Just in case you haven't been flooded through facebook or e-mail or twitter or any other means of communication that I use, my blog has been moved!

Check out the new one, blog.tylersoelberg.com!



Changes Are Coming

Nothing like a poorly done and overused cliche to hammer home a point, right?
Well, this blog has served me somewhat well for the past 42 months. I like that number, and if anyone can tell me why, I'll give them a shout out.
I started this blog to give me a place to share my opinions because, clearly, I don't do that often enough. I used it to share things I found important or intriguing or absolutely ridiculous on the web because, obviously, you all don't get enough web time to yourself. I held back and then rushed forth, sharing my feelings and even--gasp!--some day to day updates of my life because, as it seems to me, it's the most important thing on the planet and everybody should know about it. I've traveled to the Philippines, Peru, Honduras, and Europe thrice on this blog because, honestly, I love fielding questions about how I can afford it and you can't.
My cynicism has been reignited thanks to this blog; my sarcasm enlightened. I've perhaps learned more about who I am than any of you have, and I guess I should say thanks for coming along for the ride.
Now, before any of you freak out: I know your lives revolve around my ramblings. My blog will continue, but things will change. I'm in the process of making this blog bigger. That's right, bigger. If ever I planned on containing my ego in cyberspace, I realize that I need bigger space.
Hopefully, these changes will be as interesting to you as I hope they are to me. Hopefully, you'll be more inclined to share the stuff I post. Hopefully, everything will make sense. BLURG!

Just be ready.


I Said It First

Buffalo Beast posted the 50 Most Loathsome Americans on the 19th of January. I promise I wrote my diatribe well before I read his. But our conclusions are the same.

Standing at #7? Glenny!!

#6? Sarah!!

#1?????????? Why, you of course.


Calling You Out


Yeah, you.

I'm talking to you, Mr. Take-your-kids-to-the-movies-but-bring-toys-so-they-can-play-during-the-show-while-you-fall-asleep. That's right. I'm talking to you Ms. Didn't-get-invited-to-a-private-blog-so-clearly-I-should-be-offended. And don't forget you, Dr. My-superiority-complex-is-causing-a-traffic-jam-on-the-information-highway. Clearly, Professor Conservatism-movement-will-save-God's-country-from-everyone-else-that-is-trying-to-disrupt-our-way-of-life-because-there-is-nothing-on-TV, I mean you too.

I'm talking to all of you. Apparently, something got lost when God gave you your logic and intellect. If we can even call it that. More like SINtellect! Your evil is causing this country in all of it's Tea-bagging GLORY be THINE! to falter from the idyllic "We are number ONE!" spot in Forbes' Top Ten Most Powerful Nations With Little Man Syndrome list. Turns out, the little men in China are beating us on that one now.

If only we weren't so Gomorrah'd, we'd still be on top. Can't we all just go back to the glory days when people could have PRIDE in their country without feeling like the rest of the world is judging them?! The blessed land we lived in THRIVED on that pride, riiight??? Doesn't everybody know it's the only way we became the BESTESTIFUL* country in the world!? (Aside from being the only chosen nation, of course.) Nothing wrong with good-ol' fascisti....fasciona....ah, that's it, FASHIONABLE pride, riiight??

Let's face it, you, Mr./Ms./Dr./Prof. are the reason we've got here. If only you could be like...like...like the Glenn Beck's of this world! Like, like the George W's of the world! Like--well....if only you could be more like the ME of this world!! Ugh, my contempt and superiority over you is GROWING!

It's so obvious that that's where you went wrong. Here you were, thinking that you could think for yourself. Thinking that you could create something new, or contribute something valuable to the discussion. But really, let's face it. You don't create, you consume. You don't contribute, you attribute. You don't think. You...well, I'm sure some of you stink, but the rest of you just sit there while someone feeds you whatever information you would like to hear (and if you don't like it, your fearful conscious tells you to change the channel to something you DO like to hear). And so begins the American Dream of sitting too close to the television, rotting your gray matter into poi, and making--miraculously--you believe you are the perfect critic of others.

Ah! The perfect critic! What the interwebs have allowed us to do these days of days! They make everyone believe they ARE the perfect critic. So let me critique you, Mr./Ms./Dr./Prof./Homeless Man! Let me continue to tell you where you're wrong. Your self-confidence wanes because you don't believe what you say you believe. Your self-pity grows because you perceive others as better off than you. Your daddy issues plague you because for the life of you, you can't separate yourself from his regime you grew up with even though deep down inside there is nothing you want more.

You listen to the libelous Foxes out there because they reassure you that you ARE the best and falling from that title means certain death. You reach out to their rhetoric because the MERE thought of number two would make other people judge you, and YOU are the judge, right? Not them!

You don't care for your image because somehow, somebody has convinced you that you can judge character on beauty, and that beauty truly is only on the inside, but you DO care about your image because if you are not the perfect lass/lad others perceive you as, then you have given up number one.

As comfortable as you say you are with yourself, you are ten times more uncomfortable with being alone with your mind for a day. Interaction is your drug because you are hella scared at finding out what you really believe and what you really think, lest what you find be different from years and years of self-deception.

That's you.



Real Reality

Knives can be sharp. That's a reality, right?
Usually, it's quite an advantage when you're trying to use them. Dull knifes are good for spreading, I suppose, but unless the spreading is happening with the icing on that cake you just made me, I have no need for dull knives.
But, the cuspidated knife is not always advantageous. But it did teach me a lesson today. Most people have pricked themselves with a pin, given themselves a paper cut, and I will venture to say that, yes, a great majority of us have cut ourselves with a sharp knife.
You guessed it, my roommate cut off his thumb with a sharp knife. A very sharp knife. Okay, so he didn't cut his entire thumb off, but he sliced a juicy piece off just fine. While at work. Preparing food that you and I would probably eat.
Today's lesson, however, was not that I should be wary when judging the deliciousness of food at my favorite restaurants. No, that wasn't it. Rather, as he was showering this morning, screaming bloody murder as he cleaned it, waiting for me to come apply the dressing, I started thinking about reality. My reality, his reality, yours too.
Our reality.
Where does reality exist? I'm not trying to get existential on all of you, but I find it a valid question. I've always been fascinated by perspective, but really, perspective is just our interpretation of what's going on...our perspective is our reality. And that reality goes through our personal filter: our brain.
The pain from the knife exists solely in our mind, which tells us the pain is in our finger. When we touch something, it feels solid, even though we know 90% of it is empty space--the "solidness" is in our brain.
We talk about sunrise and sunset, even though we know the earth is not the center of our solar system -- and nobody ever thinks to correct it. Why have we not officially renamed "sunrise" to reflect the real dynamic, which is earth-turning-morning? We readily accept and live with ideas and experiences we know are false, and as a collective, we perpetuate this shared and realized ignorance.
We don't see color, we don't "see" anything at all, but rather we have sensors that perceive radiation in certain wavelengths, and our mind tells itself what that radiation pattern might look like. Our mind filters out more than it accepts.
Which begs the question...what, really, is reality? I'm talking the reality outside of our brain. Does it exist? Are we simply projections on that reality? What does it mean?
Either way, my mate's missing his thumb.



I like flying. I don't mind it at all. Honestly, I think I prefer longer flights than shorter flights, simply because to me, the long ones mean that I'm going somewhere.
This flight is long. I am definitely on my way somewhere. Exotic. Yes, that's how most would describe it, I suppose. To me, it's another destination. Another point of view. The things I have learned travelling the world are indescribable. I tried to write them down once, but I realized that to truly describe something that transcends to so many levels required a vocabulary that surpassed even my own. 
It's like describing the way magnetism works, in a way. If you don't have a vocabulary to understand and describe the mechanism, then the only way to properly apply any description to is to accept that it simply is. It simply does.
Unfortunately, I do understand that I'm incapable of describing the things I've experienced. But I've accepted that. An accurate representation of the window to my soul would be misinterpreted by most anyhow, and I understand that too! 
So many times, I've boarded with a knowledge of where this hunk of metal would transport my physical body. I've never known where my spiritual self would land, and how it would affect me, but I absolutely thirst for it. 
I have friends who travel too, you know--I don't pretend that I'm the only one on this flight. I don't know their purpose, and I don't know their intentions, but I'm glad they choose to come with me. We all know that the flight may be cramped--first class is expensive!--but we also know there is always a way off the plane. If you can even call it a way off. Parachutes are not my favorite cup of tea.
The flight attendants know that I prefer a nice rose tea, or maybe, if my stomach is particularly upset, a chamomile just to settle things. Not that it's their fault or anything, but it is mighty unfortunate when I have to settle for a ginger ale. But it has its own advantages. Oh, and no ice, thanks to you very much.
Did you know that by flying, we force our bodies to endure an insane amount of radiation? Radiation that surpasses radiation experienced during the Three Mile Island incident. No nuclear storage facility or power plant pose as much danger to our radiation-sensitive bodies than flying does. But I accept the risk. Easy cost-analysis shows me that the rewards always exceed the possible cost. 
Really, why does anybody order their drinks with ice?! It's bothering me now, and when things irk me in the air, they grind away at my patience until I land. There is no advantage to ordering a drink with ice, now, is there? In actuality, the airlines are getting away with murder. You see, ice is one of the only materials that expands upon freezing, so not only are they taking away precious fluid volume, by they are substituting it with arguably less liquid than you otherwise would have received! Shirk the ice, man!
The thing about me flying is, that I still have my own rules. I never turn off my phone, and I only use airplane mode because I'll be able to watch an extra movie because of the battery life I save. Also, no seat belts. This one is almost as absurd as the ice--almost. Trust you me that life--I mean, airplanes--are much better experienced without the seat belt on. No seat belt will save you from a 30,000 foot nose dive going 600mph. Not a one.
I suppose what I'm trying to say is that I make the rules of my flight. I look to my left and my right and realize that the inexperience my fellow passengers exhibit is par for the course; I'm just happy they got past security. I get on the plane because I know that I will be enlightened on the other side. I factor in this world's uncertainty. I understand that there is no such thing as absolute knowledge. I get that I'll possibly never understand how I, a man without wings, is soaring at heights that the birds can only imagine.
I'm okay with it all.
Luckily I can tune out right now with my iPhone. Wake me when we land.


The Model of a Modern U.S. President

For those who this reference is lost on...


Moving Forward

Apologies are in order for the shoddy (read: lack of) writing for the past two months.
For those of you in the know, I've just returned from a long backpacking trip through Europe. It was definitely one of the most fulfilling adventures I've been able to do, and I knew when I was flying home and actually felt that home is where I needed to be, that it was an exceptional trip.
One of the most liberating things I have experienced is the opportunity to simply think and reason with yourself. Often times, this only happens to me when I travel. Makes sense, really, since between the new cultures, the languages, and the loneliness, you really have to become okay with being around yourself. I feel fairly confident that most people I know have not reached that level of self, and most of us are simply working on it.
As for myself, I appreciated the chance to get to know myself better, and to accept my weaknesses as weaknesses and my strengths as opportunities. For me, this is like a new leaf. I'm not sure that the bud is visible to many people, but I feel it in my core. I have never feared change, except in myself, but that's simply unacceptable now. Change is in order.
In quantum mechanics, we talk about a particle having multiple properties simultaneously until we seek to examine it. Once we examine it, we force the particle to assume singular properties. For example, a particle is said to have both positive and negative spins, until we look at it, at which time the particle will have either a positive or a negative spin. (The more adventurous of you have heard of Schrodinger's Cat--same thing.) This blows people's minds, but it's fundamental.
I feel as though I've finally taken the moment to observe myself. I have forced myself to come out of a multi-state and take upon the properties which are me. Now, I can manipulate them for better.

I am moving forward.



Long story short:
Went to Venice, looked up car rental prices: sold.
We rented a car for three days and got to Croatia yesterday. Amazing here. One of the most beautiful places I've been.
We went to an awesome national park filled with crystal lakes and waterfalls, then went to the beach.
We drove up the Adriatic Highway, which must be one of the most gorgeous drives on earth, while watching the sunset.
Saw a sea organ and a cool solar panel/solar system display.
We stopped to bath (sprawl on the beach) twice on the way up the coast, and it was WONDERFUL!
And yes, we did it European style--in speedos.
In Rijeka tonight, back to Italy tomorrow.
Thanks Croatia.


Videos and Photos of the Trip, part two!!

Inception-ish Mind Bend on Berlin U Bahn!

Sony Center in Berlin

Frisbee Dudes in front of the Reichstag

Soccer Dude on Sacre Coure