Wednesday, September 30, 2009

fast cars, fine a$$ these things will pass and it won't get more profound

My nocturnal behavior of late afforded me the opportunity to finally watch 'meet joe back', 12 years after its release.  I had no idea Joe was death, and no idea I would enjoy the movie so much.

The first scene is striking yet tragic for hopeful romantics; striking b/c it can always happen, tragic b/c people are victims of societal devices.  People get so close yet so far.  The girls says something like 'It's so true it's scary.'

Later the father tells her daughter this --

Love is passion, obsession, someone you can't live without. If you don't start with that, what are you going to end up with? Fall head over heels. I say find someone you can love like crazy and who'll love you the same way back. And how do you find him? Forget your head and listen to your heart. I'm not hearing any heart. Run the risk, if you get hurt, you'll come back. Because, the truth is there is no sense living your life without this. To make the journey and not fall deeply in love - well, you haven't lived a life at all. You have to try. Because if you haven't tried, you haven't lived.

This idealism of the finest sort is why I continue to walk alone.  If I'm chasing something abstract, so be it, the quest will last a lifetime.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

How I want that mystery, Let me dive 'til I believe, I had a dream you were two towns from me Got to sleep, spent the whole night running

Running on about 3-4 hours of sleep today in lieu of musical schedules.  I once read that eddie vedder used to stay up for days and then go surfing, hence writing songs like Alive.

I think many things have come to life in my subconscious which are floating up, changing habits and perceptions.

I see life back home more vibrant, and I often become anxious to re-engage, however, too much too soon.

Often I've pondered the difference b/w wanting and needing someone, here I'm developing a super clear delineation b/w the two as they pertain to my future.  There's not much I need moving forward, just to be understood, practically and potentially.


The physical texture of this situation is what's hard to describe.  There is no allure, excitement, aesthetic -- rather a drab tapestry that fades into the distance.

I've seen enough t-walls, dirt roads, and brown skies to last a lifetime.  The sunrise is beautiful, more so than back home -- at night, when the full moon rises, BAM, great light.

Monday, September 21, 2009

So, if you sit down heavy with your pen and ink, Or you’re talking to yourself while you’re scrubbing the sink

It's been a long time since I've clung to a band like the past few months with Roman Candle.

What makes me gravitate towards them?  Clear, concise lyrics -- While reading amazon review I see the album bashed because of the literal nature of the lyrics, and how that tends to get annoying.

My response, not everything has to be so damn ironical.  Next thing you know someone will bring a live duck on stage and squeeze a quack out of it at the opportune time, in much awe of the iphone laden crowd.

I think about the media and their fear factors and survivors and the slippery slop that they constantly have to slide down to up the ante.  Politics, religion, the economy, relationships, photo shopped objects of your affection, you name it, its been polarized, sensationalized and altered.

I've made a concerted effort in life to be one of those that SLAMS on the breaks of this nonsense.  Life is a balance between patience and tolerance, and people who understand that usually make balanced and informed decisions.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Four times is once too much for love That's how many times the clock struck, I wandered home, saying your name

Often I think about what would some of my musical heroes (Billy Bragg, Neil Hannon of the Divine Comedy, Sondre Lerche, Ben Folds, the gang from Belle and Sebastian, and of course Neil Finn of Crowded House) do out here staring at this ambiguity everyday.

I'm certain their imagination would keep them company, and this point would be a stark point of contrast for life moving forward.

Often I'm thrust back to vivid imagery in the past. I recall 10 pm sunlight at Park Bar Edinburgh Scotland, walking home at 4 am speaking to a roughneck working in the rugged land up north.  I recall a gal telling my friends they danced like wildebeests, and the perfect 4 leaf clover made on the top of my Guinness by the barkeep.

Flash forwarding I'd love to experience rain falling on a lonely tenement, as in Belle and Sebastian's Get me Away from Here I'm dying.  I will add that to my color pallet in Eastern Euro one day while focusing my studies on building micro economies in a globalized world.  It's hard looking forward, getting caught up in daydreams; while the mind is grown, my immediate environment is a perpetual skipping record.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

So we can walk around and we can laugh all night, it's hard to fit a lot of years in a Friday night, cause there always seems to be something left to say

15 year class reunion next year.  When I was a younger lad I couldn't wrap my head around this sentiment.  I once read that at your 10 year anniversary, you show up in a BMW and say, hey, look how cool and successful I am, at 20 years, you show up in a minivan and check the ego at the door and actually have more fun.

I look back at the strange trip its been since graduating 27th out of 44 class of 1995 Shiner Texas.  I got accepted to the fine Texas State University on academic probation and proceeded to make the deans list first semester b/c I finally read the f*cking manual.  After that, my attitude was 'I don't need to stinking study too hard.'

Today I know there are many things that require you to put on your thinking cap.  I have always been quick to cast stones on different ideas and agendas where a supporting nudge in the direction of choice would have been much better.

I spend my days learning about growth, the game we thrust on ourselves; its seemingly the only barometer for defining success.  I like money -- One track mindedness brings us to this day.

I will spend my time and energy interjecting sustainability and aesthetic into our one sided definition of virtue, as a product of this, I'll win big time at the game we play.

Fast forward to 15, 20, 25 year reunions, I will have stories to tell and I hope to be able to share them with someone.  Conversation with someone who gets you is the biggest factor in human happiness.

Toasting to world peace, Baghdad Iraq --

Monday, September 07, 2009

Tenants of the house, Thoughts of a dry brain in a dry season

Switching between Bon Jovi's New Jersey album and's TS Eliot poetry samples leaves me with a nice balance for the day.

That's what you got here in Baghdad, scenarios and environmentals that will condition you for a bright future.  I've come to really like it out here, although I don't want to stay a day longer than needs be.

The body out here develops attributes like that of a date tree; needs little water and provides a nice fruit.  My will power will be fully tested when back home drinking from the fountain of plenty.

It's amazing whats at the post exchange, everyday commodities like toiletries and basic foods on one side, and electronics of all sorts on the other.  Has society become that ingrained with technology as to need it alongside bread and water?

This experience has made me cherish moments back home.  I miss waking up hangover-less with a cup of green tea, shower, and access to 'mp3 blog Saturdays,' days in which i troll the blogs for new music and listen whilst preparing for day, weekend, week, month, and long term goals and visions.

Here you have your work life and sleep, and time for gym and chow here and there in between.  The downtime comes in very short segments, and your tolerance for even the most moderate personalities is tested.

I doubt after this experience I'll ever have the conviction to raise my voice at anyone (as if I really ever have).  Life's too short for that, as the quote says, an argument just interrupts a good conversation.

This is a dry country (not county), and its been 120 days since I've had a beer.  I'm looking ahead to predict consumption patterns when returning to reality, my prediction, only on special occasions, and days that end in 'Y' don't constitute special occasions.

I ordered 5 new retail for 72 dollar Lacoste shirts on ebay for 125.  Why?  Because the 7 $12 gap shirts I brought out for the occasion have shrunk, I believe the washing method is drenching your clothes in boiling water.  According to the documentary 'Iraq for Sale', each bag of laundry runs 99 bucks to wash.  You sure could buy some viagara for that money back home.

I came out here and couldn't do one pullup, now I can do 7 in a row.  I came out not knowing what a 'dip' was, now I can do 30 in a row.  I walk 1 mile to work and back twice a day.  I do the wimpy treadmill for 30 minutes on a good day, 28 on a bad one.

The average temp since touchdown I'd say is about 110.  Often you have these storm type atmospheres, where back in Texas would be followed by rain, here there is no rain.  A buddy of mine said it sprinkled in March for a few minutes, and there was a sort of rain last October, a festive occasion in which scores of people whipped out there digital cams to take pics of the concrete.

The stench, filth, litter and civil disobedience can be at times uncanny, but much is kept in check by keeping the money flowing to company coffers.

When I look back on this 10 years from now, what I'll remember is valiant effort against monumental issues, having no idea how its going to all play out --

Saturday, September 05, 2009

I Can't Say for Certain Honey Where I'm Bound, Got no Rich Relations got no extra time

But there's one thing I've learned for fact, There's a Music You can Only Hear When You're Starting from Scratch

I let the beautiful words of Roman Candle fill my Bose noise cancelling headphones, I get whisked away to what I'm almost sure will be a more elegant time in life.

Tonight I think the pros and cons of integrating the past vs starting from scratch.  Often you mistake a blank piece of paper for one that's been written on too much and too often.

First I think, society makes it hard for one to start from scratch.  We have our affiliations, groups, families, friends, ideas, preconceived notions and environments.  On the contrary, we always wake up to a new day, we have opportunities that surround us everyday, and we make conscious decisions weather to partake or ignore.

My buddy posted a quote on facebook that said something like, 'life is a book, and for those who don't travel only read one page.'  I couldn't agree more. 

Travelling allows one to start from scratch and broader horizons.  While the experience allows you to flap your wings, it also enables you to distinguish different harmonies.  John Lennon and Paul McCartney had amazing harmonies; while we can't sing like these legends, we can develop these harmonies in our conventional lives only if we are able to acknowledge and distinguish their existence.

Eastern Europe has been my blank page for some time.  I'm allured to a much simpler life - the big box stores, advertising that subconsciously tries to manipulate my thoughts, and the game, as described by Neil Strauss is all too much.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

don't play neil young, don't play bob dylan, just let some high school emo rock band start versing and chorusing

Being deployed is much like prison, lots of time for reading and exercise.
My current favorite philosopher / statesman, Cicero of Ancient Rome, considered one of the most versatile minds of the time.
the books for the time, 29% done, 71% to go --

I have the keys in my mind, but no car for a while, probably a good thing -- 

You got a nice white dress and a party on your confirmation, You got a brand new soul,mmmm, And a cross of gold, But Virginia they didn't give you quite enough information

Something you won't hear in mainstream media who is entertaining and pitting American vs American in ideological battles.
  • The biggest market drop in 15 months seems to be because the institution investors in Shanghai decided to initiate a big sell off.  The Shanghai index is largely off limits to foreign investment.  It's grown over 50% this year, and now has contracted 23%.  What it certainly means is that we as a nation are losing the ability to hedge.  At one point we were the Atlas that the free world could trust for growth and stability, we've lost that trust, time will tell if we'll ever get it back.
  • Anytime something big is purchased on credit, (house, car, lots of consumer debt) it gets bundled into collateral, which usually lands in a US Treasury bill, which most of the world owns at a cool return on investment percentage.  China has a 1.7 trillion dollar credit, if our tbills don't hold their value, we both lose.
  • Our money machines in this country are going overtime printing money.  The reason, someone has to spend, we can't just act like their aren't any implications to the mass consumerism stoppage.  China sees our printing presses going and does the same but in double time, thus begins their transition from a more export based economy to a more consumer based economy.
  • China has been looking outward since the 70's, after a very sad history century under Chairman Mao.  China Road is an excellent book that catalogues all the onion layers of the developing nation as they integrate their people and religions; Confucianism, Islam, Buddhism, atheism and the rest.
  • Opportunists have been heading east, people who strive for stability have been heading for the Euro
  • A quote from China Road goes something like this, "We've ran the race and reached our destination and now have poured ourselves a big cold one, out east, the journey is just beginning"
It's something our great nation is forgetting, "Live together, Die Alone"