Wednesday, March 25, 2009

if you can imagine an advanced enough robot...

I've always liked the covers of old science fiction books, sometimes more than the books themselves. This translates into other media as well. I'd be lying if I said the cover art wasn't a large influence in my decision to buy Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots by the flaming lips (of course, their music is more than enough reason to have purchased the album, anyway). So, when I stumbled across this collection of cover images from various publications of "The War of the Worlds," I was pleasantly surprised. Here are some of my favorites.

I would say these images are nostalgic, but I wasn't born when they were printed. Maybe reincarnostalgic? Delicious, then.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Coming to grips

For the last few weeks, I've been consistently having nightmares. In them, my family is being threatened by murderers, monsters, or escaped beasts. I'm always able to neutralize the threat, but doing so alters me so drastically, my family has a difficult time being around once they're safe.

Between classes, the other day, I read an article online that helped me understand what these dreams might mean, as well as the unwritten, emotional back story I'm not sharing in this post.

The article was written by a former soldier who had recently been called back to active duty. His previous combat experience had been unpleasant, and he was anxious to avoid another tour. As I read about his experiences, both in combat and out, I could feel my chest getting tighter. It was harder for me to sit without fidgeting.

I've known for a while that I would be leaving for combat by the end of the year, and this was the first time I'd felt any discomfort about it. In the past, when I'd think about the dangers involved, I'd immediately get a calm, reassuring feeling that I would be okay; that I would come home safely. Thinking about it again in those terms, I felt the same reassurance. What I noticed was that, while I have full faith that I will return, I am scared to death that I will not come back the same man I'll be when I leave. I worry that the people who matter to me will not be able to love that new man. I worry that I'll have too many issues to be overlooked.

Is it odd to be less afraid of war than of how it might change me? It feels wierd to me.

I felt the same way when I left school to climb mountains, and when I came home from Russia more cautious and reserved. I always think that doing things that are right for me will come at the cost of the things I think I want the most. When I left college, I was single and anxious to be in a real relationship; to be starting a family. I thought that, though I was doing what I genuinely loved, the result would be that doing so would keep me from finding genuine love. Who finds a wife above 20,000 feet, anyway?

Now, though I believe that joining the military was the right decision for my family, I'm afraid it could ultimately cost me the same.

I must have a Job complex; I believe that God is not above putting you in the worst scenario you can imagine if he thinks the end result is worth it. I also know that I would not want to fail that kind of test (I'm pretty stubborn when it comes to a chaaaalllleeenge!), making it a near certainty in my head that one like it is ultimately coming for me. Oddly enough, it's putting things in this perspective that brings the reassuring feelings.

Remembering Oceanside

The Spanish Lady and I woke up this morning and said to ourselves, "Hey, it's March. We should go to the beach." So we did just that, loading C. in the car to reacquaint him with the ocean he used to yell at when he was one.

I guess a year isn't long enough for some things to change. At least there is a playground near the pier.

He would climb to the top of the slide...

...and use his new vantage point to yell even louder insults and warnings at the water.

We ended the day with ice cream at McDonald's and air drumming on the table. Then, mrs. h and I talked about how much we both miss Oceanside while C. slept in the backseat.

{images iz cellphona}

I wish it was me in the photo...

I live in California, and I've only been surfing once. In Washington. In January.

Still, I was hooked. Being at the beach today, then, was an odd sort of torture. Think of a two-year old at his friend's birthday party realizing that the pile of presents are only for his friend. At least there's cake.

And iced creams.

And maybe even an amateur stuntman.

I hope he catches himself on fire and wills a surfboard to me when he dies.

{images iz Oceanside pier}

Friday, March 6, 2009

What's That?

I took C. outside today to play with the dandellions. We blew the seeds off of stems (or just spit on them), and turned his palms yellow with the flowers.

I forget that things like this are new to him. He's such an enthusiastic explorer, it makes me eager to show him new things. Like dirt clods, or how if you sniff a morning glory hard enough, it'll stick to your nose.

All in due time. Right now, I'm content just to watch him teach his "friends" what he's learned.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

For Kicks

I'm a fan of graffiti. I know that it's a crime, and when it is used simply as a property marker for gangs, I have less than positive feelings about it. But I can't deny it can be beautiful. There's also something about it's illegality that adds to the appeal. I remember seeing the Berlin wall come down in '89. The graffiti on those slabs were the antithesis of crime to me. They seemed appropriate tributes the spirit that ultimately destroyed them; stills of a life that could only exist once they were gone. Check out ArtCrimes. The galleries are extensive, both locally and internationally. I find the Chinese and Brazilian artists particularly appealing.

(thanks to ArtCrimes and Reach for the image)

Intrigue and MPG's

Monday's episode of the BBC's "top Gear" was, as always, excellent. It got me thinking about fuel efficiency, as each of the hosts were able to drive 750+ miles on a single tank of petrol. I looked up the winning car, a VW polo bluemotion with a 79 hp, 1.4 litre diesel engine. It isn't a comfortable, or even attractive car to drive, but on 12 gallons, you can motor from LA to Portland (nearly). Plus, at $24,000, it's a nice alternative to the self-righteous gag-mobile, Toyota Prius. Details can be found here.

In related news,
the Stig's identity has been revealed. This is old news for most, but it's relevent to the following video. I believe it speaks for itself.