I’ve yet to chronicle any of my Great American Road Trip because I’ve been too darn busy meeting people from all walks of life and hanging out with my ugly — I mean older — brother Mick. I promise to do posts on each leg of the trip so far in the next few days while I have some alone time moseying across the Gulf of Mexico. I’ll start with the first leg of the trip right now.
After picking up Mick at Denver International Airport on July 23rd at 9 am, we drove down to Austin to stay with his friends Zac Caputo and Cody Mitchell, who he met in Greece on his backpacking trip last spring.
Highlights included a late night swim in Barton Springs (where I finally learned how to dive), free live music at Blues on the Green, a self-guided tour of the Texas State Capitol, Zac and Mick getting tattoos to commemorate their trip, copious amounts of authentic Texas gourmet fast food (What-a-Burger, Mighty Fine, P.Terry’s, Torchy’s Tacos), a day at Cody’s ranch in Wimberly (complete with a game of creek football), A night on 6th street, an incredible conversation about faith with Zac’s dad Tony in the UT student union, falling in love with Mckayla Maroney at Zac’s friend’s Ian’s amazing house (complete with pool and diving board), A tour of Waldorf high school, and last but not least… being hosted by the Caputo family at their super functional Tejas hacienda (thanks so much Zac, Tony, Vivian and Camille).
There. How’s that for a run-on sentence? Alright, onto the good stuff: Pictures. I apologize if some are a little grainy… It doesn’t look that way when I edit them on my phone.
I just wanted to clear up a few things. It’s one of those days when my mind is running a million miles an hour and so I want to write them down.
Sometimes I have some ideas, like right now. My first reaction to those are ideas are usually to write these ideas down. Sometimes I spend additional time muling over the ideas and revising them before I “blog” them. Other times I just push the “post” button and release my words into the world wide web without so much of single read through. (I’m guessing the former will be the case this time.)
Many times I am scared what people will think or say about my ideas. Thankfully, I usually hear very little of either (it turns out I can’t read a reader’s thoughts from my own computer screen as disappointing as that is.)
I once posted a blog that talked about how I was only going to write fiction and poetry and what not for awhile. I wanted to avoid my silly philosophizing, if you can even call it that. Soon after, I was back to doing the same, but slightly differently of course.
What I’m trying to say is that these ideas I spit out for you all to read – if you choose to do so – are simply those. Ideas.
In the beginning, philosophy was ridiculously flawed.
The first philosophizers spoke little reason.
It was their way of thinking that got philosophy to where it is today (wherever the hell that is).
Philosophers build on each other’s ideas in order to expand their own. It is not the idea itself that is important, it is how a person reached the idea.
Each and every blog that I have posted have countless flaws. In fact, I now completely disagree with a lot of what is in them.
I would not be where I am at now without writing those things down. Not to say that I am at some kind of perfect mental state, but I am certainly in a better state than I was even just a month ago. And it wasn’t the ideas themselves that I attribute to that.
It was how I reached the ideas and the thought process behind them.
I remember the first song I wrote. I was super stoked about it, just because it was the first song I wrote. A week later, I realized that the song was complete trash and should never have made it out of my bedroom for others to hear.
As painful as it would be to sit down and listen to that song, I don’t regret one bit of it. And I don’t regret any other failed attempt at writing a song. Because it always gets me to the next song.
I think this applies to life in general (if that’s even a real thing, the in general part). Each action you take builds upon the next action. Even if the action is filled with flaws, the action in the way that it is taken, gets you to the next action, which, if better makes the pervious action a worthwhile action. And the same goes for a bad action or a bad thought.
One decision to gossip may equal twenty actions of gossip and the more I gossip, the more my mind tells me that gossiping is not a bad thing to do.
I may have made a ton of bad songwriting decisions when I wrote my first song. but without those bad decisions I never would have written a song.
This is a learn-as-you-go world. You learn how to live life as you’re living life. Therefore, mistakes are okay. If you’re not making mistakes, then you should certainly make some changes.
These blogs are not me. I look back on many of them and cringe.
I wouldn’t change a thing about them.
If you read these consistently, aside from knowing that I am confused as to why you are reading some arrogant college kid’s crazy ramblings, I want you to know that they are not me. But I will continue to write them, not for you, but for me. I would stop publishing them, but having them out for other people to read makes me think harder about them.
Without these blogs, I would not have an idea for my first novel, one that will probably be a failure just like my first song, but it will be necessary if I ever somehow end up writing a decent one.
In conclusion, I will soon disagree with everything I just wrote. And I’m fine if you disagree right now.
Today is the last day of October. That means that tomorrow is the first day of November, or what I have come to call it, No vember.
I started No vember last year. It started with my (slightly irrational and schizophrenic) hatred for Facebook. It was inspired by No-Shave-November. It evolved from there.
And it has become a month of fasting.
So, tomorrow, I will begin a journey of:
No shaving. Because it’s how this thing got started and because of the tradition.
No texting. Because I do not enjoy texting and the distraction it brings forth.
No Facebook. Same as above.
No Twitter. Because of the distraction.
No more than one beer per day and no alcohol otherwise. Because, though I tend to be responsible with my drinking for the most part, it’ll be good to spend a few Friday and Saturday nights writing or listening to music or something a bit quieter than the typical weekend night.
No TV shows, football, or movies. I will make an exception with movies if it is part of a social gathering. This will allow me to spend time that I normally would on these, on reading, writing, doing homework, or something else more productive.
No fantasy football aside from once per week. (This is the one I am most worried about. My addiction to fantasy football is like a baby’s addiction to crying. It’s loud, high-pitched, and disrupts church services. Okay, not true on the last one. To date.
No eating out. I have not had near as much success as I would have liked in managing my money. This is a large portion of it.
Also, this year I added a few “To do’s” to my “To don’t” list:
Read outside of class for a half hour per day.
Write outside of class for a half hour per day.
Have a close listening to an album one to two times per week.
Write one song per week. (Even if the song sucks and I don’t end up doing anything with it, it is good practice and well worth my time)
Learn a new guitar chord per week.
So there’s my list. I encourage you all do participate in No vember because I think that fasting is an extremely healthy practice and last No vember was probably the most refreshing month of my life. You don’t have to be extreme as I am in my fasting, but pick one or two things this month and take it out of your life. You will soon realize that there are so many activities in your life that you simply do not need and frankly are better without. Enjoy.
Readers of Playonward513… meet my older brother, a big part of our new staff —
You may or may not know me. I’m Mick. Among many, many other things (paramedic, college graduate, genius, extremely good looking (some would even say ravishing), etc.) I am the older brother of Charles Westerman (aka Charlie, Chuckleslovkia, Char Char the Dog Faced Bitch Boy or Dog Face… or Fa-say for short) and its something I’m damn proud of. I’m about to do something I don’t often do. I’m going to brag on him publicly, and in a place he can see it no less.
You see, my little brother’s awesome. He’s one of the most clever little bastards I know. A great writer of songs, stories, poetry and sports. A talented player of the guitar, trampoline basketball and women (that last one’s a blatant lie). And most of all he is an annoying little prat, a whiny little turd and a constant pain in my proverbial ass. But I do love the lad.
That all being said I wouldn’t trade him for all the Viagra in Hefs medicine chest. Or anything else.
I felt very honored when he asked me to be a contributor to his new little, but growing, world of writing. However, it made me realize something. As older brothers, Jeremy (the eldest of the Westerman Three) and I have long known that it was to be our job to keep ol’ Chuckles from getting too pompus and douchey as he climbs the ladder of the English teaching profession or whatever professional realm he chooses to enter. Therefore, I have declared it my job to be playonward513’s resident malcontent, grouch, bullshit-flag-thrower and envelope pusher.
Pray, let me explain a little better– I know Char at least, if not better, than about anybody else in this world. I know he values my opinions, insight and occasional wisdom I throw his way. I know he knows Jesus and I know he knows I know Him too. I believe there is such amazing freedom in knowing those things about one another and that knowing the Truth (that’s Jesus, kids) gives us a chance to pose the tough questions, to question our faith and to ultimately better know the Truth.
So, I may swear more than my mother would approve. I may enjoy beer a little more than is necessary (don’t worry, I’m not a homeless, slobbering drunk). And I may tend to enjoy stirring the pot (no, I don’t mean marijuana or a toilet) on a fairly regular basis, but I know that he knows that I know. And what is more worth knowing?
Char, thanks for letting me be a part of something very real and very special. We will look back on this one day with fondness. Now, to bust your balls one last time in the interest of humor (as you so gracefully stated in your playonward513 Staff Welcome letter) I will conclude this post as I see fit.