March 2008 Archives

March 27, 2008

A Kiss

Every morning when I drop Fru off at work, she turns and gives me a kiss. I'm not sure if this is usual fare for the married set, but it's pretty routine for her. If it were up to her, every time that she left me for any length of time she'd signify it with a kiss.

This, to me, is the absolute worst.

My feeling is that a kiss is not a greeting, or a farewell, or a tradition. It is simply a sign of affection. Affection does not show at the same time each day or with unerring recur. Affection happens at unique moments of the day when something inside you is gladdened by their presence; when you thank them for that feeling with a kiss, it may almost seem spontaneous.

At night when I go to bed, I plant a kiss on Fru's arm. Then I think about her, and I do it again. I repeat this process until I'm able to give her a kiss that is a total act of appreciation; a sincere token of my affection.

That's what a kiss should be to me. It's hard to explain, however, to someone who thinks otherwise. How can you tell someone to only kiss you without pretense and as randomly as possible?

But think about your favorite kiss... what can you remember about it? Do you remember it happening? Chances are it was either something that came out of the blue, or one that was meant to happen as the two of you were full of affection for each other. It was not attached to an event or time, most likely, though there may be some exceptions like a wedding day or New Year's Eve. Even in these exceptions, though, the time or event took a second place to the intensity of the moment.

If people gave kisses their appropriate value, I think we could all enjoy them a little more.


Continue reading A Kiss.

March 21, 2008

Coast to Coast


0318080005.jpg, originally uploaded by Leftsider.

So yeah it was a typical week; work and family and oh yeah I drove 2700 miles across the country with my German pal, Enno. Guess it wasn't a typical week after all.

We left Friday afternoon, heading to Berrien Springs, Michigan, where his brother was hosting his parents and visiting grandparents from Holland. We spent Saturday with them, and took off early Sunday morning, driving through Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska, reaching Colorado just as a snowstorm decided to do its business.

After a nice night in Denver, we drove over those gorgeous colorado mountains, across the state, through Utah and Nevada (with a mandatory stop in Sin City), reaching California just after midnight.

Tuesday was mostly spent recovering from our three-day blitz. We also met up with Brad and Mike (@brad and @obsy on twitter) for a good bit of humorous conversation before I was whisked off to the airport for a red-eye flight to Boston and a connecting flight home.

People say I was crazy to make such a trip, but I think that may have been the best thing to happen in 2008 so far. I sometimes have to remind myself that the level of excitement in my life is totally dependent upon me. And the experiences I gained really add up (more on that later).

March 6, 2008

The End of Preference

I've been thinking a lot about preference recently. What, precisely, is it? Is it an inextricably interwoven feature of our human makeup? I ask because I think humanity would be a lot better off if we could disconnect from it.

Once we deliberately drop our personal preferences our second method for decision making is common good. "I don't care either way, so what works for everyone?" Perhaps you've heard this when planning an event or going out for lunch with colleagues. Currently, to perpetually place common good first would bring a level of altruism that would be nothing but oppressive. But what would happen if our preferences never existed to begin?

Permit me to give some simplistic examples that might help conceptualize this potential reality. Traffic flows with a simple, efficient order. Queues are drastically reduced. Provisions are made available for all.

There are, however, significant issues I'm wrestling with that need to be solved:
Perhaps it's time to dust off the long dormant Leftsider wiki and really flesh things through.