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Charleston, SC, United States
"Fear is a stranger to the ways of love. Identify with fear, and you will be a stranger to yourself." -ACIM

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I'm Easy Like Tuesday Morning

I think my friend Marcie had a good point in her e-mail to me Tuesday morning in that my last two posts did seem all doomy-gloomy.

So to shed some lighter subject on the matter of the blog, here was my day Tuesday… and pretty much everyday now that I have so much free time on my hands:

9 a.m. Got up and made coffee
9:15 a.m. Finished first cup of coffee and started reading the day’s news
10:00 a.m. Finished second cup of coffee and did some research on Georgia
11:00 a.m. Watched an episode of Californication which is this series that my friend Andy has turned me on to. If you have free time, download it. David Duchovney is funny as hell and it has some good twists.

12:00 p.m. Shower
12:15 p.m. Realization that I am awesome
12:17 p.m. Realization that I am full of shit
12:30 p.m. Lunch and Russian language lesson

1:27 p.m. My friend Leslie called to say she was back in town
1:30 p.m. Smoke break and talking to Leslie
2:00 p.m. Finished language lesson and talked to Mom on the phone for a minute about packing plans.
2:30 p.m. Walked up St. Philip St. to the CVS to get contact solution and a drink. Hey, what else do I have to do? And besides the “scenery” walking up St. Philip is always nice since the weather is great and the shorts are short.
3:00 p.m. Arrived at Queen St. Grocery to discuss doing some work tomorrow for the owner and to have a chat about nothing of importance.

3:30 p.m. Arrived home and checked my e-mail
3:38 p.m. Thought about working out…
3:45 p.m. Left home to go for a walk on a gorgeous day.
4:10 p.m. My friend Alex called from California to tell me of his recent graduation and summer plans. (Congrats Chach!) I talked to him and took the pictures you see while I walked around south of Broad St.

5:00 p.m. Arrived home and made plans with my roommate Patrick to go to the Riverdogs game.
5:30 p.m. Uploaded pictures and in general f-ed around on the Internet. Did you know that on this day in 1861, the capital of the Confederacy was moved from Montgomery, AL, to Richmond, VA? See all the randomness you can learn from the Internet! For example: TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.
5:34 p.m. Realization that I am already bored with the Internet and need something to do. I’ve been sitting still for about 20 minutes now. Hmmm… Off to go wander around aimlessly.
5:50 p.m. Patrick gets in shower despite the fact that we are biking to the game and will more than likely sweat. Sound of water makes me have to pee.
6:18 p.m. Leave for RiverDogs game.

10:35 p.m. Return home half drunk. Only half drunk because I was all drunk BEFORE the bike ride home that burned all that happy drunk felling into unhappy drunk feeling. Not too bad though. RiverDogs won the game 8-7 by the way and Patrick and I sat in the box seats for general admission price. Had a good waitress named Laurie who kept the 24ozs. coming and we got to see the switch pitching closer for the Dogs in the 9th.
10:40 p.m. Realize that it was a good day and decide to write a blog about it.
11:28 p.m. Finish watching Cavs v. Magic game one. Magic won.
11:30 p.m. Family Guy
12:00 a.m. Family Guy. It was the episode where Brian and Stewie join the Army.

1:00 a.m. Sleep
So overall I would have to say that while it was neither an exciting day nor a very productive one, it was fun. Loved my relaxing stroll in the afternoon and my ballgame at night. Stress free livin'. Get it while it lasts I guess. Today I actually have some work to do. I'm meeting the QSG owner Hank to help him build some shelves for his new eco-friendly store.
Peace be with you all!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What's that all about?

Have you ever made yourself wonder what the hell was going on in your mind? I always keep a pen and paper next to my bed in case I wake up with a way to reinvent the wheel or have some crazy dream that I want to remember. This morning I wake up out of a wine educed stupor to see in what could be considered the world’s worst handwriting the following:

Oh Brothers of the Revolution
Your faces we see.

You stood before army and tanks
With only flag and voice.

Now your body is covered
With colors stained by choice.

Oh Brothers defending the homeland
Only your spirits forever free.

Seriously? I have no idea what I was dreaming of, but at about 430am that is what got put on paper. I guess I was in an ABAB state of mind.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

We all SUCK!

Ever notice how we, and I do mean most people here, don’t do a good job of following through with what we plan on doing or say we are going to do?

This can be anything from not calling Granny to not going back to school to get our degree. It varies from person to person, but in general I’ve found that for most people it’s not simply procrastination, its apathy. “Ehh… not really.”

Have you ever made plans with someone and then when the time came around you found some excuse as to why you couldn’t do it? That’s what I’m talking about here. And I don’t mean something just came up and prevented you from following through, I mean you just didn’t put in any effort to follow through with what you said you were going to do. I’m sure everyone reading this has a friend that they haven’t spoken to in over three months. Why haven’t you called them? Most people including myself would ask, why haven’t they called me? If that’s the case, then you might as well delete each others phone number and move on with your lives. What’s the point? You’re not really friends, your acquaintances. See you at the annual Christmas party or at the next High School reunion.

We are all guilty of this, so I’m not standing on a soap box here. But, I will from this point forward not count on someone’s word unless I know them to be 100% committed to keeping their word 100% of the time. What’s the point? And how many times have I made that same claim myself? “I’ll never put my trust in so and so again.” Yeah right!

I had planned on doing a brunch for all of my friends and family the Sunday before I leave Charleston. No longer. Why should I put in effort to plan and organize something just to be disappointed when people don’t show up after saying they will? That would suck! I would hate for my last morning in one of my favorite places in the world to be tainted with disappointment just because I was again faced with a lack of commitment on the part of those that I think/thought actually would care.

No this was not brought on all of a sudden by one particular event, but rather a series of events over the past month or so that have just brought further validation to my theory that despite what we claim, American society still has an ‘every man for himself’ attitude. I am no more innocent than anybody else but I think I do a good job of at least putting in an effort to be there when I’m needed or requested.

Call your Granny! Call your friend! Be more than just another letdown for someone… Be the highlight of someone’s day today!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Book Review

A Book Review: Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures; A True Story from Hell on Earth
By: Kenneth Cain, Heidi Postlewait, and Andrew Thomson

I do not recommend this book for any of you that may have a problem reading about genocide or horrific war crimes. Its not that the book is full of graphic descriptions of such events, but there are a few in here that will plant images in your mind that you may not want there. On more than one occasion this book to me to some pretty dark places and was really a reminder that there are some terrible things going on in our little world.

However, this was a great book from start to finish. (Thanks Marcie for the recommendation and B-Day gift). I really enjoyed following these three UN Aid workers as they traveled, worked, lived, loved and came of age in various locals around the globe.

Some of the most interesting sections to me were Somalia and Rwanda however they were not the real central focus of the book. The book mainly focuses on how these three individuals are either running from who they were or are out in the world trying to figure out exactly who that is in the first place. Andrew is a middle aged doctor who I don’t think ever really knew who he was only that he had a mission in life as a doctor to make life, and death, easier on people in troubled areas. Andrew is a father figure in some ways to Ken who is a young lawyer fresh out of school and looking not to climb the corporate ladder but rather make some kind of idealistic impact on the world around him.

Heidi is a 30-something woman who was a social worker and wife in the US before leaving everything to go off and serve the UN’s peacekeeping missions. She is mainly in search of herself in far off lands and new bedrooms. I think she may have missed out on all the excitement of taking lovers and just gotten married right out of college because no matter where she ended up in the world, some local man was there to make sure she was “taken care of.” I felt bad for her in the end because she had found real love in Haiti with a local guy whom she lived with who ends up dying due to a freak accident. Heidi to me accomplished the least as far as her role with the UN went but may have discovered the most about herself along the way. I just didn’t get into her story as much because I don’t have her female perspective nor her issues with love and sex.

I think I identified with Ken the most in this book because I’m at that point where idealism is not dead but there are some serious questions to be asked at this point before moving forward. Ken launched himself out into the shit of the world and was determined to discover himself. He has some great fun and some scary times, but overall I think Ken comes to understand the world. Not understanding in the overarching sense, but I really think Ken left his experience with the UN (at least for this book) with a sense of peace about what he could change and what he couldn’t.

Andrew on the other hand may have found peace of body in the end, but I’m not too sure he will ever find peace of mind. My favorite passage from the book is from Andrew’s reaction to his work in Bosnia’s mass graves. He was given the job of forensic examiner for these mass graves and was tasked with digging up the bodies and proving war crimes against the Muslims in the region.

“I set out to save lives and have ended up collecting the dead. Somewhere along the line, I lost sight of treating people and became obsessed with my own grandiose ideals of service. But there is no redemption in this. I’ve worked myself into the ground only to end up doing the very thing my parents begged me to avoid. I’ve ended up serving myself.
All that is left now is to hold on for that day, sometime after the first snowfall, when my deputy will radio me from the grave with the news that our backhoe has finally hit undisturbed earth at the bottom and the last of the dead are back above the ground. When I receive that message, I’ll drive out into the stubble of the corn fields, stand alone on the edge, and stare down into that gaping hole one last time. Then I’ll let go of this millstone of belief and ideals that’s breaking my neck, watch it tumble down and sink slowly into the mud at the bottom. I’ve had it with our humanitarian hubris. Let the dead burry the dead.
Afterward I’ll give the final order of my brief but eventful forensic career, this time to the engineer. Bulldoze in this hole and bury my youthful illusions. Then I’ll crack open a beer and drink a toast. Farewell death, you son of a bitch. Here’s to the rest of my life.”

Wow… we’re talking 10,000 people approximately that were dumped into mass graves and here is a guy who set out to make the world a better place who now has to dig up and clean up the world’s apathy. And, that wasn’t even the worst. Remember Rwanda? Ken had to walk around the mass graves there and investigate the rape, torture and killing of tens of thousands of Hutus by the Tutsi in Rwanda. At least the Bosnians got a bullet. The Rwandans got hacked to death and then sometimes eaten in front of their own families.

This book brought back memories of the 90’s when as a teenager I thought the world lived in relative peace. I was only 9 or 10 when the first Gulf War (GW I) started and that was quickly over. I wasn’t exposed to the news in the mid-90s as much and for the most part had to read about most of the events in this book much later. What my reading and this book has brought to my attention is that the world will stand by and watch people die. There is a lot of idealism but not much direct action on the part of our international monitoring agencies. I guess that’s why they get stuck with the tag of monitoring agencies. They monitor, they don’t act.

Now that the second Gulf War (GW II) is dragging to its eventual? end it makes me wonder how many other tragedies we’re willing to overlook in the near future. Will Obama make the same mistakes Clinton made and hold back American forces from where they are needed just to make up for a time when they were used where they shouldn’t have been? I know that sentence had about 100 arguments in it and I think I’m just tired at this point… sorry.

Anyway, to wrap this up… If you’re into books about personal experiences from hell on a world stage, then pick this up. If your not and just want to read about how other people choose to live their lives in service, then pick this up. I loved it and will probably read it again in a few years.