About Cracked Virtue

One year, some year, I received one of those coffee cups with your name on it that gives the meaning of your name and some poem or something that goes along with the meaning. My name means “strength, virtue” (at least if I’m to believe my coffee cup). Somewhere along the line of packing, moving, and unpacking it got cracked, chipped really, but it’s still useable. It was a providential alteration as I think it fits who I am much better now that it’s cracked and imperfect than it did before.

You can reach me to complain, make story suggestions, correct my grammar or talk about suing me by writing to crackedvirtueAThotmail.com.

Q & A

Why do you call your blog “Cracked Virtue”?
It starts with a coffee cup that has my first name “Brian” on it along with the meaning of my name “Virtue”. Then it gets cracked and I realize it’s far more appropriate that way.

Why do you call your wife ‘the elusive Donna’?
It started as a sort of joke because she has sworn me to privacy and I was trying to write about her without telling anyone anything about her. After several months of me blogging she’s less uncomfortable with it than she once was but she’s a pretty private person. Ah, there see, now you know something I probably shouldn’t have told you. Anyway, the elusive thing also works for me because after 25 years of marriage I’m still uncovering the mystery and for all I know of her there’s so much yet to discover.

Why are you only blogging until the end of December?
I started out with a goal and that was to record a year in the life, to cover all four seasons, recover and record some memories, spin a few tales and to share some of my thoughts with anyone brave enough to read them. I intend to keep writing but posting as often as I have this year is just a bit too much for me to keep up long term. Plus I suspect that my mom is the only one reading this and is posting responses under several assumed identities. (Addendum: I’ve resumed “regular” posts as of May 2010 – maybe I’ll stop in December again, maybe not. We’ll see.)

Why are you writing all this stuff?
Good question. It’s one I ask myself almost every time I sit down and stare at the white screen. The answer is really pretty simple, like me. I wanted to discipline myself (not like that! Come on!) to write something down every day. Maybe you’ve read “The Artist’s Way”? No matter. The point is to write and just see what comes out and whether or not I can keep at it. Consistency is not one of my greatest character traits. More than anything this continues to be an effort to leave something for my two sons and my daughter to give them an idea of their dad beyond what they’ve seen lived out in front of them. I can’t tell them everything I think or feel or everything I’ve done but I want to complete this and at the end of it all be able to hand them a box full of paper and say a web address and say, “This is for you. This is who I have been, who I am and some insight into who I might yet become.” Cheesy? My oldest would probably say, “Yes!”

Are these stories all true?
Mostly, yes. Unless of course it involves me breaking a law, which is entirely fictional. Oh, and if you recognize yourself in one of my stories, tales, rants or recollections I assure you that any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely accidental, these events are all fictitious, including the comments, and no animals were harmed in the actual production of this blog.

Where do you live?
In a home and on the dance floor. If you read all the blog entries you’ll almost be able to google earth my house if you have a computer. Sorry about the mess in the backyard, I will get to it, I promise.

Where are you from?
Again, reading the blogs will spell it out pretty plainly. If you’re looking for the Brian who once lived in Springfield, Illinois and attended Rochester High School and graduated in the class of 1981 you can stop looking, googling or checking out classmates, etc.

Has anyone ever gotten mad at you for something you’ve written?
Let’s just say I’m a little more careful about what or who I write about than I was when I started this last year (ed. still true but ‘last year’ was a few years ago now.). Part of me thinks it would be cool that someone was mad, another part of me bleeds very easily so I’m hoping not to get anyone in particular mad. I do know that I’ve managed to make my dad a little peeved by writing about girls that I’ve had crushes on or relationships with before I met the Elusive Donna. I love that he was offended on her behalf. It’s o.k. dad, I don’t have many secrets left from her.

If I happen to know you and I write and ask you to never tell any stories about me will you promise not to?
Sure. Just tell me which story you had in mind. Trust me.

Are you ever going to write a book?
My problem is that I read too many books to actually write one. Everything I’d write about has already been done better by someone else. I’ve written for a very long time and don’t plan to stop but I’m pretty sure this is my book. Unless of course you want to pre-order a copy of my first novel for say, a thousand dollars. In that case I’ll get it written and out to you as soon as your cheque clears.

So what’s the deal with not shutting down on December 31st, 2007? Were you just hosing us or what?
Well, I had every intention of stopping but found that more than a blog I was really digging (yes, I’m that old that it’s not even retro to use that expression, it’s just reflexive memory) the community part of it. Plus it’s cool to get feedback on my crazy thoughts. (ed. and so it continues…)

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8 Responses to About Cracked Virtue

  1. Joel Bryce says:

    Bri,
    I’m digging your blog. I’ve read every article and love the story of you and Josh at Chicago. It was cracking me up – the part about Josh laughing at your ability (or inability) to master Chicago’s transit system was great.
    I’ll email you soon and give an update on my life. It’s been too long friend.
    Joel

  2. brianmpei says:

    Joel, would love to hear from you man, it has been too long!

  3. Kevin Madsen says:

    Saw that you link to Justice and Compassion – So I thought you might be interested in this. – Here’s a video about churches fighting poverty and its consequences.

  4. nobusysignal says:

    I actually was impressed by your post. it’s a very good read. and well worth the time I spent doing so. I’ll check out some of your other posts as well. Thanks, actually I may subscribe to your blog.

  5. fragmentz says:

    a great blog, so pleased that i stumbled across it.

  6. Brian
    Thank you for posting such a wonderful blog. It is refreshing to see someone with a sense of humour (let alone a warped one much like mine) in your profession. I came across your blog and your church through a friend and I have to admit I was more than a little afraid to attend last Sunday. I haven’t been in a church since I was a very young girl and really don’t know what to believe about a higher power. I just know that something is missing in my life and my recovery. However, my son and I did attend and we were welcomed openly (which to me is also a bit scary). My child was welcomed in with the other children despite them never having seen us before or knowing if we would come again. I was embarrassed because your sermon actually brought me to tears, but they were tears that I knew were long coming. I still don’t know what I believe about a higher power or christianity but I do know that I have found a place where I just might be accepted for who and what I am. Thank you. I look forward to reading and hearing more from you.

    • brianmpei says:

      Thanks for taking a chance and coming for the visit at church and at my blog. I’m really glad you experienced the same warm and welcoming group of people that I do. No matter what you believe or don’t believe, you’re welcome! I look forward to reading about your journey over at your blog.

  7. Well you sure sound like a Virtue. Clever stuff.

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