Ive spent 3 days trying to write a paper on why I want to go to the naval academy, yet all I can seem to write about is why I think people should watch more Korean youtube videos and how even though there is a cat video film festival, dogs are still better. Ive got writers block like I have never known. Wait, that’s not true. Ive got productive writers block like I have never known. Every single time I have sat down and opened my computer to write this damn thing, I quite literally have nothing to say on the matter. And that doesn’t usually get rave reviews from a review board. Im starting to wonder if a paper on Korean youtube video superstars would serve me better than the current pile of trash I have assembled. Ive been sitting here about half an hour now, and have already watched at least 4 videos, and read at least 3 articles on topics that literally have zero greater purpose towards my life. Although one could argue that an increased knowledge in Korean pop culture could be advantageous some distant day in the future (fingers crossed). If that’s true, ill be more than ready. I’m starting to realize that this whole blog thing seems to be driven by my desire to not do the other things that I have to do, which I haven’t really had an issue with since school.  Lord help me if I actually get back into school, I’ll probably have more blog posts than the internet can handle.  But first and foremost, there is this kid in this coffee shop who keeps changing tables every few minutes, and its starting to bother me. His obvious discomfort is making me uncomfortable. Ok, well that’s all I have to say on that. If he moves again I’ll make sure to post again, don’t you worry.

 

-matthias

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the future is here, and it is dancey

 

Sometimes I just want to get all gangnam style. I think its safe to assume that you are one of the nearly 300 million people who have seen this video or one of its many remixes over the past month. So yeah, lets gangnam it up. I don’t know what that really means, and neither does google translate, which normally would lead me to believe it must then not exist, but lets just pretend it’s a real phrase for a second or two. I could harken back to the good old days when it was me and about 40 million of my closest friends who were the only viewers of that video (one week after launch mind you), but I wont, That would be too hipster of me, and I in no way support hipster-ish activities of any sort, except excessive coffee drinking, that’s cool with me. In any case, the only reason I am writing this is because I feel that 400 million people are not nearly enough to allow the horse-riding-pony-shuffle-dance move to gain enough traction to make it the flapper dance of our time. If the soulja boy can be done at prom, the gangnam style horse prance can without a doubt be done at the white house correspondents dinner. So if you haven’t seen it, enjoy it. If you have, enjoy it once again. If you have it memorized like me? Well close your eyes and dance the whole thing out like I do.

 

-matthias

I hope this doesn't show up sideways.. But in the truest sense possible I am quite stackside today. Running some mercury tests for the greater good I suppose. All In all, not a bad day or view at all.

My dog meeko used to have some of the strangest habits about him, God rest his soul. The usual menagerie of dog traits were there. Walking, eating, sleeping, pooping. The usual. But he sometimes acted in the most curious manner. My parents used to describe it as how Meeko was always on the wrong side of the door. Eternally looking for something better. He would be sitting with us, then beg and plead to go outside, then once outside he would beg and plead to be inside. Seemingly this dog could not be pleased, nor could he seem to find a place where he was profusely content with himself and his position in the overall scheme of life in general. Odd. At least for a dog. My current dog is generally independent and happy to be just about wherever it is she happens to be, as most all dogs are. Meeko was one of a kind, possessing almost humane traits. Which is what ultimately got me looking back at my childhood pet. As I continue running this race that was set before me, I find myself  growing increasingly apathetic to meeko’s mindset, since it seems, I have become the very same way.

I never wanted to be this way, in fact, I spent a good portion of my life consciously attempting to avoid this and be content. As pretentious as it may sound, I had been very driven as a youth to succeed in the highest manner. Attend a US military academy, become a fighter pilot, and move to become a liason between the US Air Force and Lockhead Martin. A lofty goal, which as of today I has not yet been achieved (I havent given up hope just yet).  I wouldn’t take failure as an option, and quite frankly, I felt I couldn’t fail. I had to move up out of my current condition to something better. Always better. Better friends, better jobs, better clothes, better life. For those of you familiar with my current path in life, (as I presume any one actually reading this is) things don’t always work out. In fact, they often come crashing down, hard. And it sucks, majestically blows. When things just fall apart (chinua achebe reference for you literary nerds out there)it’s really easy to find yourself on the wrong side of the door. I don’t know why meeko wasn’t content, and I probably never will, but I certainly could understand him a lot more. You want to feel sorry for yourself. You want people to reassure you, to help carry the burden with you. You don’t want to be alone, because if anything, the easiest disease on earth to catch is sickening loneliness. You want to be around friends, family, you want to be loved, I wanted to be loved. It really becomes the only thing you care about. You change your style, personality, body, attitudes just to help make things better. You believe things can get better, that they must. You get ‘greener pasture’ syndrome. That there is always something better out there, something beyond what you might already have, something that is ultimately superficial and meaningless, but better it seems. The other side of the door.

Im not going to lie. What I described was me 110%. I wouldn’t have written it if it wasn’t me. As the acclaimed author and philosopher joseph campbell wrote, you have to travel through the belly of the beast in order to find success and happiness. There really is no other way it seems.  What I couldn’t see, was that I was already out of the beast, but I kept telling myself I wasn’t. I don’t want to rant on forever, and it seems this post has lost a lot of its literary focus, but I got a lot of things rolling through my head, and sometimes you just cant keep them off the paper (or screen I suppose).  Long story short, I already had everything I could ever want or need, and it wasn’t available at H&M or REI. Its no secret to anyone who knows me that I am quite religious person, and that my faith is very important to me. So if you are the type of person to write anyone who attends church and has faith off as a bible thumper, maybe you wont like this, but for me, my faith is what gave me clarity in a time that was pretty dark and difficult. I had become cynical as can be and found very little joy in my life. I felt that my joy had to come from getting trashed with friends from my estranged university, or spending money to impress people. To buy respect and garnish my manliness in a self depriving shield that cut me off from the world and those around me. I didn’t see things as they were, I saw them as what I viewed them  to be. And what I saw devastated me.  A 21 year old friendless college dropout who really had no good options left. A boy dealt a mans cards, and not willing to call or fold. Just hoping that by sheer luck or grace of someone else’s doing, I might somehow come out on top. Countless waves of good faithful advice came pouring in, and I rejected it all in place of a foolish cynical outlook. Now back to my faith. I had always been a christian, but not always a good one. I looked to honorable men in my church for guidance help, and they gave it. Everything was always right in front of my eyes; I just refused to see it. I started growing in my faith again. I looked back and listened back at sermons that were influential in my initial coming to Christ. And it helped immensely.  I opened my eyes finally, and saw that everything I could ever need and want were right in front of me for the taking. Jobs, money, clothes, parties all come and go with the changing of the tides, but day in and day out, faith, family, and good friends are there for you, and let me tell you, that piece of mind you get when you finally realize that is beyond comprehension. This most recent trip to my Marquette  reminded me of that. You sit at home  sometimes, wallowing in self deprecating pity, and remind yourself how lonely you are. But real friends don’t just bail on you when you suddenly drop out of school per-say. Nor will your family, and most importantly, nor will your faith. Its expected for man to falter countless times on the road of life. And unfortunately many will not get up. Its those that do, those that keep the faith, those that run with endurance no matter how painful it may be, that find what they are looking for. I didn’t want to get up. I wanted people to feel sorry for me. I wanted to helped. I wanted a miraculous recovery. I wanted what was on the other side of the door. I was willing to give up a lot for those other doors. Even all that I had in front of me. Luckily, all that I did have in front of me reminded me of what was important in my life. And that’s what has saved me from my worst enemy, myself.

Obviously my journey isnt over, and im not going to lie, I have no idea what the future will bring, and I’m certain I will stumble again and again. I just hope that when those times come, I wont forget that I all I ever needed, I already have. And nothing is worth more than that. So it seems meeko couldn’t find comfort in a bone at times. But even with all his flaws he had always remained a loving companion until the end. It looks like I should have taken notes back then. Man’s best friend indeed. 

I want to talk about something that has been bugging me for an age, as Dumbledore might say. It’s something that I have struggled with to be very honest, and it’s also something that I don’t think I will ever get over. Shoes. Yes shoes. If we are very candid for a few brief seconds, and brief I hope they will remain, we can clearly decipher my indescribable issue with the purchase of, and consequential use of shoes. Just to give a little imagery to my issue, my room currently has 14 pairs of shoes organized neatly in one corner. Yes I wear them. And yes they are quite stylish. The point is, that’s 2 for every day of the week. Now let’s bring back the candid camera for a second and tally how many pairs I actually own. Let’s just call it a lot. If I am honest with my readers (which of course I am…), I have to admit to having a situational collection of shoes. For example, my Clarks desert boots will only be worn in dry, unsalted terrain where the environment will not damage the leather, and I live by that to this day. Don’t judge me, they were expensive and are quite stylish. If I wanted to trudge around in the sloshing pits of the Midwestern winters, I would wear any other of my countless, more adventure inclined boots (all 5 of them). The same goes for my Birkenstocks. If it’s wet, you can bet your bottom dollar they won’t be on my feet. My basketball shoes have never felt the touch of a surface apart from a waxed gym floor. My bike shoes are for biking, running shoes for running, and boat shoes for boating. Let’s not forget work boots for work (which I have to wear every day oddly enough). It’s quite simple really.

What remains to be said is why I have so many, and why do I need so many? The answer? I don’t know. Who cares. To be honest, I just bought a new pair while skyping last night (figure 1). And you know what? They also can’t be worn in the rain, and that doesn’t bother me. What business do I have walking around in the rain anyways?

figure 1

If I were to presume myself a master of self-diagnosis, which I may very well be, I would imagine my recent shoe purchasing is a result of the lack of shoe wearing options in my field of work. Maybe it’s a vice. Maybe not. After spending 14 hours in steel toed boots maybe my mind is crying out for any other type of footwear, preferably more stylish, to wear. That’s probably it. As a result, my work shoe to work ratio is quite low, somewhere in the range of 2, while my everything else to not work ratio is somewhere in the clouds at a healthy 16 or so.

Just on a side note, I hate Crocs with the fire of a thousand suns in a Turkish bathhouse. They aren’t shoes. They are dumb, look dumb, and are often worn by dumb people who can’t tie shoes, or avoid puddles. Shoes should be crafted by cobblers in a sweaty Chinese shack, not by a mold in a modern facility.

That’s all.
Ps. I would like to give a shout out to my shoe purchasing mentor. A man whose shoe purchasing is well respected, and whom I try to model my shoe purchasing after (I run most my selections through him before buying). The man who came out on top with only a few scratches from the great boot shortage of the 90’s, the great shoe (mostly boot) purchaser himself, Mr. John Baldwin.

-mjl