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Entry date: 6-4-2023 – Practice makes Perfect? – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

I’ve heard that practice does not make you perfect. I happen to believe this. Practice makes you better and ready and such, but nothing is perfect. “Perfect” is just a useful word to describe something you like a lot at the time. Such as, “this pizza is perfect” or “It’s just a perfect day, I’m glad I spent it with you.”

Practice, though, is a good thing. I’m not a good practice, though. I’m terrible at practicing. I know this about myself and yet I do nothing about it. I should be practicing my bass more than I do. I should practice writing more than I do. Lately I’ve been pretty darn lazy.

I think it is okay, though. I need a break. I need to recharge the batteries. It was a long school year and I’m starting to unwind it all and process the learning. One of the best ways to do this, at least on the last couple of weekends, is to nap.

Right now, I am craving a nap. I should be writing about a local artist I admire a lot but I’m not feeling it and my body is saying, “Sleep. Sleep a lot. Sleep until time to get up and start making dinner.” My body is a lazy sod.

I am practicing relaxing, I guess.

I cleaned out the garbage can, though, and get rid of a bunch of waste earlier today. I also went to the store and got a few things I’ve been needing to get. That’s an accomplishment. Right? While I’m over here patting myself on the back, somebody is out there doing something worthwhile.

I typed that last sentence just to guilt/motivate myself. I was so moved that I remembered to check the date I can put out some bulk trash. The ball is really rolling here. Next thing you know, I’ll be vacuuming. Before too long, I’ll be getting some actual work done.

That snapped me back to reality.

Something about a 100-degree Sunday just makes me want to stay in and do nothing. Perhaps it is the two sleeping dogs on the bed next to me. I don’t know. They don’t seem to mind it being quiet and us not doing much of anything. I should take a cue from them.

When I was at the store, I saw a young lady who had a sign that said, “Anything helps.” She looked so sad yet happy, too, at the same time. I think I have a look about me that says, “Sucker,” so I probably got her hopes up, but I didn’t give her anything. I don’t mind buying a sandwich or something for people who are in need every once in a while. I don’t do it every day, but I like to be helpful if I can.

When I was 21 and living in Berkeley, I saw this dude on a regular basis who always had very truthful signs. Usually, they said something along the lines of: I need money for beer.

This was 1991 and you could get two big cans of Olde English Malt Liquor for a $1 at most stores in the area, so I often grabbed us a couple of cans and sat and had a malt liquor with him. He was a super interesting fellow. I felt very alive, sitting there with him on Telegraph Avenue, drinking beer that was encased in a brown paper bag.

The police in Berkeley never gave you any crap about drinking on the street. They may have thought I was part of the homeless population as much as I was up there hanging out on the street watching people. I didn’t have a lot of spare cash in those days, so I would figure out ways to have fun on the cheap. One of these was hanging out with my homeless friend and drinking a super cheap beer on the sidewalk.

Technically, I was homeless in Berkeley for the last six weeks I was there. I mentioned this last year during one or two of the blogs. It fully sucked. Couch surfing wore me down and while people were nice about it, I know I wore out my welcome a few places. I slept in the car a few nights, and that sucked, too. I also got a couple of cheap hotel rooms along the way, too.

Not having a place to call your own is hard when you’ve always had one, but that experience changed my viewpoint on the world a lot. For years after that, I embraced the impermanence of life in general and learned to not be scared of starting over or starting from nothing again. I’m not saying I would like to have that experience now, but I am saying that even when things seem the worst, you can get up, dust yourself off, and move forward.

Time to move forward on a nap.

See you tomorrow.

Look at that little face! Having some cotton candy at the Dbacks game about 10 years ago.

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