Monday, November 17, 2008


Before I get to the main topic for today, here's an aside: Right now our air is looking mousy brown outside from all the fires surrounding us in Southern California. I have to ask, why is it that reporters feel compelled to ask those unfortunates who have just lost their house and home, "how do you feel about that?" Can't they just leave these people alone?

Anyway.. when I was in the eleventh grade I got this stupid idea in my head that I wasn't going to smile for any of my class pictures. None. If you peruse the yearbook, you will see I stuck to my word. In the few pictures in which I appear, there I am with a scowl for the camera. Ah, silly boy.

Here's an example - the tennis team picture. I'm even holding my racket in a menacing way (click on the image for an enlarged version).

Since I published the varsity tennis picture, I figured I might as well add the junior varsity as well, in case someone you know happens to be standing there. Most everyone looks friendly in these two pictures, and there I am, looking like I am going to bash someone's head in (again, click the image for a larger version).

Which brings me to the meat of today's blog post.

For a while I've been in a Charles Bronson mood, seething with anger about things going on at work. It really affected my disposition and it was noticeable not only by those around me but you could probably sense it in this blog, too. I was feeling like the guy wielding the racket in the first picture above looked.

That wasn't healthy and so I apologize if any of that did come across on these pages. Normally people characterize me as easy going and laid back (someone once said, oh, you seem like the kind of person who listens to jazz), but I dwelt too much on things at work that really are beyond my control and every time I thought about it I got madder and madder - becoming like Peter Finch in Network.

The sermon topic on Sunday was forgiveness. A key verse: "Don't let your anger be a sin. Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry." (Ephesians 4:26) Well, the sun went down and rose up quite a few times recently and I was still boiling, like Jonah and the Ninevites (you'll just have to read that one.. it's a short book).

I'd already come to terms with this on Saturday, after having thought about it a lot and deciding there was no use making myself grow an ulcer over a situation that was not for me to control. I had to make better use of my time. The two objects of the frustration - one, that's just the way that person is and most likely they will never change; and two, that second person is genuinely nuttier than a fruitcake (seriously, they are a mental case) and there is no use trying to have a rational or coherent conversation with them. So the thing to do: forgive and move on to endeavors that will prove more fruitful.

In other words, enough.

That doesn't mean I won't seethe about something on these pages, but I will try and avoid feeling like I am going postal, and instead be more constructive about it. It's a state of mind..

Some of you may be wondering why I have so many Steely Dan YouTube videos in this blog. They're my favorite group. For whatever reason, their songs just hit home with me.

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