тнэ Relocatioи (short story)

Posted: 26th March 2014 by recoil in Uncategorized
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Chapter 1

No matter how loudly the screams and shrieks of his alarm reverberate his spine and rattle his core, Gavin knows reaching over and clumsily depressing the snooze button is not an option this morning. A date once so far away in the calendar, seeming several lifetimes away and never to actually be experienced other than in dream, is today. Last night his mind was racing full throttle, burning up the track so fast the asphalt has turned black from the thick viscosity of rubber melting from the tires of his mind. The RPMs of his beating heart skyrocketed the faster his imagination flew around the speedway. His hopes, expectations, have already reached the Mesosphere, and probably will continue climbing higher until all layers of the Earth’s atmosphere have been conquered. The adrenaline keeps his muscles tense and locked, and no arrangement or orientation of pillows form clouds comfortable enough to cease the constant tossing and turning.

The Gillen family will all be sharply awoken at 0300, local. Mr. and Mrs. Gillen have slipped away into the land of dreams hours ago. The stress from the packing and planning of the entire ordeal has been exponentially swelling atop their humble shoulders for weeks. They have not wavered, but have been temporarily crushed into submission for the night as they enjoy the well deserved rest. “Don’t look at the clock,” Gavin thinks to himself. Strategizing that if he doesn’t know the exact number of minuscule hours of sleep he receives, then he may not psychologically be aware of how tired he should be. Years pass until the excitement and adrenaline exhaust his energy, his mind has exhausted every drop of fuel.

Chapter 2

How long have they been awake? His eyelids diverge and snap open like a reverse-bear-trap. His eyes focus to reveal a world on its side.  Wasting no time Gavin lifts his head from the pillow, rotating everything 90 degrees to return the world upright. He can see them, fully dressed, already hustling through the house, moving luggage, rustling papers, and reassuring all documents and identification for the family are not forgotten. Most important of all are the tickets. They are double, triple, quadruple, and quintuple checked. His parents’ minds are razors. You can see the neurons in their brain firing with perfect precision. However, their physical appearance is not contiguous with their mental state. They are no longer human, but have become dilapidated machines. Their faces lack lifeblood only leaving cold pasty flesh white as snow, bones that have endured five times their load bearing capabilities, and hair that will streak grey any day now. They have aged ten years over a weeks time.

Leaving a soft bed that’s radiating warmth to pursue the darkness of 03:01 a.m. is always less than desirable. Gavin begins to gather what little luggage he has. They’re not allowed to bring much. As he works he gazes around the skeleton of a home. The walls may be blank, refrigerator barren, and the house empty, but it’s filled to the ceiling with memories. As he is violently whipped back to reality he realizes the rest of his family is gathering around the table to eat breakfast with the only remaining food in the house, eggs and orange juice. The rest of the food was eaten or removed the day before. This is the last meal they will ever eat in their home. The frying pan along with the cooking utensils used will be discarded, and what remains of the appliances and furniture will be left behind.

Chapter 3

The metallic clicking of seatbelts slice through the silence of the early morning’s darkness, almost as if to echo down the desolate street like a gunshot dissipating throughout the neighborhood. It’s eerily quiet out as everyone and everything is fast asleep at this unholy hour. Before Gavin could comprehend and process the events developing they were already down the street when it occurred to him the car was brought to life by the gentle hum of the engine, and his eyes gawked at his house through the glass until it was no longer visible. Still glancing out the window he returned facing forward in his seat, and hoped to take advantage of the drive to gain any precious moments of sleep he can.

The gentle vibrations and consistent purr of the tires on the road are soothing. Earbuds are placed in his ears shortly before he leans over against his sister’s car seat and closes his eyes. When music plays the world halts and disintegrates. You are static in a single point in space and time in which music triggers an explosion of everything around you to be blasted spherically and evenly into every direction. The ground vigorously crumbles, plummeting far below your feet, leaving you suspended in your original location, and the sky goes AWOL surging infinitely up and away from your head until any hue of blue is no longer visible. All objects, places, and people around you zoom away eternally at a constant speed, and you’re left alone in the vast solitude vacuum of space. Despite getting no sleep the night before Gavin remains frustratingly conscious for the duration of the car ride.

When they arrive at the terminal the imminent sunrise will be occurring soon. Parking directly in front they get out and unload their luggage and diligently scour the car because anything left behind will remain there permanently. A man promptly approaches Mr. Gillen and speaks, “Good morning. Papers and pink slip, please.” Looking around, this phrase is repeated to many other people arriving and exiting their vehicles. Mr. Gillen hands over the keys and paperwork, which includes a document indicating the value given to the vehicle when it was inspected. The man locates the corresponding paperwork matching the information he just was given, and a preprinted check for the value of the car is put into Mr. Gillen’s hands. He quickly tucks it away in the luggage containing the rest of the family’s documents.

Chapter 4

A snake of people winds throughout the labyrinth of the terminal. This sight of organized chaos has only been observed by a small percent of the population. The procedure and incalculable number of signs must certainly only be understood by God and his infinite wisdom, yet everyone is finely dressed and seem to know exactly where to go. Gavin’s legs quickly reciprocate like mechanical pistons in an attempt to keep up with his father’s long unbroken strides. There are lines and security checkpoints everywhere as far as the eye can see. Sight of the entrance has been lost long ago.

After what felt like miles of walking they passed Gate 6032A. The most sickening and disgusting scene permanently etched this terminal number into Gavin’s memory for ever. A hysterical woman at the front of the security line was crying uncontrollably. Tears streamed from the faucets of her eyes down her burning red face, which heated the tears to their boiling point where they were converted to steam. She screams words of agony, except the words stuttered are incomprehensible. She’s possessed. Inhibited by a demon. She must be, as her body twitches and contorts with inhuman motion. If you have never seen someone beg for their life before, this was it. Walking hurriedly past Gate 6032A your eyes uneasily glare at this gruesome car wreck, unable to turn away no matter how much effort is used. Due to the insanity of the woman a small detail of the scene initially has gone overlooked. Moments later it is noticed that a young girl is permanently affixed to her mother’s leg. The jaws of life could not release her little arms that clung to her mother. Gavin’s heart stopped beating. The world faded away to black as his vision blurred. His hearing deafened, and the loud rumble and uproar of the terminal muted to a fuzzy tone. A cold sweat encapsulated his entire body. The shrill wail of the mother rose above all noise in the terminal,  ”I HAVE A TICKET. I’M IN THE SYSTEM! PLEASE!” From across the room you can see her luggage spewed across the floor, and all compartments were unzipped as if she were either sloppily unpacking, or searching. Faculty consoled her, as security constrained her. Momentarily bursting free, her arms coiled around the young girl like two anacondas. She squeezed her tightly with unsteady hands, and then the daughter was taken through the gate, proper documents in hand, alone.

While being held by Mrs. Gillen, Juli erupted into tears. Too young to comprehend, but no doubt disturbed. Mrs. Gillen pressed her daughter’s head against her shoulder and buried her eyes in her hand, shielding her from the commotion.

Chapter 5

The Gillens have finally arrived at their gate. Normally waiting in line is mind numbing and dull, but when you realize this is the last time you’ll set foot in the only place you’ve ever known, you’re surprisingly content, aside from the anxiety of the impending adventure. After an hour of treading in a sea of people, Mr. Gillen distributes each family member’s documents, tickets, and identification. Gavin clutches onto them as if he were saving a friend from falling to his or her death. “We’ll all meet on the other side nobody go ahead,” he instructs before turning to face to front of the line.

Each security personnel at the head of the line administering the inspections wears all black, and waves one person through at a time. Behind them a wall of soldiers provides reinforcement and intimidation armed with assault rifles. Each family member traverses the boundary successfully. On the other side more waiting begins; however, this is different than the other waiting, this is blissful. Several hours from departure, everyone on this side of security is grinning ear to ear. Carefree, the brain has been relieved of its laborious duties, and imagination is let off the leash again to run wild.  Not only do metal detectors detect metal, but apparently strip away stress as well once you pass through. The comradery is outstanding, nothing like the real world. Everyone on this side of the security barricade is instantaneously bonded.

Chapter 6

“Now boarding, segment: zero-two-four-delta-six-seven,” an automated announcement booms over the gate. The Gillens come alive and are on their feet in a blink, along with a group of twenty-or-so other eager people. Once more documentation, identification, and tickets with our boarding segment, “024D67,” reemerge from safe keeping. A smile confirms we are clear to board. Gavin’s stomach drops to the floor and heavily drags behind him as he realized he wished the the walk through the dimly lit jet bridge would stretch forever, knowing each foot print he leaves behind can never be retraced. It is at this point where everything became a blur emitting the disconcerting feeling that a section of time is missing from your life. You know where you are now, but you don’t remember the events leading up to it and how you got there. His mind, soul, body and internal organs all feel as if they’re floating, like the carefree euphoria feeling received after realizing you’re currently in a warm dream. Now sitting in his seat, Gavin had a thick window to his left, and family seated beside him on the right. He prayed there wouldn’t be an emergency, because he couldn’t hear the attendant’s demonstration and instructions over the thud of his heartbeat. She droned on for thirty minutes, he estimates, as he tuned in and out while focusing as powerfully as he could. This hypnagogic experience was far too surreal to concentrate. Everything was in slow motion as he panned his head. Looking at both sides of his hands he questioned his existence, “Is this really happening? Am I really in this body right now?” He could have just been observing someone else’s experience through their eyes, only along for the ride and not in any sort of control.

The cabin dims softly like a sunset in fast forward. The attendant is gone now, she may have been for awhile but all concept of time has been distorted to the point where time is meaningless. They could have been sitting there for five minutes, or a month. Gavin checks his harness once more reassuring he is secured. Everyone is silent, and in the low lighting  solemn faces can roughly be distinguished. More time passes, probably, until the monotony of the silences is broken by various hums and mechanical vibrations produced by the engine start-up sequence. One could only imagine the extensive checklists they’re currently going through in the cockpit. A voice over the loudspeaker startles Gavin like a person unsuspectingly springing from the bushes, “All passengers prepare for takeoff. I repeat prepare for launch.” The feeling of a small earthquake begins to rumble and the sound of pure power emanates from the engines. The ground begins to abandon them, slowly at first but soon rapidly sinks away as they build momentum. The g-force, excreting pressure of a linebacker,  squeezes the passengers deep into the cushions of their seats as they hurl vertically towards the heavens. Several people have their eyes shut with a look of discomfort upon their face. Gavin is glued to the window, similar to anyone who has their eyes open. The ground is continues to plunge further as they climb. The radiant glow of the Earth’s atmosphere illuminates the cabin. Gavin’s eyes shine blue, and he does not blink for this is the first and last time he will see the Earth with his own eyes. Deterioration on the face of the Earth is now visible and evident. Scorched, charred, and scarred from explosions, these are the blemishes that paint many continents. Any type of green or forests are virtually nonexistent. Colossal mining sites for harvesting natural resources deface the surface. He figures their altitude must be around sixty-thousand feet, or near the top of the Troposphere. A luminous turquoise halo resonating from the atmosphere surrounds the planet, and affectionately hugs it. Loyal to the planet in its time of duress. This beautiful band of light is a gradient of blue that burns white hot toward the surface, and slowly fades to blue, then violet, transitioning through all hues of blue until there is nothing but black as the empty edge of space is greeted.

Chapter 7

For a long time Gavin peers down in awe at blue marble that is his home. The indescribable sight was so distracting, it was as if his sensory system and brainstem were too overloaded to autonomously control his respiratory system. It was literally breathtaking. His neck ached from watching the Earth until it was no longer visible from his window. Leaning back, he reaches into his pocket and removes the ticket his grandfather purchased for him over ten years ago with everything he had. He reads his name, “GILLEN, GAVIN E.” printed across it along with his P.B.I. (Personal Barcode Identifier), a form of identification attached to him since he was born. Below displays their segment, “024D67.” The first two characters “02″ indicate they are on the second transport ever launched. Six years have passed since the first transport, the absolute minimum time span possible between launches. A new transport must be constructed on Earth for each launch, because they are dissembled after landing to be used for resources. The following digit, 4, means they are on the fourth level of the ship. “D6″ is hexadecimal for 214, his seat number. The final number, 7, no one seems to know.

And now the vents gently begin to hiss.
They softly emit gas, and spew bliss.
Eyelids heavy, dreams are ready.
Captain please, hold us steady,
For Mother Earth, you will be missed.
From the stars, we blow our kiss.
Many years we drift in slumber,
And awaken, full of wonder.



Posted: 22nd June 2013 by recoil in Aviation
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Radio communication in aviation is an art form. In short, the goal is to be as descriptive as possible using the least amount of words. One must realize you’re no longer speaking proper English or formatting grammatically correct sentences. This is a NEW language.

Example, you want to say: Long Beach Tower, This is Cessna 12345. I am flying over the Queen Mary and would like to land on Runway two-five left. I have the weather information, “x-ray.”
How you phrase it: Long Beach Tower, Cessna 12345, Over Queen Mary, request two-five left with x-ray.
(Who you’re calling, Who you are, Where you are, What you want)

For non-pilot readers, the reason you want your message to be fast and clear is because only one person can speak on a frequency at a time! If there is a busy airport with planes flying all around in the airspace, everybody has to share and take turns on the radio. When two people transmit at the same time, this is called getting “stepped-on” and the transmission becomes garbled noise. This wastes more time since the radio call must be repeated again. Not only is wasted time frustrating to pilots/ATC, it can potentially be unsafe. One possible scenario (drastic, but gets the point across): What if a plane taxis onto an active runway while a plane is landing and ATC needs to alert the landing traffic to abort and go-around? Quick radio calls that provide all necessary information is just better all around, “plain” and simple (no pun intended).

I greatly admire and respect my instructor, Cody Pierce (Aces High Aviation). I am ecstatic with every piece of knowledge and habit he has taught me. He is an extreme advocate for proper radio usage and phraseology.  He knows how to be precise, effective, and efficient; I’d like to think this was passed on to me, or at least programmed the correct mindset.

One thing he taught me was to avoid the use of the words “to” and “for”. Like I said, this is no longer English.

Example, what you want to say: This is Cessna 12345. We are currently at two-thousand feet, and we are climbing to four-thousand, five-hundred feet.
How you phrase it: Cessna 12345, at two-thousand, climbing four-thousand, five-hundred.

What I want to stress is, leave out the TO!

1.) to four-thousand = TWO-four, thousand? (24,000. Yes if you’re in a Cessna you can only reach half that altitude, but why unnecessarily dilute the clarity of the message)
2.) Once you’re over 9,000 feet you would pronounce a number like 10,500 as “one-zero thousand, five hundred)
3.) Key: If you leave out the word “to” does it drastically change the structure of your radio call to where the meaning is changed or won’t be understood?
The answer to #3 is NO. So why not cut as many words as possible for a more clean, efficient, and professional sounding transmission?

In closing, we get to talk about what I wanted to talk about most: FOR.
Flying with more and more other pilots (some IFR guys), many seem to use the phrasing, “Climbing [to] two-thousand, for Cessna 12345″
What if this isn’t the initial call, or doesn’t include the aircraft type? “Climbing [to] two-thousand, for 12345.” What was your call sign? 412345?

Why bother including “for”? Don’t:
1. For or FOUR?
2. When you include your call sign, they already know it’s for you!
3. It’s extra words. By including “for” you’re trying to create a grammatically correct sentence for the English language. To our ears and brain, this makes sense; however, we’re not writing a paper. We’re trying to efficiently communicate instructions.

Simply plug-in and provide your variables to ATC, they already know the equation and only require the missing pieces. As long as the information is correct and formatted properly, I don’t think they will mind if it’s not “aesthetically” pleasing/sounding to the ears, by English language standards.

Questions, corrections, or remarks? Leave a comment!

jet fuel

Posted: 1st June 2013 by recoil in Aviation
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January 05, 2013 — Going out to dinner has received a new meaning. The bar has been set higher than most can reach.

KCRQ has a beautiful runway. It’s not perfectly flat, it slightly dips and rises which for some reason fascinates me, and off in the distance you see the ocean while landing. I love flying to Carlsbad. Maybe it’s because it was one of my first dual-cross country destinations, and my first solo cross-country flight. Has it become the epitome of freedom? Maybe it’s because I camped there at the beach when I was younger. It’s possible I have California in my veins and the beach tells us we’re home.

After high school, everyone grows distant. My best friends of that era have seemingly become fictitious in existence. Alex D. (one of the best friends I’ve had) has been wanting to go flying for some time, and we finally made it happen. It’s always the greatest thing to see old friends. Another pilot, Jeff, who flies out of Torrance wanted to check out the G1000 and came along. We were on the schedule to have the plane, but over thirty minutes has gone by and it still hasn’t returned. Luckily there was another C172 available and I arranged to have us take that one instead. During the preflight inspection the plane showed up and they apologized, and it was no hard feelings. We took off and I let the autopilot fly which makes it so nice since it holds your altitude and heading. It’s almost too easy. You can just kickback and focus on looking for traffic, monitor the instruments, and of course talk on the radio. We landed around sunset, and instead of going to transient parking like usual, this was the first time I went to a FBO (a business at airports that typically provide fuel and other services to pilots) instead. I called the day before asking what the procedure was and inquired about the crew car. They were helpful and I’d recommend to do the same if you have uncertainties. If you don’t know what a crew car is, it is a car a FBO  will give to pilots to use for free. It isn’t a rental car, it cost us nothing, and didn’t have to pay for gas! It was a very new black Kia Optima, not bad for free. We drove about fifteen or twenty minutes into town to get food at Pizza Port. I ordered a BBQ chicken pizza, and it was the best pizza I have ever eaten in my life! I will make a trip back there someday in the future.


Posted: 28th May 2013 by recoil in Lyrics/Music
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No you were supposed to be there
Where were you?
You said you’d die to save me
I called for you
You were my only savior
With my last breath I’ll scream
Where were you?


Posted: 20th May 2013 by recoil in Aviation, Life
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I have always had a magnetic draw towards flight within me since I was young.

I gravitate towards aviation. I fall up, into the sky.


Posted: 27th February 2013 by recoil in Life

you know the feeling, when you’re at a show, and every hit from the bass drum rattles deep from within the inside of your rib cage, resonating through your body.. yeah, that’s the feeling of home.

standing faceless in a crowd, you’re part of something bigger. we could destroy the world. everyone under this roof, we share the same passion. room full of strangers, yet they are my best friends. in the humid, scorching, air we patiently stand and wait in the dim lighting. muffled music in the background. they’re setting up on stage, not much longer now. the energy of the crowd is surging through your veins. you can feel it. your finger tips are electric. clench your fist, they’ve never felt so powerful; invincible. eyes closed, inhale deeply. hold it, exhale. the quickly beating heart, pumping adrenaline like a toxic substance you crave. you can feel it, you can hear it. it spreads to every inch of your being. soundcheck. the bass from the instruments, so loud, so low: you can feel the sound. sound has become tangible. the noise expands in a gaseous state throughout the room and begins to fill it, you can touch it. it’s a tidal wave you see off in the distance, but you don’t run from it. you just stand and stare with your jaw on the floor. it towers over you like a skyscraper, blocking out the sun. in its shadow, you’re no bigger than any other grain of sand on the beach. except it crashes over you.. and soothes you from the inside out. everything and everyone melts.. as the tide washes it away. the stage is empty now, they took the light with them, eyes trying to adjust. the crowd pushes up, and seals all gaps. you never stand so close to strangers anywhere other than here, maybe they’re not strangers anymore. we’re all connected. brace yourself. hold your ground, the static in the air is transmitting the anticipation of a war. this is it. in an instant, it’s deafening. the roar of an entire room as figures emerge on stage. and then.. as quickly as the strike of a snake, the wave, crushes you without warning. don’t swim. stay submerged, and let the music engulf you. welcome home.

Diamondstar DA40

Posted: 29th December 2012 by recoil in Aviation

A HUGE thanks to Ruben and Kyle for allowing me to go with them on their flight.

12/21/2012 — Doomsday.

We met at Angel City Flyers at Long Beach Airport (KLGB) around 9:00 a.m. which is the earliest I have been flying in quite some time. Ruben was the PIC (pilot in command) that day and did a wonderful job flying. Kyle is an awesome dude who flies out of El Monte (KEMT) and wanted to check out a G1000 equipped DA40.

There is no other way to visit as many cities as we did in such a short amount of time.
In 2.1 hours, I went from: Long Beach, to Victorville airport (KVCV) around the back side of the mountains and over Agua Dulce (L70), Van Nuys airport (KVNY), past the Hollywood sign, around Downtown Los Angeles, El Monte Airport (KEMT), and back to Long Beach for lunch at a nice Thai restaurant, La Lune Palace, on the third floor with an excellent view of the runway (25L). I’ve been going to the airport for almost two years and never knew this place existed! It was nice to be a passenger again, I love being able to relax and observe from a different perspective, and most importantly glue my face to the window to see such a rare view of our home.

sunken sun

Posted: 1st December 2012 by recoil in Aviation

Tuesday. November 20, 2012 — I left my job interview to head home and change from my suit before heading to the airport. Spontaneous, and uncertain if time would award its blessing, we made plans to go for a quick flight. It was around 2:30 P.M., and the sun was going to set at 4:45 P.M. With the drive costing one hour, and thirty to forty-five minutes for a preflight inspection and engine run-up,  it was going to be close.

The four of us arrived at Long Beach, I grabbed the keys to the airplane, and got to work. There is helicopter parking directly across from where the plane is parked, and it was a good thing I left the plane tied down because during the preflight checks, two helicopters landed causing a miniature typhoon. As helicopters lower to the ground, huge gusts of wind crash into you like an invisible tidal wave.

Once we left the ground far below us, we were moments away from an indescribable, breathtaking view. We climbed and departed the airport towards the Pacific Ocean and headed towards Huntington Beach. The sun was now falling, and sinking into the ocean. It was being extinguished by the salt water. Ungracious in defeat, the sun set the sky ablaze burning vivid orange and pink hues into the blue canvas. Making its last move before its slumber, it made its presence known to us all, as if to make  sure it was not forgotten. The sky and clouds were stained with warmth. The scene radiated all the way from the heavens straight to your pupils, and nothing but appreciation could be felt. Slowly, the city stars began to emerge preparing for the dark, and the sea of shining lights grew as we surfed above.

The only way to improve a sunset, is to join it in sky.

Apple Valley

Posted: 26th September 2012 by recoil in Aviation
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Saturday, September 22, 2012.

Flew my dad and cousin to Apple Valley for lunch. It was about a 45 minute flight. I love autopilot. <write more later>

Lunch in Santa Monica

Posted: 17th September 2012 by recoil in Aviation
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This trip I flew from Long Beach, over LAX and down to Santa Monica for lunch. At the Spitfire Grill, we sat outside and enjoyed the cool breeze. The Food was amazing and I’d love to return someday. <probably will write more later. pictures coming soon.>

Perspective from a Marine

Posted: 4th September 2012 by recoil in Life
“. . .but he was probably aiming for my head.”

Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force. I do not know many people in the Military, besides lost-contact-friends from high school. They are friends I haven’t really spoken with or hung out since we graduated. I’ll often encounter other people who have served in the military at school now. Apparently, college requires one unit of physical education. Not interested in sports, I chose golf since I had a semi-interest (and don’t have to run).

It was a sunny day at Brea golf course, and were nearing the end of another game. It was the type of day where light drops of sweat emerge atop your forehead, until a beautiful breeze blows cooling the moisture.  There was many interesting people in the class, but one guy in his late 20′s was an ex-marine (if I recall), with a story that no one could compete.

It was the last day of class, and we were standing on the green of the ninth hole with our putters in hand.  John, I believe his name was, played golf causally but did pretty well, despite an injury in his hand he received while he was overseas. He wore a necklace, and attached at the bottom was a bullet. Earlier in the semester he told us about it, and I wish I could quote this surreal story exactly, but unfortunately I heard it roughly a year ago. He was out with his squad/team and they were crossing some type of water, it may have been a river or stream I think. They had to hop across some rocks, and he was shot. “There was a sniper. He shot me in my shoulder in midair, but he was probably aiming for my head.” I remember him describing to a small group of the class in awe. His life only inches from being ended sounds more of a tagline from a movie than a non-fictitious event. This piercing piece of metal on the string around his neck, was once embedded in his flesh.

Everyone was excited. We were a few putts away from being done with the semester. While waiting on the green for our turns, I walked over to John and figured I’d ask him a question while I had the opportunity. “This might be a stupid question, but do you think your experience would help you in paintball?” I felt it was valid considering he’s shot real guns, knows how to aim, and surely knows how to take cover and hide, among other things. I imagined him using his skill-set, dominating the field with the precision of an action star. He paused as his mind actually processed the question.
“Probably a little bit, but it’s completely different since it’s only a game. No one is afraid to die.

BOTW: Woods Of Ypres

Posted: 4th September 2012 by recoil in Lyrics/Music
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Band Of The Week

I was buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, alone and unceremoniously
…Buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, when life was taken from me [full lyrics]

Disconnect and disassociate yourself from everything and everyone you know.
Just let go. Go. Don’t look back, and see where it takes you. After a year has passed, you might feel good enough to come home, or there’s the excitement that you may leave and just stay, and never come home again, either way, you’ll be glad you did it. Having left and gone and being able to decide for yourself after you’ve done your time.
They say that time heals all wounds, well this is a good way to spend that time, what better way to distract yourself from sadness than to further complicate your crisis to the point where it threatens your own survival? Combining it with a total mind-fuck of other factors, allowing you to erase your memory, deprogram yourself, and rebuild somewhere in the abyss.
Surrendering all control and familiarity, boldly going into the unknown, committing to this forced and involuntary deportation from your own home. You know you have to go, your life depends on it.
Answer the question, “Can you get here in 10 days?” “Yes I can!”
It’s time to cross the ocean… and dive, into exile! [full lyrics]


Posted: 27th August 2012 by recoil in Life
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August 19 – 24, 2012
1. Yes, I made it back alive.
2. It wasn’t scary (besides the possible threat of stingrays and whatever that squishy thing I stepped on in the water was).
3. I did not get kidnapped by drug cartels and I was not held for millions of dollar/taco ransom.
4. I didn’t get pulled over or have to bribe any police/federales/chupacabras.

Those seem to be everyone’s concerns, including mine before we left. Not to say none of the scary stories are true, but thankfully we had no trouble at all. I’d image most problems arise in Tijuana anyways, where there is a much larger number people, not on a quiet beach. Technically it was my second time in Mexico, but the first one was for a wedding. This was a completely different experience. Not speaking a word of Spanish, other than the menu of Taco Bell, makes for a quite interesting trip.

Our first taste was going through the border. My uncle got pulled into the inspection area as predicted because of all the luggage on the roof rack and he told us to follow him. A lady came up to the car and started speaking Spanish. There’s always that awkward moment when both parties blankly go, “uhhh.. how do we communicate?” Communication is something that is expected and taken for granted. How often do you encounter someone you can’t talk to, at all? Finally I found a hand gesture she understood. I pointed at their car, back at me, back at their car, and at me which allowed her to blurt out, “..together!” It’s interesting how instantaneous the changes are once you pass the border. It is such a fine line dividing two separate worlds. We drove roughly 70-100 miles and went through 3 toll roads about $2.20 each.

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The first real hit was when we stopped at Walmart. How nice, something familiar from Amerika! ..not really. You know the feeling when something is the same, but different? The first thing you notice is everything is incredibly expensive. My cousin, Tasha, bought a soccer ball for $94! …in pesos. That comes out to about eight bucks (one U.S. dollar is about 13 pesos, the rest of this will be in USD). It’s strange to see such high numbers on prices. Even though you know it’s a different currency it’s just visually different than what you’ve seen every single day of your life. You also see all the same brands you’re familiar with and use; however, the packaging isn’t in English! The reason we stopped was because my cousin needed a swimsuit, but we weren’t finding any. After awhile we realized the department signs had English on the bottom, which didn’t help much, but we came to the conclusion they didn’t have them since the Summer season is coming to a close. It felt odd we couldn’t just ask a store associate for assistance. Strange feeling not to be able to ask for help when you need it.

We eventually made it to the house which was less than 200 yards from the ocean. You could walk to the water in less than a minute. The beach made the sand at Huntington Beach feel like sandpaper. It was so fine you were walking in flour. The water, it wasn’t water from the ocean. Clearly someone’s warm bathwater must have overflowed into it. If it wasn’t for the salt you could comfortably bathe in it. I’m used to beaches having frigid water where I take my foot out of it as quickly as I put it in. It was very clear too! In the shallow you could see the ground and all the shells.

Later in the trip we went to La Bufadora. Here, everyone spoke English. It’s two attractions were shopping and The Blowhole. “The Blowhole is an amazing natural marine geyser that is capable of shooting water well over 60 feet in the air. La Bufadora is considered to be the second largest marine geyser in the world.” The shopping consisted of a very long row of little “stores” that most carried a lot of the same. They were fun to look at because it’s not a shopping experience you’re used to. There are no set prices. When you ask how much an item costs, you’ll received some absurd value, for example $30 for a shirt. You’re not going to spend that much so when you say no, show disinterest, or walk away, magically the item has become discounted 50% as they blurt out, “okay $15!” Even then you can most likely haggle and get the item down to $6-12. When we first arrived I felt a little awkward and intimated to do this. It also feels like you’re insulting them by offering less. After watching a few transactions occur you get a feel for this standard procedure, and realize they do this everyday. It wasn’t that difficult and they actually do most of the work for you. Once interest is shown, you’re bombarded with offers. After a few tries it becomes surprisingly fun. I bought a “$10″ hacky sack for $3. As you walk down they all try to get you to look at their store, and a common gimmick you’d hear was, “99% off,” or, “almost free!”  Towards the end you could even take your picture with a baby tiger cub for a $20 donation to a wildlife foundation. Did I mention you get to hold it?

On the drive to Mexico Tasha told me about a guy who flies an ultralight and lands on the beach directly in front of the house. The first day we arrived I got to witness this. I have no idea what beaches in California that would allow this! I don’t fly them so I don’t know their rules but you definitely wouldn’t be able to with people on the beach, I’d assume. He flew by and we waved at each other. He landed and signaled for us to walk over. He spoke some English, I told him I was a pilot, and he turned out to be a nice guy. After days of thought, I knew I would regret not taking the opportunity to go for a ride. The weather turned cloudy and overcast so he wasn’t flying for a few days. I told myself if he was there on the last day I would go. Sure enough he flew overhead towards the beach while we were fishing on the pier. It’s different than what I’m used to that’s for sure. I like to describe it as a flying chair. You’re just sitting there with nothing around you. It was a great experience and wouldn’t be something I’d mind learning how to do.

Unfortunately I didn’t get to purchase as many fireworks as I wanted, but I did get a bag of m80s and roman candles we lit on the beach. We got to do some other cool things like have a bonfire right on the beach itself (no pit), surf fishing, flew my kite, observe sea creatures (hermit crabs, shells, sand dollars, and starfish), and many other things. At one point we visited a Costco which had the exact same layout as the one in La Habra!
Overall is was a great trip and would like to thank my uncle, aunt, and cousins for the invitation and allowing me to go! It was very kind and generous!

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