It is currently 7:30 AM on Tuesday, August 31st, 2010. I am on vacation, and will be until next Thursday. Krystalle, Rafe and I will be leaving very early Thursday morning to drive to Atlanta for Dragon*Con, but for now I am simply taking some time off and generally trying to relax.
I am sitting on my back porch as I write this and enjoying what is, for Florida, a delightfully cool morning. There is a breeze, and in that breeze there is the faintest hint of fall. A seductively tantalizing tease of what promises to be more temperate weather sometime in the next few months. It has been a brutally hot summer, which I suppose is only fitting considering the fact that we had an unnaturally long and cold winter (again, by Florida standards). It has been a long time since it was actually pleasant to sit on my back porch so I am enjoying it while I can. I have a delicious cup of flavored coffee that is helping to make the morning that much nicer. I am also smoking, which kind of sucks but at the moment I am currently under the thumb of the nicotine bitch and there isn’t much I can really do about that until after the convention. Stopping now would be…difficult.
There’s always an excuse though, isn’t there?
I have not felt entirely healthy recently. My weight has been staying fairly steady in the “under 250” range, although that may not be the case if I go and weigh in before we leave for vacation. My exercise has been fairly lackluster, and I have not gone running in weeks. The smoking is, undoubtedly, a factor in this feeling of general physical malaise. Despite the fact that I have kept up a routine of some form of exercise during the work week the continued infusion of chemicals and smoke into my system tends to wear down my resolve over time. I am, yet again, at a point where I feel as though I have hit a wall with my weight loss and when that happens I tend to backslide horribly. I have not been overly careful to make good food choices recently, and my willingness to resist tasty temptation is almost non-existent.
Last week I took Alex over to the Tampa campus of the University of South Florida in order to meet up with a local group of Parkour enthusiasts. Unfortunately, we never found them. We found out later that they had decided at the last minute to get together outside of the Sykes building downtown instead. While we were driving around the campus, though, I was yet again filled with a profound sadness over the fact that I never took advantage of the opportunity I had to be a full-time college student and actually finish my degree. I have managed to finish an Associates degree, but I haven’t made any real progress beyond that since 2005 and my recent (admittedly lackluster) efforts to finalize my registration at USF have been unsuccessful. Even if I manage to enroll there at some point, though, I will still be working on my Bachelor’s degree slowly, one or two classes at a time, for years. It will always be something I have to fit into my life as opposed to something I can dedicate my life to.
This makes me sad.
The political climate in my country right now sickens and terrifies me. I have recently come out “of the closet” as an Atheist, and in doing so I have come to the realization that I may never again feel truly comfortable living here. Over the weekend a radio and television personality named Glenn Beck held a rally at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, on the anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech that was given by Martin Luther King, Junior. During this rally Mr. Beck claimed that August 28th, 2010, was the day that America “turned back to God.” I cannot tell you how much that statement bothers me. While I may believe that the whole world would be a much better place if everyone stopped believing that invisible beings in the sky were telling them what to do, I accept the fact that if someone chooses to acknowledge the existence of said beings it generally does not have much of an impact on me. Unfortunately it seems as though a large number of people seem to believe that it is imperative that everyone believes in the same ethereal father figures as they do, and they are willing to push those beliefs on those of us who do not by any means necessary.
America is not a theocracy. It’s not supposed to be, anyway. I am genuinely afraid that we are slowly turning into one. What’s worse is that I do not believe that the people who will take us there have one iota of genuine respect for the divine, and I believe they are simply using God as an excuse to forward their political agenda and power base.
They say there are no Atheists in a fox hole, and it’s fairly safe to say that the current political system in America resembles the nastiness of the trench warfare in World War I that spawned that saying.
If I were to be honest (and if I cannot do so here on my own blog in what is obviously a personal brain dump kind of post where can I?), I have to admit that much of my mood this morning was fueled by the 20 minutes or so that I caught of the Sean Hannity show last night on my way home from Tampa. Every few weeks I make the conscious choice to tune into some kind of programming from the “other” side of the aisle simply to check in and see what kind of antics they are up to. Those 20 minutes were enough to make me almost physically ill.
Is there really any chance we will ever elect leaders on the national level that will have the ability to truly transcend politics and unite us all under one common cause? I’m not talking about the kind of unity that happened after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. I’m talking about real, lasting unity. National pride. The ability to disagree with others while still working towards a common goal of prosperity. A political system not fueled by hate and fear but instead by compassion and optimism.
Sadly, I do not think so. I think we’re too far down the rabbit hole at this point, and I worry about what kind of world I am handing over to my son.
And yet, despite all of this anxiety and woe that seems to be hovering over me like the proverbial dark cloud on this beautiful sunny morning, I would be remiss if I did not point out that my life is one that is generally filled with light and love and happiness. I have a wonderful family. I have an amazing son. I have a woman who loves me, warts and all, who appreciates me and the things I do for her. I have achieved some level of success and recognition in the Tampa Bay area as an actor. I live in a time where countless amazing things are available to me with just a few clicks of a mouse. Life is a wonderful, exciting experience and every day there are countless opportunities to experience and do more and I am limited only by my energy and the scope of my imagination.
I may be rained on occasionally, but even in those moments I only have to look around for a few moments before I notice the intensity of the Double Rainbow all around me.