I need a place to write, and since my writing muscles have atrophied from years of typing, why not just keep a blog.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Hawaii, here I come!

I am off to Hawaii for 10 glorious days. 3 days in Oahu for the USC v Hawaii football game. Go Trojans! And then 7 days on Kauai. I can't believe it has finally arrived. It has been a long time coming.

I'll have lot's of pictures and I hope to put some up here when I get back.

See you in 2 weeks!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Who loves to move?

In one month I will move all my earthly possessions to my new apartment. One has to develop a split personality when approaching a move. On one side, you're excited about a new place, a new neighborhood, new surroundings. And on the other side, you're screaming NOT AGAIN!!!

My new apartment is very close to the beach. I am very excited about that. Everybody should live this close to the water at least once in their life. I can literally walk out my apartment, cross the alley and be on the sand. I can't wait!

But, to be able to do this, I have to pack all my dishes and books. I have to pack all my dvds and cds. I have to pull everything apart. Take the pictures off the walls. And put it all into boxes. Can you hear that? That's the sound of me shuddering. I swore to myself that when I moved into my current apartment I wasn't going to move for a few years. Ah, the lies we tell ourselves. I laugh at my naivete. Sucker.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Hurricane Katrina

Thoughts and prayers to the good people living along the Gulf Coast as Hurricane Katrina roars by.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Uma Sighting

A few weeks ago I'm cruisng through Venice in my obnoxiously yellow SUV. The one that costs me $50 to fill up with gas. Anyway, I'm headed up Washington coming from the beach and I pull in behind this classic cream colored '50-something T-Bird convertible. Beautiful car. While I was checking out the car, something else caught my eye. The driver bore a striking resemblance to Uma Thurman. Which seemed kind of weird because how could I recognize her if all I could see of her was the back of her head.

She had the exact same hair as Uma did in the Kill Bill movies. And since I've seen both movies about 50 times each, I would know. This immediately made me doubt it was actually her. And what it made it even weirder, was she was driving a convertible, just like in the movie. Ok, there is no way it could be her. I chalked it up to striking resemblance and continued on my way.

I pulled up next to her at Abbot Kinney and casually looked over to confirm my non-but-very-similar Uma sighting. As I looked at her, she glanced over at me, saw me staring at her, gave me a little smile and drove on. And wouldn't you know it, it was Uma Thurman.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Do the world some good?

I was challenged a few months ago by a friend on what I did for a living and whether it was actually good for society or not. "Does what you do actually benefit us, or does it just add to the incredibly massive amount of noise and clutter that plagues us?". This friend, who is a teacher, is sometimes filled with pride over the fact that she is teaching future generations. I have to give her credit, she teaches at a school in a rather rough neighborhood on purpose.

After tossing out some unoriginal answer I quickly changed the subject because I truly didn't know the answer to her question. Is what I do actually important to us all, or am I just adding to the morass? This question continued to haunt me until my next employment opportunity arrived.

I purposely chose my new employer on the basis that their mission was to benefit society. They were there to provide an answer to parents who were dumbfounded by the ridiculous MPAA ratings they find on films today. They offered a way for parents to actually judge the content of films so they weren't shocked by what is passed off as PG or PG-13.

I was pround of myself. I had found a job where I could do what I enjoy as well as contribute something positive to society. I went back to my friend and boastfully told her of my new opportunity. She was pround of me as well. I was doing good.

Unfortunately, this opportunity turned out to be the biggest nightmare of a job I have ever had. The CEO was a complete obsessive compulsive ego-maniac. The controller lorded over the staff like some kind of demented monarch. And the CTO was manipulating the entire staff behind the CEO's back so he could position his other company to take over the entire engineering department. The staff was uninspired, and there was so much political crap going on you couldn't actually get any work done. My day was filled with positioning and jockeying and not actually working on making the product better. All that AND I had to wear a tie!! The Horror!!

So, after 3 months, I fled from that hell on Earth and landed in a job very similar to what I was doing before Helljob. And my friend, while she understood why I left so quickly, was slightly disappointed that I hadn't looked for another equally beneficial position. My answer to that was true desperation. I wanted out so bad I would have taken anything. However, the job I did take turned out to be nearly perfect.

Those that are lucky enough to enjoy what they do and truly benefit society are few. Those opportunities do not come around very often. While there are many many ways you can volunteer to help, being able to do it for a living is difficult. And that is truly unfortunate. There is so much need in this world, why there are so few organizations set up to help is unfathomable. I understand why that is, I just think it's odd.

So, here I stand in awe of my friend who chooses to do what she does, and get paid as little as she does, to reach out to these children and try to inspire them in some small way to grow and learn.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Times of Change

Is it a good thing or bad thing when your life gets shaken up and turned inside out? Not that anything bad has happened, no tragedies. But so many new and different things enter your life all at once, you hardly recognize it sometimes.

Even if one of the more promising, especially exciting things eventually doesn't work out. Are you sad that it happened? Are you mad that your life got all thrown around? Well, you could be. You were blown so far outside your comfort zone that you have no hope of ever finding your way back. But then again, when you look to where you were, do you really want to go back there?

Was the chase, however fleeting, worth it? Ultimately disappointing? Yes it was.

It was that one thing, that one person, the one who threw your life into such disarray and allowed so many other new things into your life. So many other good things. While that has come to an end, all the other things will continue. They have changed your life forever, and you are grateful.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


This cartoon seems to be the topic du jour. While it is clearly a commentary about the current argument between Evolutionists and Creationists. If you are able to ignore the microscope next to the scientist, you could almost take this as a commentary on the current state of society. On one side sits the wise old man, filled with years of experience, and on the other sits the young man, ready to counter anything he has to say. No matter the topic, he is ready to point out the flaws and counter with a personal opinion or champion some minority opinion.

Monday, August 22, 2005


I sometimes have a problem relaxing. My mind will be going a million miles an hour. Every little thought screaming through my brain as if it were some kind of cerebral autobahn, or a Jackson Pollack creation.

I have no idea if my racing mind is normal. I try to calm down, but I usually get distracted by some random thought, and all my efforts to calm my restlessness goes right out the window. Some people have told me I need to try meditation. That I need to train my mind, to organize my thoughts in some fashion.

I have several visualizations that I use to try and focus my brain away from everything else. The first few are relatively simple. First, I try to imagine a white spot on a black background. Then just concentrate on the spot. Second, I imagine a white picket fence and I am painting the fence in my mind. Each brush stroke, up and down, is timed with my breath. Third, I form a small spot in my mind surrounded by walls, nothing can enter that spot. And slowly I expand the walls to include more space. Eventually I am able to push all the other thoughts out of my head leaving only that impenatrable space. I am usually successful using one or more of those techniques.

Sometimes though, I have to break out the big guns. Sometimes I have to go to The Field. This is a made up place I have in my head. This is my place of relaxation and calm. The world does not exist there.

Up near my home town are these huge open fields, spread across acres and acres of rolling hills. Each spring, usually around March, the fields go nuts and millions of Golden Poppies bloom. Turning the lush green hillsides the most brilliant orange gold color. Up close you can see each and every flower, gently blowing in the breeze. But off in the distance, they all meld together in a brilliant sea of orange red fire. As if the entire hillside resembled the surface of the sun.

Off to the side is a huge Oak tree with roots that branch out in every direction. The kind that you can sit undeneath and no one would see you there. And lastly, far off in the distance is the coast and the ocean. The hills slowly slope down to meet the sand and the deep blue expanse.

Ok, so we have all the parts in place. As you can imagine the possibilities are endless here. I can walk through the poppies, I can sit under the oak tree, I can walk down to the beach, or I can just stand, close my eyes and feel the warmth of the sun and coolness of the ocean breezes on my face.

Thankfully, I don't have to go there very often. Usually only when I can't sleep. One of those nights where you're staring at the clock that says 2:47am. You had a fight with your girlfriend, you have way too much do at work, and you forgot to pickup the damn drycleaning. One of those nights. Like I said, The Field is my last resort. It has never not worked. Every once and a while reality comes crashing in and I have to start over. But once I get into it, I'm out like a light.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Impending Vacation

What is it about a planned vacation that distracts you from just about everything else in your life? I thought at first that it's just all the little details that you need to plan. And while that's true, I think it is more than that.

Is it that we dislike our daily routine so much that we value our time away from it so much? Even if it's just a trip up the coast, or to the beach? Those types of trips though, really don't distract as much as the big trips. (duh)

As I'm writing this it seems like a dumb question to be pondering. But I am about 2 weeks away from my vacation in Hawaii. 10 days of oh-my-Lord-I-can't-wait-to-get-there. I reall can't. I wish I were there now!

Which brings me back to my original thought. Why is it that this trip is so damn distracting? It's all planned and paid for. There are no more details to hammer out. All I need to do is pack my suitcase and go to the airport.

I think about it daily. And not just about what I will be doing there. It's more about what it will feel like to be on vacation. There is true escapism there. And I think I enjoy the run up to the vacation as much as the actual vacation. It's the anticipation, that feeling of impending relaxism (is that even a word?)

I think that really is it. Not that we (or I) dislike our daily routine. I like my job, and my life isn't THAT boring. This vacation is something new, something different. And that is really what makes life interesting. All the new and different things that we experience. And that is why impending vacations are so darn distracting.

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