Saturday, April 09, 2005

don't stop
don't stop now
just keep on going

     - Brazilian Girls ("Don't Stop")

All decisions in my life can be categorized into three basic groups. The ones that I know won't ever happen, those I know will and those in between. Most of them fit in the last category. The never-happens are too common. The always-wills are stunningly rare.

I know I've got a lot of bright ideas and I hardly ever follow through with any of them. In fact I can think of only one that made it to fruition. So I know this is a fault of mine.

Frankly, I don't have the patience to concentrate on one thing for very long. Actually, let me correct myself; I don't have the patence to concentrate on one specific task for too long. Writing a white paper or some such would burn me right out. Granted, I was able to concentrate on writing some software for 1.5 years but that was my job. It wasn't hard, it was enjoyable, but it was also not too optional.

My "goal" is to teach English as a foreign language. In a lot of countries that requires a degree. Not a degree in English, mind you, just ...a degree. Most governments require it just to insure you're not a jackoff, but others -- generally third world countries -- do not. On the other hand, every report I've ever heard is that while you can make a living at these gigs, the real money is on the side, teaching privately. In fact I've heard that in some areas $50/hr is not at all unusual. But frankly, it isn't money I'm after.

Why am I blatering about all this? Ok, I'll cut to the chase. I've revived my long-dead idea of cycling over some seriously large distances. The idea is to "get by" for the next year, not worried too much about the "future," find a worthy organization to raise money for, get myself some sponsors, plan the bajesus out of this, then go. So much of this is fermenting in my head that I'm hesitant to write it down since it is so open to adjustment as time passes. But that's the basic goal.

Then there is the "why," which is something sorely lacking from my life.

1) I'd LOVE to teach English. I've been a teacher at RCN, responsible for both creating the teaching material and actually teaching a class. I've also worked with kids and with the single exception of the wonderful age of 2, they don't bother me at all. I'd like to think that my way-too-short year working with homeless kids helped at least one or two of them, somehow. I guess I'm saying that I think teaching is something that (a) I'd enjoy, (b) I wouldn't get sick of because each interaction is different than any other and (c) would give me some sense of accomplishment.

2) I'd like to raise money for a good cause. Special Olympics comes to mind but I'm still hunting. I'll take suggestions. It isn't like there is a lack of underfunded social problems. Considering something like Oxfam. They're currently doing a tsunami fundraiser. I'd also like for it to have international and wide appeal.

3) I need to get the fuck out of this country. The people are killing me, this administration literally takes up a serious amount of my mental with their selective as a motherfucker "culture of life" bullshit. You know, I think to myself, "thank god I don't watch tv" but then I realize how elitist that sounds, so I try not to beat on the subject too hard. And it's not even 100% true. I get in maybe ...2 hours a month. But I feel like I simply cannot relate to so many people I come in touch with and in an abstract sense, it's not their fault.

It's like being in a world full of alcoholics. Try telling them they're addicted. See the reaction you get. This week I pointed out to a (roughly) fourteen year-old girl that I stopped watching in 1994 and she said "My god, that's sad." It was if I'd just told her I didn't breathe.

My only real refuge is Ella and I'm quite sure I'd be a hell of a lot angrier if I didn't know her. She's the only person I've ever met with whom I can speak my mind without installing a filter. You know what I mean, that internal voice that scrubs everything you say when you talk to your general friends. There are subjects you don't talk about, there are thoughts you don't share.

As time goes on, the more I have to say to Ella and the less I have to say to the rest of the planet. I've become contemptuous of virtually everyone and everything. How can I not when the alpha and the omega of the interests of virtually everyone I come in contact with is television or entertainment related?

Don't they say that proximity breeds contempt?

So I need to be around people who are free of the media. Ok, free of our media and perhaps encapsulated in their own indoctrination but shit, that's a start.


So I don't know where this is going to go. Maybe in a year this will be another one of those stupid ideas that I just lost interest in. I hope not.

Today I was at work, semi-bored out of my mind, leaning on the counter and looking past the open door to the parking lot. People walking back and forth, buying shit, carting shit. They looked like ants.

I know that John Lennon said that life is what happens when you're making other plans. I don't think that "happiness" resides in some mountain off the coast of Jakarta. I just need to detoxify my head, give myself some perspective and see if I can answer some long-unanswered questions.

While I'm doing that, I hope to linger a bit and listen to what people have to say. Maybe I'll come back, maybe I'll just keep roaming and teaching, maybe I'll find a spot too irresistable to avoid.

"...many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view."

     - Obi Wan Kenobi

Kiss my ass. I can quote Star Wars all I want. =)

Frankly, that's one of the most profound statements I've ever heard because the older I get, the more often it's implications reveal themselves to me.

Just me a favor. If all this comes to nothing, don't bust my balls about it. I know it's a character flaw, but I'm trying.

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