Tuesday, November 04, 2008

We The People

We the people...the people of this great nation have come together with a message - a message of change. It is just after the 10 o'clock hour in the midwest and America has elected the first african-american president of the United States.

As sunshine flooded my bedroom this morning, I awoke with a feeling of great excitement and optimism. And after I had cast vote #578 in my district, my view on this historic election had crystalized.

I am proud to say I voted for who I thought was the best candidate, and he so happened to be an african-american candidate. Less than 50 years ago the Civil Rights movement rocked this nation, tonight America has spoken loudly and clearly that its past will no longer rule its future.

Tonight, the crowds that cheer for President-elect Barak Obama represent the melting-pot that our fore-fathers had envisioned. He has now reached the steps of the White House, arriving through a campaign that has focused on the issues and not just the history.

However history will recognize him as the man who has ascended to the most powerful post in this nation, breaking through 200 years of history.

President-elect Obama has a very tough road ahead of him. Our economy, healthcare and education systems are in shambles. Our involvement in Iraq has been a disaster and as our future generations look back, it will likely be judged a giant mistake.

Now his message of change will need to become a vessel that delivers results.

As the sun set across this nation, signaling the closing of polls and the end of the 2008 presidential race, this nation has begun to look forward.

A new day dawns tomorrow, and the sun will rise on an era of renewal, hope and promise. President-elect Obama will need to preserve his message of change as it will, and has, become a message of democracy, liberty and unity.

Change. It began as a promise. It has now become a victory. Change will not come easily. It will come at a cost and it will be a challenge.

We now own this victory and together we are all responsible for our future. We have risen to the occasion before, and we will need to rise to the occasion again. Together we will overcome, together we will rebuild this nation and together we will be rewarded for our hard work.

Everyone in this country is given an opportunity, everyday children are given a message of hope and now it has been given a new face and name. The liberty that our fore-fathers sought more than 200 years ago is alive.

I hope to look back on this moment in 10, 20, or 50 years and see it as a turning point in our country. I hope to share the history with my friends and children.

Progress. Prosperity. Hope. Change. Yes we can...

Posted: 9:18:32 PM | Top of Page

Monday, June 02, 2008

Further Reflections

The reflection in the mirror no longer captures the promise of youth, but instead taunts me with aged eyes and emerging grey. Alone, internal reflection reveals even more.

It's nothing but a lie to tell myself I am more than the sum of my parts and experiences. Life as I know it is rather mundane and filled with sporadic failure and success that in the end balance out leaving a remainder of zero.

My patience and passion have all but eroded. Threatened, the flicker of desire that remains in my heart could be extinguished by the storm of failure or wind of disappointment.

This erosion has left me exposed and vulnerable, lost in the twilight where I can't quite see the stars that have inspired me in the past or the rising sun that would embrace me with it's sudden warmth.

With my beacons all but lost I scramble to find another way to navigate; until then I find myself lost, and alone.

My heart tells me that the stars are still there, just beyond reach until the sun sets. It also reminds me that the sun will rise again after it has set.

But will those stars lead me towards hope when I see them again? And will I make it through the night to feel the return of love the coming morn?

My reflections tell me where I am and where I have been. Unfortunately neither will reveal the truth about my direction or destination. Until then I embrace what remains of my dreams and hope that they are enough to sustain me.

Posted: 10:10:52 PM | Top of Page

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Two Years

And my friends and family still don't really understand why it still hurts on the inside. I've figured out that it was as much about the humiliation as it was all the feelings.

And just when you think that it doesn't matter anymore it sneaks up on you.

I desperately want to be whole again. To think that everything didn't matter. But it does.

I tell myself, and others, that being hurt just makes you appreciate everything great that much more. But until I have something great there isn't a damn thing to appreciate it.

So, what am I to do? Well watching sappy girly love stories definitely doesn't help.

Man up, stop thinking about the part, stop worrying about the future and start living in the now. Or something like that.

Posted: 10:10:14 PM | Top of Page

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Nightshift

Ahh, the Commodores, before Lionel left to dance on the ceiling. They just had a great sound to them. And I am a sucker for Motown, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised how much I like their old stuff.

One of my favorite tracks is the "Nightshift", it has such a wonderful arrangement and the beat just relaxes me no matter my mood. It's such a smooth flowing song.

It's also such a great tribute to Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson. Wilson is great, but I really miss Gaye much more and feel the song is such a strong representative of what Marvin might sing himself.

On an evening when I am missing someone, and still feel lost it's a warm comfort that makes me press replay a few times.

Posted: 8:14:46 PM | Top of Page

Monday, February 25, 2008

The stars

It has been over a year since Brianna gave me three books she cherished. Tonight I opened the Bible, she had suggested starting with "John" and had so marked it. But after looking at it for more than a few minutes I was drawn to the beginning. I can't really explain it, but the only familiarity I have with the Bible resides in Genesis.

It's where the story starts, where the great miracle of our planet and life begins, where I started to read as a young adult, and where I thought fitting to begin again.

And as I began, as it says God separated light from dark and how the sun, moon, and stars shone upon the earth I could only think one thing. That even in the darkest of nights, the most dire of times; that blanket of darkness is still illuminated by the stars. They have historically been used to navigate the seas and land, and just maybe they can be used to navigate our hearts too.

For if it is all true, and God did create the heavens and stars; I'd like to think that they are there to remind us that the light is there to break the darkness, to shine down on us, and guide us to wherever we may be headed.

Even if it's just one star, it is still shining down, it's a bit of light, it's a bit of hope, because with it as your companion you will see it disappear into the glorious dawn where the sun will welcome you with an intense and warm light on your face, welcoming you and rewarding you for persevering through the night.

And for a moment my heart feels whole. At this very moment I feel like I am not alone, but loved. And just maybe, along with the stars, that is all I need tonight...

Posted: 8:52:34 PM | Top of Page

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Wisconsin Primary

"Get out and vote today", I said that to myself and many others. And looking at the early results not only did Wisconsin come out to vote, the residents of Wisconsin gave Barack Obama the state and a nearly 150 delegate lead.

Looking even further at what happened, more voters came out in support of Obama than the Republican primary combined. I think we are seeing a nation beginning down a road of transformation, and that is being led by desire.

We are looking for change, the primary and effective message of Mr. Obama's campaign. While Mrs. Clinton and the republican right continue to frame Mr. Obama as only a man of words, those very same words are bringing people to the polls, getting them involved in the political process, inspiring them to take a bold step, a step away from what we've struggled through for 8 years, a step forward in supporting a candidate that knows he needs us now and in the future to be the vessel of change.

From 2002 on I have slowly become numb and disinterested in what our country has been doing. My beliefs and hope have been repressed and forgotten by an administration that has ruled us with fear, completely destroyed foreign policy, ignored the constitution, alienated our rights, and funded a war built upon lies and now held together by the men and women that are our neighbors, family and friends.

I've stopped watching the news, I've become irritated by the machine Bush and company have built to deflect attention and continue to ignore the publics displeasure.

In 2008 I have been re energized with interest, passion and vigor. I can only thank one man for that, and he holds the hopes and dreams of myself and so many other Americans in his hands and future.

I am certain all of his policies won't immediately take effect once he gets into office, but his refreshing stance, humility, perseverance, vision, and honesty has me once again believing that we don't need to settle for status quo.

And maybe, just maybe, my generation is seeing the birth of a figure worthy of being compared to the great men and women that shaped the country, and his words will inspire others, bring forth serious action, and help America move forward instead of continuing to fall behind.

Posted: 8:59:14 PM | Top of Page

Friday, February 15, 2008

Feeling Drained

Used. Ragged. Drained. Near collapse. Those are just a few words describing how I feel as my Friday work day drew to a close. It has been an awfully long week that has again tested my resolve and mental determination.

But it is Friday, and I am really looking forward to the weekend so I can recharge a bit. I did notice I wasn't the only one feeling so drained, as I ran into Anna throughout the day you could tell she was having a rough day as well. As I talked to her I learned it wasn't just today, but all week as well.

She told me about some projects that have been challenging, and also that she slept on the couch last night. I wanted to probe deeper, but my concern was more around how she was feeling and not the who, what and why's.

It makes me feel so useless when I can't find a way to help a friend out. Whether it's picking up something at work, just listening to them, or cheering them up with a joke - I feel like I just want to jump in and do something to make things a bit easier or better. Maybe that's because I always want to fix things, but I do strongly believe it is more that I care for those people and their unhappiness affects me too.

We chatted for a bit and when she got up and leaned against me for a hug I really knew the weekend couldn't come too soon for her. I offered to listen to her, buy her a drink, or even shots if it would help get her mind elsewhere. Sometimes blowing off a bit of steam can help your frame of mind.

She thanked me saying, "I really appreciate you". That was all I needed this week. After feeling so blue yesterday it reminds me that I can still have positive relationships with my friends and family and that means a lot to me. I still wish the long winter nights were warmed with another heart beating next to mine, but those four words meant just as much today.

I hope both her and I can relax and have a calming and peaceful weekend so we are recharged next week.

Posted: 10:50:29 PM | Top of Page

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day

It might just be me, but I feel like it's a cursed day. I can not recall one truly amazing Valentine's Day in my recent past. They've always been slightly complicated. Not to say girls in my past neglected the day, but it's not exactly been overly romantic either.

This year I wished everyone a very happy Valentine's Day. I thought be sharing in their experience and good fortune it would be an adequate substitute for my loneliness this year. I didn't want to completely write the day off, I in fact find it a very comforting day to see others display their affection for loved ones.

And I know it is a Hallmark holiday, that everything is overpriced, and that once-a-year gestures are not the foundation of an incredible relationship. But I was pretty sure, just a month or two ago, that I would be one of those lucky few. I would have a romantic and fulfilling holiday with someone I cared very deeply for.

I was excited by my relationship with Sara, she is a very caring and sweet girl. During the course of our relationship we've shared some intimate and deep thoughts and feelings. Things have been confusing for the last month or so, but I thought better of completely writing off the relationship so I decided to send her a bouquet of flowers.

The message was very simple and I hoped a gesture like this might make a difference in the relationship. I was honestly saddened that I didn't hear from her. I miss her. Quite a bit actually. Her response to the flowers was a non-response. Via an e-mail later I mentioned that I hope she liked the flowers and she responded with a rather cold "you didn't have to do that, but thanks."

So on a day filled with pinks and reds I found myself feeling rather blue and forgotten. I wonder if love is something I can not attain, or if I am just taking it all a little too seriously. But then I realize my feelings are always very strong and true, and if I missed out on anything it just wasn't meant to be.

It still has be grinding my wheels and replaying way too many things in my head anyways.

Posted: 9:46:41 PM | Top of Page

Monday, February 11, 2008

Bronz the Fonz!

If you missed it recently; Visit Milwaukee, the city's convention and visitor's bureau, announced that they raised enough funds to commission a bronze statue of Milwaukee's favorite cool cat - THE FONZ!

There have been some people who believe it's a poor idea and too kitschy, that it doesn't resemble the spirt of Milwaukee at all. For as long as I've been alive, and lived in this great city, we've found it hard to identify Milwaukee with anything but beer and bubblers.

Since the Art Museum added the Calatrava expansion you find stylized versions of it's wings everywhere. It's the one and only structure that people from Milwaukee want to have associated with our city, and I have a serious problem with that. What about some of the other wonderful buildings here in Milwaukee. The flame on the gas tower comes to mind as does city hall, the water tower or many of our other cream city bricked buildings.

Milwaukee has been a blue collar town, and those feelings are strongly rooted in the work ethic, pride, and foundation of this city. Trying to sweep that away or under a rug won't make Milwaukee change any faster. If anything you are alienating your own history by doing so. Chances are your parents, grandparents, and friends are very blue collar if you live or were raised in Milwaukee.

So I'm all for bronzing the Fonz. Although kitschy, he, Laverne and Shirley, and every other dramatic example of Milwaukee's unique nature have given us some sort of identity. Something our leaders, community, and Visit Milwaukee have been unable to do. We'll never be NYC, Chicago or L.A. But our differences is what makes us unique, and a greatly overlooked community of kind and generous people that drink from bubblers, have great pride in their heritage, and wonderful accents!

Posted: 1:39:29 PM | Top of Page

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Looking forward

The beginning and end of relationships are interesting to me. It usually takes a solid three months to really get to know someone. For those first few dates and weeks everything seems so magical and then at the end you are left wondering; was it just a special time that has slipped away, were the stars even aligned, did everything mean what you thought it did, and were all the words or times just a mirage.

So as I sit here trying to regulate my feelings and reflect on the past I can't help but wonder what comes next? Is there a next for me? It's funny how my blogging about my feelings brought someone into my life and actually helped her exit stage right. Deciding what to share in your blogs in a very delicate balance. In one instant you are opening up your interior and private world for everyone to see, but you are also putting your very personal thoughts and feelings out there for misinterpretation or ridicule. It's not fair to judge me on half of who I am, or appear to be.

But this is a truth I have realized, I am looking for someone that can love and understand me. Maybe not both at the same time, but at least one at any given time. My personality is charged with humor, intelligence, and love. I care deeply for those around me, and I am at the point in my life where I am not looking for any drama. So I want to surround myself with people that care as much for me and are more interested in having fun, experiencing the world, and laughing about the good and bad times together.

But life is about experiences and education. I have learned a few things; long distance relationships only work with strong communication, women will always be an enigma so stop trying to figure them out, if you can't let the small things go you'll never get through the bigger and more important issues of life, and loving someone does not mean they love you back. But I have experienced some great things as well; feeling closer to someone than I ever thought possible, my heart growing back to a size where it can love again, the familiar pain of disappointment, and one of my biggest wishes coming true.

I think the rest of the experiences I'll keep locked up in my heart where they belong, unblemished and sacred.

And as I look forward, I welcome whatever the future may have in store. I've got a list of places I want to see, experiences I want to cherish, people I want to converse with, memories I wish to share, and an abundance of love that is looking to be sheltered and consumed. Whatever comes next, it may or may not be great - but I am more prepared than ever to take it on. Because I have finally realized that I am fully and completely right about what life means to me. What all the experiences add up to, and that whether I go it alone or together with someone every second of it should be treated as if it is your last.

Posted: 8:08:01 AM | Top of Page