Saturday, October 31, 2009

There are things I cannot forget, I wish none had happened yet, We were stronger than the preachers, We were wiser than the wall

Tonight as I kick back after a piece of 'America 'Heck' Yea' Halloween cake, I think about the artical I read concerning the conflict in Afghanistan.  Seems as though helicoptors are used to 'mermite' in ice cream and fried chicken to forward operating bases, and participants in the region look foward to 'karoke night.'

With such distractions, it's easy to take your eyes off the prize.  Objectives are defined, but they are difficult, time will tell if insurmountable, but as it stands I find it difficult to see the nationalization of these campaigns from the ground.

Lately I've been thinking about getting a new shirt or two, and some pants that fit.  I've been running in the morning, running in the afternoon, and the .5 miles to my chu I've been running full speed on the way home.  Guess kinda like gump, I can just see one of these 'spooky people' here go, wow, what's that guy's problem!?  I would think that Gump ran b/c there wasn't anything particular on his mind, so it just came to him -- I think I run b/c the ambiguity in the job and life have forced gridlock.  Gridlock in the same way you have a quadruple knot that's been tighened and tightened, and you have nothing but your fingers with no fingernails to get it undone.

Something Billy Bragg says, 'its just like being on a fast ride at a fun fair, the kind you want to get off b/c its scary, but when you're off you want to get right back on again' -- I think about that one out here, as we approach BIAP for our obligatory surf and turf -- that close to hoppin' on a plane, but then what?

Attitude is something you take with you everywhere, bring a bad attitude you'll leave with one.  Out here I have become and play the role of the quintessential 'nerd', that's how I came, that's the way I'll leave.

It's hard to get a 'read' on ANYONE out here b/c of the freakish nature of the roles and responsibilities.  What was this person like at 'home,?' I often find myself thinking. 

There's a lot of fraternization out here, but little cause for unity in hardship. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Well they're swapping pharmaceuticals in Mussolini Park And they're wigglin' and wobbilin' and dozin' in the dark

this week sees a wave of my friends off to friendly shores -- the transient nature of the people out here is strange and difficult but very fulfilling. i realize when i leave next summer very few of the people I've started this journey with will be around.

a wise friend said to cultivate relationships with the people, its all about the people. people are what make any situation dynamic.

a good buddy mine out here, in a farewell speech said 'do something with your time.' all kinds of time and all kinds of opportunities are presented to us on a daily basis, and most people out here capitalize on that in many ways. I've been learning patience, and that patience will allow me to seize not just opportunities, but the right opportunities for a bright future.

I feel strangely at home here now, I know the guy on the poster from the local shop, i know Rita at the coffee shop is from Kathmandu, i know where a lot of the Indian nationals call home. Comfort is in the little details. Finding beauty in the simple things, Thoreau is where I'm at mentally, although I won't physically follow that route for some time.

tonight i toast a big liter bottle of water to friends who are departing back to families, its not a goodbye, merely a see you later, and a sincere thank you for the perspective.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Since you've been asleep, We washed your purple veil, Called father daniel, Asked the undertaker for an extra day

Today was an old school David Garza day, which reminded me of my days as a COBOL programmer, trying to make relational magic with index files.  In those days, I tried to help build the better mouse trap so my company could sell doors and door knobs.

An underlying hardcore consistency in matters at hand is what I'm developing while hopping to and fro.  Consistency breeds emotion control.

Most things mundane, these things surreal /

** Apache helicopters partnering up to go blow something up

** the spattering of guns in the distance on the walk home

** 50 cal in the distance waking you up at night

I've come to really like the great attitude of the Ugandan people, and I look forward to visiting their country one day.
It's getting chilly'ish in the morning for the record --

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hurry home before the sky breaks out No point predicting things that happen all the time

Today doing my zombie walk to the communal shower facility I noticed der himmel ist grey, and throughout the day I was hoping to see the 3rd minute spattering of rain in the last 6 months, but to no avail. Even the birds seemed to think so, whilst sitting over the lake overlooking the bombed out Baath Party HQ building eating chicken fingers and potato wedges, they sang in jubilation at the chance of a shower.

The other two minutes of rain a few months back cleared the air, it was actually beautiful, or maybe I just thought so b/c I've grown ac costumed to this god forsaken climate and topography.

Sondre Lerche's new one has been spinnin' with me in the gym, along with audio books. What do people listen to in the gym, is it mostly 'pump you up linkin park is a roller coaster type music', or some sh*t with a 'beat' or whatever else have you?

I think about all the time I've logged on a treadmill over the last 10 years and go damn, its brought me a lot of sweat. I can recall the austin gym i worked out at, i can almost feel that sweat on my fat head. what can you do about a fat head? losing 30 lbs out here, now ppl say my head looks too big for my body...awwww, the perils of vanity.

metaphorically speaking, rain often comes with a bad connotation, rain in baghdad or sondre singing about it is beautiful and perfect. Tomorrow I believe I'm going to hit up some old Ed Harcourt to keep the pleasant singer songwriter going and to balance out Leonard Cohen's acid poetry.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

she was college educated with a phd, but she was always right and i was wrong, just another place i don't belong

strolling down amnesia lane i recall fastball playing a live acoustic show a block away from my inhabitance at the now defunct jupiter records. a brilliant show complete with keg beer and a timeless live cd.

don't ask me why that makes me think of families, however, and in random sentiment, i think of what a coworker says, 'who gets off the plane in baghdad and says 'family, we're home?'' so much depends on geography, so little depends on a lot of other things -- when i get a phd, that last sentence is what i'm going to use as a dissertation topic.

i think about how messy are the times that we live, the path of least resistance, one of a boisterous troll, but then i think about the global village we live in and think, we as a collective have this covered. (insert rainbows and unicorns and flowers and other visions of nice things)

what obstacle is there not great enough to conquer if you only just think it through, whats unreasonable after empathizing, what and challenge doesn't turn into an opportunity? i sat in the criticize everything and everyone group and i did ok, but when i joined the find a silver lining in everything group my life got exponentially better.

the world truly is flat, and i'm finding that what you make of it and what's at stake are that of personal responsibility and if you don't have that working, it makes no sense in questioning institutions or ideologies, just control what you can and move the stone, don't just do you best, that's not enough in this everyone gets a trophy world.

the planned luck to come out here and do some really good things, has been, and i HATE using the word a 'blessing,' from the blessing fairies. while doing so i miss my brothers and sisters, mummy and cousins and nieces and nephews a ton --

my time here will add some more value to my human equity, and i might even be able to get a one handed push up or two out of it.

Friday, October 16, 2009

It's easy to be easy and free when it doesn't mean anything you remain selfless, cold and composed

A common dilemma as a point to point traveller, where is the hub?  In a more concrete sense, if I have a flat tire, who do I call for help?

Decision and circumstance have had not per se and alienation effect, rather a natural distancing effect to me and even my inner circle of friends.

I see that ever pending decision, when do I rejoin the ranks of reality, or should I stay in this realm and see how deep this all goes.

My course of living life in a vacuum has brewed a contempt of the way our citizens frame the pillars that hold our civilization together.  One man's opportunity is another man's threats, we eek forward as a nation.

How can one tell when everything is in its right place and when, as a collective over the long term, you short change yourself for immediate and instant gratification?

Balance in life sits on the top of a pinhead, satin pillows all around to rest happily and comfortably, so why this fixation with the pain on my throbbing feet?

With additions to your color pallet of perspective, preconceived notions and ideologies fall by the wayside and you are dragged back to the middle, gaining autonomy along the way.  No one is your enemy, everyone is an opportunity.

There's a fine line b/w being a sociopath and someone who genuinely cares.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

And Tuesday just might go my way, It can't get worse than yesterday, Thursdays, Fridays ain't been kind, But somehow I'll survive

The benefits of casual dress is when you tuck your shirt in, people go, 'whoa, where did you come from?'

Throughout my career I've been able to eek by with casual dress.  My last job, I would come to work wearing an 80 dollar designer tee, hence getting reprimanded by our site lead, all the while two guys down from me the gentleman was wearing a camouflage shirt.  Never saw the logic in why my shirt didn't suffice but the office camo flew.

In the era of 'loose capitalism,' you will hear of the green headed dude with that tats working IT at the prosperous bank.  Fast forward 20 years from the tech bubble, IT has 'tightened up' so to speak, this guy may still be there, or he could be back at Planet K.

In similar circumstances, in the land of abundant jobs, the squeeze in white collar private sector jobs will come.  Regardless of if you're wearing a designer tee or a suit, the producer will get / keep the job.

The age old cliche of recession proofing your career during the bull market holds true, I think there's still plenty of pie to go around for those who are skilled with the fork.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Fill up these four walls with old melodies, let me know if the big light is shining on me

In the private sector, you get rewarded for on time and under budget, in the public sector, you're rewarded by building an empire.  You NEED more time, you NEED more resources.  Private sector, money is the bottom line, public sector, lives are often the bottom line.  Why the disparity in efficiency?

I keep telling myself it all comes down to personal motivation and responsibility, and for every 'hero' that lives up to their paycheck, there seems to be 3 or 4 zeros.

Hence, a typical email that gets things done has 5 to 25000 people in the cc line, in hopes of finding that person who does not go out of his or her way, but merely do their job.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

In a dirty little room in a nasty little world

A page out of Viktor Frankl's book --


You always can make the best of the day and look at the bright side of things, or you can troll around and complain about any and everything.  These complainers I've learned to avoid like the plague.  What's been replaced is a new perspective on everyone I encounter during the day, work, the walk to and from, the gym, and other random scenarios.


Everyday walking to work I see 'up there' ranking servicemen and women, and even despite the 'everyone gets a trophy' awards that seem to be given out like candy, people do, for the most part earn the stripes, or whatever other distinguishing marks.  I'm surrounded by smart people with a lot of potential.


Walking to the showers every day I see 'Frances,' an Indian 'TCN', third country national, someone I wish spoke more English, but I DO know that he loves James Bond and the Transformers.  A simple smile and hey buddy go a long way, we start off the morning with a smile and brighten each other's day.  I can only imagine it's ingrained in people like Frances's head to call everyone 'sir', I consider it a score that he tells me 'Hey Dude!.'


Similar, the servers on the main line in the DFAC, from a distance away, they see me coming, they smile and go HEY HEY HEY, b/c I smile and ask how their day is going and have a great day in return.  I only wish we had more time to speak, everyone has a story to tell.


The gym, two people, one a beautiful girl, who wears the face to society of 'hey pervert, quit looking at my butt.'  I'm sure she has a story to tell.  And then there's the guy we call the 'perfume palace pimp,' the guy who's in the gym 4 hours a day, and if he's not fixing his spiked hair in the mirror, he's checking out his bicep.  They bring spice to the place, and their presence always makes me smile.


At work when you get the right people around a conversation, times get whimsical, as they should be when parsing through something big.  The greatest joy is when someone brings contributing elements to conversation and progress is achieved.


I hang around to get the full effect of the night crew, all good people.  I've had the pleasure to make friends with people here by just offering reassurance and acknowledgement that they are there.  It often blows my mind how simplicities of acknowledging your fellow humans goes so far.


My buddy Bob once said, I used to not think I was a people person until I met Rob.  I guess people skills are something I reluctantly have and that's the way it should be.


So tomorrow, I'm going to wake up, meet and greet these people again, we'll exchange smiles, pleasantries, and ideas, and my time here will continue to fly by, and I will be sad to leave one day --


Wherever you go, there you are right?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Intelligence is dangerous, A virus of the brain you pass around, Dumb It Down

The new killer of society as we know it, the attention span deficit.  I *think* Einstein said something like 'I'm not the smartest, I just stick with things longer.'
Weather it be ridding Afghanistan of barbarians, concurrence on health care legislation, that extra 10 pounds you want to lose, or simply that book you keep puttin' off reading, the seeker seems to be a fleeting element in modern society.  While I think in context of history, the human race has been better off than it ever has, the pending issues need attention span more than anything.
News happens everyday, regardless of if there is something relevant to report or not.  The fine folks in the media who have to get the advertising dollars, or page clicks or whatever new and ingenious monetizing technique out there are giving you everything you need to know in nibble sized chunks of opinionated who-hash.
The next evilution could be in fact OW, My Balls, round the clock fun and excitement.
Why Democrat or Republican and why not 'affairs of the state,?'  Why Christian or Muslim and why not 'spirituality,?'  Why cake or pie and why not cake AND pie, why science or religion and why not 'the search for the truth,'?
Attention span, I wonder how many people use it for their benefit and how many are content with polishing rails.

All the Japanese with their yen, The party boys call the Kremlin, Slide feet up street bend your back, Shift your arm then you pull it back

It's about 64 days before touch down in Cairo.  I am excited to see the city and all of its splendor and trash.  I can't wait for a 5 star hotel on the Nile, and hot air balloon over the valley of the kings, and why not a good cheesy pyramid laser light show!
It's amazing I've been playing the game 'Civilization' since I was probably 12, so I know Egyptian culture through that lense.  Amazing a Civilization so advanced for the time, all along the Nile.  Strangly enough I've been reading with fascination about silt and the Nile.
What's exciting is that it'll be my first jaunt through a muslim country, I hope to get at least a decent view of the cultural divide that exists.  I want to go off the beaten path a little bit, but not too much.
I can always see the pivot points in life, and this trip culturally will be one of them.

Friday, October 02, 2009

This time, This time, Turning white and sense dire, Pull up, pull up, From one extreme to another

Austin City Limits music festival goes on this weekend, and I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be having some brews with friends. in 100 degree weather.

I think of the festival scene that seems to have in recent years sprung up around the states.  This is a time of charlatans that dominate the festival scene, we as an indie collective soak up every drop.

Thinking about if I was a gazillionaire, what festival would I set up?  Where, when, and who?

For starters I'd say Geneva Switzerland, perhaps sometime late August.

On Friday -- It would be 'my favorite band day' -- all the heavy hitters, Billy Bragg, Sondre Lerche, Ben Folds, Crowded House, etc culminating with a performance with Neil Hannon and the Divine Comedy.  I'd say, Neil, GO NUTS, you need a 100?  200?  people in the orchestra, you got it!

Saturday -- We'd call it beautiful nostalgia day, one in which Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen with an acoustic guitar minus the e-street band, Dylan circa early 70's and others.

Sunday -- The b-side band day, likes of the bluetones, snug, mando diao, thirteen sense, jj72 -- throw my two current favorites roman candle and blind pilot in -- with headliner roxette
-- of course we'd have to have some belle and sebastian in there too --