Welcome to SCREENS UP / screens down

Welcome to the first entry in my blog SCREENS UP / screens down. This blog is about two of my loves: geek entertainment and voluntary simplicity.

One part of me is a high tech junkie addicted to the enjoyment, procurement, creation and selling of science fiction entertainment. Robots, aliens, zombies, time travel, underwater civilizations, government cover ups, you name it. I’ve spent the better part of my life glued to a computer screen creating, consuming or selling the fantastical products of strange imaginations.  I own every video game console currently out, the complete Quantum Leap series recorded painstakingly on VHS, the original Dark Angel Jessica Alba figurines unopened in their boxes, I may still have my Dungeons & Dragon’s twelve sided die, and I’m currently working my way through all the novels of Philip K. Dick. I do draw the line at Twilight, however.  If you like any of that stuff above, you will like this blog.

Another part of me disturbed by how in our current screen obsessed culture we are always looking at the flickering lights and never paying much attention to what is happening right now IRL.  How many conversations have you had recently where the other person spent as much time looking at their phone as looking at you?   I fear we will all wake up from our DVD television series marathons and our iPhone 4s one day and realize we missed our lives.  I am trying to find a balance between simple, present centered living and the joys of all that imaginative stuff happening on all my flickering screens.

Sometimes you have to put the crackpipe down, so I’m setting out on a kind of volunteer simpleton vision quest (not to be confused with Johnny Drama’s hit TV series, Viking Quest).  Voluntary simplicity is basically an anti-consumerist, Buddhist inspired lifestyle where you willing live with less in order to have a fresher, more present centered, joyful, and humane experience of life.  Kind of like being Amish.  I’ve experimented with this a few times in my stints as a wilderness instructor, and on my bike tour from Vancouver to San Francisco. But I’m about to go truly darkside this time: a travel experiment where I will get rid of 95% of my shit and live out of a backpack for a long while.  Every dirty hippie thing you can imagine and mock will probably happen: head shaving, veganism, drumming circles, marches, living in monasteries, hanging out on organic farms, you name it. I do draw the line at patchouli, though.

How long will it take before my geek self locks my hippie self in a hotel room in Bangkok for an Elton John-in-the-drug-years-esque seventy two hour Xbox binge? We’ll see.  But since these two kids have to learn to play nice together eventually, I figured it might be amusing for others to watch the experiment play out live.

So welcome. I will try to make this entertaining – if nothing else, you can laugh at the misadventures of a black girl trying to find eco-friendly hair grease in Thailand, and enjoy some pictures. Perhaps you’ll also pick up useful tidbits about long term travel, entertainment marketing, going simple, or your favorite sci-fi TV show. For now, I leave you with this (these guys are kind of the ghost fighting equivalent of volunteer simpletons):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cb3G5Qj_Lo8

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