October 31, 2006

I'll get you my pretty

Well, so it's Halloween. Time for Tricks or Treats, carved pumpkins, and all that jazz. I've spent weeks trying to get the razorblade apple thing perfected, but every freakin' time I bite into one of the apples, the dang thing gets stuck in my teeth. And poisoned candy? Forghettaboutit. How could you mess with the perfect taste of a Butterfinger or Kit Kat bar? Sigh.

Personally, I doubt I'll have any trick or treaters, but I've got my baseball bat ready. When they reach for the candy, I can thump them on the head and call them, "Greedy little bastard". hahaha When they wake up in the morning with an aching head, then they can beg mommy for some the candy they purloined the night before. Strange how that candy always disappeared when I was a kid. No matter how big my haul was, it was always gone in a few days. Methinks there was a ghost in my house that had a sweet tooth.

October 24, 2006

House of cards

You ever feel like your life is the same as building a house of cards but no-one ever taught you the trick that allows you to really build a big one?

That's a little how I feel lately. It's hard to describe. Other than a feeling that you are doing everything you can, yet there is a secret out there that could make it so much easier. I know everyone probably feels this way sometimes, but it's not a feeling I like and it's not so easy to shake.

When I was a kid, there was a woman that lived two doors down from us. Mrs. Rainy. She was old, and really mean old. I was her paperboy for years when I got old enough to do that. Before then, she was a neighborhood icon. Sweet old woman that always had a smile on her face. I recall at 93 she was still walking downtown (a few blocks away) every day. Like clockwork. Everyday.

I think they finally moved her into an assisted living community when she was 98. I remember hearing about her being at least 103 or 4 at one point. I imagine she still had that smile on her face. Like someone told her the secret. Or maybe she just figured it out. Perhaps there is no secret. You just do as you do and hope you did your best.

A toast to smiles at a hundred.

October 19, 2006

You should...

I had a conversation today with a woman that is 34 and her friends all think she should be getting married to live the dream they all have (being 40 and married). This woman described each one, but isn't like any of them. She said, "Why do I have to live up to some expectation about happiness?" The simple answer, is that you shouldn't. Nothing will stop insensitive people from prying into your life though.

Many couples that are married face their own version of this question. "When are you going to have children?" My favorite answer is, "I have a dog, I don't need children."

I've asked many deep questions in my life. Most of the time, I preface these questions with the phrase, "Don't answer if you don't want to." I always hope that people take that statement with the sincerity that it was intended to have. I'm saying, 'I'm asking a sensitive question which is none of my business. If you'd like to share, fine, if not, that is fine as well.'

What questions offend you the most? Does the relationship you have with someone determine the level of questions they are allowed to ask?

October 16, 2006


Today, I have a rather strange observation. Not all finger nail clippers are alike. Now, I guess this shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone as we all know the quality of an object varies by production method, raw materials and design. I notice this because I have misplaced my primary fingernail clipper and had to go with a secondary inferior unit this morning. My nails are clipped and looking neat, but the experience was simply not it's usual pleasure. Nor are the cuts neatly as round as normal. Honestly, I'm used to a little more precision.

I realize that this is such a small thing and I'm not really complaining (much). I just find it interesting how we become attached to mundane (and not so mundane) things in our lives and we fail to give them the appreciation they are due. I could give you lots of examples, like the mouse on you computer. How often do you clean it? Only when it starts skipping? Or are we all into laser mice now? No more rolling mouse for us. We'll take What is a laser for $65 Alex.

Consider for a moment the the ballpoint pen or roller ball that you take notes with, jot lists, and sign checks (does anyone still sign checks?). The development of a working ball point style pen took many years and many creative people. I could find you a reference to trace it's origins, but I'm tired and not likely to do so today. Just think how you treat this creation that allows you to put thoughts to paper is such and easy manner. And how we treat the object when it doesn't function as expected. Makes you think doesn't it?

October 14, 2006


One night not long ago I was sitting in the Rio de Janeiro Yacht Club. There are probably only a couple of more exclusive places in Rio. Then again, maybe there aren't any. An impromptu wine tasting with a group of new friends revealed some great wines and more than a few funny stories. Two days later, I'd find myself walking through two different Favela's (slums) in Rio. One the smallest with 4,500 residents, Vidigal, the other the largest, Rocinha, with over 150,000. It's amazing to see the striking difference between two segments of the population that sometimes live within short distances of each other.

I took almost 500 pix in Brasil. Here is a link to 230 of the best. See the Favela's, the graffiti, the beach and the mountains.

I grew up in the midwest and constantly miss the sunsets there, but after two trips to Buzios, I have to say they have the most beautiful sunsets I've seen anywhere in the world.

For five weeks, I was away from home. I've seen some of the most amazing sights of my life. I'm trying to come to grips with the opportunities I've been provided. The thing I missed most from home? Baguette and cheese imported from Italy and France. I marvel at saying those words. Two weeks ago I was touring the poorest slum in Rio and to be honest, the life there didn't appear as bad as I thought it might. We take so much for granted. Take a minute of two to look around you today and really consider what you have that others don't.