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Last Visit 2016-08-31 20:34:36 |Start Date 2006-02-24 19:09:09 |Comments 11 |Entries 6 |

04/26/06 06:48 - 49ºF - ID#21045

Create Adventure

Two Words, Create Adventure. Once when I was a young teenager I remember having had to take a bus home from a friends house. After waiting for a few minutes with no bus schedule I decided to walk to the next stop and hope there was one posted. One stop became two stops and two stops became five stops and before I knew it I had walked about five miles and I was at least half way home when a bus finally zipped past me. Needless to say I walked another five miles and arrived home with a new appreciation for living life a little more loosely. In that span of a couple of hours and at an age at least half of what I am today I realized the value of letting adventure happen and in the process I learned to appreciate how much more interesting the journey can be when you are not travelling at 55 mph. I have done odd things in my life for the sake of finding wrinkles in my universe. I have often stretched that last ounce of gas in my tank several miles knowing that running out of gas is not a snag in my ordered existence but a chance to explore some place random. I once had a car on which the tank meter would freeze in place randomly so I never knew when I was close to empty, I did a lot of great exploring that year. It is not uncommon to catch me surfing in lake erie right before the lake freezes, Geocaching in January (Google it) or getting in my car on a saturday morning and driving until I have no idea where I am and I have to ask the local amish shoemaker how to get home after buying some pumpkin butter and looking at a quilt. I believe that much of this side of me was formed walking from bus stop to bus stop late on a friday nite. Adventure will always happen if you look for it and you have more time to let it develop on the way if you take your time getting where you are going. Today I had a meeting on the other side of the city and I decided to carpool without any knowledge of whether or not the carpool would be getting me home. The resulting walk through downtown buffalo reminded me that I live in a city, and cities are full of adventure. I definitley need to find some this summer. I suggest you do the same, or join me on mine.
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Category: quarter life crisis

03/02/06 12:23 - 23ºF - ID#21044

On Being Excited

I'm sure we all remember our first day of college, first kiss, first sexual experience, second sexual experience, third sexual experience. They all have one thing in common, excitement. The problem with excitement is that very few things in life can manage to bring about consistent levels of it. I can't seem to remember the last time that I was first kiss excited, and certainly not first sexual experience excited. I'm sure I've been 50th sexual experience excited quite often but I'm sure we don't need to go any further into that metaphor. It could get messy. But anyways. I'm taking a poll. When is last time that you were so excited that you could not contain yourself? I don't mean sexually, although that would certainly be an acceptable mode of excitement for this query.
Not that I'm a gloomy individual, my disposition is actually quite agreeable. I've just had so many wonderful experiences in my life that I think my bar is set a bit high these days. So here is a very abbrevriated list of my most exciting moments in recent memory. Not in any order.
The day I decided to go back to college
The the first time I caught a wave (surfing)
The day I graduated Marine Corps Bootcamp (Very distant memory)
The day I started my own business
Any time I've gotten on a plane to go somewhere new
The day I wrote my first piano composition
The day I played it for my best friend
The Day I got out of the Marines
The Day I got my scholarship for graduate school

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02/28/06 05:06 - 24ºF - ID#21043

Geek Defined

The term Geek is actually derived from a word that was used to describe carnival performers with strange acts. Some "geeks" would bite the heads of of poultry and others would do much worse. I believe they were in much the same capacity as a clown, the major difference being that a geek would have some specialized act that made them stand out and usually included something nasty. As a fan of etymology ( and no that is not the study of insects) I am always interested in finding out how such terms came to be used as they are today. I assume that as a geek was a carnival performer the term is associated in meaning with terms like joker and fool. So the question is, how do we find the historical bridge that takes us from biting the heads of chickens to taking over the world one bit at a time?
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02/24/06 10:24 - 26ºF - ID#21042

American Fundamentalism

For whatever reason, the fact that I can't stand to listen to anything that emanates from the mouth of our commander-in-chief or that I've been listening to Rush Limbaugh because our local NPR station plays jazz until 2pm I feel like I need to vent a little today. Now I must first qualify that I try to stay away from direct political associations but tend to lean towards the Libertarian platform. More on that I have also served in the Marines as my four readers already know, but I feel I must include that for the benefit of anyone who might accidently find my little outpost on the information superhighway. I mention the military because I have recently come to realize how much my experiences there have led to the thoughts I am about to spew all over this page and I am glad to have had such a powerful catalyst in my search to become an informed global citizen.
So here it is, once upon a time I was an infantryman reservist, a college student and generally oblivious to anything outside of my little social bubble. My most heated political debate would probably have come from my admiration of Bill Clinton's ability to dodge congressional questions like a prize fighter ducking punches, but beyond Slick Willy getting a little head in the oval office my understanding of national politics was abysmal and knowledge of the global landscape non-existent. Then some fundamentalist wackos decided to fly a plane into a building and all of a sudden things mattered. It just so happens that when every time the phone rings your heart stops because you think its going to be "The Call" the one that sends you to war, you start taking stock in the what and the why, the who and the where. It is unfortunate that I had to have something to lose before I realized how much I could gain by becoming a more global citizen. Six years ago I was an American, probably a patriot and definitely the norm, educated but uniformed, accepting of the biased media and not truly understanding what it means to be a part of a society that extends far beyond our borders. Today I am still an American I believe in globalism over patriotism, I believe getting educated is not a thing you do, but a way you live your life, I abhor the media and am very grateful for the Internet and its ability to disseminate information at the speed of light in spite of corporate conglomerates and there attempts to control what you think. The first part of this last statement is what would seem to be the most easily defined, I am an American. I think it needs to be clarified.

I am an American, I live in a bubble inside of which there are people who believe that for some reason their bubble was born of superior soap. We are a land of Fundamentalists. We criticize Islam for berthing such extreme ideological perspectives but we fail to recognize our own. If you are not sure what I am talking about here feel free to watch Fox News for an hour, or even worse, tolerate Bill Orielly, or Pat Robertson for a few hours.

I am an American, Therefore there is a good chance that I have aligned myself with one political party. How is it that we have millions of citizens and only two prevailing political ideologies. Our citizens vote with tunnel vision. I have money and the republicans want me to keep it, or I am broke and the Democrats are setting up a hand out, or maybe you love god and you are dumb enough to believe a politician and his religion are anything more than a direct path to your vote.

I am an American, This means that I am a minority in graduate school. I am the minority in an American Graduate school. How can we think ourselves so superior to the rest of the world when our students can't pass basic skills tests. Most Americans know barely enough math to balance a checkbook and don't get me started on the inefficiencies of our public school system as I could write a book about my feelings there.

I am an American. Therefore I probably believe that any place on the earth that does not adhere to a strict democratic system of governance, must be bad and therefore we should bomb them all to hell and force them to have elections.

I am an American. Certainly I must think that any country from whence a 9-11 bomber came, must be bad. I allow the media to reinforce this perception by constantly reminding me who was from Saudi Arabia, or the United Arab Emirates. Because of course my memory is too short to remember things like the Oklahoma City Bombing. I live 25 Miles from Star Point where Timothy McVeigh was born and as an American it must apparently be my God forsaken duty to shun the entire community and not let any kids thay I may have play with the children of Star Point parents.

I am an American. Therefore I think that Africa is a country and the Middle East consists of Iraq and Iran. I have no idea what Israel has to do with anything and I couldn't tell you where India is for all the curry powder in the world.

I am an American. Therefore there is better than 50% chance that If I voted at all, I voted for George Bush and thanks to me, a village in Texas is missing its idiot. Chances are I voted based on religious principle, I fear science because it encroaches on said principle and I relate to a president who couldn't string four words together eloquently if the words were spool, thread, cloth and pin.

I am an American. So I probably drive an SUV because "I just don't feel safe in a small car" or I compensating for something else that is small. I complain about rising gas prices but am so appalled at the idea of tiny fuel efficient vehicles that companies don't even sell them here. I've never seen one of these @ .

I am an American so I believe that every war that was ever fought in the history of the planet was fought so that I can have the freedoms I have today. Apparently political sociological, religious and economic overtones are really just a front for this fight and I am safer at night because we have really large bombs on the wings of really fast planes built by bloated defense contracts in the name of my safety and some heavily lobbied corporations profit margin.

I am an American, but I am also an Earthling. Yes I do live in a great country, but I take it for granted and forget that this great country is part of a wonderful Earth .

Don't get me wrong. America is a great idea. The land of the free, home of the brave etc.. The problem is people. We are inherently flawed. We flow like water down the path of least resistance, and in a land with so much opportunity resistance is easily avoided. We may very well be seeing the adverse effects of our own success.

I am an American. Therefore I have the freedoms that allow me to think critically of this country. I don't have to worry about state sponsored censorship of my google search results ( at least not yet anyways ) and therefore it is possible that someone else will find this blog and read these words. Now before you go thinking I've gone and contradicted myself, realize that as an American I am in a position to make a difference in the world. I have resources available to me that go beyond that of the leaders of some entire countries. I have an obligation to be critical of my politicians and the people who elect them. I must not believe that I live in the a perfect society and I understand that we bring much of our problems upon ourselves by over consuming and under producing.
Some day when I look back at my life and wonder where all the time went, I hope I will not judge the quality of my life by the things I have consumed and those as of yet un consumed things that I will have willed to my family, but by the extent of my understanding of the world and appreciation for the things that I have been afforded because I am an American and a Human Being.

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