42

The number 42 is, in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, the "Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything", calculated by an enormous supercomputer named Deep Thought over a period of 7.5 million years. Unfortunately, no one knows what the question is. (from Wikipedia)   So I will reflect over the last 42 years...   42 years ago - tried to come out feet first and running in ohio, sorry mom 39 years ago - got a sister from the store, and a goldfish from mom & dad 34 years ago - moved to nc 30 years ago - finally understood the word y'all 27 years ago - got my first job 24 years ago - graduated high school 23 years ago - moved out of the house 22 years ago - kind of fuzzy 21 years ago - bought my first house 20 years ago - got married and got a little stupid with the law 19 years ago - fixed those mistakes 18 years ago - found a womb for 2 awesome kids 17 years ago - landed first real job 13 years ago - my favorite gal was born 12 years ago - bought another house 11 years ago - took career to a whole new level 10 years ago - my favorite little man was born 9 years ago - shit got real 8 years ago - got rid of the second mistake 7 years ago - rough year 5 years ago - got a dog 4 years ago - swam with sharks and learned about the word relax in belize, life changer 3 years ago - quit my job and started a business 2 years ago - shut down my business and started a new job 1 years ago - bought a bus and started a new adventure today - at 42, i don't have the answer to life, or anything really...   BUT I'M HAPPY AS SHIT AND THAT'S ALL THAT MATTERS   Thank you for all the birthday wishes (and trip around the sun congrats)

On wombats & salamander dreams

Maybe it's hard to appreciate, but pure pitch black night is beautiful. We live in a world of brilliant neon, bright street lights, convenient light switches and flashlights. We always want the lights on to lead the way. Have you ever stopped to look at the darkness? Soak in the emptiness of not being able to see what is near you? Close to you? In front of you? Look up. Look up at the stars on a clear night. Look up at the half moon shining through a cloudy sky. Look up at the storm overhead. Wait for lightning to illuminate. Then pause. Breathe in deep. We were born in darkness. There's always a light. Sometimes you just need to wait for it. Then close your eyes, the darkness behind your lids is the same, isn't it? Think where you are walking. Don't trip. Think about the uneven sidewalk. A lightning bug will help. A little bit. Feel what is around you. Sense what is around you. Know what is around you. Don't run into the wall that has been there for a hundred years, a thousand years. 1/2 Just Ten Lines Salamander slithers Into my dreams Knows only darkness Wombat burrows Escaping danger

Life, interrupted

To know a person is to walk in their shoes. To know Ian was to drink coffee (lots of coffee) with him and learn to move at his pace. At a young age of twenty something, he walked with a cane. He was an artist and had a brilliant mind with a take on life that surpassed anything I could ever imagine. We shared art class together and countless nights of me not coming home until well past curfew. We spent many late nights cruising Raleigh in his Blazer, getting into trouble, drinking coffee, getting into more trouble and drinking more coffee. We went camping at the beach, sitting up all night drinking the mixer for strawberry daquiries  because we were not quite of age for the alcohol part. I have many memories of "visions" we BOTH encountered when the moonlight danced it's magic on the moving ocean waters. White horses and giants. The sand. We lost touch for a few years, but found each other and once again, enjoyed coffee. The last time I saw Ian was in a photography studio where we did a photo session with some (I think) hot gals. We stepped out back of the shop after the session and cracked a couple of cold ones (we were finally of age to drink). After that, life happened and we lost touch. He seemed generally well, still with cane, but good. And we toasted to being over 21. Over the years, I haver tried to find Ian. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, People Search. I had people asking me if I'd been in contact. The answer always turned up as no, no one has heard from him in years. And today, I learned he has moved on from this world.  Almost 7 years ago, I lost a friend, a dear friend, and I didn't even know it at the time. We all lose touch for periods of time, but we expect that we will sync back up in a few months, or even years. Sometimes... that doesn't happen. I spent the afternoon in tears. I called the one person who loved Ian as much, if not more than I do. And yes, it was a call peppered with many tears. Life is short. Cherish every single fucking minute of it, because you never know when your best friend will be gone. Ian Sean Bennett, rest in peace my friend. All my love and we'll meet again on the other side.
"Ian Sean Bennett, 31, passed away Friday, October 12, 2007, at his home in Rocky Mount. He was born May 23, 1976, in Watauga County, Boone, NC. Ian was an Artist and previously employed with Lake Boone Photo Lab and Tri-Color Photo Lab in Raleigh. He leaves to cherish his memory, three brothers, James Tyler Diacont of Rocky Mount, Brian Cary Bennett of Prescott, AZ, Langdon S. Bennett of Los Alamos, New Mexico; his father, Brian C. Bennett of Alamos, New Mexico; his mother, Jennifer L. LaShorne and stepfather Jeffrey of Ft. Pierce, FL; stepfather, Dale W. Diacont of Waynesboro, VA; sister, Sabrina H. Bennett of Carbondale, IL. The family will receive friends and family Tuesday, October 16, 2007 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Johnson Funerals and Cremations on English Road. A graveside service will be held 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 17, 2007 at Oakwood Cemetery, 701 Oakwood Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27601 with Pastor Hank Vandergrift officiating." ~  source:http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/newsobserver/obituary.aspx?pid=96233871#sthash.qjc7wvGX.dpuf

Leaving perfection

You. You're dressed in blue jeans and a white blouse. Unbuttoned just enough, but not too much. It's warm out, maybe middle of June. The lightning bugs summon us. We leave tire on the road as we speed away in a black convertible, heading for somewhere, I don't know where. A bottle of wine down by the river. The bank lined with weeping willows, gently softening the harsh lines of the rocky shore. You grab my hand, sweaty palms. Moonlight starts to fill the sky as the water runs over tiny pebbles. It sounds like a song we've heard, so we hum along. Ripples in the water. Stars. Crickets. Gentle breeze. Sip of wine. I start to speak, but nothing comes out. You tell me to be quiet. I already am. A cloud briefly covers the light of the moon and I lose you in the shadows. I can no longer see your lips. Where are we, why are we here? The cloud disappears and the outline of your sweet face slowly comes back to my eyes. Something is different. I excuse myself to get a drink in the river. As I do, I look down on the surface. An unfamiliar reflection stares back at me. One I have never seen. One that seems confused, yet knows exactly why this perfect is not right. What makes so much sense just cannot be. As beautiful as it all could become, it will only lead to confusion. I can smell the jasmine in the night air. Darkness in all directions, lost. What way do I go? I start walking. I can see Orion, so I think I am still alive. I can taste the blood on my lips that are dry and cracked. I can taste the salt in the tears rushing down my cheek. I choke on the nectar of honeysuckle. I blink ten times. I wake in a cold sweat. Is this real? What is real? I jump. I hope to land on two feet. It is a long way down.

It’s the end of the world as we know it

So first of all, welcome to the last day on Earth! I've been working on this post since August, this is the last time we get to converse, so I have to make it perfect! Since this is the last day, I have no limits, no telling how long this list will be (and these are in no particular order). [Edit: Of note, this has been written across many geographies including Phoenix, Aruba, Chattanooga, Chicago, Key West, Buffalo, Tampa, Baltimore, Orlando and North Carolina (Home Sweet Home), so excuse dialect changes mid post.] A little bit of history: I'm thirty something, I sometimes act like I'm twenty something, my kids are both under 10, my body makes me feel like I'm seventy something, so I guess you could say that I span a lot of generations. My "learning to walk and talk" years were spent outside of Cleveland in the quaint little farming town of La Grange, Ohio. My "relearning to walk and talk years" have been spent moving as far out into the country from Raleigh, North Carolina as possible, as long as there is high speed Internet access. It's not that I don't like the city, I love it! But I also like to kick back under the stars next to a campfire and roast marshmallows with the kids. History will not matter tomorrow. The list of people and/or things I want to thank/be thankful for in the remaining hours of our existence... 1. Facebook (and Mark Zuckerberg) - Thank you for being a total geek and expanding Facebook beyond the ivy league. What you did was a great last ditch attempt to bring the world together before we all self destruct. 2. Orville Redenbacher - Thank you for bringing buttery movie popcorn to the average home in 90 (ish) seconds so that I do not need to pay engorged prices to watch a movie with my kids... AND, I get to snuggle with them on the couch. 3. Neil Armstrong - your footprint on the moon will last for at least a million years, what an impression! 4. Alcohol - could we have ever made it this far without it? It "makes white people dance," it makes ice breaker conversations a little easier, it makes us take our clothes off, it makes us say things we shouldn't say (or should say), it makes us fall down in public and run into walls, it makes us fall asleep in the chair or fall out of the chair if we're unlucky. 5. To my dog Lola, I never thought I'd have a dog, but you have been an awesome addition to our family. When I see the fireball in the sky, I'll let you out to run. I hope you can find a safe place and live out the rest of your life - your chances of survival are much better than mine! I'll leave the rest of your food out and a big pail of water to get you started. If you want to know what kind of dog she is then just ask my daughter... "She is part silly dog, part crazy dog, part cute dog, part clumsy dog, part lazy dog, part long tongue dog, part sniffer dog and part cuddle dog." 6. Kirkpatrick Macmillan, although there seems to be some dispute, in 1839 for developing the mechanics behind our modern day bicycles, for without them, as children, we would not have had so much freaking fun riding around. Bumps and bruises aside, our childhood would have never been the same without these awesome vehicles promoting staying fit and learning how to balance. And no, I do not make my kids wear helmets, I don't think that makes me a bad parent. 7. The wonderful world of the Internet for without it, I would not be here talking to you and for making life a little easier with online shopping, communicating, sharing, researching, the list could go on forever, but I don't have forever, so thank you Al Gore! :) 8. Sunscreen for allowing us to soak up harmful sun rays and feel protected. 9. Sex... uh, to the one that decided to put that in there, and share the ins and outs, you've kept us reproducing and I commend you!  Without you, it would be a planet of two. 10. 5th-4th Century BC Chinese and Greek philosophers describing the basic principles of optics and the camera. And further up the timeline, 1822 Joseph Nicephore Niepce for developing the first camera obscura and then again in 1880 when Eastman Dry Plate Company founded and started the photographic revolution. We preserved memories on paper (and then digital) and I honestly wonder why, who will look at them in 1,000 years? 11. Peanut butter and chocolate together, and I hate chocolate! 12. Hats off to country music! For my favorites... "Barefoot blue jean night" and "Midnight Chardonnay", you have gotten me through many a night, sparked many conversations and made me all warm and tingly inside (wait, that might have been the Chard). But seriously, what's better than songs about broken hearts, trains, trucks, pontoon boats and whiskey? I actually love all music, so my hats off to the caveman with a stick busting out rhythms on a rock and "Delta Dawn, what's that flower you have on, could it be a painted rose from days gone by?" 13. My ex-wife... yeah, I have to be thankful for her. We didn't exactly work out, but she wiggled out two awesome children for us to share. Since the split, although we have had some rough roads and nasty fights, we have gone back to being friends, which is how it all started anyways. [She actually has proofed (part of) this post and commented... "You think I just wiggled them out? You were there, you know that it wasn't that easy." Yeah, I know!] 14. Henry Ford for bringing cars to the masses, and also for those that many years later decided taking car manufacturing back to it's roots (hand made) and charge a seriously high premium for ultra fast sports cars. I love speed and gas and grease and power (and Top Gear). 15. Sushi, how I love thee. 16. For Gay Marriage!!! I mean really, marriage is hard enough (see # 13), so who really cares who you marry, if it works, it works. I have plenty of friends happily married to same sex partners and they are doing a hell of a lot better than I did! Love is love, companionship and compassion are just that-don't judge! 17. To drama, yeah, no, I could have been fine without you! 18. For eye glasses. From Wikipedia... The first eyeglasses were made in Italy at about 1286, according to a sermon delivered on February 23, 1306 by the Dominican friar Giordano da Pisa (ca. 1255 - 1311): "It is not yet twenty years since there was found the art of making eyeglasses, which make for good vision ... And it is so short a time that this new art, never before extant, was discovered ... I saw the one who first discovered and practiced it, and I talked to him." For without the spectacles, I should not have been able to see clearly all that was in front of me. 19. Ah, the Wright Bothers and pioneering powered flight. If it had not been for them, I would have never fallen in love with the Caribbean! 20. All of the awesomely fantastic 80's and early 90's flicks that I grew up with, The Breakfast Club, Risky Business, 16 Candles, Cocktail, Heathers, Goonies, wow, the list could go on and on, but I need to be conscious of the time. Oh, I cannot forget Dawson's Creek, for I spent many weekends in Wilmington on the waterfront wondering if I could get a glimpse of Katie Holmes (and the day she married Tom Cruise, they sent the rescue crew in to find my sunken heart). 21. Gardenia, Carolina Jasmine and Honeysuckle, you have made my summers fragrant. 22. Lego's... I love (still at 37 years old) playing Lego. I think it's really swell of you to have released the "Friends" collection for girls, I know my daughter loves that, it's kind of like a doll house with the ability to build something new and creative (oh, and I love the Lego hedgehog). And the Dino series, my son eats that up! 23. Edgar Allen Poe
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore, `Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, `art sure no craven. Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore - Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!' Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'
24. For The Dukes of Hazzard! 25. The keyboard, well, this one is bittersweet. Without it, it is difficult to compose crazy blog posts or to work, but it also has caused over 3 years of pain dealing with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome that has escalated beyond what surgery might be able to fix. Oh well, just don't laugh at the way I type, I can still hen peck with the best of them! 26. Angry Birds for passing time in a few situations I inadvertently put myself into that I kind of regretted. 27. Spam (the processed spiced ham?). 28. To books, I know you are made from trees, but I've always loved the way your pages turn as we passed time at leisure. Yeah, I tried the whole eBook phenomenon, it just didn't feel right, kinda like a bad kiss. So I should also give a shout to all the great authors I've read in my life, I won't name you all, not even sure if I could. 29. Midnight. 30. To Cassie who got me drunk is Buffalo, NY by serving me a quadruple gin and tonic for the price of a single. And for when I got stuck in Buffalo a few nights later due to delayed flights, she promised to take it easy on me with a light and tasty IPA. 31. Props out to Felix Baumgardner for having the balls to jump out of a capsule at over 128,000 feet above the earth. And land safely. And set some records. Not that those records will matter tomorrow. 32. To my employer for taking a chance on hiring me almost six years ago and letting me grow a job into a career where i can honestly say, "I absolutely love what I do and enjoy work, it is not always easy, but it is always rewarding." 33. Marilyn Monroe, yeah, I would have totally slept with you! 34. To Kool-Aid, for without, I would have never puked in 3rd grade. 35. To playgrounds, for without, I would have never had my first kiss in 3rd grade (and calling out the HashTag... #MyLastKissForManyYears) with a girl that was from Greece, and that same year, said, "Hey, you should go to Greece with me." - we never did. 36. For rain. According to the song, "Rain makes corn, corn makes whiskey, whiskey makes my baby, feel a little frisky" (Just need to find "my baby" in a short period of time, that's all we have left). 37. For toilet paper. 38. Waffle House, 'nuff said. 39. For blankets and snuggling on the couch and blanket forts when you destroyed every piece of furniture by removing the cushions and creating your own little haven to chill out in. You better remember the secret password to get in! 40. To pen and paper. There is a lost art of writing love notes (and other notes) and passing them around in class, hoping to not get caught by the teacher. Kids these days have no clue what this was all about. Those lucky enough to have not had a significant other burn them on the grill will have the luxury of going back and reading what you were like and the relationships you had. For the rest of us, if we only could. For the youth, you have Facebook! It's not the same. Check Yes or No. 41. For Egg Nog, not for Custard. 42. For cooties. Yes, there are boy cooties and girl cooties and they don't go away as you get older. They exist until you do the circle circle dot dot now I got my cootie shot ritual. If you don't know what I'm talking about, then you must have the cooties! 43. For Tacky Christmas Sweaters. 44. For prescription snorkel masks that let me discover the absolutely stunning world that lives below the surface of the water. 45. For the sweat shirt I gave my Dad when I was about 16 because I thought I was too cool to wear it. And the day when I was 37 and he gave it back to me with only a few small holes. What happened to quality craftsmanship? 46. For the zipper. From Wikipedia... "Elias Howe, who invented the sewing machine, received a patent in 1851 for an "Automatic, Continuous Clothing Closure". Perhaps because of the success of his sewing machine, he did not try to seriously market it, missing recognition he might otherwise have received." 47. For the wheel. This has sure made life easier. 48. For butt dialing. It's only caused a few awkward moments. 49. For my 6 year old son. What an awesome little man. He loves life, can be stubborn, get's shy around pretty girls (I think he got that from me), has one heck of an imagination and can talk non stop. He knows more about dinosaurs that I ever did. 50. For coffee that gets me going every morning. Black, velvety, hot. Again, Wikipedia to the rescue... "Other accounts attribute the discovery of coffee to Sheik Omar. According to the ancient chronicle (preserved in the Abd-Al-Kadir manuscript), Omar, who was known for his ability to cure the sick through prayer, was once exiled from Mocha to a desert cave near Ousab. Starving, Omar chewed berries from nearby shrubbery, but found them to be bitter. He tried roasting the seeds to improve the flavor, but they became hard. He then tried boiling them to soften the seed, which resulted in a fragrant brown liquid. Upon drinking the liquid Omar was revitalized and sustained for days. As stories of this "miracle drug" reached Mocha, Omar was asked to return and was made a saint. From Ethiopia, the beverage was introduced into the Arab world through Egypt and Yemen" "The Oromo people would customarily plant a coffee tree on the graves of powerful sorcerers. They believed that the first coffee bush sprang up from the tears that the god of heaven shed over the corpse of a dead sorcerer." 51. For my beautiful daughter. My Daddy's Little Girl. According to her, I do not know where the middle of her head is when I fix her pony tail every morning. She enjoys sitting on the front porch with me while I sip my morning coffee and we just talk, about anything. She's got a great head on her shoulders and reads well above her grade level, but most of all, she just has a really great personality. 52. For the cell phone. This one is also bittersweet. I no longer recall how we lived without them. It was one thing when you just received phone calls on them, now they are connected to everything, mutiple email accounts, text, web, Facebook. Do you go into shock if you leave your phone at home for a quick trip to the market? Mine is usually attached to my hip from 6 AM until 10 PM. I have learned (usually) to leave it alone on the weekends and almost every Thursday from 6 PM until Friday morning. It's a very rewarding experience to be freed for a little while from the thing that seems to run our lives. So I spend this reclaimed time with my awesome kids and the dog and doing normal things around the house, you know, fun things like cooking and cleaning and yardwork things. 53. For voodoo dolls. Yes, I have 9 of them. My first one was the only one that went through the naming ritual, I will not tell you whom it was for. Yes, I was bitter, yes, I was mad. The rest, well, they just sort of showed up because they are a great conversational piece. 54. For PBR and an acquaintance in NYC. I expected to buy you a $20 fancy mixed fru fru drink, and you wanted a PBR. 55. Brooklyn. [On a NYC kick right now] 56. For poetry slams. We all have a voice, some of us are just really good about sharing it in front of a live audience. I have yet to attend one where I was not in tears at some point in the evening (and no, it wasn't the alcohol that made me tear up). 57. For My Side of the Mountain. It took my wonderful sister and I close to 20 years to figure out the name of this movie that we both watched when we were much much younger. I was surprised one day to find a copy in my mailbox. 58. For the perfect kiss. 59. For Vegas, we have a love/hate relationship. I don't gamble, but I love your larger than life attitude. 60. To conch fritters. These tender yummy concoctions that scream "Caribbean!" [Caribbean kick now] 61. For crystal clear azure water that defines the Caribbean and every time I see it or dive right in, it takes my breath away. It's like a drug that I'm drawn to, addicted to and NO! I will not go to therapy because of my addiction, it IS my therapy. 62. For airport bars and the hundreds of people I have struck up random conversation with. Everything from sports to travel to higher education and all the things in-between. [Oh my, Chi] 63. For Chicago. Ahh, the many many stories I have from her. From the best in the world Bloody Mary at Reilly's Daughter to bacon infused whiskey at The Southern. We've been drunk together wandering the streets at hours that were probably not safe. We've reunited with old and dear friends and done vodka flights at The Russian Tea Room. I've watched a couple join in holy matrimony, walked a gazillion miles, breathed in the lake air, heard stories of the most odd things, almost taken muffins from strangers, bought a bottle of wine for a complete stranger and met really interesting people. I'd have to say that Chi is my favorite city, so full of life, culture, good food, great drinks, great friends. 64. For Navy Pier and a random three hour conversation with a complete stranger on a warm summer night. 65. For hedgehogs, the most adorable little creatures. 66. For everyone that knows how to Wang Chung tonight. And for those that know "Wang Chung" is translated to "Yellow Bell" and is the first note in the Chinese classical music scale, my hats off to you for that useless piece of knowledge. (This also makes the song a bit more odd... "Everybody yellow bell tonight?" WTF?). 67. For lawnmowers, although I do not hold on for dear life and whip you around the dirt track any more, you are the reason I have met so many wonderful people. 68. To pickled green beans, yum! 69. Emoticons. :) 70. Campfires. 71. For all of you that read my crazy shit. Honestly, I don't have a clue how many of you actually read this mess, although analytics on this site say there are at least a couple of you. 72. For not being normal, a little on the crazy side, but living and loving life. Any other attitude and it's a waste of breath. 73. To oysters on the half shell with a little squeeze of lemon, pinch of horseradish and a couple shakes of Tabasco. Ohh, my mouth is watering. 74. WiFi at 36,000 feet. How cool is that be be able to catch up on all the blogs I read while speeding through the air at over 400 miles per hour. 75. For proper Chicago hotdogs with mustard, relish, onion, tomato, pickle and hot peppers and a dash of celery salt. 76. Did I mention Chicago? 77. For Katrina and the Waves Walking On Sunshine - because that's how I feel! (I do like Aly & AJ's version better) 78. For my awesome sister and our front porch nights, we haven't had one in a long time, need to fix that. 79. For the fact that this list has grown so long and I have less than 24 hours to finish it. 80. For The Hobbit, Christmas parties, tacky Christmas sweaters, The Holiday Club and Mirai Sushi. This unlikely combination of things is turning out well. 81. ................ to be hopefully continued Maybe this is all a waste and the truth is that we all just love the drama that the world could end now! But really, it could end any day and at this point, only time will tell. I really think we are on a path to self destructing ourselves and the lovely planet we call home. But, should we all be here tomorrow, I think we should start to take life a little less for granted and appreciate each other more; Love a little more, hate a little less. Now for some factoids...
"It's the time when the largest grand cycle in the Mayan calendar—1,872,000 days or 5,125.37 years—overturns and a new cycle begins," said Anthony Aveni, a Maya expert and archaeoastronomer at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. The Maya kept time on a scale few other cultures have considered. During the empire's heyday, the Maya invented the Long Count—a lengthy circular calendar that "transplanted the roots of Maya culture all the way back to creation itself," Aveni said. During the 2012 winter solstice, time runs out on the current era of the Long Count calendar, which began at what the Maya saw as the dawn of the last creation period: August 11, 3114 B.C. The Maya wrote that date, which preceded their civilization by thousands of years, as Day Zero, or 13.0.0.0.0. -Courtesy of National Geographic
The end of the Mayan calendar coincides with a galactic alignment, in which the Sun will align with the center of the Milky Way galaxy. It is said that this rare event occurs once every 26,000 years and some predict it will be the 2012 apocalypse, potentially catastrophic consequences. The theory goes that on the day of the winter solstice in 2012, the Sun will be aligned with the center of the Milky Way . This alignment could mean that energy which typically streams to Earth from the center of the Milky Way will be disrupted on 12/21/12 at 11:11 p.m. Universal Time. This galactic alignment has the potential to create a shift in the Earth's poles, initiating the 2012 apocalypse, which would involve a sries of disastrous environmental events. There is also a good possibility that the effects will alter the magnetic polarity of the Sun. -Courtesy of 2012 Apocolypse
Maybe we should all just be looking forward to the next 1,872,000 days... or say Happy New Baktun! On another note, should you choose to spend you last day learning, go forth and educate yourself on the Maya Codices, and the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, it's freaking interesting! As for me, I'm going to go pour a drink, a Gin and Tonic to be specific, and wait for the big fireball in the sky to swallow me whole and should I wake tomorrow with a hangover, well, at least I woke up! Cheers and love my friends! (And good luck, I hope we can still chat tomorrow) [Final disclaimer, I've tried to note references where applicable, if I missed some, blame it on alcohol or sleepiness or laziness or that person over there]

Tonight

It's my site, I can break the rules if I want to! You have a choice! I have a choice! Live the day like you fucking mean it, or just treat it like another day. Live tonight like it's the last fucking night, or just have another night. Again, it's your choice, make wise decisions, but don't ever underestimate the power of you!

Honest (5)

Don't effing lie to me! I'm not going to lie to you! I will tell you the brutal honest truth and I expect the same from you. In my wonderful chain of event's last night, I ended up on the phone with someone I trust. And I was honest. You know how we all have those little phrases we say sometimes, and we don't really realize we are saying them? Well, this person has one. And every time they say it, I go giddy inside. So I was honest and said that that little phrase this person uses all the time is just adorable. Was this a come on, no, it was being honest. But really, being honest starts with yourself. It is true that a compulsive liar will get all fumbled up in the story because they are trying to keep track of all the lies. And they will slip. Why? Just tell the truth and be honest. If you tell me one thing and tell someone else something different, remember again those Six Degrees of Separation, we are only 4 and change apart, I'll find out, and I'll quickly, no, immediately, lose my trust in you. So you decide. If you cannot commit and believe that being honest is the best way to be intimate, and be passionate about it, well, you know what... go eff yourself. Sometimes, being honest hurts. I believe, though, that it hurts a lot less than not being honest. If you cover shit up...

Lies

... it's still shit underneath, and no, it will not turn into gold over time, or diamonds. And really, how can you live with yourself in a world that doesn't really exist for you? You have made it all up because you were not honest. That's OK, just like the turtle I recently had, I'm taking you back to the pond and letting you go. Don't call. Don't write. I have better things to do in life than to entertain you unwillingness to be honest. Yeah, call if effing bitter, won't hurt my feelings at all. I have pride (next time). Cheers my friends, for those that are hanging out through this all, thank you!

Commit (7)

This is a hard one. I've tried this once before, and it failed. I tried again, and it failed. But taking what I've learned thus far, if you are passionate, if you are intimate and you believe, then maybe you can commit. What are you committing to? What does it mean to commit? Again, I am using commit versus commitment for the same reasons I used believe over belief. To commit requires action, constant action. Some of this exercise started out because I felt that I needed a 5 year plan. I have been with my employer for almost 6 years now. I've grown, I do different things than I used to, but I do a lot of things. And sometimes when you do a lot of things, you kind of lose a little focus in your growth, lose the ability to commit. Not so much as an employee, or to what you do, but as a person. So, yeah, a five year plan, that would fix it all. Until. One of the key note speakers at a conference last weekend says, (paraphrased) "If we wait until we get to our five year plan, we will miss the mark. The speed at which the world is changing will not wait for a five year plan to come to fruition."

Shit!

Maybe I need a 3 year plan. What if that is too long, a one year plan? The answer is no to both. I simply need to determine what I want to do next. And commit to it. As soon as possible. And if I don't act fast, I will be passionately intimate when I believe I will tell myself to go eff off. But what does it mean to commit? My favorite definition is "to bind or obligate, as by pledge or assurance." Wow, that's a lot! That's pretty close to signing those 150 pages for a mortgage. Wait, signing a mortgage is to commit to pay that monthly payment. It really means that you are all in. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there right now that are no longer all in to that commitment they made to pay their mortgage (yes... I know I used the word commitment, because for those people, there was not constant action). I understand there are unfortunate circumstances, I do, it's when you quit taking action that it all goes south. I can tell you that I have been in a scenario where I was paying 50% on 2 different mortgages plus rent plus car payments and all those other things like utilities and food. And then I quit my job! Why, because I was going to commit to changing careers, to go into a field that I has passion for. And I believed in myself. And I needed to be intimate and take time to study, self educate, search for a job, network. It was not easy, not even a little bit easy. But it is possible to get through those times, especially when you commit. And you have to trust (next time). [You have to prioritize was hijacked due to a conversation that happened on Facebook last night, which made me realize that you can put off prioritization and that trust is more important, funny how life is always teaching you.]

Intimacy (9)

I'll start with a story, one that is a thousand percent true. I'm planning a trip next month to visit some dear friends in Chicago. They just got married (yeah)! We started talking about what to do while I was there and I jokingly said, "find me a date and we can double, she doesn't have to love me forever, just for one night." And I was being serious. What was said back to me was, "OK, but you need to talk! The last time we tried to set you up, you didn't talk." Then last night, after hanging up the phone at around 1:30 in the morning, I said to myself, "wait, you can talk, you just did!" Today, I sit here, and I wonder to myself what the difference is. Why can I pick up the phone and talk for hours to someone I barely know and then placed in another scenario, clam up and barely speak at all. And I'm starting to get it sorted out. And I think it has to do with being intimate. What is intimacy? Well, thanks to the Internet, I get a head start.
in·ti·mate (nt-mt) adj.
1. Marked by close acquaintance, association, or familiarity.
2. Relating to or indicative of one's deepest nature: intimate prayers.
3. Essential; innermost: the intimate structure of matter.
4. Marked by informality and privacy: an intimate nightclub.
5. Very personal; private: an intimate letter.
6. Of or involved in a sexual relationship.
So what does this mean? I'll skip the sexual definition, that's an area of intimacy that I know nothing about. It's been over three years and the 3 seconds I would last would be more like the movie American Pie than anywhere close to intimate. Stop laughing, I understand that statement was too much information (TMI), we can talk about that another day. You can call me pathetic if you want, and I will politely, with passion, tell you to go eff yourself (which could be intimate for you). So let's talk about what being intimate really is and try to figure out why this applies to all kinds of relationships and why there are times when I cannot talk. From the definitions, three words stand out the most.

Close. Personal. Essential.

First, what does close mean. Close is not just a physical thing, it's more than just saying that we are near each other. It means that we can connect. I get you. You get me. We can be close on different levels, for instance, we could be close in our political views, we share the same beliefs, the same theories. In this scenario, we may also be a battleground state and completely disagree on religion. At the end of the day, we are still being intimate with each other because it is personal. It really starts to become all about opening up. Being personal. I am certainly a person that has walls I put up for some people. I don't want to let them in, but for some reason, I need them. I also have a blanket fort (not my idea for an analogy, but it works) and as long as we play nice together, you are more than welcome to come in. On some days, you may be in my blanket fort, others, you may be on the other side of my wall. However, once you are inside, we can share deep dark secrets because at that point, I've accepted you and trust you to be intimate with me. As for those other days when there is  an eight foot thick wall between us, I'll just toss over a note if I need you. Lastly, it's essential to be intimate. You may be one that is intimate with a favorite author, you are close to their words, their writing affects you personally. It could be intangibles, I'm intimate with discovering ways to teach children how to think and reason. No matter how you chose to have it, it is absolutely essential that you have intimacy in your life. Intimacy changes though. For example, I have been intimate with a software product. We were really close. I even slept with the code, literally, I fell asleep one night working with the code. I could tell you how every wheel turned inside. We were close. And since I was also passionate about it, it was essential that I stayed so close. Over time, we grew apart, she changed, I got bored and moved on. But! We still stay in touch, and she allows me to be in her blanket fort sometimes, I just can't spend the night any more. It's OK for intimacy to change, we are not stagnant creatures, we evolve as I am doing here. I'm stepping back and wondering who and what I wan't to share my intimacy with. And maybe it's just for a little bit of time, maybe it's forever. One way or another, it's there, I cannot escape it. So how does this all go back to my scenario of being able to talk to some people like we've been friends forever and others I just cannot talk to? It is forced intimacy. Maybe I take things too seriously. If I sit down for dinner with you on a date, I expect that date will be intimate (No, I'm not talking about that kind of intimate), but in all seriousness, it "should" be intimate. And that kind of scares me. I am all of the sudden completely speechless. There is this hampster in my head that just stops spinning the wheel. He gets scared. Maybe my hampster should instead run like hell! A few years ago I ran into an old high school classmate. Yeah, I'll admit, I did have a crush on her then, but we are all grown up now and I got past that. The point is, though, that we went out to dinner. We ate, had a few glasses of wine and we talked. As I drove home that night, I thought about our dinner. It's hard to describe, but as we sat there, every thing else just seemed to fade away, there was no one else at the restaurant, there were no wars going on, no one was starving, it was just the two of us, enjoying each other, being intimate. Those moments where the "rest" of the world goes fuzzy, yeah, that's intimate. That night, I could talk, and I did, and she did, and we still do, but I was in a situation where I knew the outcome, we would have dinner, we would go home and we would chat another day. We were just two friends hanging out. So then I started thinking maybe it's the unknown that I'm scared of. In the case where I was on a date, I did not know what the outcome was going to be. Would we run off and get married? Would we have a huge fight? I didn't know! And I had the expectation that the evening should be intimate as we started to learn about each other. In the case where I was out with a friend, I knew exactly what was happening, we were eating, we had a great time and we will probably (and did) do it again. Not knowing what the outcome of a situation or a relationship is going to be, not knowing if you are, or should be intimate, well that absolutely scares the shit out of me. I need to learn how to believe (next time). Cheers my friends.