Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I'm gonna try to make this make sense

First some free writing rambling to clear the air in my head

The world has a different smell in the morning, just as the sun comes up. I never really thought about it before, but waking up at 6 this morning, I was more alert than usual. I suppose thats what happens when you sleep 12 hours and wake up early in the morning. Anyways, I'm looking out my window right now as the sunlight is breaking over the range of hills behind Cal Poly, palm trees dancing in the forefront as the sky spills it's beautiful watercolors onto the canvas of the day. Today is the last day of finals, a very generous teacher was kind enough to let me retake a final that I slept in and missed on Monday. All of my professors at Cal Poly have been really helpful, I wish I knew how to take better advantage of that. Took my chem final and my organic chemistry final yesterday, back to back. Pulled an all nighter, general chemistry final was at 7am, took me the full 3 hours to take it, which rarely happens, but it's because I spent the time each question deserved for the first time in a long time. It wasn't conscious, but I answered problems that I couldn't on the two midterms on the final, and it's not that I studied them. In fact, I didn't study at all for general chemistry the night before, only for organic chemistry, the final that I'm pretty sure I bombed. I may have to take that class over again, which would be a bummer since I've never not passed a class before.

Freewriting over.

Unhappiness is a lonely place. We offer all the assurance in the world to those going through a dark time that the sunrise is coming soon. "All your problems are temporary", or "I know it's tough right now, but you'll be happy again," are the best we have to offer.
Heres the thing, when things are down, it's easy to reason that sure, for every valley theres a mountaintop. The tough part is remembering how great it is to be on the mountaintop. Thats a feeling you can't recapture, or even really remember, until you're back on top of the world. When your face wears no expression, it's hard to remember how great the urge to just smile is. We always wear the scars from our darkest moments, maybe not outwardly, but those times are not soon forgotten. And while we have good memories to cling to as well, a climb to the top of the world doesn't leave the same marks that a fall to the bottom do.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

i'm a trust fund kid without the benefit of billions at my fingertips

and i'm sick of it. sick of myself. so i will evolve. and they say that nothing changes too slowly, but tonight, nothing can change fast enough.

im ready to take my first step, away from my old self, to leave my own ghost where it belongs, in the past.

and in the midst of the chaos, the dark cloud over my head, i manage to find a bit of respite,

and milk it for every second

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday, April 6, 2009

We will be held to account for every word we speak

I have been reading Matthew and a few Psalms this week, and the main thing that keeps standing out to me is how much emphasis there is on being honest, and being careful with the words that we speak.

Good fruit comes from good trees, evil springs forth from evil:

Matthew 12:36

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every areless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.

Jesus says that we shouldn't swear by God, or by anything else for that matter, and rather than taking an oath, let your yes become an oath to those who know you, and your no become the same.

Matthew 5:37

Let what you say be simply "Yes" or "No"; anything more than this comes from evil.

Psalm 101:5

Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly, I will destroy. Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart, I will not endure.

Psalm 101:7

No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my housel no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes.

Psalm 31:18

Let the lying lips be mute, which speak insolently against the righteous in pride and contempt

After reading all of those verses, it gave me a broader understanding of the golden rule, also found in Matthew, as it becomes clear that treating others as we want to be treated definitely includes the words we speak. I know there are countless other passages in the Bible that talk about guarding our mouths, being honest, etc. etc., it just really stood out to me what an emphasis was put on it by Jesus in Matthew, and by David in the Psalms.

Matthew 7:12

So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

So my takeaway from this is it's time for me to guard the gate by which folly and lies would so happily spill out from, and be sure that I am honest, I am kind, and I do not gossip. After all, what is the tongue if not a rudder for our ship, or a spark to a great forest.

On a lighter note, I've found a great way to start my morning is to wake up an extra fifteen minutes or so early and read a couple of psalms.

Everyone who reads this needs to go now and sign up for the forum I started:

go to the "life in general" subject and click on "what this forums all about" and read my little statement. Thankyou all, have a great day

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Everything we do is worship

I discovered Calvary SLO podcasts on itunes today, listened to a sermon called "Worship: The God who transforms" while I folded my laundry. I'm excited to go to church on Sunday now, I like what the pastor has to say about alot of stuff. I have been thinking about the idea of worship ever since, and this is what came out, some of it is taken directly from the sermon, some of it is paraphrased, and some of it is just my thoughts on it. I really like Romans 12:1-2, which talks about offering yourself as a living sacrifice to God, and that if we do this then we will be transformed to the image of God, and we will begin to know and understand his will, which is a very cool concept, and a conclusion that I came to while talking to Sean about how we can grow deeper in the Kingdom. Anyways just felt like I had to share whats on my mind today, I'm working on a really big post about everything thats been going on in my mind in the past week, but it might take a little while, I have alot on my plate right now.

the thing that you turn to when you're sad, the thing that you turn to to celebrate, thats the thing that you worship
when you get your paycheck, the first thing you go spend money on, the thing that you spend the most and best time focused on getting/pursuing
thats worship
just as everything in the universe is spiritual, from the largest object to the tiniest, from the least dimensional to the most mind blowingly multidimensional
every action, everything we do in this life, is worship, down to what our thought life revolves around, to what we spend our money on, to what we rely on to make us feel better when we're sad, or help us celebrate when things are good
and the more you start looking at the world this way, the more you start to see that so many of our problems are a problem of worship, of priorities, and of what we really value.
Because that which we REALLY value, those things we consider glorious
and those things we devote our lives to,
and it becomes very easy to devote our attention and our time and our entire lives to a false idol without ever realizing it
and in the end, all false idols fall.

Romans 12:1-2
Psalms 115

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Each life

Every life is a masterpiece in 4 dimensions, a colorful, animated sculpture with a soul.

This week God has been working in my life in completely unexpected ways. Since Sunday (see my latest post) I have started reading A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. I picked it up off the shelf in my mom's library on Monday night and packed it to read on the train up to San Francisco. The train ride lasted two hours, and in that two hours I only read 24 pages. The reason I spent so much time in those first pages is that every time I read about a new concept, a new way to look at the world, whether I had heard it before or not, I was completely floored.

As I have been contemplating nature lately, I have been completely awed at the Creator behind the work of art that is our world, and reading about the vast universe just outside our front door, I was even more taken aback. Particularly, the concept of space time and time as a dynamic dimension, rather than the static entity we usually imagine it as completely blew my mind.

Hawking continues on and talks about general relativity and how it predicts it's own shortcomings as it predicts the big bang event. This is called a singularity, the point at which a theory cannot predict what came before, or what comes after it. What we do know about the big bang is that before it happened all the matter and energy in the universe was concentrated in an infinitely small and infinitely dense point of matter and energy. And then God spoke.

Think about that. God spoke the entire universe into existence. His voice, His breath, His love all have such great power, and such unbelievable beauty. We are experiencing only the smallest slice of this great work of art that is the universe, and we still consider it a masterpiece. Imagine looking down on it then, from God's perspective, this infinitely small point of matter and energy exploding, or perhaps more appropriately blooming into the hundreds of thousands of millions of galaxies full of hundreds of thousands of millions of stars, each with it's own solar system, each full of it's own natural wonders. And thats just the universe in 4 dimensions.

Now think about every life intertwined in four dimensions, meeting here, diverting there, forming a beautiful tapestry. But such a metaphor quickly fails as each life deserves so much more representation than just a line, or a string, even in three dimensions. Add to that the fact that there are several more dimensions, which have no realistic visual representation in our own three dimensional perspective, and the word tapestry seems to be a cheap substitute for something more beautiful than we can possibly imagine, perhaps more than we could ever perceive, let alone appreciate.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Heaven, hell, history, and other light subjects

Last night Enzo was kind enough to give me a ride to iF, where Isaac talked about the incarnation. If you read my post from January (the 13th), you know that I have felt that the God of the Bible is contradictory to what I believe, and that logically I couldn't make it all add up.

I am the type of guy that has to make everything make sense. If I can't make some logical sense out of something, I reject it. It was under this pretense that I abandoned my walk with God. Last night at church, Isaac said something that was peripheral to his core message: there are things that go beyond human logic, but don't contradict it.

I need to preface this next part by saying that I have been absolutely overjoyed with life for several weeks now. Every day I wake up, happy to be alive, and the smile I wear as I step into the shower usually lasts all day long. Thats why I was so surprised and confused when I was brought to tears by Isaac's message last night. I don't know what it means, I know I was moved, and I know some of the things that he said resonated with me but that doesn't explain my reaction.

While I don't fully understand where I am spiritually, or what it was about last night that so deeply moved me, I know that it's time that I confront some of the things that I wasn't ready to a couple of years ago.

After the service, I asked Isaac if he would grab a cup of coffee with me so I could pick his brain on a couple of things. Met up with him today at 1st st. coffee and dove right into the biggest issue I think I've ever wrestled with: hell.


What is hell? In the evangelical church, hell is generally accepted to be a lake of fire, or some other state of suffering, that lasts forever. More liberal Christians hold that hell simply means the end of existence, that when someone dies and "goes to hell", it just means they cease to be.

As I wrote in my previous post, I have a hard time rationalizing how a loving God would throw literally trillions of people into a lake of fire forever simply because they didn't believe in him, especially considering the fact that many of them had slim to no chance of ever receiving the truth and finding salvation. But it's also impossible to ignore the passages in scripture that clearly describe hell as an actual place of suffering, a form of punishment.

So maybe it's something in between the two extremes. After all, it seems that while some of the scriptures about hell clearly describe it as unending suffering, there are others that describe it as temporary, referring to it as "the second death." So maybe hell is a punishment for the wicked deeds performed on earth, a punishment that fits the crime. So, for example, a rapist or a murderer would be punished more severely than someone who simply rejected God because they didn't have a good relationship with their dad, or because they were angry, blaming God for their own suffering in this life.

I had thought at one point that hell just meant ceasing to exist, after all John 3:16 says "for whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life." Maybe going to hell really does just mean the story ends at death, and the punishment is the fact that we miss out on heaven. But I am now starting to think that perhaps hell is a form of punishment, a place of suffering, which precedes that end of existence, but doesn't necesarily go on forever.

Also, Isaac talked about how he thinks that maybe God planned the entire course of human history so that anyone who WOULD accept God would be given a chance to. He referenced a passage from Acts to back that up, where Paul talks about how God disperesed different nations around the world in order that his will would be done according to a specific plan and timeline. That really clicked with me, since thats how I believe God created the universe to begin with, by orchestrating an unbelievably chain of events that would lead to the evolution of life on this planet.

This concept of a symphony of human history, orchestrated by a loving God, plays right into the next issue we discussed at coffee. I have always struggled with the apparent change of God's nature from the old testament to the new testament.


In ancient times, most people groups were polytheistic, in fact the Israelites were one of the only nations to worship one God as opposed to many. Another characteristic of spirituality in ancient times is that guilt and fear were the predominant aspects of religion. Not only did people worship many gods, but more importantly they were deathly afraid of them.

Perhaps it was for this reason then, that God chose to reveal his wrathful nature to the people of Israel, they simply weren't ready for the gospel as we know it. They were so conditioned by their time in slavery and the cultures around them that the only side of God's nature they were ready to see were his wrath and jealousy. This would make sense as far as the sacrifices required of the Israelites as well, the only way they knew how to relate to God was through guilt, and as such, the most spiritual and meaningful way they could relate to God was through a sacrifice that symbolized the cleansing of their guilt and fear.

After all, many old testament passages point towards the coming of Christ, and as time goes on it becomes clear that it's not about the sacrifice, it's about Love, Mercy and Forgiveness. Even when Christ became flesh on earth, even when God tabernacled himself among us, we weren't ready for his message.

So it isn't that God's nature changed, but rather that God was leading the Israelites towards a better understanding of who He is, and what He wants for them and from them. It gives a whole new meaning to wandering in the desert.

While I won't presume to know whether or not any of these ideas are right, or even close to being right, I am now at a point where I understand that these are things that surpass human logic, not contradict it. That one statement that Isaac made on Sunday night made me rethink everything more than I have in more than two years.

If anyone ever wants to talk about stuff like this, just let me know. For now I will be thinking and reading and prayerfully considering these issues as well as many others and would appreciate your prayers as well.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for your support and friendship over the past several years. The symphony has just gotten started.

Latest lyrical ramblings

Today the sunrise cast a warm light on the cold snow
All around I see signs of life for the first time
I'd begun to think this winter'd never end
but all along the soul of spring lay just beneath the ice,
the earth kept breathing through the freezing cold
fields of flowers waited for a reason to bloom
a welcome splash of color in a world long painted white

and as the seasons change, I see it all in a new light
as I'm reminded: life and love will carry on
my mouth betrays my heart, and I can't help but smile

as I walk on beneath the nearest star, our friendly sun
that gives life to this green sphere we call our home
I notice the brightest blues, and crispest greens
and the smoothest transition between the two,
this scenery is a gallery, stunning in its scope
it seems to me that nature is the purest form of art
the beauty all around is worth the wait through winter
for days like today, when walking feels just like flying

and as the seasons change, I see it all in a new light
as I'm reminded: life and love will carry on
my mouth betrays my heart, and I can't help but smile once again


Sunday, March 15, 2009


When someone shows up in your life that you care about, and I mean really care...

it's hard to let that go.

paraphrased from my favorite spy dramedy, chuck.

Couldn't have said it better myself. The upside is that I still have people in my life that I care deeply about, and who care about me. Family, friends, and the things I believe in, without those three pillars I would hazard a guess that the past several months would have been a lot darker.

I realized a couple days ago that while I'm not over her (I don't know if I ever will be), I'm moving on. This came to me while I was actually kinda bummed out, feeling lonely... but that's the thing, it wasn't me pining after my ex, it was just a moment where I felt lonely, wishing for a moment that I had what I did with her, but I can look forward now.

Just had to get up from bed to get that quick thought off my mind. insomnia sucks ass, finals at 7am tomorrow

oh and go listen to bloc party - signs

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

End of the quarter.

I feel like the quarter just started, and just like that we're in week 9, one more week of regular classes after this, then finals week. I'm counting down the days because being home means snowboarding, and bike riding, and ride biking, and family, and old friends.

I feel that I've finally settled into San Luis Obispo though, which is nice. While I am excited for spring break, I'm also very happy here. I've been hanging out with my friend Jason alot lately, which is good since we're planning on getting a house. He baked bread the other day, it tasted so good. He's gonna give me his recipe, but it was really cool to watch him make it, because he's made it so many times, and is so familiar with the process that he wasn't measuring any of the ingredients.

He poured flour straight from the bag into the bowl, squeezed honey straight from the bottle, the whole process seemed organic (but not in the no pesticides way), and it turned out with great texture and flavor. Tomorrow in foods lab we're baking bread, so it's kinda perfect timing. I need to do my dishes so I'll have stuff to cook with.

Favorite activity lately: go trick or go for a long ride, then kick back and have a couple beers and some stirfry/fried rice/pasta/fresh bread etc. over a good episode of its always sunny in philadelphia.

San Francisco was great, Sean's birthday party was pretty crazy, very interesting night, I have a few stories to share if you'd like to hear (over an OD's breakfast or a Super T burrito)

Rode around with Henry (Sean's roommate) and a bunch of his asian friends, that was pretty awesome, I got to jam down lombard and video them (holding their camcorder in one hand, other hand in the drops), got some great shots, weaving in and out of cars, panning around as they passed me, or I passed them. I'm stoked to see the final product.

Also my friend Eric from SLO just finished a couple videos he made for, one of which I'm in, albeit only for a couple seconds haha. In San Francisco I did a mean thing. I was supposed to ride with this girl Sarah Jane on Saturday, but when I mentioned it everyone in the house I was staying at told me she's boring as hell, so I definitely bailed on her. Normally I wouldn't do that but I had precious few hours to enjoy in the city, and rode with Henry and his crew instead. Still, I can't help but feel like a total asshole (appropriate since I happen to be a giant asshole)

The three days I was there, I had great (and pretty cheap) sushi, indian food and a burrito, all great tasting, all within a couple blocks of the house. I will move to the city after I graduate. Got back to the house on Saturday night after riding with Henry, door was locked, noone home, so I just rode a quick half hour down to Ocean Beach, saw a bunch of bonfires, got bored, rode back through the park.

Within minutes off the bus I was riding around the island, met this guy Maxwell who was really chill, talked about track bikes for awhile. I keep hearing how cliquey and pretentious San Francisco is, and supposedly everyones an asshole. Has not been my experience in the slightest.

There was one guy at Sean's party though that was the most pretentious person I have ever met. It was actually pretty comical, I couldn't help but laugh in his face, which probably just fed his "I'm hot shit and people don't understand me" complex.

I continued my music experiment throughout the weekend, got up through As I Lay Dying, then when I got home, my laptop charger wasn't working, which meant I had no way to listen to my music, or even charge my ipod, so I broke down and listened to some beirut and computer vs. banjo I had on cd. I think I'll keep listening through my library, but allow myself to listen to other stuff as well, might be the only way to keep my sanity.

Noticed though that it continued to work out that whatever happened to be playing was perfect for my mood/activities. It was pretty cool jamming down the embarcadero, cutting in and out of traffic while listening to As I Lay Dying. And I have a newfound appreciation for a few artists who's names start with A.

Oh also a sad development, I fucked up my skull candy ear buds, so it only plays out of one ear unless I twist the adapter around just right, which I can't do for bike riding. So I'm back to my crappy earbuds from before. Oh well I still have my sennheiser HD 480 for home ecstasy.

I just ordered a new charger for my laptop, $25 on ebay (including shipping). Super cheap, just hope it gets here soon.

So I spent way too much money in SF, but it was worth it (I'm selling my flatscreen monitor to cover the bill), and I came home with a new chrome bag and a new saddle, making for a great new feel when I'm riding.

This summer should be a great time, planning on a two week bike trip to Portland with Jason, Mark, Matt and Sam (hopefully Sean too). Hoping to go backpacking with Bobby on the lost coast still. Hoping to spend a good amount of time in San Francisco, Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo too. First on my list of priorities for the summer though is to find a job so I can save up some moneys. Anyone know of people in Gilroy that might hire someone just for the summer?

I re-read civil disobedience by Thoreau while I was on the bus up to San Francisco, also read life without principle again, and finally finished reading winter walk.

Got a fire lit under my butt by civil disobedience, reading some of the stuff in there that I had completely forgotten about. One quote that stood out was when HDT commented on the fact that for every one virtuous man, there are 999 patrons of virtue. I am embarrassed that currently I best fit the description of 1 of the 999. I have a bunch of causes that I support with words, but which I do little to actually further by my actions. I have principle, but no action from principle. I hope to find ways to take steps to correct that.

He also observes that to follow the letter of the law, despite ones conscience is to betray the one law we are all obligated to. So the unjust thing to do is to observe a law that goes against your morals. If an evil perpetrated by the government is observed, protest by words is not enough. The moral action is to stand up and refuse to obey a law that so discriminates or persecutes, or wages unjust war. So it is then, that the greatest patriot is often considered the greatest enemy of the state, for a true patriot serves a country not according to it's own laws, but according to his heart and the truest kind of freedom for everyone.

Thoreau also puts forth a great challenge for all who stand up for whats right, stating that if a government imprisons any unjustly, the only place for a truly just man is in a prison. That hit close to home, since America is the very definition of that, holding political prisoners and abusing human rights in secret prisons, and yet I walk the streets freely. Until we all are safe from an oppressive government, none of us are safe. He also relates a night he spent in jail when he refused to pay his taxes, and is amused by the fact that the guard takes such care to lock him in, when he feels he is the free-est man in the town, since he isn't paying his wages to a government that he so disagrees with.

We are constantly lulled into complacency by those in power above us, and pundits insisting that the time for revolution ended with the revolutionary war. Such is not the case, and I am not speaking of a revolution in the ballot box. If anything, it is the ballot box that holds us so entrapped in this false democracy we obey at every step. Voting means nothing. If you feel conviction about something, it is not enough to cast your vote and hope that a majority agrees with you. Might does not make right, and it is with this mentality that what most agree on is best for all, and just, that revolutionaries who would serve their country with conviction and conscience are put down and discredited.

Know now that being a good citizen in this free society does not mean being a "good consumer" and supporting the economy by buying ourselves further into debt. The great and mighty dollar is yet another way that we are all kept in slavery to a greater evil. The wheels of the great machine keep right on turning as we throw our hard earned wages into the furnace to fuel the injustice perpetrated by the same people we cast our vote for.

Don't spend another hour by providing a means to an end for someone else's dream, or more appropriately someone else's bank account. Don't pay another cent to the government that would so readily use your livelihood to perpetrate injustices like false imprisonment, torture and unjust war, and that would like nothing more than to take more of your money and have a tighter grip around the few liberties you still have.

Take heed to the words of a great man, that those who are imprisoned for opposing injustice are more free than their captors, and those who walk free in such an unjust society, supporting unjust acts with their complacency are more imprisoned than all.

At the same time that I write these words, I languish in my apartment filled with evidence of my own complacency, attending a university funded by the same government that would so quickly go to war for an unjust cause, and would so readily cast into prison as "enemy of the state" anyone turned over by a foreign warlord, bought with taxpayers money.

And look at what the latest "revolutionary" has offered:

Obama promised a new brand of politics in the US, saying that he would allow the American people to post commentary on any new bill that passes the senate and house for several days before he would sign it. He has as of now not done this, and is being allowed to perpetuate the same political tank he claimed to oppose because America is so accustomed to casting their vote, believing they are doing some great good, and then go on with their day to day, forgetting that they even cared about what their government did. And so once again our fate has been sealed, our souls bought by some great rhetoric, a historic election, a victory won for civil rights, but lost for our rationality.

Don't get me wrong, I voted for Obama, and I think it's great that he won, and it really is a victory for civil rights. Unfortunately I am forced to agree with the belief that he won not based on his ideas but on his rhetoric. As a nation, all we look to in our leaders is charisma and rhetoric. The ability to deliver a speech, written well by Harvard and Yale grads late at night over coffee, or cocaine, or whatever it is that drives the political machine onward.

And to clarify, I only voted for Obama because I felt it was the best way to ensure that Guantanimo would be closed, and hopefully some injustice will be slackened. I also feel that he is much less likely to declare an unjust war than his opponent would have been.

Unfortunately I also see the trap that I fell so easily into. Another issue addressed in Civil Disobedience is the false dichotomy offered up in American politics. Is a democracy really a democracy if everyone is voting for the lesser of two evils? Are we really being heard if we can't choose, and I mean really choose, the candidates that we vote for?

And this was an issue close to my heart not too long ago, my vehement belief that the best course of action was to vote for the BEST candidate, regardless of their odds of winning. I still believe this, and am disappointed in myself for betraying my principles with a counterproductive action, like throwing my vote away with the majority.

And look at the prison I've created for myself, spending myself into debt, so now I'm a slave not only to the government whose injustice's I do nothing to end, but also to the banks to whom I owe so much. I fear I will not see freedom for a long time yet, and I worry about how I will reach it. I am on a repayment plan that will have me debt free before too long, but there is still the issue of how I can rebel against the government that I disagree with on so many levels. I don't know if I am able, or willing, to wage full war on the lifestyle that I have benefited from for so long, and I am at a loss for how I would even begin to change my course at all.

All I can do is look to tomorrow, and make small changes every day. I am encouraged by Thoreau's musings that while one persons actions may seem trivial, something once done well, is done forever.

Enjoy the rain, love your life, and think about what you do.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Day 2 of my music experiment

Yesterday I decided to listen to my 21 days and 11 hours of music from A-Z, no skipping songs, no listening to anything else (on my computer or ipod) until I'm done. This is going to be quite the undertaking, which I realized as I suffered through an hour of afroman. "Because I got high" is hour of that guy is just too much.

On the flip side, I've heard a few songs that I really like that I usually skip over, and even made me fall in love with a couple bands so far that I would usually rarely listen to (air, amon tobin). Somehow it seems like whatever music comes on, it always suits my mood, which leads me to the question of the day: Is it my mood that dictates the music I choose, or is it the music I listen to that dictates my mood? Obviously, it goes both ways, but I am beginning to think that music has a much greater influence on my thoughts and mood than I would have previously given it credit for.

I am going to bring a notebook on the bus tomorrow and continue my experiment during my 5 hour bus ride to San Francisco, writing about any observations I have. I'm also bringing my portable thoreau, I'm going to study a chapter of chemistry, then read an essay by thoreau, then study a chapter of organic chemistry, then thoreau, and on and on. I need to get ready for two midterms next week, but I also want to take advantage of the down time to read something just for me.

Today I got to talk to the president of the ADA (American Dietetic association). He was talking about the opportunities within the ADA itself, including being a spokesperson for the ADA. That position really caught my attention, and made me think about pursuing a career in Nutrition writing and communication. I will always love writing and journalism, and while I definitely want to work in a clinical dietetics setting for a few years, I could see myself writing for a newspaper, or a magazine, or even doing PR for the ADA or a nonprofit community nutrition organization.

The world of nutrition is rapidly expanding along with America's collective waist line, and it seems like possibilities are multiplying exponentially. There's always a part of me that wants to go to grad school and become a researcher for performance and sports nutrition, and I still want to get involved in health care, and I also want to write. I know I can't pursue any one career that encompasses all of those, but writing could always be a complement to whatever career path I do end up taking.

I am more excited now than ever before for the prospects of the fruits of my scholastic labor.

I'm about to ride to the beach with my friend Snails, today's weather has been absolutely beautiful, and I've been riding around town all day. I went to Cambria Bicycle outfitters, where they sold me a lockring to replace the one I bent, and installed it for free. I'm going to take a sixpack of some nice lager to share with the guy that helped me next time I'm in. CBO has always taken care of me, and the guys are all super down to earth.

I hope you all have a great day, best wishes from the bike path!


Monday, February 23, 2009

Free pancakes at IHOP

Tomorrow is gonna be awesome. I get out of class at 3, then there's a nutrition club meeting that Marty Yubrick (one of the few male dieticians, now working for a software developer in nutrition in healthcare) is speaking at, then I'm gonna ride really quickly to avila beach and back, then I'm having dinner with my uncle Roger, then I'm having free pancakes at IHOP.

Wednesday should be good too, out of class at 10AM, a meet and greet with Marty Yubrick, coffee with my swedish friend Maja at noon, then I'm thinking of riding to Morro bay, will definitely take a fairly long ride.

Then on Thursday I have class until 3pm, then I leave for San Francisco on the AMTRAK at 3:45, get in to the Ferry Building at 10:30, gonna ride around with Henry and maybe Sean at the island for a little while (hopefully it won't be raining) and then ride back to their house.

Seans birthday party is on Friday, Henry and I are gonna ride the 17 mile city loop in the afternoon, then dinner and afterwards Sean's birthday party. Saturday, depending on the severity of the hangover, might include paradise loop, a 43 mile ride up into Marin, which apparently has some pretty aggressive hills.

Then Sunday I leave from the Ferry building at 10:05 AM and ride a bus back to San Luis, and I'll be back by 4pm. I'm bringing my chem and ochem books to read on the train, because I am way behind in both of those classes and finals are coming up.

I haven't posted any philosophical posts lately, in fact I haven't even had many philosophical thoughts, been pretty busy going to school, studying and riding my bike, but I hope to dive back into my portable thoreau soon and see what nuggets I can squeeze out of life.

Take care fellow bloggers, have a good week!

Quick update

It's been a few days. Been on a few more rides, total of about 110 miles last week, topped off with a great rainy day ride to Pismo, Shell and Avila beaches, and then up to Port San Luis. a 35 mile ride.

Rode to Lopez Lake on Saturday (thats the ride I couldn't finish a couple Sundays ago) and kicked it's ass.

I'm really struggling in Chem right now, mainly because I spend hours on the road and not enough hours studying. After the ride yesterday I made a big pot of pasta with some red sauce made with mushrooms, zuchinni, green onions, yellow onions, garlic, cabernet, cayenne pepper, crushed red peppers, paprika and italian seasonings, shared it with Jason (one of the guys I rode with), great post ride meal. I burned an extra 6000 calories this week from biking, but I definitely ate enough to compensate haha. I get back from long rides and munch on anything in sight for hours.

My friend Steven and I are going to the cal poly wheelmen (club racing team) meeting on Wednesday, I'd really like to start road racing. Anyways, heres a picture I took on the way to Lopez Lake, my friend Polka got a flat so we all stopped for a break while he fixed it, it was nice to have a little bit of rest, since it was at the top of a pretty big hill too:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bike ride to Avila

So all day today I had been planning on taking a ride to Avila beach, I was originally going to leave after class at around 10:30. I locked my keys in my apartment when I left for class though, which means I had no way of locking my bike up, which means I skipped class (not risking getting my shit stolen). I miss too many lectures.

So instead of being in class, all this morning I was just riding around the church parking lot across the street from my apartments, did 7 backwards circles in a row, got a 3 pedal stroke wheelie in, and got better at doing leg over skids (throw my leg over the handlebars, lock my other leg and skid)

After that I got lazy, and sat around studying for Ochem all day until 4, when I decided I needed to get that bike ride in that I had been planning all day. It was a beautiful day, clear skies for miles, and the beach wasn't windy at all. I rode pretty hard to Avila, posted up on the beach and hung out for about 15 minutes:

As I was sitting there listening to Computer vs Banjo in my headphones, I thought... this is the perfect moment to enjoy a beer, a hard ride, a sunny day, a beautiful beach... too bad I don't have one. But then just for the hell of it I checked in my backpack and found a PBR that had been chillin' in the side pocket for months, popped it open and enjoyed the warm, frothy goodness

left my apartment at 4:00, Got to avila at 4:40, hung out and rode around a little until 4:55, then rode back, got to my apartment at 5:35, and after all the mashing around trying to beat the sunset back to my apartment it was chow time, my Mom came on Monday for lunch and brought me a fresh baked loaf of whole wheat bread, so I cut off a couple slices and toasted them, double stacked two of my new hummus burgers, threw a couple slices of my 5 pound brick of cheese on, some fresh onions and bell peppers, squirted some mustard, and enjoyed. It was DEE lishous. And with a banana (and two fudge chocolate chip cookies, also gifts from my mom) for dessert, it was the perfect post workout meal.

I'm going to try and get a solid bike ride in at least every other day, I definitely have the free time, might as well get in shape and enjoy the great outdoors (I love the long rides, nothing clears my mind better than being on my bike for a couple hours... except maybe snowboarding but I can't afford to do anymore of that this year)
I was guided to the realization last night that I'm pretty selfish. Usually when someone tries to call me out or show me something about myself with good intentions, I burn them and walk away.

But I have been selfish in most of the friendships/relationships I've been in for awhile now. I'm setting out to change that. A big part of it is being too negative, not being encouraging stuff like that. Anyways that as neither here nor there.

I made another batch of veggie burgers, used eggs this time, helped them stick together, also added orange bell peppers and zuchinni chopped up in there. Oh and instead of pinto beans I mashed up garbanzo beans so they have a pseudo hummus flavor to them.

I'm going on a bike ride to the beach and back right now since the weather is so damn beautiful.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

at 11:11 I said the words "I wish I could live the past 3 years of my life over again".

Back to San Francisco

I am going north to my favorite city on February 26th or 27th if all goes as planned. I'm going to try to sell my computer monitor to fund the trip.

I will be taking the coast starlight train (amtrak) up there, getting dropped off at the ferry building, aKa the island, aKa a sweet biking spot, at around 10pm. I'm planning on kicking it around there for a couple hours before I ride to Sean's house if it's not raining.

This whole trip is to go up for Sean's birthday party, with the lovely benefit of being a nice holiday to my happiest place on earth.

Got new clips for my bike, because my old ones were broken (they lasted a little more than a month), so I bought metal ones that'll stand up to my abuse. I can do 3 backwards circles now, but can only ride away from 1, and not all the time. I really want to be able to pop up and whip out of them but that'll be a ways down the road. Still having trouble learning wheelies, I'll get them one day I'm sure.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Ugly Duckling, or: When will the swan come

proof positive that I'm unattractive, or at the very least the worlds least photogenic person.

good times good times.

Went trail riding on our fixed gear roadbikes today. That was interesting, bent my deep V back rim, which is a bummer, got a flat, also a bummer, chain came off on a downhill trail, had to run into the hillside to stop myself, cut up my leg, bummer.

But the ride was amazing. All those bummers can go to hell in a handbasket, because I had a great time today.

Did three backwards circles in a row, did my first legover skid (even if I did hit a parked car, it's still my first)

and I think I made a breakthrough on the wheelie front.

And I'm actually making friends down here, which is awesome. Good day. Yesterday was good to, forget that it was valentines day, focus on the fact that it was a great day in it's own right.

And have a wonderful, peaceful and safe night


Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday, or: Home made vegetarian

I realize now I should've taken pictures of them while I was making them, butttt

I just made some delicious veggie burgers.

Ingredients are:

1.5 cup Rolled oats
(toasted for a few minutes in the oven)

Half an onion, diced
1.5 cups mushrooms
one clove chopped garlic
(sauteed in a small pan in butter, until the onions changed color and the mushrooms were soft, but not too small)

1/2 container firm tofu
1 cup pinto beans
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
A sprinkling of crushed red peppers
(mashed these together, then added the toasted oats and mixed them up)

Added all the sauteed ingredients, mixed them up well, shaped them into 6 patties, and sauteed them in butter, I ate one and refrigerated the rest.

Toasted some whole wheat bread, threw on some spinach, and topped it with a little mustard, made a great early dinner.

Next time I think I'm going to add some more crushed peppers, or maybe a couple dashes of tapatio, for a little kick. I was also thinking that some pine nuts would go really well in them, maybe some brown rice as well. I'm also thinking it'd be nice to have them hold together a little better (though they did okay) and add an egg.

Loved the combo of the brown rice and tofu though, and the oats added a great flavor AND texture element.

I have half a package of tofu left, and a bunch of beans/oats, so I might make another batch and tweak things a little bit next week. I also just washed all of my dishes (they had been piling up) and my kitchen is much more zen.

next step: tackle my room, very much NOT zen.

Just thought I would share what I'm eatin' these days.

I also found an easy recipe for crepes made with bisquick, I'm thinking about making those for brunch on Sunday.


p.s. I think my ex may have turned into a woo girl. woo.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Weight loss

So in the past few months I've added a few pounds around my midsection, not happy about it.

I've already taken some steps towards a healthier lifestyle, and I'm hoping to be able to get back in better shape. Food journals here I come.
At what point did I stop trying?

And how long will it take before I believe in myself again?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I've realized in the past 24 hours I have a couple rules:

if you step out on:
my friends
my family
my bike

you step out on me.
nuff said.

funny though, I take more offense to those things than I do to someone talking shit about ME.

Please take a couple minutes

In these rough economic times, our state is cutting many aspects of our budget, including many millions of dollars already cut from the CSU budget this year.

Help make it stop. Go to this website, write a little bit about your own situation, about why accessible public education is vital to our states future and urge your legislators not to cut the CSU budget any more:

Here's what I wrote:

My family falls into that all too large crack of making too much money to
qualify for ANY kind of financial aid (well I qualified for enough
unsubsidized loans to cover my tuition, but none of my other living
expenses) but not enough to pay for my school.

This is an especially grueling issue for California families and students,
since in California cost of living is much, much higher, so someone who
doesn't qualify here might be lower-middle class, while if they made the
same amount of money in Montana (I use Montana as an example because I
have alot of family there), they would be VERY well off financially, and
not struggling as my family (and many of my friends families) are even
though according to the blind FAFSA they are perfectly capable of sending
four kids to college on their own dime.

This is why I have been EXTREMELY grateful for the public education I am
receiving, and I would hate to see others unable to attend a university
because of budget cuts. This is our future at stake, and I say that as an
individual as well as a member of a society and emerging generation that
is up against incredible odds right now. Please help us achieve our goals
and continue the tradition of higher education in order to secure our
states future.

I also took advantage of our states incredibly helpful community college system, attending Gavilan Community college for two years, completing my general education and graduating with an AA in liberal studies before transferring to Cal Poly University in San Luis Obispo, and as a former community college student I also know the importance of that program to millions more in our state. Please take all of these things into consideration as you work on cutting the state budget.

Monday, February 9, 2009


One of my design ideas for a flier for our next alleycat. let me know what you think


First SLOfixed alleycat (race) went off without a hitch, it was really small, about a tenth of the size (as in riders) as the SJfixed alleycat that happened yesterday, and our prize was a sticker, theirs was a wheelset haha.

But anyways everyone that came out on Saturday night had a great time, I brought donuts for everyone, Mark won. I ended up being out until 2am just riding around with a few of the guys from slofixed, crashed out a little bit later. I woke up at noon to go on the Sunday ride, made the mistake of hopping out of bed and directly onto my bike, did not pass the kitchen, did not collect breakfast or drink any water.

Got to the park to meet up for the Sunday ride, the only two other guys who show up are Mark (the guy who won, also on the cal poly wheelmen cyclist team) and this guy Frank, both in their cycling shorts/underarmor/windbreakers, and I'm there in my khaki shorts and a t-shirt. I almost dipped out at that point, sensing I wouldn't be able to keep up. But off we went, embarking on a 17 mile ride to Lopez Lake.

I made it there, and we were making good time, fastest pace I've kept on a long ride, killed me over the few small hills. We posted up at a vista point over the lake, taking it all in for a few minutes before we headed back. I made it about five miles back before I got super dizzy on a long hill climb and my legs just gave out. I made it to the top of the hill somehow, and told Mark and Frank to go on without me and called my neighbor who came and picked me up. Lifesaver.

I was super bummed, the first time I've ever NOT finished a ride, and I felt dumb for not coming prepared. Ah well, it's a mistake I can easily learn from.

Joey is sandblasting my frame for me this week (the new trek frame) for $5, and I'm going to get it powder coated eventually, I'm thinking blueish silver with some metal flake in there.

Off to class now, just wanted to tell you about my weekend. Oh and I'm all bruised up from the festivities haha.

Friday, February 6, 2009


EDIT: I was all proud that I wrote an entire post on my cellphone, but never went back and read it until just now. I really slaughtered the english language. I'm gonna go ahead and blame it on the tiny screen and ghetto keyboard, and fix the errors now. Anyways.

I love seeing seagulls fly overhead. Its what made me so optimistic the evening before last as I was showing my truck to a couple of potential buyers.

The reason I'm so happy whenever seagulls fly overhead is because in a town like this, a few miles inland of the coast it means rain is on the way. Those simple, common birds have learned that its easier to weather the storm just past those coastal hills, or else they just come to keep us company while we enjoy the cleansing rain.

And the rain is so refreshing. It has the potential to purify the soul, and this week in particular it was a symbol of new beginnings. As I take the first steps to rid myself of the dark clouds in my life, another kind of cloud has come along and made my future seem brighter.

This is the happiest I've been, in a long, long time.

It seemed strange watching my car driving away from me yesterday evening, but it was a passing feeling that quickly yielded to joy. I went directly to the bank, deposited the cash from the transaction, and fulfilled a few of my financial obligations, experiencing a completely undue feeling of accomplishment. But I can't help but feel better knowing that I'm trimming the fat of excess from my life. It has inspired me to live a life of minimalism like the men whose words I have aspired to for so long.

I am fully aware that the road ahead is a hard one as I continue on my journey to freedom. Freedom from debt, personal freedom, the freedom that comes with being a more confident and stronger man.

No sooner had I gotten back from the bank than the rain came back again, just a drizzle at first. I rode to bike night with a few new friends, and felt at one for a short two hours with hundreds of people I normally have nothing in common with, all flooding the downtown streets of San Luis Obispo, as if to say: we're here, and we're very much alive. As bike night came to a close, the rain came back in full force. I reunited with the friends I had arrived with, and we made our way to 7-11 and warmed up over a cheap cup of coffee (or in my case hot chocolate).

The ride home through the pouring rain might once have been a miserable half hour for me, but surrounded by friends, breathing the refreshing cold night air, and feeling the cleansing rain rinsing away my worries, I realized: this is what it means to be alive. And as all such nights end, I parted ways with the group, trudged up the steps to my apartment, dried my bike, and made my way to the warmth and comfort of my bed.

As soon as I woke today, I paid in full a few of my debts, showered, shaved, washed my face, and stepped out to take the bus to grocery shop for the first time in weeks. The rain was still here, like a good friend visiting for the weekend, and as I soaked in the warmth from the rain and the picturesque view of palm trees and waterfalls falling from rooftops that greeted me from my front door, I couldn't help but look straight up to where the rain was coming in such a hurry from and smile. The weather is an eternal metaphor.

That leads to now, sitting on the bus just now arriving at the first set of stores, armed with clipped coupons and a mission to find the best bargains that I can. And as I take those first steps off the bus, I can't wipe the smile off my face, a broken man with a mission, a newfound sense of purpose, and a smile.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wednesday, or: The first step from beneath this great shadow

I am exhilerated.

as of tomorrow I will no longer own a car. Thats one of the most exciting prospects I've thought of in awhile. In all honesty I've wanted to live car free since 2005. That was when my dad convinced me that I would need a car living in LA going to BIOLA. So I took out a loan on a car I couldn't realistically afford. That ended well. Actually, come to think of it, that was the first thing I ever owed money on. It's only gone downhill from there.

How poetic that it was a car that drove me into this hell of a mess, and it's selling my car that's letting me walk away from it. At least take a couple of baby steps.

Here goes nothing, and everything.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Quick prayer request

A good friend of mine is having surgery today to drain a throat abscess that is almost completely occluding the airway.

Please pray for her, it's a low risk surgery, but it's still scary. Please pray for a safe surgery, a speedy recovery, and that the infection didn't affect anything else.


Tuesday, or: Money troubles

I just spent half of my net cash.

on a grande soy mocha.

All I have in my fridge right now is a bag of onions and a half tub of margarine. In my cupboards, I have bisquick, flour, potatoes, some spices, a few bags of pasta, a few boxes of mac and cheese, and...well... thats about it.

If you couldn't tell, that presents a problem, since I can't make the bisquick without milk, or really anything with the flour either. The mac & cheese that I can make comes out watery since I don't want to waste my precious margarine, so I use it sparingly, and without milk I'm forced to make the sauce with water (I just don't strain it all the way).

You may ask yourself, how does someone get to this point? By never saving any money, and using credit cards to cover unexpected expenses, and then neglecting to pay them down. Then you end up with a black cloud of debt over your head, no way to pay it off, and your landlord breathing down your neck.

True, I did just buy a bike for $50, so the fact that I have no grocery money is nobodies fault but my own, but that would only have forestalled this predicament by a week or so. And I'm going to sell my other bike once I fix up the new one, for around $200 so it's an investment really.

This isn't me complaining, it's a cautionary tale. Be wise with your money, or you'll end up like me. And hang on to a job when you have it, no matter how much you hate it. You'll wish you could go back to that dead end retail job in a heartbeat when you run out of money for the bare necessities.

I have no idea how I'm going to make rent this month. I'm selling my car, I have two people coming tomorrow to look at it. I'm most likely going to sell my laptop, and my monitor, and just use my old desktop piece of crap computer. May have to sell my camera. Refuse to sell my bike or my snowboard though.

I've been emailing my resume to ever job listing I can find online, handing it in to stores all around town, and hitting up all my friends to see if they know of anyone hiring. I'm to the point where I'll take a job at a fast food place, regardless of how much I hate them, just to get back in black (and no, not like ACDC)

This whole problem could be solved if my parents would cosign on a student loan to cover my outstanding credit cards. I've already cut them into shreds, and the second the balance is paid down I'm going to close the accounts. This is no way to live.

Especially considering the fact that I have fallen prey to the same vice I have protested with words for so long. I, who practice vegetarianism to draw attention to the excess of our society. And hear I am, with evidence of my excess all around me, and the consequences knocking down my door.

I am determined to go back to a more minimalistic existence. If only this lesson didn't carry such a heavy cost. The biggest regret I have is betraying my parents trust, since they have been helping me out with tuition and some expenses, and yet I am still blatantly irresponsible with my money.

I guess this is just one more reason I'm such a winner. You know, I've got so much going for me...

Anyways, I'm hoping I don't end up bankrupt and homeless at the end of the day, and I fully appreciate now more than ever that that is a very distinct possibility.

All I want to know is, what the hell happened? I used to be such a good kid.

Wish me luck, cross your fingers, think positive thoughts, and PRAY for me.

This has the potential to turn me back into a praying man (and that disgusts me too, that I would only turn to faith when I hit rock bottom)

I really am depraved. Anyways, I'll probably regret posting this for everyone to read later, since the only people I've told so far is my parents, but say lah vee.


Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday, or: Why am I still tired after 10 hours of sleep

From an old account of mine:

I looked for a door in the mirror this morning
prescriptions and band-aids stood in its place
I searched for an exit as I stared at myself
myself regarding the backwards me: he receded
all feelings of self awareness disappeared
and in that moment I considered existence
this episode seemed like a dream I'd had before,
but now less frightening than when it was subconscious
reality shook out a realization that was absent in sleep
being nobody is nothing more than being someone with nothing to say
not knowing how to express uniqueness I struggled to speak
I choked on my silence; my feet gave way beneath me
my knees stung on connection with faded linoleum
until finally my tongue tumbled out and words,
burning, crisp, necessary, inconsequential words
spilled onto the piss stained floor in a puddle

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunday, or: one helluva ride

My gear ratio is officially too high for hills. went on the slofixed sunday ride, ran over a wire, got a slow leak, stopped and pumped up, stopped again, Joey stopped with me, finally went flat, stopped and changed tube, bought a 24 ounce gatorade, chugged it, started riding hard, regretted chugging, joked about my maglight saran wrapped to my handlebars, lost my maglight, regretted using saran wrap, rode halfway up a huge hill, walked my bike, started riding again near the top, view of morro rock from the top kicked ass, joked about my high gear ratio, started riding, rode fast downhill, polka skid like mad in front of me, smelled polkas rubber (literally), rode through a eucalyptus grove, rode up a smaller hill, mashed down a bigger hill, rode through another eucalyptus grove, big hill, walked the bike, talked to kerry, rode down the last big hill to the beach, spinning all the way, skidding like crazy at the bottom, walked around beach, sharp rocks everywhere, found a limestone, licked my finger, stuck finger to limestone, "show and tell" everyone about limestone, make up a fake scientific explanation about it, everyone tries it, rode back up the giant hill, walked most of the way with kerry, back of the pack, got yelled at, "DOGGY STYLE", down a hill, up a hill, down a hill, up a hill, down a big hill, foot came out of my clip, glad I had a front brake, stopped at shell, chugged a chocolate milk, ate a banana, sipped on a big water, eric had arizona, jason and steven smoke cigarettes, I realize how nasty cigarettes are...again, take off down the road, leading the pack, keeping a good pace, get passed, don't feel like riding hard anymore, no bike lane for two miles, caught up with the leaders of the pack waiting at the turnoff, skid stop, skid stop, still going to fast, slam front brake to try a stoppie, do a massive stoppie, keep going forward, whip around, fall into the ditch, come up with my arms up, the entire biking community was laughing at me, not a good ride til I hurt myself, nice easy pace back into town, rode with kerry again, i think i creeped her out, rode back to my apartments with joey, jason and eric, watched third quarter of superbowl, made mac and cheese, ate entire box of mac and cheese, fell asleep, woke up two and a half hours later, chugged some water, need a shower, good day. start again tomorrow.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saturday, or: I have NO life

Two quick websites to share:

it's pretty cool, it has a list of the most nutrient dense, tasty foods that have healthful benefits, and they're all whole foods. It stands for Worlds Healthiest foods. You can also search a database of recipes by choosing the ingredients you want to include, and those you want to exclude. It'll pop up with a list. It's pretty cool, great resource for those who are somewhat health/nutrition conscious.

The other website is how I found, and I'm sure you've probably already heard of it

You make a profile, select your interests, install the app to firefox, and click on "stumble", it'll take you to a website based on your interests, and the ratings as ranked by other stumbleupon members.

Its a good way to find something new and interesting.

Friday, January 30, 2009

I love the internet

If it weren't for the internet, I'm fairly certain I would be more of a loner than I am now. Either that or it's socially crippled me by giving me an easy way out. But I'll assume its a blessing not a curse when it comes to networking.

Today, for the second day in a row, I have decided I want to go for a bike ride and in a matter of minutes, gotten 3 or 4 other guys to ride with me. Guys I wouldn't have known to begin with without the internet. Granted, I met one other fixed gear rider at school just by running into him, but in such a large community, it's often hard to find people you have things in common with. Especially for people like me who dislike so many people for so many different reasons.

Douchebags, all of them I swear.

Anyways, I realized today that I have made alot of contacts that have become friends, and important parts of my life, in one way or another through the internet.

I guess thats the world we live in, where it's normal to meet your girlfriend, and even your spouse, online. Where EVERYONE has a profile on at LEAST one social networking site (usually more like 2 or 3)

Granted, I wasn't really around (in this capacity) before the internet was manifested in one way or another, so I can't vouch for how things used to be. Where clubs, groups and communities had to actually meet at one physical location, at a set time in order to make any real contact. Maybe thats the key, maybe we, for the most part, are devoid of any REAL contact, at least in the sense that I'm referring to here. Maybe social networking serves to do little besides make us less social in the real world. Or maybe it instills in us a sense of confidence with the fact that we are connected with everyone at all times, and so the consequence of one faux pax isn't as dire as it might once have been.

At any rate, I can say right now that if it weren't for the internet (that great, mysterious lover and simultaneous monster) I wouldn't have people to ride with so often, and for that I'm thankful.

Here's to technological advances and collective societal nerdiness.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wednesday, or: The absolute worst timing

I messed up my ankle and foot pretty bad trying to ride backwards circles in the parking lot earlier.

I won't be riding for a couple weeks while they heal. This is possibly the worst timing I could imagine. So much for stress relief.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Lets make a difference

San Luis Obispo Food Bank

San Jose second harvest food bank

I'm thinking of organizing a food drive at Bike Night in February here in SLO,

Anyone have any suggestions/tips for how I would go about doing that?


My bike is my only comfort these days. I had a pretty crappy weekend, but saved it on Sunday when I went on a group ride with slofixed.

Something about getting out and mashing around town, or to the beach, just makes me smile, no matter how shitty other things may be going. Unfortunately yesterday I got two flat tires. One before the ride started (and I paid $13 at a bike shop for them to change it since I threw away my old pump), and once after the ride when I was practicing wheelies outside my apartment.

I met a guy named Joey who rides fixed gear and lives in my apartment complex, seems really nice. Also met a guy named Eric, supposed to try a new thai place with him next Sunday, if I can find some money.

Things went downhill with the ex. At least from my perspective. I'm sick of being stuck, and from here on out I'm done with it. It's a tough thing to do, because it basically means severing ties. That is, not talking to someone who for the past several years has been the first person I turn to when I have something weighing on me.

But then it's all a part of growing up. And it's time.

Brian (my roommate) had some friends up from King City this weekend, one of them showed me a mash up by Legion of Doom, my favorite hip-hop song (Slow Down Ghandi) and Hands Down by Dashboard Confessional mashed up into a surprisingly amazing mix: Hands Down Ghandi.

That and I finally figured out which album "sunshine" by Atmosphere is on so I'm rocking that too.

Update: As I write this I'm sitting in my room sipping on coffee, getting ready to walk to school since I still have a flat tire. I am going to take the midterm I missed on Thursday (the professor is letting me make it up, such a relief).

This blog post is all over the place, kind of just needed to get back into the habit of writing so bear with me. Realized again last week how much I hate the bus, since it came late, and it was overfull, and I was standing there in between my quiet, awkward roommate, and a girl I can't seem to avoid. I mean I love the fact that we're finally getting some rain, I just wish that didn't mean I had to take the bus. I don't want to ride my bike through the rain and sit through class soaking wet, worrying about my bike rusting.

All this to say, I'm going to move forward today, for the first time in way too long. Thankyou all for the support through the past few months. Keep your fingers crossed for me.


I hope people can tell who that is. I'm gonna mass produce that in spoke card form & possible as a shirt.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

If only, if only if only

Thats exactly how I would look, 24/7, 365

if only I could grow a beard.

Went on a group ride with the SLO fixed gear group last night. Lots of fun, plus I learned of a new place to practice wheelies and skids and such. It's a hockey rink at Santa Rosa park, with super smooth cement. I ate shit doing a wheelie and slid across the ground but didn't get a scratch on me because it's so smooth.

But the guys in the group seem pretty chill. There's one guy that pissed me off from the second I met him, but then that happens alot. I tend to dislike douchebags.

Anyways, missed my first midterm of the quarter today, had to cook meat in my cooking lab, but it wasn't a total loss.

I'm gonna go waste more time in the parking lot.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My one goal in life has now become

to go back to SF, bring a tripod, and shoot this exact same shot but in HDR. I think it could be epic (like braveheart).

3 days in the city of mash

I just spent the long weekend in San Francisco, enjoyed some delicious sushi and beers with the homies for Donta's birthday on Saturday night. On Sunday, I went riding with Henry, Sean and Donta's roommate, around the city. We went through the park, to an amazing track bike shop (american cyclery), through the haight, downtown and finally to the island. We spent like seven hours just riding and hanging out at the island, where I met this guy named Chris Fonseca, a film maker and fixed gear rider.

Watch this video:

SF Track/Fixed Night Edit from FonsecaFilms on Vimeo.

I had a great time up there, and any time there was downtime it meant it was time to hop on my bike and ride. I had been thinking lately about how I miss having people to go do spur of the moment stuff with, and this weekend was like a giant reset button. Honestly, I regret coming to cal poly instead of San Francisco state just because I love that city so much.

Anyways, all that to say that San Francisco is my favorite city. And I will post the few pictures I took later (they're all of the golden gate)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wednesday, or: The great getaway

I went on a bike ride from my apartment in San Luis Obispo to Port San Luis (near Avila Beach, about a 13 mile bike ride) today. I took alot of pictures and the weather was beautiful. It was a great way to get away in the middle of the weak for some time alone. Came back, focused, relaxed and in a great mood.

I saw a bunch of sea lions below the pier at port san luis, so I started taking pictures of them, leaned way over to get a shot of a couple directly under the pier, since they were all pretty far back from the edge and I couldn't get any clear shots. Anyways, as I was leaning over, my calculator and tire levers fell out of my backpack and nailed one in the back. They all started barking and a bunch of them jumped in the water and stared at me, they looked pretty pissed off. Anyways, I took alot of great pictures of them, but I felt bad interrupting their afternoon nap. Plus now I have to buy a new calculator. Check out my flickr for more pictures:

This is my flickr, just uploaded a bunch of pictures from my bike ride today, check it out. This is a very long link. That is all.

Here is the route I took, including the bike trail:

Map of my ride

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

And on a much lighter note

If you have a, and you like my radio player widget, click the "get widget" button underneath the player at the top of my sidebar. It'll take you to a page, where you enter your username, and select the station you want it to play (your library, your recommendations, or your neighborhood), and then click the get widget link, and select blogger. It'll install it automatically and your blog will have a nice soundtrack.

Tuesday, or: Here goes nothing.

I'm going to be as blunt and honest as I can about my thoughts and positions on the existence and/or nature of god. I really hope I don't push anyone away with this, and I know there is that potential, but I need to be straight up at this point. And don't take this as a challenge to any of your faiths, simply an explanation of where mine fails.

First, there are a few points on which I have seemingly irreconcilable differences of ideals when it comes to the Bible and God as he is described in it. These aren't "gray areas" either. My beliefs and attitudes aren't aligned even with a very liberal form of Christianity. Primarily, I cannot reconcile the existence of hell with the existence of an all-knowing, all-powerful, just and loving God. I can justify COMPLETELY any suffering people are subject to in this life, given the existence of heaven. It's similar to a young child scraping his knee, an example of relativity. What seems so horrible now will seem trivial given eternity. If the worst kind of suffering in this world was an itchy scalp, an itchy scalp would seem like a travesty, because subjectively, it would be the worst imagineable thing that could befall you. Although that may sound callous, I think it is fair to say that if one could spend eternity in bliss (heaven), memories of harsher times would fade. I mean, we're talking about an ETERNITY of unimageinable joy. Unfortunately, there's a flip side.

I can't use the same logic, or any logic, to explain why an all knowing god would create mankind, knowing full well that we would fall into sin. Or that an all powerful god would allow people to run a course that would doom them to an eternity of suffering. Think about that: spending eternity in a "lake of fire", where there will be no rest, all day and all night (Revelation 14:11). I cannot help but wonder, where is the all-loving nature of God in this? I can't think of any example of love that would condemn the subject of said love to ETERNAL, irreversible suffering. And while some claim that this system is the very definition of just, I beg to differ. This goes back to the all knowing, all powerful nature of God. If god knew that man would fall into sin as he was created, and that the consequence is hell, then god, by logical deduction, created men who he knew (and therefor intended) would go to hell.

Another point I couldn't reconcile is the changing nature of god throughout the bible. In the old testament, god was quick to instruct his people to kill nations who opposed them, men, women and children. Again, this doesn't add up to a loving god, especially considering that the people they slaughtered were destined to be cast into the lake of fire. I've done studies on covenant theology, and on dispensationalism, and neither of them answered to my satisfaction how gods nature could change so much from one of jealousy and wrath to one of grace and forgiveness. This was actually the first big thing that made me question my beliefs. The more I read the old testament looking for answers of how a loving God would command his people to kill men, women and children, the less sense it made. I didn't limit my search to my own understanding of the Bible either, I asked my friends, I asked pastors, no one had an answer. The best answer I got was 'there are some things we'll never know the answer to', and I couldn't accept that anymore.

This is a really tough topic for me, and I honestly wish I had convictions as strong as I once had, I just couldn't go on the way that I had, blindly accepting things that just didn't make sense to me. I feel that I can't accept an entire set of beliefs, regardless of my own observations and personal convictions being in opposition to some of them, and I can't arbitrarily reject the ones I don't agree with.

As far as my attitude towards Christianity as a belief system, I don't have any problem with what Jesus preached, and the example that he set. I do take issue, however, with a lot of the stances the church takes as an institution, and the fact that religion is mixed so frequently with politics.

The genocides that have been committed, the wars that have been fought, the discrimination that has been justified in the name of religion (not just christianity, but all religions), should be an example. By all means, adhere to your spiritual beliefs and convictions, but I don't think that people should make political decisions based on religious beliefs. In my mind, government shouldn't be a moral system, but one of law and infrastructure.

True, basic morality (murder, theft, rape etc) is required for a judicial system, but when the church starts operating in the political realm, it is a slippery slope. The catholic church went that route in medieval Europe, with disastrous, history altering results. That isn't the fault of Biblical christianity, but rather religion in the hands of corrupt (and we're all corrupt) men. The misdeeds of the church in the past never made me question my faith though, again I can understand them in terms of malintent and corruption, and recognize them as being seperate from the true nature of Christianity.

My main problems with Christianity and with God as the Bible describes him are: the existence of hell, and the drastically different natures of God, that is, wrathful and jealous in the old testament, gracious and forgiving in the new testament and in modern times. I spent a long time searching for answers that would make those incongruities in my mind make sense, and I just couldn't do it. I'm ashamed to say that I haven't spent much time in a long time since then defining my beliefs or exploring my morality.

Currently I am operating under a few basic principles:

1. ALL life is sacred
2. There is a natural order to things, which demands alot of respect. So I try to live my life in such a way that I contribute to the lives of those around me, and leave things better than I found them. This is definitely a work in progress, and I screw up alot, but I try to make decisions based on respect and the outcome it will have on those around me. That includes my friends, my families, and people I've never met.
3. Honesty is paramount. Most of my principles can be derived from 2, including this one, but it took me awhile to figure out that regardless of my best intentions, honesty is always best. Again, this is something I struggle with from time to time. But then I'm not exactly a prime example of a good human being, just one thats trying to figure out how to be a better person.
4. This one is definitely a more personal code, but I feel that I'm cheating myself if I'm ever standing still. I feel compelled to continue to learn and enrich myself on a daily basis, and I don't want to lose that...ever.

That's me in a nutshell, and while I feel that there is a greater force at work behind the universe, I don't know if it's the God of the Bible, or the god of any religion. The thing that scares me the most is that I'll never know for sure, and the thing that comforts me is that regardless of that, I can recognize the difference between right and wrong, and I still have strong convictions and beliefs.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday, or: Not nearly distracted enough

Ask me a question. A deep question. Something that will require a deep, thoughtful response.

Seriously, someone please, give me food for thought, something to keep my pencil (errr... keyboard) busy.

Now listening to: Ben Gibbard - Line of Best Fit

Come kick it and ride with me in SLO

I always have a couch open. Not a very comfortable one, but hey one of us has to suffer for us both to have fun.

Bring your bike. We'll ride to the beach(es).

It's a must. All of you come spend a weekend down here. Or come all at once, so gas is cheaper.

no excuses.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

If you're on there, add me as a friend, my username is arthur_allen. has recommended some great music that I really enjoy lately:

I can make a mess like nobody's business
Joe Purdy
The Weepies
Kind of like Spitting
The good life
Joshua James

gooood stuff. that site is amazing.

Some prose from my old blogger

I looked at an old blogspot account I had for about a week back in 2006, thought I'd share a couple of them, I might have shown these to some of you back in the day. Younger, simpler times.


average american boy

he's not clean shaven,
he just couldn't grow a beard
he's no pretty boy
in fact he's pretty ugly
the nicest boy you'll ever see
but he never gets the girls
and he's content from 9-5
and sleeps from 10-4
he's forgotten all his dreams
sold for an iou
and when he is reminded
he shrugs and goes for a run
and thirty minutes later,
the memory is gone
and the only dream remaining
is his paid vacation time


Feb 13, 2006
90 minutes cut short

a b movie romance
with too many cheesy lines
and a cliche script
the cameras are rolling

but the leading lady called in sick
now the doctor says she might not make it
to the happiest of endings

fade to black
roll the credits

tell all the extras to go home
the wedding is postponed
and the groom is left alone


Feb 12, 2006
what happens to a little boy from a small town when he's told to be a man in a city that he hates

he sits on the trunk of his car
and lights another cigarette
at some God forsaken rest stop
between paradise and hell
the seat directly to his right
is unoccupied, so he keeps busy
telling stories and chatting with himself
his exaggerated honesty
is never quite a lie
he wonders where his life will lead
but he knows hes never quite alive
watching red sunsets and hazy skies
writing dozens of those damn songs
but he'll only sing when hes alone
and his OCD is kicking in
his room will never feel like home
300 miles from childhood
still further from his dreams
mixing aspartame and alcohol
trying to convince himself he's ok
now his eyes are tired
from carrying his heavy heart
it won't be long before he goes blind
she offered him her artwork
"a pictures worth a thousand words"
so he writes a dozen letters
kept in blank white envelopes
a constant reminder of that
familiar onramp buried in cigarettes
the ones he lights when he drops her off
and he swears he's not a smoker
he just hates the feeling
of leaving her behind

Saturday, January 10, 2009

New widgets

I made a station player widget, once it's approved I'll post the link, it's the one in my sidebar at the top.

ALSO, I was looking at amnesty international's site, reading about the issues at stake in the Gaza conflict, and stumbled on a petition urging Obama to stay true to his word to shut down guantanamo bay and scale back the patriot act. It's the primary reason I voted for Obama, so I already signed it. Thats the "100 days widget" in my sidebar at the bottom.

Click here to read a little about Guantanamo

If you agree that it needs to be shut down, please sign the petition. The pentagon is already working on a plan to shut it down and hold hearings for those imprisoned there. Those found guilty will be transferred to other, legal, detention centers.

Saturday, or: Grocery blogging

I'm in Gilroy for the weekend, didn't take me long to come back. I didn't bring my bike, rookie mistake, now I'm sitting at home wishing I could be riding around town.

Ah well, Monday will come soon enough. Farmers market was amazing, definitely taking my camera next time. I had something called a "grilled calzini".

It's exactly the same as a calzone, only it's cooked on a grill over an open fire. I took one bite, just the crust, and it was one of the most delicious bites of food I've had in a long time. It tasted like a dense focaccia, unbelievably savory, with just the right blend of herbs. Then I got to the filling, roasted eggplant, zuchini, onions and red bell peppers, again with just the right blend of seasoning. There was also fresh mozzerella and aged parmesan, delicious. I'm going to try and emulate the crust the next time I make calzones, and the filling gave me some ideas too. I always use some variation of mushrooms in my calzones, but usually they're drowning in some kind of sauce, but this calzone featured more of the fresh ingredients, which was eye opening.

I made chili last week, a big batch (alot bigger than I had thought it would be), and froze most of it. It is some of the best chili I've ever had. I have a serious weakness for chipotle. The recipe as best as I can remember was this:

Saute in olive oil:
One whole onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced

Add all of the following and bring to boil in stock pot, lower heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes:

1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes with jalapenos
1 4 oz can of chopped green peppers
1 14 oz can of spicy vegetarian refried beans
1 14 oz can of black beans
1 14 oz can of pinto beans
1 14 oz can of kidney beans
Hominy to taste (I got a big can but didn't use very much of it) corn would've worked well as a substitution
2 chopped chipotle peppers

Chili Powder
Onion Powder
ALL TO TASTE (I just kept adding it in small amounts and kept tasting, I'll pay attention to the amounts next time)

I cooked cornbread to complete the ultimate cold weather meal, and garnished the chili with some fresh cilantro, sour cream and sharp cheddar

Enjoyed my delicious meal while watching No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain.
Perfect way to start the quarter.

I also had my first food lab this week, cooked chocolate chip cookies, but the lab should be interesting. Basically I cook something new each week in a professional kitchen, fun fun fun.

I've decided I'm gonna keep experimenting in the kitchen and post my recipes/results in here.
And of course they'll all be vegetarian (maybe some will even be vegan), but I guarantee delicious results regardless of your dietary choices.


P.S. If anyone has any suggestions for possible crust recipes/adaptations that match the description I have above (dense focaccia texture, savory) please share them with me

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Anyone want to flip a few houses with me?

To be significant

This is a continuation of my original thought in my first post on here, about life being a book, and us scrambling around trying to be the hero, or antihero. The idea here is that so many people have this idea that the ultimate goal is to form some sort of legacy with the time we have. To be remembered is a universal desire, and so people all around the world try every day to make an impact.

True, the chief goal of each individual day might be survival for alot of people, but many people, especially in a society such as ours, where our basic survival needs are met much more readily, are trying to achieve the next step. To be significant.

And it's so easy to feel insignificant, just looking around at the world and trying to wrap one's head around the fact that there are literally billions of other people out there, just like you, can be discouraging. But each of those billions of people is constructing a legacy by simply being a decent human being to their friends, their family, their neighbors, and to strangers on the street they have nothing in common with. The good samaritan comes to mind.

This same desire to be significant, to be someone, ties back to the feelings of frustration that I mentioned in my post yesterday. There is nothing that makes one feel more insignificant than going to work and doing a job that has absolutely NO application to one's life. My favorite essay by Thoreau is titled "Life Without Principle", in which he urges his reader not to do a job that he isn't passionate about, surmising that selling your whole day away to someone else's ends, some great "industry", in order to put food on your table, is worse than starving. I would assert that doing your time in the dispassionate labor force in order to get yourself to a place where you can do what you love on a daily basis is an acceptable means to an end, though I agree with him that it seems a crime against oneself to embark on a career that doesn't inspire passion. The term "9 to 5" comes to mind.

With that in mind, I'm going to ride my bike to farmers market now, one of my favorite activities. The term "breath of fresh air" comes to mind.