Friday, December 26, 2008

Yeah, I'm A Criminal

“A criminal is a person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation.”
-Howard Scott

I was having a conversation with one of my friends about the state of affairs in the economic world. Actually, I was having this conversation with a few of my friends about this issue but this friend was complaining about his shabby treatment at his job and the cutting of hours. I suggested he steal as much company supplies in response. I said it as a joke (mostly) but it made me think. Banks are failing, governments are shutting down, people are being laid off, we are giving huge bailouts to corporations and the empire of America is in a decline. With the economy in the shitter as it is the only types of work that don’t seem to be experiencing negative effects are either the collection/repo services or criminal activities.

Criminality is a constant growth industry, kids.

Now, I’m not one to advocate criminality for just any old reason and there are definite crimes that I don’t give a pass on for any reason- rape, abuse of children, genocide- but like I said this conversation had me thinking and looking at my own wallet and bank statements I thought what are the pluses and minuses of some criminal enterprises….


This category is broad. Any number of acts can fall into it- from stealing candy from the supermarket (which is only KINDA stealing if you ask me) to bilking your investors out of their money in a corporation. For the sake of this blog I’m going to address the one areas of thievery that I would have little to no problem actually getting involved in if shite got any tighter. I would become a gentleman thief or I would hit banks or other places where they have large sums of money.
Why? Well, first off, it’s LARGE SUMS OF MONEY. Secondly, most of these places are insured and the loss wouldn’t affect as much as say me knocking over a convenience story or mugging someone. Lastly, there is something mildly attractive about being a debonair thief. Like a smooth cat burglar.
Plus, if movies and comics haven’t lied to me, hot chicks either also steal and/or like dudes that do.

See where I'm going with this?

Reality Check- Yeah, very rarely do you get successful grand heists anymore with the advent of better security and technology. When someone does knock over the bank (the Joker robbing a mob bank in Dark Knight not being real) they usually make out with maybe a few thousand before they have to beat feet to avoid cops, if they are lucky. If not, you may do up to 20 years in the pokey. Might as well just get a job in the bank or get a girlfriend and holdup mini-marts across the U.S.A. while driving around in a muscle car. I mean, that’s what I would do. Preferably with someone who looks like Michelle Rodriguez.

Just saying. If you gonna do something, might as well go all out.

Drug Dealer-

This category is VERY familiar to me. I have got a lot of inside knowledge on it. If you are going to be a drug dealer become a drug lord. Why? Simply because if you are on the lower rungs then selling drugs is like working a shitty minimum wage job without healthcare or dental. The only plus about that is that drugs sell themselves so you don’t necessarily have to be a charismatic person to move your product. You are up early, have to move a lot of work and are out whether rain, sleet or snow. Fiends need that fix so you have to be around to give it. Couple that with rival dealers and drug abusers not always being the most reliable revenue stream at times, you are looking at a McDonald’s job with extra shooting.
A drug lord on the other hand stays home when it’s snowing, usually has nice things and if he/she is smart has money, lawyers on retainer and a nice cover story to get him through life.
Also, Eva Mendes. I think.

All good, right?

Reality Check- WRONG!
Your ass is going to either jail, a cemetery or Orlando, Florida- all equally shitty places if you ask me. (no offense, people in jail and dead people*) Low level hustlers get a couple of months or years depending on your judge and your crappy public defender. Higher level guys can get out of some charges but most get hit by RICO.Goodbye.
On top of that, there are, again, people trying to take your spot by any means necessary, including murder, getting high on your own supply, and the threat of Orlando.


As Mr. Garrison says “Drugs are bad, mmmkay?”


Or contract killer if you want to get fancy on me. I think, for me at least, that this is much better than the whole drug dealing thing but definitely not as cool as dashing thief. If it’s done right you can make it sexy though.
Hitman offers multiple paths to make money. You can be a mercenary, paid to do dirt for random folks. You can work for one person/organization, which is nice because I heard mob bosses give out AWESOME fruitbaskets around Christmas. You can do government black-ops, super-secret hush work and assassinate guys that are a threat to oil, uhhh, I mean FREEDOM. Yeah, freedom. That’s the ticket. If you are really good, you can bounce from one thing to the next without care.

Then there is the whole mysterious killer thing you got going for you, particularly in bars **-
Lady- “What do you do for a living?”
You- “If I told you, I would have to kill you.”
(Lady giggles and gives you a playful slap on your chest)
Lady- “Shut up. Seriously, what do you do?”
You- “I’m a professional assassin.”
Lady- “Really? That’s HOT. Take me right here, Sean.”
(Or at least that’s what I imagine how that would go down. I get “Ehh. That’s cool” when I tell people I teach- go figure)

Reality Check-
Okay, let’s skip all of the nightmares you might get from snuffing out a life and just say for example that you are one of the select few people who have no qualms about killing. You have to deal with jail time if you get caught. Yeah, yeah, I know. I have heard all that bs about “You get the same sentence for 1 body as 10” but you know what? A life sentence is a life sentence and the death penalty, from what I hear, hurts.

On top of that you have to realize how murder is going to affect your interpersonal relationships. Sure, you’ll get a few crazy girls who will bang you but those are also the women who cut you in your sleep.
You can’t marry that.
A good wife will probably look pass the whole stealing the Hope diamond or selling a few bags of Mary-Jane to pay them college loans but very few will roll with mowing down people for dollars.
If she IS cool with that, then she is probably an assassin like you and you just might have to kill her someday. Just to prove who is a better crazy killer.

Good advice-Don't bring a meat cleaver to a gunfight, son.

Not to mention your mother. You know mom doesn’t like killing. Probably be better if you are a porn star. At least you can look her in the eye and say you were the featured performer in Big Black Dicks Like Little Asian Chicks 8.....
Well, maybe you can. Not me. I'll love the Asian ladies for free. Just to make more chicas like this one.

I'm a humanitarian that way, folks.

*Okay, I've never been to Orlando but imagine it must be a little like Hell to spawn boy bands. Like Boston used to do in the 1980s. Fuckin' Boston.
** Ladies, switch Lady to Dude and my name to whatever yours is. Unless it's Sean, too, which is hot on any gender.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Year Older...

I'm always interested in articles and things about people's personalities and characteristics. Fascinated that people think that just by knowing a few certain facts or opinions on someone you can create a full breakdown of that person. I'm not exactly sure how true that is. For example, in psychological terminologies I'm classified as an INTP -Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Perceiving- type of person, meaning I'm an introverted thinking and internalize things with extroverted intuition, with whatever that means. This is mostly true I guess but doesn't FULLY encapsulate me I think. It's a good start.
What I find even more fascinating is when people use things like birth dates or astrological symbols to pigeonhole you. I'm a Sagittarius and have been told everything from I'm adventurous to I'm a sex addict to I should be more work oriented. I generally laugh at all this but I received a book on the significance of birth dates a few years back and although I'M SURE this doesn't apply to everyone born on this date, I find that it is pretty damn close for me.
Read and tell me what you think. Even if you don't know me you can probably extrapolate the validity of this from my prior blog entries

November Twenty-Eighth
The Day of the Lone Wolf

The highly intense individuals born on November 28 must pursue their own course. Living paradoxes, those born on this day are complex individuals who never cease to amaze their family and friends with their unique combination of aggression and sensitivity. Their ideology is extremely important to them, but it can change in a bewildering fashion, its twists and turns leading through a maze of irony and high seriousness. For example, it may be difficult to determine whether a November 28 individual is conservative or radical, right- or left-wing, an upholder of the social order or anarchic rebel. Ultimately such terms have little meaning in reference to November 28 thought patterns, which must be understood on their own terms.

Although November 28 people appear to others as physical types, the primary thrust of their day is mental, even intellectual. No matter what their walk of life or profession, they can often be found arguing their case, refusing to submit to any ready-made dogmas or belief systems. They are basically self-taught thinkers, and for many, school is at best an annoyance and at worse an imprisonment. They have a strong penchant to take the opposing point of view due to their resistance to absolute statements and generalizations of all types.

November 28 people enjoy pointed humor, and will use wit and irony as powerful weapons against their opponents and also as a means to clarify and give shape to their own views. Most often, however, they make an impression of forthright seriousness. Emotionally, November 28 people are usually caught up in their own personal maelstrom. Romantic relationships may surface frequently, but those born on this day have enormous difficulties in maintaining stability in this area. Their friendships, on the other hand, are usually rock-solid, and highly meaningful. Those who are involved with them will never forget the experience- difficult, maddening, recalcitrant and paradoxical, they go their own way and do their own thing. For example, they can be among the most generous of individuals and yet at other times the most selfish. Often their goodness and true nature is more easily understood by animals and small children, on a purely intuitive level, than by a critical, analytical adult mind. A love of nature and of the animal world is in fact sacred to them, being their one constant refuge from disappointing and uncertain human experiences.

Perhaps the greatest problem for November 28 people is coming to understand themselves, and being able to straighten out their complex, difficult personalities. Usually it is seething emotions which keep them from viewing themselves in a more objective light. Many born on this day use work as an escape from what seems an excessive self-involvement. Concerning the four major faculties of perception- intellect, emotion, intuition, sensation- a titanic effort must be made by November 28 people to bring them into balance. Only then can they progress in their personal development and come to terms with the society around them.

profound, natural, emotionally sensitive
Weaknesses- contradictory, confused, dogmatic

Whadda ya think?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Random Knowledge

Collected knowledge from wise men of our time.

These gentlemen have, in my humble opinion, have been sent to our little planet to impart wisdom to the masses. It isn't everything you need to know but it is a lot to make your life better. Enjoy and learn.

Trust me. This will improve your life.

Mr. Manning has been dropping some knowledge for a while. Listen to number 18.

Peyton 1

Peyton 2

Peyton 3

Peyton 4

Peyton 5

And Randy Moss on keeping your money right.

And of course, the genius that is Mike Tyson.

Heed these words of wisdom from one of the true sages of our time....

You ARE a fool and these three men will help you. I included the pertinent links but I got more if you need extra help. Sucka!

Wesley Snipes

Ghostface Killah

Mr. T Gem 1
Mr. T Gem 2
Mr. T Gem 3
Mr. T Gem 4 (obviously I need some work with this one)
Mr. T Gem 5
Mr. T Gem 6
Mr. T Gem 7 building on Gem 6
Mr. T Gem 8
Mr. T Gem 9
Mr. T Gem 10 for a car commercial, it's very deep.

If you follow these jewels of knowledge, your life will be infinitely better. Trust me. And get rid of that food tongue, son.

Perhaps the most important advice from Mr. T- M.O.M. word.

It is the greatest book of common sense. EVER. The name of this book.....
by Ghostface Killah with J. Brightly

This book is not just awesome for it's sage advice but also for it's excellent pictures that make the book even better. Of particular note, is the pics of Donnell Rawlings (aka Ashy Larry) accompanying the pearls of wisdom.

Chapter Titles-
Livin':Y'all Sleepin' Too Much
Bobbin' & Weavin':Gotta Stay On Point
Wizdom:How You Gonna Tell The Chick She Can't Shit?
The Hustler's Diet:Just Look In The Cabinets
Toneology:We Gotta Bring It Back To The Table.

(The Hustler's Diet and Wizdom are my favorite chapters, by the way-true Jew-Elz)

The book also comes with an audio CD for y'all who can't spend time reading.

Get this book. Read it. Listen to the CD. Improve your life. Word.

I now need to find some of the wisdom that is Michael Irvin, who appreciated the finer things in life. Like crack cocaine.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Good Life

I said in an earlier post that I have been pretty much off of television for awhile now, outside of a football game at the pub or random show at someone’s house. That being said I do have DVDs of good shows that are off the air or are/were on in other countries. I was recently watching a show that fell into both of those categories- The Office, the UK version. I was watching the series ending Christmas special and it came to the scene when Dawn and Tim got together finally. David begins to speak and well, I’ll just put down what he said-

“A philosopher once wrote, ‘You need three things to have a good life. One, a meaningful relationship. Two, a decent job of work. Three, to make a difference.’”
- David Brent, The Office UK

Now, I had heard his words before but they struck a particular chord with me the other night. As you can tell by the content of this blog, I have increasingly been thinking about my future and what I want with my life. I think this quote (I’m afraid I don’t know who really came up with the quote or if it was invented for the show; irregardless…) is a good basic structure to plan your life around. It doesn’t cover the whole gamut of your experiences or what you have to do or deal with but it gives you a foundation to build on. Let’s see where I am with these three simple tenets and feel free to compare your own life to it as well.

A meaningful relationship- I know that he was probably referring to a relationship between you and someone special (which I will get to later) but I think this can also apply to familial relationships and relationships with friends. I’m sure there is a study somewhere that correlates positive interactions with these two groups with your personal life but I can’t find it so I’ll just use my own circumstances. I always perform and do better in almost all aspects of my life when I am on good terms with my family and am in contact with my friends.
It seems that my low points are always around those times when I feel alone or I’m arguing with one (or a few) of the members of either group. My job performance goes down and I get even lazier about doing my writing during those times. It saps my vitality. This is all to say that I have been more productive recently because I’m returning home for awhile and have been in more contact with almost all of my friends from back home and even out here in the desert. But let’s get to what you really came here for…

I definitely think you need all of what is stated in the above paragraph but your feelings of joy or sadness is also reflected when you have or don’t have someone special in your life. That’s not to say that you NEED a person to validate you or make you happy. Hell, you can be just happy with your family and friends and I think that everyone should experience single time in their life and be cool with it.
I’m saying that if you HAVE a special person (and you are on cool terms with them at that moment) you can get through a lot more even without the full support of those other relationships. I have a weird “thing” going on right now and it’s both frustrating and great at the same time. It could be much better in my opinion but I’m glad I have someone I can talk to sometimes (when she is available) and that is sometimes what galvanizes me through the day or those tough times. Even if the other person doesn’t always see it or you don’t say it enough, they can get you over that bump in the road or even that long bad road. If you get someone like that, keep them around as long as possible and be the best for you and them.

A decent job of work- I really like my job. Okay, let me rephrase that. I MOSTLY really like my job. It's good honest work that I can get through and complain the least about as compared to other jobs. I enjoy working with kids of all ages and even can deal with their snarkiness and bad taste in music.

Really? C'mon....I weep for the future.

No matter how crap the rest of my day is or even if I complain about them later, I really like those little crumbsnatchers and hormonal teenagers. I have done this type of work for about five or six years and I like the fact that I reach kids that feel the same way generally I felt about school- I like learning but don’t want to be in class. I couldn’t stand school and if you told me when I was in high school that this is what I would be doing, I would have laughed in your face and went back to our dark hallway to not do my homework. To give a kid knowledge of something even when they take me to the edge makes me feel good.
All that being said, teaching ISN’T my passion. I figure I’ll still do it in some shape or form for the remainder of my life but, what I really want to do is write for a living. I enjoy making up stories or, I should say, bringing stories to light. Those moments when ideas click and I see the path of these characters are golden for me. I want to spread my vision of the world and other worlds to folks and, hopefully, get a little change out of the deal.
I think that’s what he meant by a decent job of work- something you enjoy and that doesn’t make you want to SNAP! A job where you aren’t just going through the motions to get to five o’clock. I mean everyone does it some or even most days but to do it day in and day out kills your soul and really, what’s the point? You pay your bills but you aren’t living if you spend most of your day being miserable. That isn’t a life. Do something you love and if you can’t do that at least do something you like. That’s my two cents worth.

To make a difference-
I think this is the noblest of the three and the hardest to explain. It’s hard to quantify strictly because it is so vague. Everyone has a different idea of making a difference just like everyone has different ideas about success and happiness.
To some, making a difference is a monumental undertaking such as engaging in a social movement or fighting for a particular group. To others, it’s creating a change in their community or correcting familial problems. That’s the beauty of making a difference- it’s unique to everyone but at the core it’s about creating interpersonal relationships and making a change to the world whether on a small, personal level or globally.
I think I want to make a difference and I do right now. I think that is the one thing on this list I always do regardless of how the other two factors are going. I’ll always educate even when it’s not for work and I’ll always help out, even if it something as simple as helping someone carry their bags, giving someone a lift, helping the elderly or staying with someone until the ambulance comes. I feel most content with this element of my life and hope to make it a bigger component the more successful I get with the other two.

So there you have it. I hope this wasn’t another rambling mess and that you actually got something out of it and that it makes you think about your own life. Maybe you have other benchmarks than these three for having a good life. If you do, good on you. Go for those. I’m going to use these and try my best. Hopefully, we meet in a good place with equally good lives.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Before I Self-Destruct

I get restless and bored.

I wouldn't even say it happens quickly but it seems to happen a lot. This may be part of the reason why I used to just get up and hop out of town on a whim if I could afford it and sometimes even if I really couldn't afford it. I think that was one of the reasons why I couldn't keep a long relationship (or at least part of the reason). This is the reason I have a post for my other blog that still isn't done but I know pretty much what I need to write to finish the story.

I think the problem is two-fold.

One, I know what I NEED to do but instead get side-tracked by the other dozen or so ideas running through my head at the time. For example, I have like three or four shorts I want to put up on The Thracian Drive. Check that. That I NEED to put up over there. Instead, I keep slipping back into adding other elements to three big stories I'm working on. Not to mention, the whole comic book universe thing I have been working on since like 7th grade. I want to stop but working on multiple things at a time seems to be the only way for me to function and get anything done. Maybe I need Adderol or Ritalin. I don't know.

Two, instead of doing what I need to get to the image in my head of the future, I often get caught up in other activities. Some aren't bad like catching a movie, going to the pub to watch a game, reading a book, etc. I realize that everyone needs a break or else you would go insane. The problem comes when instead of staying at home and typing I find myself out getting into the usual shenanigans.
For example, about two weeks back one of my roommates and his girl were going to a pool hall. I don't play pool AT ALL and was EXTREMELY broke. He says he'll buy beer because I always look out for him. I'm still like no (although it was very, very hard to say it; I like free booze like a fat kid likes cake). He said there would be girls. I HOPPED up and put on my sneakers and was sitting in his car before he knew what happened. I moved like Wally West, folks.
What was hilarious about that exchange is I KNEW I wasn't seriously going to holler at any women. Sure, I might flirt a little but my heart is pretty much out of it(it's complicated). But my brain is still operating on old tactics and ways and instead of writing a chapter I decided to go to a smokey pool hall and have a hang over for work the next day. (I have though stayed in for the last two weeks generally and am NOT getting drunk for Halloween but still the problem remains) I only went out to try something new and because I was bored in my room. This is the same reason where I have been extra willing to get into dust-ups and SNAPPING! recently as well.

How do I stay out of dumb situations just because I am bored? I think I need to find better outlets but I still want to focus on doing what I want to do for the rest of my life- which is write. I need to find the balance. I'm hoping my trip back home next month will offer some solutions or at least give me another perspective.

Suggestions? Solutions? Comments? Tips? Know any shady doctors who'll write me a prescription?

Birthday Stuff

Gonna be 29 in a little less than a month. Never really want anything for my birthday , except liks and a drama-free night, and generally live a very spartan lifestyle but feel free to get me anything, like something off the list below. if not, no worries, I'll get it myself one day soon....

- artwork by James Jean- the dude is awesome really awesome. plus, I figure I'm kinda a grown-up so I should have art of some kind. his Taciturn series is great.

- BSG Posters- pretty cheap and I'm a HUGE BSG nerd. Plus, it's just a classic look. January 16, 2009- I'm just counting down the days. or this. or this. or even this or this. told u I'm a nerd about it.

- luchadore skully- CANNOT even find this anywhere but I want it because it rocks. hell. if you can find it, just send me the link and I'll get it myself.

- half the stuff on this page. if I could, I would wear just t-shirts, hoodies, jeans, sweats and cargo pants. that's one of my life goals- to dress as comfortable as possible.

and yeah, that's about it. Told you I'm simple. I'll take anything though and just appreciate it because it came from the heart. Thanx and feel free to ignore this. Or pay my rent. I mean feel free to do what you want to do. It's cool with me.

BTW- Christmas is coming too. Just saying.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Maybe I'm Silver Creek, Nebraska

People often use metaphors and descriptions of other things to describe themselves and others. Or at least I do. I compare people to cars, animals, time periods, etc. I've recently come across something else to compare people to. Places.

If I'm a place then I'm probably currently Silver Creek, Nebraska.

Let me explain.

I believe everyone has it in them to be a big city. At times I have been New York City (word) and I'm sure whoever reading this has been L.A. or Tokyo or Paris at one time in their lives. Maybe it was at a really good party, or while out of town or maybe you were a lucky one and have been one of these sprawling metropolises for months on end. This is all to say that at many periods in our lives we have been the place where everyone wants to go, the person everyone wants to see, the place where everything is happening and the person who is living it up with the good and bad of reality.

I imagine fine wine and fancy cheese parties.

I'm not any of these big cities right now. Yes, I do go out on the odd weekend night and can get an old glimmer of the old New York charm. Not to sound (too) cocky but I can still attract groups people to me like moths to a flame if I put up my old effort. I just don't really want to as much as I used to.

I want to be a small town. The kind of place you fly over if you are just looking for that wild time in that big city. I want to be a place you drive through or stop to catch a quick break. I used to fight it but sometimes being a small town isn't bad. People come in and learn something new they didn't know before. They discover something about themselves they never knew in these places. They might even hook up with a random hot diner waitress in this town. (it happens)

The good thing about these small towns is that not too much bullshit remains for long. Sure, they might greet you nicely but it's fleeting and not more is expected than that.

There are, of course, those times when you break down and become stuck in these little hamlets but you eventually decide if you want to stay or to go. If you truly want to stay, its because you have found something quaint and comfortable about this place. It has grown on you and just fits your lifestyle perfectly. See, that's the thing about small towns (at least in my mind) they are either good for you or not at all what you want and you figure it out quickly. If it is wrong for you, you move on learning something or reaffirming what you already knew. If it is a good fit, guess what? You have become one of those good solid people who are content with life and their position.

And who knows? You might turn that small town into a nice big city where people want to visit. I mean even Las Vegas started out as some sand in the middle of nowhere.
Just saying.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica

I haven't watched television in about three months.

Okay, that's a lil bit of a lie. I've seen the odd half hour of programming here and there and when I visited the Midwest I watch some TV. I saw a few episodes of True Life, the Democratic Convention and a Cubs game but I have generally not see TV in a minute. I haven't even been keeping up on my online viewing using Hulu.

I'm not saying this to brag either. I'm not one of those people who thinks watching TV lowers your intelligence or doesn't have a TV in their house because they are better than that. Fuck that shite. I really like good TV like 30 Rock, The Wire and The Office and some of our best entertainment content can be found on the small screen.

No, I stopped watching TV because my roommate moved his television to his bedroom and I was too lazy to find a new TV right now. So, I have gotten used to not watching television.

Has it made me more productive? Not really. Instead of spending my new free time writing more (which I have increased a little) I've made up for my lack in television viewing by reading more books, watching DVDS and returning to my foolish ways a la this character from my favorite TV show.

Sweet, sweet Starbuck and one of our shared bad habits....

I'm going to continue this non-TV viewing experiment and actively try to cut back on my other distractions to see how productive I can be. I mean I HAVE done more work than usual but I have also been out enjoying life more (read- drinking in lounges with wimmen-folk). I have to cut back on the latter and increase the former.

Hello, ladies.

I'll never say that viewing television is a hindrance and wrong and killing brain cells(wow, I just spelled brain like brian; maybe I'm totally wrong about all this;hmmm.....) and I do miss The Office and Psych. I will give this no TV thing a little more time though and actively try to utilize my new spare time in the best possible way.


At least until the new final season of BSG starts. Frak that. Gotta see how it ends, son. I mean they DID finally get to Earth. C'mon.

Just don't kill Helo and keep Starbuck crazy and we are cool.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pay Me In Bud!

Got a real blog post or two planned for most likely tonight or tomorrow but I thought I would throw up something that just popped into my head this morning. I was checking my messages, e-mail and texts because I had my phone off and crashed early last night. As I scrolled through the e-mails and texts that I had to respond to and listened to my sole message from work, I realized a simple fact.

No one owes anyone anything.

Now, this is not to say that if you borrow something from someone- money, hedge clippers, a car, sugar, their girlfriend for the night- that you don't have to pay them back. Never that. Pay what you owe. I mean, just ask Riley about that one.

What I'm saying is that outside of two relationships in your life, at the end of the day nobody owes anyone anything.

The only two relationships that exist where people owe each other is from parent to child and from child to parent. And even then there are limits. Parents are responsible to take care of you and make sure you are provided for until you can do it on your own. Or should be able to do it on your own. Children, on the flipside, should take care of those same parents when they are able to and can. Again, up to a point.

Outside of that, relationships among siblings, friends, lovers, people in real relationships are all based on trust and you putting yourself out there. Just because you behave in a certain way doesn't mean that that other person is required to return the same actions. It is nice and beautiful and great if that person does. I mean, I try to reciprocate what I get from my loved ones as much as possible and they generally do the same. But I don't necessarily enter into a relationship with someone expecting them to give me back exactly what I give them. It's nice when they do but I can't lose sleep over it if they don't. And I have to reaffirm this belief every time my faith is shaken in someone.

Maybe it's just me being cynical or not expecting enough for myself like I should but people are people with their pluses and minuses. Sometimes their flaws can make them disappoint you and vice versa. I'm just saying we sometimes have to be non-emotional about it and realize that we can't always get what we feel we are owed and that people rarely change. Knowing this and if that isn't enough then we have two options- accept that person or move on.

Monday, September 22, 2008

"Ask Yourself Who Are You?....

...If you don't know who you are, how can your dreams come true?"- 50 Cent, Realest Killas
Wise words, Mr. Curtis Jackson. Wise words.

There is an image that each of us has in our heads about how we look to the outside world. I think they call it residual self-image in The Matrix, or some shit like that. Anyway, we either make ourselves look better or worse than we are in reality in our minds.

I'm no different.

Although it varies throughout the day and is mostly dependent on how I feel at any particular moment, I like to imagine myself if not at this level yet then close to it. I like to think of myself as charming, smart, funny, a little bit of a smart ass and rogue. And good looking. Kinda like Rusty Ryan in Ocean's Eleven. Only, you know, BLACK.

I coined the term Black Brad Pitt before Jigga. Ask my pals.*

Talking to my boy the other day, I've realized that I'm not becoming movie star cool. Instead I'm slowly growing into a TV character by inches every day.

- I have a list of things to address to make right for me and others and ultimately the world.
- I live in a trailer park.
- I have a bigger younger brother but to get more to the point I live with a larger white male hillbilly (his words, not mine).
- We drive around in a shitty vehicle mostly playing country music, classic rock and some shitty rap.
- I know an authoritative blonde with a nice rack who likes black dudes(know a few blondes like this actually but, really, who doesn't?).
- I know a Mexican cleaning woman who is attractive(again, who doesn't?).
- I like spending time at bars drinking beer.
- And, to top it off, if I want to I can grow a pretty awesome mustache.

Who am I?

DAMMIT, MAHN. Earl? Least my fashion sense is better. I hope.

Sigh. Yeah, something has GOTTA change. and sooner than later.

*Trust me. They won't lie for me. They are dicks in that way. God, love 'em.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Idiom Series Septa

Lucky number 7.

"I want what's best for you."

I've been thinking about this one for awhile. It seems to pop up pretty regularly in conversations I hear between educators and students, parents and children, friends and people in relationships. "I want what's best for you." It forces me to think about what that person is saying and I have come to the conclusion that it is somewhat bullshit.

A person who is saying this to you isn't really (for the most part) saying what they really think they are saying. Sure, the person you hear it from may REALLY want what is best for you but their vision of this and your vision are usually different things. They want what is best for you to be for you to fulfill some image or idea that they WANT for you to do or become. They want you to become this potential person that exists in their head. This person, although great, may not be you or even remotely who you want to be. They desire you to be satisfied with a life that they choose for you, if you want it or not.

I'm not taking anything from the thought process and emotional attachment behind this statement and the goodwill that it is usually said with but there exists a better statement. A statement that really conveys that this person cares about you and it isn't about you fulfilling this role they have created for you in their mind.

I want you to be happy.

This simple statement is very similar to the one this Idiom Series entry is about without the burden of becoming someone that you might not be or even want to be. It also fulfills the emotional element that someone who truly cares about you would want to convey.

So, next time those words begin to bubble out of your mouth- PAUSE. Think about what you are really saying and what you truly want from that person in front of you. If you want them to become this person in your head and settle for a life you planned out for them, go right ahead and say it. If you really care that this person is enjoying and living life to the fullest, then say the other statement and mean it.

I mean, because at the end of the day I just want you to be happy. Seriously.

Next in Series- TBD

Friday, September 19, 2008


You know I used to not believe in mankind. I actually argued with one of my freshman professors in college that humans were ultimately evil and/or selfish or too stupid. I thought that at the end of the day, every man, woman and child would ultimately just look out for themselves and that the bonds between people we see were a bit of an illusions when it came down to the choice between me and you.

I don't think that anymore.

I think people are scared and it's fear that compels them to do nothing to change their situation or the world as a whole. They are afraid of making things worse or rocking the boat so they just accept everything. I think that's actually a little scarier than them being evil. I can deal with evil. I know how to fight that. But, fear...Fear breeds ignorance and misunderstandings and destruction and dishonesty.

Let me think on this one and get back to the world.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I Actually Enjoyed A Knight's Tale

As always this post starts out of a conversation or two of three with my friends, who are, generally, smarter and better at making headway in life than I am. So, when they begin to discuss how things aren’t going there way or that they are lost, I get worried. Not to be totally self-absorbed and I DO care profoundly how my friends are doing, I instantly think “If this person is in bad straits, what the hell does that mean for me?”

One particular conversation that had me write this comes from a friend who is in a very similar state as I’m currently in. She was talking about how she gets bored with a lot of things and really has no concrete issue in one thing so it becomes hard for her to just choose a life path. Her telling me this made me reflect on this idea I had a week ago and have been thinking about for awhile actually.

I always have this love for watching movies set back in gladiatorial times or movies with knights or other periods involving simple people fighting and living. Not that I see an abundant amount of people that resemble me in these films but I’ve gotten used to it and watch these flicks for the stories and characters. I realized what I really like about these movies and it may sound weird.

I like the fact that these people either play the role they were assigned in life or attain a role they want and is fun for them. Their lives are simple- you do what you do, fall in love, fight, have children and pass on. If you are particularly good at what you do, your story lives on forever.

Now, this may seem weird especially from someone who wants to do everything and hates to be told what to do but I wish sometimes that my path was planned like that. Like, “Hey, here’s a sword. You are a soldier. Go.” There is no debating, no internal struggle. I have a sword and I either fight or I die. That’s it. Simple. And after the fighting is done for the day, I do whatever the hell I want. Or maybe it wasn’t like that. Maybe their lives sucked in a different way. I don’t know.

Maybe I want a simplified existence to make my life easier to manager and get through. If it’s all planned, there are no questions. I like questions but I also like to not stress about what I’m going to do next. So yeah, I watch these movies to escape reality and think about a simpler lifestyle.

Or maybe I just think I would be bad-ass with a sword. Who knows?

Friday, September 12, 2008

This May Be A Debilitating Disability (No, not really.....

....but it sure ain't good)

When I'm at work or just out, my mind gets flooded with ideas and things that I have almost fully planned out. I'm ready at those moments to bang out words and stories like no one's business.

This is my brain when I SHOULD be doing work. POW! ZOOM!

Then I get a free moment like right now and.... nothing.

G'mork. If you get the above reference, you were born in the 70s or 80s.

It's not even that I lost the ideas or don't know what to do. It seems my brain steps in and says "slow up. is this viable?" or "well, mr. smart guy, you have all these ideas and notions, which one are you going to start with?" I get through some things after toiling for a while but nowhere near the level I should be cranking it out.

This is my problem. I think it is my main problem, actually, and if I was able to overcome it then I think my life would run substantially smoother.

Maybe I need Ritalin or something. Don't want to depend on drugs of any kind though.

Suggestions? Ideas?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Right Now I'm Stuck In The Library Scene in Finding Forrester

Sitting here at the end of a slowly ending and declining day. It started out well enough but has now went into le toilet and there will, I think, be repercussions from it.

With this all going on I receive e-mails from two people.
One is an e-mail from a friend for the past 11 years. She is sharing with me something that would only interest me and her out of all of our shared group of friends. We are both fans of a show that would probably be only acceptable for her to watch but I love also. (Okay, it's Dawson's Creek- my taste in TV tends to lean toward geeky nerd, NYC sarcastic ass or teenage white girl) It's a pretty basic exchange but it perks me up because I haven't heard from her in a minute and it is always good to talk about something you and another person like.
The other message comes from an old co-worker. She is someone who I got along with relatively well with at my job although I had closer attachments to others. It is good to hear from her because it is a diversion from my current life and it is easy like Sunday morning.

These two messages perked me up but not enough to dismiss the realities of my situation. I thought I would be getting paid tomorrow but just learned that checks won't clear until Monday. Now, I wasn't expecting a huge amount anyway but I had calculated where the pittance I was receiving was going this weekend- mainly to pay off some stuff, get food and a new pair of work pants and maybe some change to drink with a visiting friend.

Well, that plan is over.

And, really, it is my fault for my spending recently and I would be kicking myself in the arse for that normally but not this time.
Sure, I spent a little bit more than usual recently but it was for my sanity I believe. I HAD to get away. I could have stayed here and been fine right now as far as money but I probably would have choked/punched/SNAPPED!/spazzed on someone in the process. So, I went away for a few days.

The trip was worth it. I saw two of the closest people in my life and two of the maybe 2 handfuls of people who can make me feel alright about myself (outside of my own cocky self). One is a friend who I have known for about 18 years or so. He is one of the trio of best friends that was formed back in the summer of our 6th grade year and there was a time when I saw him more often than I didn't. He doesn't judge and gives good advice and I look at him for the proper way to approach a few things in life.
The other person is one who I haven't known as long but has become invaluable to me and is near the top of the list of all the people who I love in the world. Even when she frustrates the shite out of me (which is a good amount of the time but not as much as most folks think), I still am glad to just be in her presence. And the frustration comes from the truth that I don't necessarily want to always hear (mostly).

So, yeah I could have saved that money but forget it. I needed that release. It's slowing up hanging out with my other best friend from my little trio this weekend but I should figure something out. And really friends are great because you can be broke just sitting there and it's cool. (Or I at least I hope it will be for him because I have flies in the pocket currently)

What started out as a good day that became craptacular has just become somewhat bearable again and I have good vibes for the rest of the time this week. Should be getting some good news from at least one person tonight. Monday will come and reveal its secrets and hopefully they will be good. This changes around some of my plans but my goals remain the same and it gives me a lens to look at my own reality, my own maelstrom and see what needs to be truly accomplished.

Gods, that was a lot and hopefully made some sense. Sometimes you can't Twitter things, E. I needed more than 160 characters for this one, folks.

Enjoy your weeks/weekends and have a shot for me.

Never Forget....

well, I almost did. my bad. sometimes forget things for a second living out in the desert.

My Blood Is Part Asphalt

I would make a horrible vampire. Not that I'm planning on it (or that it's even possible) and not for any of the reasons you may think. I'm not particularly freaked out by blood at all, although I like my meat well-done. I could be fine with sleeping the days away and even though most vampires in stories dress funny I could even get around that. No, my problem would stem from ennui (or boredom for those who can't be bothered to crack a dictionary).

Anyone that knows me knows that there are few things that have the capacity to keep my interest for any significant amount of time. I get bored with people, things and, especially, places very quickly. I might be able to get past the first two items (I mean, I do have friends that I have known for almost two decades, met one woman I would maybe put up with and there is a small list of things I would be upset to lose) but the last thing, places, is a major issue for me to deal with. I haven't been to many places as compared to some folks but I have visited and lived in some places to form a half-assed opinion of them. So, here is a list of a few places and how I would fare/think about them (and apologies if this is where you grew up or you live here or you love this place but this is my page, so SUCK IT)--

Portland, Maine- cold and then really hot in the summer. went their for sports camp in the summer after 8th grade. I felt that me and my boy that I went with may have doubled the black population there for the summer. COULD NOT live there. Stephen King can have that ENTIRE state for himself.

Phenix City, Alabama- got cousins that live there. drove there twice. idea of a good time? walking around, smoking, going to the local burger joint and the random motel party. Yeah. Pass.

Jarvisburg, North Kackalacka(sorry, only gonna do that one time)- my family's ancestral home. spent a few summers here as a kid. good times then but don't think it would have the same charms especially with the loss of certain individuals that made my time there fun. plus, sandburrs can get pretty frakkin' annoying and don't really like random ass snakes lurking. good times otherwise. peaceful but I'm a city boy at heart. I need buildings. tall buildings. really tall buildings. sort of like they scrape the sky.

Fayetteville, North Carolina(told you, I'm a man of my word)- went here to stay with my sis and her fam while I was going through a strange time in my life. would not live here. the mall is decent but nada but gun shops, bars, tattoo parlors, pawn shops and check cashing places around. so basically almost any area around a military base not in a big city.

Macon, Georgia- lived here for like a year. See Fayetteville and just add that I was bent here every weekend or left to go to ATL or NYC as much as possible.

Atlanta, Georgia- (or Hotlanta for all you lames out there) nice city. a little bit materialistic in certain areas. enjoyed the scene when I visited but it seems a crazy amount of people are moving here and basically changing it into mini-versions of their cities. wouldn't live here just because my stubborn nature makes sure I don't follow the crowd.

Savannah, Georgia- didn't spend a great deal of time here but the little time I did I enjoyed it. Very nice and scenic. might be a nice place to raise a family in my forties. would have to go back to form a real opinion.

Austin, Texas- again, like Savannah, didn't spend a lot of time here but enjoyed it. seemed really hip for Texas but not in an arrogantly asshole way (like Williamsburg, BK gets sometimes). interesting to see how I would deal with it at my current age.

San Antonio, Texas- not gonna bad-mouth this place too much because my nephew was born here and it was like the first place I played Resident Evil and was actually a little scared while playing. plus, there was a Jack In The Crack right across the street from where my sister lived. Oreo shakes held me down even if the mustache on the chick serving them gave me the heebie-jeebies. mornings were blazing hot so my jog/run in the morning plans quickly fell apart. this city, oustide of the Alamo, seems to have just taken pieces of other cities and place it in the hot ass Southwest. not a fan. maybe good to get away for a weekend or week but nothing more than that.

New York City(,son)- my hometown. LOVE this place but I can't live there. at least not right now. too expensive and crazy. or at least my old neighborhood has gotten crazier and it wasn't exactly sane to begin with. I like the vibe at home though, the rude but real people, the diversity, the options and the easy access afforded to me by a good transit system. NYC is the basis on how I rate other places and my requirements to live there. like an old lover, it has a good place in my heart but unsure if I can rekindle that flame for some long-time romance. miss you, baby....

Poughkeepsie, Albany and any other place in Upstate New York- I spent the most time in Poughkeepsie out of all of these places but they all share similar problems for me- they are cold, kinda slow and ultimately not NYC. it's like being in a room next door to a hot girl you like and having to entertain her dull, less attractive friends. maybe I'm being too hard on these spots but that's how I feel about them. least they ain't Jersey though. (yeah, I said it.)

Fort Walton Beach, Florida- relatively near Panama City Beach, this place is just made for the military base there and spring breakers. spent a day there when me, my friend and my brother drove down there to leave him my sister's car when they left the country. nice outlet set-up but would get bored with that party and bullshit and drink some more lifestyle. I'll give Florida another chance whenever I get the chance to get down to Miami.

Tokyo, Japan- again, this one is thanks to my brother-in-law being in the military. went there for like a month and change and enjoyed my time there. walked around with limited knowledge of the Japanese language and was still cool. like the train system, the people varied between stand-offish and very helpful and there was plenty to do. sort of like a really bright Downtown Brooklyn/Midtown Manhattan. don't know how long I could actually live here but it would be one of the places I would give a chance.

Montreal, Canada- went here the same summer I was in Maine. maybe it was because I was in 8th/9th grade going to strip joints, drinking liks in the streets or the fact that it wasn't Maine, but I had a good time here. would like to get back to check it out, if only for a visit.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.- been to these places a few times. alright places but I can never get a real read off of them. feels like I'm sitting in that really nice living room where you aren't supposed to touch anything and you have to sit on that plastic. very old and white or black and tough. reminds me- need to go to the actual state of Washington. have family there and my sis said I would like Seattle.

Baltimore, Maryland- had a cousin that lived here and been here a few times for old jobs. uhhhh....yeah. liked it but really watch The Wire and that is this place at night off of the main good streets. Liks are cheap though.

New Haven, Connecticut- see Philly and D.C.

Boston, Massachusetts- HELL NO! this is NYC multiplied by racism, sports obsession and horrible accents. I was here for a random St. Pat's day. not a good look. nope. nuh-uh.

San Francisco, California- told my sister she would love this place. very scenic, positive and progressive. I like this place but I need more craziness outside of their general homeless craziness. could probably deal with it if I could go to NYC or somewhere for a weekend every once in a while. maybe I could visit the rest of Cali while there too. sort of ridiculous that I haven't been to Los Angeles yet seeing as it's four hours away.

Chicago, Illinois- so far this has been one of my places to go and it's not just because two of my three best friends currently live there. it reminds me of NYC but is different enough to be good. hard to explain that. don't know how I feel about chilling at the beach near a highway but I still really like this place.

Las Vegas, Nevada- my current residence. been here for about two years. really liked hanging out here and it's like one of the BEST places for a vacation for the weekend or the week. once you become a local though, some of that shite wears off. it also might have something to do with me getting older but my drive to party it up has slowed down out here. I moved out here with the intent to not spend the rest of my time out here anyway (would NOT raise a family out here) but there are things I still like about this place. nice weather, entertainment is good and new people everyday. it's too transient for me and the fact that most of my friends that were out here are gone/are leaving are taking some of the shine off this place. add to that that I don't think this city has found its "soul" like other cities and I cannot see myself out here past the age of 30.

This list is small, I'm omitting a few small towns I spent varying degrees of time in and hopefully I'll get some more places to add to my passport and mental map but this is where I stand right now. Need to find that right place for me.
Maybe that's why vampires seem so distant, surly and lonely in stories. Maybe they haven't found their place to be truly happy yet. Just a thought.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Dammit. I need a free intern to slap me around and make me do the work and put down all the stuff I got running through my head, like story ideas and deadlines to set and not BS around. Where can I get one of those?

Oh, hey. You have one. What do you call that?

Ahh, you call that Focus (TM). Yeah. Need that. And you say most people come with that? Weird. You sure?

That's standard? I don't have to pay extra for that option?

Oh. I do. How much?

Wait, I already did a partial payment? I paid for most of it? I've used it before?

Okay. Where did mine go then?

Okay. I see the lazy bastard. Let me go and wake his out-of-shape ass from his drunken stupor. Thanks for the heads up, Rest of Most of The World.


I'm a bit of a clinger.

No. Not this guy. That's KLINGER. ---->

Let me explain. When I like a girl/woman, I mean REALLY like them, I tend to become a clinger. I like to be near them and know what is going on with them. This is not to say I'm a stalker. I have neither the time, patience or psychotic focus to be a stalker. What I mean is that I like to have a person think about me almost as much as I think about them.

The weird thing is you can usually tell how much I like a woman initially by how much I cling. For example, my last girlfriend. Cool chick but I was NEVER around her. This was partially due to our age difference and partially because in my heart I kinda knew we were on a train to Nowheresville. I mean I liked her but I didn't have my heart fully into it.

The women I do like I tend to always want to hang around even if its to do nothing or just be irritated by them. (I have a tendency to go for sassy, bossy, tough, authoritative and, some would say, crazy women who I both love and hate, strangely) I think this tendency to cling is that often the women I pursue are usually distant or have had problems with men or some other issue. This tends to manifest itself in a fear of taking steps towards making a commitment and I'm left to wonder where I ultimately stand with them. Hence, the clinginess on my part(this is not to blame them for my own immature behavior).

In my quest to jump over their past hurdles and make them feel that there are people in the world to trust, I often make it into the good friend zone and then they move onto another dude, usually one who is just like what they don't want. Hmmm. Maybe I'm Good Luck Chuck actually.....

Still got a thing for her. He's not as funny as you think.

Naw. I REALLY hope not.

The funny thing is if these women that I end up liking just admitted their own feelings about me, I would not cling. I think on those rare occasions when I do have girlfriends and that once I know we are together I go on with my own life and leave them to their own devices because I trust them. I know where I stand. Or at least I hope for the best and that this person is being honest with me and themselves and I have to trust in my own reaction to whatever situation pops up. When I do know you like me as much or almost as much as I like you, I let go and only cling as much as you want.

Now, if I could only find someone who gets that then at least that part of my life would make some sense....

Monday, September 8, 2008

Alpha- Zeta

something just to fill space and pass the time...have something new tomorrow.

A. Attached or single? Single. Mostly. Kinda. Ok, let's just say it gets complicated at times.

B. Best friend? E, Al n Mess.

C. Cake or pie? Cake. Fuck pie. Chocolate preferably.

D. Day of choice?
Friday. Most would pick Saturday but since I work pretty much everyday Friday is the most relaxing.

E. Essential item? Dogtag.

F. Favorite color?

G. Gummy bears or worms?
Worms are superior to bears. More gumminess for your buck.

H. Hometown? New York City and more particularly Far Rockaway, Queens. Don't sleep, son.

I. Favorite indulgence?
Watching DVDs in a quiet bedroom.

J. January or July?
I guess January. Less work, new start and none of that make me wanna murder heat.

K. Kids? I don't have any. I think.

L. Life isn’t complete without?
My friends and some of my family.

M. Marriage date? None currently.

N. Number of brothers and sisters? Whew. Okay. 2 older brothers. 2 older sisters. 2 younger brothers. That's all. I think.

O. Oranges or Apples? Apples. Oranges are only good for juice.

P. Phobias? Dogs (but only a little bit now). Failure. Destitution.

Q. Quote? We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.- Oscar Wilde

R. Reasons to smile? I'm probably not at work right now.

S. Season of choice? Fall (or Autumn, if you wanna get fancy). I like hoodies.

T. Tag 5 people: Nope. If you wanna do this, then just do it.

U. Unknown fact about me? I really think you guys know everything I'm willing to share. Okay, I have the amazing talent of passing up booty for months. It's not as easy as it sounds. Trust me.

V. Vegetable? Cucumber. Is that a vegetable or a fruit? Think its a vegetable.

W. Worst habit? Procrastination.

X. X-ray or Ultrasound?
Alright....X-Ray, I guess. Like the images. Makes me feel like Superman.

Y. Your favorite food? Anything burger related. Or salmon.

Z. Zodiac sign? Sagittarius and read into that whatever you want.

Money Vs. Happiness

Had a chat with a friend about her dealings with dudes. She has the issue of a lot of guys after her who make a good amount of cash but are not the best people. I told her I would rather be happy and broke then rich and miserable.

I thought about that statement yesterday and realized it was sort of BULLSHIT. Sure, my ultimate goal in life is to essentially be a happy individual but thinking about it I don't think that is possible as a broke person. Being broke is bearable but it isn't a happy existence. I can be broke and be happy for moments or a few days but ultimately reality kicks in and its usually a nut shot.

I've had a job in NYC that paid well but I half-hated it. Okay, I hated it about 75% of the time and moreso right before I quit. I have a job that keeps me above water and I love it 90% of the time. Which situation would I rather be in? Well, excluding outside factors (location, relationships, etc.), although the NYC job drove me a little crazy, at the end of the week I could go out and drink with my boy or hop on a plane and get out of town. With this job now, I'm generally happy at work but I'm not able to roll out like I use to and, although your relationships with people are supposed to be independent of your wealth, the situations for fun doesn't present itself when you can't go to see the folks you want or you can't afford that next round. This especially sucks when you are the "broke guy" in the group. Yeah, your friends don't mind too much hooking you up with a drink, especially if you would hit them off if you had it but a lot of the time you feel like a bum about it. (Or at least I do. Pride has kept me in on more than one occasion, unfortunately. But I hate feeling like the anchor bringing down the night, even if I'm really not)

So, which is better- money and miserableness or broke and contentment?

I say neither. I want money to spend/saved up and a truly happy life not one where I'm just okay, barely. But if these are my two choices, the romantic in me is going to go with being broke but the realist in me (who really needs to keep a foot in my arse nowadays) says to get that paper and if the scenario sucks, take some of that green and do something you enjoy with people you like.

Massive Fail- Not Me, Please

I was out of town about a week or so ago and spent some time with a friend at her mother's house. While there I met this guy. He was going through a time of it and was struggling at this point to get his life straight or at least he should have been. This guy was in his forties, unemployed, living with people out of the kindness of their hearts and on top of all that has a pre-teen kid. He had just went through about the roughest couple of months I had heard of in a minute. I initially felt bad for this dude. Initially.

As I talked to him more, I began to realize a majority of his problems were self created. He was/is a womanizer with little respect for the opposite gender. He gets into situations without plans on how to get out of them. He does nothing for himself as far as living his own life.

Not a good look. Not me.

As I was driving from what seemed to be a scene written out of a bad episode of Maury or Jerry, I was talking to my friend about my own plans (alright, she was grilling me as usual). My plans as always are an outline and she said that if I didn't get them to be more concrete that it was a slippery slope to beeing this guy. That hurt and I confronted her about it and she apologized and she said she knew I wasn't going to be him. But the fact that she even said it and my own talks with him gave me pause. Me and this dude had some similarities.

Bad in relationships?
Leaping without looking? Check.
College drop-out? Check.

My saving grace is that I don't have any kids, I'm not a tool like him and although I procrastinate I will do what is best for me and I'm willing to work for it. My best friend assured me I was right and that I didn't have to worry about being him. Ever. He was a victim not because he was REALLY a victim but it was the path of least resistance to declare that the world was responsible for his station and life and he didn't have to take responsibility for it. I've always been the complete opposite and believed that 98% of the situations I get into are a direct result of my own choices.

But it did make me reflect on something. I've always been gifted and I used to try hard when I was really young and even in high school, although lazy, I still had success in my eyes. Even when I wasn't trying, shite worked out for me. My friend used to joke I was rolling down the hill of life and when I got to the bottom I would stand up and shake off all the gold and assorted riches that I just happened to accumulate along the way (I just thought it was my Spidey-Sense on overdrive helping me get out of jams). But even with this, I don't know, karma looking out for me I still had in me a feeling that I would come out on top by my own merits. This spark drove me.

I'm looking at this guy and thinking where did that spark go in him and ultimately, me?

I like to think of myself as almost as smart or as smart as my friends. I think I have the same capabilities as many of them. I think I'm as creative as the really artistic one. The question that bugs me is am I missing that key component that makes them successful or gives them the drive to not just let life sweep them along? What is it that makes people push forward and why am I lacking it? I have a million (okay, a few hundred) story ideas but I can hardly finish one of them. Why do I crap out on things? I know some of it stems from how I used to approach things in school. Things were easy for me so I would get bored and try to move onto something else. Or if it was going to be a huge effort I just shut down- not that I couldn't do it but maybe because I was afraid of succeeding at it.

I don't know. I may just be babbling at this point but I think I'm just in the process of finding that...thing to make me push and do what I want and be successful at it. Something to stop me from being that guy in the back of a car living off the kindness of strangers.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Fight or Flight

I would like to think of myself as a generally level-headed, easygoing guy. I try to mind my business as much as possible and not get involved in the affairs of others if I can. While this is certainly laudable (or I think it should be), my decision to not always speak up at every little thing is sometimes taken as me having a huge flight reaction.

On the other hand, when someone says something about my friends, or someone I'm just with or if I'm somewhat tipsy, my instant response is "I'm gonna break your face." This reaction has grown recently in my past few years and has been the side that my roommates have been exposed to so much to the point that I heard one of them commenting that he should invite a guy over and have me hurt him. Mind you I was in my room at 3 AM at this point and probably asleep in his head.

My problem is this- how do I balance my nice side which I like and I think the people who like me like a lot with the tune up the world side I try to keep under wraps?

I think a lot of time people seem to mistake my being quiet or kind or glossing over things for weakness. It's not. It stems from a fear of SNAPPING! I come from a family of SNAPPERS! From the oldest to the youngest. Just a question of degree. Someone shove you? SNAP! Someone was talking about you? SNAP! Who owes me money? SNAP! Any and everything was a pathway to an altercation, whether verbal or physical. A great deal of my childhood was just tests of toughness and not backing down. I failed a lot of these test because I was more concerned with getting through the day and not getting hurt. I didn't feel the need to prove myself in this regard as much as the others around me. My realm was books and being smart. (my younger self is the polar opposite of my later self) I was also scared since I kept a lot of emotions bottled up most of the time that my SNAPPING! would be so much worse and I wouldn't be able to stop myself.

This is not to say that I didn't have my SNAP! moments or points. Two that stick with me to this day is someone threatening my siblings and saying something about my mother. There are no solutions but SNAPPING! for me in those moments.

But as I have grown older I have noticed that although we are supposed to be a civilized society, a great many people only seem to respect or acknowledge physicality and violence. Just look at the rise in popularity of mixed martial arts (and yes there is discipline, training and honor in that but NO ONE would watch unless someone was getting punched in the face). And for all that shite about wanting a nice guy and someone caring, most people are going to go for that guy who can or appears that they can protect them in some way.

I get highly irritated when people doubt me or what I'm capable of in this regards. True, I'm not going to be the next UFC champ and I can't press 400 lbs. but I can guarantee I will walk through the worst neighborhoods and make it out with little trouble. Do not let the glasses fool you. When it comes down to it and its me or you losing, its going to be YOU. Every. Time.

So, where do I find this balance? How do I prove that I will fight without having to hit everyone from here to my house that accidentally jostles me? Or better yet, why do I have to prove myself to the world? The sad thing is I know I do and so do you.

Some of us are fighters and some of us aren't. Some of us talk shit and some of us don't. How can I live in balance?

Friday, September 5, 2008

My Greatest Fear

I once heard that every piece of western literature and, to a lesser extent, all literature is about the son killing/replacing his father.The idea is that we cannot become complete people until we have usurped the place of our parents and forebears. The usual goal is to become better people than them and to learn from their mistakes. Unfortunately, the case becomes that we become exactly like them or sometimes even worse than they were. This leads me to my greatest fear...

I fear that I will one day become my father.

I will preface this post with this- my father is not an evil Vader like figure and at the end of the day is probably a really good buddy to play a quick pick-up game with or go on a fishing trip with. (I wouldn't be joining you but I think you guys would have a good time) I also want to say that he has some attributes that I like to embrace. For example, he is a good artist, highly creative, charming, witty, intelligent, confident and self-taught. And I don't hate the man. Hate is a strong word deserved for very special individuals and I don't think there will ever come a day where I say I hate my father. Disappointed and sometimes dislike? Yes. Hate? No.

My fear is this- that I will ultimately embrace his darker sides. He is a recovering addict, has multiple kids, does not keep up communications with said kids, always has "financial issues" to the point where I stopped asking for anything from him over a decade ago and is generally not someone to be in a relationship with. (this last one seems to have changed since he has been married for maybe a decade now)
I used to say all the time how I would never get married or have children. My reasoning for this was because I thought I would never find anyone I truly loved and the world was/is a screwed up place to bring a child into. Now, that I look back on it, it stems from watching this man. I fear that I would have kids that wouldn't be able to depend on me at all times and that I would screw up any relationship I chose to enter like he did. I have gotten over some of this fear but it still resides in the back of my head scratching at my brain like a rat.

Perfect example of the relationship or lack thereof I share with my father. Had a long talk with my friend and it made me think I should take a weekend to address some people I should apologize to and to be a bigger person and extend my hand to my father. I had, at the time, only called him if there was an issue with my brother or if my siblings needed me to ask him something/wanted to see him. His favorite line to me has been since high school "The phone works both ways." (familiar to a few of you, I know) My problem with this statement was 1) how come it only seemed to work from my house and 2) you have my number because it was yours for years so why should I as the child be the one to step up? But I looked pass all of this and made a phone call. It was a civil enough if generic conversation. The same question about my relatives and his old friends, i.e. a phone convo that was the exact same as the convos I had when I went to his house. Anyway, we talked and when it was all said and done he said he would call me back. I said I wasn't sure if I would have the same number but I would call him if it changed(it didn't).

Flash-forward to the end of October. He comes to Las Vegas on vacation with his wife for the weekend and doesn't even call. Mind you my number hasn't changed, he talked to my brother the prior week so he could have gotten it from there and the only reason I knew he was in town at all was because my brother mentioned it during my weekly conversation with my mother. Yeah. I was not happy about this but I chalked it up to just how that guy was.
But it made me reflect on my own actions. I quickly scrolled through my head and thought if I had behaved similar with people. There was one incident but I apologized immediately afterwards and, more importantly, my friend is not my son. It was just another incident involving me and my father that had made me recommit to not living my worst fear- becoming him.

I could go on with a few more stories but this post isn't to demonize the man just to state some issues I have with his behavior towards me or involving me tangentially.

My sister once told me that my father is a great friend but is lacking in the dad department. I have come to agree with her (but I'm currently not too interested in discovering if the friend part of that statement is true). My goal is to become a better man by not making the same mistakes he did.