I absolutely felt compelled to do another list about me, inspired by all those lists created by fellow RBJ members for the RBJ Collaboration Project for this month.
Anyway, it’s hard to believe that I’ll be 50 next January 26… very hard, actually. I’m a sensitive soul, as Tokyo Rose has guessed. 50 is a major milestone in one’s life. I guess I’m thankful and feel blessed to have gotten this far in life. My wife attended the funeral for a co-worker’s child who recently passed away. That child was only a few months old.
So, I’m rather painfully aware that life, sometimes, can be cut short. And if any of us are alive today, then consider ourselves truly blessed, and survivors.
So, back to this 50 list thing… and the thought of turning 50…
To be honest. I don’t really feel 50. And deep inside, I feel like the perpetual child, refusing to acknowledge the fact that I belong to an older group of citizens. Being a musician, I think, helps me feel younger than my years. And I refuse to be “jaded”.
But since I’ll be turning 50 in the coming months, and being that I’m thinking of this new list of 50 things… I might as well let you all know a bit more about me and at the same time write about things that relate to being 50 and being who I am…. maybe, show a little of my philosophical, deeper side:
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01. Recently, discussing (with friends) various conspiracy theories and the apparent greedy and power-hungry individuals who are intent on controlling us, I was thinking to myself… these things truly sicken me. I guess ignorance is bliss in this matter, but also, I think focusing too much on the bad things in this world will only make one a bitter, angry person.
02. Because of #1, I truly believe that the best things in life are the simple things. A flower, a stroll through nature, the ocean, the sky, a cloud. a child’s smile, a friendly glance…
03. I don’t do drugs and don’t advise anyone to take them.
04. However, in college and in my early 20’s… a couple of times I experimented with psylocibin and LSD. I wasn’t just doing it to get “high”. I was trying to explore a deeper side of myself, another reality. I took down lots of notes about my experiences and fortunately I didn’t experience any “bad trips”. I was reading Carlos Castaneda‘s “A Separate Reality” and was intrigued by his experiments with Peyote and Jimson Weed, and he wrote extensive notes that became a series of books on shamanism and other realities. He became an apprentice to an Indian sorceror named Don Juan.
05. Feeling a gentle, cool breeze on my face is one of my most favorite things in life.
06. I am always honored to have been named “skywatcher hedgie” by Cyn. I truly love looking up at the sky and its various colours and textures. And I try to take photos whenever I can. Perhaps, it is a metaphor for my entire life. Being that I’ve always been curious as to what lies ahead and beyond our means of understanding. To me, the sky is a reminder that there are things beyond our everyday lives, that there is a sense of grandeur that is always above us.
07. I love coffee. And it doesn’t have to be just Starbucks. I’m fair and impartial to just about any kind, even instant coffee.
08. Recently, I finally upgraded the RAM in my Powerbook G4. When I open up the laptop to install the memory, I found out that one of the RAM chips was loose! No wonder that computer was slow. I had originally started off with 512 Megs of RAM, and was actually working with only 256 Megs because of the loose RAM chip! So now, I’m up-to-speed with 867 megs of RAM. And it really speeded up things, so now I can truly work with iDVD and iMovie and not have to be frustrated with it running slow.
09. Flamenco music and Spanish guitar has been a big part of my musical life these past few months. So, I’ve been studying all about Flamenco music lately, and the band I’m in (Flamenco Nova!) is getting popular around town. I’m hoping this could really take off into something really good. The band has a lot of energy and potential, and the bandmembers are such nice individuals.
10. Spain, and Spanish culture have been entering into my life recently. People I know both online and in real life have recently visited Spain! I just find it odd, since recently joining Flamenco Nova!
11. My wife and I have been a bit traumatized lately, with regards to our son going off to college. Not only that we miss him. But, the whole thought and idea that we have a child, our first baby, in college now… for a parent, it’s sort of mind-blowing! So, recently, I’ve been looking at old photo albums and reminiscing…
12. Probably the most inspiring and influential song in my life is “Moon River”. It was the very first song I remember hearing when I was a toddler. And, I remember how I stood there in front of the old Motorola stereo listening to this song, half mesmerized, half in awe!
13. I was raised Roman Catholic and my parents to this day are faithful, devout Roman Catholics. I pretty much grew up questioning my faith, and studied other religions with the primary intent to see how Catholicism and Christianity in general “stacked-up” against the other world religions. After comparing all of the world’s great religions, I somehow fell into Hinduism and Buddhism.
14. After much soul searching, I would say that I have a great respect for the great religions of the world, and believe that they are all trying to unveil a universal truth of love and brotherhood (and sisterhood), and to teach us that a sense of morality and ethics is important for us to live our lives in peace and harmony.
15. In my years of studying religions and philosophies, I have somewhat drifted toward Albert Einstein’s beliefs…
a person who is religiously enlightened appears to me to be one who has, to the best of his ability, liberated himself from the fetters of his selfish desires and is preoccupied with thoughts, feelings and aspirations to which he clings because of their super-personal value … regardless of whether any attempt is made to unite this content with a Divine Being, for otherwise it would not be possible to count Buddha and Spinoza as religious personalities. Accordingly a religious person is devout in the sense that he has no doubt of the significance of those super-personal objects and goals which neither require nor are capable of rational foundation … In this sense religion is the age-old endeavour of mankind to become clearly and completely conscious of these values and goals, and constantly to strengthen their effects.
The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. The religion which based on experience, which refuses dogmatic. If there’s any religion that would cope the scientific needs it will be Buddhism….
Though, I don’t consider myself a truly devout Buddhist. I still want to keep my mind open to everything that’s out there.
16. Referring back to my brief experiments with LSD and Psylocibin… I always thought of them as religious, spiritual experiences… just a means of looking at the world through different senses and mind. A means to allow the consciousness to look at everything differently. And there is no need for me to take them again.
17. Religious symbols have always intrigued me. The crucifix. The statue of the Buddha. Hindu religious paintings. I have three statues of The Buddha, all over 15 inches tall. Large photographic prints of gurus Paramahansa Yogananda and Sri Yukteshwar, and a nice large photographic print of Jesus Christ.
18. My parents have a nice Catholic altar at their home, while I have a nice Buddhist altar at mine. Though, I have always been intrigued by their statue of the black Jesus!
19. I believe in ghosts and spirits and ESP.
20. I believe in #19 because of personal experiences I’ve had. I don’t really find them scary, per se. Just odd and strange.
21. I confess, I would like to be financially independent. Mainly to be able to travel and have the financial means to make recordings of original music, the proper way with no compromises.
22. When I swim in the ocean I always wear swimming fins just in case of strong rip currents, and even though I consider myself a pretty strong swimmer. When I swim in the ocean I like to really swim out there past the waves. Though, in the back of my mind, I still have this fear of sharks and jellyfish.
23. Below could be considered my most favorite photo of me.
24. And, I guess this could be considered my least favorite photo of me. Notice the big bag of chips!
25. I love potato chips… I just can’t eat them. Look at pic above!
26. Recently, I’ve been working with weights and walking… this is a good thing. It seems I am forever trying to get myself in peak physical condition. Especially for the drumming.
27. For the past several years, I’d been spending enormous amounts of time online, mainly to develop the Rice Bowl Journals site, and for blogging. Recently, I don’t spend half the amount of time daily that I used to spend being online. In the future, I think I’ll be spending less and less time online.
28. Just yesterday, I bought a used version of War of the Worlds on DVD. I know others didn’t like the movie all that much, mainly because of various critiques regarding the movie itself (plot development, or lack thereof, plot holes and inconsistencies, etc.) but, I really like this movie even though I’m not a big Tom Cruise fan, nor do I like Dakota Fanning all that much. I do, however, love the special effects and the design of the tripods, and the brief battle scenes against the alien invaders.
29. Btw, I love movies with “special effects” and things that explode and go boom and rumble. Okay, one of these days I’m going to get a JBL subwoofer to match my current JBL tower speakers, so that those booms and rumbles and other low frequencies are faithfully reproduced…
30. Right now I’m currently torn between the LOTR Trilogy and the Star Wars Trilogy as being my favorite. I am leaning toward the Star Wars Trilogy out of nostalgia. But, LOTR might now be a close contender.
31. Lately, I’ve been procrastinating with regards to yard work and household chores.
32. Fortunately, I found my lost iPod shuffle a couple of days ago. It was hidden in a blanket in the hallway cabinets for some odd reason. So now, #31 should be easier to accomplish, now that I have mobile tunes I can listen to…
33. With regards to RBJ, I find myself more and more feeling alienated from the community, mainly because I am probably the oldest member there. And it seems to not matter whether I’m the founder or not… and it shouldn’t have to matter that I’m the founder, nor should it matter that I am the oldest.
34. Nowadays, I feel that RBJ will succeed and thrive if I am not too active in it. If I remain behind the scenes and let others have their voices… allowing hopefully, others to come out of the woodwork to participate. Somehow, I feel I hinder that progress, the more I join in… so, for the most part, being behind-the-scenes is my new motto.
35. From the all-time, most-viewed video clips on YouTube, the one with the laughing baby is my most favorite:
36. The spanish guitar piece, “Recuerdos De La Alhambra” by Francisco Tárrega, is probably my most favorite piece that the Flamenco band performs. Jordano has studied with the legendary Pepe Romero, and below is his teacher performing that very piece! Watch the fingers. Truly amazing technique!
37. Most of the time, I prefer solitude over the crowds, yet I really had a great time in New York City when I was there with the family a few years ago.
38. If it weren’t for the amount of rain the state gets, I would like to live in Washington State. I love the forests there and the view of Mount Rainier. I lived in Bremerton, Washington when I was in 1st and 2nd grades.
39. I’ve never been to Canada.
40. I wish I had travelled to Spain when the family and I visited Europe 2 years ago. We’ll have to plan another trip to Europe someday.
41. Do I believe in UFOs and aliens from another world? Well, I’ve never experienced anything like that, but I believe that there has to be more life out there in this universe than just us here on Earth.
42. I’m not really all that fond of Las Vegas. It’s just that I don’t gamble (never really interested me), and it seems like such a “fabricated” city. In fact, the only time I’ve ever enjoyed Las Vegas was when I performed there with Big Time Operator.
43. The family and I have recently been drinking Glaceau Vitamin Water. My favorites are multi-v lemonade (a-zinc) and green tea (c+egcg)… 50 calories per bottle with 13g sugar, no hi-fructose corn syrup.
44. There’s really nothing I’m interested in watching on TV right now. But, I do love to watch DVDs, and I consider myself a bit of a movie buff. I like them all… old classics, psychological thrillers, romantic comedies, foreign movies, blockbusters… whatever I consider is good cinema, I’m usually there to see it, either at home on DVD… or at the theaters.
45. I DO need to upgrade my home theater though. And I do have ideas about what I want in a high-end home theater set-up. It would just take a fortune to realize that!
46. Yes, I have thought about getting a 50″ plasma HD-TV built into the wall along with speakers and audio/video components built into the walls too. Of course, money and finances hinder me from doing that right now.
47. As spiritually inclined as I am (I sometimes wish I lived in a buddhist monastery), I’m also materially inclined as well. But, I don’t wish to be greedy or filthy rich either… just wealthy enough to travel abroad and to enjoy some of the finer things in life.
48. I’ve always wanted to have a high-end, audiophile stereo system. It’s always been a dream of mine. And I like reading audiophile magazines sometimes. But at the same time, I’m perfectly happy listening to music on my little iPod shuffle. As long as I have audiophile headphones, though.
49. I consider my home my sanctuary… meaning, I don’t invite very many people to my house regularly. And rarely do I have friends and relatives visit, only on special occasions.
50. My recent projects at home? I’ve been working on organizing my family photos and maybe create some interesting scrapbooks. I finally got most of my loose photos organized into categories. Also, I have lots of family video on VHS that I’d like to digitize on DVD. *sigh* So many projects…..
. . . .
Okay, this took quite a bit of work and time… even more than the 101-things entry I did a few days ago. At least it’s done and I can move on… :o)