Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Check it

Irving Penn and Lars Tunbjork and Alexis Rockman.

Daily Choices

Everyday I make a series of choices, ones that occur and have formed my daily routine and after pondering the intricacies of its formation, I found it mesmerizing how it detailed so much about me and therefore would like to expound on it for my faithful readers to pontificate.

I wake up with about 45 minutes to get out the door. I set my alarm for a soothing tone that ascends into some crescendo of bells, but in a melodic tone so as not to startle my REMs and gift me into everyday the easiest way possible. I snooze about 3-4 times, of which I have allotted for the night before.

I take my breakfast in the kitchen, something about breakfasting where the food is made is better for me than eating at a table. Plus, considering I shovel my food faster than a hoover on overdrive, I find it will waste time and put me in complacent mood if I choose to sit. I turn on the lights of my closet and stare at my clothes, sometimes I even take a seat. I have been doing that for years. It is something that I do, like an artist who takes a step back at a huge white canvas and allows the canvas to paint itself in some imaginary pattern so that all the artist does is paints by numbers. I don't mean to catastrophically overindulge my view of my own fashion, but the gesture derives from that medium of thought.

As I run out the door, I hit the elevator button even though my shoes are not on. I absolutely detest the morning rush out the door just to sit and wait for the slow elevator to ascend in its routine speed, as though it sensed my rush and decided to taunt my quest. I walk out the door and always wrinkle my nose and squint my eyes. I have no idea why, but it is what I feel I would do if I were an actor in a big blockbuster movie and this was the scene where the ex-football star just exited a strip club after hours of indiscretions. It presents myself as not over-eager for the day, yet with a whiff of perseverance.

I rarely play music on my commute. I find it to disconnect me from my favorite character trait, my ability to observe. If I play music, I engage and sway and even dance micro-choreography so the trained eye would know that I am rocking out some isolations, but unnoticeable to the casual street passer-by. I enter the first subway car, since I know that my final exit to the University is at the near side, so I pre-plan my exit. This is probably paying tribute to my anxiety that my mother so graciously imposed on my at a young age, where a minute late was a minute I felt to be more important than someone else. Considering my life lessons revolved around me becoming more compassionate, I really felt this one.

I switch stations at a station that has an outdoor platform, even in the dead of winter. I find the few minutes with some breaths of fresh air to be perfectly timed and always welcomed. Also, I get a great view of Stockholm at a great sunshine angle. I also take this stop because the doors open at the opposite end of the train from this stop on, so if I am the last to enter the train, I will never be disturbed by boarders and exiters until my stop.

I get off my stop and am immediately confronted by a mountain range of escalators. It is Swedish custom to stand on the right and take that 5 minute ride. But never one to shy away from a 30 second workout, I usually stomp my boots up the left hand side, become a little winded and sore and show everyone that they should have kept to their new years resolution of losing weight.

I stop off at my usual coffee spot where I am greeted everyday by Thomas. I hate when you go to a coffee shop and the person taking your order has already drank their coffee and talk to you as if you had as well. Screaming in your face with a beaming smile and disappointed that you don't engage even 50% of what they give out, these employees make me want to shove a mocha in their pie hole and ask for their order. Thomas, oddly enough, is the worst at doing that as I have ever encountered but it doesn't bug me. Probable because I get every other coffee for free and he usually throws in a banana. The Deputy found out, actually, that Thomas is so engaged for his shift that usually runs about 9 hours, that he returns home to his apartment and sits in silence and darkness for a few hours in order to regain balance in his life. Rough gig.

Our choices we make to define who we are should not stop at how we dress ourselves or what music we listen to, we should create a persona so authentic and true that each phase of your life should emulate that person you want to be. Some may criticize the Deputy and say he should relax and hold off on manipulative gestures that place his audience where he wants them, but he disagrees. For these choices are not for others, they are for yourself and every moment should be an opportunity to express yourself and make you feel the most comfortable.

See you on the outdoor platform faithful followers~

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Home Is Where The Roots Are

I was on the subway on my way back from an evening soiree at a new friend's place when I was overcome by this sincere weight of displacement and frustration. It was the type of situation where a caricature representation on the silver screen would represent something of a Alice in Wonderland cut-away, with myself as a small figurine amongst flying buffalo or elephant balloons. It had this destabilizing effect where, in a moments notice, I abandoned all plans and jumped out of the next subway stop, which luckily was my own.

In a blind effort to put my finger on this sentiment, I realized this newfound emotion. I have been traveling since I was 17, living abroad, constantly traveled becoming rolling stone of the new century, a caballero andante of sorts. I have never looked back and never, ever looked down. It was my motto to expose myself to as many things as possible, from meager new foods to extravagant parades. I was functioning under some immature infatuation with the ability to recall forlorn adventures to the far east, starring absurd characters in some tangential interference with my life. But, when I return to look at a cast of characters, everyone seems to be guest starring and only I retain the headline as a starring role. So who is there to share in the box-office reviews?

But I digress. I finally find no problem with returning home and guest starring in the role of my family, in growing roots and nourishing the relationships I started with. I always find that I am comparing and contrasting to my roots, so why not just return to the roots and find out for myself.

My new year's resolution has been to become more authentic, in fact it has been for the past two years, in fact it probably has become more of a life goal. But the essence of that goal has been where I had least expected it, at home, with family and old friends. The more I stay out in different countries and meet different people, the most attractive thing about it is what makes me who I am, all things that I have learned growing up. I wore a Lakers jersey the other night to a bar and became a total hit.

It is ironic since the past few years I have tried desperately to fit in and immerse myself in a culture the was never mine, when all along the attractiveness I possessed came from red-white-and-blue self. My ex-pat friends who have lived abroad for years still feel, especially in time of need, that they are never fully embraced. That when a Christmas or New Years comes around, they are always invited under pity votes. So why do we continue to force ourselves? For the story? Who cares? My story is that I am going to have a family and group of friends with deep roots that grow to an unwavering tree.

So let's go back faithful followers, let's venture into known territory, let's stir a home-cooked meal and kick our feet up. Let's take grandma out for dinner and kick the ball around with Uncle, let's get latin on our families and local on our friends.