Sunday, June 30, 2013

My Blog Has Damn-Near Destroyed My Computer's Delete Key

All those periods of silence in my blogs, believe me, were not always so silent. I've written many things (and got started on many others) that I thought better about posting, and so they were deleted.
This morning, on the way to attempting a little update about what's going on with me, I've experienced three more aborted attempts. I aborted and deleted a couple of attempts yesterday and finally just gave up and stuck a movie in the DVD player. 
Right now my job is driving me nuts. And yet another stick was added to this camel's back on Friday. Not being able to go into any detail (because I don't want to take the chance of something I write being used against me), I am being forced to suffer in near-silence.
I said near-silence because I was fortunate enough to score a date with my lady friend yesterday (we are both dissatisfied with our inability to connect more often) and I was able to vent my spleen to her over some hamburgers (not the cheap, fast food type!), onion rings and "homemade" banana pudding.
That helped a little. But it also served the purpose of reminding me how much I enjoy her company and wish I could have more of it. Bummer!
I think a conservative estimate would be that I've deleted at least four times as many ramblings as I've published. And many of the posts I finally did put up were painstakingly edited for content (I know I really ought to do more editing for style and grammar, but if I took the time to do that my output would really trail off). I really worry about things I say coming back to slap me in the face.
My dad was the strong silent type. Me? I'm the strong mouthy type. I feel better when I get things off my chest. But discretion being the better part of valor and all that, I guess I will suffer in relative silence for now.
You see, I don't think my depression is bad chemicals in my brain. There really are some annoying things that are eating away at my feelings of well being and contentment. Perhaps I'm not always doing as well as I should or could in dealing with these things, but I'm not as young as I used to be, either.
There was a time when if a job made me unhappy, I would walk away. Not so easy when you're older and less attractive to potential employers, when you have established yourself with an employer over a long period of time with seniority and benefits, or when you have responsibilities towards others, such as I feel I have with my aging mother.
I think that trapped feeling is what does it for me. I like options - lots and lots of options. About the only real option I have for most of the major things that are chapping my cheeks right now is finding a way to make the best of them.
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change....
Anyway, having finally got to the end of this update without more than two dozen or so deletions, I'm going to sign off and put a movie in the DVD player and think about other things. I'm going to watch Gore Vidal's Lincoln. I saw it once (most of it, anyway) over a decade ago and remember enjoying it. Heck, it anyone knew how to navigate with the rough seas of life, surely it was old Honest Abe.

Now the next time you hear from me I plan on being a little more upbeat. Right now I just can't seem to pull it off. Maybe tomorrow. Yeah, tomorrow! (How am I doing at faking it?) 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Greatest Of All

This morning, before I left for work, I was reading a passage from the writings of the Apostle Paul. It is the famous "love" passage. The good ol' King James translation - from which I'm about to quote - uses the word charity, but I think most of the newer translations use love here; therefore, I am going make the substitution:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing.

Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love (I Corinthians 13:1-13).
I mulled over that passage today while I was on my job.

I tend to think a lot - maybe the majority - of my Christian friends might think faith is the mightiest weapon in their arsenals. Yet, Paul said love was greater. The greatest, to be precise. Piety without love, plainly speaking, ain't piety.

And I rather get a kick out of what the apostle says in that first verse. I know, and I'm sure most of you do, too, a lot of folks who play loudly in the orchestra, but are lacking in the love department. Their own Holy Books condemns them.

Now my thinking is - and for a long time has been - that I don't care what religion a person adheres to, it is just so much posturing if it doesn't produce good, kind behavior. In other words, I'm just not at all impressed by those folks who have not partaken of the "milk of human kindness."

And I'm not slighting my friends who are not religious. I don't think you have to believe in gods to believe in the power of love. But I say I really appreciate the humanist nonbelievers.

"But Doug, I thought you didn't believe the Bible." How many times have I heard that?

Actually, I can't convince myself that the true God wrote that little book called the Bible - or any other of those kinds of books. I may be wrong, but it is something I just can't force myself to believe. However, that is a long way from saying I find nothing of value there, or in the other scriptures of the world's religions.  I've slaked my thirst at many wells. When I find good water, I drink it. And when it stinks or looks polluted, I pass. (Yeah, yeah, I know some water looks and smells fine and is still full of nasty little microbes that will do a body harm; but let's not press analogies to extremes.)

I tend to divide humanity along the lines of those who care and those who don't. Why bog down over trivial matters?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Depressing Anniversary

I chronicled at my old blog the sad events that were taking place in my life a year ago. As I look back I see I was in a bit of a funk at the time. I still am. Same funk maybe intensified now?
It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon that I remember well. I was sitting here at my desk reading. My cell phone rang and I saw the familiar number of an old friend (really a former lover who I remained friendly with after that phase of our relationship ended). To my surprised it wasn't her voice I heard, but rather that of her sister. My friend was in the hospital, having been diagnosed with lung and liver cancer. After a brief conversation I asked my friend's sister to please have her sister call me when she felt well enough. 
It was two weeks before that call came and I heard my friend's weak voice. We talked for maybe 15 or 20 minutes. There was so much I wanted to say, but couldn't think of a way to say it all without sounding like I might be saying good-bye forever. I couldn't do that because she was talking about fighting that thing with an eye towards beating it (as in fact she had almost twenty years previously when she developed colon cancer). 
She was to begin treatments the next week and she was even planning on going to work cleaning houses with her sister. Alas, it wasn't to be. Her strength and life steadily ebbed away. One week from our conversation, she died suddenly at home when her heart just gave out. It was the next afternoon, Sunday, July 14, when again I was disappointed again to see her number come up on my phone only to hear someone other than her at the other end. Her son had called let me know. She died on his twenty-fourth birthday.
It was beautiful again that Sunday. The sun was shining brightly and my sad mood took an even sadder turn, and I resented the sun. But I remember putting down the phone, and after a period of sorting through the rush of thoughts and memories that were sweeping over me, I decided to get up and go cut my mother's grass. I need to go do something, but I think I needed to smell the earth and the grass. Being close to the earth that way always reminds me of life, and the mystery thereof.
All that happened in a three week span about one year ago. It isn't that I am purposely immersing myself in it. No, the way sun is hitting the trees in my yard, the way the weather has been, the fact that I was cutting my mom's grass the other day in the familiar heat, all these things and more bring those memories back, whether I want to deal with them or not.
Just a short while ago I woke up from dreaming. For some reason I was spending the night in my friend's home and sleeping in her bed - an impossibility, as her home was sold a short while ago. But you know how dreams can be. I remember looking around her room and feeling that I really didn't want to sleep there. It was too painful. Everything looked as if she was still alive and still there, but even in my dream I was aware of her death. And then I looked at her dresser and saw, hanging on the corner of the mirror, a coat hanger that held her pajamas. I remember taking her pajama top and holding it to my face, trying to catch a lingering hint of her scent.
Well, I call this lady my friend. She was actually a former lover. When circumstances in our lives compelled us to go our separate ways, we remained friendly. Sort of close in a distant way, if that makes sense. Over the years I've lost to death friends, classmates, coworkers, family members - but this is something different. This is the first time I ever lost someone I had shared that intimate part of my life with. We had lived together for two years. We had shared a bed, meals, dreams, all the things that lovers share. Most of our time together was sweet. Obviously that is why there were deep feelings beneath the currents, for both of us.
I have often thought about one of our early dates, when she had invited me over to her house for dinner. Afterwards we went into her den to watch her favorite movie, that oldie Somewhere In Time. I had never seen it before. I don't know how many of you might have seen it, but it is certainly a haunting experience if you are a romantic at heart.
Burned into my memory is scene where the old woman places a locket into the lead character's hand and implores him to "come back to me." Also burned into my memory is that haunting theme song from the movie.
It was a long time after my friend's death before I was able to play that song. But for some reason it was a thing I felt I had to do. I don't think I could watch the movie again without getting really depressed. Maybe someday I will watch it again. It's just that I remember so well that night she and I watched that movie, cuddling together on the couch.
I wish could go back to my friend, if only for a short while. The good times were so good, and during those times I was so happy. And even later, as close friends, we still had fun together. I think of lots of meals and shopping sprees together, lots of evenings spent here at my place just talking and listening to music as the sun went down and room darkened into a romantic glow. I would love the chance to relive some of those good times. Unfortunately such things seem only to happen in fiction, like the movie she loved so well.    

So yes, this is a sad anniversary for me. Or maybe I should think of it as bittersweet. For as surely as the pain of losing my friend is unpleasant, the memories of our time together are something I wouldn't give up for all the world. Surely it isn't just her sad death that I am recalling now, but also the happy times we spent together.  

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Visit With My Mom

Great gal, my mom, even if I do say so myself. 
Well, today was her over-the-phone-pacemaker-check, which is always done at my place because she doesn't have a land line. Because I don't get to spend as much time with her as I'd like, I took a vacation day from work in order to mix a little personal visit into the occasion. (By the way, her pacemaker battery is still working fine.)
Now of course, as always, the subject of religion was brought up. We have something of a truce on this. I encourage her church work and attendance - it seems to add quite a lot to her life. Meanwhile I continue to insist to her that I am much more of a religious pluralist than she is.
Mom is very careful in trying not to offend me, and I appreciate that. She also does quite well tolerating my expansive view of the subject (no matter how much she inwardly disagrees). At the same time I try to tippy-toe around her feelings and pitch the biggest tent I know how in order to keep us somewhat in fellowship on the subject.
That's not so hard for me. Her religious viewpoint, of course, was the starting point of my own journey - although I've branched far, far, far away from that starting point. What's more - unlike some religious or spiritually minded folks - I'm prepared to say: hey, it may all just be one big illusion; I may be totally wrong in my worldview. (Being wrong wouldn't be difficult for me because a lot of my belief system is tentative and malleable - and purposely so; it's a work in progress, and nothing more.)
Sometimes my mom surprises me with her candor in admitting that she doesn't really know all the whys of what she believes. She seems - as best I can tell - mostly to trust her inner light, but she uses that only to validate her very-narrow Christian worldview. I should explain that. By narrow, I mean there are some things that are nonnegotiable, and really that is, I believe, due to a very consistent underexposure to rival viewpoints. As for the conservative viewpoints she has been exposed to, she discriminates rather pointedly among them.
Now the above is just my perception. I sort of dread to think what my mom's take on my outlook might resemble. I think she thinks, as one of my friends at work put it, that I'm too broadminded, falling almost into that "if you don't stand for something you'll fall for anything" category.
I feel that Mom - and I lovingly told her this - has, and has always has had, a difficulty in stepping outside her viewpoint to allow others a difference of opinion. She seems constantly surprised at how much the world has changed, especially with regard to what is deemed right or wrong and proper or improper. Heck, I sometimes marvel at the changes, too, but remember that she has nearly three decades on me! The difference is: my morality is more in line with humanitarian thought, whereas she spends way too much time (in my opinion!) trying to please a deity. 
My mom and I are just never going to agree on religion, and that's okay. But we have learned to disagree in an agreeable fashion, for the most part. Love bridges any spans between our viewpoints. Love, and the acknowledgment that humans are quite fallible in their reasoning.

Love can do some amazing things along this line. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Bloody Tree

I grew up in a neighborhood which was built on a hill. I could walk two blocks down a mostly unused dead-end street (except by the old factory whose workers used it) which was behind my street and be at what we kids in the neighborhood called The Bluff. The Bluff was behind the houses on the next two blocks of the road on which my family lived. Many happy childhood hours were spent by me and my friends at The Bluff.

The Bluff itself was the undeveloped hill portion behind the row of houses (and the local Girl's Club and its playground), and was a sharply inclining hill (very nearly straight up in some places) surrounded by natural rock formations and lots of trees. Oh, and lots of mud when it rained. We would hide out and play there, climb around and temp fate by scampering around the slowly eroding soil at the top of it. And we would climb and swing in the trees like monkeys.

There was this one portion of The Bluff that had a stone wall built along the borders of certain house's yard. We rarely played there because it was the steepest portion and was mostly trees and virtually no actual hill. It was there that one of my girl friends told me the story of The Bloody Tree.

This tree was a slim tree, fairly tall, and had been broken about three quarters of the way up - which means she and I could sit on that small stone wall (only about four feet high) and look straight away at the broken-off portion of that tree. In fact, that broken tree was, as I remember it now, about four or five feet away from the wall.

This tree had a sinister history, according to my friend. There was an unnamed neighborhood boy (as with most of these friend-of-a friend stories, the details are sketchy) who was playing around there and decided to jump the several feet from the wall and (hopefully) land in the tree.
Unfortunately for that lad his weight caused the tree to snap off and he was impaled thereon. Help was called for but his injuries were so severe that he later died at the hospital. The grief stricken parents were given the portion of the heavily bloodstained portion of the tree removed from their dead son, whereupon they promptly took it home and kept it mounted in their living room as a sort shrine for their son (exactly the morbid type of shrine ten-year-olds would think entirely appropriate).

Of course I had my doubts, but right there before me stood the broken tree. And my good friend Glenda wouldn't lie to me. She was relaying what she had been told. Besides, it was such good story it was similar to other neighborhood legends (like this one, which I passed around to my friends) - just too fun to dismiss lightly or question too critically.

Oh, I can easily imagine that some parent came up with The Bloody Tree (probably minus the detail of the household shrine) to serve as a warning to their child not to play around at The Bluff. It was too dangerous. I know when I was child (I can't say if it is still the norm now or not), it was customary for parents to tell horrifying cautionary tales to hopefully keep their kids in line. Why, my childhood neighborhood was filled with wampus cats and bogey men.

In one of those ironic twists of fate that life is so full of, I remember that not long after Glenda told me her story she injured herself on a tree in my next-door neighbor's yard. The small tree was used by my neighbors as a post for their clothesline. She was climbing around acting like the tomboy she was when her foot slipped and her arm was gashed by a jagged limb stump. Now that was a bloody tree, let me tell you! Glenda had to go get stitches. We did visit that bloody tree until the elements removed the stain. Kids are so goofy! 

I don't know why this old memory popped into my head this morning, and I have no real point in writing about it. I do wonder if that tree and portion of The Bluff is still there or if it has been developed. I'm too cheap and lazy to drive over there this morning to see - but if it were still there it would have made a nice picture for this post. One day I'm going to have to make a visit to my old stomping grounds and see what is left there.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Lifts

Thinking back as I was in my last post to my teen years, I recall a humorous little incident. But first a little background. The men on my dad's side of the family were mostly short. My father only stood 5 feet and 4 inches. (For that matter, my mom is short, too, at 5'3.) Therefore, I guess I can count my blessings that I made it to 5'7 in my prime (actually now, with aging, I'm closer to 5'6 - a bit of a shorty). Lots of things that bothered me when I was young don't bother me now, my stature among them.
But as a pimply faced teenager I did resent being short and having to look up at most of the guys I hung around with.
My older brother (who was really a half-brother, although we never thought about it that way because my dad raised him since he was three, and also because he was there before I arrived) was tall, standing six feet tall as an adult. As brothers are prone to do he used to poke fun at me when we were kids, especially concerning my height. He would call me a midget or a pygmy. (He was tall but he was extremely slim, and you can bet I gave as good as I got.) Then there was that annoying time when in grade school one of my female classmates - who was slightly taller - shoved me hard during recess and called me a runt. I caught up with and even surpassed the majority of them by high school, but at the time it was a painful blow indeed. 
Of course it goes without saying that a lot of the guys also gave me the business over my height. And as often happens when a child hears something negative over and over, it eventually starts to have an effect. All of these things had a negative effect on me.
I used to go to my mom about it. Moms always try to soothe over the rough spots in their children's lives, but it didn't really help that much when she assured me that God made me exactly the way he wanted me to be. (I used to wonder what kind of sense of humor God must have.)  
Then one day, when I was in the tenth grade, I spied in my trusty mail order catalog an ad for lifts that could be inserted into a person's shoes in order to discreetly "add inches to your height." Sounded good to me so I ordered some.
On the happy day the package came, I stuck them right into my shoes. I had to make sure my pants came down far enough to hide the fact that my feet were in danger of spilling over the tops of my shoes. And I had to learn to walk carefully because a slight misstep could cause me to stumble awkwardly because my feet no longer rested firmly in my shoes.
I can't remember now how long I carried on that charade. Not long, as I recall. Probably only a few months. But I felt like a phony. That, and there was this scenario that kept playing over and over in my mind: Being in high school and really getting serious about the opposite sex, I contemplated the time I would have my first sexual encounter; the thought of getting undressed and my potential lover finding me quite a bit shorter than one would expect when someone took off his shoes intimidated me.
Time to quit pretending. I thought about it and took out my lifts for good. I told my mom about it. She didn't know about the lifts. We had a good laugh and I told her, "I'm tall enough; I'll make do." But I also made another decision concerning my height - one which over the past four decades I have rigidly adhered to: I made up my mind I would never acknowledge anyone who ever addressed as me "Shorty" or anything similar. (Where my dad worked he was universally known as "Shorty" and it didn't bother him.) For me, however, it was my determination not to let my height (or lack thereof) define me.
Shortly after I gave up the lifts I met and started dating my high school sweetheart. She was an inch taller than I am. We later married and were together for over 8 years. (I won't repeat here that sad story of how our relationship crashed.) In fact, years after my divorce when I reluctantly reentered the singles scene, I dated a woman who was 5'11 and another who was 5'10. Mind you, I wasn't trying to go for tall women, but neither they nor I let my height stand in the way.
Then there was the fact that I have been somewhat successful in the business world. I used to own my own business and for over a quarter of a century now I have made my living by supervising workers - a great many (believe me!) who were taller than I am. No problems. My short stature is obviously noticeable, but not a big deal to others evidently, because I don't feel it is a big deal. I have obtained and excelled at leadership positions, just like a host of short historical characters have done.
Also, I don't want to leave the impression that I am overly sensitive about this matter. I can laugh as heartily as the next person over a short joke. I can even poke fun at myself. But don't address me as "Shorty": I will ignore you the same way I would some young whippersnapper calling me "Pop." It's a matter of respect: I'm Doug; and if you don't know my name you can introduce yourself and ask me about my name. (Actually, I was never crazy about nicknames and never allowed any to be hung on me.)

Now I look back on the lifts and laugh. I think back to my youthful insecurity about my height and wince, and recall how painful such things can be to a young person. My height was really the least of my troubles when I was growing into adulthood. I just didn't realize it at the time.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

"God, I Am Troubled"

That was the bold heading of the ad in the classified section of the tabloid I regularly read as I teenager. I would buy such things (along with Mad magazine) when I had extra money. In the solitude of my bedroom I thought intensely about the troubled world outside my cocoon.
Sometimes, however, much of my turmoil came from within. Somehow I had come to fear that I might have committed the unpardonable sin - literally, not in some figurative sense.
I was raised as a Pentecostal Christian. I was, even by my teen years, slowly working my way away from that. But it was the basic framework of my outlook. And as Pentecostals, we were big on the Holy Ghost. And Jesus, as I was well aware from my personal Bible studies, had given a very sobering warning:
Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come. (Matthew 12:31,32).
Had I not begun to question some of the things I had grown up believing? Had not those troubling questions that come from attempting to square the world in all its gorious (I don't think that's really a word) ugliness with the idea of a God-created stage. Okay, I knew that this was supposedly a fallen world, thanks to our parents Adam and Eve. But still, it just seemed to me that God had given Satan and his minions a whole lot of leeway for making evil.
What's more, then as now, I had a somewhat irreverent sense of humor - even when it came to the sacred. Maybe especially when it came to the sacred!
In those dark and quiet early morning hours - when the television had gone off the air (as it did back in the olden days), when the house was still because the rest of my family was fast asleep - I worried that perhaps I had crossed that line, that point of no return.
Things had been rough for me since my parents split when I was eleven years old. Mom and Dad stopped attending church regularly. They needed time to recalibrate their lives, I suppose. It was a crazy time for all of us as went on with our lives. God was no longer the presence He had been for me - at least the way I had always conceived of it. Perhaps He no longer loved me since my heart had started to harden.
The pain the divorce of my parents brought into my life is a pain I can't describe. One day it seemed we were a happy God-fearing, church-attending family. The next day, everything was crazy. And I say it has never been the same again for me. The secure foundation upon which my early years was being built was swept away in flash, as if some horrible flood had covered everything in sight.
I was once fourth in my class in intelligence and accomplishment. My parents were so proud of that fact. But it was different after the breakup of my family. I couldn't focus on my studies. I faked illness a lot to get out of school. I was soon falling behind.
By the time I was near and in high school, my education was becoming something of a joke. I flunked the 9th grade because of my poor attendance. I didn't repeat that grade because my principal had confidence in my potential. But for years I had been eking by with Ds - the lowest passing grade - in most of the subjects I took.
Now during those summer months when the nights were hot and long, when I had too much free time on my hands, I saw that "God, I am troubled ad" and was almost tempted to write. They offered a little crucifix necklace that I could wear, or maybe that I could hold close to my heart and try again to pray. I'm certain now that this was a money making enterprise more than an earnest attempt get people back into the boat and out of the troubled seas of sin. But I was desperate at the time. I was looking for a lifeline.
I do remember praying that prayer, though: "God, I am troubled." I can remember lying by the open window beside my bed, lying in the dark stillness, looking up into the Heavens, and asking God to take the pain from my heart, to restore the joy and fellowship I once felt I had.
He didn't.
I grew colder. I doubted more. I moved further away from the shore. At times over the years it seemed as if the current was sweeping me back. But always my intellect got in my way. Or maybe my heart was just hardening. Doubting became ever easier and in time I could raise a hundred objections to every religious argument anyone could raise with me. And lots of people - great and small (I mean simple Christians as well as educated clergy) - gave it a go trying to get me back right with God.
God, I am troubled still. But I've seen too much, been through too much, went through too much with others to be satisfied with pat answers, to ignore the hard questions and truly reasonable objections to the morality play view of life. Still, I can't help myself from thinking about the great battle between Good and Evil. Still, I want to align myself with the Good. Still, all that is Evil angers and vexes me. 
Nope, no neat little ending to this tortured scream from the depths of my soul. It's real. The emptiness inside me is real. The pain of loss is palpable and though I've clutched at a million things in life trying to find some substitute for what I feel I lost, there has never been relief.

Is it just me? 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Million More Things To Say

Change is sometimes good (but always for me it seems difficult, but once initiated I'm usually able to get into gear). I groped the elephant of life for several years, but heck: I'm not sure of my own tentative conclusions after all that, let alone do I feel qualified to suggest to others what they should conclude! But the stuff that goes on inside my head, I do know about. And that is what this blog is going to be about.
I plan on being a bit more personal, hence the name. The "dribblings" is suggestive that sometimes my posts may be a bit of a trickle, an unsteady stream, while other times they may be really sparse. Sometimes not at all. However, I still have a lot of stuff to say and am always thinking of more, so maybe there will be lots of postings and with great detail. I'll also probably strive for informality and not concentrate on being an essayist (which truly I'm not). This blog is intended as a way to keep in touch with the cyber friends I've made over the years and just don't want to lose fellowship with. And if I make some new friends, that's wonderful! I certainly hope I do. But always my desire is for quality readers, not simply quantity. 
Sometimes I may share some poetry, short stories or proverbs that have meant something to me over the years. I will continue to share memories from my past. I will not hold back grumbling about my day-to-day strugglings with life, you can bet! I will vent and fume and think out loud. In short, if you visit my new blog you will truly be having a virtual visit with Doug B, warts and all.
My intention is to leave the comments easily accessible (forgive any spam that gets through the filters and which I may not delete in a timely manner). If there is space between my postings (or our virtual visits, as I want us to think of them), please feel free to drop me a line. I can't tell you how many times that has served to get me back to my blog.
One last thing. I'm just getting this blog going so there is still much work to be done (such as working on my blog roll). And yes, Sharp-eyed Zoe, I have already reworked my profile a bit in anticipation of starting this new blog. I also dropped my Diogenes avatar and decided to substitute a picture of my ugly mug. That's the least I can do if I'm going to be all personal with this thing. Besides, I think I need to lighten up a little and stop taking myself so seriously. We have to be willing to quit philosophizing every now and then in order to do a little living. Perhaps I should admit that I know I'm full of internal contradictions. (Most of us are.) Nor will it be news if I should add that I'm not perfect and often find that I don't measure up to my own expectations and standards. No apologies here for being human.

Oh, and one more "last" thing. Please don't feel the need to make a pithy comment on any of my posts, but if every now and then you let me know you are still out there, even if reading in silence. It inspires me. And if you have something pithy to add, that's great too! But please, let's keep in touch.