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People Hearing Without Listening.

In the wake of every tragedy that has crossed my lifetime, my country's elected leaders have always assured me that there will not be a 'next time.' They tell me that if I pray with them and share silence with them, there will come a change... There has not and there will not.

I spent a lot of today combing through the facts and the conjecture and the heartache and the anger. Much of what I've come to believe - right here and now - is an amalgamation of ideas put forth by wiser folks than I, and I wish only to echo what I have learned. I will credit the proper thinker wherever I am able.

The time for 'silent moments' are over. This is the time for screaming. This is the time to knock on the doors of our elected leaders and demand immediate change. I am disgusted by all the carefully-crafted, political condolences I saw today that avoided using the word 'gun.' One need only look at the Twitter feed of Igor Volsky, the Deputy Director of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, to see why. He was doing this all day long, and rightly so-

As writer Mark Harris pointed out, all but ONE Republican senator is fine with selling assault rifles to people on terror watch lists-

If you'd like to see the names of every senator who voted against the 2013 assault weapons ban, JUST CLICK HERE.

Scream, my friends. Be heard. Now and forever. The motivations and religions vary from one massacre to the next, but the lone constant is guns. Think about that for a moment and then read the tweet by Uncle Chaps that I lifted it from-

 

I read some version of the following sentiment throughout the day, but none were as wounded and angry and honest as Brett White, an editor at CBR-

Brett White will not be silent and I applaud him for it. Rob Whisman will not be silent, either:

This is not a time for tiptoeing and crawling towards progress. People are hurting and will continue to be hurt until we, the many, do something about it. If we wait, we risk having our officials waste the rest of our lives with their heads firmly up their asses-

And that's the second unpardonable sin of today's massacre. We need to make a commitment to changing the language of fear and tolerance and get-over-it-we're-all-humans understanding. It is unconscionable for our elected leaders to simply call the Orlando tragedy an act of terrorism. It was also an act of homophobia, a poison that continues to find refuge within our country. It festers amongst an increasingly volatile, dying minority of our elders and all the turds that they have spawned. We need to let our leaders know that we are the majority, that our ever-expanding population is LGBTQ friendly and we stand ever-impatiently ready to bury those who are not. Adapt or find a hole to lie in - the hate that was evoked today is endangered and condemned for extinction. Period. 

Furthering that same point, I give you Exhibit Drumpf-

And if those aforementioned Republicans dare balk - and anyone on either side of the political aisle, really - these two, complimentary tweets should damn any selfish politician with a beating heart to shame:

We need change now. NOW.

If they do not come to the doors when we knock upon them, it is our right to break them down and elect someone moral enough and strong enough to hear our demands. And how do you do that? Start with any of the politicians taking money from the NRA - as detailed above - or the list of senators voting to stop the ban on assault rifles - as detailed above - find the source of this insane and irrational roadblock to change and tell them they need to do their job and LISTEN TO US. It is easy and quick and it's all laid out in the Huffington Post. Just CLICK HERE.

The time for silence has passed. I promise, to all my friends who - through sheer, fucking luck - were blessed with a road more difficult than my own, that I will call or email everyone on that list. I will make my outrage be known and I will demand the change that you deserve-

I'm for you and I'm with you.

In Solidarity-

Garrett.

6/13/16 Addendum: I saw a comment on a friend's Facebook page that, in response to the man behind the Orlando massacre, said 'fuck these people.' I was moved to immediate anger by the ignorant, all-encompassing dismissal of an entire sect of people. I was not born into an Islamic home by an act of luck. My mother's California-born egg shook hands with my father's California-born sperm and tah-dah, out came a ME. I came into a home that was - for most of my childhood - Roman Catholic and well stocked with food and love. I had nothing to do with any of that. People born into different religions and different socio-economic regions started the same way I did, as a human child with no control over anything they were brought into.  By luck I was born with a clear-cut path to my sexual identity. Some are not. For anyone to stand on any sort of "I know better than everyone" moral high ground is to admit to being totally stupid or completely self-centered. One bad person does not make everyone that looks, talks or worships like them the same. And to that end, I give you this - my favorite image from yesterday-

THE CASE FOR GHOSTS: Why I Believe and Why I Wish I Didn't

I've seen Ghostbusters about one million times. Maybe a touch under. I wasn't a Slimer kid and I never signed off on Sigourney being the proper choice for the bombshell. With that hair? With those awful, shimmery peach curtains she tries to pass off as a dress? One look in those manic eyes and you can tell she'd much, much rather be lighting a flamethrower in space. Yuck. Give me Annie Potts or give me death!

But I digress. I did it all for The Murray. My hat is off to the new 'Busters, of course. I wish them well, love their style, please don't invite The Sigourney - but you can't replicate that hungry, Second City energy that those originals brought to NYC. You can't replicate the contagious fervor that was the original Ghostbuster's theme song, either. You can not and should not. Please.

Has anyone ever tempted fate so foolishly as Ray Parker, Jr.? Doesn't he know anything about anything? It's one thing to pretend you, "ain't afraid a no ghosts." I've told myself the very same thing when I've wandered into old, iffy houses. It's a bluff and a necessity. The part where Parker, Jr. openly claims that, "bustin [made him] feel good," though? That was downright suicidal. Was he insane? Where were his advisors? Has anyone checked to see if he's still alive?

You don't mess with phantoms and specters and wraiths and what-have-yous, Ray. I don't. Not ever. Because I'm not an audacious musician and I'm not Rick Moranis, his retirement be damned. You spit in the face of a spirit, Ray, you're asking to get iced. Because they're super cold. That's a known thing. Ghosts are also intangible, so you can't mess with them physically. Ghosts are also scatter-brained like you would not believe, so you can't prepare for them, either. Sometimes they just kind of lurk and hang out and mope, sometimes they're getting weird with scream and scare-a-thons, sometimes they just tease your pets and babies. They're incorrigible and invincible, and never has there ever been a worse pairing of traits in the history of the known universe. I'm not even speculating on this stuff - this is stone cold fact. Sure, ghost movies have gotten into my head and my dreams, but it's my friends - trusted, honest and completely sane friends - that have poisoned my waking life. Facts are facts, and ghosts are real. You want proof? I'll put it in the pudding. 

First, you take one part Jeremy Meyers. I've known him for about fifteen years. He's a real straight shooter, sings like an angel and his bones are made out of glass. Well, almost. He's very fragile. Like a bird. Anyway, he always makes me laugh and he loves to learn how to do everything ever - but only passably so - and animals pretty much always make him cry. The bottom line is, he's one of my best friends and I trust him implicitly. We've talked about everything under the sun. Including ghosts. The only reason it came up was because I insist upon talking to my friends like we're always on first dates. I ask them hypotheticals, force them to commit to ranked lists of their favorite things and I almost always want to know their stance on ghosts. Unsolved Mysteries, by the way, was the villain that put the paranormal in my head to begin with (and I will slap my mother in the face if it means I never have to hear that theme song again). Anyway - Jeremy has had 'experiences,' and he doesn't like to talk about them. So I will. 

Jeremy was a horrible student in high school. I didn't know him at the time, so it was impossible for him to be inspired by my own scholastic dominance. One of Jeremy's punishments for his poor grades was to assist with his dad's janitorial company. At the time, the company had just begun cleaning up a church.

...Tell me you don't feel dread already. 

Now this church kept odd hours, so Jeremy and his dad were forced to clean it late at night. Like ten or eleven. On the first night, Jeremy had a strange vibe. He was cleaning a room by himself when he felt a presence. He turned around and, to his relief, it was only his dad. Only his dad didn't look so good. "Were you just in the other room with me?" Jeremy shook his head, and his dad explained that he'd just seen Jeremy standing behind him. When Jeremy didn't say anything, his dad says, "I get a weird feeling about these people," and gets back to work. That's when he feels ghost-Jeremy put his hand on his shoulder, squeezing hard enough to bring Jeremy's father to his knees. 

Check, please!

On a different night, Jeremy was working alone at the church - and probably saying, "I ain't afraid a no ghosts" over and over in his head - when things took a turn for the awful. The double doors at the front of the church opened up to a larger main room before shrinking back down to a narrow hallway. The narrow hallway fed into a lot of smaller side rooms before it ran right into the double doors at the back of the church. The layout, if I may lay out a lazy visual, was like an olive pierced with a toothpick. On this particular night, Jeremy was near the back doors, cleaning out the bathrooms. One side of the hallway for women, the other side for men. He was cleaning out the women's restroom when he suddenly hears a toilet flush in the men's restroom. When he goes over there to check it out, he watches the water in one of the bowls fill up to the line and stop - only he still hears running water. Confused, Jeremy goes back to the women's restroom where all three sinks are blasting hot water. He takes a deep breath, tries to relax. When he shuts the water off-

The double doors at the front of the church start rattling. Jeremy steps into the hall, waiting for someone he knows to make an appearance. The doors are not locked - he had draped the unlocked chain through the handles - but whatever's shaking it doesn't shake hard enough to open them. Jeremy doesn't know what to do - personally, I would have screamed a Rogue-like shock of white hair into my head - so he just stands there in the hallway at the back of the church, wishing and praying that the noise at the front of the church would stop. Out of nowhere, it finally does. You know why? Because the back door, the one Jeremy's standing a foot away from, suddenly starts shaking instead. What's worse, Jeremy can see out the window and there's definitely no one there. It stopped - eventually - and the second it did, Jeremy ran out of there. His father cancelled the account the next day. This is one of many stories Jeremy has shared with me. 

I've found that to be a common thing - people who have these kinds of experiences (aka 'curses') tend to have them on multiple occasions. I have another friend, Jeff, who I've also known for about fifteen years. Jeff is definitely tuned into "stuff." He's a real hunk, a great singer - the only kinds of friends I allow myself - and he's also the kind of guy that will stick his finger an inch from your face if you piss him off. A few years ago, Jeff's grandmother wasn't doing so hot. Jeff was living in NY at the time, his grandmother was in California. He was sitting in his apartment around two in the morning when he felt this thing coming up the stairs outside. There might have been a noise, too. Whatever it was, he felt it come through his door and up around the back of his couch. He literally shouted out loud, "I'm not ready!" and the thing, whatever it was, disappeared. The next morning he got a call from his mother, letting Jeff know that his grandmother had passed away the night before, right around 11PM. Do the math. That's 2AM New York time.

Really, the only way to make this medicine go down is to give you some of my own ghostly sugar. A few years back, I was filming a movie with some friends from elementary school. It was about a bunch of old friends in the woods that get attacked by a bigfoot. The awards, as you can imagine, are still pouring in. Anyway - we shot it in Northern California and, due to the fact that hunting season snuck up on us and we were running around in a giant bigfoot costume, we had to move our production to Tahoe. As luck would have it, a friend was housesitting at a cabin and offered it up as a place for all of us to stay. 

The cabin, as we soon discovered, was of the serial killer variety. Built of dark, splintered and water-stained wood. Thin, rickety doors, minimal lighting. Oh, and a whole lot of warnings. When we were given the tour of the upstairs bedrooms, our friend told us he didn't like to go up there. Just because. He showed us a room with a ceiling that came down at a forty-five degree angle - you had to duck to walk along one side - and said that the owner himself never went in that room. The final room he showed us, the one I stayed in, had an old dresser with a large, rotating mirror. The mirror was spun around so that it faced the wall, rendering it useless. We were told that it was best to keep it that way. Owner's orders. For some strange reason, that room was also prone to wild, woodland animals shitting in it. 

Two things happened in this fantasy suite while we stayed there. The first occurred while the room was occupied by the two brothers who wrote and directed the movie. They were going over some notes late at night and had latched the door closed with a little hook. It's important to note that it was latched tightly - the hook barely fit in the little eye - because, while they were working, the latch came free and the door swung open. Maybe that's just baby ghostliness, but it still happened. The second thing occurred when I was by myself. We were all heading out for the day when I suddenly realized I'd left my script in the house. Upstairs. In the poo-poo room. I didn't think twice, just ran inside and went upstairs. When I got to the room, however, I felt this terrible... This is so clichéd... Presence? There was a tangible pressure in the air, the feeling of being watched. As I grabbed my script, I felt a cold sweat rush over me and I ran for the stairs. On the way down, it felt as though something was right behind me. To the point that if I stopped, I felt like I would be swallowed up entirely. I still get the chills when I think about it. So there's that.

What do you say, Beliebers? Come on in, the water's warm. I trust my friends and I buy into their stories - and I certainly buy into mine. I don't want to, but I do. The complications these things add to conversations about spirituality and faith are a mountain unto themselves. If there's a ghost reading this, do not mention it to me. Also, please understand that bustin' does not make me feel good. You go your way, I go mine. Do it up and boo it up, just don't do it here. Seriously. This is a warning. I did it all for The Murray, but I won't hesitate to call The Wiig. 

Citizens of Hope and Glory.

I saw Richard Linklater's new film, BOYHOOD, a few weeks ago. I haven't written about it yet because I haven't figured out what to do with it all in my head.

It rocked my life.

Filmed over the course of twelve years, the story tracks the life of a boy names Mason as he traverses through his childhood and into young adulthood. Transitions between the years weren't marked by intrusive title cards, or big birthday party scenes or 'when I was sixteen…' speeches. The movie simply was

Mason's parents weren't perfect, but neither are ours. His grandparents and stepparents and sister and friends were complicated and unique, just as they are for us. People and homes and treasured toys came and went. Life and our dearest or deepest memories roll away behind us - and sometimes wash back over us - whether we want them to or not.

I manny'ed a little girl up until three months ago. I took care of her for almost eight years, from the age of two to nine. On one of our last days together, she told me she wanted to fall in love like my wife and I had. I was struck by the sweetness of her desire, but also the weight of it. I told her it takes a long time to get to that person. I told her to enjoy her friends and her youth, because finding THE love requires great sacrifice and pain. You will be hurt, and you will hurt others.

BOYHOOD gave me that same kind of gut punch. A taste of everything life can bring and take away. The things we must fight through to get what we want or the moment we must cede to defeat in the hope of something better. It made me think of everything my parents had to do in order for me and my sisters to survive. It made me appreciate my closest friends - secret songs and jokes that we've shared - and it really made me appreciate the love of my life, sitting beside me in that theater.

The night I met her was the tiniest of moments. One simple decision to go to a weekly backyard BBQ that had been going on for weeks and hosted by a friend that I hadn't seen in over a year. She can tell a similar story on her end. Two tiny decisions that changed the course of our lives forever. For the better.

BOYHOOD was packed with life's simple truths, with honest scenes and emotions and characters. It cut a lot of my writing right down the middle and has since made me pick it all apart for the truth. I write not just to make the voices in my head stop, but to honor exactly what it is they are saying.

Right now, they are inspired. They are full of love and appreciation and a commitment to honesty in all that I do. To BOYHOOD and manhood and every single speed bump that makes me, ME.


Sports and the Hateful Heart.

There is a plague going around sports-fandom, a willy-nilly behavior that threatens true fan behavior from one coast to the other. I can't sit back and take it anymore.

This is my stand, my plea for a return to war.

Look. You can't just like whatever team you want.  I'm sorry, but it's not allowed. It waters down rivalries and it's also cheap and lazy and gross.

So stop it already and follow the rules:

When you're born, you have two choices. You pick the team in your region or you pick whatever random team your nomadic family has brought into your region. You pick it and you stick with it as soon as you're able. Pick and stick.

If you live in Colorado, you get the Nuggets and the Broncos and the Rockies... Unless your parents happen to be from Minnesota. Then you get the Timberwolves, the Vikings and the Twins. There is an asterisk here: if your parents have adopted the teams in the Denver region, YOU can't switch back to Minnesota teams because YOU were not born there.

How might one be able to 'adopt' a new sports team? So glad you asked.

You must live in a new region for the same amount of time you lived in your old region. Period. Don't argue - rules are rules. And those are just the most basic.

Sidenote: rules apply to clothing, too. Don't travel to New York and buy a Yankees cap just because. If you like your trip so much, buy a stupid-looking hat that says NEW YORK on it! Sports teams are not fashion statements! A Lakers' hat should not be something you buy simply because it goes with your purple pants - such seemingly innocent purchases end up supporting franchises that routinely get their way (and their championships). And really, why did you buy those purple pants to begin with?!

You want to get deeper? Fine.

When you're watching a game on TV that doesn't involve your team, you need to back whoever helps your team the most. I was born just outside of Sacramento. That region comes with the Kings and all the inherent misery and it comes with the 49ers and the Giants. NEVER THE A'S. Pick one and hate the other. You don't get both. YOU NEVER GET BOTH, BALLHOG. 

So, as I was saying, if I'm watching the most recent NBA finals, and I did, I'm rooting for the Miami Heat on multiple levels.

Level 1: The San Antonio Spurs were the Western Conference Champions coming into that battle. Which means they beat down a mostly-awful Sacramento Kings team to get there. So to Hell with San Antonio from the start.

Level 2: As a long-suffering Sacramento Kings fan, you must hate anything Lakers-related. Their big-market power and admitted-to-cheating-refs crushed our Championship-bound team in 2002 and my heart along with them. Facts are facts - stay with me. Tied into that heartbreak was a lot of disparaging remarks about Sacramento via the entire Lakers organization and their really-rotten fans. These are all things that should make any sane person HATE KOBE BRYANT. 

But back to the 2013-14 Finals. If The Miami Heat had won, it would have given an-in-his-prime LeBron James three rings. Kobe has five. If LeBron gets three, he's halfway to beating my forever-enemy, Kobe Bryant, and that would make my forever-enemy, Kobe Bryant, super mad. See how this works?

And no, I don't care that Tim Duncan got five. Kobe Bryant doesn't care about a tie. Duncan doesn't care about a tie or about breaking it. That old man is done. He hasn't helped my cause a bit.

Side-note: Stop it with the LeBron hating. He's a terrific player. He handled "The Decision" terribly. He has since apologized and the millions of dollars that the TV special created went directly to charity. Also, he has never had any crazy public incidents and he is a family man. Kobe had those Denver allegations. He is generally rude to the media and doesn't accept criticism very well, if at all. He also licks his lips way more than any human being should. How is Kobe completely absolved of those actions and LeBron is still hung out to dry for his?

Sub-note: Sports hate is forever. I don't care what Kershaw did the other night, even if I do live in Los Angeles. I live amongst the enemy. If you argue that I should enjoy an athlete's good performance simply because 'hey, a good performance is a good performance,' then I'm going to argue that you watch sports wrong. Admiring players on rival teams is for your head. I watch with my hateful heart.

Whatever. Back to the last rule.

FANTASY SPORTS. They're great. I love fantasy football. I'm addicted. Have a blast, pick who you want... I guess. I don't touch anyone on the Seahawks or the Cowboys, but that's because I'm doing it right, but whatever - the point I really want to make is this: if you have to decide between your fantasy team winning or your team winning, your REAL-LIFE TEAM, then you pick the real-life team, Dingus!

Look, watching sports doesn't have to be hard, but it shouldn't be soft, either. All I'm asking is that we stop with the willy-nilly and heap on a bigger portion of the nitty-gritty.

Please and thank you...

And if you're a Lakers or Dodgers fan, those closing manners were not for you.

BALI

I love Disneyland almost more than anything. When I was a kid, my family limited most of our vacations to Anaheim and Orlando. My mom's license plate frame is surrounded by Disney characters and says, 'Been There, Done That, Going Back Again.' In 2003, I worked at Disneyland, with the characters - interpret the italics as you will. That's as close as I'll get to ruining the magic. It was the best job I've ever had, and it still didn't scratch my Disney itch.

My wife, on the other hand, has married into Disneyland. She's come around a bit and is certainly susceptible to my fervor. Lucky for us both, I've come around to her preferred status as world-traveler. We've done Portland and Mexico and New York and the Virgin Islands and  New Orleans and Argentina and now this - Bali. For our Honeymoon.

Reflections on our most recent trip go something like this:

I now refer to my wife as a Balinista. It's inspired by the very recent and very annoying TJ MAXX campaign. Cleary, my American is showing.

The real Balinistas were the nicest group of people I have ever met. Handshakes and name-exchanges were a given and immediate. Balinistas smiled - really smiled - when making my acquaintance. Asking where I was from and where I was going and how could they help me is what generally came next. If I answered that I was from the United States, the answer would be, "Obama." If I answered that I was from California, the answer would be, "Arnold Schwarzenegger" or "Super Power." Yikes.

Traveling with a mustache to Bali is recommended. I got a lot of stares and compliments and, when language failed, I got mustache gestures. Over the course of my adult life, I've had a lot of people guess me into a lot of different nationalities. In Bali, I got a brand new one: Indian. This may have been mustache related, however - I have, in the past, been told that I look like Freddie Mercury.

The food was not really for me. I tried suckling pig and I tried noodle plates and fried rice and fried eggs on everything and barbecued chicken and duck and I tried a few piles of green stuff and a pile of brown stuff and some crunchy things. Stuff and things are better swallowed if you don't ask for their specific names. One dinner featured duck - allegedly - cut into fatty little disks with an entire barrel of coriander dumped on top. That meal, like most others, was spent trying to find a reliable napkin to hide it in. No easy task considering tissues are generally doubled as napkins. Clearly, my inner Willie Scott was showing... That's a Temple of Doom reference. Which is almost another Disneyland reference.

A muscular chicken breast wrapped in a red headband.

A muscular chicken breast wrapped in a red headband.

By trip's end, I was eating purely American. I must have had ten different pizzas in a row at one point. Lots of places boasted a wood-fire oven so I pretended I was on some sort of quest to find the very best pizza in Bali - a fruitless search of course, because the best pizza will never, ever be a slice of floppy thin crust.  

In spite of the curious names, this place featured my best bite of pizza.

In spite of the curious names, this place featured my best bite of pizza.

Almost every place we stayed in was an amazing bungalow sort of situation that could be had for thirty dollars a day. Think the old Swiss Family Robinson Tree House from Disneyland. That's definitely a Disneyland reference.

Sweaty and hot was just an all-the-time thing. Once I accepted it, I loved it. I loved the sudden sheets of warm rainfall, too. I loved how green everything was. It blew my mind to think that Bali simultaneously had the most well-groomed gardens and yards that I'd ever seen and also the worst littering I'd ever seen. The excessive garbage in Bali is so bad that they have to burn it along the road or in backyards two or three times daily. Nothing like the aromatic shock of baked trash to shake you out of your meditation.

I tried a meditation class, with a meditation master and his merry gaggle of meditators. It was not for me. I will not judge those that it was for, but I will impersonate the best ones, upon request.

Nigel Tufnel sighting in Sanur, Bali.

Nigel Tufnel sighting in Sanur, Bali.

There are almost as many wild dogs as there are temples in Bali. The temples were beautiful. They came in small, medium and large. They were in between homes and part of people's homes. They were in the middle of cities and at the tops of remote hills and mountains. Watching Balinistas make offerings at those temples throughout the day was extremely moving, regardless of my inability to comprehend all of it. It affected me to the point that I purposefully avoided stepping on fallen flowers during the trip. No idea why. The dogs, on the other hand, were all the same. Mangy and nasty and growly and mean. On a somewhat-related note, there was an island we stayed at that was overrun by cats, like some sort of terrible Fievel in reverse.

And speaking of islands, I challenge someone to find an island that isn't also overrun by Bob Marley or Jack Johnson. Heard them once, heard them a thousand times - I want out. I'm done.

One more word on animals in Bali - I'm curious to find out how monkeys were deemed worthy of worship. They are grossos and creeps. Humping each other, hating each other, humping and hating each other at the same time, terrorizing humans and their belongings - what am I missing here?

I saw fireflies for the first time in Ubud, hovering over a rice field while my wife and I were waiting for a ride into town. It was one of my top memories - that and our four-hour walk amongst the rice fields and villages in Tirta Gangga. We were thousands of miles from home and didn't spot another tourist the entire time - it was just the two of us, digging in and doing it. I've never felt so connected to her and our little bubble and it really made my hairy day.

This is a rice field, but that might not be rice growing. I've already forgotten.

This is a rice field, but that might not be rice growing. I've already forgotten.

Defensive driving did not exist in Bali. I thought driving in Argentina was bad, but the Balinistas absolutely destroyed my South American family. Lanes didn't matter, pedestrians didn't matter and speeds didn't matter. If you're like me and you get carsick super easy? Well, come ond down, because you don't matter, either!

Balinistan men didn't and don't ogle women. My wife speculated that it's probably a product of the religion and I speculated that it was of the most refreshing aspects of their culture.

I think that's all I want to say about Bali, but I'm pretty sure Bali's not done saying things to me. My wife and I did a lot of big things in Bali, but we there long enough to do little things, too. We read multiple books in Bali. We wrote in Bali. We watched Season 2 and 3 of The Wire and Season 4 of Game of Thrones and Season 10 of the Bachelorette in Bali. The most important thing we did in Bali was nothing. We never do nothing. My wife and I work towards our careers constantly. Moving and hustling, all day, every day. The time we took to slow down in Bali made me realize just how lucky I am. I took the time to silently watch the way my wife greets the world when she first opens her eyes, instead of jumping out of bed to start my day. I stood beside her while she got ready - just for us - instead of waiting by the door with the keys. I held her hands across the table after meals and studied those delicate hands of hers instead of grabbing the bill and running off to our next thing. Moments like that are magic, and I know I have to have to make a better effort to slow down and let them in.  

So thanks for everything, Bali... Now lets go to Disneyland.