I have wasted the entire day and I’m proud of it.

The big shots were here today and because they don’t know about we Salem interns, we had to lay low and stay in our office.

Well, as far as that goes, we really can’t do a whole lot, so we’ve sat in the office doing a whole lot of nothing. Freakin-A sweet.

I was invited to Ian’s wedding, bringing to total to 3 this summer, and 4 total since I’ve come to college. Then I find out Jaclyn’s engaged (congratulations for that, though to echo Charlie it’s weird to see HS friends getting engaged. Oh sure, we saw Elizabeth become engaged, but it’s not as different as this. Maybe it’s because we expected that, and no discredit to Jaclyn, I don’t think I expected her to be the first.)

Jaclyn and I had the deal that if we were unmarried by 30, we’d get married just because. Thus far I’m keeping up my end of the bargain.

This one I’ll be able to go to as well because it’s after work is done. I’m sad I didn’t get to go to Nate’s, and if Nate or Sheila read this – I promise that when I come to Grove City next I will take you both out to lunch or dinner. It’s the least I can do.

I talked to Dave for an hour last night and Becca for a few minutes. Both good to talk to.

Also, I started running again last night which felt really good. In the rain no less!

That’s it for now. Peace and love.

Justin Mc Roberts

Lead from Weakness
Monday, March 26, 2001

Lead from weakness. Always know that you are not qualified to represent God. You never will be. There is nothing in you or about you which glorifies God. You are completely incapable of lifting up the name of Jesus in your life because you are fully self-consumed. You are eternally distant from the holiness of God and are not fit to have His Spirit living in you…. Perhaps the time you are in right now is a time in which God is teaching you this truth: You are a sinner. Because it is not until we realize that truth that the following truth makes sense: He has saved you.

Lead from weakness. Let your failure be the core of your leadership. Let those you lead know you are hurt or failing, because when they see that they will know that their failure is all right in the light of Grace. I pray that Jesus would lift from you the pressure to perform. May He free you with an understanding of your own sin, and lift you in the joy of the knowledge of His salvation.

Lead from weakness. What do we want to lead people to? A relationship with Jesus. What is the basis of our relationship with Jesus? His Grace. Doesn’t it make sense then, that one of the most important things to teach is failure. For, it is only in failure that we recognize our need for His Grace and find therein a relationship with Jesus.

Do not let the Devil convince you that your failure disqualifies you from the race. You were disqualified when you were born. Jesus runs this race and shares His victory with us out of love, not merit. Lead from weakness.

Grrr on Sinus Infections

Good morning all. I really really really want this sinus infection to be done. I’m getting tired of it because it stops me from doing just about any athletic activity I want to. It’s such a heavy, searing pain that when I go out and run and all the mucus jostles in my head and I end up hurting more there than in my legs or my lungs.

I will admit that I have, finally, after 21 years, really began to enjoy running. I take my headphones and CD player and get out on the road. And when I stopped last week I was doing pretty well for 20 minutes. I’d run at the pace they tell you (I could talk to someone if they were there) and go until about I get back home, head out to the blacktop for Agility and Speed drills, stretch, and go in and shower. All of it takes about 35 minutes – or 8 songs, depends on what you’re keeping track with. Hopefully today after one last day’s worth of Dayquil I’ll be able to run. I have a dentist appointment at 4, and then I’ll be home.

Have I mentioned how nice it is to make money these days? I really enjoy it. And I think it’s that I enjoy working. A week would not seem right if I didn’t put in the time. That’s one of the reasons I hope to get a job next semester either on campus or at the outlets. Getting even a minimal paycheck will be beneficial (my goal is to make about $50 a week, because that’s about what I spent this year in my “Adam-now-has-a-car-and-wants-to-experience-the-freedom-to-do-whatever-the-f-he-wants-and-have-a-girlfriend” mode) and will allow me to save some away for the eventual first month/last month rent fee. Which right now is one half daunting and one half exciting. Then again, if I take the Grove City College Head Resident / Geneva MA in Higher Education route, I’ll be making $13,000 a year and pay for my Master’s in a snap. That however, is contingent on the Lord and the job market.

Today at American Standard, I shall be beginning an experiment that should yield a partial answer to the question “What are the pipe temperature, insertion depth, and glue amounts necessary to create an optimal bond to avoid leakage?”

peace and love.

mmmmmm poem time

It Is Marvellous …

It is marvellous to wake up together
At the same minute; marvellous to hear
The rain begin suddenly all over the roof,
To feel the air clear
As if electricity had passed through it
From a black mesh of wires in the sky.
All over the roof the rain hisses,
And below, the light falling of kisses.

And electrical storm is coming or moving away;
It is the prickling air that wakes us up.
If lightning struck the house now, it would run
From the four blue china balls on top
Down the roof and down the rods all around us,
And we imagine dreamily
How the whole house caught in a bird-cage of lightning
Would be quite delightful rather than frightening;

And from the same simplified point of view
Of night and lying flat on one’s back
All things might change equally easily,
Since always to warn us there must be these black
Electrical wires dangling. Without surprise
The world might change to something quite different,
As the air changes or the lightning comes without our blinking,
Change as our kisses are changing without our thinking.

The weekend

Good morning all. This weekend was rather enjoyable, and would be just enjoyable period had it not been for a sinus infection and the ensuing Dayquil-induced haze I’ve been living in for the last four days or so.

First off, it was Ryan’s Graduation party on Saturday. I was out of commission to do much help, but I was so impressed at how hard my parents work to put it on for everyone. It’s weird too being on the other end of it (as has been the case so many times since graduating myself). To me it felt like another catering job made special only by the fact that it was my brother’s celebration. The only damper to the party was when Linda Ford, a good friend of the family and who always has been there to help at parties we have, had to go to the hospital because she suffered a heart attack. Apparently it had been going on since 12:30 and she only left for the hospital at 5:00 or so. Everyone did a great job of keeping it on the qt because I didn’t know (nor did anyone else at the party) until my grandfather made the announcement and called us to prayer some time later.

So far from what I’ve heard she’s in the ICU and will be headed to the pulmonary ICU sometime this week. Please be in prayer for her.

On a lighter note, I’ll have pictures from the festivities sometime this week.

On Sunday we celebrated Father’s Day which isn’t really our MO; we typically wait until the Fourth of July and make it a dual holiday (we’re an efficient family like that). However, with the extra barbecue meatballs; sausage, peppers and onions; ham salad; beef salad; and chicken salad, it seemed like a good idea to make the celebration Sunday if only to eat. My dad and grandfather both got really nice utility knifes, which you can never have enough of. It’s at that point when I can’t help but start to think about the fact that I’ll be a father someday, and I’ll be getting utility knifes from my kids and wife because I’m sure I’ll still never have a surplus of utility knifes when I’m 30 or whatever. Overall, it was an uneventful day and wonderfully relaxing.

I’ve broken it off with Lindsay. For good. For those of you that know me the best will snicker at that remark, but believe me when I say I know it’s done. And from my end I’m feeling one part grief over the loss of a off-and-on nearly 2 and a half year relationship, but a sense of relief that it’s done. Now that it’s becoming a more known thing, friends are coming out of the woodwork letting me know that they think this is one of the better decisions I’ve made for awhile. They’re telling me all of the sudden that they thought Lindsay was controlling and that “It’ll be nice to have the old Adam back”. Want to know how many fights I’ve had since coming home and breaking off this relationship? None. Furthermore, my parents and grandparents (my ridiculously wise grandmother who always knows the right thing to say and has, like my mother, never been wrong about things like this) didn’t like her either. Said she couldn’t believe how she could tell everyone in front of her at her house that she received better grades than me and how she was smarter and she was better and all the yadda yadda yadda that I had become immune to. I had been feeling that way for some time, but I kept thinking to myself “I can try just a little harder, work this last thing out, do one more thing and we’ll get through this”, when I realized that in the interim all I’m doing is compromising the very thing I’d been wanting to save. The ideas I had about what I wanted my perfect relationship to be were slowly being lost because I was so willing to cut her breaks on what she was doing. And don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not saying that she’s some crazy woman, but I just expected that when I was dating the right girl, she’d be by her nature reacting to certain situations in a way I found pleasing. For example, if someone treated girlfriend X in an inappropriate manner, she could dust it off of her shoulders and move on, not make it a criminal affair. Which, sorry to say, didn’t happen with girlfriend L.

As I’ve said before, she’ll make a wonderful wife and mother. That I have no doubt. Where I do doubt it is if it will be with me.

So then the question is, obviously, what to do from here? First, I can’t let myself get trapped into the same relationship again because I know what the future will hold and I’d rather not repeat history. Beyond that, I’d say I’m just going to have to do what I’ve never done very well and be patient. God has provided for me exactly what I needed (not always wanted) when I needed it. And yet I can be so ignorant as to assume he won’t do it again. All I need to do is just be myself, which I’m pleased to report is finally starting to feel right again.

peace, love, happy first day of summer.

Another Straka Post

Sorry… but with work the way it is, I thought this was great reading:

My Mean Boss … Grrr!
Tuesday, May 04, 2004
By Mike Straka

As if being an overweight child isn’t bad enough, a new study in this month’s Pediatrics magazine shows that overweight children are subject to more bullying on the playground than normal-weight kids are.

Hello? We needed an expensive study to figure that out? I could have told you that. Next time make the check out to Mike Straka, S-T-R-A-K-A.

All fat kids should be required to take martial-arts lessons. Not only will it get them in better shape, but when some bully decides to pick on them, they can kick his butt all over the playground too.

I’m talking boys and girls. There’s no rule anywhere that says catty girls shouldn’t get their butts kicked by the girl they’re picking on.

And NO, I don’t condone kids fighting anywhere that there isn’t a mat and a referee, but there comes a time when kids should be toughened up rather than coddled.

Wake up parents. Stop being complacent with your children. It’s OK to demonstrate a little disappointment and offer encouragement, but don’t be competitive with your children. You had your chance.

Nothing Grrrs me more than when I see some dad or mom espousing on how much better he or she did it at the children’s ages. Stop living in the past and let your children live in their present.

If your kid is getting bullied because he’s fat, short, skinny or tall, help him find something constructive in it.

It kind of reminds me of my first mean boss. He was a news director at CBS News Radio on West 57th Street, where I worked the overnight shift (1 a.m.-9 a.m.) as a desk assistant.

Whenever he walked into the newsroom, a chilly breeze would follow him into his office. Nobody was exempt from his wrath. From desk assistants to famous anchors, all persons were equally susceptible to a humiliating tongue-lashing.

But you know what? If I’m good in a newsroom, I have that man to thank.

If you didn’t like being belittled, then you needed to know your job. You needed to know what was going on. You needed to react to breaking news like it was second nature. You needed to keep everybody abreast on developments with clarity. In short, he toughened me up.

I remember one instance chasing a breaking news story. I was making calls to a hospital where a story was developing, and since several media outlets were also calling the hospital, the person answering the phone told me they were not taking any more calls from media outlets and asked that we stop calling.

In a note I put out to the newsroom I wrote, “The hospital told me to take a hike.”

My boss came bursting out of his office.

“Mike, Mike,” he always repeated my name whenever he was about to yell. “What did they say?” he asked. I told him the hospital spokesperson said they weren’t talking to the media anymore.

“Then that’s what you write. I don’t want any of your stylistic bull—-,” he screamed. I said that I understood, but I really thought he was just being a big jerk.

When I finally got it, some time after that incident, I completely understood. He wasn’t yelling for the sake of yelling.

I sent that note out to the entire newsroom. Some anchor could have taken my note for what it said, and it could very well have made it on the air that “so and so hospital told us to take a hike,” and it would have been wrong.

The point is, sometimes a little bullying goes a long way to help one’s maturity, and there’s always a lesson in it, even if it hurts. Stop whining and start learning.

Donald Rumsfeld and the New Definition of Man

I wanted to include this article by Mike Straka, a reporter from Fox News that I’ve come to find really amusing and his “Grrrrrr”‘s make him funnier yet. But this was pretty insightful.

Donald Rumsfeld and the New Definition of Man
Tuesday, October 28, 2003
By Mike Straka

As the cliche goes, what was once old is new again.

The saying usually pertains to some form of pop culture, particularly fashion — the pea coat (search) is this winter’s must have, for instance. But that’s not what this column is about.

It’s about having class and the post 9-11 definition of what a man is.

There’s no doubt that we live in a different world now than the one we lived in while the Twin Towers still stood.

Viewers who may have once been aroused by the sight of Britney Spears sucking face with Madonna during the MTV Music Awards were mostly repulsed. A basebrawl between New York and Boston on national television during the ALCS on FOX did more to anger baseball fans than to energize them. Quentin Tarantino’s blood strewn “Kill Bill” was not as well received as his “Pulp Fiction” was.

And while the flag waving may not be as ubiquitous as it was two years ago, it seems to me our patriotism is still strong, perhaps taking on a different, less conspicuous tone. America is reaching back to a time when “family values” were not just political rhetoric, but a way of life.

That’s not to say that the cultural strides we’ve made over the last 50 years should be forgotten. But why not add some old fashioned qualities of life ingredients into the pot for good measure?

Older generations shake their heads when they hear certain four-letter words that have become part of every day conversation. I know people who curse and don’t even realize they’re doing it, and I’m just as guilty as the next guy when it comes to vulgar word usage. It doesn’t make us bad people, but it does take something away.

I’ve mentioned in this space that I am about to become a father. In fact, our baby girl is due only a few weeks from now. The prospect of being a dad has led me to wonder what kind of man I want my daughter’s father to be, and what kind of environment I want her to be raised in.

I am lucky in that I have a great father and a great father-in-law to look up to and to take advice from, but I couldn’t help but wonder which celebrities or public figures out there might be good role models for fathers.

While I’m sure there are many I’ve overlooked, I could only come up with one who exemplifies the strength, honor, commitment and understanding to which I hope to aspire for my daughter.

Donald Rumsfeld (search).

“He’s strong, honest — perhaps to a fault,” says author Midge Decter, whose book “Rumsfeld: A Personal Portrait,” (search) (Regain Books) profiles the public and private life of our 21st Secretary of Defense.

“He’s brave and he never says anything in public, or private for that matter, that he doesn’t mean,” says Decter, who has known and admired Rumsfeld for some 20 years. “I discovered one day that he became a national hero…and he was the same man who has been in several public positions over the years…so we must be a different people,” she says.

Indeed, Rumsfeld’s a guy who is as no-nonsense as they come. He’s not afraid to be disliked. He ticks people off at the White House, at the Pentagon, overseas and in the private sector, but here’s the kicker: people can’t get enough of him.

They stop him for a picture on the street. They hound him for autographs at dinner. They want their daughters to meet someone just like him. Donald Rumsfeld, husband of nearly 50 years, father, grandfather, the face of America’s military machine, 71 years old, is a matinee idol.

“I don’t think he’s done anything to foster that image,” says Decter, “but I don’t think a man who is used to public life can be a reluctant hero.”

Rumsfeld has always been a tough competitor. People who work with him attribute that toughness to his champion wrestling career both at Trier High School in Winnetka, Ill., (Charlton Heston also went there), and later at Princeton. Any one who ever wrestled can tell you it’s the Marines of sport, where self-discipline, motivation and toughness — physical and emotional — are the keys to success.

“He’s a rarity in Washington,” Decter says, and his man’s man qualities have resonated long past the beltway and into the cultural consciousness once dominated by boy bands and pop tarts.

Not even President Bill Clinton (search), arguably the most politically charming man on the planet, was ever designated with the term “sex symbol,” as Rumsfeld was when People magazine included him on its annual Most Beautiful List (search), with names including Tom Cruise and George Clooney.

Even ultra-hip movie producer Robert Evans, in his animated Comedy Central series Kid Notorious (search), claims to be poker buddies with the secretary and to have a direct line to his office. If that’s not cool, I don’t know what is.

We probably all know someone like Donald Rumsfeld. Show them the respect they’ve earned, and don’t forget that imitation is the greatest form of flattery.

Work and Life, then a quiz for your entertainment

Upon looking at my user info, I’ve realized the 2 1/2 years in the making is going to have to change to 3 years in the making. If anyone has any ideas on how to do this fancy-like, lemme know.

Since I last spoke about work on May 25th or so, quite a bit has happen that I’d rather enjoy updating you on.

You’d figure that by the time you get to my age, and you have had a few years to work in the real world, you gain a sense of how to work and understand people, right? I mean, it isn’t too difficult to have a camaraderie where you work with people and you work as resources for the ultimate goal which is to do your best to make the place your working one step better from when you got there. That’s always been my theme, and the way I want to do things here at AmStd. But I’m amazed more and more by the sheer level of ignorance, immaturity, and derisive attitudes that beleaguer this place. A great example comes from today: there’s a camera in acrylics that’s used to take pictures of scrap or whatever. As I haven’t had a need to take pictures, logically I haven’t used it. When my friend used it and brought it back, one of the guys (my age and really my experience sans the fact he’s been here every day going to school whilst I’ve been at GCC) says “somebody screwed up the settings in here. It must have been that Adam… that choad intern doesn’t do anything and keeps screwing stuff up.” All the while I’m in my office working on a experiment summary, piping a tub, and running graphs to make sense of some of the information I have. This gentleman (one whole year my younger, might I add) has something against me. I typically deflect him, teasing him like he tries to do me, and figure there’s a immaturity factor at work here and I can only feel bad. I talked to my boss about this young guy and his boss and told him I wasn’t here to complain; I want to do my job and go home and be happy. I don’t need people blabbing to whomever will listen that I’m lazy and immature (two things which have been related to me), what I need are some people like I had last year who were helpful and kind to me because we all realized this is a symbiotic relationship and if they want me to help them, they’re going to have to help me at least a little or otherwise I’m not going to understand the processes. It’s frustrating, but in a way I’m reminded of the poem I heard today:

what you can get,
that’s his motto…

And really,
apropos of bliss,
and the true rapture,
what saint
could tell us half as much?

Even as he drops
back down
into the cold
dog-shit muck
he’ll have to live in
every day
for weeks on end perhaps
unless it freezes…

whining now,
as I turn away
to leave him there

the same today
as yesterday

one of the truly wretched
of this earth
whose happiness
is almost more
than I can bear.

All I’m going to be able to do is take what I can get.



I may own more than two pair of dress shoes, and maybe a designer suit, but I don’t mind going to the grocery store in sweats. And I may even go a day or two without a shower.

peace and love

mmmmm poem time


Weep for what little things could make them glad.
– Robert Frost, “Directive”

the large collie
who lives in the red house
at the end of my daily run
is happy,
happy to see me
even now,
in February –
a month of low skies
and slowly melting snow.

His yard
has turned almost
entirely to mud –
but so what?

as if to please me,
he has torn apart
and scattered
a yellow plastic bucket
the color of forsythia
or daffodils . . .

And now,
in a transport
of cross-eyed
muddy ecstasy,
he has placed
his filthy two front paws
on the top pipe
of his sagging cyclone fence –

drooling a little,
his tail
wagging furiously,
until finally,
as if I were God’s angel himself –

with news of the Resurrection,
I give him a biscuit

Which is fine with Melvin
who is wise,
by whole epochs
of evolution,
beyond his years.

what you can get,
that’s his motto . . .

And really,
apropos of bliss,
and the true rapture,
what saint
could tell us half as much?

Even as he drops
back down
into the cold
dog-shit muck
he’ll have to live in
every day
for weeks on end perhaps
unless it freezes . . .

whining now,
as I turn away
to leave him there

the same today
as yesterday

one of the truly wretched
of this earth
whose happiness
is almost more
than I can bear.

peace and love. I’ll write more later.

Quick Explie…

Just to let all my friends know – if I don’t get ahold of you for whatever reason this summer, don’t take it personally. I use the summer to decompress a lot and typically I decompress from Grove City. Like I said, don’t take it personally, and I’ll be sure to get back to you soon!

peace and love


I’ve written more since coming home (19 entries) than I had from March until I left. Which is one of those things you could have figured out but I took care of it for you. I have to admit I do rather enjoy the fact I can sit here in the morning and comment to you about life. If anything, it’s a relaxing way to start the morning.

The problem, of late, is thinking of amusing topics that aren’t either too invasive to really speak about or aren’t so trivial my journal is empty. I’ve already spoken on politics, work, working out: basically everything that creates my summer.

Sunday Valerie and I went to Taco Bell again with her sister Michelle who has really grown up. She’s a senior this year. It’s funny because I still remember the girl who was in braces and had the middle school haircut and now she’s pretty and looking more like an adult. It’s just weird when Valerie and I talked about it and how our siblings are growing up. Ryan’s graduation party is Saturday, and in three months he’s going to be in college studying to become a chef. I’m just amazed by that.

I’m also amazed by the amazing level of the stupidity this plant offers its employees – but more about that at another time.

peace and love.


In the boredom/inspiration/desire for embarrassment of the workday, I wrote a poem:

in the ten dollars you pay me
to be your personal
Six Thousand, Two Hundred Fifty People die.
we sit and question the choice of investment.


lest I forget to mention “sycophant” is a GRE word.

A question that needs answering…

How do any of you deal with sub par managers? I have to deal with one on a regular basis at AmStd, and he’s beginning to get under my skin.

ex – today he tells this guy I’ve been helping “well, I’d like you to stay over here in my office today. I’m not sure what that Adam does”

My office is less than 100 ft away. Perhaps if you, dear sir, decided to get off of your self-appointed high post, talk to your apparent minion and actually care about what I’m doing, you may be surprised to find out I actually want you to know.


Poetry and the GRE

I want to start writing poetry again. I’ve noticed poetry is quite a muse – I try to gain some worthwhile inspiration, only to have it taken away when I actually have the pen and paper.

Anyway, I realized today that I really need to kick it into to gear over the GRE’s. No one informed me about the whole thing. There wasn’t a reminder like in High School. Oh no, it’s “Are you going to grad school? Great!” Not “Are you going to grad school? Start thinking about the GREs!” I think it’s because most students don’t get their masters out of college here. I can’t think of any close friends that graduated this year (excluding seminary and med students) that are heading off to grad school. Is this unique to Grove City? Or should I not think about it so much and work on getting a job? If I stick to the education route, I’d like to try to get into Penn State (within the top 10 of all graduate schools for higher education administration and educational policy – two of the areas I’m really interested in pursuing). But, as a result, I need to sharpen my basic math skills and my verbals. I looked through a GRE practice, and noticed that it’s a cross between the old 12th grade Ohio Proficiencies, ACT, and SAT. I did really well on both the Proficiencies (Honors on all 5 sections) and the ACT (30), so I think I could conquer those parts. The SAT? Well, I was about 40 points off from the PSAT National Merit cut-off point, alas. However, I’m going to make up for that by learning a plethora of new words and try to use them in my writings.

It’s noticeably dank out of late. there. =)

Amusing part of my journal

I figured out sometime as I was looking through my journal (boredom overcomes me and I feel compelled to see where I was a few months back). There seems to be one event I talk about more in here than anything – haircuts. Three times in the last six months I mention that I’m getting a haircut. I think it’s because that whenever I have the free time to write in my journal, I have the free time to get a haircut. In any case, I did get my hair cut and I’m much happier with some of that thick stuff off of my head.

Also, if you read that last poem, think about it as a waltz. Then read it again with that 3/4 meter in your head. I think you’ll hear it too. Otherwise I’m out of my mind.

Out to the rain… peace and love.


Hey all –

Just for the sake of getting some dialogue, I had done this once before and would like to do it again. If there’s any question you’d like to ask me – any at all – put it down as a comment and when I get it I’ll write back. I think it’ll be fun. 🙂

Haircut and home to run and be silly. Peace and love.

The Writers Almanac, Hits4Pay, and the weekend

Good morning everyone. Here is a poem that I heard on the way to work that reminded me of way too many times in school. It’s at the end of the entry conveniently cut away for your benefit.

I’m almost up to my $25 dollars for Hits4Pay. It’s been almost 7 months since I’ve had the account, and now I’ll get the check. There’s something to be said about that type of consistent work, and I have to admit, for merely clicking a mouse occasionally and making a couple pennies at a time, I think it’s worth it. When I finally receive the check I’m going to take a picture of it and put it up on here so all of you who thought it didn’t exist can get your come-uppins. And besides, then it might motivate some of you to work on yours! If you want more information (and get $10 off the bat), Click Here.

This weekend was wonderful. I started out on Friday chilling and doing a whole lot of nothing (just the way I like Friday’s). I had waited for a call from Valerie because we were going to get together at her house, but that didn’t happen. I come to find out later that her great aunt fell and hurt herself. Then on Saturday, I went out golfing with Phillip at Salem Hills. I shot a 61, which considering it was my first time golfing in awhile and I had a new set of clubs to get used to, I’ll take. My goal is to be down to shooting under 50, which would give me a +15 handicap, not bad for someone who plays about 5 or 6 times a year. Regardless of that, it was nice to see Phillip. I hadn’t really spent serious time with him since we graduated – he’s always up at camp and I’m always working, so our paths just didn’t cross much. We then went to lunch and then came back to my house and relaxed. I was just happy to see an old friend again. For as much degradation my friendships at Grove City endured this year, it was nice to remember that there are still people back home that didn’t really change. I feel as though my friendships back home with my friends are stronger and more caring that almost all of my friendships back at Grove City. These are the people that have seen me grow up, been with me at many of my peaks and valleys and still cared – many of my friends at the Grove have run away at times, and it’s frustrating.

And don’t worry: if you’re straining to figure out who it is, it’s not you.

Sunday was time with the family and then Taco Bell with Valerie. There’s something about our friendship that amazes me. Maybe it’s just me, but there’s such a closeness with the two of us. We sat in the booth and talked about some of the most serious parts of our lives until the place closed and it was like we’d never stopped seeing each other. I feel more at home with her than I do just about anyone else I know. It’s nice. We complete each other’s sentences, and she can read into me – not the me I try to put up at Grove City – but the old fashioned, been-that-way-for-21-years-of-my-life me. And it’s great because I can see her too in much the same way. It’s such a blessing, and we’re planning on making this Taco Bell Sunday a weekly occurrence.

The Best Slow Dancer

Under the sagging clotheslines of crepe paper
By the second string of teachers and wallflowers
In the school gym across the key through the glitter
Of mirrored light three-second rule forever
Suspended you danced with her the best slow dancer
Who stood on tiptoe who almost wasn’t there
In your arms like music she knew just how to answer
The question mark of your spine your hand in hers
The other touching that place between her shoulders
Trembling your countless feet lightfooted sure
To move as they wished wherever you might stagger
Without her she turned in time she knew where you were
In time she turned her body into yours
As you moved from thigh to secrets to breast yet never
Where you would be for all time never closer
Than your cheek against her temple her ear just under
Your lips that tried all evening long to tell her
You weren’t the worst one not the boy whose mother
Had taught him to count to murmur over and over
One slide two slide three slide now no longer
The one in the hallway after class the scuffler
The double clubfoot gawker the mouth breather
With the wrong haircut who would never kiss her
But see her dancing off with someone or other
Older more clever smoother dreamier
Not waving a sister somebody else’s partner
Lover while you went floating home through the air
To lie down lighter than air in a moonlit shimmer
Alone to whisper yourself to sleep remember.
– David Wagoner

And to finish this entry, I leave you with a quote from a discussion this morning with one of the guys I work with about girls and trying to figure them out. Peace and love.

“I blame all this stuff with girls on magazines with celebrities and listen to Josh Groban. How can I compete with that? You’re not going to find someone like Josh Groban in rural Ohio.”