pictures from Sept. and Oct.

These are a few pictures I took in the last couple months; I’ll try to supplement them with words

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There was some sort of luck to this shot, but each time I see this I ask myself how the hell I took such a nice shot. I sat on a field at the park next to the state capitol and saw the dandelion, decided why not and half-assed the shot. Turned out to be one of my favorites I’ve taken this year. It looks so warm and fluffy..

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I brought my little panda to Grand Park in front of the LA city hall. One of my favorite shots of the panda so far.

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A shot towards Sacramento. Haven’t taken one like this in a while.

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The Broad. wanted to wait for someone to pass by for the shot but it felt wrong to do that to a stranger.

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California Plaza one, looking up.

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a proposal in front of the Griffith Observatory, blurred

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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  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.

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.

satisfactions

The question asks: If 100 people your age were chosen at random, how many do you think you’d find leading a more satisfying life than yours?

I might believe fewer than half. Let’s say I’d find at most 44 people more satisfied than myself. I feel that coping with loneliness will be a pretty large factor in others’ answers, and I don’t believe the majority of these 100 random people would have mastered the skill of being alone. I think I have, though. I always see a hint of loneliness through the things my friends say on social media. Sometimes it’s the core of their problems.. I spend most of my time alone, at least three days a week traveling completely alone on busses, trains, through LA County. I go to parks and museums with my camera and search for other signs of loneliness in the world, but do not find it. We are all vastly connected, instantly reachable. I understand that the older we get, the less time we have to spend with people we met in the past who we’d like to be with for a bit longer. Communication is key; every few months or years I send short messages to people I don’t see on a regular basis because I still want that friendship to exist. A friend to me is anyone who, as of the last time we had met or contacted, I had a positive connection with; Everyone else is a potential friend. So if anyone ever has the (unlikely) existential crisis of “omg does Elmo even care about me anymore?!” just think of how the last time we met went. The answer might be so clear, it is unclear.

Money seems to be another issue. I don’t find money as a problem for myself, but I recognize I wouldn’t be able to survive/ sustain living alone or being in a relationship with the job I currently have. In fact, I can’t make friends in job because people leave very quickly, which further reinforces the loneliness in my life. It’s not that good a job; but why should I get myself one any better than this at my age? Also, The largest portions of money that I spend is on marathons or half-marathons. Clothing is my next largest investment, though I only buy plain t-shirts and running/ comfy stuffs. And even then I only spend on these things like at least every 5 months or more. So having even the slightest positive flow of moneys each month keeps me highly satisfied. I don’t think half of the random people would be okay with the basics of life as I have, in the context of moneys and loneliness. Because they want greater things in life, because maybe they’re falling behind in their dreams, because their time in the world is never certain, I dunnooo really, I’m not a fan of having to speak for 99 random people my age..  I don’t think students being given large sums of moneys from the govt will be dealing with the money issue though. I live with what I got, and it’s barely enough. Doing things in the name of money, other than for basic necessities, to me is unhealthy. I have a feeling most people would disagree.

So using these two examples, I know it’s not a perfect way to live, but hey, at least my life leads me to believe I’m having it better than 56 of 100 random people my age. xP