousness.

8.Do not utter words that can create discord and cause the community to break. Make every effort to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.

9.Do not say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest or to impress people. Do not utter words that cause division and hatred. Do not spread news that you do not know to be certain. Do not criticize or condemn things that you are not sure of. Always speak truthfully and constructively. Have the courage to speak out about situations of injustice, even when doing so may threaten your own safety.

10.Do not use the religious community for personal gain or profit, or transform your community into a political party. A religious community should, however, take a clear stand against oppression and injustice, and should strive to change the situation without engaging in partisan conflicts.

11.Do not live with a vocation that is harmful to humans and nature. Do not invest in companies that deprive others of their chance to live. Select a vocation that helps you realize your ideal of compassion.

12.Do not kill. Do not let others kill. Find whatever means possible to protect life and prevent war.

13. Possess nothing that should belong to others. Respect the property of others but prevent others from enriching themselves from human suffering or the suffering of other beings.

14. Do not mistreat your body. Learn to handle it with respect. Do not look on your body as only an instrument. Preserve vital energies for the realization of the Way. Sexual expression should not happen without love and commitment. In sexual relationships, be aware of the future suffering that may be caused. To preserve the happiness of others, respect the rights and commitments of others. Be fully aware of the responsibility of bringing new lives into the world. Meditate on the world into which you are bringing new beings.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The first day of May...

It is the first day of May and surprisingly sunny in my corner of the world. I find myself sitting alone with my thoughts and the thrum of electro house in my ears. I might go outside later if it isn't too cold. I find myself kind of at a loss in many ways, mostly because for the longest time my life was defined by my work schedule and suddenly that is all changing. I will admit that the change is good for my health...working a funky schedule was literally killing me. This is the first time in a while that I can say Ive felt "normal" and actually want to do something other than sit in bed all day. Maybe this respite from my job is exactly what I needed.
My birthday is in four days although I might as well celebrate it now. Whats a day or two on either side? The transition from 27 to 28 isn't exactly profound. Not like the transition from 17 to 18 or 20 to 21. Nothing special happens to me except that I can look at everyone and say "See? I survived another year!" That is something to be proud of I think, especially in this crazy world. My cat agrees with me. *smiles* I think everyone should take the time out of their day to appreciate the fact that they are still alive to experience all the joy and the pain of our world. This existence is but a scratch on the surface of whats out there but we were put here for a reason. Somehow I think we should be enjoying the ride and learning from it, not resenting every step.
So today, listen to some good music, pet a cat or a dog (or whatever critter you prefer) and embrace living. The alternative is misery. :-)

Friday, April 30, 2010


A post from my Vox blog...
The morning creeps slowly into my conciousness. I sit, numbed by my rented coffee. Cold by now, yet warming my brain into mediocrity. I see Gods grace through the pale majesty of the rising sun and I feel small. The birds share the morning; quietly prolcaiming the start of a new day, a new year, a new life. Awareness sparks anew with the dawn and while I contemplate the mystery of existence, pidgeons stare blankly without concern or care. I worry about survival yet they just survive. I anylize, I ponder, I agonize, I drive myself to madness. I have just enough awareness to put me in a grave. I greve over things I can't possibly change and I rejoice in things I have nothing to do with. Do birds agonize and greve and ask favors of the impossible? I wonder not so silently about the nature of existence while they just exist in nature. The passage of time ticks by second by second by hour by day. Woe piles over optimisim and hope defeats wow and above it all the sun still rises and the birds still sing. I am warm against the cold, light against the darkness. God has placed me in this moment according to his purpose and while I wonder, I still know, through the shower of light and beauty of the rising sun, I am loved. The chill of the wind never lasts forever...

Dreams and the Supernatural

Another old Myspace post...
I blink...and everything has changed. I see the same things staring me in the face, ominous and looming as a reminder of what I am leaving behind. I almost feel a tugging at my soul, calling me to a different place. I close my eyes for a second...maybe it was more than a second...the more I sync with this new universe the less time seems to matter. I hear the voices of the past, present, and future mix in a klidoscope inside my head. Fractured pecies of sound meld into my every nerve and the separation between body and mind becomes painfully clear. I have the distinct feeling that I should be saying something and find that I articulate myself beautifully in this realm of timespace. Is this timespace or something that exists within the deeper confines of another plane? My thoughts seem to speak and my words seem to think as I get an answer to my question in an English I don't quite understand.

I suddenly feel a warm caress cooling my skin and chilling me to the bone. I look up in confusion and in supplication to a force I can see but I'm not entirely convinced that it is really there. I reach out in a vain attempt to link with something real, but all I see are illusions. My hand falls through solid form and the thin viels holding everything in proper place are breaking down in an avalance of shattered atoms. I hear them fall around me, dropping slowly as if it were raining paint in the color of everything around me. I feel it run down my skin, oily yet subtle like a silk wind warping and twisting my memory until I remember the future and forget the past. I am standing in a pool of carpet now, wet and sticky between my toes as it grows over them. I try to lift my feet but I am stopped by the chains of a thousand souls bound to some energy I percieve only behind my eyes.

I awake in my bed, unsure of how I garnered permission from an unearthly overlord to return to the land of my familiars. I am unsure as to the nature of reality in my room, afraid that I am still being tempted. I close my eyes again and fall deeply into slumber. I'm still not convinced that I am truely awake...

Sleepless in Reno (written Jan 2007)

This is on my Myspace blog...decided to share it here for those who haven't had the chance to read it.
Some situations in life take on the shape of colors and sounds, surreal to the touch and alien to the ears yet you have no choice but to feel and listen to the echo of the cosmos deep within yourself. It's an interchange of threads masking themselves as one thing or another, even though they may not necessarily be one thing or another, but in the interest of normalcy and the maintaining of the status quo, the mask stays and everyone pays the toll that comes from driving on the freeway blindfolded. The headlights flicker past as I drive hazily through the fog, asking myself if I am going too fast or too slow. I know where I'm going yet I don't exactly know where I am.
It's starting to rain. I question my perceptions as my eyes are flooded and my body strains under the drip drip dropping of the water. I walk, purposefully in no particular direction, inhaling the sweet scent of despair falling from the sky. I stop, standing in a puddle of blood and look up into the gaping maw of suffering and stare into its deep gray eyes. I ask myself if there is anything I can do except suffer along with it and it responds that my presence there is enough to keep the worst part of it at bay. I stand there and bleed, as the rain washes everything away, chilling me to the bone.
I am awake again, my back up against something cold, brick walls staring down at me from every angle. My bare feet tingle as I start to walk. The night sky shines down upon me, clouded and dark yet strangely comforting. I travel for hours, days...I lose track as I wander around trying to find my way out. Slowly, though, I notice that everything is getting hotter. Without my realizing it, I collapse as the heat consumes my entire being. As I fade slowly away, I see flames coming at me, slowly and full of intense burning beauty. I feel it caress me as I my eyes close and my grip of reality slowly blends into nonexistence.
Outside these walls the city sleeps. In a few hours people will stir and go about their Saturday as people often do. It is all in the spirit of normalcy and what the majority has decided for themselves even though the majority doesn't like the way things are going. I walk among them, blinded by the morning sun and delirious from lack of sleep. I ask myself questions and give myself the answers I want to hear, even though I know they aren't the right ones. I'd like to think that I have learned a measure of acceptance, a measure of understanding as to how the world presently works. I realize, blinded as I am, I understand things from a different point of view. Is it wrong? Is it even right to think of it as wrong? In all this entropy is there ever really a true order to the way things really are? I stand awake and ponder, staring off into nothing and everything, sleeplessly wandering through the spider web of reality. I tear through the delicate threads, with no regard to what once was. Can I really exist out in between the threads, or do I have to fall back into the pattern that I pretend to know?
I have kissed reality and have been caressed by her. I have been beaten and scarred for all my days, yet I come back to it all with open arms because that is what I have been put on this earth to expect. I'll be outside again when it rains, without anything to hide under or behind. I'll follow the threads past the signs and I'll take an exit to someplace I've never been, just to taste a different color. I'll lose sleep and I'll become lost in the very unreality of it all. What else is there to do?

New Blog, New Beginning

This is my new blog...Hopefully I'll have time to put more than just a little intro/place holder deal.
Stay Tuned!