Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Cool Culture

Lucas recently asked Xtina, why I had to go to work. Hmmmm, good question. She said that she started to answer with all of the various reasons regarding our need for money; food, clothes, entertainment, etc. But then it began to dawn on her that not only did it not make sense to him, it didn't make sense to her either. She started to realize that the way our society is structured is actually very strange.

Consumerism is an economic ideology based on the promotion of the consumer's interest, that free choice of the consumer should dictate the economy. But what do we truly need in this life, beyond nourishment and shelter? And why do we entrench ourselves in the system so that all of our other desires may be met? And are all of those other desires actually coming from our very own wishes or are they manufactured by others, the very people who bear a heavy hand in controlling this system?

This Adbusters article addresses some of these important issues. I think that it's time we rethought our purpose in life. Each generation must do it and now it's our chance to make an impact. What should we embrace in our culture? What is cool or stylish? And what should we really cherish in our lives?


Monday, February 18, 2008


We celebrated Valentine's Day once again and all of us who cherish another intimately felt the need to celebrate our love in some kind of special way. I made a play-list for Xtina and wrote her a beautiful letter reminding her just how wonderful she is to us. She woke to a musical charm poem and it brightened her day.

All day long I thought about the way that Valentine's Day has affected me throughout the years. Romance and beauty. Delight and Joy. Amor et vie. We all want to be cherished by another in our lives and this day of all days reminds us of this fundamental need.

I remember being in the first grade and sharing valentines with the entire class. That was my first introduction to the heart of this holiday. I bought valentines from Thrifty and prepared to pass them on to my fellow classmates. It was an interesting assignment because it didn't take long for me to designate certain valentines to certain people based on who they were in my life. A good friend would get one that I thought was cool. A girl I thought was pretty would get the most romantic one. Others who I didn't like ended up with the left-overs. I was evaluating the worth of those around me with these valentines. Perhaps, there were some who understood the subtle message I was sending with my choices and I'm sure there were others who couldn't care less, but I recall that this appropriation of valentines was extremely important to me. I knew that the message I sent out to these people, no matter how small it may seem, was so crucial.

Today, as I now evaluate my relationship with the person that I love, I recognize that those subtle messages are still so important. I've always felt that somewhere down in my soul I was connected to a deep romanticism, that I could communicate with the stars and someone out there would understand what I was trying to say. I never knew if this was going to be true but I always wished it were. I always wanted to believe that there was truth and that love was real.

When I met Xtina, I knew immediately that this desire I've felt my entire life could be expressed honestly and hopefully. We share the same channel and so often with our relationship we completely understand each other. Oh, to share a life with someone that you can cherish so closely is utter joy. It is the dream that I always had, the yearning of that small boy to be heard.

Happy Valentine's Day my sweet. You are my voice, the one that I hear with my ears.


Monday, February 11, 2008

One Month: The Second Act

Well, it's been one month since Quinn Mikayla Pavnoz blessed us with her presence. She came a week early and it was an incredible and, at times, overwhelming experience. As we did with Lucas, we decided to wait until the birth to discover the gender of the baby. Fortunately, it turned out that Quinn was indeed a girl, since that's what everyone wanted (including me).

And the strangest thing happened.

When Xtina was pregnant with Lucas three-and-a-half years ago, she had an epiphanous experience. About a week before the birth, she woke in the middle of the night with an enormous contraction and while she suffered through it she thought to herself, 'Okay, who are you?' Then she had a vision inside the placenta and it was obvious that we were having a boy.

This time around, it was my turn to experience the strange workings of the universe. Quinn was born on January 8th at 9:11 at night. At four in the morning on the 7th, Xtina began to have contractions and throughout the next day, they gradually grew closer and closer together. Since her experience with Lucas was a long and brutal affair we decided that we would try to stay at home as long as possible. So, we slowly got everything ready as the all-day-process built to its inevitable finale. One of the things that I did was head over to Whole Foods to make sure that we had enough nourishment for the hospital and for when we eventually made it home in a couple of days. While I was at the store, I was being helped at the dessert counter so that I could obtain Xtina's favourite treat, creme brulee. A young woman asked me if I needed any help. I explained to her that I was already being helped but afterwards, for some reason, I found my eye turning in her direction. I was attracted to her! And it was the very day that my second child was going to be born! What in the hell was happening? It was strange because she wasn't the type of girl that normally draws my attention. She was blond and way too skinny, but there was something about her that kept pulling my head. Then I took a good long look at her and realized that her eyes were just like Lucas' eyes. It was very amusing once I figured it out and I came right home and told Xtina everything.

She looked at me very seriously and said, "Maybe you saw the future."

That totally blew my mind. Was the universe telling me something important? And was I actually paying attention this time? I really believe that there is a force in the universe that we communicate with all of the time. Some people create entire religions based on this concept. Xtina and I have had many discussions about our lives where the circumstances are amazingly mystical. Even when we didn't know each other, it was almost like we were in tune with one another.

In the end, the birth was quick and efficient, and the experience was the complete opposite of our time in the hospital with Lucas (in more ways than one). I suppose the universe may have given me a vision, who really knows after all? But we have our little girl and I have a tale to tell the rest of her life.

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