Sometimes I hate how completely different the ideas in a single entry’s paragraphs are. I guess it comes with writing in pieces, when time permits. Occasionally one entry will represent one thought, but most of the time there’s a few core paragraphs that gel and a bunch of random straggler paragraphs that never really developed into full-blown themes. I guess it’s OK, it’s just a little disjointed. So with that, here are some core-paragraphs about “getting away” sandwiched between a couple random paragraphs about circuit breakers and CRT screens. Enjoy.
As I was taking out the trash tonight, I considered something I hadn’t before. I think I discovered a huge design flaw in our house. Our breaker box is located outside the house, in the front yard. Yeah, that’s right… anyone can walk up to our house, without having to get through any gates or locks, and flip a single switch to kill power to the entire house. Who thought of this? Is there some benefit to putting the breakers outside the house? I mean, they’re not even covered, if it was raining I’d get wet going out there to poke around. So strange. Every other place I’ve lived had the breakers inside, on the wall somewhere or in the laundry room. I’m thinking of putting a flashing neon sign above it that reads “breakers.” Y’know, reverse psychology. Maybe it’ll deter the skeptical serial killers.
I’ve long had a fantasy about running off into the woods and striking up residence there as a squatter. I don’t know why it’s so appealing to me, it’d probably be nothing like I imagine. It’d likely be all hard work and paranoia, that someone would come in and sweep me away for illegally staying on their land. But it is; appealing I mean, for some reason. I dunno how realistic it is these days, it seems that 30 years ago it may have been as easy as finding a place to go – now it’s probably more hiding than escaping. Hiding from rightful land owners and rangers, poaching, etc… doesn’t sound as glorious as it did at first blush. Sure, the excitement of sticking it to the man lends something to the attractiveness… but so far, the man ain’t really done much to me that I consider stickin’-it-to-him worthy. That’s why it’s a “fantasy,” I suppose.
My brother-in-law is actually acting out something very similar to this fantasy right now. He up and left from his home in FL, putting his college education (and everything, really) on hold to drive to California and surf the coast. Yeah, he has no plans other than making his way up the coast, from San Diego north, surfing as he goes. He’s made some living arrangements with friends where he could – but is otherwise staying in his truck. Back home, he worked in a surfboard shop, shaping, glassing, airbrushing, doing anything really. Before he came, he made arrangements with some shops along the coast to pick up work when he was in town. He can go in when he wants, glass a few boards for cash under the table, and continue on his own personal Endless Summer. He even got a laptop and took wardriving lessons from me so he’d be connected on his journeys. Right now he’s living on a boat in San Diego… spending his days surfing. This kid is 20 years old, man I admire the gonads it takes to strike out and do something like that on your own.
Alternately, I guess I could avoid squatting or living out of my truck by actually purchasing some land as my own. I’ve often thought of doing that, y’know… with all the money we don’t have. While some good say land-ownership is good for one’s portfolio, I think I’d like to think of it less as a monetary investment and more as a spiritual one; or something profound like that. Last year we went to a cabin down south that Kristi’s family owns, on their cattle land. It’s not in any super-remote locale, but it is isolated enough to where you’d be able to enjoy plenty of solitude, and the scenery is outstanding. While I don’t necessarily want to herd cattle or anything, but I could definitely handle somewhere I could get away too. In fact, I’m still down with the commune if anyone else wants to drop out.
Every once in a while I have a wake-up moment, where I realize that I probably spend 50% of my average weekday staring at a screen. Be it my computer at work (~8hrs/day), my computer at home (~4hrs/day), or the television (~3hrs/day). Of course, I’m doubling-up sometimes with the TV on in the background while I lounge with the laptop. But… that can’t be good, right? I often try to take breaks… read or just listen to music without visual stimulation – but for the most part I’m always staring at a box. It’s depressing to me, to think about how much of my life is spent that way. I dunno, maybe guys who read or paint are semi-depressed because they’re always looking at books or canvas. In the end, I wouldn’t continue to do it if I hated it, so there’s not much worth complaining about.
I’m kinda proud that I posted 100% of the days last month (excluding weekends, of course). I think that may be the first month in blog history that got wall-to-wall entries. Probably won’t happen this month, with the travel to Taiwan in a couple weeks and all… but I can aspire.