Summertime

Posted in General on July 21st, 2010 by josh

I’m pretty sad about someone special moving away.
Otherwise, things are good. I’m speaking at Defcon in a week and a half and going to join my brother on a bike tour from LA to Seattle. I’ll be joining in Oregon.

What I need.

Posted in General on April 18th, 2010 by josh

Well, I suppose it’s about time for an update:

Friends are leaving, someone I care about is leaving, change is happening all around from the pieces I don’t care about any longer to the things close to my heart and in my soul. Change is even happening to me, but it’s small compared to the kind of change I really need. My need is for a change in scenery. It needs to be a change that’s so drastic that who I am today is like some sort of strange dream. I don’t go to bars and clubs any more. I don’t care for what I used to. I don’t want to go out, hook up, be the scene or any of that stuff that was so important for my twenties. It’s been like this for awhile, but I’m just starting to wonder: What do I do instead?

One plan is to get an RV and live in it. I’m actually working towards the plan now. I’m saving up and am learning some programming so I can work from anywhere. My ideal situation is to be in the deserts of Montana. I’ll work as I feel like it and otherwise spend my time following other pursuits while the large sky and lack of people and chaos I can no longer handle lets my mind slow down.

I think I’ve written about this before, but it feels relevant to this post as well as my life in general. When I used to do ballet in my teen years, I was once at the studio. I was the only person there except for the instructor and piano player. After my class, the piano player and I were talking. He said he could read palms, so I asked him to read mine. He said, “You will have a very long and full life, but you’ll end up alone”.
Now, I don’t know if I’m making that come true or if it’s actually happening, but I have such a hard time taking anything with almost anyone to the “next level”. The one’s who work out have other things going on and it keeps them from being with me. The one’s who don’t work out, well, they just don’t work out.
Besides the RV dream, I have a dream of companionship. Real and lasting companionship in which we do things together but are not co-dependent. And by doing things together, I mean we get to share our lives, homes, beds and selves until we grow old.

I want it and need it.

I see life as a flowing river and we are bits or maybe the water floating or flowing down it. We’re going to get to the lake or ocean eventually, but during the journey, we’ll be hitting all sorts of things and turning over and over. I have enjoyed the Universe carrying me through and have rarely pushed back to go a certain direction, but it’s time for me to make a little more effort and swim in a direction I want to go.
So far, I’ve pushed back a little. It’s been primarily self-improvement.
I’ve definitely (and finally) become comfortable with myself thanks to Bikram Yoga and other exercise, eating right, sleeping, minimizing my things and mental processes along with other practices.
Next is to ask the Universe for everything to work out so the companionship I want and need works out in a way that is best for me and my partner.

Being present in relationships & with yourself

Posted in General, SimpleFocus.org on March 23rd, 2010 by josh

This is from my second post on my other blog: simplefocus.org

A lot of relationships I’ve been in generally end up like this:
We spend a lot of time together doing things. In the downtime, we hang out and watch tv or sit around doing things on our computers.

It’s nice to work on your projects and enjoy downtime with someone you’re seeing, but I’ve only had one relationship where these kinds of things didn’t happen.
That pattern goes like this: We see each other between 1 and 3 times a week and each time, the computer is put away, there’s no TV on. We cook, eat and spend time together. There are no distractions because there’s only one thing to focus on, and it’s more important than anything else: Each other.

Looking back over all the those focused times, I see those interactions as the building blocks of a complete and wonderful relationship. I can remember all the times with a clarity that most of my other relationships don’t have.
Of course, there are going to be times when two people are going to just want to hang out while doing other things, but those moments should not be the norm. That stuff can be done when there isn’t a person you like or love sitting next to you. Time is precious and life is short. The people in your life who are present at a specific moment deserve 100% of your attention.

This morning, during my drive to work, I was listening to the NPR program, To the best of our Knowledge. The subject was about noise. A woman being interviewed talked about her practice over that last 17 years of being completely silent every first and third Monday.
One of the things she has learned is that we feel almost obligated to remain busy.
We have constant self-imposed distractions, such as checking email, websites, listening to podcasts, music or whatever. It’s rare that we take a moment to just be quiet.
I started thinking about relationships in which both people remain present with each other while listening to this program. After a while, I narrowed down my thoughts about this topic to myself, or the individual.
I was thinking that the wonderful feeling of clarity you can share with someone can be felt with yourself if you just give yourself the same kind of undivided attention.
If we can take actual time for ourselves; real time where we don’t watch, listen, read and/or produce something, we can start to build relationships with ourselves.

Just start being present with yourself. Set aside blocks of time to sit in silence or to walk and feel your body and watch your thoughts roll by. As time goes on, you will gain a sense of clarity and understanding of yourself. This practice can build a person up from the inside out and create an inner focus and confidence that others will instinctively pick up.
I believe that if we can pull ourselves away from the need to be doing ten things at once and just give ourselves 100% of the attention, we can become fully realized who and what we are. This will carry over into all kinds of relationships, whether they are intimate, professional, friendly or casual. You’ll know what your body and mind need instead of blindly fumbling through the world surrounded by visual, spatial and auditory noise.

Be present with yourself and the rest will follow.

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Cryptic sad post…

Posted in General on February 28th, 2010 by josh

Been really sad lately. A change with what feels like an uncertain outcome is coming in my life and I have no power over it. It’s not the loss of power, but the change that makes me sad.
I’ve been trying so hard to just focus on getting ready for my show and working, but it’s difficult right now.
Work is still a great job and I have great friends and everything, but I just feel lonely because this one major thing in my life is changing. It makes it harder when I’m supposed to just go to work and be a normal person. I want a big change as well.
I’ve finally found something I’ve been searching for for a long time but soon it’ll be far away. Maybe everything will still be fine with some work, but it sucks.
Additionally, it’s kind of messing with my living situation. I’ve been loving living in my place in Oakland for a year now after having a hard time with it the year before, but not knowing anyone else in Oakland has left me feeling isolated and sad. With this change, I can see my home once again becoming a place that I want to avoid, but it’s not like it used to be when I used to want to avoid it. This time, there’s nowhere else that I can go to feel comfortable. I don’t want to move to SF, nor do I want to move somewhere else in the east bay. I don’t want to be in the south bay just so I can be closer to work. I don’t think I want to be anywhere near here. I think it would be best if I went to another place far away to give me what I want. I don’t think I can come home anymore when things actually change.

Still, I’m hopeful and will definitely be putting forth the effort to remain happy.

Change of schedule, other updates

Posted in General on February 23rd, 2010 by josh

In Jan, I changed work schedules. I used to work noon to 11 pm, but now I work 6 am – 5 pm and it’s awesome. When I sleep in, it’s only until 8 am.

Other things:
Music is going. I’m preparing for a show in about 2 weeks.
Work is fine.
I’m going to try snowboarding for the first time this Thursday.
My parents are flying to New Zealand on Sunday. I’m hoping I’ll be able to join them for a week. My sister, her husband and their friend are already out there to continue their ‘around-the-world’ sailboat trip. They took a little break for about 7 months so they could get home, work and save some more money, but now they’re back. I think they might be heading out into the water in a month or so. Meanwhile, my parents will be staying in a rented RV. If I can get out there, I’ll be camping.

Bike ride

Posted in General on December 4th, 2009 by josh

I got a new bike about two weeks ago and haven’t really had the chance to take it out for a proper ride until today.

I used a program on my iphone to record all sorts of things about the ride. Unfortunately, I didn’t turn it on until maybe 1.5 hours into the ride. Here’s what I did record:

east bay ride 12/4/09 (Road Biking) | Berkeley, CA, USA

A MILLION DOLLARS….sheesh!

Posted in General on October 23rd, 2009 by josh

Today, I spent so much money on just my car.
My registration expired about 6 months ago, but for some reason, I was slacking on getting it done. Even after all that time, I wasn’t pulled over or stopped by any officers until last Tues. An officer pulled me over in Menlo park for the registration, but he said I had a warrant for some sort of traffic violation in SF and gave me a new court date instead of arresting me (which was very nice of him).

The next day, I was in the police blotter. The day after that, my police blotter thing was in one of the newspapers. That’s fantastic..
It said I was arrested, even though I wasn’t.

Then, driving home last night, I was pulled over again. This time, the officer took a look at my previous ticket and let me go. Both officers were very nice, but I’ve had enough. I transferred $800 from my IRA sometime last week and it finally became available today.
This morning, I paid a bunch of way overdue parking tickets. Then I went and got my smog test done. After that, I went to the DMV cause I wanted the sticker now, not next week. One of the tickets I paid this morning was included on my bill for the registration, so I paid it twice. The DMV person said I had to go to the Oakland parking division to get a refund, so now, after all those tickets, the smog test and the big registration fee, I’m out $902. Holy crap.

All this is especially terrible given that I got a red light violation in Menlo park sometime in Aug. I paid it in Sept. It was about $500, which is ridiculous. The worst part is that I remember the light was yellow when I went through it. However, the video I watched of me going through the light shows it as red for a few seconds before I even got to the light. I still have to finish traffic school and take a test in front of a notary public before Dec.

Still to deal with:

  1. Two parking tickets I couldn’t find online
  2. Two NEW parking tickets (one for an expired registration and one for street cleaning). To be paid after 11/1/09.
  3. My warrant court date and $290 fee. To be dealt with by late Nov.
  4. Finding an officer to dismiss my the registration ticket the officer gave me.
  5. Finish traffic school for the red light violation (I hate menlo park).
  6. Take traffic school test in front of notary public.

….and then to make it just a little more special, I get to do Alameda county Jury Duty in Nov. Basically, I get to visit all sorts of state government offices and have a lack of money. Prematurely withdrawing from my IRA is not really something I like, but it really helped me. I paid a lot of money cause of some stupid mistakes, but I’m almost back to normal.

Europe…

Posted in General on August 24th, 2009 by josh

I’m heading to Europe in Sept. I fly to Frankfurt via Canada and then hop on a 4 hour train to Berlin. I could have continued flying to Berlin through Frankfurt, but would have had to wait in the airport for about 6 hours. It may be exhausting, but it’s better to get on a train and see the country.
Bruce and Rob are visiting Europe for separate reasons, but it just happens that we are all going to be there at the same time, so we’ll be spending the first 2 or 3 days together in Berlin. After that, I may go with Rob to Munich while Bruce heads to Paris to spend some time with Sam (his wife). We may meet again in Prague. I know I’m going to Prague, but am not sure yet when it will be. I only have 10 days, so I have to be very efficient with my travels.
I do know that the majority of my time will be spent in Berlin and Prague. I’ll also be visiting Amsterdam, Paris and hopefully Munich. Towards the end of the trip, I’ll make my way to wherever my parents are, which may be the most difficult part. They are in Norway and heading towards England, Scotland or Ireland. Getting there is quite costly and may require a plane ride if I don’t want to do a 15 hour train or boat ride. I’ll have one night with them. They’re traveling Europe in an RV, but it’s small, so I’ll be camping in a tent for that night.
My main plan though is to sleep on trains at night on route to my destinations. I’ll stay at least one night in a hostel in most cities in order to see the city at night and for at least one complete day. I’m going to rent a bike in all the cities I visit to see as much as possible (and because I love riding bikes!). I’ve sold a bunch of stuff on ebay and am doing a yard sale next weekend for extra cash.

It’s just too bad I only have 10 days. Rob has 3 and a half weeks and Bruce has a month. Still, I feel fortunate for being able to do this and am really excited hang out with my parents in Europe!
I’m also looking at this as one of my first exploratory trips. I’ll go a few times and repeat this process of riding trains and staying wherever until I find a city or place where I might like to live for a year or two in a few years.

Milk and water

Posted in General on August 14th, 2009 by josh

Water: I’ve been completing my obligations to summer by doing a lot of swimming. Last weekend was canoeing in the Russian river and then kayaking in the bay of Sausalito. A month ago was a dicey rafting trip. I’ve also been swimming at various pools in the bay area, such as the koret center pool at USF in SF and pools at 24 hour fitness. There are a lot of cheap pools in the east bay that I want to hit up. When I’m not swimming for fun or exercise, I have been running east bay and sf trails.

Milk: I’ve been kind of bored or whatever of getting potentially set in my ways. Maybe I need a change…here’s what I’m going to try: giving up dairy for 30 days. I lived without it for the first 18-19 years of my life, so it shouldn’t be that difficult. I’ll be starting once my current stock of dairy is depleted. 30 days is good because it’s long enough that I would probably get used to it and keep going. Quitting lattes may be difficult, but I do enjoy black coffee and plain shots of espresso. Other difficult things to let go of: cheeseburgers, Mexican food that has lots of cheese, butter, chocolate milk, most deserts.

tired…also parents going to europe

Posted in General on July 5th, 2009 by josh

It’s been a long week and weekend. Did way too much driving, took a network analysis course for work that was awesome and I have a new work schedule that actually gives me 3 days off per week.
My parents are leaving for Europe for as long as 10 months. They’re going to stay in RV Parks in a rented or purchased RV and I’m going to try to visit them around September or Oct, depending on finances. I’m trying to pack in as much hang out time with them as possible before they go. They’re leaving as soon as they get an affordable ticket, so it could be any day now. I might drive out there again the night before they fly out and drive them to the airport even if it means I’ll lose a lot of sleep cause of work and whatnot. As we’re all getting older, I’m finding it really important that I spend as much time with them as possible. I have friends and everything, but it’s dawned on me that the parents will one day be gone and I don’t know how I’m going to handle that big of a change. They’re such great people and have really been great to me all my life. I regret any times I’ve avoided going to see them or meet up with them at the dreaded pier 39 when they come to visit.