Tuesday, February 24, 2009

In The Buff

You always hear about people having dreams about walking down the street naked or showing up to their finals late and just as they start taking the test they realize they forgot just one minor detail. They weren't wearing any clothes. Other such dreams include everything from weddings to court cases to first day of school. If it is an important day or event, there has probably been someone dreaming about it happening naked.

Well, you would have thought it was just a bad dream. I was in fact being interviewed and I was not wearing any clothes. . . As I shut off the water to the shower, my phone started ringing. I was thinking that it my be my wife and decided to make haste for the phone. When I didn't recognize the phone number, I answered anyway. An hour later, I was getting dressed having finished the interview.

The interview went pretty well. They've asked for my resume and some additional information. So, this was the most unusual interview I've had so far.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Frustration leads to despair leads to anger leads to guilt leads to sorrow leads to tears leads to embarrassment leads to anxiety leads to panic leads to frustration - a seemingly endless cycle. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Forty and counting . . .

Ah the blessing of the internet and job searches. I've found over 40 positions relevant to my experience just this morning. I remember just a few years ago, resources for finding jobs were quite different and finding ten positions in a single day would have been spectacular. Of course, back then, if I applied to that many companies, I was pretty much guaranteed one of them would pan out. With the modern world, there are so many applicants there is no guarantee that my resume will make it to the decision maker, let alone get me an interview.

Anyway. This morning has proven to be pretty busy. Most of these positions required me to fill out extensive job histories and answer a few job specific questions. I have to remain hopeful.

Apparently. . .

11 years ago, I left California. I took my family and we moved 2000 miles from the only place we had called home. I had a few friends in Southern California. Sadly, I lost contact with just about everyone. It is difficult when life and distance interfere with relationships.

Were we really that close? That is what I must consider now. Although I considered some of these wonderful people an integral part of my life, it seems obvious that my perception and reality weren't quite aligned. Sad, really.

So, now, I have friends in Illinois and I am living in Southern California. I am left to wonder. Will these relationships prove stronger than distance and life trials? If they do, what made these stronger than those relationships I had over 10 years ago?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Serez vous ma valentine

Be my Valentine, for I
Each day have thought of you.
My whole life couldn't manage what
Your ready smile can do,
Vanquishing my loneliness
As though all light were new.
Let me be your Valentine
Even as you're mine,
Needing what I have to give
That each might each define
In friendship and in harmony,
Now you, now I the melody,
Each helping each to shine.

Valentine’s Day. The day of the romantic couple. Sending valentine cards first became fashionable in Great Britain in the 19th century. Since the 19th century, handwritten notes have given way to the more mass-produced commercial greeting cards. Esther Howland created and sold the first mass-produced valentines in the United States. The Valentines Day frenzy is hot and furious but no one could suggest it isn’t a moneymaker for greetings card companies and florists alike.

This year my Valentine’s Day plans aren’t going to be spectacular but I’d like my Dearest to know how important she is to me.


Bucket List

I really enjoyed the movie, Bucket List. It didn't hurt much that a couple of my more favorite actors were involved heavily in the movie. It’s a very entertaining movie about two old guys who aren’t like many people I’ve ever met, suffering from cancer in a way that is a lot less like cancer than anything I’ve ever seen and setting off on adventures like no one has ever done. Believable? Not really. Entertaining? Absolutely. The title of the movie refers to this list that Morgan Freeman’s character whimsically begins to compile. Things he wants to accomplish before he dies. I’ve never actually taken the time to make such a list, probably because I haven’t ever really accepted the fact that I am mortal. If I accepted that, I would probably eat differently, exercise more regularly and sleep a few more hours every night. Mortality is nothing I would like to consider – haven’t the time.

In any case, Roger Ebert laments that "The Bucket List" “thinks dying of cancer is a laff riot followed by a dime-store epiphany. The sole redeeming merit of the film is the steady work by Morgan Freeman, who has appeared in more than one embarrassing movie, but never embarrassed himself. Maybe it's not Jack Nicholson's fault that his role cries out to be overplayed, but it's his fate, and ours.” I for one found the movie rather entertaining. It was also this movie from which I gleaned the idea of a bucket list having never heard of one prior. I cannot remember the last time I agreed with Roger so I guess I should not take offense to his opinion about the movie.

So, here’s a list someone else started to compile. I’ve added to it. Every moment I continue to think about this I add something more to the list. Accordingly, this is not nearly complete. I thought I would mark those items I’ve done in my life. I think this might be a good start for my list.

(X)  Gone on a blind date

(X)  Skipped school

(X)  Watched someone die

( )   Been to Canada

(X)  Been to Mexico

( )   Been to Florida

( )   Been to Hawaii

(X)  Been to the Orient

(X)  Been on a plane

( )   Been on a helicopter

(X)  Been lost

( )   Gone to Washington, DC

(X)  Swam in the ocean

(X)  Cried yourself to sleep

(X)  Played cops and robbers

(x)  Recently colored with crayons

(X)  Sang Karaoke

(X)  Paid for a meal with coins only

( )   Been to the top of the St. Louis Arch

(X)  Done something you told yourself you wouldn't.

(X)  Made prank phone calls

( )   Been down Bourbon Street in New Orleans

(X)  Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose & elsewhere

(X)  Caught a snowflake on your tongue

(X)  Danced in the rain-naked

(X)  Written a letter to Santa Claus

(X)  Been kissed under the mistletoe

(X)  Watched the sunrise with someone

(X)  Blown bubbles

(X)  Gone ice-skating

(X)  Gone to the movies

(X)  Been deep sea fishing

(X)  Been Scuba Diving

(X)  Driven across the United States

( )   Been in a hot air balloon

( )   Been sky diving

(X)  Gone snowmobiling

(X)  Been Snowboarding

(X)  Lived in more than one country

(X)  Lay down outside at night and admired the stars while listening to the crickets

(X)  Seen a falling star and made a wish

(X)  Enjoyed the beauty of Old Faithful Geyser

( )   Seen the Statue of Liberty

( )   Seen Mount Rushmore

(X)  Seen the Grand Canyon from the ground (Not An Airplane on the way to Chicago )

(X)  Gone to the top of Seattle Space Needle

( )   Been on a cruise

(X)  Traveled by train

( )   Traveled by motorcycle

(X)  Been horse back riding

(X)  Ridden on a San Francisco CABLE CAR

(X)  Been in Sears Tower in Chicago

(X)  Been in the TransAmerica Building in San Francisco

(X)  Been to Disneyland

(X)  Truly believe in the power of prayer

(X)  Been in a rain forest

(X)  Seen whales in the ocean

( )   Been to Niagara Falls

(X)  Ridden on an elephant

(X)  Ridden on a camel

( )   Swam with dolphins

(X)  Been to the Olympics

( )   Walked on the Great Wall of China

( )   Saw and heard a glacier calf

( )   Been spinnaker flying

(X)  Been water-skiing

(X)  Been snow-skiing

( )   Been to Westminster Abbey

( )   Been to the Louvre

( )   Swam in the Mediterranean

(X)  Been to a Major League Baseball game

( )   Been to a National Football League game

(X)  Been to a Major League Hockey game

(X)  Been to a Major League Basketball game

(X)  Played in the snow

( )   Golfed at St Andrews

(X)  Backpacked the Sierra Nevadas

( )   Backpacked Mt Rainier.

( )   Pike’s Peak or Bust!

(X)  Bought Fish at Seatle’s Pike Place Market

( )   Driven an Italian Sports car in Italy

( )   Had Fish and Chips in London

( )   Tried to straighten the leaning tower of Pisa

( )   Stood in the center of the Roman Coliseum

( )   Been to Independence Hall

( )   Had a tea party in Boston Harbor

( )   Read the Address in Gettysburg

(X)  Been to Nauvoo, Illinois

( )   Been to Independence, Missouri

(X)   Been to Temple Square in Salt Lake City, UT

( )   Been to the Hill Cumora

( )   Ran with the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain

( )   Made Tomato Puree in La Tomatina in Bunyol, Spain

( )   Walked among the pyramids in Peru

( )   Touched the Giza pyramids

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Long Hard Fight, Wasn't.

A while ago, I remember sitting down at the terminal to post something about a trial or two I was struggling to overcome. Ultimately, I decided against hitting the “Publish Post” button. Looking back on that experience: it was actually pretty cool. I remember how I felt so very overwhelmed by the whole ordeal. I remember how the struggle seemed to drag on for eternity. I remember how I felt like the world was crushing in on me. I remember how I struggled to maintain my focus, persevering through it all. I remember that it was not really all that bad.

So, what is it about our lives that can make such a contrast of realities coexist? We struggle, work, force our way through the grime and when we look back we say to ourselves, “those were the best of times.” What is wrong with how we remember?

Monday, February 09, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Today, my youngest daughter turns 14. Circumstances as they are, I still think she'll have a fine day. We're meeting her mother for lunch after which she will go shopping for the afternoon. She'll be with family and friends all day. We'll finish the day with the dinner of her choice.

Thousands of years ago birthdays were considered a time when the bad spirits as opposed to the good spirits were able to harm you as this day changed a person's life. It was believed that the only way to keep the bad spirits at bay was to have your friends and family around you so that their good wishes and present giving would keep them at bay.

Also noisemakers are thought to be used at parties as a way of scaring away the evil spirits.

The custom of lighting candles originated with people believing that the gods lived in the sky and by lighting candles and torches they were sending a signal or prayer to the gods so they they could be answered. When you blow out the candles and make a wish this is another way of sending a signal and a message.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Salt Lake Temple

The design of the Salt Lake temple was intended to represent the priesthood, with the Melchizedek Priesthood and its five offices represented by the higher, east spires and the Aaronic Priesthood and its four offices represented by the lower, west spires.

I love to walk temple square. The peace that pervades the entire area is wonderful. And though it has been years since my last visit, I still remember the feelings quite vividly. Luckily, the solace can also be found at any of the Lord's temples. Upon entering His house, I feel His love and concern for my well-being. It is important to draw on His strength at all times lest I find myself wallowing in times of dispair in times of greater need. 

Saturday, February 07, 2009

This Week In Review

Incredible. I guess the jobless report for January was released this week. Almost 600,000 jobs ceased to exist in January. The national unemployment rate exceeds 7%. These are just two of the employment statistics for January. February's statistics aren't but four weeks away. I do not know what those will suggest. Sadly, those numbers will include me. Yes, my job was a casualty this week and I have entered the running for a new job.

So, this road on which I embark is a little crowded. A journey I would prefer I didn't share with anyone will be shared with thousands of others.

I have worked hard this week to remember that I am not an expression of the sum total of my job. Although my job is part of who I am, it hasn't and cannot define me. I am more than just a manager. I am more than just a business man. Still, depression, worry, frustration and anxiety are dark ominous shapes crowding in from every direction.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Barbecue Bacon, What Next?

I didn't find this without some direction. I am always looking for something new. Unfortunately, there isn't always something that sings to me. Most of the time I approach these new ideas with extreme caution. Well. This is something that looks like it would be an excellent appetizer on one of those days I've set aside for Brisket. A smoked brisket takes about nine hours and I get hungry while I make that effort.


This Week . . .

Linkin Park's Given Up (WARNING: PG-13):

Wake in a sweat again
Another day's been laid to waste
In my disgrace

Stuck in my head again
Feels like I'll never leave this place
There's no escape

I'm my own worst enemy

I've given up
I'm sick of feeling
Is there nothing you can say

Take this all away
I'm suffocating
Tell me what the &$&^#$# is wrong
With me
[end chorus]

I don't know what to take
Thought I was focused but I'm scared
I'm not prepared

I hyperventilate
Looking for help somehow somewhere
And no one cares

I'm my own worst enemy

I've given up
I'm sick of feeling
Is there nothing you can say

Take this all away
I'm suffocating
Tell me what the &$&^#$# is wrong
With me
[end chorus]


Put me out of my misery
Put me out of my misery
Put me out of my
Put me out of my *&^%^0 misery
[end bridge]

I've given up
I'm sick of feeling
Is there nothing you can say

Take this all away
I'm suffocating
Tell me what the &$&^#$# is wrong
With me
[end chorus]

World Nude Day, 2009

Some religions teach that clothing was invented to cover up the shame of our carnality, "Quick Hide." Other religions adhere more closely to a doctrine of sanctity and respect. While still others are simply quiet on the subject. Some people contend, however, that clothing is simply the best way to cover up the flopping shame that is naked jogging. I am ever so grateful that our society has chosen to "hide".

There's a day for everything and everything has its day. How many weird holidays must we have?

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Dueling PACs

Well, the United States legislature is working hard to find a solution that will boost our economy. At least that is what they want us to believe. In the past week, I've been contacted by both MoveOn.org and Country First. On the subject of the Stimulus Package they have very different tales to tell. One organization claims the Republicans are trying to stall any attempts the Democrats are making to move the country out of the financial malaise. The other is holding strong to the opinion that the current legislation is not about stimulating the economy so much as it is about spending money.

My opinion doesn't mean a lot to many others but I believe that any legislation claiming to be a stimulus plan should focus on just that - stimulating the economy. Do we need a spending bill or do we need something that will actually help the people. I think everything in the bill needs to be weighed against what it does to stimulate the economy. If its cost is greater than its benefit, it doesn't belong. If it isn't going to help, it is going to hurt. This is a black and white situation. We need something that will directly create jobs, jolt the economy and in short help people.

MoveOn.org wants my money to support their efforts to run advertising in key states where they claim republicans are preventing the passing of this legislation. Yes, their emails and solicitations all call on me to give them money. Reviewing the little I can actually find about the legislation in question, I am hardly inclined to give money to MoveOn.org.

Country First took a different approach. Country First asked me to sign a petition. Yes, there was a link provided if I wanted to support them financially. However, their message seemed to be more about educating me on the stance the republicans have taken.

Maybe you'd like to be heard? You can sign the petition or you can donate some money to MoveOn.org.