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Say hello to my little friend — LiveJournal
It's the holiday season again and I think I might be time to let all my friends know that you have all had a positive impact on my life. I love that you are all different, individuals. You teach me much just though observation of all your happiness, challenges, successes, disappointments and sadnesses.

Remember during this time that the people you see and interact can teach you much about life and how to live it. Watch and learn. Walking down the street, getting on the train or even in your car, open your eyes and see the many wonderful people that we get to interact with. Try and put on a smile and say hi to at least one new person per day. Be kind and polite and you'll find that your heart can find more room for yourself as you fill it with others happiness.

Happy Holidays everyone.

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Feeling things that have been hidden
that come to the surface
revealing the weak that is me
run away
Put them back away
I don't control them
they don't control me
Still feeling the feelings
knowing self that is
knowing they don't
don't feel but negative
feel all that is good
focus on what is
focus on now
what can be
not what was
it is
life we all feel
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For those of you that missed it, I made my 6th trip out to Seattle to see the Dave Matthews band. I know I don't talk about it much. ;-P Anyway, I had a blast! Got to see all three nights and I even remember 2 of the nights quite well. The last night I don't remember well because of the amount of alcohol consumed. We didn't golf that much this year because we're getting older and our bodies just couldn't do it.

If you like wine, you'll have to be especially nice to me and I might just share some of the fantastic wine I bought while there. That is if they ever ship it.

I know I say this every time I make it out to visit but damn I miss that place! I know I'll miss all my Chicago peeps but if I could find a job back in the city, have no doubt that I would be back there in a second. Now you can all start praying to whatever God you believe in that the economy turns around so I can find that job.
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I have some good news and I have some bad news. Which do you want to hear first?

I have my airline and concert tickets and will be leaving for Seattle in a week. Thats the good news.

The bad news is that one of the greatest musicians I have ever had the pleasure to hear play passed way yesterday.

If you didn't know this about me, I'm a huge Dave Matthews Band fan. I've been listening to their music now for eight years and it was introduced to me by a good friend. I started out with the Crash CD. I listened to that CD to the point that I had to replace it when it start skipping on almost every track. I remember very well when I really started getting into their music though. I had been out of work for almost Nine months and I drove out to Seattle to do an interview and I was lucky enough to be able to stay with my good friend while there. He made me a copy of the Lillywhite sessions while I was there. The entire 14 hour trip back to Utah I listened to that CD over and over again. It was very fitting to me. I then found that you could download shows that had been taped by people so I started downloading all the shows that I could get my grubby little hands on. I went from having 20 tracks to over 800 tracks that I keep on my iPod.

During my divorce and my choice to take a job in Seattle and leave the state that my daughters live in. I needed something that would keep my mind off of all the negative and depressing thoughts that were raging in my head. Their music made a connection with me. I had music that could make me laugh, think, cry, or be angry if I needed. The really great thing and that some of the songs could be any of those depending on the show and the mood of the band. Life saver? Maybe not, but it was a constant in my life that I very badly needed.

LeRoi, was not the most gifted musician in the world but he could do things with a sax or any woodwind for that matter that would just blow me away. He could go from a funk thing to a very classical style making that instrument talk to you. I even created a play list with my favorite solos that LeRoi played. The songs that I choose either made you want to jump around and dance or turn off all the lights and lay on the floor and relax. He was an impressive and quiet guy that never liked to talk and always hid behind his sunglasses.

I am going to miss seeing him onstage and hearing his beautiful music live ever again. I will be grateful for the music that he has left and for helping fill the void during the struggles in my life. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. You have brought peace to my life and I didn't even know you. I have felt the emotion of your music and it will always stay with me.

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I finally got to go to Europe! Spent 8 days in Paris and London. Most of my time in Paris was spent working so I was a little too tired to try and get out much there but I did have a chance to spend some time walking around the city.

Paris has a great public transportation system and you can get around pretty well as long as you know enough about the street system and have a good map. I was expecting the food to be a bit better than it was. I don't know if this was due to area I in or even if it was normal for french food. I stuck to the basics, beef, pork and chicken. They were all good, especially the chicken but the beef and pork were so so. The architecture there is nice if a bit redundant. Most of the places I visited the builds were all very similar except for the major tourist locations. I did get the Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, Champs-Elysees and the Louvre. I didn't take the time to go into the Louvre, I just didn't have the 3 days it can take to go through all the exhibits.

For all that hype that the French don't like Americans, I just never caught that vibe. This may be due to the fact that I was with my French associates when I went out. There were times that because I was in locations that weren't touristy that there was a language barrier that made it difficult to communicate but everyone that helped me had no problem with me pointing to the items that I wanted.

Overall Paris was a fun experience and I'd go back if I could afford it on my own. I think I would rather spend my money and time in Italy or Germany if I were going to pay for it. I think I had my expectations set way too high regarding the food. I didn't go to super fancy places but was expecting the food to be incredible regardless the cost.

London on the other hand was a fantastic place to get the visit. I regret only getting a day and half to explore such a lovey city. It was nice to be in a city were I can converse with the locals and not have a problem reading menu's or signs. I spent about 8 hours on Saturday walking from East to West and North to South of Central London. There were several places that I know that I missed but I hit the really big sights. I especially loved the walk along the Thames river. This could have been due to the weather being perfect for me. Nice and cool with not much humidity!

The food there is standard British offerings. Fish and Chips, Meat pies, and Bangers and Mash. This type of meat and potatoes food suits me much better than the French fare that i was eating in Paris. Lets not even get started on the pubs. Thats my kind of place. Find me a local pub when you can sit down and have a conversation with a total stranger just to talk. There is still a small language barrier there, some of the accents get very thick and you really have to listen to catch what their saying.

If I get a chance I would love to get back to London for another visit. Wonderful city with history and people with great wit. I'm guessing that I went at a time when the weather wasn't an issue. I can handle the cold but I'd be curious to see how hard it rains there. If it's a drizzle like Seattle I think I could fall in love with London.
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So I got out this weekend to play some golf. I'm no Tiger Woods but for not touching a club in a year I played OK. Shot a 96 and felt like I shot in the mid 80's. There where three holes and 5 puts that I really wanted a do over on. I was really striking the ball pretty well and gave myself several par opportunities that I should have made but just wasn't putting very well on the first nine holes.

Don't know, and don't care if any of you are into golf but I think this years US Open was one of the most intense golf tournaments that I have ever witnessed. Incredible stuff watching Rocco and Tiger go toe to toe for 19 holes.
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Another day spent wondering who will be left tomorrow or even if I will be here. Things aren't over yet. Sad to know that peoples lives are being affected and that they are being forced to make a fresh start. The hard part for me is I never know what to say or do. Knowing it will never be enough but also knowing that I need to say something to express how much I have enjoyed being a part of these peoples lives even just for a short time.

Thats all I have to say about that.

Anyone for drinks tonight?
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My trip to Paris is in Jeopardy! Unless things change there is a chance that I may not be able to go. Part of this is due to my daughters trip to Chicago for the month of July. There is nothing that would stop me from being able to spend this time with them. It's the only time I get to see them for more than a day or two. It's our time to bond again and really get to know each other and where we're at in life.

Such is life. I was say it the French way but I don't think I could spell it properly.
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When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.
- Henny Youngman
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I'm not a super religious person but I was raised in a guilt based religion, so I know how guilt works. In the last couple of years I have come to realize that I cannot or will not let guilt change my emotions or actions. That ability is reserved to my own internal forces. Personal guilt will always be a part of me, but external guilt sources just annoy the hell out of me.

An example of this was from last night. The following are items that everyone should know about me and how I function.

1. I have a terrible long term memory for conversations. I just don't remember casual conversations.
2. I have a tendency to drink a bit too much at times.
3. Having drank so much my short term memory becomes affected.
4. My memory is very visual so I can better remember things that I have seen verses things that I have said or herd. This is especially true when I have been drinking.

There are some exceptions to the rule but it may take me hearing or saying them two or three times to really remember them. These exceptions are for things like life altering experiences that other are trying to convey to me. Divorces, deaths, major illnesses, and physical harm are the most common that will somehow make it into the part of my brain that actually remembers stuff.

So if we have talked about something and you want me to remember it, make sure you tell me when I'm sober and then remind me often. If we are or have been drinking, you can be assured that I will have forgotten by morning. If it was important that I remember it, tell me again after my hang over is gone.

Under no circumstances should you ever try and make me feel guilty over the fact that I have not remembered something told me. It's not that I didn't think it wasn't important, my brain just doesn't work that way. Please don't be offended if I call you out on trying to guilt trip me. If I see or hear it and recognize it I will. There are a few people that will throw out the guilt trip but I know they are just teasing me and I can deal with it. If I don't know you that well and you try to pull that shit on me I will come down on you without mercy. If they persist I will remove them from my mind altogether and just start ignoring them. I will not waste efforts on people that use this form of emotional torture.

If ever I use guilt to hold you emotionally hostage I fully expect to be asked or told not to do that, period. If I continue you have my permission to beat me senseless and then mock me for a two face piece of shit.
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