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February 17, 2008

Valentine's Made Simple

I feel a Return of the Jedi coming on. I've been laying low for the last couple months doing my things, living life, finding rhythm.

The fact is that not much is new. My job is taking a lot of time, I'm still volunteering at the Lab of Ornithology, Dixie and I walk about 6 miles a day, I'm taking Astronomy in night school, serving on the board of Ithaca Forward, planning Earth Week 2008 and still trying to find the time to date. About now, I just want to be surfing.

The plan is still in effect, sell everything, hopefully by summer 2009, which seems so far away, and get back to what I do best: adventuring. I have the means now to do just about whatever I can conceive of and the options seem endless. Daily I have far flung dreams and the challenge is not jumping in to them too quickly. If I move too quickly, I'll lose everything I've put together in the last few years, mostly career and financial stability, which rank pretty low in my overall priorities, but then holding it all together is my ultimate goal. I'd leave Ithaca immediately if I didn't think I were working to save the environment.

The fast plan, for Summer 2008, really requires me to get my ducks in a row. I have all these things to sell and I'm not making any progress. I need someone to come over and sell stuff 24 hours a day; it's a mess in here, transformers, GI Joe, Star Wars and other toys from the 80s. I should open my own store. The workload is overwhelming when combined with everything else I do so either I let it all go without any cash return or I simplify my life.

On another note, Valentine's passed recently and everyone I know was hating on the holiday. OK so it's a marketer's holiday, but just let it be. People don't hate on Christmas and that's just as manufactured. What's real about Christmas? Coca-Cola is responsible for the red and white santa for chissakes. And does anyone think Jesus was born anywhere near this day? Research the evolution of the Calendar.

Valentine's just has this emotional piece that seems so cheap in a Hallmark, but that's no reason to hate on the whole thing. I haven't run into many real women that expect diamonds or even flowers, mostly it's just good night to go out. Get a reservation someplace nice and plan for a night out. If you don't have enough money to go to a restaurant that takes reservations, make sure you get your name on the list early enough not to wait. It's OK to wait on someone while they are getting ready, but it's not OK to wait in the lobby of Chili's on Valentine's. If you don't have enough money for a moderate chain, you'll have to cook. Even if grilled cheese is the only thing you know how to cook, you should still cook it. The holiday isn't a big deal, just do it without muttering any complaints and you'll come out a hero while completely avoiding jewelry and Hallmark. It's simple. If you're woman demands jewelry, it's time to leave unless you understand that you are dating a gold digger.

Compare Valentine's to a birthday and you'll see how simple it really is. Birthday's are a nightmare if done right, that is, with originality from year to year. So quit whining and handle it. If you're single you can still whine, just don't go overboard.

In preparation for my sailing classes this spring, I'm assembling a few related songs. Modest Mouse feels really poignant now.

Excerpts from Modest Mouse - “Missed The Boat”

      Oh, and we carried it all so well
      As if we got a new position
      Oh, and I laugh all the way to hell
      Saying yes, this is a fine promotion
      Oh, and I laugh all the way to hell

      Of course everyone goes crazy
      Over such and such and such
      We made ourselves a ??
      We just used it as a crutch
      We were suddenly uncertain
      At least I'm pretty sure I am
      Well we didn't need the water
      But we just built that go god damn

      Was it ever worth it?
      Was there all that much to gain?
      Well we knew we missed the boat
      And we'd already missed the plane
      We didn't read the invite
      We just dance at our wake
      All our favorites were playing
      So we could shake, shake, shake, shake, shake

      Tiny curtains open and we heard the tiny clap of little hands
      A tiny man would tell a little joke and get a tiny laugh from all the folks
      Sitting drifting around in bubbles and thinking it was us that carried them
      When we finally got it figured out that we had truly missed the boat

      Oh, and we carried it all so well
      As if we got a new position
      Oh, and we owned all the tools ourselves
      But not the skills to make a shelf with
      Oh, what useless tools ourselves