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.

If I had a ton of disposable income....

(like lottery level disposable) after I pay off any and all debt and quit working jobs that I don't necessarily love, I would do/buy these things-

1) travel around the world for 6 months to a year
2) force my mother to retire (there is no asking because she wouldn't do it if I asked nicely) and get her another house
3) pay for my niece and nephew's education
4) get a house away from everything to use when I want
5) wear nothing but t-shirts and jeans unless I choose to get dressed up (or as E says "Make people dress up to see me")
6) publish my own stuff
7) either learn to drive stick to buy one ridiculous sports car, fly a plane and/or get a van, turn it into The Mystery Machine and wear an ascot as I travel around the countryside solving mysteries with my gang of meddling kids
8) addendum to 5- robes. lots of robes a la Ghostface Killah
9) build a studio for my brother
10) vacations when I want

Handy Tool to Keep in Your Pocket

Think this is a good graph to utilize.

Why You Can't Always Be the Responsible One or The Bigger Person

something I read that made me think from God Save The Queen-by Mike Carey and illustrated by John Bolton. I was gonna include the back story on this but I think it is an effective little few sentences, even on its own, out of context.

"If someone is always there, you sort of get to think that you can go away for as long as you like.
And come back.
And go away.
And come back.
And they'll always be where you left them last. Like the toys you turn up under sofa cushions. Or the good bits in a book you read when you were five."

Think this is true and we sometimes take the people that truly care about us for granted and mistreat them the most because we think they aren't ever going to leave us. But they can and they might and they often times do.
So, for all of those I have treated in such a manner, I apologize. It is human nature but that's no excuse. We should always try to evolve into better versions of ourselves and this is something that we shouldn't accept but it is something we should overcome.

Idiom Series Hexa

Installment sexy six. Awwww, yeah…..

“No offense. No disrespect.”

(This one sorts of builds on Idiom Series Installment Four- “But you’re different…”)

In the past few days (hell, really the last almost 20 something years) I have heard the same statements repeated to me by different people.

-Guys are losers.

-Men are dogs.

-Guys are slower in their development than women.

-You can’t trust males.

Etc, etc, etc….. I can go on with other variations on the above theme for awhile. (And, at times, you other fellas make it hard for me to fight for you) Generally, the point is that men are flawed and it’s epidemic for the gender.

Except for me.

I say except for me because these statements are made to me always (okay, 90% of the time) followed with the disclaimer “No offense” or “I don’t mean you.”

C’mon. You mean to tell me that all the males you meet are horrible people except for me? And why shouldn’t I be offended? You just used an insult brush to paint the male gender as inept buffoons who are incapable of being on the same level as you emotionally, mentally or whatever other aspect of human expression that you find important at that particular moment.

Additionally, just because you say no offense doesn’t negate the fact that I’ll get offended. Actually, if you omitted that phrase at the end of the comment, I would be less offended. You saying that means that you thought about what you said and felt the need to explain rather than it just being a situation where you are angry and just wanted to vent.

(Okay, I apologize for using women as the scapegoat for this one but they have been the ones who have used it with me recently and I feel that if I did the reverse to one of them that I would quickly have my “except me” status revoked)

Other groups of people do it as well, especially in regards to race. Can not tell you when I have heard a borderline racist comment made followed by “No disrespect.” Takes an EXTREME amount of willpower to not spaz out. Plus, I just don't have that amount of time.

Here’s a suggestion- How about not making general ass comments/statements and take people as they come?

I have told my friends before I don’t dislike people because they are male/female/gay/straight/black/white/Asian/Hispanic. I dislike them because they are pricks and they just happen to be male/female/gay/straight/black/white/Asian/Hispanic. Wish everyone could be the same in their approach but then again people are ignorant.

No offense.

Next In Series- TBD

Idiom Series Cinco

Installment number FIF!!!!!!!!!!!


Fine is only truly meant when it is said by a male five minutes after whatever issue/situation has passed. Or when used to describe a piece of china.

Or one of these ladies.

That’s it. Period. Let’s move on.

Next in Series- “No offense. No disrespect.”

Idiom Series Quad

“But you’re different…”

Sometimes you meet a person who IS different. Someone there is a person that means a lot more to you than the normal person of the opposite sex that you encounter. This is more than even the person that you are in love with or in a relationship with. This might just be a special friend (not special like that but someone you can be close with). There are those people.

But guess what? Normally, no you’re not that person.

Don’t like being the person to bring the doom and gloom but I’m stepping in for my brother on this one (check his blog on my list to the right). If a person tells you this multiple times because

-there is someone issue that pops up constantly

-that person doesn’t have time to contact you

-they got frustrated and tired of your whining about the above issues

-they said it to explain hanging out with someone else

then usually you are not different. You are just one of five people in that person’s rotation.

I know, I know. There does exist that special person for everyone or at least that’s the theory. Unfortunately, it’s usually not you at that moment.

You’re not different.


Next In Series- "Fine."

Idiom Series Tres

"Do you want to take this outside?”

Been encountering this one more and more lately and....

HAHAHAHAHAHA…..I’m sorry. This one just always makes me laugh. HA! Who seriously says this? Oh, yeah. Douchebags in clubs.

If you ask someone if they want to take something outside, that is telling that person that you are 1) uncreative, 2) unintelligent, 3) don’t really want to fight for real and 4) have a small penis. Let me further explain it to you….

1) You are uncreative- This is SUCH a cliché movie line. It is so badly used that I can’t even recall the last time they even used it in a movie. Think of something clever, bub, if you wanna do the man-dance.
2) You are unintelligent- Refer to 1). Also, if “taking it outside” is how you choose to solve a problem, you may want to rethink your schooling. Fights are always the last resort and people who normally say this don’t think that way. Nimrods.
3) You don’t want really want to fight for real- There are two types of fights- the first is for show and is pretty and is used in front of crowds to impress them. The second is dirty, fast and about winning- that’s all. People who get into the first fight scenario are usually not here to fight; they are here to show off in front of their friends. This is normally the reason why there is a lot of lip-bumping before these people fight. We will call these people punks.
People who engage in the second fight usually end up there after much inner debate. They are there to win or survive and want to do it quick. They have no time to get friends to showboat in front of. Let’s call these people grown-ass men. Guess which group the “take it outside” guy falls into?
4) You have a small penis- You just do. Accept it. What other reason do you need to
prove your manhood? That’s the only reason I can come up with.

With all of this being said, there are only two appropriate responses to the question of “Do you want to take this outside?” You can either laugh right in this person’s face and walk away shaking your head like you feel sorry for their mother (my personal fave). The other option is to smile and walk up to them and say in your most serious Bobby Deniro voice “Actually, I like it fine in here. Make a move, punk.”

Next In Series- “But you’re different…”

Idiom Series Deuce

Here is the second installment. Not as good as my first one but I'm working on it, folks. Enjoy and comment.

"I'm sorry, but…"

This is not referring to when you are telling a story and using this term to reference how you would react in a situation, i.e. "Then, he left his girl on the corner. I'm sorry but I wouldn't do that, kid." This refers to the apology "I'm sorry."

Just to let you know when you say but you have just negated the entire apology. The but that you are using is just to justify that you still think that you are correct in the argument. If you think you are right, then you really don't mean your apology. Who apologizes when they think they are in the right? (actually, I DO have an answer for that but that's for another time) When you say but you are not acknowledging your blame in the situation or taking responsibility for your previous actions that got you here.

But = Not. Just for your information.

Next In Series- "Do you wanna take this outside?" (one of the funniest lines…..ever)

Idiom Series Uno

I started this at my other blog ( but I wanted to start it up again here. So, here is the beginning (again) of certain things that people say that irritate me when I hear it 80% of the time. I’ll probably do one statement/phrase/comment a week but since this is the initial post I have two. Enjoy yo’self.

“How do you know you don’t like it if you don’t try it?”
Uhh, yeah. This is dumb. I’m all for giving most things and people a fair shot but there are just certain things I KNOW I won’t like without having to try them out. I recognize there are certain things that other people absolutely love but I know I won’t be a fan of. It’s cool that you like that kind of sandwich but I think I’ll pass on that burger made of liver, thank you kindly. There are people that will argue with this statement and say that it is an issue indicative of a lack of courage. I ask these people this- "Have you ever engaged in bestiality? No? Then how do know you won’t like it?" *
Look, you can like a person, place, thing or food but you can’t win an argument just by stating the above question. It’s inane and doesn’t make you better than someone else because you have found what you like and want all people to like what you like. I know what I like or don’t like. Don’t need to test my boundaries. Thanks.

“I know what I said but what I meant was…..”
I have slowly become the king of misunderstood statements. This is due to fast talking, tone and the general speed between me thinking and saying something. This is NOT due to the actual content of what I stated. If I said it, I meant it.
Why say something if you don’t mean it? I don’t think anyone does that really. Usually, what comes out of your mouth is EXACTLY what you mean. Unless you are out and out lying, I cannot think of a single situation where you would say something without any connection to what you mean. I mean phrasing is an issue but the general message is still the same.

Next In Series- “I’m sorry, but…..”

* If you have a friend who happens to practice bestiality, GET NEW FRIENDS. NOW.

My 15 Biggest Flaws

This way they are out in the open and don’t need to be re-hashed. Just tell me what number I’m doing like you are ordering something from Mickey D’s and I will try to address it in the situation. Or tell you to get over it.

1. I’m lazy- known this since about the 5th grade. I can get lazy about projects and things that aren’t right in front of me. But I always do my job and I do it well, no matter how much I may complain about it later and my curse of competency. I think a lot of people are like this; I just may be worse than the majority of other lazy souls. It’s not a lack of caring, I think. It just goes to a whole lot of other issues I have- such as not wanting to do things I don’t enjoy. This is my key flaw I’m trying to correct. Bear with me.
2. I focus on others too much- this is one of my own personal observations. I find I tend to do things for others at the cost of my own happiness/self-worth. I do it less and less nowadays but there are still times when I won’t do what I want to do for myself and will instead make sure others are alright. I often do this in my male-female relationships and it usually ends up with me alone and some cocky bastard winning off of my giving and time. (I’m forkin’ Good Luck Chuck) I also engage in this behavior with my friends and this can lead to me possibly resenting them for something or me hating myself, which I want not to happen on either count.
3. I mumble/don’t speak right on the phone- a few people have told me this. I don’t understand it. Weird phenomenon. May be due to me not being able to adjust my pitch to people unless they are directly near me or I just have a lot on my mind and at particular moments in the conversation it all tries to get out. I used to have a speech impediment when I was a kid so this should be something I can overcome.
4. I tell (white) lies- I don’t think I do this at all but since it was brought to my attention I will list it. My memory is generally pretty good 88% of the time so in those rare instances where I get something wrong it is usually due to miscommunication or my own unique phrasing and not outright lying.
5. I’m not adventurous- somewhat true. I do random shit like get up and leave work or travel across the country with no grand plan. I used to do more just random activities when I was in teens/early twenties but I guess I could be seen as not being that adventurous any longer. Trust me though, non-adventurous Sean, although less “fun”, is MUCH nicer than Adventure Sean. That guy was an ass, cared less about your feelings and would get you in some shite if you weren’t careful.
6. I don’t complete what I start- I don’t always and this is something I’m trying MAD hard to address. I need to complete my stories just so I can do what I want to do. This also goes back to #1- laziness.
7. I can become very taciturn- yeah, this one is me. This happens for many reasons- I truly have nothing to say/contribute, I’m thinking, I’m angry and am trying not to say some slick and/or hurtful shite, I’m not paying attention to what you say, I really want to just listen to you spin your tales or I just generally don’t want to talk right now. I’m not a big phone talker anyway so if you do end up on the phone with me for more than 7 minutes I must really like you and/or you are telling me something very interesting/important. Usually it’s or. Besides, see # 3. Do you really want my mumbly mouth yakking your ear off?
8. I don’t live healthy enough-
I don’t. I hate exercise, don’t watch what I eat, sleep only a few hours a night and, although not so much anymore, party recklessly. Don’t see this changing anytime soon. The best you can hope for from me is tiny adjustments in this department.
9. I get frustrated. Quickly- I get angry slowly but can get frustrated quickly. This normally only happens with people I actually care about. Very rarely do I waste my time thinking about how a stranger or someone I don’t like is making me feel anymore.
10. I don’t express my feelings a lot- I don’t. That's why you didn't know about #9. I’m getting better but it is a very SSLLOOOWWW process-hence all the namby-pamby blogs. I’d rather type out what I want to say because I can make it more coherent and it gives me time to cool down from silly anger (an emotion I’m more intimately familiar with as opposed to vulnerability) like I did with this thing. See? I’m already cool as a polar bears’ toe nails again. Plus, I hate people knowing they have any sort of control over the way I feel. Hate it, son.
11. I’m too proud to ask for assistance- yup. This one is probably here for the long haul and is intrinsically connected to # 2. Don’t see me getting rid of this one since I feel it is a key trait of mine. #2 is too but I NEED to deal with that one before I just lose it one day and flip out on someone.
12. I do things out of spite- this can be a good thing and a bad thing. Good thing, you ask? Yes. Spite has motivated me in the past to try hard just because others said I couldn’t do it. Spite is also a bad motivator for me because it used to make me pursue things that weren’t good for me just to piss people off.
13. I think too much- how is this bad? Well, I can often build things up in my mind as more serious than they really are and this can occupy my thoughts and consequently my time. This leads back to 2, 6, 7, 8 and 10.
14. I judge people- now, I don’t outright say things about people and their actions but in my head I formulate opinions on them. Is it worse to say it aloud or keep it inside? I don’t know. What I do know is that I mostly think the worse of many individuals and when they do happen to do something wrong I am rarely surprised because they are just doing what I assumed they would do all along anyway.
15. I hold grudges- I still dislike certain kids from back in elementary school, still feel bitter towards my dad and still don’t like one of E’s boys from college. I have gotten better and let go of a lot of the past because it makes no sense to dwell on it but there are still some things I need to get over.

Anything else? I’m sure there are other things that can go on this list for me. Just a friendly reminder before you contribute- I don’t really take it personal if it is true. You who are gonna add or comment should know this about me already anyways. I get upset about a situation/disagreement but I can always separate from the person making the statement and why I am cool with them to begin with. So, feel free to add something or message me with another one.
Especially, since all of you have similar and worse flaws like being stubborn, scattered, too accepting and judgmental, just to name a few. ;)
Have a good one, you motor boating sonsuvabitches.

The Rundown (with Sean not Seann)

- arrived in the world early by at least a month. Very small baby. Spent a nice portion of my first few years in the hospital. Used to have epileptic seizures (possible west syndrome?) and stopped breathing at various points along with having to endure spinal taps. Good thing I don't remember any of that shite.

- my older sister gave me my first name. Why a five year-old was given that sort of power over my life, I don't know. Middle name came from my dad. Various mispronunciations and newly created nicknames ensue.

- got one full, angry younger brother, an older half-sister that I didn't realize was a half-sister until my twenties (not that it matters), an older half-brother from Coney Island that used to visit us in The Rock all the time when we were young. Found out I have another half-brother and half-sister a few years ago at my dad's wedding. Also, a younger step-brother now. My dad was busy.

- mother has been a hard-working telephone operator for as long as I can remember. Taught me all about hard work and dedication. She was the tough, scary parent. The real disciplinarian and I used to assume all arguments between her and my dad was mostly her fault but I grew up and learned the truth. In the past 6 or 7 years, I have gotten very close to her. Not an outwardly emotional person (hence, why I am who I am) but always looks out for her loved one and is extremely generous, to her detriment (another trait I seem to have unfortunately inherited as well, like my sis)

- father was the "cool" parent when I was little, i.e. he was the one who bought you cool toys and talked to you somewhat like an adult and was funny. He was the emotional one of the mom-dad duo. He was very relaxed, but this may have been very much due to marijuana abuse. Nation of Islam half-supporter, which was why I had to end my love affair with pepperoni for awhile and was always of the initial mindset that white people were the devil (except those who bought drugs from us-kind of like George Jefferson in that regard). Disappeared for days at a time, went to rehab, cleaned up his act, came back different and then just left one day not to return until he wanted the crap he bought back. Nice. As you can tell, I still have some unresolved issues with dude and haven't seen/talked to him since my brother was assaulted last year.

- always lived with my grandmother and aunt and various uncles who have flitted in and out of the house. Aunt always looked out in her own unique way and uncles contributed as well as they could but they are also the reason for my inflated "Fields Ego" at times, meaning the belief that we can get any woman we want if we say the right shite. Have slightly overcome that cocky mindset.

- emotions/emotion related activities in my house in my youth- anger, sarcastic responses (prerequisite for being in my family is having tough skin), not backing down from fights, non-use of the l-word and limited hugging or any other act to show the l-word.

- I was the third oldest in the living nearby cousin rankings. My sister was definitely in charge of all of us but she was also at least 4 years older than my only older cousin and his parents brought him by to play infrequently with us before they moved to Maryland (later learned they thought me, my bro and my other cousins were kinda bad influences- J.Witnesses, wha are you gonna do?). So, that made me the default one in charge when I could be bothered to lead. My father was sort of the official male role model for me and my cousins. Pretty good example, when he was there, outside of the drug use/selling but then again that was sort of a family tradition that still continues in some form ‘til this day. He left, I had to pick up the slack. Should have done a better job but I have kept the situations from getting worse than they could potentially be. Hopefully, my brother and cousins feel the same.

-Where I grew up....

Nuff said.

- exposed to drug use/selling at early age. also, other criminal activities were nearby at most times. definitely brings to mind a term from the movie Sleepers in my head- " a place of innocence ruled by corruption." This essentially means while the neighborhood is safe for children, the people in charge are often involved in illegal incidents. People followed some sort of rules back in the day though so I was never really worried except when police showed up. Didn't like cops as a kid- can deal with them for the most part now. Unless they are pricks. Hate prick cops.

- saw people shot full in the face before, as well as other extremities. One incident pops into my head instantly- must have been fifth or sixth grade and my sis' boyfriend (future husband) was visiting for the first time. Cool guy. He, my sis, my bro and me are inside the house at the time (don't recall if my cousins were there or not). my mother, grandmother and aunt were outside on the porch talking to some dude we knew from down the street. grandmother's husband was across the street probably doing something illegal. All in all a good night. That was until someone started shooting at my grandmother's husband. Or at least I think he was the target that evening. Think they only caught him in the foot but the man my grandmother was talking to was hit in the face. Bullet went in through cheek and out through the nose. What I remember clearly was my brother freaking out because he thought my mother might have got hit and my future bro-in-law keeping him and my sis calm. I also remember the dude leaking blood out in our hallway floor near the front door. Kinda weird scene to see around the age of 10. Wouldn't be the last time I saw someone hit like that either but luckily this guy made it. And my sis' boyfriend came back the next day. Dude gets all props for that because I'm not sure what I would have done in the same predicament. Kudos.

- didn't sleep a great deal as a kid, a tradition I carry on somewhat to this day. still only sleep about four hours now too. Always stayed awake until like 3 in the am constantly on the weekend with my father on the porch outside. saw a lot and heard a lot. Also stayed up a lot in the house so I was privy to discussions (read: arguments) that my brother missed between my parents. Lucky him.

- there used to be a show that filmed in our neighborhood for CourtTv called The System. It was about local crime. My bro and cousins were on it during a drive-by filming of our street. Lived next to the crack spot so that made our house a hot attraction. Well, that, and all the drug dealers that hung out at my house or on our porch. oh, and my father was on the intro for awhile-getting arrested. He went missing one night and found out he got arrested for drinking on the porch. Recognized him because he was wearing a letterman's jacket that I used to rock sometimes.

- had to replace a few house windows, dig bullets out of our wall and visit a rehab or two in my time (not rehab for me- for others).

- how I learned to swim- went to a party on the beach (literally, one block from my house). Random cousin of the birthday boy picked me up and threw me into the water as I was screaming my lungs out. "Swim or die." Guess which I did.

- went to public school until 8th grade with mostly minorities and some white people who were not of the highest caliber. Then went to private school and had to adjust and overcome my perceptions of all white people. Took me about three years to overcome my racism. Realized that white people aren't jerks because they are white. They just happen to be jerky AND white. Also met jerky black, hispanic and asian people.

- outside of e, al, shak and crew, my closest homeboy was normally a big white boy who was funny and/or violent on my bus. The first was dan reynolds who fell more into the violent column. Then there was neil mccarthy, who was definitely in the funny category. Good people, that neil. Still on my friends’ list on Myspace.

- another person who helped me overcome my initial dislike of anything other than me was Dee Madison. Cute, funny, smart ass blonde chick. Tough too. Reminded me of my mother a little bit in that last aspect. Had a crush on her but didn't make a move. Still had some of that old daddy programming in me. Plus, I was a punk. Also, on my Myspace friends’ list.

- that's not to say high school was all sweet. The table where all the minorities sat was nicknamed "the Nable". Guess why. Yeah….that was a fun time.

- drink a lot less than I used to. Used to swill a lot and get those moments of binging when I'm with crew still. Thinking my drinking really started in force after sophomore year of college when I was living in Georgia. Also, the vodka lemonades I had during the junior and senior years of high school didn't hurt. And when I say during, I mean DURING- like between classes.

- smoking of the trees begin around 16 and ended last year with differing periods of sobriety. Been exposed to second-hand since I could remember though. Not gonna go back. Done with it. T and crew will pick up my slack. Was fun while it lasted.

- outside of those two vices, I've only ever tried one other drug and that was mushrooms. Did them once. Won't do them again unless I become filthy rich. Wasn't a horrible experience but I'm in no rush to do again. That or drugs of any kind.

- girls/chicks/ladies/wimmens- normally attracted to the crazy, odd, and/or shat upon chicks. Don’t know why. Maybe it goes to a savior complex or I like trouble. Regardless, when I find myself attracted to a woman, I wonder what is gonna be the problem I will have to deal with later. Hopefully, I have broken this trend or I'm going to have to really re-evaluate myself.

- relationships- as you can tell, emotional expression is a difficult thing for me. Feel I am improving but I still need work. The only successful relationship in my family is my sister and her husband. All the others have not been good. Hence, my fear of marriage and long-term relationships in general. Also, don't want to be a total man-whore like my older male family counterparts.

- need to work on my focus. Used to like school and really get into my work. Since about high school that has been on the decline. Outside of moments of extreme focusedness (know it isn't a word but we use it anyway) on certain things, I need to dedicate my self to elementary school focus. 9 year-old Sean would be cursing out 28 year-old Sean right now. Used to rely on luck too much and still have a tendency to leap without looking. Need to address that too.

Why Am I Doing This?

I'm starting this blog for all the above reasons and also because I'm not a very outwardly emotional person (partially for reasons I will discuss later). I also feel that maybe someone can read about my issues/concerns/ideas and discover their own way or answer some of my questions. I'm going to be sharing a lot (but not all; I like not being hurt physically by people I care about).

Why should you read it?

Well, I dunno. I would like to think that I'm somewhat interesting and I'm a pretty nice guy. But if that isn't enough just read for help or to pass the time. Or, I don't know, something.

So, this page is like a combination of an electronic journal that I'm allowing you to read and, hopefully, a place to leave comments about things.

Feel free to comment or just read.

PS You can check out my other blog too if you are bored. It's called The Thracian Drive and it's listed to the right. Just some fiction and earlier randomness. Or any blog to the right in the list is good as well.