Category Archives: Journal

Statue of Liberty Poem

Given recent events in the United States, I felt it important to post the Statue of Liberty poem before it changes.

The New Colossus
by Emma Lazarus (11/2/1883)

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

My Phone Has Something to Say #2

My computer died at work today, so I’m browsing WordPress on my phone. I think I’ll hand the keyboard over to the phone AI and see what he has to say today –

I have to say that this is not enough evidence for me to get into that conversation. I just want to make sure that through surgery I can get another car. When I was in school, I had a few transportation plans and my voice was very difficult to deal with.

The best way to get a personally qualified person is to recover your heart from your bedroom. Our anniversary is not a camel. We have to stop worrying about what happens when we grow a new generation of children.

To quote the president, “Damn, this is why I love my popcorn!” He loves you and your attention. Hopefully, we can get a new commercial whaling solution for the head’s on the ground. The only way to get that is to recover from a Statistical failure of all those childhood problems.

Pizza That Was Meant To Be

I was faced with a dilemma tonight. I went to the Hut for dinner before class. I ordered a pasta and a pizza off their $5 menu, thinking I would get a personal-sized pizza. Instead, I got a medium.

I only ate a few slices, but I felt bad wasting a pizza, so I boxed it up. There was no refrigerator on campus, so I stored my pizza in the outdoor freezer for 3 hours.

After class, I debated taking the pizza home. 3 hours is a long time. Maybe squirrels got into it? I still felt bad throwing it away, so I took it with me. I figured I wouldn’t make such a scene, carrying a pizza box on the #5 bus.

Well, the #5 bus stop was closed, so I caught the train. While on the train platform, a person came up to me and asked for a slice. I said it was frozen, but they were welcome to it. They accepted. It makes me happy to know that there was a purpose to this pizza after all.

It’s also a reminder to never waste. The people who are starving are not always in India or Ethiopia. Sometimes, the person who is starving is in your own town ❤

Issuing A Facebook Press Release

Today, my girlfriend ticked off the world so much that a bunch of my friends texted me about how offensive she was. I’m not going to apologize for her. Instead, I’m issuing a press release, as written below:

– A Statement Regarding [name] Online Activities –

Several of my closest friends have brought to my attention certain offensive (some would call abusive) comments that my girlfriend posted online today. The outcry over her words has been so intense and damaging that I feel the need to issue a statement.

I do not know the nature of the original comments, posts, arguments or actions. The amount of time I have spent online has been limited by the intensity of my work recently, so I missed the posts before they were taken down. Nevertheless, I acknowledge that considerable social damage has occurred today, straining friendships and relationships that I have held for a long time.

Many of you have seen a side to my girlfriend that you did not expect. She is opinionated and can be vulgar, insensitive and graphic. She is, what we used to call back in the ‘90s: a shock-jockey; in modern times: a troll. While I find great delight in what she says, I understand that it is not for everyone. One of her outlets is social media and she has undergone several bans due to her content.

I will not apologize for what she has done. However, this is a reminder to me that the company I keep is a reflection of who I am. Since [name] is my closest company, you may find yourself asking, “Why is [name] with her?” I’ll tell you. I find her to be a raw expression of my id. She is honest, loyal and forthright, without regard for the impact to others. These are qualities that I value in my partner. While I am diplomatic and conciliatory by nature, I need someone who can cut through the crap and speak to what is really happening.

This statement is also a good opportunity to talk about speech. As many of you know, I support an edgy (more right-wing recently) group called “Amaricans Against Amaricans Who Get Offended.” The principal that is practiced there, that I believe in, is that the answer to harmful or offensive speech is not censorship, but more speech. Sometimes arguments descend to personal insults. An important skill in life is being able to overcome opposition to your point of view whatever form it comes in, and this group can be a worthwhile practice space at times. Remember that it is only social media. You can turn off your phone, unfollow, or walk away. Even though I support the space, it does not mean that I always embrace the content.

The end of this decade has featured a war on civility. A vast array of offensive speech, vulgarity and obscenity has emboldened and inflamed the polarization of our world. What should be the symphony of human society, where differing ideas can work in concert, has become the artillery fields of hostility, where people yell past each other like artillery shells aiming for their targets, which blast away at the goodwill and higher nature of audiences. Our conversations nowadays are more a competition of adversaries than a search for insight or building mutual fidelity.

Nobody is perfect and error is part of the human condition. It is the creed of a cynical person, such as myself. We are all held captive by our flaws. Nevertheless, I believe that we can learn and grow. While you may have been witness to some of [name] flaws, I see a great deal of value in her that is worth investing in. She will likely be the woman that I choose to build my life with. While I do not expect the damage to heal immediately, I am hopeful that someday, you too will see the value that I see in her and appreciate the reasons why I am staying with her.

Please Remember: These are only words.

Moving On Dream

Last night, I dreamt that I returned to my old apartment in Uptown. It was an autumn day and the sun shined warmly in my south-facing apartment. My old apartment was a 1950s style efficiency with a walk-in closet that you had to enter to get to the large bathroom with pink wall tile, aluminum florescent mirror lights, and white paint. There was a little kitchenette to the southwest corner where you would stand in one place to cook or do dishes. Counter space was at a premium, but you could shut the door behind yourself and hide in the kitchen-closet. The main living space felt large when you entered it, with its wood floors and large windows across the room, which took up over half the wall. The 2-seater cloth couch, or loveseat, sat across a faux pearl aluminum table, which fit the 1950s motif. I have many happy memories of this place.


In my dream, I came home to my apartment, but it was cluttered, so I set about cleaning and organizing the place. I collected the laundry, made the bed and cleaned the kitchenette. The refrigerator was mostly empty except for a jug of milk and condiments. When I opened the overhead cabinets, I was surprised to discover three rotisserie chickens! I was also surprised that they didn’t smell. I took them down, packed them into the garbage, and turned to take out the garbage when my landlord entered with two young women and a short guy around 19 or 20. One woman was a wavey-haired blond and the other a short-haired brunette.


“Hello?” I said, “Can I help you? What’s going on?”

“We should be asking you that,” the blond woman said, “You’re in our apartment.”

I felt very confused, and must have looked the part, because the tension left the room. I plaintively said, “But I’ve been paying rent on this place for lo these many months.”

I looked to my landlord and he slightly shook his head no.

“Well… I cleaned the place…”

The young man nodded in approval, thankful that he didn’t have to do it.


I looked out the kitchen window and watched the sun set in the southwest, casting long autumn shadows as the twinkles of late summer left the world. Holding a garbage bag of rotting chicken, I said, “I guess it’s true. I don’t live here anymore. You can have your apartment back.”


I walked through the crowd, stepped outside the apartment, crossed the hall to the back entrance, and threw away the garbage for the new tenants of my old apartment. I lingered by the dumpster and watched the sky darken to shades of purple and dark blue as the sun took its warm reds and oranges with her. The landlord was standing at the door, watching sternly. I crossed the side yard to the front sidewalk as I left my apartment forever.




I think what brought on this dream was the fact that I was listening to my favorite band (Oxford Collapse) yesterday on the drive home from visiting my family for Christmas. I listened to them for over an hour, which was something that I hadn’t done in a long time. Their music was an anthem of that time.


My life is drastically different now. My girlfriend just moved in with me last week, I’ve owned a house for about 5 years, I have a functioning automobile and I live and work in the suburbs. I am a manager now, not a part-time cashier or aspiring professional. The Minneapolis of 2007 is long gone and a different city has replaced it. One infested with 5-story condo/apartment developments, bicycle-only roads, and scarce parking.


I think this was an important dream to have. It is an important life moment. The former things have passed away. I am a new person in a new setting, where yesterday’s future has passed and I have something new to look forward to, new things that the old me could scarcely imagine. Even in my current state, I can hardly imagine them now, even though it is the near future, rather than distant future. I feel surprised that my hard work has yielded success and I feel grateful for it.


I guess it’s true. I don’t live there anymore. They can have their apartment back.

Sitting in the Grass

I did something very important today –

When I saw that it was 60 degrees and sunny outside, I left my desk and I walked to the nearby Panera. I purchased a cherry danish, stepped outside, and sat in the grass. It occurred to me that I hadn’t sat in the grass all year. I ran my hand across the blades, which were simultaneously scratchy and soft. In the dimming sunlight of the autumn afternoon, I realized 2018 is drawing to a close.

This has been a hectic year. A year where I voluntarily lost control of my time. I didn’t have much of a chance to enjoy my summer. My 1-year anniversary arrived with my pending fiancee, and I was surprised by the fact that months 1-6 contained more vivid memories than months 7-12.

In 2018, I tried to do too much, which resulted in me doing little at all. My band absorbed so much of my time that I’m considering quitting. I haven’t played as much soccer, poker or volleyball as I would’ve liked. I was able to get in a couple of rounds of golf, which are happy memories to me because my gf was my caddy and we went wild in our golf cart across golf courses in two countries: USA and Canada.

The tepid sunlight and its mild warmth, the smell of living grass, and the clear blue sky on an afternoon where the wind exposes the bare branches as it undresses the trees, all give me pause to reflect on the year that was.

January 104, 2018

January 104, 2018 –

Gale-force winds buffet my shelter as winter weather lingers on. Astronomically, it is spring, for the sun rises and sets beyond 6 bells. Yet this forsaken land refuses to yield it’s wintry grasp.

I hear the cries of the souls of the mutineers on the winds, and I fancy they have resorted to cannibalism by now. It is already past 2 weeks since the Easter mutiny and I alone have remained, because the captain always remains with his vessel. Alas, the Good Ship Deflatable is inoperable and offers poor shelter to the storm.

I pray for spring and for an abatement of the madness of my crew. May God have mercy on us all and end this winter.