1. Wednesday, October 22, 2008

    if you will indulge me on this my gazillionth birthday 

    id just like to blog for a good 15 minutes from my heart which isnt as perfect as id like to pretend it is.

    this has been the strangest month. ive had very high highs and very low lows. after the cubs lost in front of me at dodger stadium thus tragically ending one of their most promising seasons i was so lost, so down, so confused. i became reckless and unfocused. i didnt care any more about anything. i was in a dangerous place, and may i repeat, very confused.

    one theme in my life has been luck. i feel ive been very lucky, which is weird because i dont really believe in luck. i believe that we make our own destinies. i believe that God has given us Free Will but every now and then he will nudge the pinball machine of life and help us when it looks like things might send us down the wrong path. for lack of a better word i will call that moment luck.

    i was not born rich or smart or tall or handsome or filled with inordinate amounts of self esteem. my senior year of high school i got a d in english a d in computers and a c in photography. my only shot at college was junior college and where most people only do two years, i had to do two and a half because my history teacher said i wrote like crap, and held me back from transferring to a university.

    i consider that one of the luckiest days of my life, even though i cried in the library that day, another day where i felt lost alone and so confused. that was a lucky day because i learned how much of life is about hard work, about how if you have no natural skills its ok because you can, with practice and desire, still make magic happen, but you have to try. through my tears i picked up jd salingers nine stories and studied his masterful style. i also paid far more attention in school and learned what an essay was and why the teacher thought i was so retarded.

    one of my favorite baseball players was pete rose, who was also not blessed with amazing skills. he wasnt strong wasnt fast wasnt the most graceful fielder, but he was Charlie Hustle. through him i learned that many times the guy who truly gives 100 percent will beat the crap out of the golden god who coasts through life giving 99 percent. the tortoise and the hare was not a fable.

    dont get me wrong, in many ways i am a slacker. gen x foreverz. plus i couldnt give a rats ass about money, a clean apartment, fancy cars, hot clothes, working out, or social standing. but i always wanted to write. so after the slap in the face in junior college i paid way more attention in school and did whatever i could to improve where i had failed: writing.

    one thing i learned at ucsb was good writers read a lot. also good writers write a lot. back then we didnt have the internet, but we had several libraries and the best college newspaper in cali.

    and because Jesus loves me, we also had the college of creative studies, which “discovered” me and let me learn way more about reading and writing than i ever thought possible. that whole experience at that college was priceless to me and the rest of my life. i was fortunate enough to meet some of the greatest role models who became my friends and everything after that was amazing – the girls, the successes, the happiness.

    until this october.

    when the cubs got swept by a team that didnt even really deserve to be in the playoffs everything stopped making sense. in retrospect i can now see that they didnt hustle or prepare or take that first round as seriously or play with the eye of the tiger the same way the dodgers did, but at the time i was not thinking about the tortoise and the hare. i was thinking life has no meaning, life is not fair, life is over, life is a lie.

    but precisely because life is not fair, i was invited to the playboy mansion to have lunch. i was given a tour, i got to meet kendra. i got to see precisely how unfair life could be if you had the courage to dream and work hard to make that dream come true. maybe that doesnt make total sense to you, and maybe thats because i know im still not the writer that i aspire to be, but it made sense to me while i was there, and after that my birthday month has been one amazing event followed by the next.

    last night i sat in the backyard of a lovely home in front of a fire pit with one of my favorite bloggers, his wife, and the publisher of rolling stone. we roasted marshmellows drank delicious wine and had the best talk about music, magazines, newspapers, and everything.

    i dont know whats next for me for the next 102 years. but i do know that i am racking up some major points in the pinball machine of good luck, and i know i dont deserve it, but please know that i appreciate it and im especially loving the music, the great friends, the ridiculous success in this life as a blogger, the crazy access to pretty much anything i want, and the hot girls who whisper the best things at the craziest times.

    i cant thank God enough. especially for all of you.