29 December 2007

Holiday Weekend?

I know it's still early, but this was a great way to start a journey to the city. It's going to be a zoo in the Square. Rockefeller was crazy last night!

28 December 2007

A Great Promotion

The guys at Charmin are running a great promotion in Times Square. They've opened a restroom station. It has great music and a fun staff that cleans each toilet between uses! I love this idea! A fantastic way to bank some goodwill credit and advertise their outstanding bathroom product. If you're in NY you should check it out.

19 December 2007

Stuck In Sanity

These past few days I've been taking some time to reflect and recreate, visit with family, and generally unwind.

As I was working through some quiet time about where I should put my energy in this coming year, I realized how frequently I fail to find directions and clarity from my compatriots. I'm not so fiercely independent, decisive, arrogant, or self-centered (although these are my core attributes) as to not seek out their input. On the contrary, I relentlessly pursue the knowledge of others to better myself.
Can you answer me?
No more time for questioning
My car's outside I want to leave
Don't you think I'm interesting
Well, I'm listening.

Everything's obvious
The way you put your hand on me
The way you talk so easily
The way your lips are glistening
Well, I'm listening.

You get around, You want me
You come around, You need me
This time around, I won't be back at all

Maybe misery is what I need to keep my sanity
And I don't mean if things don't go my way
I'll be pleased to meet you

And maybe yesterday was a day that I could get away
Now today I'm stuck in sanity
And I'm pleased to meet you

Right now I think I'm sane,
But I'm really just anxious
To cross that bridge, the subconscious oasis
Where right is right, and wrong is wrong
And you weren't there to build me up

You get around, You want me
You come around, You need me
This time around, I won't be back at all

Maybe misery is what I need to keep my sanity
And I don't mean if things don't go my way
I'll be pleased to meet you (pleased to meet you)

And maybe yesterday was a day that I could get away
Now today I'm stuck in sanity
And I've seen it all, I've seen it all
Many times before

-- Maybe Misery from When All That's Left Is You by Quietdrive

I guess when it comes down to it you can ask questions and then you can listen. If you are just waiting to talk you'll probably miss what's important. If you give up and stop listening, you'll never hear the answers you'd like. If you think you know the answers, then just stop talking already.

Why can't I ever just leave those conversations?

11 December 2007

10 December 2007

Chowing on the Za

Yes, they do have one in Astoria. Go figure.
The grub is great, the people are hilarious.

It's a Big Casino

On the beach this morning for a long walk listening to music and just getting lost in the wonder. As is typically the case, a particular song stuck out in my head. I'm still trying to figure out why. Entries like this one sometimes help me understand what I'm thinking about; what's going on inside of me.
Before this world starts up again
It's me and night
We wait for the sun
The kids and drunks head back inside

Well there's lots of smart ideas
In books I never read
When the girls come talk to me
I wish to hell I had

Get up, Get up
Turn the ignition
Get up, Get up
Fire up the system
Play my little part in something big

I'll accept with poise with grace
When they draw my name from the lottery
And They'll say "all the salt in the world couldn't melt that ice"
I'm the one who gets away
I'm a New Jersey success story
And They'll say "Lord give me the chance to shake that hand"
They'll say

Back when I was younger
I was someone you'd have liked
Got an old guitar I had for years I'd let you buy
And I'll tell you something else
That you ain't dying enough to know
There's still some living left when your prime comes and goes

Get up, Get up
Dance on the ceiling
Get up, Get up
Boy you must be dreaming
Rock on young savior
Don't give up your hopes

I'll accept with poise with grace
When they draw my name from the lottery
And They'll say "all the salt in the world couldn't melt that ice"
I'm the one who gets away
I'm a New Jersey success story
And They'll say "Lord give me the chance to shake that hand"

I have one last wish
And it's from the heart
Just let me down
Just let me down easy

I'll accept with poise with grace
When they draw my name from the lottery
And They'll say "all the salt in the world couldn't melt that ice"
I'm the one who gets away
I'm a New Jersey success story
And They'll say "Lord give me the chance to shake his hand"
They'll say

-- Big Casino by Jimmy Eat World
I guess we all want some form of vindication. We all have a deeper desire to be noticed and understood and feel like we stood out and succeeded. And we're all making deals with devils, inside and out, real and imagined.

Footprints

They tell such a story. Millions of seperate grains come together to paint a single picture.

02 December 2007

The Sweetest 20 Percent

This past week I've been able to catch up with some friends I haven't seen for a while. It started me thinking about what makes my real life-long friends so fantastic. And why I can't seem to get past the starting blocks with new friends in my ever expanding social circle. Then I remembered a conversation I'd had long ago about the 80/20 rule.

In summary, the 80/20 rule as it applies to relationships is that you spend eighty percent of the time doing normal, every day, won't-blow-your-kilt-up stuff, and twenty percent having important, intimate, life-changing experiences. With most relationships you will never get to the sweetest twenty without investing all the basic and normal eighty.

In my own life, I have some really good eighty percent friends. We don't have much pretense, it is about realism, trust, and relaxation. The more real we are, the more we trust, the more we relax. Everyone needs people like that in their life. The people you don't mind seeing you before you've got make-up on; who you never call for bail money, because they're sitting in the cell next to you. In friend terms, these are keepers. You find these in the romance department, just not as often as everyone would like.

The reason this gets interesting for romance is that we have a tendency to sample these experiences in random orders that can leave you drained and devoid of any lasting connection. For example, that drunken hook-up that finally made it clear to you why they call it wild-monkey-sex; the office mate you've been flirting up for weeks and finally find yourself shoulder to shoulder with in the supply closet.
[after surviving the bus explosion]
Annie: You're not going to get mushy on me, are you?
Jack: Maybe. I might.
Annie: I hope not, 'cause you know, relationships that start under intense circumstances, they never last.
Jack: Oh yeah?
Annie: Yeah, I've done extensive study on this.

[the last lines in the movie]
Jack: I have to warn you, I've heard relationships based on intense experiences never work.
Annie: OK. We'll have to base it on sex then.
Jack: Whatever you say, ma'am.

-- from the movie Speed

It is pretty common for us to get a taste of the sweet 20 upfront and assume it will be the norm for the remainder of the relationship. It isn't until we've invested significantly more time that we realize we already milked the best out of it and what we are left with is more like orange juice after toothpaste.

Like a cake, or maybe a fine wine, any relationship will have different flavors as it bakes (or ages). This isn't just normal, it's the point. Only expect a relationship to stay the same when the two parties involved aren't growing either. In this world, it is pretty hard to stop growing. Life has a tendency to drag you kicking and screaming into potty-training, sleeping in a big-boy bed, and pajamas with no feet whether you like it or not. So it helps to not just accommodate the changes, but expect and maybe even embrace it a little. You never know, you just might get a little taste of the sweetness if you take the time to savor.

29 November 2007

21 November 2007

20 November 2007

Who They Will Become

One of my friends was recently married. I had the honor and pleasure of watching him go from single and swinging to affianced and adoring, to married and mushy. It was awesome and beautiful and inspiring and…you get the picture.

Someone very close to me is has recently moved slowly past the dating into the engagement and is methodically preparing for the marriage thing. Again, there are fewer more precious things to watch than someone in love doing "in love" kinds of things.

Now I find out another person close to me is jumping into the same circus. No shower before the pool, clothes and all, just one quick look and then Splash! She's moving quick but seems no less sure than either of the other two. The only difference is the relationship velocity. Sort of…

You see, the other big difference between these three is their ages. The more mature they each were, the slower, the more precise, the more aware they were of surroundings, repercussions and implications.

The first one was older and the whole thing took longer; it was way more deliberate. Each step from she's cool, to she's the one, to I'm doing this, to we're really doing this, to it's done, was a shift. You could see the attitudinal change, the wheels turning, the conscious choices being made, and the glow of satisfaction that comes from the deliberate pursuit of love. It honestly humbled me.

The middle one wasn't so old, but not so young. The whole thing moves along a bit at a time, passion leading to thinking, thinking leading to passion. From phase to phase, more and more thought and effort is applied. It becomes more and more real, and you can see the personal investments increasing to that point where you can't separate the two lives anymore.

The youngster has no idea what's in store. It's all roses and blushing. Everything is a problem we'll figure out later because love conquers all and we love each other. Which is not to say it won't, they won't, or they don't. It's just at the speed they are moving their it's hard to see how they each individual operate. Which is tied to their youth. Neither has enough history and personal experience to know who they are individually, which makes it really hard to understand what they'll be like together. Of course, maybe who they are together is all that matters.

What I find so interesting about this particular reflection isn't the difference that age brings to our relationship velocity. It is the difference that maturity makes in our individual personas. When you marry, you aren't marrying the person you think they ARE, you are marrying the person you think they WILL BECOME. When you have so little insight into the person they really are currently, how well can you really understand the person they will evolve into later? Because they will evolve. And so will you.

The pressure of time, our culture and both your choices will act on you both. Like it or not, you will grow. You will change. And unlike the stock market, with people, most of the time past performance is a measure of future performance. If you are going to invest, get as much of that diverse past performance as you can so you can invest wisely.

11 November 2007

The New Scion xb

Twice now I've seen the new xb from Scion cruising around town. I must admit I really like the improved lines. Have you seen one? Whatcha think?

08 November 2007

Getting Carried Away

The last two weeks have been absolutely crazy. Work has been completely out of control, but I did get some zany fun in Las Vegas over the weekend. Pictures will follow as I recover…
Turn it up I never wanna go home
I only wanna be part of your breakdown
she got caught by the four on the floor
it picked her up
and she'll never get let down

and now I can't stop
thinking about it
all you people at the top
don't know nothing about it

we don't give a flip what the price is
so just leave us to our own devices
and we'll leave you alone

I'll be there when your heart stops beating
I'll be there when your last breath's taken away
in the dark when there's no one listening
in the times when we both get carried away
when we both get carried away

-- When Your Heart Stops Beating by +44


As I prepare to enter a weekend that will hopefully involve rest, I can't help but recognize how stressed I have been. My mind is usually moving pretty quick, but it has been absolutely flying the last week or so. It will take a concerted, conscious effort to set aside the concerns that still I carry and simply . . . be.

Props to my colleagues for the incredible delivery they've been pulling off. Hugely underappreciated, they're velocity is inspiring.

31 October 2007

Spamalot

In Las vegas today and had the opportunity to take the VIP tour of Monty Python's Spamalot.
It was really great.

25 October 2007

Somebody please...

...make the bad man stop!

The latest facebook news bit.

These over-inflated, cash-out early, corporate valuations are just frustrating. Can we please get a little common sense and realism please? If even a fraction of these monies were put to research and development grants or micro-loan programs we'd see gi-normous economic returns as well as reduced-risk profits for the investors.

Why is it that honest idealists are always pushed out by dishonest manipulators?

17 October 2007

Details, Devils, etc.

Every product, project, or design I've ever worked on was the result of a thousand connected, convergent decisions. Everything I've ever produced or delivered was the result of grinding through the myriad of potentials, options, and choices to consciously pick out a path to follow.


This is all your app is: a collection of tiny details.
-- Wil Shipley, founder of Delicious Monster

Regardless of how complete your vision is to begin with, it is the details which will make it cohesive or disconnected and ultimately a success or a failure.

Just because you recognize that details matter doesn't mean your decisions for those details will lead you where you want to go. No more so than sloshing paint on canvas will magically lead to beautiful art. Which is not to say it can't, just that it is unlikely.

To make something elegant, or useful, or [insert ambitiously positive success criteria here], you need to concern yourself with the minutia. Without all the tiny details; if you aren't obsessed with how they impact and affect each other, mediocrity is almost assured.

Customer Review

It's a large crowd and not exactly friendly. Listening quietly from the back of the room.

Having your work dissected in front of you is hard. Good thing I'm used to it.

The exciting thing is watching people learn.

09 October 2007

Strong Enough To Be Weak

Do you ever have one of those weeks?

I'm having one of those weeks. No matter how good my intentions, no matter how true my heart, it feels like the world is just set against me. This is not how I want to feel. Being at odds with those around me is not where I want to live. If I've given my heart to Him, why am I holding on to it so tightly? If I'm not living for myself, why am I so invested in MY life?

I wanna set the world on fire
Until it's burning bright for You
It's everything that I desire
Can I be the one You use?

I, I am small but
You, You are big enough
I, I am weak but
You, You are strong enough to
Take my dreams
Come and give them wings
Lord with You
There's nothing I can not do
Nothing I cannot do

I wanna feed the hungry children
And reach across the farthest land
And tell the broken there is healing
And mercy in the Father's hands

My hands my feet
My everything
My life, my love
Lord, use me

I wanna set the world on fire
I wanna set the world on fire, yeah

I'm gonna set the world on fire
Set the world on fire

-- Set The World On Fire by Britt Nicole

I first heard this song driving through the German countryside. The mountains were enormous and the low clouds were so picturesque. The song had been on my iPod for quite some time and when it came up in the playlist, I was looking down on this little Bavarian town and thinking how peaceful and isolated it looked. This little old lady was sweeping her porch and I remember thinking, "I wonder how much the world intrudes here." It was a fantastically closed-minded thing to think, I wasn't really serious. She probably gets better bandwidth than I do, volunteers at an Aids clinic, sponsors Ethiopian children, and organizes Free Tibet rallies in her spare time. But at that moment, I think I was projecting my desire to set down my arrogantly self-proclaimed drive to Save The World. Just for a moment to pretend I didn't care. That I could shut myself away in a little town in the high mountains where keeping my porch clean and gossiping about the neighbors is the stressful part of my day. And then, just as is His nature, this song plays through my headphones, precisely speaking the encouragement I needed. Pulling me back to my Calling, my friends, my life.

I've been playing this song every morning as I brush my teeth, at the beginning of every mile I run, and after every quiet time of every day since that morning in Germany.

My smile reaches to my eyes now. Thanks Britt.

05 October 2007

Speaking For Effect

After spending a week or so in Munich at Oktoberfest listening to amazing people having fascinating conversations about nothing much at all, I realized something significant: Accents are hot.

The problem with accents being so attractive is the irrational way we respond to them. For some reason we are just predisposed to believe that someone with an English or French accent is sophisticated and classy. Or smart and sexy, or whatever. It's just hot.

In reality, there is no reason to assume any amount of additional intelligence or class just because of their verbal mannerisms. The guys from Britain sit around with their hands in their pants watching cricket, just the same as the guys from Jersey sit around watching baseball with their hands in their pants.

And while a girl might have a totally suave Italian voice, it isn't going to do her much good in a crowded nightclub unless she's got a great pair of . . . er . . . let's just say "other assets".

Let's face it, you can speak with the coolest accent in the world and still be dumber than a bag of hammers. Even so, you'll still see people perking up like they're listening to lottery numbers every time some French accent reaches their ears.

During my travels, I've learned one other way to help combat the unfair advantage imposed by a cool accent. Get drunk. When you are both slurring and sloshing and happy, nobody can understand anybody and you'll still have a great time. It might not help you ward off the coolness factor completely but it might buy you some breathing room to get collect your wits. And if not, it gives you a great excuse for why you did what with whomever when you face your friends the next day.

13 September 2007

Are You An Anarchist?

Anyone who reads me regularly knows that I avoid anything truly political. Today I couldn't resist.

As a caveat, please do not read anything more into this than that I found this to be a very interesting quote. The last thing I want is for everyone out there (all 6 of you) to start thinking I'm making political statements or even giving away my political perspectives in this forum. I am not.

A secure, stable, democratic Iraq at peace with its neighbors is attainable.
-- Ryan C. Crocker, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq

These are good adjectives. Unless you are an anarchist, these are good adjectives. Believe them or not, it is important to at least start with good adjectives.

Brandi Carlile Concert

Last night at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip I got a chance to see an artist I have been waiting quite a while to watch live.

Brandi Carlile (and the twins) brought an incredible performance. It was very impressive. Most of her music has struck me as well-produced recordings, and then you see them performed and it knocks yer socks off! Their work is so powerful in-person it just overpowered me.

My friend Cam is a musician who came to the show with me. What a great shared experience! Not just excellent for catching up; but if you are going to be moved, it is more meaningful to be moved with someone you care about.


The House of Blues on the Sunset Strip is a thoroughly L.A. experience. Ludicrously overpriced beverages (We only have canned beer, for $7! Rocktail? $10!), a pretentious wait-staff, self-important patrons and a no-cameras policy. Ugh. It reminded me, like a slap upside the head, why I hate venues in L.A.

Of course, even though I had to wade through the upholstered toilet that is an mainstream L.A. venue, Brandi and the twins made me forget if for a little while. Seriously, go see this show. The unplugged bits will make you weep, shudder, and dance all that same time. What an incredible voice. What rare talents.

09 September 2007

Making Up For It

The usual cast of characters seemed to take umbrage with my fast and loose referral from the last post. So by way of reparations, I give you gapingvoid.

Yes, I agree I've been playing it sloppy.

And yes, I do believe this one makes up for it.

07 September 2007

Momo!

Surfing around this afternoon (yes it really was for work!) and I happened across one of the funniest, most creative sites I've seen in a while. And you know I'm not big on pushing the drivel of others so you know this must be good.

It's Momo's Clubhouse and you can find it here.

I almost peed.

06 September 2007

Distinctive. Delightful. Drivel.

As an avid fan of watching television on-demand and on-my-computer, I have more than usual opportunities to experience new programming. When you can watch anything at anytime at anyplace, the need for variety becomes much more ingrained in your viewing habits.

Recently I watched the first few episodes of a new series on Showtime called Californication.

As loathe as I am to admit it, I was enraptured from the onset. Fantastically creative and complex writing, just a hint of the pretension and pace I have come to savor like a guilty pleasure from shows like Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and Deadwood.

This particular mind-candy comes in the tangy tart form of David Duchovny and Evan Handler clamoring around the City of Angels climbing through chaos and clutching clich├ęd crutches.

The twists and turns taken as the plot thickens are unique and edgy but not outrageously so. It butts up against the unbelievable with a firm hold on a possible reality, enough to drag you in but not enough to shake you awake.

Have my tastes become so diverse that drivel delights me? Probably. But it's rich, well-written, and yummy so I'm going to have another taste.

05 September 2007

The Thrill of Having Strings

The service industry can be brutal.

Let's face it, if you are manufacturing or creating art or fixing cars or any one a myriad of things that are production related, you have a built in buffer between you and the customer. Sure, you might have to deal with critics or fickle consumers or market forces or whatever, but those affect the job you do, not necessarily how you DO your job.

If you are in a service field you have someone standing over your shoulder as you perform. The stream of second-guessing, backseat quarterbacking, and un-informed critique is delivered not after you have performed, but during. There is always a hand on top of yours, fighting for control of the mouse, the steering wheel, or the cash-register. Everyone has a better way, everyone thinks your performance could be better, even when they have no idea what your performance entails.

Use me as you will
Pull my strings just for a thrill
And I know I'll be ok
Though my skies are turning gray

-- Your Guardian Angel
by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus


Today I'm struggling with the weight of criticism. Even the confident among us (a group in which most people would include me) feel the urge from time to time to be free of the henpecking and nitpicking.

I know I add value. I know I have worth. Usually my service gives me purpose. My purpose gives me strength. When my service is for fallible people, I forget and look for a fallible reward. Big mistake.

When I'm slipping and I've brought my eyes down, it is my friends that remind me to look up. Sometimes with their words, sometimes with their silence. It helps to have someone you trust pulling your strings.

26 August 2007

When Did Seattle Get So Many Posers?

Evidently the music scene in Seattle is cratering at precisely the speed that hot women are moving to that fine city.

This weekend I had an opportunity to visit some friends and as part of a birthday event see a Mickey Avalon show. It was the biggest piece of poser, white-rapper-wannabe, trash I've had the pleasure to dance to. But all the little Britney/Kevin/Ashton/ Jessica impersonators sure seemed to dig the new scene. It was like everyone just pointed at their favorite tabloid photo of random celebrity and said, I'm dressing in THAT outfit tonight. It was more sad and lame than humorous, but we laughed profusely anyway.

Since we were in the pit, my buddy Lane (who remains one of the hottest guys I know) got crawled all over by randomly hot middle-aged women. He was a great sport about ignoring them until they finally took the hint and found other places to rub their breasts and booties.

I spent a very full Friday talking with people about their careers, and then enjoyed a great bachelor party for my friend Greg. For Sunday, I spent most of the day flying around. To round out my weekend, I need a nap, a workout, and maybe a massage. Not necessarily in that order.

20 August 2007

The Perfect Woman

I thought that headline might get your attention.

Lately, I've been fortunate enough to have watched some episodes of a new show called Burn Notice. It is a really well put together piece of entertainment with some pretty decent writing. Not Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip level writing, but noticeably good.
For a job like getting rid of the drug dealer next door, I'll take a hardware store over a gun any day. Guns make you stupid; better to fight your wars with duct tape. Duct tape makes you smart.
-- Michael Weston on the show Burn Notice

Ever since For Love or Money I have been a fan of Gabrielle Anwar. She's not my type if we are speaking about appearances, although she is easy enough on the eyes. No, here spirit and spunk are always radiated in the roles she portrays. It is if even though she is an actress, this thing inside of her always shines through. Something that signals this is me, this is Gabrielle; I may be acting but you know me still.

Her latest role on Burn Notice is no different, but this post isn't about the lovely actress. No instead it is about the character that is written for her: Fiona Glenanne.

Fiona is fiercely independent and fabulously feminine. No matter what craziness is going on, she can handle herself and back up the people she cares about. She knows when to ask for help and she does so clearly and deliberately. Uniquely, she knows when the person she cares about needs her and does what is required without pretense and drama. Her character is woman enough to want to talk about relationships and feelings, but practical enough to set them aside so she can beat up a bad guy, or escape in a high-speed car chase. Just a perfect partner. What is so interesting is that she isn't traditionally submissive or supportive. But then she is.
Michael: Fi, you're here.
Fiona: I came by for a visit. The door was locked so I broke in.
Michael: Fi I'm thrilled that you've come by but Sam and I need to talk about a job so you...
Fiona: Job? Sounds like fun. I'm in!
In the latest episode, you see that she recognizes their partnership and isn't afraid to ask for what she wants. "I wanna help him. Do it for me, Michael."
Michael: I just walked two miles with a twisted ankle. What happened to "Keep the car running"?
Fiona: The car was stolen Michael. Your feds were getting curious. I had a gun in the car. Our little mission was in danger of being compromised so I returned to base.
Michael: And broke in again.
Fiona: I think our little post operation briefing has taught us that you need a car and I need a key to your apartment.
Michael: A key? Aren't you more comfortable breaking in?
When all is said and done, I find that the character of Fiona Glenanne is the most perfect female character I've yet to come across.

16 August 2007

Recognizing The Sucker

When did it become acceptable to use ignorance as an excuse for incompetence? If you don't know something and you don't put your best effort into learning it, you have no excuse. You are just incompetent.

If you have an opportunity to learn something you need so that your life or your job or your relationship will go smoother or better or more successfully, you should take it. If you don't, you have no one to blame for your failures but yourself. Only a fool spits in the eye of the man holding out a hand to help him.
If you can't spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, then you ARE the sucker.
-- Mike McDermott from the movie Rounders

As someone who routinely operates in rooms full of above average players I'm pretty used to being the sucker. There's no shame in recognizing it and working your butt off so that someday it won't be you. Now having said that, I do think you should be ashamed to be the guy who doesn't even bother glancing around the room to recognize that he is the sucker.

I have no issue with ignorance. It's been my friend and companion for quite some time, and I happily acknowledge mine. Simultaneously I push myself and those around me to stop associating with it as soon as possible. Being ignorant is okay, being unwilling to stop being ignorant is stupid. Making decisions and operating in ignorance is forgivable and often necessary. Continuing in ignorance when other possibilities exist is disgusting and foolish.

Don't disrespect someone who can help you, just because you want to look like you can do it yourself. When you disrespect people who are willing to help you get better, you stop being worthy of their help. Even if you do manage to gain some success on your own, it won't matter. Because no one will like you. And they'll all be within bounds to treat you like the sucker.

06 August 2007

Whirlwind

This past week has just been a ridiculous whirlwind of experiences. Here's a quick recap:
  • Sick on Tuesday.
  • Vegas on Wednesday.
  • Airline canceled the flight, then re-routed through Phoenix on Thursday.
  • Sick on Friday.
  • Seattle for SeaFair on Saturday.
  • Pikes Place Market, ferry ride, and flight to Newport Beach on Sunday.
  • Still sick on Monday.
There are many pictures, even more great stories, and some new friends. The best are the great stories which resulted in new friends.

Next up...healing.

25 July 2007

Weightlessness

In the last couple days I've had the same conversation about a dozen times. I guess that is good thing because it means I get to perfect at least my portion of the dialog. Unfortunately I have so little to offer in the conversations these days that even a practiced diatribe is still so mind-numbing as to bore a koala bear into a stupor.

There are a few lights at the end of the proverbial tunnel though. Firstly, the routine is gelling well. This is important and relevant (as my friend, M, would say). Secondly, thanks to other input from people I grow to respect more and more every day, I am managing to "chill" (yes, that is a technical term!) and revel in some relationships that are important to me. This may sound obvious to you, but as a classic over-intellectualizing, perfectionist, goofball, even the baby steps are worth celebrating.
It isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem.
- The Scandal of Father Brown (The Point of a Pin)

Letting my mind loose to wander and recreate leads me all kinds of places. Once again I find myself waking up with creative ideas, encouragements for others to be delivered, potential plans to produce happiness around me, and even the occasional course correction for myself. When allow your mind the freedom to feel, the room to breathe, you'd be amazed how Technicolor things become again.

Now if I can just make it through another couple weeks until I see my babies again. . .

24 July 2007

1 for every 12

The crushing thing about doing two-a-day workouts is the monotony. Wake up, go to the gym. Go to work, go to the gym, go to bed. Repeat. Effectively, you are in the gym at least one hour out of every twelve.

Sometimes this is great in that it makes things very stable and predictable. The routine can act as an anchor; a stabilizing effect on the chaos that normally is life. And let us face it, who doesn't need a little monotony from time to time?

For me, this routine is really helping me cope with missing my babies and the pressures of working in a hostile environment. One of my good friends encouraged me the other day with his perspective on how I've been changing. The fact that he would notice is in and of itself, remarkable.

In the past, it has been easy for me to dismiss the apparent shallowness of certain locales. As with many things, prolonged first-hand experience has altered those perceptions in subtle ways. For one, I harbor an increased respect for the vastness of knowledge and experience sheltered in the heterogeneity of this particular locale. The insightfulness and value I've gained from my associations here are not to be lightly dismissed. There can exist realism amidst the glitz and glamour. Oh yes.

Even though I am at best a novice in the emotional field in which I currently find myself playing, it brings me great confidence to have such sophisticated and senior players on my side. Even if only circumspectly and fleeting. After all, with so little to lose, why not risk it? It is like your first apartment with all the crappy furniture. So what if it all burns down? You would only be out a few bucks at the most. Being willing to let the chips fall, let the dice roll, is a trait for which I have to come to have a deeper appreciation. It's definitely harder than it looks.

17 July 2007

One of the Best Days...Ever

My son is celebrating his birthday. He is beautiful and amazing and a most remarkable person. When I struggle to be the man I want to be, thinking of him cuts through any paralysis or rationale. To see him happy is one of the most profound joys I've ever known.












My hope for all of you is that in some way, you will come to know someone, anyone, as cool as my son. If you find someone like that in your life, then have been truly blessed.

16 July 2007

That Freakin' Fish!

So it's Monday (again!) and yet again I have to accept the fact that I am just too busy. In an entire weekend, I couldn't find even the small amount of time to go check out the new Finding Nemo ride at Disneyland.

Okay, so that might strike you as an odd way to measure the success of a weekend, but it works for me.

You see, it isn't just that I am busy, it is the times in which I find myself occupied. If you're out late, you get up late. You get up late, you workout late, and so on. Until finally, you realize it is monday and even the simple things you set out in your mind todo you've completely glossed over.

Surely, I'm not the only one with an unrealized short-term goal? How the heck are the rest of you figuring this out?

Rant over. Back to work. Have a great week, everyone.

13 July 2007

Angels and Soldiers

As I meander along minding my own concerns and attempting to bring light and joy to those around me, I continue to flounder in my own self-absorption.

Friends I try to support feel isolated and abandoned. Negative nonsense from naysayers surrounding me weigh on my heart when I should shed their silliness like soot from a chimney.
You can only find truth with logic if you have already found truth without it.
-- Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) The Man who was Orthodox

You would think being a more or less mature adult, even one as childish of heart as I, would render you more or less immune to the potential pitfalls from the perverted perceptions of people I don't normal respect. Alas.

The good news in all this misery is that I learn from my failures. The more failures, the more learning. Or at least that's the theory.

It helps that in addition to the unsupportive types surrounding me, I also have the uplifting and enlightened ones as well. If you must visit hell, bring angels. If you must go to war, bring soldiers. In my life, I've been blessed to have access to both.

08 July 2007

A Thank You For A Friend

It was peaceful and sumptuous
A veritable exercise in extravagance
This quiet weekend of mine

Full of film and fun
Sand and sun
This quiet weekend of mine

Surrounded in companionable silence
Casually we cavorted and consorted
This quiet weekend of mine

Napkins after napping
Strength-building and sapping
This quiet weekend of mine

Alone in the crowd but not unexpected
A whispered haiku amidst the hiatus
This quiet weekend of mine

Heartbreaking and healing
Roughed-up and reeling
This quiet weekend of mine

Talking time ceased but pleasantly
A Friday frown becomes Sundays smile
This quiet weekend of mine

05 July 2007

Cirque Du Soleil

One of my friends was kind enough to send me a pointer today about Cirque Du Soleil tickets going on sale from TicketMaster.



I absolutely love the Cirque shows and I've seen most of them. I routinely travel around just to check out the touring shows.

If you have never seen a Cirque Du Soleil show, I highly, highly recommend you check it out. There is a special you can find out about at http://www.ticketmaster.com/summerofcirque?tm_link=tm_home_f7 that is putting up really amazing seats for just $50 this summer in Las Vegas.

There has never been a better time! If you wanna go, just ping me. I'd be glad to help make this happen because I'm always up for introducing people to this most spectacular and inspiring of entertainment.

Mid-week Holidays

The mid-week holiday isn't the best holiday. But at this point, I'll take what I can get.

Yesterday was fun and chaotic. Or perhaps it was mayhem and merriment. In any case, I truly enjoyed a mellow evening with good friends chatting and chilling to celebrate our nations birthday.

While I won't say I need to recreate more (I mean, let's face it, I screw around a LOT!) it is always good to get a reminder that recreating with friends is healthy. It clears your mind and resets all the brainwashing. The brainwashing you endure from other people, and the particularly insidious brainwashing you perform on yourself.

Now I need a day to relax and rest from my recreation. Working the day after Independence Day? Just crazy.

29 June 2007

A Dance, Dance Blur

This week was a blur.

One of my friends was actually in the same city that I was (Seattle!) and we didn't even get to say hello! Bummer.

But I did get a lot accomplished and took some fantastic pictures of the Fall Out Boy concert. I'll post all pictures soon to the usual places.








On a completely different note, my babies leave for Costa Rica soon (sigh).

So as to take my mind off not spending time with them for a while, this weekend I'll just be relaxing. Maybe I'll get out and see Live Free or Die Hard. Whatcha think?

23 June 2007

A Slow Recovery

Last weekend I was a mess. It had simply been too long since I'd been able to spend time with my babies. Finally this weekend I was able to rectify that situation.

We had a blast. They are so amazing.

It doesn't matter what else is going on, what goes right or what goes wrong. Being with them, seeing their faces, listening to their voices, letting them crawl all over me. Everything is okay after that.

Last night after watching a movie with them snuggled on the couch, eating ice cream and being scared, I had the best sleep I've had in a month. It's like they have pixie dust and being around them it just rubs off on me, making me happy and right with the world.

Or maybe it's just that we eat so much junk food and I'm on a sugar high.

18 June 2007

Your Smile Makes Me See Clearer

Father's day weekend is always a difficult time for me. The petty and insensitive behavior of others doesn't help.
your slowly shaking finger tips
show that your scared like me so
let's pretend we're alone
and I know you may be scared
and I know were unprepared
but I don't care

tell me tell me
what makes you think that you are invincible
I can see it in your eyes that you're so sure
please don't tell me that I am the only one that's vulnerable
-- Vulnerable, Secondhand Serenade

What really beats me up is my own conscience when I realize that I take my black numbness out on others without warning. It is one thing to be a disappointment as a friend, but when I fail to allow even those who consider themselves to be my friends to know my suffering; I slip further away.

I shoulder my sorrow and refuse to share, but even if they can't help carry, knowing how screwed up I am inside should give them the pause to compensate for my short-comings. Keeping them outside the reasons for my distance isn't fair; much like life.

Unfortunately, my servants guilt finds me and binds me for the numbness as much for the vulnerability.

12 June 2007

Quietdrive In Anaheim

Some time ago I went to a Bowling For Soup concert and got a preview of the band Quietdrive.



They did a fantastic job and I bought their CD. Just recently they did a show I was able to watch at the Chain Reaction in Anaheim. Once again they were really excellent.



This is a band with a great stage presence and several solid hits. Their new songs were not fantastic and a little departure from their otherwise reliable song-writing ability.



Lyrically unformulaic without traditional emo obtuseness I am glad to say they are on my list of Happy Punk Bands.

08 June 2007

One More Step

When you've been on a journey and you begin to see an end in sight, it is not uncommon for the travelers to begin to look up from the road and instead fix their eyes on the destination. This is not entirely without merit, excepting when you still have rivers to cross and jungles to wade through before your arrival. In those cases, it pays to keep your focus squarely on the steps directly in your path. When treading through the lava flows, it is the careful step that keeps you alive to enjoy the scenery.
I am a design chauvinist. I believe that good design is magical and not to be lightly tinkered with. The difference between a great design and a lousy one is in the meshing of the thousand details that either fit or don't, and the spirit of the passionate intellect that has tied them together, or tried. That's why programming---or buying software---on the basis of "lists of features" is a doomed and misguided effort. The features can be thrown together, as in a garbage can, or carefully laid together and interwoven in elegant unification, as in APL, or the Forth language, or the game of chess.
-- Ted Nelson
It is a lofty goal to produce elegance. Regardless of our aspirations, often as not, the measure of a design, like any art, is in the eye of beholder. With art that functions, it is primarily in the usefulness and fluidity of consumption that beauty and elegance may be found.

Nothing is more beautiful or elegant, then that which opens minds to be more, see more, create more, elegance.

28 May 2007

Snaps and Backlog

The good thing about having time on flights and locked in conference rooms without proper internet access, is that I get a chance to work on all my backlog of projects.

Yesterday I went through a host of old pictures and got them properly processed and posted. You can find them in all the usual places.

Also, I've been having some interesting conversations with my work counterpart as we've been able to focus without distractions on the tasks at hand.

Last thing for today is that my baby sister needs some prayer. Lift it up, y'all.

22 May 2007

Party People

Back in Mumbai again. Lots of work to do and it is easy to do nothing but work here.

Before I left California, I went out with my buddy. It was great to watch him work the room. In this episode he spent 40 minutes chatting up a duet. Inspirational!



After the trip over here, we immediately got down to business under the watchful eyes of management.



Some of us just read the paper.



I missed several days of posting on the blog. But I have written some new topics so check 'em out when you get a chance.