Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I Love to Read

It's definately about the escape for me... not exclusively of course. I don't get lost in the story of 'Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too' when Im reading to my son... though there was that one time Tigger got stuck in tree... priceless... There's just something about spending some time with a book that holds such a great appeal to me. It helped me through my teenage years (and beyond), taking me on adventures, teaching me about the world, introducing me to new ideas, comforting me in hard times and introducing me to friends that I'll remember fondly (even if they are only figments of my imagination). To this day, even though I have video games, movies and toys galore, I feel incomplete when I go through literary droughts where I don't have a good book to read.

From a very young age I had a love of reading. The adventures are what really caught me up. Particularily JRR Tolkein, CS Lewis and pretty much any author that could spin a tale about exciting journeys in fantastic lands or future times. Good books would keep me up all night reading and frequently caused me to miss my first couple classes in the morning in high school because I had been lost in another world.

A few years ago I stumbled upon a series that really blew me away. The depth and scope of the world this author created captivated me like no other story before it or since. The characters were believable (notwithstanding the typical suspension of disbelief required to enjoy a fantasy world in the first place), the action exciting, the writing colorful and engaging. To me it is perfection in print and a standard to be held against all other writers and sagas in any genre that cross my literary path.

The Wheel of Time has been going on since the early 90's and the main series is 11 (very large) books with a few spinoff stories. It's been going on for so long that I never really felt it was going to end..... Until now.

I never personally knew the author, in fact I only found out upon his demise that his real name is James Rigney. Last year I was wondering what was taking the 'final' 12th book so long and in my searching found myself at his official blog where I found out that he was afflicted with a serious blood disease and was literally fighting for his life. He sounded positive in his last few posts which gave me reason to hope he would be all right and perhaps one day the series would be finished. This week however upon perusing my daily news one story stopped me short and gave me great pause.

Robert Jordan is dead.

All I can really grieve for is the story and how he will never finish it and I wonder if that's selfish on my part. I think though that a writer connects with his readers through his works and on a certain level the reader gets to know the author... a certain level being the key.

In general, people only get to know the personalities that we allow them to see. Personally I have had the experience where people have said to me that I am nothing like my first impression and it's only upon spending time with me that they understand who I am. The Robert Jordan personality that I know may not be the James Rigney that his family knew, but I connected with Robert Jordan, I laughed and cried as he told me stories and kept me company at times in my life when I felt I had no one else....

I mourn for the loss of that friend.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

My Inner Child Has Special Needs

Some people say that I havent fully grown up yet , so whether or not the inner child in me is taking over might be a moot point.

Lately there's been a lot of 'elements' affecting the peaceful maelstrom that is usually the norm. Im trying to get a garage in place before the winter hits, Im waiting for a car to be delivered from the states (which is a topic in and of itself), Im trying to get a workout schedule going, eating right, my wifey is preggo (which has all kinds of radiant energy).... not to mention just plain life... work, sleep, fatherhood, church calling..... each day seems to ascend to a 'whole nuvva levaa'.

Im back in the world of contractors with this whole garage thing. I understand the job juggling thing and why they do it. Trying to be multitaskers and all that. However, why do I generally run into those who do it badly? Probably because most contractors are guys and guys generally dont juggle things very well.... unless you're one of those cirque du soleil guys and Im pretty sure they're gay.

I got pretty worked up yesterday about the guy who was pouring the concrete pad (at $10 a square foot). He had mismanaged his time, only coming to work on my yard about an hour a day and therefore wasnt ready when the concrete truck came to deliver the concrete. I was at work and unable to watch what was going on, but from my wife's description they were scrambling.... which never bodes well for quality.... EVER! I went home at lunch and saw that he'd ripped the stairs off my deck for starters also I didnt see gravel under the concrete pad. After work when I posed the gravel question (Did you put a layer of gravel there?) He said he had put gravel under there.... but Im pretty sure he's F***ING LYING! No way to prove it though, unless I want to rip up the pad to prove a point. His excuse for rippin up the stairs? 'I wanted to save you money because it costs extra to get the cement poured and I couldnt get past the pad to pick up the piles of dirt and stuff'. Really? Oh thats ok then.......... NOT!! If he hadnt squandered the days before, there would've been plenty of time to get things prepared properly! Not to mention, I'm paying $10 a square foot for CONCRETE! I hate contractors... they're criminals these days and they all have the attitude: 'you should feel privelaged to be 'fiscally raped' by a guy like me because (obviously) if you called me to do the work it means you're incompetent and cant handle real work'. It couldnt possibly be just because Im working full time in an atmosphere where education is a prerequisite and I just dont have the time and tools to do it myself! I was under the impression that $10 a square foot meant just that! It includes the concrete no matter if it's poured from a truck or dumped by the President of the United States helicopter! (silly I know, I'm sure it's not equipped for that.... though when you think about it, at a cost of $50000 per hour to fly you think it would be able to do pretty much anything).

Well... I feel a little better now.....

Apparently my inner child needed to throw a tantrum.