Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Fwd:Fwd:fwd....Ad Infinitim: Have You Seen This One?

I bought a bird feeder. I hung it on my back porch and filled it with seed. What a beauty of a bird feeder it is as I filled it lovingly with seed. Within a week we had hundreds of birds taking advantage of the continuous flow of free and easily accessible food.
But then the birds started building nests in the boards of the patio, above the table, and next to the barbecue.

Then came the poop. It was everywhere: on the patio tile, the chairs, the table...everywhere!

Then some of the birds turned mean. They would dive bomb me and try to peck me even though I had fed them out of my own pocket.

And others birds were boisterous and loud. They sat on the feeder and squawked and screamed at all hours of the day and night and demanded that I fill it when it got low on food.
After a while, I couldn't even sit on my own back porch anymore. So I took down the bird feeder and in three days the birds were gone. I cleaned up their mess and took down the many nests they had built all over the patio.

Soon, the back yard was like it used to be...quiet, serene and no one demanding their rights to a free meal.

Now let's see..... our government gives out free food, subsidized housing, free medical care, and free education and allows anyone born here to be an automatic citizen.

Then the illegals came by the tens of thousands.

Suddenly our taxes went up to pay for free services; small apartments are housing 5 families; you have to wait 6 hours to be seen by an emergency room doctor; your child's 2nd grade class is behind other schools because over half the class doesn't speak English.

Corn Flakes now come in a bilingual box; I have to "press one" to hear my bank talk to me in English, and people waving flags other than "Old Glory" are squawking and screaming in the streets, demanding more rights and free liberties.

Just my opinion, but maybe it's time for the government to take down the bird feeder. If you agree, pass it on; if not, continue cleaning up the poop!

No, I hadn't seen this one. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

Those damn illegals. If we could just ship all of them out of OUR country, that WE built, that WE pay for with OUR hard earned money, things would be so much better. I mean, just think-- corporations would suddenly get all warm and fuzzy and be perfectly happy paying fair wages to all their employees, because there wouldn't be any of those stupid, dirty, stinky illegals being all stupid and stinky. Did you know that they eat a lot of BEANS?!!? I mean, can you imagine? Corporations would finally find it "cool" to invest their record profits into all the things that WE want-- Super-Charged Sherman Tanks, complete with DVD players and X-boxes for the kids, armed with "Traffic Buster" missiles and On-Star Tactical Support Equipment (When you absolutely HAVE to get to STARBUCKS for your double-dip-half-caf-non-fat-no-whip-caramel-macchiato... "ON A STICK!" ). Yes-- and they would operate on a mixture of breastmilk and whale semen. I can see it now, can't you? No more standing in line at the grocery store, no more people bagging your groceries, no more cashiers, no more people to stock the shelves at night while us NORMAL HARD WORKING BUT NONETHELESS FAT ASS AMERICANS are sleeping.

Yes, I imagine Native Americans would be good with getting their land back. But I'm guessing they're not holding their breath.

By the way, while we're sharing... As I read through "Exhibit A" (undoubtedly the product of someone's dissertation research) I was reminded of some of the "pretzel logic" I occasionally (but not nearly occasionally enough) have directed at me at work. A few things to share with your intellectual peers-- Niblets of Wisdom, if you will-- on the grand Liberal Socialist Commie Conspiracy Scam that is "Global Climate Change": I'm not sure if my co-worker came up with this himself or if he just happened to be channeling the omnipresent spirit of Sean Hannity at the time (how am I supposed to tell the difference?), but he said, "I think I read somewhere [always cite your source] that you could fit the entire population of the world, shoulder to shoulder, heel to toe, within a space roughly the size of Broward County, FL. [!!!] Have you seen [name omitted to protect the naive, deluded, ignorant, insane, or otherwise misinformed]'s computer desktop, with a satellite map of the world at night? [I must admit, I'm still unclear on exactly when this "night all over the world" occurs. Maybe my ignorance, maybe a composite image, whatever. Maybe it's the de-evolution of Reason, the answer to The Enlightenment-- a return to the Dark Ages, literally. Grain of salt...] Take a look at it-- almost all the lights that show up, signifying population and civilization are bunched together, mostly along the coasts of the populated continents. Most of the land is dark-- no people! So, there's no way that humanity could be causing Global Warming-- there aren't enough of us to make that big of a difference!!"
Okay, so maybe I shouldn't have used quotations, because I'm leaning heavily on my recollection of the... um... conversation (?), and I'm forced to paraphrase, and so it should not be judged as a direct quote. I may have utilized vocabulary words at my disposal in the interest of relaying my understanding (as well as my recollection, not to mention my commie-pinko socialist inattention to detail at the time) of what was being said, and so in interest of full disclosure, I cannot verify that some of the words used in this "re-creation" would have been uttered (nay, comprehended) by the individual stating the above, uh... theory. But I have at least made the attempt to facilitate the translation with integrity, representing the unadulterated intent of the argument to the best of my ability. And still, it would seem to me that the gaping chasm traversed by this amazing, acrobatically adept leap of logic is, roughly, big enough to drive a truck through, given that the truck is roughly a size large enough to fit the entire world's population, laying side-by-side doing "snow angels"-- without touching-- AND an Actual Size map that measures the distance between the two polar-worldviews of the individuals involved in the above, um, shall we say, "exchange".

The same individual is distinctly recalled to have said in further justification of his argument, and this time I most assuredly quote: "You know why Greenland is named Greenland? Because it used to be GREEN!" A statement which cannot be debated, I would concur, albeit for assumedly different conclusions than its orator would perhaps purport.

Well. That was fun. Think I'll copy & paste this to my blog and await further instructions from the communist socialist Marxism Mothership.

Until w'e-mail again, ...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Celebrate September 12th

Whereas most Americans recede into a deep, somber remembrance mode at this time of year, I don't.

Not because I don't mourn the tragedy that was visited upon the world, drastically changing the meaning of "9-11" in our lives.

Not because I'm politically antithetical to the current establishment and administration, their policies, their actions, their rhetoric, their combative and destructive elitist morality, among other things.

Not because I don't believe the official story of what occurred on this date, now six years ago. Not because I feel no grief for the victims-- those who lost their lives, gave their lives in service of others, their families, or anyone horrified and haunted by the images that played over and over and over on channel upon channel for hours, days, weeks after it happened. Not because I am skeptical of our leaders' alibis and denials of complicity in missing warning signs, not reacting sufficiently or rapidly or decisively enough, both at the time of the incident, and the ongoing "War On Terror."

No. None of that.

While it may be true that I have opinions and beliefs that run counter to the pervasive, collective mythology that surrounds and reinforces the way most people continue to characterize the events of September 11, 2001, it is not at the root of why I feel a great disconnect from the memorials, the moments of silence, and even the celebrations commemorating heroism and selflessness.

I empathize with the victims, their families, the first-responders-- all those who suffered so greatly on that day, and continue to suffer since. I'm not looking to take anything away from them, or purport that I understand what any one of them has gone through, or continues to go through; Nor do I wish any ill-will or mean any disrespect whatsoever to any human being that was affected, directly or indirectly, by the ghastly, horrific events which unfolded beginning that morning, and continue unfolding and rippling through the collective consciousness to this day.

I'm just being honest. I wasn't really there. Not all the way, anyway. And now, six years later, I'm still trying to put the puzzle back together...

You see, I had experienced my own personal "9-11" of sorts, a little more than a month before "9-11" was a distinct, iconic, gravely descriptive term.

I had gone on vacation, off to Greece with my wife and an old friend and several of his family members and extended family members and friends. And near the end of the adventure, I had my own catastrophic collapse that changed my life. Forever.

Only I experienced the trauma, every aching second, dismally and utterly alone.

There were no images broadcast throughout the world, or even to friends and family, or people in my close vicinity. Yes, others were traumatized, as I was, by what I was going through, not the least of which was my wonderful, steadfastly supportive and loving wife.

But six years... and I still grope for words. I have recollection; I remember emotions, some specific events and some horrific interpretations, hallucinations, and discomfort. I remember wild, dynamic, fantastic images of grandeur; scenarios that my mind played out, and presented to some conscious part of me. I wrestled with random thoughts, madly weaving hyper-psychotic threads into patchwork garments of broken logic. Somehow, I was there (wherever that was), experiencing these things along with my mind, my body, my perceptions... But I was also somewhere else.

All of the tools that I usually had at my disposal to assist me in assessing my well-being, my sense of self-- my very location in the space-time continuum-- were at least malfunctioning, if not completely broken. I lost track of Who I was, Where I was, What I was, What I was doing, What I had done-- all context was suspect. And thus, anything and everything was believable, somehow logical. Anything and everything was possible.

This is the hyper-astounding, thrillingly perilous double-edged sword of an experience, which was later diagnosed (much later, in fact) as a manic episode.

What would follow, after hospitalization, stabilization, medication, and a return to the familiarity of coming home, would be a deep clinical depression, lasting for the better part of two years.

So forgive me if my perspective differs from yours.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

What of this "Tripolarity," Anyway?

For those about to rock...
It was a seemingly enough amazing vacation plan. We’d go to Greece for almost two weeks, seeing the country like no regular tourist experiences it. We’d have a native family to guide us, interpret for us, entertain us, and assist us.
It all had come together so dramatically—like a tightly written chapter in a biographer’s masterpiece. I would be ending my tenure in Engineering, one that had become increasingly more and more stressful, for the dream vacation with my wife and a friend I hadn’t seen in many years (as well as many others). And upon returning to the mainland, I’d slide into my imagined idyllic job in the Finance Department.
But just when all seemed set, and paradise found, the unfathomable, unexplainable, unplanned major fork in the road curve ball fly in the ointment outta nowhere kick in the head derailed all storylines, all realistic visions of the future.
Or so I’m told.
Yes, this is my story; but I’m still making sense of it.
If there’s sense to be made.

He and I had attended college together; we were "Dormmates" Freshman year, "Floormates" our Sophomore year, "Housemates" our Junior year, and thus, lifetime friends. We shared in the experiences of growing up, being on our own, living and studying and trying to find the ever elusive perfection of love, wherever she was.

We had many shared friends, and even more shared experiences-- Winter break trips to Chicago and Valparasio, grand drinking excursions and loud parties, both hosted and attended. We shared a love like brothers, persisting through disagreements, arguments, and the necessary mistakes which bring great learning.

But by the end of our time in Greece together, I would be left scrambling within my mind, wondering if he was one of my best friends, or the greatest foil I'd ever ran up against.

And by no fault of his. Who knows what reality was. It didn't matter. I was living inside my head. And it didn't make sense to me.

Even though it felt like it did. Fleetingly... it was a fluid lucidity; making sense in the moment. And as time passed, context was forgotten, replaced.

I'm guessing that there was just too much coming in to make sense of. Sensory overload.

So that's what I've been trying to do over the course of the past six years-- organize, rehash, vocalize, chronicle, and analyze my recollection and tell the story that I've lived through.

Get comfortable. This could be a rough ride.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Suddenly Last Summer

We've reached the final day in August. Kids are back in school. Not all, but most. And this is only my second offering for the month of August.

Seems like I've lived 12 hour days, with four day weeks. Where'd August go?

Tonight is the final installation of our Summer Back Yard Movie Festival. At least, the final listed showing from the original schedule. It's Jodie Foster's directorial debut: Little Man Tate. There's been some talk about more shows, depending on weather and interest... so we'll just have to see, eh?

We're in the waning moments of a bit of a heat wave, so the weather should be perfect once the sun goes down for outdoor activities.

Honestly, I've so much material to work with, it's obnoxious... it's just the time that's in short supply. But I'm looking forward to this 3 day weekend, hoping it will accommodate me and my material and allow some quality writing time. Look for LARGE word count.


Well, that's the hope.

Pray with me. Or for me. Or toss a coin in a fountain. Whatever-- collectively, we can make this happen.

I shall continue my attempts, creating in the direction of perfection. Hear my pledge.

And hold me accountable.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Hiatus No Mortem

Just a "quickie" to let the throngs know that I am still breathing, and still able to type. Been away on vacation, and still adjusting to the time change... but hope to get back on the writing horse shortly.

Vacation was great and will provide subject matter for new posts. Always good to catch up with "long-lost" family.

Short and sweet. Tonight's feature presentation at the Summer Backyard Movie Festival: Star Wars (A New Hope). Looks to be a good crowd, so I gotta get things set up. Hence the "tersity" of this entry.

But at least I used a term I've never used before. May have even just created it.

It's good to be a Creator.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Ode To The Merry

Oh, she's important. No doubt. I'm not being facetious.

Meaningful, special, important. To me.

She reached out when I needed someone to do so; when I was misunderstood, primarily by myself. When I was struggling to understand what was happening to me. When I knew my mind was broken somehow, and didn't know how to fix it. I mean, how can you think, imagine, or do anything mentally to alleviate a mental illness? If you have a loose screw, would you try to tighten it with a broken screwdriver?

Unfortunately, many do. We don't know any better. Probably the worst thing to do if you're suffering from depression is to retreat into your mind, or try to focus, or try to fix it on your own. Accepting help can make the biggest difference.

So she asked if I was okay. Approached me when I was least interested, least interesting. And that was the action which led to an important friendship.

As I fought to acquaint myself with my diagnosis, numerous medications, various doctors and specialists, and a sickening assortment of insurance carriers, not to mention the abyss that is American Health Care today... she and I would get together and talk. And although it was me who needed it more, initially, I think over time we've helped each other.

When I went into work this morning, I knew she wouldn't be there; still, I wasn't prepared for the emotions. I mean, she just retired, right? It's not like I'll never see her again. But when the commotion of my co-employees arriving created a din that was impossible to ignore, and I traded "mourning's" with most of them (although I think they spell it differently than I do), I began to experience the sense of loss. Exacerbated immediately by insensitive maneuvering of furniture (loudly), the daily stupidity, and all of the things that aren't surprising that I should eventually get used to, but for some reason I just can't develop that protective coating... And then the comment about me losing my best friend.

Protective thought rockets were immediately launched. I must have stared a hole right through the guy. What an idiot! None of the words coming to mind are worth repeating, nor were they appropriate for saying, at least if I wanted to stay true to a constructive mindset. For some reason, I did at the time, so I just nodded.

But I had swerved off course and didn't even know it. Too much change all at once... none of the change that I keep trying to affect... When did this all go so awry?

I shouldn't have asked my supervisor about anything. I should have just given him the attention he deserves-- that he desires. But my curious mind (multiple meanings to that phrase) just wouldn't leave well enough alone. So he got under my skin with his inability to do his job, and the even more annoying ability of his to get away with it.

I drove angrily out to my route, felt my blood pressure rise as I witnessed several aggressive drivers jockeying for life-endangering but minute-shaving spaces in the traffic flow... felt my stomach churning with sickness as the negative thoughts gained momentum and made me dizzy and nauseous...

Ah, life is good.

A simple, sarcastic statement. Made me smile. So I tensed it into place, and made the decision to be happy. And be happy in the face of it all. Get In Yer Face Happy.

I issued a smiling "Morning!" to each person as I walked by them at the Light Rail Station, receiving mixed responses, if any. I was feeling hysterical. Manic. Out of balance. Two-faced.

But I just kept on. Smiling. Walking. Working.

Gave it a shot. And when the intestinal fortitude is set, the only thing that can override it is, well, the intestine.

I had a couple "sessions" purging nastiness from my body and decided to go home and go to bed. I slept about four hours, and logged eons of subconscious spelunking. And I felt a bit better.

So this exercise in remembrance and recounting has many purposes (most of them self-serving), but the one of the highest priority and import is the homage to the happy.

Thanks, merriment. May we meet again soon. And stick around awhile, next time, will ya? I got lots to talk about.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Dog Days of Summer

Today I should have stayed in bed.

It started out that way; I slept through my alarm and woke up twenty minutes after seven. I had been dreaming about working overtime at night, reading utility meters in the dark. Had to call my boss and explain that I'd be in as soon as I was able, but I was still half asleep. So far, no disciplinary action... but that doesn't mean it's not coming.

So I took to the streets, with my trusty tools of the trade: my "Utilicorder," aka "handheld," a "calculator on steroids" of sorts, it contains customer information, addresses, utility meter locations, dog warnings, and also retains the meter readings that I, as a meter reader, input into it. Other tools include a monocular, for "over the fence" reads at-a-distance; a flashlight for assistance in dealing with darkness (when I'm unable to reflect the sun off of the screen of my handheld to illuminate the meter); a sunhat (required during summer); a spray bottle filled with water (mostly used for cleaning the face of water meters, but sometimes used to keep annoying, yapping little dogs at bay); lots of keys (to access backyards and meter boxes); and a metal "stick," which has several uses. It is mostly used in procuring water meter readings (opening cover lids, clearing spider webs/dirt from meter, etc.) but can also extend one's reach over gates and fences to unlatch and open gates and meter box doors when needed. It can also be used in defending oneself when under attack of an aggressive beast.

Not that that ever happens.

Very often, anyway.

So today, I should have stayed in bed. Because I nearly lost a body part to the gnashing teeth of a wild beast.

I was in a yard I am very familiar with-- the door on this particular customer's electric meter box has been broken for several years; there used to be several chickens in the yard; and the next customer's electric meter box is close enough to the fence between the yards that last month, when I was unable to open the gate because of a combination lock, I was able to reach over with my water meter stick, poke it through the gap between the side of the box and its door, pop the door open and get the reading. Remembering this, and not noticing any differences in my notes from my handheld, I decided to try and attempt this maneuver again.

I began to reach over the fence, and instantly heard aggressive, ravenous barking. I stepped back from the fence in time to see a pit bull jumping and climbing the fence. It had both of its front arms on top of the fence, and looked to be pulling itself up to climb over the fence, presumably to eat me. So I plunked it on top of its head with my trusty metal stick, and it fell back off of the fence.

It was at this point that I decided that I would not be getting a read for this particular house this month.

Unfortunately for me, I was not done with my encounter with "Cujo."

After leaving the neighbor's yard, I stopped to make sure that I latched the gate behind me. Upon doing so, I heard something fall to the ground. Looking down, I saw a combination lock now sitting below the gate next door, and that gate, the only thing between me and a violent, unpleasant, disagreement with this present version of the rabid Old Yeller, drifted slowly ajar.

I leaped for the gate and grabbed at splinters on its front surface, knowing that gripping it over the top would surely separate myself from a number of my fingers. There was no handle to assist me; and even though I was able to grip the side of one of the boards with my fingertips, and pulled the gate closed, it would not latch. I tried using the hook at the end of my stick to pull at the top of the gate harder. Still no latch. And still plenty of attention and barking and gnashing on the other side.

I poked my stick through the gap in the gate, trying to encourage Wolfen to move back so I could latch the gate. Try as I might, I couldn't get the right angle with my stick to assist the stubborn latch to do its job correctly.

So I flipped the stick around in my hand, hoping that the heavier, "diamond" shaped handle would allow me the edge I needed to cage this ravaging lion. I eased the stick over the top of the gate, now holding the single rod just above its hook. And just when I was about to swing it towards the latch...

Jaws clamped down on the handle of my stick and ripped it from my hand. The hook scraped my thumb as it slid out of my hand and crashed to the walk on the other side of the gate.

I exclaimed a number of choice words, filled with anger, frustration, and tinted with fear. Perhaps it was this utterance, combined with the sound of the metal stick striking the cement, that cast a spell on the wolverine that sent him retreating into the back yard; I don't know. I opened the gate and stared down the walk at "it," looking for clues. Was it all a bluff? Had I gained the upper hand? Should I attempt to get a reading?

I bent at the knees, still retaining eye contact with "Precious," and felt around for my stick. Once in hand, I again stood, and calibrated scenarios.

"Not worth it", I thought, as I closed the gate and latched it by hand, still staring down the dog.

Gate secured, I turned and walked back to the sidewalk at the street, and read the water meter, choosing to forgo this battle to live another day.

Should've stayed in bed.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

It's Not Teen Spirit

The newest grocery store in town is going through an extensive remodel.


The Safeway that was planned as part of the commercial development in the Rivermark project (which is kind of like Santa Clara's "Santana Row," in a much lower tax bracket) is going through what an employee described to me as "A Lifestyle Change."

So extensive is this "lifestyle change" that a quarter of the parking lot was fenced off to house all the crates and pallets and boxes. Filled with "Lifestyle" I gather. So aggressive is this implementation, so "visionary" its scope, that the store must stay open for business in order to pay for it (or is it in order for customers to pay for it?) while contractors march through the aisles, knocking jars of pickles and tomato sauce off of shelves with their overloaded toolbelts.

It smells like "corporate." By that I mean, it seems like some group of folks who've never set foot in the store made a series of decisions which were dispatched to their underlings and instituted by their underlings who hired more underlings and lateralings and laborlings and scablings and the like to implement this ideological concept that until now only existed in the collective mind of the board of directors. Now the "boots on the ground" are trying to fit this corporate square peg into the round hole of reality. (Remind you of anything?)

So disruptive is this "Lifestyle" makeover that several additions to the customer experience have been required. Upon entering the store, there is now a bucket of hearing-protection earplugs, should you choose to retain your sense of sound for enjoying the forecasted shiny new (red?) lifestyle. The experience is similar to visiting an international airport periodically; things that assisted you in getting what you wanted and where you wanted to go-- signage, pathways, trusted technology-- are all in question, in flux, in transition. "Why is this way blocked off? Is there a clock in this place? What's the current international symbol for "produce?"

Perhaps it is a ploy to change the lifestyle of their clientele. I know I'm thinking twice about shopping there again.

The absurdity is magnified by the fact that the store was just completed and opened for business about five years ago. Five (5) years ago.

I'm thinking the lifestyle change that is most needed is one that's not happening. And it may be what's creating all this ruckus under the auspices of "lifestyle change."

Smells like corporate.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

May We End This Fairy Tale

Letter to the Editor sent earlier this evening.

The past few weeks have provided news of disturbing developments within the so-called "War on Terror." Not only have we identified significant leaks in our security systems (with the "dirty bomb" sting operation), we've now been told that Al Qaeda has recovered to its pre-September 11th strength.

More than five years since the declaration of this "war," Osama bin Laden, the suspected instigator and "poster child" image of our enemy, is still at large, and assumedly still training terrorists.

Meanwhile, our country continues to be mired in a horrible, festering conflict in Iraq. And our president continues to see only "progress" towards a "victory" that he fails to define.

It seems to me that Mr. bin Laden has done a much better job at training and building his forces than Mr. Bush et al has.

But not all of the blame lies with the current administration, or Congress, or the Media.

When We The People would sooner vote multiple times for a baseball player or an "idyllic" singer than vote in a governmental election, our gentle Democracy has fallen and broken.

And all the King's horses and all the King's men won't be putting it back together again any time soon.

That task must begin with the collective action of the American Citizenry.

A Yittle Someting... emphasis on something...

The hard boiled eggs she had placed in a bowl before putting in the fridge had evidently been slid to the rear of the shelf, near where the cold air entered, in the bustle of organizing the mathematics of daily meals and housing leftovers. So when she went to make egg salad, she found the eggs were not only hard boiled, but frozen solid.

As she brainstormed for a plan b for her lunch bag, she was struck by a string of peculiar thoughts.

Their origination sprouted from the frozen eggs. Did she have a moral imperative to let the eggs defrost naturally? Were there some ethical issues that she needed to ruminate upon before making egg salad?

She thought of the hundreds of thousands of frozen embryos at the heart of the stem-cell research/right to life ethical (and political) debate. They are all suspended in time, like little bouillion cubes filled with life potential. Would the morally responsible thing to do be to "value all life" and implant these "undesignated" embryos in an able bodied female in order to nurture the life potential? Or was it more ethical to honor the wishes of the "creators"-- the men and women who went through the procedure of invitro fertilization and were blessed with not only a child but several more "possible ice babies?" Whether their wish be to discard these extras like too much foam in one's beer, or sit idly by as the beer goes flat-- degrading naturally, without malice, yes, but with no attempts to assist, maximize, or nurture the realization of its potential?

And what of stem cell research? If these frozen "life potentials" can be utilized in research that could lead to great things which would alleviate human suffering and disability... Well, rather than ignoring such potential as it evaporates and eventually disappears...

She looked at the clock.

It would have to be Taco Bell today.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Replenishment of Soul

My oh my, what a greatness.

Tonight, as my sister (or as I call her, "seestor") takes in The Police at the Oakland Coliseum, a concert that I wanted to see some 20 years ago... but my parents wouldn't let me... and I'm not bitter in the least... um, what was my point? Oh yeah-- I'm attempting yet again to establish myself as a regular contributor to this endeavor of "writing," inspired by a multitude of things, not the least of which was my 15 year college reunion. Man, woman, and child of any gender. That was spectacular. Not like a Jerry Bruckheimer film, but a resonant, penetrating, rejeuvenating sort of spiritual renewal. A molting of sorts. I shed my sour skin of rigidity, wheel-spinning frustration, and bureaucratic entanglement. Lament no more. I returned to the womb, in a sense, and drank from the source that sustains life; the source which inspires, energizes, and heals; the source of focus.

It was a very good beer.

That last line is most effective if sung in the style of Frank Sinatra, parroting his "It Was A Very Good Year."

But I digress. Which I do quite often. Get used to it.

I returned to Grinnell, Iowa, recently; a place where I had spent 5 years of my life trying to figure out who I am, where I had come from, where I was going, and why in the Hell of Hells I had chosen to spend any time there, especially in the perspective-crystalizing sub-zero temperatures of winter.

And I was reminded about community. I saw people I hadn't seen since I left in May of 1992. and it was almost as if we had just been away for the weekend. Conversation flowed freely, effortlessly, as if we'd kept in touch all along. It's cliche, sure, but true. I was so relaxed, and yet I was "recharging my batteries" the entire time.

I saw some people I hadn't seen since I left Grinnell, and I was intrigued and inspired by what they had accomplished since we last spoke. What a tremendous group of citizens!

I was left with inspiration, motivation, renewal. I immediately missed my cadre of friends as I drove back towards the Des Moines airport, wishing that we could meet much more regularly. But prevailing was the sense of renewal of purpose and faith. Of limitless possibility and attainable success.

And most important, I rediscovered my ability to not only dream, but to believe that dreams can come true.

I love this.

We'll talk more later.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


A first effort. Commencement. Lift foot, lean forward, place foot on ground.

Congratulations, you've taken the first step towards... well, anything. Every imaginable outcome; any journey, be it pilgrimage to enlightenment or trip to the fridge; It all starts with a single, first step.

So. This is the first entry. My initial step towards creating a "more perfect" world for me and all that share the desire.

Onward. Embark. Go forth, and conquer.

Don't forget to release the parking brake. And wear your seat belt, for crying out loud. It could save your life.