25 June 2009

A lesson before dying...

So this older gentleman and his wife came in yesterday.He looked like a picture of health:naturally tan skin, beautiful grey hair, and straight, bright teeth. He looked like several pilots I've seen in my life. His wife was slim and silent,but content looking.
He shipped his package and somewhere in the course of a few minutes slipped in that he was a cancer patient and a former pilot.
I was taken aback and instantly thought of Prof. Randy Paush of Last Lecture fame.
The gentleman then shared a little red book that he had written full of his thoughts on life and what's important.
I had to fight back tears when he shared that he and his wife had been married for 42 years.
Anyway, a constant theme I read in books by people close to death is perspective.
Mr. Tobias, Randy Pausch and others reiterate the importance of figuring out what's significant and living life accordingly. It's such a great reminder, even if sobering, that life is not only so short, but not gauranteed for very long. Why waste time being unhappy when you can be? Why waste time doing stuff you don't want to (within reason) when you can live the live you imagine, instead of imagining it?
Futhermore knowing how precious life is what do I look like caring about stupid stuff?
I try to do that,but I know I could do a better job. The most important things to me right now are *enjoying my time with my awesome family before I leave for France *keeping in touch with the people I love (not trying to, but doing it)*enjoying my summer as much as I can.*trying to get through my epic book and movie list*continuing my writing
Making beaucoup money is not on there.My parents are kind of annoying me suggesting, with the best of intentions, that I work like a slave in Texas prior to Juneteenth so that I have money when i get to France. But I know that I lived on a lot lot less when I was in Bordeaux and so know that I can live within and even beneath my means.
I really just want to be happy and am naive enough to think that I can do so without a lot of extra things in my life.
Except for my books :)

23 June 2009

Kinky Gazpacho...get into this

So I've been reading like a fiend this summer. It's a relatively cheap pleasure that yields such rich returns. I'm currently on a Kundera kick and pondering the great mysteries of life such as the nature of love and individuality and whether either can be understood. In fact if any human can be understood because we all speak different languages, symbolic languages that is.
I'm pretty excited about re-reading Kinky Gazpacho. This memoir is a beautiful story of a woman who reminds me of myself in someways. (That's not why it's beautiful though) It's about her learning the steps to dancing between two cultures: American and Spanish and somewhere finding her nirvana. There aren't many novels about African-American women travelling the world, yet there are so many who do, and whose stories could fill volumes of tomes. It's interesting to read about the Lori's experiences in Spain and compare them to my own in France. Hopefully, one day I'll add to this literary dialogue, but until then I can re-read and encourage y'all(who ever is reading this) to read it. To sum it up in a sentence? It's like Eat, Pray, Love (also one of my favourites) without as much whining and more flavor.
I lent it to a very dear friend who is actually studying in Spain this summer and I can't wait for her to come home, not only because I miss her, but because I'm going to re-read this book...actually I'll just buy it in paperback :)

17 June 2009

Jesus be the end of the day!

I started this morning at 2h00 because of a really horrid bad dream.I laid in bed fitfully until 7h30ish when I had to go for (30 min.of)training at job #2.
It's not 17h51 and I want nothing more than to go through a time warp and have it be Sept.3 when I'll see my four closest best friends my Oklahomies per se.
...I don't know if I can do this summer with two jobs. I'm already rather exhausted and looking raggedy.
I don't like worrying about money and agree with my friend D Mack that the world would be better if we didn't use it. I know it's my responsibility to take care of myself because I'm an "adult" but it's not so much fun.
Ben Folds nailed it when he said"everybody knows it sucks to grow up"...

11 June 2009

How the hell?

How the hell is one out and about after attempting to kidnap members of the Federal Reserve Board?
How the hell does that happen?
It shouldn't have. It's the mixed blessing bag of tricks we have in the First Amendment that allows people to say(write, publish) almost anything. Within reason. I'm not for the limiting of speech. But hate speech followed or preceded by violence ceases to be speech.
What disgusts me even more than this glaring lack of sense on the part of our judicial system is the fact that this man's dedication to hate did not disspate as he got older.
You are old go sit the f*ck down and wait to die and meet your maker.
I've never understood hating another group for something as arbitrary as race, gender, sexual orientation, or even religion (granted you can change that, but a lot goes into it).
It's disgusting.
But even in this tragedy, there is beauty. The security guard murdered was African-American. Perhaps it's too soon to memorialise him as a symbol of diversity, honor and goodness, but I'm going to. I think there's something in the message of his death and it's up to sane, decent people to reiterate throughout their lives by doing the right thing:judging and dealing with humans as individuals instead of as ideas.

08 June 2009

So family vacation was (surprisingly) great. I say "surprisingly" because to be honest, I wasn't sure how an 8+ hour drive with the six other members of my family would be. However, it was beautiful.
I think I appreciated even more because this is one of the last times for the foreseeable future that my family is going to be together, all together. Ken is going to Virginia for school, I'm going to France for who knows how long, and our family is changing...It's crazy.