Sunday, February 17, 2008

Time Traveling

I thought a lot about time yesterday. It started on my train ride to Sandy to investigate the antiques fair. I used to ride the train virtually everyday and I was quick to remember all of the buildings I saw on a regular basis. I saw the old warehouses and businesses, the rusting vehicles and empty fields. I also experienced the thoughts and feelings that I used to mull over as I rode the train toward school or back home. Although this routine ended only two years ago, I feel that I have changed considerably since then. 
I remembered how monumental school seemed. The whole institution seemed daunting:  literally as well as figuratively. I got lost on campus a few times and I felt inundated by new people, new experiences, and new demands. I could not see at the time how I would ever fit myself into this new life. 
The train ride also caused me to think of my initial experiences living on my own. I was constantly besieged by worry: how I would pay my rent, if I would be able to make a home for myself and if I would have the chance to end my loneliness and connect with people. 
My life now is much more stable. I am confident about school, even if I get a little overwhelmed at times, and I think I have cut out a place for myself in the world. Although I took the same trip that day that I had taken just a few years ago, I was able to bat away those old fears like they were insects. 
Of course, the antiques fair was a backward trip through time. I love the idea that objects that meant so much to one person can mean a lot to another person years later. Glass cases were filled with old jewelry, keys, and mysterious boxes. I ended up buying some small porcelin sake cups. I examined the design on the side and wondered who had owned them and what gave them joy. I think there is something very sterile about buying brand new products; but if I have to do so I like to think that I am the first to give the object some life. 
My last time travel adventure brought me to the future, sort of. A friend who went to the antiques fair with us told me that she was soon to get certification to open up an office for therapy. I was delighted when I heard this because that is a similar goal of mine. She gave me good advice on what education to get and the experience required to become a therapist. I am now much more sure that I can make the kind of life that I want career-wise in shorter time than I previously thought. 
I spent some time thinking about my future. I saw myself in eight to ten years doing what I really want to do: helping people. I know that I have to sacrifice now to get what I want later, but I was beginning to feel lost in all of the meaningless jobs and the many classes I've taken for school. I felt refocused after talking to this friend about therapy. 
Later on that night I was talking with someone about birthdays and aging. He said that 25 seemed like an old age. To me, however, being a certain age and feeling old aren't necessarily tied together so strictly. I think that I'll only begin to feel old when I stop moving toward my goals. Then, I won't be moving forward, or even backward. I'll be stuck in time. 

Thursday, February 7, 2008

My Life in Tract Housing

I've discovered that the ghost in the blog machine won't let me transfer my blog posts from wordpress to here. I don't know why. If you're interested, look for Dinorobot at wordpress. I think you'll be able to find my posts. 

Podcasts are my saving grace at work, and I particularly like listening to To the Best of Our Knowledge from PRI. The last segment I listened to was about sprawl. In the interest of fair-handedness, they spoke with someone for sprawl and someone against it. I'd have to say that based on my own experiences with sprawl I would be opposed. 

I grew up in a medium-sized city in Utah. We moved into the suburbs after living in Montana for a time. My initial thoughts of my new home were all positive: I loved the different spaces I could squeeze into and I liked all the empty fields around the house. With time I began to lose my that feeling. 

My neighborhood consisted of a one-mile square block of houses. There were no businesses nearby, but there were plenty of churches and schools. When we first moved in there was a huge field behind my house and I used to go out and build forts. An even bigger parcel of land rested half a mile away, and my friends and I used to wander around there for hours, discovering old irrigation ditches, burned-out cars, and elk. 

Things changed though when everyone realized what a wonderful place it was. Houses were crowded in the field behind my house. After that I couldn't build forts anywhere, and I had to listen to the inbred family from Idaho scream about going to Wal-mart. After several years houses started popping up in other previously vacant land areas. To make matters even worse, every damn family moving in wanted so much land. On it they grew grass, which they never stepped on. I hated lawns from there on out. There was no more magic to my neighborhood. It was just full of tract houses and Mormons. 

I wish that more real estate in my neighborhood had been made up of stores and other places to congregate. As teenagers, we had nowhere to go. We toilet-papered houses and then called it a night. The lack of proximity to anything also meant that we had to drive wherever we went. One of my favorite things to do was to wander around the neighborhood by foot; I hardly ever saw anyone doing the same. Apart from church, there were few places to meet and engage with anyone else. It was isolating. 

Although I was sad to leave my house and all of the memories I had constructed there, I wasn't sorry to leave the neighborhood. There was nothing to tie me to that place. All the open spaces I had loved had been choked by poorly constructed houses for white people. It was like living in an ant farm. 

And so, I think if I had the opportunity to plan a residential community I would gladly sacrifice some lawn space from each house to create public spaces where everyone could come together and get to know one another. I would also promote a car-free epicenter in the town where emphasis was placed on the walking, not driving, experience. And stores would provide a means of employment and entertainment for all the neighbors looking for some stimulation. 

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Never Say Jogging

Go Soak Your Fat Head

I think it would be helpful to anyone reading this if I were to make the title of these posts to be relevant to the subject matter. Maybe next time.

It's Friday, and although I am finished with school I don't feel like going out. Partially because Joey is out of town for the night. I can't think of anything to do either. I hate clubbing, mostly because the friend I used to go dancing with moved to Iowa. I wasn't ever much of a dancer anyway. Lately, calling on friends to socialize with has been too much of a hassle as well. I think I'm more interested in going to bed early tonight.

That's what my life is while I'm in school: a trade-off between when to sleep and when to party. Lately, sleep has been losing. I should give it an unfair advantage and lie in bed with my eyes closed. Now, I'm not saying that I HAVE to go to sleep, but if I'm there...

I have stuff to do tomorrow anyway. It also gives me time to write in here about my week! It's been mostly mild, actually, although I did get into a somewhat heated discussion with my boyfriend about the dangers of religion. I guess I'm just passionate. Sometimes when I'm bored I think of arguments a religious person would come up with and how I would refute it. Yes, I'm a nerd.

I did discover some new podcasts to listen to at work. One is The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe, which is just what it seems it should be. This week's show was particularly important to me because they interviewed Bill Nye. I can remember being nine or ten and getting videos of his show from the library to watch. It was my favorite show. I feel like the show demonstrated how varied and fascinating science is. I think it's what got me interested in Anthropology and Psychology initially.

All of you physical scientists should stop what you're thinking right now. I know you're saying, "But you chose a social science. Feelings aren't as real as photons, tee hee." First of all, let me thank you for saying, "tee hee". Secondly, let me tell you that discovering the neurotransmitter that produces euphoria is way cooler than hanging out with rocks or dancing amoebas. Seriously, I think all science is great.

Ironically, after I listen to the Skeptic's Guide podcast I often listen to The Ghost Chronicles. I've always thought ghosts were interesting. I have yet to meet one, but I hope to. I used to get scared easily as a kid and I think that grew up into a fascination with spectres. I love to go to haunted houses (the ones that are filled with actors pretending to be sexy vampires and such) and I look forward to hitting some up this year. There's supposed to be an old hospital in Tooele that's been turned into a haunted house.

Next time I'll write about a more definite topic. I'm going to go eat.

The blind dog and the felt beard

This is my first blog entry.  I'm hoping that I'll do better with a blog here than at my previous website. I'm going to repost all of my entries from there, to here. 

Don't worry, there aren't that many.