the tiniest grocery cart

Happy Birthday?

The guy that did my back tattoo called me some weeks back and invited me to a birthday party tonight. He's turning 35, a few friends of his (including me) are having birthdays in the next week and 1/2 and he decided to get a room @ the Cherokee Casino hotel and have a poker party. He cordially invites me so of course I attend. I take some beers, some shot glasses, and some poker chips and head up there at about 9:00.

We get there and some folks are already there. We had this two-room suite that must've cost a pretty penny. I think I heard him say it was comped, which would be nice. The master room had some pretty deep smoking going on and the secondary room had not yet really taken shape. Several of us were hungry so we went down to McGill's (casino eatery, very nice) to eat. The host also had a $100 comp ticket for the meal, so four of us ate and I ended up paying $10 for one of the best ribeye steaks I've ever had. We adjourn back to the room.

I play a few rounds of cards...as I didn't have much cash, I didn't play that long. After finished, I stood around awhile and sat awhile before finally heading home. Got in just a few minutes ago.

As I sat there, listening to the 20 or so people talk around me in groups, I realized that I did not have any stories to tell. Everyone had moved into their little cliques and were having a good time. I looked around and was the only one just sitting around. I'm very quiet normally, and I didn't say much. No one reached out to me, but maybe that's because I didn't reach out to anyone myself. In either case, I just got my jacket and headed out.

I doubt they noticed. No great loss.

The drive home was rather dreary. I've realized quite recently that I don't quite know who I am or what I've molded myself into. My wife has helped me see that a lot of my foundations are built on sand and not stone as I've believed for so long.

I don't have fun like other people do. And I don't know what to do about that.

(note: I hate to think my blog has become some morose woe-is-me trip down emo lane. I just haven't felt well lately.)


Faith and Following

I attended a Catholic service tonight for the first time. Not only was it an Easter service, but my good friend Mark was confirmed. He has searched for some time and it is pleasing to see him find a home after so much work and study. His ceremony also got me back in a church pew for the first time in a long time.

Many aspects of my life are wearing thin and fraying and it is very apparent that my lack of connection with God has helped accelerate this. I have lost contact with Him and barely even pray anymore. Although tonight's service felt a bit more disconnected than usual (Catholic services are more traditional and less...lively? I dunno, definitely not what I'm used to) it did awaken the need for fellowship.

I have not been a good example for my wife to look to. A husband is to be a model for his household and I have been lacking. I have also let things interfere with my relationship with God and overshadow the #1 priority in my life. I will be changing that immediately.

On a lighter note, I saw some surprise faces at the ceremony. Old friends, acquaintances, and at least one person who surprised me by knowing who I was. It was a good evening.

I give thanks to God for His continued blessings and for always welcoming me back with grace.


Indi's new baby

Thank You

Thank you everyone for making Indi's surprise party such a resounding success. It was great to see you and Indi had a wonderful time.



On a long shot, I looked through my movie collection to see if there was a nice cinematical experience that would cheer me up...and Rocky Balboa called to me.

I love this movie. The original Rocky is a classic film and an amazing piece of American Pop Culture. When it was announced that Stallone was making another Rocky movie, everyone (myself included) let out a collective groan. Ol' Sly had made himself into one of those 'has-been' actors and it was a bizarre appearance of art imitating life. However, I was in for quite a shock.

Once this hit video stores, it had built up some decent buzz. I hadn't watched a Rocky film in years and figured, "What the hell?" I'd give the Italian Stallion a try. I am so very happy that I did. This film has become one of my favorites. Stallone approached this movie as everyone should approach their autumn years. There's several excellent speeches in the movie and the whole film captures the spirit of the first movie.

He doesn't look pathetic. He looks old, but not unrealistic. In fact, the special features on this movie go into detail regarding what Sly did to prepare and how the final fight was stages as close to a real boxing match as possible for the film. My respect raised for Stallone tenfold.

There is nostalgia, naturally...but it's mixed with a new reality. I hope the new Indiana Jones movie is this good at mixing those two elements.

So, needless to say, watching the movie (and getting some laundry done) have put me in much better spirits. Nothing like watching someone who is told "you can't" prove 'em wrong.

And he's right. It's not about how hard you can hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.


I've found myself in a bit of a funk lately.

I got up at 5:00 AM on Monday to take Indi to the airport. I dropped her off, came home, couldn't really sleep...tossed a bit and went into work at 10:00. Came home, played a little WoW, and went to be at about 10:00 PM. Slept for 12 hours. All week I've been sleeping 10-12 hours a night, getting up later than I normally do in the mornings. I've been pretty lethargic and a little snappish at folks, I get emotional at the smallest things, and there are times I feel utterly and hopelessly depressed.

I did spend some time with friends, and that time goes well, but once it's just me again, I slump.

Is this because my wife is in another state? Honestly, I hope not. If I've placed all of this happiness into our relationship I've lost myself. I do miss her, but I shouldn't feel so empty. I have come home, had a beer, listened to classical music, and tried to whittle the hours away. There are some things to be done, I could be cleaning or organizing or something but I don't have the motivation to really do much.

The easy answer is to call someone and hang out. But I think that's masking the problem, as I'm fine around people it's when it's just me that there's an issue. I did dig the chess board out and set it up last week, but of course that's a two person game. I don't feel like watching any movies or playing any games. Just blah.

I'll blame the weather for now.



I spent the evening with my old friend, Tony. It was good times. We spent the night watching/listening/discussing the Presidential Primaries held tonight.

I am a Barack Obama supporter. I'm a lifelong Republican (yes, at 26 years of age I realize that's not saying a lot, but whatever) but the last eight years have soured me on the GOP message. I do like John McCain. I think he's a bit too old, though. Indi and I had a great discussion where we compared him with Reagan. When Reagan started to go a little wonky, he went back into Actor days. When McCain goes wonky, he's going to go back to Vietnam. Not really the guy I want at the button. Or at the phone at 3 a.m.

On the other side of the Democratic ticket, we have Hillary Clinton. I can not stand this woman. How much of that is holdover from Bill? I don't really know. I do know that she represents 'old school politician' to me. I also know that when she's backed into a corner, she bites. I don't trust her as far as I can throw her. (Yes, they're all politicians...) Barack represents regime change for me. In the same way I'm sure JFK represented a 'new guard' when he was elected. He inspires me and gets me excited about politics. I think he strives to reach a place that most folks don't try to reach anymore.

Interestingly, if Huckabee had run in 2000 or 2004 I've have voted for him. I really like the guy and he lines up with me in most idealogical senses. Bush, however, has tainted me on the "Hey, I'm a good Christian guy that wants to be President" idea. If Dubya is the measuring stick, the world simply cannot support that.

If it ends up being Clinton vs. McCain, I'm voting McCain. My dislike for Clinton is that deeply rooted.

(All that being said, it's going to be extremely important for all three of these candidates to have solid veeps.)