Monday, June 30, 2008

Sure Is 'Purty'

It's "officially-official," just got this in the mail today!

Bowing is allowed.

Friday, June 27, 2008


One year... officially. As of July 1, I'll have been in New Mexico one year. A lot has happened over that time, but not much has changed in the grand scheme of things. Case in point, here's a photo from last summer:

And now a more recent one:

See what I mean? Only the computer has changed. Even the beer has stayed the same.
Of course, there ARE differences. I'm now a pilot, officially, for real. That said, I've yet to fly since I got back from Florida, because there are no LSAs to rent around here... but something's in the works that might give me the chance to fly soon. I hope so. I'm getting twitchy here, stuck on the ground.

I'm also probably more comfortable with being back in New Mexico now, than I was when I first got back here. Back then, I had to look hard to see the benefits, outside of mountains and family. I no longer feel like such a Stranger in a Strange Land as I drive down the road... though I still miss Dallas. I had a dream the other night where I was grocery shopping at the Kroger near my old apartment. Very strange. I had the old Grand Am in the dream, too.

I think a change is gonna come. The exact nature of the change I'm not really certain of... but the air seems more volatile around me than it did a year ago at this time, if that makes sense. I can't deny there are aspects of my life that I badly need to rearrange... I just need to make sure I dictate the changes, and not the other way around.

Time will tell. For now, I take comfort in sitting on my balcony in the evening, watching the sun set against the Sandias (or more recently, the clouds hang over them) and making the effort to enjoy this moment in my life, knowing that the clock is ticking and this precise moment in time will never come again.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Good Son

If you haven't read the book "Big Russ And Me," please put it on your library list. Its author, NBC commentator and "Meet The Press" host Tim Russert -- one of the most hard-hitting, yet completely fair, journalists of the modern era -- passed away Friday from apparent heart failure. He was 58.

I read Russert's 2004 homage to his father -- as well as its 2006 follow-up, "Wisdom Of Our Fathers" -- when I was out in Dallas. Both are quiet, reflective works by a man known more for his strong-willed, and sometimes brash, persona on the television screen.

The first book showed Russert's unabashed love and respect for his father, "Big Russ." Russert stood to the side in his second book... instead sharing letters from "Big Russ" readers, telling Tim their stories about their fathers.

It is both poetic and cruel that Big Russ -- still kicking at 85, though in assisted living -- will mourn for his son this Sunday... Father's Day. Fathers shouldn't outlive their sons, it's as simple as that.

I first heard the news of Tim Russert's passing on my way home this afternoon. I've been watching CNN's respectful coverage all afternoon. To their credit, the network -- a competitor to NBC -- has given equal time to Russert's strong ties to his family (he had one son, who graduated from Boston College just days ago) and to his acumen as a political pundit and reporter. That is as it should be.

It's an odd feeling... to mourn the passing of someone you'd never met, but still felt you "knew" through watching them on TV and reading their books. I've been in mourning all afternoon... and I plan to hug my Dad extra hard this Sunday.