Friday, March 21, 2008

One of those nights......

I am, what I believe, to be an average dreamer. Some details but not super textured. Last night was a multi-textured mess.

I have never, ever dreamt about SL. I did last night. I was bigd, not me, and I either walked or tp'd into a room where two people were laying in bed playing a board game. Sorry no poseballs were involved at any point. I said hi and they told me that they hadn't played this game since mid month, last month. I said oh and I noticed that under the game board (resembled monopoly kind of) they had individual scraps of paper that had been ripped apart with something written on them in blue ink. I never remember details like blue ink, weird Harold.

Whoosh.....and I'm sitting on a surfboard in the Pacific by a reef on the island of Kauai. The ocean is so soothing with its motion and the water is an enticing blue-green. Mmmmmm the sun is nice and comforting. There is a good size swell with virtual small hills of watery swell pouring into the reef set up. I see one and turn my board, one I made!, around and stroke into the feathering beast.

Whoosh.... I am sitting in a backyard watching my friend Jack who died several years ago. He and I do not speak, just look at each other. I can't tell what kind of look he has on his face and this troubles me.

I'm awake.... Its RL and my 4 year old needs a treatment for his asthma. God, I need a nap but will settle for some coffee and some snuggling :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My 10 Fav Concerts an ongoing list :) 1-9

After the enjoyable and renewing concert of 3/17 I started thinking about all the cool concerts I've seen over the years. I've been way lucky! Growing up close to Los Angeles definately created some opportunities that others in more remote, out of the way locations may not have had. Gotta give out a shout for an attitude of gratitude on that one!
This list, is of course, not all inclusive or ranked in terms of better then best. It's just a list I hope you enjoy!

Matchbox Twenty: I knew these guys were good. I was a casual fan but now I'm a definate fan. The clincher: there is a bond between these guys and their fanbase. Great musicianship and skilled songwriting are a tough combination to beat. Plus they all seem to like each other. What a concept;).

The Clash/Bob Marley: beautiful outdoor concert nestled in the foothills of Santa Barbara. The end of the concert were the two groups joined together to jam was insane. Toots Maytall once remarked that the Clash were the only white musicians that "got" reggae. He was right.

Johnny Winter: SF Blues Festival. Highway 61 is a slide masterpiece.

J. Geils Band: before their mega freeze-frame album. These guys were a hard working outfit. If you can ever give a listen to their live version of "Serves You Right to Suffer", you'll get where I'm coming from.

The Doors: first concert I ever attended. The Goleta Little League Senators all lost their concert virginity that night. WTF were our parents thinking?! I don't remember so much Jimbo's antics, but do remember Robbie Kreiger smiling the whole time and his red Gibson SG.

Robin Trower: he must have been having management issues at the time because we caught him in a bar down on State Street in SB. He gave 50 people his all and smiled throughout. He might be derivative but he has skills. After the show he hung out with the people in the bar. A nice soft spoken person with a dry wit.

X: great, fucking great punk band out of the LA punk scene. Never got their fair share of props but they were niche leaders in SoCal.

Black Crowes: same venue as the Clash/Marley concert. Great show, they must have played for like 2 hours. You could cut the hostility between the Robinson brothers with a knife, but they jammed! Most memorable line ever associated with concert going: Me: Are you ready to go, are you excited?" Past nutso gf: "I've been snorting coke and drinking Cliquot since 10am". Me: (thinking to myslef) oh shit....

This is just what I pulled out right now. Lemme here about your best! Concerts are fun to go to and even fun to read about. See you at the show:) Whatdya mean you don't remember were we parked? LOL

Friday, March 14, 2008


After getting some much needed feedback from my better half who provides far too many reality checks, both literary and literal, I decided to remove my last blog. It was very stupid of my to compose a rambling, shoddy piece of gunk that served as a blog. Blogging, as I undertsand it, is a pretty relaxed literary genre but it has to be thought out and proofed so that it is not idiotic, negative and just plain hurtful. In my last blog, since removed, I failed to censor myself and as a result was hurtful, venal and just was an asshole. If you read this past blog please understand it has no connection with reality whatsoever. Being sick isn't an excuse for being sick and wrong. If you did read it, please accept my apology for the content which was frankly misdirected, untrue and in incredibly poor taste. If you didn't read it, thanks for that also.

Words are far more hurtful than any physical blow. Words stick like superglue and as advertised they form a deep bond that may or may not be released. That is the reality that I, and I alone, have created. I take full ownership of the mess, the damage, and the ill will generated.

There is a difference between being human and being hurtful. I crossed that line.
Yafu? = yet another fuck up

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Wow Never Thought Of That......

I took my laptop into work yesterday. Our school has filter upon filter so it necessitated me bringing my own laptop to school. I had downloaded a video to supplement that unit we are studying in English.

I've blogged previously about reading/analyzing Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird. The video I have is good: MTV style editing, all young people talking about hate and racism. Quite well done, ex-skinheads talking, victims of hate crimes relating their feelings. As I completed the lesson and my desktop icons were being displayed through a LCD projector, an interesting thing happened.

Doneeven, a 11th grade African-American student said "Mr. ^^^^^^^, you got a SL icon up there". "You do that stuff"? I said Yeah I do and he walked over to me.

I got this "arrangement" with my young African-American brothers. If they talk to me in confidence and maintain a quiet tone of voice, I let them use profanity in their conversation. Not gratuitous usage but its got to fit in with the stream of conversation.

D says to me,"I was over at a white friends house"... I told Doneevon's that he better be more careful who he hangs out with. He laughs and said," So they show me that SL stuff." I said "yeah, what did you think"?

Doneevon replies,"I ain't talking about you Mr.******* but that place is full of crazy white motherfuckers. Those people got some shit going on I'll tell you that. Again no disrespect Mr. +++++++++, but there are all some fucked up people in there!!"

I just laugh with him and say this place is hardly Normalville pal. We both laugh and he returns to his seat saying "SL, damn" and laughing to himself.

This is what hit me and prompted me to do some quick mental math. I’ve been on SL since late May 2007 and in that whole time I wondered how many avatars I have spoken to. Must be in the thousands. Lets say 2000 total. During that whole time, I have encountered two avatars that are African American. African American in appearance and as related to me in conversation. Two!

I know there has to be more African American SL’ers out there. But perhaps SL is such a white dominated venue that they cop a white avatar appearance so as to not stand out. God, I hope not because if that is the case this place isn’t the paradise some people espouse upon.

If, while reading this, you are saying to yourself, well he just isn’t going to the right places? Right places? Oh, you mean their places right? Shame on you if you just said that. Maybe the paradise might have some components of Maycomb, Alabama in it
and we are all sitting in that stifling July courthouse waiting for the jury to come in and render a verdict. Don’t think for a minute I’m not sitting right next to you waiting also.

Monday, March 3, 2008

True Wealth or Hard Cash?

I have been thinking a lot about money lately. The usual: where did it go?, is there enough, how can I get more, etc. You know the drill. As I have grappled with these questions and a few more, my line of thought changed, or maybe it just drifted. I don't know. I kind of think somebody was talking to me and I was in a place to listen.

The concept of money and wealth are truly different. Money has an outer frame of reference that is determined by others perception of you. It is a societal mechanism that determines a persons success in the immediate and is used as a predictor for future value. Very similar to examinations one takes prior to enrollment in Graduate School. Not especially valid, but used as a tool nonetheless.

To me, wealth can be, and maybe should be, an internal barometer that gauges our sense of accomplishment and content with our overall lot in life. I though this was kind of an interesting reflection I had so read on if you like. If not look at the picture farther on down, its way pretty:).

You will most likely not hear my name in the same context as Bill Gates or the Oracle dude. But in a lot of ways I think I can hang with them in terms of wealth.

I blogged earlier about the "attitude of gratitude" and this could be a true indicator of personal wealth. If I look on my life from childhood on I have literally had a horseshoe in both hands! My parents weren't and still aren't perfect. My Dad grew up in a horribly abusive household with a alcoholic step-father who lived to torment him in many ways. My Dad's coping mechanism was to join the Marine Corps at age 17 to get away.

My Dad could have been a time bomb waiting to go off on me as I grew up. The amount of times my dad struck, spanked or hit me was/is zero. He broke a cycle that had been going on for generations most likely. My Dad, career Marine Corps officer was/is the most gentle man I have met.

I grew up in an incredibly beautiful place along the California coast. It was idyllic in a lot of ways. It was peaceful and as a kid my life was in tune with the tides and swell conditions. As a young child my Mom would drop my sister and I off at the beach during the summer at 9:00 am and pick up at 4:00 ish when she got off work. She gave us lunch money and we were good to go! The beach was our daycare. Other moms from the neighborhood would be there on a daily basis and it was expected that we would be around them and would listen to them. Our street/neighborhood was a community in every sense of the word. People looked out for each other.

I got an athletic scholarship playing a sport that I loved. Growing up, my dad was never too tired or distant not to play catch with me and some friends. He gave me a love and respect for a game that continues to this day. He did not live through me, he enjoyed me.

The school I went to was a hotbed of political activism earlier in its history. It's a campus tradition. Still is. I would be in a Poli Sci seminar and a fellow student would ask me what issue was forefront in my mind and I would reply,"If I don't keep the 1 and 2 hitters for SC off the bases I am going to be in deep shit... They would look at me like some sort of mutant, but hey, I had my priorities:).

I ran a successful business after graduation that afforded me a chance to travel and see sights that will never leave me. The sunrise over the break at Nias when not a breath of wind disturbed the oceans surface. The smiling faces of kids who wanted to carry your surfboard down the cliffside for free so that you could teach them English. The loud and friendly affirmation from a WWII veteran in a pub in New Zealand. He bellows, “So we have a Yank in here and it is cause for a celebration, not a condemnation.”

I became a teacher and this became a gateway to the ultimate form of wealth that has been bestowed upon me. I met the person who has made me a better person than I ever thought possible. She showed me what was possible, supported me and helped me to its realization. She sacrificed her body and sanity, LOL, to make me the proud father of four of the most wonderful kids I can imagine. I see so much of her love in them on a daily basis it’s like somebody perpetually whispering in my ear, “you lucky bastard.” To say that I found my soulmate would be a gross understatement.

In retrospect, its not what you have that can be taken away that determines our wealth. It’s what we have that no institution, entity, credit rating, mortgage lender can touch. It’s the things in life that we nurture, honor, cherish and sometimes take for granted. This is the human condition in its fullest. If this blog has given you reason to ponder, ask yourself” How wealthy am I”? I think I can see the smile on your face already…..