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.