Bricks and Musings   
Bricks & Musings 2005
General Writer Spouting off

    There is always something to comment about and nothing is off the table. Sometimes, I just gotta get up on my little soapbox and pour my heart out. It is always interesting to look back at what I've written in the past. Feel free to comment.

The Tarheel Writer - On the Web since 24 February 2003. Celebrating 20 Years on the Internet!
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Saturday, December 10, 2005 - 10:30PM with fair skies and 34 degrees
    One of the things about growing up is that the grown ups you knew as a child become elderly. Your friends' parents who were either typical parents, or very strict parents or who were really cool, suddenly, it seems, become very old and very ... fragile. Then they start dying off ... one at a time. I think that seeing your friends' parents die ... and yes, seeing my own father die ... makes us, no, forces us to really grow up.
    The only comforting part about all this is that it's expected. I don't mean to come across as morbid or even mean ... but, the reality of it all is, the older we get, the more likely we are to die. It's the natural progression of the life cycle. Like it or not, life does have a cycle. It starts with birth and ends with death. I think the most startling realization of my life was when I found out that, eventually, I would die. For someone whose birthdays were still counted in single digits ... that's was a tough pill to swallow!
    Accepting that we only have so much time in this life is a big step toward maturity. Being mature means accepting that somewhere along the line, all this will end. What happens after that depends on your religious beliefs.
    Now, to what really brings me to this line of thought ... the death of a contemporary ... someone my age ... a former roommate! People my age are not supposed to die. Do you know why? Because that brings my own mortality into the forefront of my thinking! When someone my age or younger dies, I feel that much closer to the time that I will die. Yeah, it scares the hell out of me!
    Laurie was Jeff's roommate when I moved in with him. We had a great time! My favorite memory of Laurie was one night when she came home and Jeff and I were having a "private moment" in front of the fireplace. I met her at the door wearing nothing but a frying pan held in front of my most private bits. I grinned. She grinned back. I struggled for words. She just laughed and headed for her bedroom.
    She was found dead this week with a gun shot to her head and the gun lying next to her. The police at first thought suicide, but they've changed their minds. The investigation is still going on. And the funeral is this coming Sunday. Jeff and I plan to attend. It's gonna be a really tough day.

Friday, December 9, 2005 - 11:00PM with clear skies and 28 degrees
    Over the Thanksgiving Holiday, I went to my 30th high school reunion. Actually, I was on the organizing committee and played a small part in putting it all together. The planning was kinda fun. Our main objective was to find as many people as possible. Finding guys was not near as hard as finding girls ... guys' names don't change when they get married!
    The evening for the reunion came and out of a graduating class of a little over 200, we had almost 90 in attendance, which is actually higher than average. The last reunion I went to was 20 years ago, so I would be seeing some people for the first time in two decades. Yeah, I was a bit apprehensive.
    First of all, my best friend when I was growing up was there. Somewhere during high school, he went his way and I went mine. I'm pretty sure it had to something to do with my relentless search for another boy that liked boys. And then there's the neighbor from across the field behind my house ... the same boy who I convinced that he needed a blow job and I was the perfect person to help him out, which, of course, I did. So the conversation with him was gonna be interesting ... but as it turned out, it went quite well. He's retired from the Navy now and is doing some consulting work ... happily married with kids.
    It was quite interesting to watch as my classmates slowly started to gather in the meeting room at the local Holiday Inn. The same clicks that were in effect way back when, were still in effect now. The geeks hung out with the geeks, the jocks with the jocks, the bookworms with the bookworms, the wild crowd with the wild crowd and of course, the rest of us. I was never fully entrenched in a click in high school, I just kinda floated and was perfectly at home in any group. And that held true the night of the reunion. Between catching up with old classmates and constantly turning the music down, I really did enjoy myself. Music was one of my jobs, after all, I was a DJ. But the guy helping me was spending a whole lot of time at the cash bar and was constantly turning the music up. And I was constantly turning it down. Go figure. 30 years ago, I would have been the one turning it up!
    All in all, it was a fun time and I'm glad I went. I didn't stand on a table and announce to everyone there that I sucked cock on a regular basis, but somehow, that didn't matter. I hugged the people that were important to me and I shunned and ignored the people I didn't like. I actually look forward to the 35th reunion. I might decide to finally be an asshole and tell people what I actually think of them. Or ... maybe not.

Tuesday, March 1, 2005 - 1:20AM with cloudy skies and 38 degrees
    I should have gone! Damnit! I'm kicking myself in the ass for not going! Damnit! Why all the self loathing? 'Cause I should have gone camping. I saw the forecast. I knew what was coming, but I didn't do anything about it! Damnit!
    Winter camping is one of the most wonderful experiences you can ever ... well, experience. No bugs, no snakes, no bears, no people, no ... nothing. It's quiet. Nature is asleep ... well, almost. I've always approached camping as one of those adventures where you get away from it all ... and I mean ALL. I don't want to see another human being. I don't want to hear traffic, the television, the phone, the fax and all that crap that ties us to the heart beat of modern day society. Take me away from all that crap!! That's what I want when I camp. Now I will admit that an occasional cute young man stopping by to ask for directions or advice is somewhat uplifting (especially between the legs) and certainly welcome, but overall, I'd rather experience it by myself or with someone who appreciates it as much as I do.
    Thursday, March 12, 1993 ... I was camped on top of Tray Mountain in Georgia, just barely into my attempt to hike all 2100 miles of the Appalachian Trail. The snow started ... then the wind ... three days and two feet of snow later ... I emerged from my tent into a winter wonderland. It took two days to hike 10 miles ... and when you are used to hiking 15 miles in one day ... you catch the significance. I thought nothing of the danger I was in. I thought nothing of freezing to death. I thought nothing of all the people that were worried about me. AND ... I knew nothing of the helicopters airlifting hikers out of the Greak Smoky Mountains. I knew nothing of the extent of the storm. I knew nothing of the great effort of the National Park Service, the Appalachian Trail Conference and the efforts of many friends to "find" all us lost hikers. ALL I did know was that I was warm, comfortable, not wanting for food, not wondering where I was and in wonderous awe of nature.
    I would find out later that everybody was worried about me ... well, except for Mike (my best friend). He knew my capabilities and my expereince. He wasn't worried while my brother was screaming "he could freeze to death!"
    When my hiking partner "Wolf" (trail name) and I emerged onto the road toward the end of the second day, we were greated by a Forest Service man who wanted our names so we could be crossed off the list. I didn't see the big deal. I was fine. Wolf was fine. And ever since, I've loved winter camping.
    NOW ... back to my original ... ah damnit! Ten inches of snow fell in the North Carolina Mountains and I wasn't there to experience it! Aaaargh! I would have loved to have been there. Gotta watch those forecasts a bit more closely.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 11:15PM with partly cloudy skies and 45 degrees
    Once again I find myself lacking in motivation. Do you experience the same thing? Coming back from vacation on Sunday, I've found myself lacking the motavation to do anything constructive. Sure, I've taken care of a few things that literally demanded attention, but the other stuff is slowly stacking up on my desk. I expereinced the same thing last year, but for the life of me, I can't remember what I did to get "back in the groove."
    A week in Key Largo aboard Charlie's sailboat was just enough time to recharge my batteries, to clear my head, to erase all the muckity muck. That's the stuff that month after month of work seems to surround your head in ... kinda like a fog. It's kinda hard to describe, but it seems to me it's like trying to saw along a pencil line on a piece of wood without pausing to blow the sawdust out of the way. My vacation was like pausing ... and blowing the sawdust out of the way ... allowing me once again to see where I'm headed.
    If you've never been sailing ... go. There's something about a boat leaning over at a 25 degree angle that gets your heart pumping. It's one thing to do it in a small sailboat on a lake, but it's quite another to do it on a 38 foot sailboat. The very first time I experienced it, I immediately headed below decks and slammed a couple of shots to calm my nerves. Now, I can't wait to feel the power of wind against the sail. In these modern times with instant this and instant that, being on a boat that is moved across the water only by the wind is refreshing. Yeah, we're only going about 7 or 8 knots, but there's only the sound of the wind. In a speedboat, you could get there faster, but you'd have to put up with the scream of the engine and the cost of the gas. Sailing is completely different. In a strange way, you're connected to Mother Nature ... to her winds that propel you along your course.
    Charlie gave me a copy of Jimmy Buffet's book "A Salty Piece of Land" for my birthday. I was immediately hooked. If you get the chance, and you're so inclined, read it. You'll enjoy every word. I'm sure you've heard the saying "stop and smell the roses." Sailing is a lot like that. There's no rush. There's no pressure. There's nothing but the wind, the sea and your boat. To me, nothing could be more relaxing ... or more intense ... read storm here. LOL. Mother Nature can certainly be entertaining.

Friday, February 4, 2005 - 12:30AM with clear skies and 45 degrees
    Howdie! Just kinda rambling tonight. Actually, taking a break from writing. Chapter 14 of The Nineteenth Year is just getting started. I've written a page and a half. LOL! Sorry about the cliffhanger ending of Chapter 13, I just couldn't help myself.
    This is the year of my 30th High School Reunion. Will I go? Hell, I don't know. I won't know til the night before. What brings this thought up is I saw a picture of the class of 1974 last week. OMG! Those people looked ... OLD! I had to get out my annual just to figure out who was who. And these people are just a year older than me! Father time was not nice to the majority of the class of 74. To be honest, that's kinda mean. After all, I'm looking at a black and white photo in the newspaper. It's kinda hard to see details, but when what was once a bean pole is now the Pillsbury Dough Boy, you don't have too look to hard.
    My birthday is coming up next week and it promises to be a ho hum day. We're going out to eat, at my mother's suggestion. She didn't want me to have to cook, which is probably what would have happened had everyone gathered here at the house. So going out is a good idea. Everyone can be here except my oldest daughter. She plans to take me out next Friday night to shoot pool or bowl and drink. LOL! She wants to see me drunk.
    January was a very slow month, work wise. I didn't make hardly any money. Thankfully, November and December of last year were busy. So the slow work time allowed me to write and that makes me feel really good. I'm sure you've noticed the flurry of activity during the past few weeks.
    I've been kinda lax with my musings. There have been so many things happening that I wanted to comment on, but time just didn't allow it. I don't plan on being silent this year. So look for more comments and general bullshit in the weeks and months to come. In the mean time, have a go at some of the newly posted chapters or even some of the newly suggested stories. There's tons out there to read. Laters!

Thursday, February 3, 2005 - 12:30AM with a winter storm warning & 35 degrees with sleet
    Burrrrrrrr! Hello winter! Now, just for fun, let's think of other things that make us shiver ... hello another four years of George Bush ... hello to the Republican Conservative Controlled Congress ... hello to more states passing freakin "Marriage Protection Acts" ... oh, I could go on, but let's try not to get too depressed! :)
    Let's catch up a bit, shall we ...
    There is nothing better than the sex between two people that love each other ... nothing! Except, hehe, maybe another round. Jeff and I are approaching our 10th Anniversary. The communication is back, after suffering horribly from our forced seperation ... him having to live 50 miles away for a year. Man, that sucked!
    Our oldest cat died. It was a sad day. Hell, it was a sad week. Bo was 21 years old and it was time for him to go. Smokey continues to miss him. She kinda mopes around the house during the day. In the middle of the night, she decides it's time to play so she races around, tearing around corners and then "catterwalling" for no apparent reason. I know she misses her buddy, but I hate having to throw shoes in the middle of the night.
    Work has slowed down and I've had time to start to catch up. If you've sent me a message and I haven't responded, have no fear, I'll get to you. I've been concentrating on writing and have really churned out the chapters in the last few weeks.
    The second ... SECOND ... anniversary of the site is coming up on February 24th. I just can't believe it! And the number of visits to the site has absolutely blown me away ... over 337,000 last year alone! Thank you so much for visiting ... you are always welcome and your input is welcome as well. So be sure to let me know if you see something missing or something that's here that bothers you. I'm all ears.
    I've corresponded with sooooo many new people in the last month or so. It's good to know that new people are finding the site.
    Gotta jet! The 14th Chapter of The Nineteenth Year is waiting for me and since I ended Chapter 13 with a "Who Shot JR?" cliffhanger ending, I guess I better get busy! Once again, I thank you for visiting, for reading, for being supportive, for sending emails and ... for being you. Yeah, as William Shakespeare says, "This above all, to thine own self be true."

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