San Diego

Weather. Air. Warmth.
LaJolla. Walking around. Coffee. Fondue. The Cottage. The seals. The funky grass.
Taking pictures.
Walking on the beach. Searching for Rainbow sandals.
The flights. The fatigue.
Apartment. Golden Spoon. Honda.
…Happy and Relaxed.

A View from Starbucks: Consistency in and Inconsistent World

It seems too pristine of a moment to forget about completely. Most of my college weekends have been spent on the road, driving one place or another. I don’t go places that are exceptionally notable, though I have had fun. I go home a few weekends a semester and usually visit friends a couple weekends. It usually accounts to about seven weekends on the road driving and two weekends flying somewhere.

Sitting in Starbucks on State Street in Ann Arbor, I look up from my laptop and through my reflection in the window I see a moving truck park at the curb. When I am not driving, I am usually sitting in a Starbucks coffee shop by the window hunched over my laptop computer. I am undoubtedly wearing my yellow headphones with the right ear speaker taped on.

The mist feels fresh on my face and creates a refreshing distortion through which I can view the dire night lights of Ann Arbor. I stroll by the fountain outside of the League and sip a medium house coffee with a half second of sugar mixed in with a knife. I like the feeling of loneliness that comes with being alone. I would rather manifest grand expectations by myself as the darkness leads me. Go to law school and graduate. Get a job. Settle in somewhere and make friends with the neighbors. Take trips to law conferences in Lake Tahoe with my wife before we have two children three years apart so that they can go to the same high school. The older one can drive the younger one to school and hate it, but that way I will only have to buy one car for the both of them. I do plan on buying them a car. I had one in high school, and it seems to make sense to me. It doesn’t have to be a nice car. The main thing that matters is that it is safe – especially if one of my children is a girl. If I have two boys, I am not really worried if their car breaks down. In fact, I would prefer it. My car has never broken down and I think dealing with a broken car would help my son(s) build character. It could be a convenient break, such as running out of gas, blowing a tire or whatever else can simply go wrong with a car. It has never happened to me so I don’t know.

Rockefeller Center is insane below me. I am sitting on the second floor of a Starbucks across from the famed tree and ice rink, warming up with a cup of mild yet nutty Holiday blend coffee. I can’t believe the chaos outside. I love it. Nothing I have experienced before has been similar. I have been to busier places, but nothing as fervent and well dressed as this.

I am sitting in a Starbucks at the south east corner of Washington Square in the heart of the NYU campus. It is a blizzard outside and my feet are soaking wet because the only shoes I brought with me are worn out deck shoes. That was a slight oversight on my part.

Wall Street is eerily quiet on this snowy Saturday evening. I am sitting in a Starbucks just south of the New York Stock Exchange, warming up with a cup of mellow yet bold Yukon blend coffee. It was only by accident that I found the coffee shop in which I am seated. As always, I am facing the window looking through my reflection in the window to a darkening night setting between the formidable buildings. I not only feel lonely, but also look it as I slump in my chair writing this. The whole scene deservedly fits with my mood. I am tired, cold, and I just saw the WTC site for the first time in person. It looks like any other hole except for the rusty iron I-beam cross that peaks through the falling snow reminding you that two thousand people were crucified in a matter of hours.

Message to My Senior Class

I wrote the following, and then read it to one of my high school classes on May 30, 2000 – our last day of high school.

What fascinates me is that for the past four years I have managed to avoid expressing how I truly feel about all of my friends. I pass people in the halls that appear to be good friends, yet I vaguely know what makes them tick. For this reason I wish that high school could continue so that we could all out-grow our prejudices and perhaps get to know each other better. There are so many cliché sayings that I could use to sum up my high school years that it is tough to choose one. The same goes for songs. So, as I glance back on what simple knowledge I have learned, I will incorporate it with quotes from works we have read this year. A sort of tribute to you and your class, Ms. Shelley-Barnes.

In the words of Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, “In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you [all]!” (Austen) Over the past four years, I have had some of the most fun times of my life, a direct result of meeting and getting to know some of you. Nowhere do I feel more comfortable than at this school surrounded with friends. What would life be without friends? I would rather not imagine.

As Janie says in Their Eyes Were Watching God, “Two things everybody’s got tuh do fuh theyselves. They got tuh go tuh God, and they got tuh find out about livin’ fuh theyselves.” Regardless of how far away from home each one of us journeys next year, we will be stepping into a vastly different setting. One in which we carry more responsibility, where greater demands are placed upon our young shoulders, and where the beaten path of life becomes grown over, forcing us to make our own. We, “leader[s] afraid of our own authority,” have reached the point in life where we are allowed “to live, to err, to fall, to triumph, to recreate life out of life!” (Joyce)

“If wealth flows upon one, one may be perhaps / Luckier than one’s neighbor, but still not happy.” This is a line from a play by Euripides titled, Medea, that in the context I mean to use it, means that one should always look past money, beyond clothing, cars, and other material items and discover who people really are. There will always be richer people and poorer people, but never anyone that is happier than you if you are content with yourself. I like to think of it as being an eternal child, never growing-up or giving in to the harsh realities of the world. My mom reminds me of this simple thought, telling me just the other day to never grow-up. Attack the world with the mindset that life is fun and that it is a joy to be here.

“What is value and wisdom to one man seems nonsense to another.” (Hesse 145) Throughout life, remind yourself from time to time that everyone has their special abilities, and in one way or another they are better than you. Learn from them, and though you may never achieve Buddha status as Siddhartha did, you will appear all the wiser. “Find the source within [your]self,” that is, figure out what you love to do. Then do it. If you love whatever you do in life, you will never have to work a day.

I don’t know if colleges have lockers, but if not they are certainly one of the things I will miss from high school. Other things such as meeting in the grade wings in junior high to talk with friends, racing to get to the front of the lunch line, holding a girlfriend’s hand between classes, writing notes so secret that if anyone else, especially a teacher, reads them, you would die, and school busses (a/k/a cheese wagons). I will miss all of you, too.

T.S. Eliot wrote in Four Quartets, “What we call the beginning is often the end / And to make an end is to make a beginning. / The end is where we start from.” This day marks the end of a significant period of our lives, but also marks the beginning of the rest of our lives. Use the rest of your life to its fullest and you won’t have any regrets. It is at this point that I sign-off, leaving you what I have learned, and letting you all know that you have my respect and I wish you the very best in life.

Kapalua Golf Trip with Dad

The date of this post is the approximate date of the trip, but I posted it 15 years after! Dad and I traveled to Hawaii to meet up with a friend of his, Bill Raduchel, who was hosting a guys golf trip of sorts. We played all three Kalalua courses (since the trip they’ve eliminated one of the three). It was a blast from a golfing perspective, and a fun time with dad. I hope to go back someday to refresh my memory of the Plantation course.

18th Hole
18th Hole
Fred, Dad, and Me
Fred, Dad, and Me
Moloka'i in the background
Moloka’i in the background