July 18, 2002|
As I now write I am home in Ohio. Quick trip to Youngstown, see the folks, the homies, the kids, then drive to Chicago for my second (of four) weddings this summer. Yep, it’s the season again, wedding season. Exciting to see friends from all walks of life come together for a weekend to celebrate and catch up.
Shock the Dawg
I arrived home to find a new collar on our dog, Cosmo. She (it’s a she, go figure. My dad asked for a male dog at the pound. For two weeks we thought it was. Then we realized the dog was missing an organ crucial to it’s being a male, if you know what I mean. How we were duped for two weeks is beyond my understanding…) is the most wild dog I have ever met. She used to jump and nuzzle next to me at night in bed. I put an end to that. She knows not to mess with me. It’s not that I don’t like animals. It’s that I don’t like OUR animals. Three dogs and four cats. They rule the house…except for when I am home.
I digress. Cosmo had this new collar. It wasn’t just any collar, but a shock collar. If at anytime she runs out of the house and we can’t catch her, we push the red button on the remote control and give her a shock. She no longer runs away, that’s for sure. Whenever I see the dog now, I just mouth a little “zap!” and she goes running. Aw, technology at it’s finest. It’s great to return home to obedient animals.
Up Close and Personal with Matt Lauer’s New Do
Last Friday, Amy Grant and Vince Gill performed live on the Today Show. Having been a huge Amy Grant fan since conception, I felt obligated to join the horde of camera-frenzied tourists and watch them perform the requisite three songs. I remember attending my first Amy Grant concert 14 years ago at the Richfield Coliseum. I even went to school the next day. Eleven years ago the whole family treked to Blossom Amphitheater in Cleveland to see the “Heart in Motion” tour. Frank and Billy sat with their fingers plastered in their ears the entire concert. “It’s so loud!” Kids these days, never appreciating finely crafted pop music.
So, my friend Anne and I must have been the only native New Yorkers in the crowd. First off, no sane New Yorker would get up that early. Secondly, no New Yorker would go see Amy Grant and Vince Gill. New York City didn’t even have a country radio station till last year! Despite the early time, we had a great time and even got on TV for two seconds. And yep, Matt Lauer’s new hairstyle is awfully short.
The Redemption of Artichoke Canning
As of Tuesday afternoon, I can actually brag that I am not a complete gardening failure. For as of Tuesday, I had a tomato plant that was growing. Sure my purple-wave petunias are out of control wild, but everything else is brown and shriveled. My first foray into the world of horticulture had been unkind, until this tomato plant sprouted in the past week.
I thought it (and all my plants) would morph overnight from this tiny stem to this gargantun monster. Boy, was I wrong. It was a really slow process that occurred over a month of heavy watering, weed-picking and pruning. And it was completely unperceptible to the naked eye.
I find it’s growth fascinating, maybe more on a personal level than anything. It’s not just the accomplishment of being able to grow something, it’s the analogy that comes with it.
The person, leader, man I wanted to be two years ago, I know I am becoming. Recently I looked in the mirror and concluded I look a lot different. It’s not external- the new long, dark, curly hair or Calvin Klein-anorexic model build- but the internal.I wanted the growth, the maturity, the wisdom, like the tomato plant, to happen over night. Instead it took small incremental growth of meditation, prayer, and self-analysis watered by pain, hardships and trials. Now is the time for the next step, to produce a hardy crop. I look forward to doing such. And I anticipate eating a big beefy tomato come August.