The Starving Activist is the sometimes-home for words. AR Neal (that’s me) finds them, cultivates them, and leaves them here. Enjoy.

Reflections: It's All Relative

So I had the pleasure of spending time with colleagues yesterday. Our meeting was held at one of the other folks' house, which, compared to where we live, could be coined the nosebleed section. Said section of lofty height is typically not ideal when attending one's favorite sport or concert at the arena but when referring to Southern California domiciles there is some value to it. The view was spectacular; I, being the perpetual tourist, marvelled and was able to say, in tourist-like fashion, " can see the ocean from here!" which we could.

Anyway, the place was cozy, sublime, and spotless. Let me pause there for effect.

S.p.o.t.l.e.s.s. Say it two times with a double snap up.

It was so spotless that if you went in with allergy-aggravated sinuses, you came out healed. Fo' real.

Now leave us return to my house.

First, might I mention that we have two dogs and two cats. The larger dog is a Shar-Pei/Rhodesian Ridgeback mix and the not quite so large dog is a Chocolate Lab/Visla mix. Neither of the two cats is a short-hair. We do not have a shortage of dander. Anywhere.

But it is all relative.

If my colleague's house was a pair of shoes, you would see them as well-made, stylish, and of considerable quality. Our house would be the pair of slippers in the mudroom with the broke-down heels.

Let me be clear: my colleague's place was absolutely a dream. It was beautiful and well-appointed. Our place is our dream; comfy and lived in by all two- and four-legged creatures.

Comfort and cleanliness, in the case of our hoise, cannot be misidentified. Yes, it is cluttered like a mad scientist's workshop. In every room. Including the kitchen. But we are at home in the midst. Happy with our clutter. Thrilled with our dander-spreading creatures.

There's a lot of love and laughter up in here.

Happiness is all relative.

As we see daily--should we avail ourselves of the news--there are plenty of folks who do not have the opportunity to enjoy their clutter. At least not today, or any more, for that matter.

I was thrilled to play tourist yesterday; I enjoyed the time in my colleagues's home.

I was glad to get back to my home. Relative, remember?

Be sure to appreciate your thing, whatever it may be.

Haboob Manifesto, Pt. 1: Destiny

One Degree of Separation