Hope is a Beautiful Mistress.


Safety has a beauty rarely seen, which I see as a shame to the human race in development. I sit in front of cat, currently, and see she is sleeping peacefully. I even imagine she is smiling in a way, but she will never say if that is the truth or not. Science advises us to look at relationships between man and animal as symbiotic with no real emotion between the two of us. The cat only stays with a human for food, the dog does not bite for fear of punishment, and the bird does not leave due to clipped wings and a cage. This is to say that we have developed a tradition of conditioning animals to require us by using incentive, punishment, or force to make them our own. We are apathetic and inhuman and some how we see love in return.
As inhuman of a process as breaking animals is, we tend to use the same tactics with people. Certain friendships will only be born out of necessity for drugs or money and parents still train their children into the profession of the greatest gain to themselves. This is a sick overuse of power that seems so greatly unneeded in my mind.
This is when I return to the present as I write this and view the cat in front of me once more. She is asleep and silent; compared to earlier when she begged for food and licked me to make me of her scent. This is the selfish nature that drives life, but still she sits in my presence, unflinching at the key strokes I make as I type. This is trust. I will not harm her and she knows it even though I agitate her by petting her or scratch the wrong spots of her. She feels safe; no science in the world would disagree with that statement due how obvious it is. Safety that is not easily gained in her world of fast cars and self-centered animals. She found trust by us feeding her, yes, but more importantly, allowing no harm to come to her by our hands. Generosity for trust, is not incentive for motives.
This is my wish for humanity that may never be reached, but is fun to think about. The day when men receive food not by incentive, but need. Not be punished, but taught. Have no restriction, because their intentions are pure. We will no longer be like animals that we train, but people above simple natures such as greed, mistrust, alienation and on to a more tolerant freedom for all. A peace that I feel is worth fighting for and beauty greater than any diamond.

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Let Me Tell You What I See…


When I woke up this morning I knew the basic idea of what my day was to be. I would go to the Bart, meet my girlfriend’s friends, and have a nice lunch with them. Maybe the day would end with a sleep over at her house, even though Jayzel said how unlikely it was, I still hoped. Such a rudimentary plan, but all I had needed to gather confidence and get out the door. I expected no great drama, no amazing situations, and let no thought escape the realism of what my day was to be. I gave my best guess as to my day and by the end I was right. No special circumstances had come around to ruin or improve my day, but instead lived a predictably pleasant time. As I am not one for the banal or uninteresting, how could it be conceivably so that I enjoyed my day?
I saw white-noise as it zipped past me on a Bart train; giving me a settled mind enough to think of my life and possible life.
I saw the unsettled smile of a young women I had snuck up on and scared. She was glad to see me as, not only myself and not a villain, but as her boyfriend; here to reconnect love once more.
I saw another young women for the first time who looked solemn, possibly because of her nature and possibly due to me. Either way I could see the occasional smile from a laugh at my smart remarks and how she preferred to be with us and not elsewhere.
I met a gentlemen that recognized my musical favor after a comment on “Les Miserables.” A conversation was drummed up instantly, and though hollow (for we agreed on ever point), common conversation must be the foothold to better understanding.
I saw, probably, the most happy Chinese man I think I will ever meet who sat down at the table with us to ask us for our orders; a liberty that I found charming and much better than the typical distant waiter.
I reassured my group of friends that they did not need to pay me back for the bill I just paid and let my impulsive gesture bring a smile to my own face and not theirs.
I walked through a mall drawing a question for every sight: Japanese utilities being sold as fashion accessories? Fake diamonds on gaudy rings for whom? A fish in a pet shop with an eye missing has nowhere to be received?
Never answered for sure, but still enough to ponder and play with.
Then I walked a long way with love and friend; hearing the happy banter from one and silence from the other. We walked to an unspoken destination at measly pace, with a little need for speech, but physical need for the long trek. The exercise was well received and much needed. We left our silent companion at her door as we exchanged pleasantries and parted. Jay and I continued.
We arrived at her house with love as our goal, but no hope due to family. The simple distraction of a puzzle was a welcomed substitute.
I saw Jay’s baby brother and was fascinated and curious at what I represented to him and how his future would be. A life lives astray from anyone’s possibility, except one’s own.
As Jay predicted, I left when constrained by time to walk and jog alone to Bart. I returned from one person’s life to my own and now I reflect the difference.
I lived a simple day, with dry laughs, intended happiness, and restriction only to find interest where there is none. This is a rare occurrence and one not to brag about, but encourage. Live with a wide mind and deep heart; you just might find what you aren’t looking for.

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Summer=Possiblilities


After class today I untied the academic anchor off my neck and stood tall. I breathed freedom and it smelled of possibility. Every other lecture in school I was drifting off to summer prematurely. A time when I could see my friends, figure a job, and take a few more adventurous steps. I see summer just as I did as a child: freedom, but now I finally know what to do with it.
Road trips, day trips, bay trips, hiking, biking, exploring, so much of everything that nothing should be boring. I remember summers in front of the TV watching Nickelodeon; annoyed because I had to wait until 1 in the afternoon for them to start showing the good cartoons. Never once did I realize that the situations I was watching were actually possible if I stepped out my door for more than thirty minutes.
A friend asked me recently “Why do you like to walk around so much?” I was flabbergasted for a brief second, because I had to answer it for myself as well. My reply was that I like the unknown and to be challenged, but it is more than that.
Sit at home and watch a screen flicker or step out side and be the flickering screen, those are your options. You either embrace the safety of your entertainment, environment, and entrap yourself in a room where natural light is an enemy or you accept your capabilities and put them to the test. As human beings we have the ability to climb mountain, build massive structures, and create beauty beyond what the animal kingdom has ever seen. When I understand such a truth I am compelled to do just that and more. Sure, murder, rape, and stealing are off limits, but I guarantee you have other interests and that those exciting activities are not what you want done to you or anyone else you know. Within reality we still have possibilities that maybe people don’t fully understand or take advantage of. We can learn an astounding amount: juggling, singing, history, theater, etc. We can conceive innovative ideas: politics, philosophy, economics, sociology, etc. We can build amazing configurations: houses, relationships, art, muscles etc. All of these being human accomplishments that are worth more to the common man than those same accomplishments on any on a game.
I would wager that many people are scared that they cannot accomplish such talents, but we all possess the ability. Just look past the jeering glances of the people who would stop you on your way and laugh at how you once were. Not a simple transition, but worth while endeavor if there ever was one.
I “walk around”, because I know that I can experience the situations I watch in the movies, TV, and games and test how I would react. Afterwords I can relate better to people and am more enlightened for being being a little more uncomfortable. People assume what is on the screens they watch is truth, when you know nothing of truth until you experience it first hand. I am sure that bar fight on TV look awesome as the hero leaves without a scratch, but would you really be that hero? No, you would probably end up with a bar stool to the face or maybe you would stop the fight. We know nothing of our human nature, because we never test it anymore. We simply watch other people act and never understand emotion and intelligence for ourselves. The best part of this lesson is that you can be that hero. If you work out enough, train in some martial art, and have the courage to start a bar fight with your enemy, then you will be the hero you so admired. Have we lost that ambition? I believe so, but I hope to save it.
I leave you with a quote that perfectly illustrates my point from one of those cartoons I watched during my summers as a child:
“Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!”
-Ms. Frizzle, The Magic School Bus.

Have a grand summer, anyone and everyone!

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Letting Go (change)


Take a moment and think about your most sacred belonging. Maybe it is that is your grandmother’s old jewelry, the steering wheel from the first car you totaled, or possibly the secret stuffed bunny you kiss good night before bed. Good, got it? Great, study time is over. Now, pop quiz: Someone throws that precious item and one of your friends off a cliff at the same time and you can only save on of them, which do you choose to save? If you asked “Which friend is it?” than the answer doesn’t matter. I proved my point. For one second, you believed that an inanimate unfeeling object was more important than a human life. Now you might have been just joking, but people can be so connected to a object to merit a tough choice. Keeping this in mind might make my tale of a simple hat that much easier to understand.
About a month into knowing me you will start to pick up my consistencies and it will become very apparent that I wear my hat a lot. Something I can only say in the past tense of present, because I lost it about a month ago. My hat was described by others as a fisherman’s hat or I was described as Indiana Jones for wearing it. Though I saw hardly saw the resemblance to Indy’s hat, because it was floppy and a greeny brown color, but I let myself be the subject of the public’s imagination.The hat quickly became synonymous with me and vice versa. Then soon after that it just became a part of my legacy (whatever that may be) and gathered quite the intrigue, which is funny to me, because the origins of the hat are embarrassingly simple.

I had picked the hat to wear one day during my sophomore year of high school and it was originally owned by my brother, Sean, before I absconded with it (This is typical the history I have with my brothers: You steal my clothes, I steal yours. There was never so much vengeance under one household). I probably started to wear the hat because of my other older brother having worn hats through his high school career; this affirming that there is no amazing origin to my fascinating fallen fabric and even some less than proud banality on my part. Now flash to my current loss and know that, because of some matter, I was uncomfortably confused about the whole ordeal.

You may be unsure as to which side of the “Are objects worth shedding tears for?” argument I am on at this point, but so am I. I am a man who has staked his emotions in the good of the people around him and functions for the people I can make happy when I can, but to invest emotion in a hat, still has my rational mind giddy, giggly, and hardly serious when thinking of it. Though soon after my loss I had many thought that were unexpected: Did people see me or the hat? How would this change my appearance to others? Would people care if I lost it? Worries like those came and went soon as I noticed the real world didn’t give much of a care for my hat and saw me the same as always. This was empowering and I took my emancipation from my hat as a joy, but if that was my reaction, then why recently did I return to Berkeley to look, weeks later, for a token of my past I was glad to lose?

I had planned an entire day in Berkeley that was to be a day of thrift shopping for a costume I needed to work on for a class. As much as I tell myself that was the reason, I can’t fully believe it. I knew that a ragged hat found on the street could possibly end up in a thrift store. So really, this trip would be killing two birds with one stone; though I didn’t suspect it until I was at the 3rd thrift shop on my list and realized that I always looked at the hat racks first. Each one left disappointed, but still hopeful. By the 5th store I realized that I had bought no clothing in the stores for my project and finally saw just how focused my thoughts were.

Was my mind distracted? Most definitely. I was consumed with thoughts of my hat’s fate. Was a hobo wearing it? Was it in the trash? Is it lying lifeless in someones’ room? Optimism eventually took hold of me when I started conjuring story book scenarios in my head of finding the hat at the bottom of a hat box or in some gutter. Then I would smile and pick it up as I said “Oh, you!” but the world is never so perfect as that and off times it is cruel as that day was to me. Hats seemed to be the constant subject of the day; taunting me at every turn. It was a sunny day and the masses of people were never going to get their noses get toasted, so hats were everywhere; keeping me diligent that I might find my lost headgear somewhere on someone’s head. I even had lunch with an older married couple at Blondies pizzeria who had just come to Berkeley from Los Gatos; all to get to get hats for a era costume party they were going to.

It was at the 7th and final thrift store that I made break through and had no more hope to exhaust. My vision was fogged by a futile search for something gone and now those clouds left my sight. Up until this point I had bought nothing except lunch, but at this store at the end, I decided to make a change and buy some shoes. The bitter irony of walking two miles in Berkeley to get a pair of shoes made me laugh a little and with that I left; back tracking through all the stores I had been to with new eyes. In every shop I saw something new for the needs of my costume that wasn’t there before. So, with a clear head, I traversed the path already taken with a new question.What was so special about that old hat?

It was me. It was who I was. All of my past ideals and memories were in every stitch of its cloth glory, but it was time to change. I will confess that in the months that led up to my hat’s disappearance the frequency of forgetting it places rose significantly. Was I forgetting everything or just my hat? I recall keeping up with school assignments so I wasn’t so forgetful. Maybe it was just the winds of change who took my hat from me. My lack of memory for the poor piece of cloth might have been a sign of the life I knew was to come and how I could go on without it; I was ready. My loss of a constant gave way to change that was shortly greeted with none of the fears I had built for myself; showing that the greatest change I had undertaken amounted to none at all. Finding my hat now would be pointless, because I regret nothing and would save a friend falling off a cliff in a stitch second.

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Safe Zone #1 (Stereotypes)


I was walking down mission street in San Francisco with my girlfriend. I had taken a similar trip like this once before with her where we walked in wonder at all the thrift stores, gazed curiously at the murals/graffiti, and partook in some of the best Mexican food I had ever tasted. Before that trip I was warned of the area, that it might be unsafe or, at the very least, sketchy, but it didn’t phase me. I was worried initially sure, because we as humans are set to always be afraid of the unknown, but I was too anxious to count it.

This time around I felt more comfortable, but just as I always am, especially with my girlfriend, I am more aware in big cities. They are a confined space full of turns and dead ends where you never know what will happen. I naturally was on guard; ready to jab out physically only to discover I was already jabbing emotionally.

We passed a crowd of four Mexican who were crowding the sidewalk by being on either side of the walkway. Any intelligent,aware individual can see that as setup for a jumping, but even though it was broad daylight I still flinched and purposefully went around them in the street. Soon I came across two tall black men standing on either sides of the walkway, just as the Mexicans before them had. A woman walking in front of us walked out in the street to avoid them and as she did, one of the black men spoke out “You are going that way just to dodge us, but we wont hurt ya.” The women continued on her way to the other side of the street just as I recognized they were no threat and walked between the two men. As we walked by the black man said “Don’t worry, we’re all friends here.” At this moment I was touched at his reassurance and angry at my ignorance. I can’t imagine how it feels to be regarded as threat when you did nothing to merit it. I walked on and the only speech I could muster in return was the wish of a good day to both of them.
I continued, but with a sad sense of guilt on my heart. It is more than offensive to be threatened irrationally and without a word, because irrational is what it was. My reasons so twisted by popular culture and the infamy of the area that I would so wrongly offend two friendly people. The situation churns my insides and almost makes me tear at my ignorance. How could I be so willing to accept the unknown, but fear it likewise?

It all comes down to stereotypes; those dumb generalization that misguide us all. But isn’t that all we have to go on? Hearsay? rumors? It all keeps us so protected my claustrophobia is acting up. Was it the bad reputation of the area? or was it the people? Probably a combination of the two, but neither makes it right. We all hear that “Asians are good at math.” or that “Black people are deceitful” and we never really question it, because we see it being proven right in the news when the next hot physicist is Asian or when some Black people break into a car. This is no way to see the world; to judge at every turn without discretion. I understand that a stereotype or two may have kept you safe, but from what? Odds say if you heard that a place was full of black people and was considered “ghetto”, you never went. So how could you know?

I don’t mean to be so serious all of the sudden, but when I think of simplifying such a complex creation as a human being into categories of intelligence, mistrust, cleanliness, or thievery; it just makes me believe in our simplicity (Wrap your head around that conundrum). So simple to believe the bullshit without an inkling to see what is the truth is. Don’t let ignorance, and more so, fear stop you from the intrigue of the world. We are at constant risk in this world, so what is a little more that may not be there at all?

Have great sleep or awake,

-Jeff

“The unexamined life is a life not worth living”
-Socrates

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Oh Muff it all! (The Future)


Muff? Muff you say!? Yes, Muff! Or should I say screw, dash, damn, crucify; take your pick, because they all have a certain ring to them right now. I am done trying to plan a raw uncontrollable force of random like myself for a blog! From this point on I don’t know what will happen. An elephant foot could fly out of your computer screen offering a dandelion for all I know! Actually, I will get to work on that soon. I am not exactly sure why I ever tried to plan anything to begin with, because other than knowing that you are going to grannies house on Thursdays, you wont know anything that can or will happen next (Granny might want a sponge bath).
Sure, you can guess that she will have you sweep the floor or scare the neighbor hood kids away with a witch mask, but you will never be able to know exactly what is going to happen or how you will react to it. One of those little kids you scare might have a bat with him and when it comes to fight or flight, I don’t think that kids running. If by some magic miracle, you thought so far ahead that you remembered your anti-bat spray (for kids) container then I feel sorry for you. To have done whatever complex life calculus necessary to foresee such an event, you must have missed a lot. Anyone who is worth their malt(delicious) knows that there is no such thing as anti bat spray and even if there was you could just as easily dodge said bat, but what I am trying to say is that by living in the future, you miss a lot of the present. (The same goes for the past, but that is another blog entry)
I know plenty of people who have said “I’m going to medical school!” and would have bet their knife that is where they would be in their future, but when they got there they learned something quite to the contrary. Either they hated the amount of work, the patients, the cadavers, or they were tired of having to sleep with all of their professors to get As. Soon, and after some experimentation, they had a different pursuit that lead them in a better more interesting direction that spoke truer to themselves.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, there are those who jump off cliffs before looking and might as well be described as birds with no wings. Thinking they can fly, but end flabbergasted. These are the people who leave for Greenland with nothing but their swimsuit and hat; laughing all the way at the thought of those suckers who went to Iceland.
So, when I started this blog and set up expectations for the future I was lying to myself and viewers and that is nothing I can abide by. One thing I will be damn sure of is to be honest in what I say and only speak with proof. Proof, that for this topic, can be taken from my own experience. I was young and imaginative and would have this habit of knowing a spectacular event was coming and try to imagine how it would happen with every ounce of Hollywood fantasy I could cook up; shortly realizing that I was wrong and disappointed. Thinking up how this girl I really liked would end up in my arms;dipped into a kiss. Yeah…right. It was always a dip into a kiss, not sure why. That’s holly wood for you.
They say that the key to happiness is low expectations (So that you are always pleasantly surprised), but that can leave you more melancholy than anything, because nothing might ever excite you and as humans we can’t stand for that very long, before suicide sets in. We need excitement to keep us interested and full of life. So! I suggest two solves for this problem of the future:
1. Don’t be ignorant: Have a basic idea of what you are doing and generally what will you do, but don’t get your hopes so high that they get the munchies and hold up a convenience store for all of their snackums.
2. Learn to Improvise: If plans are going awry then be ready to change at the drop of a bat. Anyone who knows me, will say that I love improvising with the fiery force of the earths core folded in on itself times ten! This is because I enjoy the interesting consequences that come of it, even if shame or embarrassment (I don’t believe in either. Again, another blog entry) result.
I know this blog turned into a lesson on “Duh”, but I have learned that even the most obvious information is never taken to heart and it never heard to be reminded. I certainly needed it, which is why this blog will speak to myself as well as the public about whatever is important in this crazy universe. I also understand that this is a general glaze of the future with many technicalities that I can’t and wont argue. Take the delicious glazed blog or not, it is bakery fresh! For now I bid who ever is reading, A-do and hope whatever gratitude or dislike can become a comment on this page. If you liked this, pass it on.
Here’s to a new beginning with much more to come, cheers!
Jeff

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Perhaps I’ve been verbose…


I know my last entry was an optimist observation of myself and others, but I have to know that isn’t what people who read my work would like, so instead I’ve decided set up some goals:
1. I am going to try to post my adventures in interesting places I have found over the years. Tell a little about them and post some pictures to go with it
2. Everyone likes another opinion, unless they are a willingly deaf jerk of the highest caliber that just saw dragon ball evolution after I told him not to! So maybe I will post a review or two of movies, books, and plays I see. I am honest and forthright with all of what I say, so I wont steer you wrong.
3. I am a writer. Otherwise I’d be lifting weights, playing video games, or druggen/thuggen/muggen with my homies. Ok, so maybe I do a little of the last one when I can, but I have finally decided to write more after years of refraining from the act. I have written a few short stories and I will write more soon. Those stories might end up on here for entertainment purposes.
4. Explain incidents and ideas in everyday life that might be interesting. I am a thinker and not a day goes by that I’m not pondering something that has happened of a thought that has stricken me. So maybe the interest will be common place for most of you, maybe not, but hey, its my blog!
These are some things I seek to do for the readers that take their time to humor me and who knows I might humor you. I don’t laugh are written script too easily, but hey! I believe in you. So cheers for the future!

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