Sunday, June 25, 2006

in for the long haul

I feel bad that I might not be able to post too often with camp and all going. Which leads me to the comment, I May not be able to post that often because of camp.
On a lighter note, My sister's wedding was a blast, the first week of camp has been phenomenal, and the second week has potential to be just as good.

The First week was counselors training. The name is rather self explanatory. This group was (as one of the people with us said) "A rollercoaster of emotional whatever"

I'm trying to figure out how to get wifi at my camp (how to get onto the wifi of the people next to us.
so my mind isn't fully on writing.
if I figure that out, I'll be able to post more often, and more thouroughly.
I may start making really long posts. Ya know, writing them off line, and then just copy pasteing them.

but we'll see.

hopefully the posts will keep coming.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Jesus in the summertime

I love this song quite a lot. I don't know what exactly draws me to it. It just feels so, lovely. I think its a bit the hopeless romantic in me. I don't think it has much to do with the fact that Jesus was a cool guy. The fact is, that matters almost none. It's just really sweet.

You have to hear it for it to seem good. When you just see the lyrics it seems like another ill wrought, overly praising christian rock song. When you hear the way it's done by Randy Newman, it feels right. It doesn't feel like a big speech about Jesus (even though it sort of is) It just feels like a love song. I suggest you listen to it and just decide for yourself.

Seriously one of my favorite songs ever (and before anyone accuses me of undue religious fervor, I lean towards agnosticism, so no soup for you)

Jesus in the summertime

by Randy Newman

we may not know all the answers
after all we're so very young
I only know that I go crazy when I love my baby
Jesus can our love be wrong
Jesus can our love be wrong

my baby loves the sun
and I love the moon
some day we're gonna get married
we'll be together real soon
Jesus died for ya
Jesus died for ya

me and my baby went walking
down by the old ice skating rink
looked up at the stars in the heavens above
ya know it kinda almost made us stop and think
Jesus died for ya
Jesus died for ya

bring him back
bring him back
bring him back
please bring him back

bring him back in the summertime
bring him back in the summertime

Black clouds under an Arabian sky
Jesus stood there dignified
They stuck a thorn into his eye
and they began to crucify
lord why did you let your son die
lord why did you let your son die
lord why did you let your son die

Jesus died for ya
Jesus died for ya
Jesus died for ya

They buried him in a poor mans grave
but he still had mankind to save
so he rose from that poor mans grave and he saved mankind
he said: forgive them they know not what they do
he said: what fools these mortals be
and I say: baby I'd lay down my life for you
just they way that Jesus died for me

bring him back
bring him back
bring him back
please bring him back

bring him back in the summertime
got to have Jesus in the summer time

in the summertime
in the summertime
in the summertime
in the summertime

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

All you'll need is a car an a video camera

today my family and I finished our drive out to colorado for my sisters wedding. while on that last stretch of highway, while I was marveling at the aspen groves, and the rock formations I had a wonderful Idea for a movie.
I don't get these often. I'm not much of a Movie guy myself, and Though I may decide to do this, I have rarely had desire to make a film.
The Idea of the film is that you would take a camera and drive from one end of a Highway to the other end of the highway (preferably an East - West Highway) and you would just film it.
this film could be so many things. It could be about interactions with people on the road, it could be about the little towns you pass through on the way, about your adventures on the high way, about the diferences in the places you pass through (as in hight climate, that sort of thing) you could even do one which had a focus on the sort of radio stations that are available there.
I know it sounds a bit silly, but thats part of why it's so appealing.
It could be anything. and the film would form itself.
you would take the camera, and see what happened.
in the right hands it could be brilliant.
I welcom anyone with a video camera and a car to try it, don't give me credit, or do, i don't care.
Part of the beauty of this idea is that it is completely and totaly dependent on who embarks on it. if it were me it would be much different than if it were a rabel rouser of some sort.
it could be so many things
how I wish I had the time to do it.

stumble upon

I could totaly explain stumble upon on here, but you guys have google, use it. meanwhile you can check out the awesome awesome pictures and websites I link to on my stumble upon blog (it's not really a blog, but it's still awesome)


ummm, loco?

I think I may have found the perfect way for me to study spanish. I absolutly love to read, I read nearly constantly, and it doesn't really matter what I'm reading, it's probably better than dealing with people or actualy doing something productive. Since I love to read so much, I'm just going to start reading spanish books. today I took the first step in realizing this training method, I bought two spanish books, and a dictionary. I will either start reading them tomorow, or when I get back into California for my summer job (I'm still in colorado for my sisters wedding, which I beleive is on saturday)
The two books I bought {I passed up El Padrino [the godfather] The davinci code, and all the Harry Potter books for this one ;) } were Mi Pais Inventado (my invented country) by Isabel Allende, and Bendiceme Ultima (I think it means "the Last Blessing" but I could be a bit off. )
I'm excited to get started, and as soon as i get one of those 501 Spanish verbs, books i'll be completely set. (I may put off getting that until i absolutely need it)
I also want to say that I absolutly love the song by Randy Newman "Jesus In the Summertime" This isn't a new development or anything, I've liked the song for a long time, I just felt I'd mention it now, becuase i'm awesome like that.

I'll probably start reading Mi Pais Inventado first, it's a bit shorter, and Bendiceme Ultima is one of those clasic novels, so its a bit more intimidating.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Ironicism and the Sober Grad

Last night was "Sober Graduation" It's a program to prevent kids from getting drunk on their graduation night. It wasn't my graduation night because I graduated from HS early. They haven't gotten my diploma to me yet though, so I still qualify to go to sober grad. It's not like there was a good party planed anyways.
I got back from my bike ride and one of my friends called me and asked me if i was still interested in going to sober grad, and he offered to give me a ride.
we drove on in to Susanville.
Sober grad was to go until the next morning.

my friend had a "date" so I sort of wandered about and talked to my former classmates (graduated early, remember). After telling the same story about what i wanted to do with my life and where I was going, and what I had done the last year about ten million times I started to look around at the various activities they had around. there were two portable "rock climbing" walls (I use quotes because if it's not really rock, its not really rock climbing, woohoo for being a purist.)
they had some random inflatable things. an obstoacle course, a bungee run, random stuff like that.
One of the most talked about things durring the entire "sober grad" night was alchol. Had we taken some in, and sold it, we could have made more money than bill gates.
It was rather funny that many of the games they had would either be much more fun drunk, or were basicaly drinking games (there's a reason dartboards are usualy only in bars)

there was a raffle at the end, thats how they get you to stay the whole bazillion hours. the raffle is in the morning, at about 4 or5, I don't really remember now.
everyone's name is added in, a car is one of the things you could win.
I got two things, a 100 dolar gift certificate for the local jewler, and fifty dolars cash.

I used some of the gift certificate to buy a flask, on which I had engraved "Pat H S.G. '06"
I found it rather Ironic that I spend money I won at sober grad on an alchol receptical. My mom got quite a kick out of it too.

And I thought the only adventure would be on the bike

after my first day of bike riding (which you would know about if you read the previous post) My friend Julie had to come pick me up. (she and her neice who is close to the same age as her)
they picked me up, and i took the front wheel off of my bike (yay for quickrelease) and put it in the trunk, and fastened the trunk closed with the bungee cords i used to keep my bag on my back racks.
I expected a rather uneventful car ride back to Julie's house, she had found me relatively easily after all.
we drove down Hwy 65 in her car listening to music a bit too loudly. The road is fairly straightforward and very uneventful, but we had to get onto Hwy 80 to get back to her house.
We were supposed to get on 80 west, but we mistakenly got on 80 East. We got about a quarter of the way to Reno before realizing this. while going down 80 East, mistakenly, there was some roadwork, and Julie hit a cone. it was rather comical. I told her (as she was drifting around the road a bit) "watch out for the cones" [I said this quite calmly] and then she hit a cone shortly after I said this. and I [once again, fairly calmly] said something to the effect of "fucking cone"
We turned around in a podunk town I don't remember the name of.
while driving down 80 west, (finaly going the right way), we saw a turn off to highway 49, towards placerville. Julie knew where placerville was, and where it was in association to her house, so we figured, what's the harm, this just means we don't have to go all the way through sacramento to get there.
highway 49 is very curvy, not quite as crazy as hwy 32, but still quite curvy. it felt a bit like "hillbilly country" normaly i wouldn't have used this way of describing this, but describing it's (as of then unseen) residents as hillbillies opened up a lot of possibilites as far as conversation topics, can you say "deliverance".
we drove down 49 for a while, and it was still curvy. Then we got to Coloma. Coloma is a place with this "gold discovery park" it's a national parks gimic. anyhow, we decided to stop in Coloma because it was already 1 o'clock or so and we had nothing to lose. we wandered through the grasses towards a hill using just my little bike flashlight. Julie was wearing sandals.
we came up towards the public bathrooms and this ropped part of ground (a tree had been fell and cut up). Julie asked what the ropes were for, I sarcasticaly said "There's a dead body over there". At about the same time a twig brushed her foot. she jumped a good 2 feet, 1 and half of em at me. I beleive I still have scratch marks from her hopping into me rather quickly.
we went back to the car after that.
we finaly found highway 50, and got to her house. I ate some blueberry waffles, and we stayed up and talked for a while, and spent some time looking at useless internet sites such as Ebaums world, and Rotten dot com. I had intended to simply crash on the floor in my sleeping bag, but Julie had gone to the trouble of making a bed (the fold out couch, yay) and insisted I use it.
It was rather nice.
I slept until about 7, layed in bed until a bit before 8. I had breakfast, and then took a shower (i needed it)

Part of the reason I went on the trip at all was because I had intended on going on a book shopping run with Julie (we exchange books by mail, I send her one, she reads it, lets me know what she thought of it, and sends it back with one of her books, and the process goes on).
She had to make some cupcakes for a birthday party she was to go to that day. After she did that, we drove down to the thrift shop and found some good books we were gonna read. I bought some for her, since I have a shitload of books, am going to read those books eventualy anyways, and she has hardly any books (her mom works at a library, she has access to good books without purchase) .
We got back to Julies and Rose (julie's sister, with whom i'm working this summer) was busy making her present for the B-day party they were to go to.
Rose got me invited to the party, because the guy who's birtday it was has a habit of hitting on her constantly which makes her slightly uncomfortable, and the guys best friend is in love with Julie, so I worked as protection, plus it gave me something to do. We all left for the party a bit late. we were to bring swim suits.
it was a bit confusing trying to find the place, and just as we were about to give up and turn back, I found the road we were supposed to turn on.
we turned down this dirt road and rode all the way to the end of it, where Evan (the guy who was having the birthday) lived. we went around back to the pool, there were about 8 or so people there. I met them, they seemed nice.
Evan was into red vs. blue so I was able to relate immediately. I wasn't much in a swimming mood as I had just gotten done with a 200 mile bike ride day. There was one other person there who I prolly met back in the day (at camp).
we hung out there for a while, talked, played with bubles, I mostly hung out with the girls, but I sort of do that anyways because even though they tend to have more drama, I'm not involved in theirs.
I eventualy was coaxed into swimming. It was fairly nice.
We decided to go out to dinner because the laser tag place we were supposed to go to was closed due to technical dificulties. The diner place was going to be an italian resturaunt called Papa Gianis.
somewhere in this whole continum I eded up with a girl I had just met putting lipgloss on me. (not in the standard lip to lip method either, in the more girlish hey let's make the lips pretty fasion) what can I say, I'm too much of a sucker for chicks, all of em, most of em, no all of em.
the girls had to go change before going out to diner. I went with them to julies house while they were getting that stuff taken care of.
we sort of ran around like chickens with our heads cut off in getting everything ready. correction, they ran around like chickens with their heads cut off, getting everything ready.
We (meaning julie and two other girls[ Paula and Collier], and I) We drove to Paula's house. it was nice having the windows open and letting our hair get flipped in our faces (my hair is fairly long at the moment, not quite at the shoulders, but just about. )
when we got to Paula's her parents had just gotten home. I was the designated distraction as I had no need to change, and I was the guy. Apparently Paula's father hasn't quite accepted the fact that she is 18 and has rather prominent breasts and buttocks. anyhow, I helped her parents move some things from thier car to the house (voluntarily, which always helps for my image), and then talked to them for a while. I have the advantage of being able to talk to parents without contradicting myself and still impressing :)
We talked about my plans for the future, Pre-med rarely fails to impress (though that has nothing to do with why I want to do that whatsoever) they made some comment about me being rather insane for hanging out with three crazy girls, I mentioned my possition as the only male on Program staff at my summer job. I do better with crazy girls than with most crazy guys. though I like guys and everything, and I have some great friends who are guys, girls are a lot easier to deal with most of the time.
we left that apartment, and I apparently had done my job as distractor well.
we got on our way back to Julie's to pick up her sister Rose, who had changed there.
We went to the resturaunt. we were the late ones. we ended up wit something like 16 people in our party.
the food was pretty good. I had some interesting conversation there. there was a lovely young lady who I had not met sitting to my right, we had some odd conversation topics through out the meal, from disney carachters to sex (not in that order mind you).
anyhow, I talked with all those folks, Evan (the bday boy) opened his presents and cards. I had interesting convos, but i won't go into em, even though i prolly could recount the whole conversations.
we left, and then rented some movies at the movie rental place next door. Evan rented "the 40 year old virgin" for us to come back to watch. everyone went back to Evans and watched that. it was pretty good. Sweeter than I expected.
Paula was driving us all back to Julies (us all being Collier, Julie, Rose, and me) Paula was quite out of it. She dropped collier off first. She talked a lot, we encouraged it to keep her awake, but it was quite sureal. I won't go into detail because it was rather long and drawn out and relatively incomprehensible (I do remember all of it though)
Paula dropped us off, and then drove off into the night.
We went inside. we were going to watch "the aristocrats" but we didn't feel like it when we got in. We watched "50 first dates" instead. I had seen the beginign before, but not the end, so that was nice.
Thier mother woke up, we talked to her a little bit.
I went to bed.
I woke up the next morning and had some breakfast, got some stuff out of Julie's Mom's car, and then went in to tell julie I was leaving ( I didn't bother waking Rose up because i'll be livign with her for 9 weeks of the summer)
I had to go back in to get her to figure out the garage door for me (it was powerd, i'm used to the ones with a string tied to them)
I got on my bike and left.

so it was 300 mi, not 400. that's still OK

I got back from my bike trip yesterday. It was quite wonderful. The trip ended up being only 300 miles instead of 400 due to various set backs. I'm not just going to list them. Since I feel like making one gigantic post about the ride anyways I'm going to just thread my setbacks in the narative as they happened.

I woke up on the morning of the sixth, went in to vote at 7 when the polls opened, cast my first ballot ever, and drove back home. (3 miles to the nearest polling place) When I got home I simply got on my bike and started to go (I packed the night before). I rode down a road I'm very familure with and just coasted on that as it is downhill.
It was magnificent ridding into a local town about 24 miles away (except for the logging trucks which I despise because they kick up stuff that gets in your eyes and give off gusts of wind that blow you all over the road).
I rode on down to the end of the road I was on, and turned one way towards Sacramento. It was nice downhill for quite some time. There was roadwork, but i didn't have to wait with the cars, which was very nice.
I rode on and it started to get a bit warm because there wasn't much shade.
I started riding down one hill and it was nice for a while, but I started to have to peddle harder to keep my momentum, I thought it a random anomaly. I stopped on the side of the road and talked to a truck driver who was hauling rental equipment, and I looked back down the road, and found that I was actualy on an uphill without noticing it.
I assumed this would be a one time thing.
I continued on.
It wasn't a one time thing.
after a few of these bouts I just got used to the idea that my sense of level was shit on a bike, and anytime I really had to peddle to keep moving, it must be an uphill.
on the road I was riding down (HWY 70) there are a few tunnels, one is rather long, and quite scary for a bicycalist. but there are little anexes taht open to the outside. when it was clear of cars I went into one of the anexes and ate some food, drank some water, and enjoyed the cool cavelike feeling of the annex.
I hastily rushed out of that tunnel fearing a car would come through and not see me.
Eventualy Hwy 70 lead me to the worst hill I have ever ridden in my entire life.
It was hell.
or maybe thats not a proper metaphore. I'll use a similie.
I felt SOOOOO much like sisyphus
I had to stop far to many times (I perfer to simply ride up a whole hill before stopping, but this hill was far to long)
two of the times I stopped, in the meager shade i was able to find, I lay down to rest and happened to land in an area with red ants.
I got quite good at smaking ants while riding up hill.
the heat was another thing altogether.
It was ridiculously hot, and my riding up a hill certainly did not help. I would occasionaly douse myself with my water bottle to cool down, but that helped very little.
I knew nothing of real heat at this time so my dislike of the heat was greatly exagerated.

when I finaly made it up the hill from hell, I stoped at a convienience store and had one of the best icecreams I have ever had.
I continued on from there, reluctant to go back into what I thought was horrible heat.

There were more nice downhills on the rest of the way to my exit from Hwy 70.
to move from 70 to 99, I had to hop on a relatively short road (by car) which is hwy 149 (I think). The trick with 149 is that there is no shade. I am not being hyperbolic when I say this, on 149 there is no shade. you can go check it yourself some time if you are near Chico.
this was nearly intolerable, and the heat was quite bad. I still knew nothing of what real heat was.
I stopped at a strawberry stand mostly to rest in the shade, it was a little off of 149 (it was not on 149 so i'm not lying about the no shade)
I finnaly got to Jct 99, after what felt like a decade.

I was soon to fully expirience what heat really meant.

I rode 99 for some time, and stopped frequently to douse myself with water. it did little good. The heat made me feel quite narcoleptic (like falling asleep at the wheel narcoleptic), and so on my next break (because 99 does have shade) I took a nap. The nap lasted longer than it should have.
I got up and continued ridding (after a kind man stopped to see if I was injured)
it eventualy got so hot and unbearable that I was desperate enough to hop into the possibly hazardous, snake inhabited, cesspool apearing, Irigationg ditches that lined the farmland i was riding on.
I said fuck it, and dipped in. it was one of the best feelings in all the history of man. I dipped my shirt, soaked it full, and did not ring it out. I put it on and riding became much more berable.
I kept riding and subesquently dipped my shirt in a Rice paddy, a church sprinkler, a decorative waterfall, a small waterway through a town, and a few other places.
Because of how late I figured out a good way to deal with the stifling heat, by the time I got through Yuba City and onto Hwy 65 towards my final destination it was getting a bit dark.
I got almost as far as wheatland. The friend with whom I was staying came to pick me up.
I was physiclaly capable of riding my bike the remaining 20 miles to her house, but it was unwise because it was a very dark night and a small bike light does little to make you visible to cars. I think enough about different injuries i could get and how i could get them durring the daylight.

I will save the story of the time between my friend got to me, and the time I left her house to finish my journey for another post, which will proboboly titled "And I thought the only adventure would be on the bike"

I left Julie's house at about 7:30, it didn't seem like it was going to be as hot as it had been on tuesday (this is thursday).
I rode my route, which went through a lot of the sacrmento suburbs (Julie actualy lives in Cameron park) I navigated without too much incidence, and had little trouble with cars because I could follow pedestrian rules when they suited my needs, and follow car rules when they suited my needs better. I got out of the towns, and rode more down Hwy 65. It is prohibited in some places for pedestrians and biciclyists, so I took a few side roads. I hopped over to 99 without much trouble. and 99 went smoothly, I stopped a few times to wet the shirt, and stopped on the side of the road for a man who's truck batery had died. I was going to let him use my cell phone but his started working, I stayed until he had everything set. We talked a little, he did road construction in sacramento, but lived in chico because it was a better place to raise his family.
I rode on down 99, and eventualy on to the part of it which goes through chico and is prohibited to bicyclists. there's no other way to get anywhere in chico though, so i didn't care, and it was not marked from the direction I came. Exits and Entrances are tricky, Cars drive much to fast for me to be able to do those easily.
I got to the house i was to stay at that night, it belonged to the son of one of my dad's friends. I never saw the son, I simply crashed in the back yard, called some friends, read, and fell asleep at about 8 (quite odd considering my usual sleep time is between 1 and 3 am)

I got up at 7 ish to go.
I rode to a starbucks, enjoyed a grande soy latte before going. rode on to the isane portion of 99, and started on my way back home.

I got off of 99 very releived.

I rode up 32 a very short while, and realized my back tire was low, i tried pumping it a bit to get it to go. this didn't work.
i moved down to some shade.
another biker stoped we tried to patch the tire with duct tape as i was stupid enough to not have a patch kit or a spare tube, and the bike is old so it has 27inch rims not the standard 700 cm nowadyas, so his wouldn't fit. he contined on his ride.
I called my parents to pick me up as it was hopeless to finish the ride by now because I would never have enough time for the 80 mile day ahead of me. One of my friends called my cell phone, and apparently they saw me on the side of the road. they came up on the space and talked with me for a while.
I let them go back to their business (looking at appartments) and read (and stained my white covered white paged book) and waited.
my parents picked me up
we drove home, and then I got three new tubes, a patch kit, and plastic prys for tire removal.
I'm better prepared now.
it was still quite awesome.
I got home somewhere around 1 ish.

Monday, June 05, 2006

tommorow's a 200 miler

I'll not be posting for about 4 days starting tomorow. I'm going on a Four Hundred mile bike ride. After voting in the primary elections at 7:00 (this is my first election to vote in :) ] I will get on my bike and start towards sacramento. I should get to sacramento (more specificaly cameron park) around 6 or 7 . I'll stay with one of my friends down there, and on wednessday we'll be frequenting thrift stores and used book stores to improve her book collection, and to have fun hanging out in little bookstores. On thursday morning I ride my bike to Chico. There I'll stay with a friend of the family, and then Friday morning I will ride up the dreaded curvy, insane, Hwy 32 (deer creek) to my home.
then I will either sleep or go to "sober grad night" with my friend. then on saturday I will get some guitar and bass lines recorded so i can finish mastering "Our Cardinal Virtues". and on sunday my parents and I will start driving to colorado for my sisters weding. then I will fly back to reno, get in my car, and drive on to Lake Tahoe for my summer job.
I may post this saturday, and I may not. If I don't post this saturday, it'll be two more saturdays before I get to it.
I'll be posting on a weekly basis, instead of on a sort of every other day basis as I've started doing as of late.

I'm excited for this bike ride, tomorow is mostly downhill, I can't imagine how awesome that's going to be. if I get it fast enough maybe I can get a good adrenaline rush.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


I remember a day in my youth. Though impulsively would not likely be noted as one of my traits, certainly curiosity is an undeniable, inalienable trait of me, even as a child. I recall a day in sixth grade on which I was trying to find the number of minutes that were in a day, and minutes in a year, and seconds in a year, and how many seconds I would live, and how many minutes we all had. It escalated until my young mind, not suited to mathematics, and not curious enough to endeavor through recess, quit calculating. I don't know where the piece of paper on which those figures are imprinted is. I probably threw it into the trash as I did with all of my school papers.

That curiosity still guides me today. Some believe there to be an impulsively in me, but I don't believe there is such, I believe that my extreme curiosity in everything is what creates this impression. I sometimes will stare at something for no apparent reason, just study it, because I am curious. I will set aside my fears and go and talk to people I don't know, with no preparation at all, because I am curious. I know well the phrase “Curiosity killed the cat.” but I also know well the portion of that phrase many leave out, the phrase by which I live “But, satisfaction brought him back.”

The only thing that separates truly brilliant, wonderful people, from stagnate ones, is curiosity. We are amazed by those people we once called idiot savants, those people who, though impaired, can do extraordinary things with their minds. What we often fail to notice about these amazing people is their curiosity. A savant who has memorized a library certainly was not pushed towards this goal by a parent, or a friend, so of course there is another driving force, curiosity.

When we hear the word genius names like Einstein and Edison, and Shakespeare, come to mind. Was it not Einstein who said “Imagination is more important than knowledge”? Einstein was a man fueled by his curiosity. He was curious as to what it would be like to travel on a bicycle at the speed of light. This sparked his greatest discoveries, his curiosity.

By choosing to live curiously, choosing to pursue those of my whims which have no root or importance more than that curiosity, I am taking the path of brilliant men. Perhaps I too will be brilliant for this, perhaps I won't, but no mater the outcome, imagine what I will see.