Friday, September 26, 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

"Everybody Has A Reason To Begin Again" From Springsteen's "Long Walk Home"

I play basketball with these kids. I let the kids shoot instead of me. If I get the rebound, I pass the ball to a kid. I rarely shoot.

Most of the kids go home. Some kids stay behind. These kids tell me I am too nice. They say this is the root of my problems with the opposite sex. I tell them that I have no problems with the opposite sex. I tell them that the opposite sex is crazy anyway.

The some kids leave. I am alone with my thoughts. I freak. Maybe the kids are right. Maybe I am too nice. But my high school football coach called me the dirtiest player he ever coached. I once held a guy by his practice jersey, choking him, so he would not hit the quarterback. My favorite thing was to get under a guys pads and pinch him. I was an effective crotch blocker. But you know what: maybe I am too nice.

It is the difference between perception and intention. I pass the basketball to the kids, because I want them to feel included. I want them to feel accepted. I could not stand feeling "left out." I spent a significant portion of my life feeling different and outside of the main clique. That is a lonely and stupid feeling. I have seen too many parents and possible mentors indifferent to that feeling. I have seen that loneliness perpetuated by indifference. I do not want to be part of that perpetuation. I pass the ball to the kids, because I want to pass it to them. I would rather see them shoot and play together than shoot myself. It has to do with teaching. It has nothing to do with niceness.

But that is not what the kids saw. They are just kids. But in some ways I failed as a teacher. In some ways, I was just as bad as the indifferent mentors and parents.

When you try to teach others, you learn about yourself. It is not what I can do for the kids; it is what the kids can do for me. This sounds strange and mixed-up, but at the end of the day, a mentor or a parent is only as good as his kids' perceptions. (An author is defined by his readers.) And perceptions have very little to do with intentions.

Friday, September 19, 2008

When You Leave The Tea Bag In Too Long, The Tea Becomes Too Strong

I have been listening to country music radio. This is because I get very few stations on my MP3 player.

Every five minutes an Obama ad comes on. Every 30 minutes a McCain ad comes on. The fact that Obama is spending this much money on country music radio ads in southwest Virginia intrigues me. I cannot decide if it is a sign of progress or a sign of the apocalypse.

I am becoming very indifferent to the whole thing. I know it does not matter. And the fact that people thinks it matters blows my mind.

"Don't believe in rock 'n' roll
Can really change the world
As it spins in revolution
It spirals and turns"

It spirals and turns, baby.

"This is my life
It's what I've chosen to do
There are no free rides
No one said it'd be easy"

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Conversations Heard On The Bus Or Possibilities

Guy to Girl: "You have a boyfriend?"

Girl: "Yes."

Guy: "Good. I have a girlfriend. But if anything changes, I'll let you know. You do the same?"

Girl (with a little smile that has a thousand interpretations): "I will."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

667th Post

I am standing at the pisser. I cannot remember what day it is. I cannot remember what month it is. I cannot remember what hour it is.

But I keep saying "If I only had more time." That is bullshit. Time is not scarce. It is energy that is scarce.

I can make all the excuses I want. But life is about energy. It is about getting out of bed. It is about caring. It is about caring so much it hurts. It is about caring so little that you say "Screw it." It is about looking deep inside oneself and saying: "This is what matters. This is what I am going to fight for. This does not matter. This is what I am going to let go."

I can never forget energy is a renewable resource.

Monday, September 15, 2008

On Field Goals, Extra Points, And Brian Billick

I am not going into probabilities. But I would go for two-point conversions and touchdowns more than the average college or NFL coach. It is about offensive confidence. Touchdowns win games. Field goals keep games close. It is also about being unpredictable. Another offensive play is another play to do something creative and unexpected.

Brian Billick did the Redskins game yesterday. His NFL philosophy came off as it is all about luck and bounces. If you make it, it is a good play. If you don't, then eventually you will get fired anyway. This translates somewhat to college and high school football too. There is too much competition and genius rarely lasts.

I found him refreshing. He isn't a great commentator. He wasn't a great coach.

But he did win a Super Bowl.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Thoughts This Morning

1. I haven't blogged in a while.

2. Blogging isn't a bad thing to do in the morning. At least I am doing something.

3. What would I say in an interview at Wal-Mart? I would probably talk about high-margin items like produce, and how Wal-Mart could capitalize on local products. I also think stores need better faces. They need produce and meat managers who know or at least act like they know frequent shoppers. I also think Wal-Mart should take the Dyson philosophy and be proud that their stores work. This is more complicated. Fortunately, I do not have any interviews lined up with Wal-Mart in the near future.

4. I have said this before. But Cowen's "Get something done every day" becomes truer with every day I don't get anything done.

5. I have donated the Blazer. It was sad. I probably could have gotten a few hundred dollars for it from a junkyard, but some times you just have to let go.

6. I cannot get interested in sports. I hope the Rays win the AL East. But I really don't care. I think the NFL and college football is pretty uninteresting. Maybe the playoffs will get me fired up, but I doubt it.

7. I find my my current colleagues, co-workers, cohort to be somewhat uninteresting. This says more about me than them. But I have seen a lot of good people come and go. I tend to retreat inside of myself when I get bored and disinterested. This is probably not a good trait. It is a worse trait to talk about other people who you don't really know.