Aug 26, 2002

Okay, so I'm noticing a trend, lately. Time was, movies were a magical place. For that 90 minute to two hour span, my life was on that screen. The actors, the cinematography, the soundtrack...they enveloped me, whisked me away, and I was there. As the closing credits would roll past the screen, I'd slowly return to life, realize my popcorn was cold, my soda was warm, and my shoes firmly adhered to the floor.

Me and my friends would wander out, talk about the movie, the conversation eventually returning to real life somewhere on the way home.

I'd later read the critic's reviews and roll my eyes - who, I thought, could hate THAT movie? After all, did it not lull me into reverie with its elegant intoxication? Did I not travel across reality to share in its magic?

Well, It was magic to me. I remember Jaws scaring me out of the water (I still hate going in the water, silly me), and Star Wars STILL kind of impresses me. Some of the more pathetic stereotypical bits in movies have almost always, infallibly, suckered me in. I confess: I didn't see the ending to "Unbreakable" or "The Sixth Sense" coming until they came, "The Usual Suspects" only recently has lost its shock value, and I still have to turn away at the particularly gruesome moments of army movies like "Saving Private Ryan" and such.


But... movies aren't quite doing it for me like they used to. I find myself shaking my head at a lot more on the screen than I ever would have just a year or two ago. Like "John Q" or "We Were Soldiers", which just didn't do it for me, at all. "A Beautiful Mind" was all right, not really as Beautiful as the oscars seemed intent on hyping it up to be. Granted, Lord of the Rings was pretty spectacular, and the occasional Steven Soderburgh flick is faily groovy.

What bothers me is that I can't figure out if its just that "they don't make 'em like they used to", or if I'm just getting older and a bit more jaded.

Or maybe the reality is a better-connected anchor than it once was? Geez, I don't know.

Well, now that I've opened that philosophical can of worms, I'll wrap this up for the day. I'll have to consider it's implications later.

After all, I have some DVDs to watch before I have to get them back to Blockbuster's.

I know. I'm pathetic.

Aug 10, 2002

You know, I always felt a little envy for "army brats." The notion of travelling all across the world, never more than a year or two in any one place, seeing wonderful locales, experiencing astonishing cultures, the whole shebang...

Well, so far, I've been all over the USA, Canada, Mexico, and I've lived in a half-dozen states so far. So I guess I've at least approximated that wish of mine. But now I see why they hate it so much.

A couple weeks ago, I was feeling really down. You know the kind - that borderline melancholy malaise... that sense of "who really gives a s**t, the world just keeps on spinning..." Thank the gods it didn't last long, because I personally can't STAND myself when I'm like that. The weird thing about this time was that I got shaken out of it by the realization that I had NO IDEA who to talk to about it. First time that ever happened, that I could recall.

It's not to say I've led a life, surrounded by friends, loves, family and admirers - that's not really the case - but it's just not something I was aware of. Oh, sure, I went through my black period when I was 13, and toyed with the notion of offing myself when I was 16, but this was something different. I just didn't know who to talk to about my mood.

Mostly, it stems from the fact that I HATE whining. (and no, I consider whining different than venting, so don't go there) I just don't want my friends to ever think, "God, Ren's such a whining bastard." All part of that strong as steel illusion I like to create, I guess. At any rate, I used to have friends that I could be weak around. Friends that accepted the brokenness within me and would patiently await my struggle to rediscover my way.

Now, this is not to say I don't have friends. I do. But... I don't know. Sometimes, some friends aren't the ones you want to unload on. And sometimes your significant other is in the middle of their own shadows, and you don't want to pile on.

I also read something or other a while ago that spoke about men internalizing their complaints in order to resolve them, while women tend to express them to resolve them. I don't know how much I believe that (have I mentioned I'm a disbeliever?), but sometimes I do fit that mold. Sometimes I just don't want to talk about things.

[No, moron, its better to write it on a public journal. I'm such a tard.]

Okay, I knew I was going somewhere with this. On to the summary.

So what I mean by all of this is that something started happening a few weeks ago, right after this blue period. I woke up, feeling like this is home. We just got a house of our own, I'm doing the occasional wrestling match with the backyard, we have a pair of himalayan kittens (Karma and Tashi), and our 18 month old has a lot more space to ramble about. We're choosing interior decorations, furniture patterns, I finally get to keep my keyboards set up... the list goes on and on.

I looked over at the relatively small stack of yet-to-be-unpacked boxes, and thought, "Something's still missing."

Well, I know what it is, now.

I have to reopen that circle around me. The friends. We've lost touch with the best friends we had before we moved, and, as usually happens, we've all kind of gone our own ways. It sucks, but, as many times as I've seen this, I'm getting kind of used to it.

Now, there are jam sessions with new musician friends, barbeques, video game afternoons and even the occasional guilty pleasure I derive from role playing games (my current fave is the d20 system game of Spycraft).

But it's just the beginning, I know. These things take time. The last place I lived I had lived their for 9 years straight. Just long enough for one of my best friends to die.

Gods, that was the wrong thing to think about.... maybe I'd better just jump off that train for now.

It's worth getting out of my system, I guess, but that's for another day. For now, I'm done. I'll write more later.

So this is it, eh? An online journal.


Well, I don't care if this is read by anyone or not. Frankly, I'm too cheap
to buy a journal, and don't think I can balance the notion of killing a tree
or some nonsense just to pen a few ideas. So howdy do, the internet.

There was actually a thought I was pondering the other day, and it led to
another one, etcetera. Maybe I can pull on it enough to unravel it.

It all started with thinking about the whole chakra thing. As I understand
it in my mediocre fast-food metaphysical two-step, its how a soul connects
to the universe by allowing energy to enter, pass through and leave along a
series of "doors" or centers, each of which are symbolized by colors, bodily
organs/regions and aspects of the persona: heart, passion, sexual energies,
the third eye, that sort of thing. It is drawn as a line which begins at the
base of the spine and leaves out the crown of the head.

Along with that clever interpretation, crystal enthusiasts talk about
"opening" chakras by attuning them to the respective colored crystal, which
is placed just above the related body part. I personally don't know quite
that I buy into all of it, but, then, I'm a skeptic now, and I guess I'm
entitled to my doubts. Sometimes, doubts are all I have, so I'm proud of
them. If you don't like doubts, don't read my journal. I'm guessing it's
gonna be a theme.


So the image is that energy can be 'blocked' along the chakras, when one of
the centers isn't opened fully.

What I always wondered was how that gets observed? I was introduced some
years ago to the notion of energy transfer between individuals - another
theory I'm skeptical about - and also through tai chi meditation, which I'm
pleased to report I actually enjoyed. So the thought that energy is a
transmittable, palpable thing isn't too foreign to me. I kind of like it.
Embrace it, actually.

But here's the thought that really baked my noodle.

What I've ALWAYS hated about religions (this is only slightly a tangent,
trust me. Don't stray too far, you'll enjoy the ride) is that they tend to
focus on the physical habits - go to church, pay the church, don't drink,
don't laugh too loud, pray like this, don't go there, don't do that, blah
blah blah. And if you don't act, look, speak, whatever just like you're told
to, then that means, of course, that you're a bad person.

Well, rubbish. Poppycock. Bull pucky.

Perfectly wonderful people look bad, act bad, and do things that might not
get you selected to lead the hymns on sunday meetings. And perfectly
wretched people sit there in their churchday finest with all manner of
twisted perversions (and not the nice kind) in their hearts and minds.

But, at the same time, you gotta get alcohol away from the alcoholic, and
that sort of thing.

So, going back to the chakra comment. Does the crystal idea really work? Or
is it the inner change which creates the effect? Does it even matter?

Does the physical act of turning on a light switch create light? Or does the
faith in the action do it? Ahhhhh, now THERE'S a great puzzle.

But you know, on second thought, maybe it doesn't even matter. Who cares if
the chicken OR the egg came first?

They're both here now.

'Nuff for today. More later.

Aug 9, 2002

okay, day two, lesson one.

After typing in a HUGE post I was soooooo proud of, Blog logged me out, and I lost it. That sucks.

So rather than attempt a second take, I'm just going to cut my losses, lick my wounds and post something else later.


Aug 8, 2002

Goodness gracious, it's official. I'm writing a journal on line. *sigh* I don't know who to blame, but I'm sure it's several peoples' faults. A good friend of mine from high school - John - and my wife, Lizz, I'm sure will cackle with glee to know they have pushed me inadvertently over the cybercliff into this.

At the same time, I blame myself for being too damn lazy to buy an actual book, and, thanks to nearly a decade of solid computer use, I can't write with a pen to save my life. (it rather defeats the purpose to write what you need to later hire an anthropologist to decypher)

Ah well. I don't know quite how else to start this, so I'll leave it at this for now. If you're reading this, thank you for wading through what I'm sure will be a whole lot of oddity, and also for contributing to my delusion that I have something interesting to say.