Sunday, September 24, 2017

Common Sense

I wish it was easier for me to talk to my kids. Sometimes I'm very concerned about the choices they are making and I would like to talk to them about it, share my life experiences, but I end up tongue tied.

For instance, was introduced to a new way of thinking about monogamy, or actually it is an old way to think about it, from the book "Assassin's Apprentice."

"Soldiers and sailors whore around. It's a common way for common folk. But not for royalty. Or for anyone with a bit of pride... It's fine to fall in love, Fitz, and no one begrudges a young woman or man a kiss or two... Traders bring pretty girls or well made youths to the market like so many chickens or so many potatoes. And the children they end up bearing may have names, but they don't have much else. And even when they marry, they don't stop their habits. If ever I find the right woman, I'll want her to know I won't be looking at another. And I'll want to know all my children are mine"

So in order to preserve your pride and to give your children a good upbringing you must be able to have self-control and temperance in your habits. Self respect and pride in yourself and your potential family.

This explanation is a less loaded than the religious explanation of "purity" as a reason for temperate behavior. In the one it is a matter of worthiness before "god" in the other a matter of worthiness of self and explanation for right behavior.

Following the rule of temperance due to self respect lends nobility to your actions, following the rule of "purity before god" lends an air of self righteous judgement to your actions. One is easy to defend, you have self respect and wish for a good life outcome. In the other the reasons may be the same but are harder to defend because the rationality is different.

I think that many things taught within religious scripts are good things but they obscure the essence of the thing making it a matter of following the rules set forth by an invisible god, rather than understanding that following certain rules or patterns of behavior will bring greater success than not.

Follow common sense principles to achieve success not a place in heaven. That certainly makes sense to me.


Monday, September 11, 2017

Acknowledging That Writing is Hard

It is hard, trying to force ideas to come is difficult if not impossible at times. I think that the best way for me to generate ideas is to keep a notebook with me. When something comes to me I will write it down, this is something I have done in the past but if I don't take the time to transcribe my thoughts onto the computer then they will be lost to me in the pages of a notebook.

I do need to find balance, I want to be able to relax with my family and friends but I need to somehow carve out some time to write, otherwise I won't ever develop my talent in writing.

So yes, writing is hard but I want to learn, I've wanted to learn for a long time...


Saturday, September 9, 2017

Writing Assignment: The worst hotel I've stayed in

I've had a few chances to stay in hotels throughout the years and I've gotten used to them I suppose. They are sterile, with their generic artwork, industrial carpet, stiff sheets and pillows. Of course there's usually the obligatory air-conditioner under thick blinds that spews out frigid air scented with a twinge of cigarette smoke from previous guests who thought they could get away with smoking in the room. 

Generically hotel rooms are somewhat unpleasant. 

We stayed in a little podunk hotel in Kanab this summer, the shower and toilet were in a separate space from the sink, which was a result of poor design by the builders I think. The outside was designed to fit the historical image of American Trans-continental hostelry with fake wooden beams that were glued and tacked onto the outside of the place. The room was tiny, two full-sized beds masquerading as queen sized beds, set side by side in a space not much larger than the waiting room of a doctors office. They somehow managed a dresser with the obligatory television and mini refrigerator that whined in the middle of the night waking me from my uneasy sleep. The door was right up against the parking lot so we really depended on the thick curtains to protect our privacy. We didn't plan well for our overnight stay, so there we were, we made the best of it. 

A rather unexpected hotel was the one we stayed at in Ireland. We got off the plane in Dublin and exhausted, looked forward to finding a place to relax. My cousin Kathy was the one who had made all the travel arrangements so we trusted in her plan. Well off the plane, we hoped on a bus which took us down to the middle of Dublin where we un-boarded onto the thoroughfare. According to Kathy we were quite close to the hotel so we gathered our luggage as best we could and followed her like ducks in a row through the cobblestone lined streets of Dublin. Our luggage clacked along behind us as we went, jarring our arms and vibrating up into our heads. We passed through several intersections and our guide Kathy had us walking up one street and down another until we reached a door in the middle of an alleyway just past a small convenience store and across from a cafe. She pressed the buzzer under the glowing yellow sign emblazoned with a bumble bee and a voice on the other end told us to enter through the door that buzzed and clicked letting us know it had been unlocked. 

We opened up to narrow lobby and we all jammed in as best we could, a few were left out in the alley while our fearless leader discussed our rooms with the clerk in the lobby. After things were settled we made our way to a tiny elevator where a few jammed in and others waited to be taken up to our room. An accented voice declared which floor we had arrived on and with a ding we were let out of the death trap of an elevator. 

We arrived in a narrow hall and stairway, and followed that down until we found our rooms which ended up being rather like a small apartment, quite different than the hotels we were used to in the States. I found the corner of a dark room to unpack and freshen up and we all met together in the living room area which was next to a tiny kitchen and balcony. 

We all ended up really enjoying the view from our 3rd story window out over the middle of Dublin. We could see the university and the river and at night we heard the frequenters of the local bars singing, we might have imagined that last bit... ;)

In any case, this is my reminiscence from our trip, hotels in general are the same but sometimes you can be surprised.