the content from this website (starting in march of 2001)
for sure and without doubt, my most cherished and valuable possession in this world is the content from this website, since the birth of my first child at least. this didn't happen by design and it never really occurred to me what i possessed until a reader pointed it out to me in 2006. fact is right around then i was going to shut the site down but that story has been told. i have no idea how many hours i have poured into this over the last 17 years but i also have no way of quantifying the value it holds to me personally, and as times passes, my family. it is certainly not a daily or overt appreciation but can be seen when i observe marty and one of my kids going through old photos, or bella commenting on a troyscript she had recently read, or when i see my wife in the morning stepping through the archive viewer, occasionally saying, "ahh. do you remember when alex/anthony/bella did that?". most often my answer is no and i'll peer over her shoulder to re-aquaint myself with what happened 7/8/9/10 years ago as if i'm seeing it for the first time. that is where the true value of this 'thing' shows itself to me as the vault of my family's forgotten history.
like most people i started needing glasses in elementary. and like most people the glasses i got as a kid were kinda cheap and sucky--no high fashion here. so when contacts became available i gladly jumped ship to them. but as i aged i noticed my contacts-aided vision became increasingly blurry. when i asked my optometrist about it, he said it had to do with a facet of my vision and (at the time) could not be corrected with contacts. if i wanted crisp vision i would have to go back to glasses. my sight continued to worsen so i decided to make the move BUT declared i would not get crappy glasses. unfortunately, i didn't know what that meant.
then marty and i went to a movie. in this movie there was a character that took a pair of glasses off and set them on the table in front of him. as the scene played out, shown in the image above, i stared at the glasses and with a spooky level of clarity and confidence i knew they were the glasses for me. after the movie, i continued to perfectly see them in my mind as if i was looking at a still frame from the film.
for the next two years every time i passed a glasses store i would tell marty to give me a minute, i would walk in and ask the sales clerk if they had any "rimless, cable-wrap, saddle-bridge glasses" and for two years i was told no. then one day the sales guy said, "as a matter of fact i believe i do". he turned, scanned the wall of options, pulled a pair down and set them before my blurry, astonished eyes. i picked them up, put them on, leaned into the small mirror on the counter and said i'd take them. marty interrupted with a "whoa, whoa, whoa" and asked a silly question about cost. he studied the sticker on the glass's arm and said a number that surprised even me. but my pause was momentary. and before he set them back down on the counter, i repeated my declaration that i would take them.
that was 17 years ago and since then i have bought three more pairs so i would have extra parts for when they stopped making them (which they recently did).
in any picture you've ever seen of me in the last seventeen years, where my neck is visible, you will see my necklace. when purchased over the web in 2000, i never thought that this sub twenty dollar bit of pewter would be draped around my neck for almost two decades. i'm also amazed it hasn't been lost or broken. but here it is still in tact and still around my neck. sure i've gone through about hundred yards of leather cord, having to replace it every other year or so but that metal nubbin with the single word SIMPLIFY stamped into its soft face has never faltered through my every adventure over these many years, including the birth of all three of my children. i'm not exactly a superstitious man but i would be plenty sad to lose the one physical object that has been with me through it all. the only other such possession i have would be my wedding ring, which i don't know why i would not include that on this list but it somehow feels different.
another thing i like about my necklace is most people who try to read its tiny print thinks it says SUPERFLY instead of 'simplify'. the expression they give me when they think i, a very not-superfly kinda guy, am wearing a piece of jewelry with that proclamation on it, is one of the best faces i ever get to see.
i've only had three bikes in my adult life. i rode my first one for three years. it was a starter bike of sorts to see if i would take to the sport. i did. i rode my second bike for more than twenty years. and it wasn't like it was staying pristine hanging in my garage. i rode it a lot. and i mean a lot. in a story that hasn't been told (yet) a new bike has come my way and i very much see it as my next twenty-year bike. it truly is a piece of art. truly. and flying down a smooth road on its back is truly a source of intense-joy for me.
like my bike, my car brings me great joy. i'm not exactly a car guy and my car isn't exactly a showpice. fact is it is pretty beat to hell. part of that abuse is due to a philosophy i adopted after my kids were born that said, "you can love your stuff or you can love your kids, but you can't love both." because of that, in part, my car has plenty of nicks and scratches in the paint, namely because my kids, when younger, loved getting in and out of my car through the sunroof. there wasn't another kid who witnessed this allowance without great envy. there also wasn't a pleading glance at a parent that wasn't met with, "don't even think about it."
as for the car i adore so much, it is a 91 bmw 318i, or an E30 for those in the know. i wanted one for many years and became dour when they stopped making them in 91. when it was time for me to replace a failing car, i kept a sharp eye out for one in the used lots. when i spotted this one, the deal was done before i completed the u-turn. i'm its second owner and have had it for 19 of its 26 years. unlike my bike i don't drive it often (as i walk or bike most places) but the days i get to pull it out of the garage are good days, especially when i'm headed for the highway for a cross-country adventure in one of the most fun-to-drive cars i have ever come upon.
ever since i was in junior high, making my desk a place i found comfortable and productive has always been a thing. between having a large workspace, my wall of wonder as the backdrop and lots of custom additions to it, i've always made having a space i want to be at a priority. when we bought our house, i knew the room and space i wanted and claimed it immediately. it was originally the nursery/changing room of the house and is part of the master bedroom suite. part of it included a double doored closet. after we decided to buy the house i gained special access to it again to measure the closet to see if my 50's government issue desk would fit into it. it would with an 1/16 of an inch to spare. to say it was like it was meant to be would be too goofy so i won't, but you gotta admit ...
a guy whose core hobby and interest is time and life managment has to have a watch of note. my timepeice of choice is an original military issue timex. the two things i love most about it are (1) its rolling date feature (not all the modern-day replicas have this), and (2) it does not have the ridiculously large (american) face current-day watches do which is a better fit for my smaller wrist. next year the watch will be 40 years old and still keeps spot-on time just as it did when it originally rolled off the line.