Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ignorance Has a New Name...

...and her name is Sharon Stone. 
While on the Red Carpet at the Cannes Film Festival she apparently opened her mouth and this foul comment was let loose, "I've been concerned about how we should deal with the Olympics, because they are not being nice to the Dalai Lama, who is a good friend of mine. And then all this earthquake and all this stuff happened, and I thought, is that karma - when you're not nice that the bad things happen to you?" 

There isn't much I need to say that hasn't already been spread like wild fire over the internet, but here are my two cents.

Firstly, for a Buddhist practitioner Sharon Stone sure needs to do some research on karma. Karma is when you say something offensive and hurtful to a Nation and you get your films pulled. Karma is when you compare 65,000 innocent people dying to a abuse by a government and you get all of your advertisements pulled. 

Karma is not a natural disaster killing innocents to pay back the crimes of a draconian government. Make no mistake, I completely disagree with the Chinese government's politics in many ways (Tibetan occupation, media and internet censorship, disregard for their  lower class,segregation of its minorities,  obstruction to the freedom of religion and freedom of speech to name a few). But to claim that karma is enacting against the people of a nation for it's government's actions is making karma to be a cold-hearted vindictive force, and not a universal energy that works towards equilibrium through cause-effect(as I believe it to be). 

This point reminds me of another article I read somewhere a few weeks ago. Many people are seeing the horrors of the Chinese and relating them directly to the people, and the nation as a whole. Many people are calling for the boycott of the summer Olympics due to China's occupation in Tibet, or their abuse of religious groups not recognized by the state. The article pointed out that doing so would only penalize the people as well. The Chinese people are a very proud and dignified people. The entire city of Beijing has been turned upside down, residents learning how to stand in line, memorizing English phrases, converting their shops to accept credit cards; all to become gracious hosts to the thousands and thousands of tourists that will soon flood their city. 

I visited China a few summers ago, and it was an amazing place. The people there are so hospitable and kind. You would walk into a house and they would feed you all of their food before they would even eat. They are a proud people, extremely loyal to family and friends, and exceptional hosts. To them the olympics is something they are proud of being a part of, they're hoping to show the Nation their best face. Of course all of this is getting over-shadowed by their government, but we should learn to divide these two constituents. A poor car does not make a poor driver, and visa versa. In America we should all be to aware of the fact that poor leadership can damage our image. If anything the Olympics will shine a spotlight onto all of China's dark spots, allowing its people to speak up against the government under the International eye. Which can only be a good thing. 

Monday, May 26, 2008


Wow, I'm old. As my friend nicely pointed out to me, today I have entered my late twenties. Twenty-six kept me within handcuffing distance to twenty-five, but now that I'm twenty-seven I've officially started slipping down that big hill where thirty waits for me at the bottom. 

I remember when I was still a young buck my father would constantly remind me that I should listen to him because he was much smarter than me, and that as I grew older I would realize this. He was definitely right. Even looking back a year from now I'm amazed how much smarter I am. The longer you live the more experiences you have, and one should always be learning from their experiences, as I've always said "It's ok to lose as long as you don't lose the lesson."

But I do like being older. I know more, I'm more experienced. I feel more confident in my work. I can take direction and I am confident in my follow through, I work hard and I am proud of the product I present. I'm becoming a better friend. I'm getting better at keeping in touch and taking action to see friends, and if things go rough I know it's better to communicate than to wallow in silence. I'm becoming a better son. I'm better at keeping in touch with my folks, and my brother and I are only getting closer. I'm beginning to appreciate my new location more. I know the side streets, I have found my passions within the bedlam, and I have found that nature is only a few hours away. My mind is sharper and more expansive. I'm better at focusing my ideas, and I'm getting better at supplying my thoughts with fruitful material. My body is getting used to itself. I feel it becoming more and more athletic, I may not be as strong or as fit as I once was, but I can feel my coordination and reaction times improve as I continue my sport-like endeavors; my muscles fitting over my bones like a worn-in leather jacket. Oh yeah, and sex gets better.

Of course with all of the good bad comes as well, for without the valleys there would be no mountains. There is plenty I have to work on in my life, plenty I still need to figure out. I'm not as insightful or as eloquent as Maya Angelou, but here are some lessons I've learned within the past year. Maybe you've learned these lessons already, or maybe you've already read them somewhere from another author. But regardless of whether you've heard these or not I recommend going out and making mistakes, love and get hurt, take a risk and lose, travel and get lost, say 'yes' just for the sake of saying 'yes.' You'll only be leading a fuller and richer life as a result, as well as learning first-hand from your experiences.  

• I've learned all cultures are beautiful, no matter how ugly parts of their face may be. 
• I've learned leadership is about keeping calm in times of strife, always having the answer (even if you are still figuring it out yourself), counting on the competence of others, knowing your co-workers strengths and weaknesses, treating everyone with respect, teaching by example, and not being afraid to speak up when it's needed.
• I've learned you can never take anything for granted.
• I've learned home is where the happy is. 
• I've learned that you should never judge an album before listening to it at least three times.  
• I've learned time stands still when you leave old friends, and when you meet up it picks right up where you left off. 
• I've learned the best tacos can come from the shadiest of places.
• I've learned Battlestar Galactica is actually a pretty darn good show. 
• I've learned that your parents will never stop surprising you (In good ways). 
• I've learned life is too short to not let people know you love them, even if it's the scariest thing in the world. 
• I've learned working hard will always beat bullshitting at the end of the day. 
• I've learned you can fall in love over night. 
• I've learned you can probably find anything in LA, or at last within two hours of LA. 
• I've learned that there is very little in life more satisfying then leaving a job well done. 
• I've learned The Simpsons will never stop being funny, especially in movie form. 
• I've learned timing is everything.
• I've learned grudges are not things worth holding onto. 
• I've learned it's important to remind yourself of your spirituality from time to time, it can get lost so easily in the chaos of everyday life. 
• I've learned I'm much happier staying active.
• I've learned you should never judge people. It leaves a much larger space for them to surprise you, and they most always will. 
• I've learned you learn so much more when your mouth is not moving.  
• I've learned I'm not getting older, I'm just getting better.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Fiction for Fiction Sake

I thought I'd try to spice my blog up tonight, and write some fiction before I go to bed. I haven't done this in awhile, so bear with me. *cracks knuckles* 

It started slowly. A low inconsistent hum, unsteadily building up into a sharp steaming whistle, breaking the silence of the night. He slipped on a faded blue oven mitt and picked up the scalding pot, placing it onto the stone counter top. One cup of tea before bed was the normal routine, or at least it had become his nightly regiment when he moved to the South West. The nights were much colder than back in LA. It was similar, they were both deserts- although one would not know it from the amount of flowers and trees blooming from the side of the road daily. No, it was much colder at night here. It was beginning to be that time of year where your breath would cloud and the Aspen leaves would create golden streaks running across the thick groves. He didn't know it at the time, he was still new, but after that autumn the images would resonate in his head. It's hard to not have that kind of beauty leave a mark. 

Throwing a sweater on he wandered into the dimly lit streets. As the door slammed behind him the cold air brushed his cheeks, carrying with it the undertones of fall. His small adobe house stood at the dead end of a street. Where the pink pools of night-lamps light ended, and the black darkness began. Just beyond it was an empty field of dirt and rocks. Such an odd concept he thought, an empty space within a city. Another odd change he found was the quiet. The absence of helicopters, traffic, city din, and barking dogs (well, that wasn't quite true, on occasion dogs and coyotes would pepper the night with noise until their throats went sore).  He walked down the street and into the dark field, his tea leaving a faint ethereal ghost tail behind. Keeping the cup between his hands he peered about the dark field, letting his night vision settle in. 

Soon the dark night sky began to separate itself from the black horizon, and the stars began to appear like thin needle pricks through a dark cloth. He hadn't quite gotten used to the stars yet, the sheer magnitude of the heavens. He had always known there was sky. He knew there were pink sunsets, gray overcast days, rainy dark days, clear moonlit nights where the entire world was a pale blue. But he never really knew the night sky until he moved. He looked about and tried to imagine constellations, he knew there was the big dipper, and there must be the little dipper. The only thing he knew of stars from back home was the north star sometimes, and Venus, which of course was a planet, and not a star at all. 

Venus glowed a dull pink color, matching the dull pink of the LA night sky, and was the only thing bright enough to pierce through the light pollution in the small blot of sky he could see from his hot tub. That was about all he knew about Venus, that and he was a Gemini, which meant he must have some intellectual rapport with someone before he loved them. That he learned from some book that was the planet where women came from, and no where near the planet men came from. He scanned the heavens for his old friend, that ball of pink gas burning in the sky. As his eyes began to become more and more accustomed to the night sky he began to notice more and more stars, like a billion small Christmas lights in vast darkness. There were almost too many, he couldn't determine which was his planet, that single heavenly body he could recognize. The earth and heavens danced in rotation as he stood solid like a statue; watching.

His tea slowly became tepid from the cold night. He was disappointed, sad, lonely. He couldn't understand why it was so difficult to find something he had known for so long. He knew what his planet looked like, he had it for all those years in the city. It was the only thing he knew of his night sky. But this wasn't his night sky anymore. It was huge. It was a dark blue tarp lit up by thousands of bright diamonds. It was the kind of night sky tribal wise-men and poets would write about, admiring its beauty. But it wasn't his night sky. It wasn't what he knew. Amongst the beauty and the vastness he lost the only thing he knew of night. 

Defeated and holding an empty cup of tea in his hands he walked back to the warmth of street lights. His feet shuffled across the dry rocky flats, kicking up unseen dirt with each foot step. Walking up the wooden stairs to his house he made a promise to himself- tomorrow I'm buying an constellation book. 

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Gentle Art

Today I attended my first jiu-jitsu class in over three months. During my work I had absolutely no time at all to train, and I missed it dearly. I'd have the occasional dream where I was grappling, I'd attack my co-workers with bear hugs and under-hooks, but it just wasn't the same. So finally with my free time I decided to get back into the game. I was a little scared at first, I was worried of being shunned from class having missed so much time. Like most martial arts there are some very strict codes of conduct, and loyalty is up near the top of the list, especially in Gracie jiu-jitsu. 

But it was actually great. At first I didn't recognize the early students, but soon some of my old friends came in. They all greeted me with smiles, and asked where I had been. Practice went about as normal, but at the end when my teacher made his announcements he called me up for a promotion. "Me?" I couldn't believe it. After a three month hiatus I was promoted from white belt to blue belt. A huge smile grew on my face, and I couldn't wipe it off throughout the rest of the rolling session. 

I know it's a blue belt, only one step above the beginning level, but in Gracie jiu-jitsu it's the second of five degrees (white, blue, purple, brown, black, and technically there is a red belt, but only the founder has that). Unlike Karate, Tae-Kwon-Do, Kenpo or a handful of other martial arts where they have up to ten belts, you have to pay to test, and promotions come more as a fundraiser for the school than a grading of your skill level.  Not to say all schools are like this, but most are very commercially driven. That is one reason why I am so proud to progress in Gracie jiu-jitsu. In the ji-jitsu school you are awarded a belt only when your teacher thinks you are ready for it. To achieve a black belt within Gracie jiu-jitsu you must be promoted by a Gracie (or so the lore goes). Basically I'm a very happy and proud boy. While I'm on the topic of martial arts I'd like to discuss a bit more why I enjoy and am fascinated by grappling martial arts.

In the martial arts world they have two schools of thought. A martial art is either considered "hard" or "soft". Hard martial arts rely on attacking an opponent, using fists, feet, elbows and knees as weapons (Karate, Tae-Kwon-Do, Jeet-Kune-Do, Muay Thai, etc...). Soft martial arts use the opponents attacks and turns them against the attacker, usually relying on throws, joint locks, and trips (Aikido, Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, etc...). Even in my mind I've always been "soft" in relation to how I approach strife in life. Instead of attacking my conflicts and trying to overpower them I prefer to step-back, and respond to what is thrown at me. 

I also like that grappling has such a vast library of moves, that for each attack there is a counter, and for every counter there is another counter. When you begin to get deep into the jiu-jitsu game you realize it is more like chess than anything else. A good grappler will see your move coming from a mile away, and they already know how to counter it. Like chess you can't just simply send your rook to attack their king, you must set up a long series of attacks in order to get your opponent to place their king into danger. This is exactly how a good jiu-jitsu game is usually played out. I like that technique can overcome size and power, which is the main strain of thought behind Gracie jiu-jitsu. 

Lastly I like that it can be gentle, in Japanese it is literally translated as "the Gentle Art." No matter what martial art you study the main lesson every student should learn is that they master the techniques so that they never have to use them. With jiu-jitsu I believe that should you solve a conflict you can do so with minimal force. I'm definitely a lover and not a fighter, but out of the few fights I've been in they've never come to blows. I've been able to deflect an opponents attacks as they try to punch me, headlock someone to the ground, or even get a key-lock to stop them from fighting (granted I was sucker punched after I released him, but that was taken care of by a 315 lb friend of mine). I don't condone unnecessary violence, and I'm not encouraging fighting; but sometimes it is a necessary evil. But as one of the principles of karate states, "There is no first strike in karate." Knowing that you have the ability should lead you to more creative solutions to conflict. Or as Sun Tzu eloquently puts it:

"To have one-hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the height of skill.
To subdue the enemy without fighting is the height of skill."
~Sun Tzu

Hmmm, the more I describe this the more it sounds like Bush should have done Karate as a kid. 

Friday, May 16, 2008


It's not illegal to post twice in the same day right? Let me check my blogging rule-book.... nope. 

I've recently been getting back into slack-lining. In case you don't know what slack-lining is it's basically tight-rope walking on a piece of tubular webbing drawn between two objects (trees, rocks, trucks, etc...). I started doing it back in college, my senior year to be exact, after being introduced to the balancing act by a rock-climbing friend of mine. After that first time I could stay up for more than two seconds I was hooked. I loved the meditative aspects of it. If your mind wandered just a little you lost balance and fell. You needed to concentrate on your entire being. Your mind had to envelop your body, and your body had to work at one with your mind in order to keep you perched on that thin-line. I also loved the fact  that it was a reality that mirrored the thesis I was working on at the time (A topic for another post perhaps. But in short I argued that our qualitative identity is directly affected by our physical relationship with the world. In other words what we do physically directly affects how we perceive ourselves). 

Anyhow, so I've gotten back into this old hobby of mine. Today I ventured to Runyon Canyon and did some slack-lining after work. After getting in my groove and feeling pretty zen-like I took a fall and noticed a small groundhog popping its head out of its home and snacking on a bit of grass. It was about a foot away from me, and completely unfazed. I stood there, motionless, just watching this small creature eat. I hadn't been to that park, but I was pretty sure that these animals don't just feel comfortable around anyone. I felt I had a stillness about me it sensed, and as a result it was not perturbed. A near-by couple scared the small creature away, and I continued my slack-lining. A few moments a loud couple of college students came into the park to throw  the frisbee and discuss various deep thoughts such as , "Dude Humming birds are cool. They'd be cooler if they did more," or "Top ten ways insects have sex? I'd probably say Dragon Fly, Earthworm, Beetle..."

Needless to say I could tell my meditation was coming to an end. But regardless I decided I'd stay and go a few more rounds. As I walked on the thin red webbing I noticed my furry friend popped his head back out on my left, and to my right, another critter head made itself noticed. It was about this time the two frisbee tossers (and I am using British slag here as a pun) wondered out loud, "Dude, what are all these holes for? I think they must be here on purpose." I smiled to myself. I felt like I shared some animal secret. 

When I was younger, high school/early college, being outside defined my being. It's really a shame I haven't been able to be more active outdoors, but I think I've learned so much from spending time outside, lessons that I've carried with me throughout my life. Being still and watching is definitely one of those lessons. You learn so much from just watching the nature of things. I know this is echoing a large part of my previous post on change, but I think it's an important point to be made. Had my noisy neighbors quieted themselves and observed perhaps they would have noticed the pattern of the holes and realized it was an animal who created them. Or notice the blur-like motion of the hummingbirds wings and appreciate its quickness. 

In life we learn so much by observation. As cavemen we observed nature, and learned from it. It was a grand teacher who taught us how plants grow and where animals create their habitat. As babies we were silent observers, watching and learning from our parents. It's just too bad that as we've learned to speak a lot of us have forgotten how to listen. 

Take only what you need from it

Anyone who knows me knows music is a HUGE part of my life. So I've decided to chime in with various music reviews and such on my blog. So here we go:

           •Kids MGMT•
The other day I met this girl who was a music reviewer. She had some great advice on reviewing/judging music, "Never judge an album until you have listened through it completely three times." Sage advice I thought, and perfectly applicable to this first pick, seeing as I've been listening non-stop to the song since I first heard it about three days ago. I remember it was in the office, and my boss played it for me. A simple beat at first, but soon head after head popped up from their desks like gophers on a mesa flat, "Who's playing that song?" "I've been obsessed with that song." I didn't quite get the excitement at first, but then I switched from laptop speakers to car with open window speakers... and I was hooked. 

The track starts with sounds of kids playing, transitioning to a beat of child-like simplicity you picture some small boy playing on his first synthesizer. Then the drums and dirty bass line kick in, instantly transforming the song into a carefree and driving, yet slightly dark and nostalgic track. The lyrics are simple, yet the chorus is catchy and you find no problems singing along. MGMT has the flowing lyrical sound of a high-speed Modest Mouse, the electronic-pop elements of a HelloGoodbye, and the playfulness of a Helsinki Architecture (if that all makes sense). I've only slightly listened to the rest of the album, but other tracks I really like upon my  initial listening are "Pieces of What,""Time to Pretend," and "Electric Feel." 

I highly recommend you checking out 'Kids' on iTunes, and at least giving a listen to the rest of the album a listen.

You were a child
Crawling on your knees toward it
Making momma so proud
But your voice is too loud
We like to watch you laughing
You pick the insects off of plants
No time to think of consequences

Control yourself
Take only what you need from it
A family of trees wanted to be haunted
Control yourself
Take only what you need from it
A family of trees wanted to be haunted

The water is warm
But it's sending me shivers
A baby is born
Crying out for attention
Memories fade
Like looking through a fogged mirror
Decisions too
decisions are made and not bought
But I thought this wouldn't hurt a lot
I guess not

Chorus x6

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Isn't it Ironic? Don't cha think?


Remember that little post just below this one? Turns out while I was working with my friend today (the mentioned girl from below as well) the California supreme court passed a bill to allow same-sex marriages after thirty days of today. Not only that, but unlike Massachusetts it requires no residency for the marriage license. That means any gay or lesbian couple from around the nation could technically drive/fly to California and get married. This freedom could be limited, however, depending on whether the other states (or the federal government for that matter) recognize said marriage license (which by the way the federal government doesn't recognize such marriage licenses). There are also many social and religious groups currently fighting to collect signatures to put an amendment on the November ballot to overturn this current ruling. Which would hypothetically overturn the courts decision mad today. So if the bill does pass keep your eyes and ears open in November, and be sure to make your vote count. 

But bottom line is: it has started. California, one of the largest and most prolific of the United States has taken steps towards allowing gay marriage, and it's only a matter of time until the smaller liberal states follow through. I think radical shifts in a nations ideology take a long long time (think about how much racism still exists in our country), but this is a start. And as the Chinese say, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

Oh by the way, the couple is now on the waiting list and will get married in California. 

Monday, May 12, 2008

Loving Lovingly Loving

I just ran across an obituary I thought would share with you. Mildred Loving, 68, suffered wounds from an auto accident and died in her home Friday, May 2nd. If you're like me you probably have no idea who Mildred Loving is. But after reading her obituary I was shocked that she is not more well known.

"At 2 a.m. on July 11, 1958, three policemen burst into the bedroom of Mildred and Richard Loving in Central Point, Va. One of them demanded, "Who is this woman you're sleeping with?" Mildred Loving said, "I'm his wife." Her husband, a bricklayer, pointed to their marriage certificate on the wall. "That's no good here," came the reply. Because Richard was white, and Mildred was part black and part Native American, their union was illegal in Virginia. They challenged the law as unconstitutional, though, and nine years later, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed." -The Week May 16, 2008

What separates her fight for other civil rights from others is that it was not really a fight for civil rights at all. Mildred never considered herself a racial pioneer, or a hero, she just fell in love. As she states in an address she gave back in June 12th, 2007:

 "When Richard and I came back to our home in Virginia, happily married, we had no intention of battling over the law. We made a commitment to each other in our love and lives, and now had the legal commitment, called marriage, to match. Isn't that what marriage is?" 

In a time where divorce rates for first marriages hover around %50, and overt sexuality controls our media and mindset it was refreshing to read about a man and woman who believed so heavily in love and their love for one another that they took it to the highest court in the Nation. Of course the racial and civil right implications were huge, and life-changing for the entire country, but what stuck out more for me was the humbling tone of Mildred. It wasn't a politically driven fight, it was a woman and man believing that love should be the highest form of power, not the government. 

I'm recently working with a lesbian (well, a few lesbians). One of them recently brought her girlfriend to work, and introduced all of us to her. As experienced as I am, love is still a convoluted and mysterious thing that sometimes makes no sense at all, often tearing at my heart or sending me down twisting alleyways with no end. But when I saw those two I was sure of what I saw: it was true love. The kind of love you you thought you had as a child before you learned to kiss, where holding hands for hours was just perfect. The kind heard in the vibrations of Otis Redding's voice as he trembles out "Come to me." The kind where you could swear among that in the middle of that busy Venice boardwalk they were the only ones standing there. They are engaged and to be married soon, but in Canada, not in America. 

When the court overturned the Virginia's law against interracial marriages the judge stated: "Marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights of man,' fundamental to our very existence and survival... Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State." Of course race is the issue here, and not sexual orientation so this ruling cannot directly be used towards an argument of same-sex-marriage in a supreme court today. But why not? 

Mildred and Richard Loving originally only wanted to be married. They wanted the love they possessed for each other to be recognized by the state. And shouldn't that be what marriage is about? I understand that marriage puts one under a certain obligation fiscally, fidelity-wise, and so on and so forth, but are we looking to far into it? In the days of prenuptial agreements, marrying for visas (which I just heard being called "marriedish"), marrying due to accidental pregnancy,  binge vegas marriages, gold diggers, and "power marriages" I think the entire institution is under attack at this point. Give marriage back to people who will cherish it and appreciate it. Not to say there won't be any same-sex couples who take advantage of the right, but there are so many out there who love just as deeply as Mildred and Richard yet are being neglected the right to marry who they chose to be their life partner. Marriage should be about the the devotion that the two parties are pledging towards each other, not about racial or religious prejudice. 

At the end of her life Mildred's biggest accomplishment was that she could choose the person that she loved as her life-partner, not that she enabled a black and a white person to marry. As she said herself, "I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard's and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment,  the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life."

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Spring has Sprung

Perhaps the most common phrase I utter to friends, family and strangers out here is, "Whatever you say about LA you can't complain about the weather." Temperatures here seem to vary between perfect, a little cold, and kind of hot. It's always like a temperate summer day back East. That is why it made me so happy today to see the lavender colored blossoms that speckled my route back home this morning. It was nice to see some evidence of spring in the never-ending summer that is Los Angeles. 

I miss the Springs from back East. The smell of honey-suckle in the air, the sun popping it's head out from behind the dark grey winter clouds, the geese flying back in off-centered V's, birds chirping, that first day you can wear a t-shirt again. I think what I like most about the spring and fall seasons back home is the change. The change that reminds you no matter how long and cold the winter may be new growth is on its way. Or when the leaves fall and the autumn chill hangs in the air you know it's time to bring out your sweaters and adapt. I think the season changes remind us of the passing of time, and that change is about the only constant in life. 

Locals here tell me the season changes here are subtle, and days like today remind me of that. One of my favorite memories from LA happened when I was making a side street U-turn and happened upon a small courtyard between two dilapidated red brick buildings. In the middle of the courtyard there was this beautiful pink blossomed tree standing by itself. Something about the juxtaposition of the graffiti covered walls and the colorful flora made such an impression on me. Amongst bustling urban environments there are still reminders of change. And not the high cranes building new apartments or the flux of traffic patterns, that's just human progression. I think it's important we notice the natural changes; the flowers blooming on the side of the road, the curvature of the moon, or the wrinkles in our smile. These are the natural changes that define life. 

Saturday, May 10, 2008

First Post

So I've decided to try out this blogging thing, for a few reasons. Firstly, I don't write nearly enough, and if I'm even going to truly consider myself a writer (which is a goal of mine at some point in my life) I better start writing. Second, I thought it might be a good way for friends and family to access some of my writing (I know how you all miss my opinions articles in the Tripod). Lastly, I'd like to use it as a way to express myself, share my thoughts and opinions so that they do not dissipate into the void, for as the Dakota Native American's say "We are to be known by the tracks we leave behind." By tracking my thoughts on here maybe I could one day collect them all into a larger volume. 

Anyhow, thank you for reading, and joining me on this venture. I hope you enjoy the posts to come, and please chime in with thoughts, feelings, and comments. (I do love discourse).