A sort of life

Have you ever seen the rain?

RICHMOND, Va. — I’ll be honest: I didn’t do so well checking off items on last year’s edition of the life list. Aside from a few key moments, last year was pretty much a wasted year. I had some big dreams. Dreamed big. But nothing came to fruition. I spent a lot of time in the dumps, rubble walking if you will, and had a good bit of procrastination too.

In fact, it’s fair to say that the only thing keeping me smiling these days is the daily podcasts from Keith Olbermann and Tony Kornheiser. But even this, I fear, is short lived. It appears that my brand new laptop has decided to stop working. More on this later (maybe).

Last year was bad. It began badly. It got better briefly. Then back to bad. I was unemployed for a bad amount of time. I got a bad job. I had a bad bit of mojo walking beside me. And now it’s done. Though, it’s safe to say that the procrastination has followed me here to this year. And thus the delay between my last writing describing what I’ve done and this one describing what’s left to do. Ah, it’s the life list. I’m head sick with missing motivation and, oh, that procrastination thing.

Here you go–the very humble 2008 edition of this life list thing:


  • Return to school (to do what, I don’t know)
  • Meditation

The color of money

  • Reverse course on mounting debt
  • Develop budget
  • Cut discretionary spending to zero
  • Establish retirement fund

Do by December 31, 2008

  • Find pen pal on every continent
  • Find job on other continent
  • At least find better job
  • Finish reading Life of Muhammad

In pursuit of women

  • Recommission attire
  • More regular companionship (at more regular intervals)

The hobbyist

  • Stamps (Magyar Posta)
  • Learn to fly
  • Sell stake in dot coms

On enhanced health

  • Quit smoking (maybe)
  • Find some level of fitness
  • Run 2 miles in 15 minutes
  • Rediscover breakfast
  • Meditation (see Education above)

The long-term vision

  • Returning to traveling man lifestyle
  • Live on a boat
  • Spend time in West Africa
  • Do radio show

Did I say humble? I’ve withdrawn from public life (clearly the writings here are not regular) and with that withdrawal has come a drying up of the long view, the big dreams and big goals. And from this we have a humble(d) edition of life list. This is not a good outcome.

To turn the tide–a course correction if you will–I’m going to institute a new program called Twelve Months of the List of Top Ten. What’s this? Basically, each month (let’s make it the first Wednesday of each month) I’m going to write up a list of ten things I’d like to accomplish by the end of the month. The first Wednesday of this month is tomorrow. So tomorrow I’ll put up a list and we’ll proceed from there.

“Have you ever seen the rain?” is from Volume One: Frank’s Wild Years (1983–2009). Written between 2003 and 2009, Volume One was this author’s attempt to find meaning from life as a young twenty-something. While this endeavor would ultimately fail, what remains is a comical tale of loneliness and debauchery.

The cat will mew and dog will have his day

The cat will mew and dog will have his day

Bishop plays peek-a-boo in a newly opened box at the Nansemond Street apartment in Richmond, Va. on September 3, 2010.