Sunday, June 30, 2013

Daily Routine - A Rut or A Requirement?

The morning routine.  At least the first 2 1/2 hours.
Ruts and graves.  Ruts are just long graves.  I've said it before, and I admit it is not my original thought, but I recognize its truth.  My morning rut is as illustrated above.

Is it so much a rut as a system? I wonder if this morning ritual is needed to maintain tranquility?  I think from my cat's perspective, yes.  He is without a doubt dependant on me for his subsistence.  As a multitude of cat fanciers have shared that cats want your ass up when they are ready to eat.  Mine is no different.  I can put him off some days without much of a fight, others he makes his presence and desires well known.  His favorite thing to do is lick my head board.  The headboard is wood, actually a re-purposed restaurant door, and the cat's sandpaper like tongue on the wood sounds just like he is sanding.  He'll continue to lick for moment, then look over at me to see if he has gotten a rise.  If not he goes back to licking.  If this is unsuccessful, he leaps to the top of the headboard and stands on one of the end post and leers at me like a buzzard.  Eventually he wins due to my pure good heart.  And people say I don't have empathy.  He likes his rut.  

What about my almost OCD regularity of my bowels?  How the hell I ever got on a schedule there I don't know, but I am.  Even when I'm out in the wilderness backpacking, no toilets for miles, at about the same time I feel the gentle knock at the back door.  Oh, I could ignore it, but then I'm just asking for a day of indigestion.  And admittedly, answering the door and letting 'um out, is quick, easy and satisfying on some weird level.  My butt likes its rut.

I'm pretty sure missing the Today Show is not a make or break part of the day, but I don't deviate too often from catching it while milling about the kitchen and eating my breakfast.  I've noticed over the years they are doing more and more stories that just make me sigh and think, "who the fuck gives a shit, REALLY!"  I'm surprised Matt Lauer, who seems to be a pretty sensible guy, who should have some control over the stories, allows some of the tripe to be aired.  I'm sure these feeling of mine, are more a sign with how truly disconnected I'm am with the real world.  The aveage American's appetite for nonsense is a bad rut.

Breakfast isn't always cereal, but it happens every morning, as it should.  It is the most important meal of the day.  So take that you 66% of the population that are FAT.  Get your asses out of bed, and give your body some fuel in the first hour.  Want a small butt, embrace this rut.

Oh the reports and emails. Now that is something I'd like to change.  What would be way cool is to replace that with drawing you cartoons.  Well that can't happen until cartooning can replace my current income. Which may not be too much of a bar to rise to if this year doesn't improve.  My rut is turning into a grave for sure.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Henry David Thoreau's, Walden, Hardest Book Ever To Follow

The rambling words of Thoreau still ring true today.  He could of just used a lot less words.

Have you ever tried to read something written over 150 years ago?  I've not, accept Shakespeare.  I got turned on to Henry David Thoreau by another author I was reading, Gary Bond, Rethinking Life on the Appalachian Trail: The 2008 Thru-hike of "Rethinker".  He mentioned several times how Thoreau's book "Walden" had inspired him to rethink his lot it life and what he had valued and coveted.  It all sounded right in line with my personal demons and thought I better read this Thoreau guy's stuff.  I downloaded several books, along with "Walden", to my Kindle for later.

Well, I've started reading "Walden" and right now I'm completely unimpressed.  It is the most rambling, disjointed style of writing I've ever had to read.  It has no sense of direction, or coherence.  It really just seems like a bunch of drunk talk from a frustrated individual.  ( I should know I've been there before).  Maybe that is just how the wrote pre-civil war.  If the yankees, Thoreau is from Massachusetts, all talked like he writes it is no wonder we had the war.

I'm going to keep pressing on to see if it ever becomes an actual story.  I can say to this point the general jest of it seems to touch on things that still ring true today.  Consumerism, putting on aires, being in debt up to your eyeballs for no damn good reason.  I illustrated one of his observations that most people don't own their home, never will, and only wind up working to keep the home and it becomes more of a prison or burden than a pleasure.  I paraphrased him, and I'm not even in the mood to elaborate more, you go read it.

8 Hours of Hiking - Better Than 8 Hours of Working

Backpacking and angry alien.

A Better Day.  Hmmm there's an idea.  Simple, but it just dawned on me a couple of weeks ago when I decided to get the hell out of the house and take a hike up a a nearby mountain.  The main driver was the rain storms.  It had been a pretty rainy day with more storms due, and the urge to go walk in the rain over came me.   It just sounded like an adventure.  To willingly allow myself to become soaked.  No cares.  No worries.

I wasn't able to convince any family member to join me.  They just couldn't see the appeal of purposely getting soaked.  They didn't seem to get the idea that it was no big deal.  It was an experience.  We'd just dry out.  We didn't have to be anywhere in our dry clothes.  It wasn't important that our hair be neat.  Bottom line no big deal to be wet.  (Hell if I wouldn't get arrested for nudity, I'd love to have walked naked in the rain).

It was while I was on the mountain top waiting for the next band of thunderstorm clouds to roll in, sitting on an outcropping of rocks, that it dawned on me.  A day sitting in the rain is better than a day sitting in the house.  AHH-HAA.  A Better Day.  These ideas just started flowing, Hiking 8 hours - Better than working 8 hours, Sleeping with snakes - Better than working with snakes, Cramps from workinig out - Better than monthly cramps, A bear in the woods - better than a bear in the stock market, and so on.

These Better Day quips were happy thoughts.  Maybe people would like to buy shirts and shit with happy thoughts and sentiments.  Maybe this is just the idea I need to spark things in my online store.

Those rains did finally come, and it poured and it was fabulous.  I was sopping wet and didn't care a bit.  It was a few days later, after loading pictures of my excursion in the rain to my personal Facebook page, that I noticed the last backpacking pictures I posted were nearly a year ago.  July 2012 to be exact.  No wonder I've been going nearly insane.  I've not been in the out of doors for ever.  I used to get out once a month.  How the hell did that happen?  Well I resigned to correct that, and planned a trip to the Appalachian Trail for the next week.

I did get to the AT, and knocked out 20 miles from Neel's Gap to Unicoi Gap in less than a day and a half.  I did it alone, with two nights of camping, just a lot of alone time.  It did wonders for my mood and sanity.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I'm Dying. I Just Didn't Expect To Care.

Random doodles of the last few days.

Every week this year I see another classmate from high school pop up on Facebook turning 50. 
I'm the youngest in my class, maybe the second youngest, (I can't even be the best at that) so I don't turn 50 until late December this year.  This thought has been nagging at me for weeks now because of an observation I made.  One of my classmates, Tom Hill (yea I'm calling you out) who turned 50, commented on Facebook:

"Let the good times "roll" for another half century!"

It was right then and there that my mortality stood up and smacked me in the face.  It was right then, that my analytical mind took over, tied up and gagged my more hopeful, wishful thinking, fantasying, creative mind.  Right then I realized the lunacy, or impracticality of the idea of doubling my age ever again.

Doubling my age may never happen again!!!

Yea, at 25, if the thought even crossed your mind, it was no far stretch to believe or exclaim you could live as many more years as you'd already lived. This kind of forward looking, expectation of doubling your age may continue forever, but dreams and expectations set aside doubling your age actually ends at age 39. Yea, 39, according to the life expectancy tables if you are 39 years old you can expect to live another 39 years. At 38 it is 40, and 40 it is 38 years left.

78 years is your average American males time on earth!

Holly shit! At 50 I'm left with 29 years. Seems the longer you live the more time you get, as in if you make it to 79, you get another 8 years, if you make it to 87 then you earn 5, and at 92 you have 3 and so one.  It seems to be an infinite progression because at 115 you still get another year.  I guess no one has figured out that one birthday that it all ends for anyone.  

I've only got 29 years left!?  

Hell, I've not been able to accomplish what I wanted in 50 years, albeit 20 of those were years I didn't have too much control over, so really the last 30 have been mine to manage.  Okay, so maybe I've got 50 years to build on the 30 I've used thus far, but then again maybe not.  Probably not.  There is no presumption of doubling.  I'm on the short end now.  The down slope.  I'm dying! And I really care that I don't know when, but I understand it is less time than I've lived.  I really don't like this fact!

I always assumed I'd live to 113, more specifically the year 2076.  Why?  Well that is America's 300th anniversary, the Tricentennial.  I figured it would be fun to be the guy that gets interviewed on "The Today Show" as a guy who was there for the Bicentennial and now the Tricentennial.

Realizing I, more likely than not, (see that little glimmer of the hopeful mind) don't have another 50 years, that my time is really uncertain and likely shorter, has put me in a real state of, well despair.  What should I do?  It just doesn't make sense to continue in the rut of a life I've created, but I fear the ruts may be so deep there is no escape.  Old saying, the difference in a rut and a grave is the grave is only 6 feet long (attributed to Garon Allen).  

I can't fully elaborate on all the thoughts I've had recently regarding being on the down hill side of life.  But the common theme is I'm going to be really pissed off if I'm not given my 29 years because, from my perspective, right now, that is in no way, shape or form nearly enough time for me to complete my list of shit I want to do.  My dread is not like the dread someone may have that any day an accident could occur.  It is the dread that is an undeniable fact, I'm going to have to die, and it will be here sooner than later.

The trip is going to come to an end and I don't want it to.  I really want to live forever, just to see what happens, not because I'm afraid of dying.  The actual act of dying doesn't concern me, it is the fact of the end.  Remember I'm a guy that doesn't like to leave a party, how the hell do you expect me to like the idea of leaving life.  I'm always concerned with what I didn't experience or see.

Bottom line, I'm dying, you're dying, it sucks and I really care.