“The sting of love lost renews itself with every resurfacing memory, every shared song, a scent, a place.”

Through (or into) the Eichler looking glass

I grew up in an Eichler home in Sunnyvale, California. It looked something like this, although we didn’t scatter big pillows around the backyard.


A notable feature of Eichlers was the vast expanse of clear, uninterrupted glass, which used to be called “picture windows.” People would often walk or run at full speed directly into the glass, usually resulting in a comical Marcel Marceau moment, but sometimes sending a child to the hospital for stitches.

The windows often reverberated from the impact of two distinct yet oddly related phenomenon. In the 1960s, jets based at the Naval Air Station at nearby Moffett Field would fly over our house and break the “sound barrier,” generating a frightening sound called a sonic boom, that caused the windows to flex and pulsate.

Sometimes, what we thought was a sonic boom, actually came from a different winged source. Apparently, birds would get drunk on the pyracantha berries that grew in our neighborhood and fly at full speed into the windows. 

I woke up this morning feeling like a bird that had flown drunk headlong into a window, which inspired me to write this post.

“I really like seeing people move from thinking about it to doing it.”

The Sidewalk

The Sidewalk

When you told me you went for a walk today, I was envious of the sidewalk, and its ability to be all around you.

What’s the Matter With People Around Here, Any Ways?

When I was at school in Humboldt County, my girlfriend and I lived in a tiny cabin in Trinidad, California. Next door lived a desperate alcoholic who drank at least a half gallon of cheap whiskey every day.

One day I heard a voice ask “How’s it going?” from somewhere within his cabin. We chatted, and I told him the brakes had failed on my truck nearly causing a crash, and that we suspected a competitor in the firewood business had cut my brake lines. His response was both naive and profound. “What’s the matter with people around here, any ways?”

Since that day, I have asked this question in a variety of settings.

Salvatore Sonny Grosso, a friend of mine, posted this thought for the day on Facebook:

When the spirit dies, so does the soul. Each time we strike, belittle, bully, steal from or disrespect another, a little piece of the Earth’s soul dies. Each time we help, hold, love, respect, encourage and share with another, the spirit is reborn. We hold the World’s Spirit and Soul in our own hands. Together we can save them!

Why do we strike, belittle, bully, steal from and disrespect each other? And what might the world be like if we stopped?

“The world and the universe is an extremely beautiful place, and the more we understand about it the more beautiful does it appear. It is an immensely exciting experience to be born in the world, born in the universe, and look around you and realise that before you die you have the opportunity of understanding an immense amount about that world and about that universe and about life and about why we’re here. We have the opportunity of understanding far, far more than any of our predecessors ever. That is such an exciting possibility, it would be such a shame to blow it and end your life not having understood what there is to understand.”

Richard Dawkins (via nathanielstuart)

(via vruz)

Anger & Grief — Call Today!

Anger & Grief — Call Today!

“Sometimes I recall a smile, a kindness, or a close friend, or I hear a bit of a favorite song, and I think, for a moment, “I can do this thing.””

Five Airline Safety Rules Not Adopted by T.S.A.

Tighter air travel regulations have been in the news in the wake of the attempted bombing of Northwest Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day.

We owe a debt of gratitude to regulators and legislators for preventing the adoption of some additional, and quite onerous, rules. Some of these unimplemented rules include:

  • Passengers will receive either a first-class upgrade or 20,000 frequent flyer miles for bringing to the attention of the flight crew suspicious activity by a seat-mate. Behaviors that warrant intervention include furtive expressions, the wearing of inappropriate clothing, or ordering from the Sky Mall catalog.
  • Passengers will be required to speak Swedish and wear their underwear on the outside at all times while on board the aircraft. Since terrorists don’t know Swedish, this will make it easier to spot them, and will make it impossible for them to conceal dangerous items in their underwear.*
  • The restrooms in the aircraft will be locked at all times. Passengers are urged instead to use restrooms at home or in the airport. In either case, a video record of these activities must be uploaded to the TSA Web site at least one hour prior to departure time.
  • In the event that the flight crew identifies a potentially threatening situation while airborne, screaming babies will be removed from the main cabin and placed in protective custody in the cargo hold.
  • Bratz and Barbie branded toys will not be allowed on board the aircraft. (This is less a security precaution than it is a matter of good taste.)

We are fortunate indeed that cooler heads prevailed.

* With apologies to Woody Allen