Sunday, October 20, 2013

More Anniversary Thoughts

It's been a year now since I started on this adventure. Nah, forget that, I've been on this adventure for a long time now. This was never the end all for me. At times it feels like it. Don't get me wrong, in this moment, in this space, in this time, this is where I want to be. This is where I belong. I can't picture myself anywhere else.

In the past I've made decisions, for better or worse, based off of if I could see myself in a certain role, in a certain place. I once saw myself as a doctor, but as I changed, the image faded. The only way I could picture myself day in and day out behind a desk and a computer was being miserable. I tried that, and the misery set in. I cannot comprehend a happy me back at a 9 to 5 job pushing papers. So I took to the skies. I don't make much and sometimes I don't do much. In spite of being broke and bored a lot of the time I have faith in a great future.

The faith in the future I hold revolves around one concept, one ideal: experience. It has always been about experience. I want to experience as much as I can in this life. As they say, we only get one. So I'm going to stimulate all five of my senses, and possibly more, with as much stimuli as I can. I will stand high on the mountain and take in the beauty of Macchu Picchu and the Inca trail. I will feel the warmth of the Caribbean Sea. I will smell the aromas of fresh foreign markets. I will taste local cuisine from all over the world. I will hear conversations in languages I do not understand. I will imagine these things until I make them a reality.

So that's why I do what I do. It gets me out there. In a way that makes it capable with my means, my talents, and my fears. It gets me out there. It allows me experiences I wouldn't have otherwise. Flying serves as a catalyst to so much more.

(As I wrote this I realized I write too introspectively. I talk too much about what I want to do and not enough about what I am doing, what I have seen, and what I have felt.)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

One Year on the Job

One year in and I'm no closer to being Anthony Bourdain. Sure, I write, occasionally. I travel; when my job sends me somewhere. I eat; whatever I can, whenever I can. I need to do more of all the above, except possibly eating. The other day I told my friend, a flight attendant as well, that I need to travel more. He laughed. I didn't say it as a joke. It was indeed funny though. That's how I know I have a problem. I travel for a living but don't feel I travel enough.

My travels have not been as far and wide as I would like but they are ever-growing and I have gone to some wonderful places both domestically and internationally. In honor of being a flight attendant for a year now I wanted to look back at what some of the things I have learned along the way:

First a riddle: I travel the world and I am drunk constantly. Who am I? If you think the answer is Allan Stumpe you'd be wrong. I may seem like it but I assure you I am not drunk nearly as constantly as I'd like. The answer isn't even Anthony Bourdain, although he sure drinks a fair amount on the show. Another good answer may even be the guys from BrewDog, a brewery in the United Kingdom, who are traveling around the United States exploring and sampling craft beers from all over the country. They probably are drunk constantly but that is still not the answer.

The answer to the riddle is simply water. Remember learning about the water cycle in school? I don't really remember either but there is indeed a cycle of water traveling from rivers to lakes to oceans much the same way we do. In the clouds. Best traveling tip I've heard that I will pass on to you is to drink plenty of water. Water helps avoid jet lag and keeps your body hydrated allowing your immune system to work properly in order to protect you from all sorts of germs on airplanes.

Another point about water. The best cities are on the water. Whether it is the ocean, or a large river, or a great lake (or Great Lake), the greatest cities in the world lie on the shore. Let me enter a disclaimer here before I go any further: Just because your city is right on the water does not mean it is a great city (yeah, I'm looking at you Newark). The greatness of the city seems to increase the more the city is encompassed by water . Case in point: New York City and San Francisco. Both cities are among the most visited and most populous both in the United States and the world. Cities are doing something right if people want to live there and visit it.

Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, San Diego, and Boston are a few of the other most visited and most populous (and popular) cities in the U.S. They also happen to be some of my favorite cities I've been able to visit. But a city doesn't have to be crowded and frequented for it to be a great city. Two of the quirkiest and "weird" (Austin laid the claim to weirdness first; Portland followed suit) cities in the nation are Portland and Austin. There must be something in the water that makes them so weird.  I guess Houston is the Gulf Coast as well, but the times I've been to city I never saw any signs of the ocean or bayous, so I don't consider it right on the water like I do other cities. My logic doesn't hold water however, for by that standard L.A. should be dismissed. I like L.A. better than Houston anyways.

Although one day I plan to call myself a world traveler I can't quite justify it. Regardless of where I've been, I still know a thing or two about the world. And what I know that most of the great cities of the world are right on the water. To name a few: London, Paris, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Sydney, Bangkok, Cairo, Buenos Aires, Singapore, Shangai, Toronto, Dubai, Tel Aviv, and Rio De Janeiro. Once I do visit these cities I will be sure to report on their greatness.

I haven't even mentioned islands yet. I love islands. I had never been to Hawaii until this job. Now I can say I've been several times, and I love it. I haven't even been able to do all there is to do. Just hanging out on the beach is enough for me to fall in love. I've been fortunate to live in Puerto Rico and Grand Cayman and visit several other Caribbean islands, including Cuba. Put me on an island and a beach and I'll be a happy camper. The obvious key to it all is water. An island isn't an island without water, and the warmer the water the better.

There's an easy explanation for the world's populations to gather and build around water. Water is awesome. In the truest sense of the word. Just staring at the ocean, listening to the waves crack, or feeling its tide sweep you away is truly awe inspiring. Rivers are also immensely powerful and breathtaking. At the same time a body of water can be the most peaceful and serene thing you will every experience. The real reason behind it all, though, is water is life sustaining, through both consumption and utilization of its properties as a means of transportation and progress.

Back to the riddle and being drunk, beer is a great reason to travel. Not only that, beer can enhance a city's worth, at least in my book. Call it beer goggles if you want. Good beer makes any city better. I blame this job and a certain friend for getting me hooked on craft beer. Part of the reason I loved San Francisco (and California in general) was the craft beer scene. My favorite bar became Steep Brew, a bar/cafeteria/coffee shop on the bottom floor of a Whole Foods. The bar featured around 18 craft beers, some local, on tap and a handful of others by the bottle. My friend and I would typically get a flight of four beers each (4 oz) in order to taste as many as possible. From there, I was hooked on craft beer. It was only natural from that point to visit the local breweries and taprooms in the San Francisco area including Lagunitas, Russian River, Prohibition, and Speakeasy.

Now its become a thing for me. If I have an opportunity on a layover I head to a local brewery or tap room. Or if I have a day off or two and I can take a day trip near by. The whole west coast is spotted with great breweries. The State of Washington even has a committee--The Washington Beer Commission--ratified by the state legislature as a commodity commission to produce beer festivals. That's how serious Seattle and the entire State of Washington is about its craft beer. Spokane had one of the coolest breweries of all; an old steam plant converted into a brewery and restaurant. Portland is not far behind Seattle when it comes to craft beer. When it comes to beer (so far) the west is the best.

Granted, I haven't been able to explore the east coast's craft beer scene as much as I would have liked. Just last week I did visit Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland and was pleasantly surprised at their slate of impressive beers. There was not a beer they had on draft that I did not like. As far of the rest of the east coast I have a wishlist of breweries I'd like to visit: Allagash in Portland, Maine; Ommegang in Cooperstown, New York; and Dogfish Head in Delaware to name a few. Furthermore, one of these years, perhaps next year, I hope to attend the Great American Beer Festival in Denver and swim in the glory of all of America's craft beer.  

Next to beer, a city's sports scene may be the best thing about a city. I had never had the pleasure of attending a NFL game until last year while in training in Houston. Somehow, and mostly thanks to a friend in the class, scored great seats from a scalper to a Texans game. We were two or three rows up from the sideline near an end zone. Since that game in Houston game I've gone to a game in Philadelphia and Baltimore. I should have gone to a game in Candlestick park while I had the chance but didn't make it.

Although football is my favorite sport to watch I find it much more affordable to attend baseball and basketball games. I plan on going to as many legendary stadiums as possible like Fenway and Madison Square Gardens, simply because I can. Not only are the games themselves exciting but the hype surrounding games and especially playoff games. Cities get behind their teams and its exciting to be a part of that. Especially when there are parades and riots.

On a heavier note, being a flight attendant is not all fun and games. Undoubtedly, the biggest thing I've learned is that being in a long distance relationship as a flight attendant is extremely hard work. It takes a lot more effort than normal relationships. I've been lucky to have a girlfriend that has been very supportive, more than I deserve. She keeps me and the relationship in check. She has been unwilling to give up even when at times I have been. In the end, all the effort and hard work is worth it when I get to spend several days with her on my day off. I can only imagine what its like for the men and women of the armed forces that spend several years away from their spouses and loved ones. Props to them. Makes my long distance seem like a cake walk, but its not.

I've learned a lot in the past year. I've learned a lot about people and places. I've learned a lot about airplanes and travel. I've even learned a thing or two about myself (like I really like craft beer). The main focus of this post has been destinations. That really is my favorite thing to talk about and write about. With that in mind I hope to be writing more about cities and destinations. Travel fuels my writing. I learn a lot in this job but the best things to learn about are the places I go and the people I meet. And although I'm not quite as famous as Anthony Bourdain I still get to travel to cool places, eat tasty local foods, and meet great people. Hell, sometimes I'll even write about it. And just like him, I'm hungry for more.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Get Outside!

Get kids outside. Take them out and let them wander around in the woods. Let them canoe across a lake. Let them backpack through a mountain range. Give them a map and compass assignment. Give frustrated youth an opportunity to challenge themselves in the natural world.
Have you ever heard of a school shooter who’s hobbies are kayaking, rock climbing, and fly-fishing? If that seems absurd – and it does seem absurd to me – we might be onto something.  I don’t think that those hobbies can create a school shooter. There’s just something abut the natural world that defuses anger.
I know this because the outdoors helped saved my life. An outdoor diversion program for troubled teens started the process when I was sixteen. Camping and hiking and climbing helped me mature further as a nineteen and twenty year old. And now, as the director of a high school outdoor program, one of my student leaders said recently that “the outdoor program saves lives.”
That’s not me. That’s nature. Kids need the outdoors.
Help the young people. Get them outside.
Peter Brown Hoffmeister wrote this in a post on his personal blog-firstly intended for the Huffington Post-concerning school shootings. My girlfriend, Natalie, sent me this article a couple weeks ago. I asked her why she sent it to me and if she thought I played too many violent video games (read the full article here for a better understanding of his view on violent video games). Her response: "Reminded me of your writing style."

I became curious about Mr. Hoffmeister. I enjoyed the piece Natalie sent to me and I felt encouraged to be find a similar writing style. Hell, even the blog was white lettering with a black background. I quickly found a cease to the similarities for Hoffmeister was much more experienced, much wiser, and exponentially a better writer. More importantly, I discovered that Hoffmeister was a deep thinker with a good deal of wisdom to share. From the sounds of it, the statement that "the outdoors helped saved [his] life" isn't just a bullet point to prove a point but an homage to an enduring principle in his life. Hoffmeister is an avid rock climber among other than things.

The National Park Service has provided a perfect opportunity to do just what Hoffmeister suggests and get kids outside. This week from April 22 to April 26 the National Park Service is waiving entrance fees to all National Parks. According to the NPS every American is within 100 miles of a National Park. So get to it.

Now, I considered kidnapping my nieces and nephew to add to the fun. (Secretly, I just wanted to become a junior ranger). But the truth of the matter is adults need to get outside more too. Hoffmeister points out that there is just something about the outdoors that just defuses anger. Couldn't this train of thought be applied to problems within the home, large and small? And to our own personal problems?

As for me, I have plenty of personal problems that I feel could be helped by natural world. It may not solve my problems, granted, but it will offer clarity and peace of mind. Fortunately for me I live in the state with the second most national parks, California. The only state to have more is that precious preserved frontier, Alaska. I consider myself even more fortunate for growing up in the state that comes in number three: Utah. Not to mention, I visited Denali National Park in Alaska one summer.

This is not intended to be a puff piece about the National Park Service. Rather it is a call to get outside. Something I need to do more. Something I need to do a lot more. I once relished in the simple hike or outdoor adventure. Somehow that all got away from me. It still evades me more often than not. The natural world inspires, invigorates, and energizes. And yet I give in to those things which dumb me down, depresses me, and demotivates me.

Coupled with the recent good weather and National Park Week I am once motivated to explore. The San Francisco Bay area has five options. I hope I can get to them all.

Friday, April 12, 2013


In 1799 a voyage of unprecedented importance set sail from Spain. This voyage carried the travel enthused scientist Alexander von Humboldt. According to Humboldt's early biographer, F.A. Schwarzenberg, Humboldt had five curiosities he dedicated the voyage to:

  1. The knowledge of the Earth and its inhabitants
  2. The discovery of higher laws of nature, which governs the universe, men, animals, plants, and minerals
  3. The discovery of new forms of life
  4. The discovery of territories hitherto but imperfectly known, and their various productions
  5. The acquaintance with new species of the human race--their manners, their language and the historical traces of their culture

Schwarzenberg accuratelty subtitled Humbodlt's biography What May be Accomplished in a Lifetime. The list of Humboldt's accomplishments goes on and on. And yet, not many of us are familiar with this accomplished explorer and scientist. We are more familiar with the savage conquistadors and explorers that exploited the land and its inhabitants rather than celebrating and learning about them.

32 years later, the HMS Beagle began its famous voyage carrying a man who would later go down as the "Father of Evolution." Although, most of today's population has no familiarity with Humboldt, Charles Dickens was certainly inspired by him and his expedition. In a prophetic profound letter Humbodlt responded to Darwin, "You told me in your kind letter that, when you were young, the manner in which I studied and depicted nature in the torrid zones contributed toward exciting in you the ardour and desire to travel in distant lands. Considering the importance of your work, sir, this may be the greatest success that my humble work could bring." How truly profound! And how many individuals have been inspired since from Darwin who was inspired by Humboldt!?

Darwin didn't get everything right. Our knowledge of the world is evolving exponentially. So much of that knowledge is based of his work and the work of those he inspired and the other scientists that were arguing the case of evolution along side him. Who would have inspired Darwin if not Humboldt? Who inspired Humboldt? Who and what is inspiring us today?

*If you are viewing this page on an Apple device you may not be seeing the two YouTube videos above. IF you are interested they are fragments of speeches made by Neil deGrasse Tyson about how we have stopped dreaming.

Saturday, March 30, 2013


Writing is an art. A writer is an artist. Anybody that has ever done arts and crafts with me knows I am not an artist. Anything sticky, such as glue or tape, does not bode well with me. I manage to get it stuck on my fingers, in my hair, anywhere other than the place it actually needs to be. Same goes with paint, which is why no one asks for my help when painting. I'm not sure I could keep within the lines in a coloring book. A task, I'm sure my nieces and nephews can do effortlessly. Fortunately, I am able to laugh at myself and the project. A disconcerting attribute for those taking the project seriously.

Back to writing. I fear my attempts at writing mimic my attempts at other arts and crafts. Words probably don't end up where I want them. Thoughts aren't connected. And the end product does not mirror what was on the box. 

The difference lies in the fact that I actually want to be good at this writing thing one day. My gingerbread houses can remain crooked and paint jobs messy but as for my writing I hope it is understandable, meaningful, colorful, and good. Truly though, I am not even sure what I mean by that. When I typed those words images of Martha Stewart perfectly put together projects came to mind. I don't necessarily want such perfect pieces of work where the edges are smoothed out and the colors don't run together. Let there be rough edges and a messy run of ideas. Ultimately, I just want it to be readable.

In pursuit of this writer ideal I have briefly explored books and articles concerning writing. The best to date is Stephen King's On Writing. His best advice is simply, "If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot." Similarly, Malcolm Gladwell, in his book Outliers, argues the same point for excelling in just about anything. Gladwell suggests that a 10,000 hour rule applies for success. That is, to excel at a task on must perform said task for around 10,000 hours. Achieving 10,000 hours at any task takes up to 10 years, according to Gladwell, concentrating on the task for 20 hours a week.

Seems daunting. Fortunately, I enjoy reading and there are millions of books I need to get to. The daunting part is the writing. Not because I don't like to write but because I fear it. This fear, as many fears, come from my lack of confidence in myself. At times I feel the fear and hesitation comes from the lack of purpose. Obviously, I need to overcome these things if I am to get my 10,000 hours (I think I found my purpose!).

Stephen King also points out the hierarchy of writers. At the bottom of the pyriamid are the bad writers (yes, there are plenty of bad writes he blatantly points out). Up a level are the competent writers. On the much smaller level above competent writers are the really good writers. And at the tippy top where only a very limited number of writers are included are the genius writers, "divine accidents" as King called them. His opinion on the hierarchy is both troubling and motivating depending on where one falls: "While it is impossible to make a competent writer out of a bad writers, and while it is equally impossible to make a great writer out of a good one, it is possible, with lots of hard work, dedication, and timely help to make a good writer out of a merely competent one."

My hope is that I am a competent writer. My hope is that I have it in me to work hard and dedicate myself to this craft. My hope is that my first hopes will produce the hope I stated earlier to be considered a good writer. My hope is that timely help doesn't take too long.

This blog is going to serve as one of those avenues to writing a lot, those audacious 10,000 hours. I realize that it may sometimes feel like my other art and craft projects, out of control. In that, it has its purpose. I don't have an editor. I don't have a proofreader. I just have little old me. In an effort to remove hurdles that would scare me away from writing, it will remain as is. For sake of this blog I write and then I post. I rarely reread and I rarely have more then the one draft. You could say its my thoughts and ideas in its roughest and rawest form. It also makes my blog sound cooler than it really is. Raw and rough really just means bad grammar and sentence structure.

In short, expect to see me posts. If you really don't want to suffer through my ramblings, wait 10 years or so and by then I may have produced some real art. By then I may call myself an artist. Until then, I'll just read and write.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Highway 1

There's a fancy Taco Bell on the beach down the road from me on Highway 1. The other day I was on a day off so I decided to drive down there and get one of the new Cool Ranch Doritos tacos. It was a nice day so I thought I would sit there at this too-fancy-for-its-own-good Taco Bell, eat some tacos-made with who knows what-and maybe get inspired and do some writing. I sat on the beautiful patio of this beach Taco Bell eating my food, uninspired, urging to drive on.

I gave in to the urge and drove on. Which is peculiar because I spent the day before driving 12 or so hours from Salt Lake to San Francisco. Kerouac must have gotten into my subconscious. And let me remind you, I am a flight attendant now, meaning I could have done this for free in considerably much less time. And yet, I needed to get that car out here for the sake of my sanity.

Back to the point, after spending a whole day in a car the day before, I decided to embark on another car journey along a small stretch of Highway 1, also more aptly named, Pacific Coast Highway. My one regret in the spontaneity of this trip is that I wish I could have posted a poster on back my car stating, "I am a tourist. I am enjoying the view. By all means, please pass me!" I swear, the speed limit on that road should be 25 mph. 

Leaving Pacifica, no more than a couple miles from the eloquent Taco Bell,the Pacific Coast Highway turns into a one lane road driving through a forest of trees. A thick layer of trees darkening the day light line both sides of the road. To me it felt like instantly leaving a small city to entering a protected national park or a forest inhabitable for miles.

All the trees soon make sense. Free roaming hills painted in green appear beyond the trees. The highway leads on to a tunnel through the hillside. I'm both a sucker for tunnels and a sympathizer with the tunnel. One thought exclaims "I am driving through a huge chunk of earth right now. This is awesome!" The other side of my conscious simply asks "Was this really necessary?" The two thoughts don't battle long as there are beautiful views of beaches, cliffs, hillsides, and oceans straight ahead.

 That stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway from Pacifica to Santa Cruz is merely a small portion of what California has to offer. It is not in my ability to describe the views and the beauty of that drive I took that day. This is why: As in most things, the scenery only lends itself to an open mind. While I may have seen a countless number of tan sandy beaches, unadulterated coastal land for miles and miles, and rolling hills of green and cattle, another may simply see the road to home or work, or some place anywhere other than where they just were.

I didn't stop to see and take in as much as I should have. I had a destination in mind, Santa Cruz. I wanted to get there with enough daylight to enjoy it. Regardless, I did spot a picturesque lighthouse along the way that screamed at me to check out. The view of that lighthouse sitting on rocky cliffs and the introspection it inspired was worth the time and daylight it required. I was surprised to find it to be a hostel as well. Why not though? It's a view travelling vagabonds feed off of.

It is hard to fight the urge to write a string of adjectives and superlatives when describing the drive along the Pacific Coast Highway. It is simply beautiful. It is one of natures many masterpieces. Where else can you hear the roaring ocean, feel the ocean spray, and stare at rolling green hills? Nowhere were it is quite like Highway 1.

I eventually made it to Santa Cruz. From my short stay I found it to be enjoyable with an intersting crowd. The boardwalk and its rides were open and crowded. People seemed happy. I wandered around aimlessly wondering what I was more drawn to: the open road or the destination?

The sad part of the Pacific Coast Highway? Either way you go, north or south, it ends up right back in a big city where it is forgotten. Where the opportunities of the open road are neglected. Where the mind turns back to the responsibilities of work, family, and human life. Where once again, our life given source is ignored and forgotten.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Still Dreamin'

I use to dream about these days. I use to dream. What happened to the dreamer? Is it true that dreams are reserved for the young? I want to dream again.

The dreams of my youth were fantastical dreams, uninhibited by doubts and fears. Limitations weren't even considered. In those days I would watch the Olympics and dream of being a world class swimmer. I would watch a play at the local Scera Shell and I would dream of being an actor. I listened to a motivational speaker and felt I could inspire the masses. I even imagined myself a young Kenny Chesney at one point.

Dreams carried on to young adulthood. My dream of being young and rich with my own business landed me in schemes that labeled me a sucker and cost a fair share of time and money never to be regained.

College, where dreams live and thrive and die, followed this pattern of inconsistent dreams. It began in high school when I was convinced I was going to be a doctor. Hell, I even memorized bones and parts of bones in Latin for extra credit. It was a dream I actually put some work towards for once. Eventually, that dream died to be filled by other dreams. Like many sleeping dreams these dreams are fuzzy. From pre-med I went to Pharmacy to Business to Parks, Recreation, and Tourism. As with all dreams, mine had to end, my dream of higher education ended there, with a four year degree, six to seven years in the making, in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism.

I'd like to say that like sleeping dreams I had no control over these dreams. However, that is not the case, and as any good man must I have to accept accountability. Dreams changed slowly from out of reach to within arms length.

For nearly all my life, regardless of what dream was occupying my mind, I was always dreaming of travel and adventure. That one dream, that always persisted, sometimes more so than other times, led me to this conjuncture of my life.

I ended up with a Sustainable Tourism Management emphasis with my degree mostly because it facilitated my dreaming. I sat in classrooms with like-minded, or near like-minded, individuals discussing various aspects of travel and recreation. I took a class in which its only purpose was to discuss every country, state, and region as a travel destination. We discussed what to do, when to go, and why to go. Each destination received a rating as its value as a travel destination according to the professor, who was justly qualified as he had been to every single one of these destinations. Every country, state, and region-minus two-had been visited by this esteemed professor. I envied him.

This same professor taught a tour management class as well. I was keen to learn more. The final project for the class was a group project involving the entire class. As a class we planned a tour that could be done in the Salt Lake area. We rented a tour bus went to a couple haunted sites, a chocolate factory, and then we went on a helicopter ride. This was a dreamer's class.

Although I took classes in rock climbing, mountain climbing, backpacking, and wilderness survival as part of my degree I feel that I could have done so much more. Options were endless within the curriculum, from scuba diving to skiing. The time and money I spent into pursuing higher education killed any dreams other than finishing school.

This is what scared me about getting married, having a family, and having a career. I thought my dreams would cease. Seemingly, I was scared of getting old and the responsibilities of adulthood. The burial ground of dreams awaited in adulthood.  As I got older, I just dreamt of being young forever. I shared the dreams of Mrs. Darling and Wendy. Neverland beckoned.

Contrary to my fears of adulthood my dreams survived. Tamed a bit but alive and well. Like a teenager yearning to leave his/her small town I would watch planes flying overhead wishing I was on one, going somewhere exotic, somewhere new, anywhere really. A plane, 35,000 feet in the air, sparked and symbolized my ever occurring dream to be somewhere I currently wasn't.

Sometimes dreams take a whole lot of effort to become a reality; sometimes dreams just fall into your lap. I like to think my little dream came into fruition due to a little of each. In the last six months I have been on more planes and stayed in more hotel rooms than the average citizen will in their entire life. I have spent all day and all night in a number of airports. I start my day on the west coast, eat lunch on the east coast, and return to lay my head down back on the west coast.

The world opened up to me in a way it only opens up at the sight of money, and although I feel very rich, I have no money to speak of. Naturally, there are still limitations. Fortunately, however, these limitations invite more dreams to flourish. What is a dream without a few roadblocks to overcome?

I may not dream as boldly as I use to but by god, once a dreamer, always a dreamer. I can't imagine a me without a fantastic dream of what the future might hold. Perhaps instead of dreams I should more aptly call them delusions of grandeur. The greatest of these grandiose delusions may be that I will write something worth reading. So I continue to dream and feed the fantastical dream with words from other dreamers, those that knew how to write something worth reading, those that knew how to make characters and stories come to life.

Speaking of dreams, it's that time of night where I should be dreaming in my sleep.

**I found the picture after the fact but found it fitting.