Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Weight and Five

So we all have our crosses to bear. Or, we all feel the weight of things we've done in the past. With that in mind, I was thinking about some stuff today while I enjoyed the sun and scenery on a 50 mile ride with a coworker. The ride was great, even if we did stray from the route and had to improvise a bit. But I got to see cattle, goats, horses, and best of all, Great Pyrenees dogs. I had one as a kid until I was 19, and they are my favorite dogs. Apparently they're really popular down here as herding dogs (their purpose) as I've seen them all over. Anyway...

On to more serious things. Sometimes I look back on things that have happened to me, but I can't dwell on it. I've seen the worst of people and the best. I've simultaneously taken lives and tried and sometimes did save some. I'll never forget certain incidents, or sleep like I did as a kid. But it's a path I chose, so I deal with it. Long story short, I'm moving on, so to speak. I can get stuck in a rut where I feel guilty and pissed off, etc. So how do I not? I realize I can't bury it, but I also know it needs to just get filed away, like when you'e havd a really bad day at the office or school or something. So I'm moving on down the road. I won't ever forget the battles, my friends who died, or the nightmarish reality of combat. But I'm not going to keep it at the front of my mindset, either.

Enough of that depressing topic. Two more and we're out of here. First, no one seems to comment on my blog much. Trust me, you'll never offend me unless it's a personal attack. Second, to close with, there's that new T Mobile 5 thing. So if you could have anyone from anytime on it, who would it be and why? Please, will someone please comment on my fuckin' blog???!!!??? Ok, this also assumes we have another 5 for our real lives, like relatives, spouses, etc.

My 5:
Julius Caesar. Super smart, great leader, somewhat ruthless.
Jayne Mansfield. Off the charts smart, driven, totally hilarious.
Stirling Moss. Arguably best race car driver ever. Neat character.
The Duke of Wellington. Anyone who shaped history like he did is a shoo in.
Terp and Prairie from my old unit (we'll assume the unit has a single address, as I'm making the rules) as they saved my life quite a few times, and I'd love to share what's gone in with the life they saved.

Let's hear yours. And Happy Halloween!!!!


Bearette24 said...

This is really hard to do. I guess I would pick more personal people...I always wonder what i'd say to a celebrity. usually it's more about them talking.

i've never seen a great pyrenees dog, btw.

Capybaras United said...

Fun idea. Hard to pick just five, but here they are:

- Me, ten years ago or ten years from now: Wouldn't it be neat to chat with a slightly different version of yourself?

- Captain Thomas Sankara: A cool guy. In addition to playing guitar and riding motorcycles, he was former president of Upper Volta, which he renamed Burkina Faso ("Land of Upright Men"). He helped reduce hunger, poverty and corrupton in Burkina Faso, and promoted women's rights there, til he was assassinated by his best friend in a bloody coup. His "friend" is a study in mediocrity, Blaise Compaore, who undid most of his accomplishments and is still in office.

Malcolm Gladwell: Sociology guru and author of the Tipping Point and Blink, Malcolm's a fascinating writer who's always thought-provoking. Not always accurate in the details but that's beside the point. Read his columns for free at his website, gladwell.com, and on the New Yorker website.

- Philip Greenspun: Computer Science author and former MIT assistant professor, he's a super writer -- thoughtful, human, brilliant. And he gives away his books for free through the Web.

- Ingrid Newkirk: Head of PETA, she's a master of getting companies to stop abusing animals, through crazy PR stunts. This is a lot harder than it sounds since people are self-involved. Companies be warned: just don't mess with her!

Bearette24 said...

D just informed me you can have a separate family/friends list and a celebrity list. So here's my celebrity/famous people list:

Erica Jong (writer) - she makes me laugh.
Tori Amos - one of my favorite musicians.
Joni Mitchell - she just seems cool.
Anne Tyler - my favorite author.
Can't think of another.

Caloi-Rider said...

Sorry, Mike, I've just been way super busy lately. I'm sure you understand.

My five: my wife, my kid (even if she's not old enough to operate a cell phone), my in-laws, my mom, and my sister.
That's not quite what you meant, huh?

Okay, okay, let me try again.
Lately, Malcolm Gladwell's writing has been pretty fascinating (good pick, Capybara), but he still isn't on my list.
Instead, let's do:
Charly Gaul
My favorite college English teacher
Georg Totschnig (yeah, like we speak the same language)
Billy Collins
Maybe Glenn Beck (mostly for his benefit)

Walter said...

I'd leave more comments, but I've been in a coma. Sorry dude, but here's my five.

1. Genghis Khan
2. Jalulladin Rumi
3. Sokaku Takeda
4. Nikolai Tesla
5. Laetitia Casta

LostInTX said...

I want to play!

Here's mine:

1. Anne Frank (So much insight for a young girl)
2. Cesar Chavez (amazing leader who started an incredible civil rights movement. Uvas no!)
3. Harriet Tubman (underground railroad... need I say more?)
4. Charles Schulz (He gave snoopy life! I would love to just sit and talk with him about the characters and his inspirations)
5. Dorothea Lange (a pioneer in photography, especially during the Depression. She saw and recorded amazing moments).

blackcrag said...

Mike, I drop by from time to time, but you write such complete, eloquent thoughts, I often find it hard to add to or further them along. All that is left me is to sit and enjoy your post, which I do.

Another blogger, Skay of NY Diary, does this to me as well.

Let me see, if I can get to five people I'd want to sit and chat with:

I can't choose amongst my family and friends, but:
1) my family,
2) my birth-family, (both sides),
3) OB Juan, my best friend,
4) certain high school friends whose company delights me though I rarely see them in the flesh,
5) the bloggers I most admire.

As for the famous five:
1) J.R.R. Tolkien. I read The Hobbit when I was six or seven, and it stayed with me ever since. He is why I wnt to write novels.

2) Dave Matthews (and band members). Hey you worked a whole army unit into this, so I think I'm justified in this one. I love their music so much, I can't imagine not having a great time meeting them in person.

Hmm, the famous one is harder.

3) Pierre Burton, a Canadian journalist and historian. I read his book Vimy for a school project, and I still remember passages from it. He had a very interesting life.

4) Farley Mowatt - another Canadian writer, whose books I find hilarious, including his two on his experiences in WWII. And No Birds Sang, his personal memoirs and My Father's Son, a collection of letters between him and his parents during the war (if you are interested in some reading material).

5) Sir John A. Macdonald, the first prime minister of Canada and Pierre Trudeau, the prime minister during the 60s/70s/80s and either the best or the worst, depending on your political affiliation. Sitting with these two and comparing their views of what Canada could/should be would be a fascinating experience.

Although, I see each of my five as a them-and-me meeting, not all five and me together. I prefer small groups so I can actually spend time with people, and not just 'be there' with them at the same time, yet never say anything more than hi and bye.