Inspiration and Motivation.


The other night I wrote a rambly post about good memories from the past and it made me smile in the moment. This morning I came across a social media post about nostalgia and the 21st century.

I don’t know a lot of people nostalgic about the 2000s.

Now, it’s been long enough, nearly a quarter of a century since the beginning of the 2000s so there’s certainly room to be nostalgic about those times. But I don’t know many people that look upon the 21st century with a lot of nostalgia. We often hear, “the ’80’s were awesome” and “I loved the ’90s!” but when it comes to 2000s, not much. Maybe I”m not hanging around the right people.

Well, for one thing, did we ever settle on what we were to call the 2000s? It’s easy to say and type the ’60s and the ’70s and such, but the ’00s? Are they the “oh”s? Are they the zeroes or the naughties? Or do we just say the “2000s”? It’s funny, as I’m composing this blog entry that decade seems so long ago.

The 2000s pretty much kicked off with 9/11 and from my seat it appears like the United States completely lost its mind as a result of that day. Insane amounts of security theater in the airports, forced us to give up a lot of personal freedoms with the Patriot Act, and the like were gained steam in a time when we had the first modern President we didn’t actually elect, and things just got weird. Then there was the Great Recession at the back half of the ’00s and that was a hoot and a half. At the very end of the ’00s the Tea Party was kicking into high gear and after enduring eight years of “W”, we decided that stupid was really chic and embraced Sarah Palin.

No, there’s not much to be nostalgic about when it comes to the first decade of the 21st century. Things calmed down a little bit when President Obama was elected into office and that got us through the first half of the ’10s, but even that decade doesn’t seem like it’s going to lead us old folks into the same wistful gaze our parents had when they got nostalgic about jukeboxes, drive-in movies, and poodle skirts. As much as I enjoy technology, I’m not wistful about out first flat panel TV.

Perhaps many of the ills of this century have to do with all this (arms gesturing wildly) being nothing to be nostalgic about. Good memories? Of course, I hope everyone has good memories, but while I often read about people claiming the likes of the ’80s and ’90s being “the good old days”, I really don’t think in 20 years we’re going to be saying the ’10s or the ’20s were the good old days.

Maybe we need to all nudge society into a direction that will change our feelings about this era when we look back. There’s also a chance I didn’t get enough sleep last night and I’m starting to feel a little loopy as I finish up the little missive.

Make an awesome memory today.


While I am not a religious person, I am very intrigued by the idea of rituals. It’s the structure of rituals I find most appealing; as I get older I find comfort in predictability. It helps the world make sense to me.

There’s a lot of chaos in the world, especially evident in social media and the offshoots of the behavior, with the pearl clutching, outrageous adjective use, and desire for clicks and clacks.

I had a revelation this morning. A good chunk of my participation in social media has to do with validation. It’s an exercise in trying get that next trophy. Good job, you’re funny, and all that. And I’m seeing that as wasted energy. There must be better uses for the energy expended into writing short blips of content on the social media sites; things like reading, learning, thinking, reflecting.

I don’t want social media to be part of my daily rituals any longer. At my age I suppose I should no longer need to seek validation, after all, I’ve made it this far and as I enjoy the better half of my life, I should just be content in being me. So many rely on social media for contact with others. That’s always been my excuse for maintaining a presence of Facebook. It’s a way to maintain contact with those that share a common interest, and more importantly, friends and family back east. We all know phone calls and letters and FaceTime and emails excel over social media. For many these methods seem outmoded and outdated. Well, maybe I’m outmoded and outdated.

I’m content with that.

I have always admired the ways of Vulcans in the Star Trek universe. Completely fictional, there are elements from Stoicism that inspired the writers that conceived and continue to expounded upon Vulcans. Is Stoicism for me? Not entirely, but it’s something to read and learn about. And energy once used for social media can easily be redirected to more important things, like reading. I still enjoy reading books, although I have been known to try to make the print larger in a hardcover book by spreading my fingers as if I was trying to zoom in on an iPad.

As I moved my daily rituals from frivolity to a more intentional existence, I can’t help think that I’ll feel more fulfillment in the long run. When my time has passed and folks talk about me I hope they say, “he really grew into his own, and he was very pleasant to be around”.

Perhaps that’s the greatest trophy to earn in life.


I’ve shared this music before. Every once in a while I listen to this song and/or watch the video to give myself a little boost when I need it. I hope you find the same inspiration in the lyrics.

Here’s Jess Glynne with “Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself”.


So this is becoming a common site at public places during these YetAnotherApocalypse times. This jug of Purell was to be found at the hostess’ station of a local restaurant. The hostess didn’t mention it but I gave myself a squirt just because it seemed the right thing to do.

While in public this weekend I’ve been a bit more observant when it comes to the cleanliness of those around me. I watched a young woman lay her head down on a food service counter as she flicked her hair all over the take out bags that were stacked to one side. I shot her a look but she was oblivious. She probably still is.

After a pilots’ breakfast yesterday, while visiting the wash room I noticed several other men using the facilities washing their hands for extended amount of time. No one left the room without washing their hands. That’s impressive and is hopefully a new norm.

They say to sing “Happy Birthday” or something for timing your hand washing activity but I enjoy singing Abba’s “Me And I”. It’s obscure but still fabulous. Once in a while I’ll sing “The Visitors (Cracking Up)”, also by Abba, just to sound spooky. I don’t know if you’re suppose to do the timing of your hand washing by singing out loud but I do from time to time. Maybe if this Coronavirus thing continues I’ll add a little jig just to live people’s spirits up.

Bucket List Item.

I need to experience this type of flight once in my life. Many will say they have no need for this type of service. I absolutely want this type of service once in my life.

This is a goal.

All I Want.

I woke myself up in the middle of the night last night singing backup vocals on this track. This is not uncommon behavior for me, in some respects I’m happy I was still in bed and not standing naked outside thinking the balcony was some sort of stage or something.

My singing aspirations have usually centered around a group performance with me singing backups. I would love to do that once again with a group before I move on from this life, and this is one of the songs I would love to contribute to.

One of my favorite songs from the 90s, here’s Toad The Wet Sprocket with “All I Want”.


In less than a month I will no longer be 50 years old. As we cross into my astrological sign, I can’t help but think about the first 50+ years of my life and reflect. I’ve been pensive lately. Am I where I wanted to be in my life?

I received a box of family photos in the mail today. My aunt and uncle, the keepers of the city side family heritage, came across a stack of photos from various decades and felt I should be the next keeper of these snapshots of memories. There’s quite a few that I don’t really remember, though I’m in the photos smiling. Happy times. A “Jetsons” themed t-shirt from 1992. A small red mustache dusted my lip. I’m smiling, standing in the back of the photo, taller than my mom but shorter than my dad. Looking like one with the coloring of the other. There’s no doubt where I came from.

When I was in my mid to late teens I had dreamed of living in a big city, though I didn’t know what big city it would be. My thoughts often gravitated toward London, because from what I had read in books and magazines and the like, London was much more open to ‘different’ folks like me. Plus, I really loved British pop music. In the late 80s and 1990 I spent a few years living in Boston and by 1992 had moved back to Central New York state. In 1992 I thought I had screwed up my opportunity to live in the big city and had kind of resigned myself to living in Central New York. I was happy but I didn’t feel like I was thriving. I was finding my way again.

And here I am 27 years later living in the third largest city in the United States. And Chicago has been very kind to me.

How we evolve.

As I looked at myself in this photo, with the cheesy mustache dusting my lip and the Jetsons dancing on my shirt, I couldn’t help but remember that while I felt a little resigned, I still felt quite happy. It would be five or so years before I got my first cell phone, we were nearly 10 years from the events of 9/11, and the subsequent after math.

People just seemed happier back then. Is it a sign of my age that I look back at the early 90s and think, “ah, the good old days”? I’m not so naive as to think that time was “the good old days”, as I was still attending too many funerals of friends dying of AIDS and honestly I would never dream of holding hands in public with anyone that I was dating at the time. Yet, there I was, smiling and looking genuinely happy with my dad, my mom, and my sister, who looked genuinely happy as well.

Happiness is such a good feeling.

I glance through the news and watch people on the street and read conversations online: Turmoil. Distraction. Addiction. Complication.

At first I thought, I need to find the happiness. But then I thought better of that, I need to bring the happiness. Pick up the mantle. Take the lead. Amass the troops. Be a positive, unstoppable force.

With less than a month of age 50 left in this life, I need to heed my own advice: don’t sweat the small stuff. Herd our evolution in the direction of a better world.