Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Of all the historic things about this election, the one thing that I noticed about tonight's Democratic debate was at the end. When Obama and Clinton were signing autographs I realized that Barack is left-handed. This excited me as I, too, am a part of the blessed few who know about ink stained pinky fingers and the injustices of where rings and spirals are placed on notebooks.

My intrigue caused me to do a little research. What I found was astounding. Of all the presidents who have been in office during my lifetime-- Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush-- only two were NOT left handed. The two you ask? Carter and W. Bush, considered by many to be the two worst, if not the two most unpopular during their terms.

The moral? While many factors are in play, you should always lean toward the lefty.

Oh, by the way... John McCain is left-handed as well:)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Come Home...

We stand among those who look an awful lot like ourselves. The wind is gusting heavily in that country cemetary surrounded by towering pines and overlooking rolling hills, but we all linger a bit longer. The funeral has ended and we are left with just ourselves.

Most of my cousins, living in relative nearness to each other, have stories and feuds to be resolved and inside jokes. I envy them for this. They will say goodbye and it will be something different than when I say goodbye. I try to make up for years of being on the margins of my family by striking up conversations and telling people to visit me when they are down my way.

Our mothers and fathers were each one of nine siblings. The oldest brother has just passed away, leaving six still alive.

Joe, who along with myself is among the youngest of all the 27 first cousins, in his lilting East Texas accent asks a question that takes me by surprise. "Do you think you'll ever come back?" He could mean anything, but I know what he means. And he is the only family outside my parents who ever actually broaches the subject.

My mind goes in several places at the same time, and I think you know where this is going.

Is home about the heart or about the hat?

In the moment of the question I realize that I could come back. I can always come back.

I also realize that this will be something that follows me throughout my life, whether I stay or leave. At the end of my journey there will always be at least one or two other places where I imagine how things would have turned out if I would have been there instead of where I ended up.

I am here and I am there. I am in a chair on Washington Avenue in a city in the middle of Texas. I am standing on the football field in a nerdy band uniform at the end of a performance, and I think this is as good as it will ever get. I sit across from Kyle and we are laughing at the fact that he is enjoying a happy hour margarita just minutes before a meeting at church. In an old church house on Kreutzwaldi street in Tartu, for the first time I stand in a new world, a wholly different place. In an apartment on a campus I am laughing with a new group of friends who are strategizing to change the world. I'm even standing in a cemetary surrounded by towering pines overlooking rolling hills in the midst of gusting winds.

And in this moment, I am home.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Avenue...

I walk my dog Jane almost daily down Austin Avenue. Sometimes I go away from downtown so I can pass the old 28th street house and remember how cool it was living in that area. Usually though, I walk into downtown. I think I'm going to keep doing it because I've developed a good waving relationship with a lot of wonderful people. At least, I'm guessing they are wonderful. They definitely have great waves. I think they really like Jane. Most of the homeless people love her and are always telling me how beautiful she is. I tell them thank you and then realize how crazy that is, since I had nothing to do with how beautiful she ended up.

There's a million interesting things about downtown. You can learn a lot about a town based on the places where people no longer are, but where they are hoped to be soon. Did you know there is a law office in town run by a guy named Scott Peterson? Weird. I also found out from a campaign sign that the Sheriff in McLennan County is a man named Larry Lynch. Now, for a town so obviously struggling and trying to find redemption from it's racist pass, shouldn't we think twice before electing someone with that last name? I don't know, just thinking.

And here's my last little tidbit about downtown. One of the numerous antique stores has two life size cardboard cutout posters of Michael Jackson and Barbara Mandrell in its front window. Talk about random. Usually when I pass Mike and Barbs I pretend like I am saying hi to them, but I don't actually do it less anyone think I need help. I also imagine conversations they have with each other at night when the lights go out. One plays out in such a way that I can't share here because it would be the most innapropriate thing I've ever written. (It is a play off of one of her songs and certain allegations directed toward him.)

So anyway, since I've slowed down my blog activity, I thought I'd share some random downtown thoughts. Hope things are well with you all.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Viral Video...

Jason sent this to me. Men, you'd better watch it and heed the words of the Lord.