2.28.2001

Herm, let's take a look see and find out how accurate my horiscope is today. "I'll need to do some more communication with some very unsusual and difficult people," nope, I didn't talk to anyone out of the ordinary today, the horiscope's 0/1. Are they pressing my buttons? I haven't even talked to them. 0/2 I'll make bright bold moves in love? Nuh uh, 0/3. Finially, red is your lucky color. I'm sitting here wearing red. The luckiest thing that's happened is that tomorrow is thursday. Horiscope batting average = .000

2.27.2001

A little piece I picked up from a guy talking about his roommate:

He had a particularly anarchic chem class that seemed to involve an
impressive amount of pyrotechnics. On one occassion, someone threw a
fist-sized chunk of potassium metal in a sink full of water, which
destroyed it (both sink and water) with a great shower of sparks. Another
time his classmates covered an entire desktop with infamous nitrogren
tri-iodide, an unstable compound made from ammonia and iodine that explodes
when touched, leaving purple stains. They detonated it by throwing a paper
airplane, blowing the top off the desk. In an act of tremendous stupidity,
they filled an entire liter beaker with the gray incendiary material from
sparklers, and when some fool tossed in a match, the resulting column of
fire burned holes in both the table and ceiling. In an extra-curriculur
adventure, they piled a mound of thermite they'd prepared in class on a
particularly despised person's driveway. When ignited, it blasted a foot
wide hole through the concrete and down to the dirt. Their most notable
"achievement", however, was placing in someone's locker in a dish of water
a large chunk of some unknown material that gives off noxious odors when
moist. He said that the resulting nauseating stench spread through the
entire school. One girl barfed in mid-sprint to the bathroom, and the
school had to evacuate the building and cancel classes for the rest of the
day. In an entire semester of Chemistry class, his only remotely
educational experience was learning to make soap, and he had to repeat the
subject here at Purdue, minus the pyrotechnics.

2.26.2001

canaries are just yellow mice with wings

2.25.2001

I hate it when winters are like this. Yesterday it snowed 4 or 5 inches and I had to trudge out and shovel and scoop all of it off the sidewalks or else my dad would physically explode. Then what happens? That's right boys and girls, it snows ANOTHER six inches! I'm running out of places to put the damn stuff and it keeps piling up. If it snows much more I'm going to have to box it up and send it to some desert to melt.
This is so sad, I'm the only one that's signed my own guestbook. SIGN IT PLEASE!! thanx, it will help me feel a little less pathetic
Why is it that I can quote srange movies like Major Payne, High Fidelity, Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs, and Fight Club verbatem but I can't remember to fill the bird feeders or let the dog out?

2.23.2001

Crazy Tim



“Oh no, am I really the last one to get to the van? Wait, Tim is driving today...
that means.. No no no, not shotgun, don’t make me sit in the front, ah, this can’t be
good.”
These thoughts ran through my head so fast I could hardly keep up. It was
January 25, and our high school one act play was headed home after a performance.
There were two vans, one was driven by our director, the other by Tim. Crazy Tim, as he
is affectionately known by the cast and crew, lives in a bus parked behind our director’s
house. Seen more often than heard, he is shrouded by myth and legend within the recesses
of our drama department. He also fills in as a van driver.
One that fateful January afternoon I slid into the passenger seat and prepared
myself for a quiet ride home. That’s when I noticed them; a father and a son with their
dog wandering through a frozen swamp. “I wonder what they’re up to,” I said, talking to
no one in particular.
“Yeah, I’ve been watching them for a while now,” Tim replied. I turned to him,
surprised. I hadn’t really expected an answer. “Maybe they’re looking for a body,” he
continued,
“Geez Dad, don’t ya remember where we left her?’ the boy’ll say. The old man’ll
mutter some and say ‘Shaddup boy, I had her lined up between the telephone pole and the
house, but I’ll be damned if I can find her now.” Tim continued his slightly twisted
dialogue, “Boy Dad, I guess we’re screwed huh?’ ‘Yep son, I guess we’ll just have to
cook the dog then.’ ‘Dad, do you even know how to cook a dog?”
On this note our van pulled out of the parking lot. I was amused by Tim’s speech,
but I wasn’t sure if I should show it or not.
As we drove onto the highway someone from behind me reminded me to buckle
my seat belt, and I grudgingly complied.
“Ya know, it’s good to wear a your seat belt,” Tim told me.
“And why is that?” I asked. That was my second mistake.
“ I drove an ambulance for Ramsey County,” Tim began, “and I saw lots of things
I didn’t want to. We would pull guys out of car wrecks all the time. If they didn’t have
seat belts they’d usually go through the window. Then they’d usually have chunks of
glass in there eye and the docs would have to pull it out with a stainless steel spike. ‘Quit
flinching,’ the doctors would say. The poor sap would just scream and yell ‘I’m flinching
because you’re shoving a metal spike into my EYE!” Tim snickered at the thought.
“Then sometimes they’d suck a penny or something out of the guy’s eye with a magnet.
After that none of ‘em ever left loose change on their dash ever again.” Then Tim paused
for a moment, sorting through memories. “Once,” he said, “I picked up a gun shot victim.
His name was Leroy. Well, that wasn’t his real name, but that’s all he was gonna tell me.
So I asked him if he’d ever been shot before. Leroy said ‘Nah, she’s stabbed me plenty
but I never been shot before.’ Yep,” Tim said, “I told old Leroy that he’d have to sit
down for a little chat with the police man after this little episode.”
I could only stare; I’d never heard Tim say more than two or three things at a time
in my entire life. I expected him to go on, but he said nothing. He only drove on, and the
rest of the trip was spent in silence.

2.22.2001

85% of all United States one dollar bills have a trace of cocaine on them.

2.21.2001

Intentions

Slip on down to the ocean
Tonight
Walk along the sands with me
Under the moonlight
Hold me
Tonight

And I'll be
Holding you until the night is over
I will not let you go

I'll try
Try to be the one you want to be with
I don't want to fail this time

And I want
You to feel this burning deep inside of you
I want you to love me
I want to hear you laughing
I want to make you happy
I want you to be happy with me

2.20.2001

Trust is an odd, elemental thing. A person cannot have a full existence without it. If you don't trust anyone you can never depend on anyone, and you spend your entire life being suspcious. The ability to trust someone is partially learned and partially instinct. It is extremely important to know who your friends are. One must also know the difference between school friends and true friends, and you should have some of each. The main difference between the two is trust. Sure, I can trust school friends to keep a secret or pass along a message for me, but my trust in them is limited. Real friends though, they can be trusted with anything. I would help my best friend bury a body if he needed me to, and I would do the same for him. THAT'S trust.

2.19.2001

Once, a long, long time ago, I opened a package which contained a large assortmant of starved, rabid rats. As I opened the box they jumped out and started chewing at my face. I ran out into the street and composed a little diddy, it goes somthing like this:

AAARRRUUUGHHHHHH!!! getemoffme somebody help!!! aaaahhhhh their chewing at me geddem off!!

2.16.2001

Sometimes life hands you lemons, and you make them into lemonade. Sometimes life gives you mountains, and you must chisel them down to molehills. Sometimes you construct a wonderful romantic plan which fails miserably and instead you end up typing on your computer at 10pm on a friday night half wanting to hit yourself over the head with a tack hammer because the whole thing never even gets off the ground.

I like analogies.

I hate having a bad day.

2.15.2001

I was driving along one day and I saw a hitchhiker with a sign saying Heaven.

So I hit him

-Steven Wright
New York is the Land of Genetic Close Calls. There are a lot of people who missed being another species by one chromosome. Look, that guy could have been a badger.
-Kevin Rooney

2.13.2001

Kind of a strange day for me:
A kid kept calling me "Mister"
I ate walnut cranberry bread
had my hair cut by a guy I hate
had both raspberry sherbet and raspberry iced tea in the same sitting
argued about evolution vs. creation
cut my index finger really bad and got blood on someone's door
possessed a referee's whistle for over half the day

yep, kind of a strange one

2.12.2001

Water on the knee?
OPERATION!!!

2.11.2001

I was able to refocus things today. It seems to happen every now and then, I take stock of my life as it is right now. It allows me to decide what's important in my life and what's pointless. It's also a time when I usually set a few goals for myself and try to reach them. It's a good feeling really, I can see things more clearly now, and I can finially see where I'm going.

2.10.2001

The other day I had a wonderful idea: idiot reservations. Children between the ages of 10 and 16 are given a simple, standardized test. If they fail the test they are considered idiots, and have to be placed on a reservation out in the middle of nowhere or leave the country. If someone fails the test but doesn't think that they are an idiot, they can take the case to court. These reservations would be set up very much like jails, but the occupants would work 8 hours a day doing manufacturing labor and other odd jobs no one wants to do. It would also have an extensive liberary for rehab. Every two to five years they would be able to take another test and they would have the ability to test out of the reservation. Also, to catch idiots who passed the test and are still in the general public, law enforcement officers could give out idiot offenses if they observe someone acting particularly stupid. If someone accumulates too many citations they are shipped off to the reservation. Maybe I should run for president with this as the basis of my campaign. Hmmmm.....
Yesterday, for the first time, I met someone who had lost all hope. She had been abused since the age of 8 and felt like she had nothing to live for. I was stunned. I tried to help her, tried to give her a glimmer of hope; but there was nothing I could do. I felt so helpless. I can only hope that I'm never so deep that I lose every bit of hope I have left.
The final few chapters in my book:
(note, check the archives for earlier chapters)

Dear Simone,
I went to the corner of 1st and 5th yesterday and I found the
Leviathan Manufacturing building... or at least I found what was left of
it. Simone, the building was being demolished, all that was left was the
front wall and a pile of rubble. I guess I could have the wrong place
again, but then I saw the Holsinger Gardens across the street. I walked
through the gardens, and they were beautiful, but you weren’t there. I
looked through the phone book and called all of the real estate agencies,
but none of them knew who you were.
Simone, this is crazy, it doesn’t make any sense. Are you hiding
from me? Do I just keep going to the wrong place? I don’t understand,
all I want is to see you again.
Listen, I’m heading into Minneapolis next Friday, can we meet for
dinner? My favorite restaurant in Mario’s, the Italian place over on
Nicolet. Could you meet me there around 5pm? I hope you can make it
and we can straighten this out.
Dragons on Tricycles,
David


Dear David,
This is getting ridiculous, I can’t believe we keep missing each other. The
manufacturing plant on 5th avenue is getting torn down, not my building on 5th street.
Anyway, Jenny loves Mario’s, we go there all the time. I’ll see you there at five on
Friday. You should get this letter on time, but I’ve got to go catch the mailman, I’ll
see you then.
With Love,
Simone






Minneapolis Star Tribune
Obituaries
David Bishop, 25, was killed yesterday in an automobile accident.
While driving down Nicolet Avenue, a delivery truck in the oncoming lane
lost control and jumped the median, colliding with Bishop head-on. David
was killed instantly. David grew up near Rodchester, Minnesota with his
mother and father. David graduated from Burlington University of Law and
was studying to be an attorney. Services will be held on July 30th at Forest
Hill Cemetery, with a wake being held the previous evening.

2.09.2001

my quote of the day:
The first time I went skiing I wasn't very good at it, so I broke a leg. Thank goodness it wasn't one of mine.
-Michael Green

2.08.2001

Well, I have the lyrics, now all I need is the music.

Don't Walk Out

I beg you please don't go
Don't walk on out that door
Just look at what we have
There must be somthing more

Don't go away
I say
I just can't lose you now

I won't let this get to me
I won't let this get to me
I won't let this get
Damn

I want you to be here
Or I want to be there
Where are you
Come on back to me please

We had our moment
Don't walk out
Don't do this to me

I won't let this get to me
I won't let this get to me
I won't let this get
Damn
I have decided that I want to write a couple of things. Poetry books seem to be fairly devoid of any reference to cheese, so I would like to write a poem about cheese. I am also determined to write a short story that ends with the word "mayonnaise." When I have accomplished this I will be sure to post it.
Here is my attempt at a formal entrance paper.
Riding the Wind

Waves breaking over the bow of a boat, a shift of the wind, the tug of the sails,
these are the things that draw me to sailing. It was early in the spring of 1997, the ice had
just melted off Mille Lacs Lake in central Minnesota, and my family had purchased our fist
sailboat; a 16 foot Windrider trimiran.
The boat was purchased at a boat show in late winter, and from that day on I read
every piece of sailing literature I could get my hands on. Finally it was time to sail. My
first time sailing was also my first time sailing solo; neither of my parents sailed. I paddled
away from the dock slowly, my mom snapping pictures as I went. I tentatively set the sail
and settled into the cockpit, and the little yellow craft started moving. Slowly at first, but
then with increasing speed, the sharp bow cut through the water. “This is all right,” I
thought, “but not very fast.” Then it hit.
As I cleared the point I was hit by the full force of the wind. The windward
pontoon was jerked from the water and I flew across the waves. The bow tore under the
breaking swells, covering my rain gear with white spray. After ten minutes of bliss, I saw
my parents waving from shore. I headed back downwind, surfing down the faces of the
waves, laughing as I went.
“Come in, come in!” they screamed from shore. I slid the little boat up to the
shores, only to hear the frantic clamor of my parents. “Wethoughtyouweregoingtodrown
Ican’tbelievethathappenedyouweregoingsofast...” and so on.
So ended my first sailing adventure. I’ve been out in the same boat and on the
same lake many times, but things have never been the same since. When I walk down the
street I notice wind shifts, and looking out a window on a breezy summer day I can’t help
but think about tearing up the lake one more time.

2.06.2001

A little somthing i picked up off cybercheeze.com:

I see a walking child as one who can bring me my slippers from the other side of the room,
and a talking child as one whom I can intelligently warn about the dangers of life.


Don't pet that dog. It will eat your face off.

Don't crawl into the refrigerator. There is green stuff on the leftovers that is
growing faster than you are. By morning it will break out of the plastic
containers and beat you up.

Don't touch the knives. You'll cut off your fingers and then you can say
goodbye to things like ripping off your diaper, locking yourself in the
bathroom and poking the dessert just before the company comes.

Don't unbuckle your seat belt. You might get put in prison. You'll have to
celebrate your birthday with a bunch of murderers, perverts and lawyers.

Don't bite on that electrical cord. There's fire inside that will blow up your
teeth. You'll never be able to chew paper, old gum from the sidewalk or dog
kibble again.

Don't try to climb over the balcony railing. You'll flip over the top and die,
then go to a place where a bunch of other bull-headed kids will hit you on the
head with a plastic rake when the Lord is not looking.

Don't open the dishwasher and jump up and down on the door. Mommy will
have to call a repairman, then Daddy will die.

Don't put your tongue on that. A dog went pee-pee there.

Don't eat those mushrooms in the grass. Remember the king in the Babar
book? He did that, turned green and died. You hate green.

Don't try to kiss the goat. It eats garbage and will go after whatever that thing
is in your mouth.

Don't keep on wearing those old shoes. They're too small and your feet
willshrivel up like the potatoes in the vegetable drawer, and you won't be
ableto run away from me.

2.04.2001

If all of my clothes were made out of one fabric, I think it would have to be hemp. That or canvas (i.e. canvas shirts and kakhis). Those are the main fabrics that I can think of that can be both warm and cold. Also, if I could only wear the assorted hues of one color, the obvious choice is black. That allows me to wear anything in the grayscale between black and white. My suits would be awsome, a combination of slate greys for the tecno crowd, a nice black number for the traditionalists, and all white for the James Bond or Mark Twain fans.

2.02.2001

One of my favorite jokes:

This truck driver hauling a tractor-trailer load of computers stops for a
beer. As he approaches the bar he sees a big sign on the door saying
"Nerds Not Allowed - Enter At Your Own Risk!" He goes in and sits down.
The bartender comes over to him, sniffs, says, "You smell kind of nerdy.
What do you do for a living?" The truck driver says, "I drive a truck,
and the smell is just from the computers I am hauling." The bartender
says, "Okay, truck drivers are not nerds." and serves him a beer.

As he is sipping his beer, a skinny guy walks in with tape around his
glasses, a pocket protector with twelve kinds of pens and pencils, and a
belt at least a foot too long. The bartender, without saying a word,
pulls out a shotgun and blows the guy away. The truck driver said, totally
shocked, "Why did you do that?" The bartender said, "Not to worry, the
nerds are overpopulating Silicon Valley and are in season now. You don't
even need a license."

The truck driver finishes his beer, gets back in his truck, and heads
back onto the freeway. Suddenly he veers to avoid an accident, and the
load shifts. The back door breaks open and computers spill out all over
the freeway. He jumps out and sees a crowd already forming, grabbing up
the computers. They are all engineers, accountants and programmers
wearing the nerdiest clothes he has ever seen.

He can't let them steal his whole load. So, remembering what happened in
the bar, he pulls out his gun and starts blasting away, felling several of
them instantly. A highway patrol officer comes zooming up and jumps out
of the car screaming at him to stop. The truck driver said, "What's wrong?
I thought nerds were in season."

"Well, sure," said the patrolman. "But you can't bait 'em."


A MURDER MYSTERY

A blood curdling scream shattered the pleasant silence of the peaceful mountain
bed and breakfast. I lurched out of bed, threw on my robe, and ran downstairs
to see what the commotion was about. The fifteen or so guests gathered in the
kitchen to see what was wrong. At first I couldn’t see anything, but then I heard
Professor Plum call for me.
“Inspector Smith, come here please,” he said. I worked my way to the
front of the crowd, and a ghastly sight was laid out before me. Mr. Body, the
owner of the bed and breakfast, was lying on the floor in a pool of his own
blood.
“Everyone back away please,” I said, and began searching for clues. Near
the body lay a wrench, which was obviously the murder weapon, judging by the
large wrench-shaped indentation in the back of Mr. Body’s head.
“That wrench was obviously the murder weapon, judging by the
wrench-shaped indentation on the back of his head,” I said. “Now who was the
first to find the body?”
“It was I,” said Ms. White, the maid. “I went outside to empty the
garbage, and when I came back, I found Mr. Body, dead on the floor.”
“Do you think anyone saw the murder?” I asked, looking around the
room. “The murderer must be someone right here in this room, being snowed in
as it is,” I deduced.
A small gasp rippled through the crowd, as the guests looked around the
room nervously.
“Professor Plum, are you not a specialist in mortuary science? Where
were you at the time of the murder?” I asked.
“Yes sir, I am, but I was in the library reading a book. Ask Mr. Green, he
was there,” Plum replied.
“Is this true?” I asked, shifting my gaze to Mr. Green, a local surgeon.
“Yes Inspector Smith, he was helping me find a book not five minutes
before we heard Ms. White scream,” he replied.
“And what book was that?”
“Merely a journal on anatomy”
“Where were you Mrs. Peacock?” I asked, looking over to the Swedish
plumber.
“I was jus over dere fixin’ the pipe under da sink, I jus finished ‘er up
when I heard da scream,” she said.
The crowd slowly dispersed and Ms. White covered the body with a
blanket. I thought of the possible suspects as I walked up to my room and got
dressed. Odd, since the Christmas party last night I hardly remembered a thing,
not even getting into bed. It must have been fun though, I spilled what
appeared to be some Cabernet Sauvignon ‘86 all over the front of my jacket.
I was still contemplating the facts of the murder the next morning when I
heard a man shout from downstairs in the vicinity of the billiard room, but
when I arrived it was too late. There was Professor Plum, his head smashed in
with a lead pipe. Mr. Green and Mrs. Peacock were there when I arrived.
“My God, what happened?” I asked.
“I heard da scream and ran over, when I got here he was dead,” Mrs.
Peacock replied.
“I arrived shortly after Mrs. Peacock, I heard the scream too,” added
Green. Then Ms. White showed up, glanced at the body, and fainted,
crumbling to the floor. I merely shook my head and headed back up to my
room. Now the body count was up to two, both killed by plumbing
paraphernalia, and both murdered during the early morning hours. Upon
arriving to my room I found a bag of tools lying in the middle of the floor. Upon
further investigation they turned out to be plumber’s tools, stained with a sticky
red substance, which appeared to be blood. I ran down the stairs and
questioned Mrs. Peacock as to the whereabouts of her tools.
“It looks like dey been a’stolen,” she answered.
“Then why have they been placed in my room, covered with the blood of
your victims?!” I asked.
“Well, maybe you’re da von who stole ‘em,” she said, taking a step
toward me.
Ms. White joined into the conversation, “And what about those red stains
on your jacket? They looked like blood stains to me.”
“Why, are you accusing me of these murders?” I asked. “The stains were
from the wine we had at the party, and I just found the tools in my room, I
didn’t put them there. It was she that did it,” I accused, pointing to Mrs.
Peacock. Unfortunately they didn’t believe me. Six hours later, after the roads
were cleared, I found myself in a psychiatric ward of a local hospital. I was
trying to get them to understand that I was framed, but it was no use. Many
people would come by and peer into my cell. I blanked out a few times and
couldn’t remember anything. It must have been from all the medication they
shoved down my throat. Why couldn’t they understand? Only yesterday I
heard some doctor say I had a ‘multiple personality disorder’ and that I ‘couldn’t
control my actions half the time’. I can’t believe this. Soon they will see the
truth. Drip, drip, drip, when will that leak stop? Where are my tools when I
need them, drip, drip, drip. I must stop the leak, drip, drip, drip. I need my
wrench, drip, drip, drip.

2.01.2001

Hacksaw's Tech Support

A Texas Biker/ Tech Support Guy and his TALES OF IDIOTS


wow i told a guy.."we must refresh your ip, type in w i n i p c f g...so
the dumbass PUNCHES THE NUMBERS INTO HIS PHONE keys....i
spewed coke all over my pc i laughed so hard i about choked
An interesting foreward I recieved from a friend:

Great Lessons

Most Important Question

During my second month of nursing school, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I
was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last
one:

“What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?” Surely this was some kind
of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark haired and in her
50’s, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question
blank.

Before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our
quiz grade. “Absolutely,” said the professor. “In you careers you will meet many people.
All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and
say ‘hello’.”

I’ve never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.




Always Remember Those Who Serve

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10 year old by entered a
hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him. “How
much is an ice cream sundae?”

“Fifty cents,” replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied a number of coins in it. “How
much is a dish of plain ice cream?” he inquired. Some people were now waiting for a table
and the waitress was a bit impatient.

“Thirty-five cents,” she said brusquely.

The little boy again counted the coins. “I’ll have the plain ice cream,” he said. The
waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy
finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and departed.

When the waitress came back, she began wiping down the table and then swallowed hard
at what she saw. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five
pennies - her tip.




Giving Blood

Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at Stanford Hospital, I got to know
a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance
of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had
miraculously survived from the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to
combat the illness.

The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the boy if he
would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment
before taking a deep breath and saying, “Yes, I’ll do it if it will save Liz.”

As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all
did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded.
He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, “Will I start to die right
away?”

Being young, the boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to
have to give his sister all of his blood.



I’ve Two Choices

Jeff was the kind of guy you love to hate. He was always in a good mood and
always had something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing,
he would reply, “If I were any better, I would be twins!”

He was a unique manager because he had several waiters who had followed him
around from restaurant to restaurant. The reason the waiters followed Jeff was because of
his attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jeff was
there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jeff and asked
him, “I don’t get it! You can’t be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?”

Jeff replied, “Each morning I wake up and say to myself, Jeff, you have two
choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens,
I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it.
Every time someone comes to me complainant, I can choose to accept their complaining
or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.”

“Yeah, right, it’s not that easy,” I protested.

“Yes, it is,” Jeff said. “Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk,
every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how
people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or a bad mood. The
bottom line: It’s your choice how you live life.

I reflected on what Jeff said. Soon thereafter, I left the restaurant industry to start
my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice
about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that Jeff did something you are never supposed to do in
a restaurant business: he left the back door open one morning and was held up at gunpoint
by three armed robbers. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from
nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily,
Jeff was found relatively quickly and rushed to the local trauma center. After 18 hours of
surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jeff was released from the hospital with fragments of
the bullets still in his body.

I saw Jeff about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he
said, “If I was any better, I’d be twins. Wanna see my scars?” I declined to see his
wounds but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place. “The
first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door,” Jeff
replied. “Then, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose
to live, or I could choose to die. I chose to live.”

“Weren’t you scared? Did you loose consciousness?” I asked.

Jeff continued, “The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to
be fine. But when they wheeled me into the emergency room and I saw the expressions
on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes I read, ‘He’s a
dead man.’ I knew I needed to take action.”

“What did you do?” I asked.

“Well, there was a big, burly nurse shouting questions at me,” said Jeff. She asked
if I was allergic to anything. “Yes,” I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as
they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, “Bullets!” Over their laughter,
I told them, “I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.”

Jeff lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing
attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after
all, is everything.


Work like you don’t need the money--Love like you’ve never been hurt--Dance like
nobody’s watching.