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Chasing The American Dream

February 28, 2006


Note: Click Flickr Picture Box in the side margin for a peak at related photos.

I’m not quite sure why I’ve become so attached to this annual festival of arts. It’s not like I am an art freak or a cultural guru. Yet for some reason, the Coconut Grove Art Festival is one of my favorite events to attend of any genre.

I think it dates way back to my childhood. You’d probably think a ten-year-old boy would normally be bored being dragged by his mother to an art show for five hours, but yet I wasn’t. Maybe it was the excitement of seeing unusual and neat things? Maybe it was all the good food? Maybe it was seeing all the weird people walking the streets? Maybe part and parcel. But I think it’s my memory of actually having a good time with my mother. I’ve previously written that those good times were few and far between. So my recollection from all those years ago is one of those precious moments when we bonded and had a great time together. I’ve also written that we’ve since reconciled from all those unhappy times and things are great between us…

Now it has become an annual event for mom and I. She comes down from Vermont and spends a week with me. We have a blast together. We shop and cook gourmet every night. She helps interior decorate my new apartment which is normally a yearly occurrence. But I think the highlight of her trip for both of us is the art show. It’s not your typical art show of various paintings. Oh sure there are tons of watercolors, photography, oils, and the like. But perhaps more interestingly, there is such a wide variety of mass media sculptures and just bizarre-looking stuff. There is even an art show within the art show. It's called the St Stephens Art & Craft Show and is every bit as interesting as the big show and a bit more affordable.

It’s a minimum five-hour walk to see everything. It’s a happening. It’s fun to people watch and sample a plethora of different foods. You can meet and talk to practically every one of the 375 artists if you desire. Oh and did I mention it costs a mere $5 to get in? My son is nearing 10. I wonder if he’d be interested as I was back then. I wonder if he’d have fond memories of going to the art show with his father? I’m thinking yes, he would. For me, the show now represents tradition. A tradition of a fabulous time, the best time, hanging out with someone you truly love. Thanks mom for a great week. And one of these years, I’d sure like to share this tradition with a yet-to-be determined loved one.

February 26, 2006


Part of the fight I’ve had with myself for the past two-plus years is to somehow find inner peace, harmony, and happiness. I’m sure to some, that sounds like a load of crap. Heck, if I read that myself two years ago, I’d probably think the same thing. But I’ve traveled far both physically and mentally. It’s been tough and it’s not over. It may never be over. It may never be over. This is what I’m learning and have to keep reminding myself.

Why? Well, I’ve put forth extreme effort to make myself a better person. I’ve risked embarrassment to friends and family by facing my imperfections and dealing with them. The results have been, well, positive. And I think that is the common denominator to the facets of my self-improvement. Again through advice of doctors and family, I’ve dedicated the rest of my life to be a much more positive person. And that means surrounding myself with positive people and positive things and at the same time, shedding the negativity in my life.

The result is I’ve got a new job, a short commute, gained new friends, and lost other so-called friends. Nothing scares me more these days than negativity. It’s a sure bet to short-circuit my chase to find someone to share my life with. I don’t’ think what I’m looking for is asking too much. I seek out shiny, happy, positive women who smile a lot, enjoy life, and are fairly even-keeled. I don’t mind complicated women because we all have our issues. And lord knows I’ve gone way out of my way to help many women who have gone through issues similar to my own. I want all of us to succeed. I want all of us to be happy. But I guess this just isn’t possible, is it?

My biggest disappointments are those that don’t appreciate my help, question my commitment or integrity, or the fact that the outward positive outlook can vanish in a flash like some Jekyll and Hyde type situation. You know those Jekyll's right? Happy one minute and down the next and you never know which one you're gonna encounter? These disappointments have a tendency to crush my spirit. As a result, I have to step away and remove myself quickly. And because of the new me, it can take me a while to get over these failed frienships and/or relationships. I guess it’s the fact that I put forth such effort and in the end, get little in return. I’m tired of being bitched at. I’m tired of husbands or boyfriends calling me to tell me to “stay out of it.” Sounds strange I know, but yes, I’ve been fooled. I’m tired of people doubting me. I’m tired of negativity.

Recently, I discovered a chatroom where I found and gained a bunch of "friends." Two months later, I'm quitting because of all the negativity; some of it directed toward me and my character. And that's disappointing. It brings upon sadness because of time wasted and an unwanted feeling of doubt creeping in. It's quite a story in and of itself. I'm sure I'll write about it once I've had some time to truly reflect on my experience.

I guess writing is my way of ridding the negatives. I need to dump these crapass feelings somehwere so I can go back and meet the world with a smile once again. Bottom line? I need positives. I need to slurp them up as if they were the last cheerios swimming in milk at the bottom of my cereal bowl. Why are those O’s so elusive? They seem to repel my spoon. Maybe if I figure out the mystery of the cheerio, I can apply it to my lifetime search for friendships and Ms. Shiny Happy People.

February 12, 2006


I saw my first movie in nearly a year. Great anticipation turned into utter disappointment. I have two favorite starlets of mine. Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson. And now each has been in an almost equally disappointing film, at least in my humble opinion.

I saw Closer last year and it depressed the hell out of me. I found I couldn’t root for any of the characters, not even Natalie. Yet the picture was critically acclaimed. Yesterday, I went to see Match Point knowing little about the film as usual. I knew Woody Allen directed it and that it received favorable reviews. Well, I won’t give away the movie details, but it so much reminded me of Closer. I’ve never walked out of a movie but could have easily walked out of this one. It was slow-moving, long, and well there’s that D-word. Maybe I’m not quite ready for depressing films? I think the critics raved because it was such a departure for Woody. Different he was and so mission accomplished.

Huh I see Woody is up for a Best Original Screen play Oscar. I need to see Squid and The Whale and Crash, Woody’s competition. I have a feeling I would like both of those films. I guess the price I pay for going into movies blindly, avoiding trailers and detailed reviews is that I set myself up for major disappointment. I suppose the flipside is true, too. Million Dollar Baby comes to mind. But for now, I really need to avoid dark, depressing films. The urge to cry is great and they leave me in a horrible empty state-of-mind. Game, set, mismatch. On a positive note, spending two hours with Natalie or Scarlett isn’t the worst thing in the world.

February 09, 2006

LAWLESS (A Cody Posey Editorial)

There are two things I knew I could never be when I grew up. I couldn’t be a doctor because I was too squeamish. And I couldn’t be a lawyer because I had absolutely zero interest in it. The whole court/lawyer milieu has, for the most part, baffled and disappointed me. Except for my recent divorce, I’ve never had a favorable outcome in my experiences. Yes, I’ve had experiences. Yes, I know you want to know more, but this isn’t about me.

It’s about the whole judicial system. Court cases are supposed to be judged by facts. Yet I think the facts take a back seat to how they are presented and who they are presented to. Big dollars buy the best lawyers. Jurors can be smart and dumb. This combination alone to me almost renders the actual facts of a case useless. We all know O.J. Simpson is guilty as hell. Yet he got off scott-free. I mean, who else killed Brown/Goldman? It’s not like anyone out in Brentwood is even looking for any other perp. I’m really sick of high-profile sports figures and movie stars getting a free pass. Hell, if it was me on trial for the Goldman/Brown murders given the same facts, I’d be on death row by now.

I think the problem is, like ice skating, is that after all, verdicts are judgment calls. Sasha Cohen can perform her required axels and toe-loops, salchows, etc. Facts. But how well she performed them is judgmental. Court case facts are judged by citizens like you and me. Some smarter, some dumber. Most dumb? For you lawyers out there, I know I’m oversimplifying but give me a little latitude here. Lawyers can cloud facts, create reasonable doubt, influence the minds of the meek. Are the facts really the basis of the case or is the way they’re massaged more influential?

OK. For the last month or so, I’ve been watching the Cody Posey case. Reader’s Digest version of the case is that Cody, 14 at the time, killed his father, step-mom, and step-sister after being subject to years of abuse. Sure there are all kinds of interpretations and judgments as to Cody’s mental capacity at the time of the shootings. To me, here’s a case where a kid was so abused and miserable, that he just lost his mind and figured there was no other way out. BANG.

How can you really determine the state-of-mind of a 14 year-old abused kid? Facts? If there was ever a case where we needed to see a ‘not guilty,’ this was it. But no. Cody was found guilty of manslaughter, 2nd degree murder, and 1st degree murder for killing his father, step-mom, and step-sister. This verdict was so hugely disappointing for me. I can’t even begin to fully understand the whole case or, like I said, how his mental capacity was determined. I know in my own mind, the mental anguish I have been through and how it made me a totally different person. A person that could not function properly without medication and therapy. And my issues were minute compared to Cody’s. I can’t even imagine how far from normal, his abuse, depression, etc. made him eventually resort to total madness.

I don’t know if the judicial system failed him or society failed him for not coming to his rescue sooner. The scenes of Cody crying as the verdict was read sickened me and saddened me to absolute disgust. I hate the law. I don’t like lawyers much. Is this the best system we can come up with? Does anyone ever do any research to make this a better system? The medical profession has researchers always looking to make things better. Even my crapass profession constantly looks at Accounting rules and often changes them. What ever changes with the law? Big stars are set free and tortured kids are sent to jail. To me, nothing ever changes. And that’s sad commentary.

February 08, 2006


Nearly three months ago, I brain dumped everything I had studied for that lousy CIA Exam. Studying at this age is torture. The brain just doesn’t seem to have any more capacity for rote memorization. It was my forte in college but that was long ago. I decided that pass or fail, this was my last time studying for this thing.

Grades were passed out last week only I didn’t get mine. My everyday mailbox check felt like dead man walking. I turned the key slowly, heart pumping faster, sifted through the junk mail, and nothing. This went on for a week before I emailed the Institute. They responded the next day. I was in a meeting when my blackberry buzzed. My heart jumped. I excused myself from the meeting and walked in to my office and closed the door. I clicked on the email nervously. Before I could even figure out what happened I saw the C-word.

Dear Mr. Moser:

on your successful completion of the November 2005 Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) examination! On behalf of the Board of Regents and Board of Directors of The Institute of Internal Auditors, I am pleased to announce that you have satisfied all of the requirements of the CIA program and have therefore earned the Certified Internal Auditor designation.

Altamonte Springs, Fla. -- Todd A. Moser was named today as a Certified Internal Auditor® (CIA®) by The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). The CIA designation is awarded to internal audit professionals who have met the rigorous requirements of The IIA's CIA program, including a four-part examination, as well as high standards of character, education, and experience.

I friggin’ passed? I friggin’ passed! This rattled around in my CIA-vacated brain for a good five minutes. Wow, a sense of accomplishment. It has been eons since I’d felt that. I was proud of myself. I don’t know how I did it, but it’s over now. It’s rare I give myself a pat on the back. This was one of those times and who knows if and when there will be a next time. I’m gonna enjoy this one for a little while if you don’t mind.

February 05, 2006


Today my dear friends is someone’s special day,
I heard it thru the grapevine that she liked my way
Of putting together words and phrases,
Perhaps overboard on my blogging pages.

I was personally asked not to give it away,
No saying things like, “it’s only a week a way.”
So for once in my life, I’ve kept my mouth shut,
When I tell you who it is, you’re gonna kick my butt.

For this person in question we all know quite well,
Said it was OK, if I eventually tell.
But not before February, day number five,
Anything before and I may not survive.

While I’m at it, let’s narrow the field.
By process of elimination, the name will be revealed.
The person is a blogger who’s listed on this sight,
When you read the last stanza, you’ll see the light.

The logical choice is plain to see.
Who else could it be but Miss Greek Tragedy?
I will give her this poem. This gift of mine.
But it won’t make sense. Her day is 9-29.

No Greek? Could it be? Are there no more contenders?
Doesn’t this beat one of those Mensa mindbenders?
OK, let’s start. Is she pretty and sexy?
Well yes she is, but it’s not my friend Lexy.

Allison, A(lyson), Alyssa, one of those ‘A’s ?
It's neither of them nor Denise nor Dazed.
So search the comments, you’ll find the name.
Find this Birthday star, and you’ll win this game.

Ahh then you’ve found it, it’s my
Urban Kvetch friend.
Nope, not her either. Do you see the trend?
Process of elimination. That should do the trick.

Scratch off another. It's not Jurischick.

Hurry up already! Ain’t I tease?
Maybe I’ll tell you now, if you say pretty please.
Enough already, am I making your hair curl?
How could we forget about the
Florida Girl?

Happy Birthday, uuhh no. Girl from Florida it’s not.
Are you starting to get mad, is your collar getting hot?
How ‘bout Amanda? The
Island Girl from UK?
Her day was a week ago, to this very day.

Elisa from Italy or Sarah from UK?
They're both overseas, but it's not their birthday.
Back to the states and the Big Apple per chance?
Is it Ari, Ken or Orchestrated Happenstance?

It could be but isn’t. So the question still lingers.
Is it the one from Houston, Extra Strenth Surfing Fingers?
Lori it's not, and we're running out of time.
How long can I keep going with this silly rhyme?

It’s down to the nitty gritty, let’s see where we’re at.
It’s none of the above nor the chic named Cat.
Her writing is amazing, she’s full of class.
Runs marathons, climbs rocks, the girl named Sass.

Nope it’s not her. This is fun keeping you at bay,
But it’s time I reveal who’s feelin’ special today.
OK I admit it. I’m no longer forty-three.
Cuz today is my birthday. Happy Birthday to me!

February 02, 2006


To my dear friend,

How many times have you heard me say it? Once again, it bears repeating.

From the movie Shawshank Redemption
Andy DuFresne talking to his friend Ellis Boyd "Red" Redding

February 01, 2006


Today’s horoscope. Yeah yeah, I know; but it’s directly below the crossword puzzle!

Aquarius: “Go ahead and indulge your senses. Plump up some soft, velvet pillows and top the hot chocolate with gobs of whipped cream. Warm, passionate pairings are possible under these luscious stars.”

Scorpio: “You possess that certain something. It is a night to break out warm message oil and silk sheets. Capture a special someone’s heart with a big show of passion and let the good times roll.”