“They keep pullin’ me back in…”
Poor Michael Corleone. Poor me.
I thought I was done. I really did. In the early 2000s, I was on the “bleeding edge” of blogging about life, politics, entertainment, and media…and got burned out when things went nuts (do the Bush years bring back any happy memories for anyone?). I got out, just as blogging and pod-casting, and social media exploded. Perfect timing…as usual.
“The Interweb” has morphed a ton since my original ravings under the moniker of CrankyOldGuy. I blogged for a while under my real name, until someone barked back and said that he was “sick of reading rants from a cranky old guy” (I was just past 50 at the time, and had hardly earned my tree rings as a bona-fide cranky OLD guy). I just checked the original domain name register info, and was shocked to see I actually bought the domain name crankyoldguy.com in May of 2006. Weird. Ten years ago. And, now…I’m actually old. But, I was the original cranky old guy, no matter what Bernie Sanders would have you believe.
Of course, most of my peers are going to start with that old saw tune, “You’re only as old as you feel.” But let me assure you…I feel as old as I feel…and on lots of mornings, that is old.
I just got back from a golf/reunion with my old college football teammates. I again use the word, “old” in its descriptive form. There were a ton of “Goats and Bloats” there, along with failing (some would call it revisionist) memories and face/name recognition lapses that required a bit of the, “hey…I think I went to school with your kid” kinds of comments.
But we were there…and very happy to see one another, because it had been more than 40 years since most of us had seen one another. The golf was fun, but the best part was pulling out a few scrapbooks, and comparing pics of the “earlier version” of our “nicely weathered, bonus footage included” bodies.
I’ll explain the “dual citizenship uniforms” later..but suffice it to say, I feel fine about transferring my allegiance to my current “hometown team,” as my former college is no longer “OCE” (Oregon College of Education), but now WOU (the former OCE as gone through no fewer than seven name changes in its history).
At the reunion, because we wanted to enjoy the day…we avoided politics…and elections…and issues that make us all nuts. We stuck to the “where are you living, do you have grandkids, are you retired” topics, rather than those that would have divided the room. We danced around it gracefully- because we all wanted to believe that the turmoil of the 60s and 70s, when we were young, idealistic and loaded with optimism, would have brought about far more change (some would argue regression) than has happened since we last laced up the pads together.
It was an amazing day.
And then…the very next day, it all came unraveled. My joy, and boundless excitement about reconnecting with my old friends was cut short, with yet another senseless rash of gun violence. I now sit angrily (some would say in a cranky mood), avoiding the news, avoiding the talking heads on the cable shows, and doing my best to avoid the headlines and social media that come through the news servers from the radio clients that I service.
But, alas…it is a losing proposition.
While I want to believe that our time spent trying to “be the change you want to see in the world,” as Gandhi said, comes to something, the fact is, now that I am legitimately old, and cranky…I know better.
So, I’m back.
This also comes as Deb and I prepare for a 28-day cross-country trip. I am calling this the “Rediscovering America Trip.” We are going to see the sites, in between visiting a handful of my favorite radio clients (some of whom I have not met face-to-face…ever), visiting family, and doing a couple of organizational meetings for our Non-profit, all while taking the pulse of a country that is in what I perceive to be a transitional crisis.
I will be blogging from the road…perhaps even doing a podcast or two or three, for you those of you who are technically adept at these things. But mostly, I am just going to observe, have fun, and try not to get too cranky.
Above all, at least for me…this is therapy. A place to “put things out there,” so my poor wife doesn’t need to hear my rants first-hand. She’s heard it all. She won’t be surprised by much of anything I say…as she seems to have a boundless supply of unconditional love. We will be testing that on this trip.
Thanks for reading. This thing will be evolving before your eyes, as I hope to do myself through the actions of sharing my thoughts, and getting your feedback.
Holyfreakinshirt! I better start packing!