Category Archives: books
Anything having to do with books I’ve read, want to read… so on and so forth.
Twenty-three days between posts– better than a couple of months, right? Tell me I’m good. Anyways. It has been snowing here in Woodburn for the past two days which is totally contrary to my childhood. All of the seventeen years I spent here, I cannot remember two days of consecutive snow–let alone–snow that stayed on the ground for more than a hand full of hours. Oh well, it makes for a nice backdrop for the window.
This term has been topped out at two books, a seven hundred page feat. I took on Makes Me Wanna Holler first, and then read God Bless you, Mr. Rosewater. It is hard to say which one I like the best, since they were is such sharp contrast. The first was a nonfiction book about the author’s experience of growing up as a black male in the US. Compared to the second book was written by Vonnegut, a fiction piece about a privileged white man and the a portion of his life. I liked the first because of its brazen honesty and deeply carved events that tailored the author’s life. Where as, the second book was a more liberal with the painting of the characters which always thickens the actions of the book. Plus, it was a Vonnegut, so I can’t complain.
I made a pilgrimage to Pendleton a couple of days ago–for those of you her aren’t up to speed on my past history here is a short lesson: MY dad’s family comes from Pendleton, every other Thanksgiving or Christmas was spent there. Since my grandfather passed away almost 5 years ago, I hadn’t been back since all of the family made an exodus after his death. History lesson over. It was weird to go back and see these houses that I’ve always been welcomed into, but to see their doors locked shut to keep me out. Everything about that city is changing, from the stores and houses, to even the playground that my sister and I always played at. [on a side note: how could they pirate shit thing? It was so cool. The springy sea horses and seals I can understand, but not the pirate thing!] Even though the town was busy and there were people about–to me, the town was a vacant replica of all of my memories. I guess you never expect things to change, and hope they never will. But time doesn’t give credence expectations and hopes. Stupid time. By the time we made it to my grandfather’s grave, I think I was already numb. There is something about that reality, I just can’t let myself take on. Too real. Too much sadness. Instead, I just went over all of my good memories, much happier than my other options, but this wasn’t to deny any mourning. But, none of this scares me from Pendleton, rather, I can’t wait to go back… more importantly, I can’t wait to show Jessica all of my different memories. and to eat at charburger [bah humbug to this mad cow thing].
Speaking of humbugs, I got a telescope for Christmas, and I have to say that it is one of the most powerful philosophical tools I’ve ever used. I like feeling small and insignificant is a good way to keep the ego in check. I spent about two hours out in the back with my dad last night just looking as close as we can to moon. Just utterly fascinating. If I was good at math, I should have been an astronaut. maybe in my next life. we’ll wait and see.
Well, I could ramble on. but I don’t want to. I’ll save the juicy stuff for person to person conversations, I’m much more elegant that way…or at least entertaining. I swear.
Until next time….
A Summation (of a sort):
Good: Jessica, Graduated, New House, New Roommates, No more “Oh Conan” or “Do you want me to eat it.”, Language Arts Middle/Secondary Grad Program, IVs and drugs that put me to sleep, Ems games, The Sun Also Rises, ENG 300 (Literary Criticism), ENG 392 (American Lit.), 3.22
Bad: Jessica in Redmond for the summer, summer classes, Vanity Fair (900 pages), Wuthering Heights (500 pages), Jude the Obscure (500 pages), Middle March (400 Pages) ENG 322 (Victorian Lit.), duck e. coli, dehydration, vertigo, work, ENG 322
This is more of a rant than an update… sorry to disappoint… I want start this off by saying how sick my generation makes me at times… it astounds me how many problems and flaws that my peers have, and even brought upon themselves. It is absolutely disgusting how much my generation is centered upon themselves, there seems to exist a great void of love and caring for others; maybe this is a teenager stage, by it is absolutely appalling. I always believe that college is a time of promoting humanity and its boundless achievements… instead I am confronted with people who are here to get drunk all the time and see how many times they can have sex with as many people as they can, and its disgusting. My peers have seemed to replace their conscience with alcohol and drugs, no self respect lies within, just abounding self loathing, and its extremely sad… I see so many people that have a spirit and vigor to them that would make them great artist, doctors, people, anything, but they exchanged all of that for the brief pleasure that comes from a bottle, pipe, or a brief encounter with that nameless person. This reminds me of a story from a book I just finished from The Art of Happiness:
“Heather was a young single professional working as a counselor in the Phoenix area. Although she enjoyed her job working with troubled youth, for some time she had become increasingly dissatisfied with living in the area. She often complained about the growing population, the traffic, and the oppressive heat in the summer. She had been offered a job in a beautiful small town in the mountains. In fact, she had visited that town many times and had always dreamed of moving there. It was perfect. The only problem was the fact that the job she was offered involved an adult clientele. For weeks, she had been struggling with the decision whether to accept the new job. She just couldn’t make up her mind. She tried making a list of pros and cons, but the list was annoyingly even. She explained “I know I wouldn’t enjoy the work as much as my job here, but that would be more than compensated for by the pure pleasure of living in that town. I really love it there. Just being there makes me feel good. And I’m so sick of the heat here. I just don’t know what to do.” Her mention of the term pleasure reminded me of the Dalai Lama’s words, and probing a bit, I asked, “Do you think that moving there would bring you greater happiness or greater pleasure?” She paused for a moment, uncertain what to make of the question. Finally she answered, “I don’t know…You know, think it would bring me more pleasure than happiness…Ultimately, I don’t think that I’d really be happy working with that clientele. I really do get a lot of satisfaction working with the kids at my job…” Simply reframing her dilemma in terms of “Will it bring me happiness?” seemed to provide a certain clarity. Suddenly it became much easier to make her decision. She decided to remain in Phoenix. Of course, she still complained about the summer heat. But, having made the conscious decision to remain there on the basis of what she felt would ultimately make her happier, somehow made the heat more bearable.”
My generation seems to strive for the brief fleeting pleasure… this same pleasure, in no way betters their lives, improves their prospects and actually, in some cases, removes some prospects. I am overwhelmed with the pleasure-induced drooling that my peers possess… they will do anything for that millisecond of brief unsatisfying pleasure. This is not to say that pleasure is all around bad, because it isn’t, but I do not think that it comes anywhere near becoming a necessity. I believe that that constant pursuit of pleasure by people leads to a denial of altruism… everyone seems to now be too concerned with their own personal suffering, to realize that everyone… EVERYONE suffers… we all live, and with that comes suffering… be it a debilitating disease, that search for that special person, loneliness, not knowing what you believe, or just the fact that you exist… suffering is unknown to no one. The holiest of people to the atheists and faithless know this suffering, it is not unique to a race, sex, economical class, orientation of any kind, religion, or personality type, everyone feels their own brand of personal suffering… does this mean we deal with it solely by ourselves? No. Take upon others suffering and maybe it will help alleviate your own, or at least make you feel better as a person. What harm does it do to help others with their suffering? Your suffering will still be there, if you confront it or not, but reach out to others, show that bond that is human kind, show compassion… stray from the all-too-worn path of causing other people suffering… how does inducing more suffering upon others make someone suffer less? It doesn’t. You might think this is a simple enough theory, but really it is so incredibly foreign. You may look at someone and say “what do I have in common with this person, they are truly my opposite, I can find no shared aspects.” That being so, you can still help improve their life… I do not mean by money or donations, I mean by discovering that bond of we both exist, we both suffer, we should help each other out, because it can do nothing but improve our existence. People are too wrapped up in the petty insignificant difference between them and whom ever stands next to them, they forget that there are really no differences that can account for why we treat each other like we do… What reason do I have to hurt another person? Because they have a different god, a different skin color, they find a different kind of person attractive… WHAT DOES THAT MATTER TO ME? WHY DOES THAT MAKE ME HATE AND HURT THEM?