Saturday, January 30, 2010
I woke up as the sun was reddening; and that was the one distinct time in my life, the strangest moment of all, when I didn't know who I was - I was far away from home, haunted and tired with travel, in a cheap hotel room I'd never seen, hearing the hiss of steam outside, and the creak of the old wood of the hotel, and footsteps upstairs, and all the sad sounds, and I looked at the cracked high ceiling and really didn't know who I was for about fifteen seconds.
I wasn't scared; I was just somebody else, some stranger, and my whole life was a haunted life, the life of a ghost.
I was halfway across America,
at the dividing line between the East of my youth and the West of my future,
and maybe that's why it happened right there and then,
that strange red afternoon.
-This is an excerpt from On the Road by Jack Kerouac.
I've always wanted to read this book and very nicely my sister gave it to me my last day in Baltimore. I've been reading while on the road myself, how unique and uncoincidentally true. Anyway, this piece absolutely ringed true while I was laying in my new bed, in my new room, in my new apartment, in Houston, Texas. I can completely understand where he's coming from when he says these things; although from the context of where he was and what he was going through, is much different than the cross country road-trip I was just did with my dad. There wasn't extensive hitch-hiking, getting stuck in pouring rain on the edge of town with no money, no food, and no ride to the next town. We had a nice car, plenty of money, ate like champs, and most nights... except for one, a nice hotel to sleep in. But I digress, it's a great book so far and I look forward to diving more deeply into it now that I've reached my destination. I feel like I know what he's talking about when he talks of the dividing line of the east of is past and the west of his future. For everyone that knows me... has always been informed of the West Coast, and that it is my ultimate destination. Not really sure where, when or why, but it always been the ultimate goal and something I've been working towards my whole life. It's this urge to explore, try new things, and be open to everything; new experiences, new feelings - both good, bad, sad, and happy - it's these experiences that mold you as a person, and I want to bed one who has lived in different places, met local people, experienced what it is to be there. And so this moment in his life is a revelation - a new beginning which is absolutely scary and exciting at the same time. I feel like this might be my beginning to new adventures, new opportunities, and a broadening red horizon...
I'm hanging out in my new room listening to the new Vampire Weekend album Contra, pictured above with yours truly, and reading... well I was reading but I read that part and thought, man that would be a great blog post to get me to start writing, so I read a few more pages and decided to take a break and throw on a slab of vinyl. Now I'm laying on my new bed, which isn't as comfortable as my own bed in Baltimore, but will absolutely definitely do. It's a good size room with moderate closet space and it's own bathroom!! Yes, I have my own bathroom. It's even got a shower, more closet space in it, and the other usual bathroom staples. It's really nice actually, and since I was the first one at the place, I got first dibs. The other one is nice because there is a lot of closet space, and a balcony off the room. Though the balcony has an excellent view of the parking lot.... and it does lead to the other bathroom, which is a shared and community bathroom. The place is very nice and I look forward to living here the next three months.
Three months. Like Jack said, sometimes you just get these out of character, out of head experiences. It's crazy sometimes how things end up, and I never really pictured this. But here we are. My dad is taking a nap at the moment but I believe we are delving into some BBQ for dinner. It's his last night in town and we are going to try and enjoy it as much as we can. It's very cold here at the moment, which is unfortunate, but will hopefully warm up soon. I heard we're supposed to get a lot of rain in the next week, which is another strange change of weather. The on going joke is we brought it with us from the Northeast. I've got some pics for you from New Orleans, which was awesome, that I will post sometime soon, (hopefully!).
I'm looking forward to getting to work and starting to feel comfortable in my new work surroundings. Getting grounded, with regiment and regular schedule. I've never really driven for extensive periods of time across the country so that was definitely a new experience. There is much to do around my new home and every kind of food you can imagine at your fingertips. Mongolian grills, french houses, tex-mex everywhere, steak houses, cajun boyou joints, BBQ, fried chicken and gravy, it's all here! I'm very happy and grateful at the moment... looking forward to exploring, meeting new folk, and as always of course continuing to learn, find out more about myself, and living...
Friday, January 22, 2010
There's a branch of vitality that has everything to do with death, with mortality and the absolute end of a simple existence. Without the understanding that there's no escape hatch when the lights start to dim and where the embalmer makes his bread, one is unfortunately disillusioned and cannot successfully live it up. Without embracing the fragility of life, the capacity to experience richness in life is lessened. Death legitimizes life, to some extent, and some of the most interesting thoughts come when death is broached and really examined with a fine-toothed comb. The thought of death is so suggestive of tragedy and such a languid supposition that it never really feels like it's breathing our air, but when it's put into the right contexts and those carpe diem birds start chirping as if they've just bathed in the mystic prowess of promised daybreak, death is as lovely and invigorating a concept as anything. It can be the same as a crisp autumn morning, maybe with exhalations coming out white, but still toasty only because thinking of death and one's eminent demise can force a person to truly get to living, as flowery as that may sound.
Philadelphia's Dr. Dog, five men with a healthy stake in both polarities -- life and death, show an exorbitance of life in their songs of throwback musicality and irreproachable three-part harmonies, but there are just as many instances of what's to come some day. Death is a valuable tool for making living sweeter, just as salt is used on tequila and limes are used with Coronas, and Dr. Dog - though they aren't real doctors - prescribe both ideas in large doses on We All Belong, the group's full-length follow-up to Easy Beat, a hazy snack of impeccable, sundried offerings that are rarely timorous, but instead exhibit so much hot-bloodedness that it's easy to discern that they choose life over lingering on what will be. There's a lot of old soul feeling to what they do, as if they were young men filled to the lashes with the spirits of thousands of mild-mannered grandfathers, who'd experienced all of the 50s and 60s as young men, with fires in the pits of their stomachs and unwrinkled skins. It's as if they're on both the front and back ends of lives - with the youthful swagger and exploratory gene as well as the realization that days are numbered and the time's ripe for reflection and kicking and screaming before kicking the bucket.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Friday, January 8, 2010
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