In my attempt to make my online journal miss me I gave it the silent treatment for a bit... not really, I've just been busy. And a little lazy.
Recently a 99 cent store opened up nearby. Their store flyer has quickly become my favorite thing to read. It's genius. Some highlights: -It reads, "Open 9am - 9pm, 9 days a week!" -They are giving away two dollar bills to the first few customers. It reads in parentheses, "A $1.99 value!" (you do the math on that one.) -The flyer touts "Famous name brand sunscreen" next to an image of a bottle with the words "Famous Name Brand" written on it. Some of the deals are amazing... -Three gallons of Niagara drinking water for $.99. Where is this water from and how is it so cheap? Squeezed from old sponges, I imagine.
I think I'd like to work there...I just don't know if I could get used to working 9 days a week.
Last night Jon Stewart came back onto "The Daily Show". He spoke and cried and shared. He spoke of one of his earliest memories - the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He went on to say that although the horror we have experienced was not a dream but a horrible reality, the aftermath has been a dream. Dr. King's dream. If even for a brief moment - we are judging people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.
There is still much humor in my life, I've just been too swamped to put it on this page. Soon...
On Friday night, Jen and I stood outside by the busy stop sign in front of our house at 7pm and lit a candle. We proudly wore t-shirts with the American flag on it (I had never been very comfortable displaying the American flag as it seemed to represent more than I wanted it too. I resented that somehow conservatism and guns became associated with our flag and the bald eagle) and sent our thoughts and energy to New York and Washington, D.C.
Cars began driving by and waving, and honking, and yelling in support. It was emotional and brilliant. Some neighbors also came outside holding candles and greeting anyone who drove by. A beat-up red truck carrying landscaping equipment drove by with three hispanic men in the cab. The driver looked over at us and smiled. He raised his triumphant fist and yelled out, "AMERICA!!!"
It was awesome.
Today I went to a city celebration/prayer held in front of the civic center in downtown San Diego . Thousands of people were out listening to the mayor speak as well as leaders from many different faiths (including a Muslim leader). It was powerful, sad, and wonderful. We sang and applauded and cried - it was a glorious feeling of community.
Councilman/Preacher George Stevens had a great quote. He said, "I've learned that you can't 'beat the hell' out of someone' - so I'm going to 'love the hell' out of them!"
I normally try to comment on what in this world makes me laugh or what seems absurd. But lately, the world got a bit too serious for me. Life will continue to be funny - but right now, all my thoughts go to those who are hurting. I hope everyone is okay and I send healing energy out to New York, Washington D.C., the families and friends who have lost loved ones, and everyone else in pain.
I must share some optimism about the tragedy. On Tuesday, we were excused from work. While waiting to get my car I found myself in a conversation with two women in similar situations. We chatted about what we were feeling and the insanity of the day. I wouldn't have normally engaged in that conversation, but I went away feeling better. Perhaps this nightmare will draw people together.
Later, a cop car was behind me while I was driving. When I turned 16, I went from feeling "the police are here to protect me" to "the police are here to catch me." But this day was different. I felt safe seeing the policeman in his car and his uniform - knowing that he was here to keep me and the citizens of San Diego safe. I hadn't felt that in 12 years.
Who knows what's next...all I know is that I am a thankful man to be alive and to feel the range of emotions that have surged through my heart and mind. Sending a hug...
We used a picture of Ollie and I for a Caption Contest on CollegeClub.com. Some of the entries were hilarious. Here are the finalist (although one of my favorites, "Why don't you do the 'Safety Dance' with me" didn't make it)
I have returned from Burning Man and I'm just now catching my breath. It was a wonderful, dusty, liberating, hot, glorious, creative time. So many amazing folks all together in the desert. A true treat of the senses.