Meaning

We ended up spending three more days at Yosemite. I didn’t enjoy the second half as much though because we didn’t have much planned as compared to the first half.

Some pictures from Yosemite taken on my camera before it died:

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Crossing the river through this tree was a little riskier than last time, given how the water was running up to the bottom of the trunk; last time the stream was calmer and not touching the trunk. The water isn’t deep though, maybe up to my waist, though ya know, depth perception..IMG_0775I don’t have many more to show, so I’ll hold on to them like I’ve held on to so many other pictures. Now I have three batteries and two chargers. I will try adding more pictures to these posts. Let’s say at least 5. Of course all being pictures I’ve taken.


Questions:

I’m moving way from the Book of Questions in favor of a different list of questions. These questions are less trivial, more philosophical. I’ll still put trivial questions on, and those will come from me, just to satisfy my own ego.. :F

A simple question asks: What is the meaning of life?

Life is what you make of it. All the things you do, experience, refine who you are. Note: Not Define – defining yourself puts you in a corner you’re expected to live by (The expectations coming from others and yourself). You don’t need to have a definition the way words do. That’s what separates you from just a word. The more you experience things, the harder it will be for you to be defined. Call yourself a lump of clay. Let yourself be picked up, let yourself be dropped. Picked up again. Punched into, sat on the shelf, kicked, caressed, lifted into the sky, forgotten and remembered, hated and loved. Do the same to the rest. The more the clay gets handled the more refined it becomes. Life doesn’t have to look like a perfect sphere, it can be just a lump of clay. Of course we want more though.

Some though will search for meaning, like if it’s something not inherent, something you gotta work to achieve, rather than the work itself. The pursuit of happiness is the same. We search for things that might make us happier; things that can be taken away from us. Babies don’t need much, or anything really, to be happy. Maybe they know that’s up…

Some will look to religion for help in meaning. Organised religion will claim to have the right answers and guidance for finding the worth in life. It will always go too far though. To me going too far would be a disregard for science or logic, an obligation to pay materials, or indoctrination of young. I wanted to find meaning on my own, so I rejected faiths, I rejected gods. Even if I came up with similar ethics like the golden rule of respect, at least I was able to come to it on my own using logic, not writing it down on paper over and over again.. that’s what it felt like before.

Meaning in life is not easy, it shouldn’t be. It should be a constant struggle to become more of who we are right now, to be more of who we were yesterday. We get there by having new experiences, of any kind, of any weight. The world is going and going and it it gets heavier, or it feels heavier, once we start slacking off, once we feel the pressure and it takes its toll on us. Losing something precious can challenge our meaning, and more our perspective. The world will suddenly get heavier. The world will seemingly slow down, but it never does. We’re simply falling behind. And that’s okay. Because we get to struggle, and then we keep up.

Reminds me of these messages I found a couple years ago:

I’m not sure where I’m going with this anymore. It would have been nice to work on this during the day and not the middle of the night. But I found out yesterday that I’m both a morning and night person now. I take naps throughout the day if I can, and I usually can.

You don’t give up on yourself, EVER. You find self-rules to live by an guide you to the next step, even if it all just for that literal next step. As long as what you do is doing right by the social contract, I’ll be fine with what you become. Okay future me?

We are judged by our actions. Others will judge us, help us find ourselves through their perspectives. You can say you’re a nice person all you want, but that takes away time being a nice person. If others call you a nice person, then there’s no need take time analyzing yourself.. unless you don’t wanna be a nice person, by which I’d say you’re breaking the social contract and being in the wrong. Because if someone were to call me a jerk, then I’d need time to analyze what I’ve done to get me there. And hopefully I can find a way to correct that wrong. This world doesn’t need more jerks. Being a jerk violates my standard of keeping the social contract healthy. And the point is to live in a way that maintains or can further benefit society.

Another question asks: Can food be art?

Gut reaction: Hell no! Food’s purpose in the world is to be eaten! How about make food in a way that I’m not distracted and hesitant to eat it just because of its beauty..

Yeah. Food can be art. Some food takes forever to make, and I value effort in art. So if that food can make its mark in my mouth, who am I to say it wasn’t art. Art is perceived. Food is perceived. Food can be art. Not brand cereal, because of the effort it takes to prepare. But if I were to pick a beautiful ripe posque off a posque tree (posque is my made up fruit/vegetable), and it looked so good, and tasted so good, then I guess it can be art. It takes time for these edibles to grow, and care from mother nature.

The last question asks: One million dollars you can only spend on yourself, GO..

Pianos. Upright pianos, grand pianos, not so grand pianos, and another piano

Oh yeah that reminds of a song I recorded a while back. I was bored and stressed that I hadn’t recorded anything yet at that point, so I worked this song and recorded it and it took the whole day. It’s supposed to be a response to entitled individualism, but it’s really just me poking fun at life. This is is how i have funnnn.

I thought it was already online, but it wasn’t, so I reuploaded it.

Here is the song: “They’re All Crazy”

Here are the lyrics:

For differences in views
I don’t wanna meet you
I just wanna choose
According to my own news
There goes everyone I met
They’re all crazy
It’s not the other way around
That’s just lazy

But get away from me
Or I’ll just look, so much dumb
Please go away
I don’t want to be upset

I could have spoken sooner
I didn’t wanna ruin her
She’s walking through the walls
The pretty one inside my mind
The animals we slaughter
To mainting our guts
Things don’t seem to matter
Until they happen to us

Stay away from me
Or I won’t stop, you don’t want that
Please go away
I don’t want to be upset


Effort, as in, apparent effort. Break a sweat getting things done. Have emotion in your reactions to others’ hard work, or in how you describe the work you went through. If it didn’t look like I went through hell and back to make an epic food art, a painting, or piano song, then it ain’t worth the praise it can get on display.

posque (pronounced posk, o as in Oh), as I can see it, is a fruit-vegetable that can be picked from trees. It ranges in size, from that of an apple to that of a mango. It has a skin thickness like that of a banana, so no as rough as an orange. BUT, as soon as you try to peel it (oh yeah it has a wobbly form, like that of another posque), the posque can spill out quickly. The insides of a posque is liquid form. No kind of soft body like a banana or slices like an orange.. it’s just liquid. The good part is it doesn’t stain, magically.

Yosemite

Day one: I was excited to take pictures with my new camera but it turned out the battery to the camera would no longer want to charge. I’m not sure if this is temporary, but to happen at this time is so unlucky for me. I’m so disappointed x(. I planned to take Thousands of shots to publish over time in this blog as time went by. But I’ve been limited to at least a half hour of going for it. I plan to save the battery for the hike through Vernal Falls. That’s my favorite hike.

At night I went with my cousins to meadow in front of the Half Dome Village parking lot, where there is a path that takes one through the meadows only deer are allowed through. There was a full or near-full moon in the sky, brightly illuminating the enormous walls of the valley and most of the meadow. That moment of basking in the nighttime view became one of my top favorite moments of all year. And because it was fairly dark still I wasn’t able to get any shot, so for another day.


Day Two: The first morning we spent I was able to go for a 4 mile run thru a beautiful trail going along the river. One mile in I unexpectedly found something I wanted to visit again. It was an enormous rock, maybe one and a half stories high.

We went to Yosemite Falls

After dinner I grabbed my camera by impulse and ran through a quarter mile of unpathed forest to find the rock. Also crossed the river to find it.

And then I found it!

I couldn’t cross the river from there to get to the rock. So here’s the short story: last time we visited, one morning I woke up early I made my way through the forest wandering; found the rock and climbed it; once at the tippy top realised where I was, got scared, slipped down the side, turned over, upside-down spider crawled my way inch by inch over 10 minutes to the bottom, jumped a way down, survived.
On the way back from this visit though, I felt scared, alone, vulnerable. I quickly made my way back to the campsite and called it a day.


Final Day: Vernal Falls!

And another view of my favorite spot, this time during the day to get a view:

I’m content woth the amount of pictures I took, but I know I could have been contenter


new year, starting from my birthday, not Jan01.

Excuse

My efforts to keep this blog active never work. This is a recurring issue since after the first few months of having this blog! x) So it’s been years. One major reason I can say is lack of a computer desk. I don’t have a desk. I don’t like typing blogs (what I consider a formal platform for me) on my phone or a laptop; I don’t enjoy typing with the keyboard on my lap. We never had enough space for a fully fledged out desk. One requirement I can never bargain for is having a window near the desk, and the lack of space is another problem.

I’ve tried the 1,000 words method of writing, where I would write 1,000 words exactly of anything that came to mind, similar to what I’m trying to achieve right now, but those attempts never made it as far as I  wanted, and I didn’t feel right filling this blog with “filler” thoughts and aimless talk. I have a strong sense of quality over quantity, so I ended up not publishing those kinds of attempts at keeping this site alive. One method that does work more often is the series of questions. I take a few questions off The Book of Questions and answer them as thoroughly as I can. I never did them as frequently, but I haven’t stopped trying. Another thing I thought of last night was posting more of my pictures (I’m currently in my photography phase), at least once a week, and trying to go along with the saying “an image is worth a thousand words.”

I’ll try it right now:


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The message in the photo says “It’s that wonderful old-fashioned idea that others come first and you come second.” Immediately I thought of the golden rule, which is respect. I value this idea so much; putting yourself in front of others is part of what I consider the greatest sin: selfishness. It’s such a vile toxin that degenerates any relationship one has with any and everything around them. It’s always there in each person, in some degree. It is easily abusive of others and the immediate environment. And when money is thrown into the formula, you get corruption. With a selfish mindset you get corporate politicians, you get garbage patches in the ocean, you get polluted rivers and lakes, you get murder, rape, identity theft. Small acts build up. You don’t take advantage of others when you’re not being selfish. I put everyone above me, and that could have selfish motivation too. I don’t want to be raising red flags for anyone. I’ve always lived with this mindset. Most people do. I more or less think I have because it benefits everyone and everything more than if I were to be driven by selfishness. The process of life and the day-to-day world aren’t ruined by my acts. That is accepting and facilitating the social contract.

I feel like I went off a tangent there, but maybe you still get me. I love being the one that “comes second.” Is it related when I say this lets me be a listener better, an observer better? Does it relate when I say I don’t want to be the main character in “the grand story,” even for a second? I want to be the support for the main characters. Of course, in my own story I’m still the main character, and that story is filled with everlasting struggle; a struggle through the darkness looking for the light.

I don’t want to be the lily; I want to be the lilypad.

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Again, I feel like I approached this wrong. Let me be so objective instead: I found the mural in downtown LA at the corner of Winston and Los Angeles St. I see it every time I go to DTLA; I go about three times a week. Just to walk around. To wander and wander and find a new perspective. I won’t be walking through downtown for much longer, since I’ll be going to school in Sacramento in less  than a month.


A questions asks: Does the fact that you have never done something before increase or decrease its appeal to you?

Increase; I’m a sucker for doing new things. When I enter an eatery I always look for different and interesting items. Or different flavors of a given item, since ya know there’s dozens of different flavors of any thing these days. I always look for a new place to travel to in LA; I’m not bored of visiting the same places because I space out those visits over time, and plan the order of places I visit differently. It’s part of the improvisation I like to add to my day-to-day life, though in the long-term I do have a more clear and straight path ahead of me. When I repeat a routine I get stressed, because I felt like I could have done something differently. Again though, this is only for day-to-day life, where regret is more quickly forgivable. A whole new dimension is added when I get to travel or eat or do anything with another person(s); I don’t mind repeating the exact same things I’ve done recently while with another person, because each person has their own unique perspective, and I always enjoy that. I welcome new experiences, even when there’s nothing significant to learn.

Another question asks: If you were at a friend’s house for Thanksgiving dinner and you found a dead cockroach in your salad, what would you do?

I know exactly what; I would freeze and stare at it, assessing the overall scene in the few split seconds I have to react so no one finds it weird I paused for a second. I would search for a way to cover up the roach a bit and then get up and take the salad plate off the table. I would then call over to the host of the dinner and let them know in the calmest voice I know, whether or not I’m able to say it with others listening in. After giving them the place, I’ll let the host handle it from there, staying silent about it from then on. And then I would bring out a remote control from my pocket and point it upwards, where the ceiling would open up in four parts, and a bright light would shine on the table and the guests. We would all seemingly evaporate, and then reemerge in a new dimension. This new world would be full of tall grass, too tall so look over, though we would all be in a path that lead in two directions. We would split up due to conflicting leadership and eventually we would all be searching alone. A loud voice would be heard proclaiming that an ocean of people in bear costumes would be released into the dimension, now known as a maze. The bears would ‘eat’ whoever they met, and the last person standing and not ‘eaten’ would win.


If you’ve noticed my bolding of phrases, those are keywords, standout information that is most relevant in who and how I am. I’ll spend more time explaining those boldings at the end of each post.

So, to start, quality over quantity is a preference I’ve adopted more over time as a response to the glutton I was during high school. I was a glut for specific candies and cookies and chips and nothing better. I’ve paid the high price of dozens of dentists appointments (to little avail) and slowly swore off many of these foods. But the overall theme of quality has spread to other aspects, like the amount of time I spend on the internet, or the amount of posts I’ll publish..

My photography phase is the time I’ve been more focused on photography than other art like drawing with my markers or writing lyrics or playing piano I have had phases of those arts, and I know that I’m engulfed in photography. I recently bought a Canon Rebel T6 camera and am really impressed with what I have done with it. I always have an itch for doing other art, and it’s not like I don’t try other things in this ‘phase;’ all I’m saying is my effort goes more into the camera than the pen or keys.

The thought of improvisation enters my mind pretty often. I never want to plan out anything too much or too little. I always want flexibility in my ability to react and adapt to a detour, in a way I can still feel totally in control of myself. Don’t we all?

Apologies for any typos. I’ll be looking out for any.

-E

Am I falling in love?

A question asks: Do you prefer being around men or women? Do your closest friends tend to be men or women?

I prefer to be with women. I have much stronger respect for them than men. I did not grow up connecting much with guys. I wasn’t into video games, which was the hot topic, or most talked about thing. As well as the sports and shows most guys I hung out with talked about. I couldn’t care about a specific basketball or baseball player, I couldn’t care about the new episode of those shows; though I will give them props for quoting characters of a show so accurately. I can’t do that no matter how hard I try, even now as I’ve watched The Office seven times through. Being around women has intrigued me more, though I didn’t care about the gossip enough; I loved listening though. Women struggles to me seem more difficult than a man’s. I’ve seen women treated as a lesser to a man than a woman treating a man as a lesser of her, from what I’ve learned and witnessed.

My closest friends up until l high school were always boys; at any given year there was up to two other boys I was best friends with. In high school I lost that kind of bond, spent a lot of time feeling out of place. It wasn’t until junior year that I grew a strong connection with, but it was with a girl this time, and in senior year she was my closest friend, though I’m not sure it was the same the other way around given she had many more friends to hang out with than I did. After high school, I’ve struggled to maintain a close friendship, though I do cherish more my friendships with women rather than men.

Another question asks: Do you establish routines in your life?

Yes; though these routines are always broken after a while. I know there definitely was a time I wasn’t being a moderate consumer and a binger of activities and whatnot, but because of the consequences of some of those things I’ve acquired a philosophy of moderation, of quality over quantity. I no longer buy the exact same cookies from the same place at the same time of day, as a petty example. When I travel downtown I always make sure I change my route between the same destinations. I’m much more open to taking new challenges, resetting my goals. I don’t want to be predictable, in both physical activities and state of mind. But I will try new routines in day-to-day life to see what could be a better method for myself, like setting up early alarms as I’ve recently done. Sometimes I try to force myself to use this blog once every week or so, but, ya know..

I love improvising though. I don’t want to have a set schedule in my life that I need to or feel the need to run by every so often. To me it’s always about how we’ll get from point A to point B, never using a previous method, and always making sure we get there before dark. I tend to just follow my feet, go wherever they wanna go.

And now some admission:

There used to be a bit more here, but I removed it for the time being. The title of the post was named after this part..

Graduation; depression

Yesterday I graduated from Rio Hondo College. AAs in Political Science and Philosophy. I’m two classes away from a third AA in History, which I’ll be taking this summer. Because why not?…

I’m en route to go to Sacramento State. I’ll be majoring in Government with a minor in Philosophy. But that’s not until three months from now. It’s only been one day and I feel the weight of having nothing to do. It’s depressing me.

I have almost two weeks off from work as well; that might be contributing to this uselessness.

Also I have reset my work on my keyboard album. I’ll reduce the album to an EP; I plan to work several short EPs for the time being.. I have the title “The Children’s Escape” constantly running through my head, so I’ll use that as the tentative project title.

Here’s the cover of the eventual EP There Goes Everybody.

I’ll get to work on the keyboard during these next weeks, to have something to work on.

a few questions

The questions goes: If there were a public execution on television, would you watch?

No. I would watch it after the broadcast, on a video platform (like YT).
Why would I watch it though? Because of how rare it occurrs in MY LIFE, that I get to witness an execution.
I’m okay with people watching an execution of myself on television, therefore I’d be willing to watch. If I wasn’t willing to be the person executed, I otherwise wouldn’t let it happen. I’m not sure this event will happen though.

Another question goes: You are given a chance to return to any previous point in your life and change a decision you made, but you will lose everything that has happened to you since then. Is there a time you would return to? If so, would you like to retain the memory of the life you are giving up even though you could never recapture it?

Yes. Just before senior year of high school. I would write myself a letter that would come to this previous moment with me, warning me what my big mistakes will be: not doing much as leader of an academy, not (ever) risking myself to let a girl know I had developed a crush on her, not working hard enough on my French projects (and by not enough, I mean at all), as well as not stopping to straighten my hair sooner. I’m not sure what else was at the forefront of ‘mistakes’ I knew I’d commit throughout the year, but those would be the more prominent, because I still think back to them. Gosh why did I straighten my hair so much. xP

Down to my core though, if I was presented with the button to press the button and go back, I doubt I’d end up pressing it. Those mishaps accurately define who I am today, they keep my track record consistent. Taking those decisions away takes away who I am fundamentally. Wanna hear it explained a third way? I am okay with what I am now, given everything I’ve done. To erase any part of myself, to me, is a full erase on myself. That third explanation sucked didn’t it? Did I at least answer the question.

And NO I won’t elaborate on those specific things I said I would let my past me know.

A third question was here, but it composed of several different questions, so I’ll continue it on another post.

-E

till god do his part

This article released recently explains the underrepresentation of atheists in America. It was a surprise at first but I’m understanding the reasoning mentioned in the article. I haven’t had a tough time with being an atheist in a religious family; it was a combination of my mother accepting me making a decision as an adult as well as how aggressively passive my parents were with me. Though I haven’t been too vocal about where I stand, I’ve made it clear what I thought whenever it was relevant. 

In high school I did not like the idea of picking a major that I had to stick to for the rest of my schooling that would be critical for my career and going to university straight off graduating. It was too heavy an option to make. And then I later learn that a lot of incoming freshmen come in undecided and that  declared majors are always being changed and how expensive it has been to take out loans and how much that alone hinders one’s ability as a homebuyer and what else. Not even knowing these things I told myself Nah I don’t even know myself. I don’t know what my values or priorities are or what I am capable of, so I won’t take that route, not yet without knowing myself.

Philosophy is the strongest tool there is to understanding oneself and the world. It should not be taken for granted the ability to discover one’s values on their own through carefully managing through the various methods of thought that major philosophers have been able to find. It’s too bad those classes are not a priority by the time highschool ends. At least not where I’m from.

For those who either did not want to think hard about their own purpose or did not yet have the mental framework to think with the depth needed to conclude a purpose for oneself (*cough school era kids/ ppl who don’t or won’t care enough) religion made sense! It is an easy guide to carry with you. All this morality layed out for you, now follow it! No sir, sorry sir, but I just am not happy following an outdated book or unscientificly based doctrine when I can instead try what the philosophers did and come to my own conclusions about this world. Find my place in this world, on my own. Make my own path. Sure it was more difficult to do but it feels worth it.

Of course I feel higher than a sheep of an outdated system that had precedent and dominated the generation they were born into. Maybe my ethics are not as great as theirs (note I have not written much yet about my ethics/morality; I will), but I love that I came to my beliefs on my own. I don’t need that system for comfort whenever I look into the sky and remember we are alone in this universe, as far as we know right now. Loneliness and uncertainty does not scare me. Death does not scare me. God does not scare me.

My arms extend to each person in the world. Let us celebrate the scared. Cheers! To the closeted atheists in America and the world! Your struggle is so much more than mine; You keep me looking up to the umiverse in awe and inspiration to fight, not waiting for God to do his part.