I'm back! Inspired by my super-insightful buddy http://fornia.typepad.com/blog/ I decided I want to write again. Hope I am as clever at 50 as I was at 47!
It's amazing what you can find when you google with reckless abandon. I was watching CNN today and unwittingly allowed the Lou Dobbs
show to start without getting to the remote in time. He was even more incoherent than usual today, but sent me over the edge when he purported to "catch" Barack Obama in a "flip-flop" over the life or death issue of wearing a flag pin on his lapel! Lou has long been a pet peeve of mine, primarily for the simple fact that he has a full hour every day on one of the "great" news networks of the world to rant essentially on one issue: illegal immigration.
All of which lead me to do a Google search on "Lou Dobbs idiot". What I found, amongst other gems, was a post on the Daily Kos which sums up my feelings on immigration pretty accurately.
This "issue" was whipped up by Karl Rove and the Republican soothsayers as a way of turning out the Republican base in '06. It is an utter and complete exaggeration of a "problem" which has little practical significance to most Americans. We have been living with illegal immigration for decades, if not centuries. It exists because our economic system fosters it and encourages it. It is not a "crisis," nor is it a "drain" on our economy. Nor is there any proved relationship between illegal immigration and falling wages.
Without illegal immigrants the entire service economies of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and large parts of Southern California would collapse. It has been that way for decades. The labor is cheap and Americans simply do not want the jobs that these immigrants gladly perform.
The root of this issue is, and always has been, racism. The immigration "crisis" is simply an excuse for bored, ignorant middle class Americans looking for someone to hate or blame for their problems.
(Thanks to " Dartagnan" for stating so eloquently what I have been feeling all along!)
Hi, my name is Bruce, and I'm a laze-a-holic. (OK i know that is not a word, but sometimes I feel addicted to doing nothing). Today, however, I went to the gym INSTEAD of going to Sunday Beer Bust at the Lone Star. I'm sure its not a big deal for most of you, but it was for me!
Lately, I have become more of a loner and much less of a social butterfly. I have been trying to figure out whether it is a sign of personal growth, or simply low-grade depression. In the end, despite my natural tendency to think it is a bad thing, I think I have been forced in the last year to grow more comfortable with myself. As with any change, there is discomfort and over-compensation. At first, I was desperately lonely, then as that started to subside I began to relish my free/alone time so much that I was almost hiding from even my best friends. I was concerned about this at first, but now I think it is just a natural result of trying something "new".
Lots of good things have happened during this time. I have been more engaged with my family this year than in many years, and that feels great. I have also been more engaged in my job and have gotten more positive feedback than I had for 15 years or so. Finally, I have been able to grow on my own while still knowing I have someone across the ocean who loves me every bit as much as I love him. Even the frustration of our separate lives seems at times like an experience in discipline to me---I typically HATE deferred gratification, but the waiting for the next time I see him (hopefully May here in SF) only seems to reinforce what a precious thing we have.
In fact, a lot of things in my life seem more precious now that I am spending less time "socializing" and more time loving myself and those closest to me.
Part of what is so great about blogging is that I have trouble keeping the good thoughts in my mind from day to day. But when I write it down, I have something more permanent to which I can refer later. My wisdom is momentary and fleeting, but the blog is forever!
PS---Can you tell I have been listening a 3 disc set entitled "Radical Self-Acceptance"? It was a birthday gift from my lovely ex-wife Karen which I just got around to listening to. Basically its a soothing female Buddhist clinical psychologist who says lots of things that make sense and make me feel better...works for me! Thanks, Kar!
...to start (or restart) anything?? Whether it's a blog, a diet, a workout regimen, a budget, a new work routine....it seems like I spend day after day fully intending to start whatever it is and then end the day thinking I will do it the next day.
Well, I have proven to myself that having a gym membership and carrying my gym bag in the trunk of your car doesn't get you in shape. Subscribing to Weight Watchers and buying a scale doesn't make me lose weight. Downloading Quicken doesn't make me financially sound. Making a list doesn't make me productive at work. And, of course, as you all know, just having a blog doesn't make me write on a daily basis.
All of these things are just tools to help us toward a goal, but they all depend upon a "Just Do It" moment to have any impact whatsoever. Historically, I have been able to elevate my mood by merely acquiring the tool to help start a new plan, or even by coming up with a new plan in my mind during a time when I can't possibly begin to implement it(i.e., while driving, while in a business meeting or deposition). Sometimes I have pen and paper and I write down the plan. Inevitably, that plan gets lost in the middle of a legal plan and is replaced by another plan a few months later.
I have long sought a permanent solution to this problem....a drug or surgery that would turn me into the kind of person who could just make a plan and follow through with it. I haven't found such a thing, so as far as I can tell the only thing to do is to pick something and just do it. And so, three months after my last entry, here I am. My modest goal for each day, is to just do SOMETHING I have been intending to do. Wish me luck.
Some random thoughts and news to confirm that I am, in fact, still alive:
1. Tonight I continued my mission of filling in the gaps in my film knowledge by seeing "The Graduate" for the very first time outdoors in Dolores Park. Stuber, Chris and I huddled up with our blanket and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves...it was very cool to see Dustin Hoffman as a young man again...I love that guy!
2. I saw (and met) the Scissor Sisters a couple weeks ago at the Warfield in San Francisco.
I have to admit, it was an amazing time for me. My buddy Eddie got us in to meet the band with a small group before the show. I had met BabyDaddy before, but not the others....let me just say, as much as I mock others who act like groupies....in my own way I was no better. As always, I was too embarrassed to ask them to sign anything, but of course chatted them up as if to somehow make myself memorable. In reality, BabyDaddy is a very nice guy whom I am likely to see in a number of social settings (we have mutual friends, and he has a good memory!), so I didn't feel too guilty. The show was amazing...I had a great time. Of course it helped that I bought the new album on iTunes the day before so I could recognize the new songs....I don't enjoy concerts enough to want to go see anyone I haven't heard enough to sing along (quietly, of course!). All in all, it was the most fun I have had a concert since...well, since ever (although I think I WAS pretty psyched after Springsteen's Born in the USA concert...who can remember that far back? not me!)
1. Why I love the San Francisco Chronicle: The day after North Korea tested its nuclear bomb, the biggest, boldest front page headline in several weeks read "DIARY OF A SEX SLAVE", with a huge picture of a forlorn Asian girl from the Tenderloin. It was a refreshing reminder of our provincialism, and love of a good sex story....in some ways San Francisco is the city that time forgot...it never really changes all that much!
2. On the other hand...that the Mark Foley congressional page sex scandal continues to dominate the news is baffling to me. As much as I like to see a right wing hypocrite crash and burn, I can't for the life of me see why this is anything but a personal tragedy, and pathetic display by one creepy man. From all appearances, it is Republicans who are beating themselves and each other up for either not knowing or not stopping him. It's almost as unseemly as Foley's actions themselves, how much they want to blame someone else and/or defend themselves for HIS actions! It's as if the mere thought of being the part of the same political party with a pervert like Foley will somehow taint them all. Come to think of it, they ARE the party of "guilt by association", so maybe this is poetic justice. For Democrats, there is no need to do or say anything, just let the Republicans publicly flog themselves...its kinda fun to watch!
3. Oh France, France, France....just when I think you cannot be MORE ridiculous, your thoughtful National Assembly passes a new law making it a crime to deny the Turks committed genocide against Armenians in 1915. Notwithstanding the hazy definition of "genocide" and the competing views of historians as to whether it was a true "genocide" or just a particularly bloody conflict along ethnic/religious lines, exactly what about a conflict between Turks and Armenians occurring over 90 years ago is worthy of a law limiting free speech in 21st century France? Can you say "stirring the pot?" What good can this possibly serve?
4. On the other hand, California seems almost certain to elect ARNOLD to a second term as governor, and by a comfortable margin.
I officially have no right to call anyone else crazy!
In the end, I only saw 2 of the Pedro Almodovar films, "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" and "Bad Education". Both were extremely clever---"Women" was crazy funny, and "Bad Education" was delightfully full of twists, turns and perversions. And to honor my Euro film buff friends, I saw Bad Education by myself and stopped crunching popcorn as soon as the lights went down (I was full anyway).
Now I have to find someone to watch "All About My Mother" with me on DVD.
That was my weekend. Jake and I flew up Friday night to Seattle to spend a weekend with big sis Kelly. I could not have had a better time!! The weekend had everything i love. The kids (of course), a beautiful college campus (UW), an exciting football game (UW 21, Fresno St. 20), a trip on the duck boat in Lake Union, two nice meals with old buddies, and lots of laughs! Here are some pics: I always here about parents complaining about their kids growing old too fast. I don't understand it, because my kids keep getting more and more fun the older they get. And a weekend with ANY combination of the three of them is the best present I could ever give myself!
...Is to join the intelligentsia. I must confess I have NEVER seen a film by Pedro Almodovar. This is shocking and horrifying to many friends I respect most, BUT.......it will soon change, thanks to Viva Pedro which is running at the Castro theater this month. My plan...to see as many films as I can so I can be el mas intelligente de mis amigos!!!! Updates to follow...
A week ago, I took my 9 year old niece, Caroline, my 11 year old son Jake, big sister Maggie and boyfriend Thomas to one of the vague memories of my childhood, The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
This was a specific request of Caroline for her birthday and I thought it would be a great chance to give my sister Debbie a free day, and give Caroline a thrill at the same time. I strategically invited Maggie and Thomas along, correctly assuming they would absorb Caroline's often intense energy.
I have never understood gay men's obsession with amusement parks. I really know very few straight guys who love going to Magic Mountain, Six Flags, Kings Island, etc etc, well into their adulthood. I always assumed these trips were something fathers of small children HAD to do. Imagine my surprise when my kids grew up and I STILL was pressured into going for any number of "Gay Days" at Great America or the like.
There is really nothing that combines more things that I hate then an amusement park. The list depresses me just writing it:
4. Greasy, overpriced Food
5. Being upside down
Still I convinced myself this would be fun....and it was in a perverse way. Thomas and Caroline were the ones completely into every ride. Maggie and Jake, being of sensible stock, merely "tolerated" the rides, and concentrated on plotting the next junk food purchase. (Correction, Jake DID love the bumper cars...he has so much experience riding with Dad!!)
For my part, I ordered a "Jumbo Corndog"....even though it was clear from the display that the regular Corndogs were a better option. It is very difficult for me to pass up anything branded "Jumbo". I think there is an implication of greater satisfaction inherent in the designation. Unfortunately, the picture WAS worth a thousand words. What looked bad, tasted worse...long, long skinny dog, with greasy doughy batter...too long to eat easily without skewering ones tonsils. AND the moment the first bite hit my stomach, a burning started which never ended till I got home hours later.
As I walked around, stomach on fire, I kept telling myself...this is not about me, this is not about me, this is not about me (words I would NEVER utter aloud, mind you). It was about the kids...all I needed to do was survive...and I would have done a good deed. Ultimately, that's what happened...I (and my stomach) survived, and the kids had fun!! Its a big part of what parenting is about. The satisfaction at the end is worth the hassle along the way. Making a kid happy for a day is a really cool thing!!