Monthly Archives: April 2014

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Posted in Misc

Break Time

After a burst of posts which for the most part reflected on the exhilaration and anxiety of jump-starting a life lived with passion, it’s about time I actually get back to living one. This post is instead a bookmark of sorts, just in case I go off the grid for an extended period of time. I will repeat (ad nauseum) that it is akin to me talking to myself and therefore at best is a manifestation of as-of-yet-undiagnosed-OCD, or at worse a cry-for-help we should’ve spotted sooner. Absolutely joking about the latter, but as for the former? …hmmmm, I’d prefer to describe it as me being organized (okay, extremely organized).

So the dust has settled, or settled enough to at least see signs, intersections, forks and off-ramps approaching as I meander toward the horizon. The latest roller-coaster of hills (mountains) and valleys (bottomless) now seems to be in the rear-view mirror and while I grumble a “good-riddance”, I thank the universe for letting me through without an incurable bout of motion sickness. Accepting that some bridges had to be burned, some potholes had to be filled, and some hitchhikers had to be dropped off, it’s back to running lean, but not mean.

But back to the “taking a break” part. Ironically, after expressing my intent to go off the grid for a bit, I may actually end up posting even more regularly… it’s just that, well, who knows? Certainly not me. And while I endeavor to get out there and live again sans the need to reminisce and opine, there is still a great joy and need for me to write- as opposed to a need to drink heavily.

Coming up in the immediate future? Besides narrowing down my upcoming grad school focus of study (from “The Meaning of Life”), there are dynamics involving family members (in or out?), a re-lay-shon-ship (yay me…er, yay us), sons’ continued growth and life-changing markers (it never ends!), my health (down 20lbs and off of all meds as of 4/12!), an upcoming get-away to the Domincan Republic, the annual great tan (I grew up when the sun was our friend) and reading tons of books (well at least six heavy ones). Then again I should add to the list a big one; writing. I guess that takes me full circle, bringing me right.back.here.

We’ve come a long way.

Please join me in a staring contest with James Taylor (he always wins)….

 Moving in silent desperation, keeping an eye on the Holy Land.
A hypothetical destination, say, who is this walking man?

Well, the leaves have come to turning and the goose has gone to fly,
And bridges are for burning, so don’t you let that yearning pass you by.
Walking man, walking man walks.
Any other man stops and talks but the walking man walks.

Well the frost is on the pumpkin and the hay is in the barn.
Pappy’s come to rambling on, stumbling around drunk down on the farm.

And the walking man walks. Doesn’t know nothing at all.
Any other man stops and talks but the walking man walks on by, walk on by.

Most everybody’s got seed to sow. It ain’t always easy for a weed to grow, oh no.
So he don’t hoe the row for no one, for sure he’s always missing,
and something ain’t never quite right.
Ah, but who would want to listen to you kissing his existence good night?

Walking man walk. Walk on by my door. Well, any other man stops and talks
but not the walking man. He’s the walking man, born to walk, walk on walking man.
Well now, would he have wings to fly? Would he be free?
Golden wings against the sky, walking man, walk on by.
So long, walking man.

Posted in Misc

Delete

I had a brief return to social media this week. It was the result of a great night out with friends (almost as rare as a Phoenix blizzard for me) and the euphoria of being “out there”. So I dug out the keys in the junk drawer and restarted the engines on match.com, facebook and afroromance.com.

Ya that worked out about as well as I thought it would. I immediately unfriended my mother because she “liked” my cover photo almost as soon as I posted it. Sigh. Now lord knows I love my mother, but seriously, I could post a picture of my fingernail clippings and she’d like it. That’s what moms & dads do.

I had told her months ago that I initially left Facebook because I am repulsed by the nature of “liking” and apparent need for people to share their most droll lives believing the public truly cares what the fish fry at the Corner Tap looks like or that they are getting ready to go to the gym.

We’ve become a culture of individuals who crave attention from “friends”; the great majority who we don’t even know. It is nothing more than cheap, superficial, feel-good affirmations from the masses. This “look at me and like me” behavior encourages, inflates and then feeds the worst dynamic in human beings; ego.

[Disclaimer: As for this, my free-for-anyone-to-read journal, I find it hard to believe that my blog is being read by anyone, and if it is I would probably prefer that I rarely find out..in other words, the “comments” option on my posts is turned off, I do not have any need to be “liked”, and could not care less about maximizing SEO (Search Engine Optimization) so I can be #1 on some matrix.]

And then there are the people on Facebook who ignorantly (or intentionally) expose themselves as bigots, homophobes, or even worse, Fox News cultists. ew. There comes a point where I simply do not want to know what other people are thinking. I’d like to remain optimistic about humanity.

Anyway, I only wanted to get back on Facebook to stay connected with friends in other parts of the world and a couple of folks I know here in town. Well besides cringing over mom’s likes (Yay! Mikey did it!), I went ahead and reconnected with a local friend to see how she was doing. After exchanging pleasantries in a couple messages, I went ahead and offered to treat her for lunch sometime soon. The silence was deafening.

As an inept social misfit, I panicked. I thought my “creepy old guy” persona must have unknowingly crossed some line, and the rest, as they say, is history. Abort. Essentially, if my only contact with a group of “friends” is through Facebook (and I had “only” 17 friends there to begin with), then are they really my friends, or simply acquaintances who I was fortunate to know at one time or another? Face palm. Delete profile.

*

After our Saturday night on the town my guests and I were sitting around my apartment and I decided to update my match.com account from 2007 or 08. I actually paid $71 for three months (too many margaritas obviously). Ugh. So for the last 4 days I’ve had the um, pleasure, of being relatively ignored by women I find interesting (I really can’t blame ’em), and attracting those I simply do not have chemistry with. So that tells me I am being unrealistic when it comes to “romance”. For me its a no-brainer; better off shutting it down and stop wasting their time and mine. Canceled membership.

*

And finally, I’ve had a “lifetime membership” to Afroromance.com since about 2006. After my divorce I signed up when they had a $69 special for a lifetime membership which was cheaper than signing up for 3 months. Some eight years later, here I am still logging off and on. I have met some interesting and frankly adorable women. But as George Costanza would say; it was me, not them. After connecting with a woman last night, I lasted one email before I wrote, “sorry about the 180 but my heart just isn’t in it”. Deactivate (much like my student loans, I don’t think I can actually cancel my membership until they get my death certificate or something).

*

So that’s it. Like the groundhog on February 2nd, I saw my shadow and retreated. Or like Bilbo Baggins, until my next adventure I’m back in Bag End, ensconced in the side of the hill in my beloved Shire. At worst I confirmed my social ineptitude. Better off writing a manifesto in private. At best I am reading my inner compass better than I used to. If my heart isn’t in it, if it’s not telling me to move in that particular direction, I simply cannot. No matter how long or hard I bang into some walls, they will not move. I have to turn and go in a different direction; the sooner the better. Both of my marriages were indicitive of that. I banged my head into the same wall for 10 years and then again a second time, but for “only” 5 more. Now I respond much quicker to following my heart and directing my journey. But I suppose every now and then I have a need to just double check, “…to see if I still feel”…

Posted in Misc

From the iPad…

Thought I’d try something different and more convenient. That is, posting to my blog from my iPad mini. I have a Logitech keyboard on it so that makes it more like a laptop (which by the way I do not use anyway, I generally use a tower PC with 23″ monitor). As an aside, so far I’ve misspelt about 7 words so its not that easy I guess.

However, I am also balancing this thing on my patio wall, I have a decent size cigar in my left hand as I type, and I am working my way through an after-dinner Bloody Mary. I also note that my cursor jumps around (hic).

The bloody Mary mix was left here by my best friends. I dropped them of Sunday night at Sky Harbor airport to catch their red-eye back to Milwaukee and winter (yuck). What a phenomenal weekend with my favorite couple. We hiked in the desert 3 times, climbed “A Mountain”, enjoyed some great Scotch, hung out on Mill Avenue and Scottsdale’s Old Town. I discovered venues and met some awesome “kids” – a bunch of 20-something self-described hipsters working together as an awesome team at the rustically upscale “Cornish Pasty Shoppe” in Scottsdale.

I’ve known my Todd since I was in 5th grade and he was in 4th. His wife Randi joined our circle of friends (more like brothers, some of us going back to 1963 when we were 5 years old) in the mid 90s so we are truly close. I also finally got to connect with another grade school classmate who lives in north Scottsdale five months a year.

Needless to say as Wisconsin natives, if you cut us we bleed cheese; me less than them because I always wanted out of that place, but it’s in my DNA I suppose. Suffice to say we toured the renowned Tempe Art Fair in 80+ temps on Saturday then hunkered down at an open-air sports bar to imbibe in Margaritas and watch the Wisconsin Badgers battle the University of Arizona Wildcats for the right to go to the Final Four in Dallas next weekend.

There was a sprinkling of Wisconsin transplants and snowbirds in the house and of course more than a few UofA supporters. The real fun was we were actually in UofA’s biggest rival, Arizona State’s turf on Mill Ave, so the place was crawling with my fellow, mostly undergrad, students. This dynamic was a blast because as soon as the UofA boosters started chanting “UofA, UofA”, when their team did well, the ASU Sun Devil faithful immediately broke in and shut them down with rousing chants of “ASU, ASU!”. It was, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” and thus the forks were pitched at UofA from all sides. If you don’t know what happened, well we (Wisconsin) won by one point. Even though they were seeded #1 and #2, for many it was still a huge upset by Big Red.

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Here’s how the last 2.3 seconds of overtime went (cover your ears, there will be shrieking)…

So until next time, I say good-bye to my friends…..

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Posted in Misc