I set my alarm to the local public radio station. Usually, in the morning, I wake up to news from Iraq, context-less financial reports, or a feature from KPCC's seemingly endless supply of stories about hospitals, prisons, or schools. This morning I woke to the lead singer of the Flaming Lips explaining why, among other things, his 11 years of working at Long John Silver's made him who he was. I could have told a similar story. For me it was 2 1/2 years working at the Southdale Cinema - an experience that pretty much made me who I am by introducing me to several people who I've remained friends with to this day (20+ years later) and providing me with many great stories (The Al Franken Incident, The Goonies Summer, The Shovel Stories, Prince and His Bodyguard, etc.)
In honor of Forest Whitaker's Oscar win, here's his acceptance speech. And here's a song he inspired.
And there's nothing better than watching planes take off from the restaurant at Santa Monica airport just before, during, and after sunset... with someone really great.