Saturday, October 30, 2010

Because I went to FAMU...

Famu Post!
When former President Humphries would take the microphone at the Homecoming game, and start the could feel the electricity. There are couple of extra lines in the official version, but this is one we like the best.

When the dark clouds gather on the horizon,
When thunder and lightning pierce the skies,
When fate is but a glare in the eye of a fallen Rattler,
and hope….a lost friend,
When the sinew of the chest grows weary from those hard charging linebackers,
And the muscles in the legs grow tired from those hard charging runningbacks,
You must always remember….the Rattlers will

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Do You Really Know How to Date?

Ramblings Post #146
I stole this topic. Don't worry, I told the person I stole this topic from I was gonna steal this topic and he's good with it. I got from my message board, the only one I ever joined for the conversation, and where I've been a active participant for a long time. It's like an internet gated community. The original answers to this question were funny, thoughtful, and insulting. And I found out a lot of folks really aren't satisfied with "dating" as they see it. Kinda sad.

Do you really...really know how to date?

Let's see. For most of us, dating in our twenties was a movie, where we sat in the dark and watched in silence, then a bit of awkward conversation over a rushed inexpensive dinner at the local mid-range chain ( Applebee's, TGIF's, Red Lobster, etc. ) and then off to someone's place for sweaty heing and sheing. Not much later, the non domiciled participant would be expected to leave. Then after a month or five, everyone would switch partners.

This was dating? Really?

I'm older. Not necessarily wiser, but definitely older, and I'm not happy with where I've been and where it looks like I'm headed. But I know that this was was "seeing" somebody, not really dating. It struck me once, that the sum total of a relationship that was about to get intense, consisted of maybe six hours of being together (over the course of three dates) and four or five phone conversations, one of which was a call to tell me she needed to push one of those dates to another time. From strangers to grooving in less than seven hours.


Spanky once asked me what happened to courting? Where a man got to know a woman before they got to the tricky tricky, and I told her that somewhere we'd all reversed the game. A confluence of events conspired with fate and Starship. Men, aware of the sad reality of the "friend zone" and the reduced status that came with it sought to move up the endgame. Women, liberated and free to do as they pleased after ages of repression, decided that they didn't have time to waste, and indulged heartily. People got straight to the doings, before they found if they actually could stand one another.

I mean, let's be honest here, for the first date, you aren't yourself. You're an extra clean, slightly smoother version of the normal you. The second date is worst than first, because you weren't sure of what you getting into at first and now you're spiffing up with an agenda. By the third date you're just about a completely pretend human, synthesized to fit the other person ideal so you don't talk yourself out of the naked cha cha slide you figure is still on deck.. Which is why after a month or two, I'm guessing thirty to forty hours of real time interaction, it is only then that you realize that this person is, and always was, a less than worthy candidate, or worse...a psycho. And then you move on, find a new mate...and repeat.

So what is dating? Or as Spanky called it...courting?

It's taking the time to get to know someone. Really know someone. A month or two. Or five. I was appalled the first time I heard a woman say she had a minimum of ninety days before she'd go there with a guy. Unilateral decisions regarding co-physication have always been abhorrent to me, and still are, but.... I now see that she was expecting "courting". The getting to know someone before the getting to know someone, in the biblical sense. And that there was a strong possibility that she understood that love meant more than just quality time. That the quality time she was looking for was two souls sharing existence, liking each other, before touching each other.

Dating is more than movies and dinner. It's talking, about life, loves, hopes and dreams. Its when you see what the other person is really about, not the show they can put on. Figuring out if they're hanging around because of the way your hips look in them jeans, or because of how much money they think you have. And a lot of us don't do that because, as we like to phrase it, "we don't have the time." All we got is time. Time to that or be lonely and mad, because nothing comes prepackaged. And honestly, at times learning who someone really is can be painful, which I think is the deeper reason we don't want to fool with it. When you've taken the time and turns out they were just a good performer, it stinks.

As I've stated before, and will state again: The best couples are people who actually like each other. You know, friends. I also know most of the world does not agree with me. But then I am who I am, so go figure.

Let's see, counting up the number or euphemisms I used for sex. Eleven, man I'm good.

Barkeep, eleven shots of tequila. No, I'm not gonna drink them all myself. I need six volunteers.

[Update: I missed one. There are actually twelve. It was bad]

Friday, October 22, 2010

I'm Not Who I say I am...Most of the Time.

Ramblings Post #145
I feel like ...well, sometimes I, Well. Dude, I just so want an ice cream sandwich about now, man you just do not know. But one would be a box in like 10 minutes. Ice cream sammich. Patience. Patience

Looking back at some of my former posts, one might get the impression that I'm a negative person. Okay, one might be convinced that I'm a negative person, because some of this stuff is less than happy. Some of it is downright depressing.

Right now, I'm at period in my life where a lot of things aren't working out quite the way I had planned, I got a lot of stuff going on and this blog was always supposed to be me screaming into the virtual darkness with my frustrations regarding my own personal reality.

But I've never been a quitter.

My Philosophy: Once you're committed, you have suit up and go out and play. Even in the fourth quarter, far behind and failing - you can't give up the struggle. Or at least I don't. It's why I get up and come to a job I lost respect for long ago, day in and day out. Sporty admonished me over and over for never taking my vacation, but I honorably told them I would do the job -- and since I had no backup, and try to take responsibility seriously, I did what I had to do. It's why a lot of times I'm lingering around far too long after a wiser man would have cut his losses and moved on. I don't lose...I run out of time.

There is an old southern saying, it goes..."I will meet you in the middle of the field with a broken bottle and chain. I might not win, but you will know you've been in a fight." When I look back at it, 95% of the time if I don't like something, I will do those things within my power to change that something. But I'm a very patient person by nature, and it just usually takes me a while to get from just complaining to actually really not liking something these days.

Don't like the job enough. Find another one. [I'm in school for this, otherwise I'dve been gone]
Don't like the spot I'm living. Start figuring out how I can get out of it. [ I'm looking at renting it out now]
Don't like the way I look, start working out or loosing weight or something. [see previous posts regarding "looking sexsay"]

I come off here a little dark, but if you were to meet me, I'm funny. Light hearted. I smile a lot although I'm gonna need dental work at some point. I'm generous. Helpful. These are hardly the actions of the man depicted in a lot of these posts. I don't guess I'm intentionally distorting who I am here, but let's just say I don't really feel the need to "celebrate" into the virtual darkness. That would not be good, not at all. I mean, I have real people I can talk to. Y'know?

A lot of what you read here are the echos in my mind. The self doubt and mental questions that make me want to get up and get better. Get better so I can make those echoes go away.

And it shall always, get better.

Barkeep, Knob Creek. And one cube of ice.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Who we need is UN Jefferson

This is a political post.

This guy. This guy right here. This is the guy I elected. Well, I thought I elected.

The problem I have is the problem the tea partiers and the Angry Voters have. I don't want wise words, intelligence when making decisions, adherence to process, political compromise for long term sustainability or patience to wade through the morass of emotion. I want strength and instant results. .

But only for the stuff I want done. My stuff exclusively.

Apparently a lot of Americans would love a dictator, if he was on their side (see Bush Administration - indefinite detainment). They don't mind inequalities, as long as the inequality is in their favor (see Bush Administration - larger tax breaks for wealthy) . And shredding the constitution is horrible, unless by doing so the changes I want can happen faster. (see Bush Administration - Fourth Amendment issues)

Lately, as the mire of economic woes seems get darker, we all want answers and fixes and we all want them now. And a lot of the frustrations that occur to people putting in a lot of work for a little effort is becoming more evident. A lot of expectations - expectations that as a function of national expectation are way out of line with reality - are not being met. And as a result, a lot of Americans are exhibiting behavior that at five years old would have earned them a "butt cutting". Threatening folks, yelling and not listening, not compromising on anything, etc, you know, just anger looking for outlet. Or to put in a better perspective, if was being done TO their five year old, they would be at the school trying to sue somebody for bullying their child. Or in some cases, fight somebody.

And if you age my five year old example up to teenage years, what you get is the crux of the issue. You see the liberals are the sweet little dweeb whose mother dresses him funny, and the Republicans are the cool guys who smoke behind the gym.

Everybody wants to hang out with the cool guys. They wear the leather jackets, and have the nice stuff. Once they get their band together, and make some great music, we'll all be superstars. And no one ever notices that their grades aren't good, or that they're parents pay for everything, and that in the end the only ones that benefited from anything they talked you into is them. But they're just so cool.

The, liberals on the other hand are the kids dress a little funny and know all the rules. They can hold real conversations, remember your birthday, help you study, actually care how you feel, and will spend their own money to make sure the homeless guy down at the bus station has a sandwich on a cold night. They're great guys. Only no one really wants to chill with a guy who is willing to work all night on that paper and get them a good grade. They want to hang out with the guy who can score them some beer.

Now, despite the continuing series of political roadblocks and blind obstinacy to anything with a Democratic name attached to it, analysts are still seeing this as an extremely productive Congress. A lot of legislation was passed that will benefit all Americans on its face, instead of a small who group who will in turn help everyone else. It's the same as if the little guy, that dweeb, despite the fact that everyone else is out texting or hooking up, worked all night to make sure everyone's prom wasn't ruined. And his thanks? The same thanks the real people who put it all together got. Just about nothing. We'll even elect the cool guy prom king just to rub it in.

Just like in high school, the cool guys [the conservatives] just tell a better story.

We hoped, when we voted him in, that we had found our own UN Jefferson. If you don't remember, UN Jefferson was the black savior of the nerds from the 1984 film Revenge of the Nerds. At the end of the movie, UN arrives, stands up to the obnoxious bully boys and gives the nerds a chance to speak, allowing everyone to realize that most of us are disadvantaged. That we're all just feeding into a system we all want to be a part of - the wealthy and well to do - but will never be able to join. It's why now although most of us will never be millionaires, half of us are battling for their right to privilege. Because we think one day we'll be there too! Um....yeah, right.

UN Jefferson

In a few weeks, we'll all get to vote again. And this time, hopefully we'll turn it into one those uplifting stories, where the guy who got picked on and did all the work finally gets his due. More likely however, the cool guys, having done nothing will win again.

Where are you UN?

(okay, we'd settle for this guy)

Barkeep, I need some Booker's on this one.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

So exactly what do you mean?

Ramblings Post #144
We all want to find the one. Okay, when you're young you want to find the two or the three depending on your personal appetites, but in the end you want to the find the one. And it will be great, everything will fall into place, your needs will be satisfied, and you can rest easy knowing they are there. So, you're looking for the one. But when you get down to it...what does that really mean?

Where we all want to be in the end.
(someplace warm, I mean. Tropical shirts and all that)

Lately I've been trying to figure out what is it women mean when they use the term "good black men". Do they mean money? Actions? Ideas? A combination? And it's different for every woman. It confounds me, primarily because despite my concerted effort to be something else, in essence I've always been the guy who ascribed to the imagined ideal of what a guy should be [ at least by standards set by the influential media of the late eighties - early nineties of my formative youth]. As a old high school friend put it even then, my problem is that "I actually gave a damn."

This comes up because of two videos I recently saw on Youtube, Black Marriage Negotiations and it's companion piece Black Dating in a Hip Hop Society. Both of which depict an "extreme" and at times hilarious perspective on our modern day relationships, and the influences it looks like we draw from to reach those conclusions. A number of people I know found it funny, a bunch of other folks I know are upset because the way they feel it degrades the black woman. It has been remarked that if the video upsets you, then it must hit a little too close to home. [ Note: I didn't say that, it was some chick on Youtube here.]

I know a lot of black women. A lot of independent black women. A lot of single independent black women.

I realized watching those oddly compelling videos is that a lot of younger women have no idea at all what a good black man looks like, or acts like, or does. And if you don't know what you're looking for, how can you expect to find it?

A confluence of events make this possible, some of which are the ascendancy of the single mother household, the rise of the "gangster mythology" in black media and the natural rebellion and the desire for excitement. I don't have the time (law school studies) or the energy for a complete analysis right now, and I don't want to lay all the blame on the women, men ARE responsible for their share of this mess. But I'm going to focus on the women's issues for the moment, these three in particular.

The ascendancy of the single mother household : Believe it or not, those of us with two parent households learned a lot simply by breathing. My parents worked hard to make sure we had what we needed, but the real key was the incidental life lessons we learned as their relationship made it though year after year. Children in this situation see a relationship - and the interdependence necessary to make it work. Somethings you can't tell a person, they have to witness. But young girls raised by single mothers see only independence. Which is great, until you realize you can't be independent in a couple..

With no constant father in their life, a lot of young women [and men] grow up not knowing how a real relationship works. The details and nuances that only come from seeing it happen, this informal life lesson, is lost to them.

The rise of the "gangster mythology" in black media: Snoop dog has been a gangsta for twenty years. Jay Z is in his forties talking about dealing that happened over a decade ago. Weezy can barely speak and resembles by his own admission, a goblin, commands media attention from jail. When I was young, we didn't idolize the criminals, not even in the black community. Now, because the music that permeates our neighborhoods and the accompanying videos dancing across our TVs glorify an unsupportable lifestyle of loose money, expensive cars and jewelry, this life of excess is now how we grade success, it's become what we aspire to, what we expect... not the houses our parents and grandparents struggled to get.

With our values skewed, the idea that we won't "settle" becomes a mockery. Determination to achieve excellence is laudable, even admirable, unless your excellence is an almost cartoon fantasy of an existence. And that's about where we are.

Natural rebellion and the desire for excitement: Everybody wants to hang out with the fun people. People who study long hours, follow instruction and obey authority are boring. And between fifteen to twenty one or so, the idea of future is a fantasy, not the constantly arriving destination it becomes with maturity. So young girls chose the exciting guys, the cute guys, the guys who superficially satisfy the fifteen year old mind. And I can't blame them one bit. This one I got no answer for. Nerds ain't sexy. Girls just don't dream of marrying an accountant or a claims adjuster. Even without the fantasy enhanced by the media, it just isn't going to happen. But...

We need to instill in our daughters the idea of marrying a doctor or lawyer, and raising a family. Going back to the rise of the single mother, too many daughters see independence as their key, but yearn for the opposite of family. Those girls need to be told: it's okay not to be independent.

[Full disclosure] Would I recognize a good black woman? In all probability, no. Not unless she looked like Melyssa Ford or some other model type. At least not in the instant tense. Attractiveness is what it is, you have to want to start the conversation, geez. I'm far, far, far from perfect, but since most of my relationships are built on trying to enhance relationships with women I already know and care about, a lot of this only mildly applies to me.

So I ask again. What is a good black man? I wrote a piece called "Who are the Serious Men" a little while ago [ I just realized I didn't post it here - so later, I promise], and I hope they qualify as good guys. But I said before and I'll say it again, if you're not sure what you're looking for, how do you know when you've found it?

Barkeep, I would like a Manhattan. I have no idea why.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sipping Talk

Sipping Talk
Sometimes it doesn't even qualify as bar chatter. Half thoughts that you mumble between sips of a good bourbon or whiskey. Sipping Talk. It's like your minds on auto, and your mouth doesn't know not to work. Because of the really good bourbon or whiskey.

Φ Well, football season is pretty much over. I mean, maybe they can get it back this season, but that's a long hard row to hoe.
φ Need a new celly. I like the blackberry, but I want more functionality.
δ The PS3 is about to go into the closet until December. It's NEVER just 5 more minutes.
φ Why do I still get status updates from the person who unfriended me on Facebook? [the one that mattered anyway]
Φ I would really like...a slice of pizza. I'm so ready for this part of my weight loss program to be ovah!
φ Tired. Tired of so many things. So tired.
φ About time to saddle up and ride. Finals are right around the corner. The corner being a month from now.
δ I'm going to start going to bed earlier.
Φ At 18, I should have just packed a bag and moved to South America or the South Pacific like I dreamed of.
δ Pizza and Chicken wings. With fries.
φ Slim hit me up out of the blue talking about brunch on Sunday. I didn't go. Diet.
Θ If you don't think you've won, you haven't won. The score is immaterial
Φ I'm not going clothes shopping until I'm done. And I'm not done.
δ Cole Haan stop making the shoe style I liked. The term classic means nothing to them.
Φ I think I've finally stopped believing in love songs.
Θ NPR's contribution drive always irritates me.
Φ I would really like to go sleep tonight, wake up and it be 1975 and I'm a kid again.
Θ Ice cream sandwiches
φ The only thing I've ever really measured my life by I'm woeful short on.
Φ Started yet ANOTHER new story I'm never going to finish.
Θ I think I need a hug. Okay, I need more than a hug, but I'll settle for a hug.
Φ Going on eight years, still haven't taken a vacation. But I got nobody to go with, so I'm not missing anything.
δ Maybe I should have been a rapper.
Φ I'm not where I expected to be at this point in my life. Not even in the worst case scenarios.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

FDR? Never heard of him...

This is a political post.

I'm all for crazy. Crazy can be fun.
Suddenly the appeal of Netflix is crystal clear.

Rush Limbaugh believes that Obama tanked the economy on purpose.

Never mind that the economy stalled, then stopped under the previous administration and its economic policies, months before Obama was even elected, much less the half a year until he was sworn in. So how a person who wasn't even assured a victory was somehow in control when Lehman Bros and Merrill collapsed is beyond me. But the secret time traveling communist socialist Kenyan agent of the Secret Liberal Cult that runs the world, Obama might also be responsible for impotence, the sinking of the Titanic and the black plague in the Middle Ages. I'd really like just five minutes of Rush's time so that he can lay out the time line for me that makes this Obama's fault, because I is confused.

Micheal Steele believes that Obama invaded Afghanistan.

It's Obama's war NOW. Okay, maybe the president really is a time traveling socialist Kenyan agent, because if I'm not mistaken, we invaded Afghanistan BEFORE we invaded Iraq. I mean, this is the war everybody was for. The September thing was still fresh and the guys who did it weren't ashamed to say they did it and were literally spoiling for a fight to prove America was a shadow of its former self. So with the backing of pretty much the Western world, and the quiet understanding of everybody else, President Bush sent the troops in. So exactly how did Obama, then ...well, I don't even think he was the junior Senator then geez, so what math is Micheal Steele using? Or is this more of Micheal the mole? And when the GOP stop liking war?

There is nothing wrong with a little creative re-envisioning of events to justify a position.

There is however a problem with an influential person lying outright for financial, political, or personal gain.

What's happening in the current political landscape isn't a reimagining, or a reinterpretation of things that happened in a better light, i.e., the "I'm glad I got sick because it means I got to take a few days off and sleep". This is more like selling people a janky used car or the Brooklyn Bridge. In a normal bit of parlance, this would be called fraud.

Some of the current logic escapes me. Extending tax breaks are okay, but extending unemployment insurance is not? The former merely allows those who already have to increase their wealth, pay less into the system already in dire need. The latter is a nearly direct injection of capital into the economy. Which is more needed?

My new irk is the idea you can't buy yourself out of an economic malaise. The only economic model we have to work from - the period after the Great Depression - says that pretty much only the Government can save the country. Republicans hate this for some reason, even when they're in charge.

It was World War II television pundit Republicans cry, not the useless Government that brought America out of its economic mire after the Great Depression.

So, the war was hiring? The war created jobs?

Saying the War transformed the economy is like saying "Cow go moo" A cow does much more than just go moo. That thinking is piecemeal logic. The economy had suffered a decade long spiral until the war. The government had tried multiple programs with little effect. Then war occurred. Powered by factories producing planes, ships, and other items for our soldiers and allies, the economy righted itself. So, who do you think paid for all those planes and ships? Did industry build them out of the goodness of their hearts? No, these were all built on government contracts. The War gave the government the ability, the carte blanche, to borrow enough money to get the economy jump started. The US government finally injected enough capital into the system to get it working again. The previous measures simple weren't enough, more was needed. Plain and simple.

Unfortunately, because the Bush Administration used the war card - twice - to pump money to their industrial military complex cronies in the past decade, and because of the change in the makeup of the American economy - from a production economy to a service one, throwing money at industry isn't going to do it. Creative minds need to find new ways to pump money directly into the hands of the people. But that's a different post.

In my limited opinion, the Republican establishment seems bound and determined to take their country back. Back from who I'm still trying to figure out - I mean, we're all Americans - but the means they're undertaking to do it, the lies, the ridiculous and insulting revisionist versions of history, the outright misrepresentations, indicate to me, that maybe we may have made the right choice in kicking them out in the first place.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Stand up and Admit it

Ramblings Post #143
There are times in a man's life when he must own up to those things he is. I have no other belongings, my actions and my beliefs are my sole possessions, for all else is gone, those will be what I have to live on. I am what I am. That is all that I am.

I am a Dallas Cowboy fan.

These are not good times.

I have been a Cowboy fan since I first started watching the game, for reasons I'm not quite clear about. Raised in South Carolina before the Panthers existed, and when the Falcons were...let's just say before the Falcons were who they are now, the Sunday football packages were limited. Probably because we only had three channels. Well, five channels, but one was PBS and the other a Christian broadcasting station, so...we had three channels. And they broadcast the Cowboys a lot. There was something about the team, the crisp precision of team execution and Coach Tom Landry, with the phone in his jacket

Did you know that a coach now has to get special permission to wear a suit on the sidelines?

The reality that they are now in the midst of a losing season does not deter my loyalty at all. Yes, I said losing season, because until they reach .500, it's a losing season. I made it through the one win season that Troy Aikmen's baptism by fire, I'll make it through this. I cannot believe I trusted Wade with my team. At times like this I can't even watch the games, as the frustration would raise my blood pressure and endanger my furniture. There was time that my mother would put off her Sunday night call until Tuesday or Wednesday because she knew I'd be upset after a Cowboy loss.

I am very passionate about some things.

I also am very aware that my fine tuning is a little rusty. As a youth I had trouble modulating certain expressions of frustrations (i.e, I used to get very angry and break stuff) so I dialed it all the way back to point where for the most part I appear aloof. Its not that I don't feel things, I'm just not very good with them.

Which is why I'm writing this, to vent my frustration at the random Cowboy hate that seems to be free floating about. Okay, it was funny when people say something like, "My team is the Redskins, and whoever is playing the Cowboys" or some variation thereof when the 'Boys were winning. Yep, all fun and games until somebody gets a penalty that negates a game winning pass. But now it looks like its kind of deserved: racking up stupid penalties, uninspired playing calling, etc, although they were really only a penalty or three away from winning a couple of those. And maybe now I'm only just seeing the ire, but there are people whose team isn't even playing the Cowboys who just want to see them lose. Okay, I give Sporty a pass because although her team doesn't play Dallas, she is actually in Dallas, so the comments do have a bit of an outsider defensive rationale. That and I'm stupid for her. The rest of these mugs, especially those whose teams aren't even in the same division mystify me.

I don't think I'm being sensitive either, I lived through a whole season in college with two rabid Redskins fans, I've heard the Cowboy criticism, both deserved and not. But ragging on the Cowboys who were picked to win it all and failing? They didn't anoint themselves, the sports writers picked them. And now things aren't going the way they planned, which happens in football. A lot.

No, these are not good times.

But I'm still a Cowboy fan. Good or Bad.

Barkeep. One Tall Texas beer. Hey, maybe they can still pull it out!

Monday, October 11, 2010

At the Center of All

Ramblings Post #142
This must be what a mid-life crisis is on the cheap. No purchases of exotic cars, or pneumatic girls in the twenties, just enough neuroses to make Woody Allen say "Man, you've got problems!" Well, at least I got my health. Ooh, what was that twinge?

Shade called last weekend. She had no issues. She was very happy to report that.

Shade had developed a bad habit of only calling when something was wrong, so fresh from her vacation, she called to let me know that nothing was wrong. Nope, her interview at a dream job just happened, just bought the new Coupe, new man acting right, she was all good. It was a nice change of pace from the coaching her though whatever man/life problem she was currently "suffering" through during previous calls. I just knew once she found a guy who lived in the code? area code? Oh, wait, in the same state! ... she'd settle down. And since her new beau now is talking rings, it's sounding kinda serious.

Funny, I don't think Scoop is gonna take that one too well.

In any case, since we didn't have her issues to to talk about, we talked about mine. But since her issues are usually concrete - do this, feel this, come to a conclusion and embrace it - and my issues are a lot more esoteric, it wasn't a long conversation. She had no answers. Not one. My current issue is dealing with who I am to become.

At my last weigh in, I had lost 47 pounds. I'd slimmed down, gut was on it's last legs, sucking in my stomach actually resulted in something akin to a six pack, face looked thinner and it suddenly occurred to me I wasn't the same person. Now I just might be becoming "the Star". Let me explain.

In the story of our lives, we should each be "the Star". Although the star doesn't have to be in every shot, dominate every scene, they are the reason the story continues. This is where self confidence is bred. In my own life, I've usually considered myself more as ...comedy relief. Or at best, Daffy Duck to someone else's Bugs Bunny. It's an odd concept, where you keep putting others first, but its who I am in a large part. Although I've been like that for as long as I can remember, a great deal of that kind of thinking lately I attributed to my weight. By lately, I mean the last two decades or so. By the way, it's a great cop-out for why things aren't going your way.

Now the weight is going away. So ...who is left?

Think about it like this: My knee hurts, and the doctor said that as you lose weight, fat the formerly stabilized the tendon is diminishing, so my knee has to adjust. Well, to some degree a great deal of fat used to stabilize a number of my own social shortcomings[ex: Women like aggressive, I'm not aggressive, I was fat...I didn't have to be]. Now that the fat is going, I'll have to adjust other things. Mental things. And what if the weight wasn't the actual reason for a number of personal social inadequacies? Then what?

As I told Shade, the consideration of such a life change when I started this process was not an element of the planning. I'd lose a few pounds, get some new clothes, poof, done. I joked I would suddenly be sexy, and all that, but it all looks a little different somehow at this point. One of my great skills is adaptability, which I am good at in small doses, but this is a fundamental shift. Its one thing to talk "big shit" from the bench - where I mentally had placed myself, but now it looks like I might get in the game. And what if it turns out, I should have stayed on the bench? Considering all the other things in flux in my life, now is not the optimal time for ethereal truths to come to light.

Or what if get to where I'm going, and it's just the same as where I was? Questions like I shouldn't have sprung on someone fresh from vacay. I should call her and apologize.

Life is funny. I hope.

Barkeep. What I really want is a Vanilla shake with Caramel and Chocolate sauce, but I'll take a Crystal Light Green Tea.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Mind Games

Ramblings Post #141
First you need a main character. They need to have a flaw or two, nobody likes perfect, but a redeeming quality that makes them likable. They need to be whole people, not just cardboard cutouts to perform the fictional action, but a background needs to be devised. If the background is good enough you won't have to write the will write itself. Oh, and they need a distinctive name. The kind that makes you repeat it to yourself. That's how you start.

Sometimes I wish I didn't have so good an imagination.

As I've indicated, I write a lot. It's like a valve to let all the various thoughts in my head out, because if I don't commit them to, digital file... I just keep rehashing them over and over, tweaking and honing it into infinity. But that really doesn't help much, because each old idea out is replaced by a new idea or concept. I wrote up something yesterday and today I came up with a new idea for something else I'm have to gonna put together at some point. I'm like a older black version of Barry Ween, I just can't stop thinking.!

The stuff I feel I can commit to paper is just the part of it. A great deal thought involves Sporty, in the various ways a man thinks of a woman. Use your own imagination.

And if that was it, I might consider myself normal. Well for most of the stuff. The vast majority of the stuff. We're both adults. But, before I digress too far, my mind also puts together the bad possibilities as well, playing out worst case scenarios over and over making me question what's going on with my psyche. Why would I entertain these incredibly unpleasant, painful thoughts? Is my mind preparing me for what it sees is inevitable?

In my mind I've imagined incidents that bruise the soul: angry phone calls, fights, screaming, rejection, that day that one day I may have to experience, growing old alone and running into her years later, and many other moments I never want to see in reality. In real life our disagreements are so rare, end so quickly, it's odd. My mind is playing tricks on me with this. Not that I don't imagine other good possibilities: the trips, cooking for her, and sometimes even mundane activities, but the mental horror compilation is playing on far more cerebral movie screens than the romantic comedy in which I cast us [side note: Sporty likes horror movies]. What am I doing to myself?

One of my great inhibitors with Sporty, was that I never could figure out why she liked me. I was in essence a slovenly hedonist at the time we started hanging out. Some women liked me because I was smart, some because I was funny, some because I was nicer than the guys I hung out with. But because I couldn't figure why Sporty claimed me, a lot of my actions were based around the idea that too bold a move would drive her away. I had seen it before, and she'd become too important to me. As a consequence, I imagined the most typical bad situations and how to avoid them. Still didn't work. Now for some reason I can't stop thinking about the bad things.

But where there is life, there is hope.

I live on hope. I have lived on hope pretty much all my life. Hope, bravado and quick thinking.

Vince Lombardi once said, we don't lose...we just run out of time. There are a lot of things you can cut your losses on, this ain't one of them. Play to win baby. Play to win.

Barkeep. You know the drill.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

On my own terms

Ramblings Post #140
Sometimes we all need raise our vision to take stock of the world around us. And sometimes, we need to duck our heads and keep at the grind. The trick is knowing when to do which, and keeping it all straight in your head. Here is a parable.

There was a race held one day, and three men participated.

The Allen ran a steady race, and in the end finished first among the many participants.
The Bob ran a steady race, but finished in the middle of the crowd.
The Chuck ran a poor race, and halfway through, thoroughly tired, gave up.

That night each the three men met, and each wanted to share with the others the story of his triumph.

How was that possible?

Allen had run the race many times before, always doing well but never quite winning. He'd finally come in first after many years of trying.

Bob had always done poorly. But this time he'd prepared properly and run a good race, beating his best time and finishing well ahead of where he'd finished in other outings.

Chuck had never run the race. He'd often thought about, but had always found an excuse. This time he'd actually gone out and run. He hadn't finished, but he'd started, and that was a beginning of something he knew he could continue.

The moral here? Bob might have had a hard time understanding why Allen wouldn't have been happy with third or fourth, and Bob might not understand how Chuck's not finishing is considered good. But everyone's triumph is different. Everyone's victory is defined on their own terms. We all need to stop trying to judge other's lives by our own standards. Makes things easier.

Barkeep. I have educated the masses. Something brown.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Bar Chatter

Bar Chatter #15
Sometimes it just ain't enough to make a post, but it's still needs to go's just bar chatter.

Friday, on a whim, I tried out for the Washington Post.

Skimming through something someplace, not half paying attention, I came across their annual pundit contest, where you submit a quick 400 words online and see if they like it. It was the last day of the contest, it was something to do a Friday as I waited out the last few minutes of my day, my brain needed a break from law, and so I fired up the ole synapses and gave it a whirl. I realized then that 400 words really isn't a whole lot of words. Not once you get going.

I'm fairly certain others had lovingly crafted articles, whittling away words and fashioning context images to create voices that move minds and stir souls over the course of many days. I tossed something together. Actually tossed two somethings together, flipped a coin and sent one. It was a mental break of a kind, something different, and no doubt in a few days I'll get one of those we thank you for participating but we've "gone another way" emails that make publishing so much fun.

In any case, It was one for the books. Er,, papers. Well, internet.

Now that I think about it, hell, I could have done that here.