Friday, August 29, 2008

More Updates

I have been working on keeping posts related to their titles, a theme approach.

It has occurred to me that I have not really shared any updates on some of the more regular aspects of my life. An update is in order.

I suppose I am making progress on coming out of my existential crisis/dark night of the soul. This period has been very dark and I felt very lost. My faith needed to change or it would die. I feared it was mortally wounded, but that's not really the case. I suppose I am working on upping the amount of awe in my life and realizing that the big questions do not have clear-cut answers.

One of the most painful parts of this process is that the "secular" comforts in my life lost their appeal at the same time many of my old core tenets of faith collapsed under the weight of my doubts. I was in Crabtree and Evelyn looking at $16 dollar soap (which I had bought in the past) and I was sickened a bit. The same occurred when looking at the $1,200 nightstand at Restoration Hardware. I used to be able to dream about a kick-ass condo full of absurdly overpriced stuff, but not anymore. I will not say that I have overcome my materialism by any means, but I will say that I have become disgusted with excess and am striving to "live simply so that others may simply live."

I do plan on posting about "Faith 2.0" in the future, but it is a work in progress (which it will always be) and I have a long way to go before I am comfortable posting anything. I would say I am a "freelance monotheist" at the moment, but that's mainly just because I think the label is clever.

Tithe. I have been pretty consistent in giving to the church, but I will confess it was primarily due to the guilty feeling I had whenever I did not give. I felt God was some loan shark or hit man demanding his cut of my money. I have thankfully outgrown this. Giving is now one of my greatest joys and I look forward to figuring out how I can contribute my resources to furthering the Kingdom of God. It's refreshing.

Church. I am still torn on what to do. I am still attending the church I knew I should not have joined in the first place, but I really do enjoy Christian fellowship. It's not as if you can cast aside a core part of yourself in a matter of months.

Work. I am still enjoying work for the most part. It's so strange having a grown-up job. I have been learning a lot and I get to interact with great people. I also am working on a certification in my field that excites me greatly. If I ever meet any of you in person, I would love to talk about what I do. However, you will most likely need to shut me up because I will bore you.

Relationships. There is still a major lack of those in my life, but I am not necessarily complaining. However, there is a slight chance I may be dating soon...if I am bold enough. My roommate is obsessed with getting me set up with someone (apparently he likes seeing people happy). I don't feel especially dour or unhappy, I suppose he just really wants a project. FYI, one of his potentials is extremely cute, but a little on the young side. I feel creepy dating someone born in '88, even though we are just 2 years apart.

In sum, I am going to be okay. In fact, I am okay. I am working to live, love, and build community. The change in seasons will also help, as autumn brings me great joy and I love wearing coats!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I feel like I attempt to be an honest person. This does not mean sharing my opinion or beliefs whenever I want, or "keeping it real" at the expense of others. It means striving for authenticity; being honest with yourself and those you have close friendships with. Still, I find it difficult. How honest should I be? How much of what I am thinking should I really reveal?

A couple of weeks ago a friend and I were discussing the church we both attend. I am a member, but wrestle with whether or not this was a mistake (more to come). Anyhow, we were talking about how it seemed difficult to really get to know anyone at the church. I mentioned another local church I had attended and how they had nametags at the front door. I thought it was a good idea that fostered community. A little later into the conversation the girl said "'Church XXX'...just so you know, it's not really biblically sound and it's a little universalist".

At that moment, I wanted to say "I'm not biblically sound!" I also wanted to mention how I was attracted to guys and this was the primary reason I am uncomfortable at our current church (due to their firm anti-gay stance). I also wanted to mention how I was not really a believer in the notion of hell most often portrayed in evangelical circles (another thing preached at this church). However, I withheld all of this information. We did proceed to talk about the origin of scripture and she laughed at how many people seem to think Jesus FedExed the Bible to humanity in King James English.

Was this the appropriate level of the honesty? I feel like it was. Nevertheless, I do wish I was more up front about the fact I am attracted to guys. There are countless people who still don't know, some who suspect, some in denial, and some clueless. For honesty's sake, there are several reasons I am still not "out". First, moral superiority has always played a major part of my life. While I intellectually understand how stupid this was, emotionally I don't want to give it up. Second, whenever I talk about the fact I am attracted to guys, the old dream of a wife and kids and my midtown home seems to drift further away. I will not lie and say that I am 100% okay with this attraction. I am not so much wrestling with theological issues surrounding it as much I am about the social implications. I still value the opinion of others far too much and seek man's approval. Also, I have a very conservative sexual ethic which stands in stark contrast to a lot of the guys that are out. Third, by coming out fully I would encourage others to come out as well (this was part of my coming out process). However, I am unsure whether I want to force other guys/gals into the same period of questioning and confusion when it comes to merging intellect, faith, and sexuality. There are several guys that I am sure are closeted, and most of them would be dateable due to our similar ethics and moral standards. However, I am nowhere near so selfish as too encourage them out of the closet so I could find a man. Also, it frustrates me that the morals and ethics I value so much are part of churches I have a hard time relating too.

P.S. The girl I was talking to is absolutely AMAZING and I do not want to give any impression that she is naive, bigoted, or any such thing. Just FYI.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Good Times

This is my last fun post before I tackle a deep subject...

Wikihow, I love you:

How to Deal With an Existential Crisis

An Existential crisis can occur when the answers to the questions about the meaning and purpose of life (as well as our place in it) no longer provide satisfaction, direction or peace of mind to an individual or, even taken further in a society.

There are times when everyone begins to feel that even daily chores are overwhelming. We fret about things, and think about them obsessively. When a problem seems too large or intractable, we feel bad. This might be a spiritual crisis, a problem with accomplishments, or failure in love or friendship. Feeling bad isn't the problem; the problem itself is the problem. This might help you to respond to existential crises of all sorts.


  1. The problem you are facing is not your thoughts- it is your attachment to the thoughts. Your thoughts come from your conditioning, your society, your reaction to experiences. Your thoughts are really not your own. At their core, the thoughts are made up of units of societally-created things called words. Your language is not yours, it is from others. So to be attached to language will ultimately make anyone miserable. Therefore, first of all drop the "story." To do this, one can partake in any activity that allows them to flow- especially moving one's body vigorously. And, one can come to Reality- that which truly exists in the non-thought realm- by partaking in meditation or other practices of consciousness (tai chi, Breema). Even a good massage and steaming can do wonders! Then in a relaxed body, look into the world with the help of people who have attained more happiness than the average Joe- any pillar of exemplary morals or knowledge would be relevant. Yet remember they can only communicate words, not Reality itself. They can only use words, like a finger, to point at the moon. Don't confuse the words/finger for the moon/Reality.
  2. Try to see life and your place in it as they 'really' are. Question everything and attempt to see past all social, political, spiritual and personal conditioning and falsehoods. Know that we humans often feel that we are stuck in a game designed and controlled by others who do not have you or humanity's best interests in mind. When you're in crisis it looks like others succeed through ignorance, fear and the ability to lead you around by the nose. Research the history of civilization and how this rat race began, and how it is perpetuated, then begin to formulate your own understanding as to where it may be heading. Begin to adjust your attitude and actions accordingly to reflect this new understanding. Once you know how we are being conditioned to think and act it is a little easier to think and act for our own interests (and for those we love). Once we begin to do this we will have a new blueprint for our personal as well as collective existence. The rest is up to you.
  3. Turn on a light, preferably 75 watts or brighter.
  4. Drink a cool glass of water.
  5. Clean whatever room you're in. This will help you clarify your power over the world and give you a few minutes to do some basic problem-solving. Don't just straighten things up, but clean. Use a cleaning product. (Note: Does not apply if you have OCD -- cleaning isn't your problem).
  6. Try to voice what your problem is. Some people write full-length sentences to help determine what their issues are. Others start by writing a poem in order to get their thoughts and feelings flowing. Later, you can elaborate in prose.
  7. Imagine several different people you like or respect giving you advice. Don't pick anyone abusive. Try Mr. Rogers, your first grade teacher, or that person you had a crush on in 9th grade. They don't help very much, do they? But it's fun talking to them.
  8. Imagine giving advice to someone else in your situation. Would you still think this was as big a problem?
  9. Talk to someone who loves you, like a friend or a parent.
  10. Problem solve. Remember how you figured out how to use that cleaning product? If you can't figure out your problem, that means it's legitimate. If your solution involves making big changes, take a few days to think about it.
  11. If you can't do anything about your problem right now, accept it. If it's late, go to sleep; if you can't sleep, find something to do that does not involve a television or computer screen. Blue light causes insomnia. You'll want to go to sleep later. If it's daytime, get some exercise or finish your job. Be professional. A few successes never hurt anyone.
  12. Consider how well orchestrated life seems to be. Some type of consistency does appear to exist, at least on a micro level.
  13. Although there is arguably no reason to not commit suicide, existentialist thinkers, beginning with Nietzsche on, have foreseen a wave of nihilistic thought among future generations. Nietzsche welcomed the wave of nihilism as he saw it as a phase between the death of old beliefs and a birth of the overman. It is something that must be overcome by the will to power, he states. Though every philosopher who wrote regarding the birth of new meaning in life authored it in such a way that was notoriously vague, it is nonetheless something to research heavily before making any decisions. Notable authors include Nietzsche, Sartre and Camus. Researching their views will lead you to other interpretations of what comes after nihilism.
  14. If after exhausting research you still feel unsatisfied, you still have gained a lot of insight into the philosophy of the situation. You must know by now that a will to truth is absurd (to use the terminology). Since we truly don't know whether there is meaning to existence or not, we can always fall back on risk assessment. If you put life and death in two columns, and meaningful/meaningless existence into two rows, you will find that living out the rest of your life is the best option (no matter what horror existence may be).
  15. In whatever situation you find yourself, do no harm to yourself or others, aim to create peace and enjoyment of your experiences. Even though sometimes it hurts, it will pass. Find meaning in the simple pleasures of life through your senses. Stop to smell the roses, feel the sunlight, taste the food, see the beauty and listen to your heart calling. You can create your own meaning for yourself your own life. After all, it is your life, your game, your experiment. Play your game with respect for others, and deal with your circumstances to the best of your ability. To really succeed, respectfully enlist the help of others.
  16. Remember tomorrow is a new day and another opportunity for you to make changes in your life to seek happiness and self fulfillment. This power is yours, claim it.


  • Don't refuse to confront a problem because you've heard that life is supposed to be more meaningful when you suffer.
  • Don't do too much thinking after midnight. That never goes well. You might turn into a gremlin or worse yet, a pumpkin. Seriously, you never know.
  • If you're married or live with a significant other, here's a rule of thumb: don't wake them up tonight if you did so last night. They love you, but have already given you the advice you need.
  • Don't be afraid to laugh and make fun of yourself. It's a good way to find out who you really are. This practice gives you a true sense of personal freedom. This is also a good way to clarify what's really important. If you find it difficult to laugh at something, your problem is much bigger than you originally imagined.
  • Remember that 'normal' isn't necessarily 'typical'.
  • Take care of your body. Drinking more water can combat headaches and changes in mood and improve brain function. Taking a walk can provide you with a new perspective and a boost of endorphins. Breathe deeply through your nose and out through your mouth; shallow breaths through the mouth are a signal of panic.
  • Eat real food and drink plain filtered water.
  • Be love in action.
  • Find success in small things, this will lead to bigger things.
  • Don't be afraid of failure. If you perceive a failure, approach it from the perspective that it is just an experience which gives you wisdom and opportunity for change and growth.
  • In fact, don't be afraid at all!
  • Choose to live, forgive, learn, love and prosper.

This excerpt is courtesy of

I think I need to clean my room...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Novel Idea

It has come to my attention that all bloggers dream of writing a novel. Yes, that includes you. Don't lie. I know you have a few ideas rattling around your head.

I must confess that I have begun work on several novels. This usually happens after reading something phenomenal (like Harry Potter) and thinking "I can do that!" Alas, I realize just how many words are on a page and the novel tragic.

I have recently decided to retool my goals and work on a novella. Some of my favorite books are this format (The Awakening, Heart of Darkness). However, the subject of what to write about always comes up. The devil is in the details.

Fiction. This would be my primary goal. I want to be simple, clear, poetic, and profound. Nobel Prize for Literature please! I really enjoy fantasy, but I have been influenced the most by classic literature (Austin, Dickens, Bronte, etc.). Of course, I want to be clever and write something chock-full of allegory and symbolism, yet I don't want to be obvious. So challenging!

Memoir. I do love a good memoir. Some of the best works I have read have been narratives of some personal tragedy. They are tales of love, loss, and redemption. Unfortunately, I have very few dramatic events in my life. Not to say that I have not been through some trying times, I just don't think they compare to the extraordinary lives of others. Also, I have no conclusion. No period of my life with a defined enough timeline to write a story about. I fear the best I could produce is no more than middle class whining...the harrowing account of the time Fossil sold out of the sweater I wanted will not elicit empathy.

Poetry. No, just no. I will not pretend to have the talent.

Self-help! I may have struck gold here! I can write about improving your life. Making a book about how YOU can be fabulous, rich, and perfect. Okay, my conscience would never allow that to happen.

Business-lit. Hmmm...I am not quite succesful enough to do that.

Theology. I love theology. In fact, it's a bit of an obsession. I will admit it's probably unhealthy. I want to know why people (including myself) believe what they believe. I just don't think I have anything useful to add to current discussions.

As you can see, I just have no idea what to write. I wonder if I should just publish this blog in book there's an idea.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Someone I met a couple of weeks ago made the following statement:

"You don't know joy until you experience it or you lose it"

The joy she was speaking of was in the context of relationships. She was expressing the difference between dating and having someone to call your own; sharing a life with someone til' death do you part. I obviously know nothing about the latter, but I definitely feel stable, long term relationships come with a lot of benefits. I will say I do know what love is, but I will save that for an award worthy post some day in the future...maybe.

I have been struggling with joy lately. It fades in and out, sometimes in the same day. It's not depression or melancholy, it's something different. I think it's really just a side effect of change. The past few months have seen significant changes in my future goals, faith, friendships, work, relationship with family, and more. It's left me shell-shocked. I have been jilted by my future dreams or maybe that's too passive. Maybe I did the jilting. I am still processing so much and striving to be patient. I am learning so much. I am listening more to myself than I ever did before.

Still, I am so torn by my desire to please people coupled with my desire to forge ahead building a life dedicated to my selfish desires. Both of these will lead to destruction and I am cognizant of that. I am fighting hard to change, to stand in defiance, to cast off fear, to overuse infinitives.

During this tempest (hyperbole), I have found joy elusive. Can I please get a Geiger counter for joy? I want to quantify the amount of joy in my life so I can ensure I am increasing it. Haha.

I suppose I am dealing with growing pains. It's natural. I know it will all work out. I suppose right now I must "keep on keeping" on.

Note: I am aware this post is a bit severe. It's just been sitting in "draft" for awhile and I thought it deserved to see the light of day.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


I don't know if I have used this title yet, but I am too lazy to check. The main purpose of this post is to lighten up the mood. I fear I'm entirely too dreary! I will be venturing into somber subjects in the near future, but for now I will talk about some other things.

I have made quite a few goals lately and I thought I would share:

- Beat Super Mario Bros. 3

- Pay off all credit card debt by November

- Save 3 months of pay

- Finish every book in my stack of approx. 12

- Complete The Purge

- Pack a lunch 3 times a week

- Start cooking more meals at home

- Laugh more

- Give more

- Care more

- Be more honest

That about sums it up. I'm off to eat a turkey sandwich!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


So, I was going to be clever and say that this post does not refer to the song "Jealousy" by the Moffatts.   However, I just realized that the song was "Misery". So much for witty blog intros. My how I had a crush on them back in the day.

Jealousy is something that I like to assume I am above. It should be something petty, common people struggle with. People who can't get their act together are the ones that should deal with it. Haha, how very wrong I am. As I mentioned before, it seems all the things I claim I don't struggle with are my biggest weaknesses.

I fear I have a current case of jealousy and it is a bit severe. However, I think it's jealousy mixed with contempt. You see, my roommate has a new European boyfriend who he is head over heels for. It's ridiculous. He is so obsessive. However, I think the main reason I have a problem with it is because a part of me wants a boyfriend, to have someone I am thinking about the future with. Someone I get excited about seeing online or Skyping. It's strange, because I work diligently to convince myself that a relationship is not what I need at this point. I feel I would be great as a boyfriend, yet much of my hopeless romantic side has atrophied. I feel like my approach to "romance" would be hopelessly boring, my declarations of love prosaic. I don't know if I could ever be overcome with emotion or giddy when talking about my new beau. Maybe this is just my hideously cynical self speaking. If/when I meet someone, this blog may be unbearably sugary sweet as I talk of romantic weekends and jetsetting for the weekend. Haha, time will tell.

Anyway, I am working on trying to figure out a way to overcome jealousy. It seems a fairly decent remedy is just putting things into perspective. I have no reason to be jealous. It's not like I am even actively seeking a relationship. I don't particularly want to date anyone. I am in the midst of very narcissiscitic times and need to get over myself before I can start the process. However, maybe a relationship would help speed up the process. Who knows?

That's all I really have for this post. Peace out.

Coming Out

Let me start with a few random things.

1.  My room is a disaster.  It is always a disaster.  "Clean Room" is always on my list of things to do.  

2.  I always have to go to the drycleaners, always!  It may just become my least favorite chore.

3.  I love lists!  

Today I came out to my best friend at work.  I have been meaning to do it for a couple of months, but have been putting it off.  I feel it was extremely necessary because our conversations are not limited to flow charts and SOX.  We talk about life, love, relationships, the future, and a bunch of other stuff.  I had to tell her.  She has no problem with it and I was not concerned about her having one.  It was just nice to be honest.  I do find the types of conversations you have with non-Christians and Christians regarding being attracted to the same sex are VERY different.  Non-Christian friends are much easier to talk to because the stress is so much less.

Anyway, the point of me even mentioning this is that it is still an odd experience.  I hate having to tell someone I am gay because I am still not okay with that label.  However, I don't want to go into some huge discussion outlining my beliefs on the subject.  I just made sure to mention that I would not be lowering my standards when it comes to finding a future mate.  We have both had extensive discussions about relationships before.  Also, she was a bit hurt that I had waited so long to tell her.  However, I did not come out to everyone until just a few months ago.  Honestly, I would say the majority of my friends still don't know.  It's not like it comes up in conversation.

My mother doesn't see why it is necessary to tell anyone. Of course, I don't take her advice.  Honesty (generally) is the best policy.  Plus, I hate always having to pretend that I am interested in girls, etc.  Hopefully she will come around soon.  I don't really know though.  I am pretty sure that all of my immediate family views homosexual sex as sinful.  Of course, my mother also thinks homosexuailty is NOT a choice and that there has got to be at genetic component.  At least we have a good foundation to work from, haha.

I do hope life is going well for all of you.  

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Rule Breaker

So, I am breaking my new rule about delayed posting.  I am so weak.  Haha.  I am also quite the binge poster.  After being away for a few days earlier this week, I am earnestly making up for it.  I love the word "earnest".  It reminds me of cucumber sandwiches.

Today was absolutely beautiful.  It was overcast and there was a cool breeze.  I decided to go for a run/walk/meander/sit and meditate.  I found it quite enjoyable and was in high spirits afterwards.  

Sorry for the negativity of my recent posts, I have been sick the past few days.  As you know, sick JD=grumpy JD, and grumpy JD tends to be negative.

Rocking out to Brandi Carlile always puts me in a good mood even though the lyrics are quite depressing.  Butch Walker is another decent cure for the blues.

As I mentioned before, it was an overcast day and it reminded me of winter although it was 75 degrees.  I took a nap and it was wonderful.  I can't wait to curl up with a blanket and good book once the cooler months come around.

My timeline for finding the meaning of life is 18 months.  I have got to start working on my plan for cold fusion.   

That's about all.  I took a step back today and inventoried my life.  It's pretty darn good.  In fact, I think I am where I need to be right now.  However, I am always prone to second guess life decisions I have made.  We will see.  


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Bogged Down

I don't know where I am exactly. I will attempt to keep this from venturing into a teenage angst filled post, but if I fail please forgive me. As always, my mind is never ceasing and I am constantly thinking about a 1000 different things. Let me share some of them with you.

1. Olympic commentators really ruin the Opening Ceremony. I want to watch and admire the spectacle. Your input is not required nor solicited. Hopefully I can find the opening ceremony sans commentary on Hulu.

2. One too many. That phrase is constantly on my mind. I feel like I have read one too many books, or asked one too many questions, forcing a confrontation with the messy and imperfect thing we call life. For so long I had been able to repress the truth, I distracted myself with battling my attraction for guys. However, now that the battle is over my time has been freed to tackle the meaning of life. The latter is much harder than the former.

3. Control. Regardless of where I end up on the scale between divine providence and nihilism, the amount of control I wield over my life is extremely limited. Why can't I just accept it and move on? I am tired of spending so much time planning and desiring control. Like the oh so trite saying I need to "Let go and let God.." Unfortunately, this is quite impossible right now. To a certain extent I am steering the course of my life and my decisions have repercussions. I have to have some plan of action, some sort of target or end-game, dreams. Without dreams we have no hope. I would much rather have a lot of dreams propelling me forward than a lot of worries. Worrying is no fun.

4. Love. I struggle with this. I want to love people in a Christian love way, but it's not easy. I like living in my own little world filled with people I get along with. However, that is not what I need to do with my life.

5. Joy. A post about this will be coming soon.

Friday, August 8, 2008



My stomach hurts.  I don't know why.  Maybe it's because I have eaten too much bad for you stuff this week (like a fried brownie), but that always happens when I travel.  Stupid corporate credit card, inviting me to eat delicious, high calorie food.  I went to the store as soon as I got in to buy some fruit.  Hopefully apples, oranges, and plums will help counteract my unhealthy habits from earlier in the week.

It is HOT here.  Heat advisories are constantly in effect.  Autumn, your presence is sorely missed.  

Converting to a Mac has been fun, but a little challenging.  The last time I really used one was 5 years ago when I was in high school.  I'm a bit rusty.  Plus, the one-click mouse that comes with the computer is really annoying.  On the plus side, the computer is MUCH faster than my old one, the display is beautiful, and I can use Skype!

If you read this I most definitely wasted a few seconds of your life.  I apologize.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Five things that amuse me:


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Jury Duty

This past week I had Jury Duty.  It was a very sobering experience and introduced my to a world that I am not really exposed to on a daily basis.  

I will spare most of the boring details (there was a lot of waiting around involved).  The case I got selected for had three counts: First Degree Murder, Attempted First Degree Murder, and Aggravated Assault.  

A woman was coming home from Bible Study with two of her kids.  As she pulled into her driveway her ex-boyfriend of one week pulled up behind her and blocked her in.  He shouted at her to get out of the car and then shot her.  I don't know if it was intentional or accidental. 
Nobody saw the shooting.  The mother had shouted at her kids to run and they did.  Paramedics thought she would survive, but the blood loss was too much, twelve liters.  

The mother, daughter, and son of the victim testified.  Crack cocaine may have been involved and was the reason that the victim left her boyfriend after one year.  His behavior changed. Before that everything was "cool".  We, the jury, saw photos of the dead woman; her corpse pierced by two bullets.  This wasn't television, this was real life, real people, real children left motherless.  I wanted to cry but I had to detach, be objective, look at the facts.  It was so strange.

Due to random chance I ended up being sent home from the jury and did not deliberate.  There were two alternates and I happened to be one of them.  I still don't know the verdict.  As I Googled the victims name on Friday to look for a news article with potential updates, I had a problem.  I could not remember her name.  I COULD NOT REMEMBER HER NAME.  How did this happen?  How on earth could I have already processed the information and dumped it from my mind?  I did remember it after a few minutes, but I was appalled at my forgetfulness.  I must never forget her.  I must never forget how much I have.  I must be grateful everyday even when my petty worries seem to drown out everything else.  Apathy is dangerous.  I must be rid of it.  

I pray that I will rise above my current situation.  Evolve into something more.  An individual who makes a difference.  Unfortunately, evolution is a slow process and the kind I want requires effort.  It requires effort to shut out all the voices from within and outside, telling me to be absorbed with my life and my life only.  I must move on..

Saturday, August 2, 2008


This newest post is an exercise in patience.  I find it is something I lack, and am working on it.  This post will have been composed in draft, reread, and then posted.  I want to more clearly express myself in this corner of cyberspace.

For you non-business majors, the word Kaizen pretty much means "Continuous Improvement".  As you know, the Japanese invented everything that is right in the business world and any business student has this drilled into them everyday.  Toyota, Toyota, Toyota!  I'm getting off topic...

Anyhow, I am working on improving myself.  So far this has consisted of curbing my spending (mixed results), eating more fruits and vegetables (fairly successful), and exercising three times a week (I've fallen off the wagon).  The problem is, I don't really know where I am going or what end result I plan to achieve by means of all this improvement.  What's the purpose?  I do know that I find it rewarding and it is great to accomplish goals, no matter how small.

Today I talked to my mom about the future.  She told me to work on living more for the moment and talked about how she has lived her life with pretty much no regrets.  It was a good conversation.  She made the interesting point that I have been told that I need to plan and work towards graduating college all my life, and now that I am here I should just take it in.  Breathe a bit.  I will try to take her advice.  

I have also realized lately that although I talk about helping the poor and doing other Christ-like things, my follow through is not so great.  I get distracted by home improvement projects, work, family, and socializing.  Also, when I was downtown I didn't know what to do when I came across a homeless person.  The law says not to give to panhandlers, and the signage is increasing.  Yet, I feel guilty and don't know what to do.  Even the simplest acts of charity have been complicated.

Enough for now.

Friday, August 1, 2008


The title of this post refers to my eyes. They are burning along with my hands.

It's Friday night and I should be out partying like a good twentysomething. However, I decided to start the seemingly simple project of recaulking my bathtub. The mold/mildew was disgusting and Tilex could not get to it. It was under the existing caulk. So, with confidence buoyed by my DYI attitude, easy access to Lowe's, affordability of supplies, and too much HGTV, I decided to tackle the project. I was most excited about scraping up the old caulk! I love making something nasty neat and clean. Little did I realize how disgusting the tile was underneath. I cleaned it as best I could, but I really should have used a mild bleach solution to really get the grime out. However, I was itching to use the caulk gun and replace the old caulking with new white caulking. I loaded the canister into the gun, cut the tip at a 45 degree angle, pressed the trigger...and nothing happened. Try as I might I could not get anything out of the tube! I soon discovered that the caulking was leaking out of the back of the tube. Apparently, there was some seal I was supposed to break first. Alas, it was too late and this tube was shot. Luckily, I had another one and I was able to get it to work! I was diligent in applying even pressure, but it was still quite globby. In fact, it was a bit of a mess. I got carried away and started recaulking areas I really hadn't thoroughly cleaned. It spiraled further out of control once that tube ran out and I decided to squeeze the caulking out of the other tube and apply it liberally using an extra "Gap" collar tag thing I had lying around. To make a long story somewhat short, I have now completed the ugliest caulking job of all time. It's a hot mess (to quote a friend). Also, I was a little careless in avoiding touching the caulking and my hands burn. Plus, the ammonia was not so great for the eyes. Oh yeah, it is pretty much IMPOSSIBLE to wash off your hands. Hopefully the new caulking will serve its purpose. Aesthetics be damned!

In other news, I finally got Skype! I am practically the only one in my family (besides my grandparents) who had not joined this century. Maybe soon (like Sunday) I will have a computer with a webcam. Wowsers, I'm becoming too high tech.

This blog will be undergoing some changes in the near future (hopefully). You should notice some of them in upcoming posts. The rest will come in time.