Posts Tagged ‘friends’

AZ Tuba City (5)

So this week, I worked in Monument Valley, Utah for a couple of days, after spending the 4th at home.  That’s one long drive.  Back in my Kansas City-based tech days, a drive longer than four or five hours was almost unheard of.  But now that I’m based in Phoenix, long six or seven hour drives to northern Arizona will be the norm.  That’s all right with me — I love driving.  Especially in this part of the country, as I’ve said before.

Today, driving home, I stopped by Navajo National Monument to see some cliff dwelling ruins I missed last year when on vacation.  Then, I’d taken a side trail and about died from the heat and low blood sugar on the way back.  I didn’t feel much like hiking down another trail that day.  But today was fine.

I’ve recently been thinking about why I like this part of the country and why my pictures usually don’t feature people and how the two might be related.  I think they are a reflections of my life.  The land has people, but not that many.  I take pictures of the bare and empty land.  If there’s a person, it’s usually by accident.  I purposefully crop them out of photos.  People are in my life, but they’re on the edge because I also crop them out.  I’m usually happy by myself.

AZ Tuba City (8)

I say I usually like being alone, but I also like being with old friends.  Today I shared a meal with a friend I hadn’t seen in about 30 years.  It was nice catching up on her life since we spent a sunny afternoon with my ex-wife hiking up Diamond Head Crater, on Oahu.  Arizona is about as different from Hawaii as you can get — I find it interesting how we’ve both ended up here, taking different paths in life.

Linda Sypkens and I -- 19841109

This was my friend and I in 1984.  She’s the sister of my best friend in college.  She and two friends came up to Iowa State from Missouri for this dance.  It was a lot of fun!

The night before last, I attended a concert from The Alan Parsons Project.  For years, I’ve maintained I don’t listen to the lyrics of songs.  The other night I was reminded that hasn’t always been the case.  As the songs were sung, I found myself singing the lyrics, though it’s been over 20 years since listening to Alan Parsons Project on a regular basis.  Then a realization washed over me, that many of the songs I was singing seemed to be about the way I’ve lived my life.  I wondered what effect the music had on me — a profound effect, I think:

Days Are Numbers

The traveler is always leaving town
He never has the time to turn around
And if the road he’s taken isn’t leading anywhere
He seems to be completely unaware

The traveler is always leaving home
The only kind of life he’s ever known
When every moment seems to be
A race against the time
There’s always one more mountain left to climb

Days are numbers
Watch the stars
We can only see so far
Someday, you’ll know where you are
Remember
Days are numbers
Count the stars
We can only go so far
One day, you’ll know where you are

The traveler awaits the morning tide
He doesn’t know what’s on the other side
But something deep inside of him
Keeps telling him to go
He hasn’t found a reason to say no

The traveler is only passing through
He cannot understand your point of view
Abandoning reality, unsure of what he’ll find
The traveler in me is close behind

Days are numbers
Watch the stars
We can only see so far
Someday, you’ll know where you are
Remember
Days are numbers
Count the stars
We can only go so far
One day, you’ll know where you are

Silence and I

If I cried out loud
Over sorrows I’ve known
And the secrets I’ve heard
It would ease my mind
Someone sharing the load
But I won’t breathe a word

We’re two of a kind
Silence and I
We need a chance to talk things over
Two of a kind
Silence and I
We’ll find a way to work it out

While the children laughed
I was always afraid
Of the smile of the clown
So I close my eyes
Till I can’t see the light
And I hide from the sound

We’re two of a kind
Silence and I
We need a chance to talk things over
Two of a kind
Silence and I
We’ll find a way to work it out

I can hear the cry
Of the leaf on a tree
As it falls to the ground
I can hear the call
Of an echoing voice
And there’s no one around

We’re two of a kind
Silence and I
We need a chance to talk things over
Two of a kind
Silence and I
We’ll find a way to work it out

Time

Time
Flowing like a river
Time
Beckoning me
Who knows when we shall meet again
If ever
But time
Keeps flowing like a river
To the sea

Goodbye my love
Maybe for forever
Goodbye my love
The tide waits for me
Who knows when we shall meet again
If ever
But time
Keeps flowing like a river (on and on)
To the sea, to the sea

Till it’s gone forever
Gone forever
Gone forevermore

Goodbye my friends (goodbye my love)
Maybe for forever
Goodbye my friends (who knows when we shall meet again)
The stars wait for me
Who knows when we shall meet again
If ever
But time
Keeps flowing like a river (on and on)
To the sea, to the sea

Till it’s gone forever
Gone forever
Gone forevermore

Forevermore
Forevermore

Old and Wise

As far as my eyes can see
There are shadows approaching me
And to those I left behind
I wanted you to know
You’ve always shared my deepest thoughts
You follow where I go

And oh when I’m old and wise
Bitter words mean little to me
Autumn winds will blow right through me
And someday in the mist of time
When they asked me if I knew you
I’d smile and say you were a friend of mine
And the sadness would be lifted from my eyes
Oh when I’m old and wise

As far as my eyes can see
There are shadows surrounding me
And to those I leave behind
I want you all to know
You’ve always shared my darkest hours
I’ll miss you when I go

And oh, when I’m old and wise
Heavy words that tossed and blew me
Like autumn winds that will blow right through me
And someday in the mist of time
When they ask you if you knew me
Remember that you were a friend of mine
As the final curtain falls before my eyes
Oh when I’m old and wise

As far as my eyes can see

After the concert, I moseyed over to the souvenir table to see what was available, and found a boxed set of CD’s containing all of Alan Parson Projects albums.  I decided to buy it, and I’ve been listening to the CD’s while I drive around.  More soul searching to ponder over why I’m the way I am….

 

dream

I was dreaming I was at a dinner party, talking with several coworkers and I began having a heated discussion with one of the women at the table.  She said I’d missed my skinny chance to ask her out once, and I challenged her to tell me when she’d ever given me a skinny chance….

Then I woke up.  It was 7am, but I didn’t want to get up yet.  I thought a while about the dream and my thoughts drifted to the movie Searching for a Friend at the End of the World.  I thought about who I’d want to spend my last few days with.  Of course I would want to be with my daughter, but what grown woman?  I know who I’d choose, and wondered who she’d choose.  Based on how our relationship had developed after we’d met, I figured her choice wouldn’t be me.  It was depressing to think that at the end of the world, I’d be on my own.

I fell asleep for a while.  When I woke up, it was time to get up for church, but I lay there in bed, refusing to crawl out from the covers.  When I woke up again, it was time for my daughter to get up for church, but I still lay there.  For a change, I decided I wouldn’t be waking her up.  Someone has sold her on the idea that Jesus’ story has no meaning for her life.  Lately I’ve wondered how forcing her to get up to sit in a pew and listen to something she’s closed her mind to would help her appreciate Jesus.  I hope she’ll realize one day how beautiful His message is, but for now, she’s listening to someone else.

I got ready for church and left her a note saying where I’d be.  At church, I had my usual two cups of coffee, so I was all jittery (as usual) by the time the sermon started.  This Sunday, one of the congregation talked about the importance of community.  He talked about how he’d remained part of the church community because he didn’t want to end up alone.  Sigh — didn’t really make me feel any better about being on my own, but his sermon was a good one that made me think.

Well, I went home and woke up my daughter.  We had lunch and I took her home to her mom’s.  I took a long way back to my apartment — one of the things I like doing when I’m feeling down is driving.  I watched the Chiefs game at home.  Their victory made me feel a little better.  After the game, I worked out.  And then after showering, I started watching the Denver game.  At half-time, I drove to Applebee’s and had the Fiesta Chicken Chop Salad, one of my new favorite dishes.  After dinner, I drove to the grocery store and bought a few things.  Then I returned home to finish watching the Broncos lose their game.  By bedtime, I was back to my cheerful self.

Usually, being on my own doesn’t bother me  — I’ve even arranged my life so my chances of meeting and spending time with new friends would be nil.  I’d rather deal with the occasional pang of loneliness than the recurring beat-down from rejection or even worse, never being able to tell where I stand with someone.  Relationships have caused me pain, and they’re something I just don’t want in my life right now.  I’ve written earlier, posing the question whether I was a rock and an island.  I think for the time being, I’ve become both.

Zombie

Houston, Part 2

Posted: August 12, 2013 in Random Thoughts
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Barbecue

So, in my last blog entry, Houston, Part 1, I blogged mostly about working in Houston and eating barbecue.  That was the first half of my rotation.  Now, I’ll tell you about the second half of the rotation — which has very little to do with Houston and nothing about barbecue.

On Monday morning, I went back to the hospital I’d been working at since the previous Thursday.  Things were running smoothly, so at about 11am, I left.  I had a new job assignment, but first had to drop off a few boxes at a UPS store.  Getting to that UPS store was quite the drive.  I was too quick to make a left turn my GPS was telling me to take, and ended up taking a nice sightseeing drive through Rice University.  Nice place….

After dropping off the packages, I checked in at the airport for a flight to Oklahoma City.  Yes, I was leaving Houston.  Checked my toolkit and luggage at the ticket counter, got through security, sat down to eat lunch at Pappa’s Burgers (see my last blog entry about Pappa restaurants), and my phone rings.  Seems my plans had changed, and I was now to go to Denver instead.  How does one change destinations after he’s already checked in?  He gets booked on a flight from Oklahoma City to Denver.  When I arrived in Oklahoma City, I had to go to luggage claim, get my luggage, and go back upstairs to check in for the flight to Denver.  That was the shortest stay I’ve ever had at a destination!

So, I arrived in Denver later that night.  My GPS stopped working as I was leaving the car rental place — it told me it was waiting for a good signal.  It was a good thing I know a little about Denver, because I found my hotel before the GPS receiver ever found a good signal.  Checked into the hotel and settled in for the night.  The next morning, I wrote down driving directions from Yahoo Maps and drove to my next site.  The GPS receiver still searched for a good signal while I drove.  GPS receiver had died, I was sure.

When I started into my site, I realized I didn’t know where my company ID badge was.  I’d lost my badge — the first time in my life!  Where could the badge be?  I thought about this for a few seconds, and decided I’d left the badge in the Houston rental car.  Luckily, the site let me work without asking to see my badge.

Early in the afternoon I finished up, and got my new work assignment in Pueblo.  I wrote down directions to my hotel in Pueblo, and just for grins, turned on my GPS to see if it was really broken.  Yep — no signal.  As luck would have it, I had to go to another UPS store, and the drive took me by the hotel from the night before.  I looked up the hotel as I approached it, and suddenly, my GPS unit said “You have reached your destination.”  What?  The GPS received picked a fine time to tell me I’d arrived at the hotel!

So, when I dropped of my packages, I entered the address of the Pueblo hotel, and the GPS worked like a champ from then, on.

I finished up my work the next day, just after lunch.  I left town just before the rain storms entered, and managed to miss the flash flooding that closed I-25, my route out of town.  Once in Denver, I checked into a hotel near the airport, showered and changed into non-work clothes.  I had dinner scheduled with a cousin of my stepmom’s who I first met when I was 8 years old.  That would make her the person (not a blood relative) who’s known me the longest.  We had a nice dinner at Ruby Tuesday (I had salmon with spaghetti squash and salad bar on the side).

After saying our so longs until next time, I went upstairs and got some sleep.  The next morning, I gassed up the rental car and returned it, checked in for my flights (yeah — hard to believe there weren’t any direct flights between Denver and Kansas City) and had some lunch at the airport.  I think the theme food for this blog entry should be the hamburger instead of barbecue, because I ate plenty of hamburgers while travelling.

I finally arrived hom later in the evening, and while driving home, I wondered where my GPS unit was.  I couldn’t remember packing it into any of my luggage or my backpack.  Yep — another item left in a rental car.  Tis left-behind was gonna cost me.  It’s a good thing I was home, and knew how to get there from the airport.

But wait, wait!  My travels weren’t over.

After spending the night at home, I picked up my daughter and we drove up to Iowa to spend a few days with family

Now we’re back.  She’s at her mom’s getting ready to start school this week, and I’m getting ready to go back out on the road for work.  I usually don’t know where I’ll be ahead of time, but for now, I’m scheduled to work in Lexington, Kentucky next week, so I’m hoping I’ll get to fly out there this week and spend my entire rotation there.  I like Kentucky….

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