the man i will be

  • honest
  • responsible
  • not an asshole
  • thoughtful
  • resilient
  • self-reliant
  • forgiving

I originally was going to title this the man I want to be, but the truth of the matter is that all of these things are within my power

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The Fight Against Cancers

Looking at cancer stats is quite a humbling experience. The lifetime probability of men developing cancer? 1 in 2. For women? 1 in 3. I suppose you could say that I’ve been quite fortunate in my life not to remember anyone near and dear to me dying from cancer. But then, this is only the case because my dad’s mother died of pancreatic cancer before I started forming memories and my mom’s father died of leukemia when she was 10. My mom’s mother, the only grandmother I’ve ever known, has had colon cancer twice, most recently in 2004. Both times, she’s won her battle. 4 of my mom’s friends had breast cancer, and her best friend lost her fight.

So why am I trying to raise money to fight cancer? It’s not as though any research done now will bring my grandparents back. The truth of the matter is that I’ve been following a woman’s battle with cancer through the eyes of her husband for well over a year now, and it was one post in particular that really convinced me that the Lance Armstrong Foundation is doing something incredible:

I expected maybe a form letter back in a couple weeks, maybe a list of local resources I could contact on my own.

Instead, the next day, I got a call from a lady who stayed on the phone with me for 90 minutes, heaping practical help. She set us up with ways we could save money on prescriptions. She conference-called in research foundations, hooking us up with clinical trials we might participate in. And while she was the model of efficiency, she was also incredibly caring and personal. She gave me her direct number and told me to call her when I was ready to take next steps.

That’s great work. And I’m not trying to be selective and say that they’re the only cancer foundation that does good work, I know they aren’t. I also understand that it’s not the best time to ask people to donate, and I won’t begrudge you if can’t/won’t, but if you can, thanks.

To donate, go here. I’ll try to think of something to give people who donate, you know, other than my respect.

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All these things that I’ve done

I’ve been looking back on the past year. It’s been pretty rough. I have written up on my wall that 2008 was seemed a lot like 2007. I wrote that in January I think. There were three very bright spots in the year: the birth of my nephew, thanksgiving, and finishing the ironman. I can’t say enough about my nephew: without being able to speak (yet) or locomote in any fashion other than what may perhaps be crawling, he’s brought about such noticeable changes in my entire family and these have been unequivocally positive change. Thanksgiving was nice because there were four generations at the table and some new faces this year. I also cooked dishes for it, and nobody died, so at least I’ve got that going for me. Continue Reading »

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I Let You Down

I think most people would say I don’t give myself a break. Trying to think about where this comes from, I look back at my childhood and remember taking maybe $5 from my brother without his permission. I lied about this for a long time, and then finally fessed up when my mom threatened me with “Lightning strike me (her) dead if you did this and lied to me about it and don’t confess now.” Two things: I’m a gullible idiot and I confessed.

Continue Reading »

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The New Yorker

It sits probably less than half a foot from my one left foot. Somewhat creased in the middle, folded cover to cover so that only the page I am reading is visible, and the page I’ve just read is face down on the coach. The pages are wavy, but not wavy like the wavy pages you get when your book gets rained on, or when you spill water on an airplane and it gets in the pages. Just wavy. No smudges of the ink either, which is surprising, as my sweaty hands typically create these inky blots on the page. Still readable, but blurry like when I’ve got my glasses off. I remember the first time this happened. I was reading the Times I think, and when I got up I had the front page all over my palms and my finger tips. This happened before I was twelve. The magazine is flipped upside down, so what I thought was the bottom right corner of the page is actually the top left, and the hidden page, as I thought but was too afraid to say, the one that is face down, is actually the next page in the article. There is a large B, but at perhaps 3 feet away, this is all I can read of anything on the page. From here, I can tell the page is filled with letters, but the whitespace is small enough that the letters do not appear to create… actually, from here, I use other clues to tell that it is filled with letters, like the fact that I was just reading it and that the closest edges are actually, if I concentrate hard enough, almost readable. But at the far edge of the page, it looks as though the page may be filled with just a string of letters without spaces except at the end of paragraphs, as though someone might try to convince you that they had written something – from afar everything looks as it should, but up close, it’s really devoid of meaning.

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I counted your pages yesterday

Far fewer than the 9654 I was expecting

I guess some days fewer things matter

Or maybe fewer things happen

Couldn’t fill the page with what I did today

Maybe tomorrow I’ll fill two

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Blue suede shoes

I was waiting so long for the other shoe to drop. Instead of waiting anymore, I put my shoe back on and walked away.

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Toiletries

I was thinking about not shitting where you eat/work w/r/t relationships. And then I was thinking that for a toilet cleaner, they may shit where they work. But that only creates more work for them so if I were a toilet cleaner I’d go shit in somebody else’s toilet.

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a line in the quicksand

I say I would go to the end of the earth for my dearest friends. Do I mean it? Or do I just say that, and we limit the ends to be, say, North America and western Europe?In the end, I have two options, disappoint my friends or disappoint my family. I am guaranteed to feel awful no matter which I do, no matter how much honor involved. If I stay here and nothing happens, I will feel like a coward. If I go and something happens, I could be dead, or worse. And if I go and nothing happens, it will be one of those things that I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life. Life is, I guess, all about making the tough decision. Striking out on our own, coming back to the nest, but mostly dealing with the consequences of your decisions. And dealing with the impact of those decisions on the person they affect the most: yourself.

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God

If you found out tomorrow that God either did or didn’t exist, that shouldn’t affect how you live your life.

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