tmo

vanlife

I walked to Schnucks just now, bought two beverages (a Mt Dew Code Red and an Arizona Sweet Tea), just for the fxxx of it. I wanted to get out, and I didn't have cold beverages in my apartment, so off I went.

Busy day at Schnucks, indeed. No Wal-Martians about (thankfully), just average folks getting average groceries to feed their average families in an average town. Normalcy 101. Of course any type of “ab”normalcy that is within spitting distance of S St Louis County is in St Louis city proper, itself. Things are exciting there – the chorus of distant gunfire, the bus stops with daysleepers snoozing, the arguing couples one encounters anywhere and everywhere up and down the sidewalk – yea, living there sucked! I can't/won't move back, and haven't even entertained the idea since retreating to Pevely, Missouri in 2015 (and then picking up and moving again in late-2016, to this location).

So, I'll settle for normalcy.

People enjoy travel, though. I wanted to do it full-time at one point (early-20's), and then got bitten by the wanderlust bug BIG TIME in 2014 or so (the #vanlife photos on Instagram, the rise of “digital nomads”, the pictures of so and so watching a sunset in some far away land with their whole life in a backpack – romantic, brilliant). And that is what initially prompted the move to St Louis, and from there I planned on another move – perhaps Brooklyn? Perhaps Portland? Perhaps the rural countryside of Japan? I didn't know, and I didn't care – just out and about.

Then, I headed back to Pevely when I heard my dad had several years to live (of which he met the three year quota, and then passed in early-2019). But I moved to S St Louis County (or as it is called here, “South County”) just before then, because getting to/from where the folks were at was no problem. Then (more recently), I was more or less bitten by a travel bug again, and decided to go vagabond around a beach in Florence, Oregon for a bit (which, anyone who has been reading this blog for the past week+, knows I did NOT make my destination, and instead got stranded in Kalispell, Montana, and vagabonded (word?) around there for several days, which is very much so NOT a beach!). So now, I am back home sweet home in S St Louis County – plain, boring, normal, and that is fine. I know the rest is needed (physically, for sure), and I can just be here, and rest and recuperate, and see what the world brings me at another time.

It all comes and goes. Back later.

... Discuss...

Got the budget all worked out, finished.

Glad it is out of the way. I will have all things paid up or/and bought very soon here.

I don't particularly like paying bills, but it is nice once they are out of the way. And as far as self-imposed bills (like Linode, Tidal, etc.), I am fine with them. I CHOOSE to keep them.

I envy the bill-less. Those who pay one, easy lump sum for rent (with utilities included), and then like a phone bill, and that is it. No need for home cleaning supplies, trash bags, Clorox Wipes, blah, blah, etc. Easier way to do things, I think.

It's another reason I dislike cable television – nothing says “I'm here for good and forever” like being tethered to some home cable plan, and needing to make installment payments (or a lease) for a DVR and all this BS equipment that isn't even necessary. It's been 10 years since I had cable, and good riddance!

Same goes for a car, a total waste of money (and a liability in many ways). Even if someone were an overlander, or living the “#vanlife”, they'd still be paying out the wazoo for the privilege of doing so, and likely they could do just as well being on-foot (if they didn't mind roughing it a bit). Bikes are a pain, too (but that is just me, not terribly expensive).

But, I am “apartment camping”, lol! I've thought of it that way since I lived in St Louis City. I had my mattress on the floor and some stuff in the walk-in closet, and that was that. I would go photograph different parts of the city, while getting to and fro on the Metrolink, eat at pizza joints, try different coffee shops, and just bum around the city with my Nexus 5 – asking Google to do everything for me because I didn't know where anything was, haha. I don't explore cities anymore (not really “into” big cities any longer), and my apartment has a few more items in it than was back then, but I still feel like I am just camped out in my residence. Always wanting to go hike, go DO something, visit with people, etc. Less domesticated, more peripatetic.

Back later

... Discuss...

Not referring to people who profit from “keeping others down” (which is more than likely an issue in the world we live in) – no, I mean people who try to make poverty look “cool”, or market it in such a way that they insinuate that impoverishment is the fast-track to popularity, or success.

Such as #vanlife (hashtag mandatory), and the people who build-out a van (cargo, box, whatever) and truck around and photograph themselves “really roughing it” with a $2K camera and hit up the algorithms on Instagram.

Or Gary V who says that by selling your stuff and moving into your parents basement will get you out of debt in the blink of an eye, so you can “do what you were MEANT to do in life”.

Essentially, taking advantage of people

Why? Well, I don't know what lead to the #vanlife “obsession” (or lie), and I don't know who published Gary V's first book on...whatever he manages to write about. I also can't imagine good (and otherwise smart) people buying into the scam of Dave Ramsey, or why capable/willing people attend for-profit colleges and get a useless diploma with tens of thousands in debt to begin with that leads them to these “gurus”.

If you're in debt, poor, impoverished, broke – OK, that's fine. I'm right there with you (except for the debt part – I'm just a poor dude, haha) – but, no one needs to “glamorize” the scenario and act like an extreme, abrasive, difficult life(style) will lead to future prosperity or Instagram fame.

Exploiting people has always been a bad thing. So, you shouldn't do it.

... Discuss...

So, a long time ago (2014 or so) I used to want to live the #vanlife (hashtag necessary), and so I searched out videos on YT documenting such lifestyles. There were thousands upon thousands of videos. But one channel that stuck out was by a channel called Raw Alignment. It was a girl, Alyse Bautigam (I think), now Alyse Parker, who was just some simple hippy chick who was living in a van, dropped out of college, eating tons of raw foods, was pretty minimalist, and traveled all the time. Not the most unusual person to find putting stuff on YouTube.

Fast forward to 2020, and she has a full-on “true essence” or “true self” cult (I titled the post cvlt because I'm being stupid). She sells these “retreats” or “courses” or “headshrink programs” for $700+ (and makes a lot of money at it) with her fairly large Instagram and YouTube FOLLOWING (in the most literal sense of the word).

Now before you think I am bashing this person, let me say that I could care less how people spend their time online. But like most actual cult leaders, she is a true believer. She has drank her own Kool Aid. She uses shrooms and whatnot and has made ridiculous money by brainwashing folks, and I honestly think some of these “influenced” followers would do anything to pay their loyalty to this program, or whatever she is referring to it as.

Don't get me wrong; that's chill if people get a lot of followers on socials and stuff like that, but I think this girl is of the genuine mindset that these people “belong” to her now. That she has an actual digital family. AKA, a cult!

Pretty bizarre what people can come to believe, be it about themselves or those around them.

... Discuss...

...it's ice cold out tonight and most things are covered in ice. And for some reason, YT thinks I am some sort of sailor/fisherman because I watched a couple videos of NWPipeSmoker (where he is on a boat) and now my recommendations are mostly about people living aboard small vessels. 26 footers, 30 footers, etc. I wrote about this the other night, but I have been watching more videos on the subject (sailing) this evening. Fascinating lifestyle, for sure. It would definitely be a lot of work to be a sailor, especially for long journeys, but luckily I do not have that particular ambition.

Hiking is just fine. I like trees and land, not salt water and drowning ;)

The cool air is coming in through the (barely cracked) sliding glass door, and I am having coffee and more Haunted Bookshop tobaccy. The smell of the tobacco itself does not grow on you. It smells pretty foul, if I am being honest. Totally different than all the other blends I have smoked. But the flavor is outstanding, and with a fair amount of nicotine to boot!

So anyway, I need a haircut. Probably not before Saturday when we go to my niece's to clean up the house she is about to move in to (in a week actually! Time flies!). I am going to try for Sunday for the haircut. I will be shaving most of my head aggressively short, but keeping all the hair on top. A very HIGH fade (almost a mohawk). Gonna look/feel good.

I am also pretty wired. This espresso + nicotine is kicking my ass, but I love it! I think I am going to avoid the sailing videos for the rest of the night, because there is no point in wanderlusting over something I will never do. Same goes for #vanlife type of videos. Hiking, backpacking, vagabonding – much more my style.

Be back in a bit!

... Discuss...

I am going over to the ‘rents tomorrow to NOT watch football. Instead, we will watch all the BS pre-game stuff, eat a bunch of weird food, socialize. Will be a good time.

I have been sitting here for the past hour (or more) thinking about how cool it would be to be a vagabond (again). No bills, no home, (almost) no possessions, not a care in the world. Absolute and total freedom. I loved it when I did it in Daytona Beach, FL. in 2005. A couple months of just beach bumming (though I bummed nothing off of anyone, just a common name for someone who never leaves the beach). Sleeping under the stars in the sand each night, lots of exercise and fresh air, talking to/meeting all kinds of people.

But if I were to do it again (which I inevitably will), I would travel more. Instead of just staying at one beach for months on-end, travel to different shores. In the past hour I even priced sailboats (older ones can be had for several grand, much newer ones much more expensive than that).

Van life (or #vanlife) is out because I will never get a driver’s license. Nope. A tiny backpack would suit my needs just fine :)

Anyway, just daydreaming (night dreaming) a bit since I have nothing special to do tonight other than go to bed at a reasonable hour so I am not sleep deprived when I am at the party tomorrow. And it looks like ALL of my packages of things I ordered are coming in the mail Monday (off-white Chuck Taylor low-tops, Bluetooth tube amp, C&D tobacco (and accessories), door mirror, new pillow, facial razors). All things I more or less NEED in life but I would have a use for NONE of them if I were vagabonding (except the Chucks). Just a different perspective, is all.

... Discuss...