Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

I picked up the phone twice to call my uncles to wish them a Happy Father's Day but couldn't. I hung up before they picked up because I knew I couldn't get through saying "Happy Father's Day" without crying.

It's odd, how often it's hit me lately, missing my father. At lunch with my cousins the other day and seeing Bobby with his sons, I remembered laughing with my dad. Or reading Zaitun and how the father bought a small, tin canoe and remembering that in the shed in my backyard growing up was a small tin canoe. I kept wondering what my dad thought when he was buying it. He would have been about my age when he did it.

I think I'd wonder some of the same things were he alive, but I could ask him. I'm beginning now to realize how little I know about my father. I don't know what he thought, what he did, who he was really. I have tokens and memories, but no insight. I try to imagine what he was thinking or how he became the person I knew...but I'll never know.

And so I wish those who have children a Happy Father's Day and remind those of you who still have fathers to get to know them. They won't always be there, and when they're gone, all the blanks will remain forever.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Abbey Sunterland (sp?)

I'd written a post (the last one) about how rich people like the Sunterlands take unnecessary risks and we foot the bill (that was a single sentence synopsis that doesn't quite get the same message across).

I stumbled upon the following article last night and thought I'd share it:
short article here

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The wealthy risk, we pay

So...if you're wealthy enough to teach your kids to sail--actually, not just sail, but sail solo, is it fair to the rest of us to allow them to risk something like sailing around the world just to set a record?

Abby Sunderland and her older brother both attempted (he completed) the feat. Abby's boat got caught in the Indian Ocean under sixty foot swells when her mast broke and the Coast Guards of multiple countries had to go out and save her. There were planes sent out and helicopters, boats and media, all to find out if the sixteen year old was alive.

But why? What was she planning to accomplish? Was it for the betterment of the world somehow, or just personal glory? I argue it was personal glory. And she failed. Not only did she fail, but numerous men and women had to risk their lives to go save her. Countries had to use resources better directed toward helping their own than toward helping a wealthy fame seeker who should never have been in those waters to begin with.

But, the wealthy will always take such risks, and we, as a collective whole, will continue to pay for their missteps and calculated fame grabs because that's how it works. They (those who have the wealth but not the integrity or intelligence) will continue to do as they like, and the rest of us will look on in awe and pay to clean up after them.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

packing my things...

There are packers in my house right now packing up all my stuff.

It's strange, and you have to do some soul searching, when you watch your things as they're carefully wrapped and packed. You feel like you have a life and a home, and then you realize that it's not the things that you've surrounded yourself with at all. Your dishes, pictures, plates, mirrors, bathroom items, hookah etc....they're all THINGS. It doesn't matter what kind of sentimental value you attach to each--who gave it to you, who used to own it, when and where you bought it.

If the truck crashes, all those things are gone, and I'm still here, just with less "stuff" about.

That being said, I still always get slightly depressed when my things are packed. It's odd to look around at thirty (ok, 29 3/4) years old and see that everything I own fits in the back of a truck. But, I do have furniture now that I really enjoy, which I didn't have before I went to Iraq--and again with the "stuff".

I'm also looking as they pack my things and realizing just how much money I've wasted on things I really don't need or use or care about. Things that I saw and thought were cool, then bought, then put in my closet.

Two things come from that:
1. I'm throwing/giving away a lot before I move to Arizona. I've specifically not had the movers pack any clothing. This way, all the clothing I take with me will have to fit in duffel bags in my truck.

2. I need to learn budgeting. There's no reason for me to have spent the kind of money I've spent on some things.

So, along with my alcohol and debauchery detox, better eating habits and increased workouts, I have to add budgeting to my list. So here's the goals when I get to Arizona:
1. no drinking (exceptions: weddings and bachelor parties)
2. stay entirely single for a while
3. eat healthier (even when it's difficult)
4. work out more often and harder (this does not necessarily mean the gym. Climbing will be huge and I'm picking up my dad's old bike).
5. budget. No more wasting money on things I don't need, no matter how awesome they seem at the time.