Monthly Archives: February 2013


Today was less quiet–and certainly less snowy–but a good day nevertheless. I spent a few hours flying, an hour or two studying, an hour or two reading casually (Guns, Germs and Steel), and a nice interval just relaxing and listening to music (on my best headphones, no less). Also, perhaps concurrently, spent a little while thinking about my schedule for the next few months and what events are coming up. There’s a notable discrepancy between the things I’d like to be doing and the things I will be doing. Such is a fact, undoubtedly, for many people who have jobs, school and/or finite resources, which is the vast majority of us. In keeping with my general striving toward positivity, I’ll note that there are certainly places, things and people in my near future to which I can look forward happily.

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And 1

One thing I didn’t mention in my last post was that my phone was blowing up yesterday with “emergency alerts” warning of upcoming “blizzard conditions”. I didn’t pay them much heed at the time, but snow started falling yesterday evening, and this morning I woke up to a veritable winter wonderland. The upshot was that I essentially got an extra day of weekend. In the morning I took a walk around the neighborhood, merrily slogging through snowdrifts up to my knees. It was a grand time–it would have been more fun with one or more people joining me, but I don’t dare to try to pick and choose my fun these days.

Anyway, after I got back inside, it was a nice, calm, very quiet day. I continued cleaning up things around here, notably lots and lots of papers which I have an admitted habit of hoarding. I threw away or shredded seemingly two tons of scribbled sticky notes, receipts, duplicates of work documents, expired coupons, junk mail, and the like. I’d been wondering how all the chapstick I owned had disappeared, but several sticks have happily reappeared as a result of my reorganization.

Beyond all that, it was a day of further ample opportunity for reflection and contemplation.

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Breathing room

I’ve been reminded lately of a singular episode from my childhood. I’m not certain of my age, but I would guess it was between 12 and 14. I had just done something to merit a (seemingly rare) reward from Dad, and even more surprisingly, he asked for my input on what the reward should be. I had a simple request: that, for the duration of the upcoming weekend, he stay out of my face.

In another great surprise, he not only agreed to my suggestion but, for all intents and purposes, abided by it all weekend. I have no particular glowing recollections of grand adventures–I probably spent most of the weekend reading, probably playing tennis, and perhaps listening to my modest CD collection and playing a few more games on my Mac TV than I normally would have. Nevertheless, that weekend stands as one of the happiest memories from at least the first 16 years of my life.

Why am I relating this story? Rest assured that it’s not because I have some severely belated bone to pick with the way Dad raised me–I have no doubt that he always did what he thought was best for me, and I greatly appreciate the lessons and values he imparted. Sure, we had our disagreements, but what parent and child don’t?

No, I shared the anecdote because the weekend I just concluded has some striking similarities to the one referenced above. As a natural introvert, I enjoyed having a lot of time, a lot of space, and nobody bothering me. I didn’t shut myself in all weekend–I played tennis yesterday with another young officer to whom I was fortunate to be introduced at a gathering back in the fall, and this afternoon I spent a good few hours studying and just hanging with a friend who’s trying to finish up training. Otherwise, I read, watched some of the PGA Match Play Championship (held just outside Tucson–wish I could still attend!) and a couple of episodes of Breaking Bad, cleaned my car, cleaned my house, made tacos, listened to copious music, worked on the fractal jigsaw puzzle, sent several texts that weren’t returned and some that were, did laundry, enjoyed the wintry weather (it snowed a bit Friday night and has been really coming down tonight), and got a generous quantity of sleep. Honestly, I’m hella thankful for the 2 days out of each 7 that I don’t have to set an alarm!

On that note, tomorrow is sadly not one of those days, and thus I’d be well served to wrap up this entry and turn out the light–though not before moseying over into my newly clean(er) bathroom to floss, brush, and maybe even fluoride rinse.

In closing, is this the life situation I desired or foresaw for myself a few years ago? In many respects, and as readers of this journal likely know, no. Do I miss places I used to go, things I used to do and people I used to see? Terribly. Can I find things to enjoy and appreciate about where I am and what is available to me? If this weekend is a reliable indication, yes.

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Nice article in the NY Times about ultimate!


Look what came with the Sunday crossword puzzle!

Meanwhile, out in the twitterverse:

In Hendrix, Rhodes and Lipscomb slip into the Sunday championship bracket against a mountain of Ozark competition.

In Lexington, MTSU is taking on the entire Midwest in search of their first win of the season.

In Starkghanistan, Wash U edges past Auburn, on universe point, for the second time in the same day, and now meets Tulane in the Cowbell Classic final.

UPDATE: Wash U wins a cannonball of Edam cheese and a free year’s supply of Muscadine Ripple! Final: 15-13 over Tulane.

Mississippi State never bothers to leave the Saturday night party that only they attended.

Vanderbilt struggles to overcome their injuries, absences, and–per the best tweet of the weekend–Joe Wagner’s “altitude poisoning”.

LSU disappoints, though missing a few key players, while Southern Miss continues to impress, though missing some needed…

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30 going on 23

There is so much, and so little. There are times I want nothing more than a modicum of interaction, and yet I sometimes don’t pick up my phone even when a family member or friend calls and I have nothing unduly occupying me.

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Days of Wonder

I’ve written about this song at least once before, I suspect more than once, but I decided that as my all-time favorite song it deserved its own post. I first heard the tune in 2005 when, as a subscriber to the now-defunct BMG Music Service, I got all kinds of deals on CDs. The Wallfowers’ Rebel, Sweetheart had come out that year, and although their popularity had waned since the ’90s when songs like “One Headlight” were all over the airwaves, I was an avid fan and had no doubt I would enjoy the album.

Back in those days I had an original iPod (a college graduation present), and I dutifully ripped songs off the CDs to my ancient iBook (which would be stolen that fall) and copied them to the little monochrome-screened, control-wheeled device. I don’t remember the exact moment when I first heard “Days of Wonder”, but it must have grown on me quickly. I know that through the years I lived in Charleston (2005-07), the song and album were frequently playing when I went on runs (reference the LJ post linked above).

So why is the song my favorite? I fear that answering that question my be akin to trying to explain falling in love with a woman, but I’ll still give it a shot. Musically, it has a chord progression of G – C – Em – D or, disregarding key, 1 – 4 – 6 – 5, not a ubiquitous sequence but not rare either–just among my other favorites there’s The Killers’ Mr. Brightside and Needtobreathe’s Restless, and probably others. The song is structured conventionally for at least the first half, going verse – chorus – verse – chorus – instrumental – chorus – instrumental – bridge – outro, so the lack of another chorus at the end is notable. However, I think the last portion of the song (starting with the piano solo around 3:35) is the strongest.

If you know me, you won’t be surprised that I generally like piano solos and songs/bands which feature the instrument prominently. Here, though, the piano (along with the lack of other instruments at that point) just accentuates one of three riffs which occur frequently throughout the song. The first two are initially guitar-based and can be heard in the brief intro before the first verse begins–0:04 and 0:12 on the youtube link above–while the third comes in concurrently with the second verse (1:36) and is played by perhaps a mandolin. After that point, all three motifs are frequently, often even concurrently, present.

More to come if I decide I want to keep geeking out on this stuff…for now, hope you like the song. The youtube view count suggest that most are not nearly as wild about it as I am! Oh well, de gustibus non est disputandum, eh?

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