Sympathy and Empathy

In which RVA thinks about good reasons to do bad things…

As an exercise, I often try to understand why people do terrible things.

I don’t know if it comes from being a writer, and trying to understand and ascribe motives to a villain (or merely a villainous character), or if it comes from a place of compassion, trying to understand the nature of strife in the world.  Maybe both?  I first really tried to understand a person’s motivations in 1995, with the Oklahoma City Bombing.  The attack on the Alfred Murray Federal Building was one of the earliest terrorists I can recall (the ’93 World Trade Center Bombing was too esoteric to grasp for me, I think). Continue reading “Sympathy and Empathy”

Disappointed, Embarrassed, and Mad

In which RVA tries to make sense of it all…

It’s hard to know where to stand on matters in the wake of Donald Trump’s acquittal.  Even a week removed, I’m still trying to process the whole idea.  It seems impossible, and yet, I think most acts of corruption seem impossible when you witness them in real-time.

I was never certain that Donald Trump would be a one-term president, but I was confident before.  I’m less confident now.  While I think the far-fetched conspiracy theories about denying the election or litigating himself to a victory are significantly less far-fetched than they once were, I think it’s a little early just yet to be subscribing to them wholesale.  No, in the wake of the acquittal, I think many of us need to face some very uncomfortable truths about this country. Continue reading “Disappointed, Embarrassed, and Mad”


In which RVA counts sheep…

How much sleep do you get?

I get the impression I’m very fortunate to sleep adequately.  I tend to go to bed about 10pm and I wake up at 5:30am.  7.5 hours, that’s not bad, right?  I wouldn’t say I wake up feeling refreshed and rested every day, but I wake up without much trouble most days.  Neither my alarm nor my cats really startle me most of the time.  I also have gone to great lengths to secure a napping space during the day.  Working in an office, it’s harder than it used to be, but I get a quick twenty-minute nap in every day.  I set my alarm for twenty-three minutes, but I’m usually out at within that first three. Continue reading “Slumber”