Archive for the ‘he’s getting serious now…’ Category

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Power of the People…

March 30, 2009

I learned the power of Twitter today.

I’m not saying that like I personally discovered it, I mean I felt it today for the first time.

A very good friend of mine was diagnosed in December of 2004 with breast cancer and 9 days later the tumor was removed. She underwent chemo and radiation until September of 2005. And, fortunately has been cancer-free ever since. She has done The Susan G. Komen Walk for 1 mile for 3 years and the 5K run last year and will again this year. I have always tried to help her raise money for these events.

A few simple Tweet’s asking for support for her raised over $1000 in less than 12 hours.

Awe… shock… warmth… You name it, I was overwhelmed with the generosity of the people I follow on Twitter. Made me believe that the spirit of the average human has not been affected by the times, we are still, at heart, just as good, just as noble as we have ever been.

And to see The Power of a network like Twitter in action was truly humbling! Makes me think that, in the end, we will all be fine.

We are, after all, people. And the Power of the People will always prevail

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Decisions…

March 27, 2009

Decisions…

They are a part of life. And, usually, not a fun one.

When they are cut and dried, like would you rather have a Cherry Slurpee or a shot of Castor Oil, they are easy. But those decisions are few and far between.

If you have followed me, blog or Twitter-wise, then you know how much I love living downtown Chicago. Well, my lease on the condo is up on March 31 and I had to make a choice… 3 hours of commute to the office or move out of downtown into the ‘burbs.

For once in my life, I made a practical decision… move to the ‘burbs.

I will miss my 40th floor balcony above the House of Blues. I will miss the city noise and shuffle. And, honestly, I will miss the commute.

The act of moving is always a pain in the ass. But leaving downtown Chicago hurts in more ways than I thought it would.

I hate making decisions…

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Silence is Golden…

March 8, 2009

Do you ever feel the need to write? I mean, it’s like all these words start to clog up your head and you just have to spit them out onto paper? Kind of like that feeling you get when your sinus’ are plugged then something happens and your head clears and you realize you can think clearly again? This has been in my head for a couple days now. Hope you enjoy it:

Silence is Golden.

I’ve heard that saying many times. But is it? I’ve also saw a bumper sticker that said “Honk if you hate Noise Pollution”

My point is this: Silence is a perspective thing. To the harried mother who has dealt all day long with kids being kids and household chores and phone calls, a minute of silence would be golden. But to the person born with no hearing, to hear those same kids for one tiny minute would be just as golden.

What kind of silence do you crave? And to what extreme?

I live in a big city where the sirens yell and the trains gong and the thunder rolls louder than normal. But I hear little of it. Well, I guess I hear it all but listen to little of it.

Maybe that’s what I mean. I served on a Navy Submarine for 5 years. My bunk was right below a loud-speaker that gave reports constantly. I would sleep through all of them until it announced an emergency then I was up and at’em immediately.

What do you listen to? When your child is telling you about their day, do you listen? Or are you multi-tasking? When your love is explaining how they feel are you hearing them or are you thinking of a sassy comeback? When your client is clarifying their wants and needs are you taking notes or thinking about how to close them?

I’m struggling with a question I’ve had for days… How do you listen to silence?

Where is the happy medium in one’s life between interaction and silence? Are we limited by our environment or should we seek out more noise? Or more silence?

I learned a long time ago that God gave us two ears and only one mouth so listening should be twice as important as talking. Does that mean being silent is better? Ever know a person who is uncomfortable with silence? In the car they read road signs to you just to hear something.

I have no idea what I’m trying to say. After reading this maybe you can tell me what the hell any of this means.

Funny enough, I just realized that the words listen and silent… they have the same letters… No wonder I can’t figure it out.

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Heroic Block Party…

September 13, 2008

 

My life changed a little bit on Thursday night.

The street my office is on was blocked off for a fundraiser sponsored by a bar located on this same street. This particular bar is actually my version of Cheers where I walk in and everyone hollers out “Mr. Noodle!” (they don’t actually say Mr. Noodle but you get the picture).

Thursday night though, over 2000 people made their way to this street to raise money for the Wounded Heroes Foundation.

The bar kinda promoted it as a big party and that was what I expected as I walked out of my office onto this out-of-the-ordinary city street, devoid of parked cars, honking taxi-cabs, and double-decked tour buses. Instead, I found a street full of grills, tents, eating tables and a big stage.

Very shortly thereafter, I realized this night was completely different than what I thought it was going to be. I think it started when I saw a mom leading her 20-something year old son through the massive crowd. He had the type of cane that a blind person uses in his hand. His eyes were scarred and had that blank look of someone who can’t see. It dawned on me that he was probably one of the wounded veterans.

Then I notice another kid in a wheelchair. He had no legs.

Another young man holding a beer in one hand. His other hand is a prosthetic hand and he is standing on two prosthetic legs as well.

All the sudden, I realized that I was virtually surrounded by people with very serious life-changing injuries. But what I noticed most of all was how young they all were. The oldest man I saw was in a wheel chair and dressed in a suit. His injury wasn’t obvious in terms of a missing limb or anything but even still he was maybe late 20’s.

About this time was when the Chicago Police Department’s Bagipipe & Drum Corps started playing Amazing Grace. I do not know how I didn’t start bawling like a baby because the lump in my throat was bigger than I had ever experienced before.

By the end of the night, over $200,000 had been raised and at least 4 specially equipped vehicles had been given to some of these young men and their families.

I wish I could tell you that one politician took the stage and vowed to get our troops out of Iraq immediately. I wish I could tell you that a promise was made that not one single American would again be horribly maimed by another roadside bomb. I wish I could tell you that the evening and the response by these people taught Washington a lesson about how crazy it is that the young people of our country are returning to their families needing long-term care and prosthetic limbs.

None of that happened.

But what did happen was some of these young heroes lives were changed for the better due to the generous nature of the Americans they fought for. They weren’t drafted and sent over there. They volunteered to be there to serve which is a decision they have to justify to themselves every time they strap on that artificial leg or lower the ramp to get their wheelchair into their van.

Even writing this, I get a little choked up to think of how their lives were changed at such a young age. And, of course, the fact that these are the heroes who made it home. How many others didn’t?

Call me over-dramatic or melodramatic if you like. But if you had been there and saw these kids, some of who do not even need to shave every day yet, smile and laugh with each other while precariously balancing on fake legs and not felt as I do about it then you are a cold, cold person.

My prayer is that, whoever wins this election makes it a priority to get our troops safely out of harms way the day they take office.

Yeah… my life changed a little because I saw how drastically their lives have changed…

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Love hurts…

September 1, 2008

 

I told somebody who is very special to me that I didn’t love them.

I am pretty sure that she loved me and it hurt to tell her that.

But here’s the rub… I don’t know what it really means to love someone. I think that people expect a certain return on their investment and I don’t think I can give them that. Call it sad if you wish. Call it an excuse if you are critical. Call it crazy if you are dramatic.

But I really think that love is so enigmatic that the average Joe is confused by the meaning of it. It’s very possible that I loved this person. Pretty sure that I did. But maybe too lazy or crazy or scared to act on it. Maybe too non-committal to see it through.

My brain gets way too involved in these issues sometimes.

I wish Life came with an Owners Manual…

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Feeling Blue about my Angels…

August 17, 2008

 

As I watched them walk down the walkway to the plane I felt very sad.

Over the last week, I have come to realize just how much like me they really are.

Two little mini-me’s.

Which is a little scary in some ways. Are they going to struggle like I have to understand this thing we call life. Will they have as hard a time finding their soulmate as I have had. How will they handle the disappointments and all the bad things that will be put on their plate. Will they be better than I have been? I guess I can only hope so.

My pride doesn’t let me ask my father for advice. Will they feel like they can ask for advice from me? And, other than knowing what not to do, how good would my advice be anyway?

Coming back to my condo and being alone is where, I’m sure, these feelings are coming from. I think about the smile of excitement on their faces yesterday as we watched the Blue Angels scream by so close to each other that one tiny mistake could have been fatal.

I feel like one of those Blue Angels sometimes.

One tiny little mistake as a parent and the results could be disastrous. But, yet, the show must go on and life rushes past you with a sonic boom and there isn’t any time to think about things, you just react and hope the crowd enjoys the show. And that, at the end of the day, you safely park your jet back in the hanger.

I know this blue feeling will go away. But I will miss those two little guys till I see them walking back up that walkway. They will be smiling and excited to be back in the big city. And I will still be trying to hold the tight formation that it takes to be a parent.