Life at an Intersection

Chicago Phoenix, indemnity bonds, journaling, really really really want a zigazig ah, travel, books, travel books, relationships, values. It is hard to pinpoint precisely, but I'd say about 82% of what you read here is true. The rest is fictional nonfiction.

Sunday, September 26, 2010



I remember a time when I used to come to this blog to write sad things.

No wait, let me go further back. Farther back? Let me go back.

I remember a time when I used to not feel much. I was a pretty numb person. A guy in the midst of a life defined, perhaps, shall we say, by a general malaise. Which is to not say much at all except that there wasn't much to say. It was a life, and it was fairly empty. A dusty, neglected attic sort of life.

And then I awoke, and I found joy, beauty, love, happiness - those sorts of things. And life was good and exciting and contained some wonder and purpose. I sought and I found. I worked and I tried; I laughed and I felt. I felt so much for a while there.

And then I hit a rough patch and fell under the spell of one wicked witch who, in the fairy tale version of my existence, would be named - and not with even a touch of subtlety - Madame Inertia.

I lived under the enchantment of this femme terrible for no less than three years. And good things happened during this three years, don't get me wrong. I made friends that I madly cherish, friends whose faces are beaming at me from photos in frames just above the desk where I now type. Friends that I can't wait to see again; soon, please soon. And I lived and saw things and worked and tried and learned then too.

I'm tempted to say some harsher things, to use words like wasted and lost and defeated.

But the funny thing is that you can't really regret, can you? You can't really say, oh, I should have done this sooner, I should have moved and not wasted so much time. I should have chosen a different school for my undergrad or not stayed in Chicago so long. No. Because then this wouldn't be this, would it? This would be different - people, situation, city, who knows? - and not at all this. This is bringing me such joy and contentment, but it couldn't be if anything in my life - anything at all - had been any different.


I think I lost my main point there. They are a windy path tonight, my thoughts. But here's what I was getting at:

I am so happy.
My life is so blessed.
I made the right choice, at the right time.
These people in my life here, I love them so much.
I know that I am doing exactly what I should be doing, and what I want to be doing.

It is weird, actually. Times are difficult. September has been a very hard month in lots of ways. I had this day a couple of weeks ago, and let's just say that it would make a fantastic Steve Martin comedy. I'm not going for hyperbole here; it was the worst day of my life. Think Planes, Trains, and Automobiles or whatever is your least favorite, most painful one of his movies. They are all pretty awful, so good luck narrowing it down to one.

But truly, life is so fundamentally good. I can't stop wondering how I fumbled into this good fortune. Joy. Here are some of the reasons why this is so: constantsunshinefriendsCulver'sfrozencustardteachingmathmusicnoveltynodramapossibilityopportunity
thefuturelayssparklingahead. I'm so thankful for all of these. I'm blessed a quintillion miles beyond anything that I deserve.

Currently Listening to
Dierks Bentley Feel That Fire

Friday, September 3, 2010



This is a photo by Eric Ogden. It is beautiful. I don't own it. He does. Please don't sue me.

Shortly after moving to Arizona I found myself struggling to eat breakfast. I don't know if it was the time shift, the climate, nerves, or what, but I just had no appetite in the morning, couldn't choke anything down. A few half-eaten bowls of Frosted Mini Wheats later, I gave in to my body. Some days I'll eat a granola bar or a single donut (!!) or a very small bowl of cereal, but sometimes it is just a glass of orange juice.

Yesterday I bought two enormous boxes of cereal at Safeway: one box of Lucky Charms and one of Cap'n Crunch. My thought is that maybe I can trick my body into responding to these sentimental cereals of childhood. Our lunch break at school is less than 30 minutes, and I get so hungry by the end of the day that I overeat for dinner and am getting skinny-fat. Skinny-fat is, like, the worst. Well, maybe not worse than morbidly obese, but certainly worse than plain old skinny or plain old fat.


Have I said this before? I can't remember. American flags look so beautiful, so majestic here in the desert. I dare say that nowhere in the United States does our flag look so magnificent flying overhead. I live not far from a bunch of car dealerships - patriotic lot that is - so I get to see these enormous flags flying and flowing and stirring the heart in the warm desert winds a couple of times a week. It gets me every time.


School is going well. I am in an eighth grade math classroom at a nice suburban (but still Title I) school three days a week. So far the pattern has been that I observe and assist two days and teach one of those days every week. The kids are a pretty good lot, but they are a little older and more attitudinal than my preferred student age. Then on Tuesdays and Fridays I have grad school classes all day. I really adore my classmates, and we have a great time learning and sharing life together.

Also I am working on a case study of an English Language Learner (ELL) student for one of our grad school classes, so I have a little 5th grade buddy that we'll call Rob. His mom doesn't speak any English; therefore his family speaks only Spanish at home for her sake and Rob is reading proficiently on a 2nd grade level. But he loves dinosaurs and Goosebumps books and video games and we are going to become great friends. I'm not his teacher, so we can be friends, you know.


I think it is fair to say that this is the least tan I have been in a solid decade. Bleh.


I'm really excited for the fall concert season here in Phoenix. I've got tickets to see Sufjan Stevens in October, The Weepies in November, and really want to get tickets to see Jack Johnson in October too.

I remember the first time I went to Vancouver, back in October of 2002, I went to an in-store mini-concert and album signing with Jack Johnson at that Virgin Megastore on the corner of Robson and Burrard. We lined up outside for an hour beforehand and then filed calmly and orderly into the store at the appointed time. We sat criss-cross applesauce on the floor at the feet of our surfer/rocker/bard while he played "Bubbly Toes" on his acoustic guitar and sang. It was his first album, and he'd only had like two songs on the radio, but I knew that I really liked his vibe. That's a nice memory.


The other day I had this moment where my thoughts flashed to the Logan Square Blue Line train stop, this ridiculously, unnecessarily long, mysteriously puddled but well-lit underground transit stop back in Chicago. It made me miss my former life, but only for a moment. Because then I realized that the only time I was ever at the Logan Square Blue Line train stop was when I was going to O'Hare airport to take a trip somewhere. So basically I was missing leaving Chicago. Which is a pretty strange thing to feel sentimental about.

Currently Listening to:
A Sun Came by Sufjan Stevens
I'm basically obsessed with him at the moment.

Twitter / Davie_St

Words That I'm Living By - 5/2/2010

Time, as I've known it
Doesn't take much time to pass by me
Minutes into days, turn into months
Turn into years, they hurry by me
But still I love to see the sun go down
And the world go around

Dreams full of promises
Hopes for the future, I've had many
Dreams I can't remember now
Hopes that I've forgotten,
faded memories
But still I love to see the sun go down
And the world go around

And I love to see the morning
as it steals across the sky
I love to remember and
I love to wonder why
And I hope that I'm around
so I can be there when I die
When I'm gone

I hope that you will think of me
In moments when you're happy and you're smiling
That the thought will comfort you
On cold and cloudy days
if you are crying
And that you'll love to see
the sun go down
And the world go around
And around and around

"Around and Around" by Mark Kozelek

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