Tripping through your life one day at a time can be a bleary sort of existance, it’s true. But it can also offer endless surprises and sometimes mishaps.
This, in a nutshell, is how I’ve spent my life. No major plans, no major goals, no real direction. Most would say that was immature. I tell those people to piss off.
Plans go astray. Plans get interrupted. Plans are what happens to those who can’t live in the moment.
I’ve spent nearly 40 years living my life one moment after another, and I can’t honestly look back and regret a single thing.
I was born a poor black child…
No, that wasn’t me. I’ll start again.
I’m getting older every day.
When I was younger, I did the things young people do. I spent time in the military. I went to college with no real purpose or goal. I worked as a chef in national park. I even spent a couple months locked up. All of these things taught me that it was time to go somewhere else. So I moved to the Big City.
Ok, Seattle’s not really “the Big City”. It’s no New York, or Boston, Miami, Houston, Dallas, LA, Chicago… The list could go on, but that might get depressing. Seattle is… comfortable. It’s like an old coat: a bit worn at the elbows, a tad threadbare on the seams, but warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and soaks up rain like a sponge.
Anyone who says it doesn’t rain here needs to check into the E.R. to have that aneurysm looked at. That’s not to say that all it does is rain here. We get some absolutely beautiful sunny days, and even stretches of days. But come on… This is the Pac NW. We have, I’ve heard, a rain forest. We have a LOT of green things. Because it rains. And yet, I wouldn’t live anywhere else.
I’ve been in Seattle about 16 years now, and every day of it has been a new adventure, even if that adventure turned out to just be spending some time reading, drinking a chai, listening to Pandora screw up yet another algorythm and slap some Little Richard in the midst of my Irish Punk. Seattle is where I met my wife. It’s where I raise my dogs. It’s where I really started to get a love for photography.
Seattle is, in short, home.
So I spend my days not really planning for the future, not really caring about much other than the Right Now. And I’m happy as a clam. (I assume clams are happy up until someone drops them in a steamer and kills them via horrible 3rd-degree steam burns.)
I read a lot. I mean a LOT. I have a Kindle, my 2nd model now (3rd Gen – first was the 1st Gen), and I live with that thing tucked under my arm, or in one of my cargo pockets. It has, at any given moment, around 100 books on it. I use it at lunch, at breakfast, on breaks. I read it when I stop for a train. I read it in bed for a few hours each night. When I accidentally break it (twice now), I get it replaced so fast, it’s like nothing ever happened. My kindle was my first real experience with “the cloud”, or as I like to call it “storing my shit on the internet.”
I game. I am a gamer. I play lots of games.
I play MMORPG games: currently, I’m embroiled in Star Wars: the Old Republic. It’s well done, and makes me smile. And it’s written in such a way that, should I not want to engage in the second M (multiplayer), I don’t have to. That is awesome. I also play Guild Wars 2, DC Universe Online, and Lord of the Rings Online. For all of the same reasons.
I play RPG games: currently, I’m lodged firmly in Skyrim. those bastards at Bethesda really know how to make a persistent world. We hates them. We hates them forever. But we still plays, yes we does.
I play FPS games: nothing currently on the list. I’m picky about my shooters. I loved Counter Strike, even Tribes was ok. Rainbow Six: Vegas has a warm spot in my heart, as does Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfare. But all these Call of Duty games bored the hell out of me. Ah well. I hear they’ve “remade” Syndicate Wars as an FPS, and I’m eager to see how badly they messed it up.
Lately, I’m also playing the latest revision of Tomb Raider – and I have to say, they nailed it. Dead on.
I fancy myself to be a bit of a shutterbug. I take pictures. I photograph. I photograph a lot.
I have thousands of pictures of my dogs. That’s not an exageration: I have filled up a 500gb portable drive just with dog pictures. Mokey and Ziggy are perfect little posers, and they are always doing things that just seem like fun. So I take pictures of them. Basil doesn’t stop moving unless he’s unconscious, so getting snaps of him is trickier. But I’ll get him…
I photograph small things, close up. I’m told this is called Macro Photography, but I like to say I take ‘stupid close pictures of wicked small things, eh’. I love capturing those fine details. The shadow of one flower petal over another. The texture of a berry. The reflection of my own camera-wielding-self in a buckyball creation.
I photograph landscapes. No, not your mom’s flower beds. Not the crazy steps of planting area you made in front of your house. I mean landscapes. Mountains, forests, skylines.
I photograph pigeons. Dont’ ask.
I love the zoo. I spend as much time there as I can. I take metric tonnes of pictures there. I’ve grown to know the names of some of the animals. I’ve photographed some of their stories. (Kyle is doing well with his missing arm, by the way.) I never went to the zoo when I was little… once, maybe, in Colorado, but that’s about it. So when I went to a zoo here in Seattle, I shortly thereafter became a member. I’ve taken shots of the animals, the toys the animals have, the statuary, even the carousel. Word to the wise on that one: don’t be a creepy-looking, long-haired, camera-wielding guy at the carousel. Apparently that arouses suspicion.
In short, I will take a picture of damn near anything that I can. I’ve taken close-ups of a penny. I’ve done perspective pictures of a picnic table covered in scattered gravel. Seriously. Anything.
This is what I call “life”, and I love it. I wouldn’t change it.
Some people ask that question: “What would you do if you won the lottery?” The only thing having endless money would do for me is remove the part of my life where I go to work. Otherwise, I’d just do more of the nothing that makes me so happy. I’d spend more time taking pictures. More time playing games. More time reading. More time just… being.