Friday, November 21, 2008

Dreams and avalanches...

So funny thing. I was thinking about all of my dreams and aspirations today, and I thought about death. Not in a grim, depressing way, just in a true, thoughtful way. Here's a short list of what I want to do in life:
1. Snowboard everywhere (Andes, Argentina - Wanaka, New Zealand, The Alps, Alaska, etc.)
2. Skydive.
3. Write a complete Bucket List...

-Then I thought of, "What if I were to die doing one of these things?"

That has to be one of the most profound questions I have ever come up with simply because of the complexity. "Yeah! What if..." I truly, have no idea. Snowboarding is in the top 3 of what I'm most passionate about. People can say how much they enjoy it, but they probably won't have as much passion about it as I do. I would drop certain responsibilities to spend every winter somewhere doing it. Back to the complexity. Yes. It's a Catch-22 in all forms. If I don't do certain things, my aspirations won't be fulfilled, and experiences won't be experienced. But if I do, I risk losing it all, and not being able to finish the other things. A total "Damned if you do, damned if you don't". I remember using that quoted phrase in a high school essay once, and it got graded down for "offensive language". Random, I know. I just remembered thinking that was bullshit.

I got to thinking about death because of the high occurance of avalanches in backcountry-snowboarding. Actually, in backcountry-anything. Relevant because backcountry snowboarding is what I'm going to be doing the most in Lake Tahoe. The backcountry is great because it's untouched powder, and natural terrain, but of course, all of that can bury you alive. It's a scary thought. I think if that were to happen to me in Tahoe on one particularly powder day, I'd probably be really angry, or really happy if that run was the best I ever had. No but seriously, if I were buried alive under snow, I'd panic. They say not to panic, but how can you not? I don't think I'd be able to accept death either. I have too much ahead of me, and things to experience. Living in Lake Tahoe is only step one towards my snowboarding goals too, so I've really got to stay alive! No worries though, I'm a careful guy.

I should be posting a lot about Tahoe in about a month and a half when I get there. And I'll have a helmet cam too! Nice. They're great for filming last words... Haha. Just kidding.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Plans...

School Plan Update:
Okay. So I sold out. I sold out to my college counselor's well-balanced, and sensible advice to stick with Sociology as my major for the sake of transferring. The plan is to get to the college, and then change my major to Film while I'm there. At the moment, all I need is one Math class to be finished. And that's the class I just dropped. I wasn't doing well anyways, so no worries. I will apply this month, and be pretty much guaranteed to get into a Cal-State college of my choice, but ONLY if I finish that math class by Spring semester. There lies the predicament. My Lake Tahoe trip - will have to be cut short in a way, because I will have to come back to LA in time for the Spring Semester. And this is a trip I have been looking forward to for the past year... But I don't think I'll sell out on the trip. I'm going to stay as long as I want. I've been going to this school for the past 4 years, floating through with mediocrity, and even though I haven't tried hard, the fact lies that I've been attending and doing this whole school thing for the past FOUR years. That's a long time, and I'm burned out. I have to decide whether or not now to take a year off from school and apply next fall instead. I think I will take a year off though...



LAKE TAHOE!
So I've been planning this Lake Tahoe trip for the past year. Well, maybe just dreaming about it. But it's about to become reality in about a month and a half. The main reason for literally moving to this snowy heaven, is for the snow. To ride it, surf it, and be knee deep in it. Snowboarding. I imagine waking up regularly at the crack of dawn (never thought I'd ever say that) for the first time ever in my life, just to get first-powder. To get that first run in on the slopes, through fresh, untouched powder. Just thinking about it makes me squirm.

The second reason for going up there, is to sort of isolate myself. I think it'll be very therapeutic and refreshing. I'm a very social guy, don't get me wrong; but I think it'll be nice for me to be on my own, away from home, and just... alone. With the cut down of distractions, I'll also be able to Really work on my writing. Maybe pump out a script or two, and some short stories. God knows I'll have the time for it up there. I'll probably need a job up there, but I'm sure I can bum through it with some "whatever" job. I'll be fine. As long as I have my season pass to Heavenly ski resort, I'll be fine.

Being from LA, and having lived no place else, save for Las Vegas for a couple years, I've never experienced "weather"; as in all four seasons for any long period of time. I'm going to love waking up, and not wanting to leave my bed because of the cold. I'm going to love making myself a fresh cup of coffee in the morning, throwing on a jacket, and stepping outside to drink it in the cold. I'm going to love breathing in that fresh, un-polluted air, and smell that comforting smell of wood smoke coming from someone else's cabin chimney. God, I love that smell. Mix it with cold, fresh, winter air, and you have yourself a cocktail for your nose. I don't know if you guys know where Lake Tahoe is, (Yes, I have become increasingly aware that people are ACTUALLY reading this blog and now I'm addressing you. It's amazing) or what Lake Tahoe is all about, but it's absolutely awesome.

Lake Tahoe is on the border between California and Nevada, way up north from Los Angeles. About a 6-7 hour drive. It's right by Reno, Nevada. Anyways, the lake itself is huge, and it's been described by many as a piece of heaven, because the land around it is so gorgeous. I agree, even though I've never even been there. But I've seen pictures. Porn for snowboarders really. South Lake Tahoe (the area I will live in) even has a Casino strip. So there's like a main street full of Hotel Casino's and nightlife. A little sliver of Vegas basically. A lot of the city is a tourist village area too. With shops, restaraunts, etc. So the nightlife there is awesome, a lot of tourists, and just a lot going on. So it's practically the perfect place for me to spend a winter, aside from let's say Park City, Utah, or Aspen, Colorado. Maybe I'll do those next year... or better yet, I may just move to all the best ski resorts around the world every winter for the rest of my life...

Some pictures:
-I'll be in South Lake Tahoe, on the bottom right hand corner. In the 'Heavenly' ski resort village area.
Heavenly Ski Resort... Snowboarder's porn.


Look at that water...
Emerald Bay
The Casino Strip. Harrah's.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Letter to my College Counselor

I should be talking about me moving to Lake Tahoe for the winter, but I have to put that off for now. I guess this leads into that anyways:

So it's 3:12 in the wee hours of the morning and I'm sitting here in front of my fairly brand new laptop that freezes at least several times a week. I'm supposed to be studying for a killer Statistics exam I have in about 5 hours(8AM class). The class is pointless since I've decided to make a big change tonight. I've decided to change my major and start over if I have too. As it says in my profile, I have been attending a community college for the past 4 years...

Letter to my College Counselor
Dear College Counselor:

Wow. I am coming to you in pretty bad shape. As you can see, I have had trouble passing certain classes, and my GPA hovers over a 2.7. Nice right? Well, I have to tell you. I have had almost absolutely no motivation for the first 3 of the past 4 years I have been attending your fine institution. Sure, your college is the best community college in California, boasting the #1 transfer rate in the state. Kudos. I'm sorry to be such a disappointment. You could've spit me out as a successful transfer student in less than two years if I was on track right? It's true. I'd just like to say for the record, that my GPA does not truly represent my academic abilities. It's just that... I didn't know what I wanted to do for so long. Add 'Life' onto that plate, and that's where you'll see the low motivation come in.
I'm frustrated too. I know you don't want to look through my record that's twice as long as everyone else's and be expected to know what exact advice to give me. Yes Counselor, I want to do film. And yes, I know that my current major is Sociology. Why you ask? Well, I guess I was kidding myself last year when I decided to stick with Sociology for the sake of finishing school faster. I guess I'm burned out from going to school for so long, and with my heart and effort not being in it in addition. I thought I'd just power through Sociology, finish it, and finally transfer to a University with that major. But now that the time has come(this month) to apply for transfer, I have come to the realization that spending two more years completing a major that I have no real interest or use for... is stupid. It would make two more years that much more miserable. And yes! I know my passion is film, and writing, so why am I doing Sociology?! It's crazy I know.
I guess all the time I've spent floating through your school made me just reach for the proverbial pistol and take the easy way out of choosing "any" major to finish instead of starting all over to complete film.
Good news though dear College Counselor. I have decided to switch over to the major that I would actually enjoy finishing. Film/Screenwriting. I figure, why waste two more years getting a Sociology degree I have no use for and being unhappy while doing it? Even though changing to film will take extra time, it's fine with me. I'll be extremely motivated in doing well in it because it's what I want to do.
So I guess what I'm asking is, let's throw away all of those education plans we wrote up these past four years, and write up a totally new one. Sorry I know.
And also... We're going to plan this stuff around my Lake Tahoe trip. Yeah about that, I'm moving up there for the winter. Yeah, I know, that'll take up the Winter and Spring semesters. But I need this time. For me. You understand don't you? Of course. So yeah, we'll need to write up those ed-plans for the time I come back.

Thanks,
-Brent

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Booze and Cigarettes... Life.

I'm always inspired to write after a night out on the town. Maybe it's the booze and cigarettes, or maybe it's me channeling Bukowski. Either way, it's a bad habit. I should resist writing only when I have gone out and had a few drinks and smoked some cancer sticks. I'm not a smoker, just "on the weekends". Doesn't that sound lame? It does... but people use it, and I do also.

So I went out on the town in Manhattan Beach. Several miles south of Santa Monica Beach. It was only about a 15 minute drive, but far away nonetheless. Dios mio! I forgot what I was going to post about. I spent about a thought and a half figuring out that Bukowski bit above and I completely lost track of my main point... Shit. I'm still trying to figure it out...

Oh yeah! This deserves a completely new paragraph simply because it took me about a minute to get back on track. My life:

My life consists of events that I'd like to think contribute to who I am and who I become. Maybe not even "what I think". It's simply true. All I'm trying to say is that my goals in life are too:

1. Experience everything I can.
2. See everything I can.
3. Be completely Genuine and "Me" while doing it.
4. Be happy.

I have said this line so many times in writings and in my journal, but it's worth saying again because it's a tasty tidbit grouping of words: "I want to be THAT old man. You know, THAT GUY in the room, on his death bed, surrounded by loved ones, and younger people. THAT GUY in the room who is totally content with how he spent his life, and how he lived it. THAT GUY who is totally HAPPY with himself, and his life, and what it meant. THAT GUY who knows he influenced other people and affected their lives in a positive way somehow. THAT GUY who changed society for the better somehow, even in the most miniscule way... and THAT GUY who is ultimately happy - On his death bed." THAT is the guy I want to be.

...So I guess what I'm saying is, or getting to, are two Charles Bukowski quotes that I agree with wholeheartedly:

"The nine-to-five is one of the greatest atrocities sprung upon mankind. You give your life away to a function that doesn't interest you. This situation so repelled me that I was driven to drink, starvation, and mad females, simply as an alternative."
-Charles Bukowski

"This is a world where everybody’s gotta do something. Ya know, somebody laid down this rule that everybody’s gotta do something, they gotta be something. You know, a dentist, a glider pilot, a narc, a janitor, a preacher, all that... Sometimes I just get tired of thinking of all the things that I don’t wanna do. All the things that I don’t wanna be. Places I don’t wanna go, like India, like getting my teeth cleaned. Save the whale, all that, I don’t understand that..."
-Charles Bukowski

-Two of his more famous quotes. What these quotes mean to me is simply this: Yes, really. Who is to say that we are supposed to follow some pre-determined structure and format in our lives? In American society, we are expected to get good grades in high school - Get into a 'Good' College - Graduate and Get a 'Good' job - Make lots of money - and be "Happy". Who says you have to do it that way? What about all of your little dreams and aspirations? Surely your 'Work' can't be it. When are you ever going to have time to do all the things you want with a 9 to 5 right out of College? Experience/See the things you want? While you're still young? In your prime? You can't! Pretty soon a family will come about, and responsibilites will be stacked on top of each other. I don't think life should be played out that way.

I'm going to do things my way, and take my time doing it. Because in that time I take, I will be experiencing LIFE itself. And seeing LIFE as it happens. Not while driving by it on my way to my 9 to 5. Not witnessing things behind a windshield and strapped down by a seatbelt while stuck in LA traffic. But in it. Living it. Because I have Complete confidence in the End, that I will be successful in what I want to do, and I will be "fine". I will have lived life the way I wanted to, and feel good that I did it in my own way. Self-satisfaction. Satisfied with how I spent my life.

-This leads me to my next post about me moving to Lake Tahoe, California for the winter. All by my lonesome.