If (Rudyard Kipling at his finest)

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream -- and not make dreams your master;
If you can think -- and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings -- nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run --
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And -- which is more -- you'll be a Man, my son!


Filed under life, poetry

Happy 10th Anniversary to the Girl of My Dreams

Magen's Bay

Don’t you wish we were there?!?!  We’ve never deserved it so much.  But I’ve discovered over the past 10 years (where did all THAT time go?) that wherever you are, I am happy there.  No one fills my days as you do, and I am so thankful for your love and trust.  We may not be sitting on that Magen’s Bay beach today, but we’re working toward something really great, and one day, we’ll be back there, better than ever.

It seems so simple to say I love you on this day, but the truth is, I do, and that really says everything.  You make my life matter…here’s to the next 10 years.

“…and now abideth Hope…”

1 Comment

Filed under life, love

Spider’s Lament

and now the world hangs
by a string –
this single, silken thread
the brood hatched
with the Hunter’s Moon
and has stolen away
while I slept,
finding, I pray,
the choicest dark corners.
I would meet them there
and see them off,
but even now I wane
and have not the will
to swing down
and down


Filed under poetry

Something To Think About

The following is reproduced from the Richmond, VA Times-Dispatch Editorial page from the 7/7/2008 edition.

Beware Charismatic Men Who Preach ‘Change’

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Each year I get to celebrate Independence Day twice. On June 30 I celebrate my independence day and on July 4 I celebrate America’s. This year is special, because it marks the 40th anniversary of my independence.


On June 30, 1968, I escaped Communist Cuba and a few months later I was in the United States to stay. That I happened to arrive in Richmond on Thanksgiving Day is just part of the story, but I digress.

I’ve thought a lot about the anniversary this year. The election-year rhetoric has made me think a lot about Cuba and what transpired there. In the late 1950s, most Cubans thought Cuba needed a change, and they were right. So when a young leader came along, every Cuban was at least receptive.

When the young leader spoke eloquently and passionately and denounced the old system, the press fell in love with him. They never questioned who his friends were or what he really believed in. When he said he would help the farmers and the poor and bring free medical care and education to all, everyone followed. When he said he would bring justice and equality to all, everyone said “Praise the Lord.” And when the young leader said, “I will be for change and I’ll bring you change,” everyone yelled, “Viva Fidel!”

But nobody asked about the change, so by the time the executioner’s guns went silent the people’s guns had been taken away. By the time everyone was equal, they were equally poor, hungry, and oppressed. By the time everyone received their free education it was worth nothing. By the time the press noticed, it was too late, because they were now working for him. By the time the change was finally implemented Cuba had been knocked down a couple of notches to Third-World status. By the time the change was over more than a million people had taken to boats, rafts, and inner tubes. You can call those who made it ashore anywhere else in the world the most fortunate Cubans. And now I’m back to the beginning of my story.

Luckily, we would never fall in America for a young leader who promised change without asking, what change? How will you carry it out? What will it cost America?

Would we?

Manuel Alvarez Jr. Sandy Hook.

1 Comment

Filed under politics

Fish Finger Puppets!

So, my team REALLY stunk it up tonight, and I am, I must say, feeling it.  But, there is always Vampire Weekend when the going gets tough.  This makes me feel better…

1 Comment

Filed under alma mater, life, music

Game Night!


Leave a comment

Filed under alma mater, life

Found this in my “Drafts” folder…seems appropriate for today…

Perhaps there are some questions left unasked, mysteries best ignored.  It could be that our lives might grow round and full with peace if we were more able to go with the flow and allow life to happen rather than hope to manipulate the pieces.  After all, who can really gain control of their tomorrows?  Tomorrow is but an illusion, an apparition of what may be.  By the time tomorrow arrives, it has matured into Today, and that is all we ever really have.  Now.  Or never now.  It’s a simple choice really.

So, perhaps the anguish of soul we have all experienced pondering the who, what, when, where and why of our future could be set aside in favor of a hopeful outlook and an attitude of preparation.  I have discovered, however, that there is one simple question I never want to forego: how?  The introspection required to even utter the word is what sets the great apart from the masses.  For in order to ask “How,” one must be standing on the brink of impossibility, willing to take the next (last?) apocalyptic step, leaning into the void, and hold no hope of success.  But it is this very moment, the very act of embracing the impossible, that proves the measure of our dreams.


Filed under life