The San Francisco bay area is considered to be one of the most dynamic, fascinating, and beautiful places to live on the planet. 99 days out of 100 I agree wholeheartedly, and enjoy my walks, drives, thoughts, meals, and discoveries. The one day out of 100 that goes south, usually goes straight to hell. [Read more...]
Sweet freedom whispered in my ear
You’re a butterfly
And butterflies are free to fly
Someone Saved My Life Tonight - John and Taupin
I met Juliet Williams on the night of Dec 11, 2006. We went to a restaurant beyond my means for dinner and we have been exceeding my means dining out for the six years since we met. I encountered the most complimentary personality to my own that day in December. I knew I would likely never meet another so carefully balanced in her deeds and demeanor that could so effortlessly be herself in the presence of my naturally overbearing disposition. As far as I was concerned it was a done deal within weeks and we would save our families the embarrassment of hasty nuptials and hold off on the wedding as long as we could. I have spent 6 nights away from Juliet in the past 6 years and I hope that I say the same number 6 years from now.
In modern love science we are likely labeled some sort of afflicted couple with some unnatural dependence upon the presence of one another. That may be true, and at the same time I have no idea how many days I have on this planet so if you don’t mind I would prefer to spend them with Juliet. I don’t want a sweat lodge, or a Vegas romp with the boys. I don’t have any drive to be a solo travel writer running off to exotic places and drinking myself calm on lonely flights across the globe.
This Christmas, like last Christmas will have been spent in the company of friends rather than our families home in Texas. If Juliet was not here this would not have been an option. Juliet is my family and represents that grounding love I have with my blood kin. This is what I love about being human. I can meet someone, fall in love with her and then eclipse that level of love by accepting Juliet into my true kinship. I am certain that our married life is the joining of two beings to better exist as a couple. I have always heard and was counseled to believe we are one and indivisible and that we should remain so even in marriage. Well, then why the hell would I get married? I got married to become a state of “Us” to become the company of 2 in 1. I do not think this is about completion so much as it is about ascendance. It is simply the fact that I am a better man married to Juliet than I was before. If you ask 20 people who knew me before Juliet and after, I am confident that 20 of 20 would agree with my prior sentence.
Juliet, in the course of this year you have put our journey on a map where before there were only outlines of dreams. Where there were tiny islands of hope now stand continents of joy. It has been a real challenge to seek a path dictated by the “whimsical” pursuits of bliss and personal direction. You work every day in a world in which you know you could bypass were it not for us. You choose this path because it has allowed us to flow in a time when the planet seems to be immersed in glaciers of stagnation.
In the past 6 years we have seen a much higher percentage of the planet than in our prior years combined and the joy we have experienced from the souls we have encountered on this journey is worth every moment we spent in consternation debating the paths and means to our goals.
This Christmas does not bring trees of gifts, gobs of fudgy sweets, nor the occasion to sit and watch our nieces and nephews lose their minds. No, this Christmas brings us upon a different landscape reminding us all the time that life exists presently and hopefully forwardly. Our memories cannot be relived lest they putrefy and remove themselves from the pantheon of our storied pasts. We have chosen something so much more than ordinary because you have made it happen. Your creative and diligent being, inspire me everyday to push forward.
You facilitate my being and I can only hope that what we create together will in turn facilitate your ultimate freedom from the current constraints of the path as it evolves. You simply are the greatest gift I have ever been given and although cliche’, you are the gift that keeps on giving. This may be more of a philosophical rant than most of you expected to read on Christmas morning and if so, go back to sleep or have another piece of ribbon candy. Juliet is the reason I am here and if you have ever enjoyed a single post on this site then she is to thank because without her I am certain I would be toiling away; looking for her and knowing she must be out there somewhere.
Thank God when I looked in my stocking this morning, she was there just like she always is. Merry Christmas Juliet , you are the most blissful adventure of my life!
My love always,
Hostess ceases operation and is closing for good. For a moment let’s assume this is true and that the company does not sell to some international conglomerate who lays off the union workers and re-stocks under a new LLC with cheap labor. Let’s assume the end is nigh for the dearest little snack cakes and the happiness I gleaned from their hydrogenated shells. Sure, Hostess and its subsidiaries might actually be a major player in the rise of disease, disability, laziness, and learning disorders in the US, but for this poor kid from small-town Texas, Hostess was freedom in every bite. [Read more...]
Election season….say it out loud and feel the nausea. I took a class in college on the Lincoln-Douglas debates; an entire class. I cannot watch the gory orchestrations of professional wrestling cast upon us these evenings. The intense efforts made to marginalize, disparage, and fictionalize the plight of our nation would have forced Lincoln to have pulled the trigger on himself.
In lieu of any further histrionics I give you images of a Sunday in Santa Cruz and Capitola, California. The sea calls folks, and I must answer. [Read more...]
Las Vegas – The California Move Day 3
The 4th time was not the charm for me and Las Vegas, NV. I basically have no use for the place and I wanted to bring Schmee with me to see if it was me or if she would validate my general disdain for the place.
I have many friends who love Vegas and I am sure they are the same friends who love Cabo, or The Pink Palace, or tents at golf tournaments. There is something wonderful to some people about cavorting about all knowing that self-imposed rules are being broken and that somehow makes it OK.
I tend to live my life with fewer rules and far fewer burdens of duty than many so to me Vegas just seems like a bit of a shithole. So much so that most of my photos are haphazardly shot which I think was a subconscious act of defiance and to illustrate just how depraved the whole place is. [Read more...]
First of all let me apologize for my long summer absence. After my return from Italy and the TBEX bloggers conference I felt truly overloaded. Too much impetus, too fast, and the bug of introspection set itself firmly in my mind.
This is where the difficulty comes in writing dear followers of bliss. I began to allow my introspection into my prose and my poetry. I finally, after many years of holding back began to share with a strange new world the inner workings of my head. I loved the feedback and the give and take. WordPress in many ways was my writers forum, a place to practice a craft and to experiment with style and sharing.
I believed the WP.com community to be a place of safety. At the same time, we all have an audience and a voice our readers are accustomed to hearing. The morose side of TBA was a bit much for some of my readers and a very dear friend and fellow blogger let me know as much. [Read more...]
The Blissful Adventurer Top 25 Italy Moments continues with #11 – Siena Church Driving. After our most recent trip to Italia I had to augment my Top 11 posts with some amazing new experiences which blew us away. We have gotten the list together and now we continue with the rest of the story.
#11 Siena Church Driving
I started driving in Italy on a regular basis in 2006. Since then I have driven vans, cars, and bicycles. I have pulled trailers, ridden in dump trucks, and driven cars on and off of very tightly packed ferries. I have used a Euro GPS and a modified American Garmin Nuvi 275. I can say with all certainty none of those experiences prepared me for #11 on my list of Top 25 Italy moments. [Read more...]
As I am gearing up to release My Italy Top 25 Moments 1-11 I am offering a quick view into 12-17 for those that are new to the site and as a refresher. My Top 10 has shifted a bit since this last trip to Italy as 2 new moments made their way up the ladder. In the next 2 weeks I will at long last reveal mt full Top 25 Italy Moments.
# 17 The Sunglass Hustle - Find out how I turned a nasty habit into a cool pair of shades
#16 Singing in Rome - The day the University of Dallas met the real Garth Brooks
#15 The Legend of Soy Jack - I have never met anyone quite like him
#14 Siena Language Barrier - Why knowing a little of a language can be a serious liability
#13 Why I Was a Lousy Tour Guide - There was a very good reason even though I still wish I had been better
#12 The Wrong Train - My first and not my last train misfortune in Italy
#11 – The Siena Church Drive - new material coming tomorrow
Top 25 Italy Moments #18 – The Porcupine Kick – was one of those nights that could have never been scripted and the replay in my head is almost as good as the moment itself.
#18 – The Porcupine Kick (Il Riccio Calcio) – It was a gorgeous fall evening in Assisi and our class were all dispersed atop the hill and enjoying the cool evening around the walls of the ancient La Rocca Maggiore. Of course after a big meal there was much consumption of cheap wine in unmarked bottles and as always someone (me) would bring a bottle of liquor because they did not enjoy wine at the time (heresy). Our class of fall Romers in 1992 was the largest of all time and the hotel normally used by the school could not accommodate the whole class.
“Do I think America belongs in Vietnam? I don’t know, I know I belong in Vietnam, I’ll tell ya that”
One of the great quotes from Stanley Kubrick’s brilliant Full Metal Jacket was used to suggest the potential lunacy of a soldier during the siege of Hue’ city in what the Vietnamese refer to as “The American War.” I have begun with this quote to illustrate my own opinion before, and most certainly after my recent visit to Vietnam. Vietnam is not the jungle den of iniquity carefully constructed in post-war Hollywood, but perhaps the most compelling argument for the resiliency of the human spirit even in the aftermath of human aggression that I have had the privilege to witness in my travels. Beginning here with a quote from a dramatized time that most of the west still equates to Vietnam seems appropriate as it is strewn with misconceptions. The Vietnam that I experienced has taken enormous pride in letting go of any conceptualized victimization and as a nation Vietnam has moved forward to adjust and excel at its most natural talents which stand in stark contrast to the prejudices, anger, and futility of war. [Read more...]