Find more of my work at


Receive notifications when this site is updated:

Subscribe by e‑mail.

Subscribe by RSS.

List of categories

Exercise #20: Paper That Changed Your Life

Mental Note #7639471

Larry M. was my roommate for the semester we spent at the University of Dallas Rome Campus. He was one of the gang that traveled to London together before the start of the semester for a week and then took the train to Rome by way of Paris. He was my companion on several weekend trips out of Rome, too, including Florence, Munich, Salzberg, and the ill-fated attempt to get to Malta for Easter, which was aborted in Siracusa, Siciliy, when we found that the boats were all booked up, and then turned semi-tragic when we were robbed at gunpoint in a pizzeria in Messina on the night before Easter.

Larry used to carry a tiny notebook everywhere he went, into which he would write notes about photos he’d taken, places to visit and sights to see, addresses, hours of operation, Italian phrases, and so on. …more

Boot Camp Day 5(b): The City

On the wall to the left of my bed hangs a mosaic that I call The City. I don’t know if I made up the name or if it was one given to the piece by my parents. It’s about 18 inches wide, maybe 30 inches high, and it consists of hundreds of squarish tiles, each a little less than half an inch wide, laid out in neat rows to form a crude cityscape. The top half is made up of even individual rows of uniform color, mostly shades of sky blue, but with some yellows, metallic gold, browns, and darker blues thrown in to suggest pollution or the heat of the afternoon, or maybe the coming of night. In the bottom half, there are clusters of rectangular shapes that suggest a skyline. In this part, there are blocks of orange and off-white and gray and larger expanses of metallic gold tiles. The whole composition is set in a bed of white mortar and framed with a narrow, plain wooden frame of cherry-stained wood with a flat finish.

This piece of art has been …more

50/50 Exercise #1: Beginnings

My first night at David’s house was the day we sold his coffee pot.

In April 2007, I decided to sell my house so I could run around the world and play. I didn’t reach this decision lightly; it was the culmination of a lot of agonizing and soul-searching and talking with friends and coaches about what it would take to give up the old bungalow where I’d lived for 16 years and housed my business for the last eight.

I asked my friend David how he’d feel about having a roommate. With his consent, I started plans to make his spare bedroom my pied-a-terre in Houston—a home base for whatever globe-trotting playboy lifestyle might come next. And I went to work on getting my house ready to sell.