Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Morning moment

I am waking up slowly this day. A full, fragrant cup of coffee leisurely sipped and white frost on the panes of glass that are letting the golden sunshine seep in. I blink my eyes methodically and allow the quiet music to find its way into my mind. Sleeping in and waking to a natural rhythm has found me rested and I wonder what this day might hold. It will be what I make of it.

A small list of things to do, tagged to the refrigerator door with a whimsical magnet brought to me by a friend is all that beckons for my time. Easily accomplished and then what? I may just wander a bit today. I would like to see some art, maybe sit a spell at the coffee shop and look at strangers. Everyone bundles up more when the weather turns and in all the stamping of feet, chuffing and rosy cheeks, I find a certain cheer. I do have a new National Geographic magazine to read, which has turned into a Broadway Cafe tradition. My Mom buys me a subscription each year for Christmas. I, in turn read them at the coffee shop and then leave them there to be shared with and enjoyed by others. I might even just wear a scarf.

I think I will spend this day with myself. Enjoy my solitary time. Maybe take out my Christmas decorations and look at them. I cannot yet tell if it is time to decorate and put up the tree. I will not be rushed into this season by the overzealous retailers or the strange whimsy of friends that already are ready for the holiday. Strange folks, rushing from celebration to the next. I appreciate the time in between. That time of pause and reflection after Thanksgiving and before the beginning of Advent. It would be nice to go to church this Sunday. I may plan on that after working that morning.

A bit more coffee and reflection time and I will start my day. A long hot shower, a clean shave, pick up my room a bit and make my bed. It is time to put on an blanket and switch to my down comforter. Last nights bundling up and the tangle of sheets and pillows left this morning tell me that the cold is here to stay. It never hurts to have a warm nest, even when there is no one to share it with. Long nights, good books and restful sleep. It is a good recipe for morning smiles. I know these words are just tumbling out but they feel nice. To not ponder and wrest over them but let them scatter and plink down, like a handful of change onto a plate. Pleasant.


Monday, November 26, 2012

All is well

Sometimes I log on here and wish more people were writing, so I would have more to read. Kind of like now. Then I thought, I haven't been writing much lately myself, so maybe other people feel the same way. I can't say that I have a lot on my mind or some pressing concern, but that has never stopped me from rambling before.

I had today off of work. I consider Monday and Tuesday my Saturday and Sunday, or weekend, so that makes Sunday night my Friday night. Did you catch all that? So Sunday afternoon I got together with a huge group of my friends for two reasons. The first was the watch the Chiefs play the Broncos. I can't say that I am a huge sports fan, but I do like to watch a good close game and they didn't disappoint. Sure we got our asses handed to us, as we have all season, but we had a good time whooping and hollering and wishing, even just for a moment that our home team might win.

The other reason was to celebrate Bootsie's birthday. Now that isn't his real name, but a nickname he has always used whose origins are kind of lost to lore and time. Who cares how he got it, the fact is, he is an awesome guy and does so much for our community and group of friends year in and year out. I have known him since I was around 18 years old and him, his huge smile and fantastically dapper dress hats have been a part of the tapestry of my life. His husband of 26 years passed away this last spring and we have all rallied for him as he dealt with loss. He never stopped volunteering, cooking, organizing and helping out all the different organizations and people who rely on him through it all. Needless to say, it was a HUGE party. Michael let us use his club to have the party at and by the time the game was over the place was packed! Tons of food, friends, stories and good times. I have to say, it was really good to see some of the guys I had missed and reconnect with old friends. This may not be the best place in the world to live but I can say that this community and group of people truly love each other, watch out for each other and celebrate life together in a way that warms my heart. It was a really great afternoon and evening. All the scoundrels I know and love were there and wouldn't stop buying me shots, so by the time my friends wrangled me to the car, I was feeling no pain! It felt good to just relax and let someone else be responsible for a change. :)

Today I just took it easy. Slept in, read some, watched a movie, cooked good food and rested. I am learning that I don't recover from a party quite as fast as I used to and it was good to have some peace and quiet. I woke up and discovered that I had a flat tire on my car. I had noticed it looked a bit low after work yesterday, but figured I would air it up after the party. Turns out I had picked up a sheet metal screw in the front right treads so I pulled it into the garage, popped the tire off and ran it up to my buddy Jack's shop. If I have to have a flat tire, this was the best way to have it. At home, in the driveway, adjacent to tools, with an air compressor, jack and everything I need to handle the problem close at hand. Jack fixed it for free, which rocked so I will be taking him and the guys lunch some time this next week as a thank you. A large deli platter of meats, cheeses and breads should do the trick. I am thankful for all the ways he has helped me out with my various machines over the years.

Well look at that! This page is filling up with words, dinner is almost ready and the laundry is halfway done. Not bad for lack of inspiration. I hope you all are well, wherever you are and that the holidays were enjoyed with family and friends. I know we had a great time. It was really one of the best family events we have had in a long while. My little niece completely cracks me up. Even at five years old, she is a pistol! I guess it is time to go eat and relax for the evening so I will wrap this up. Tomorrow I think I might just start in on my Christmas decorating! Ciao for now.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Thanksgiving Prep

Today is going to be a whirlwind of activity, at least for a day off from work. My "vacation" is drawing to a close and I have to say I have certainly enjoyed it. I took a short trip across state to St. Louis for some family (Mayflower Society Luncheon) and friends (buddies I haven't seen for a few years) stuff. I bought a new lawnmower (a Craftsman in bright red) and mulched all my leaves in the yard yesterday. I then managed to find the time to hang out with my friends here in KC (out for a few beers and shooting pool), got some inside work done around the house (ie cleaning and organizing), relaxed and slept in each day(at least till 6 am)  read a lot (new books from the Library), watched a few interesting movies and composed the longest run on sentence I can ever remember just right now. :)

As I sat down to write this, my thoughts flipped quickly back to this last year and the where and who I was at the time. Michael and I were together, slowly getting more serious and just entering the holiday season again. Hard to believe the massive changes even one year can make two people's lives. I am going to leave that line of thought and sentiment alone right now, just for my heart and mind's sake. I know he is well and for that I am thankful.

So...I have been kind of scrapping together a mental to do list for this day as I wait for my brain to boot up. I go back to work briefly tomorrow morning to cook breakfast for the hotel guests(happy, happy, joy, joy) and then will be headed out to my parents for the Thanksgiving holiday with the family. It will just be immediate family this year, which is a relief. The massive holidays spent at the farm with everyone, their families and children were amazing growing up, but as I get older, they aren't exactly something I look forward to anymore. They just aren't the same without Grandpa and Grandma around.

The short list: Bake Pumpkin Ginger Bread, bake Apple and Pumpkin pies, finish thawing/prepping the Turkey, wash my car and hit the store for a bag of Yukon Gold potatoes and fresh Green Beans. I think I can prolly get all that done before noon or so, if I hop to it now.  We all pitch in and bring everything we need to put the meal together in order to give my Mom a break from cooking, though she always manages to get in the middle of it all and add her special touches with love. I am looking forward to seeing my Dad, Mom and siblings all in the same place at the same time! We so rarely get together as our lives have become more busy and involved over the years. Tomorrow will be a great day for all of us to cook together, sit down, relax and eat a meal at the same table and catch up on what this past year has been for us all. It would have been nice to have the whole day off as well, but I am thankful for the five days I had off before the Holiday. I can't remember a more relaxing time in a long while.

Well, it's time to make some coffee and get cracking in my kitchen here at home. Wherever you are, and whatever your plans may be for this Holiday, I hope that you can find something or many things to be thankful for. Families, whether blood or creation, are never perfect. I don't think they are supposed to be. Whomever you are with or not with, know that you are not alone. I think that is something to really be grateful for.


Sunday, November 18, 2012


I am changing.

These words may seem like a statement of the obvious, as they elucidate the fact that none of us are the same from one moment to the next, but I feel there is something more profound in effect occurring in my life. A subterranean shifting deep within the core of my person has been noted on my emotional and mental seismograph. It has been slow and subtle over time, so quiet in fact that I have not been aware of it until as of late. Perchance something so large can only proceed with the quiet, steady passing of time revealing itself on the surface of our lives as we become aware of it during quiet reflection.

A thought sprang to my mind several days ago which has not turned loose of me. It keeps orbiting in my mind, fading from sound and sight for awhile and then returning in moments like these. It was simply this. The individual that I am on the inside is not the person that I wear on the outside.

This may initially appear as a revealing statement about conflicting divergent authenticity and the integrity of my internal life with  my external presentation to the world at large, but I feel it is something rather different than the obvious instant answer. I do not feel duplicitous or evasive in the manner in which I live my life. The way that I present tends to be an at times all too clear example of what is on my heart and mind. Thoughts tend to come across my stream of consciousness and instantly bypass any type of socially imposed filter to me verbalized or acted upon. This is not to say that I am impetuous or suffer from lack of self awareness but as I am, so I live. There are positive and negative aspects to this manner of living which I will not enumerate now but, by and large, it has served me well over the years.

What I am searching to define here, as much for myself as for you, is that there seems to be notes of discordancy in the music of my mind and heart that have been playing much too low for me to be aware of and certainly that have not raised in volume enough to be sensed and heard by all of the other people who make up the cast and fabric of my life. As I am beginning to note it, I am simply listening to myself and not attempting to instantly start deconstructing it in an attempt to formulate a plan for resolution or eradication, as is all too often the case for me. I have become aware of the ongoing occurrence and am choosing to sit and wait.

I do not sense that it is negative or harmful to myself but rather a creation or synthesis that is effecting change in small and almost imperceptible ways. I realize that this is an elusive concept to try to define and it may be taxing my mind to communicate about it at such an early juncture, but I needed to at least capture this sense as it happened to place a landmark of awareness in place. My interior does not match my exterior, metaphorically, as it once did and the new things that I am discovering, or old things that I am rediscovering about myself are exciting, vibrant, interesting and life altering, at least to me.

What I hope to do during this awakening time is to be present, not simply to understand and become aware of what this growing and shifting is, but to be able to eventually communicate, share and live out these new facets and interior depths with those in my life I care about and the people I come in contact with every day. There is much more to me than meets the eye. There is much more to everyone than what we can see. I want to share and want to be shared with. The obstacles are many but I think it can be done. It must be done.

So in these middle times, I will listen and wait. Foundational plates are shifting while rock groans and in the far distance I hear the sounds of a new old orchestra tuning up, everyone playing everything and nothing at once together.

I think this is anticipation.


Saturday, November 17, 2012


I have a ton of thoughts but no words to share them at the moment.

I have six days off of work and spent the last one traveling.

I have to get some rest.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

In the quiet

Waking up slowly today. Stayed up a bit too late last night finishing a book I have been working on for a week now. It felt good to finally put the story to rest and find out what happened to those characters. Life is not tidy like that. There are so many unfinished stories about all the people we meet, spend time with, cross paths and walk a bit with and then carry on about on our own journeys. Sometimes the beginning is the end but other times life has a funny way of circling back again to familiar faces with new stories and we get to share life and fill in the missing chapters. One never knows how any of it will begin or start but that is part of the adventure.

Life has felt a bit flat lately. I suppose that some of that is the monotony and pattern of work. A chef's work is never done as people have this annoying addiction of eating every single day, at least in this country. Already my mind is turning to my food prep and to do list for today but I still want to carve out a few moments to write here before I hit the road. I sometimes reflect at the end of the day at how simple and uncomplicated my life is and find myself equally thankful for the quiet and a bit concerned at the stark difference it is now compared to my not so recent past.

People do come and go. There are seasons to us all and things change over time. This seems to be a chapter in my life where old things are ceasing, slowly fading away without a foreshadowing of what is to come next. All of my friends, myself included, seemed to wrapped up in the details of our lives that getting together is not the priority it once was. They drift through my mind at different times of the day but I don't quite feel like reaching out to disturb the quietness that I have found. It is not a matter of social laziness but I see no need to continue to expend energy to reassure myself that I am known and appreciated. I accept that I am and find myself content with this more tranquil time. I know there are many others who would envy this peace that I have found.

As this year grows to a close, the pace will be picking up and there seems to be so many things that are slowly filling up my calender in the next two months. I know that it will be busy with family, friends, holidays, traveling and of course cooking for all the year end festivities and events at work. Instead of rushing through this space to get to the other side, I believe I am going to enjoy this quiet. I have time to listen to music, practice piano, take long drives in the country, read selected books, wander around the city taking photos, sit at my coffee shop, watch the leaves fall off my trees and reflect on what was, what is and what will be. Not having something planned for every single day of the week is a good thing and no longer strikes that sense of missingness  that it once did.

I work. I rest. I spend time with myself. I enjoy this life I am making. All the other things will come in their time.


Friday, November 2, 2012


I could write words here. I guess I am. The fact that you are reading them now tells me so. Or rather, the fact that you will be reading them shows me that I did. Maybe no one reads them. I can't say that I am writing for you, though this is available for others, so maybe in a tiny way I am.

Usually I am inspired. I have something on my mind or a question. Sometimes I just ramble on about what's going on in my life. I list the things that I did, or want to do. Other times I yell and scream about stuff that makes me mad. For some odd reason, those seem to be that most popular posts. Well, those or the ones that mention sex. Funny that extreme emotions or sexual details tend to make people curious. I know that they do me. But they can't be conjured or extrapolated out of thin air.

Life has been busy and at the same time it has been slow. You know what I mean. Or maybe you don't. I really do not know because I don't know who you are. That is okay though. At least you took a few moments to peer into my life. You can look around at all the stuff here if you like, but it will not matter that much if you do. Some posts here are like a loaded gun, others just bits of fluff that kind of float out of my head at different times. The years and the words are adding up.

I don't get that upset about much anymore. It is not that things do not bother me, but my outlook and response is different. I do not rage against that which I cannot change. I refuse to waste my time arguing with people whom have already made up their minds. All that those people do is frustrate me and spend minutes and hours of my life which I cannot get back. Maybe someday I will be mad again. Maybe I will write about it or perhaps I will not. I don't write about sex 'cause I am not having any at the moment, not that I ever really wrote much about that part of my private life anyway. Some things are best kept between those who share them, not the world at large. Getting used to being single takes days, every one of them at a time until one day I will wake up and not think about him at all. I just haven't been in the mood to get tangled up with anyone, not even for a night or two.

It is a beautiful fall day. It would be a good day for holding hands, skipping and crunching through the leaves down my street. I have a street full of colorful leaves, bright sunshine and a hand to hold. I realize that most of my infrequent free time is not spent in looking for things to do, but rather looking up and around for someone to do them with. I am drowning in a sea of friends that, for all intents and purposes, I seem resolved to avoid lately. I don't mind surfing in and near a crowd, but I'd rather not get involved. I listen to the voice mails, I see the texts but I rarely respond. I enjoy my own company and that is enough for me right now. People don't seem to understand that we are someone when we are not with them and even though we may be far and silent at times, it does not mean that we are not well.

I think that is enough words for now.