My status

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Orlando or bust?

Spent last week in Orlando at a VoiceCon 2008 conference. It wasn't nearly as much fun as I would have imagined it might have been. Bored, tired technical seminars and just a plain-jabe exhibit hall. The food of course by Naw'lins standards was just about par with takeout, nothing exciting --- I did get most of my tasks completed and contacts were established with all critical industry players at the event, but all of that could have been facilitate in 1 day, not 5. All in all, I still find myself tired from the whole shebang as well as the piles of tasks I had waiting for me to analyze and sort out when I returned to my faithful grindwheel.

Oh grand grindwheel show me how you turn...grind my will down to dust and then leave me here to burn...abandon me, but make me remember why I came...for Andy is merely a good distraction at best on this big orbiting plain...dust to dust, distraction is my only saving grace is my ability to adapt, like steel to rust...I only watch myself change...let each of us take their swing at the plate, for Andy is always good for another meaningless date....another time, another place --- how far will I go, then realize it might be too late to turn the clock back, to redeem myself, to rebuild who I am? When do I reach that line in the sand?

Or have I already used all of the sand in my hourglass....grinding away on the stone?

Smile....just grind and smile....and grind and bear it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Relax on the Road...

I tell you what...waking up at 5AM and leaving at 5:45AM has not been difficult so far due to the move to Mandeville, but it has definitely been a change. The ride has made things substantially calmer, and I find myself relaxing to a larger extent and actually having more energy since the move. Is it the long drive across the causeway (24+ miles) that calms me down and allows me time to unwind after the stress of work, or just life in general...time will only tell.

For now, it is a wonderful distraction...kinda of my speciality. :)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Fatherly Message

I think back through my life and find myself at times searching for some deeper understanding of my father. A man born into poverty in Richton, MS in a church parsonage. The boy who had to endure the trials of military academy and a orphanage as well as 13 grade schools, while at the same time realizing the lost of his own father --- by choice, he simply left his own family. What is a son without a father, without a proper role model for being a man? Why did the grandfather I never knew have to leave and give up on his own family, his future generations, give up on my own father?

While there are many ways to convict my father for the transgressions of fear, violence and abuse that permeated from his hands, I step back to wonder had his life been different, would his actions have changed likewise? Would he have been a more understanding, patient and emotional person? I juat cannot get past the understanding of his actions, nor how as a father myself to how one would injure those responsilbe only to protect and encourage. My father in spite of his negativity, sacrificed himself completely for the benefit of his children, sometimes at own expense in terms of fear and sanity, but at the end of the day --- he chose to provide his children a better life. A better life than a poor Mississippi country town, a better life than poor white trash, a better life than he ever had. The things I will always remember about my father are his work ethic, his intelligence, and mostly his convictions: "promise to always keep your word", because at the end of the day, that is sometimes all you have left to give. Sandwiched within that is the ever-present fear, violence, torture and humiliation that we all endured so regularly. I just don't know how to balance the positive with the overwhelming oppresion.

I will also remember the influence that poetry had upon this man, and the contrast between his actions as a father at times and the purity and vision captured in his poetic recitals. I will always remember the words of "If" by Kipling, the verses than rang forth from poems such as "Columbus" by J. Miller.....recalling as a child the conviction and emotion of the first lines ringing through my head, only trying to imagine the vision of the land he spoke of.... "Behind him lay the gray azores, behind him lay the gates of Hercules, Before him not the ghost of shores, before him only shoreless seas......" ---- and of course the favorites such as "Invictus" by William Henley which spoke powerfully, "I am the master of my fate...I am the captain of my soul...."

I can only hope that as a man today I can say that I have forgiven my father, but I just cannot completely understand it all. I do respect him for the good he brought, the lessons that were so painfully learned as a child, but mean so much to me as a man. My father failed, failed by inflicting us all with a tremendous amount of unnecessary harm, violence and fear. I have failed myself and grew more critical of myself due to the extreme criticism I was place under during my life. But, alas...thick skin is a good thing and it has helped me grow and be strong. I have certainly fallen short of my abilities, perhaps even my own dreams, but I have tried, tried so hard to make myself proud, to make myself feel that I have achieved something worthy...worthy of my own acceptance of myself...worthy that my children will know me to be a good father in spite of my guilt and failures of making them grow up in a broken, seperated home.

Sometimes karma has a way of making it around full-circle and you do reap what you sow.

Life has a way of reminding you all of the time how you have hurt others, how your actions have affected those who chose to be part of your life...perhaps I never truly understood how to love anyone completely, perhaps I have never truly accepted my own shortcomings, and I don't want to hurt or let anyone else down again. I will always carry the scars of the past, both received and inflicted and that is what keeps me human, keeps my reaching for something better as a man and as a father myself. I carry the weight of my guilt for those who I have hurt and that is what keeps me more private, more reserved than most. I just hope that I can keep growing and maturing into someone better than I am today. To see the need in the world, and not just the selfishness of my own walk, to see others completely and not be lost in them, but to never lose myself...again.

To be just Andy....

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Looking Back?

I have often wondered that if you spend time thinking about the past, is it time wasted? Is it really that bad for you as long as it doesn't force you to stop moving forward in the present? Why has it always received such a strong negative outpouring of criticism and shun? Is it really akin to "he who must not be named????"

I think about my missteps, my failures and my choices much more than I care to say I think of what some might consider my more positive moments. I think I can still learn more from what I classify as my shortcomings and my failures. Not in the traditional sense of a failing grade or a failure in business, but just not handling someone's feelings with proper amount of care, or perhaps not being entirely present during a relationship, perhaps even being too honest and too concerned with myself and my walk to recognize the affect, my lack of presence had upon others...

I am constantly trying to correct my spiritual walk, my intentions and my thoughts.
I believe that it is entirely true that your thoughts help determine your path in life and at least the way you respond to the events you face. It is not up to me to figure out why some people find it easier to write people off, or banish them completely when they are part of their past. It is just one life we have to walk, collect memories of our moments, choose those we want to share these moments with, (no matter how briefly) and move onward towards our ultimate demise.

I don't fear the past, nor the demons that remind me of the steps I made both upon the road to good intentions and the road of truth. I have witnessed some incredibly moving moments, and I push myself to live life and only fear the monotony of the days that dare to remove every last bit of excitement out of my life. I look forward to new experiences, new moments, but I will never lose sight of the power of the occassional backwards glance...if only for a moment, I recall those who were once there but have gone, but will always remain in my mind and my heart.

If only for a moment, I recall the split-second trigger pulls that catapulted my life into so many new dimensions and new levels of guilt and pain. I recall the moments of horror that taught me how to appreciate the simplicity of being at peace with yourself and be more empathetic to others. I recall those who I thought I must have loved, as much I could understand that elusive spirit during those moments, but the experiences I will carry with me forever. I will cherish all of those who called me a friend and who took the incredible patience and time to truly know me, truly see through the layers, see through the pain and guilt, see the man who saw the world as a child, and knew that no matter was so glorious, it was so perfect. Life is such a treasure.

So, I say the past is no more dangerous than looking down the mountainside from which you just is a perspective, it is a way of knowing how far you have arisen, how much you have endured, and how much time you have spent on this earth...maybe even show you how fun all of this truly can be.

Laugh, Smile and Be yourself....but forget not where you have come from, nor who
you have become.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Moving further away from sanity?

Well, got the majority of the moving done this past weekend and got an offer on the home in Metairie already. The moving company, Atmosphere Movers were excellent and highly recommended. Unpacking boxes and trying to maintain sanity are the two major issues of the day. I measured the distance of 40.1 miles from door to door from the new home in Mandeville. Leaving at 0545CST, I got to work right at 6:35. (50 mins) This versus the 6 miles or what would take about 12-15 minutes from Metairie at the same departure time. Trade-offs...quality of life? Additional expense? yet TBD at this point, but at least the weekends should be more enjoyable! :)

Blah...Gotta get more energy and more sleep.
Pics to follow soon! :)