Washing roomates dishes

Before I begin let me apologize for any typos. I took off the feature of self-correcting text on my phone in order to challenge myself to text better, so I know I will be making more mistakes than I should. Also this is one of those rare moments I write from my phone. It’s 2am and I can’t sleep but I don’t want to wake up the computer anymore. I take naps in the afternoon to have more time to do stuff but at this hour I don’t do more than dine and think and workout and dance to disco music (always in that order), so I know I need to work on being more productive at this hour. Next week is finals week. Kk..

I have a roommate who does not wash his dishes; they pile up to the point we have no dishes we can use. I have two self rules: “keep the kitchen clean,” and “immediately clean up after yourself.” So you can see how much synergy my roomate and I have in the kitchen.

I don’t blame him, I’ll start there. Blaming people over their habits is the right thing to do, I wouldn’t get in the way of someone’s blame if it was well deserved, but it still just isn’t my thing to do. I’m too calm to let other’s acts trigger me to blame.

“Keep the kitchen clean” should be easy for one to understand.. Just keep it clean hah! There’s no purpose in keeping things unclean, even garbage trucks are cleaned often (one might say otherwise but we only often see them in action). Lots of homes when you enter have kitchens as the first room one walks into. There’s the idea of first impressions. So for a nice first impressions let’s keep the kitchen or living room clean, yeah? I don’t mean to beat a dead horse.

“Immediately clean up after yourself” is a different story. It’s my response to how many people live. Many. A lot of us don’t care about being responsible in cleaning up after ourselves. We litter public places with little consideration for outcome. I’m always puzzled as to why we do this. I can see myself doing it if I felt like a piece of shit human being and that means I’ll be depressed. But even when I’m depressed I don’t fuck over the world, because I get that it’s my own internal battle and no one else should pay for it. So I’m left clueless and too stubborn to judge.

Anywaysss to get to the issue. I see the dishes and I get that there’s an expectation of responsibility over my cleanliness and that others do not have that responsibility. These guys are all younger than me, and within the two years of advantage I have over them I can recognize that two years ago I did not walk the walk as much as I talked it (and by talked it I mean kept to myself cause I’m always a loner). To be responsible we gotta grow up, and we all grow up at different rates. I say most of it is out of our control but we need the challenges sooner than later either way.

I can respect their responsibility to clean up after themselves, but my grandma would not exactly do the same. She would ask me to clean the dishes regardless of whether they are mine or not. I can see why it makes more sense to listen to this inner abuelita in me; it at least gives me the opportunity to take on more responsibility than I need to. Doing this helps us grow up faster. Right, abuela?

If we always waited and expected others to clean up after themselves, beaches and city parks and river banks would just get dirtier and dirtier with litter. This would prove my observation that lots of people do not care to be responsible enough to clean up after themselves, they’d rather use it as their trash bins or whatever the fuck they think the world is to them. Now, I’m an optimist foremost so if one thinks I’m being too rash in saying LOTS of people don’t care, look, one person to shit on the world is enough to cause too much collateral damage.

And then those same people will complain that the local or regional or national government’s sanitation departments suck, and more unnecessary government policy will be created rather than focusing on personal habit. They already have too much on their hands but no fewer are willing to lend theirs.

This is why volunteers are heroes. They take on more responsibility than they need to, and they grow faster from the experience. To inflict certain pain on oneself in the name of competency in life. Volunteers take the challenge because they understand the gravity of the situation and have the time for such possibility. Lots of people have extra time on their hands, but I digress.

So there’s my unnecessary reasoning for why I washed all my roommate’s dishes, and why we should be more responsible than we need to be. It took time but the best things in life aren’t quick things, right abuela?

Advertisements

2017 marathon

This was my seventh marathon, third time running Canyon City.

turned out to be my 6th “best” marathon out of the seven. One thing I could have improved upon was the amount of lone runs I did leading up. I never even hit 18 miles yet. I was doing shorter distances like 9 to 12 miles at higher frequencies than before. During the race, the complications didn’t come in until mile 18. From 18 to the end I was cramping up, had to keep my pace steady. At times I could barely walk, I really wanted to sit down and rest, but by mile 20 my body was on auto pilot going forward, and my thoughts kept trying to bring me down. It was the first time I had given up on myself before mile 22. When I’m at 23 onward, there’s no point in thinking, or giving in to the pleas.

Been a couple days and the soreness has gone down. I still can’t walk at full speed, but I can still take on a bunch of students on my way to class.

So now I’ve run 3 CanyonCity and 4 LA marathons. My next race planned is this same one next year, followed by LA and CC again. That’ll be 10 marathons in 10 years. Others have done more, many others less. Let’s see if this all happens.

philosophy in high school

I noticed that several times throughout my life when conversations turn to complaining about things, that the topic of the uselessness of grade school comes up as an argument against what is expected of us from the “real world.” When we observe the daily life at face value, one might seriously question what the point was to learn seemingly useless things. I’m not sure if anyone making that claim realizes that one doesn’t have to go too deep to realize the use in language skills or arithmetic or basic history or basic economics. Grade school is a bare necessity. I wonder what would happen if I pressed the issue to someone making the claim. What quickly comes to mind is the argument of governments reliance on an ignorant constituency, that without our basic knowledge in grades school we’d be sold short of the campaign promises, but that’s selling “the constituency” short by grouping all of us and betting against ourselves. Hoping that the worst is true. I’m not of that bias, but rather the opposite. I digress.

I’m a huge fan of philosophy; I’m studying it for my minor. When I think of the material I did in grade school, I don’t find many traces of philosophical practice. That may be why I got so much into it, that it just wasn’t available the way it is in college. But thinking about it I can recall that proofs in geometry are like proving syllogisms in deductive logic.

When I consider what grade school may have skipped in getting the basics, I feel like there were missed opportunities of philosophy classes. Now, I’m not sure if philosophy is offered in any high school, I can’t imagine it’s not somewhere, but it would have been one of the most useful classes to have something like basic intro to philosophy, or critical thinking classes that focused on our biases, that brought light to fallacies, that fun stuff. It’s sort of psychological as well. But I guess if the argument to add basic philosophical groundwork in grade school begets the questions of why not also bring in some basic psychology and some basic sociology and basic anthropology, and by then we’d have too much to really consider adding. And so it gets pushed for later. But it does make sense that we first need a more basic understanding of the world to even try to comprehend the next level stuff. Oh well. I’ll still hold that a class that focused on cognitive biases would be really interesting to take for junior-senior level grade school. It would definitely leave fewer offhanded arguments that school was useless.

 

reflecting on a group discussion on God’s existence

It was a group of seven of us, and I was one of the quietest ones in the discussion. It wasn’t until the last part of the discussion, where we opened up to the others in class who had watched the discussion, that I was able to speak. It was only because someone specifically wanted my opinion on a question I don’t remember anymore. My answer had something to do with rationalizing against a response to the problem of evil (an argument against the existence of God). I’m not going to raise my response here because I don’t remember the whole context of the moment, and it would be wrong to assume I could give it without any other given person not in the event being able to grasp what I’m saying.

But to be more clear, I’m an atheist. I was one of the two in the group, and the quieter one, so I guess it was expected that someone would be singling me out for an opinion, because one really didn’t come from me until then.

I can only reason my inability to participate equally in the discussion was due to a few reasons:

  • I have no, or rather little, value on my opinion on anything. I place more value on others’ opinions; I want to listen to the conversation, not exactly be a part of it.
  • I was raised to speak only when spoken to, as I did in this case of being singled out.
  • I’m not strong on coming up with any kind of quick reply. I don’t like having impulse opinions, I usually enjoy watching others go at it, especially when they’re good at responding.

Someone had a specific question to the theists: did the discussion change your views in any way. None were swayed much. I mean, my response that first time was well received (understood) and conceded. My favorite part was others outside of the group trying to grasp what I was saying.

One question within the group was “how to find morality without God,” and my response was the use of rationality, coming to some sort of code that would work with that little we knew we had: ourselves and this earth we seem to be alone in; I became a consequentialist, and argued that we should do our best to further humanity in a way that served the most possible people (utilitarianism) usually at my own expense (moral altruism). That is my specific moral code.

A response was an example of being completely alone in a place where no one could ever know I could do something immoral, but then the question used the specific example of finding a wallet on the floor with money and an address and phone number etc… The obvious thing for me is to simply ration “if that were my wallet I’d want it return, therefore I would do everything I can to return the wallet. Similarly I do what I can to not unjustly hurt people because I wouldn’t want to be hurt unjustly.” Something like that.. which led to a final discussion of the golden rule, something that was fairly acceptable for everyone. We ended on that positive note.

To add more context: Tat was about 5 minutes of my responses, in a one our session. The discussion started with the philosophers we had read about, what we agreed with from them and disagreed with, then talking about the validity of a holy scripture over time.

I wanted to bring a question into the discussion, but as I reasoned above why I couldn’t, I didn’t bring it up: can we separate God from religion? This question I am truly confused about. I try to answer it but I get confused quickly, because I don’t know what answer I’m looking for, but I guess one idea I can try is to pick a side and try to argue against it. I mean, that’s how most philosophers go about proving their ideas, right? I’ll try in a later post, eventually. And I’ll clean up any grammatical errors I made on here.. eventually.

Happy Birthday Cris

So few people listen to my music, fewer give any feedback. Cris is one of the very few people who was as close to a fan of my music as I’ve ever had. Cris constantly was psyched each time I had something new (back when I often had something new), always brought it up each time we met, and even wanted to collaborate somehow, though I’m not sure how we were going to combine my piano with his voice. xP

His death is a heavy one for me, as it has been with previous friends. His memory is a reminder of praise from a friend, and it keeps me from giving up on my music.

As a musician and friend, I raise a glass to you Cris. Miss you dearly. We’re gonna meet once again in musician heaven. πŸ˜‰

cris on music

a couple scary moments

I need to distract myself for a thousand words or so. I’ll try to remember things that happened to me on my travels in the past couple years. I’m not sure anything too intense happened, like life threatening, but definitely interesting stuff. Before I start remembering, let me give a mental picture of what I typically wear out: Always wearing a t-shirt of a plain color, wearing thin running pants, and a little bag that goes over one shoulder where, during most of these adventures, I’d also have my camera. I’m usually wearing earphones on public transit, and a thin gray sweater I can easily fit into the bag in case I stay our long enough for the dark.

The first memory I can recall was a fast one, early in my lonely ventures, on a Green Line station, likely Lakewood, waiting for a train to Norwalk. I had gone to Lakewood Center to find a book store that sold books cheap. I had never ventured this south on Metro where is wasn’t towards Long Beach or San Pedro, mainly because there is a limited amount of buses down here. I searched for bookstores when I began my journeys, hoping to find a Β small book I could carry with me all the time. This time I didn’t find a book I really liked. On the station I remember it being dark already. I know the music was loud, because I didn’t hear the man screaming initially, not until he was right by me screaming into my ear. I must have seemed the most blissful on the platform, because I noticed no one was really near me after it happened, but as I said it was a fast moment. The man screamed around and walked towards me. When he came up to me he had screamed something to the effect of “I’m going to rape you.. up the ass,” loud enough so I could hear it. His face was facing right next to me, but I did not react. Not a single nerve moved while he made his claims at me and walked behind me further into the platform. I could smell the alcohol in his breath. After watching him go to I made my way to the other side and kept still again waiting for the train. That was the last time I stepped onto Lakewood Station, or gone to Lakewood Center.

This next moment is a long one. I had visited LACMA, La County Museum of Art, for the Nth time, being a member and this being one of the main places to visit when I had no real plan. I was on my way back to LA, it was dark, and I had left the 720 bus down to Wilshire Station. As I walked down on one end of the platform, I spotted a black man in a cool tan vest and suit with a number of books at his side, looking up at me. I meandered down to a seat, and next to me sat an old lady who worked at the museum. The man who was watching me came and sat beside me, lay his books own, and stared at me. Straight at me. Whispering things to himself. With eyes wide open, again, fixed towards my eyes. .. I removed my earphones and asked him if he said something to me, but it took another couple second of his voice to finally get him to speak up. He clearly said “You have the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen.” I responded with a long okayyy. He asked me where I was from, if I was Portuguese or Moroccan.. I revealed neither, that I was Mexican with Spanish ancestors. He nodded and kept whispering to himself how beautiful I was. I was weirded out of course, but didn’t want to leave him alone with the old lady. He asked for my name, where I came from and where I was going. I gave him half-truths, things like my middle name, coming from a museum and going to the station to get picked up (even in this situation I found it difficult to tell a lie). I remember one of the books he was carrying was a bible. It felt like forever for the train to come, and I did my best not-a-power-walk-but-still-a-power-walk I could down a couple train cars into one that was very lonely, then sat at the middle. The man showed up and sat across from me. There were so many open seats but he was clearly wanting me. I knew I was the more paranoid of the two, he was just acting cool and composed, keeping our conversation going. We talked the whole time to Union Station. The last thing we talked about was piano. I told him I played piano and how I recorded and what it sounded like and of course he was mesmerized. Approaching the station he asked me for a pen and paper, but I had no paper. He ripped a page from his bible and wrote down his number and email, offering me private piano lessons. I was grateful for the offer but I haven’t contacted him. I still have the paper somewhere, for memory keeping. I didn’t see him after that. Made my way to the bus and called it a day.

Those two I’ll end with for now. Those are the most eventful stories anyways, at least that I could think of.

I came for the trees and the trees came for me

The first week at Sacramento was alright. There was a gradual getting used to of the little world that was the dorm and school. Walking through this heat but under cover of the trees was amazing! This is what I wanted to feel. This is the place that during the fall all these trees go fall colors. I think they’re maidenhair trees?

It didn’t take long before I went off on the bus to the heart of Sacramento. I was excited to go and figure out what was there, The Capitol does look amazing,

IMG_1603

oh wait…

IMG_1604it was when I took this photo that I noticed the camera lens was dusty, if you can tell from looking across the blue sky.IMG_1618

But I’ve also slowly grown depressed. And when I get depressed it’s so low. I lose so much willpower and confidence and whatnot. It’s mainly because of how quiet I am in this world where I haven’t found any friends or social setting. The only time I get to speak is during my government and philosophy courses, and you know how talkative those can be. I don’t go all out in there, but I don’t go quiet either. But it’s when I’m out of the classroom, ya know, most of the time, when I’m all alone. And I know I was always all alone when I hung out in LA after classes or work, but this time it feels much heavier. But when I walk throuhg the trees, I feel at bliss. They’re here for me.

I haven’t gone to work yet so maybe that will help, as it did last time I was this gloomy.

I’ve been wanting to post this photo on social media,

21077579_1617976994901866_2191675864819452451_n

but I’m reluctant to, for a few reasons:

I’m not one to post these kinds of photos. I only did it for one that stated When you feel like quitting, remember why you started, something like that. That message comes through me every day, always reminding me to stay on the tough path. This one sums up in one sentense what I’ve been trying to achieve in the past three years. And it comes from the father or Taoism, a philosophy I remeber adopting in my life back then. Now I’m not so intent on defining myself, but I just so happen to live the way of the Tao more than a different way.

Another reason is that posting this picture conveys how self aware I am, feels nothing more than self-agrandization. I don’t want to convey that message, but now as I think of it, I realize, who cares?? x)

Anyways yeah I’ll post it. Not a bid deal. It’s my life motto and hopefully others will appreciate it at best, unfriend me at worst.