About Me

My photo
I’m from New York but my driver’s license lists that my address is Ohio. My passport has a number of stamps in it. I’m the youngest of six, yet oldest son. I have a number after my initials, but not my name. I like music. I drink coffee at all times of the day. I am a follower of Jesus. I own my own business. I watch bonus features on DVD’s. For four months each year my wife and I are the same age. “I pledge allegiance to a country without borders, without politicians.” I am an ordained pastor. I’ve eaten raw horse meat. I’m fifteen inches taller than my wife, but I look up to her. I still prefer buying CDs to downloading music. I’m a night owl, who doesn’t mind getting up early. I like to shop, and my wife doesn’t. I like to play games. I moved to another country nine days after my wedding. I sometimes quote random lyrics. I believe in miracles. I prefer desktops to laptops. I like listening to audio books. I listen to hockey games on the internet. I have five sons. I'm living life mid sentence.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Starbucks Vs. The Church

For the last nine months I have been attending a church on a fairly regular basis and while my work schedule tends to keep me from attending every service the church holds, I have been able to make it to at least one if not two services every other week. After attending the church for this amount of time, I still feel as if I am a stranger in a crowd. Week after (every other) week I arrive with plenty of time before the service begins and I usually take my time leaving after its conclusion but so far no one has taken time to talk to me. Now, to be fair, I have had two people come up to me and say hello but both of those individuals were professors of mine from college. Before I get feedback from those who say “You shouldn’t be looking for your church to meet your interpersonal needs” I will say that my goal in going to church is not for have “my friendship needs” fulfilled but I will admit that recently I have asked myself why is it that I feel more welcomed at Starbucks than in a place where a thousand people profess God. Apart from leaving Starbucks with my beloved Soy Carmel Macchiato in hand, I normally am warmly greeted upon my visit and on several recent occasions, the employees have even had my special drink awaiting me by the time I made it through the line. I can honestly say that my spirits have been lifted more times within the last nine months by being treated like a real person at Starbucks, than by how my “body of believers” has treated me. While I don’t plan on changing the scriptures to read “Forsake not the assembling of yourselves at the pusher of America’s last legal drug” I wonder if those at the house of God could learn something from the pride of Seattle, the purveyor’s of the almighty bean.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Selfish Gentleman Seeks Imperfect Lady

I want to be in a relationship, but I think it is because I am selfishly full of wants. I want to have someone to lavish gifts upon. I want someone that I can surprise by having a single flower awaiting her on her desk when she arrived to work. I want someone that I can make feel special not for how she looks or what she does, but just because she IS special. I want to take her a bowl of chicken noodle soup when she isn‘t feeling well. I want to be the one to help her pick out the pair of shoes that will match the dress she bought for the special night. And I also want to be the one who returns the three additional pairs that she didn’t like once she tried the dress on. I want to spend hours on the phone without saying a word , but know that I did the right thing because all she needed someone who would listen. I want to give her a hug when no words can fix the situation. I want to spend all day working on her favorite dinner because I know she had a stressful day. I want to encourage her to go shopping with her friends even though I had planned a quiet evening for just the two of us. I want to miss the big game on TV because it is opening night at the theater and her favorite play is in town. I want to see the surprise on her face when I finally ask the question. I want to be the one that arrives at the church hours early to make sure that our day is perfect in every way. I want to spend three hours waiting for her at her car to surprise her when she leaves work on our anniversary. I want to be the one to tell her she is beautiful when she asks for the third time if the outfit makes her look fat. I want to be the one that encourages her to spend more on herself and enjoy every moment of it. I want to encourage her to get some sleep while I pace the floors trying to hush the newborn’s cry. I want to tell her that one mother’s day a year isn’t enough to show my appreciation for her. I want to give her the afternoon alone by taking the children to story hour at the library. I want to tell her that I don’t mind that she doesn’t look like she did on our wedding day, because I feel that she is even more breathtaking. I want to be with her when the doctor breaks the news that we had been fearing. I want to spend restless nights sitting in her hospital room instead of comfortable nights away from her side. I want to ease her concerns that we will not be able to make it without her. I want to give her permission to let go, while inwardly I am pleading for her to stay. I want to be the one to say the last prayer for a miracle and yet not lose faith when the prayers don’t seem to be answered. I want to be there to say the final goodbye. I want to be the one to experience the loss instead of having her mourn my passing. I want to be the first one at the church and last one to leave the graveside. I want to look back and not feel remorse for years missed but rather joy for the years we had. And I want to breathe my last breath knowing that her love was the closest thing that I ever experience to the love of God.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Restless

Tonight I am restless. I don’t know if it comes from being lonely or what but for the first time since I started my current job I honestly let myself ponder on the thought of applying for a job back in Buffalo. Through a strange set of circumstances, yesterday, I came in contact with someone whose father works for a radio network I listened to when I lived in New York. After the conversation I looked up the network’s website and noticed that they are hiring a news bureau chief for Buffalo. Part of me wanted to jump at the opportunity to move back to where my roots are but in all honesty I don’t believe that I am yet qualified for the position and I’m also not sure that I’m ready to overlook the reasons I originally left Western New York to return. If, however, I had a few more years of experience under my belt, and I still felt the way I do now, I am almost positive that right now I would be filling out an application and preparing to make a transition back north. Maybe I am not showing the gratitude that I should be showing for having a great job, which I love, but the loneliness that plagues me here in Ohio is something that I am finding harder and harder to overlook. But even if I were to move back to a place that is familiar to me I still wouldn’t have any guarantees that the loneliness I feel now wouldn’t simply change zip codes with me. In the mean time, as I gain more experience in my field, I am left with no other option than to cry out to God for the strength I need to overcome this loneliness and the determination to move forward with my life.

Monday, November 15, 2004

"It's Easier To Leave Than To Be Left Behind..."

“It's easier to leave than to be left behind…” belted out the artist on the CD I was listening to the other day. At first I was singing along without giving much thought to the lyrics, but then it started to sink in that this simple statement is truer than I had every really taken time to admit. When I was in college I would enjoy going back home to visit my parents, but leaving to return to school was easy and painless for me as my trip and busy life occupied my thoughts. My departures, on the other hand, were extremely difficult for my mother to handle and she was often overcome with emotion as the car left the driveway. Even though I had taken part in many departures from loved ones to that point, I really hadn’t really put much thought into being left myself. But that soon changed as the day on the day after I graduated from college. My parents stayed at my apartment that weekend and soon it came time for them to head back home, and at that time I experienced the sadness that had plagued my mother on so many previous occasions. This time, I was the one standing in the door way waving goodbye as the vehicle pulled out of the driveway leaving me alone. On several occasions since that day, I have had to say goodbye to friends and relatives as they left my hometown to return to their homes, and one thing I can say is repeating the process has not made it any easier. And what about the times when we have to say the ultimate goodbye? As hard as death may be, isn’t it harder to be the one left here to grieve, often alone? To this point, I have been very fortunate in that I have not lost someone that I am close to, but having watched individuals in their grief I would have to say that the truthfulness of the lyrics are not limited to temporary goodbyes, but also include goodbyes that have more permanents. While I cannot dogmatically say that I understand why it is so hard to say goodbye and be left behind, I can say that I am glad to know that one day all tears will be wiped away and all goodbyes will be nothing more than a fading memory of the cruel reality that we had once called life. Until that day comes, I am sure more sadness will accompany goodbyes, but as I experience those low points, I am glad that I have some hope to cling to that such moments are not the end of it all, but rather they are just small steps en route to achieving the ultimate prize.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Important Women In My Life

Four women have had profound impacts on my life up to this point. While you may guess that at least one of the women would be among the ranks of my family that is not the case. While I do appreciate my mother and sisters, they have not made their way into this list.

The first female to have a great impact on my life is was my math teacher from high school. Heading into her class my freshman year I already had a love for the subject but mathematics does not hold the answer to her influence over me. Though small in stature, she was a giant in the realms of education, both the kind that is found in textbooks and the kind that no curriculum can contain. On numerous occasions an entire class period passed by without any instruction in mathematics because something weighed heavy on my teacher’s heart, or on the heart of one of her students, and so she would preempt her academic plans for that day to address the matter of greater importance. As I look back at my high school years the greatest lesson I walked away learning was the importance of not missing the important things because we are too busy doing those things that are required.


The next woman that had an impact on me was a girl I dated when I was 21. At the time I dated this New Yorker I was working a decent paying job but the job was not very fulfilling. When many individuals around me encouraged me to be thankful for the great job I had, the girl I was dating encouraged me to pursue my dreams even if meant taking risks. Through her encouragement, I began perusing my dream of returning to school and eventually I went on to obtain my education as well as find my dream job. I am thankful that even though the advice I was given was not popular, someone was willing to encourage me to peruse my dreams, and through the encouragement I finally took the first step towards fulfilling my dreams.

As time moved on the next woman of impact came into my life. This west coast girl was unlike any of the friends I had had in the past. While she was fun to be around, her impact on me came from her willingness to risk personal rejection by opening herself up to share the deep, dark secrets of her soul with me. Some have said of me in the past that my life is often an open book, but this was the first time that someone was willing to become vulnerable with me by sharing things that we are often left to carry alone. By showing trust in me, our friendship was able to move past the realms of a casual acquaintance and eventually she became one of my closest friends.

The last woman of note is a friend I met at college who helped me discover my true personality. For years I had grown accustom to giving people what they expected from me but this southern belle, through accepting me for who I was, helped me to embrace life and live it to the fullest as God had intended. Through her encouragement I finally moved outside of the safety of my own personal domain and was able to enjoy life and what it has to offer. (On a side note, even if this friend hadn’t helped me look outside of the familiar to embrace new experiences, I think she would still deserve a place of prominence in my memory for introducing me to the music of Norah Jones.) At some point in each of our lives I believe we all need that someone who will help us enjoy life by giving us the encouragement to take part in the things that would not necessarily do on our own. In my case, once I overcame the limitations I had established for myself in my own mind, I was finally able to realize that there was a whole new world around me that was there for my enjoyment. Through my friend’s encouragement, I learned that I actually enjoyed many of the things that I had always shunned, and ultimately I learned how little I actually knew about my own self.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Do Liberals Ever Lose?

Liberals in America are mopping around this week trying to determine what they did wrong as they lost the presidential election, their leader in the Senate, and seats in both chambers of congress. As liberals lick their wounds and look to the future I began to ponder the question do liberals ever really lose in America? I know it may sound like an oxymoron since I already mentioned that their candidate’s were defeated by Republicans, if not conservatives, but do they really lose or are they just delayed from achieving their ultimate goals? After putting some thought into it, I would have to say that the left does not lose when those on the right win elections, but rather they are merely slowed down from changing society’s moral standards to match their own. However I do believe that every time liberals win conservatives do lose ground in their battle to retain traditional values. With every liberal victory I believe that another blow is handed to not only conservatives, but also to the foundations upon which our country was built. Alexis de Tocqueville visited America back in the 19th century and wrote in his book “Democracy in America” that America’s true power came from her churches and her religious foundation. Tocqueville wrote “America is great because America is good. And if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." With every liberal victory, more of our nation’s religious heritage is taken away and eventually we will be left with nothing but a shell of the great nation we once were. Even though conservatives were handed a victory in this current battle, I am afraid that the inevitable defeat has only been delayed barring a miracle from hand of the Almighty.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Election Year Torture

While America is breathing a collective sigh of relief that a hard fought election season is over I am already looking ahead to 2008 and asking myself if I will be ready for another election that soon. Unlike the previous two presidential elections that I cast ballots in, this election all but took over my life for the nine months leading up to it. I love being a member of the media but I will be the first to say that political coverage overload can, and did; set in early and by mid-June I was wishing I could warp myself past the remainder of the “democracy in action” time of our political cycle. One of my responsibilities working in a news department is to watch and gather news and so there was no escaping the continuous barrage of information regarding the men seeking our nation’s highest office. Don’t get me wrong, I whole heartedly believe that it is important for each and every citizen to be informed and to exercise their right to vote, but I am starting to believe that too much information can be almost as dangerous as no information at all. Living in one of the infamous “swing states” of this election, I was not able to even turn on a baseball game or MTV without being bomb-barded with commercials for or against a candidate. Now that the election is behind us and our President has been chosen I believe that I need a break from politics, as well as the news, to try and clear my mind and prepare for what is next to come. Unfortunately, I am not sure that there is enough time for me to prepare myself before this sick cycle carousel is ready to take off in route to election 2008.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

When it comes to politics, put up or shut up

Politics and religion are an unusual mix in America today, but it has not always been that way. A solid majority of our nation’s founding fathers were men of religious conviction even if they did not have a personal relationship in Jesus Christ. As we move close to this year’s election I have come across many within religious circles who believe candidate A or candidate B is God’s choice for our country but my question is should we as Christians be in the habit of making political endorsements? Anyone who has spent any amount of time around me knows that I have my opinions on just about every subject, including politics, but I am wary of praying that my choice will be elected because I personally feel that I should be praying that God’s will be done. Now I am not saying that I will handle the November election the way that 5 Point Calvinist handle evangelism, pray that God’s will be done and do nothing on my own, but as Abraham Lincoln once said, the question shouldn’t be is God on my side, but rather am I on His side. As I have matured in faith and intellect I have come to the point that I can see the logic behind why individuals vote for candidates on both side of the political fence but one thing I cannot stand is when someone makes an endorsement or cast a vote without taking the time to think through what their candidates stand for or the reputation that precedes them. The reason I am somewhat indignant on this subject tonight is do to the fact that I just returned from a concert in which a political endorsement was tossed around but the Christian artist making the endorsement did so without giving any logical arguments. “I am pro life for all life” she said, “and as governor of Texas George W. Bush allowed more than 150 executions to take place.” After other ramblings about how war is never a solution she preceded to say that she is casting her “vote for change.” Now, on the subject of war I can see how someone could be opposed to war but what about the hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis that were put to death for merely speaking up against their leadership? Would she say that Iraqi lives that were taken aren’t important aren’t worth respecting? But her comments against the war were not the thing that frustrated me the most, but it was her comment about being “pro life for all life.” So, let me see if I can figure out what she believes. She is against abortion and against capital punishment so since Candidate A, George W. Bush, did not offer clemency for convicted killers he is worse than Candidate B, John Kerry, who has cast votes in favor of abortion on demand which takes the lives of a million or more innocent, helpless victims a year. Maybe I am not the smartest individual in the world but her logic makes no sense to me. It would be like a person who is on a diet saying that eating one Twinkie is bad but eating two boxes of them is ok. My advice for this singer, and anyone else who cares to delve into the realm of giving political endorsements, is to first off think through your logic and have a good reason for why you want others to follow your lead. And secondly, don’t assume that your audience will bow down and take your advice just because you have star power. Either have logical arguments for why you believe what you believe or please, for the sake of everyone who has to listen to you, shut the heck up.

Friday, October 08, 2004

A Time to Mourn

Death is something that we all think about but rarely discuss. Even if we are spiritually ready for it, the fear of the unknown still lingers. When someone close to you loses a loved one, what can you say to them? If I know that their loved one was a believer I can reassure them that they are now in heaven, but can anything I say really help to console their pain? I am left pondering these thoughts tonight as one of my closest friends is facing this excruciating grief. Even though the death did not come as a surprise, it still is hard to take. The hard part for me is being twelve hundred miles away and not being to provide a shoulder for her to cry on, or to give a hug when no words will do. At this time of sorrow I am encouraged, however, by the fact that her father was loved by his family and that he will be missed. While some may say it’s a shame that his life was cut short, I would contend that fifty years full of life and love is better than ninety years of just passing time. If when it is my time to go I am mourned and missed as my friends father is, whether my life lasted thirty years, or if I lived to the ripe old age of a hundred, I will consider my life to have been a success.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

If The World Is A Stage...

If William Shakespeare was correct when he penned “all the world is a stage, and we are all merely actors” than the play that depicts my life has taken on several different theatrical forms throughout the years. On the sunny Monday morning that I entered the world my story was full of all the warm fuzzy features that usually accommodate a CNN People in the News drama. My young parents (father-32 and mother-31) were already proud parents of five daughters and were overjoyed to finally have a son. While my family did not have a lot of money we never went without the necessities and the close knit blue-collar family made it through. When I was four year old, my parents began a new venture, which was unheard of in our part of New York State, and began home schooling. The nine-hundred square foot home, which was barely large enough to accommodate a family of 8 under normal circumstances, at that point also became our school house. Family outings soon took on educational benefits and even trips to the playground somehow included lessons that we all could learn. As the years passed and I entered high school I moved on from home school to private school and my life became more of a comedy. How else can one describe the years that followed but to look back with a smile and laughter? After I completed high school and began my college my story moved closer to the realms of satire and away from that of a comedy. Over the seven years (and seventy-thousand dollars) I spent completing my 5 years of college I did all I could to avoid my books and spent most of the time with others who were avoiding their studies as well. All the emphasis that my parents had place on a proper diet went out the window as my reliance on Ramen Noodles and caffeinated beverages soared (not to speak of the breakfast of Snickers bars and Coke that usually preceded exams). But much like the high school years, my college years were soon behind me and I moved from the satirical phase into the tragedy of my life. A tragedy brings about a meaningful ending by way of calamitous events and so far I have not found a more accurate way to sum up this stage of my life. A tragedy epitomizes the clich├ęs “hindsight is 20/20,” “chalk one up for ignorance” and “you live, and you learn.” My only hope is that my life will not end as a tragedy but rather I desire for my life to move into the realms of a fairy tale where the unexpected becomes reality and my story ends with "he lived happily ever after.”

Thursday, September 16, 2004

A Fresh Start

You try and try to climb out of a seemingly bottomless pit until you see solid ground only to have the steps beneath you collapse as you tumble back to where you began. Tonight was one of those times for me. For two years I have tried to deal with a situation, of which I thought I was being successful, only to have all my beliefs and confidence shattered in a matter of seconds. All the ground conquered became quicksand beneath my feet as my beliefs that I’d made monumental leaps were confirmed to be merely baby steps. Well, tomorrow will begin a new day for me and my journey back to normalcy will receive a fresh start. In the mean time, a sleepless night will endure until the ever elusive sleep overtakes my active thoughts and gives me asylum from my worst enemy. My own imagination.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Memories From The College Years

On several occasions during my college years I was fortunate enough to be able to go on trips, to truly experience life and enjoy all that comes along with the whole college experience. On two occasions I went to visit my sister in Orlando and while there I took in all that Disney and Universal Studios had to offer. At a different point I even had the chance to go to Israel. But while riding roller-coasters and swimming in the Sea of Galilee were exciting, they are not the moments that I cherish the most from that period of my life. The times I cherish the most were the times I would just sat around in a friend’s office listening to music and the Tuesday nights jazz sessions in the university’s snack shop. Between taking exams and writing research papers I hardly ever took the time to close my eyes and breathe in all that was going on around me but on the few occasions I did, I knew that those were the moments that would be with me for the rest of my life. College, like many times in my life, flew by so fast that before I knew it the moments had passed and all that remained were the fleeting memories of a few great times. After receiving my diploma I can’t say that I looked back with regrets for spending too little time on my studies but instead what I do regret is the chances I had to spend time with others that I passed up. Some nights I opted to study instead of going out for coffee, and other evenings I sat in my apartment and watched movies while others were out sitting around bon fires. Much to the dismay of my parents and professors, if I could go back and relive my college years I would probably wind up with a 2.0 instead of a 3.0 but I believe that I would have fewer regrets and more memories to cherish.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Alone I Wait

How much longer can I go on with this loneliness in my soul? No matter how hard I try I cannot overlook the longing I have to have someone to spend time with, someone to share the important, and not so important, happenings of my life with. But month after month goes by and alone I remain. Is this my ultimate calling or has this loneliness been given to me to prepare me for something that is yet to come? Can one go for weeks and months without any physical touch and yet survive? I long for a warm embrace, a pat on the back, a caring gesture but alone I wilt as life seems to drain out my every pore. As the last ounces of my spirit seems to disappear a sliver of hope remains that maybe someday, somewhere, someone will come and bring the sparkle back to my eye and the joy back into my existance.

Friday, August 20, 2004

In Heaven

There will be no more tears.
No missed opportunities.
No snow days.
No muscle aches.
No flat tires.
No burned toast.
No deadlines.
No rain delays.
No heartache.
No allergies.
No doubts.
No headaches.
No regrets.
No debt.
No cold feet.
No bitterness.
No hunger.
And, no CNN.


Two Men Remembered

They were men of strong beliefs. Men who seemed to have it all. Two men with different past but similar looking futures. One grew up in a broken home in western New York, the other in a happy home in southern California. One was athletic, the other was not. Both started off small in stature. One looked to the military as a way of escape, the other escaped from the spotlight to join the military. Both men knew what they wanted and were willing to do what it took to achieve it. One of them had dreams of the Special Forces; the other was a member of the elite group. To those around them, both seemed to put their country above self. One served with honor in the Gulf War while the other with honor in the War on Terror. But as time went on, one of them began to feel disenfranchised by society, while the other continued to be held in high regard. One began to remove himself from society, while the other embraced life with arms wide open. One started to question the government and was not able to find answers. The other left few answers for the many who questioned him. They were two different men that met the same fate by different means. One was killed by an enemy of America. The other was killed for being an enemy of America. One considered life to be worth defending. The other considered it worth taking. Pat Tillman will be remembered as an American hero who gave up fame and fortune to defend his country, while Timothy McVeigh will be remembered as the one who sought fame by murdering 168 innocent victims in the Oklahoma City bombing.

Give Me My Equality

Over my life time issues of equal rights for woman have dominated the news headlines. Woman have demand equal rights in the work place, as well as in positions of authority. They have fought for the right to fight along side men in the military and for the right to earn the same wages that men do. They have held rallies telling woman to stand up and show the world that they are in every way equals of their male counterparts. But today is the day I plant my feet on solid ground and begin to fight back for my rights. Woman today say they want to be equals with men but that is only when they want something that they do not have. They do not, in other words, wish to share some of their rights with men. Let me explain. Women have fought for the rights of woman to be able to play on the PGA tour, but I am sure they would deny a man’s request to join them in their LPGA events. They demand access, for female journalist, to professional sports locker rooms, but would be offended if a man sought to enter their quarters. It is considered normal for woman to cry at sentimental movies but if a man cries he is considered weak. Women drool over Brad Pitt and Enrique Iglesias but if a male in their presence dares to take a second glance at J.Lo or Keira Knightley he is labeled a sexist. If a man makes a passing sexual innuendo towards a woman he is liable to be slapped with a harassment lawsuit but when a woman makes a similar comment towards a man she gets away with saying that she was “merely flirting.” Women demand flowers and cards for fictitious holidays; Sweetest Day, Secretaries Week, or Valentines Day to name a few, but consider it to be absurd when a man asks for a bouquet for similar occasions. Women are considered to be courageous if they seek the profession of being a nurse but when a man works in the same occupation he is asked if he failed out of medical school. And God forbid a man try and apply to work at Hooters or Victoria Secret. He will be shot down faster than America rejected the 8-track tape. But this is the day I take my stand. I stand here and proclaim that equality is equality. I want my chance to play golf with the women. I want the men’s locker room to be off limits for woman, or women’s doors opened up for male journalist. I want the right to cry at movies that touch me. I want to right to talk about my celebrity crushes. I want the right to flirt without fear. I want flowers for holidays. I want men who choose to be nurses to be honored and not ridiculed. And I want the right to work at Victoria’s Secret. After all, isn’t this what all of my rambling's have been building towards?

Life Without Regrets

It amazes me how spending $15.99 on a form of entertainment can change ones life. Well, it has and my life is the one that has taken a turn. I went against my better judgment of renting a movie before buying it and took the advice of an acquaintance that convinced me that a new movie was "absolutely amazing." Their recommendation persuaded me and I made a trip to the store and bought a copy of the film. It then preceded to sit on my desk collecting dust for a period of time until one night I decided to see if it could possibly live up to all its hype. Two-hours and five minutes later as I sat with tear stains on my face I realized that I need to make changes in my life. I realized that I had filled my life with good things, at the expense of what truly matters. And unlike those who reach the end of their lives with regrets of things that they hadn't done or hadn't learned I became determined to do that day what I had put off for more than twenty-six years. My pen could hardly keep up with thoughts as I frantically jotted down the questions to ask and feelings to share as countless emotions began to flood my mind. Determined not to let a day go by without taking action I purposed that, that day would be the day I faced what I had grown to fear the most. My past. Doubts of rejection or finding out more than I could handle began to overwhelm me but visions of regret kept me focused on my mission. As I sat at my desk an awkward feeling came over me as I pulled out a clean sheet of paper and began to pen the words "Dear Dad..."

Wal-Mart At Its Sexiest

Who ever knew that browsing the shelves of a video store could add so much laughter to ones life? Well, I surely didn't know until this evening. As I often do on a night off of work, tonight I stopped by the local "Family Video" in hopes of finding something that would catch my eye. Well, that didn't take long on this particular occasion. No, I didn't find something that I was going to rent, but I found a DVD title that was so out there that I didn't know if the correct response should be a simple "wow" or if I should just burst out in laughter. The DVD that caught my eye was: "Playboy: Woman of Wal-Mart." Maybe I'm wrong but I'm guessing that the genius that thought up the idea probably was looking for a new employer soon after (and I doubt Wal-Mart was interested in hiring him). Not that I condone pornography, but if you are looking for a video idea that would be a guaranteed seller I think it would probably be something like, Playboy: Woman of Victoria Secret, or Playboy: Woman of Abercrombie (wait, that wouldn't have to take off much to make that transition) or even in a stretch your imagination a little, Playboy: Woman of Starbucks (you have to admit that there is nothing quite as sexy as a woman who knows how to make a Caramel Macchiato). But Woman of Wal-Mart? At first I thought it was absurd. Then I thought it was gross. But maybe it is only my area where all of the Wal-Mart employees are either 85 years old or they are twice their recommended weight. Since I am not a subscriber to Playboy and since I had not heard of this scheme I was curious what kind of reaction the "moral conscientious" Wal-Mart executes had to Mr. Hefner's most recent actions. After searching the title in a popular internet search engine I found that several journalists perceived the same humor as I did over the whole idea. Afraid that I would see more than I should I did not click on any of the links but some of the more humorous titles to online articles were: "Woman of Wal-Mart, Roll Back Your Clothes", "Playboy Looks To Capitalize on Wal-Mart’s Best Assets" and "Playboy to pay a selected few Wal-Mart employees a decent wage." I'm not sure if investors in Playboy saw an increase in the value of their stock after the release of the video, but I do know that the title of the film alone was enough to brighten my prosaic life.

@!$# Yuppies!!!

I’d always seen yuppies as people with no identities who had fallen prey to the corporate world. They always dressed the same, walked the same and had the same hair cut. As I would see one walking down the street no doubt would be left in my mind that they had been bitten by the “yuppie bug” as they flashed the half smug/half smirk expression to those of us who dared to make eye contact. As they approached their freshly waxed sedans they would wipe off the small smudge mark that somehow had appeared on their vehicle in their absence. I must admit that I was always amazed at how they were able to carry a brief case, designer coffee and the Wall-Street Journal all at once without it slowing their stride or messing up their pristine look. I also admit that on several occasions I joined in as my friends laughed at them and I always swore off assertions that I would fall prey to their cookie cutter lifestyle. But recently I noticed that my mockery was lowered to a mere mumble as most of our differences seem to have faded. Then one recent event made me realize that what I had sworn off had become reality in my own life. Just last week as I walked out of a bookstore/coffee shop reading my New York Times and sipping my soy latte I realized that I had become the focal point of the laughter. Two teenagers, enjoying the last drag on their cigarettes, sat on the curb and as I passed by they mumbled comments as their snickering became audible. As I continued on towards my new Honda I couldn’t help but smile at how not so long ago I had been in their shoes and the realization hit me that they too will soon follow in my footsteps just as the next generation of naysayer will follow in their path.

And The Souther Girls....

Even though I still proudly don my favorite baseball team's cap I think one Yankee has had a change of heart. Upon my entrance into the Deep South this week I have fallen in love with the women, the atmosphere and the weather. While Christmas wouldn't be quite the same without a little snow, I believe for the women and atmosphere I would forego the holiday spirit settings. After all, isn’t a Christmas tree is still a Christmas tree even if it has palm leaves instead of pine needles? But getting back to the southern belles, what more can I say? I stand corrected for all those times that I insisted that "our northern girls could stand toe to toe with anything the South could put out." While I haven't spoken to any this week, and speaking only in superficial terms, I am ready to hand in my resignation up north and make the transition to Lee's country. And as for atmosphere? Let’s just say I walked into a Target today to find a Starbucks! That’s what I call heaven. Then after leaving Target, I noticed that there was a traditional Starbucks across the street located next to a popular bookstore chain that had a, you guessed it, Starbucks inside. What skid roe is to alcoholics, Route 280 in Birmingham, Alabama is to this caffeine feign. And while they currently remain the store display that is out of reach but not out of sight, I finally am willing to share the key to this cold hearted individual: A southern accent goes a long way in melting the ice that has built up around my soul.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Never On

It use to be a time to look forward to. A time where friends shared the minuscule happenings of the day, but in such a way that they seemed almost... enchanting. They were like a page out of a biography that disclosed only a portion of the soul, but when added together, revealed the whole being. Where else could trips to a market or acquision of "that new item" seem to draw the reader in eagerly anticipating every minute detail? Or the times where nothing of importance were shared but having someone there to share it with was enough to induce a smile. Those times may be fleeting but the "Remember when's...." still linger and continue to deliver fond memories.

Double JD Please!!

At times things seem to go along without a thought and then all of a sudden you come to a point that you start to think about more than just the menial day-to-day happenings of life. This evening was one of those times. Maybe I am just restless. Maybe it is the change of seasons. Maybe it is loneliness. I love my job, I get along with those around me, but something seems to be lacking. I could fill my time up so I wouldn't have time to think about anything else, but at the end of the day when you lay your head on the pillow all the things that are so important during the day slip away all that is left is what we try our hardest to avoid. But what other option do I have? So I lie awake pondering the things I've come to fear the most until the ever elusive sleep overtakes me.