Reflections on Half-a-Century (+)

As I washed up for the weekend and ensured I had my most whitest of my tighties cleaned for whatever might await me on the eve of my biggest day of the year – my birthday – I got to reflecting.

I reflected because I was reminded how lucky I am and how great things are for me. It was a clear moment for me and I thought, “I was money and I didn’t even know it.”  (Swingers) And though I haven’t been feeling so lucky as of late I pontificated about the years gone by and the pretty fabulous life I have lived and what has been bestowed upon me. My conclusion:

I am Blessed.

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My memories swirled through my head like an old 8mm film with the voice of Morgan Freeman narrating (as he always does in my head). My emotions rose like geysers gushing from the Earth  as I sorted through the laundry list of situations and loved ones that made me smile and cry. I peeked in on my sleeping kids and stood in the doorway for a moment – thinking of their futures and the guidance I have given them. And it really finally dawned on me that I am doing okay in life’s fast-paced game.

It isn’t that I don’t have challenges about bills, love, betrayal, or the likes (wait, that sounds like an episode of Empire); but it is the fact that I am still in my right mind to shift. Shift my being to something different. It isn’t a big shift, just a nudge, yet it gives way to those memories that reinforce the good that I have encountered.

So on this eve of me arriving on this planet I reflect on the following:

  • I have a great, supportive family full of love, joy, empathy, and faith.
  • I can smell the fresh summer rain outside my window and take it in like vitamins.
  • I live in a country where I can express my thoughts, feelings, and desires and not be crucified. ‘merica, dammit.
  • I have a nice roof over my head and the heads of my offspring. This blessing should never go unnoticed.
  • I ate a good healthy meal. And even if it wasn’t the healthiest it was still a meal worth eating.
  • I can anticipate the upcoming NFL season – with or without Colin Kaepernick (but I wish him well).

I can give love to my friends and I can receive it in return.

  • I have gained knowledge through education and observation.
  • I am able to work an honest shift and be proud of what I have accomplished.
  • I am can enjoy a great beer or glass of wine or even something harder from time-to-time.
  • And I can write…however I want to, whenever I want to, and to whomever I want to. We can all create something new, every day we are alive.

These few things give me pause as the clock strikes midnight and I go into celebratory mode. I will enjoy those things around me and I will look for the good in life – because I have the power to do so. And for this I am grateful.

Go well and with love good peeps.

And Happy Birthday to me. 🙂

 

The Voices in my Head…

 

God is talking to me (in that Morgan Freeman style voice)…

Or it might just be I have voices in my head.

Either way, He or they have my attention. So I’m tuning in to listen.

I can’t be the only one with the voices, right? I mean, I’m not saying they’re telling me horrible things to do – like drink a case of beer or smoke a cigar while standing on my balcony in the nude on a rainy day like today – but just giving me pause. Sometimes they’ll give me direction. Other times they’ll just annoy the hell out of me for something I did wrong.

I’ve heard people give these voices varying descriptions besides the voice of God. Such as:

  • intuition – this is knowing you shouldn’t be out at 3 am ordering a cheeseburger from Jimmy’s and pulling out a stack of fit’ties to pay the tab,
  • the Devil – yeah, he might have a stranglehold on your thoughts but I’m sure he didn’t actually commit the crime…although, that Omen movie might be real Image result for surprise emoji face,
  • your sub-conscious – this is like that experience from the DiCaprio movie Inception except you know it’s not real but it feels real and you actually think it’s real (is this even real??),
  • your Ex – okay, not everyone compares the voices to an Ex but you somehow still feel the nagging sound effects of the arguments you once had,
  • your mother – not sure if this is an actual experience or more of a commentator role…but to each his or her own,
  • the teacher from Charlie Brown – it’s the gibberish “yak, yak, yak, yak, yak” and you’re like STFU!!!! (please!)

These are just a few versions of the voices in my head (and others according to today’s modern therapist). You might have other owners for your voices and that’s okay. Just own them for yourself, and don’t let them lead you astray. And be thankful that you can talk about the voices because 2000 years ago you would have been stoned for bringing this subject to light. Alas, I feel brave enough to have tackled the hard and controversial subjects affecting our society.

In the meantime, try attaching a narrator with a pleasant or appropriate sound to your voices. There are plenty of them out there (Morgan, James Earl Jones, Samuel L Jackson – hm, I sense a trend in my voice narration selection…) that will fit the bill. Because, if you gotta listen to the K-FUC radio in your head it might as well be soothing (until you figure out how to turn it off).

Go well and with love good peeps.

The (F)Laws of Attraction

We are all familiar with the Laws of Attraction – you know – where you attract what you desire? Well, it has been stated to me by a friend that we are also prone to attract individuals that are at the same level of unhealthiness as we are.

Wait, what?

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Yup, just like that…the attraction laws go both ways. And that kind of sucks if you ask me. But it makes sense.

Let me try an example: let’s say I have some SERIOUS issues with commitment (hypothetically speaking). These issues keep me from finding a great relationship because I haven’t dealt with them head on. Maybe I have abandonment issues, wasn’t breast fed long enough, or just am anti-social (again, hypothetically speaking).

Then I meet a fine, wonderful, intelligent woman, whom I seem to connect with. However, because I have my own serious issues it is inevitable that our relationship will reveal her OWN serious issues! Her issues might not be the same as mine – maybe she can’t manage her money or has she’s irresponsible – but the LEVEL of unhealthiness of her problems rival the unhealthy level of my own issue.

So we find ourselves in a conundrum. We like the person but we don’t want to deal with their crap nor do they want to deal with our crap. And we want to start attracting healthy individuals. So, what to do?

Get your shit together, son!

Yup, it’s about that simple. Decrease the level of unhealthy issues holding you back in life. Rebuke that ‘ish in the name of Jesus! Or find a hypnotist to help you rid yourself of your issues, or at least bring the levels down to something more manageable.

I decided to create a short 5-step program [based on my experience as a PM] to battle these challenges:

  1. Become self-aware – take a moment to recognize your flaws. We all have them so don’t pretend you don’t. The first step to anything is recognizing you have something to deal with.
  2. Evaluate your flaw(s) – not all flaws are created equal, know what it is you are dealing with and determine how serious of an issue it is for YOU! No one else matters when we evaluate ourselves, so be honest and accept what it is you get to tackle.
  3. Make a plan – it doesn’t have to be in writing but it should be something that becomes tangible. Enroll in a self-help group, find a good therapist, or join a gym, no matter what it is just think of a plan for you.
  4. Execute the plan! – A plan is just a plan until you actually put it into practice. It doesn’t matter if you fail just start it. Starting is hard but it really is a matter of setting your intention and let your actions follow your thoughts.
  5. Review your progress – like any good plan-of-action a periodic review and establishing check points is a helpful way to keep your progress moving forward. I usually ask myself daily where I believe I am in my restoration process.

Don’t expect to rid yourself completely of your flaw but manage it to where it becomes a mole hill and not a mountain.

Now go out there and find a healthy love – one that is on YOUR level!

In the end, it’s always a good idea to work on who we are as individuals. However, we are always afraid to face our short-comings and we usually act like we don’t have them. But we do. And that’s okay as long as you recognize, devise a plan to deal with them, and then do it.

I, for one, will start right now.

Go well and with love good peeps.

How to Avoid Love: A User’s Guide

I have become an expert at masking feelings, not showing all of my cards, or just not having an ounce of emotion flowing through my veins. In sports it’s a good thing – “that boy has ice water flowing through his veins;” in relationships, uh, not so much. Let me preface this article by stating that I am not a SME [subject matter expert for non-corporate types] nor have I ever slept at a Holiday Inn proving that I’ve gained some universal knowledge about the subject. I just simply like to think out loud and capture that shit in a blog.

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I’ve noticed through various exploits and other accidental mishaps that I’ve become a stone of a man. Maybe it was all of the Jägermeister I drank, drunk, consumed throughout my life but somehow I seem to have become devoid of feeling. Now I don’t mean feelings for my kids or my mama don’t creep up every now and again, but feelings that are expected in relationships. Don’t get me wrong – I want to have these feelings percolating through my being but they just don’t seem to be happening. Therefore, I thought it best if I just prescribe how I deal in hopes of providing some kind of guide to the other misguided and disenfranchised men out there in dating land. NOTE: in the words of the great Jimmy V, “don’t ever give up, don’t ever give up,” (even though it might appear that I have by writing this column).

The Guide

  1. Avoid prolonged and unnecessary eye contact when out on a date. She’ll give you those puppy dog eyes and next thing you know you’ll be buying rounds for the whole got-damn bar!
  2. Do not engage in small talk after work. I get it. You’re tired, you wish you had someone to talk to. You want to be heard. But, don’t give in. It’s better to stay silent and go into listening mode rather than engage in the fact that your co-worker is an ass and it’s getting on your last nerve.
  3. Ignore compliments – even though they feel reeeaaaalllll good. Let’s face it men, we’re like women in this way in that we want to hear how good we look, how strong we are, or how well we screw. Those are all compliments that get the best of us. And before long you’ll have a hoop through your nose while being strung along like a pregnant mule. But hey, if you’re happy about that I’m not one to judge.
  4. Say stupid shit. Like this blog. And you’ll be sure to avoid any possibility of love seeping into your heart and you being captured like a wild boar. Image result for roasting boar cartoon Roasting over a flame. In the middle of a jungle. Lost.  Damn, that imagery just sucks.
  5. Never, and I mean never, bring your kids around. God knows, she’ll do some nice stuff, the kids will be impressed, then you’ll hear about her for a long time to come. Better to keep the kids guessing.
  6. Get a job! Shit, any job. Three jobs. Stay busy. If you just do that you’ll stay lonely like a mutha. (Just buy a lot of those magazines like The Source or Smut.)
  7. Follow the relationship advice of our male compadres. We don’t usually fare well in this arena so it would only make sense that you’d listen to the gibberish coming out of the mouth of your bro; because your bro is so knowledgeable about sport’s and statistics it makes sense he knows about the opposite sex.
  8. And finally, don’t be such a mama’s boy. How can you turn your back on a woman you damn near fell in love with if your mama says, “so-and-so is such a nice girl?” Before you know it you’ll be saying “yes, dear” for many years to come.

And finally, follow Steve Martin’s “Lonely Guy” for further advice.

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Go well and with non-love good peeps.

An Unexpected Intersection of Love

Man, I was a brother down on his luck with love. Shit was horrendous. I couldn’t maintain a relationship to save my soul. If there was a time to SMDH this was it. Fucking women. Fucking life. I swear, I was hating it all as the story goes.

And then she showed up.

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It should have been a bad time to meet because my mood sucked and I felt I would bring her down. I was feeling funky and unlucky and didn’t give any fawks! But there I was waiting for this imagined goddess who would turn out to be connected to me like my angel twin – literally sent from the heavens to intersect with my life when it most counted. And trust me, she did.

My kids had been giving me the flux all day before they were to go back to their mama’s home. I, being the decent fellow I have always been, didn’t mind “watching” their assess from time-to-time so she could take care of her shit, but this time I wasn’t having it. My plans appeared to be thwarted for the night as this wrinkle was presented to me by the Ex. My first inclination was to tell her to screw off; but I didn’t. Thus, I was doing my daddy duties when I said “yes.” Needless to say she was a tad late in picking them up. I wanted to curse her ass out but I thought, “what about the kids?”

Then my piece-of-shit-car didn’t want to start in these frigid temps. I tell myself day after day I’m moving from this cesspool of a city – the cold, the crime, the cops – the triple C’s of destruction. But I can never pull the trigger because my heart is bigger than my brain. I persevere as I need to but not without proper bitching.

After a fellow citizen decided to act like Mother Teresa I got rolling. I figured a good meeting place for my online match was somewhere warm yet accessible and safe for all. I’m not a fricking Dexter but no telling these days of the women a man might meet. I saw the movie I married an Ax Murderer so I wasn’t taking any chances. Besides, I had a couple of extra dollars because a brother just got paid! I gotta take advantage of these moments because they seem less and less frequent these days. Shit sucks.

I sat at a quaint table near the bar that faced the door. I realized I wasn’t being very chivalrous during this courting period but it was cold as Hell! I threw out the dating etiquette book and ordered myself a Scotch on the rocks to calm my nerves. I eyed the other patrons around me to familiarize myself with my environment in case a MF’er decided to go postal in the joint. But it was all good. So I waited. And I waited. And I waited some more – after a few more Scotch on the rocks.

I swear by the time she walked into the place I was just getting up to put on my coat and leave. I was angry that she would have the audacity to treat me like this; we spoke a few times prior and the conversation was good so why would she be so disrespectful? She approached me as I stood there eyeing her up and down. I admitted to myself she was fine as anything my eyes have seen although I was still upset about her seemingly lackadaisical approach to this date.

But then it happened – she spoke to me.

Each word that came forth from her luscious lips was carried by the most beautiful songbird I imagined. My heart melted as she neutralized my anger and she proceeded to gently blot it up with her metaphors and loving innuendos.

Within the first five minutes of our new relationship I muttered the words I think I love you.

 

Mr Daniel Will See you now

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The long anticipated opening of the aforementioned movie is opening this weekend – Valentine’s Day. What a display of precision marketing along with the hype to get the women swooning over a storyline older than Medusa. It isn’t anything new about the freakiness in all of us, it just needs to be brought out by the right individual (according to some).

Personally, I wouldn’t put myself in this category because I pride myself on my Puritan attitude and behavior (read sarcasm, folks). But I couldn’t stop wondering what other kinds of movies have been around where erotic SEX seemed to be the focus. And full disclosure – I may see the movie if only to witness the reaction from the audience during the hot steamy sex scenes.

Take a walk with me down memory lane to recall some of these classic sex tales:

  1. Nine 1/2 Weeks (1986) – Synopsis: A woman gets involved in an impersonal affair with a man. She barely knows about his life, only about the sex games they play, so the relationship begins to get complicated. Commentary: I could barely get through this movie because I thought is was awful; however, Kim Basinger was at her prime and that didn’t hurt too carry the movie.
  2. Body Heat (1981) – Synopsis: In the midst of a searing Florida heat wave, a woman convinces her lover, a small-town lawyer, to murder her rich husband. Commentary: Good film, good acting, and it was pretty steamy.
  3. Basic Instinct (1992) – Synopsis: A police detective is in charge of the investigation of a brutal murder, in which a beautiful and seductive woman could be involved. Commentary: Sharon Stone is hot, hot, hot. Every man in America waited on the edge of their seat for “leg cross.” Two thumbs up!
  4. Eyes Wide Shut (1999) – Synopsis: A New York City doctor, who is married to an art curator, pushes himself on a harrowing and dangerous night-long odyssey of sexual and moral discovery after his wife admits that she once almost cheated on him. Commentary: Bizarre movie but it had Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman what more do you need? Besides, it was Stanley Kubrick’s last released movie.
  5. Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989) – Synopsis: A sexually repressed woman’s husband is having an affair with her sister. The arrival of a visitor with a rather unusual fetish changes everything. Commentary: When you start a conversation with the word “repressed” the imagination can go wild. This fetish movie had some nice twists to it and it grew on folks.
  6. Caligula (1979) – Synopsis: A film focusing on the rise and fall of the Roman Emperor Caligula. Commentary: If you like movies not only about sex, but blood and guts violence this is your movie. Tough to get through for me.
  7. American Gigolo (1980) – Synopsis: The ups and downs in the life of a Los Angeles male escort who mostly caters to an older female clientèle. Commentary: By far, one of the most erotic type of films specifically made for the ladies. Richard Gere the heartthrob of American movies.

This is merely my list of titles that I have seen and somewhat enjoyed. However, I am curious as to what yours might be – feel free to add to this list. Otherwise, go out and have an erotically good time at the movies.

Go well and with love good peeps.

I Done Peed My Pants (or How I Mastered Mind over Matter)

Have you ever had to go to the bathroom so bad that you begin doing the antsy dance the closer you get to the urinal? You know that movement we have all done where we are jiving and jerking our way as we approach the stall. And when we are close it feels so far away. There is only an additional few seconds needed to completely loosen our belts and buckles, unzip or pull down, and squat or stand – thanking the Almighty that you didn’t pee on yourself. Whew.

And sometimes we aren’t so lucky.

I’m not talking about as how I might not have been as lucky as a grown man but as a young boy. I recall walking home from school years ago and I was experiencing the moment of truth. I was rushing as fast as I could that was humanely possible for an 8 year old to get home. I recall I was only steps away from my home when I couldn’t stand it no more. BTW, I’m talking having to use #2, not #1. Alas, I was unable to make it all the way. (Insert sad face)

Shame spread across me and I felt I couldn’t face my mom. I was so nervous going home I desperately tried to figure out how to explain what occurred that afternoon. My mind raced as my pants – well – were soaked. This memory sticks with me today and I vowed to never do that again.

So I devised a technique for control. I implemented the mind over matter concept to achieve this greatness. Mastering this feat is no small task and only the manliest of men or the womanist of women should take heed. This is only for the strong. You ask how? Let me tell you how…

  1. Deep breaths – as you feel you are approaching the moment take deep breaths. This does wonders for slowing your body down.
  2. Alternate your thoughts – think of something else besides doing the do. Whether its baseball or other fantasies find something that takes your mind to another place.
  3. Relax – as you find yourself relaxing you gain control of your body.
  4. Pep talk yourself – YOU CAN DO IT! Okay, you have to do it. If you don’t it won’t be a pretty sight.

These are just a few things that I have done over the years. Unfortunately, the urge to pee comes to grown men and women as well so the techniques are good for a lifetime. However, let me state that these techniques are useless should you a) find yourself drinking all night, b) have bladder issues [go see a doc, cuz!], c) constantly forget to go pee, or d) find yourself traveling with no rest stop in sight. Good luck to you.

Don’t be ashamed should you experience “leakage.” Yeah, it’s not cool but sh*t happens. Otherwise, carry around a pack of Depends and call it a day. There are worst things to overcome in life.

Go well and with love good peeps.