Thursday, June 30, 2005

Happy 4th of July

The 4th is my favorite holiday. There's usually no family committement like a thanksgiving or Christmas. No ton of money to spend on gifts like birthdays or Christmas. No false religious bull like Easter or Christmas.

Can you guess my least favorite holiday?

The 4th is just fun and friends. It combines the best of life for a mid-western American male: Explosives, beer, and cow flesh grilling. How can you beat that?

Friends are coming over for the 4th. Other friends - good friends - are flying in from South Carolina on Friday. Originally from Virginia they used to live here before an untimely job change. Now they're back in Cincinnati to catch up with various friends. They're coming by our place on Saturday.

The 4th and visits will be good. I need a little change. Once again I seem to be stuck in a mood rut. Things are going well career wise. I'm starting to fear that I'm just a stuck in a mood rut kind of guy. If this keeps up I'm calling in the miracle workers of Big Pharma.

When I was younger (20 or so) I made a list of things to avoid to have a pretty successful life. This included:
Not spending any time in jail.
Not getting a DUI.
Not getting myself fired from a job.
Not becoming an alcoholic.
Not screwing around on my wife.
Not getting divorced.
Not having to borrow money from relatives.
Not beating my kids.
Not having to live with my parents.

I figured if I could avoid any of the above I'd be a success. Well, I've never done any of the above and I don't always feel like a success. I think it's that "Not" in front of everything. Pretty negative. "If I avoid things, that will be good." The list should have been more positive, but at the time, surveying the wrecks of lives around me, avoiding those things seemed pretty good. It's not that I want to cheat on my wife or become a booze-hound, it's just that it needs to be more positive.

I also need to change my mindset. I read somewhere that life "is the road, not the inn." (Chaucer maybe) It's the trip that counts. Maybe it's a Protestant work ethic thing but I have the end in mind too much. It's like those family trips where my dad was intent on "getting there" even if no one really wanted to be "there." We delayed bathroom breaks, we passed up those brown tourist signs on the highway that looked interesting. We didn't stop at the kitch shops along the way (the south always had wonderfully tacky shops I wanted to see.) I still have a kid's curiousity about what Ruby Falls is.

Why couldn't we stop? So what if it took 5 hours to get to Detroit instead of the 3 hours and 10 minutes it usually took (yes, I still remember the time door to door to grandpa's house). So I have to remind myself to stop and (oh, God, am I going to really write this) smell the roses.

Have a happy 4th and consider taking up one of my traditions for this best of holidays. Go rent 1776.

Update: Come back soon, because I had another idea for a project and I need to test my microphone and a audio program I have. Soon Howard Speaks. You'll get to hear first hand my nasally drone.

Stay You.
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