Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Indeed, Christmas

It is finally Christmas Day. Weeks of anticipation, endless holiday music, and parties and here we are. One of my friends once spoke of how anticlimatic the Day always seemed to be. How could anything live up to such hype?

Well, 2007 is the year I finally got it. Christmas is EVERY DAY in Christ. Yes. Don't stop the presses. I'm a slow learner.

I used to always get depressed, usually sometime late on the Day. The 26th through the 31st was a dim time, filled with reminders of the magical season just passed.

The lights and other tangibles are all wonderful. I do love decoration, but the real reasons are there every day. The warmth and love are ours 365. You know all of this, but do you take solace in it? Does it really comfort you?

In a week or so, I'll pack away the tree. Always a sad time. This year, I'll finally be able to continue to bask in Christmas even when every last trace has disappeared...until next year, you know, right after Halloween or so (hollow laugh).

Merry Christmas, today and always!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Two Weeks

Until Christmas. Yes, I'm still the intermittent blogger.

This is an odd Christmas season; I am not really into it. Sure, the weather outside is anything but frightful, again, but it's so much more than that. I've decorated the pad, attended Christmas programs, parties, but...it's odd. Can't quite place it. Maybe I'm too busy with work.

But all the trappings are temporal. Knowing that Jesus was born and later resurrected, and the immeasurable peace such knowledge provides is what Chistmas is about. Those arch Baptists from my teen years were correct: it's not about FEELING. Not entirely, anyway. Faith is the greatest treasure, the gateway to which one can know such peace. In these days of grandstanding atheists like C. Hitchens and R. Dawkins and their minions, my faith in the Prince of Peace stands ever firm. I have plenty to say about this, how treating science as if it is everything requires more faith than believing in an unseen deity. Another entry, later. No, really.

Tomorrow we are having an office Christmas party. Our troubled office. Another entry.

Sleep. Need it. Goodnight!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

One Week

..until Thanksgiving. Unbelievable. It was just summertime!

Tonight I was quite productive: paid bills, stuffed envelopes filled with promotional materials for work, ironed, washed clothes. Thursday fodder.

My grandmother called. Mom is continuing to have a rough time at the nursing facility. Yes, I know, I haven't addressed that. I could do a whole blog on that subject. Basically, my mother was admitted to the hospital on 2/10 this year with a serious sacral decubitis. She was in the hospital for almost 2 months. She had multiple surgeries, including a colostomy. She then began what has been an agonizing (for her and her family) journey to rehabilitation. She was bedridden for so long that her learning to walk, heck, STAND is an arduous chore. It is a day by day thing. I know I always say this, but, more on all of this later....

Time for some green tea. 'night.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sunrise to Sunset

I just finished watching Before Sunset, the perhaps long-overdue follow-up to 1995's Before Sunrise. Director Richard Linklater and his actors, Ethan Hawke & Julie Delpy, all return to allow us to again peek into the lives of two cynical romantics who spend the films' running times pontificating ad nauseam while they traverse European cities with pretty scenery. In the earlier film, Hawke played a tourist who strikes up a conversation with an attractive French girl. They spend the evening yakking to each other in cafes and through alleyways and cemetaries. It was an enjoyable, romantic picture.

This time, the characters have grown older and again get to spend some time theorizing on why love just really sucks (but life without it is unthinkable). The journey this time is again pleasant, but I was struck at how immature both characters seemed. For all their supposed growth, they seemed awfully self-obsessed and shallow. Sure, they write and participate in political rallies and travel, but their emotional development seemed regressive, possibly even less devloped than before. They whine about how life has disappointed them. Articulately, I might add. It is a pleasure to hear intelligent discourse in films for a change. But, the lack of responsibility Hawke's character displays left me cold, rendering the supposed happy ending a bit hollow. His narcissism is laid bare, and damn his wife and kid back home--HE'S NOT FULFILLED!

Maybe I'm just older and see through the slacker/Gen-X arrested development BS quite a bit more clearly now. I was there. The self-absorption bit is destructive, and (rightly) tries the patience of all who are infected by such behavior. Maybe the point (at least in part) was to draw these characters as such (the 3 prinicples wrote the screenplay). That does not make it easier to root for their courtship, however. Still, Linklater and his collaborators have fashioned another trip worth taking. Insightful, laden with eye pleasing vistas, and occasionally inspiring, Before Sunset is a document of a generation. Perhaps the film's most effective, if certainly unintentional, impression is the strong argument it makes for the use of SSRIs.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

10/31/07

Today is Halloween. I have a very rare weekday off and it's allowing me sufficient time to recall all the past ones. As a child, it was a typically fun time of cheap Woolworth costumes and bags filled with Marathon bars and Baby Ruths. I was allowed to trick or treat around the neighborhood, carefully avoiding that jackass down the street who flung rubber snakes at the unsuspecting tykes who rang. Maybe that guy is rotting away somewhere. Would serve him right. But God loves him too.

I live in somewhat of a secluded abode, behind a thick wooden fence and bamboo forest, so I probably won't get to drop goodies into any bags. Maybe some day.

As a Christian, this "holiday" has always posed a bit of a problem for me. A study of history reveals pagan origins. Evil rituals. Well, a Christmas tree is a pagan symbol, too. How do we choose to celebrate? I like dressing up and candy and pumpkin artistry. When I have children, they'll get to participate, but will also get a good dollop of mother and dad's explanation of it all. It's fun, with some caveats. Perspective, man. One must have it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Where's He Been?

So yes, it's been over 4 months since I last posted. I know. An entire summer passed. In that time, I ended a job, began an externship, got a new apartment, presented research data at a convention, travelled. Excuses or reasons for my blog inactivity, which do I hand out?

But....I feel like I am typing into a vacuum. No one is reading this. These thoughts are floating on bandwidth in vain. No one is involved, tracking. Except me. Isn't that what blogs are about? Narcissism? Catharsis? Some of both.

I love to write, but you'd never guess that from my stymied, not exactly prolific output here. Maybe that will change. My life has been eventful. There is so much to share, but so much of it is private and delicate. Putting it out there seems some sort of violation. But no one is reading this, so.......

I am blessed. That I will say for now. I have a great place to live, a loving fiancee, a great externship. Much more.

It's the night before Halloween. The year has evaporated rather quickly, but what a year. More on that later. Honestly.

So maybe someone is actually checking this out. Perhaps you clicked on the link from Wraith's site. His "childhood friend." Indeed I was. So much to say about that period of my life, too. Overwhelming to recount. So, another time.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

RENT

A brief, by no means exhaustive film review:


Finally caught the 2005 filmization of the long-running Broadway show. Director Chris Columbus frames it fairly well, while never betraying the theatrical origins. This is also one of the film's shortcomings; it's not as cinematic as I would've hoped. Chicago managed to succeed in this regard, and it seems to be the yardstick agaisnt which to measure the contemporary musical.

Rent intends to be a blistering, yet tuneful examination of NYC life, and the option of living the bohemian life. AIDS clouds the lives of many of the principal players. At times, the film works in its conveyance of the frustration and heartbreak of the lives of these characters. A little trimming would have helped this film. Exhaustion and tedium duke it out in the last passages. Still worth a look for fans of the show.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Oh, Class of '87

All I'm saying is that if I ever start referring to these as the best years of my life - remind me to kill myself. - Randall "Pink" Floyd from DAZED & CONFUSED


I thought of that signature line as I walked away from the ashes of my 20th high school reunion a few weekends back. Not that I ever had any misconception that those teen years were anything so grand. They weren't. In fact, they were pretty ho-hum. I went to classes, walked home (didn't have a car until college), did homework, went to church activities, and occasionally went out with select people. I was never that social butterfly who had to attend all the keggers out in the woods. Not that I necessarily could have, anyway....

I was somewhat of a ghost in my high school. I knew of everything, but the reverse certainly wasn't true. I had several friends, but few really deep relationships. I made the rounds, perhaps seen on occasion, but forgotten just as quickly by most. This was strikingly evident when I arrived at my reunion. No one knew who I was, at first. It was only after some clue giving and a cracking of the annual that brought back the vague memory: "Oh yes, you, yes..." Of course, I had my share of trouble recognizing anyone myself, as it seemed that time had not been kind to many of my classmmates. Not necessarily overweight, but cursed with unsightly skin pallor, perhaps from too many years of libations. Yep, it seemed that the party never ended for many of them. Despite having mortgages and kids. At the reunion, getting trashed was still a major topic. I can't (and couldn't) relate to that. My party years came post-undergrad, but I moved on. Many of the attendees at the 20th apparently hadn't.

It wasn't a complete wash: I did get to see people I had actually hoped would be there. One was a cheerleader who had always been nice to me (she was rare, many more were like those evil girls in the film HEATHERS). She was now a speech-language pathologist. As this is somewhat of a sister profession to audiology, we had something to discuss. The girl who served as yearbook editor was there, and we reminisced on long-ago days of writing copy and sweating over layouts. But even those with whom I had some meaningful discourse were distant now. We chatted, but the words trailed off....they had their spouses with them, but it was more than that. You can't go back. This I've learned. Over the years I have run into other high school mates. Initially, it was a gas--nostalgia. But it never lasts. They all faded away. Those with whom I did keep are corresponded with once a year or less.

So what? My life has been far more interesting since 1987. I've met many fine folks who would impact me in ways that would have been completely alien to my high school self. I guess we all were clueless back then. Since I had skipped my 10 year, I felt it was necessary to check in, see what had transpired with these people after so long. It was educational, but my predictions confirmed: the relationship dynamic was static, frozen in time, still banished to live within the walls of a school that had since been demolished (literally) and rebuilt. When Forest Hill High was knocked down in 2003, the tangible evidence of long-ago exchanges were lost to the dust. R.I.P.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Some More

OK, a little more about me:



--born in Englewood, NJ. I was a bit early, and so I came along while my parents were visiting friends. We actually lived in Brooklyn, NY...



--...until I was 4. Then we made the fateful trip to West Palm Beach, FL, where I have spent most of my life.



--I'm a only child (specific blog MOST CERTAINLY to follow)



--grew up in a Baptist church. For better or worse, much of who I am today is because of this. I mean that in terms of sociology, not theology. I became a Christian at the age of 17 at a youth camp, and through my faith, I continue to grow and serve.



--I was a Business major/communications minor at Palm Beach Atlantic College (now University). Graduated in 1991.



--engaged my senior year of college. Split less than a year later.



--worked in a variety of pharmacies as a tech, marketer, PR yesperson, etc.



--met the love of my life, Sonia, at said Baptist church in 2000.



--accepted into the doctoral program of audiology at Nova Southeastern U. in '03. Took a little time off, as things got stressful.



--will be graduating within the next year.



So there's the chronology. You can observe from my profile that I also like to write. I have a nice leather bound notebook containing a litany of short stories I wrote between 2001-2003. Now that I have more time, I'm eager to get back into that world. Characters have been clamoring for my attention, audibly, and demand that their stories be told. Threats of neural hijacking by these characters. Not kidding here. Can a psych eval be far behind?



I have many ideas for blog topics. My life has been comparatively sweet, but I have dealt with tragedies, near fatal experiences, divorce (parents), heartbreak, financial mismanagement, recklessness with alcohol, spiritual draught, and other maladies. All fodder for examination. Hopefully, if I don't have something new to proclaim re: these topics, it will be interesting to some extent.



I'm also quite the film buff. However, the combination of grad. school and a real, loving relationship has affected my jones. I don't see a fraction of the number of films I once did while I was a self-centered bachelor. But, I still see some and will comment. I may decide to post reviews of films I've already written on elsewhere. I will also discuss music, science, religion, politics (shudder), and who knows what else.

Oh, and audiology. That's my field. Expect some tomes on tinnitus, hearing aids, and the field itself. If I had blogged while I was coming up through my early clinicals, whew, that would have been something. I plan to revisit those days, but not just yet.



One of my goals is to get more consistent sleep. Having a blog seems counter to this, but I think such a co-existence is possible. So with that, bon soir......



--

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Point A

Hmmmmm...



Very late to the blogger game. It ocurred to me this year that there is much to tell, that I could just fill page after page with the goings-on of my life. So, it was time.



A little about me--



I'm 38, male, of Italian and Norwegian descent. Intrigued?



But enough about me for now. This is just a test. I consider myself a hobbyist writer so it only seemed natural that I would start one of these. Should be an experience.....