Thursday, February 23, 2012

Keeping things Simple

For me it's about simplicity. Sometimes I put things off and things become a mess and more complex. Or, on occasion, a relationship can bring about varied emotions. These complexities usually lead to a mental/emotional drain of some sort. Let's try to avoid them, shall we.

One step I made in favor of simplicity is only owning 4 plates and 4 sets of silverware and 4 cups and one bowl. Needless to say, my kitchen is not as messy as it used to be. I've also only been eating yogurt, pizza, and ramen noodles. Keeping meals super-simple and relying on MSG for added nutrients gives more time to pursue other activities such as facebooking and blogging. For the record, I've been adding things to the ramen so it is more filling, like a raw egg, and sometimes veggies. The meal is literally done in 6 minutes, it's cheap, and I'm good to go. Pizza arrives in less time.

I've cut down on my furniture too. I really don't have a lot. It's nice. I threw out books I don't read either. My weakness is and always has been an over abundance of clothing. I'm working on that as we speak. Lord willing (sigh).

Regarding music, I usually like to start a song with a simple groove or chord progression. From there beautiful things can be born. One step at a time, just break that shit down. Usually after a groove or progression a simple melody is created in most cases before words are written. The key to everything is being able to see and break things down in their simplest form or parts and studying that interaction. Seeing things come in and come out. It's a lovely when thing when that skill is developed. Quite powerful.

Relationships are best kept simple. Platonic situations work best for me in all cases. There are other places and times for satisfying the physical, but don't mix that up with people that you know well or spend time with. That's just asking for trouble. Keep it cold. Keep it simple. No head games and manipulation if we follow the words above.

Governments and regulation have been out of control and they should be streamlined too. Look at the mess we've put ourselves in overseas. We've made a lot of enemies and hurt our economy in the process. Complex regulations in this country are mostly done for the benefit of big corporations. If we stuck to the simple principles of free markets, private property rights, and non violence things would run much smoother. Instead we've added so much nonsense. It's unsustainable and will come to an end. Hopefully giving birth to a more simplified, lasting approach.

It is my hope, for those of you that read this are touched in such a way that you are inspired to cut some of the bullshit out of your own lives. I'm far from perfecting myself. Much of this comes from wanting less things. I still want things but I don't obsess over them like I used to. We're put on this earth alone, and, we will go alone. Let's not make it harder than it should be. Enjoy a good meal and a good chat.

(what a sappy ending to a shitty blog.....)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bad Style Decisions of the Past.

Since about fourth grade I became interested in style. My older brother and sister and one of my uncles were strong influences on me and they all had a pretty good sense of style. This was the 80's, a great decade for fashion and looking good, and it even rubbed off on us middle class folks in Shadyside. However, as we develop and get minds of our own we can experiment. Experimentation is usually good, but sometimes accidents happen. God gave me a great fashion sense, but there were some pitfalls along the way. I will document those. I blame the late 80s and most of the 90s for these errors.

My first exposure to serious fashion was the prep vibe. I went to private catholic school and everyone had to look preppy. Polo shirts and docksiders, later Sebagos, were the name of the game. A New England fetish was going on and I was swept up in it. I remember getting my first polo shirt it was pink and bright and plad. This style was all good. We felt confident, like little CEO bastards playing tackle football on the concrete streets of western PA (I never liked getting tackled). We watched the Eurythmics, Wham and Frankie goes to Hollywood on MTV. We wore swatch watches. We hated Bon Jovi (rightfully so). We enjoyed this. And we stuck our noses up. For the record, many of use weren't wealthy. But we acted like it.

The above was all good, and aside from the pettiness which goes along with it, I'm not really ashamed by it. But something happened in the later 80s to throw everything off. The Grateful Dead seemed to gain strong popularity with their release of "In the Dark." A mediocre album, but it contained their only hit ever. This turned a lot of preps into faux hippies. And, I am embarrassed to admit embrassed it. There was a confusion that went on. I must admit I became a minor dead head for a while which later turned into the Doors (People are Strange was covered on the Lost Boys soundtrack - around that time) to draw us all in. This was around the late 80s. I owned a Baha.
That was actually a nice article of clothing, but I would combine it with dress clothes and it just was a very awkward look. Over time, bahas become way too popular. Luckily I stopped wearing mine by then in favor of a turquoise LL Bean Jacket. But, understand, a Prep-Hippie approach confuses a lot of people.

Around this time I also grew my hair long, long enough for a pony tail. This was 8th grade. I looked like a little girl. I'm thankful my parents didn't try to control my decisions on this. Instead my dad would just make fun of me. Which made me wanna keep it until high school started. I had a fat face then.

An ongoing mistake during high school (91-95) was sometimes wearing shirts that were too big for me. I was a small skinny kid with a skinny neck and BIGGER SHIRTS will only emphasize that. I also wore pleated pants during this time. To my credit I owned a really nice pair of swede wingtips (again my older bros influence) that looked okay with jeans and a tee shirt. Needless to say, I didn't attend any social events and had just a few friends. The Steelers were doing well then so I lived through them. I stopped listening to music for the most part too. Grunge wasn't doing anything for me, though I was influenced by the flannels as we'll see.

My first year of college started, in Erie, PA (don't remind me) it was '95, and it was time to buy a fine pair of timberland hiking boots and about five good pairs of jeans, and tons of flannels. Presidents of the USA had an okay song on MTV, they played Jewel way too much though, and Blues Traveler gets sort of old, right? I owned a cap I would wear around too. Combining those with my glasses I looked like a shady creep (what's changed?). I smoked cigars then and smelled like really bad (again, what's changed?). My first taste of freedom and I made friends with some rednecks who liked the outdoors. I had a brief stint with Copenhagen Chewing tobacco, which gave me a great first buzz, with a few beers, but I never could do that thing to pack the tobacco. We would hike a lot and I was dressed appropriately for it. Erie is depressing though, everyone should leave that town. Really!

As I came out east, I remained grunge outwardly, but slowly I discarded it as I graduated around early 2000's. I think I still had some pleated pants (not related to grunge-but more so '90s dress clothes) remaining in my closet that eventually faded away along with the jeans. I had a borderline mullet around 2000 that I got rid of after a Montreal trip, there is a picture of that somewhere, I think I'm on the St. Laurence. One of my last bad style decisions.

Around 2001, and on I became a little more thoughtful on style decisions. The fashion sense I was naturally given came to fruition as I began to develop a serious eye for used clothing. Currently, about 95% of my clothes are used and I feel I'm dressed just as good, if not better than most around. Reddy Red gives me a run for my money sometimes. What others might think is ridiculous or flamboyant, I can pull off with confidence, not that I'm pushing the envelop or anything. It must always look like you're not trying for anything.

Hopefully this piece inspired you to look back at your various style choices through the years. For the most part I believe this is an accurate representation of my journey. On another note, my mother still will buy clothes for me and she almost always has an awesome sense of what I should wear. She buys them new though. Over Christmas she purchased a great pair of cordoroy jeans. I look really good in them. Currently I'm wearing light brown Clark's Loafers, Pin-Stripped Brown slacks (no pleats-used), a J-Crew rust colored sweater (used) and a baby blue, with white striped button down (used) and tie, yellow (used).

Monday, February 13, 2012

Who does that?

This is a brief list and some discussions of things I've pondered about what people do. The question is: What kind of people do this? Things that humans do that I don't understand. This doesn't mean they are god or bad, in some cases it does, but mainly it's things that strike me as odd but might be common occurrences in the world we live in.

1) Who in their right mind gets knocked up if they don't have a reliable partner or any income?
It's not new anymore but I see a lot more now. An occurrence I'll never understand, I assume it's based on government programs/welfare. Please understand, I'm not blaming America's problems on this situation like a lot of people do, there are others higher up, that steal way more from the government. (We all steal from the government really, directly or indirectly.) I'm questioning the mindset of anyone who would want to be tied down to a life that they can't support. Many at such young ages. Rubbers aren't hard to acquire.

2) Who goes to a Nickelback concert?

3) Who still watches cable news as their primary source of information?
I'm no scholar, but if you haven't realized the major news networks are an absolutely horrible source for current event you must be a fucking idiot. The coverage is so dumbed and details are rarely discussed.

4) Why do dainty men and women buy big SUVs to get around in?
People should have the right to purchase what they want in a free market, but, in light of current gas prices I'm rather clueless as to why those with soft hands who have no need for a truck, buy one. My guess would be a self-esteem builder. Having driven one they do give you sense of power that some people just lack. It's quite sad.

5) Who still passionately votes for a major party candidate?
I guess I'm guilty of that in the primaries, but that's when the field is wide open. I'm speaking more about a major presidential election. Who was the last person to get excited about? Who can you say you voted for without any shame?

6) Who watches television?
I'll admit, with HDTV, you do get some good stations but the price is really not worth it. Hook your computer up to your TV you can get all the sporting events and movies you want. When you want it. What I'm saying isn't new.

7) Who purchases vehicles made by GM?
It's funny, I'm writing this as my brother texted me that my old man bought a Chevy Malibu. He only did cause he had GM points ($3000 credit). Other than that though, the company failed at creating a good car and got bailed out by you and me. That really isn't fair. Ford makes much better cars if you want to buy American and well, overseas, at least in the UK, you see way more Fords than Chevy's. I am interested in seeing the old man's Malibu. I hope it's what he wanted.

8) Who drinks all of those sugary drinks?
Go to any Gas Station in this country and look at their beverage coolers. I think aside from water, everything else is loaded with sugar or high fructose corn syrup or even worse? Who decided that they liked insane amounts of sweet in their drinks. This is madness really. Tea, coffee, energy drinks, goes on. I enjoy Coke every now and again, but that shit doesn't need to be in everything.

Seven years ago I stumbled upon Ito En's, Tea's Tea, Green Jasmine flavor. Here's the gimmick, it JUST CONTAINS TEA, WATER, and JASMINE. What a mind blower! It's the best stuff out there, Honest Tea does okay too. Drink unsweetened teas for a month and everything else will taste like shit. Fuck sweets.

9) Who hates McDonald's/Fastfood?
There are a lot of them out there but I don't think McDonald's pretends to be something it's not. Anyone with a brain knows your getting shit and you're getting it quickly. Their service is fast and excellent and it should be respected in its proper place. I might eat there a few times a year and I do feel sick afterwards but what should I expect. Except it for what it is and move on.

I'm done here. If anyone still reads this, add some below.