Monday, July 05, 2004

Weekend Ramblings: Red, White and Blue Edition

I went to Walla Walla this weekend.

I was sick of sitting around here...in a city by myself (virtually). I've learned rather quickly how strange it is to be in a city by yourself. The city moves too fast sometimes, and there are too many people, all of whom seem to know exactly what is going on, and where they're going, leaving me as the only one who never really has a FUCKING clue what is happening. I bet I look like a deer in headlights when I'm sitting on the bus and when I'm walking around downtown. Maybe not so much anymore, as I've gotten somewhat used to it. I've adapted, I guess. Its crazy how I never give myself enough credit. I never believe that I'm capable of adapting, even though I always do. I always find myself in a new situation and get flustered...which causes me to lose (at some level) my ability to think rationally, and I feel as though I'd be better off if I just ran away...if I just quit..and went back to something that is more comfortable to me...more familiar. You know that feeling when you just start a new job and you have no fucking clue what is going on, and all the other employees know each other, and they know how to do everything? I hate that shit. Its that shit that causes me to lose all self-confidence. Thats how I felt when I first got to Portland. I was terrified. I've grown a lot in recent years though. I know (and am frigtened by the fact) that when I was younger I would have quit so many things, run away from so many potential relationships, and missed out on so many wonderful opportunities if my mom hadn't been there to make me go...to drive me there and drop me off with the words, "You're going do do this, whether you want to right now or not. You'll thank me later." In fact, she's the reason I ended up at Whitman. I was sick of going to new places, dealing with new people and taking repetitive college tours. I wanted to quit...call it good. I thought I had it figured out. But I hadn't stayed overnight at Whitman yet. She made me go...I would have been a Richmond Spider. Something tells me that would have been bad news. Where you go to college is in many cases a huge determinant in how one decides to percieve the world and his/her fellow human beings. I know it has been for me. I'm scared of the Mike who, in some alternate dimension, decided to go to college in Richmond, Virginia, instead of Walla Walla, Washington. Do you think such a dimension exists? Maybe it doesn't matter...I don't know how many times people have told me not to speculate on "what might have been," but sometimes I just can't help it.

I really had a lot of fun this weekend, and I strenghtened several growing relationships, which I'm most excited about. And to think that I, naturally, was hesitant...hesitant over the whole social comfort zone thing that I was just alluding to. And it did take a little convincing (not from my mom, this time, though), but I went...because I knew if I didn't I'd regret it. And it was probably the best weekend I'd had all summer.

Long, solo drives are underrated. They give you chance to put in your favorite CD's (of all time, or of the moment), and get lost in the blissful monotony of the road, and appreciate the elaborate scenic transitions. Walla Walla to Portland, for example is a very interesting drive. Notable is the extremely stark contrast between the almost desert-like geography in eastern Washington and Oregon (by the way, why the hell ANYONE would want to live in Umatilla, OR is way beyond me.) and the lush, very green hillsides of western Oregon and the Portland area. The one constant is the strikingly wide, soothingly-slow moving Columbia River. Also notable is the tree farm on I-82 ( I think). I like to look between the rows of trees because to the human eye they look never-ending. I think it would be tight to just walk down one of the rows. Pretty soon I bet I wouldn't even be able to hear the sounds of the Interstate.

Being in Walla Walla during the summer is somwhat surreal. Whitman is in hibernation. The TKE house is dark and locked up. Surprisingly, not depressing, just surreal. In a month and a half that place is going to be once again full of life...its good that it rests. Croquet and Volleyball on an empty Ankeny field was fun though. We had the whole campus to ourselves.

In my downtime at the Barn, I played some NES (yes, the original). I believe its good for the soul to play NES...simply because it brings me back to my childhood so quickly. But, I pose the question: What the fuck is up with Super Mario Bros 2? I mean I realize that the premise of all the Mario games, in which the a fat, mustached, red-overall wearing plumber who jumps on turtle/duck hybrids is insanity in itself, but Mario 2 is supremely screwed up. Mario 3 at least follows the same general format as Mario 1, all while being a very impressive upgrade. But Mario 2 makes absolutely NO sense. There are no time limits (as in the other 2), getting coins is absolutely irrelevant, and eating cherries does NOTHING to help your cause. Seriously, why waste time programming the cherries? Not to mention the bosses: Weird, pinkish looking lizards that shoot eggs at you. Where are the koopas? And after you kill the bosses, you clime into a hawks mouth. Where are the castles? And theres this weird, alternate shadow dimension that you enter when you throw a bottle of potion down on the ground and it transforms into a door. And suddenly you have a choice of characters? NOBODY wants to play with Toadstool! And the Princess? Are you kidding me? This NOT fucking Mariokart or Mario Tennis. This is Super Mario Bros, which means the characters should be the brothers Mario and Luigi....and no one else. Its simply inexplicable.

I read an intersting post on The Success Blog (link is on sidebar) which briefly reflected on the notion that the best things in life are not found...they find you. I don't know if that's entirely true. Pleasant surprises aside, if you don't put yourself in position to be found, you won't be. And in the case of people, I think its reciprocal. Two people postion themselves to be found...and they hope. Through love, they end up finding each other. Right now I'm positioning....and hoping.

Where are you?

Songs of the Moment:
Ratatat-El Pico
-Electronica...but brilliant...Like a musical story, fill in your own lyrics.

Radiohead-No Surprises
I find myself disagreeing with...but somehow identifying with Radiohead's lyrics. And the music is incredible.


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