Tuesday, August 28, 2012

“The Trial of Miles; Miles of Trials.”

Like all obsessively compulsive people I have a love for repetition, even when it has always ended badly.
With that being said, I will give you some more literature to contemplate on:

"And not one of them was prepared, truly prepared to believe that it had not so much to do with chemicals and zippy mental tricks as with that most unprofound and sometimes heart-rendering process of removing, molecule by molecule, the very tough rubber that comprised the bottoms of his training shoes. The Trial of Miles; Miles of Trials. How could they be expected to understand that?"


Running is a lonely sport.
 
The above quote comes from another one of my favorite books Once a Runner, by John L. Parker Jr. 
If you enjoy running, life, sports, or just love beautiful writing you should check it out. 
Also for those of you who just adore your running friends, but are too lazy to experience it yourself, might just understand them a little better after the quick reading of that book. 

Back to the topic: By giving this post the name "The Trial of Miles; Miles of Trials." it fully explains how I feel about life in the most simplistic of ways.  

As I get older and have to run more, damn you Gordon Sanders and your 70 mile weeks, I get a lot of time to think about life in its entirety. 

When you are on the roads for almost 9 hours a week you have time to really think, mostly about food or how much you hate running. However, every so often you start feeling philosophical, or crazy you decide, and you begin an internal dialogue with yourself or you do what I do and just talk out loud while running solo and look like a retard. 

From my own personal log
One of the discussion I have back and forth with myself is, "What am I doing with my life?"

Come on man, if both Bush Senior and Bush Jr can get into office, surely Zombies can be real.
 
 Every since the 1st grade teachers have been asking me, "Vance what do you wanna be when you grow up?"
Coming from a kid who couldn't even spell his favorite color in kindergarten yellow or one of his two middle names Benjamin I didn't think much of it because there were a lot of things I didn't know, like that sniffing glue and eating paper was bad for you, and I just figured with time and education I would know the answer. 

However, after being asked that question in elementary school, middle school, high school and now college I begin to worry as to what exactly I want out of life. 

As I was asked those questions I always felt the need to try and find some type of answer to make the teacher/professor/parents happy. However, the best answer I could ever think of giving someone comes from who else other than the Great John Lennon.

"When I was 5 years old, my mom told me that happiness was the key to life.
When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I
wrote down “happy”. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment. I told
them they didn’t understand life.” – John Lennon

After reading this quote for the first time, it just resonated with me. That was the purest answer I could ever give someone. 
However, like the clinically insane over thinker that I am, I asked myself, "What makes me happy?" 


Maybe at least one person will understand this picture.
 At first like every other greedy, capitalist, self obsessed, egotistical, arrogant American the one thing in life I thought that would make me happy was none other than MONEY. 

I mean who doesn't love money?  

I mean look at celebrities, they look pretty happy........................unless you're Kurt Cobain, Heath Ledger or Tony Scott..............................alright so it looks like money truly can't buy happiness.  

After I soon realized that money was basically useless to me, I had to find a new key to happiness. 

Living in American, where money is king (even over sex) I had to find a career that could sustain me fiscally and psychologically.  

Whenever my "father" asked what I wanted to be when I grew up and I told him, "I don't know" he responded, "Well what ever it is, I hope it makes a lot of money."

Yet everyday I see rich people who look like this: 

Working useless job

But look at all this green paper I own!
Mostly true

To me, working in an office surrounded by papers just to get some cash that I can't spend because I am only home from 6 pm- 6 am, doesn't equal happiness. 


As I have hit the ripe age of 20 years old, there are only three occupations that I still remotely believe I want to pursue.

Doctor: 
Not for any kind of monetary compensations but as a child who has grown up with no health insurance and as a science nerd I have always loved the human body and blood has always fascinated me. Plus from all of the good willed people who have helped me medically I feel that it is a need for me to give back. 
------------------------- Yes, I still want to be a doctor. Even with this "dreadful" ObamaCare, which any one who calls it dreadful is basically a retard (Sorry Romney/Ryan and all you Repys out there, we still love you) 

.............I'll never be as cool as Dr. T (Mr. T) or Dr. House..........


Director: 
I love movies and this is basically just a way for me to make movies I wanna watch and also the only thing people laugh at more than when you say, "I'm going to be a doctor" is when you say, "I'm gunna makes movies" or if you're in Martin, "I'm gunna make one of them movie pictures shows.".

Best director known to man, sorry Nolan you aren't that good yet. 


 Lastly, and possibly my favorite choice...........................

A hobo: 
Being a hobo would be awesome to me. I don't care about money, appearances, people and I love the outdoors. Being a hobo to me would basically be like a professional hiker. 
My favorite books all include basically the same thing, giving up possessions and just being happy.
Such books that you could read and understand would be, Walk Across America by Peter Jenkins, Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, and Walden, By Henry David Thoreau. 

Who cares if this dude died of eating a random toxic plant, he looks pretty happy to me.

I only had about 30 minutes to write this, so basically this is the most cut and dry/simplistic abridged version of how I feel about life. Maybe I will write something more concrete later. Probably not. 


 P.S. When I become a hobo I will have a hobo cat too, ya know because you see to many hobos with dogs..................gotta stay original. 

Fedora and all

"But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep."
Robert Frost

 

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Meeting of Two Eternities; The Past & Future

The above mentioned title comes from probably one of  Henry David Thoreau's most renowned pieces of literature, Walden. In his book he says, ";to stand on the meeting of two eternities, the past and the future, which is precisely the present moment." is basically a majestic way of saying we are who we are because of a mixture of the past that has shaped us and the future that we want to create for ourselves. I have never been a fan of idolizing the past, because I cannot nor can you change it in anyway. However, as a wannabe History nerd I realize that reflecting on my past is a great way to keep the present going smoothly, remember where I came from and ultimately where I am going.

This next blog post will be a more personal one of sorts, for those of you that aren't looking for that I suggest you go watch the Real World or something instead.
Plus overall, this blog is mostly for my own entertainment.

It all began on February 12th, 1992.................................................

Side note/Fun Fact:  I share a birthday with three of the best men to step foot on this Earth; Abraham Lincoln, Charles Darwin (such that Catholics), and Darren Arronofsky.

While I wish I was one of those people liars who can remember life at at early age such as birth - 5 years old, I can't so I won't stylize any type of myth of what my first half decade of life was like although I have faint memories or maybe just recollections of stories I have been told, I will refrain from that.

However, you do get this ugly ass picture of me as a baby;

Sadly I have retained that oblivious looking glare ever since this picture was taken. 

I had a pretty normal life as a child. I played outside, broke bones, ate food, ate dirt, put reptiles and amphibians in my pockets, went to school, played sports, etc etc.

Aside from eating dirt there are a few things I enjoy most about being a kid that was having an annoying older sister and watching tv.

Anyone that knows anything about me knows that I watch more tv than any person should and I have more knowledge about movies/tv shows/actors/directors than any healthy child should.

This is me doing what I do best, watching TV. Posting up like a true badass, Barney shirt and all. 

Also just so I can show off my off my Barney shirt a little more and embarrass my much loved sister here is a present for you.

The Pounders children are the definition of losers.


Well after I grew up some more, I attended two of the worst schools known to man: I think we are seeing a trend here. St. Joesph School in Madison TN and Pope John Paul II High School.
What exactly is so bad about both of these schools? Well first of all private catholic schools are in all actuality hell. Here is how life works at a catholic private school-------->

Priority 1: How much money you have.
Priority 2: How much worthless shit you own.
Priority 3: Acting like you're holy.
Prioirty 4: Hating Jews
Priority 5: Hating black people (unless you need a sports team)
Priority 6: Dress Code
Priority 27: Grades

Do you really wanna see this everyday? Or better yet smell them, sorry. 


Do I even need to say the caption? 


Aside from my schooling I did have one thing in life that always seemed to be there for me, running.
I began running Cross Country as a kindergartener, mostly because my mom couldn't afford after school care.

"Ya know, just kicking some ass in the half mile..........."- That dude in the green shirt.



Only some people can pull of crew socks, sadly I wasn't one of them.
  
As I hit high school I joined the XC and Track team for two reasons my sister use to run for the same teams and well there was a cute  girl on both teams...........I'll deny this if ever asked about it.
Overall though, running has given me more in life than I could have ever asked for. I have met some great people, had adventures, gotten in trouble, felt true mental, physical and emotional pain, and the list goes on. Running has given me the power to change all areas of my life into what I truly want.

While this blog post started from a vastly different tone than it ended, it is all about the journey and there isn't any wrong way to write. Until next time..................Vp

I'll even leave you with a few pictures with some Booty Shorts, as the kids in Martin call them.

I was probably faster in the first two picture..........

Who wouldn't put a picture of one of there worst races? Oh yea, a man with no pride left ha. 



All endeavor calls for the ability to tramp the last mile, shape the last plan, endure the last hours toil. The fight to the finish spirit is the one... characteristic we must posses if we are to face the future as finishers.
Henry David Thoreau


Martin, TN: The Ninth Circle of Hell

For those of you who are literature deprived/retarded, "The Ninth Circle of Hell" comes from Dante Alighieri's epic poem The Divine Comedy which I will explain in a moment . If you have yet to read this book, you should put down Twilight and give it a read.

In Dante's poem, "The Ninth Circle of Hell" is characterized as being a pretty terrible place.
Here is a short sentence from the book;

                                     In the very centre of Hell, condemned for committing the ultimate sin 
                                    (personal treachery against God), is Satan. Satan is described as a giant, 
                                    terrifying beast with three faces, one red, one black, and one a pale yellow:

So without quoting the entire chapter of Treachery and Round 1,2,3, and 4 I won't really be able to get my point across that well but bare with me. 
Basically the 9th circle of Hell is the worst part of hell where Satan himself lives. Along with all other types of terrible people like Brutus, Cassius, and for all you Bible Thumpers  Judas are being held and being tortured. So overall this is a pretty shitty place. 
Ya know it kind of reminds me of this movie in a humorous way, extra points for anyone who knows the movie name..........



Alright now that I have bored everyone with 14th century literature, I will explain Martin TN. 

I am starting my third year of undergraduate studies as a double major (Cell Molecular Biology & Abnormal Psychology) at this "Fine" establishment know as The University of TN at Martin.
For those of you who don't know where Martin, TN is which is basically everyone, It is located in the Northwest Corner of TN. 

You're probably asking, "what could be so bad about Martin TN?" 
Well I'm going to go ahead and tell you and show you. 

The People Of Martin:
Aside from me being able to pick on the natural inhabitants of Martin TN, I will go ahead and just stay focused on the people who actually attend this prestigious university.  
Students at Martin are here for one of three reasons: You are either an athlete that got sucked into this hell hole, you live so close to Martin and have a sub par GPA, or you really like Corn or Soybeans and wanna go plant some seeds and shit later in life. 
All together that makes for a nice type of mixture: kinda like when you were a kid and mixed pepper,potatoes and corn into a bowl after dinner and dared your sibling to eat it. 

                                           Ah look more food! No seriosuly type in Martin TN, this picture comes up.
The Landscape:
As a traveler and runner I have been/ran at some of the most beautiful places in our country. Even my home town, Nashville, has Percy Warner Park. 

                                                                Is this not beautiful? (Belle Meade TN) 


However Martin lacks all of the things I love in Nature, yea I just made Nature a proper noun. 
Such as lakes, rivers, mountains, oceans, seas, sand dunes, forest, flowers, etc, etc. 

If only everywhere in the world looked like CO 





Instead, I live in Martin where there are no mountains, lakes, rivers, oceans, seas, and so little hills that we have named all three of them. (Phil Dane's Hill, McDonald's Hill, and the Hilly Road Hill)

Now that you've seen what I wish Martin looked like, this is it in all or lack there of..........

Beautiful huh?

"Damn! that's a beautiful soybean field!" - Said no one ever




No aside from me wishing I was Alexander Supetramp/ Christopher Johnson McCandles depending if you want the pen name vs real name. Side Note: If you haven't read the book Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer or seen the movie by the same name (same plot obviously) directed by Sean Penn than you should do that after reading some Dante. 
Like I was saying aside from being "that guy previously mentioned" I also was born in the city and am pretty much just a wanna be explorer that is in all actuality a city rat. 

With that being said, Martin has nothing natural or man made to offer anyone. 
If Martin lacked all of the before mentioned natural spots but had an Urban Development I could live with that. I love the city and I love the city people. The thing about people who live in a city is the diversity. In a place like Martin where racism and stereotypes prevail and the tallest building is 4 stories high, It makes you miss the city you once wished away. 

Chicago, a masterpiece of Human Power and Intelligence

Martin TN, where you couldn't even attempt suicide because the buildings are too low anyway.


If you have made it this far into this lengthy & annoying post I am proud of you and you finally get a conclusion.


The Conclusion:
You're probably wondering where Dante's "The Ninth Circle of Hell" comes in when comparing it to Martin TN. Well here ya go: 

After the poets escape the Ninth level of hell they move onto Purgatorio (Purgatory). 
For those who still don't get it, Martin = Hell which everyone must pass through on their journey to enlightenment and Purgatory = Medical School (for me). Again for those "Christians out there, this "timeline" doesn't follow the same one as your thoughts of Life, Death, Purgatory, Hell and plus this is my own symbolic feelings after reading the book and applying it to my life. 

So basically I like to complain on Martin and how much I dislike it but it is all part of my journey that I must get through in order to finally make it to the Third installment of Dante's Comedy Paradiso (Paradise).


Paradiso = life after medical school by the way.




Blogs that keep me entertained

While waiting for class to start and being too tired to actually write something authentic, I figured I would go ahead and link a couple of blogs here that I enjoy reading.

These should hold you over till my next post.

Running, Rants, and Randomness is a blog by Scott Wietecha, the infamous professional Hobby Jogger, friend, training mate, and coach who will soon be in the Sub 2:20 marathon group. If you enjoy running & humor you'll want to check out this blog. Plus you may get some training secrets.

The Logic of the Long Distance is a blog by fellow Nashville Runner/Vanderbilt teacher Jeff Edmonds. If you love running, philosophy and transcendentalism writing as much as I do you'll be interested with every post.

Eat Run Swag  is a blog by a University of Michigan Runner who loves to call out anyone and everyone. It's kind of like LetsRun without the trolls. I have my suspicions on if this is actually Mark Twain as a runner posting. 

To Blog or Not to Blog is a post by UT Martin Alumni and now RUF leader of OSU Allen Thurman. I'm not quite sure how to summarize what he blogs about so I'll just say this, "stuff". However, no matter the subject matter he is likely to be humorous in his writing. Also if ya wanna donate some money to him/his RUF program go ahead, I'm sure he won't mind too much.

Content & Reasoning

There really is no reason that a person like me should start a blog in the first place. However, as I get older I realize just how much of the prior 20 years of my life I have already forgotten. You could consider this my memory bank of sorts.
Within this blog I will record everything I feel like recording. I will bitch and gripe about the things around me and comment on things I am most likely ill informed on. Overall this blog, besides being a memory bank, is the closest thing to a stream of consciousness as I can get and is in a way a long form of Twitter so that I am allowed to talk to myself without looking too "insane".

If you have any type of topic that you would enjoy seeing my post on, go ahead and suggest it.

P.S
For anyone looking for some type of mental stimulation, this blog will probably be equivalent to drinking decaf coffee to those looking for a caffeine boost.
Also if you are one of those spelling/punctuation/grammar Nazi's you'll most likely want to suspend reading this blog till you finally find better things to complain about in life.
I have gotten all of my A's I need in English classes and have a love for the stylized/lack of punctuation that the late e.e Cummings, that racist bastard, has made famous around the world.

       Until my next post, see ya later.
                        - Vp