It starts with waking up to read my work email in the morning. I don’t look forward to it. There is something about it now that makes me wonder how valuable a lot of what I do really is. I don’t think it was always this way. And I don’t think it has to do with my having less enthusiasm for work email. It’s the email that’s changed. Economy, people worrying about their jobs, tracking everything, measuring and justifying one’s existence, busy work. I don’t know. I just know the quality and quantity of it is painful at times. A distraction from work that matters.

My life will be coming to an end in an unknown amount of minutes, hours, days, weeks, years. If I could find out exactly what day I will die, it would allow me to allocate my resources. 3 months, 6 months? Hmm, perhaps I’m done wasting my time with pointless work. Hello, Las Vegas. Hello, speeding tickets. 5 years to 10 years left? Well then, work is good. Keep on trucking. Benefits, a paycheck – all good. No reason to risk anything.

I’m lucky to have a wife and daughter, two dogs, a job, a house, a car, health insurance. Knock on wood. Life’s checklist is good. I’m lucky. Good too. But what do I do with the rest of my time? It feels like I should be doing more and that I know better than to waste time and worry about trivial stuff. It could all end tomorrow. But one has to survive. Artists and musicians glamorize this situation, as if I should be driving a VW van while lip-syncing to Katy Perry’s “Firework.” I suck at making the most of life. I must have slept through that class in school.

Ah, Ms. Perry, What was Russell thinking?
Photo by Eva Rinaldi – Creative Commons

My garage is full of crap. It’s a warehouse for items I may need once in the next 5 years. It feels like a ball and chain. Stuff weighs a lot. I don’t have the courage to throw it all away. Who knows when I’ll need that spare insulation or scrap of plywood.

I surf the Internet too much. It’s a distraction, has ruined my concentration, and keeps me from doing anything that takes effort, such as writing a blog post. It is escape. I’ve mastered it.

I dislike Yahoo! and its headline stories about nothing. Yahoo! – it’s your brain on cotton candy. “Levi Johnson Poses with Baby Daughter.” At what point is that story worthy of a major headline? Have you ever noticed how many stories are about celebrities’ new hair styles?


I’m tired of Apple mania. I dig the new Samsung Galaxy commercial poking fun at waiting in line for an iPhone. It’s pitch perfect. I own Apple everything, but now I’m wondering if I joined a cult and they’ll be asking me to drink iKool-Aid soon.

I fear failure, but have nothing to lose, or everything. I’m not sure.

I have ideas. Always have. But I was born without the gene to make shit happen.

This is my conundrum.

I miss the beach and blogging

Readers of this blog know I do a pretty good job of flogging myself for all of the poor decisions I’ve made in my life, and continue to make. I wish I could let them go. But in the interest of balance, I’m going to pat myself on the back for a very good decision, one of the best I’ve ever made: renting a house at the beach for a month.

No one had a better time than our black lab. She loved retrieving the tennis ball and eating sandwiches out of strangers’ hands when they weren’t paying attention. A little bit embarrassing. For us, not her.

Every dog gets lucky once in a blue moon. And man did I have good fortune spending 28 days 108 steps from the sand. And despite my wife and I having to work during part of the stay, it was still awesome. Late afternoon walks with my daughter and the dogs. The awesomeness of the air, wind, and sunlight reflecting off the ocean. The lifestyle and relaxed pace. The calm. Did I mention the air? The ocean air. Let’s add sleeping with the window open at night, sound of waves crashing in the distance, burrowed under a comforter to the list of awesome everyday occurrences.

Yes, while the Valley melted in August with triple-digit temperatures, we chilled in the low to mid 70s everyday. And despite using sunscreen, I need to delay an overdue skin doctor appointment until the color of my skin fades from brown. Lesson learned: reapply often at the beach.

So, I miss the damn place. And since returning home, I’ve been very lazy. I can’t explain it. But I understand now how blogs fade away. Check out my blogroll. So many good writers that don’t post anymore. Blogging again feels a little bit like going to the gym again after being away for a while. Step one: sit in front of the computer and log on to WordPress. Step two: click “posts, new.”

So, simple in theory, so hard in practice.

The irony, if that’s the correct word, is that I have a lot to write about: Beach stories, panic attacks, and the kitchen remodel. Oh, yeah, the kitchen remodel. What a stressful experience that was. And it’s not quite over yet. I am cursed with the vision of spotting imperfections. That’s all I’m saying about it right now lest I have to reach for the Ativan. The remodel story deserves at least one post of its own.

I also want thank the universe for allowing me to make it through the month at the ocean without any hospital stays. It’s not to say I wasn’t tested at times, but I made it and enjoyed the 28 days surf side, not in jail.

More to come later. Today, my goal was to drive to the gym, got on the exercise bike and keep my expectations simple. Check. Done.