It's January 1st, it's a new year, it's 2011... so what.
It's just a day.
It's, if one checks the calendar, a Saturday.
It's, if one does the math on varying amounts of Daylight Savings Time over the years [since Man, himself, enacted such things], technically not even January 1st, not 2011, nor even a Saturday [that's a guess though... and I am too tired to spend the time figuring out how to figure that one out & double check my suspicion--I asked Amy about this, she looked at me sort of cross-eyed and said, "Jesus, Scott, I have no idea... don't ask me questions like that after I worked 13 hours of Call at the hospital"... so, again, I am not so sure].
Sure, I can dig why folks look to days like today for new beginnings and the like, but truthfully, they never work... and I assume they never work because this day, today, would happen regardless of my, your or any ones involvement in it. Today, like all other days, doesn't really give a shit what you do with it... it's going to start [and end] whether you change or not. Days are like this. January 1st -also- does not care what you impose on it because it's just a man-made date like all the rest of the days of the year. **Note: what the fuck is a year anyway?**
Now, how about January 1st as a new & clean slate from which to work?
That one is better to my mind.
Wiping off the proverbial chalkboard is a nice idea: start fresh, reconnoiter the confusing equation[s], take a new/better look at how to get shit right. That seems sound & rational.
But! ...the rub is always the same: these things always begin with a thought, and while thoughts are good, thoughts are usually the easiest part of change.
Put another way: change is work, work is earned, whereas a day is not.
Years ago I read somewhere that humans can change almost anything... for 3 days to 3 weeks, after that though it's "99% fail or bail" [okay, I am full of shit--it's my theory]. And it's true, change is easy [I've found] when one of two similar things go down...
1. Nothing pushes back against that Change [thus challenging it/you/the momentum of it]
2. It's new & fresh [those first 48 hours... or, once the crest has been summited: past 3 weeks].
Said another way: How easy is getting up early when one doesn't need to [for work -money- versus for changing -improving- Self]?, or How easy is it to not drink booze when alone versus at a party where all are imbibing?, or riding ones bike everyday regardless of weather, with no friends, and with no actual destination [work/errands]?, or working on their anger when not being challenged into a situation of anger?... it's like I tell Chloe often, "To change is hard, but to take stock of the progress of your change, well you've got to throw yourself into the worse case scenario of what it is you're trying to affect that change within & upon"... and a great but endless, wonderful but hard-ass, road to change it is. Add age/years to what it is you're trying to change, and man oh man, it's like climbing K2 naked in a total whiteout without any sherpas nearby.
Obviously, we can elect to change at any hour of any day within any month... but tradition typically elects that day to begin on the first day of the new year. And as a sidebar to the nebulous idea of Change & Resolutions: another I tell myself often [so much so, I don't really ever say it to myself per se, having made it more into a part of me that's just there, inside me, as fact], and from time to time, my daughter: 'I don't really care about what anyone intends to do as much as I care about what they are doing'. Said differently, speaking of ones resolution disempowers it greatly. If it's important, and change is always important, then it really stays strong, pure & crystalline when it's kept inside versus Twittering or FaceBooking it out to 15 thousand people.
I, being I, find that things that most like, what I call The Popular, repulse me... so therefore I would never, personally as a point of being profoundly "Scott", never go the easiest, typical, predictable route: i.e. I'd never change a damn thing on New Year's. No, it's too base, not worth my time and frankly if I've got something big to undo and redo, I ain't having it tagged in with a zillion other people trying to change up their shit too. No way, Jose. Change is big, it's epic, it needs protecting... it cannot be exposed, similar to an infant, until it is strong, reliably mobile, and able to withstand the punishments of the outside world. Anything less than that is unfair to the act of Change... really, anything less is bullshit, jive & just more words to fill up a world already overfilled with hollow words.
For me, I picked Thanksgiving Day for change... and not for the reasons most might think either [I won't go into why other than to leave it with... personal metaphor].
I'll shutup after this:
The other reason people falter is this, Tradition & Traditions [at least I know I did for years because of it].
If the one day that many out their voice on what it is they are about to embark on to change, and it's also a tradition to say it that particular day, and that day is also widely accepted as the day to do such, well, 2+2... [it's the same -as above- with booze/parties, food/holidays & for the angry person: quelling that anger when not in an angered situation, etc... there is no real test for the testing of it, it gets canceled out].
So, what are my resolutions for '011?
I have none, and even if I did...
I wouldn't tell.
But I don't have any [at least on this day, for chrissake].
I am wanting
to explore the line between reality|truth[?] that is: what is sharing and what is
ego; what is telling and what is just plain old drawing attention to oneself; what is noise and what is
...and after much thinking on this, I am pretty
convinced that most of 'modern-day [read: The Internet] sharing' is
nothing but drawing [or attempting to draw] attention to oneself, one's
business, one's self-created awesomeness [be it retold with an "Ahh
gee, look what I did---you really think I am great too? Gee" bent or in the intense thumping, SilverBack
style, of and on one's chest] or one's thoughts [which are masked as
'what do you think?' when it really seems to be 'agree with me or
in any case, a lot of self-absorption.
From Me, as well.
I think Warhol got it wrong by 2 minutes. It isn't 15 minutes of fame, it's 17... if you have a blog and/or Twitter account [and most everyone does].
But no more.
I liked it all better when few knew, most didn't care, and it was all small potatoes. Po-Ta-Toads [as Chloe would say].
learned [still learn] a lot, made great lasting friends, great acquaintances,
ran the gamut and gauntlet, but it's time to go away... and keep
learning, listening and growing: just like before but without so much
of me attached to the Me in Me/without so much noise from all the great warbled voices of everyone vying for something, what-I don't know any longer, but some Thing.
We, as a family, are shooting for a small, teeny-tiny
life, far off and as invisible as possible from this EEEE-sized-Lectronic
World: a place and space where I work on trying to not want nor need
anything more than what's directly in front of me [baby-steps, some concrete, my wife, daughter & life].
A friend once suggested, "Close it down with some Thanks and lots of Apologies", so here goes:
Thank You, All. Thank you all very much, and profoundly so [even the dislikers & haters too]. I've learned something from all of it.
yes, I am very sorry for any & all offenses... be them truthful
[where I took well-aimed shots] or be it the ones that were built upon the dark human
foundations of wanting more of something I could ever participate in or need or call my own [wanting to connect with so many folks that
it was driving my soul mad], I am sorry. I have a hopeless side to me that wants to change people [the World] in equal proportion to changing myself [and it's called -I'm pretty certain- Ego].
And -again- I am very Thankful for all this place has done and shown me.
it... this journal stays for those seeking some solace for a process
& journey [or to laugh -or rage- at me placing my foot in my mouth
squarely, or me joking and some not getting it, or me not joking and
some getting it], warts & all.
We're off & out to new things both small and low-key.
Here's to small & low-key...
my electronic netometer is now in perma-off-mode [blog, Twitter, all of it], but please do know-
Thank You for allowing me to share all that has come to be in the last few years,
Found the following photo lurking in the dark corners of the hard drive.
...and it gave me pause. Serious. Pause.
That was taken outside Lake Placid, NY in 2003 [on my way up to bigger & worse things] but, it was a great moment. Great because it was the 3rd time I was outside that year. Chloe & Amy had begged me to go somewhere with them: a vacation, a get-away. And I had -finally- agreed.
Looking at that photo, I smile for what it shows in the immediate: a beautiful little girl in her very first swimsuit walking into water for her very first time with her dad. She was terrified of a school of baby trout swimming near our feet. Amy & me had to -repeatedly- convince her that they weren't 'Miniature Sharks'.
But, also, looking at that pic right now... The Regret. I'd like my daughter's youngest years back, with me where I am at currently/presently. I lost so much of it. Only stories & events retold for my cloistered benefit [sanity] kept me seeing what I did not see, what I did not participate in at all. I missed every walk, every errand, every trip to the park. I pushed my daughter in her stroller precisely one time... in our living room [Amy had arranged that so I could know what it felt like~and it felt gloriously like it should have felt].
I don't know what or how it is that draws me to regret, deep regret, while certainly respecting, appreciating & honoring where I'm at now, today. I appreciate a lot if not every thing in ways I cannot express overly well... but simultaneously, I am -at minimum- tipped toward the past with endless melancholy over what was -no other good way to paint it- Lost.
I've asked Chloe if she feels anger, sadness or anything bad toward me for those years, the lost years. And her answer remains, "No, you're my daddy... I love you! I just think you're more You now, than you were you Then". And that's that I suppose...
We are who we are right now.
It's the shedding of memories [the ones that hurt, haunt & drag it all down] that seem everlastingly on the biggest of big 'To-Do Lists'. If you can't erase them, what's to become of them.
I think, eventually, I'll find a proper place for all of it to reside in myself...
but for all the good and fantastic in the universe, I'd like a Do-Over.
Now the quandary... I know nothing/nada/zip/zero about folding bikes. I do, however, know lots of folks who like them [and theirs personally] and -also- plenty of folks who love [like a Blood-Sport] to make fun of those kinds of bikes and -especially- the people that ride them.
But, like I said, I know nothing about them.
Anyone care to fill me in? I've tried out a Brompton twice now, and must declare: I like it [and for traveling I can't imagine the ease]. ____________________________________________
In other news...
completely forgot to update on my last Weigh-In Day [WID~March/5/09]. So, the stats:
Weight: 178.4 pounds Weight on Last Weigh-In [January 18th, 2009]: 181.8 pounds Loss Of: 3.4 pounds
Sure we don't see each other enough. Sure we don't see eye to eye all the time [but we don't see each other much]. Sure his wife hates me [she's likes sending email calling me an asshole among other fond wishes/thoughts]. Sure I think he's full of shit a lot [but I know he thinks I'm full of shit way more than he is]. Sure we don't have some 'Happy Days' meets 'The Walton's' vibology going on 'tween us...
but he knows I dig him/him me.
So... I did two things I NEVER do, and did them specifically for him [and no one else... heck, I won't even do this for Amy or Chloe]:
I went to the mall-
-and stood in a line. A very long line, for a very long time. And I did mention that it was at the mall, right?*
I'm not going to go into details on this as it's personal, and if my brother still has decent vision he's gonna 'Get It' [I will, however, outline the final pic -Click 'Em 4 Big-]:
Sorry IV the conflict"
He also said, "Tell Rich I said Hi, and thanks for taking so much shit from your dad to ride my deck, appreciate it".
Told ya, I dig him [I dig you~it's en route to you via the USPS].
[*I equate malls to the lowest, festering anus of all of society... and yet, I went -for you- my dear Brother]
I like to ride in big gears. I recall doing this as far back as my first multi-geared bike as a kid. It's like weightlifting: you see the bar, a stack of metal discs nearby and one way or another, you & your friends end up puttin' them on all and seeing what comes of it. It's always been this way for me with bikes... I get on, I roll, and by the end of the block I've geared it down to its highest gear in no time at all.
And I usually just keep it there, unless I'm halfway up a hill steep enough that I'm beginning to roll backwards down it. Maybe it's a Boy/Guy thing... perhaps it's just an offshoot of always having to "try". Of course it could be as easy as the Time-Space continuum of 'Be careful or you'll shoot your eye out': whereby you have to keep pushing until the Universal RubberBand of "It's Your Turn" snaps back around on your arse and that's that. Dunno.
But I do know this... It, does snap back, eventually. And did for me.
I've noticed a lot more folks out-n-about riding lately, and of those folks many [lately] are in full-on kolorz: i.e. Team Kit [some local, most 'Net-Bought from & of their favorite team/teams/riders[?]... but in either/any case they are out and wearing those logos], and many of them are racy. They wanna go fast all the time. They are speedy quick, quickly speedy.
So far -with this climate of Fasteryness [my word, Google will net you nada]- I've been willingly coerced into two/2/to/too races. One netted me a flatted rear [but I was holding my own up until that flat even though I didn't have full USPS team kolorz on me... but I would seriously bet I was within mere feet of having my backside handed to me -had it not been for that pancaked rear flat- as we were about to embark on some serious inclined inclinations of the hilly sort]...
...and the other netted me a hyper-extended left knee. A few days back, while exiting the downtown PDX area and heading toward home, a Roadie with serious eyes for Man-Man came up from behind me. What followed was the usual, non-spoken, nudge/floor it/back-off/floor it, on again/off again game of 'wanna go??". And we went.
Between runners, walkers, joggers, baby strollers, commuters, bird poop, areas that smell of freshly sprayed cow manure [parts of the Eastside Esplanade reek to high hell of... well, one can't really candy coat it, Shite], the homeless & more... we went. And we kept going.
Never a word spoken. Only frowns, occasional grunts, always lots of serious intent written on two mugs, we went.
Pull ahead, gap opens, close it up, gap closes. Draft, pull, draft, pull... I think, looking back, we knew it would end at the tracks one stop past Spokane on the Corridor. But we never discussed it.
So it kept going, and I know he was as tired as me. And for what gain? To what effect? It was sublimely ridiculous and served zero purpose. But I think we were heeding our Testosterone, our inner-Caveman, our need to gage & monitor the current state of our "Me-ness".
What a moronic sight we must have made: me in a jacket, helmet w/mirror & lights, tights & knickers... him in a very expensive Giro helmet, racing shades, "Hammer Nutrition" jersey & shorts w/"Discovery Channel" tights underneath it all... about the only thing that united us: riding two-wheeled bikes and clipless shoes [but he got me there too, Sidi road shoes].
A 14 mile sprint, and I might be wrong on this, cannot be overly fun for even those with the advantage of Youth & Ultra-Fitness on their side. It can't be. It certainly wasn't for me... but then again, 'Sprint' is a relative term to those doing the sprinting and those watching the sprinting. My 'partner' in all this certainly wasn't wearing anything near enjoyment on his face either.
But we kept on.
So far, I'm only -really- dipping my big toe into Stupidity. The 10-Meter, full-on, belly-flop, comes about... right... Now.
Just past the drop on the Corridor, where you can go under the tracks into Oak's Bottom, my left knee, more specifically the outside & inside [not the front or rear of the knee] goes "Pop" and then "Ping". The 10% of my brain that isn't bathing in testosterone, endorphins and hair-covered hands, says "Whoa... bad. Stop. Now". The other 90% announces, "It was a stick, a piece of gravel, something on the asphalt... keep going sissy". So I went. I listened to the part that -also- responds with things like "No, I know that's a gas station right there, but I'm positive that if I get on that highway and drive east 20 miles we'll find the hotel. I know what I'm doing here, honey".
10%: 'This knee has a history, Einstein. It gave out before anything else gave out as you got big, then bigger, then biggest... every time you've had a knee issue, it's been this knee. You always have babied this knee, what are you doing here, Chief?'
90%: 'It was a stick or something'
10%: 'Amy's gonna be pissed. Not angry because it hurts and you hurt it... no, pissed because you're going to drive her batshit with nonstop worries about it, nonstop questions about it, nonstop "do you think? this/do you think? thats"... check up and ride home like a person that actually has learned something [anything?] in 45 years on this planet'
90%: 'You ain't Lance brother... but neither is this guy. You and Me, we can take him. Go fatboy, go'
90%: 'Steel against Carbon-The Grudge Match. Just keep going, it was a twig or something... I'm tellin' you man, just keep going'
10%: 'I guess no more rides for a while'
90%: 'There's only The Now'
And we arrived...
well, actually, I arrived. And then he arrived.
I waited for him on the tracks. About 8 seconds later he pulled up beside me. We both smiled. Long pulls on water bottles, a few 'Wows', a couple 'We were goings'... he said, "Great job! Man, I thought for sure I had you near the end" I said something like "I think I killed my knee, so unless you're injured or worse, you came out of this better than me". We shook hands.
I rode home wincing... at appx. 7mph.
Lesson ~finally~ Learned=
Pedal Lite/Spin Fast/Resistance Minimally.
[...and I never told Amy how it happened by the way, but she'll know soon enough]