Monday, January 23, 2006


Work and life tend to interrupt me from time to time. Over the next few months I intend to change the subject matter and general format of my comments. While baldness remains a part of my life, I usually don't care enough about it to write that much about it anymore. My new venture may or may not be more cliche, but it's a blog and that's cliche in and of itself.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


I need to work on my ability to have difficult conversations with people. I would like people to feel like they can talk to me about things, particularly when they have something heavy to talk about. I have a problem in that I often forget what I would want to hear or say in such situations - not to mention the fact that I probably wouldn't think or need to say the same things as most people. I find it hard to say exactly what I want sometimes because of the weird barriers or propriety and trying to avoid looking stupid or offending anyone. I worry too much about how I will sound before I say things... Or maybe I don't worry enough - that's the trouble.

What can you say when someone goes through something you truly can't imagine? Tell them they can talk to you? For what? I suppose the act of letting things out has some sort of cleansing feeling - or it could just stir things up and cause problems all over again. I don't know whether to believe that it's good to sit on things or to let it all out. Certainly someone could achieve the perfect balance - as with most things in life - but balance doesn't just happen and usually takes a while - and requires constant effort.
Maybe I let my friend down a couple of months ago I felt like I should say more, but what? I could tell him about the feeling in my throat when I heard the news - to what end?

When did I get so old? Life changes consistently as I get older and I think I did a really bad job of preparing for it. Did I say think? I meant know. Things will continue to change and at some point I will have to contend with the deaths of close friends and other personal tragedies. I like to think I am doing a decent job of preparing for future changes - but then again, I'm sitting at my computer typing away when I could probably do something more academically productive.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Almost there...

I haven't cut my hair in a couple of months, and I'm almost at small pony-tail length. As a bald dude, I fully realize the ramifications of long hair. In fact, I honestly prefer my hair no longer than a centimeter or so, but I thought I'd let it go for a while - just to see.

I think I want more of the 'Kelsey Grammer on Cheers' look. My hair isn't shaped right for a comb-over, and the wispy island of hair that sits front and center on my scalp would interfere with any kind of cross-over hair even if I did want to comb it over.

I want to avoid the 'Bolton' and will definitely shave it all before I let things get that crazy. In the mean time, I haven't had my hair this long since high school. Growing my hair out isn't the same thing as getting a corvette or viagra, but in a weird way it makes me feel a little bit more youthful and energetic.

The other day while driving I couldn't believe how fast I got so old. Not old enough to contemplate mortality, but old enough to realize that my hair really has gone and I find myself that much closer to grown up. I guess when Lane Staley died (lead singer for Alice in Chains) I knew I wasn't a kid anymore - and that kind of hurt. I remember making fun of dudes 10-20 years older than I am now, buying corvettes etc... In an effort to feel young or whatever - I never wanted to be that dude.

I can say the long hair thing is different though, just something funny I though of doing. Maybe I'll try stand up or something. If things get really out of control and I let it get to pony-tail length, maybe I could quit my job and become a high school English teacher.

Monday, May 02, 2005


In November, during the halftime of the Detroit Pistons vs. The LA Clippers - a girl performed with all kinds of hula-hoops. She had a lot of them going at the same time, twirled them with her hands and legs etc... Her show went on for a long time and during the performance I had to imagine this girl in the garage at home or in a basement, or dance studio at some point in her life hula-hooping for hours on end.

My first thought: What in the world possessed this eastern European girl to become a hula-hoop artist in the first place? At what point did she start thinking she could make money with the hula-hoop thing and from that point how long did it take and how much work did it take before she actually did make any money at it? It reinforced some of my notions about deciding what I truly want to accomplish and setting myself to just doing it. I wonder if I can put in the kind of time and effort required. I wonder if that girl knew at some point that she would succeed and how early that reassurance came. It leads me to my second thought...

My second thought: How many people would stay so committed to something equally as obscure as hula-hoop dancing? I wonder sometimes if I had stayed more committed to my various pursuits if I could've done something more. How many things have I tried and given up and how many of those things could I have truly excelled at if I had set myself to sweat it out in the garage until I got it down. I like to think that things work out for specific reasons, and honestly I think that I would not have been as happy as a drummer or a painter.

My final thought: The cause and effect nature of fate and circumstances never ceases to blow me away. As I sort of half watched the hula-hoop show and talked with my friends I thought about how many thousands of thoughts could occur as a result of the peculiar entertainment and how every individual person's set of individual circumstances at any given time in any given place while at times seemingly random can lead to an endless variety of situations and circumstances.

From the experience I came to the realization yet again that to accomplish the things I feel compelled to accomplish in my life it will require at some point a total focused effort. Like the girl who one day hula-hooped and from that moment spent hours and years developing her trade, the time comes in life when a person has to either put in the hours or settle. Maybe finding the hula-hoops lies in picking something and just doing it. I like to think inspiration has something more to do with it.

Monday, February 21, 2005


Every time a major cold goes through I want to be the guy who doesn't get it. I suppose I have avoided past colds and influenza, but I don't remember the ones I missed quite as well as the ones I've had.

I always get that feeling, when everyone around me has some bad bug, that maybe I shouldn't hang around as much, maybe I should avoid conversations with people who make comments like 'I think I'm coming down with something (particularly when almost everyone else in the office has come down with the same thing.) Maybe hanging out by the water-cooler with almost sick guy is a bad idea. Did I just say maybe?

Of course it always hits me harder when the guy who thought he might 'come down with something' a week ago doesn't come in for 3 days. Of course when he does, he has puffy, red eyes and swollen nostrils. At this point I inevitably make the same ridiculous comment that I think I might come down with something. While shopping I have the urge to buy more vitamin C, to stock up on soup and fruit and vegetables. I begin to feel more tired and think I shouldn't work quite so hard.

It comes in one morning like ending up next to the really smelly guy on a crowded subway car. Once in that position I usually try to pretend I have no problem with it. I might shift a little to try to avoid the inconvenience or even gag a little. Of course, I'm ok, I've had it worse - that guy last week smelled way worse - last years cold hit 10 times worse.

Inevitably, as the ride continues, I realize that the new smelly dude may not smell the same way the last smelly dude did - but this new smelly dude has his own breed of death-stench that creeps through my nose and into my memory among the top ten worse smelly dudes ever. The cold creeps through my sinuses and whether or not I really have had worse it lodges itself so deeply in the cavities in my head that the mucus seeps through some tissue or bone somewhere into my memory as well. The cold that seemed like no big deal has become a major part of my life.

I don't like taking cold medicine, and I always feel like the first one I took didn't work, so I double up with something else and get all dizzy. Do I have an inner ear thing going on with the cold or is it the combination of medications? I don't know, just don't give me the baby when I could fall over at any moment. They don't make enough Kleenex for the deluge of mucus which I experience nearly every year, they still haven't made the perfect medicine. I guess I just have to learn to steer clear of that dude by the water cooler, which is too bad because he's a funny guy.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Anything I want to be

It may have happened while I sat on the lawn looking at clouds, or while I sat awake one night. I know it happened more that once. I remember thinking many times over the course of many years - never an exact instant, only the thought - that I could be anything I wanted to be.

As time passed the sentiment changed a little, first to almost anything, then to maybe anything I want to be. You get to a point in life where a decision has to be made - or at least you're supposed to get to that point. You have to decide what you will do, not just what you can do.

When you chose what you will do hindsight allows you the liberty to say you "could've" done any number of things and also in some instances the freedom to say you still can do many different things with your life.

I find it difficult sometimes, not necessarily to know what I want to do, but rather how to make it happen. For example, I'd love to travel the world, but my finances are limited. So I keep on keeping on with that recurring thought that I can do almost anything, I just haven't really decided what I will do yet.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Anything but the face

Shallow as it may seem, when you've seriously mangled your face in an accident the first thing you inevitably think about is how you will look thereafter. Some afterthoughts include how much money your parents wasted on orthodontics and trying to figure out how you plan on eating until they get your front 4 teeth so they don't prevent you from closing your mouth anymore.

When you're in an accident in Italy and in shock, don't always trust your language skills, and whatever you do, don't try to translate english words directly because they don't always have the same intended meaning. The word for nightmare is Incubo.

Of course, when you're surrounded by old dudes who only speak the local dialect, vocally lamenting your disfigured features can be a good way to make friends. If you say for example, "how will I ever get a girl with a face like this," they will rally around you and tell you that being American alone can get you a lot of girls if you're not worried about looks.

It's funny how certain incidents can make you scratch an entire city of the list of places to return to. although in all fairness, there wasn't a lot to see or do in Rho anyway.