The sunsets in the Bay Area continue to look like scenes out of post-apocalyptic science fiction films, with the ghostly red orb of the sun looking more like a bloody moon. Needless to say, the air quality has taken quite a dive. Around the state, wilderness and non-wilderness are falling victim to indiscriminate fire.
Leafing through the latest National Geographic, I noticed that our fire woes have warranted an article there.
On a completely different note, I'm pleased to see that same gender couples can finally get married. In the parking lot of our local grocery store, I saw a car belonging to a newly wedded couple - in the window, they had painted, JUST MARRIED - AFTER 23 YEARS! Imagine having to wait that long. Of course, the forces of evil lurk nearby. On the way to the grocery store, there is a car with a "marriage is between a man and a woman" bumper sticker. The "man" and "woman" are represented by little icons which resemble the ones found on bathroom doors. I've often fantasized about vandalizing that sticker by replacing one of the icons with a farm animal, but have held back from doing so, either because, a) I'm too mature for such shenanigans, or b) I don't have any farm animal stickers.
Speaking of maturity, lately I've been delving deeply into the boxes of papers and junk that I left behind in my mom's garage the last time I moved (actually, two times ago, I think). It has sparked a reflective state of mind, the results of which can mostly be seen over at my music blog, since music occupies such a big space in my life (for good or ill). In some ways, it's almost like a second childhood, but instead of buying a convertible, I'm blogging about forgotten punk bands.
Amongst the music memorabilia, there are also a lot of school papers, mostly from my time at San Jose State. I even found a short, autobiographical piece that I wrote for a sociology class 19 years ago. Reading it was interesting, especially because in some ways, not a lot has changed. I'm a bit more nuanced now, but my basic beliefs are pretty much the same.
In the spirit of those people who read old journal entries in front of audiences, here it is, in its entirety:
Who Am I?
To whom it may concern,
Who the heck am I? Well, let's see... I'm a 21 year old male with hair that evidently looks like some redneck's sister's and a slightly protruding stomach due to excess junk food inhalation. I judge myself to be somewhat average looking.
I spend most of my time listening to music which most other people hate and reading horror novels which seem to disgust an uncommonly large number of people. I like watching bad Italian horror movies about zombies and maniacs wielding sharp kitchen utensils.
On the creative side, I like to draw, although I often find myself drawing icky dead people. I also like to write stories and poems, always keeping the subject matter appropriately grim, of course. However, I do like stupid humor and often liven things up with puns that nobody gets, which is good because I would probably get hit a lot if people got them. I also "sing" for an extremely noisy, yet politically/socially correct punk band.
I like unspoiled wilderness and I'm very upset with the rate at which it is becoming spoiled by human greed and ignorance. The government scares me and pisses me off greatly as well. I am what some people call "anti-American" because I don't believe in being fed lies and half-truths by people who claim to be working in our best interests. Sure, maybe our system is better than some, but I believe it still stands for a lot of improvement. People who believe the U.S. is perfect are hurting an already sick situation.
I am somewhat socially awkward at times but this doesn't bother me as much as it could because I'm not really out to impress anyone. I tend to like small groups of friends better than large social gatherings. I avoid parties, never drink, never take drugs, and don't smoke. I do, however, eat too much.
I am an accomplished procrastinator, never doing something today that can be put off until tomorrow. I have, however, been working on changing this aspect of my personality. Maybe tomorrow...
On the plus side though, once I start a task I always finish it quickly and efficiently (well, most of the time anyway).
I actively avoid anything mainstream. I hate trends and fads. I never watch TV. I am an athiest. I don't believe in telling other people what to do or how to run their lives. I hope George Bush gets hit by a bus, but only if it runs over Dan Quayle first. I seem to be rambling here, so I guess I'll stop. Have a nice day, if you want to.
There you have it. Most of this still applies to one degree or another. I don't spend anywhere near as much time reading horror novels or watching horror films now (I've gotten a lot more picky). I also don't draw corpses for the sake of drawing corpses anymore - that was just a byproduct of my fascination with horror movies anyway. My feelings for George Bush are the same, even if the George Bush isn't. It's also interest to note that I started the piece above by talking about what I look like and what I like to do. I guess that's an indication that I first defined myself by my appearance and interests, rather than the deeper, more personal stuff. Of course, I usually don't dig too deeply in any kind of public forum, including this blog.
I got an 'A' on the paper, and the professor wrote, you are "one of a kind", John, at the bottom. Hmmm.
Back in the present, I'm at the end of a two-week "vacation", and I start working at summer camp on Monday. The people at Bethel Church hired me, like they do pretty much every summer, to bring reptiles and arachnids to show their little summer campers, and I spent a couple of mornings this week doing that. I'm still working away at getting my teaching credentials too. Time is just flying by, like I was warned it would.