This thing makes me happy: Trek 8.3 DS. I'm loving it.
Since I bought it, I've discovered urban bike commuting, which I've wanted to do for some time. I love how arriving somewhere feels like an accomplishment, not a dull routine. Sometimes it's felt very adventurous, what with some of the trails being closed this spring due to flooding and some of the roads not being at all safe for cyclists and the weird vehicle-pedestrian hybrid factor (when practicality and safety trump the actual rules). Now, when the water recedes and all the bike trails stop being flooded, it'll get really good, since the places I travel most are near the trails and living downtown puts me at the hub of those trails, making it generally easy for me to get where I need to go.
Things have been pretty okay here. Compared to plenty else I've seen going on, my life seems downright stable.
In the true old-school-Epiginoskete style, this will be generalized and thus perhaps a bit cryptic. It's more a "generalize to philosophize" thing than an intentionally cryptic thing.
It's strange, how you can turn around one day and feel like a different person. When the things you were afraid of start to happen before your eyes, and you watch closely, simultaneously puzzled and unsurprised... you think, This isn't what I expected -- or it is, but I didn't expect to feel this way: so calm and... okay. Somehow it didn't seem possible. Instinct murmured in your subconscious for a long time that this would kill you, really gut you, if it happened. It wasn't so much in words or thoughts that could be countered or rationalized away, but images, impressions, flashes of reflex, and pure reaction; a deep part of the mind concerned with keeping you alive and sane at all costs sent you invisible-ink Polaroids that equated more drastic changes in your life with crashing your space shuttle into the side of Mars. But the descent, you find, is relatively smooth. Things slip away more than they are wrenched from your grasp, and you surprise yourself a little when you watch your hands relax open a bit.
The spark is gone, though, you find; you blow on the pearl of ash in the center of your palm, but it's cold. The skin around where you were holding it is the marbled pink of new scar tissue. Maybe that's why it doesn't sting quite the way you thought it would.
After listening to NPR's coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing all the way home, I watched what footage there was and looked at photos from the aftermath. Tears fell, my stomach turned, and I thought about other places in the world where civilian deaths happen so often that we're practically accustomed to them. When I read the Red Cross's posts about how it was able to meet the need for blood for the victims, I thought about why I'm a regular donor.
I thought about how people pick themselves up again. We're a resilient species.
Today, a local running store called for runners to wear a race shirt and post a photo on Facebook in support of the runners, spectators, and others affected in the bombing. I haven't in the past tended to participate in those kinds of things, but I did this time. Tomorrow, runners will gather at the store and then go run, wearing black arm bands for those killed and injured in the attack. I'll be there.
Rituals help. Robert Pirsig wrote that we don't do rituals because we believe; we believe because we do rituals. He was talking about belief in God; I think the concept can also be applied to belief in humanity. Today and tomorrow, that's what it means to me.
Sometimes, I wish I had gone to art school.
I drew this picture of Shrek in a high-school art class in '02. Clicking it will take you to my deviantART page, where once in a while I post doodles or things I make.
Courtesy of Will Ferrell, this is how I feel about Kim Jong-un and North Korea's recent nuclear tests.