Wednesday, May 26, 2010

This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but a whimper.

Today I had my last real day of high school and last aquatic banquet. Experiencing too many conflicting emotions to adequately write something down, and am not completely sure how I feel about this yet. However, one fact is indisputable, the end is nigh.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Cotton Ball Monster!

Beware the terrifying cotton swab monster from beyond! erreefe:  Del Flickr de Pablo Iranzo.

Beware the terrifying cotton swab monster from beyond!

Del Flickr de Pablo Iranzo.

Broken Frames

If songs are only as sad as there listener,
Then what does that make me?
Stuck in a glassy abyss of black,
trying to cling to glimmers in the darkness.

Stumbling upon something in your life
So good,
It's drawing trouble to yourself.
Makes it impossible to focus on whats right.

Impossible to protect oneself from sadness,
without protecting yourself from happiness.

the indescribable force,
turning the sun from the blackest of black,
to an awe inspiring force of illumination.

What dictates an act of love?
Causing others pain for you own individual piece of mind,
or sacrificing one's sanity for others happiness?
Two sides of an eternal game of Backgammon,
that no one ever wins.

Yet, Love cannot exist without loss.
Life cannon exists without loss.
Pain, suffering, happiness, content,
emotions can change us,
inspire us,
enrage us,
sadden us,
but this double edged blade is only things that keep us human.

My Life Aquatic

Before I start this long emotion filled ramble, I must preface it by stating that writing this piece was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. My first attempt at this reflection occurred last Saturday after I returned home from my final swim meet. Yet, when I sat down to sort through my thoughts, I hit a mental wall, frustrated at my inability to adequately articulate my emotions. The weekend passed, and I suffered through a boring Monday at school, yet when I proceeded to head home after my classes. Then realization set in that my life aquatic was truly over. All the emotions, friendships, and memories from the past four years were now just that, memories, and all my brain could focus on was that a significant chapter of my life was coming to its inevitable close. So, I went home, shut my door, turned on music, and broke down. Now, this may sound ridiculous and melodramatic to the average reader, but I felt, and still feel that a part of me has truly died. Yet, despite this apparent sadness, I believe that my aquatic experiences ultimately shaped the person I am today.

For the past four years of my life I have been immediately identifiable by a few key features. The first being my height, and the second being my chlorine drenched blonde hair. As one of my good friends used to say, "In the hallways, I can always see the lighthouse." Yet, after four years of success, failure, frustration, camaraderie, and love, my life aquatic came to an end. To understand the significance of this moment, we need to trust in the island and travel back in time to 2006.

Entering into high school, I could be aptly described as alone, scared, and depressed. I had decided to attend a "Prep School," and was woefully unprepared for the Polo's, Abercrombie, and American Apparel aspect of the schools social scene. In short, it was a bad episode of saved by the bell, and I was nerdy, lonely, weird extra # 3. To make matters worse, my best friends for the past six years had decided to attend different high schools, and I was venturing out of my cozy organic suburb to the city of San Francisco. The fabrication of the city I conjured up in my mind was that of a frightening steel metropolis at the other end of a bridge to nowhere. However, my 2006 persona actively believed that the worst part of all of this change, was that after my middle school experiences, I was making this horrendous odyssey to sit in a class filled with kids I would never truly care for. In short, I was a Salinger stereotype, and I was tossing my emotions into the proverbial duck pond.

Then a few weeks into the school year, something happened that in retrospect saved my sanity and maybe my life, water polo season. During this season, the team had its sweet successes and bitter failures, but the actually athletics were always my secondary concern. During those few short months I was simply content that I had essentially found my tribe in this crazy new environment, where I thought I wound never really fit in. However, this happiness came to abrupt end in November of that year when polo season came to its unavoidable conclusion. Then much to my dismay, this led to my teammates going there separate ways, most likely to spend time with their grammar school friends. These departures triggered an immediate and steep descent back into my saddened state. Not seeing my friends everyday was taking a tole on me, and I would come home, cry my eyes out, and count down the days until swim season began.

This pattern of varying levels of happiness, and fluctuating interval viewings of the movie,The Graduate, continued until my sophomore year. Then during that year something momentous, yet quietly indescribable happened, my tribe failed to disband. We all began a regular pattern of eating lunch together, hanging in the library, and actually seeing each other outside of school, and more importantly outside of the poisonous stench of the SI pool. We were no longer simply teammates, we were friends. During this time, my cycles of depressed crying listening to Radiohead alone sessions strongly decreased in frequency, and for the first time in a long while I felt happy. This new found comradery only continued to grow, and ultimately culminated during senior year water polo season. For the first time in history, The St. Ignatius Water Polo team qualified for Central Coast Sectionals. Yes, we had all heavily trained during our four years, but I whole heatedly believe we would not have accomplished that goal if we were not all the best of friends.

Looking into the immediate future, I am nervous about starting college next year. However, the part I'm most apprehensive about is not leaving home or saying goodbye to the beautiful bay area. No, the part that terrifies me is the possibility of losing the deep relationship I share with all of my friends. Now fast forward to the immediate past, it's still that Monday after swim season, and I'm breaking down in my room. Yet, as I lay on my bed crying, I come to a startling realization, that because I now have these relationships I will never be alone again. In the future, I will undoubtedly be back inside the flaming car, hurling back toward the abysses of sadness and depression. Yet, I can look out the window of my pyrotechnically prone vehicle, and know my friends will always care for me. On this earth, time runs out for everyone and everything - if that were not the case, there would be no point in sustaining ourselves and our memories. Writing, photographs, and home videos all tie into this human tendency to remember our past. Yet, when something dies, its spirit lives on through all the things it touched in its life, and that is why I will never be alone again. So in parting I close this chapter of my life treasuring the memories and relationships that I will never forget. I love you guys.

So you say goodbye. You go to sleep, and you wake up the next day without it. And you smile, because you know that since you lost it, you will always have it.

In a few short weeks I will be graduating high school, and I'm shocked at mymetamorphosis. I entered at a depressed, lonely, shy boy, and am hopefully leaving a confident, passionate, loving person.

Life is always darkest right before dawn. - Thanks SI.

Lost Initial Reactions

Just got home from viewing the Lost finale on May 23rd at the Lark. The finale was both beautiful and touching while delivering answers and a twist ending. I will post a longer reflection at a later date, but I leave you with this statement.

After 6 years, we will all remember the moment the island was done with us. Lost, see you in another life brotha.

via 815sentencesaboutlost

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Being Pulled Apart By Horses

Feeling Pulled Apart By Horses

Feeling pulled apart by horses,

My head floats in the gloomy lake of glass,

Catching signals in the dark,

Only expressing true feelings in my dreams.

Through life,

Fingers are crawling up my spine,

Ripping out my heart,

Nothing is ever in its right place.

When love drives you to insanity,

No surprises, not change in plan,

Separating for happiness,

It ripples our reflections.

There is no reason to grieve,

When it’s not your fault.

Yet, when lives are damaged,

Am I to blame?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Stop By The Neutral Milk Hotel

To all my readers, I highly implore you to explore the musical exploits of Jeff Mangum and his fantastic band Neutral Milk Hotel. The group emerged during the early 1990's indie rock soon, but soon differentiated themselves due to profound lyrics and riveting sounds. There second album, In The Airplane Over The Sea, can only be appropriately described as a person meditation on the rick joys of life and the tragedy of death. I know I will be chastised for discovering a band 12 years after they broke up, but these albums are easily the best things I have listened to, so far this year.

Friday, May 14, 2010

My Day Was Surreal

Today I saw some of my photos in the De Young Museum. For those who do not know, the De Young is a really cool museum in San Francisco...and it kind of looks like the tatooine droid transport ship from Star Wars. So in celebration of this event here is the link all of my photo albums.

My favorites are Skirting On The Surface, The Lunatic Almost Made Something Of Worth, This Hatch Did Not Explode, A Sun Denied, Hysteric, Violet Hill, and Postcards From Next Door

Monday, May 10, 2010

What Have We Become?

A friend of mine just sent me a link to this political add. At first, I thought the political message was some SNL style joke. Yet, after reading the comments section, I realized the politician featured in the add was dead serious. So watch the video and ask yourself, what have we become?

Sunday, May 9, 2010


The story I wrote last month about Zombies recently appeared in my schools student run newspaper. So in celebration of its publication I shall repost it here.

Since the Easter season has just concluded, I thought it would be appropriate to write something seasonal. However, after several uninteresting and meandering drafts, I realized that writing something insightful about the Easter bunny is almost impossible. So in my blind frustration, I entered a Ben & Jerry’s induced coma on my couch, and began watching Danny Boyle’s 2002 zombie epic, 28 Days Later. I’m not sure if it was the copious amounts of ice cream or Mr. Boyle’s masterful use of symbolism, but during the viewing, I began to ponder the merits of two specific types of monsters, vampires and zombies, and how there creation is dictated by the modern day zeitgeist.

It is a well-known fact that throughout human history, we have created monster as a personification for society wide fears. This subconscious urge to blame a fictional being when tangible human cause does not exists, has inadvertently created a highly detailed backlog of human fears. The classic example of this is the vampire. During their existence, vampires have transformed from revolting personifications of death due to plague, into mysterious aristocratic foreigners, to the cast of Twilight, which is inarguably the scariest incarnation yet. Yet, monsters still constantly evolve with the times, we set off a nuclear weapon, the result is Godzilla, have a national debate on torture, we get seven Saw movies, and some parents have trouble raising their children, the end product is the Omen. What will the next generation of monsters bring? My money is on something Miley Cyrus related.

In order to have a good monster, which the hero and his party of compatriots can vanquish in the name of peace, justice, and the American way, it needs to be utterly dehumanized. A perfect illustration of this is the Nazi. Featured in every single World War 2 film, they are the perfect monsters, completely evil; the only line they articulate is a muffled “Die Amerikaner”, and the intimidating uniform makes them all near identical. Dehumanization is also aided by sharing no common interests with the monster; this principle is exactly why no war movie ever showcases how much Hitler loved his cat. Yet, my favorite dehumanized monster is one that literally looses its humanity, the zombie. Zombies have had an illustrious career as an integral part of Voodoo folklore, then transformed into a flesh eating metaphor for social upheaval, and in recent years have embraced the idea of modern terrorism. However, you would be shocked to learn that a zombie equivalent is present in our daily lives. In 1992, Robin Dunbar came up with a concept entitled Dunbar’s Number. Conjuring up a definition for the Internet generation, the idea states that as individuals we essentially have a hard limit on our facebook friends. We have the ability to deeply care for about 150 people, and everyone else is essentially Joe Francis, they sound human, and act human, but we have few reservations about fighting them in a bar brawl. This unattached hatred is undoubtedly far easier then caring, but imagine a world that didn’t consist of 150 survivors and 6,692,030,262 zombies. For one thing, the odds of survival would be much higher.

I Hope This Is Adequate

Sorry for the lack of writing in recent weeks. I'v been very busy with school and other time consuming activities. Yet, expect a few more writing posts next weekend, because after Saturday, I will suddenly find myself with a plethora of free time. So in the meantime I leave you with this incredible photo, courtesy of Ben Heine.

Pencil vs. Camera vs. A Dinosaur Rampaging Paris via Ben Heine

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May The Fourth Be With You

Princess Leia: I hope you know what you're doing. Han Solo: Yeah, me too.

Happy Star Wars day to go watch Empire Strikes Back.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

New Photo Album

I just posted a new photo album. As always, I appreciate any feedback.

Fanboys: A Granfalloon of Consumerism

Post holiday season, I found myself in the auspicious position of having some spending money, and wanting to purchase a new camera lens. However, I soon made a dreadful mistake when I ventured onto the Internet seeking advice. What I found on every camera site was fun, and by fun I mean explosive and angry forums. These online contributors were not having civilized conversation on which camera lens was superior, but instead an argument that could easily be compared to guerillas hurling mud at one another. This discovery, then shockingly led me to ponder a potentially serious society wide issue. Why do we passionately defend our choice in consumer goods, and more importantly why do we form such close communities around them?

A few weeks ago, I was riding a chair lift and the man next to me was yelling down his cell phone while seemingly doing his best Kanye West impression, “The company just doesn’t care about the consumer.” Yet, if this statement is seemingly true, then why do so many groups of people seemingly defend their arbitrary consumer goods? I believe that our society, by offering a plethora of choices, creates a little fanboy inside of us. Because a lot of what makes people fanboys, is not how much we love something, but how much we hate something else. For example I could probably tell you in great detail why I have despise the iphone OS, but for why I prefer googles android, despite rambling off some arbitrary numbers, I probably couldn’t come up with a concrete reason. Therefore, I believe we defend our own choices in consumer goods, because with out limited spending money, we have to make a choice, and we subconchesly begin to hate anyone or thing that tells us we made the wrong decision.

Ever since the dawn of modern society, humans have incorporated things outside of them into their identity. We are skiers, Radiohead fans, liberals, and that sense of identity can lead to the formation of a very tight knit community. Now I’m not saying that we need the annualized consumer waste that marketers try and cram down our thoughts. No, we need the sense of belonging, which our modern society is far to devoid of. Because you will be shocked whom you can get along with when you have a common interest.

Now despite the seemingly obvious conclusion to this, I will not end this piece by regurgitating some Fight Club line about how your stuff owns you, because I believe that our world actually needs fanboys. It’s a fact of life that we all want to belong. Despite our best attempts at retaining our so called individuality, at the end of the day we all need to know we are a part of something larger then ourselves, and indeed other people care for us. So if these pseudo communities can indeed unite people in a common hatred, then it should be encouraged. Yes, the last thing our world needs is more hatred, but if that abhorrence can lead to unity and love, it is ultimately for the better. Hell, if people hated world hunger as much as Yankees, image what could be accomplished.