My Dirty Laundry

My Dirty Laundry

Note: this is one of those blog posts without a punchline, let alone a solid point. Tonight en-route a six-hour flight, I just felt like writing about the moment that lingers the most from my trip thus far. How’s that for a compelling opener? 🙂

I’m in the midst of a week of business travel and can’t stand to pay in-hotel laundry gouging prices if avoidable. So while staying in Santa Monica, I found a nearby Laundromat in Venice and scooted over mid-day Friday to clean my dirty laundry.

I pull into the parking lot in my Buick rental (an amazingly great ride), with a large Brian and Amy’s Coconut Water (with pulp) in-between my legs while toggling a conference call (using handsfree).

Within ten seconds of pulling into the parking lot, a local Laundromat-goer who is sitting in his parked car awaiting a wash cycle starts yelling at me. Apparently, there’s a special parking protocol that I don’t understand. Thankfully, Mr. Enthusiasm was more than willing to school me.

Cringing, I mute my business call, and feel my annoyance level rise as he continues to yell. “Okay, you got this” I say to myself as I roll down the windows and resist my NYC-instinct to start yelling back. We are in SoCal, after all, and unless the car is in motion there is little justification for hostility.

“Hey bro” I say in my best attempt at California-cool as I pull up my Ray Bans and kinda flick my not-quite-long-enough-to-pass-as-a-surfer-hair “just tell me what I’m doing wrong here and I’ll fix it.”

He looks at me as if I am the biggest idiot in the world (possible) and with an irritated voice and angry emphatic hand gestures instructs me on where to park, in between obvious exhalation and eye rolling, as if to solidify the point that, once again, I am indeed the biggest idiot in the world (moving from possible to probable at this point). He tells me that if my vehicle gets blocked it is my job is to track someone down and get them to move their car for me, which is why I was reprimanded in the first place—I wasn’t pulling my car all the way forward.

Fair enough. His turf. His rules. I’ll follow.

Despite the aggressive greeting, as soon as I walked through the doors of the Laundromat an amazingly unexpected wave of comfort, simplicity, and peace was around me. The quiet repetitive hum of rotating washers and dryers, with the fresh scent of cleaned clothes and dryer sheets, and a comfortable immersion in a toasty warm room that invited me to slow down and linger.

Ironically, Mr. Enthusiasm even ends up becoming quite friendly with me and is supremely chatty—even smiley—once we’re inside, which I also attribute to the healing and equalizing properties of a Laundromat.

Nobody there owned, or at least was using, an iPhone or Blackberry (let’s be real, nobody uses a Blackberry anyways), there was no multi-tasking, and not a single person stared at the dryer trying to “will” the clothes to bake faster. It was chill.

It ended up being like a 90-minute vacation for me. Sitting in a Laundromat. Talking to the locals.

So far this week I’ve been in Dallas for three days, Los Angeles for two, and now I’m off to Honolulu for the final leg of this journey before heading back to San Francisco. Not only interesting travel venues, but I’ve had some great meetings with people along the way and some amazing food to boot (Riva Bella on Sunset—if you’re in LA, totally worth a visit).

Yet, my most memorable experience so far?

The Laundromat.

I don’t even understand it, but it’s one of those things that totally stands out to me. The kind that compels me to write without any particular reason…

~Raz

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your physician. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all when. What is the most significant info you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

Hanging for the Weekend: Surfing, and…Hair Swag?

This weekend it was just me and the kiddo’s, Royce and Zoe. “RoZo.” We had a great time, and if for nothing other than a mental memory for me down the road, I thought I’d capture highlights. Mostly a pictorial review, with a few captions summarizing along the way.

IMG_7513

30-minutes in and RoZo have jumped into their enthusiasms. Zoe’s all about fashion, design, technology, and, well, doing nails…Apparently not just one color. She is the kinda-messy-moderately-expressive kid, so at least she’s outside.  She’s also crazy creative.

IMG_7514

And then Royce found her own occupation, who is a ridiculously hard worker and equally responsible, has little to no interest in fashion but is a voracious reader and learner, yet has gotten consumed with this Pottermore game which appears to be mildly addictive.

IMG_7516

Drove into SF for a pick up of the proverbial grass-fed organic frolicking-in-the-countryside CSA meat order (that is so California, which I am not…) and I stumbled onto this street which I adore–and the building / architecture. This would be a cool place to live. There’s even a GTI out front. Perfect car for the City. Love.

IMG_7517

Took the kids surfing in Santa Cruz late in the afternoon, this is post-surf. Caught some fantastic waves, and the three of us are starting to get the hang of it. 10-years ago I never understood the magic of surfing. Now, I do. Total magic.

IMG_7518

Sunset in Santa Cruz, such a gorgeous night with sailboats skimming the surface while watching the sun dip below the horizon with the salty smell of the Pacific Ocean. I am sure I could live anywhere, but my soul is definitely happier near water.

IMG_7519

Raz, Zoe, and Royce…Post surfing, exhausted, but about to go and party it up in Santa Cruz at night.

IMG_7520

We had dinner on the Pier with a really smart guy who used to be my CTO at a prior start-up and his equally smart wife, lovely couple. Afterwards, I took RoZo to the nearby Arcade. Of the 582 games, RoZo wanted to play the one where you get the 1/1000th chance to win a little stuffed animal. After 1,000 coins they each won! This is the equivalent of a slot machine for 9 and 11 year olds…

IMG_7522

After two hours here, I no longer saw video games. I only saw pathogens. Billions on the machines. And hundreds running around the arcade. If I could’ve wrapped myself in a bubble, I would have. Arcades and hand rails on NYC subways…Ugh, try to stay away from both.

IMG_7523

So after surfing we had dinner, then ice cream, then the arcade, but why call it a night at 10pm!?!?!?! Instead, we went bowling and loaded up with nachos. And more ice cream. After bowling we hung out at a restaurant and played music on the jukebox, had more ice cream and more food. Zoe woke up the next morning saying “Dad, I can’t believe what you fed us last night…” Yes, this is all my fault. 🙂

IMG_7524

Love this shirt. And, I just love this picture. Oh, and she got a STRIKE! Go Roycie Go!

IMG_7526

The kids decided to conspire against me, and asked if they could each bowl a turn for me (we were competing, of course!). They each promptly threw both of my bowling balls directly into the gutter. And they thought it was so hysterical. So I tried my best to look unamused.

IMG_7527
#photobooth

IMG_7528

I love this shot, only b/c it feels and looks so California to me. I love this house, too. So charming. However, to be clear, I am a New Yorker who digs California. I am not a Californian (at least not yet).

IMG_7530

Took the kids with me to do my 3rd bodyfat test, which I now do every 90-days. My last test in December was 14.3%, this one was 12.6% which is okay progress but I should’ve been closer to 11% and my diet has slipped the last few months. My final goal is to be at or less than 9%, and originally wanted to hit it by April but now looks like it will be June. Still a ways to go, but slowly…slowly…

IMG_7531

We ended the night by having a buddy of mine over and his daughter, the kids ate Pizza while for the boys I cooked braised Lamb, pancetta topped brussel sprouts, and some sweet potato concoction that I made up–pan fried in ghee with cinnamon and topped with liquid honey (diluted honey). I was overzealous on cooking tonight, but the kids cleaned, got recharged with some Girl Scout Cookies, and then decided I needed a new hairdo–so check out my new hair swag!!!

RoZo, thanks for keeping me out of trouble and making this weekend a great time! 🙂

~Raz

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your physician. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all season. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good heartiness, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

My New Year’s Resolutions: Surprise!

None.

Truly, I have none. For the first time since I was in my early teens.

Much of what I want for 2013 I started weeks or months ago on random days. Sometimes based on arcane occurrences. For example, one major goal of mine initiated unexpectedly whilst listening to a Coldplay song as I was sitting on the runway at JFK. Normally I’d have tried to push the goal off and wait for some significant milestone or set a future date, but that day I just grabbed it and started working towards it. Rather than wait for someday.

For many years I created these resolutions, and often the same ones. I can’t think of one New Year’s resolution I have ever accomplished. A friend of mine has instilled me with the perspective that New Year’s Resolutions are pointless, and finally convinced me “if you want to do something, you’ll decide to do it now–not wait for some future date.” At first I really resisted this–I mean, I LOVED my resolutions! But my friend was right, that at least for some of us, these futile repeats are pointless. And it’s changed my perspective on New Year’s resolutions. And in many areas of my life.

To the point above, I have another “resolution” I’m working on for 2013 but I’m actually starting it today. Why? Because I want it, and if I’m serious about it I should start now–there’s no reason to wait, even a few days. Perhaps, just maybe, the same could be true for you as well. That, rather than waiting until this Tuesday to start something, that if you started today, with it would come a different level of commitment. A seriousness and tangibility to it, and yourself, that makes it more than just a resolution. Ironically enough, as I finish writing this, Kaskade’s song “4am” (one of my favorite artists–such amazing running music!) came on Pandora, the chorus echoes the words “someday” throughout.

Here’s to making progresss towards someday, starting today, whenever that’s possible.

Happy New Year’s.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your physician. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all when. What is the most significant data you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless great for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

Prepared to Fail

Tomorrow is the Sacramento marathon (also known as California Marathon, or CIM).

I am not really a runner. Yet, I love to run. The solidtude. Steps on the ground in a rhythmic pattern. Letting your mind wander. The runners rush after a good jaunt.  I just wasn’t built to be a long distance runner. But that hasn’t quelled my enthusiasm for it.

I have two prior (failed) Marathon attempts, both three years ago. Midway through my training I got some pretty harsh tendonitis that benched me. A little over a year ago I sought out a highly regarded Orthopedic surgeon who I was sure could get me back into running. After my evaluation, he told me his best advice was to lay low a year, possibly two, do light stretching and exercises—maybe aquatic!—but to do nothing running related. Was basically a lot of “you know, tendonitis is tricky…not great blood flow there, slow to repair, there’s just really not a lot you can do…” Upon my request he reluctantly made a physical therapist recommendation. I still remember how hopeless I felt leaving his office.

Instead (of basically doing nothing) I found a physical therapist who got me jump started. I remember on my first visit asking him if he could help me run again, with the end goal being a marathon. With some optimism he said yes. Part of what I needed was some physical help, and he used an amazing (and painful—like bring-you-to-tears-painful) technique called Graston Therapy that made a huge difference. But he also gave me some hope.

So fast forward 1+ years, I’ve now been training for the Sac Marathon for four months, supplemented with Crossfit a few days a week, and have been following the Paleo diet consistently and have dropped a few pounds. At worst, I am in decent shape. But even still, I’m lacking confidence for tomorrow.

So up until this moment, I have given myself an out for tomorrow’s race so that if I don’t finish I’m okay with it. And myself.

In other words, I’ve set myself up to be okay with failing. Which is not really like me at all, but this dang marathon has evaded me for years and I’m quite a bit humbled by it.

It manifests through a lot of ways, by how I share with others that I’m “trying” to run the Sacramento marathon and simply “hope” to finish, to my latest series of internal conversations this morning about how the cold I caught this morning and lousy running weather all make it more understandable if I “try” but don’t complete it.

Why have I done this? It’s protective. If I finish, then I still feel good. But if I don’t, well, then I won’t feel so bad because I’ve been hedging all the while. It’s pretty primitive, really. And I’m kind of a sissy for doing it. Because all I’ve really done is reduced some of my determination, and increased my risk of failure.

Hours ago before I boarded my flight from the East Coast to Sacramento, by way of my hometown Dallas, I realized what I’ve been doing psychologically over the past four months. And in an instant it totally changed my context and beliefs. Because, a) I’m not really a sissy, and b) I don’t quit stuff, and c) I should have enough mental mojo to fix this deficient thought pattern.

So here’s where I am now, and I’m not deviating from it for one minute.

Tomorrow, I’m going to run—and finish—the Sacramento marathon.

And, here’s the real stretch for me: I’m going to run it in under four hours.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all day. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

Running Fast(er) vs. Running Slow(er)

This year I did my first Turkey Trot, I think ever but there’s a chance growing up we did one. In Columbus there was this run called “The Dam Run” (Hoover Dam) and we did it a few times as a family but don’t recall if it was on Thanksgiving. And, no, I don’t want to Google it to find out–I want it to remain a mystery. It was lots of fun and I loved the ability to pseudo-swear and say Dam in front of my parents as a kid.

In fact, I still do. Dam. Dam. Dam. Damdada, DamdeDa DamdadadaeedededDAM!

Moving on…

In the last month I’ve “run”  in two races in over 20-years. On Sunday December 2nd, I’m running the Sacramento Marathon. It’s my third attempt to finish a marathon, the other two I trained (and paid! :)) for, but a really nagging Achilles and Patellar tendonitis prevented me from even making it to race day on either. So these two runs in the last month were part of my training regimen for the Sac Marathon, and I wanted to shake out some of my nerves.

On on this Thanksgiving race, I had this really cool physical manifestation about how running with certain groups can be such a great comparison for teams of people.

Two weeks ago I ran a half marathon, and I paced myself moderately well and finished running the 13.2 miles @ an 8:50 pace per mile. This is probably an average-ish pace. As I’m running the last mile I’m probably at a 7:30 pace and passing tons of people. No big deal, and I wasn’t trying to pass tons of people, I just was trying to finish at a better clip. But I was in a crowd of decent runners who were really starting to stagger towards the end. And there were few group dynamics to push through to the end. Just my own dynamics. Which was/is fine.

So this Thursday, I’m running a 10k (6.2 miles) and I decided to try to pick it up a bit and run with more aggressive runners and try to finish at a sub 7:30 pace. I started at a 7:38 pace, and ended the race by averaging a 7:20 pace for the full 10k. And once again, if you’re a runner, this still isn’t fast. The last mile I felt pretty solid and picked it up to run about a 6:45 pace. But here’s the funny thing, though I’d really picked it up the last mile as I’d done in the prior race, in this one I could barely pass anyone…because I was now among better runners. And they’re all pushing hard, and each other, and it caused our entire pack to speed up. It sounds silly, but at a certain point there was this group energy that just carried our informal pod of runners that were clumped together. Which also made it more difficult to slow down.

And as I’m running, it really dawns on me that this is such a physical manifestation of the difference between teams of people in business. In the really good teams, the group dynamics make the individual performance better. And the irony is, that the individual performance also gets easier, because there’s this group-dyanmic-force-shield-of-sorts that helps each person out as well. Nothing profound here, but I wanted to capture it on a blog post for myself if nothing else. (as an aside: for anyone reading this who is a walker or runner, this isn’t about whether you should run faster or slower, or if you’re in XYZ pace or whatever. I think all fitness goals are personal–do what works. And keep doing it).

So in the last mile of the race, four things are going through my head: man, I’m tired, I love this Mos Def power song, this last mile is an interesting business metaphor let me dissect the ways, and I really hope I can finish the Sacramento marathon. Regarding that last one, one week from tomorrow I’ll know.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doc. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all time. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good soundness, its doubtless great for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

Yep, I Attended Burning Man…And Loved It.

Sunrise at Entrance of Burning Man

About a month ago I went to Burning Man for several days. If you’ve never been, I pretty much guarantee it is everything you heard. And nothing at all.

1990 was the first year Burning Man took place on Black Rock Desert (previously on beaches in San Francisco). That was also the same year my dad gave me an article in my inbox (here’s the link that explains my growing up with an inbox) and it was about this specific Burning Man event, before it ever became popular–heck, before most people had heard of it let alone popular. At the time I was 17, I’m sure he doesn’t remember giving it to me, but I can still recall certain excerpts, the creativity, and photographs from the article. Since reading that story, I always wanted to go and given newfound proximity (SF is a relatively short drive to Burning Man) that sentiment grew over the past year.

One of the many awesome costumes on the Playa

At the last minute, and based on an invite from a fellow SF start-up friend that gave me the chance to stay in a very cool camp, I decided to go to Burning Man 2012 along with another good friend of mine.

It was an event itself getting into the Burn, we arrived at the entrance at 2am but didn’t make our way through the gate until 7am. Just the process of waiting was a fun experience, and unforgettable whilst watching the sunrise come up over the Playa. Initiation through the gate included rolling around in the alkaline desert, gonging some bell, and being told “welcome home” by the hosts.

There were a lot of things I enjoyed about Burning Man, but the winner for me was really discovering the creative process people need to go through to get to, well, their creative output.

My great friend, Joel Canon, hanging at Camp Ideate

So many of us love the end result of creatives, the completion of artwork, acting, music or whatever else. But often it’s easy to discount or underplay the creative process that people need to go through in order to achieve the end result. For me, Burning Man was an amazing look into the creative process that can benefit both creatives and non-creatives alike. And just so there’s no  misunderstanding, my use of the term and interpretation “creative process” isn’t code for illicit drug use, etc. Yeah, there’s some of that at Burning Man. But not everybody participates (nor did yours truly) nor is there pressure to do so. What I mean about the creative process is literally just that. The process of communication. Exploration. Artistic expression. Learned through either or both introspection as well external observation and sharing.

And while I loved my time at the Burn, it doesn’t mean I loved every single thing about it. But I’m focusing on the parts I liked, not the select few I didn’t.

Stopped Here for My Crazy Buddy...

Tons of  amazing artwork and exhibits, fantastic conversations, and an eclectic–very eclectic–array of workshops. Our camp, Ideate, was focused on technology workshops and demonstrated a really cool 3D printer. I’ve read a lot about this technology, but it was my first time seeing it firsthand. And for the record, the 3D printer is insane. Absolutely crazy insane, because what’s available today is a glimpse of what will be forthcoming in the future. 3D printing will be one of the next big disrupters of this decade.

Burning Man Sunset at Camp Ideate

Burning Man is lots of things. Yet, for me, the most apt truism of Burning Man was shared by a guy helping me shop–yeah you’ve gotta dress up in costume to go to Burning Man–in Haight Ashbury a week before the event. I asked him to describe it, and he looked at me and matter-of-factly said:

“Whatever it is you’re looking for, that’s what you’ll find.”

Which is exactly what I did.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doc. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all season. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless great for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

Happy Thanksgiving 2010

Okay, here it is…a stroke before midnight, the annual RazFamily Thanksgiving video.

This one is a bit more…casual, and slap-dash, but we’re going to let it go anyways. It really is purely an outtakes version, was hoping for something a bit more sincere and thoughtful but it just didn’t happen that way. And I didn’t get the participation of Erica or Royce/Zoe, but we had so many people at the house it was a bit chaotic and not optimal studio environment. 🙂 So, again, this is outtakes people. Outtakes. Not me in everyday every moment life.

Anyways, Happy Thanksgiving to everybody. And, by the way, when you get a heritage/free range Turkey (like we did) it is a BIT easier to understand how I did what I did, which you’ll see at the end of the video. Too much explaining will ruin the silly surprise.

So there it is, from the RazFam to yours–best to each of you!

-Raz, Erica, Royce, and Zoe

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all when. What is the most significant information you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good soundness, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

Memories of Morristown

Denise, Raz, and AlyssaRecently I was visiting some family on the East Coast. Every time I’m in the area, I usually stop by the Hospital where my daughter was born–Royce–just about nine years ago.

As many know, she was born very premature. I’ll skip the details of the story, I’m sure in accumulation or specifically I have a post in here somewhere that details it.

Anyways, lots of long hours in the NICU. Looooong and stressful hours. And as long as they were for us, for the staff there–particularly the nurses–it was a day after after day. Probably without a lot of gratefulness. Likely without tons feedback. And, all too often, seeing a wrenching end to a life just begun that affects families in deep and emotional ways difficult to explain.

So Royce, our oldest, was a perfect product of Morristown Hospital (lots of things contributed, Providence, the Doc’s, modern technology, lots of prayers, and as I’m addressing today, particularly the nurses). So anytime I’m in the area, which is about once a year, I drop off a note thanking whoever from the staff that’s on at that particular time, and generally something like an Ice Cream cake since there’s a Friendly’s right down the street.

Too often I forget about the people who have difficult and often thankless jobs, so maybe this annual pilgrimage to Morristown was my reminder to myself to do a better job of this, as well as to provide a really sincere thanks to some people who transformed our life.

Sometimes I get wrapped up in thinking that for us to make an impact we have to do something exceptional. And, while there are many great illustrations of people doing just that–I think I can find far more from people who do the simple things, consistently, with a lot of heart, and persistence towards excellence.

In my 8+ years of doing these thank-you-drop-by’s, I’ve never once ran into our two Primary nurses from Royce’s stay at the NICU–they just never happened to be on when I was stopping by in the past.

Until this last visit. It was so cool but on my last visit BOTH of her Primary nurses were on duty, Alyssa and Denise were both there that Sunday afternoon when I was making my annual stop. And it brought back a flood of memories to see them both, and a few other emotions. I got some great time with them both, and was reminded about the simple acts of service that can make such a big difference in peoples lives. For us, the big thing was helping ensure some precarious months in the NICU by paying such great attention to Royce. But beyond that, there was a whole level of emotional support they provided as well.

So, today, a shout out of thanks to all the people out there in jobs that don’t get the gratitude that you deserve. Because whether you saved a life, changed a life, or changed a diaper (for someone young or old), you deserve some appreciation–and a reminder, that the stuff you do, even the routine and mundane, can be a game changer for someone else.

You just don’t always know who, or when.

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all date. What is the most significant info you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good health, its doubtless important for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.

My Final Drive in Dune…

Toyota Land Cruiser, Dune, en route from NJ to Cincy
Our departure from NJ to Cincy, one of our many moves with Dune...Heidi to the right in the foreground, our beloved St Bernard who tolerated many adventures

On Wednesday night I went for one last drive. Forever.

I’m a little obsessive about cars–and they don’t have to be expensive. I just am particular about, and have a love for, automobiles in general.

Just like a Cowboy from the 1800’s would have felt about his horse, that’s how I feel about four wheels and an engine. But the love ain’t just for any car. There’s a certain enthusiasm I have for some more than others, even a personification of sorts–beyond just the fact that I name my cars.

My second favorite car got totaled in North Dakota at 2am in the middle of nowhere, it was a 560 SEL (his name was Copenhagen) and, wow, how I loved that car. But it was that carnal kind of lustful love, not that enduring stuff.

So I was comforted by the fact that we still had our Toyota Land Cruiser (a fairly gender neutral name; Dune, but I think it was a “she”, right Erica?). Now, this Land Cruiser, she even eclipsed my love for the 560 SEL. It was that deep heart-felt like love in an almost emotional sense (you’ll see)–as much as one can love an SUV. In part, this was because she was such an exceptional car in every single way that I could possibly articulate, but even more so because of the spectacular memories embedded in the nearly 10-years we owned her.

Dune, along with the kids, on a great camping trip
RoZo camping with Dune in the background, our first trip ever camping

Tonight, I went for one last drive in her. Some reckless guy driving a three ton Dodge Ram did just that into the rear end of Dune at quite a speed; ultimately, all I cared about is that Erica and the girls were safe. They were, and for that I am so exceptionally grateful and relieved. And, once again, thankful to Dune for doing her duty to protect my family. One final time.

Now that it’s been weeks, though, the adjusters have come and gone, I’ve haggled with the insurance companies, and it’s time for the wrecker to come tomorrow. Nobody understood on paper the value Dune meant to me, and it was almost with outrage when the adjuster provided a final settlement number. It was then, that I realized, just how much I’d come to love Dune.

A week before the salvage yard was to come, each day I left the driveway she was the last thing I looked at when I drove off, and the first thing I saw when I came home–my familiar and reliable friend, I knew, would soon be gone.

So the night before the wreckers came I went, by myself, to say my final goodbye .And, as silly as this sounds, it was hard. Really hard. Like, almost-tears-in-the-eyes and punch-in-the-stomach kind of hard.

Dune was more faithful and reliable than some friends I’ve had, and for nearly ten years and almost 150,000 miles steadfastly carried us everywhere experiencing nearly every abuse that a family could throw her way.

Dune digging thru the snow
Dune digging thru the snow on a winter blast a year back

But what grabbed at my heart were the memories. When we left New Jersey to move to the Midwest, it was Dune that took us there, with little Royce not even weighing yet four pounds sitting in the back on her first ever road trip–we’d just gotten her home from the hospital weeks earlier (after she had been there months having been born extremely prematurely), and I remember being so worried about going on a 10-hour trip while she was still so tiny and premature. And Royce loved every mile in that journey with Dune, looking out the expansive windows across the countryside as we took her first long drive.

And Dune was also the car that I used to take Royce to the hospital right after her 3rd birthday when she could barely breathe due to a lung infection and other respiratory issues. I can still remember looking at her gasping for breath as I kept glancing in the rear view mirror ever while putting my foot on the gas speeding down route 50 in Cincinnati wondering what else to do, or if I should call an ambulance instead. And her seeing the anxiety in my eyes, I can still hear so well Royce barely panting out to me in a whisper “You okay, Dad? You okay? Are you okay, Dad?” which only caused me to have to fight back the tears even more.

Dune was my buddy who brought me and Erica to the hospital when her water broke (Erica’s, not Dune 🙂 ) and she delivered Zoe via a c-section. And in the same SUV, two days later, we brought little Zoe safely home.

Erica, Royce, and Zoe...Enjoying Dune watching the Fireworks
Erica and RoZo enjoying one of their first firework displays from the back of Dune's tailgate

Dune was there for us when we transported Heidi in the back seat, our beloved St. Bernard for five years who lived with us through the beginnings of marriage and even the devastating attacks on 9/11 when we lived in Manhattan just three blocks south of the World Trade Center, when we had to give her away to another family after she lunged after–and nearly bit–another child. It was hard to give a pet away but something we had to do, and I remember watching Erica cry as we drove off in Dune–just the three of us.

And Dune was the vehicle that faithfully took us on a myriad of fun family adventures all across the United States, her interior having been adorned with boiled peanuts from Florida, peach pie from Georgia, boiled lobsters from Maine, buffalo jerky and rocky mountain fudge from Colorado, and probably what has amounted to gallons (over the years) of spilled coffee–particularly from our most recent years living near Seattle.

My most memorable moment being the drive back from Lamar Valley late one evening in Yellowstone National Park where we camped last summer with Dune and our trailer. It was a very late night drive home to our campsite, yet little Zoe, who was five at the time, was wide awake while Royce was practically asleep in a coma. And Zoe littered me with questions that I would have expected from a teenager, talking about what she wanted to do with her life, asking me questions about God and life on earth and family matters, telling me some of her most sincere thoughts that were wrapped in such an inexplicable maturity.

It was among the most memorable hour-long drives of my life, with the black and expansive Wyoming sky lit up with a spray of stardust, the smell of the warm western winds blowing through the sunroof, Erica at my side wearing a cowboy hat, and Royce sleeping sweetly while Zoe peppered me with both intriguing questions and heartfelt commentary all along the way back riding in the sound protection of Dune. I will never forget those moments.

Dune on the way to Wyoming
On our way to Wyoming in Dune, the best family trip we've ever had

As I took my final turn in Dune last Wednesday night, one final memory engulfed me. Perhaps this, in addition to all the others, is why saying goodbye is so hard for me.

I remembered the time Erica drove herself to the hospital in Dune while pregnant with Levi at almost 23 weeks, and I can still feel the experience so vividly, so raw with emotions, coming home in Dune without Levi a few days later. And for every year thereafter, I have always looked at the third seat in the second row of Dune and have felt that it was missing our third child. As Royce or Zoe were either fighting or cackling with laughter, or even sleeping sweetly, I would visualize little Levi being in between the both of them to break it up, start it up, or sleep it up. And because I couldn’t have him, at least I cherished the memories, which to some degree were built around Dune and the other memories of my family and all our adventures together. Over so many years of moves and transitions, Dune was one of my faithful companions along the way. So it’s hard to say goodbye.

A flood of these memories, some filled with humor and others flat out desperation, rumbled through my mind during 20 final minutes with Dune as we limped along one last trek. She was a faithful friend for so many years, that gave me an experience that I can’t explain, quite simply because the memories can’t be replaced.

Dune, one last look...
A final goodbye to Dune, you well served our family with amazing memories

No doubts, take Lasix only as prescribed by your doctor. Levitra is one of the best-known medications of all season. What is the most significant info you must study about levitra vs cialis? Most doctors say the effectiveness of Levitra is well documented. Absolutely, a sexual problem refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual life. Whilst sex is not vital for good soundness, its doubtless great for anyone. Why it happen? What kinds of professionals treat sexual diseases in men? A common class of antidepressants, which include Zoloft can kill the mood in bedroom.