Living - and already savoring - the Adventures across the backroads of western Idaho and eastern Oregon!

15 March 2011

KSTS, c’est la nouveau KISS!

I’m no life coach nor some high priest of motivation so I chart my own course of simplicity. Moderation is boring but usually the key ingredient when mixing the day up. It’s we who are the emotional swizzle sticks, not the workplace, media or our favorite mind-distracting tube shows. Can you tell I have little empathy with those who blame everything but themselves for their problems? So maybe a foray into life coaching is OK after all?

If so, KSTS is where it’s at. Keep Simple Things Simple. Can it be easier or so much damned harder than that? It would be easier if I were some Horse with No Name, wandering across Heather’s craggy southwestern plains, a milieu painted with barren beauty and endless hours of down time. That kind of simplicity, live free/live smart or die, would be interesting here in our nation’s hub. The none of us would prosper since too many cogs turn too many others. [argh] [TMM swoons, brainwaves flat-line as the Borg collective reins his free spirit back in … he blankly smiles while creating a new policy]

But, “in the evening, when the day is done, I got to have your love.” More shameless paraphrasing from the band of the week, of the millennium, Led Zep, and words that ring so true. Because, I think, all work sooner or later fades into the noise of the workplace collective, if you will. The simple things at home, live/love/happiness, are what resonate in my psyche as dancing daytime thoughts fall into place late at night.

Now if I could convince the happy pets that I get dibs on my own part of the bed…

10 March 2011

Barnyard Sabbatical

Holy Moquination! I got to thinking about the topic of career advancement and the Race to the Top the other night whilst talking to mi amigo Ken M. If you think I’m WHACKED, well, meet Ken. However, a truer and more insightful person you’re not likely to meet too soon.

When asked why I wasn’t a GS-15 yet, the express train question that often seems to rip through conversations with old friends, I smile ruefully to myself. I then explain all that glitters surely/obviously/definitely is not gold (no, not in those terms), and tell them I’m the Peter Principle Incarnate! He who can do much techie stuff, a bit of thoughtful analysis here and there, and certainly am drawn to the bright bulb of creativity. Management, in the Federal govvie sense, doesn’t allow much time for these strengths and supervisory duties aren’t rewarded in any many ways interesting to me. But I so respect people who made that leap into the nurturing of our careers, development plans and aspirations. They deserve thanks, so y’all get on that today, will you?

Regular working hours are also a binnie, eh? Maybe not for all of you – it might bore the heck out of some folks. I make up for it with the volunteer work I can do leisurely or sometimes just squeeze in. I guess that’s bittersweet yet fulfilling part of the daily tedium, but man, I’m so happy to have a job; are you also happy too (Arkansawyer, it’s rude to LOL at work!)?

Hmm, would you rather get up in the morning and deal with the barn, feed the animals and take a walk? Not a bad idea and I wish we all could take barnyard sabbaticals each year. Bet we’d be fresher at work! Though I doubt all of you would revel in farm life, I bet there’s some diversion you could find for a month. Here’s another something that just came to me. The same home clarion in my head rang, the raison d’être I preserver through my daily rounds in DC’dom:

When you tire of

All the bright light

Pace that’s killing

And you’re willing

To stay home at night

Look for me, I’ll be around.

‘I’ll be around’

Neko Case

04 March 2011

Jose and his Strange Sensation

Oh, to be a rock band! Being one in my head will have to do for now. You see, I was watching Robert Plant and the Strange Sensation last night and that’s one tight band! When one of the lead guitarists wants a change of pace, he down goes the guitar and back he comes with a bongo drum sorta thing. I can’t wait to replay the DVR recording because it proves Led Zeppelin’s music can be dramatically rearranged with non-Western instrumentation and truly sound livelier than the original scores.

“Purgatory for you, old man. Ye speaketh in vile tongues. Led Zep is da bomb! Off with ye to the Disco Dungeon.”

The 396-character expository exposition above is to underscore why older isn’t always better. Nor is the original. I’m not crazy in my mind, but realistic that the good ol’ times maybe weren’t always golden. For example, watching my son enjoying the eating of Ramen as a food group takes me back -- but he can go there alone, thank you. I learned how to use a cook book and my waistline grows ever sturdier in appreciation.

[His mind goes blank. Soothing visions of porridge, oatmeal and yoghurt touch his brain. To be erased by a sausage McGriddle sandwich that rampages across the breakfast scene, devouring the bland healthy foods in a satisfyingly carnivorous way.]

I may look the same as yesterday but does that mean some strange sensation won’t hit me. I might act differently and put on the Devo Hat of Bureaucracy, sitting there severely with a green accountant’s eyeshade and a punctilious fresh pencil, drafting policies that make the world a better place. I just might go an hour without smiling or laughing, stopping frequently to square-off everything on the desk so it’s just right. Then I’ll attend a meeting and my mind won’t once wander far afield into elvish woods.

With a shudder, that strange sensation passes. I remain Jose and saunter into my future, knowing I’m still me. Older, maybe better/maybe not, but definitely a tighter act. Let’s all get out there today and I’ll see you on the stage!

03 March 2011

On a Grey Horizon, Part Deux

I don’t know that I aspire to be a writer but your collective positive feedback keeps me coming on. I juggle too many life roles to join a writers club, so the blog suffices. [the crowd gives an eclectic shout-out to Andrea P, she who blends words at a prodigious rate every day!] I feel for the guy below as he meanders through post-apocalyptic Nowhere to some unclear Somewhere. The destinations don’t matter to me as much as the feelings, hence why I so respect Fiodor D. and Aleksandr S.

[sigh] Truth be told, as an author I would be an impoverished ragamuffin living out my days in some lonely corner of the coffee shop.

It’s all clear

I was meant to be here.

But why, my dear,

if I can’t recall?

I have so much to care about,

kaleidoscopic memories,

visions in the night,

and the parts of you

that you let me keep.

But can I handle it,

the dangers of “Imagine if…”

when I try to collect pieces of me

lying lonely when you let me go?

His stumbling gait took him along the river, feeling the angry pebbles chattering underfoot, irritated at his early morning passage. Having left the love of his life quietly lifeless on the hillside, he half-heartedly continued his search for the seashore. The radio’s last gasps had promised them food and shelter at misery’s end, that town with that odd name. Would that it were so and that the soft tides of Puget Sound would be a salve for his sadness.

He felt her spirit floating nearby as he made plans for them both, not yet knowing how to breathe alone. Ruefully sighing at the folly of his new life, he plopped down alongside a wizened tree. A lizard skittered on a rock. Funny, he thought, how running into the wind blows away those things you can’t handle.

Drooling, he left behind thoughts of the queen of his nights and instead contemplated lizard fricassee a la carte. Funny too, he thought, how having a warped sense of humor was so important in a time of turbulence, this wintertime of his life.

01 March 2011

Things I think I know or Wish were true

Come to think of it, that can be the same thing.

Low-hanging fruit, aka The Easy Ones

· My job is worth your tax dollars / my job is worth this commute / my commute enables this blog (how easy that one was!)

· Genetics cause kids pickiness at mealtime, not the Ogre of a Mother’s parenting style

· There is some type of afterlife, you choose the flavor; for a sentient being, the alternative is depressing

· We all got rhythm and humor, it’s just harder to find/understand/accept in some of us!

· Some certain percentage of people are crappy or intentionally idiotic drivers; cities are worse only because of population density (pseudo-proof: my recent two near-misses in February both were with only the idiots and I within the same mini-ZIP code)

· People still like paper books

· A certain percentage of commuter drivers always will avoid the convenient toll roads just to save a few bucks

· Pulling the government out of the housing mortgage lending market will dramatically alter our country within our lifetime

· The Blues #1: Too much commuter bus careening makes the bathroom’s blue toilet water, that smells Oh So Flowery, slosh around a bit too energetically

· The Blues #2: The Blue Men, one of whom looks suspiciously like Arkansawyer…

Tough nuts, like in the movie Ice Age

· We don’t directly cause global warming but sure do worsen it every day

· People who habitually run red lights don’t live as long

· The people who agonize over the rising price of gasoline often haven’t figured out that skipping one family restaurant meal out per month, say at even $50, more than offsets the price difference (aka, whining). The tougher part/compassionate waiver is for those who already never eat out because they’re already living on the edge.

· So many folks preach how they love their parents and familial elders (uncles & aunts), but I think that’s suspicious because too many older folks live a cold miserable life on a basically bare-subsistence level. If I'm in fact right, it would explain why no one is around to toss them even a hundred bucks a month to put some meat on the table.