08 janvier, 2006

So I'm moving...

Just in case anyone wonders why I have moved my blog to a new site, I just thought it would be fun to have a site of my own that I can do more to tweak. I can change themes, add users, email, and even add a lot more functionality with Wordpress. I liked blogger, and I'll continue to use the ID, but probably all the blogging will be on the other site. Besides- I saw my site on a PC and thought it looked awful. My Mac must be like rose-colored glasses.

Down with PCs!

And welcome to the new blog...

02 janvier, 2006

Happy New Year! Start it with a Passion

There is not much I can say about that last post except that it was something that I felt I needed to say and that I am glad that I said it. Thanks for your thoughts those of you who wrote to me. Others may not have written but I know your hearts and thank you for your thoughts. I am well and wish you all a super new year.

The best thing that I can tell you right now is that I am in Nashville where I am working at the Passion '06 Conference. This is a gathering of college age students from around the world (though mostly the USA) who believe that this is a generation who wants to know God and make Him known. Pray for us. Search the website and see what is happening and pray for God to do the works that He desires in the lives of these students and volunteers.

"Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your truth we wait eagerly for You, for Your name and Your renown are the desire of our souls." Isaiah 26.8

"Sí, en ti esparamos, Señor, y en la senda de tus juicios; tu nombre y u memoria son el deseo de nuestra vida." Isaías 26.8

29 décembre, 2005

I shouldn't ramble, at least not when I'm writing. Telling stories is a whole other experience, as many of you can attest, but when I write, there is never anyone there who I have to worry about, so I feel no pressure to explain odd minutiae, and therefore I have less tangential digressions, some of which have been known to get me so off-track from the original tale that it may be weeks before I remember that I never finished telling that which I had started. That can get a little aggravating for me, because I know that when I set my mind to it and just tell a story with the salient points and a modest amount of detail, it can be a good time by most everyone. I won't say everyone, because then some would comment on that just for the sake of saying so. But I already know this. It runs in the family.

However, tonight I feel like rambling. I'm not sure why. I guess I have a case of the blahs, and I'm hoping that it won't become a full-blown case of the blues. I have little reason to feel this way, but it never seems that it takes much to bring me down a little, even when I've been riding high. Lately I have been home with my family and seen several friends during the past 2 weeks, I have only worked a little, and I have been given so much blessing by them and by God Himself even, that to feel even a little down seems practically sacrilegious. I don't think it is, but it sure would be nice to feel a little more like I should. One cannot force good feelings, and so I take what I feel and have to think about it. Because that's what I am good at- thinking. I am a thinker by nature and rational to the last. It gets me in trouble with feeler-types all the time, because I often overlook the feeler issues because the reason is given so much more power in my decision making. Well, when I feel blah (or blue), I often react by over-thinking. I think I should think less, but then I think that maybe I'm over thinking and should just think about it some more. But on seventy-second thought, maybe... You get the idea.

There are several things that could have led me to this place today. Maybe the fact that I am about to leave on the first of 3 trips, the third of which is to work on the other side of the world is bringing me down, because I will miss my family and friends. It could be that just the fact that my bid to buy a condo here in Houston is not going as smoothly as it should is getting to me. But I don't think that those are the real problem. Sure they are important. But I can handle them just fine. I think it is something else: in cases such as these, the mightiest blow is usually dealt unknowingly by the softest hands. Perhaps I shouldn't set myself up on a tee so often when there are women with clubs nearby.

Email is a wonderful tool. I use it a lot. I love using it, as it keeps me in touch with friends all over the world. But tools have a funny way of being dangerous when used incorrectly. I think I have been doing that. And it may have come back and bitten me. Again (yes, I've done it before). How do I avoid this though, when it is such a great way of communicating? By being more direct. Letters are similar, but email is so easy that there is a temptation to write something quickly and send it, not thinking that another person could interpret it in any way other than the one intended, but sure enough that other way is more likely the way it will be interpreted, especially when it is to a person of the opposite sex, even if said person (a woman obviously in this case) tends to think more rationally than her peers when it comes to things like that. I suppose that it matters little when I can see that I haven't been direct enough to require a response to the real question. For example I have written a lot of poetry here in this blog, and though some of it was inspired by the person to whom I refer, I don't think that she actually knows that. Now I am not saying that my poetry is directly related to her, but only that some of it has been inspired by my thoughts of her. The fact that she doesn't know it has nothing to do with her intuitiveness, but rather my writing that has been less than obvious. Mostly I like to think that I have written these things in a veiled sort of way because several people read it and I don't want to be too personally revealing, but the truth is that I am not sure that I have decided that I even want to be that revealing to her. Maybe that is why today when I received an email that didn't say exactly what I wanted to read that I began to feel a bit down. Circumstances so seldom do that to me, but a word from a good friend so easily can cause a wound. That's even mentioned by Solomon in the Proverbs, so I'm in good company.

So what do I do now? That is the question that I have to answer. Dear reader, you may offer suggestions, sage advice, or the banter of never-ending witticisms, and all comments are appreciated, but I think I already know the answer. Or at least where to find it.

25 décembre, 2005


May God have great surprises in store for each of you throughout the year. And remember- all of His gifts are good gifts. Perfect every time.

24 décembre, 2005

Mmmmmmm, late night pie

Well I went to Tomball last night to see my new friend Erika play and sing in one of her first ever performances. It was a lot of fun. And it was especially nice because though it is a long ways from the inner loop (and most of the rest of Houston too), I did not have to drive.

We heard her sing beautifully, though she finished her set pretty early, leaving us wanting to hear more. Then we all stayed around talking for another two hours or so. Finally Mike suggested that he and I should get going, as it is quite a long ways home. On the way he suggested that he was a bit hungry and would I care for something to eat. Of course I would be happy to do that. After a couple of suggestions, he mentioned Late Night Pie. I had heard of this before, but since I had not been, I knew that was the place to go. And so we went. After all, it was late, and night too, so what better place to go that we knew would be open?

Having never been there I was intrigued. One must see it to appreciate it. I think it used to be a mechanic's garage, but now it is a pizza place. Well we had a pizza. The Italian Stallion. I enjoyed it, though I have had better. But the coolest thing was that they have a Ms. Pac-Man game. Unfortunately I was not able to play the only person in the world who has ever challenged me to a game of Ms. Pac-Man. It had been a really long time since I played the game, so I was a bit happy to come away with a bit over 33,000 points. I even got a free man before I had even been caught by the ghosties (woman? pac-woman? I don't even know what to call it, so I'll stay non-PC; after all I'm a Mac guy anyway). So, e, wherever you are, I'm sorry I couldn't play you head-to-head, but I'll take a raincheck- winner eats free...

23 décembre, 2005

The Scintillating Journey of Never-ending Intrigue

I. The Search

Searching but seldom finding
Always seeking though no one is hiding
From the firm grasp of the loving
Arms that are ever reaching
For someone, yet not anyone
Can be this one, this one
Who is his joy, for whom he’d run
A thousand miles to her door if when done
She would be that girl, that one,
With whom he could become one
With her, and they would be one.

II. The Attainment

Strangely comfortable in an ill-fitting sweater
The words flow in a stream of silky smoothness
Like a chocolate river in a candy dream
Intoxicating, yet fully in control of every action
Every reaction is recorded, the mind a step ahead
Anticipating every move of the objective
Countering every defense with the rapier wit
Never failing, always maintaining
An aire of confidence that comes without effort
This is no false pride, no ego-tripping-
Just letting out the inner lion for the prowl.
It seems that the objective senses its fate
For though it does not bow down
The deference is clear.
That is all that is needed.

III. The Life After

The hunt was over
Finally gained the prize
Having won his lover
He gazed into her eyes.
So deep and dreamy
And so bright and blue
Soon he was lost
Not sure what to do.
No help from the others
Still out on their own
Now what should he do?
He can’t leave her alone.
She is so very precious
He cannot comprehend
Her worth- she’s priceless
Some advice I’ll lend:
Take her in your arms
Tell her you’ll never leave
Look deep in her heart
Trust God and believe.

21 décembre, 2005

So this may be late...

I went to Paris last year for New Year's Eve, and much fun was had by all, including me, Robb, and his sister Leah. I was not blogging then, so I did not post about it, but I figured I'd recap (sort-of) how it went with a Mad-Lib. For those unfamiliar with Madlibs, it is where a series of words are requested (see the previous 2 posts) and then replaced in what was supposed to be there. This one was entitled: "Letter from an American in Paris." The words replaced are italicized.

Dear effervescent J Holden,
I am having a blithe time here in Paris. I spend every day reluctantly visiting museums, monuments, and rubber duckies. Yesterday I went to the Brunson Tower, which is located on the River Matroshka. Then I went to the Jeu de Pomme. This is a museum that is spelled J-E-U D-E P-O-M-M-E and is pronounced putzkrieg. It is next to the Louvre, which has the famous statue of Venus de Hicks and the painting of the Mona Alexandra by Leonardo da Giorno. The center of Paris is called the Place of the Partridge and is always filled with thousands of capsules all taking photographs of each other and of the many French Digerati. The food at the Paris restaurants is perky. I have already eaten adhesive snails and duck a la pear. I plan to delete to Paris again next year and hope you can fricassee too.

20 décembre, 2005

A little word help...

I still need a few more words. In fact I need a few more than I thought before, so here's what I am missing. Be a dear and leave a comment with a word that matches what is left on the list. Hopefully nobody needs to be reminded what an adverb is (it helps a verb, as quickly does when I say, please quickly return to my blog).

So I need...
1. noun
2. adverb
3. a silly word
4. another last name
5. a girl's name
6. noun
7. plural noun
8. adjective
9. adjective
10. fruit
11. verb

thanks for your help. I know that it will be fun to read.

16 décembre, 2005

Crazy stuff

Okay, so the rules are very simple: I provide a list of types of words that I need, and y'all comment with the next one that I need. And please, though creative is good, vulgar is bad. And will get "buhleted."
so here's the list...

1. adjective-
2. person in the blogosphere-
3. adjective-
4. adverb-
5. plural noun-
6. Last name of person-
7. noun-
8. silly word-
9. last name of person-
10. italian word-
11. noun-
12. plural noun-
13. adjective-
14. fruit-
15. verb-
16. verb-

When I get enough comments, I will post the results...


No, I'm not talking about the movie with Nicolas Cage and John Travolta, but it is not far off. In the movie the bad guy has his face removed and replaced with that of his enemy, who is an FBI agent. It has its moments, but to pull it off requires a bit of suspension of disbelief and at least a little acting. Obviously the special effect is that they appear to have their faces removed surgically and replaced upon the other person. And of course it is all accomplished in a clandestine temporary surgical suite. It was enough to make me think that I could do it myself in my apartment, if only I had a good headlamp and some suction.

What I am wondering about is the long-term impact of facial transplantation. Normally I don't want to blog about being a doctor all that much, but my brother wanted to know what I thought about it. Hopefully this won't go on too long, but there area a few things to consider.

When I think of facial transplantation, the first thing I wonder about is the recipient. Of course the donor better be donating other organs as well, because it just wouldn't do to donate one's face and then just walk around without one. That's just gross. The person receiving the facial transplant would have to be someone who had sustained a serious disfiguring injury. Burns, animal mawlings, and other violent injuries that resulted in loss of large amounts of skin would be considered. Currently these poor people are subjected to numerous operations to attempt to reconstruct a face from the wreckage, and it is usually nothing short of miraculous to be able to do that much. Burns are the worst due to the sheer magnitude of injury that the skin sustains. It often appears as though the skin has been melted like wax and stirred up, no longer even close to normal appearance. These people must endure not only the pain of the injuries, the recovery, and the surgeries, they also must endure the stares, the teasing by the insensitive, and the cries of children who don't understand and are therefore scared. The psychological impact of losing one's face often changes who that person is; the injury is more than skin-deep, it scars the identity and changes personalities.

In the recent transplantation a woman had been mawled by her own dog, apparently after a failed suicide attempt, and the donor had more successfully attempted suicide. The whole face was not needed, but the recipient was given skin for the chin, nose, and a bit more. Hopefully the result will be successful, but what happens afterwards?

Each person has a unique facial structure such that a transplantation would have to conform to it differently than it did on the donor's face originally. This would allow the recipient to at least maintain some features, but the end result would be a hybridization of the two people, where the person would resemble the donor. This brings up more issues of identity for the recipient. Suppose he had come to terms with his injuries and appearance but now is given an opportunity to gain a new face, but not one of his own choosing- in fact it may not even be an appealing face, but if it is a match, should not he take the chance? That is a tough question. I think that I would likely take the new mug if my own was so damaged, but it would probably be tough to get used to seeing another's face in the mirror. Especially a dead guy's face. At least with a heart transplant, there is some anonymity, and most of us don't think much about what the heart is doing very much, so to have a transplanted heart would only cause most of us to thank God for a new day and for that gift. But a new face? Hardly necessary to sustain the recipient's life, but life-changing it could be. I just hope I never have that choice to make.

15 décembre, 2005

The Sunset

Sun sets on the Pacific, swallowed whole by the sea
Isn’t it romantic? Or so it seems to be.
One seeks for happiness, another wants the same
But only one seeks the other, so who’s to blame?
Persistence pays off, or so they say
Although three’s a charm, it’s not his today.

Conversations intimate the feelings of one to the other:
Though not quite a companion, nor a brother-
Please stay close for friendship’s sake,
Please don’t go and other friendships make.

A tempest of dizziness consumes from within
While waves of disappointment are closing in.
Just a few days of trial to test the resolve
To stay the course and of love be absolved.

Should I continue to pursue as I have before?
Should I persist in vain when she shuts the door?

A true friend will grant the time and space
Required when there is one to replace
On the mantle over the fire of the heart.
Until the healing is complete, the two must part.

It is never easy to receive the bittersweet wounds of a friend
Trying always to be gracious and yet still trying to mend
The broken pieces left over from the dreams that shattered,
Picking up the bits of emotion that were so easily scattered.

Yet hope is there and brings with it a peace
For all is as it should be, and all things are in place.
Sunrise over the Atlantic, resurrected again today
Is it not romantic? Being given a brand new day?

12 décembre, 2005

I Love New York

Now, I'm no Yankee, and I'm not really a fan of the Yankees, but I have been a fan in the past when my Aunt and Uncle lived in New York City. I fondly remember going up to see them a few times as a young boy; we would spend about ten days in the city seeing all the sights and just being about New York. Then we would go somewhere north, such as Maine, Vermont, Niagara Falls, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. But it has been so long since then.

It seems I forgot why it is called "the City."

Well, after a late train to Trenton, and an even later cup of tea with Susann, I got a few hours of sleep before heading out from Princeton to New York. Her friend Sven drove us along with his friend Karina who was also there visiting for the weekend. They are both from Germany, Hamburg and Bremen, respectively. Susann is from Switzerland, and we met in Spain a year ago. Fortunately for me, they all spoke English most of the time, and they were gracious enough to kindly allow me to help them with grammar and pronunciation from time to time (I'm just glad they didn't ask me about spelling). We had a really good time getting to know each other, and more than once it helped just to have a native speaker in the group to facilitate a few things here and there.

We started out by stopping in New Jersey where we could see Manhattan across the river. It was such a cool feeling for me, having been so long absent from this, my aunt and uncle's city. Memories of the Cirlce Line, the Staten Island Ferry, and so many others just kept coming. I knew it would be a good day.

From there we took a subway over to the World Trade Center. Coming up from the subway into the station and then to the street from where I could see where once stood the Twin Towers, I felt a mist of a tear forming that had been a long time in coming. I was in Honduras on 9/11/01, and seeing "Ground Zero" for the first time in person was more than a little moving to me. For the first time I felt the loss in a more personal sense, in a way it was as if it went from knowledge to understanding to comprehension.

Our next stop was Trinity Church, which is a large cathedral style Episcopalian church which is only two blocks away. We were by no means alone in our exploration of the inner courts. We found the orchestra and choir rehearsing what could only be Handel's Messiah, which they were to perform later that day. We listened for a few minutes, but as our plans were full, we pressed on.

Just down the street is Battery Park, and from there one might take a ferry to see the Statue of Liberty. Also there is the relocated globe from the World Trade Center. It was slightly damaged in the tragedy of 9/11, and so bears the scars as a memorial.

Back into the financial district, we walked to Wall Street via Broad. We found the New York Stock Exchange, and there we took several photos of the large tree in the street. We continued northwards until we came to City Hall. It is only a block from there to the Broooklyn Bridge, so we went to the bridge for a walk. The wind was stronger and a had a tad sharper teeth, but we were prepared for the cold and still enjoyed it.

Little Italy via Chinatown came next, and we wandered a bit until we found a nice little restaurant for lunch. Here Susann ordered Gnocchi, but when it came, she didn't like it: "it's not gnocchi," she said. I warned her quietly not to tell that to the chef, but as I could see that she really wasn't going to enjoy it, I told her that she could send it back and get something else. She was worried that she would have to pay for it, but I think that it is important enough that one have an enjoyable meal at a restaurant, that I told her I would pay for it and called the waiter. He was very kind and accommadating, and as I explained the situation, that she had ordered gnocchi but didn't really like it, and could she have something else instead, he then made a few suggestions and upon hearing her choice told me that we could keep the plate of gnocchi if we liked, but that he would not charge us for it. That's my kind of waiter. Of course my friends were very happy and a little impressed, but then that is what I have come to expect of good restaurants in the US. One ought not take advantage of the server, but sometimes it is helpful to discuss these things a little with him. And of course a big tip later helps a lot too, and if it is a restaurant that one frequents, the servers always remember those who tip well (and those who don't- like Santa Claus-"they know if you tip bad or good, so tip good for goodness sake...").

After a wonder dish of Pollo di Paesano, we went to Washington Park for a few minutes before heading to the subway. By the time we caught the train to 57th street, it was past 4:30 pm, and it was getting a bit dark. A few minutes walk from there and we arrived at Central Park. I love Central Park. Central Park was the site of my first bouldering experience. I remember it well, because it was so much fun, at least until I thought I'd come down, got stuck in a spot where I couldn't see my feet below me, nor feel anything to step onto. That is when I called to my dad to help me, to save me, and then to do anything but just stand there watching me fall to me certain death. Of course I was five years old then, and my dad was busy finding his camera to preserve the moment, knowing that if I couldn't hang on long enough I would fall all of 4 or 5 inches to the large ledge below me. Somewhere there is a photo, but since I don't have it, I reproduced the moment this time (which can be seen through the link below). I am bit larger now, but just as ready and willing to climb on a boulder as I ever was.

Central Park also had a lot of people waiting to ice skate, so we passed on that, and took a walk down 5th Avenue. When we came to Trump Tower, we decided that we needed to go there (surely there would be a restroom, right? And there is). It was really fancy, but couldn't hold our attention long, because we still had miles to go before we would sleep.

A few blocks down is St. Patrick's Cathedral, which was full at the time for a Saturday evening mass, so it was hard to see. It is beautiful though. And it's Irish, so how cool is that?

Just around the corner from St. Patrick's is the Rockefeller Center. I have wanted to see it at Christmastime for years. And on this day there were thousands of people there to do the same. We pushed through the masses and made it to the entrance of the tower, where we went in and took the tour to the Top of the Rock. I don't know how tall it is, probably 60-70 floors, but we made it up there in 25 seconds. Wow. And what a view. It was fully dark by this time, and so all of New York was beuatifully lit and festive. It was a sight to see.

As we came out below the street level, we found a way to get into the Rockefeller plaza so we could see the skaters and the famous tree with the Swarovski star, which was a sight in itself.

On to Times Square, which was more for the walk and view than anything else. I didn't see anything there that I found that I had to see closer, nor did the others, so went on to Bryant Park.

At the park we found another ice rink, and since it only had about 300 people skating, we decided to join them. This was so much fun. Skating in New York City in the Christmas season with friends. What could go wrong?

Oh yeah. I'm not that good a skater. I just used to have a crush on one. That didn't help when I went horizontal and landed on my knee. I tell people to ice the knee often, but this isn't what I mean when I say it. Regardless of my own advice, it is now swollen quite a bit, so I'm having a little trouble keeping people from noticing my slight limp. It will get better soon enough. And yes, I have seen my doctor about it. Several times this weekend. He is really a good doctor, by the way. He sees me anytime, day or night.

After the skating was done, we went to Greenwich Village (pronounced "grin-itch vil-edge", not "green-which will-edge", as one of my friends thought), where after about 30 minutes of wandering, we found a great place to hear some live jazz and get some dinner. It was a place called The Garage, and the food was really outstanding. And the jazz was really nice and not too loud.

Of course that last bit put us back on the train to New Jersey at about 1:30 or 2 am. We finally got back to Princeton around 3 am. But we did make it to church in the morning. I can always sleep later, right? I mean what's 17 hours among friends anyway?

A quick tour around Princeton and I was back on the train to Virginia, already planning to try to find some work somewhere closer to The City for next year so I can come back for a short time. I mean, I don't really want to live there, but I love New York.

08 décembre, 2005

Just what I've always wanted! (i think I hear a song by coldplay...)

Your Eyes Should Be Green

Your eyes reflect: Striking attractiveness and danger

What's hidden behind your eyes: A vivid inner world

05 décembre, 2005

It's snowing now. Like a clean white blanket placed on the bed that covers the floor and the furniture too. Snow brings me such a good feeling inside. I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the one I missed in Houston last year. I'll be home for Christmas this year, but no bells on Bob's tail this time I suspect. Two years in a row would certainly make me think that Al Gore has invented something to control the weather. "They" say that this year will be a cold winter, and that the UK is in for a record breaking cold winter. Dovie, I hope you have warm mittens for Hogmanay...

04 décembre, 2005

Autumn comes towards a close

It's december now, as you know, and up here in Virginia it actually is starting to feel cold. I'm not really used to that, because aside from one year in Denver, I've been in the southern states (mostly Texas) for almost every December. It is rarely that cold there. Not that I am suffering. I actually like the cold weather. I think I llike that it comes and goes, just like the heat does in summer. I know it is cold but it will warm up. AndI kind of like the cold air. Maybe I'm wierd, but most Texans are very accustomed to the hot 7 or 8 months of the year and don't know what to do with themselves for the 2-3 weeks of cold weather that comes every winter.

It must be that I like it cold because there is so much to do when it is cold that I like. Snow sports are my favorite, even though the snow can make my fingers and toes hurt so bad if I let them get too cold. But then, as Ben would say, that's good training, i.e., that will help me when I'm on a cold mountain camping and climbing for several days at a time. I also love cold, clear nights where the stars shine brightly and the breath makes a fleeting fog when I exhale. It makes me feel so alive! It reminds me of so many good memories of vacations and trips up into the mountians, when we would go skiing with the family or friends, curling up by the fire afterwards, eating chili, and drinking hot chocolate; just relaxing and enjoying the feeling of being truly alive and involved in nature (ok, the whole skiing thing on groomed slopes with ski-lifts and gondolas isn't really a natural occurence, but it is close).

Meanwhile, back in Virginia I'm struggling to do anything outdoors. It is dark when I get off work, and there aren't any parks nearby where I live, so I'm left to forage for things to occupy my time on the weekends as best I can. So far in the past month I have been a few places. The first weekend I went to Colonial Beach, VA, which is on the Potomac River at a place where it is almost 5 miles across to Maryland. I worked in a clinic that Saturday at a Catholic church, seeing mostly Spanish-speaking patients. It was a lot of fun to use my spanish skills, and the people were so very appreciative of my time.

I left there and went to George Washington's birthplace. They were charging to see the house, but the house was not the original, anyway, having simply been reproduced, so I opted for the clandestine walking tour by myself (i.e., I went in without paying). I walked the grounds a while. It was late afternoon and the sun was going down. The place was really beautiful. It would have been a great place to grow up, I'm sure. Of course the family wasn't rich, but they did alright, so they had what they needed at least.

The next weekend I went to Arlington, VA, and stayed with my friend Kim. She showed me old Arlington, which was a short walk from her townhouse, and the next day we went to the Spy Museum, which was a lot of fun and very interesting. So for the next few weeks I wanted to be a spy, but turns out I'm over the age limit for the clandestine services, so who cares. For dinner we went to Old Ebbitt Grill and I decided to make it my birthday dinner party, since I had a birthday earlier in the week and hadn't gone out to celebrate. Needless to say I ate 4 varieties of raw oysters, had trout parmigan, and then a bread pudding that was too sweet to finish. Or maybe I was too full. I went to an old Baptist church with her the next day and really liked it. Nice people and a good preacher.

Then came Thanksgiving. I know, everyone has already written about Thanksgiving, and in fact I had a large post about it too, but I never said what my plans were. I left here in the morning, not knowing if it was really going to be icy or snowy as the forecasters had predicted, but as it turned out, the day was absolutely beautiful. Cold, but beautiful. I drove to Burke, VA, home to my friend Kelly's mother and step-father. Kelly is a girl with whom I attended high school, and she is about the only person from high school about whom I know anything, as I wasn't close to very many others at the school. At any rate, Kelly and her husband Carter invited me to join them for a few days. And boy was my stomach happy. We must have sat at the dinner table for at least 3 hours before doing anything else. It reminded me of a song by The Innocence Mission called "Where does the time go?" with a line that refers to "meals [that] last for five days." That is how it should be. Meals and other things are rushed and people so seldom spend real time with others, and though I am among the guilty, I want to truly take the time I am given and spend it wisely, being enriched and enriching others when possible.

The next day we went to Washington, DC to see a few sites. We started out our journey by visiting the Smithsonian Castle, where there is a smattering of objects that could be found in all of the various institutes that they have. We went from there to the Smithsonian Institute of Air and Space. Now I haven't been there in so many years, but I would go any chance I have, there is so much to see. Not having many opportunities, when I found out that they have flight simulators, I decided that it would be worth the money to try that out. It was. And I didn't even puke. It was made out to be like the F-18, and after a short time on a video game version, I was asked to completely empty all my pockets and deposit anything else I had that might become a flying object so that I might then get secured in the simulator.

That was fun. I had a hard time not rolling the plane too much, and several tanks met their end while I was flying upside-down, but I never crashed. Without peripheral vision of a horizon, and an altimiter that was hard to see, I became a little pale, but I had a great time.

Then we went to the Smithsonian Native American Institute, but unfortunately it was so packed with things to see and people to see them that it was difficult to really see much. I will have to go back sometime, as there are several really interesting exhibits there. So we went to Uno's Pizzaria! I miss that place. What more can I say about it.

For a look at some pictures from the month, go here.

This past week has been different from the others. I am working less at the office in which I was originally asked to work, and instead I am spending more time in a little town a few miles away helping out there. It has given me more to do, which is great, but it does make it more difficult to keep up with some of the things from the other practice. But my contract is up here in two weeks, so it doesn't really matter much any way.

I feel like this time out here has been good for me. I have been reading more simply because I have found myself with a lot more time on my hands. And I like reading, it's just that I forget it so easily and will go a long time between feasting upon some good paperbacks, prefering to subsist on fast-food tv and videos, which just can't be good for me.

The solitude has been good as well. It has given me a lot of time to think about things. Things that are important as well as not, but things that need to be sorted out. Sometimes we dwell upon things that are not important simply because we haven't had the time to think them through and realize it. The more I sort them out, the clearer the vision becomes for those that are important. As you have seen, the time here has inspired me to write more poetry, and for the first time to write it with knowledge that other would read it if I posted it. And the comments have been favorable enough for me to continue. I have written so many poems in the past that I hoped would never be shared except with one or two others, that to write for untold 5's or tens has been different indeed. I like it. I'll keep that up. Thanks.