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These words are my diary screaming out loud

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Second Chances

A few years back, I met an asshole. Sorry, there's no nicer word for it. He was a belligerent drunk who threatened my and a friend's well-being after we made a joke that he didn't like. He said he'd never hit a girl before but he didn't have a problem doing it. He had to be physically restrained, almost had the cops called on him, and still hears about it from both people who were there that night and people who were not - apparently the story got around. For the purpose of this post, let's just call him Guy.

Guy is a musician, and is in the same circle with many musicians that I know and enjoy, so I'm always bummed when one of them comes to town with him, because frankly, he made me nervous. So I never went to those shows, but never said anything.

This week, one of those musicians came to town with Guy, and I was super bummed because it had been a while. So I tweeted that it was too bad he was playing with Guy, because it had been to long since I'd seen him but bad things happened last time I was in the same room with Guy. He replied, asking what kind of bad things, and I told him. He said he'd be my security guard, and I kinda blew him off. But not long after, I got a tweet from Guy himself - turns out they were in the car together.  He offered to put my name on the list, said that things change, and we should move past it. I told him he makes me nervous, but I'd heard that he's a different person now, so I'd be willing to give him a shot.

So I showed up, and there I was on the list. I didn't get a chance to talk to Guy before he went on stage, but after his performance I went up, thanked him for the ticket, and we chatted. He was actually pretty cool, and I could tell that he was making the effort to make amends, even if he never did actually say he was sorry for what happened that night. I made a comment that he probably didn't remember it anyways because he had been so drunk, which is when he told me he still hears about it.

Even before this incident, I wasn't a huge fan of Guy's music, so its not like I'm going to become superfan or anything like that. But I've always believed that people deserve second chances (and third and fourth and fifth... some people tell me I'm too forgiving), and that's even more true when someone puts forward the effort to right a wrong. So what this means for me is I don't have to miss shows just to avoid this guy anymore, and that's a bit of a relief. Its the little things, you know? Insignificant, perhaps, but a minor stressor that I had control over. And that's always a pretty good feeling.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Well, that was somewhat underwhelming...

Hurricane Irene has come and gone. I only lost power for about 15 minutes, starting at about 11 last night, which I only noticed because everything shutting off woke me up, then everything coming back on woke me up again. There's a tree down in the back of my apartment building, but from the front, it just looks like we had a big rainstorm.  Unfortunately, it also feels that way in my sunroom and the corner of my living room closest to my sunroom.

A few pictures from the storm:
Pat in the Hat, getting us through the storm
The clouds came in going the wrong direction

Big rain storm...

We had some pretty good wind
Water seeped in through the windows that don't open
As predicted, this hurricane was more of a pain in the butt than anything else. See ya later Irene.

Friday, August 26, 2011

This might have been the strangest week ever.


First, I threw out my hip. I sound like a 70 year old. OK, technically I didn't "throw" it out - I pulled it out of alignment and it didn't put itself back. I've spent half the week in strange pain that I can't seem to get rid of.

Then, we had an earthquake on Tuesday. Centered 80 miles from DC. 5.9, even. My office shook, the lights swayed, I freaked out a little, my cats freaked out a lot. I thought everything I owned had survived, but realized earlier tonight, as I was pulling something out of the windowsill in anticipation of the HURRICANE that's coming, that a big glass picture frame had fallen off of the top shelf of my desk, broken on the desk itself, and now there's glass all over the top of the desk and the floor under it.  All during a time where I can't so much get down on the floor and clean it up, because my hip is all a mess. So that room is now closed off, much to the dismay of the cats, until I can get in there and clean up all the glass. Awesome.

And now, we're prepping for a hurricane. Well, technically we're under tropical storm warnings here in the DC area. But 20-40mph sustained winds and possibly 3-5 inches of rain, and likely lots of power outages.  Because the earthquake wasn't enough. Or the thunderstorms we've had in the past week or two. Nope, we need a hurricane.  Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful to not be getting the worst of it. I feel for my friends in the Hampton Roads area and New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and elsewhere on the coast that will be getting it worse. For me its mostly just going to be a pain in the ass. Power outages suck, especially when you live in a high rise and the elevators stop working.

All of that combined really made this week DRAG at work. So I'm thankful for the weekend, but can't relax so much because I have a midterm I need to finish before the power goes out. Good times... So anyone reading this in Irene's path, stay safe and enjoy the ride!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sometimes I write.

I hope you don't mind indulging me for a second. I wrote this the other day, and while its nowhere near complete, I really like where its heading and wanted to at least share the words, since who knows if I'll ever finish...

She said I would be in another place now
If I'd done one thing differnet
I'd be living a life so far from this
If I'd made the other choice
I can't help but think about it
The now and what might have been
A constant game of what if in my mind
Weighs me down from time to time

I never thought my life would go this way
She says as she wipes her eyes
How could I have known I'd want this now
After a pause she cries aloud

What is really truth and lies
Who decides what's right and wrong
How would I change if I had the chance
If life gave me just one do over
Where am I supposed to go from here
Who will help me make it through
I don't know where this crazy life is taking me
And I'm not sure I'm enjoying the ride

She stops, silence weighs the room down
As it mixes with the tears
Pain hangs over us, as she settles down
And her eyes say everything

To be continued... maybe...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Is it September 20th yet??

Because on that evening, I'm getting on a plane to Paris! And I just needed to share.

I am seriously SO EXCITED. I last went to Paris in 2002, and when a work trip to Germany came up, I decided to take a couple of extra days of leave and go back to Paris for a few days too.  Even better, it looks like one of my good friends is going to be joining me. I seriously can not wait. I just made the hotel reservation, right around the corner from where I lived the first month I was there in 2002.  Now the only thing left to do is put aside the right amount of money and, MUCH closer to the trip, book the train ticket from Paris to Germany.

It really will make the days go by faster (I hope) knowing that in just 6 short weeks, I'll be enjoying Paris once again, even if it is for just 4 days. Better than nothing though!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Remembering a Hero

This weekend marks 2 years since the death of my friend, USNA classmate, and 12th/17th companymate Capt Matthew Freeman, USMC, while providing cover for fellow Marines on a rooftop in Afghanistan.  He'd just married his high school sweetheart a couple of weeks before leaving, and in fact only their families and closest friends knew that they'd gone ahead and gotten married prior to his departure.  He was only in Afghanistan for a little over a week when he was killed. (I've written a little about Matt here and here.)

The last conversation Matt had with his mother before he died was about the kids, and how they seemed to want school supplies, specifically pens and paper, more than anything, even food and water. He asked her to start up a collection and send him the supplies.  A career teacher, Mrs Freeman was all about it, and even though Matt was killed 2 days later, she decided to do it anyway. The Matthew Freeman Project: Pens and Paper for Peace, was, according to its website, "not created because Matthew is dead. Not because he died serving his country. It’s because of how he lived."

If you have a little cash or some time to spare, please help remember this true American hero and honor his final wish by making a donation to the Freeman Project - you can donate financially or help collect school supplies to send overseas. All the information is on the site.

RIP, Matt. You're sorely missed.