09-17-09 - Life

I returned a bunch of stuff to REI that didn't work well on our last camping trip. It's so great that you can use stuff out in the field and still return it for a 100% refund. Of course I have spent like $2000 at REI recently in a big fucking yuppie materialist douchebag capitalist ejaculation of money, so it's not like they're really doing me any favors. If you search for "REI refund" on Google you'll find site after site where people brag about how they abuse the policy. You fucking cock holes. First of all, it's a really nice thing REI is doing, they're showing trust in the customer, and you're just proving them wrong, taking advantage of someone being nice and trusting is such a fucking awful thing to do. Second of all, you're just stealing from all the other customers. You're not stealing from REI, you are literally stealing from the people who are honest and respectful of the policy. So many people think that taking advantage of a collective is something to be proud of. My god, you're not fucking clever or bold, we can all see how easy it is to get free rental stuff from REI, you aren't the first genius to come up with that. It's not something to be proud of. People love to brag about cheating on their taxes, or getting "free" stuff from health care, or how they avoided paying some tickets or fines. I remember in California lots of people at Oddworld would brag about they falsely claimed earthquake damage on their homes to get money from the government. You fucking tool, you're stealing from me. People are so disgusting, I hate you all so very much.

I wrote a while ago about the ridiculous speeding ticket I got for going 65 on the god damn freeway. Well, the lawyer that makes tickets disappear made it disappear. That's nice and all, and certainly that ticket was bogus and deserved to go away, but I feel bad about the whole situation. For one thing, the ticket disappearing had nothing at all to do with the fact that it was actually a ridiculous ticket. She just makes any ticket disappear regardless of merit; that bothers me; many speeding tickets are well deserved and people should have to pay. Instead the people with enough knowledge and money to hire the lawyer get no tickets (aka the rich) while the young and the poor get fucked. For another thing, I have been driving like an absolute lunatic recently, I've done 100 right past cops a few times and have made some very sketchy passes, and somehow I have avoided tickets in all those cases. I feel like I deserve a ticket, and even though that one was bogus it was my ticket for all the times I didn't get caught.

I think people who wear workout or hiking clothes around town are super ridiculous loser douchebags (particularly guys who wear compression shirts around town, though wearing hiking gear is pretty bad too; even the girls in yoga pants are pretty retarded). However, I wore some hiking breathable underlayer thing around yesterday and it felt pretty damn good. I was warm and yet not sweaty. I guess the thing I hate is that a lot of people wear that shit because they're trying to show off how fit or outdoorsy they are, oh look at me in my fucking hiking pants I'm such a good Seattleite, but it actually is pretty damn comfy and functional.

N is super idealistic. It reminds me of how I used to be. She doesn't want to use her name or sex or influence to get ahead. She wants communities and respect for all and bikes and pedestrians and help for the poor. She's anti-materialist and anti-capitalist; she believes in making do and doing things yourself. I've given up so much of that, I used to be such an idealist when I was young, I boycotted companies that I thought were evil, I refused to pimp myself, but I gave it up gradually bit by bit in the name of practicality. I used to rail against the system in hopeless self-defeating utopian ways; over time I gave into realism and realpolitik and reality. I love feeling like a dreamer again.

When I lived in SF during unemployed time, I wanted to intentionally live like a broke person (I actually was pretty broke, but wanted to try to live as cheaply as possible for the experience of it). We found furniture and carpets on the street, we shopped at thrift stores, ate at divey ethnic places, for fun we hung out in the park or took a walk. It was glorious. My girl was not really appreciative of the beauty of living like you're broke. I find it incredibly romantic. I have this fantasy vision in my head of being a couple of poor immigrants in the big city, struggling to get by, working horrible jobs, living in a rotten apartment, being cold and dirty, but getting through it all together, helping each other, and being happy because we have each other. She would rub out the horrible knots in my back that I get from working in the factory all day, I would rub oil in her hands that are dry from washing dishes all day. We would chase each other around the apartment and wrestle and tickle and fall in a heap and have sex and life would be grand.

Before I was 18 or so, I had magic powers with children. They would flock to me; I would go to a playground to play myself, and children would come up to me and talk to me and play with me. At family gatherings I would always prefer to sit at the kid's table and hang out with them the whole time. I couldn't really connect to people my own age or adults, but I felt natural with kids; they were simple and open and honest and fun. I was great with babies and was sure that I wanted kids of my own some day. At some point, I lost that. I imagine a cheezy movie where all the kids are in color and the adults are black and white, and up to 16 or so I was in color, but then it started fading until at some point I went almost coal black. N is a buzzing conflagration of rainbows; just being near her, I'm drawing color back into me.

Part of me getting my vibrance back is rejecting situations that beat me down. Over these many years I've let my spirit die by caving into tedious boring normalcy. Girlfriends and friends and everyone want me to do all these things that are just so awful, and I'm supposed to have a good attitude about it and find the fun in it and all that, and I could to some extent. I found ways to turn off my real opinions and just be open and appreciate the upside. That has been good for me in my personal growth, but it also just makes you constantly half alive. I feel much better when I can be wildly passionate, either madly love something or hate it; this "meh this sucks but everything sucks and I can tolerate it" is no way to live.

N loves to bike, perhaps even more so than me; she has a pure simple love of the feeling of moving freely in the air under your own body power. We roam the city like it's our own personal playground. Travelling together by bike has a wonderful equality about it; it's not like a car with a driver and a passenger, you are both under your own power and can take turns leading or separate briefly and come back together. Biking makes it so much easier to stop and start all the time and experience the world and explore. I feel like we're birds, flitting around, swerving, separating, chasing each other, flying along side each other, one racing off, the other catching up. It makes everything so much more fun, because instead of just going to X, we're going to X by bike. Sometimes we never reach the destination because we see something else along the way and wind up liking it better; it completely changes the feeling of every excursion from stressful type-A goal oriented to a fun open-ended ramble.

I like to yell at other cars when I drive. It really relaxes me, relieves the stress. Rather than chasing them down and cutting them off and trying to run them off the road, I just have a good yell and then I feel okay. When someone else is in the car, though, I can't do it, because it freaks them out, makes them all stressed. They take it the wrong way - they think the yelling is making me angier. Quite the opposite, *not* yelling makes me much angier, I have to bottle it up inside, and the small bits of rage pile up into a festering parasite that consumes my guts from the inside. The only other alternative is just to chill out and turn off my brain and not care, but that's just so soul crushing. It's like being some valium/prozac zombied out drone. "Oh, I was trying to turn left and pulled out in the intersection, but I couldn't go because some nice person decided to run the yellow going straight and prevent me from getting my chance to turn left across a busy street. la di da. that doesn't make me angry at all." No thank you. When I'm alone I can do lots of weird stuff to let out my rages. If some social misunderstanding bothers me, I might just go outside and do some sprints and pushups. If I'm with someone, now they're thinking "oh what a weirdo he went outside while we're in here talking" and it's now become way bigger of a deal, while if I was alone it would diffuse the problem for me. I constantly don't do what I want to or need to because the people around me can't understand it and respond to it right because they're closed minded and conformist. No more.


Wes Bigelow said...

Jesus, biking around like that with someone almost makes me want to have a girlfriend again.

Aaron said...

Just grab yourself one of these.

castano said...

One of the things that I love about wearing hiking clothes is that it still retains the smells of the forest. I like unclothing at the swimming pool and feeling like I'm just about to jump on a creek, or biking one of the city trails and imagine that I'm alone surrounded by redwoods.

Aaron said...

I'm too cheap to buy enough pants. So some days I gotta wear the hiking pants. I bought a pair of those sill Keen sandals for summer hiking and they're more comfortable than my hip Adidas, so I'm in the Keens all the time now. I think it'd be funny to take it all the way though. Just walk around town ALL THE TIME in full hiking garb. Pants, shirt, hat, fucking frame pack. Run drinking fountain water through one of those chemical filters all the time. Do it, bloom, you've got the gear now!!!

cbloom said...

Lol. The best part would be taking out the TP and shovel from my pack and going being a bush in some landscaping.

old rants