Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Random Thoughts, Observations and Considerations for the Week..er..Decade

Being it is the end of the year and the decade I set my mind to all that I have done and learned over the last ten years. On January 1, 2000 I lived in Lincoln, Nebraska where I shared a 3 bedroom house with my roommates Steve and Cathy. Ten years later I live in Los Angeles and share a small, one bedroom apartment with my cats Oreo and Garfield. In between:
  1. I moved from one abode to another only 6 times, but across 5 states.
  2. I bought and sold two houses.
  3. I owned 3 Dodge pickups, a Jeep, a Mazda and a Ford F-150.
  4. In that same Ford F-150 I drove for 3 days across the Rockies with 4 cats in the cab.
  5. I flew in a plane for the first time.
  6. I gambled in Vegas.
  7. I saw both oceans for the first time (once I even saw them on the same day).
  8. I strolled through Times Square.
  9. I toured the monuments of Washington, DC.
  10. I was called "one lucky guy" by a complete stranger while driving down Figueroa.
  11. I went on a few dates, but only "dated" one woman and for a very short time.
  12. I had a stalker (or more politically correct - an aggressive female admirer).
  13. I watched football in the Rose Bowl, baseball at Dodger Stadium, hockey at the Honda Center and a Lakers playoff game at the Staples Center.
  14. I attended roughly a dozen weddings, a few funerals and a number of graduations.
  15. My most dramatic moving vehicle accident was in a golf cart rollover on a Wisconsin golf course.
  16. My most expensive vehicle accident was rear-ending a Ford pickup on a snowy street in Lincoln.
  17. I went to 3 different Six Flags amusement parks (a couple of them more than once).
  18. I attended LDS General Conference in Salt Lake City even though I'm not a member of the church.
  19. I met more people that I can remember - most of them good, some of them great.
  20. I lost family and friends and gained them, gaining more than I lost.
  21. I had some really great conversations almost always while standing in a parking lot, on a front porch or leaning against a car.
  22. I never figured out what I want to be when I grow up but I learned not to worry about it.
  23. I've seen hundreds of movies - only a few really terrible, most good and one or two that whispered of greatness, but more importantly I learned that movies are better with friends.
There was more, of course, but most importantly I learned that a decade isn't as long as it used to be.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Random Ruminations and Observations for the Week

  1. Chili cheese fries - one of God's perfect foods.
  2. Irony on 18 wheels; I saw an Isravi truck (that with the star of David in the logo) sporting a "Real Men Love Jesus" bumper sticker.
  3. I had the shocking revelation that the end of the decade is only days away. It's not something that should sneak up on me, but did.
  4. Is there any better place to have a burger than in a restaurant that was once a rail car?
  5. Why was it only the black guys were in handcuffs along Hollywood Boulevard?
  6. Another birthday - how can that be?
  7. As I think about the passing decade and my birthday I increasingly feel I cannot make it on my own forever.
  8. In related news, I'm considering another stab at eharmony.com not so much to date but to be reminded I don't really want to date as much as I think.
  9. There was a moment - Saturday around 11:30 at night actually - standing on the roof of a parking garage in Hollywood with Joanne and Camille, looking out over a clear view of the LA skyline, when I thought I was living another, far luckier man's life.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Minor Inconvenience of the Week

Loving and Caring

This comes about from the Christmas season. It also comes about from the ongoing analysis of why me (and one of my friends) remain single. Loving and Caring is a minor inconvenience. Remembering to call. Buying Christmas gifts. Remembering anniversaries, birthdays and other unimportant (yet consequential) trivia. Going over to their place. Cleaning up so they can come to yours. So many minor inconveniences.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

This Week's Random Notions

  1. Is it really possible to meet successful women in their 30's that look like the ladies in those Facebook sidebar ads?
  2. I'll miss our little walks together Freedom.
  3. I'm told I have a boring amazon.com wishlist.
  4. DO NOT play with another person's iPhone.
  5. Be mindful of freshly mopped floors while under the influence of alcohol (as relayed to me in story).
  6. From my dvdloc8 database: Favorite Director: Aaron Sorkin (7 discs), Most Common Distributor: Warner Bros. (44 discs) and Favorite Actor: Morgan Freeman (9 discs).
  7. Random Picture:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sharon Barth - A Remembrance

Last weekend we lost the woman I've always thought of as "Steve's Mom". I believe she would have been perfectly happy being nothing more - just Mom. Of course, being Steve's mother, not to mention being mother to Scott, Tammy, Jim and Gary was probably never "just" anything. Indeed, it was everything - to her and to those of us that know any of the family.

What I remember best about Sharon were the phone calls. I'd pick up the phone and hear her voice laced with the prescient knowledge Steve wasn't home (when I answered it usually meant I was the only one in the house). "Is Steve home," she'd ask. I'd tell her that he wasn't and explain that I either wasn't sure where he was or I'd detail what I knew of his busy schedule. Then it would come - the sigh. Deep and heavy, dripping with the disappointment that her little boy wasn't there. "Okay..." followed usually by another big sigh, "this is Steve's mom. Could you tell him to call me when he gets home." I could hear the love in that voice - the love only a mother can transmit in a sigh.

I'll miss you, Steve's Mom.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

This Week's Random Thoughts and Ruminations

  1. My unofficial calculation shows that the ratio of Wal-Mart customers in line to Wal-Mart cashiers at the Norwalk store is 35:1.
  2. Is there anything worse than dreaming you're at work? (Aside from actually being there maybe?)
  3. Tiger - I don't care.
  4. A chocolate chip cookie baked from scratch has mysterious and magically transformative properties in my coworkers.
  5. One second is a short span of time but much can change within it.
  6. I like the television show Fringe. I can't say why specifically, but I do.
  7. I take life's shortness and fragility for granted and the reminders of this fact are never pleasant.
  8. The eternal struggle - grappling with the distance between what I need and what I really, really want.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Minor Inconvenience of the Week

The Orange

I like oranges. I like the smell. I like the flavor. I hate the peel. Give me a glass of orange juice (even if the LA Times tells me its worse than a can of Coke). Maybe even give me a wedge of orange where I can gnaw at the good stuff and the leave the peel undisturbed. Just don't give me the whole orange.

Sometimes the peel is thick. Sometimes the peel is thin. Sometimes the peel will come off easily and in a couple pieces. More often the peel sticks and after several agonizing minutes and copious zest under the fingernails you're too tired to bother eating the thing. Someone should hybridize the orange and the banana - then we'd have worthy fruit.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

This Week's Random Thoughts and Questionable Observations

  1. New Moon - what gives?!
  2. Knowing exactly what the little floaties in my water are doesn't make it any easier to drink.
  3. Taiwan cuisine - almond sesame pork jerky trumps dried squid.
  4. A natural gas oven is worthless when the electricity goes out - but the pumpkin pie endures.
  5. I wasn't half bad drawing pictures when I was younger; why did I stop?
  6. I've come to believe that even in a house with wall-to-wall hardwood floors a carpet would materialize just in time for the cat to puke on it.
Thanksgiving this year:
  • It must be nice to have that kind of money.
  • My parents are not embarrassing. I know my parents aren't embarrassing because I also learned that:
  • One reason being stationed in Okinawa over Thanksgiving would be better than spending it at home is in Okinawa your mother cannot question you at length regarding your porn watching habits, specifically, did you watch porn in your mother's room that morning.
  • It's hard to find the right words to stop a discussion about porn without becoming part of the discussion.
  • I'm still not an athlete but I got to drive the Champion Turkey Triathlete around town. Also, Joanne plays a mean game of basketball (and yes, yes...she beat me).