Saturday, September 29, 2007

Jeff: The Two-Day Walk


According to the pedometer I was borrowing, I walked 48,404 steps today in the Atlanta Two-Day Walk. I also burned 2000 calories.

According to the Two-Day route planners, it was just shy ...


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

From Bert

I've managed to live my life relatively regret free. I jumped down a flight of stairs at a fraternity and jacked up my knee. It's never been the same. I regret that. When I left my hometown of San Diego for a job offer in Washington, DC I brought with me a girl I knew wasn't going to last forever. Within six months she was on a plane back to California. I just was too scared to move alone and made a huge mistake by asking her to move with me. I regret that.

Now the latest.

Everybody told me not to do it. Everybody told me to wait. Everybody told me the timing was all wrong. But I was bullheaded and arrogant and selfish. I bought two English Bulldog puppies months before our second son, Hollis, was born. I figured I'd have them trained and when the new baby came they'd rely on each other while my family adjusted to the new baby. Then life would be back to normal and I'd have plenty of time to spend with the dogs.

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. I was naïve and stupid and totally wrong. I never had time for the dogs. I was so stressed out trying to finish up work to spend what remaining time I had left in my day with my kids that the dogs were neglected. Yea. I'd spend ten minutes here and ten minutes there with them. But for most of the day, they were by themselves with little family interaction. My wife was juggling both kids and sure didn't have time to spend with them either. It was totally unfair to the dogs. I saw them begging for attention and I just couldn't give it to them. I saw them getting more sad each day.

My thought is that when you buy a dog you make a life-long commitment to that dog. So, I tried for months and months each day to carve out more time each day for the dogs. But every time I seemed to have any extra time for the dogs, my five year old was begging to play baseball or play with him. Or the new baby was crying and needed to be fed or held.

So, after painfully struggling with this for months I knew what the right thing was to do. Find the dogs a better home. But I couldn't bring myself to do it. I was having big time loyalty issues. Until I realized that I could make the initial bad decision to get the dogs even worse by keeping them. I didn't see any way to make more time for them.

My only thought was that if I couldn't find a family that would adopt BOTH of them then I'd figure out a way to make this work . They grew up together and they are inseperable. I called my breeder. A great guy named Jason at Puppy Chase kennels. Nobody cares more about these dogs than he does and I knew he'd place them in a great home. He totally understood and said he already knew the perfect family for them. A family that had a few kids that probably couldn't afford the initial costs but has always wanted Bulldogs. Within twenty four hours he placed them in a better home than I could provide.

I am 100% clear that the right decision was finding them a better family that could give them the time that they need. But I can't seem to stop beating myself up for getting them in the first place.

Break a Leg? Melissa Just Might...

Nervous? Me? Absolutely, as I repeat my monologue in my head over and over and over again. I'm working on the piece I will do for this week's Atlanta premiere of "A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer," by Eve Ensler. The readings are an effort to end violence against Women and Girls as part of VDay. Other performers who will be on stage include our own Jenn Hobby, Eve Ensler HERSELF, OSCAR-WINNER Jane Fonda, THEATRE COMPANY FOUNDER Kenny Leon... and INDIGO GIRL Emily Saliers! So, yeah, I'm nervous.

My piece is called, "In Memory of Imette," which talks about women's fear of being raped. Imette St. Guillen, a victim of a brutal rape and murder not long ago, is honored in the monologue. One night at home as I was reading and re-reading the piece, Katie went online to look up St. Guillen, and as she told me the story of how that fatal night went I had to stop her. I couldn't hear it all, especially right before bedtime. Before that point I had been trying to figure out how to "perform" the reading, without an emotional connection to Imette. But I soon realized in order to truly be responsible for "In Memory of Imette," I had to know. But even then I couldn't take in all the details.

Ladies, if you can't see the play then at least buy the book. But more importantly, share the stories with the men in your life. The whole Idea behind this joined effort is to End Violence, and it takes everyone to do it.

It will be an honor to say Imette's name on stage.....but I'm still nervous.

UPDATE: See the performance HERE!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Looking forward to blogging... I think

Aside from my hand-written journals in college and high school, I have no blogging experience. I am looking forward to it and a little nervous about it. I guess I am only nervous that I will blog while drinking wine and thus, spill my guts. I guess that is what it is all about, right? In Vino Veritas! Here's a photo of me and Ryan from this summer's vacation in Paris, France... a trip that included plenty of wine! This is our "self-portrait" at the Musee D'Orsay, a former railway station that is now a 19th and 20th century art museum.