Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Jason Bourne

I freely admit it, I like the Bourne series of movies. I like it for the same reason that men like James Bond-- it shows us the style of life that we all secretly want, but then soberly admit would kill us faster than jumping out of an airplane without a parachute. I just finished another showing of The Bourne Supremacy and frankly I have to say that I think it's a great movie and really enjoy watching it.

I think that the Bourne series of movies is better than a lot of these other so-called spy movies, for one think it takes into parts of the countryside that you don't often see. So many movies focus on the tourist trap parts of the town. For example the first movie, The Bourne Identity, takes place largely in Paris, yet they don't focus on the Eifel Tower. I think it is contractual that if you shoot a movie in Paris you have to have that damn tower as the focal point. If movies mirror life than there are tons of lovers, spies and general intrique that happen every day at the base of that giant phallic symbol...thank you so much directors of The Bourne Identity for not signing that contract.

The Bourne Supremacy is frankly my favorite of the two. I think largely because it ends in Moscow, which is a city that I hold dear to my heart. The reason for that is because it is one of the few places on the earth that I can consider truly my own. It is the one place that my close friends and family have never been and the one experience that I have that I don't have to share. I really jealously guard my uniqueness. I want to believe that there is something special about me that I don't have to share. I know that there are a million people just like me, who share the same experiences and same life path; but for one moment I just want to believe that they don't exist and that I am unique.

In Moscow and L'viv, I find places and experiences that I don't have to share and that I alone can just sit quietly back and enjoy. It's like a good cup of coffee, you just sit back and sip away at it knowing that it's your cup and you don't have to give it up. You just wrap yourself in it and know that this is yours. You can share if you want to, and I try to often, but sometimes I just want it to be mine. Alot of the scenes that take place in Moscow are places that I saw and went through. Looking back on my time abroad I really think that was some of the best times of my young life. I learned so much about myself and who I was because I was so far away from my world. I am amazed that I am still alive frankly. I made a lot of stupid choices over there, and did somethings that I should not have done. That's not to say that it is the most dangerous place in the world or that I am so type of superhero, but looking hindsight, it sure is easy to get in trouble there.

I guess it all brings me back to the same question, how did I get to where I am today? No answer still, just the thought that I like being here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Gift Shopping

I recently went Christmas shopping with LullaBelle. Other than the weather and the horrible crowds of people it was a great time. It's interesting going shopping with a woman. It really points out the differences between the two genders. Lulla was constantly amazed by how quickly I made my purchases. I guess that women spend much more time thinking about their purchases and who they are buying them for. I'm much more of a go out there, see what you like and grab it kind of guy.

I think we scored some major finds too. However, again I think she was confused by a lot of the gifts that I bought. I have this tendency of buying people gifts relating to their interests and my location. Most of the people on my holiday shopping list are Chicagofolk and I'm in Mississippi. Therefore it only makes sense to me that I buy gifts that have something to do with my place in life. Next year, fair warning to all, you will get gifts that have something to do with DC. However, I don't buy touristy garbage. I think for a few minutes about who they are and what they are interested in and then go after something that fits. I just think that some folks would like to get something like that, it's kind of like a souvenir from some foreign place but a little bit better because you might be able to use it.

Holiday shopping as a whole is something that I don't enjoy. Ok, shopping is something that I don't enjoy all that much, especially when it's not for me. Amazingly, I did not buy myself anything this time around. Mom commented on that, and frankly it didn't even strike me while I was doing it. I think it might have been a product of the places that I was shopping and the sections of the stores that I was in. Frankly, I just don't think that there is anything in Pier 1 that I particularly need, except for overly expensive martini glasses, but alas I don't even drink martinis.

Now that it is Tuesday, I am reminded that every obstacle no matter how difficult to overcome, can be overcome. Through persistence and diligence one can look back at an accomplishment on the luxury of their couch and remember how hard it seemed before.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Being an athlete an a over-serious type A personality, such as myself, you often times don't get the chance to just accomplish a goal. Most times you accomplish a goal and then set off in search of another goal. Accomplishments point towards bigger accomplishments and so you don't stop to think of what just happened and to quietly sit down and just be content for what you have done.

With that being said, I think the time has come for me to just be content (for a little while). The reason for that is simple-- it finally happened. I was offered the job that I wanted since I first learned it existed. I think it is now starting to sink in, the gravity of the whole thing. Most people go their whole lives searching for the job they want, striving to get it and being satisfied if they get in the right direction; but here I am, one year out of law school taking the job that I wanted when I started law school. It's a moment of humility.

A friend of mine told me that I have no excuse now not to be thankful during the upcoming holiday. I really don't...because I am thankful. I am thankful for everything that I have in my life. Everyday I come to work and sit in my office. I look out my window and across the street is the Capitol of Mississippi. I'm 26 years old and have a floor-to-ceiling window with a view that most people wait their whole lives for. Next year, I'll have the same type of view, but this time it'll be of the White House. On top of just that, I'm doing the work I always wanted to do. I'm struggling now to think of new goals and a new mission. I think that maybe it's ok, if for just a little while, to pause and not have a goal but just have life to live.

Being content is not something which comes very easily to me. I always had a new goal, once I crossed a barrier there was always the next step. It's kind of like winning the Olympic gold...I mean where does one go from there. I know they are not the same, but to me and my vision of the world they are very similar. They always say be careful for what you ask for because it might come true some day...well my wishes came true and I am finally at peace because of it.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Great Gatsby

It is one of my favorite books. In fact it is the only book that I have read twice, now I started re-reading To Kill a Mockingbird but stopped after a couple of hours by the pool with LullaBelle. The Great Gatsby has this one great moment that really struck me. It is the argument between the two main characters where Gatsby responds to the comment that you cannot relive the past by saying of course you can.

As I sit here with a cup of cherry flavored jello enjoying a brief break in the work day I am reminded of Thursday afternoons at Grandma and Grandpa's house I think about the past. I recently had dinner with an old friend from Chicago on my recent trip to DC. He apparently loves to keep up-to-date with all the goings on of people from the old neighborhood and girls that broke up with him. So between courses he talked to me about them and about what they are doing. To my surprise, only a few of them are in jail.

I came home from that trip and opened up the old yearbooks and started going through pictures and notes. Sitting there and quietly kicking myself for letting some opportunities go by and then chastising myself for chasing after some that I should have let go by. I think that retro-introspection is a great thing, but Fitzgerald had a point too. You can relive the past but you cannot do anything about still is going to end up the same way that it did. It's sort of like watching an instant replay of a touchdown and thinking that you can stop the play.

I do not want to re-live the past or change anything that happened because of love the person that I am and the place that I have come to in life. But I remain forever curious about what would have happened. It's as if I could suddenly watch an alternate line of the movie of my life and see if it got to the same point. How odd would that be, if you choose to change something and still ended up in the same place. That would be absolute evidence of Divine Providence...or at least maybe dumb luck.

The question I guess is, is life about missed opportunities or is it more about the ones that you took? Possibly that it is an alternative new version of the glass being half full/empty? My Grandpa's wisdom comes to me now. He would sit me down from time-to-time and remind me to take everything in moderation. A little bit of happiness and a little bit of sadness. I little bit of drink and a little bit of sobriety. A little bit of work and little bit of play. You combine all those little bits and then you have life. So I guess my life is a little bit of missed opportunity and a little bit of those taken. Not too bad a way to look at things now is it?

Monday, November 07, 2005

Just Trying to Drive Around Town

Today marks close to 4 months that I have lived in Rural. To date, I have almost been killed... while driving my car... about 30 times. This number only includes my trips back and forth to work and occasionally on the weekend out to Vicksburg or Oxford. Therefore, I have officially decided that drivers in this town are the worst that I have ever seen. Now, this is a prize that Rural should be proud of because I've seen some pretty bad drivers in my life.

For those unprivileged to go through the daily journey up and down the interstate stealthfully dodging cars and the on-coming of phone calls from my ambulance-chasing brothers and sisters I will try to describe the typical driver. Imagine how a bunch of red-neck country boys drive out on dirt roads. Just without a care in the world and clearly not paying attention to what happens around them. Now cram all of those red-necks onto a highway that is about 1 lane too small to handle the flow of traffic and oblivious to others around them.

This leads me to my next observation or question. So which came first...the hundreds of billboards advertising attorneys who specialize in car wrecks and/or personal injuries or the car wrecks and personal injuries? To be even more cynical...maybe the billboards are artificially flashy and comical to distract otherwise incompetent drivers so that they become hazards to themselves and all around them.

One way of the other, I can understand why car insurance premiums down here are a billion dollars higher than anywhere else that I have lived.