fifteen

I haven’t felt it yet this year.  The inspiration boiling in my blood.  So I came to this spot.  It seems to mean something.  I started my blog here.  I get my coffee here.

It is here that I sit.  I was here with my father and my mother and my young sister.  Here is where my father ordered coffee.  As we waited in the stuffed commercialized coffee shop with it’s pumpkin spice latte’s and its chestnut fucking macadamia bullshit.  We heard the barista call out “Alvin”.  We didn’t react as Alvin is a common name.  When we realized that the barista had written “Alvin” on my fathers coffee instead of Albert we were stunned.  Alvin is the name of my fathers deceased brother.  It has been about two years since his passing.  We still can’t stomach it.  So when we saw Alvin on my fathers cup we didn’t see it as a mistake on the part of the employee (even though mistakes at this particular location were frequent).  We saw it as a sign from our late Uncle Alvin.  A sign that he saw us and he was watching over us.  How fitting a moment for us as a family.  To have him there with us at the coffee shop on the corner.  If I had to guess on it, I think it made him happy to see us as a family down in LA.  Just us together we didn’t need anything else.  I think his appreciation of the moment gave him the motivation to make his presence known.  This moment also shows me how my family has never lost faith.  Through the struggles and the losses, the ups and downs of life.  We are still able to see his signs and to feel things that aren’t necessarily tangible.  So here I sit, in the same chair my father was, when he sat next to his brother in the afterlife.  His faith was restored a little bit that day.  I could tell he was questioning it.  This is the chair I sit in to try and find my inspiration.  

I want to be him

He had pain just like everyone else on earth.  Even though it wasn’t tangible and mostly self sustained it was still there.  Something that’s not noticeable but is still there.  Like stars in Los Angeles.  His life wasn’t full of negativity and he wasn’t struggling to put food on his plate.  Well not struggling too much.  His job was secure and his family loved him and he reciprocated that love even more so.  He kept a close circle of friends, only the ones which were loyal as there were few.  Even though he held a deep sorrow for the loved ones he had lost he knew that it  was a part of life and that he would see them again in the heavens.  Faith was never out of question.  He was humorous and often laughed with those around him.  His smile was bright and visible through a crowd.  He had a wild enthusiasm which always shone through.  He always tried to lighten the mood in the soberest of moments with a joke or a bubbling personality.  The fear was reserved.  It was all put on himself by himself.  He was annoyed by others lack of ambition or creativity.  He knew that each person was as unique as a snowflake with a mind full of endless possibilities.  But many were wasted on bullshit.  The rarity of the mind seems to have lost out to TV and social media and becoming drowned in a society that doesn’t love you.  But he loved you.  He knew what you could do even if you didn’t.  He wanted you to challenge him, he wanted you to start talking about something ethereal and mysterious.  He wanted you to school him on an idea or something he didn’t know about.  In this is where his pain lied.  He wanted to be that person who knew about the world.  He wanted to know about culture and wine and politics.  He wanted to know about books and fashion and food.  When people asked him about finance and travel and sports he wanted to tell you.  The pain that he felt was that he wasn’t living up to his potential.  He felt that his fears of failure outweighed his ambitions.  He knew that the human mind was beautiful and he didn’t want to waste his on shallow things.  He searched for people to challenge him

The Wine Glass

You wouldn’t think much of it sitting there in the cabinet.  It was always the first glass she reached for after 6 PM.  It always seemed ritualistic in fashion.  It stood tall on the marble counter top.  It reflected the waning afternoon light.  The emptiness of it almost beckoning her.  The crystal goblet seemed to hold more than just the crimson red Cabernet Sauvignon or the sweet cake like Moscato.  She filled the glass with her stresses and her problems.  These issues disappeared with the wine simultaneously.

-Nico

 

“One should always be drunk. That’s all that matters…But with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you chose. But get drunk.”

Charles Baudelairee

rain

He was compelled to be out in the rain.  The drought had been around for at least seven years, he had been longing for it.  It had rained intermittently through the years this time was different.  He felt a strong energy roll in with the rain.  A vibrant inspiration with the grey light coming through the windows.  The day began in his apartment.  He was roused by a peculiar sound.  The upstairs neighbors have been a guilty party to many sleepless nights.  But his annoyance quickly changed to relief as he heard the rain running through the gutter pipes, drumming on surfaces of the complex.  She was faced toward the window.  The blanket only went up to her knees.  The curve of her body adjusted the soft light as it crept through the blinds.   The cold air made tiny goosebumps on her skin as she maintained her peaceful posture.  He fell asleep next to her silhouette and the sound of the rain.  “It’s been so long” he thought to himself.

He was delighted to awaken to it again and he shared his morning cup of joe with a smile.  He took breakfast alone in a small cafe on the corner.  After breakfast he got ready in layers of clothing to hike alone amongst the elements.  He kept checking the rain to make sure it didn’t desert him.   Despite the rain being audible it seemed quiet.  In his heart it brought a calmness unsurpassed by any other nature he had experienced in the big city.  He knew that the rain had similar effects on everyone.  The longing for it, the ability to stay inside all day and feel good about it.  Even though its cold outside it made you warm inside.

There was not a soul on the trail except for those left there looking for fame and stardom.  He felt excitement at first, not knowing what nature had in store for him.  The low rumbling of thunder in the hills and the crack of tree branches breaking away from their stump.  Sounds added to his paranoia that at any moment there could be a mudslide in his path.  He welcomed it though with some mitigated risk.  He felt the risk was necessary to feel what he had been yearning for and he started to feel it right away.  Flashbacks to stormy weather and mossy granite.  His brother hopping from rock to rock in a flowing stream.  The sting of cold wet clothes on his skin all made him more comfortable in his surroundings.  The rain not only brought transparency to the air, but clarity to his thoughts.  Rain brought him home in his mind.   The small climb he made was enough to see a few buildings with the thick grey fog blocking out the rest of the city.  He sat on the wet bench for a moment as the city stood still.

His infatuation with the rain had led him to introspection.  He always wanted to be a man of nature but lacked the confidence to.  He knows who he is now and he knows where to turn if he’s ever feeling lonely and afraid.  He may have been the only person out there in the rain but he felt like he was part of something much bigger at the time.  As he turned his face toward the sky and let small droplets of rain land on him he rejoiced for all the farmers and workers who are benefiting from the long awaited rain.  At the very least it inspired him to write this story.

SF trip

I started writing this on my first day in the city. I continued and finished it in the days that I had already gotten back. You will notice I marked the dates. This post is about my trip in San Francisco.

10/29/2014
I am on vacation currently in San Francisco. It has pretty much been as expected, not at all in a bad way. I can kind of get a feel for the people in the city with the few that I have interacted with. My brother lives in a house with 8 other people it felt like a dormitory for a second. I met one of his roommates and smoked a joint with him. I observed empty bottles of Skyy vodka and Captain Morgan on the floor and a bag of weed with loose backwoods. He told me that he had got fired at his job a couple weeks before for getting in a bar fight. The second guy I saw was a small guy in a jeans a tie and a blazer. The third guy was a small indonesian guy with a mustache. The fourth was a hippie looking gentlemen with dreadlocks, he asked my brother Deveric if he had any toilet paper, he didn’t. All five including my brother had come from different backgrounds and had much different experiences in life. I didn’t even have to talk to them to know. I thought it was funny that Deveric seemed like a mix of all four of those guys mixed together. Despite the dirty kitchen lack of TP and full house the Home sported a balcony with a breathtaking view of SF state and Merced Lake. When you walk out of the front of the house you can see the rolling homes of Southern San Francisco. There was also a nice park that has a few minutes walk away.
11/02/14-
After I have left we quickly vacated the residential area and headed Downtown for sushi burritos. It was a swift drive downtown from my brothers house in southern San Francisco. The downtown area of SF is unique in the way the streets are set up. With trolleys and other public transportation running throughout the city. The downtown area was all hustle and bustle, you don’t realize it’s lunch time on a Wednesday when your’e on vacation. The sidewalks were filled with working class people some in suits and ties others in more casual wear. Various office or financial jobs all around the city similar to Los Angeles. The restaurant we went to, Sushirrito, had a line that weaved around the outside of the store.
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A lot of people were on their lunch breaks. The restaurant itself displayed the minimalist mindset new restaurants must have when having a location in a booming downtown metropolitan area. It was just one room half of it was customer space with no tables, the other half was a kitchen with 5-7 employees. While we were in line my brother told me about San Francisco POPOS (http://www.spur.org/sites/default/files/migrated/anchors/popos-guide.pdf) which are privately-owned public open space. We attempted to take our lunch to one of these POPOS and our one and only attempt failed with the receptionist in the building saying that they get people asking all the time but they don’t know of anything like that. Our lack of research and preparedness was clear in the failed attempt but we ended up eating lunch in the middle of Union Square. We headed to the hotel after we ate. The Hilton in the financial district is located right next to Chinatown and the Transamerica pyramid. Very central and a great location for a home base. I acquired the hotel through the website Hotwire for a little over 100 dollars a night plus service fees and tax. The room was nice with two beds. We also had a view of the Coit tower which is a staple of the San Francisco skyline.
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The fact that the room had two beds removed all doubt that my brother would be staying with me throughout my vacation. There was construction happening on the same floor we were staying which explained why I got the room at such a good rate. There were also other complications with the hotel. We got ready at the hotel then went out to explore the city. After we saw the redwood trees under the Transamerica pyramid we walked through Chinatown. The Chinese community is a huge part of the city. I could feel the culture as soon as I stepped out of the hotel. The park across the street had checker tables that were filled with old chinese men smoking cigarettes and most likely betting on the games. Tiny shops and restaurants line the streets with European tourists filling them.
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The lamps hanging over the streets remind you that you have seen this before in the movies and they are a literal representation of how it actually is. The Chinatown in SF is the biggest Chinatown outside of Asia. It makes sense that there is a larger asian community in San Francisco being that it is the gateway to the Pacific. The first stop for asian immigrants on their way into America We walked to the famous gate to take a picture but then proceeded walking towards union square. A theme that I noticed in the city was that the amount of diversity. Compact space leads to a situation where one block is very low income and the next block is very high income. The separation of tax brackets is extreme but the amount of space between the two classes is minimal. We were walking past stores in Chinatown that were selling items for pennies on the dollar, the next block we were walking past Hermes and Gucci stores that require an authorization on your credit card to even walk into the store. It seems like a benefit for the city though. You can tell there is a separation in classes but it is one city, one community especially when there is a focal point for everybody’s energy. Point in case, Giants were playing in the game 7 of the World Series that night. Union square is a nice little area with many tourists congregating, taking pictures and shopping, we spent a few minutes talking and enjoying the views.
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On our way back to the room we stopped at a small bar. We had been looking for a place to watch the game last night. We were in the city and we wanted to be around people. The bar was empty but we ordered a beer. We asked the bartender there about the scene for tonight. He said we should stay at his bar and drink but if we left he recommended heading down to AT&T park because there would be bars filled with people there. We decided to take his advice and left to go get ready. On our way out of the bar the bartender didn’t look at us even though we waved. He was bitter we were leaving. He probably shouldn’t have given us such a good recommendation. We had a few drinks at the hotel and watched the first couple innings of the game before we walked to The Embarcadero to hop on the muni which would take us down to the stadium. When we walked out on to the Embarcadero it was beautiful. The sun had just set and the sky was filled with pink and purple hues which set the background for a glistening bay bridge. The way the light bounced off of the bridge made it look as if strings of pearls were holding up the bridge as it swayed in the bay area wind. The first trolley that pulled up wasn’t the right one for us but the driver told us to hop on and gave us directions on which train to take to get to the park. We talked about the game, he didn’t ask us for payment. We went to a bar which one of my friends recommended and I was the only one in the whole place without any Giants gear on. The energy in the room was thick like a cloud of smoke, it was heavy and you could feel the nervous anticipation of everyone in the place. It was a low scoring game, we got there and the score was tied 2-2. The place went crazy when Michael Morse hit an RBI to bring Panda into score and put us up 3-2. Another high point was when Madison Bumgarner came on in the bottom of the 5th to chants of “MVP, MVP”. It was a lock from there, Bumgarner’s laser like focus carried us to the bottom of the 9th inning. With two outs and two strikes, Salvador Perez pops up a foul and Panda catches it, ball game. The place goes nuts, everyone yelling at the top of their lungs high fiving and hugging everyone around you even if they were strangers. Journey-Don’t Stop Believing blared in the background as guys picked up their girlfriends and twirled them around in a circle and kissed them. All the emotion built up through October, the excitement, the happiness in a win, the dread in a loss. The thought of a third championship in five years loomed all month for Giants fans. The whole city was on a precipice, and when Panda caught that pop up for the last out, San Francisco fell into a pit of pure elation. We took a celebratory shot of Hennessy and walked out to the stadium. People had already started filling the streets. Me and my brother took a couple pictures of the stadium considering I had never been there before.
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We were a part of it. We grew up watching the Giants with our father. We have always been fans of the Giants and bay area sports. But now it was real. Not that it was fake before, but now I could really feel it. I had seen them win two championships before and I was happy but that was the end of it. This night I was thrust into a celebration that can only be described as once in a lifetime. We all filled the intersection in front of AT&T park chants started everywhere and often. The night was filled with “YES, YES, YES, GIANTS, GIANTS, GIANTS.” It wasn’t raining that night but there were champagne showers. I didn’t mind the raining alcohol and the cigar smoke, I welcomed it and actively participated in the jubilation. The scene was really indescribable, pure happiness comes close.
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I will always remember jumping up and down yelling “GIANTS” with hundreds of other San Franciscans while champagne spilled and fireworks popped off above us while AT&T park set the stage. After we had enough yelling and celebrating we decided to walk back to the hotel. Even though we left the party we wasn’t done. Little did we know it wasn’t just outside the park that was going crazy it was the whole city. Every car was honking and waving Giants flags out of their windows. People flooded the streets we ran through the cars high fiving everyone we came across. We took a moment to admire the Bay Bridge at night, it was just as beautiful at night as it was in the sunset. The energy was the same all the way back to the hotel. We got to the hotel around 11:00PM with a bag full of chinese food. We gorged ourselves on Chow Mein and some kind of soup and fell asleep at 11:30. We were high on the win but exhausted from the party. We slept for ten hours straight.
I was expecting a sore throat the next morning but the mystery soup preemptively countered it so I was happy. I found a cafe online, named M cafe, down the street from the hotel. When we walked out in the morning the weather was perfect. It was cloudy and cold and smelled of fresh rain. The wet pavement augmented the crisp weather perfectly and it was the kind of weather I was hoping for when I visited. I put on my hoodie and jacket and left it on the rest of the trip. The cafe was more proof that restaurants downtown must remain simple to survive. One room with a very small customer area and kitchen. At least they had chairs and tables outside. The clientele was synonymous with the type of place it was. A place to get a quick breakfast and coffee at a relatively cheap price before heading to work. I remember thinking that if there were a place like this close to my work I would be there every morning. The menu consisted of bagel sandwiches. I got the lox and onion sandwich and it was quite delightful.
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We showered and planned the day out back at the hotel. On the way back to my brothers house we drove on The Embarcadero towards the 280. We drove through the intersection where we were the previous night and it was peculiar seeing it so empty, considering there was a mob of people there the night before. The 280 is a nice drive and there was no traffic so the commute to southern San Francisco was leisurely with nice views. From his place we headed to Steiner st.
11/4/14
This street is famous for its painted ladies.
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Painted ladies refers to a method of painting old Victorian houses three or more colors to augment their architectural features. So many times before had i seen these houses, in films in pictures, and now here they were in front of me. They sat there perfectly with the San Francisco skyline and foggy weather behind them. We headed over to Baker beach afterwards. Baker beach is on the southwest corner of the Golden Gate bridge which makes for a majestic view of the bridge. It was a cold and foggy day in the beach so the beach was unattractive to most people that day but I enjoyed it.
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I enjoyed the serene feeling of me and my brother walking on a cold and empty beach with the Golden Gate bridge in our view. I didn’t find out it was a nude beach until i saw a man laying on a towel ass out. I thought it was peculiar that he had no pants on but he had a t-shirt on. Like he was cold so he decided to put on a T. “Put some pants on my man its cold out” I thought to myself. We walked closer to the bridge and then to the cypress trees that lined the beach.
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Me and my brother had a conversation about imagining war and soldiers trying to take the beach. Something like the scene in Saving Private Ryan when they are trying to take the beach. It was coincidental that on the way back to our car we came across bunkers and a cannon that hinted to a time when our country wasn’t so sure if enemies would try a sea to land take over.
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Remnants of times past but still relevant to times present. We left the beach clearly and headed to Lombard street which is the windiest street in the world. The view was amazing the flowers that lined the street were beautiful and colorful and stood out on such a grey day. A multitude of tourists had the same idea we did and were out in throngs with cameras and smiles.
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I drove the street down and back towards the hotel. We stopped in little Italy for some mediocre pizza and then headed back. Relaxing at the hotel we waited for some friends who we were going to go out with that night. We ate dinner with them at a chinese restaurant up the street. The food was good but it wasn’t anything that had me rolling. We went to a club called Infusion near Union Square and it was just like any other club and any other night. The only memorable moment came when a random guy asked me and my brother if we were professional dancers. I said “yes” and we kept dancing.
The next morning was Halloween I walked to the same M cafe to grab breakfast sandwiches for everybody. Swift service and great food is all I have to say about that place. We got ready to check out at the hotel. Deveric brought out his scoobie suit. We left the hotel and headed back to Union Square for the Giants parade. It was literally raining on the parade but there was no way some water was going to stop the city from showing up for their team. We were more than willing to bask in the tears of the Dodgers.
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It felt like October out there with the rain falling and the autumn leaves. Enhanced by the crowds of people in Orange and black as well as my brother in a Scooby Doo costume taking pictures with fans. The energy was inimitable and traces of Wednesday nights parties still loomed over us. The players came bye two at a time with buses sporting their name and number on the side. I got tingles and goosebumps when I saw Barry Bonds drive by. I still remember watching him break the home run record with my father. Its a shame his legend will be overshadowed by steroids. I just wanted to see Panda, Posey and Bumgarner really. Hunter Pence was going wild and Bruce Bochi had a calm demeanor like he always does even with the World Series trophy right in front of him. He has seen it three times in five years.
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We made our way through a sea of Panda hats and playoff beards back to our car. We drove our friends back to their home in Alameda. The oak trees that lined the streets of the quaint little town gave off strong fall vibes as their red and brown leaves were released onto the wet streets. Small rays of sun shone through the dark clouds as we headed to Hercules to visit our aunt Galinda. Her home felt like my home and I immediately fell into a mood of belonging when I got to her house. The scent of candles burning and the fireplace providing warmth to the living room. My cousins have grown to young men since the last time I have seen them. We small talk because I don’t know anything about them but I would like to. We had slow cooked pork tacos and drank root beer and I felt like a kid again. I asked my aunt for the recipe. It was my home. I felt like I never wanted to leave. I was upstairs with my cousin and my brother while they played video games I layed on the bed and looked at the ceiling. Everything was still there. The toys of my uncle who had passed away a few years ago. As I laid there I could feel him. I knew he was watching us and smiling on us and protecting us. When I worry about my cousins growing up without a father I am comforted to know that he is still there and always will be. I am sure they already know this, his presence is so strong. I took a quick nap and we left because we didn’t want to stress out our aunt with us spending the night. Also because I wanted to drive back across the Bay Bridge at night. The lights on the bridge shone bright as we drove across. The San Francisco skyline was looking majestic as ever.
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Many of the buildings had installed orange lights at the top of them which made the whole city look orange and black. The view gave us energy for the night. We went to a friends house who lives in the sunset area. It was an artists house. We listened to good music and drank beers and small talked. We took the muni to mission street. We had to avoid getting a ticket for not paying. This was a recurring problem for us. I was always willing to just pay the $2.50. Everyone else felt different. Mission street is long and has the transitional feature that many of the other streets in San Francisco possess. We walked for a few blocks until we encountered a mob of people all in costumes. They all were walking in unison, they had a speaker bumping music so immediately I was there in the crowd. We drank tequila in the streets and made cars detour their route. All of the sudden the crowd stopped and spread out. In the middle of the streets a couple people set up fireworks. BOOM they fire into the air with enormous force and pop off in the sky. Admittedly there was a moment of fright. I knew what could happen if one of them misfired to the wrong place. Everyone was standing so close to them. We departed the mob when the cops came. We walked to a bar that was too crowded but we found a table to sit and we had a beer. I ended up meeting up with some old friends from LA that night. We got too drunk and went to Denny’s. The next morning I made my departure.
Some moments in life you want to put in a bottle and save for later. This whole trip was one of those moments. I enjoyed the scenery and the feeling that the city gave me. I started writing this on the first day when I was in the city. San Francisco gave me inspiration to write. It gave me something I had never experienced before. A whole city was united together in a common goal that they reached. The pure joy of every single person in the city complimented by my own personal joy was something that is hard to match. The city of LA hasn’t produced many championships lately except for the LA Kings, but I am not a big fan of hockey. I have always been a Giants fan and I always will be. Now I have a story to tell. I was there, I am a part of it. The Fall months have always been special to me. Thanks to this trip I have new things to think about when the weather gets colder and the leaves start turning. This was the first time I ever spent time in the city. I always told people I had liked SF without actually having a reason to. Now I have stories to tell, about one of the greatest cities in the world. I felt like I belonged. The gateway to the pacific may have stolen my heart away for some time. I have heard that home is where you make it, I could make San Francisco my home.

-Nico
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This trip really reinvigorated my urge to travel and see the world. What’s next for me? What about for you?

twenty something

Sober October has come to an end tonight with a shot of patron chased with grapefruit juice. I toasted to the things that i have learned through my experience. It really was easy to be honest there were times when my self control was tested but it was easy. I just didn’t want to taste disappointment in myself. The past few days I have felt very clear like I haven’t in a long time. It was quite enjoyable to know that my body was cleansed from the alcohol. Now as I have had a few sips of patron i’m feelin right in the zone and I remember why I liked to drink so much. The release of inhibitions when you’re drinking is incomparable to anything else I have experienced this month. I mean I have a little bit of confidence enough to dance in the club by myself under no influence except for the beat. Ordering waters from the bartender has never been more fun to be honest. Just tearing up the dance floor, that no one is on, then walking straight to the bar “yo let me get a water”. This feeling of elation may seem novel and nothing special but I like the shit so fuck you.
But honestly it felt good not drinking too and being able to say no. It feels as people in my current generation which i classify as the 20-30 year olds are big partiers. It seems to be an integral part of life. Drinking is the cool thing to do. There has been many times when I have felt obligated to drink more than I actually wanted to. So against my better judgement I used to get blacked the fuck out drunk when I wasn’t even planning on having a sip of the juice. I don’t regret it. That shit was probably the funnest times i’ve ever had. But why is there this obligation for us to drink our faces off and do drugs and stay up until the sun comes up. Why is it necessary to have beer for breakfast and subsequently remain inebriated for an entire day. I stress to you readers how I remain entirely unhypocritical by saying this because I thoroughly enjoy all of these things. I am merely posing the question. What is this infatuation with partying and going out? Has it always been this way? I was pretty happy this month when I wasn’t drinking. I read like four fuckin books and I hit the gym like everyday. I mean it was cool but I felt like it was all just an ends to the mean of getting drunk as shit. But I noticed a lot during my sobriety, I had a lot of meaningful conversations and made a lot of memories that are forever memorable. I spent money on a concert and was able to remember it and I am willing to admit that it was exceptionally mediocre but that is another conversation. I grew mentally and improved physically and have reaped the benefits so far. But now I am on vacation and that calls for a couple drinks bruh.

in da club

10/19/14
Nineteen days sober. My one vice during this sober period has been weed, so my soberness has really been augmented by smoking bowls and eating too much. Perhaps the last ten days of the month I will phase out the weed as well. Then I can truly use the word sober. Last night was a test of my self control and a lesson in futility trying to stay leveled with my inebriated brother. The club was a much different experience this way. I was watching people around the whole club because hey I wasn’t drinking. I couldn’t help but feel like I didn’t belong even though I knew half of the people there. It just felt pointless to be out there in the back of some club. I was starting to get the feeling that it was pointless to be in the club when I was drunk too. I still kind of feel that way. The pros and cons to the situation seem to teeter on a small point with a variety of variables. I enjoy going out and drinking with my friends. It is fun to throw inhibitions to the wind and got lost in a night. Ride the wave into the morning. It is a release to stresses and a means of conversation and creates some sort of purpose within us. I still believe in that philosophy of partying but if twenty days sober has taught me anything it definitely has added a perspective to partying and drinking in the club. It is a waste of time really. I was satisfied hanging out with my brother for a few hours going to different bars and conversing about women and sports. Joking rather crudely because we are men reunited and thats what men do. I was even satisfied with dancing to a couple songs in the club, even though the drink in my hand was water and ice. As I began to lose steam around eleven o’clock, my brother was just getting started. He began binge drinking, somehow, he had told me he had no money. The inquisitive mind of a partier is always able to find more alcohol under adverse situations. He flourished in his roll, knocking back drinks while I lingered on the sideline, watching and talking with old friends. “LET’S GO.” I hear yelled and then reinforced by multiple males. At a certain point you are just wasting money on drinks and having meaningless conversations that you won’t remember. With a chance of you making a decision that you will regret the next day. Drunk in the club seems like a nowhere road most of the time. Unless your desired destination is gorging yourself with a burrito and falling asleep in all your clothes with the light on. Thats on a good night too. There is a wide spectrum of possibilities that can occur in these situations. The ability to control your behavior is something you take for granted when you are drunk. But the club, a perfect synergy of drunk people where all this eccentric behavior is acceptable because everyone is in an obliterated state. I have nothing against this because I have had some of my funnest nights in the club. The club builds camaraderie between men and women alike and dependent on the outcome of the night can help in building trust in one another. Comparatively there are benefits in avoiding the club entirely. Maybe this advice only benefits binge drinkers who have woken up naked not knowing where they are. Or maybe it can benefit anyone. The club is fun and will always be there. I will most likely end up drunk in the club again soon. At least now I will approach the night with awareness of the drunken journey I am about to embark on. Resting your head on your pillow is a long way away from throwing up in an alley.

10/14/14

I teeter on the edge of being a no nonsense realist and letting my imagination overflow up to my eyeballs a happy medium should be established to give validity to your words. Your work is an extension of you. Ernest Hemingway said that you should write what you know about or your writing will lack conviction. Hemingway experienced war, death, drinking and women. It gave him a unique perspective and an aggressive stance.

What do I know?

Even though I am familiar with the latter two it is under different circumstances. So apparently I need to get in where I fit in just like everyone else on earth looking for a purpose in life. I know sports well. I always enjoyed playing more than sitting on the sideline and writing about it. I know about credit and money even though that seems contradictory to lessons I like to perpetuate that talk about giving up material possessions. Is it funny that I feel very strongly that humans do not need material items and money to live full, meaningful lives, yet my whole career is based off of the opposite of the moral? I work at a bank which most people argue is one of the most corrupt and materialistic institutions in the entirety of our society. My job is all about money. I wish I could say I am not all about my money but I am. Is it my fault I was born in a time frame when so much emphasis is placed on your financial status? Am I contributing to a society that I do not agree with? It is comforting that I am able to take a step back from my life and look at it from a different perspective. Sure my job lacks room for creativity, But would I be writing this today had I not been working at that job? Sure my job revolves around the idea that money rules all, but working that job has taught me that money doesn’t control me. Sure my job is stressful and is focused on things that I don’t necessarily agree with. But as I see it that is the way our world is currently, and it is necessary for me to make a living. It is necessary for me to provide for myself and my family. It is necessary for me to be comfortable in order for me not to go crazy. It is necessary for me to make my father proud. Men and Women have to make sacrifices in life. A single teenage mother must sacrifice her free time for the benefit of her child. A father with a wife and a bundle of kids must sacrifice his last dollar to feed his family. I would sacrifice my life for the safety of my family. I do what I need to do and I don’t see anything wrong with that. I have heard life is all about perspective. You can choose see the negative or focus on the positive. As long as you’re breathing there is no reason to focus on the negative aspects of your life. Don’t give me that shit about how “oh there wouldn’t be happiness unless you were sad at some point.” Even though that is true do you think it is better to focus on things that make you happy or things that make you sad? You tell me.

Life is a roller coaster there will be low points. Positivity breeds positivity
-Nico

one

I want to believe in unity but all i see is egos and broken dreams. People stepping and climbing over each other to make it to the top. Capitalism isn’t ideal for uniting people, it seems to do the opposite. Our societal structure places an emphasis on self. How much money do you make? What kind of car do you drive? What tax bracket do you fall into? Even though we maybe working in teams (co-workers), everyone still thinks of themselves in comparison to others. Humans are pitted against each other like chickens in a cock fight. Nobody wins in those situations. Dr. Martin Luther King said “I am not what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you are not what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.” Humans share the feature of inter connectivity with each other and all other living things. Some people can feel it and some people can’t. Sometimes the connection is strong and sometimes it is weak. Sometimes it is skewed by society. Other times it is there and you don’t even know it. One can feel others. A person could be in another room in a house, you could not see or hear them or even know that they are there, but you can feel their presence. An empty house brings an eerie feeling, people have been there but are now gone, their energy is still present within the walls. How do you explain deja vu? How do you explain when you think or dream about someone randomly that you haven’t seen in a long time, then miraculously they appear in front of you that same day? We are bonded by our existence on earth. We all came from the same place. We are one. The bond we share is up to interpretation. Each individual has their own perception of it. As long as one acknowledges that it is there then you can feel it. Speaking to this unseen bond between all of us will help you live each day with more compassion and love towards others, which is something that can only benefit us. Pay attention to the synchronicity of things and you will see it.

-Nico

don’t mind me

I had a strange experience last night. I spent the night at the gym before I ate dinner with my father and spent a couple hours reading and writing. Around 11 when I went to sleep my mind felt unbelievably clear. It had been a full day but it had not been stressful. I sweated, I studied and wrote. I did not consume any drugs or alcohol. So when I made the decision to go to bed early I felt it was a correct one considering I had been productive that day and had school the next morning. I fell asleep at eleven but then I woke up an hour later and my mind was racing. There was a variety of random thoughts going through my head, from out of no where they came. It felt like I had three minds thinking all at the same time. All racing to some sort of conclusion but stumbling over each other on the way to the finish line. Sleep was no longer an option even though my body was exhausted. Where had this jumbled up mess come from? It felt like I should have never slept in the first place because my mind still had all this rearranging to do. The book I was reading that night ‘The Valkyries’ bye Paulo Coelho. (Great author by the way, he writes ‘The Alchemist’ on of my favorite books). One of the lessons I had read about that night was the “second mind”. The second mind is whats going on in the back of your head. What you think about when you do not even proactively try to or maybe even you do not want to. It could be a song stuck in your head or a person that you’re in love with or a person you want to forget. It could be the thoughts of your responsibilities or an upcoming event the you are excited about. The book clarifies the fact that you have two minds functioning at the same time. You’ve all felt it. The thought you can’t get out of your head even though you try to forget. So why did my second mind decide to become intertwined with my proactive mind. All I wanted to think about was sleep but my second mind wouldn’t allow me. Only now I think of another lesson that was taught in the book which was to embrace your second mind and it will bring clarity to your thought. Even though I had just read the lesson all I could think about was “Fuck why cant I fall asleep”. I should have embraced. But I did not. And I ended up tossing and turning with no direction for my mind and no clarity in my thought.
The book says that the second mind is a barrier to a state of deeper thought. If you want contact with something ethereal and bigger then yourself than getting past the second mind is a necessity. The book speaks about God and a higher power when entering this deeper state of thought. But even if you do not have a God that you embrace, simple meditation can be beneficial to your way of life. “The second mind was there, barring the entrance, with its repetitive ideas, its unimportant problems, its melodies, its financial problems, its unresolved passions.” Everyone has their respective issues and stresses. When you embrace them and meditate over them your mind will become tired of them. It will be easier to let them go and realize that these are unimportant problems when it comes to the big picture of your life. What is there once you get past the more materialistic problems in life? Can you learn the language of your heart or look deeper into your soul then you originally thought? There is something to be said about the state in which you are in once you past this ‘second mind’ barrier. I do not know what it is yet. But, I learned a simple lesson last night and in retrospection this morning which is to embrace your second mind. It will make it easier for you to not let the stupid little problems bother you as much.
-Nico