It's Saturday morning and we're getting ready to take Cohen to baseball practice.
He's six. Keaton is eleven.
Sometimes that's hard for me to comprehend.
Listening to the Grateful Dead channel on satellite radio.
Just got back from a week-long vacation at Disneyland (for Keaton's birthday).
Decided I'm going to wear flip-flops today despite the overcast skies and chilly temperature.
A lot has changed, but a lot has also stayed the same.
I want to start writing again, mainly because I think it'll help me re-assert my forfeit claim on my own time.
I figured maybe I'd start small, something easy.
Try to keep it up.
Not giving myself the best odds.
You! Don't fret!
These days, the ones where you work twelve or thirteen hours, these days are going to pay off. OK maybe not in dollars. Or maybe not in respect or position or stature, either. OK what then? Self-respect? Don't think so. Personal satisfaction; yeah that's got to be it. Some Eagle Scout sense of selfless fulfillment. Maybe if it was thirteen hours in a soup kitchen. Thirteen hours, a daily 1/100,000th of a hundredth of a dollar change in stock price. OK so yeah it's not all toil and not a scrap of enjoyment. The chase; the race; the smugness of high performance.
More and more I want to steal some time back and writing gives me that. If I'm sitting here writing I'm not working or thinking about work. More: I've been wanting to write. I get home and I think about what I might write. I email one-line ideas to myself when I'm on the go. Motivation is a strange thing. Did you know that during the "break" this year, the one I may or may not still be on, I let the ten year anniversary of this blog pass silently by? Earlier in the year I had big plans for that September date... was going to do some big self-indulgent "look back" kind of feature... go all out. Alas, it came and went unnoticed whilst I wasn't writing.
Like I said, thought to day about how I wanted to write tonight; wrote tonight. To me that's good.
We're off, traveling again for weeks running, this weekend. Away from work for a while. Look for me.
Got into Vegas from Shanghai just an hour or so ago.
Upon seeing this shiny place ringed by desert again, I didn't expect to have such a strong emotional reaction. Maybe the jetlag contributed, but being here again after this summer's RV trip, for only the second time in my life, just smashed down on me and almost made my eyes water. It's not like I'm remembering something that happened twenty years ago, either - we were here back in July. I think it's a testament to just how impactful that trip was on me.
Maybe I didn't realize exactly how broadly the journey effected me, and to some extent maybe I'm still settling back into things and coming off that road-high. Writing might be one example of this. I know in my head that at some point I'm going to call this sounds familiar dead-time "the big gap." That I've already named it for future writing means I'm getting closer. More telling still are the ideas for entries that have been jumping into my head again; on plane flights, in taxis, on the soccer field, the shower; the usual places.
It could be that I haven't seen my family in two weeks, and won't for another few days before we meet again in Portland. Missing them and being here, a place where, even if we didn't really have the best time in the world, I was last together with them on this wild transforming journey, surely plays a part. I miss my family.
So I don't know... but I'm going to go out and walk the strip a bit (after a shower to wash the full day's travel off me) and see if I can catch further nostalgia.
Until later then.
Seems I've traded writing for something else. Not sure what it is yet, but pretty certain the swap came on the RV trip. Sharaun suggested perhaps it's a better sex life. If so, I made the right choice and the writing will come back eventually, it's all about the balance. No but really, being on that trip made me think about how the folks of old and how they lived in much closer quarters than do we today - coexisting in a one-room cabin in relative isolation from other humans aside from your spouse; no wonder they had bigger litters in the old days.
Wait; where was I... oh, yeah.
To put it simply: writing has been hard. I sit down almost every night with the best intentions and end up with nothing. I feel surprisingly little guilt about it, which I think means that it's not something I've "given up" but rather something that's not coming easy these days. I've been writing so long that I don't think it's something I can just quit. Until I get back on the horse though, I'm going to be unashamed about how long I go between posts here. I just don't care enough to force it when it's not right. Like other "healthy" habits I've let go the way of the dodo, writing will return and return strong... I'm just going to have to wait it out.
Let's see... what's going on...
Oh, Coco is crawling now - crawling all over the place, no need to call the developmental people with their slide rules and pocket protectors and physical training. In fact, in the past week Cohen's been all about what they call "cruising," which is where he pulls up and "walks" by aid of his hands on tabletops, couches, or anything else. He spends more time on his feet now than crawling, which I consider a clear signal that he's wanting to be walking, and likely will be here shortly. Like Keaton, he'll be late gauged against "the norm" or other kids his age, but like with Keaton I couldn't care less.
Don't know if I wrote about it, but he can talk too. His first word was "uh-oh," and now he's got "mama," "daddy," "sister," "Keaton," and "kitty" too. He also recently got an award from President Obama for being the "Cutest Baby on the West Coast." OK that last part is bunk; but he can talk and crawl and is almost walking. In fact I told Sharaun I think he'll be walking on his own by month's end. She says I'm optimistic, but it's true so I didn't punch her or anything for sullying my good name.
Things at home are normal: Sharaun let me get a flagpole and an American flag. I fly it most days, putting it up in the morning and taking it down again at night. She bought a UF flag and we fly that on Saturdays instead. I tried to do laundary and threw in some orange leggings at the bottom of Keaton's hamper and they bled all over everything and ruined stuff. Sharaun said they were dyed for Keaton's Halloween costume last year and she had purposely been avoiding them down there at the bottom of the hamper. Last Halloween?, I asked incredulously. One year in the bottom of a hamper. Keaton's doing well in kindergarten and playing soccer on the weekends and dancing too - I believe we've got our yuppie-parent dance card all filled.
See, first time I've written in weeks where it felt good. It'll come; just give me time. Goodnight.
... if I've abandoned the blog.
No; I want more than anything to write. About Keaton's first day of kindergarten; about how I'm working from 6am to 11pm on daily basis; about how we visited my brother and his wife for the first time since they moved to California. So many things to write about but not a spare second. Writing this in between answering email at 1035pm on a Monday. Got home at 915pm.
I've not abandoned anything, I just need to re-fit this thing into my day and haven't figured out just where to do that. Maybe at lunch. Maybe I need to do it early, before work. Nights aren't working. Days are too busy and stifle thinking. I just have to pick a new sweet-spot and get to work.
Aside from work, things have been rosy. Having sex often enough, eating well, weather is nice, money in the bank.
Be back later. Goodnight.
Watched the president brief the country on the debt talks this evening, then watched the speaker's "rebuttal."
Man what a disgusting, childish, disappointing and disheartening bout of playground name-calling. If the goal here was to further alienate the American people, to perhaps convince those remaining few optimists that the system really is broken, to appear petty and stubborn and pouty - mission accomplished. I both love and hate politics, but lately I've stopped caring because it's just a joke. If you weren't convinced yet that US politics has entered the era of reality TV, you likely are after tonight. Puerile, simply shameful - embarrassing on a global scale.
In the space where you are now reading this sentence I have typed, then deleted, three separate paragraphs. Most were about music, or about how I'm sitting here with the windows open at night waiting for my 10pm meeting to start, or about something silly that happened at work today - but all of them were boring.
A long-ago/still-today friend was in town from a world away and we spent the night imbibing and jawing together. After midnight the place turned up the mood lighting as a signal to the last few holdout drunkards: It's over; you have families; go home to them. We all filed out and I did that "I'm perfectly fine" walk for the hundred yards or so back to our house. Called Sharaun on the phone as I was walking up the driveway so as not to scare her when I jiggled the (inevitably locked) front door. Got in, took the trash to the curb, did the nighttime disrobe and teeth-scrub and was ready to count sheep.
Wanted to write, though. I see this guy - the guy that brought me out to the bar, something I don't do all that much anymore - maybe twice a year. We shared some fantastic times in years gone by and it's always good to sit with him and catch up. I like to think we share some similar motivations when it comes to work, and some of the talk is all high-school coed gossip-central but... I knew that when I paid the admission. I came for it, in fact. Why dodge? While it's good to remember the old days, it's even better to gnaw on the now; compare notes, talk shop. If you're a soap-opera kind of guy you can get swept away in the politics of it all. Big companies are all politics and the sawmill is a big company.
More than wanting to write about that, though, I wanted to just write. I missed writing whilst on the big RV trip and want to get back to it even if it's a strange not-so-complete sentence thing ala tonight. I don't care because what's important to me is the writing itself. Even if it's just a stray thought that's captured perfectly in two sentences; I don't know why I sometimes impose a stupid "album-length" mandate on writing anyway... it's stupid. A good sentence, a good paragraph, needs to be written.
Bah, it's obviously time to sleep. This has gone on too long. Fun tonight. See ya.