Delivered

Today I went on a spontaneous trip to a local driving range. There’s something challenging and fun about whacking a golf ball over a hundred yards down range. Watching it fly away into the sky at high speed. It’s a very sweet feeling when you get a good hit: almost as if the ball isn’t even there. The club just swings through it’s natural range of motion. Everything feels right. (Ignoring the 195 other balls I sent tearing along the grass or sliced off to the right). I remembered some of the technical points from when I was kid, and watching better players drive. I was much more proficient with the 7 iron than the wood. It’s something to have fun working on.

It was also a day of charity. Ken, Danny and Aaron all helped move two of Ken’s couches into my place. So I’m the proud new owner of two used but awesome and comfortable couches! My apartment is pretty much furnished now. I have drawers for my clothes, a place to sleep, couches and coffee table to sit on and eat at. I still need to get some stools for the kitchen counter, as I’m borrowing my Aunt’s right now. I don’t know if that would crowd the space too much.

I also gave Danny my iPhone. I have an iPhone from work and I did buy a cheap Nokia Lumia 521 smartphone. Which brings me to my next story.

I rode the motorbike up to Bellevue (about an hour by freeway) yesterday. Bellevue is a wealthy area. I was underdressed in my motorcycle jeans, t-shirt and leather jacket. The helmet swinging from my hand probably excused me. Not that I care at all, I just noticed how different it was from Tacoma. Most of the time a collar on a shirt means you’re dressed up or wearing it for work. It has a small town atmosphere without the small town attitude: people are friendly and talkative, but they don’t know everyone else’s business. It’s easy to dress well, because putting on a good shirt is unique enough to be noticed. In Bellevue, however, you’d be part of the crowd wearing a fashionable button down.

I went to the Microsoft store to buy the phone, and I was served by a young lady who happened to have spent several months in Australia last year. In Melbourne. She was there studying. At the University of Melbourne. Media and Communications, which is basically the same thing as an arts degree. Pretty huge coincidence. I didn’t really know what to do with it though. So after the transaction I just left. What do you talk about when it’s a place you just left behind? A university you graduated from already? A conversation in the context of a retail sale? It doesn’t really lend itself to continued conversation, and I don’t have a reason to go back.

Not so many people are commenting on my accent anymore. It’s still prominent, I’m sure, but I’m trying to speak like an American. I guess that means I’m making progress.

Tonight was a UFC fight night. I watched on the big screens at a local bar/restaurant. I think  I need to spend more time out and about. So every weekend I’m going to go out and see something around town, or do something fun and adventurous.

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Why I ride

‘The Way of the Samurai is found in death.’ – Yamamoto Tsunetomo (Hagakure)

It’s Easter Sunday, my day off for the week, and I still woke up at exactly 6am. Happy Easter everyone!

Yesterday I took a day long motorcycle safety course. It included riding exercises, a riding test, a lecture/discussion and a written test. I aced both tests. It was a good refresh and reminder of the swerving and quick stop skills. I have to go to a licensing office and get my motorcycle endorsement.

Motorcycle riding is a life and death activity. It’s a survival exercise. I’ve seen a rider’s boots sticking out from under a white blanket. The next day several riders were sitting on the curb mourning their friend. That image hasn’t ever left me. I know what I’m getting into, and remember it every time I throw my leg over a motorbike. I often hear people say: ‘ride like everyone is trying to kill you.’

I’m not saying every rider has a death wish. I’m just saying the risk is higher, and as such, a higher standard applies to riders. A higher standard of behavior, attitude, awareness, skills, perception, and self control. Those are all the things I like to exercise. I like the discipline of it, and pushing myself to live by a higher standard.

Death is everywhere and can take you at any moment. Everyone dies, and being alive is just a struggle to get an inch of control over your death. Where did you die, how, when, why, who did it: all of it is set up by your life. If you want to die old and rich, you have to live for that goal. You have to stay alive and see it through. Dying well means living well.

The fact you could die at any moment also means you have an obligation to get the most out of whatever life you have. It’s yours, so do whatever you want, but you should to be doing something with it. I know what I’m doing with my life, and while I don’t have it all figured out, I  do know what I’m about. It sounds simple but it’s one of the big things that drives me. I have no choice but to get the most out of life.

I’m lucky enough to live in places where I have the freedom to choose the way I’ll live my life. We all have the ability to make life decisions, some of us have the freedom to, and a few of us actually take advantage of it. I choose to ride a motorcycle. It’s not all fun and games, but there are moments of happiness. I’ll be chasing them all the way to the horizon.

Jamming

‘the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time’ – Jack Kerouac, On The Road

I know I haven’t written here in a while. I’ve been focused on working hard at my new job. It’s all good and I’m happy working there.

I’ve been running flat out since I arrived stateside, and it doesn’t look like any part of my new life is going to slow down anytime soon. That’s exactly what I wanted. I’ve established good habits: a healthy sleeping pattern, fairly healthy diet, and training whenever I can make it after work.

I’m going on a motorcycle course tomorrow, to refresh safety riding skills and get a motorcycle endorsement on my license. The bike itself is running okay, it does need some encouragement to start when it’s cold out. I think that’s an issue with the choke cable. I also have to make adjustments to the throttle. Otherwise, it’s a blast to ride.

 

Stablizing

‘This is me yo, right here.’ – Wallace (The Wire).

I can hardly believe that I’ve been living in the US for three months already. I honestly wasn’t sure if I would end up grounded here. I have a full time job, an apartment, a car, and now a motorcycle. The burst of intense activity has made my time here fly by.

Before I left Australia, I wondered if I was really ready to settle down into a regular lifestyle. I know I’m not ready to settle down yet. What I’ve got so far is just a foundation for new adventures. I’ve made a home for myself, but that won’t stop me from going away. It’ll enable me to travel. Having a roof over my head, a paycheck and some wheels, has given me the space, money, and freedom to pursue my kind of happiness.

There’s one thing I have found out about myself. I get a kick out of fixing broken things: professionally and personally. It’s challenging and rewarding. I’ve finally started to come to terms with that. I’ve always been torn between IT, and something a bit more creative, like filmmaking. I think I’ll have to find a way to bring storytelling into my career.