25 Things About This Blogger—With Paul Revere Painting
I’ve been tagged for one of these 25 things about me lists on Facebook. Vanity compels me to comply. I’ve not yet posted this on Facebook. It’s just that I need a blog post for today.
I like Facebook. It’s an easy way to keep in touch with folks. If any of the blog reading public would like to add a friend who is also one of America’s leading bloggers…..well, I can’t help you. But if you’d like to add me, my name in Neil Aquino and I live in Houston. Look me up and I’ll add you on. The more the merrier.
Here we go—
1. Anything good about me, or good in my life, is in large part due to my wife. Anything bad is my doing.
2. I’ve had four clear-cut best friends at points in my life. One is my wife. One was a grade school kid I’ve long lost touch with. One is just beginning the study of Chinese medicine in Portland, Oregon. I still exchange e-mails with her on and off. The final one is the only I can’t have a decent conversation with anymore. I’m appreciative of her friendship at one time in my life, but I don’t regret the inability to converse with her now.
3. Sometimes I wonder if I would be better off giving up the blog and writing a letter to a friend each day. I give a fair amount of thought about the best ways to communicate.
4. I work hard to maintain friendships across the years and across what are now often great distances. I’m mostly successful with this. Yet I have room to do better.
5. When we keep up with friends, I feel we provide our lives with a measure of permanence that offers a rebuttal to death. We are saying there is a source of stability in an existence marked by things moving away from each other. Longstanding relationships also give a greater relevance to the ways we’ve spent our time in life. When you have a friend for a long time, it’s evidence that you made a good decision many years ago.
6. I feel you can define family in anyway you choose.
7. I wish I had the ability to be an artist of some kind. I’d like to be able to paint a picture. I’d paint a picture of people in a way that conveyed who they are. I’m lucky to have seen in person Copley’s painting of Paul Revere in Boston. Below you see that painting. It’s my favorite. In this painting, Mr. Revere is both a worker and a thinker.
8. I wish I had the time in life to be as creative as I feel I could be. I could gain a measure of that time by the better application of self-discipline.
9. I feel that both the material events in our lives, as well as the thoughts that we think, all need context. Nothing exists alone. We need to know what came before and what may come after.
10. I think one can merge the public and private aspects of life in ways that give greater meaning to both. The two should not be divorced from one another.
11. I often wonder how one can combine a strong desire to be alone with a need to communicate. Hopefully, I’m able to do this in a way that is neither (fully) stand-offish or involves being around to much. (Though in truth, I’ve not yet figured this mix out.)
12. I have a good memory. I recall some things with such clarity that I feel the events I’m thinking about are taking place again. This makes me wonder that if man is the measure of all things, than does not the abilty to retain and relive our memories challenge some of our concepts of time? The past is present in our thoughts and as a guide to our future actions.
13. If each morning we could take just a few moments to assess our lives and our goals for the day, that would be an act of creation and imagination we could accomplish each day.
We could create time and time again. We could do so in a way that builds upon what came before, so that even an act of creation comes with context. I want to have the discipline to be able to do this.
14. I’m not convinced our leaders really believe most Americans have a viable economic future. At least in relation to how we have lived before.
15. I’ve never spent a night outdoors and I never will unless forced to do so by a bad turn of events.
16. Just because your life is very good, does not mean it is entirely the life you want. Expressing this thought does not detract from the good things in your life.
17. I’d like to live on an island.
18. I feel at home when with the wife, when at the ocean in Galveston, Texas, when writing, and when reading. I also felt at home when I was at a bar called the Jockey Club in Newport, Kentucky. That place has long been torn down.
19. Much about the practice of politics bores me. I did not like most people I met when I worked in politics. Though the time I spent involved in politics was worth it.
20. I’m proud of the fact that my name has been on the ballot twice. Once as a candidate for Democratic precinct executive a Hamilton County, Ohio. I was the only candidate and won with about 15 votes cast in my little voting precinct. That was, I think, in 1992. I got a certificate of election from the county. In 1997, I ran for the Cincinnati Board of Education and won about 10,000 votes. I finished 9th of 12 with the top four being elected. I was endorsed by Stonewall Cincinnati and by a number of unions. Beyond being glad I had not finished last, I felt that I had done well in the voting.
21. The best non-fiction book I’ve read is S.E. Finer’s three volume history of government. The best novel I’ve read is The Remains Of The Day by Kazuo Ishiguro.
22. I’d like to start volunteering somewhere. I have a place in mind.
23. I’m lucky.
24. I think we can balance a strong and autonomous personality, with the need for collective action in our political lives. What could be better than free citizens making the willing choice to work for common ends?
25. I’ll end where I started—Anything good about me, or good in my life, is in large part due to my wife. Anything bad is my doing