Monthly Archives: June 2004

Sandbanks '04

Thumbnail: Sandbanks '04 LeSabre Custom
Thumbnail: Sandbanks '04 Chill
Thumbnail: Sandbanks '04 Kate
Thumbnail: Sandbanks '04 Strawberries

Went to Sandbanks on the week­end. The weath­er was good, but danced from one extreme to the oth­er along the course of the day. It was Trolley, Tomacini, Kate, Adam, and Eric on one site, Aaron, Karen, Nick, Alison, and me on anoth­er about 20 paces away. It was quite a dif­fer­ent crew from the one I’m used to, but def­i­nite­ly the one I was most com­fort­able around. These are the peo­ple who nev­er ask for mon­ey, who talk to you like you’re fam­i­ly, whom you can depend on to find some orange juice if you’re hav­ing a bad trip. We only got in trou­ble one night, but we were admit­ted­ly loud. Our attempts to thwart such prob­lems by intro­duc­ing our­selves to neigh­bour­ing camp­sites proved fruit­less, as we were informed that the noise we were pro­duc­ing was being heard in a larg­er radius than expect­ed. I took up posi­tion as the token Asian guy (keepin it cool) and Adam resumed his usu­al role as the token homo­sex­u­al (keepin it fresh). The week­end went by quick­ly.

Thumbnail: Sandbanks '04 Campfire 1
Thumbnail: Sandbanks '04 Campfire 2

Aside from steak, the best part of camp­ing is the camp­fire. When the decid­u­ous trees flick­er orange and the stars nor­mal­ly hid­den by the city light show them­selves against the navy blue sky. There’s some­thing about the heat and the atmos­phere that puts the mind at ease. Nobody cares if one speaks too much or too lit­tle, puts on some head­phones and lis­tens to music, intox­i­cates, or pulls out a book and reads. It’s where every­one can do their own thing, togeth­er.

Thumbnail: Sandbanks '04 beach 1
Thumbnail: Sandbanks '04 beach 2
Thumbnail: Sandbanks '04 beach 3
Thumbnail: Sandbanks '04 beach 4

Sandbanks has an amaz­ing beach with large sand dunes, which makes it one of the most pop­u­lar camp­grounds, as well as one of the hard­est to reserve a site on (Trolley and I had this week­end booked since January). The sand is extreme­ly soft and smooth, and the beach end­ed up being the only refuge for a loud group, espe­cial­ly at night. It’s also where Adam was paid to mar­ket Gatorade to the homo­sex­u­al pop­u­la­tion (and the fun­ny thing is, Adam did his absolute best not to look gay in the pho­to­graph, but suc­ceeds only in the doing the exact oppo­site.) The cap­tion for the mag­a­zines would be, “ALL I DID WAS DRINK THIS GATORADE AND HOT GUYS STARTED LICKING STUFF OFF MY LEGS!”.

Aaron made his con­tri­bu­tion to the Ministry of Silly Walks.

Thumbnail: Sandbanks '04 plant saga 1
Thumbnail: Sandbanks '04 plant saga 2
Thumbnail: Sandbanks '04 plant saga 3
Thumbnail: Sandbanks '04 plant saga 4

At one point, Aaron and I had to steal some fire­wood from the oth­er site. We decide to give them some flow­ers in return as a joke. Aaron just hap­pened to pass by a bunch of daisies, and plucked them from the stem as we were leav­ing our area. Unfortunately, the entire plant became unroot­ed with almost no effort, from the flow­ers to the roots. After a quick twig-splint used to fix a man­gled stem, we plant­ed the daisies in the mid­dle of the oth­er camp­site. They stood out con­sid­er­ably, since they were over four feet in height, with noth­ing else around but grav­el and dirt. In return, Adam plant­ed a lit­tle vod­ka gar­den out­side our tents.

Doesn't This Always Happen?

Here I am, think­ing that I have at least a sin­gle month to get into a reg­u­lar writ­ing sched­ule, and sud­den­ly tons of things pile up, leav­ing me with no time to write. I sup­pose that being too busy is bet­ter than not being busy enough, espe­cial­ly with my his­to­ry of idle­ness.

The Last Of Guilt-Free Spending

I man­aged to spend more than a weeks salary over the week­end, on five dress shirts, a pair of shorts, Birkenstocks, a beanie, two ties, a tie bar, a tie rack, a vest, Four Swords Adventures, and beer. It was­n’t very dif­fi­cult; I’m meet­ing with a finan­cial plan­ner today, so I saw at my pur­chas­es as the last of my guilt-free spend­ing before I look into invest­ment options and bud­get con­sid­er­a­tions. Unfortunately, he’ll be giv­ing me advice based on how I risky I want to be, the age I want to stop work­ing, and the lifestyle I’d like to have at retire­ment. The prob­lem is that I haven’t decid­ed yet. I nev­er real­ly con­sid­ered the fact that I might live past 30. On top of that, I nev­er planned to retire. I don’t think I’d mind work­ing past 60, although the require­ment for this to hap­pen is that I enjoy my job then as much as I enjoy my job now.

Most peo­ple start to invest when they start a fam­i­ly, and need to con­sid­er the cost of rais­ing kids, includ­ing tuition fees, an extra mouths to feed, etc. I don’t plan on hav­ing a fam­i­ly, so I fig­ure I should just start now. Of course, as Pat says, ones life can change in a sin­gle day, even with the best laid plans, and I real­ly could­n’t agree more. I sim­ply see invest­ments as a sort of finan­cial safe­ty net.

The Zarathustra Sessions, Part 2: Progression

I have learned to walk: since then I have run. I have learned to fly, since then I do not have to be pushed in order to move.

Now I am nim­ble, now I fly, now I see myself under myself, now a god dances with­in me.

—Of Reading And Writing, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

A long time ago, maybe almost ten years ago, I met a guy who was the same age as me named Alvin. We got along extreme­ly well, which was a rar­i­ty for me at the time. He was a com­plete enig­ma. There was always an air about him, some­thing in his sta­ble demeanor, that told me he had every­thing fig­ured out. I asked him once, “Do you feel any pain?”. “Only when I want to”, was his response. I could­n’t pos­si­bly under­stand.

How can I describe this feel­ing? How can I explain? I’ve been look­ing for the right words for so long, but noth­ing comes through. Only images and ideas. Thoughts with­out expres­sion.

All I know is that it feels like I’ve arrived at some­thing, like I’ve final­ly come to a point where I’m com­fort­able with myself. Where I can hurt with­out being sad. Where I can love with­out pain.

The key is under­stand­ing how dis­sat­is­fac­tion breeds improve­ment, how pain breeds hap­pi­ness, how there must be a bal­ance of good and bad, and liv­ing by these beliefs with com­mit­ted indus­try and absolute humil­i­ty. It’s what Taoists express as Yin and Yang, what Nietzsche was say­ing through Zarathustra. And when one’s life goal is self-improve­ment, every­thing falls into place.

Now there is no going back. Now I tru­ly feel like I’m alive.

Now a god dances with­in me.