Posted in Quotes

Map

Anytime I feel lost, I pull out a map and stare. I stare until I have reminded myself that life is a giant adventure, so much to do, to see.    Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie Pitt (born June 4, 1975) is an American actress, filmmaker and humanitarian. She has received an Academy Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and three Golden Globe Awards, and has been cited as Hollywood’s highest-paid actress. Jolie made her screen debut as a child alongside her father, Jon Voight, in Lookin’ to Get Out (1982). Her film career began in earnest a decade later with the low-budget production Cyborg 2 (1993), followed by her first leading role in a major film, Hackers(1995). She starred in the critically acclaimed biographical cable films George Wallace (1997) and Gia (1998), and won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the drama Girl, Interrupted (1999).

Posted in Quotes

Mars

buzz-aldrin

By refocusing our space program on Mars for America’s future, we can restore the sense of wonder and adventure in space exploration that we knew in the summer of 1969. We won the moon race; now it’s time for us to live and work on Mars, first on its moons and then on its surface.  Buzz Aldrin

Buzz Aldrin (born Edwin Eugene Aldrin, Jr., January 20, 1930) is an American engineer and former astronaut. As the Lunar Module Pilot on Apollo 11, he was one of the first two humans to land on the Moon, and the second person to walk on it. He set foot on the Moon at 03:15:16 on July 21, 1969 (UTC), following mission commander Neil Armstrong. He is a former U.S. Air Force officer with the Command Pilot rating.

 

buzz-aldrin2

Posted in My Views On The Real World

I enjoy being lost.

LOST

 

Most people fear being lost, they wonder how they will get to where they need to be.  Lost people by definition are lacking an understanding of where they are and more importantly how to get where they want to be.

If you put a young urban person deep in the woods at night, someone who has spent little to no time in the wild their fears grow and they will have a terrible night.   But if you put an experienced and well trained person far in the back country away from the lights and comforts of modern life they may have a difficult time but they might even enjoy some aspects of their time.  Surviving being lost means you were successful, while dying well that is a failure in anyone’s book.

So when I say that I enjoy being lost I mean it.  I have an almost unerring sense of geographic direction.  I can almost always determine which way is north, or where I parked my car, or even when hundreds or thousands miles away point towards the direction of home.

This is not bragging, it was something I was born with, an innate talent or gift.  I love maps, globes and compasses, but that is probably because I so easily understand them and what they represent.   Being lost is pretty novel experience for me so I enjoy it when it does occur.   I occasionally get turned around in a new area  and enjoy being surprised of where I turn up.  Unfortunately this only happens once because once I get the lay of the land  down I can find my way back even years later.

Recently I have become lost in my personal life,  my wife of twenty-two years left me.  My life was very stable, I knew what I believed, I knew who I was going to spend my life with and at least for an extended time frame, where I was going to live.  A consequence of my marriage dissolving was my suburban home of fourteen years was returned to the bank and I had to move into a neighborhood in a major city for the first time in my life.  I no longer have a car or television set (both my choice). I had my bicycle stolen and my first friend in the new neighborhood died suddenly one night.   Looking forward I will have to find another place soon so the ground underneath my feet is still far from solid. But over the last 22 months these circumstances have helped me rediscover things I had  forgotten about myself.

I have realized that being lost is more of an adventure and not to be feared.  Maybe what comforts me when I am lost is I know myself.  I know who I am and what I am capable of.

One of the first rules of being successfully lost is taking stock, what do you have on you that can help you survive.  Personally I am realizing how much material things are tying me down, that is pretty obvious when you are looking to move, again.  I lost my  two story house, three bedroom home with a garage  and moved to a small row house with a tiny backyard  and soon some unknown place.  Do I really need two couches when I really don’t do any entertaining.  How many clothes do I need when I look at a full closet and realize I haven’t worn a majority of them in a long time.

Being successfully lost forces you to remaining calm and focus on the positive instead of the negative.

One positive thing I have relearned is I really like talking to women.  During my marriage I avoided friendships with women; for a variety of reasons. I have worked in very male dominated professions, the U.S. Army, law enforcement and prisons; also  I did not think it was appropriate for a married man to have new female friends unless they were along his wife.

But over the past several months I have enjoyed talking to women more than ever.  Don’t get me wrong my male friends have been a rock to me during this time, and the people I am closest to are my mates who not only share a long history with me but share similar interests.   Women though are so different from men.  I can talk to a man for about ten to fifteen minutes and I can pretty much tell you what my next five conversations will cover.  However with women I have no idea what a conversation will entail, will we talk about their work? their favorite food? or perhaps what ticked them off on the way to work today?

I have met so many fascinating women, this is incredibly positive allowing me to forget the negatives of my favorite female friend leaving me.   I am not interested in dating or any other romantic liaisons or affairs, but I love to spending time with women.

I was working at a hospital a couple of weekends back guarding a prisoner.  Surprise, surprise  I met a nurse.  She was kind, smart and funny, and yes she was cute, with long reddish hair and some freckles that remind me of Lucy Liu, she had worked in Harrisburg for a while for a Senator then as a lobbyist and had a Master Degree in Public Affairs, then when her father got sick she went back to school and became a nurse and has been one for a couple of years.   I made a half hearted attempt to get her phone number, I probably didn’t give it my full effort because I was undecided weather I should or not, internally debating if I had mourned the end of marriage enough. (Still a little uncertain on that issue.)

Then there matter of my personal beliefs about God, religion and faith.  Let me just say without going into details my views have changed.  What once was  a certainty in my mind has now become less so.  But I still know who I am, and why I am here.

So I will continue discovering the world around me and  finding my way, but along with everything I already know, I am really enjoying being lost and uncertain.

 

Jack Sparrow and Compass
I too recently got an earring.

 

Posted in Quotes

Risk

waltdisneysafety
A truly scary picture, Pumba does not wear clothes so what did Dumbo’s ear grab onto.

 

Adventure without risk is Disneyland.   Douglas Coupland

Douglas Coupland (born December 30, 1961) is a Canadian novelist and artist. His fiction is complemented by recognized works in design and visual art arising from his early formal training. His first novel, the 1991 international bestseller Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, popularized terms such as McJob and Generation X. He has published thirteen novels, two collections of short stories, seven non-fiction books, and a number of dramatic works and screenplays for film and television. A specific feature of Coupland’s novels is their synthesis of postmodern religion, Web 2.0 technology, human sexuality, and pop culture.

Douglas-Coupland

Posted in Outrageous Lies and Tales, The Disinclined Purveyor of Sequential Art

The Disinclined Purveyor of Sequential Art – Chapter 5

The continuing Saturday posting The Disinclined Purveyor of Sequential Art, Chapter Five, if you want to start at the beginning (and I have no idea why you would not) click here for Chapter 1.

Chapter Four

Chapter 5:

Gary pulled open the box and the key fell into his hand. He studied the key for a few seconds, it was larger than a typical key, brass colored with no lettering or marks. He dropped it onto the table from a few inches above the surface and it gave an almost musical note. He looked inside the inner chamber of the box to see if there was anything else. No nothing.

“Now that is a clue.” Sharon said alternating between an intense scrutiny of the key and looking at Gary to see what he would do next.

Gary did not know what to say at first, so he did what his mother did every time she talked about his father and his best friend Gary. He rolled his eyes and sighed.

“What?” Sharon said after a few seconds. “Do you know why that key was in the box, or what it opens, or why your father wanted you to have it.”

“No but knowing my father it will turn out to be something incredibly stupid and immature, especially if he let Gary influence him in any way, shape or form.”

“What are you talking, this has got to be some sort of clue, lead, trace or hint to where your father and god father are or at least where they went.”

“No it is probably just the key to Gary’s secret stash of vintage Playboy magazines or something like it.”

“What are you talking about?” Sharon almost shouted.

Gary was shocked, how come this girl, who had never even met his father, care so much about where he was. He looked around the shop quickly and realized it was empty, and decided to lay it all out for her. “My father’s best friend Gary, was an idiot. They have known each other since kindergarten, and my father never got into trouble unless Gary was around.”

“That can’t be true, I am sure your father was just as much to blame Gary.”

“No, no, no.” Gary shook his head strenuously and vehemently continued. “Every story either of them ever told, weather together or apart, and every story I have ever heard from my mother, or Uncle Chet, or my grandparents started out with ‘Gary had this idea’. Now sure my father went along with all the stupid things but Gary was and always will be the one who started the trouble. Heck he barely made it out of high school, never finished college and borrowed the money from my father to open up this arm pit.” He said motioning around the store. “In fact that is one of the reasons my parent split up, because Gary was slow in paying them back, and when he did some of the checks bounced.”

“But, that does not mean, that this,” and she picked up the key from the table “will not help us find your father. No personal notes, but you said that every year your father sent you a coin, well guess what no coin this year, but this key.” Sharon held it up in her hand displaying it. “The key is important, it means something, and the fact that your father is not around, but he still wanted you to have it, means something. What if they are in trouble somewhere, and this leads you to them. What if he was counting on you to help them get out of whatever jam they are in?”

Gary leaned across the table and put his hand out. Sharon placed the key in his hand.

“My father wants my help, ha.” Gary slammed the key down on the table. “Ha, ha, that is a good one. My father left the house when I was ten, and I would come to see him here in this stupid store, one week every summer and he would drive an hour once a month to come see me. He left me high and dry, my mother had to teach me to drive, she did everything for me but my father could not be bothered. His research into computers and high resolution television research was way too important. He never came to a single soccer game, or to my graduation from high school or a single birthday since he moved out. Even before he moved out he would work late all the time and miss more things then he got home for, heck my Uncle Chet who is a raving nut job Marine Corp reject taught me how to ride a bike, because my father was too busy working on a “new” interactive video game input device. You know what happened to that new input device three years later? Three years of my father’s life, three years where he invested everything into a stupid game controller.” Gary was angrier now then he had ever let himself be in his life. “The revolutionary input device my father worked on failed miserably and he lost his job. He left home six months later and never came back.” Gary threw the key across the shop and it hit some Batman comics and dropped to silently to the carpeted floor . “So I don’t care where he is, or if he wants me to find him, because he never cared for me.” Gary stormed across the shop, and grabbed his coat, he was about to go out the front door when he thought of something. “Lock up the place and take the rest of the week off.”

Sharon went to the store every day for the next week. No Gary, she even went into the upstairs apartment and she saw that he had come back the night after the blow up and some of his drawers were open in his room and some clothes were gone. His old F-150 pick-up truck which he kept parked in the rear of the store was gone from its normal spot. She kept running the store, she took the delivery on Wednesday and closed the store when she had to go to class, but other than that she kept the store open as much as she could. She did not know what else to do, but she wanted to keep the store running. She had found the deposit slips and was putting the end of the day deposits in the bank. It was eight days later when Gary showed back up. She was talking to a couple of the regulars about the new Justice League movie when she heard the door to the upstairs apartment open.

“So are you guys going to the midnight showing?” She asked. All of them said they were, and they invited her along, Sharon begged off saying she would be home with her family when the movie came out on Christmas Day but maybe they would make a second run when she came back. All the boys agreed, a few of them a little too enthusiastically, but she shrugged it off. She left the counter and said she had to talk to the boss, the guys looked over at Gary and moved towards the big table. It was clear to Sharon that most of the customers did not like Gary, they had not told her in so many words, but they did call his god father Cool Gary and were always asking when he would be coming back. To this she would always shrug, the few times they asked the younger Gary he would give his typical answer, ‘don’t know, but I wish it was right now.’ The few that had pressed further than that got a grumpy non-committal mumble from him before he walked away.

Gary made his way towards the two comfortable chairs in the corner and Sharon walked over and sat down in one as he took the other.

They both started to say ‘I am sorry’ but they stopped and laughed.

“Me first.” Gary said. “I am sorry I walked out on you, I am sorry I lost my temper, and I am sorry I have been such a jerk, basically since I met you. Every day you come in here with a positive outlook and all I do is give you grief and throw myself a pity party.”

Sharon just smiled back and nodded.

“I looked over the deposit slips, thanks for keeping the store up and running.”

“It was no problem really.” Sharon said. “I want to apologize to you, it is not really any of my business about your father and all. I was being nosey, it probably comes from being the baby of a family of six, and we were always getting wrapped up in each other’s problems, I guess I just have a lack of boundaries when it comes to people I care about.”

This caused Gary to look up at her in surprise. Sharon realized what she said and tried to cover it up quickly. “I mean you are my boss and all.”

Gary smiled and nodded, he may not have the best track record with girls, but he let her bow out that last part gracefully. Gary held up the key. Sharon leaned forward in the chair. “I went home and stayed with my mom for a couple of days and talked to her about all this.” He said putting the key down on the little table between the chairs and then motioning around the place. “She said I needed to work this out, get some closure with my Dad, if I could.”

“So what are we going to do?” Sharon said leaning forward even more so she was almost out of the chair.

“Well for now, we are going to put the key out of our minds, and when I think I am ready we will figure out what this opens, if we can.”

Sharon heard this processed it quickly and made a sour face, just as quickly she smiled a knowing smile.

“What, I just saw a thought cross your mind, what was it?”

“I just remembered something my Dad use to say.”

“What was that?” Gary said leaning forward.

“You cannot start someone’s adventure for them.”

“Who is your Dad, Yoda?”

Sharon smiled. “Maybe.”

Chapter 6

Posted in Outrageous Lies and Tales, The Disinclined Purveyor of Sequential Art

The Disinclined Purveyor of Sequential Art – Chapter 4

And to continue the story, if you missed the beginning go back to Chapter One, two Saturdays ago.

Chapter Two and Three

Chapter 4:

“The girls loved dinner last night, and you were the perfect waiter and dishwasher.”

Gary just waved at her absently.

“You look awful.”

Gary just nodded and stared at the box on the counter.

“Have you been up all night with this thing?”

He looked up at her, only until 3 or 4, then I crashed, I came down here a few minutes ago.

It was then Sharon noted that he was wearing the same clothes as yesterday and he had not shaved. This was a Gary she had not seen before, usually he was neat as a pin, with a fresh and seemingly starched button down collar, but now his shirt tails were un tucked, and he was wearing a plain black t-shirt underneath his shirt which was unbuttoned fully. In front of him on the counter was the box, and it had a few more pieces moved around then before, but she could tell the core had still not been breached, holding the mysterious object that continued to rattle around inside of it.

She began to get the shop ready to open up, she ran the vacuum which was something she usually did at the end of the day, but they had closed up early last night and the whole schedule was off. Gary had moved to the large sorting table with the mismatched chairs surrounding it. Sharon continued to get the shop ready but occasionally looked over to her boss who was turning and poking at the puzzle box with a steady determination. She went through the checklist in her head of all the stuff to make the store ready for the business day, she was confident everything was done. She unlocked the front door a few minutes before 10.

She liked working at the store, she did not go home smelling like baked beans, which was a plus, the hours were easy, she got to read comic books, granted a few of the regular customers were a bit weird, but what adult comic book reader was not. Heck she even considered herself a bit weird, heck from her family it was a given. She missed her family, she was the ‘baby’ of the family, but it was not a burden to her, more like a blessing everyone in the family seemed to be able to teach her something different, and with six older siblings there was a lot to learn. The family was very relaxed about things, her father liked to tell everyone to keep everything in perspective, if no one was trying to chop off your head you did not accidentally electrocute yourself you were having a pretty decent day.

Sharon looked over at her boss, who had now put his feet up on one of the chairs and had the puzzle sitting on his chest. He was kinda cute, a little uptight, and a little angry but he was cute. A few inches taller than her, short dark hair, nice eyes and her roommates thought he was cute as well. She looked over at him, too bad about his Dad. Sharon had no way to understand how he felt, her Dad came home every night, and on the few nights he came home late after a particularly long enterprise he always came and checked in on her. She smiled at that thought. Enough nostalgia, she chastised herself, time to get to work, she opened the cash register and started counting out the change.

Sharon looked at Gary a half hour later, he was asleep with the box sitting on his chest, she let him sleep and made hand lettered sign on the door that said “ssshhhh”.

The day passed quickly, she skipped her class, it supposed to be on a lecture of a book she had read it high school for fun and she would get the notes from someone in class. It was after three o’clock before Gary woke up and when he did he woke with a start. Sharon was across the table from him reading when he finally came back to consciousness. He stared at her, looked around and took the puzzle box off his chest and placed it on the table. He moved his mouth as if to restore it to working order and Sharon slid her bottle of water across the table to him and he took it and downed half the bottle.

“What time is it?” Gary asked rhetorically looking at his watch. “Have been asleep for five hours?”

“Yep, we had fifteen customers, and made $120.00 in sales, and I made change for three parking meters as well, but I did not count them as customers in my total.”

“Wow, we were busy.” He put his feet on the floor. “Oooh, ooh, my legs are asleep.” He said and began to rub his legs. He looked over at Sharon. “I thought you had a class at two?”

“I will get the notes later, and I read the book a couple of years ago.” Sharon said waving her hand as if to say no big deal.

“Thanks for taking care of everything for me.” Gary took another swig of water. “Stupid puzzle.” He threw the now empty water bottle at it, and both the puzzle and the bottle fell off the table.

Sharon reached down and picked both of them up, that is when she saw it. “Uh Gary, it is open.”

“Huh?”

She showed him the final central box had slide open and she saw something metallic glinting from inside it, she handed it over gently to him. Gary turned the box over and then slid a portion of it, and a large brass key fell on the table.

Chapter Five