Saturday, September 27, 2008

And the Winner Is...

No one. I just finished watching the first Presidential Debate between Barack Obama and John McCain. Now, even though I've admitted to being in the tank for Obama, I'd have to say that neither candidate really knocked this debate out of the park. It was a rather sedate affair to be honest, with the only major sparring match being over whether or not Dr. Henry Kissinger, a McCain advisor, said that the US should meet with Iran without preconditions, a position supported by Obama but not by McCain. (By the way, according to the Associated Press, Obama was correct that Kissinger supported talks with Iran without preconditions, although Kissinger felt these talks should be conducted with lower level diplomats prior to meetings between the actual leaders of the US and Iran.)

During the debate, McCain was fairly condescending toward Obama. McCain often used the phrase "What Senator Obama doesn't understand is..." or some derivation. He also avoided looking at Obama for practically the entire debate. Meanwhile, Obama would divide his time between looking into the camera and looking at McCain, who always seemed to have this punkish smile on his face, as though he were secretly thinking, "Whatever, douchebag!" Of course there were the typical mischaracterizations of each other's records which have become such a staple of American politics. McCain had his deceptive mantra that Obama is against nuclear energy, which is easily verifiable as false. Obama's only issue with nuclear power is what to do with the used fuel rods.

I was surprised that neither candidate seemed to have any real zingers, though they could be saving them for the last debate, which is only a week or two before Election Day. I think I would have liked a bit more aggression from Obama, although since McCain had to prove that he isn't an impetuous hothead I suppose it wouldn't have served Obama to make himself look like a hothead.

Many of the reviews of the debate online gave Obama a slight edge in the debate, if for no other reason than he came into the debate with a 5-10 point lead in the polls and this event probably didn't push the needle in either direction. I certainly agree with the second point if not the first. If you were an Obama fan going in, you're still an Obama fan; if you were a McCain fan going in, you're still a McCain fan. This debate changed nothing. However, since many in the country are only just waking up to the Presidential race, this debate proved a good neutral introduction to both candidates. With only 39 days left before November 4th, this race looks to be another photo finish. It will be exciting to see if either of these candidates can really pull ahead and win this thing cleanly, or if one side will win simply because the other side makes a mistake.

Have fun, and keep living life... and get yourself registered to vote!

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Great Debate

I'm holding off on posting this afternoon because I'm interested in watching the debate this evening between Barack Obama and John McCain. Even though I've already made up my mind to vote for Obama, I'm still willing to at least hear McCain out on the issues.

I think we should all strive to be informed about our political system, and that we should all vote. People toss the word patriotism around like its some sort of currency, as though the more you have the better you are. But flag waving and unquestioningly supporting war are not by themselves patriotic acts. One of the greatest freedoms brought to us by the Western World (actually the ancient Greeks, specifically) was the opportunity to vote. And if you want to truly show your patriotism screw the flag lapel pins and get yourself to a TV, computer, or newspaper, and find out what the candidates running for elected office want to do about the issues which affect your lives, then vote for the one who supports the ideas that are important to you.

All working Americans are required to pay taxes. I think we should all be required to vote, as well. It is bordering on disgusting that our ancestors fought and died in the Revolutionary War, and have continued to fight on through the World Wars, to provide for us the right to vote and only around 50% of the people who are eligible actually do so. THAT is what patriotism is all about. The flag is a worthless symbol. The Pledge of Allegiance is nothing more than collective indoctrination. Show that you actually love this country by giving back to it through your votes, and through your commitment to make our nation better on a regular basis. Instead of mindlessly chanting "USA! USA!" or "WE'RE NUMBER ONE!" how about you work hard, and elect the right people, to make us number one at something besides obesity, incarcerations, infant mortality, military spending, and violent crime.

Our country is rotting. Elections give us an opportunity to set a new path, to chart new opportunities, and make our country greater than what it has been. Voting gives all of us a voice in our nation's history. We can choose to move forward, or we can choose to hold ourselves back. The choice is yours... So long as you are actually willing to step up to the plate and make a choice.

Hmm... Didn't really mean to go off on a rant like that, but hopefully it was informative. I'll try to come back and post some thoughts about the debate, so long as I can get to see it online somewhere.

Have fun, and keep living life... or some approximation thereof!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My College Milieu, or How to Win in School Without Really Trying

Sorry for not posting the last couple of days. I'm sure the legions of readers I'm slowly gathering hang on every word like a meth addict at a rundown trailer park. Sometimes college gets in the way of the really important things in life, like goofing off on the internet!

Anyway, since this blog is partially about my life as I work through college I should at least talk some about my current run of classes. I'm required to take College Algebra and I HATE math. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration. The truth is I HATE THE TEXAS INSTRUMENTS TI-84 GRAPHING CALCULATOR! Whomever invented this thing needs to have it shoved up his ass, pulled out, washed off, then shoved up his ass again while he feeds on broken glass! And don't even get me started on Microsoft Excel. On top of having to struggle through the Sisyphian task of using that calculator I have to deal with a professor who thinks ass is a dirty word! I can't call a fellow classmate a smartass without her telling me to watch my language. I'm pretty sure that originally the term smartass wasn't referring to a person's ass but rather a donkey; and since smartdonkey just doesn't have the same umph as calling someone a smartass they chose to run with it. Ass is even in the Bible for Christ's sake! I do like the other students who sit on the front row with me. Even though they're all 15 years younger than me and make me feel like a borderline pedophile when I hang out with them they're pretty cool kids.

Next is Abnormal Psychology. Now, of course, being a wannabe Psych major means that this class should be a breeze. And so far it is. I managed to make an A on my first test and I only read one of the three chapters covered. I also missed alot of school because of sleep concerns. My professor is a short, late 40s, perky Doctor who has actually done some private practice. I tend to be the most talkative in class and she has pulled me aside to say that she thinks I would probably do well in Graduate School, but she would like for me to not pose so many questions in reference to my own personal experiences with therapy. Apparently, it makes other students uncomfortable, although no one has said anything to me, so whatever. I'm not afraid of my issues, they are part of who I am and my struggles to deal with them are something to be proud of, seeing as how so many people are afraid to enter therapy, or can't afford it when they really need it.

Then there is my World Civilizations class. Oh BOY is that class interesting. My professor is a gruff Italian-American who clearly needs estrogen therapy to counteract his glaringly obvious overabundance of testosterone. I love busting his chops in class. I'm always saying or doing something to get under his skin. I can't tell if I'm torturing the guy or entertaining him. This is a guy who, while he denies this on its face, believes that any culture that didn't kill a WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE, and subjugate the weak, was a culture of wussies! He easily spent five days lecturing us on the battle tactics of the Roman Empire. And another two days on Sparta. I was half expecting that our test was going to cover the movie 300! Believe it or not, there actually WAS a question on the test related to movie, although it wasn't openly framed that way. I'll find out what I made on the test next week. I figure I either did pretty well or pretty crappy. It was one of those tests.

And then there's Humanities 220, Human Values and Meaning. I love this course. I get to use my mind and think for a change. It is a three hour seminar class on Thursdays, and is taught jointly by an English professor whom I've had before, and a Philosophy professor. The class is reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. It seems like a pretty good book, although I've only read the first six chapters. The rest of the class is about to finish the book next week. I'm such a slackass sometimes. I like the book, and yet I allowed myself to get really behind on the reading. But then, for some reason, I've NEVER finished any book that I claim to have loved, with the exception of George Orwell's 1984. I've never finished Brave New World, A Separate Peace, A Catcher in the Rye, or The Fountainhead. I don't know what my problem is with books. I just hate to finish them. At any rate, ZAMM is all about the search for quality in the world around us, and what defines that quality. Is there such a thing an objective quality which can be quantified, or is it all in our heads, like the Supreme Court Justice who once said,"I can't define obscenity, but I know it when I see it." I'm probably going to make an A in HUM 220 without really trying.

So, what does all of this have to do with you? Probably nothing. But ever since high school I've truly enjoyed going to school. It's a place where I can pretty easily shine above most of the others around me if I want, or I can be a slacker and still get by with fairly good grades. I know not everyone shares my enthusiam for learning. Many seem to see it as nothing more than a means to an end. But I deeply value the idea that I get to learn something new everyday. I get to see new details about life around me. I have an opportunity to open my mind and consider previously unthought of possibilities. If you are in school now, or considering returning, try to immerse yourself in learning for learning's sake. Don't worry about the grades so much. They'll come on their own as you fully engage your curiosity. Just sit back, relax, and let your education absorb into your life; let it become a part of you. You might just find out that things aren't as hard or boring as you previously believed.

Have fun, and keep living life... or some approximation thereof!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Wouldn't You Like to be a Jedi, Too?

Lately, I've been REALLY hungry for my own lightsaber. I've been watching videos of amateur lightsaber duels, researching the best lightsaber models and alternative modifications, even how to make a lightsaber from scratch. Right now, Hasbro is in the process of releasing the Force FX line of lightsabers (beginning in mid-October), considered the standard among saber enthusiasts due to their high degree in accuracy of reproduction compared with the saber handles used in the actual filming of the various movies. Originally, the Force FX line was manufactured and distributed by Master Replicas. Since MR lost the licensing to produce the Force FX sabers there has been some concern that the quality of the line will drop now that Hasbro has taken up the license, even though the sabers will continue to be produced in the same factory as they were when MR held the rights. And even though you can duel with the Force FX's, many hardcore enthusiasts opt for modifications to their sabers to add a stronger blade, or perhaps even a removable blade so that the handle can be comfortably worn at one's side without concern of dragging a blade across the ground.

I'm not sure where this recent fascination began. Sure, I've always loved the Star Wars Anthology, but I've never been one of those sci fi fans who dress up or otherwise emulate their favorite characters. And since there really isn't a formal Jedi Club in my city, I'm not sure where I would get an opportunity to practice dueling. Besides, the cheapest duel quality sabers (the Force FX's) start at around $120 ($250 if you are trying to buy a still like new MR on Ebay). So, I can't come up with a rational excuse for why I want a lightsaber. I just do.

Probably all the kids who grew up sort of geeky, or otherwise felt like outcasts, have long had this romantic image of the Jedi Knights maintaining order and justice throughout the galaxy with only a mastery of The Force and expert skill with an elegant and deadly lightsaber to protect them. We (us geeks and outcasts) have all had fantasies about putting away our fiercest foes (bullies, jocks, bosses) with a swift slice of a saber, topped off with an exquisite battle pose. It's the way we get through a rough day with the fantasy that WE could have control over THEIR destiny for once, if only we lived in a galaxy far, far away and a long time ago.

Well, that raises some interesting thoughts. What exactly could I be feeling powerless and out of control about that I lust for my very own lightsaber as a way to gain that which seems missing? Since I've been a ball of insecurity since my childhood, it could be anything I suppose. But there must be something different now to have brought up this sudden obsession...

Further contemplation will be required.

Have fun, and keep living life... or some approximation thereof!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Magic of Hope

This is probably where I lose the attention of the conservatives. Just bare with me for a moment. I LOVE Barack Obama. Granted, he has lost some of his luster since the early days when even I mistook him for the second coming of Christ. But still, he's an impressive man with a fascinating background, beautiful family, superior intellect, and reflective demeanor.

But this isn't really about Obama. At least not directly. I'm curious about our fascination with hope. Of course, hope has always been an overarching theme of Obama's campaign, but he certainly wasn't the first, or the last. Bill Clinton and Mike Huckabee both proclaimed themselves the men from Hope (Arkansas). Ronald Reagan's famous "Morning in America" ad was basically about hope. In pop culture, Star Wars: Episode IV is titled "A New Hope". A Google search for "Hope" returned 83,100,000 results. There's the movie Hope Floats, the old soap opera Ryan's Hope, the Hope Diamond, an incredibly large number of organizations use HOPE as an acronym or part of a 1-800 phone number, and even the Olivia Newton-John song "Hopelessly Devoted to You"!

So why? Hope implies that there's something wrong with the way things are now. Just looking at references to hope from the last 50 years you'd have to conclude that something is perpetually wrong with the world (or at least the US). Since the word hope appears in the Bible between 120 and 160 times depending on the translation I'm guessing that humanity's want for hope extends at least a few thousand years.

I would describe my first 32 years of life as definitively without hope. I hated the world and was sure it hated me back. Relationships would never last very long. I had a bunch of dead end jobs. By a rough calculation I'd estimate I had thoughts of suicide on around 10,000 separate moments. I seriously considered acting on the thoughts at least two dozen times, and I've had to resist the sudden urge to jerk my car into a concrete divider or oncoming traffic perhaps a hundred times. For some reason I never commited suicide. And I guess that reason was hope. No matter how horrible my life got I always had this dream that things could get better if I just lived long enough to see it happen. Well, that's not completely true, but you'd think I was nuts if I told you what I really was thinking. Suffice it to say, it had something to do with Einstein's theory of infinite universes.

So, I think hope is that thing which keeps us alive. Without a hope that things will get better we'd probably kill ourselves or the people around us. And the thing is, hope isn't that hard to find. Some people find it through religion, others through science, or, in my case, through my imagination. If your life is without hope don't give up. Keep looking until you find what it is you need to see you through. Start thinking of life as a game: You win if you survive long enough to beat it. And, as long as you're alive, that thing which will bring you hope is out there waiting for you to find it, even if sometimes that thing ends up feeling like a kick to the face.

Have fun, and keep living life... because it's the only way to win!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Baptism by Rain and Bacon

I haven't been sleeping well lately. There's no real reason. My mind just doesn't want to shut off. Seeing as how most Americans don't get enough sleep I'm guessing you can sympathize. I downloaded one of those neutral noise programs for my iPhone called White Noise. It doesn't have as many sounds to choose from as some of the other programs, but it was free so I'm not complaining.

The best noise of the program is its rain setting. Since this is a basic program you can't adjust the intensity of the rain, but I'm still impressed with the realism of the steady downpour that rumbles from my 3G's diminutive speaker. It's difficult to be bombarded by a barrage of mental diarrhea when you're laying contemplatively on your back as you meditate on the obligatory mental image of the rapid splash splosh of uncountable drops causing the surface of a puddle to dance and shimmer with light.

Of course, as I write this I'm at Waffle House again on a hectic and dramatic Friday night at 3 AM, where the sizzle skittle of an unending order of bacon on the grill is doing a good job of bringing my thoughts to singularity. Like the sound of rain, if I can just manage to focus enough to hear the bacon over the cacophonous crowd and the discordant clashing of plates and utensils, bacon is consistent, steady, dependable; it washes over my senses and cleanses me, at least for a moment, of the sins of intellectual dissertation which blockade my calm.

So, perhaps, instead of prescribing warm milk to curb those disabling episodes of insomnia you should fry up some bacon. Just make sure you're wearing something protective because you'll never sleep with 3rd degree burns on your sensitive areas!

Have fun, and keep living life... or some approximation thereof!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Another Night at Waffle House

I can't begin to estimate how much money I've spent, late at night with nothing better to do, eating and hanging out at the Waffle House. If you aren't from the South, you probably don't know what the hell a Waffle House is, so I'll describe it. You know how you always want something meaty, greasy, unhealthy, but downright delicious after you've just spent the last few hours getting sweaty and drunk at a nightclub on Friday or Saturday night? Well, that's pretty much why Waffle House exists. It's one of those places that hasn't changed a bit in 20 or 30 years so you know exactly what to expect as soon as you pull your car into the parking lot.

Over the last 15 years, I've come to Waffle House an average of once a week, although in my early days I would come about 3 times a week. Back then, I would bring a small, thick notebook with me in which I would write a few pages of story material for a novel each night. For some reason, the drunks who would plop themselves at the bar next to me would always want to know what I was writing and if it involved the Waffle House or them. Of course, why the hell wouldn't I let this strange, inebriated, barely coherent person be the star of my novel? At the time, I just wanted to be left alone, so I would tell them no and ignore them while they continued to slosh through a one sided conversation about how you could tell alot of stories about the stuff that goes on at the Waffle House.

The thing is, the drunks were right. I think that's why I love the place. In my quest to get my life back on track I've discovered that one of the most important things about being a Lifer is to try and live your life with passion and commitment. There's plenty of passion at Waffle House on a daily basis. And there's plenty of people who should probably be committed (rimshot). Every night that you are there you see people enjoying themselves. They eat, they talk, they laugh, they hold hands, they act as though Waffle House, and the people that work there, are a part of their family. It doesn't matter who is working behind the counter, if you've been to Waffle House more than once, those people ARE a part of your family. You grew up there, you lived life there, and you learned important lessons. And if you eventually learned what a patty melt plate, smothered, covered, chunked, triple scramble on the side is, well that's an added bonus!

Have fun, and keep living life... or some approximation thereof!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Perfect Wedding

While doing a little research for this blog I stumbled onto another blog which struck me as a surprise, initially. It's called "An Approximation Thereof" and so far is following a young Pennsylvania Gen Xer's path to marriage. Coincidentally, it was begun exactly one week prior to my first blog posting. I have a permanent link in the sidebar (labeled Coincidental Kindred Thinker) for anyone who wants to check it out.

One post in particular spurred me to thinking about my own thoughts of what a perfect wedding should look like. Upfront, I should mention a few things:

  1. I've known for years what my idea of the perfect wedding is, even down to color schemes dependant on season, although I have no color scheme for summer since I don't personally think anyone in the South is in their right mind to get married when it is 95 degrees outside! Your guests are going to be wearing formal attire, and you will either be wearing a full rented tuxedo or a luxurious gown that you, or your parents, took out a second mortgage just to buy. You shouldn't make people sweat more than they have to, and nothing will ruin memories of your perfect day like indelible pit stains on that dress that once made you look like the beautiful princess that you really are! And, no, it doesn't matter that we now have air conditioning. People are going to have to be outside eventually.

  2. Yes, I am a man. I say that only because when I have conversations with friends or acquaintances about this topic they point, stare, laugh, and make jokes at the expense of my masculinity! My fantasies about the perfect wedding are not just for my benefit. Women tend to want their wedding to be THEIR perfect day. Well, why can't it be OUR perfect day. I WANT my wife to look like the beautiful princess that she is, but I also want to look like the handsome prince that I can be. And we should set our perfect day in a spectacular wonderland of grace and pomposity appropriate to the occassion at hand.

  3. Yes, I know the grandeur of the wedding has no real bearing on the eventual quality of the marriage. Look, my grandmother got married to my grandfather (whom I never met and have always referred to by his first name, Harold, so saying he was my grandfather seems slightly ackward) by a Justice of the Peace during one of Harold's furloughs from WWII, the last great noble war. They loved each other deeply for around 20 years before Harold died in the 1960s.

  4. To the abject horror of every woman I've ever told this to, I even have thoughts on what makes for the perfect wedding dress. I've been to too many weddings, or been forced to watch wedding videos, or look at photo albums, and have seen too many overly ornate, overly tight, impractically long, uncomfortably Victorian-style dresses! Please understand this: WOMEN ARE BEAUTIFUL!!! Even the ugly ones have something attractive about them. (Men, on the other hand... If we don't have a chisled body like Michaelangelo's David, we can pretty much hang it up 'cause we're destined for a life of ill-fitting jeans and loose flannel shirts.) So, please, don't buy a dress that distracts from your own inherent beauty. There's a reason chefs put gorgeous looking food on a white plate; there's a reason photographer's mount phenomenal pictures in a simple frame with a white matte. We should look at the ART, not the frame. Ladies, never forget... YOU are the art! The dress is but a frame. I'm not going to marry the frame; I'm going to marry the art. And that's what I, and everyone else, should be looking at on OUR perfect day.

Have fun, and keep living life... or some approximation thereof!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I'm Only Happy When It Rains

Okay, maybe that's not completely true. I'm happy at plenty of other times, but good luck finding a song about rain that doesn't sound like a total downer!

It rained pretty much all day. And it wasn't just rain, it was a COLD rain with a steady breeze just to punctuate how cold and rainy it was. It was the first rain of the fall and I was so not prepared for it. It was in the upper 80s for highs the days and weeks before, but today only got up to 65. I didn't bring a jacket or an umbrella, so I stood for a few minutes inside a building with all the other shmoes who were caught off guard by the rain, as well.

For a moment I realized how strange it is that people will wait inside, or under an overhang, waiting for rain to die down enough to walk outside, as though rain were some sort of toxic waste that must be avoided as much as possible. I remember back when I was a little kid, maybe 5 years old or less, I used to LOVE to stand under the edge of the overhang on my grandmother's front porch. The porch was small and had four or five steps leading down to the yard. I would stand in just the right spot so that all the runoff from the roof would pour down on me and get me even wetter than if I had only been standing in the yard. I would laugh and splash around while my grandmother would try to get me to come back into the house. Eventually, I always did, and Mame, although I still called her May May back then (alot of kids from the South have odd names for their grandmothers, like Me Ma, Mammie, Ma May), would fuss at me for getting the floor wet while she dried me with some almost threadbare towel.

After my girlfriend left, one of the things I tried to do to move my life in a better direction was to try and relive some of the childhood experiences that I used to love so much, or some things which I never really did but probably should have. I climbed small trees, picked up a frog and looked at it up close, played with Matchbox cars, and splashed around in the rain, stomping through puddles just to get my pants soaking wet. If you haven't done any of these things in a long time, or ever, I HIGHLY recommend it. There's something so comforting, and yet exhilarating at the same time, about doing things as an adult that you used to love as a child. There's a bible verse somewhere in 1 Corinthians 13 that basically goes, "When I was a child, I thought and acted like a child, but now I have put away childish things." Now, 1 Corinthians 13 is all about love, which is probably necessary for us to really be happy. But, in retrospect, it seems like bad advice to suggest that we must put away childish things. I can tell you from experience, there is NOTHING that makes you feel as happy as taking the time to just jump up and down in a puddle in the rain while you get completely soaked and you just don't give a damn!

Have fun, and keep living life... or some approximation thereof!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Dance Like You Mean It

You may have noticed that I have a link in the sidebar to No, it isn't yet another Apple "i" related bit of marketing ploy. It's actually a website where you can download instructional videos for dance moves, most of them Lindy. I'm not really promoting them, or anything, I just think its a good place to find dance moves. The truth is, I suck at Lindy. I wish I didn't, but it's a very hard dance to get into if your town doesn't have a large Lindy community. Raleigh has a somewhat reasonable dance community at large, but the Lindy subgroup is quite small. It doesn't help that all of the Lindy dancers have been doing it for years and have become a bit jaded toward dancing with beginners.

I started dancing Jitterbug swing, a dumbed down cousin of Lindy, about two and a half years ago. To be honest, I began literally the week after my girlfriend left me. She had been dancing various styles of dance since she was a child and, shortly before we broke up, thought it might be fun to go swing dancing with me since I had shown her the movie Swingers and mentioned that I had always wanted to learn how to dance like they did in the movie. If you haven't seen Swingers you MUST rent it. The best way to describe it is to say that it is a chick flick for guys. And if you are a male Generation Xer like me you have been one of the characters in the movie at some point in your life. I'd love to sit here and brag that I have been Trent, but let's face it... I've always been Mike. Now I'm just waiting for Heather Graham to start showing up at the Elk's Lodge so I can ask her to dance!

It seems pretty pathetic to admit now, but initially I wanted to learn how to Jitterbug not as part of my quest to change my life around, but rather to see if I could impress my girlfriend and maybe win back her affections. Since I haven't seen or heard from her in at least a year I'd have to say that the plan didn't go as I'd hoped. Somewhere along the way, however, swing dancing taught me that I could live my life alone again and not have to subject myself to the self-imposed prison of work, sleep, eat, work, sleep, eat that I had created for many of the last 10 years of my "life". Swing dancing gave me an outlet to at least be around other people and not have to stand on the sidelines, staring enviously at others as they lived and enjoyed life. No longer did I have to wish that I was good enough to be around other people, or blame myself for being a "failure" at something which I had never had the nerve to even attempt.

I think that's probably one of the big keys to being a Lifer: Working up the nerve to scream aloud, in the words of Peter Finch in Network, "I'M A HUMAN BEING, GODDAMNIT! MY LIFE HAS VALUE!" And don't just say it. Mean it. Believe it. Feel it. And then at least try to do something about it. It doesn't matter if you end up moving in the wrong direction, but you've got to start moving in a direction.

Have fun, and keep living life... or some approximation thereof!

Welcome to My Life...

So, it's 2 AM, I've got an algebra class at 8 AM, and I'm awake making a blog. While I'm not sure I really have anything important or interesting to say, I have been wanting to make a blog lately for some reason. Perhaps it's my lifelong penchant for anything vaguely presumptuous. Or maybe I just have a longing to have someone hear what I have to say.

It's not like I'm shy or anything. Hell, I've got a big mouth and I'm not afraid to use it... Frequently. But like a lot of Americans with blogs I seem to have this bizarre sense of self-importance, as though anything that comes dribbling out of my mind MUST, by my very nature of being, have profound meaning, and swaths of listeners should beckon to my call. Okay, perhaps I am getting a bit full of myself.

So, what, exactly do I think you might actually get out of reading my blog? Well, aside from hopefully witty, cynical observations of life, I'm hoping you'll be able to use my thoughts as a springboard for your own ideas about things which are important in your own life. And, since I am hoping to eventually become a psychotherapist, if you start to feel like you've found a kindred spirit I'd be happy to hear your thoughts about some minor life stresses and see if I can help offer some fresh perspectives about how to cope.

Well, that's probably all I should post for now. We'll have plenty of time to get acquainted with one another in the months ahead.

Have fun, and keep living life... or some approximation thereof!
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