Sunday, June 26, 2011

Somebody shoot me, I have to move again

Some traits would have been nice to pick up from other species, like the compact moving skills of the little forest guy pictured above. Holy crap, I hate moving. I guess there are a few things that are worse, like maybe torture and daytime TV, but that doesn't help to put the misery of moving into perspective any better. It seems like in the past decade, I've moved every 1-3 years.   I could really try and concoct a positive outlook on moving, like I'm entering into a new  realm of my life or something, but the following just really sums it up for me:


There is a lot of emotions mixed in with moving besides all the physical work involved.  I hate coming across old photos of times from the past that I would rather forget:


It also probably doesn't help that I'm the world's worst packer. Like for instance, you will never see me pack clothes in something as methodical as this:

My clothes all get moved in trash bags! And it's not bagged up dry cleaner style either. I pack up absolutely only what I need to hygienically survive in my car and if I can't fit it all in the back of my trunk without body slamming it three times, it gets pitched at the car wash trash can!  Here is a better depiction of my moving style:

I've also learned after several moves to not be a hoarder. Everything you haul up in your pad, you have to hand carry it out eventually.

Usually a few months before I move I pack up  a bunch of stuff and sell it on Ebay. By the time I get it sold and pay for shipping and Paypal, I've made enough money to buy the good quality kind of trash bags to pack the really irreplaceable stuff in.

This move is especially scary because I can't find a place to live yet. Every decent apartment I find is too far away. Some apartments look great online, but when you check past tenant reviews people write things about them like "cockroach zoo", or "I'd rather slit my wrists then move back there." At this point, I'm thinking about this strategy if I can find a good, secluded area:

I'm hoping a few months from now I will look back to this time and laugh about my apartment anxiety and moving apprehension. I would also like to think that maybe someone, anyone, will miss me from here too.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Beautiful & the Barbaric: Let's Stop Misleading the Nature Newbies

Okay, I will admit it, I can be a little too fuzzy wuzzy about the forest. I do it all the time on this blog, even knowing full well that the forest is not all cuddly and serene like the picture above. There is definitely a delicate balance between the wonders of the forest and its' barbarism. I know I'm not the only forest fluffy bunny out there, and me and all the rest of them probably have a lot to do with letting down the hopes and dreams of nature newbies when they finally conjure up enough fortitude to brave a decent stay in the forest. The scene above is what they expect to find when they hear all us nature nuts go on and on, but what they find is ....

....because in reality, nature really is a battle for the survival of the fittest. Animals attacking each other, plants and insects that can kill you, things that can fall from the trees and knock you unconscious....I could go on, and on, and on. This causes the nature newbies to go into instant shock: Where are the birds that follow me and sing songs to me as I stroll? Why is this trail so uneven and uphill? Why do I have to have to hear these old peoples' TV blasting The Wheel Of Fortune out of their RV at atomic levels?

And despite 52 applications a day of bug spray, they find themselves in some kind of stinging, biting insect inferno. All the cuddly forest creatures steal from them, and some just don't look downright friendly at all.

They wonder why parts of "the nature" are on fire or are quarantined to fight invasive species, which is another type of battle raging on in forests. (It's where new species which were not native to the new environment try and take over the species that was already there.)

And eventually nature newbies see deadly threats all around them everywhere, whether they are real....

or imagined....

Eventually they will begin to view the natural world in this way......

 ....which it is important that they don't. We nature nuts are in constant need of nature newbies to join with us and support our natural causes. So next time when we are blowing off at work parties about our mind-altering nature journeys, we might not want to take the whole serenity thing too far.

Something I would totally be dorky enough to bring to a work party.

We can mention some of the awesome ways that nature can defend itself with to break the ice gently. If you know people, and we all do, that would never step into a forest no matter what, you could always bring up the fact that.....

Whatever we've got to do to convince these people, it's worth it. It we fail to convince the nature haters, they will continue to create stupid stuff like this.

So nature nuts unite! Together we can show everyone that yes, nature has it's dangers and can seem barbaric. But nothing can reproduce the peace and clarity that a forest provides. Yes, oceans can be a symbol of serenity, but you can die a horrible drowning death in one. Forests calm your post-modern, information-age stress like no other place on earth. The sounds of the forest provide a soothing musical score that no new age musician can ever compete with.  Awww......the sounds of nature.....

Sunday, June 19, 2011

No tie or wallet for these guys: The greatest type of Dad ever.

These days, if your father still knows you exist and is still around to help you carve out a path in life, you have an unimaginable blessing. It has got to be really stressful being a good Dad, and there is unimaginable sacrifice involved. Especially with the financial sort of kind. My Dad was there for me well after the age of 18 had passed me by. He's always been there as I painstakingly carved out a relevant, if convoluted, lifeplan for myself. For the rest of my life, I will never forget the look on my Dad's face when I told him that I was thinking of majoring in Pottery.

Luckily I changed my mind and graduated with a much more marketable B.A. degree; History.

Homeless History Major Sweatshirt

But anyway, the best thing about my Dad I think is that he is a Nature Dad! They are the best kind of Dad you can have. Immersing their kids into the natural world is the best thing they can do for their kids besides all that other stuff like food, shelter and education. You don't even have to be a perfect nature Dad, or live up to any impossible standard as one:

We kids appreciate any type of Nature Dad who take us out in nature, even if they are nature-challenged at times:

In a world of fun, modern technology, it's not easy to win over your kids in a different setting.  We'll get over all the awkwardness eventually.  At least you tried....

So what if you didn't have a Nature Dad? What a bummer. But don't feel bad, it was probably just how your Dad was raised, so he didn't know any better with you. Besides all those "rugged dads" that your friends had probably aren't all that they appear to be:

At least be thankful these guys aren't your Dad now:

So cheers to all the down to earth Nature Dads out there. And even though this Father's Day present costs only fifteen bucks, it has on it the greatest title you could ever achieve.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Forest Picture of the Week

If I could only just step right into that picture! Don't forget to take the weekly poll :-)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Time to give it up Weiner man! Better things than you have had to cut their losses.

Rep. Weiner, you cannot survive this, no matter how much you fool yourself (like, I'm sure he'll read this). You are like the tree hugger above, hanging on to a lost cause, only you've got your weener hanging out and it's got about 15 names on it (how do you spell weener anyway?). Like the last tree in this forest, you may have many noble causes that you want to hang on to your office to fight for. But like the noble tree hugger, no one is listening to your causes anymore.

I am definitely not going to chastise anything that you have done. Far be it from me to point out any one's iniquities. But I find it incredibly difficult to understand that you still want to hang on to a public service job when it is blatantly obvious that no one trusts you now.  You're definitely not in the political minority in having indiscretions with other women whilst being married, but you were caught lying about them. Plus several people had to look at your private parts. You've lost the one card any politician has up their sleeve; a facade of trust. Yet you still connive and plan on how you could possibly make a dramatic comeback to win everybody back:

Trees  have to cut their losses too, which is sad. But we do need them for paper and so some people in less developed countries can build their homes and cook their food with them. See, I really can tie everything to a forest. But the only sustenance you are providing for anyone now, Rep. Weiner, is juicy, abundant fodder for the media. They definitely love and care about you! I'm guessing that if I could peer into your mind right now (while you're in "counseling") you would probably have an image like this in your mind:

But you should. Americans have enough woe to deal with considering our economy can't even pay for basic education needs now, and we're dealing with the fact that the American dream is soon going to be some other countries' dream. The last thing we need is another caught red-handed politician in the ranks. You are the dead tree right now, thrusted out in the midst of a garden of desperate hope.

And you still hang in there.......

...even though your own parties' President of the United States thinks you should shut it down:

Probably the best thing you can do right now is cut your losses and reinvent yourself in a way people can actually believe in. Perhaps a career change is in order for you, because it is definitely time to:

I know it must be so difficult for you to step down because of all the hard work you have put in to get you this far. Sometimes when we mess up, it is an unconscious way of fate showing us another door that we may be more successful upon entering.  But now, if you continue on the path you are on, you are:

Lastly, even though I don't know you, and I'm not even from your state, I do wish you the brightest of blessings (for all that's worth). You do seem like you have a lot of talent and ambition. Hopefully, wherever you are seeking refuge has a forest nearby that you can think over your life in. That's my best advice for the indecisive. However, something tells me that you're not really the 'reflect in nature' type, so maybe you'd prefer your forest therapy from watching something a little more suitable to your tastes:

And hey, it's the director's cut!

P.S. I'm sure as soon as I post this, there will be an announcement that he stepped down. Such is fate.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Lost and scared in the forest in 2011: Why?

      Some problems shouldn't exist anymore. Like all those people that rangers have to rescue from getting lost in the forest. We have technology for that now. It's called GPS, and it is a wonderful thing. For as cheap as seventy bucks you can find your way back to your car from the deepest of wilds. Most nature centers will even let you rent or borrow theirs. So there we go, end of problem, for eternity.

     This goes also for other technological devices that should have solved lots of problems that, for some unexplainable reason, still exist. Like, for instance, the calculator. How long has that been around now?  I say if a kid can't do long division or fractions for three years in a row, give the kid a calculator and let him do it that way! Why keep him in remedial math classes for the rest of his academic life? We have inventions now that lets him try the hard stuff! Maybe it's just to keep the remedial math classes going.

     Which finally brings me to my point, why do we insist on doing things the hard, traditional way when there is a better option? So along this line of reasoning is a thing called orienteering. It is where you get some hideously ridiculous map of some wild place that looks like this;


...and you get something like this to put on it to tell you where you're going:


 Apparently it is a big skill that survivalists tell you that you should have just in case. And you can take classes on it. And it is a gigantic migraine-producing pain in the a**. But you may say:

But what if it is dark and my flashlight doesn't work? (The GPS screen lights up and adjusts to accommodate your night vision)

But what if I run out of batteries? (Bring extra batteries with you) 

But what if the GPS tells me to go where a big obstacle now is? (Walk around the obstacle and the GPS will instantly correct itself)

But what if I lose the GPS?  (Well, you can lose a map too)

But what if I step on it, or someone steals it, or we fight over who gets to hold it? (Don't be a dumba**)

     The GPS is our forever friend now. There is no need to revert to those atrocious forest maps ever again. Of course the constant doomsday argument is, someday we might need those skills again! No! We won't! I can't stand doomsayers!!! These people need to spend less time concocting end of the world scenarios and more time improving their own lives. Then they will actually like their life and the world, and they will maybe spend more productive time dreaming up ways of improving the world. The only way we are going to have to revert back to orienteering techniques is if a giant meteor or comet from outer space hits us and knocks out all the satellites with it.

     So again, problem solved. Except for the problem of getting out of the forest, with your handy-dandy GPS of course, and it is getting dark! And you're afraid of the dark. And you're afraid of the forest in the dark! The sun has already begun to set and your trusty GPS tells you that you won't be back to your car for another hour! Immediately, your head begins to race with all the frightening possibilities, and suddenly images pop into your mind such as these:

    So what do you do, besides walk or run faster? Well I don't know. I'm not a trained survivalist and so I'm not going to pretend to be one. I will say though, to not make the most obvious mistakes, such as these for instance:

     And the rest of my advice is not to worry! What is going to happen to you really? You know those eyes that light up at you at night?

     They are cute little forest critters just wondering what the noise is when you walk by them. The worst thing that could probably happen to you in the night forest is that you could trip and fall, and your mouth could land on a poisonous mushroom and swallow it.

Never eat poisonous mushrooms
Don't try this at home.

But there will definitely not be any of these guys:


     If there ever are, I'm sure someone will develop an app on your Android to deal with that someday. And speaking of getting lost in the forest; copy, paste, and print out this cute little forest maze.


Who knows what you'll find at! And remember, you never have to get lost anymore!