Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Magnetic Personality...

I put very little stock in the "fortunes" in so-called fortune cookies. They do, however, at times provide amusement... And at times provide interesting food go thought. So I like them, and I take them, when offered.

One was offered to me today, in an indirect sort of way (a bin of them left out at a business I frequent), so I took one. It tells me:

"You have a magnetic personality."

It has a little picture of a rose, with leaves (seemingly still on the living plant) next to it.

A magnetic personality, huh?

So what happens if two people with magnetic personalities meet? I guess it would depend on which poles were facing which directions, wouldn't it? Maybe they'd attract, super strongly. Maybe they'd repel each other.

Or maybe they'd start with the former, and then somehow a pole would flip, and they'd repel. Is that what it is? Is that how it works?

Or maybe the metaphor is just bunk, since I'm not really so very magnetic as all that.

Just random musings.

Palo Alto and Mountain View...

Random Observation: CalTrain #324, an express train southbound from San Francisco to San Jose, was quite full when I boarded, at the Hillsdale station this morning (2013-06-19). In Palo Alto, I think more than half the train cleared out. In Mountain View, almost everyone else left. There are now two people, besides me, in the visible seating (about 5/12ths) of the car I'm in, whose only other stop is San Jose.

From this, it seems to me, one of two things can be inferred - though it's possible it's a mix of these, and likely that I'm missing some possibilities:

(1) Living in San Francisco is desirable enough to commute down to high-paying silicon valley jobs, and/or:

(2) a bunch of people who work in Palo Alto can't afford to live in Palo Alto.

Just randomly thought that was an interesting thought. I wonder what the reality is, behind why people were on that train.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

An onymous rambling...

I suppose the title carries a false construction.  I care, but not enough to find a better title.  Hopefully my meaning comes through: It's a named rambling... not anonymous, but onymous... were that a word.

And what am I rambling about today?  Well, I'll start with the idea of anonymity.  I was thinking of starting an anonymous blog today... because I have some things to say that I'd prefer to keep anonymous.  And yet, I figure the NSA would know quickly enough who was writing it.  And google would, too.  I'd have to go to great lengths to keep my writing truly anonymous.  I might not even be able to at all.  So why bother?  Not to mention, it's been proven to me before that my way of writing is unique enough that people who know me can recognize me, just by my words.  So even if I managed to allude any technical ways of uncovering my identity in the world of digital identity (writing things offline, uploading them on some library or Internet cafe computer or something), I'd still be identifiable. So what's the point?

So I'm writing today under my usual identity, fully revealed, totally unconcealed.  Will I write the same words this way?  Probably not.  But I don't know what I'm going to write, just yet, I'm simply writing.  I probably will touch on at least some of it.

For example, I think I'll go ahead and write publicly (for good or for ill) about a certain experience I have sometimes... one I had this morning, upon my first waking, though it's certainly not new.  I sensed a bit of pain in my chest... high up, a little to the left.  Was it my heart?  Perhaps.  Perhaps it was just gas (I certainly have some, sometimes... as those who have spent nights with me will know), though, pressing on a nerve that also serves that region.  Or perhaps it was anxiety.  Who knows?  I don't.  I do know that I specifically have not sought medical attention for it.  I have, at times, checked my pulse, and it's seemed quite normal and calm in those moments.  And it's not yet amounted to anything.  And when I have gotten blood pressure taken, as a matter of course for other medical attention (regular check-ups, whatever), it's been quite normal.  Not that there couldn't be some erratic condition, I suppose.  But here's the thing: In these moments... and really, even as I write these words... I wish for there to be something wrong.  I wish for my heart to fail.  For I do not wish to live in this world anymore, and yet I do not wish to take my own life.

There.  I said it.  "Out loud", for the world to be able to read.  Will I regret it?  Oh, who knows.  I doubt that many will read this... and the few who do will probably already have known that, at least to some degree.  Perhaps I'll get other readers, though, who simply know what it's like to want to die, yet want to avoid suicide.

You see, suicide is an act that's seen by many as cowardly.  Frankly, I disagree, and maybe I'll go into that at some point.  For now, though, just knowing that that's how its seen is enough to "puzzle the will", as Hamlet put it.  And not even because I care so very much about being deemed a coward.  I am one, after all, to not face up to this opinion and do what I please.  No, that's not it.  Instead, it's that I fear that my departure would go mis-understood, and in doing so, lose some of my chance for having some useful impact on the world.  Not to mention the shortening of my life, to use my own words.  Which I guess is why I'm here.  I do want to have some impact on the world, somehow... to show people that things could be better than they are, in myriad ways.  More than myriad, for that's too countable a sum.  And the population of humans, too uncountable.

There are simply too many of us.  We need to reduce our numbers.  And by "need" I truly mean that it is a necessity - one that will be carried out for us, if we don't do it ourselves.  And that's a great fear of mine... that we won't do enough to reduce our numbers ourselves, through conscious, intentioned act, and that it will then be done for us - by our own actions, but not our intent, per se.  We'll create climatic disruptions, or other such things, that will disrupt our ability to feed the 7,039,670,585+ of us humans that currently are estimated to live on this earth.  And then there'll be increased hunger.  And increased hunger will increase anger, and thus fighting, and thus deaths... and thus decrease population.  Probably, the way I figure it, by a lot.

We could probably avoid the fighting, though, if we'd simply stop growing our population.  For growth cannot go on forever.  That hamster is impossible, as hopefully a few of you already know.  (And if you don't understand the math behind this, don't take it from me - take it from Al Bartlett, and his explanation of the exponential function.)

But I'm getting off topic, in a way.  This is all relevant to my personal feelings about things, but it's only one factor, and my intention was to talk about me, here.  Not that I'm trying to be a narcissist or something.  Rather, that I believe expressions of personal experience are important, somehow.  People resonate with personal stories... so I'll tell you a little of mine, to help you see the...

Err, sorry.  Massive interruption of my flow.  More later.  Maybe.  Urgh, I was in such a good flow when I typed 90% of this yesterday... Now...... not so much.  Sorry to be vague, but I'm just not prepared to type about the current situations.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Back in the U. S. of A.

Well, it's been over a week now, I guess it's time to finally write about it.  I'm back in Seattle.  Not entirely by choice, and it certainly wasn't my plan, though there are also certainly good aspects to this.

Hmm, is it story time?  I was imagining writing out a long account of the story, and sharing it here.  Part of me wonders how much of the story really ought to be told in public, though, so I'm feeling shy about it.  Here's the short version, anyway, just so anyone following (do I have followers?  I seem to get some page views... not sure where from, though) has some idea, at least.

So, I was in Berlin.  Feeling pretty happy there, though I was starting to get the travel bug again, off and on.  Anyway, my application for an Artist Visa was denied.  This was early March. I was told by the person I brought with me to the Ausländerbehörde (their immigration office) to help me translate, that I could submit some letters of support, and maybe it would get re-considered.  The actual paperwork, though, only gave me an option for a flat-out appeal, in the courts.  Well, the former seemed accessible, and I tried it... and was instructed that no, it had to go to the court.  I wasn't feeling particularly prepared to engage at that level, so, I opted to follow the instructions and leave by April 2nd.

So, I booked a flight to London, for March 31st.  And I did my Abmeldung (de-registration of residence), and I took the papers to the passport control (where there was some misunderstanding, but that's for the detailed version, if/when I ever give it -  I think it was basically OK... I hope it was basically OK), and all that, and got on a plane to the UK.

On that plane, they gave me an immigration form, and then at Heathrow, I waited in the line, and then handed it over to the border control officer there.

Well, apparently saying that my stay would be "3-6 months" on the little form was a bit... question-inducing, because she started asking me a bunch of questions.  And ultimately, detained me (and my passport, separately).

And there's a whole long story there, that I was thinking of sharing.  Maybe I will sometime.  Suffice it for the moment to say that it involved lots of waiting in a waiting room in the airport, lots of searches, of me (luckily, nothing too invasive, unless you count the fingerprinting as invasive) and my stuff (much more invasive, especially the part where they seemed to be reading through, and eventually took for a while, my private notebook), some paddy-wagon-like van rides, to and from a place called Colnbrook, where I had a bed (luckily, in a room to myself) for a few hours (only about 5, only some of which were spent sleeping), and then was put on a flight back to somewhere I'd be guaranteed entry... the U.S.  Specifically, Seattle.

I was finally given my passport back only after I was on the ground at SeaTac airport.  Luckily, I breezed right through the US border checkpoint in SeaTac.  And now, here I am.  Wondering what's next.

Part of me wants to re-group in Seattle.  Part of me wants to dump off a bunch of stuff, go lighter-weight on my travels, and just up and wander around the states for a while... maybe try to hit all 50 or something...  hmm, a week in each state, for a year's activity?  Just thought of that as I was typing... could be interesting.

Part of me wants to fly off to Laos or the Dominican Republic or somewhere inexpensive.

Part of me wants to...  well, I'm going to leave that part out of the public record.  I know for a fact (really, I have paperwork to prove it) that some things I say on the Internet can get seen later by decision-makers in various places (insurance companies, governments, what have you), and... somehow, that's part of what's making me shy to write freely.  Which sucks.  And maybe someday I'll say fuck it, and just write my experience.  But...

For now, I'll just let people know that I'm state-side again... with mixed feelings about it... and looking for places to stay, in Seattle or elsewhere... rent-free would be lovely, though not necessarily required.  If you've got a place I could crash - for a day or a year, or anywhere in between, get in touch and let me know.  Meanwhile, I'll be finding things, somewhere.  And posting photos on my flickr stream now and again.  From somewhere.  Flickr even makes a map of my recent photos, if you want more updates than are likely to happen here.