Sunday, November 2, 2008

November Theme: Giving Thanks

November's theme is so easy for me; lately I have been grateful for many things. I always have a long list of things that I want or need at any given moment. More this, less that and just the right amount of the other. However, if I am honest there is plenty that I am thankful for every single day. The problem then becomes identifying that for which I'm most thankful. Thanksgiving is my favorite American holiday. Not for the marathon cooking sessions, nor the tense family gatherings that inevitably bring up unpleasant encounters but for the potential recognition of what is good and right in our lives.

Share Thanksgiving memories or things you're grateful for. Tell us your tales.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Vice, Vice Baby

You know, a year ago this would have been a no-brainer. A year ago, I could have written an essay - a dissertation, even, on vice. More specifically, on my vices. Unfortunately (for the purposes of this space, anyway), my vices are slowly dissipating into history, like smoke from a bottle. It's taken a bit of adjusting to. In the last year, I've quit smoking, started eating right, getting regular exercise. I stopped drinking as much and pretty much stopped my minor recreational drug use (I'm far removed from my more serious drug use days). I mean, that's a steady list of vices right there, and I've dumped 'em all in less than a year.

For some reason, I feel almost embarrassed about it. The thing is, accepting those things as vices, as something wrong or bad or even immoral seems like a blow dealt to my youth. I feel as if once you start thinking about those things as behaviors you need to alter, you're evolving past the carefree attitudes of youth and making the slow, inexorable move towards true adulthood, where you spend more time watching your cholesterol level then you do enjoying yourself.

Except that I don't think that's really true. I'm under no illusions -- at 33 years old, I'm hardly an old man. It's not like I was suddenly faced with my own mortality. But at the same time, there comes a time when you really, truly start to realize that the path you are on... will have serious adverse effects on your life and the lives of those around you. Not today, perhaps. Not tomorrow or next year or in five years or ten. But... eventually.

Sometimes, the threat of that eventuality is enough.

So I've given up many of my vices. Of course, perhaps I've traded them in for new, more interesting ones. I no longer spend my money on cigarettes and cheap beer. Instead, I've developed a taste for expensive Scotch. I no longer sit on my ass all day andplay video games. Instead, I took up mountain biking, an expenisve endeavor in and of itself, not to mention an inherently dangerous one. As I write this, I've got a pair of shredded shins and a bruise that is quite literally the size of an egg.

I suppose I'll never give up everything -- someone once told me everyone needs at least a few vices, if for no other reason than to keep like interesting. I still play my music too loud. I still swear like a fucking sailor who stubbed his toe. I still spend money a little too freely.

But at least now, I'll be able to do those things for much longer.

ps - I know it's not October anymore, but fuck it. This came to me and seemed better served being posted here.

Now playing: Hatebreed - Healing To Suffer Again
via FoxyTunes