Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sorting Photographs

I have just begun to sort and edit the 450 photographs I shot during my recent road trip.  I don't even know where to begin, so I picked a few at random.  Visit my photo blog to see some of them.  More will be added over the next few days.

Here is one.  This face is in a tree and one of several on this particular property.  Pretty cool.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Keyword

For the past two years, I have adopted an annual goal-setting tradition used by my friend and colleague Mary. She begins each year with one word that sets the tone for the coming twelve months.

Last year my word was ‘play.’ Items I attached to play were things I wanted to do just for me that have nothing to do with work or chores; just activities that I think are fun like going to concerts, listening to blues bands in bars, photography, happy hours with young friends and visits to museums. I did a pretty good job of living up to the keyword.

This year, my word was ‘simplify.’ There was/is plenty going on in my life, personally and professionally. I wanted to make my life simpler. That has been more problematic but I did make at least some progress toward simplification.

Where I differ from Mary’s tradition is that I continue each keyword into the next year and beyond. So I am still playing more and continue to work on simplifying my life.

So what is my keyword for 2011? I’ve been thinking about that for a month. Next year will be life-changing for me and it was a challenge to find just one word, preferably an action word, a verb, to set the tone for my next chapter.

Today it hit me: ‘focus.’

For me, focus means concentrating on one life goal at a time instead of the multi-tasking I tend to do. There are two life-changing events coming and a few smaller but significant planned activities and my plan is to focus on those, one at a time whenever possible. They are my A-list. Everything else is B, C or D.

Wish me luck. I’m going to need it.

A Nice Wake up

I tried to watch the Saints game last night but just couldn't stay awake.  They were leading when I turned the TV off at halftime, but Atlanta was playing better.  Fortunately, the Saints didn't give up and I woke up this morning to learn they won the game ... and a wild card playoff spot.  MAYBE they'll go to the Super Bowl again and maybe they'll win it again.  Geaux Saints.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Picturing It

Every time I visit New Orleans, I allow myself a few minutes to picture living here again.

I try to visualize what my life would be like in this funky town I left more than thirty years ago to chase my career dreams. I think about where I’d live, who I would spend time with, where I would socialize and how I would make a living.

My social life would probably be active because people are born gregarious here. It is hard to be a hermit in New Orleans. I am regularly in touch with two of my oldest friends, occasionally in touch with two more and family contacts come and go but are always easy to re-establish so I would probably never be lonely. Would I make new, younger friends? Probably. I hang out with younger people now anyway because too many people my age think of themselves as old. I don’t, although I have ridiculous issues dealing with my age; I’ll save that for another post. One of my best friends doesn’t even know my exact age and until I get past that obstacle (maybe next year), I won’t be writing much about it here. But I digress.

How would I spend my free time? Music would be involved. It is part of the culture. Alcohol would be in the mix but hopefully not as much as it was in my younger days here. This place is surrounded by water (no kidding!) so I’d probably go fishing. And I know I’d be photographing constantly.

My career? Ha! That’s why I left to begin with; it is difficult to make a good living in media here. My talent is significantly better and more marketable than when I left, but pay scales are low here except for the more established people.

Where would I live? Probably Lakeview, the neighborhood where I spent my childhood. Of course that is the dilemma because that area was one of the flooded parts of town after Hurricane Katrina. But I like Lakeview and at least some of the direction it is taking during the recovery.

It took about fifteen minutes to write this. That is approximately how long I usually contemplate returning to the cool, musical, quirky town where I grew up. And this time, as always, I have come to the same conclusion: this is an awesome place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live here again.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Buuuurrrppp!

Random Road Trips Notes:

- Six days in New Orleans. I'm afraid to get on the scale. I ate every local food item on my 'must eat' list.

- Saw every friend and family member I planned to see on this trip. It is an awesome feeling to be connected to so many wonderful people.

- Anyone who knows me for more than a few hours knows I am a story-teller and I love to talk, probably to a fault. Spend time with my relatives on all sides of the family and you'll see where I learned this behavior. Except they are louder than I am.

- I heard more family stories I had not heard before, including a few from my sister about our parents. Some of the tales are sad, some funny.

- Now comes the hard part: driving home. Wish I had taken two more days. There are two stops I want to make that I won't have time for.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

December is a great time for celebrating. Whether it's Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice or even Festivus, families and friends gather to celebrate. It is a season to share time, joy, food, conversation and more. I am especially lucky this year; by the time my road trip is complete, I will have spent time with nearly all of my favorite people.

Hope your December 25th is great!

- Bernie

Friday, December 24, 2010

Water

To understand New Orleans, its people and, well, me, you have to understand water.


Locals might not realize or admit this, but New Orleans and the immediate suburbs are completely surrounded by water. The entire northern boundary is Lake Pontchartrain, which I believe is the largest lake in the U.S. other than the Great Lakes. Most of the southern boundary of the city is the Mississippi River. There are some smaller lakes to the east and the Bonnet Carre Spillway, which connects the River to the Lake for flood control purposes, is to the west. There is no way to drive into New Orleans without crossing some body of water.

Water has both literal and metaphorical affects on people who grow up here.

Some literal examples …

Even before the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleaneans dealt with flooding. Smaller hurricanes, days-long rain storms and spring flooding on the Mississippi all could lead to some amount of water in the streets. Usually it drained off within hours or a couple of days, but locals learned to work around it.

Many people love fishing and do it regularly on lakes, rivers and bayous. Many have boats. Various friends and family members of mine had fishing camps on local waterways. Many 40- and 50-somethings experienced the fondling side of early romance while parked on Lakeshore Drive; the locals called that ‘watching the submarine races at the Lake.’

Locals also frequently make their living on the water, from fishing to working the docks to crew work on ferry boats and tour boats.



Some metaphorical examples …

Water influences both time and tenacity in New Orleans. The Mighty Mississippi slowly drifts through the crescent curves the city is built around. It flows in a lazy way but it is relentless, never stops, never slows down, always reaches its destination. People here behave the same way. Outsiders seem to think locals are slow and lazy until the outsiders realize how much the locals have done on any given project. People like me who grew up here only appear to be drifting along.

That same tenacious steady drive seen on the Mississippi is also a metaphor for the spirit and determination of those who returned after Katrina to rebuild this place. That brand of tenacity is literal too. Like the poster in the photo above says, “Soul is Waterproof.”

Water gives this region life but it cannot drown the spirit.

New Orleans Culture Randomness

This town and surrounding area are unlike any other. The people, the mindset and the multifaceted mix of influences combine to make a cultural gumbo that is hard to define or explain.

- Various races have always coexisted here but to this day New Orleans is a largely segregated city.

- Outsiders think Cajun is the dominant influence, but Louisiana has lived under at least five national flags through its history: French, Spanish, British, Confederate States and United States. Cajun French is in the mix, as is Creole, Caribbean, Italian and Native American.

- Many names are not pronounced as you think they would be. Some examples of street names: Esplanade is pronounced ess-plah-NAYD. Burgundy is burh-GUN-dee. Calliope is cal-ee-OHP. The emphasis is on the ‘wrong’ syllable.

- Many Cajun French inspired names end in X but the X isn’t pronounced. Boudreaux is pronounced BOO-droh. Comeaux is COH-moh. The local cheer for the famous NFL team is spelled Geaux Saints!

- The accent here is not southern, except for the dropped “g” in words ending with “ing” (like ending, which is pronounced end-in) and typical words like “y’all.” It is more Brooklyn sounding but with softer edges. Words with “r” are the most obvious. Darling is DAW-lihn, heart is HAWT, George is GAWJ. “Th” is often pronounced “d” – “Y’all wanna go have dinna wid Gawj and dem otha cuzzins?” The best examples of New Orleans speak come from Harry Connick and political consultant James Carvel.

- Music is everywhere. Sure, jazz is the dominant sound in tourist areas; it was invented here. And the type of jazz heard most often (Dixieland) is distinctive to the area. But other music forms are found here too. Blues, of course, swing (Harry Connick style), rock (Better Than Ezra started here). Many internationally known performers have embraced the New Orleans influence. Paul McCartney recorded most of an album here in the 1970s and the most recent Dave Matthews album is heavily influenced by the local sound and cultural spirit.

- Lagniappe (pronounced LAND-yap) is a frequently heard word here. It means ‘something extra,’ similar in concept to a baker’s dozen (13 instead of 12 – something extra).

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Road Trip Meals

I am almost breaking my promise to myself to keep my eating under control this holiday season. It is a major challenge to not over-eat in New Orleans. So far, I've had two big meals with my two oldest friends, a big meal with my sister and her new guy, another meal is coming tonight with my sister and her best friend. Two feasts are planned for Christmas Day. I'm doing some solo sightseeing in the tourist areas tomorrow. Yum. Burp!

A side note, this is my best friend from high school. During my meal with him and his wife, we talked about their success with a well-known weight loss program. I should have taken notes.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holiday Lights

A slightly blurry picture of one of the displays at Celebration in the Oaks, an annual holiday light event at CIty Park in New Orleans. This used to be a drive-through, but they scaled it down to a walk-through after Hurricane Katrina.

This is the Cajun Night Before Christmas exhibit. Note that Santa's sleigh is powered by alligators.

Mixed Emotions

Visiting my hometown New Orleans is usually a challenging experience for me. I grew up here, left it half a lifetime ago, but still have family here. In fact nearly every family member who grew up here still lives here. People don’t leave this area.

I usually stay at my sister’s house, our family home. Her guest room was my room in my youth. The house is small and it is hard to believe that four of us lived here. She lives alone and this house is perfectly suited for one person.

Despite Hurricane Katrina’s devastation five years ago, most of the visual cues of my childhood remain. St. Dominic Church and school have been rehabbed and remain a cultural and spiritual center of the Lakeview neighborhood. The Harrison Avenue ‘neutral ground’(local term for median) still has parking spaces in it, something I’ve not seen anywhere else.

I took in the view while sipping Starbucks outdoors this morning. Yes, outdoors on December 22nd, not wearing a coat. Seventy-degree temperatures in winter are not the norm in New Orleans but it does happen sometimes. I also remember a couple of 15-degree Decembers when we had to run water all night to keep the pipes from freezing. And one of exactly three snowfalls I experienced as a child happened on New Year’s Eve one year.

So, the mixed emotions. Sitting at Starbucks is odd here because there are so many traditional, local coffee places in New Orleans. In fact, I still can’t believe there is a Starbucks in Lakeview. It opened a couple of years after Katrina and is a sign of the new trendiness of this part of town. But I chose it over other locations today because I wanted to sit and view the area for a few minutes and because I wanted to shop at a newly reopened local grocery across the street.

I’m happy to see the grocery and other businesses open because I clearly remember online pictures of those same structures sitting in 10 feet of water for weeks after the hurricane. But right across the side street is a boarded up restaurant that looks just like it did after Katrina.

A sad part of the view is the vacant lot at the corner of Harrison and Canal Blvd. The Robert E. Smith Library was built there decades ago and that is the very place where I first developed my love of reading. I checked out books relating to my childhood interests; specifically Charles Lindberg ‘s book about his historic first solo flight across the Atlantic and numerous books about helicopters. The library did not survive the floods and the building has been torn down, but it appears a new one is being built. That part makes me happy. See, mixed emotions.

Spending time in this house is a rollercoaster ride too. It was rehabbed after Katrina and although everything inside is sparkly and new, it retains the spirit and most of the floor plan of the house that Dad built. That part is good. The frustrating part is that my sister has filled every corner and surface with “stuff”! She lost at least 75% of what she owned in the floods and seems to have recreated it all. She is not a hoarder but this is an incredibly cluttered house. I try not to judge, but in my view there are way too many useless little things here. But I can’t really argue the point if it truly makes her happy. And my own home more than a thousand miles from here is also very cluttered. Again, mixed emotions. Maybe this is all a reflection of our parents’ tendency to keep things “just in case we need them someday.” Dear God, please help me break this habit in my own life. It sucks.

I’ll end this post on a positive note. Today and tomorrow I’m having long lunches with two friends from high school. I’ve been in touch with them by email off and on through the decades but I look forward to in person time with them. I’ll also have some great family time with two sets of cousins, a Christmas day feast with my sister’s friend and several total strangers (similar to the fun fest I had in Asheville a few days ago) and I’ll meet a guy my sister is dating. That last part is pretty cool because my sister doesn’t date much and she seems pretty happy about this guy.

Another positive thing … visiting New Orleans is always an emotional experience for me but for a long time it left me depressed. Something about my present life not matching expectations of my youth. And I’ll continue to have moments of depression, many relating to how much this city still struggles to recover from Katrina. But I am in a much better place emotionally now than I have been for a long time and I think I’ll leave here next week feeling good.

The self-discover journey I started writing about almost two years ago is leading me to great places and I am excited about the new year.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Deep South Randomness

My holiday road trip has now taken me through Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.  I grew up in these parts so nothing should surprise me, but sometimes it still does.

- Gasoline is 15 to 20 cents per gallon cheaper in the south than in Maryland, where I live.

- I stopped for gas in Tuscalousa.  Good thing I was not wearing my LSU cap.

- Clerks at some gas station marts in the south are as rude and clueless as they are further north, they just do it with fewer words and at a slower pace.

-  I hate Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  I swore I would not stop there, yet I needed gasoline, a restroom and lunch and that was where I was when I needed those things.

-  I have nothing against the deep south.  It will always be part of me.  I'm just not in sync with it any more ... except for New Orleans.  I'll always be in sync with that beautiful, goofy place.  More about that later.

Winter Is Here

Saw this interesting quote on a co-worker's Facebook page. An interesting thought for the first day of winter.


"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."
-Albert Camus

Monday, December 20, 2010

Holiday Road Trip Randomness 2

More random observations from the road:

- The further south I go the warmer it gets.

- One objective of my road trip is to break some patterns and I have.

- I turned off the radio/CD player in my car for the first hour driving out of Asheville. No music, no voices. Just the sound of tires on pavement and the sights of beautiful scenery in Pisgah National Forest and the edge of the Smokey Mountains.


- Good news/bad news about my road trip dietary habits: The good news: I have not purchased any food at a fast food restaurant and I did not over-eat snacks while driving. Bad news: I drank more alcohol than usual during the first three days of my trip and I just had a tasty-but-high-calorie Mexican meal. Yum. Buurrrp!

- DC is not the only city with asshole drivers. In fact it appears that every city with a population of 250,000 or more has them.

- The first twenty minutes in Alabama were awesome because there were few cars and no trucks.

- The further I get from home the more ME I become. Still working on being ME when I get back home, but I’m definitely getting better at it.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Holiday Road Trip Randomness 1

I’m on the road for my first winter road trip since 2003. That trip ultimately involved unrealistic 10-hour driving days with hyper active dogs, packing a trailer with Dad’s old tools, some furniture and other things, and a final day of travel just hours ahead of a record-setting blizzard.

This trip is off to a great start and I’ve already had the longest single-day drive of eight hours. And no blizzard in sight.

- First stop was Asheville, NC. I love this town and this is the first time I’ve seen it in winter. Beautiful.

- Spent time eating, drinking and talking with one of my best friends.

- Had an early Christmas feast with said friend and several people in her family circle I’ve never met. I enjoy meeting new people, especially artsy and literary folks (Asheville has many residents like that).

- The setting for that feast was in the mountains northeast of Asheville. (I'll post better pictures than this later)



- Still ahead, New Orleans.

- That agenda includes a day with another of my best friends, time with other old friends and quality time with two sets of cousins.

- My sister and I will have Christmas brunch at the restaurant we used to go to on that day with our parents when they were alive.

My last Asheville-New Orleans road trip was my best vacation ever. This might equal it.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Counting the Days

My first long Christmas road trip in decades is coming soon.  I did go the NC beaches for Christmas five years ago, but that's 'only' five hours away.  The first day of is year's trip is longer than that. 

I am so ready for this one.  Friends, family, very little access to email, minimal scheduling, hanging out with people I don't see much, meeting some new people, listening to plenty of music.

Changing the routine is good for the soul, the mind and the heart.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday Randomness

A few assorted personal observations about the holiday season this year:

  • I’m only buying presents for 3 or 4 people this year. Something must be wrong with me.
  • I have gone to absolutely no holiday parties so far. I skipped my company’s ‘during the business day’ party this week because I have too much to do before leaving for my Christmas vacay.
  • I am actually going to a small party during my road trip, one in which I know exactly one person. I do like my co-workers but this party of strangers will probably be more interesting than my office party would have been.
  • Family socializing is on my agenda this holiday season for the first time in years. Looking forward to it.
  • Still waiting for the usual holiday depression to kick in. So far it hasn’t. I’m happy about that. Maybe this is the year for ‘depression lite,’ where I’ll shed a tear or two while watching “It’s A Wonderful Life” but will be smiling the rest of the time.
  • I do like several Christmas songs but so far I haven’t allowed myself to listen to more than two in a row. Maybe I’ll listen to one of the XM holiday channels on my road trip.
  • The road trip will be awesome, weather permitting. I haven’t taken a December road trip since the 1980s. One leg of my trip does involves mountains but the rest is through the flat Deep South, where I hope it will be warmer than it is here at home.

OK, that’s all for now. I’ll blog more from the road if not sooner.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Gray

This morning is dark, cold, gray and misty. That is my usual mood at this time of year but this year is different. I have plenty to be dark and misty about but those things are not bothering me much. I decided at the beginning of the 'depression season' that I would keep those feeling to a minimum and that strategy is paying off.



But a dark, cold, gray and misty photograph still appeals to me and I decided to share. There are a few more on my two photo blogs (Middletown Daily and Photo Bernie). Enjoy.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Who Needs Money and Time When You Can Have Tires and Brakes?

I hate car repairs and auto service centers.

A little background: my dad repaired cars in his ‘spare time’ and although it was a hobby, he was good enough to be a pro. I learned from him and used to do much of my own routine maintenance and helped him do more involved repairs on my cars. That was all long before automotive computerization and my subscriptions to Consumer Reports. Now I have to trust auto centers and/or local mechanics. The two repair shops I do trust have inconvenient locations and aren’t open on weekends, my only ‘spare time’.

My car needs tires and a brake job before I begin my holiday road trip and today, a Saturday, my only free day before the trip, I am at the mercy of a well-known tire and auto repair store with a convenient location and Saturday hours.

Here is one part I hate: I did my research, chose my tire brand and model, hunted online for a dealer, found one and … they don’t have the tires I wanted and can’t get them till Friday, the price was higher than expected anyway and their specs don’t match those in the Consumer Reports report. So, as has happened virtually every time I have purchased tires during my entire adult life, I have made a decision based on a sales pitch.

Here is one part I like: My car was the exact make and model I wanted when I bought it and has been even more reliable than Consumer Reports indicated. In fact, this is the first time I’ve spent more than $100 on any one service visit. Not bad for the 65,000 miles I have put on the car.

OK, so it took me 20 minutes to walk to this Dunkin Donuts, write the first draft of this post and drink my coffee. What can I do for the rest of my 3-hour wait?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Imagine

As I stumble across various news stories flashing back to tonight 30 years ago, the night John Lennon was shot and killed by a psycho fan in front of his apartment in New York, I try to imagine what he would be doing if he had lived.

In December, 1980 he had new music out for the first time in five years, he was uncharacteristically upbeat in interviews and photographs that week and seemed to be looking optimistically to a happy future. The first single from his new album was “Just Like Starting Over,” certainly an indication of personal rebirth.

He had turned 40 just two months before that fateful night so he would be 70 years old now. Maybe he would still be recording and touring, like the two surviving Beatles Paul and Ringo. Perhaps he would have done more collaborations with other artists, as he did with Ringo, Elton John and David Bowie in the post-Beatles 1970s. His song themes might still have been about love and peace, especially after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in his adopted home town. Think about that for a second. He lived in Manhattan and the smoke from the World Trade Center collapse would have drifted from ‘ground zero’ to the Dakota Apartments at the edge of Central Park. That would be irresistible inspiration for a socially-conscious songwriter.

Lennon’s wife, Yoko Ono, still lives in that apartment. She is 77 years old now and their son Sean, who sadly also witnessed the murder, is now 35 years old. Ono continues to do charity and community work in John’s name, including funding the Strawberry Fields memorial near their apartment and releasing art, music and memorabilia as fund-raising for various causes including the well-known Autism Speaks organization.

At times during John Lennon’s life, I thought some of his ‘peace’ activities seemed phony, maybe just hyping a pretentious image. But stories and interviews I’ve seen more recently lead me to believe his intentions were sincere, especially around the time of his career rebirth.

Regardless of intention, there is something appealing and timeless about the lyrics of his song “Imagine.”

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imaging all the people
Living life in peace

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Edwards Update

I wrote the previous post this morning. At the time the latest story I heard said Elizabeth Edwards had a week or two to live. Sadly, she died today. The reason you might know who she is is that her then husband John Edwards was running for President in the Democratic party primaries. Her cancer was talked about then and they split up some time after he dropped out of the running, partly because news stories about an affair he had turned out to be true.

Elizabeth Edwards was more than just a politician's wife and I plan to read up on her life. I'll try to write about this again soon.

Powerful Belief

I did not actually hear these words spoken, but they have impact when read and I wanted to share. This is from someone who has just been told she has only weeks to live, someone you probably know from seeing her on the news over the past few years.

"The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that. And, yes, there are certainly times when we aren't able to muster as much strength & patience as we would like. It's called being human. But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope & in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful & precious. And for that I am grateful.”

-Elizabeth Edwards

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ho Ho Ho

Half of me is in the holiday spirit and half is not. I do not plan to decorate this year but I do plan to visit family and friends on my holiday road trip. I might even wear silly holiday clothes.

One of my radio stations is playing Christmas music 24/7. I listen to it for about one or two songs a day; that's enough for me for right now.

I had nothing else to say tonight, so I decided to post a Christmas song. I was tempted to go the scarcastic, humorous route (Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer) but chose this instead. As sappy as this is, it happens to be my favorite holiday song. There are a couple of other versions I like better, but this is probably the most famous.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Another Cool Quote

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm."

– Sir Winston Churchill

Saturday, December 4, 2010

All Night

It’s 4:00 AM. Yes, 4 o’clock happens early in the morning too. In fact, in countries using the 24-hour clock system, 4:00 is only in the morning; the other 4 is called 16:00.

Three different times during my media career I was an all night radio DJ. The first time, my all night show played Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd songs for drunks and insomniacs in New Orleans. Years later I had an international network show that played Madonna and Bobby Brown songs in sixteen different time zones, but the biggest concentration of listeners was in central Europe, where my show ended at 4:00 AM. Many of those listeners were also drunks or insomniacs.

My next overnight DJ job involved playing Garth Brooks songs in Washington DC. Some of those up-all-nighters were drunks and insomniacs too, but many listeners were on the job. I learned a few things about the culture of overnight workers and developed a great respect for them. A small sampling of people working at 4 in the morning in the DC area: convenience store clerks, police officers, firefighters, shipping company employees, street cleaners, truck drivers, government workers, road construction crews and security guards.

Most humans, however, are not nocturnal. Our wake/sleep cycles usually conform to day and night. We usually function better in daylight and sleep better at night. My favorite time of day is sunrise. My least favorite? Four in the morning! People who work overnight shifts are at odds with biology and often have lingering sleep issues upon returning to day jobs.

So why am I up right now, at 4 o’clock on a Saturday morning? Partly because I’ve never really recovered from my late night job era, even though it ended 12 years ago. I fall asleep quickly but sometimes the littlest noises can wake me up. It seems that one of my dogs is now on a different time zone that the rest of the world. He sleeps all day but has to go out nearly every hour all night. Even though I’m not one who usually puts him out, the activity surrounding that wakes me up. I usually go right back to sleep but tonight, or should I say this morning, I’m wide awake.

So I checked my email, my Facebook, my blogs, my friends’ blogs, Facebook again (5 FB friends are up too, but two of them live in California, where it’s ONLY 1:00 AM). Then I started writing this post. I hoped this would make me sleepy, but now I’m even more awake than when I started, probably because of the lights in this room. My body thinks it’s sunrise. When the sun actually does rise, in a little over two hours, I’ll probably be sleepy again. Maybe I should just get drunk and play a Garth Brooks CD.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Totally Random 4.6

- There’s an old Billy Joel song that includes the line “bottle of red, bottle of white.” Not sure why I just thought of that.

- I had an eye exam today. That doctor was probably the most beautiful doctor I’ve ever met. I could tell that about her with and without my current glasses.

- I’ve taken a few days off from work. They are vacation days I have coming to me anyway, but if I didn’t have them, I probably would have just called in sick. Sometimes the best stress relief is to just change the daily routine for a few days.

- Nicolas Cage is an amazing and versatile actor. His movie “Gone In 60 Seconds” is on some channel right now. He can go from sensitive wimp to cold-blooded murderer in half a second and convince you he is both. I wonder what his non-actor personality is like.

- Within the next three weeks I am going to see my sister, two of my best friends and several of my favorite cousins, all either on or near Christmas. This has not been one of my happiest years, but it will end well and the highlight reel will be awesome.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Life and Love Randomness

A friend sent me a page full of quotes about various aspects of life and love, two of my favorite topics. Here are two quotes that stuck out above the rest.

- Giving someone all your love is never an assurance that they'll love you back! Don't expect love in return; just wait for it to grow in their heart but if it doesn't, be content it grew in yours. It takes only a minute to get a crush on someone, an hour to like someone, and a day to love someone, but it takes a lifetime to forget someone.

- The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.


I'd tell you the original source of the quotes if I knew it, but I don't.