Wednesday, December 29, 2010


My GMail account is a pretty awesome motivator right now. Ive got emails for my:

-Flight confirmation for Glendale
-Hotel e-reservation for Glendale
-Two different tailgate ticket e-confirmations for THE game
-E-reservation for the cabin for our Crater Lake snowshoe excursion
-Flight confirmation for my trip to Kansas City
-Order confirmation for my new schnazzy waterproof hiking shoes
-A list of trails I emailed to myself that I want to hit soon.

So uplifting. Life is truly beautiful. Sometimes you just have to slow down and smile.
(But for now, back to work!!)

Monday, December 20, 2010


I recently finished the book Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer (Yes, I know I am way behind--apparently everyone else read this book years ago) The story follows Chris McCandless/Alex Supertramp on his Alaskan voyage at the age of 24. Four months later, McCandless's corpse was found at his campsite by a group of hunters. I wont get into much more of it, but after graduating college he hit the road (two years before beginning his Alaskan adventure) picking up work, naturally meeting people along the way, including 80 year old Ron Franz, who had befriended him in Salton City. Alex encouraged Ron to put a camper on the back of his pickup, give up his California apartment, hit the road, and begin to really experience life.

He wrote Ron this letter before he parted into the wild. Just thought I would share it. Thanks for the great recommendation Jared.

I really enjoy all the help you have given me and the times we spent together. I hope that you will not be too depressed by our parting. It may be a very long time before we see each other again. But providing that I get through this Alaskan Deal in one piece you will be hearing form me again in the future.

I’d like to repeat the advice I gave you before, in that I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing or been to hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one piece of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, Ron, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to this scheme of life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.

And so, Ron, in short, get out of Salton City and hit the Road. I guarantee you will be very glad you did. But I fear that you will ignore my advice. You think I am stubborn, but you are even more stubborn than me. You had a wonderful chance on your drive back to see one of the greatest sights on earth, the Grand Canyon, something every American should see at least once in his life. But for some reason incomprehensible to me you wanted nothing but to bolt for home as quickly as possible, right back to the same situation which you see day after day after day. I fear you will follow this same inclination in the future and thus fail to discover all the wonderful things that God has placed around us to discover. Don’t settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon. You are still going to live a long time, Ron, and it would be a shame if you did not take the opportunity to revolutionize your life and move into an entirely new realm of experience.

You are wrong if you think Joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living.

My point is that you do not need me or anyone else around to bring this kind of light in your life. It is simply waiting out there for you to grasp it, and all you have to do is reach for it. The only person you are fighting is yourself and your stubbornness to engage in new circumstances.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

"Sheep go to Heaven. Goats go to Hell"

I need to start out by reminding everyone that this blog is just simply a medium for me to try to balance and organize my thoughts. I am not pushing, I am not getting up on a soap-box, I am simply trying to organize. I make no promises that at the end of my posts I will have actually come to any "conclusions", in fact I may just talk myself around in circles and wind up even more confused. Read it if you will, but remember that I am writing for myself, not necessarily for you.

Death is a weird thing.

Some believe that when you die you have to go through St. Pete--the bouncer of Heaven--to see if your deeds as a mortal were worthy enough to get your soul through the Pearly Gates. If you don't pass St. Pete's test, your soul gets the elevator shaft down to a fiery pit to go join Satan and all the other serial-killers. I can't accept that we are living our lives in order to appease a "bouncer". Shouldn't we be living towards the betterment of humanity for our own intrinsic rewards; because we want to see our community and our surroundings thrive? I can't live my life only doing good things hoping to get a reward on the flip side. I live my life doing good things because I choose to.

I don't believe in Heaven or Hell.

So what then though? What is the alternative? When my Grandma was dying she was so excited to die so that she could see my uncle and my Grandpa. She knew that she would be reunited on the 'other side' with them. Did she though? I would like to think that she reverted back to her hot 30 year-old-self and is somewhere drinking dirty martinis with them, but I have no idea. None of us do.

I also would like to think that Grandma and Grandpa are somewhere lookin' out for my dumb self, cause every now and then I will catch myself after a sharp turn in the car, or a bad skiing wipe-out thinking "woo-thanks guys!" This one I know can't possibly be true.

I don't believe in Guardian Angels, but I still send empty 'thank yous'.

A hopeless part of me wants to believe that after we die, our souls do something. Maybe convert into an energetic form. I wouldn't go as far as saying that when I die, I will become a bird, or anything like that. But I think it would be cool to believe that maybe my energy harbors at the lake, or in a forest. You know when are hiking along, or for others, walking along shopping--whatever your hobby is--and you feel the overwhelming desire to smile? I want to be that smile when I die.

No one knows what happens when you die. It is the greatest unknown. It is why people cling to religion.

I am not afraid to die.

Not even a little bit.

I accepted long ago that when we die, most likely nothing will happen. No Heaven. No Hell. No energy. It will just be a black void, a black void that we wont even be able to comprehend. We will just die.

It is why I don't think twice about a lot of things that I do, I want to experience everything before I go.

The only thing that pulls at me when it comes to death, and gets me choked up beyond reason, is thinking about the ripple effects of my death. It is why to me, suicide is damn near unforgivable. I am not scared to die per say, but I do have to think about the other people in my life, like my parents, and my siblings--well, my family as a whole. I can't leave them behind. Jared and I had a debate a few weeks back about whether you would prefer to unexpectedly die, or know that you were dying. He chose the former, I chose the latter. Knowing that your end is coming gives you a chance to get your ducks in a row before you go, and gives you the opportunity to say goodbye to those that you love. It provides you that time of transition, where as an unexpected death leaves your family feeling blind sided and blasted.

I am not scared of dying, but I am scared of leaving others behind.