Long Lost Bucket List

I was going through some old Google docs of mine and came across a bucket list a wrote in 2008. Haha, I can even remember writing it. It was after I saw Ted Leonsis speak about what he has learned and accomplished in his life, and how his bucket list helped in decide to do the things he did. In his words [paraphrased]:

“[when the oppertuity came to produce a movie at first it was a hard descision, but looking back at my bucket list, and seeing it on their, reminded me to take the oppertunity I was given before I die]”

It felt much like finding a time capsule, and one that I forgot I even placed. With so much having happened in the last 4 years, and so much happening in the last week, it offered a pretty perspective on things. As I read through the message in a bottle sent to me by my former self, I was excited to be able to cross of a couple items on the list, and dissapointed at the vast majority of things I could not.

I really encourage those out there to mak a bucket list. It offers perspective into you life as yo find yourself focusing on so manythings over the years. It helps bring you back to a core goal, or reminds you of one you may have forgotten.

From a more technological perspective (I can’t help it, I am a technologist after all,) I encourage you to write it in google docs. I was not obly able to easily find this old list, but since Google Docs are live docs I can see the revision history of the document over time. I can imagine how interesting it will be to check out the changes, and additions I make to this list over the next 20 years.

While looking for bucket list-esque pictures for this post on the web I stumbled onto this site (http://bucketlist.org/) that helps people share their bucket list publicly.

Old McDonald Kills Raccoons E-I-E-I-O

Raccoon in Suit
Raccoon in Suit

I was just telling a friend about a story I heard when I was younger, about how farmers used to trap raccoons. It reminded me of business strategy — So, I thought I would share.

Raccoons are notorious for destroying farmers’ crops. Because farmers are so resourceful they devise a way to trap raccoons in their fields by using only a piece of bread and a large silver spoon in a small jar.

While walking through the field the raccoon sniffs out the jar and out of curiosity attempts to retrieve the food. While doing so, the raccoon, which is known for its love of shiny objects, is distracted by the silver spoon reflecting in the moonlight. It grasps the spoon, and since the opening of the jar is smaller than its closed fist, it relentlessly pulls on it for hours.

The noise from the spoon clacking against the glass alerts the farmer of the raccoon’s presence. Determined  in removing the spoon, the struggling raccoon gives the farmer enough time to put down his dinner, grab his gun and make his way to the ill-fated rodent.

In this example, the raccoon did some things well:

  1. It stumbled onto an abundance of food on a farm.
  2. It found some delicious bread and went after it.
  3. It found something shiny that it liked and went after it.

What was its deadly mistake? It couldn’t give up on a bad situation once its investment went south. In other words, he wasn’t able to reassess risk/reward and how it compared to its higher purpose.

The gist: Sometimes giving up on what we love/desire can be distracting from what we need to win. An entrepreneur is risky enough to take a chance on the delicious bread even though it is surrounded by a field of food, but it knows a shiny spoon in a small hole when he sees it. 😉

Farm
Farm

The First Snow

Part I: The Pregame

Athens, GA
Athens, GA

My good friend Brian moved to Athens Georgia a few short years after high school. He always had a little country in him so we all felt that although the move was sudden it wasn’t all that surprising. As most of you all know winter is not my favorite time of year so I usually find myself trying to find a quick vacation to warmer, albeit often only slightly warmer climates. I took the opportunity a few years ago to visit my old friend and see what a small southern town had to offer.

I didn’t want to make assumptions about the newest city I was adding to my “places I have been list” but from what I have heard about the “south” it is known for its uncanny ability to bring out the color in a conversation better then a Van Gough fan club in the Amsterdam museum. I did however ensure that my escapades would not have a chance of falling victim to an unruly mob of yokels by surrounding myself with a predominately white crew. The hope was to offset my dark complection; to improve the ratio so to speak. It is common practice for minorities in small southern towns to check, kind of like double checking whether or not one has clean underwear, or thier wallet.

I was introduced to my new batch of a weekend wariors composed of friends and friends of friends. The ice was broken rather quickly as it often is with my in your face brand of humor — gloves are for mice in disney land and I come without. As our eager blood cells received the perfect marination of alcohol our voices grew louder and our friendships grew stronger. Well, as strong as anyone would expect them to grow having only known one another for all of two hours — a life time on NBC’s The Bachelor. We were ready to hit the town.

One story after another was closely coupled by one drink after another and we were all extremely hammered in no time. The new group of extended friends had bonded through the iron clad chains of Yager and Redbull and the ‘fat’ had been trimmed by the umpteenth round of shots we had forced upon the group. There now stood — more like wobbled four strong, three guys and one impressivley hard core chick.

City Snow
City Snow

We kicked ourselves out of the bar before anyone running the place had the pleasure to do so. The doors swung open and we walked out to a Varisty Blues meets Edward Scissor Hands backdrop. The dark night was lit up by the street lights, all reflcting off of the snow filled sky and the landscape was covered in a light dusting of pure white flakes. Being from DC snow is not all that special to me, but it turns out that snow is exteremly rare in this small town and the excitiment level of my bar buds was quite contegous. We stuck our hands out to feel the snow flakes melt on our fingers and yes there was an ocasion or two where we let them land on our tounges — we were drunk, dont judge me!

So lets do some math: new firends + old friends + new town + drunk + late + a rare snow fall = a bunch not ready to go home and definitely too energized to simply go to bed.  But since all the bars were beginning to close up a group meeting was called to order:
“This is awesome!” said the chick
“I know, I know — ww..what — what do we do now?”, brian said in a drunken studder
“Let’s go to a strip club!” shouted the only chick in the bunch. The guys all looked at eachother with a suprised grin and without any uncertainty watsoever we were all in.

As we removed ourselves from our 3rd and 10 huddle we began to walk in no specific direction. It would seem that the desicion to go to a strip club was all the direction we needed, knowing the actualy direction was less then important.

Part II: Winter war land

The sound of snow smacking into Brians bare face was unmistakable. Although it all happened in a matter of seconds I could still hear the droppings of the imapcted snow ball hitting the slushy pavement….there had must have been some ice in that one!

I turned around and saw Brian, his eyes as wide open as his mouth was as he wiped off his face.
“What the f##k!” he said, in a surprisingly more upeat manner than you are probably imagining it.

He was half laughing as he looked at his snow covered hands and checked his chest as if to see if there was any damaging shrapnel he should tend to. After finishing his assessment he perked up and looked into the distance to see if he could make out the origin of the Bogey.

We all looked up in the direction Brian was now pointing and saw three kids, about 15-30yd away, watching us. They must have been as surprised as we were by their accuracy at such a distance, or in retrospect the lack there of. Once they realized that Brian was okay and that they just threw an ice ball into a complete strangers face twice their size instinct kicked in and they began to run; thusly we began our pursuit.

As we ran down the side walk in a dimly lit part of the local park we scraped the tops of bushes for ammo. We balled them up without slowing down and started barading the kiddie culprits with what we could make. Some were of course prematurely launched and flew off into the distance as dust, but there was one or two that were able to give us some satisfaction towards our revenge. These kids picked the wrong two guys off the street, our experience with snow ball architecture at the DC Univ. of hard Knox was light years ahead of what these country bumpkins were aware of. Their backs began to become more and more aware of that fact as the chase continued.

They rounded the corner and so did we, they cut through the woods and we were right behind them. In the midst of the chase of predator and prey the feeling of revenge became less so, and playfulness was now the main theme; there was  plenty of laughing on both sides of the coin. It wasn’t long before we found ourselves on the main strip, the center of this fair town. I think they had thought that the public streets would deter us from our hunt. Once again these young lads did not know who they started up with and we could care less what the public thought of us, plus we were still too drunk to really notice.

They took shelter behind a low wall and we squatted behind some bushes. The snow had now filled the ground with plenty of white gold and the exchange continued. Man was it fun! One would have assumed this part of our lives was past us, but here we were in snow ball fight in our 20’s! Our experience in the field soon paid off. Without any need for discussion a line formed in our group: the Snow ball builder, then the snow ball stacker, and of course the gunners.

Snowball fight
Snowball fight

Have you ever heard about the saying that goes to the effect of, all enemies become friends when there is a greater common enemy? It is amazingly true and we saw such an undertaking take place right before our eyes. A truck made the corner and without pause both camps stopped the attacking of one another and began firing at the truck…..It was kinda stupid and f’ed up I know, but at the time it was just such an obvious thing to do, and at that time it just didn’t feel all that wrong. It was snowing in Athens for got sake, live a little!!!

The truck didn’t stop but you could see the man driving within flinch at first and then simply smile and shake his head….Really? Did we just get away with that? This rotation of enemy and enemies enemy would take place over and over. Batteling one an other until some poor sap made the bad decision to turn into OUR street followed by the re focused attention to the moving vehicle at hand, when the moving target was out of range we went back to our war.

I took a step back for a moment and observed our surroundings. What had started out as a simple snowball to ones face has now become something far greater. This battle was no longer us vs them, or even just us vs car. People on the street, I mean regular passer byes, were constructing their own little firing squad. We were getting hit from all sides and snowballs were flying over head on all corners of the street and in all directions. It was unbelievable!

Now, if that was all that happened that night I would have walked away giddy and amazed. I would have still remembered that night in Athens as an amazing night of unexpected turns, but the night was not over just yet. Now remember I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP! This is all true first hand account, no exaggeration at all. By this point in the night this block was completely covered in hostilities. Snow balls from parents at kids, old at young, store owners and patrons were in some way or another involved in this battle. People started to get out of their cars, parking in no particular spot, just to get out and throw a snow ball or two of their own.

No snow ball was thrown with anger, well some started as anger but the beauty of what was happening was that it all quickly turned into good wholesome fun. Not only were people on the streets now participating but some windows were opening up above the stores and people in their apartments began to take pictures. Flashes were going off from above like explosions in the sky. Once spectating the carnage wasn’t enough for these ad hoc journalists they began to get involved in any way they could. Why should they miss out on all the fun. Some would come down into the streets, but others to lazy to put clothes on, grabbed ice or cups of water and splashed them down on people; a travesty in the snow ball throwers community. We would all ban together at those moments and pummel the widow that water was spilled from with what we could. There ARE rules of engagement after all in every war.

It was unreal – chaos was in the street that night. I’m not sure if this all transpired in minutes or hours but it all just kept coming, escalation upon escalation. More and more people would get involved. Where were they all coming from? As it turns out, not to be any less expected of the night with our luck, there was a police station only 1 block down the road from the anarchy. And being what looked licked a city riot from any onlookers perspective the law began to react. I noticed that over time one police officer would peek out the door and go back inside, then two would peek out and then three — then nothing for a few minutes. I told Brian about what I was observing and that we should probably start making our exit before things became less fun and more fines. No one was really paying attention though, my request went un-heard.

What wasn’t so easily ignored was that moments later the whole police force, about 10-15 officers in full riot gear, started to march out of the station. Some of us noticed and stopped like dear in head lights, followed by more and more of us. And then there was silence, only a straggling snow ball was now flying through the air. The streets were silent and what was only moments ago utter chaos was now eerily silent. The officers marched out and formed a line with their shields out in front, much like a roman army, making two rows.

Then what seemed to be the lead officer spoke into the mega phone,
“READY?!”
Brian and I looked at each other in disbelief…
“AIM!” —
“FIRE!!!”
Snow balls began to come at us like rockets from behind the row of the newly formed row of shields.
“Are you serious!?!”, we said almost at the same time to one another.
We began to laugh, and as most of the anxious public began to do we started throwing snow balls at the police officers….yes who were in full riot gear!

It was the most unbelievable scene I have ever witnessed around snow, without a doubt. The three of us as drunk and in public as you can be, where disturbing the hell out of the peace, assaulting one another including police officers in the middle of the night, and they were throwing them right on back. Thinking that our luck must soon run out and unable to judge if we were in a good enough state to be spoken to by officers once this exchange had died down we decided to get up and began to jog away.

We looked back on the well lit city as we ran, the noises of laughter and screaming echos soon died down and the commotion was just a faint murmur. The was now in the distance and dulled, drowned out by the darkness of the night. We had created and left behind one of the greatest winder wonderlands in Athens history……..it was time to hit up our original plan and were off to the strip club. We let the natives enjoy our masterpiece.

I had left my mark on Georgia — I was satisfied.

Adventures of a Lost Wallet


Adams Morgan Falafel
Adams Morgan Falafel

Part I

It all started one cold and blistery night in adamas morgan. I was finishing up a delicious pint of Guinuess at The Town Tavern with my new found friend Ryan and his trusty side kick Julie.

The bar shut down, as they so unfortunately have to do, and I was left with head full of dreams, and a mouth empty of food. This unfortunate combination could only be relieved with another combination, that of flavor and delight; A pita wrapped around a chic pea crunch ball known as a “Falafel”. I said my good byes and embarked on a 2 block journey to my beloved Amsterdam Falafel House on the now baren sidewalk of 18th st.

‘Hoorah! Hoorah!’ my mouth screamed in anticipation of the tasty bites it would soon enjoy. I ordered one large (4 chick pea balls) and imeditley proceeded to cover my pouch of pita with all the fixin’s. Now this is where the night takes a left turn toward downsville. In my anticipation to create the perfect pita I placed my wallet on the counter as I paid the for the meal. I had only one hand to manage the transaction and one hand to protect my pita what else was I to do? I got my change, put it in my pocket, and would soon realize that I had forgotten the final task on my list of todo’s — place the wallet back into my snugly fit designer jeans before exiting the establishment.

For the sake of full disclosure I will mention that as I left the falafel house I did glance at Julios empanadas and the urge to delve into the falafels latino cousin was only matched by the deterring 10 degree temperature and winds. I paused, weighed out my options and decided to quickly hail a cab, I was on my way home.

Lost Wallet
Lost Wallet

As the cab pulled up to my house I began to pat my jeans down frantically, for only now was I beginning to realize the fallies of my ways. The falafel was now long gone and reality set in; I do not have money to pay for this ride. I received a service and could not complete the exchange, should I make a run for it at the next stop? Ask for forgiveness and hope he doesn’t slap me across the face (we are in a recession after all) ….. But what’s this? My incessant patting and pocket spelunking had its rewards. I found the cash I received from my skillfully executed one handed purchase at the falafel house and it was all of the 8 dollar cab ride and 2 dollar tip I needed for this transaction. Unfortunately, the excitement was short lived.

F$% I shouted in the cab to the undeserving cab driver. I f&^%lost my wallet!
“Sorry duuude”, he replied with the eloquence found only on the tongue of a baliwood star.
I check all my pockets 3 or 4 more times, dug into the seats and under the floor mats. Maybe it fell out as my meal was making sweet love to my tahini sauced face.
“Man, that is no gewd”, the cabby added as he shook his dome piece back and forth reminding me of a bobble head doll.
“Have a nice night” I replied “…the wallet isn’t here” and exited the cab.

I hurried up the stairs to my office and started searching for the number to the falafel house.
I dialed….
“Hello”
“Yes i was just at your store, you wouldn’t happen to have found a wallet lying on the counter would you?”
Without a second pause the gentlemen, and i use the term loosley, responded
“Hhaha, nope!”
“Can you check please?”
“There is no wallet here sorry”
“you sure?”
<click>
ooooooookay, I guess when your that good at making falafels you tend to lose other important life skills such as courtesy and/or communication with your fellow man. I began to cancel my credit card accounts.

I was on hold with some for of these government bailed out institutions for 15 min or more. No wonder your going out of business! I knew that it was just the beginning of my problems.

What about my license? what else was I missing? How am I going to get on the plain to cali next week? how will this all play out with all the work i need to get done, where would i find the time to go to the DMV? How do you drive without a license to get a license? how do you pay for the cab or metro or a new id card without a credit or debit card? how do you order a beer or get into a club on this what would end up being the first warm whether weekend of the year? how do i get my id with out a passport or social security card? How do I attend a early morning meeting at a building with a security check point without any identification?

This will be an interesting week.
So much more then my right ass cheek rides on that wallet!

Part II

I awoke and was surprised to find out how normal my day was starting off without such a crucial piece of my existence available. Luckily all my meetings around town for the day involved other members of the company, so I had the pleasure of being a passenger on all the rides. We arrived at my first governmentally housed appointment and walked up to the metal detector guarding the lobby and elevators. The first member of our troop, Scott, was asked for his ID by the woman behind the airport’esque conveyer driven x-ray machine. I don’t exactly know what we were thinking as we walked up to the security check point. The lack of my ID was never discussed as there was more pressing business to attend to on our minds. Once the security guard asked for the ID from Scott however the true nature of the situation leaped to the forefront of matters to attend to. We all looked at each other with the ‘hey WTF are we going to do to get through this security check point together’ look, mixed with a dash of ‘if we all don’t say anything maybe she wont realize I walked through and not ask me for mine?’ shrug.

Metal Detector
Metal Detector

I put my stuff in the buckets and slowly took my jacket off and we all tried to manifest some sort of urgent sounding small talk in order to seem too preoccupied with our conversation then regulations of the establishment we were in. I walked through the metal detector and the lady asked for my id —
“So make sure we get the projector”, I said to my colleague further trying to push the ‘I’m to busy for you’ scenario. In a kind voice the women waited for our conversation to end patiently and asked me again for my id.
“Sooooooo you see he just had his wallet stolen last night”, my other partner Danielle spoke up.
“We have a very important meeting with some execs upstairs and it is imperative he comes up with us”, Scott added.
At that opportunity I started to smile and tilt my head 45 degrees to the left, the gold standard of sympathy positions.
“C’mon we need him for this meeting and we are late”, Scott again would press to the security guard positionng himself a half step or more toward at the elevators.
I was already gathering my things with a ‘sorry to have to do this to you’ frown and kept moving. She looked at me and as far as I could tell her body language was already indicating that she was going to reluctantly let us get away with this.
“Thanks you so much”, I said to her reassuring she will get a well deserved ticket into the good deed of the day club, and we got in the elevators.

Wow that went so much easier then I thought it would, no wonder illegal immigrants can become president — but I digress.

Part II

You know how great your friends are when at a single moments notice they are able to move around their schedule to help you out. Well my friend KT was willing to pick me up from the metro and take me home to my parent’s house in Herndon just to get my passport so I can go get my license at the DMV.
No questions asked he was onboard for the mission.

I know I COULD have driven myself around town but I’m not the luckiest guy in the world and I’d probably be the guy that gets pulled over for something stupid. In no time I would become the date of some guy named biff in whatever urine stained jail cell I was thrown into. This conservative way of thinking came at a high contrast to my friend’s perspective. My friend would not only NOT worry about driving without a license, but he offered to loan me his car for the night seeing as he had to attend a dinner date!

Local Bar
Local Bar

His suggestion was not only to drive without a license but to drive HIS car without a license. In addition, after discussing this option further, it turned out that the cars registration was expired AND the car did not have the necessary tags it needed to be “street legal”. In another words he was already “ridin’ dirty’. Yup, his plan was for me to drive without a license in an unregistered car with no tags by myself, try explaining that to a cop. I might as well get a few shots in me before I get behind the wheel to make the list of offenses a nice round number…. We agreed we would have to make it work with him as the driver.

Now this ordeal would have been over moments after we pulled up to my parent’s house, but certain facts suddenly came to my attention at that very moment, facts that a younger more active brain would have recognized hours ago.

1) I left my keys to my Parents house in VA in my house in DC
2) My parents were away in Las Vegas for the week

I looked my good friend in the eyes and explained to him how immensely sorry and stupid I was. As good a friend as he is he immediately called his dinner date, pushed it back an hour or so and said we will make this work, without flinching for a second.
“We will go back to your house get the keys and try again, simple.” he reassures me.

We got the keys and started heading back. At the risk of being late to his date that was already postponed we decided that dropping me off in Herndon was just not going to work. We decided to drop me off at a restaurant next door to the restaurant he was schedule to have dinner and I would await his return………Note: I thought it would be far more entertaining for me to eat at the same restaurant but sit two tables behind them as they ate their dinner and just leave at the same time. I understood his objection to that plan. He dropped me off at the restaurant and pulled away.

As I was walking into the restaurant I began to realize that this was less of a restaurant and far more accurately described as a dive bar. Being that it was passed 8 there was a bouncer inside checking ID’s…..doh! With the cunningness of a fox I took out the phone and stared intently at the screen with my thumbs positioned on the key board and facial expression framed in disbelief. If a director was involved and giving me…well….direction…he would describe my character as being a guy finding out his friends may not be in the bar, worried about the situation he texts them frantically hoping to find out.

I positioned myself against the wall on the apposite side of the bouncer next to the entrance way and noticed out of the corner of my eye that there was a bathroom around the corner I was leaning against. When the bouncer looked away I walked into the bathroom calmly and camped out there for a min or two. I took of my coat ruffled my shirt and walked back out in the opposite direction of the bouncer…..I did it! Fucking James bond shit! Okay okay, it could be that I had a 5 o’clock shadow and salt and pepper hair that gave the bouncer the impression that tracking me down was less then important but the point is that I avoided yet another check point and was quite proud of myself. I surpassed two heavily guarded entry ways today with nothing but my good looks and wit! Top of the world Sean, top of the world……

I had over an hour to kill and no cash or credit cards…..Damn! I found a nice private seat at the bar and sat down. I’m going to feel like a real douche bag telling the bar tender I don’t want food or drinks, but would like to sit here for an hour and a half. I am probably not the star patron the owner was trying to attract when starting his business. I kept my head down trying not to draw to much attention. One of the bar tenders finally made his way over to where I was camping out and asked, “What can I get ya?”
I looked up and low and behold, I know this guy! Even better he his also friends with KT my chauffer for the night! Yup things were looking up. I gave him the patented guy friend hand shake fist pump and told him a synopsis of my situation…..
“That sucks” he responds, “What can I get you to drink?”
“A Guinness would be great man!”
He poured me the perfect pint and I reflected on my current position as I took a sip from the sweet black nector:
I am without cash, credit cards, or a government issued id, in a dive bar with the average patrons completion no darker then an egg shell, with a bouncer out front checking ID’s, 30 miles from home, in god knows where, waiting for my friend to finish a date, while drinking a Gunnies and watching a 42 inch screen TV showing tonight’s game. I that wasn’t enough moments after my moment of reflection the bartender graciously threw a plate of boneless buffalo chicken strips out in front of me.
“Enjoy” he says.
“Fuckin’ America!!” I respond with a smile.

The hour and a half go by quicker then expected and I was soon back on the road. KT tells me that a good friend of ours was visiting us from Chicago at a bar down the street and they knew the staff their too so we can further drink with out prejudice. We visited them, had some good laughs, I ate and drank well and we then headed home.

This time the entry into my parents house goes far smoother thanks to the keys I know possessed. I walk upstairs to my room, still in the condition I left it before college. I slipped into my super-man pajamas and put on my wonder woman crown and headed to the bathroom to wash up. I turned the knob on the faucet and — nothing. I go to the shower and turn that knob as well — no water.

Yup, my parents shut all the water off while they are away and there is no chance that I will try to figure out how to turn it back on so late at night. Shit. Okay. I guess there goes my bathroom, drinking water, and washing up privileges. I at that moment finally understood what it’s like to be from India. I decided to ruff it for the night and went to bed.

–ring– –ring—WTF is this? Who the hell is calling me at 3:26 in the morning?!
“Hello?” I said barely conscious, making an extra effort to ensure the caller was aware of the fact that I had indeed been sleeping when he called by crackling my voice extra hard.
“Yeah, umm sorry to call this late but I just figured you would want to know that I found your wallet.” He said with a slight uncertainty in his voice.
“What?!” I said, suddenly revitalized.
“Yeah I feel bad but I found your wallet outside the falafel house and figured I would hold onto it.
I hope you don’t mind but I went through the wallet in order to get some information on whose it was so I could track you down. I’ve been searching for you name on the internet and was able to find this number, so….yeah. I just figured you would want to know I have it and it’s all good. I want to let you know I didn’t take anything in it , its just like I found it. It’s good karma you know?”
“yeah of course man thanks!”
He proceeded to tell me about how it was a bit of a journey to get a hold of me but he was very proud of the level of honor he demonstrated by doing this deed. I was happy to thank him and assert that feeling. He gave me his number and told me to call him tomorrow so we can co-ordinate a pick up.
“Where abouts do you live”, he asked
“Well I’m at my parents house in Herndon”
“Perfect, I work at the Dulles airport” he said excited to get this burden of protecting my wallet of his shoulders.”
“Great! I’ll come get it!”
“hmmmmm actually there is a problem……My car just broke down and I’m in Maryland and the wallet is at my house. I wasn’t sure if I should hold it with me where ever I went till I found you”
“Where is your house?” I asked
“In DC on pen nave”, he said not realizing that it couldn’t have been a better response if he tried
“I live on Penn! That’s perfect when can I come by”
So it turns out he lives only block from me on the other side of the bridge. I have traveled back and froth from Herndon VA to Washington DC twice canceled plan to make time to visit the DMV and all for not. The whole time my wallet was only min away from my house resting comfortably.

Oh yeah one more funny interaction occurred due to this lost wallet. Since it would take another 5 hours before my schedule pick up time I needed cash to get something to eat. So I went down to the bank to pick up a temporary ATM card. Once again not having an ID was a major problem and the lady behind the desk said she couldn’t give me the card without some validation that I was who I said I was. We sat there trying to think of a way to validate that I was indeed Sean Shadmand. I suddenly realized that my picture and name was on the front page of the business section of the Washington post and took her to the site.
“What more validation do you need then the Washington Post verifying my identity”
She smiled and issued my card.

As my friend later said so wisely everything happens for a reason. It’s a good story, I got to see friends I otherwise wouldn’t have seen and I have my wallet back no problem> It’s also kind of funny that if it wasn’t for the article written two weeks prior I wouldn’t have eaten a delicious bean burrito. Plus I’ve never been a good writer and need to practice but needed motivation. Maybe losing my wallet is just what I needed to become a better writer! It’s just interesting just how many people and things losing my wallet effected. Oh yeah i promised the guy that found my wallet that I would refer people to his business. So, if you need anything moved i.e. furniture etc let me know and I’ll put you in touch with this great guy!!

The End

My capitol hill innauguration

Street Party
Street Party

It was truly amazing. I Was 2 blocks from the center of our nations capitol, the epicenter for our government, in a bar filled with a crowd cheering for their newly elected half black, half white, young, intelligent president who has promised there will be a “we”, and “we” will bring change.

I actually saw a man cry, I mean a grown ass man balling uncontrollably because the party he and his wife dedicated so much time to beat the odds and churned out a victory.
Most of the bar was filled with young politicians such as this. Those who came to drink after working in the senate and house office buildings down the street. It was like being in a bar in the heart of Boston during a World Series game. Imagine an environment were everyone in that bar has lived and worked directly on this election day-in and day-out. So much of their time was riding on this night.

Obama then gave a fantastically moving acceptance speech. I can get passionate about politics from time to time, but moved?! I have to admit I truly felt like I was part of something big! I was moved the most when listening to him describe the life of Ann Nixon, a centurion that has had the fortunate misfortune of living through so much change. Today she had so much of her history culminate to this single event today as she casted her vote. She has lived through so many ups and downs in our nation’s history. It painted an amazing picture of how the “yes we can” is more then a statement but that anything IS truly possible, for there is a “yes we have” already proven in our past.

As he spoke the crowd predominately between the ages of 21 and 35, who were unruly and boisterous and yes a little drunk only moments ago, fell completely silent and hung on every word of this historical speech.

Change was definitely in the air. I got text message from friends like “It is time for us to rise up and make a difference, sleep well friends”. I mean these messages were coming from folks that only two weeks ago vomited on my shoes at a club! It’s like every one around me stepped up there political and social game and decided to be more involved and take more responsibility for the welfare of our nation and the change machine.

After the speech I walked outside and the environment was even more amazing then expected. I heard horns blaring, cars overflowing with people hanging out their windows screaming “Barack, Barack, Barack!” The streets were flooded with people cheering, laughing, hugging and celebrating. Even more inspiring was that the crowd involved in this victory dance was truly and unquestionably composed of all races and classes; they were all celebrating together!

It all goes to show that one mans blind confidence in the ability of a nations people can be easily contagious and with that spread and acceptance of those ideals they become more and more possible. Ideals may be at times lofty, but as Gandhi said, “sometimes one man can make a difference”. It only takes one man to provoke change and from what I saw tonight change is on the way.