Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Time Management and Other Dribble

I’m going to change the name of this Blog. The idea I’m entertaining is “Most Sporadic Blog” but it sounds a little too contagious. Another is “Blither” but that may be plagiarizing from a future JK. Rowlings novel and who am I to throw a wrench in the gears of the economy of mass production? Maybe it should be called “Experiment in Cultural Submersion” where I can post rants about incompetent bank clerks and the perils of remaining a stubborn pedestrian. Well I will ponder it a while and maybe come up with something along the lines of “Irrelevant Thoughts and other Dribble” or “Time Management in the Information Age”. Both seem quite fitting to file this under.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Lost Notes and Expanations

There is this little corner of the world I have found somehow, found myself living the daily trials and successes one can live any where. This place however is unique in that it is my place.

This place if you type in San José, Costa Rica, into your Google Earth, is a narrow isthmus, a mountainous link between two vast continents; two continents of cultures, landscapes, music, hopes, dreams, and flavours; two worlds. One from the north is the one I know too well; the great North American dream; and it is very much apparent all around me, on this narrow link, that someone is spreading the word, the story of that dream.

Like missionaries of old, the story may not hold true for all, but there are many who have signed on the great freight train, some call progress, with the driving force of MTV. I wonder what the old continent to the south thinks of all this “Americanism”, so close to its northern shore. Only violent politics has preserved, thanks to Columbian opposition militias, the Darien gap, which may hold the tide back just long enough for others to tell a different tale.

Stories make the world. I forget that, sometimes, forget that my eyes do not tell me truths, that somewhere in between, some neurological impulse is interpreting this vista for me, building comprehension out of the mystery, and that this view is the tide of my world, all 29 years of it.

Too often, I think, I have taken this view for granted, unconsciously edited out those truths that I know, yet choose to ignore for the sake of comfort.

More letters from the archives

Senor Koopman,

My friend, 30 is fast approaching. It’s like the edge of the world in a Monty python sketch. But you know if the world was flat, Columbus would have never hit Costa Rica, and MTV Latina would never have saved millions of culture starved Mayans from colourful woven sacks and pan flute dance extravaganzas. So it’s 30, but the world is round, and so there is still hope for the lot of us.

I live in a country where 70% of the population is 17-29 years old. On Friday nights it keeps me feeling young. Not so at noon on Saturdays when old age starts knocking at the back of my head. Word has it that you escaped to the north for another summer of wilderness adventures, fried fish, and cervesas. What holds for the future? Where are you hiding out this winter season? It’s been too long my friend, coming from one who has no sense of time. Staying in touch with those closest to me has always been my strong point, but don’t let it fool you into thinking that I think of you often.

So, this will be my first Christmas away from home. Strange to hear Christmas carols wafting from store fronts, Christmas light icicles hanging from doorways, palm fronds waving in the evening breeze. My traditional sense of season won’t accept it. So I will spend my Christmas feasting on rice and beans, listening to Shakira, hopefully unwrapping some exotic Latina, and hoping it snows on Christmas morning.

I will be home in January, arriving the 10th and trooping around the province until the 25th. My plans are mayonnaise at Utopia, wood hauling at the Koopmans, wood hauling at the moms, wood hauling wherever else I can find wood to haul, snowball fights in Toronto alleys, snowboarding, guitar playing in front of every warm wood oven I can find, and of course enjoying the company of those closest to my heart. Here’s to you on your birthday. Write me tales, if you would, of northern loony adventures, future plans, and fortunes waiting to be conquered.

Your Friend,


A Letter to a Friend Never Sent

I think perhaps that our last correspondence wasn’t quite an accurate depiction of life or of this moment in time. Perhaps, more accurately, I find myself in the mood to write a little, the first of such an impulse I have had in quite a while.

Much as I might have been bold to say “we are living our lives”, I meant it not so much as a statement of living to the fullest, but more as a statement that here we are, breathing, making or not making choices, eating, sleeping, shitting, and all the other mundane and glorious things that go along with 21st century existence. So what is there to say?

I could say that some day’s I’m miserable, a misfit, doomed by nature or nurture, or fortune and fate, to never know what it is to feel connected to the world. I could say that since I was 15 I pissed away so many opportunities because of insecurities, or ran off from every solid thing I ever had in search of kicks, or that even when I was out getting them, I held back or let those insecurities flood over me even then. I could, and some day’s I do feel like that, and I have to live with all of it, and that is enough to bring down any man.

So what holds me up then, what gets me out of bed in the morning, no matter what the mood, what makes me want to write like this to you? Here I am, alienated, mislead, lost, sentenced in a far corner, and yet have a desire to put down uplifting words to send out into the world. Maybe the answer then is right there. Maybe you don’t realize it, but when you sit down at your computer in the basement of your parents home, and play a piece of music I made for you once, sit down and write a little anecdote about how you’re sitting in your parent’s basement listening to a piece of music I made for you once, it makes me want to get up in the morning just that much more.

It’s the rainy season here, but sometimes when the sun is setting out over the ocean its rays get in under the clouds and light them up all gold and red. I am always at work at that time, and if I have a moment I like to step outside and maybe have a smoke and watch the light disappear. I always feel more collected when I step back in. This is what I am getting at.

All of our self defeating enterprises aside, what I want to share with you are just that these are the moments that somehow keep us going. They are moments that don’t have much worth in the world, but they are the only reason I have the strength or the courage to write this. It’s where dreams come from, where ideas are born. Take a little time and ask yourself that in these past years, have you not, aside from all the things you could say to dismiss them, learned a little, enjoyed a moment here and there, shared with another, and made someone’s step a little lighter?


What is it about those evenings, when darkness wraps the world like a blanket, the cold seems to fade away, and a wave of contentment seems to wash over the world?

I have always associated this feeling with Christmas holidays, soft snow, trees wreathed in light, and family or friends. How is it then that on occasion, these evenings manifest on rain soaked July nights in the tropics?

I was invited to join some friends for lunch at their house up in the mountains above Granadilla. A curtain of rain and mist had long obliterated the volcanic peaks and jungle tapestries up above, bringing nights fall without even ever acknowledging the passing of the day. The rain fell soft and unrelenting, yet standing out back overlooking the smudged lights of the city, that cocoon of comfort enveloped my being. Of course, recognizing it, and with associations of Christmas drifting through my consciousness, my question surfaced, and remained, even as I enjoyed the moment of ease.

I am in no way about to attempt to answer my self imposed question here and now. Rather, I simply hope to gather in the ingredients, so to speak, and bear witness to a moment of gladness.

Mayhem y comidas Francesas

Strange ramblings on Saturday afternoons. I have had beer deliveries, server emergencies, and queesh so far today. My coffee maker being broken left me no recourse but to resort to improvisation of extreme measure. The aperatus involves left over chinese take out containers and paper towel, which to my delight produces quite a paletable cup of coffee.

Now with my beer delivery come and gone, and the french girls hijacking the television set, I find myself drawn to a little creative writing. There was a small emergency at work involving the server acting strangely. Truthfully I have no idea whatsoever of what that means but with a few phone calls and some light investigation of my own I think the issue has at least been documented to the point of credibility. The queesh, leftovers from some cultural engagement of the french, was delicious, complimenting the coffee well.

An interesting documentary was playing earlier focusing on an individual who had suffered complete amnesia and on awakening began to document his experiences interacting with a life of which everything was completely new. Que interesante. How do you spell queesh? It just doesn’t look right. I’m avoiding my girl; not really sure why. I was supposed to attend a BBQ up in Ebais de Granadilla but the rain may have put a halt to that plan. It’s cold enough here, never mind up on the mountain.

So maybe the beer delivery has loosened my tongue. In my mind thoughts swirl… can I publish this to the blogosphere and still run for office one day? Paranoia? Perhaps it was the 12 hours of sleep from last night. Perhaps it was the queesh. How do you spell that? I’m really upset at my Breakfast posting which refuses to take page breaks or proper spacing. I have edited that thing over and over in hopes that magically it will come to its senses, but no. I’ll keep you posted.