Change.

Man, I haven’t blogged in so long I almost forget how to do it…buuut considering I’m sitting here at work just watching the snow fall all night, I guess I’ve got plenty of time to brush up on it, huh?

It’s been brought to my attention that I may be different now than I once was…or rather, I don’t behave the same way I used to behave. Aside from being annoyed by stupid people much easier as of lately, I would like to disagree.

Yes, I am 27 years old. That’s a far cry from highschool and quite a long time out in the adult world so I know that’s plenty of time for me to be doing some growing up. Hell, I’ve been living on my own (well, with a roommate) for nearly 5 years now and I’ve worked the same job for almost 8.

However, the housing situation is about the same as it’s always been. Shane and I sit and watch tv together some evenings and we rarely do the dishes until they’re stacked up across the kitchen. The job isn’t too much different either aside from handling a ton more aspects of it and putting in more hours. I am still in debt and am showing no signs of climbing out of it anytime soon. I still do the same stupid shit I’ve always done. I hang out with my friends when I have free time. We joke and laugh about stupid shit just like always and when one of my friends gets a new car we take it out on the nearest back road and test how fast we can get it up to before we get nervous and back it down. I CHOOSE to drive into tornadic storms knowing I could potentially die the first time I actually end up in a rain-wrapped tornado not paying close enough attention to the radar. I still play with venomous snakes whenever I can afford to go herping. I still have pet snakes in my bedroom and always choose to keep the creepy shit nobody in their right mind would want as a pet. Our freezer currently contains almost 200 frozen rats, right there beside the ice cube trays, frozen pizza, and Hot Pockets. I’ve done some ridiculously stupid shit while absolutely obliterated drunk on alcohol. I can still ride a Ripstik, I can still skate and handle a hockey puck (well, ball…street hockey). I still want to buy another BMX bike just to fuck around on and ride backwards and shit.

Name an old hobby of mine…chances are I am still active in it. But yet, I am different? I have changed?

Perhaps…just maybe…I am not the one who’s changed?

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Why do YOU Relay?

Mom & Buddy

 I thought I’d take a different route in tonight’s blog…it’s been a while since I’ve written much of my own. With my hectic schedule, it’s hard to find time to write anymore. But I try when I can.

As expected, I’m heavily involved in the Relay for Life again. Heading up the Activities & Entertainment Committee like last year. Although this year I’ve gotten a little wiser…Jeff and I are setting up a sub-committee. Matt has joined me this time around and Amanda will most likely help out again as well. We’re working on gathering a few more people yet as well. The goal is to have a full committee so that our team can efficiently run and we can also keep the activities and entertainment going on all night while still allowing everyone to get a little rest. Last year I tried to do everything myself with last minute help from Amanda and some of my team mates and Jeff helped out where he could. This resulted in me jogging back and forth across the event much of the evening and my phone was ringing almost constantly with people needing assistant. I am trying to prevent that from happening again this year.

Something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately is what are people’s reasons behind the Relay? Are they personal, are they in memory of someone, are they to do good in the community, or are they something else? I’ve started to find that it seems like a lot of people get involved in stuff for the wrong reasons anymore…instead of doing it for genuinely good reasons, they do it mainly out of greed. Not necessarily monetary gain, but attention, prizes, popularity, etc.

The past couple Relay meetings, a person there has caused a commotion because they aren’t getting their way. First they were upset because they already paid their $10 registration fee and in order to register online, they would have to pay again as they had no way to bypass the registration fee on the website. Their original $10 fee would be credited toward their team at a later date however, or they could register a little later with one of the committee members and they would manually waive the registration fee. Now if you’re smart, you’ll realize that a simple solution is as soon as you get cash donations from people to turn in, you just pull out $10 and pocket it. Boom. Instant reimbursement. No. Instead this person had to make the entire committee look bad because they had to make a huge deal out of how we stole their $10 and it’s “not right” as they said. Sorry, computer systems don’t always function the way we’d like. We work around the glitches as much as we can though and that’s exactly what did in that situation.

Now at last night’s meeting, this same person (who ended up storming out at last month’s meeting) again flipped out on the committee when we made them aware that their team would not be indoors this year. In the past few years, there has been a building where the track goes through and there are approximately 20 sites inside that building. We re-routed the track so that it would be more scenic, easier to project sound across (we had numerous complaints that the sound wasn’t reaching a large portion of our track last year due to buildings blocking it/people being indoors where the speakers weren’t reaching), and closer to the main road so as to get more attention from passers-by. In doing so, we had to eliminate all indoor sites, though to help resolve this situation with people, we’re trying to obtain a large tent to at least give them some form of protection against the elements. This person has insisted on having the same site as last year. So when we informed them that the track had been re-routed, they instantly became angered stating they aren’t participating because it’s too cold, sometimes it rains, etc, etc.

Okay okay…yeah…I agree. It does get cold. But here’s the thing…there are a number of us with outdoor sites (myself included) because unfortunately, not EVERYBODY was able to fit inside the building. We didn’t freeze to death. We just made sure to bring these things called blankets and sweatshirts. For some reason, we stayed pretty warm when we utilized them (I know…I’m confused on how that happened too). Now I’m sorry we’ve completely pissed this person off…but you know what…we’re not hosting this Relay so we can make them feel right at home. We’re shooting for our highest amount ever raised in a single year this time around…a milestone amount of $250,000. So these changes we’re making might piss this one person off…but maybe, just maybe…they will give us more exposure and help us bring in more money than ever to fund cancer research and help cancer patients out. I realize this person is battling cancer, but I don’t believe they’re doing the Relay to help find a cure…I think they’re doing it to look good in front of their friends or trying to get their name to the top of the list just so they can gloat about how they’re better than everyone else.

My response to the “it’s too cold outside/sometimes it rains” excuse I heard…

“The Relay for Life is supposed to signify a cancer patient’s battle against cancer. The battle against cancer is not always a peaceful walk in the park at 70*F with clear skies and a calm breeze. Sometimes it gets bitter cold or blistering hot. Sometimes the wind blows so hard you get knocked off your feet. And sometimes, no matter how much you’re fighting, it feels like the torrential rain will never end.”

This person would probably stare at me and scoff saying, “Easy for you to say…you’ve never battled cancer,”…and that’s very true. I haven’t. I’ll probably die from it, but I haven’t had it so far. However, at least this person is still here after fighting their fight. My mom fought that same battle. Her walk wasn’t a calm 70*F night. It started out that way…but then it rained…it snowed…it got hot…it got cold…and everything in between. Eventually her body couldn’t handle it anymore and she lost the fight, leaving my family here to miss her terribly every single day for the rest of our lives. As far as I’m concerned, a little cold air and rain isn’t going to kill me. It’s simply going to make me appreciate those fighting the battle that much more. Mother nature can throw me whatever she’s got because I can handle it all. And anyone participating in this event should be saying the same thing… “BRING IT ON!”

Last night my buddy proved to me that I am truly in it for the right reason…

He wants to organize a team fundraiser this year…he’s got some cool ideas that could bring in a LOT of money for our team. However, as I was walking away he said, “If this works out, I want 75% of the proceeds to be credited toward me.” I said, “Ok. But you can count me and my teammates out on helping you organize it.” He told me I didn’t do most of the work like he did and he deserved that money to be credited toward him. My problem with this…when there is a TEAM fundraiser going on, I don’t care if some of my members put in more work than others. The point of a team is to work together and accomplish a goal. The TEAM then receives equal recognition no matter if they sat on the sidelines the entire time or if they were out there for every play. When we did our team fundraiser last year, my buddy wanted half the money credited toward him. This upset the members of the team who busted their butts the night of our event to ensure it went successfully. On top of that, he told me I should take credit for at least 25% of the amount raised and divvy out the rest amongst those who were there. I credited him for his half, while voicing my displeasure, and then I divvied out the remaining 50% equally amongst every member of my team. Any money I raised in cash donations I always split equally amongst every member of my team. Why? Because we’re in this event together and I believe that if we want to be a successful team, we need to work together, not against each other. I just wish my buddy would see that. Instead, he’s more concerned about earning prizes and seeing his name show up in the top tiers rather than seeing all our names show up in the middle tiers.

So tell me now, what is YOUR reason for Relaying? Do you do it for the greed? Or do you do it for the right reasons…to honor a loved one, to congratulate yourself as a survivor, or just to do good in the community? I’m in it for my mom first…and because I have seen firsthand how cancer can rip a normal American family apart, I strive to help bring society to a point where that never has to happen again.

For my friends reading this…please go join my team for the 2014 Relay now…or if you don’t wish to participate with us, donations are also welcome.
http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFLCY14EC?team_id=1491034&pg=team&fr_id=57157

And once you’re done with that…check out my mom’s chronicles of her battle against cancer as written by her.
http://www.cagmom.com/cancer/cancer.html

Goodnight.

Pay Attention to Boring Politics.

This was written by my brother…reposted by me because he speaks a lot of truth…enjoy!

Government…. Yuck. What a nasty word these days.

Does anyone even care? You should.

Most people are under the impression that if something’s not physically impacting them RIGHT NOW, in THIS moment, then it does not matter to them what new laws are formed. Do you know why that is a problem? Because you have future generations to think about. Your kids, grand-kids, nephews, nieces, the future of humanity! Do they not matter to you? Maybe you just don’t WANT to know? You’re scared of the truth? You’re scared of being different than what the mainstream media reveals to you as “normal.” Who wants to be an extremist conspiracy theorist?
Uh… How about Patriots? True Patriots. Its pretty safe to say now, that anyone the mainstream media portrays as an extremist or conspiracy theorist is a constitution loving patriot at their finest. Think about it, the scare of 2012 is over. There are very few crazy people out there still claiming that the End of the World is here and blah blah blah. Its over, done with. Time to move on, right? Wrong. The media wants you to view everyone as a “crazy conspiracy theorist.” Why? Because they do not want YOU to know the truth. They think you are stupid. How do you like that? They think they can brainwash us all just by dominating whats released to the public. They KNOW that you are lazy and wont do your own research. They also know that you will take their word for it because they are still shoving “the land of the free” down your throats every chance they get. Its time to move on folks, really. Its time to face reality and grow up. We need to be men now and do whats right. Admit it, our founding fathers would be severely disappointed in what we have allowed the government to do. That’s correct, we ALLOWED it. Are we ready to fix it?

Lets start with the gun debate. I’ll make this short and simple.. because it truly is “simple.” People who knowingly break laws and are involved in crimes that DO have victims, do NOT care about what current laws are in place. That is a fact. Why would a murderous rapist predator care about a gun law? What is “law” to them? They obviously have no morals. Point being, even if gun laws were in place, criminals would still keep their guns or buy them off the black market and terrorize the law abiding citizens who no longer have guns. Its honestly that simple.
You can’t even begin to argue that if gun laws were in place the criminals would not be able to get them. It has never worked for anything. Not alcohol prohibition, not the war on drugs, nothing. They cant even keep drugs and weapons out of the world’s most secured prisons. Its impossible. There is always a way around it. The answer to all this chaos is Freedom.
Statistics show… More guns in society equals less crime. Less guns equals more crime. Why? Because when law abiding citizens have guns, criminals are a lot less inclined to mess with them. Nobody sane wants to be shot. If they’re insane, well, they’ll probably get shot. Seriously though guys, the majority of mass shootings are done within gun restricted zones. Look it up, don’t take my word for it.

I’m getting a little tired of hearing about “racist” this and “racist” that. Come on, very few people are truly that racist in the real world. Maybe in prison, I wouldn’t know. But American people, racist? Really? Sure, I hear cracker, nigger, spic, redneck, etc. all day long. But so what? You can bet money that any white guy calling a black guy a “nigger” probably has a few black friends of his own. Just the same, black people that call white guys a “cracker” usually have a white friend or two. Those are just words. We are not out there killing each other due to race like they did back in the old days. Right? Right.
So what is this “Racism” that the mainstream media keeps going on and on about? Well, have you guys ever heard of the phrase, “Divide and Conquer?” That is essentially what they are doing to the American people. They want to pair us all off against each other and let us fight. You think I am lying? Lets pause for a second, take a moment, and ponder… How could you win a fight when you are outnumbered 100 to 1? Hm… yes, Divide and conquer is right. What do they want from us? They want our FREEDOM. They kill two birds with one stone this way. They kill the first one by dividing the people and making their numbers smaller so they can’t stand together to do whats right. They kill the second one by making us fight more which allows them to add new laws and regulations for “the people’s safety” all while taking away your basic liberties and God given rights.

Lets talk a brief moment about Snowden. Yes, he’s nearly already forgotten about, but what did he do? According to mainstream, he gave up valuable information to terrorists. Whaaat? Wait… I thought he gave up valuable information to THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. Are we terrorists now? I guess that depends on who you ask and if you go by the governments “characteristics of a terrorist” list. Did you know you’re a possible terrorist if you believe in the constitution? If you keep more than seven days worth of food and water supplies? If you own multiple weapons? If you believe in conspiracies? (Conspiracy Definition – a secret plan or agreement to carry out an illegal or harmful act, especially with political motivation; plot) Weird… Feel free to look up the rest of the characteristics on your own. I’m just pointing out how ridiculous it’s all becoming. Snowden is not a threat to national security. National Security is a threat to us.
Okay, lets be real. Now that Snowden was forced to leave the country and stay with our known enemies, what would you have done? Would you have been a coward and not said anything? Would you have told us and faced possible execution? Snowden did what he had to do. If he is giving up governmental secrets now, I can’t say. Maybe he is, in order to stay alive? Who knows. The bottom line is he was forced to leave the country because he knew what would be in store for him if he stayed. Probably execution. I doubt you would have stayed either. Truth be told, you probably would have never came out and told the people. It took a lot of courage for him to do what he did. He did it to try and protect the American people. Wake up! Snowden is not your enemy.

Enough said for now.

It’s a gift. And a curse.

There’s one particular skill I’ve got that I hate. When it comes to web development and computer programming, I’m glad I have it. But in my personal life, I wish I didn’t. It’s my ability to do quick calculations in my head. Not math calculations (anybody who knows me well, knows that while I’m very good at math, I can’t do even the simplest arithmetic in my head to save my life). Scenario calculations. Cause and effect if you will.

If you give me a scenario…within seconds I can give you the likely outcome of said scenario. Not only can I give you the likely outcome, I can explain the step-by-step route that was taken to get to that outcome. I won’t say I’m always right or that I can determine the most efficient path to get to that outcome, but I can say that I am usually pretty close.

Any situation that gets laid out in front of me, I calculate out. Everything from causes and effects to likely outcomes…and if I have knowledge on the statistics, I’ll even run those stats through my head. So when people bring something up with me and I end up arguing with them on it, it’s not because I am opinionated and just don’t like the topic at hand, it’s actually because I just played the scenario back through my head and there is simply no good outcome. The problem is, nobody ever wants to listen to my reasoning which just makes me look like the bad guy.

I’ve had a lot of those situations popping up recently…and a lot of them that are stuck in my head. And it sucks because I know the outcome yet nobody is going to care, let alone believe me. I’d detail some of them, but they’re too personal.

On the plus side…back in my days of coding, it sure was nice being able to step my way through everything and track down an error embedded within thousands of lines of coding.

Definitely a gift. And a curse.

Give me a shovel and I’ll show you what rock bottom looks like…

I don’t know what it is lately…but it’s been a looooong time since my depression has been this bad. I’ve had my bad days before, but daaaaamn, lately it has been rough. Amanda’s been busy with the fair and I’ve barely seen her. I guess I gotta admit I’m lovestruck because not being able to sleep beside her for over a week now has seriously been hard to deal with. On top of that, work is still extremely stressful. Things are coming together and some stuff is smoothing over, but every time one thing gets easier, I get knocked upside the head by a new surprise.

A lot of people don’t understand what goes on in my head…telling them they don’t understand and then not explaining it usually just makes their attitude toward me worse, but to be honest, it’s just not something I can sit down and explain. Some stuff I have no explanation for. It usually relates to social anxiety, which anyone with any knowledge of phobias can tell you has no actual RATIONAL explanation. Other stuff is just stuff I’m not comfortable discussing face to face. Why? Because it’s stuff I have a difficult time talking about without getting choked up and most people can tell you, I’m not one to cry in front of my friends not matter how much I’m hurting. Often times, the only way my friends know I’m really hurting is when I end up drinking myself stupid. That’s about the only time I let myself go…and I know I shouldn’t…it doesn’t solve anything, but it just allows me to forget that my problems are there. At least until morning arrives…then my problems are there and on top of it I feel like a trainwreck.

So where to from here? I want to touch on something that’s been on my mind a LOT more as of lately…everyone reading this knows my mom died of cancer back in 2003. I’ve preached it and I’ve preached it and I’ve preached it. Everybody who cares to know the story knows the story by now. But the story you’ve all read is the story from my mom’s point of view. She wrote that website, not me. I wrote the final entry announcing to all her readers that she’d passed away. Nothing else was ever reworded by me. And I kept it positive and encouraging for her readers because that’s what my mom would have wanted. Aside from that the only real thing I’ve written and shared regarding my mom’s death is my account of the day she died (my “Flashbacks” blog posting).

You see…there’s a whole year and a half there that I never covered….and then there’s the 10 years since then where certain things still bother me. I don’t talk about that very often.

I don’t talk about the fact that even now, 10 years later, I still have flashbacks of my mom’s battle and cry myself to sleep. Not every night, but when I’m really feeling down, they come back to haunt me. I don’t talk about how I watched my mom go from a perfectly healthy naturally tan adult with long, beautiful black hair to a pale, broken, thin-haired/sometimes completely bald woman who couldn’t walk 30 feet to the bathroom without getting out of breath, even when she had an oxygen tank helping her breathe. I don’t talk about the fact that I often would walk upstairs to the kitchen to find my mom asleep, sitting on the floor with her legs crossed laying across the ottoman because that’s the only way she could breathe without choking and gasping for air. She rarely, if ever, slept in a bed during her final months. I don’t talk about the fact that when my mom was battling her cancer, I developed such a huge fear of hospitals that I rarely went to visit her–something I quickly came to regret upon her death. A regret that I can never make right no matter how hard I try. Or the fact that the night before my mom died, I was told to be home by curfew and I stayed out well past because it wouldn’t have mattered. Except it did matter. Had I been home by curfew I may have actually been able to have one more conversation with my mom before her condition suddenly worsened to the point that they had to call an ambulance. The next time I saw her, she was gasping for every breath on a hospital bed. The bed she died on just hours later. I don’t talk about the fact that I originally planned on killing myself if my mom lost her battle with cancer. I suffered from depression and she was the only person in my life who understood what I had to deal with and how it made me feel. SOMETIMES I talk about how my mom’s death tore our family apart…but those conversations are usually brief. My dad became an alcoholic. Same goes for my brother…as well as hard drugs. Both of them have straightened up, but because of it, there’s quite a void there.

One night recently Amanda wanted to smoke a cigarette with her friends while we were all out drinking…she knows I don’t like it, so she asked me if she could. I shook my head no. Sometimes it doesn’t bother me too much, but any more it’s difficult to think about. She asked if she could just take one puff. I said ok, just one puff. I really hate looking like a controlling ass and I felt that was allowing her a little ground. Of course after that one puff she looked at me hoping I’d cave in and let her smoke the rest. I was fully prepared to put that cigarette out with my hand just to make a point. She gave the cigarette away and moments later her friend commented to her in private that she appreciated me caring about her well-being, but she hated to see her being controlled like that. With my friends, situations like that are easy. I just remind them to re-read my mom’s website. But random people, especially smokers aren’t going to give two shits. I understood where she was coming from in a way…there are few things I’m controlling on…and even in that situation I hate being controlling, but what they don’t see is the flashbacks I have of my mom. When they’re sitting there smoking that cigarette, I see my mom battling her cancer, laying in that hospital bed gasping for air trying one last time to tell me she loves me. And even though it makes me look like a total ass…I try not to let them smoke…because it makes me an emotional wreck. And when I’m already having problems with my depression flaring up, it could be the final tipping point for me.

I used to carry a gun. I don’t anymore. Why? Because it’s too accessible for me and right now I just don’t trust myself keeping the barrel off of my temple. Between my depression, stress from work, and the flashbacks from my mom’s battle that have become more and more frequent, I have a hard time staying happy. Until Amanda came along, I used to try to occupy my mind with work or alcohol…when I couldn’t be with family on holidays, I spent them either working or drunk. I worked as often as I could because I didn’t want to get caught in the same boat my dad and brother were in. I was the only one in the family who didn’t have a DUI and I wanted to keep it that way. Now I’ve tried to ease up on the work aspect as I’m honestly working TOO much or wracking my brain TOO hard (I’ve had more stress headaches this month than I did all last year) but since I’m still trying to avoid the alcohol that leaves a void when Amanda is busy. She doesn’t always realize it, but she’s the best thing to happen to me in a long time. We have this little inside joke where she’s my koala and I’m her tree (although we’ve recently agreed that we’re both each other’s koalas)…but truth is I’m the koala and she’s my tree. Without her, there is no foundation for me to hang onto. I know I frustrate the shit out of her at times, but she’s had such a positive impact on me…she keeps my attitude in check. When I’m stressed…everything just kinda falls away when we’re cuddled up watching movies or sleeping. I’m still not on an 8am-5pm work schedule…but up until the past few weeks, most days I was at work by 10-11am…compared to 2-4pm last summer. It’s progress. I don’t even remember where I was going with this now…I guess that’s a good thing…3 hours ago I wanted to put my head through a plate glass window. I’m feeling much better now. Guess I just wanted to explain a lot of those pent up thoughts that I normally can’t bring myself to talk about face to face with people.

Goodnight.

The Perfect Crime?

Got into a discussion over the weekend…it stemmed from a discussion in the past about committing the perfect crime…thought I’d describe it a bit…

Basically I’d mentioned that it’d be the perfect way to leave the grid with a stolen vehicle. You search a small town, country homes, etc and find a car that has had the keys left in it. It’d take some hunting, but if you hit the right area, it probably wouldn’t take long. Then before the owner woke up and realized their car is gone, you’d make their license plates disappear. After all, why drive around a vehicle that basically says, “I’M STOLEN?”

So you’d go to a car lot in a nearby city…find a vehicle that doesn’t look used too often with a dealer tag on it. Dealer tags are not vehicle-specific so the cops would have no idea if your red Pontiac is the same red Pontiac listed as stolen earlier in the week. Just need to make sure you steal a dealer tag from a dealer who isn’t going to notice their tag is missing and report it stolen. That would defeat the purpose of swapping tags.

Voila! Stolen car to disappear in, hard to trace back as stolen unless you do something to get pulled over and they start tracing the tag back to the dealer, etc…

Funny thing is…folks thought I was dreaming up the perfect crime with this whole idea.

Truth is, it was my idea for the perfect suicide.

I left out the details of convincing folks I was moving away to start over prior to pitching all identifying materials, stealing a car, driving until it’s empty, repeating until I’d reached my intended destination and killing myself in a location where I’d end up a John Doe. And since I’d already told everyone goodbye prior to “moving”…I wouldn’t likely end up a Missing Person for my body to ever be matched up against. A near perfect method of disappearing.

Yeah, I’m fucked up.

Welcome to my head.

P.S.
I may post an actual update in the near future…once I find the time…

Define Success?

I’ve been meaning to write a portion of this blog for a while now…but just haven’t found the time to do so…

Recently, my buddy and I were sitting around a bonfire discussing our views on life, success, etc. and he brought up a poster he’d read at a local restaurant over lunch one day that’s really changed his views toward success in life and such. We shared very similar opinions on it and it’s a topic that’s come up for discussion a lot in my life that few people seem to see eye to eye with me on.

Here is the story…

A Little Story

The businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The businessman complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied only a little while.

The businessman then asked why he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The businessman then asked, but what do you do with the rest of your time? The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos; I have a full and busy life, señor.”

The businessman scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and I could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats; eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you would sell directly to the processor and eventually open your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City where you would run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But señor, how long will this all take?” To which the businessman replied, “15-20 years.” “But what then, señor?” The businessman laughed and said, “That’s the best part! When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions.” “Millions, señor? Then what?” The businessman said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

The fisherman, still smiling, looked up and said, “Isn’t that what I’m doing right now?”

-Author Unknown

A lot of people I’ve spoken with…many my own family members…have always disagreed with my way of life. They feel that I’m too smart to be doing what I’m doing and that in order to be successful in life, I need to go back to college and get a degree, find a new job that pays more and offers benefits in my degree field, build a nice career for myself, and then retire. But what have I really accomplished during that time? If I go back to school now, assuming I even make it to the age of 60, I will have wasted approximately half of my life just preparing myself to begin a career, at which point I will then spend at least 20 years establishing that career, since nobody can afford to retire by the age of 50, add in another 15 or so, before I’ll be able to afford retirement (provided I ever do), and then at age 65, finally retire and live a little. That’s IF I make it to age 65. Truthfully, I don’t see that happening. And let’s say I choose to follow their recommendations and I die of a heart attack at the age of 35. What have I accomplished then? Not a whole lot…I was too busy building up my future to get anything done RIGHT NOW. With my plan, I may work until the day I die (or can’t work anymore), but I’ll enjoy nearly every day of my life without too many regrets.

Cancer runs pretty heavily in our family…odds are I’m going to die well before I reach retirement age. I’m not going to beat around the bush on the subject, I really do have the odds against me there. Considering I’m not a big fan of doctors…chances are also good I will never know if I have cancer until it’s far too late. I prefer it that way anyway. After seeing what my mom went through in her battle, I want to go when it’s my time to go. I don’t want my family and friends to see me withering away.

I love my job I’m working now…I know, I know…I bitch a lot about how swamped I am, but that’s just because I’m stressed out learning a LOT of new things all at once. But that’s just it…I love learning new skills (plus you gotta admit, it’s a good resume booster). I hate formal education with a passion and think college is one of the biggest scams out there, but I love learning things in fields I’m interested in at my own pace. That’s the main reason for my stress…I’m being forced to learn at a faster pace than I’m comfortable with, but once I’ve got the hang of it, it’ll be cake. If I’m not learning, I’m not living. Many people are under the impression my late night computer habits involve porn and Facebook…but interestingly enough, porn is more of a morning habit. Errr…I mean…I actually spend a great deal of my free time on the computer researching various topics. In many cases it’s politics, but I’ll click on damn near anything that catches my attention and read about it. Currently I’ve been spending a lot of time researching land contracts and how to prepare them as that’s an important element in my job currently.

So what do I define as success in my life?

Success is keeping my head above water (and paying off my debts) while still having time to enjoy my hobbies. Success is working a job I enjoy, marrying the girl I love, eventually moving into a comfortable home and raising a family, and making enough money that I get to spoil my children just enough for them to enjoy growing up while still having an appreciation for what they have. Success is keeping my friends close and helping anyone who needs it. Tonight I received a text message from my ex that made me feel really good. It was a simple text message, but it made me feel like being supportive of my friends and those needing help really does mean something to them. Sometimes that reminder is something I need…especially on days when I’m feeling down and feel like a total failure at life.

The message read:

“Hey. Graduation was tonight and I just wanted to thank you for supporting me through my schooling. You kept me going when I didn’t believe in myself.”

Being able to help someone reach their goals, that is success. And I strive to do so any chance I get for anyone. Whether it’s a friend, a family member, or even a complete stranger who just needs a little encouragement.

Something else I want to touch on…don’t worry, I’m not suicidal…this may come off that way, but it’s not.

As I mentioned above…I don’t go to doctors. Granted, so far there isn’t really anything worthy of me having checked out anyway aside from what I’m fairly certain is chronic bronchitis that I’ve been dealing with for about 5 years now, but if I actually do end up with cancer, there’s that possibility that I could seem to have the flu and just up and die one day. I know people who have had that happen. Even people who go to doctors have had it happen that way so don’t go trying to convince me to get a bunch of tests done. If I die, I just want something published online somewhere a couple things. Call it a budget, non-legal Living Will & Testament or something…mainly, my pets. To whoever reads this…just make sure my reptiles all end up taken care of…I have plenty of reptile loving friends on my facebook who would be happy to take them. And my dog Heidi…she’s too good of a dog to give to just anybody and I hope somebody close to me can provide her with a good home. As far as my few possessions…I’ll be dead…do whatever with that shit. lol

Ummm…I’ve started getting active in bullying awareness type stuff. My friend is working hard to raise awareness about bullies around here and I’m trying to help her out some. I’d like to get more active in that. Seeing as how I was bullied all throughout my childhood, I just feel like there’s a lot of good I could do for children in the same situation today. We shall see.

The IRS hijacked my bank account. Gotta love them. I can’t wait until terrorists target them. I don’t know how nobody has snapped on them yet, or maybe they have and they just have REAAAAALLY good security. I dunno. Either way, they suck.

I’m tired and gonna go to bed now. I had more to talk about but good enough. Good night.

Random good song…

Losing my Mind

The past few days have been pretty rough…and unfortunately I’m unable to pinpoint a specific cause. I think it’s a combination of work stress, life stress, Relay for Life stress, and relationship stress, but I don’t know for sure. Normally I function better under stress which is why I try to keep myself so busy with multiple projects…but maybe this time I just finally reached that breaking point. While at no time have I seriously considered suicide I will admit that there were times where I seriously WANTED to do so and had to shake myself of that feeling. Yeah, it was that bad and that’s really rare for me.

The work stress will pay off in the end as I’m going to be gaining so much experience in a field that’s completely new to me…but it’s REALLY tough right now because I’ve had so much work piled on me and it’s stuff I have zero experience with. I’ve been trying to settle a million dollar insurance claim, fighting with city management, going back and forth with the insurance company and construction manager trying to get ready to begin demolition and reconstruction of one of our buildings which burned up in a fire last October (which I am now in charge of overseeing) and a bunch of other stuff. As if that wasn’t more than enough we’re discussing building two more buildings at the same time. I’m setting up and in charge of enforcing two different land-contract type of deals. I’m being put in charge of rent enforcement for the current 9 buildings being leased out in our industrial park. And on top of that, I’m still in charge of all the stuff I was in charge of the past few years. For those who don’t know, that’s the work that was once handled by myself, another girl and two or three separate companies. Yeah, things may be slow in the winter time, but I fucking dare you to tell me I don’t work during the warmer months. I actually feel like I have more work on my shoulders than I did when I spent a summer bottle raising two deer fawns. And during that period of time I was at work 3-6 times a day, 7 days a week for 3 months straight. I was home about 4 hours a night.

The life stress is mainly due to my own stupid actions…after getting in over my head with the IRS and getting behind on taxes for 3 years (that’s about $12,000) I finally just gave up and began ignoring the notices. I was told the IRS cannot do anything that would cause financial hardship (ie they can’t make you homeless). I guess cutting off your sole bank account which contains your rent money and all bill payments isn’t considered financial hardship…because they totally hijacked my bank account last week. I called and agreed to be compliant (while wishing the next Revolutionary War would begin so I could sit back and begin laughing at those crooks as the private militias fled in and killed everyone within their buildings) and they agreed to release the money. Of course, the bank apparently didn’t receive the first fax. So I called back 3 days later and asked them to fix it. They re-sent the fax and I crossed my fingers that they received that one before my credit card bill came due. As of Friday or Saturday my money became available again…with exception to an $80.00 fee they assessed me for whatever reason. So now I went from having a little cushioning to money being extra tight again. And I still need to file my 2013 taxes by May 30th and renew my license plates. Ugh.

The Relay for Life went fairly well…our team raised $160 just in on-site fundraising, plus I raised an additional $350 from my boss and my grandparents’ last minute donations. I think we’re going to be just over $2000 once all the donations are turned in. I ended up so swamped during it…I’m going to help out again next year, but now that I know what to expect, I need to put together a full sub-committee for Activities & Entertainment because two people trying to run everything all night long, plus setup and teardown just isn’t very easy at all. There were points that night where I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off…Amanda was helping me out a bunch and at one point I was trying to help get the band setup since they arrived early to setup and sound check, work things out with the karaoke guy, host a frozen tshirt contest, stamp the team’s hourly check-in on their spirit sticks, AND I was also supposed to start a balloon stomp contest which we’d COMPLETELY forgotten about while trying to do everything else. I felt terrible…I blew off most of my friends who showed up, my grandparents came to visit and help our team out from Illinois and I barely got to talk with them, my niece came to visit and I think the most I said to her was, “Hi Abby!”…I hadn’t seen her in two years and all I had time for was very literal “Hi.” That alone really broke my heart. I finally ran out of steam at around 6am and managed to get a 2 hour nap in. Our closing ceremonies really hit close to home for me…a lot of memories of my mom came flooding back and with that ceremony being so emotionally charged, I teared up quite a bit during it. I didn’t leave the Relay until 4pm even though it ended at noon…I stuck around and helped tear down everything. Then I ran to work and swapped vehicles (I had borrowed the dump truck and some tables for the Relay) and spent the next few hours at the bar fixing a computer for my bartender.

After all that I went home and still didn’t fall asleep cuz Amanda was gonna come over after she got off work at 11…plus I wanted to type up my “Post-Event Relay Report” with suggestions to improve the Relay next year while it was fresh on my mind. So I worked on that…Amanda came over and I ended up upsetting her pretty bad. I won’t go into detail on that but I’ve come to realize that I’m not very good with relationship stuff and I’m even worse at showing her how much I care about her. I mean I tell her all the time, but I’m not good at actually SHOWING her so she knows I’m not just bullshitting her. That’s something I really need to work on though because I don’t want to run her off…and anyone who’s sat and talked with me for any length of time knows how I feel about her. I think I’ve bragged about her to nearly every person I’ve talked to lately. She really is that great. I guess I’ve just spent so much time over the past years hiding my feelings from everyone and not really being all that involved with anyone that I’ve just gotten stupid when it comes to relationships. I don’t really know if there’s any other way to explain it. I definitely don’t have any acceptable excuses for it. That’s all I know.

The breakdown finally hit me this morning…I went to bed around 2am last night. Somewhere around 41 hours of being awake aside from that 2 hr off-and-on nap. I haven’t done that since I was about 19 when Roth and I stayed up for 48 hours without sleeping just because we were bored and wanted to see if we could do it. I slept until 8pm today, only waking up briefly to let the dog outside. I felt awful. Aside from the fact that I was so miserable from upsetting Amanda last night, I physically felt as if someone had tied me by the ankles to the back of their truck and drug me across a freshly harvested cornfield. When I met Matt for dinner earlier tonight, the first thing he said when I got out of the car was, “You look like Hell!” So yeah…that’s where I’m at now I guess…

I need to see how work goes this week but if everything smooths out like I’m hoping, I’d like to disappear to Florida to visit my parents for a few days around the 1st of June. I really need to get away and take a break. Depending on how the money situation is, I wouldn’t mind doing the same thing in Illinois sometime after that. Or I may just wait until the Relay at the end of July and spend a few days there then. I dunno…I definitely need to do something before I lose any more of my mind. It’s almost completely gone.

Age is just a number……………right?

I came to an interesting realization today and have discussed it amongst a friend or two and decided I’d like to bring this discussion out into the light a little bit.
(Actually it was either this or text the realization to a girl who shall remain unnamed until she doesn’t mind being thrown into the spotlight and blogging was definitely the easier solution since it’d take me freaking pages upon pages to text it…lol)

My closer friends know I’ve been talking to/seeing someone lately. She’s a great girl, I like her a lot, and I hope the feelings are mutual as to where everything is going between us. The interesting part of this is that she’s much younger than I am. In highschool I would have been like, “No way in hell am I going to date a girl so young!” But being out of school for so long…becoming friends with folks old enough to be my parents/grandparents and actually being involved in their adult discussions about relationships (rather than sheltered because I’m still just a kid), I’ve come to realize that it really isn’t the age of the person so much as the maturity level. Within the scope of the law of course. I don’t care how mature a 13 year old seems, it’s illegal and if you get caught you’re probably going to jail. Sorry about your luck. I would MUCH rather date an 18 year old with a great head on her shoulders than a 28 year old who still refuses to grow up, works a dead end job and parties every weekend. I think most people would agree to that.

But today I realized it goes deeper than that…is age REALLY just a number?

Technically, yes…but while age and maturity for MOST people usually follow a similar pattern, life experiences come into play a little bit and many younger girls haven’t built up near as many experiences when it comes to serious relationships. I’ve been in and out of the dating game a bit the past few years. In a way I guess there is valid evidence to support that I’m kind of a manwhore…because I’ve had my fair share of one night stands (or sometimes a little longer…but not long enough to consider a relationship). I won’t deny it. But the thing is, they’re one night stands because I’ve ended things and not because we went into it with the goal of, “Lets fuck and then part ways.” I’ve always had the goal of…”I want to try for a relationship with this girl”…and then it goes from a kiss to fucking in about 5 minutes flat. I’ve come to notice that most “adult relationships” go that way. You talk a little online, you meet up, and you’re in bed together that night. It’s like you’re so concerned about whether the relationship is going to work or not that you want to try it all out at once. If it’s great, you keep talking and fucking. If it’s not, then you end things and try again with someone else.

With this younger girl, it’s different…I may be way off base, but I think it’s because all she’s used to are the highschool relationships where the parents are in the picture usually…so fooling around and sex occur a lot less frequently compared to a relationship where you’re both independent, living on your own, and more time is spent doing appropriate things like cuddling and watching movies, walking and holding hands, hanging out with friends at their house after school, etc. And I think it’s an absolutely wonderful thing. We’ve spent the past couple weeks talking almost non-stop…just chatting, getting to know each other better and there’s been no pressure to take things to the next level. We’ve gotten together to watch movies and again…the pressure just isn’t there that we HAVE to take a relationship for a test drive to find out asap how it’ll play it…instead we just enjoy the company of one another, feeling out how comfortable and compatible we are with each other and we don’t feel like we HAVE to go all the way and test it all at once.

Because of this, I’ve been in an all around better mood…I get up earlier almost every day because I don’t want to miss out on talking to her…even when I went to bed just a few hours earlier.

I’m honestly wondering if there’s more potential of things working out in a relationship with an age gap than one where both are around the same age and are just striving to find the perfect relationship NOW so they can settle down.

My last attempted relationship went as follows…

Day 1 Texting…general texting and chatting…
Night 1 Texting…I’d already experienced seeing every sexual part of her body

Fast forward through texting here and there…mainly just random bullshitting and a lot of teasing/flirting

Night 1 together…movie and awkwardness, ran out of time
Night 2 together…movie, kiss for 45 seconds, sex. Yeah, that quick. Sorry Granny, if you’re reading this…LOL

And that’s not the first time it’s happened like that…the only time it hasn’t over the past few years is when I’ve dated single moms. While I’m obviously not so successful with them, I will give them this. They have the general dating thing down well as far as feeling the guy out and if you can handle children, dating a single mom really is a good way to go. If you haven’t done it, give it a shot.

I’m getting tired and rambling so bad I can’t remember where the fuck my train of thought is at…I’m PRETTY sure it left me behind at the station…

The point of this is…I have come to realize that age is more than JUST a number. In this case for my family who probably thinks I’m seeing a highschool student, the magic number is 18, going on 19 (and graduated from highschool). hahaha. Spending my time with a younger girl has brought me back to the days of highschool relationships…talking frequently while apart getting to know her better, cuddling up to watch movies and just laying there talking (and maybe kissing…gimme a break…I’m not publicly discussing what goes on all over Facebook), flirting a little here and there…you see what I’m getting at. I’m actually getting to know her! Which is something I think has become a thing of the past for grown adult relationships. We tend to focus on rushing things…and spending time with someone younger definitely helps to keep you in check. And for those of you young folks reading this…dating someone older adds an interesting twist into your relationships…you can have very similar personalities with the age gap causing you to have so many differences that it makes a relationship really enjoyable.

Just my thoughts on the matter.

If it feels like failure, it probably is.

I guess I’m all jacked up on Mountain Dew tonight…I feel tired but I can’t sleep. Figures since I was just telling my friends earlier how I’m doing better at getting up before noon and actually getting sleep, not just staying up all night.

Lots of stuff crossing my mind as usual…seems to be a common occurrence, these questions about my future. Will I ever get my shit together? Will I ever be debt free? Will I ever be good enough for someone? Not just in the sense that I’ll treat them right…I’m confident I can and will do that. I pride myself on being a pretty genuine and honest person. Sure I’m not perfect, but when I fuck up, I do my best to own up to it and learn from it. But I want to be more than…I want to have the ability to provide them with a good future, not one full of debt and struggles. And I worry that as much as I plan on fixing things, I will end up failing.

I hate failure enough as it is…but failing so bad I make someone else miserable would be the ultimate failure.

I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I have been spending a lot of time talking to someone lately. Someone I’ve definitely developed feelings for who seems to have similar feelings in return. I hope to see things continue to progress between us; she’s a great girl, but I can’t help but worry that I won’t be good enough for her. But what can I do? I mean I’m only really left with two options…run or go for it. And I’m not running. I hate running from my problems. It just leaves me miserable.

I’m just kinda bummed out lately…hard to imagine it…with everything I’ve got on my plate, you’d think I was one of the happiest men alive. But truthfully…I feel like a failure.

Our Relay for Life benefit is Saturday…I’m hoping for a good turn out, but I haven’t done as much for it as I would have liked. My buddy Jeff really deserves most of the credit on it. He’s busted his ass on it…and now the one time he’s really needing help and I’m too busy with other shit to even offer him much at all. I feel like if it doesn’t go as planned, I’m the reason for it.

Same goes for the actual Relay for Life. When I signed up, I was offering to help the current guy out. I had no idea that he was going to claim to still be in while not returning my messages nor showing up to meetings until 6 months out and then leaving me to organize everything. Considering I’m new to being a team captain, being in charge of a committee is some serious work. Thankfully the chair and co-chair as well as Jeff (who’s not only helping out with our team and the benefit but also the committee as well) have been very helpful to me and haven’t given up hope on me yet. I just hope that the event isn’t a total disaster. I’m really busting my ass on it though.

My most recent business venture seems to be failing…I’ve been trying to find someone to join us with an empty schedule to help out but I’ve had no luck. I think I’m just gonna take my $200+ license and make some community forums or some kind of discussion website just to put them to use.

I finally thought I came up with an awesome idea for a stormchasing team this year. One that could have resulted in us having a dedicated chase vehicle loaded with some equipment and everything. I just know I could have pulled this idea off with a little help…but it appears that I’m the only one who gives two shits about it, sooo it looks like I’ll be nixing that idea after all.

I dunno…all in all…just too much failure to deal with I guess. Have a good night folks.

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