Just in case there’s either of my readers strolls by in the near fulture and wonders where the blog is – I’m in the process of changing hosts (so I can scrap blogger and move to WordPress) – so Yesablog may be in limbo for a few days.
We’ll be back – and maybe even posting a bit more often!
That rusty, scraping, nails-on-chalkboard sound you hear is the sound of my creative wheels attempting to unfreeze… A substantial amount of lubrication may be required to get this, me, this in motion.
I joined a group of people this summer who are making the daunting attempt to read the massive David Foster Wallace tome “Infintie Jest.” I bought a Kindle for the occasion and I have to confess: without it, I seriously doubt I would have gotten past the first chapter – again. You see – this is my second try.
I bought the
door stop book shortly after it’s initial publication because a friend was reading it. At over a thousand pages, it’s size wasn’t intimidating; I rather like meaty literature. It was Wallace’s opening serve 1 that caused me to put it down without attempting a return volley. Whut. The. Fuck.
A few months ago some of my internet friends were tossing around the idea of reading the book together. Not together together like reading in sync together – but at the same time, book-clubish 2 together. It didn’t come to be until this summer when some good and brave folks out there decided to launch the Infinite Summer project. A few of us signed up, a forum for discussion was created and then…
Well, amongst each other, there hasn’t been much discussion. At least none that I’ve been party to. Which is okay, really, because more intimidating than reading the book is the idea of trying to Discuss It.
I’m just a speck of an insect floating on the top of the vast sea that is this book – not even my Kindle can define of most of the gold-plated words Wallace pulls out of his lexicon and his intellect is leaving vapor trails it’s so far over my head, for chrissakes.
But I am soldiering on. I’ve relied on our guides over at Infinite Summer to get my head under the surface. Thanks to them I’ve bruised my forehead with many a V-8 moment which has gotten me to the next chapter, and the next and the next.
I was also greatly relieved to be given permission to hate the novel – which I do, in part. 3 I’ve developed a dysfunctional relationship with the book. Apropos, I think, because the book is rife with and thrives on dysfunction. So I’m fully expecting to be thoroughly screwed over by the time I reach the end. But, as with any doomed relationship, I’ll lick my wounds and do my best to take the lessons learned on to the next literary affair.
I will say this – it is absolutely true that DFW makes you work – and work hard. IJ is not for the feint of heart or those looking for a breezy summer read. He has reminded me why I fell in love with books so long ago. The opportunity to visit the world of another’s creation – and especially one of an author like Wallace who is infinitely uncompromising 4 in his depiction of that world – is an opportunity to deepen my relationship to and understanding of my own world.
And in this new era of 140 character weedy snippets threatening to choke our already shortened attention span, IJ is a welcome return to whole days spent reading, exercising nearly atrophied brain-cells and going on an adventure with a great mind and talent. How sad, indeed, that this one is tragically gone from us forever.
If you love literature and haven’t done so already, you owe it to yourself to settle in with the IJ experience. Truly.
1 IJ readers will have to forgive the bad IJ metaphor, I just had to. But I promise it’ll stop there. I won’t abandon punctuation or burden you with sentences that run on for a mile or two up and around behind and through the subject then so come back around and finally exhaustively come to the point dammit. [back to post]
2 I’m compelled to mention Oprah in the same breath as “book club” – kinda Pavlovian and sad in a way. These days an Oprah Book Club nominee is the kiss of death for any book that wants to land on my bookshelf. Or, now, in my Kindle. I’m sorry if that hurts Oprah’s feelings. It is what it is. [back to post]
4 Except w/r/t things like w/r/t. He takes shortcuts with trivial references, transitions, impatient to get to the next serve of a capacious word he cannon-balls right to the base line. b [back to post]
I had listened to only the first couple of cuts off Leonard Cohen’s “London Live” album (streamed by NPR online) before I was surfing the net to find out Cohen’s tour dates and stops in the US. The closest location to me was in Grand Prairie, Texas (between Dallas and Ft. Worth) this last Friday, April 3rd. A modest three hour drive away.
Within minutes I was on Ticketmaster. My ongoing unemployment and need to conserve cash nagged at me as I trolled for the best “cheap” seat available. There was one available in the center of the first row of the mezzanine. A respectable seat for $57. I stopped, however, before passing go and finalizing the transaction.
“Just for the sake of, let’s see what is available at any price…” I coaxed myself.
A few seconds later, there was the seat – Row O, Seat 11 just right of center in the orchestra. With a price tag of $150.
Given my current situation – an uncertain future, dwindling reserves, financial obligations – I hesitated. How could I justify spending that much for a concert? And not only just for the ticket. There was gas for the car and, most likely, an overnight stay in a hotel. The price tag was ballooning.
And then… I let all that go. It was purely an impulse; a decision made within a single unfettered heartbeat; a leap without care. How could I let a chance of a lifetime slip by?
We can live our lives blandly or we can flavor it with a seasoning of rich experiences and adventure. And while I’m prone to live in the former, this time I chose the latter. And was glad I’d retained at least one credit card for emergencies such as this.
You see, Leonard and I have had a very long relationship. His poetry and music have been a large portion of the sound-track to my life. I had to go. It was ludicrous to think otherwise.
I set off for Dallas as soon as my class ended on Friday. I did, indeed, book a hotel room at a nearby “Studio 6″ and, in spite of a minor slow up in rush hour traffic, checked in with plenty of time to get to the Nokia Theatre a mile away.
Arriving about thirty minutes early, I paid the hefty $15 for parking and joined a light stream of people moving toward the venue. I’d printed my ticket at home which presented no problem at the door. It was electronically scanned and I was directed where to go to find my seat.
The orchestra was only about a quarter full, my row completely empty, when I took my seat. The stage was back lit with soft pinks, blues and purples through floor to grid lengths of fabric.
Upstage center a large projection peeked through – a later online search confirmed my suspicion that it was of Cohen’s own art: The End of the Day.
The stage was set with equipment and instruments, a couple of technicians and roadies doing what technicians and roadies do. The auditorium was slow to fill and I wondered if I’d be so lucky to have empty seats in front of me. I wasn’t – but it didn’t matter. I had a relatively clear view and was compensated with empty seats on either side of me for the first half. Flanking both sides of the stage were large video screens. A sign of modern times.
Close to curtain time, the auditorium filled – few empty seats. The audience at last in, a cheer rose up when the band and backup took stage, then a roar and we were on our feet when Mr. Cohen took the stage.
Clad in a dark grey suit, grey silk shirt, bolo tie and his iconic fedora, a slight stoop to his stance was the only betrayal to his seventy-four years of age. He took hold of the microphone like the cheek of a lover, knelt to the ground and eased into “Dance Me to the End of Love.” His rich resonating bass voice invited each of us in to share a deeply personal few hours of our time.
It’s no accident that Cohen has become the legend that he is. He has the gift of artistisc genius that enables him to refract his life through a prism of experience that makes it relatable and relevant to our own. And through it all – there was a twinkle in his eye. A reminder not to take it all too seriously.
Under the musical direction of Austin bassist Roscoe Beck, the band gave each song it’s signature sound augmented with new layers by Spanish guitarist Javier Mas, Neil Larson on keyboard (including a Hammond B3 organ with Leslie), saxophonist Dino Soldo, percussionist Rafael Gayol, and long-time collaborator guitarist Bob Metzger.
The gentle and almost ephemeral backup vocals were rendered by a trio comprised of Hattie and Charley Webb – (the Webb Sisters of the UK) who were exquisite on “If It Be Your Will” and Sharon Robinson – Cohen’s co-writer and soloist for “Boogie Street.”
There were several times I was moved to tears. Particularly poignant was Leonard’s recitation of “A Thousand Kisses Deep.” I looked up at the video screen to witness a tight close-up on his face. Toward the end of the poem, there was a glistening of tears in his eyes…
For three hours he took us on his journey – skipping on and off the stage to several encores and standing ovations. At last the band set down their instruments, came forward with the singers and Leonard and were joined onstage by the road-crew – all duly chappeaued. Cohen thanked everybody – everybody – from wardrobe to the hall tuners – for their work and contribution, his affection and respect for all clearly evident.
He closed by saying “I hope you’re surrounded by friends and family,” and then added… because he knew …”but if that’s not the way it is, may blessings find you in your solitude.”
Thank you, Mr. Cohen, for a night I will long remember.
As I sat in my corner of space in the back of the room, I longed for the once-held luxury of a private office. I fished a kleenex out of my drawer and feigned an allergy attack in a feeble effort to justify the tears that were creeping down my cheek.
Why was I crying? Moments before I’d opened an e-mail from someone I’ve been at odds with of late. The e-mail was from me to me. A year ago today, I composed an e-mail via FutureMe.org and set it to arrive today. I’d forgotten I’d done that – as I well knew I would.
The e-mail took me off guard – hence the tears. It asked about things that I’d hoped would come to pass and people who were in my life 365 days ago. I cried because of what hasn’t changed, for what did change and for what seems to have slipped away.
Aw hell, I cried because that’s what I do best. What follows is the e-mail and my answers to my past self.
Today is Monday, March 3 2008. I’m sending this while at work – are you still there?
Nope. We staged a bloodless coup and, long story short, the organization closed up shop. Currently I’m a week and a half from exhausting unemployment benefits and a couple of months away from finishing trade school. Should be a full-fledged Certified Bookkeeper by summer. Yay. Me.
It’s been humbling. Outwardly, I’ve embraced the opportunity to pursue a new path but, inwardly, I resent like hell that I have to. That I didn’t prepare any better. That a so-called retirement is all but out of the question now.
Angry. You betcha. I struggle with it every day. So far, Optimism is still packing a pretty sound whollop on Pessimism and Cynicism, but I can’t speak to it’s continued success.
As of today, you’re on the upswing from a miserable few weeks and months – pain, depression, health issues. Today you started to change your eating habits and have sworn to start yoga. Why? Because the blood pressure and the cholesterol levels needed to come down. Did you succeed?
Well, no. I did not succeed. Rinse and repeat. I bought a treadmill a couple of months ago. Only this week have I come to terms with using it. Two months now, I’ve managed to actually cook dinner the majority of evenings. I have a few hits amongst the many misses – but I am eating healthier than I have in many, many years – if ever. So I may be on the verge of a permanent change, but do not hold your breath.
In the last two days, you put your poker blog in stasis. How’s it doing? Do you still play poker?
The poker blog is dead, save for the couple hundred bucks a month it still brings me. If not for that, I’d erase it from the internet.
I do not play cards right now because I do not have the bankroll – neither for live nor on-line. Until my financial situation changes, that’s how it’ll remain. I miss it. I love to play. I just don’t ever want to write about it again.
Are you still writing Yes…a Blog?
Well, duh, yes, on and off. More off than on but, obviously I’m still making a stab at it. Writing a blog brought me a whole lot of good in the past. I hope it can again.
You’ve been planning – in your head – upgrading the house and backyard – did you do it?
Yes – partially. I landscaped the back yard and put in a new deck. I look forward to a great spring out there. It took so long to get done over the summer, I only got a couple of weeks out there before the weather changed.
Inside the house – no. The remainder of the remodel money is what is supplementing my unemployment for the time being.
Are you still in touch with your internet friends?
Barely. This is what I fear has slipped away. I’m not an outwardly social person which makes it hard for me to maintain friendships.
My default is to assume that if someone isn’t maintaining contact with me it’s because they don’t want to and so I refrain from making contact because I don’t want to intrude or, worse yet, be rejected out-right.
Yup. That’s pathetic with a capital P, but that’s how I’m wired.
It saddens me – I met some outstanding people and I would love for them to remain a part of my life, but I fear my crazy neurosis has let it all slip away.
Did you start your portfolio?
Well, yeah. With great timing – at the start of The Great Depression II. A third of it’s value has already washed away in the tide of the economic tsunami.
Are you going to retire in two years?
I have to laugh, because tears are redundant.
Are you happy?
The jury is out. Ask me again in another year.
(and Otis, if you’re reading this – yeah – what a coincidence that we both would’ve done a FutureMe e-mail on the exact same day… cue the spooky music… )
A few memories have popped to the surface today:
I was embarassed when our cocker-spaniel would consistently bark at a black person.
An evening, when my parents were out to dinner, when I turned on all the lights in the house and hid under the coffee table because the TV was reporting that blacks were marching into white neighborhoods and rioting.
A Thanksgiving dinner when I was mad because my grandparent’s black maid, Murphy, had to eat her Thanksgiving dinner alone in the kitchen.
“Whites Only” signs above water fountains.
Being horrified watching news reports of blacks being beaten by police and sprayed by the forceful water from fire trucks.
The first two black students to be allowed to go to my high school.
The first black family to move into our neighborhood – and the stir it caused.
The only black student my freshman year in college.
I remember coming to understand that the way things were was wrong, and believing that it just couldn’t stay that way. That, ultimately, people had to be better than that.
These thoughts are swimming in my head as I try to put today’s Presidential inauguration in perspective.
Earlier today I got a little frustrated. There are those who aren’t pleased that Barack Obama is now our president and, with the ability to publicly voice one’s opinion no further away than a keyboard, are very vocal via forums such as Twitter and Facebook.
As my memories of a time of egregious inequality, hatred, and fear bubbled to the surface, I became increasingly annoyed by those who do not seem to be able to set cynicism aside for a moment – just a relatively tiny moment – and allow this historic day to sink in.
I told them to shut-the-fuck up.
I won’t hold it against them. After all, we have the right to express opinion in this country – along with the right to disagree. I can’t help but observe, though, those who are being so negatively vocal today were born and have come of age in a time when the signs above the water fountains are no longer there; their schoolmates were a salad of different races and cultures; and Martin Luther King, Jr. means an extra day off work.
They are fortunate, indeed.
Will President Barack Hussein Obama be the leader our country so desperately needs right now? There is time to debate that – another day than today. On this day, I choose to be idealistic and hopeful. To let the weight of this historic moment sink in.
Tomorrow – we get to work.
Ah. Well. Here I sit – and have been for a couple of minutes while listening to the first couple of spins off the last.fm wheel of fortune: John Hammond – Buzz Federline segued into Ludovico Einaudi – Fuori dalla notte… I don’t think there’s a better illustration of the flaky layers of my psyche…
The joke was on me this morning when I rushed out the door and to school only to discover school does not start until tomorrow. My two week hiatus had a bonus day. And with that bonus day went any further excuse for avoiding this space and picking the lint out of my navel.
So here I am. Pecking away at the the keyboard trying to figure out how I can summarize the last few months without wallowing in a slough of murky self pity…
It’s a funny thing about depression. It’s depressing.
Since typing that last sentence, Norah Jones, Eliza Gilykson, Eric Clapton, Johnny Lang and Jarvis Cocker have serenaded me.
I don’t seem to be able to wallow. Doggonit…
Doc Watson just sang to me:
…for I thought myself lucky to be alive.
That does a good job of summing up. No need to provide details.
This is a hard bicycle to get going… I’ve long been out of the habit and discipline of
writing (can I really call it writing? I think not – to do so insults those who have that talent and gift – let’s scratch that and say, instead) scribbling. It may take me a few pushes to get back up on the wheels…
I think I will leave it at that and, for the time being, point you to a few folks who provide barrels of inspiration for me as Donna the Buffalo reminds me to “wake up and light the tree that you’re on” – truer words… I expect to be back here more often now. Hope you’ll join me.
The following blogs are consistent must reads for me. I know two of the authors personally – two guys on opposite ends of the life pole who, but for a common passion, might never have met and become comrades at arms.
One channels Hunter S. Thompson and is living life on the razor’s edge, honestly and with no apology. He splashes his life onto the canvas with abandon and color and when he gets it – he gets it. Raw and uncensored.
The other uncannily and consistently gets inside my head – he is journalist, writer, photographer, family man, with a rogue-ish side, who lives a private life in a public way.
All four authors have that gift with their writing that elevates their personal experiences to a level of reflection that is universal and relatable. We share their lives through their words and are rewarded with insights into our own. Have a read or two or three while I do a little housecleaning. I’ll be back.
I shouldn’t be allowed in a kitchen. If I had a mate, I’m sure I would be eternally banned from the vicinity of anything that is related to food preparation. But. I don’t have a mate. I have cats. And they don’t care. Most of the time.
I am entering week four of my “new path.” A path that is dictated by budget – a very tight budget. I’ve had to re-examine my spending habits, which included re-examining my eating habits. Being a complete kitchen idiot, ninety-nine percent of my meals manifested out of a to-go box, bag or, if I was feeling daring and adventurous, the micro-wave.
Up until this evening, I was holding my own in the battle between all things food and making it work in the kitchen. I discovered the blessing of pre-roasted chickens in the grocery store and am now able to stretch that sucker for a week and beyond. There are frozen portions of homemade chicken soup nestled next to the homemade tomato soup in the freezer (soups I learned from a brief stint in a sandwich shop years ago – it came back to me pretty quickly).
Last week I made my first ever meatloaf. I know! How can someone reach my advanced years without ever creating one of those wonders???? It was pretty good and provided my school lunches for most of the week.
So I was feeling fairly confident. Confident enough to attempt a pork loin this evening. The recipe came from one of my new favorite sites Sparkspeople*. A simple recipe for a balsamic vinegar glazed pork loin.
That simple recipe ended up creating a scene of purple spatter that would have made an prime case study for crime scene investigation. And before that happened I had to solve the problem of too much meat, get it into my head just how to brown meat, and then do the math on roasting time in the oven…
Once the stove disaster happened (make SURE the pan has cooled to low before pouring vinegar into a pan of sizzling hot olive oil), the balsamic vinegar glaze was off the menu. The pork loin was skewered together (a result of cutting it in half) and popped into the oven.
It’s resting comfortably now while an impromptu pot of applesauce is steaming on the stove. I can’t screw up applesauce, now can I?
Want to lay a wager down?
I got to put some things in the ground
Even with this season coming around
It’s green’s last gasp
And leaves brown
And autumn days are winding down
–Sara Hamer – Things to Forget
It’s not because I’m going dotty. It has happened twice a year, every year, for many years. So, it’s not a symptom of old age creeping near. No, really, it’s merely a symptom of the changing seasons.
You see, every spring and every fall I experience a few brief moments when I’m not sure what season it is. It’s a deja vu of sorts – when the weather mirrors where it was only a few months before. Are we moving from summer to fall? Or spring to summer?
Whatever it is, it signals my favorite times of year. Beginnings and endings, changing seasons, transition. Change. The air smells different. The breeze is clear. Nature is preparing – for hibernation, for awakening.
Since moving into my house nine years ago, I’ve witnessed what could be evidence of Brigadoon’s annual descension – right outside my backyard. Or not.
It’s a morning haze that tells me summer is over. Or winter. Sometimes I have to apply some thought to figure it out…
This past weekend, I went for a two and a half mile stroll in the woods with a friend. She called me up Sunday and said “You wanna go for a hike?” Without hesitation, I threw aside all plans (read: responsibilities) for the afternoon and said “Sure!”
We drove out to the local lake, plotted the “green” and “yellow” paths on the trail and set out. There was a light breeze through the trees, the temperature was perfect… About a quarter of the way down the trail was when I began to open up to the nature around me, lifting my eyes from the path before me.
There wasn’t much in the way of wildlife – trail-bikers had ensured that the critters were probably well off the trail in hiding. But there were sounds – birds, crickets, the trees whispering on the wind.
Near the end of our walk, though, we were rewarded with a brief glimpse of one of nature’s creatures – a deer who crossed our path, then disappeared into the woods.
As we wound around the trail, I thought of the conspicuous symbolism of the changing season as it relates to my changing life. As cliched as it is, it was inescapable. However, I didn’t dwell on it. Instead I opted to just enjoy the walk and take it at face value.
And perhaps that’s all I need to do, period. Lift my eyes from the path and just enjoy the walk.
Wow. It’s been a while, hasn’t it?
I have to confess: I haven’t written in so long because, well, I’ve been mentally constipated. Truly – with my life (and the times) doing a 180 in the last couple of months, I think the sphincter of my capacity for self expression contracted tighter than prairie dog’s butt in a dust bowl (thank you, Dan Rather).
In what I hope turns out not to be a pathetic effort, I’m just gonna get rambling here to see what I can jog loose and, at the very least, get caught up on the doings in my little speck of the universe.
My Life and Welcome To It
I’m a week into what friends have dubbed The Transition. I’ve been unemployed now for two weeks and started school a week ago.
The day after my last day of work I felt a little discombobulated. It wasn’t like a sick/mental health day or a day of annual leave or a holiday. It was a you-are-now permanently-off work day and it felt odd. Not bad, mind you. Just odd.
I haven’t been unemployed since my late twenties. Oh, during my starving artist decade of my thirties, there was a smattering of no work here and there, but nothing extended and certainly no length of time that warranted collecting unemployment benefits – not that I could have collected at the time.
I have to pat myself on the back for impeccable timing. Who could have guessed that the collective mutiny at work would have landed us on the unemployment line right at one of the worst economic upheavals in modern times!
Setting the quickly evaporating hope of an actual retirement aside, though, this could end up being a positive thing. Oh, how, you ask, do tell.
Okay, I will.
For the next nine to twelve months, I’m on a fixed – and very tight – budget. I’m fortunate in that I had a nice soft financial cushion to fall back on. I’m relying on that to see me through for the next year while I regroup.
It’s limited, though. There’s X amount of dollars with nothing else coming in (aside from unemployment benefits which fizzle out sometime in March) which means I have to get frugal. This has forced me to scrutinize my spending and to begin to find ways to to stretch that dollar farther than a peasant on medieval torture rack.
I’ve mapped out a detailed budget (thank you Google docs – they’ve got some great templates just for that purpose) and identified areas that needed to cut – some easy, some not so easy.
My biggest area of wasted dollars is in food. I don’t, or didn’t, regularly cook for myself. I am a fast food and take-out junkie (Sonic burgers my drug of choice) which isn’t good for the pocket book to say nothing of the habit’s ill effect on one’s health.
I’ve set a target for weekly food expense and am determined that the food I eat will be generated from my kitchen. Period. I’ve managed to log one full week without slippin’ off the wagon – yay me.
One element that helps this effort along is the school I am attending is darn near out in the middle of nowhere, which makes lunch time treks near impossible. So, I bought a lunchbox and have been bringing my lunch every day which, by the way, has garnered some envious looks from other students who’ve lusted after my homemade chicken soup while they munched away at a box of microwaved, over-processed, and poor excuse for sustenance in the misguided belief that what they are eating is actually better than the fast food fare offered from the school cafeteria.
Speaking of lunchboxes, I’ll soon be replacing the one I have with a Bento Box.You may be thinking that that’s not exactly frugal, and you might be right – but, my reasoning which lead me to the purchase had to do with efficiency.
justification of purchase/ The Bento Box stores hot food and keeps it hot along with un-hot food. It will allow me to heat up my lunch before leaving for school in the morning and thus avoid the line at the microwave at lunchtime, as well as avoid microwave line social faux pas, like removing someone else’s meal before it’s done even though the timer’d gone off and it’s owner wasn’t standing there waiting on it and how was I to know it wasn’t finished yet?
With winter coming on, hot meals will be a comfort, plus I prefer to eat my main meal of the day at lunch. The Bento Box will hold more than will my little Target box. Plus, it’s just way cool./ justification of purchase
So, unemployment, radical life shift and an uncertain future, in the long run, may just turn me into a kitchen queen and budget diva – not a negative, to be sure. And in the meantime, I’m gaining new skills that just might be in greater demand once this economic crisis subsides – anyone think they might be in need of a newly minted bookkeeper in about, oh, say, nine months?
He Said, She Said, They All Said
How about that economic crisis, huh? How about those presidential campaigns, huh?
I’ve purposely avoided tuning in to the TV pundits this fall. Their egregious and willful ignorance (to say nothing of their bias) does nothing to keep my blood pressure down. Instead I’ve been hitting the internets, reading everything I can – pro and con – about the campaigns, the economy, et al.
I am so weary of the partisan shenanigans. How does one party dare to point the finger at the other? No-one has a clean record here. No-one doesn’t have a few bones rattling around in their respective closets.
And of course the tail-spinning economy is the Democrats fault. No, wait, it’s the Republicans fault. Ooops, no it’s Obama’s fault for his tax plan (which hasn’t been implemented yet because he hasn’t been elected yet – surprise!). No, wait – it’s McCain’s fault because he was buds with Charles Keating.
You know what’s really frightening? It’s the voters who make up their minds based on a few sound-bites on the evening news. It’s the noisome party die-hards who refuse to engage in intelligent and open minded discourse. It’s the, excuse me, idiots who can’t see past the propaganda and do nothing on their own to ferret out the facts.
Add to that the sorely misguided folks who opt not to vote at all, who do so out “protest” or to “send a message” or, even worse, just don’t care.
I have a very good friend who is a political officer for the State Department. In a recent conversation, he stated that he may not vote at all because there were aspects of both candidates’ platforms with which he strongly disagreed.
Well, I kinda lit into him. I was appalled that he would so blithely give up this most fundamental of rights. Especially given his position as a State Department employee!
I later got an email in which he stated my sermonizing had prompted him not to waste his vote after all. He found a party more in line with his views – the Green party – and he’s voting.
Folks, not voting isn’t the way to fix things. Not voting is saying “I don’t care. Do whatever you want.” Not voting inches the door closer to shut on our basic freedoms. Think about it. Think about the consequences if we all gave up that right.
Okay. Well, I think I’ve rambled on enough. I certainly hope I’ll be back here more regular-ly in the future (pun intended). In the meantime, I’d be interested to know how the economic turmoil has affected you. Have you made budget changes? Lifestyle changes? Let me know in comments.
Thanks for stopping by – before you go, enjoy some pics taken (with the iPhone camera) on the campus where I am attending school. Not bad for a Vo-Tech, eh?
I haven’t forgotten I have a blog here. It’s just that life has stepped and taken my attention elsewhere for a bit. My planned post was going to be about my life changes waiting around the corner. About all those things, ups and downs, one faces when at the edge of the diving board ready to jump off. In spite of the upheaval of my personal life events, my outlook is positive and optimistic. But today…. I can’t write about those things… yet. Right now, my life’s quirks and quakes just aren’t important.
Today I was reminded how brutally fleeting life is. I was reminded how fragile we are. I was reminded that no opportunity to let someone know you care should ever be ignored. Today I am broken-hearted. Today I learned that, late Tuesday night, one of the kids in our youth program committed suicide.
He was bright, personable and disenfranchised. A victim of circumstances that left him faced with decisions and responsibilities no one so young should have to endure. An individual who carried a heavy burden of pain no-one close to him fathomed.
I’m doing my best to avoid the what if’s. What if I’d stayed in touch more often. What if I’d gotten him to the workshop Tuesday… What if I’d…. Selfish sentiments, to be sure. The thing is, one can never do enough. One can only do what one can. The important thing is to do. Even the tiniest gesture may mean, quite seriously, the difference between life or death.
I will resist the urge to step up on a soap-box here. I will, instead, challenge you to perhaps to get involved in a young person’s life. Be a mentor. Take your kid fishing. Get to every ball game. Read to kids at the library. Camp out in the back yard with your niece and nephew. Be honestly interested in their lives.
Listen to them.
And let them know you love them at every opportunity.