alaska

Things to do in Anchorage, Alaska on New Year’s Eve

ADN.com has this nice list of things to do in Anchorage, Alaska on New Year’s Eve.

Back on December 31, 2010, I was trying to make my way to Seward, Alaska, but had a problem with icy roads, and couldn’t find chains to fit my tires, so after a few hours I finally gave up on the trek and stopped in a hotel in Anchorage. They started the fireworks at 5 or 6pm (because of the whole darkness thing), and various shows went on all night, which was pretty cool. Happy New Year’s Eve!

Knowing vs feeling (impermanence, attachments, desire)

For a long time I thought it was enough to know about something spiritual, but it wasn’t necessary to feel it. For instance, I’ve known about impermanence on an intellectual level, but to experience it in your bones, that’s the difference between a finger pointing at the Moon and the Moon itself. Robin Williams spoke eloquently about this difference on the park bench in Good Will Hunting.

Another topic is desire. There’s a Buddhist monk vow that says, “Desires are endless, I vow to conquer them all.” I’m not a Buddhist monk — I dropped out of monk school because of things like cookies, margaritas, sex, and love (not to mention pain) — but recently I had the very direct feeling of desire, and it finally occurred to me that if I don’t get past it, it will still be affecting my life in 2020, 2024, and if you believe in multiple lifetimes, I’ll still be dealing with it then.

It blew me away that this feeling is thousands of miles beyond simply knowing that I have that desire. For me it’s like the distance between (a) knowing that there are glaciers in Alaska vs (b) being right there and seeing and hearing the calving.

Editor’s note: “Desire” can be cookies, margaritas, etc. — anything where there is “want” with attachment.

The Talkeetna Roadhouse (Talkeetna, Alaska)

After some more medical tests tomorrow (Tuesday) I hope to be able to return to work as early as Wednesday. I don’t really have much energy yet, but hopefully I can get back to writing Scala code and blog posts for two to four hours a day initially.

My ideal job would be to work as a QA guy for the Talkeetna Roadhouse bakery but after getting my full energy back I’ll probably settle for some sort of programming gig instead. :)