Saturday, July 30, 2011


Travel is always rewarding. The adventure, discovery, and people encountered while traveling have enriched my life immeasurably. I have found that often the things you remember most are the things you did not plan-people, places and events you find unexpectedly. And removing myself from the routine of everyday life, combined with the new experiences of travel, really lets me look at my life from a fresh perspective. My best thinking always happens while on the road.

Over the next few weeks I will visit New Orleans, DC, Charleston, and Savannah. Dixieland! The American South has always held a certain charm to me, conjuring images of white colonnaded plantations, Southern belles, sweet tea, peaches and of course the accent. It seems to me in a lot of ways to almost be a different country, as it in fact was during the Civil War. I'm excited to find out what it's really like here, which preconceived notions will be spot on, and which will be miles off.

Adding an element of the unknown to this already fluid undertaking, I will be using for the majority of my trip. A stranger's couch is a high-risk, high-reward proposition. You could find a great host who can plug you into the local scene and steer you away from the tourist traps that separate travelers from their money and leave only a cheap souvenier where an experience should be. Or they could potentially be an ax-murderer (though the site assures me it's safe). My only previous time couch surfing was excellent, so my hopes are high.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Beautiful Sadness. "Maps" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Part of the power of music is its ability to touch the parts of us that make us human.  The irrational, illogical, and emotional.  When a song hits the right nerve, sometimes, I'm affected by this beautiful melancholy.  It's saddness, but it feels good, healthy, even joyous.

I can't explain the paradox.  Maybe it's one of those "there's no light with out darkness, no hot without cold" phenomena, and I need the sadness to feel happiness.  Or maybe its just because I'm human and we're weird and emotional, and don't always make sense.

Pandora dug me up this the other day.  I've heard it before, but this time it hit me.  I like how simple it is.  The instruments.  Her vocals, and the lyrics.  Her emotion is very plain.  Hope you like it too.  

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Will I Be Single Forever? Maybe. Am I Worried? No.

As my 20s tick by while I remain a bachelor, more and more people ask me "When are you going to get married?

They all have different agendas.

  • My parents want grand kids so they can dote on them, bake them cookies, buy them toys, etc.  While I sympathize, that doesn't convince me, because they can still do those things for me.
  • My students probably ask me the most.  They think its weird that I'm single.  27 seems old to them, which it did to me at their age. But taking dating advice from middle schoolers is never a good idea, unless they suggest I marry Taylor Swift, which I would do.
  • My coworkers often try to set me up with friends.  This has never worked, obviously.  Its dangerous territory, because whether or not the relationship works, I still have to work with the person who set me up.  And I secretly suspect they are more concerned with finding their single friend a good guy than with my bachelorhood.

Frankly, the only reasons I have for marriage are pragmatic, not romantic.  Married couples are better off financially, especially DINKs (Double Income, No Kids).  And if I did have kids, they could help me with yard work.  Right now I have to pay kids to come help me with yard work.

I do know a number of happily married couples, and do want that in my life eventually.  But not yet.  Here is a quick summary of why I am still not married at the old age of 27:

1.)  Marriage is a Big Deal.  Marriage is not something to do because you hit a certain age, or people feel you should, or you are lonely.  Marriage will not make you happy if you are unhappy.  It requires commitment and hard work and requires that you give up at least some of your desires and wants to another person.  It demands that you commit your life to someone who is not you.  I have not yet found the person who I want to do that for.   Until I do, I won't get married.

2.)  I want to choose right and choose once.  I've seen so many people my age and younger get married and divorced.  It does not look fun, especially when kids are involved.  

3.)  Being single is fun. A very wise man told me once "celebrate your singleness." I'll only have this freedom in my life once (ideally).  Not in any swinging bachelor kind of way, but I like the freedom to do what I want, when I want.  I have work commitments and that's it.  The rest of my time is mine to be spent doing the things I like:  Being with friends and family, improving myself, helping others, and traveling.

4.)  It's very possible I'm not mature enough for marriage yet.

Will I ever get married?   Yes, if I meet the right person.  If I never do, then maybe I won't and that's OK.  If you're in a similar situation, I'd be curious to hear what you think.  

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Blogging Part II

Blogging Part II

For some time I have debated returning to blogging. I miss writing and how it organizes my thoughts. I like the record it leaves. And I definitely like it when readers interact with the blog and leave comments.

I checked my blog the other day for the first time in years. I wasn't sure if Google would still have it up. But sure enough, it was. What really surprised me was this article, written 3 years ago, sat lurking in cyberspace, slowing gathering hits and comments like a stone gathers moss.

I will take another crack at blogging.  Its cool that something I wrote impacted people, if even in a small way. In hindsight, I should have known that "Stop Being Awkward" would generate some Google search traffic.