Thursday, August 28, 2003

What is Success

ok...i decided to post my views. the first one will be on what is the meaning of success. When I was in HS i penned:

To drink often and much:
To win the respect of the head bartender
and the affection of the bouncer,
to earn the appreciation of fellow patrons
and endure the betrayal of fellow patrons;
to appreciate a half-full pitcher,
to find the best in stale beer.
to leave the bartender a big tip.
whether by leaving your loose change,
or buying the house a round,
or redeeming an overdue bar tab;
to know even one drop of alcohol
has not been wasted because you lived.
This is to have succeeded.

At the time I was an alcoholic idiot. I had to apologize before the night began for any foolish things I would undoubtedly say or do. This was important since if I apoloigzed after the fact, no one would remember since I was usually apologizing to other alcoholic idiots who were in my same perdictiment. Later I realized RWE had reconfigured my thoughts years earlier when he wrote:

To laugh often and much:
To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children,
to earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty,
to find the best in others,
to leave the world a bit better
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch,
or a redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed
easier because you lived.
This is to have succeeded.

However..I have realized true success is not defined in either poem. True success is not found in anyone elses' eyes, but in your own soul. Hence true success is: spending your life the way you want to. Whether it be pumping gas, writing poetry, or raising a family. If you are happy in your pursuits then you are indeed successful. it matters not how much money you have, or critical acclaim, or the number of friends. It just matters how you feel about yourself and your own efforts.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003


Once again it's US Open Tennis Time in NYC. So its time for me to head out of town. The two are not directly related, but it is rather convenient that the tournament coincides with my families sojourn south to the warm waters of Cape May, NJ. Once again the tennis cult is conspicuous with their presence.

I went to the US Open a few times, and I truly enjoyed it; MacEnroe, Connors, Aggassi and Sampras, plus the dozen or so other top players....they are truly great athletes. Who cares if some have the personality of a cat, they can hit a forehand on a full run and paint the lines with it!! The athleticism is truly beautiful to see. It is the all the added baggage that is distasteful.

First the fans. They come to NYC and walk around all day. In full tennis gear. As if to say uh don't mind me I'm just here for the tennis. Uh..last I checked the fans didn't get to play, so why the white sneakers?? If you are here to "see" the tennis, get out to Queens you wieners and stop taking up all the cabs and seats at Starbucks. And for godsakes you are in Manhattan..most people are at least 50% black, sartorially speaking. Look at yourself your wearing 100% white...blend people!!

And you are so full of yourself. Dont ask me for directions..and then say in a snippy tone "are you here for thee tennis"?? I'm in a suit you idiot, some people don't give a rats ass about tennis. Go out to the Tennis Center and pay $1000 for a cup of coffee made from dirty water.

I swear the only thing worse than the prices out there is the attitude of the Tournament Management. I mean I' m used to getting ripped at stadiums ( the Vet in Philly used to be the worst!), but it is the attitude that kills me. Head caterer: "prices are no higher this year than last, and they are actually cheaper than Super Bowl prices". Huh?? This ain't even close to the Super Bowl....perhaps at the Men's final you can charge premium prices, but even then the crowd is what 30K compared to 90k at the Super Bowl. And don't get me started about the television audience. How dare they.

But the killer is the nerve the USTA has in using terrorist scare-mongering to boost concession volumes. They gotta dump some guys brie and pate because it might be an explosive?? Then they change their minds; "Oh..the fans didn't like the practice, so we curtailed it". So, let me get this straight...you banned home made foods claiming it was for protectionist reasons, which now are unwarranted because people complained?? YEAH RIGHT!!

Get out...just get out!

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Small World

This internet thing is funny. It shrinks the world in a whole new and exciting way. Today I bumped into an old friend, or more accurately, a guy I went to HS with. (here) He has risen to critical acclaim as an expert on "the intersection of art, design and technology". Huh?? Everyone ends up somewhere, and I am sure he is quite well respected as a "great mind". I call your attention to this news not because I expect to bask in the reflective glory of this "revered" techie, as I'm sure most of you would acknowledge. ( I have no links to him). Nor do I wish to contrast his achievement to mine. I feel neither dwarfed nor superior. "Success", in life, will be examined in a future post I'm sure! I simply think it is amusing how the internet has brought distant unrelated parties closer together.

BTW...For the longest time I have used the phrase "shrink your world" to help others conceptualize the process of understand the intricacies of the financial world. By tackling complex issues, and breaking them down to smaller pieces one can understand it and encapsulate it in a smaller perimeter. Sort of like a thumbnail pictures. This way the issue takes up less space and clears the way for additional complex issue to be "digested" and understood.

OK the payoff..uh..uh...oh I don't know. The only memory I have of "Luney" at school was, being on the third floor of this huge house listening to some beatup old hi-fi. It looked more like a close 'n play than a stereo. We were completely ossified, suddenly Peter jumped up and said "what is this shit". I think it was Cheap Trick or something. He started freaking out; knocking over the stereo, throwing record jackets against the wall and breaking the LP's over his knee. Everyone just cleared out...party over. At the time we all just thought he was wasted...but as I look back at that intersection of art, media and what passed for technology at the time, I can't help thinking ...who knew it was a genius at work!!

Monday, August 25, 2003

Blogging / Future Demands

Blogging. My version is defined as a process for memorializing my memories and inspirations for my family, friends and other interested parties.

I realize "the perspective" is important, but how can I express my whole life in one or two paragraphs? I can't. I will just have to reveal flashes of my life as I hurdle through time, space and the NYC metropolitan region on a daily basis. In time, I will sprinkle relevant information so you can pigeon hole me accordingly ( don’t worry it wont be that long).

My current quandary is my children...two boys, ages 4 1/2 and 2 years old. Well, perhaps it is a jealousy. Over the next 15 to 20 years they will absorb an enormous amount of information: from state capitals to Greek mythology to how to count to twenty in Spanish (vente). I, on the other hand, will probably learn nothing...except possibly how to hook up my DVD player to record from my VCR. ( editors note: what does VCR stand for??..shit, I don’t even know that). [Stardate:9/9/03: VCR=video cassette recorder~ thanks keith~ I feel smarter already]

My issue: I am designed to be their main information source, along with their mother, teachers, etc. Will I be able to play this role with my current store of knowledge? Not that I am in anyway feeling deficient, but shouldn't I be expanding my knowledge base to meet their burgeoning demand?

It just concerns me that I will be playing this role and perhaps my storage center is not fully loaded. There are all sorts of new things to learn in our society, and plenty of the old as well. For example , I can't remember the 50 state capitals, names of all the presidents, or the chemical formula for silver. I am too busy doing the truly mundane activities of making money. Perhaps I can buy a "recharge kit" for my memory or an "update kit" for all the new information generated daily. More interestingly, perhaps I can take up the pursuit of expanding my knowledge to the same degree as my two sons? That would be great. I need to brush up on so much. I would love to revisit the Iliad, or great writers like; Willa Cather, Hemmingway, Shakespere..and poetry; Dylan Thomas, Frost, Blake.

Alas, our family has an equal demand for money, perhaps greater. I guess my current store of knowledge will take them as far as I can, and then I will pass the detailed responsibility on to others ( I do read Whittle, and agree, I retain the overarching responsibility !).

Damn, I wish there was a coin or bill for each of our presidents.

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