In the years afterwards I kept myself busy with typical stuff people do after a traumatic spinal cord injury. Nothing major, some gunrunning South of the border and a few bank jobs here and there. Things were good during those years as I met a lot of great people and got to save up a bit for my retirement.
But something was missing from my life. I needed more than just easy money, cheap thrills, and fast women. I needed to return to society and become an upstanding citizen again. Without the up-standing so much. Ok, sometimes.
I really work in the UW's Special Subjects Division, located 14 floors below the Med Center. We deal with some sensitive materials there, and I can tell you more once I make sure you have the proper clearance. I might have seen an alien fetus or two is all I'm going to say. It's hush-hush.
It is a great job with great coworkers and to be honest, I'm kind of a Big Deal™ there. Maybe not a Big Deal but a fairly decent-sized Deal, or at least big enough that people take notice, especially after I point it out to them on strategically-placed post-it notes.
I also like to read, write, and rabble-rouse, take photos, go to gym and workout like a fanatical nerd, volunteer for a few things, and look for new ways to summon my life energies to fight the dark forces of the universe.
My current jam is my second* sweet handcycle It's rad. I heart it. Wanna ride bikes together real fast (ish)?
*last fall I got run over by a car in my 1st bike. Really. Tire over my foot. And the bike, which was toast. Car still lost. I'm unbreakable as X-rays would reveal later that evening.
Also, Viktor Frankl wrote, "... everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms--to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."
Understanding Power: the Indispensable Chomsky (the most comprehensive and thorough survey on the critical issues of our time that I've ever read)
Sophie Scholl and the White Rose by Jud Newborn, Annette Dumbach (a deeply moving story of a group of remarkable students committed to action in full knowledge of the severe consequences they faced)
Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl (A moving memoir of the late Holocaust-survivor and psychiatrist's experiences in the death camps and afterwards, which offers an excellent primer into existential issues: suffering, courage, absurdity, authenticity, etc.)
There's too many more to list here but I'll mention one more would recommend to health conscious:
When the Body Says No: Understanding the Stress-Disease Connection by Gabor Maté
Before I got more interested in sociopolitical issues I was hot & nerdy into science books on astronomy, physics, space, biology, evolution, psychology, anatomy, climate change and energy, etc.
I also often think the most delicious substance in the universe is Molly Moon's salted caramel and I often scoop a melty spoonful out of a pint directly onto my t-buds.
I unapologetically jayroll through intersections. Once I did it eyeing a cop I didn't see waiting at the light. He put his head down, probably because he didn't want that kind of trouble.
I don't really speak Yiddish but I did grow up Long Island and love me some coffee tawk. I'm getting a little verklempt thinking about it.
But if we're going to keep it real, then I will tell you this. There is a small round button pinned to the corner of my bookshelf. It reads simply, "I like big books and I cannot lie." Don't judge, you other brothas can't deny.
2. Think we might make friends in light/spite of some the nonsense I wrote above.
3. Feel that we may enjoy an exchange of witty banter or intellectually stimulating discussion-times, at least long enough to finish one drink.
4. Have important information that may save my life, and/or the lives of others.
5. Are from the future.
6. Live your life like an f-ing badass and/or rockstar.
7. Meet many of the criteria above and also want a free smile, no-questions-asked.