Deflate-Gate and the American Way

Deflated-NFL-Football

It’s all good until you get busted. What harm is a lil white lie? What if I just bust Nancy on her kneecap taking her out of the Championship Skating routine? What harm is it if I drive at 60 in a 55?

All the above is what we do to gain an advantage or to discredit another. Ultimately it’s all about us. Therefore, the little lies and cheating we do on a daily basis all in the name of self-preservation are acceptable, right?

Yes, of course they are justified. We all can’t be Mother Theresa.

The truth is, whether the New England Patriots altered the air in the footballs or the footballs were sabotaged, many of us try to push the envelope of honesty and integrity. We all try to find ways to gain a competitive edge in what we do whether it be work, sports, or other things. Most of the time we hope many of these, ahem, questionable practices go unnoticed. We definitely hope not to go to jail or be fined for our discretion. Yet, we continue to do it.

You can’t handle the truth!

Probably not. If there are Aliens walking among us I’m not sure I want to know that truth. Or if I dated a she that used to be a he then I’d rather go to my grave not knowing. But if our actions are purely self-preservation then I think the truth has a more relevant place in our lives than not.

I attempt to carry myself in a way that I can be proud. I have always been wired this way. I try not to judge someone who does not but it remains a challenge. Ultimately, if you are unethical or somewhat dishonest in the decisions you make then you should own up to those things. I do drive over the speed limit. I understand the risk by doing this and I accept it. That does not make it right either. Therefore, shame on me.

Own up to those questionable instances where you are not as forthcoming. Or is this just human nature and we cannot overcome these things unless we lived in a Utopian society? If this is the case then it does sound like a cop-out. And if it is a cop-out who do we have to blame? And who decides what white lies are acceptable?

mother teresa

Our dilemma as a society is we live in a world where people are less willing to take responsibility, people are constantly pushing the limits to fairness and equality, and many of us are driven by doing things that can be interpreted as ethically questionable. However we choose to live our lives we only have to accept the truth – and that’s how we each decide to live out our own lives. Only God will judge us.

But make sure you just don’t get caught.

Go well and with love good peeps.

I am a Whore for LIKEs

It started out innocently enough. A simple phrase, a quote if you will, coupled by back and forth banter that produced my first LIKE. I became excited about the idea of someone actually LIKING my post. There was a little Sally Fields in me as I accepted this newfound appreciation. The euphoric feeling was similar to the time I first spotted my own name in the Michigan State student directory – I was overcome with emotion! I had arrived. And now, the LIKEs I began to receive catapulted this addiction to another level. Every waking moment, every breath I took, was propelled by the fuel I was taking in because of my popularity. And then I realized as I sat in the middle of my room – alone – shivering – and destitute. I had become a whore for LIKEs. My name is Daniel and I am addicted to LIKEs.

My life didn’t start out this way. I was never a big attention whore. In fact, I was somewhat reserved. I wasn’t the type of person to blatantly display a desire to be noticed. But the technology made it so easy. Now there are LIKE buttons everywhere, they are unavoidable. Each new application insists on creating this sense of competition by allowing each of us to cast our votes on a minute by minute basis. Do you LIKE the restaurant? Do you LIKE my pic? Do you LIKE my posts? Do you like my YouTube of my bouncing on the edge of a cliff? Argh! It’s overwhelming. Help!

In the beginning I would make sure I rationed my guarded inventory of LIKEs so that I would not waste them. I didn’t know at the time that the companies allowed for an infinite number of LIKEs available for my disposal. Thus, I was careful to provide my opinion to only those posts that really mattered.

Then I became sucked into the attention machine. That’s when things began to unravel for me.

I quickly realized the success to gaining more attention…ahem…LIKEs was to reciprocate. If I was generous with my LIKEs then I might have others provide for me the same. And boy was I right. I used my mother for LIKEs, my nieces and nephews, my kids, even my dog! However, I can’t turn back the hands of time and the phenomenon is out of control. I dread the day when applications add a DISLIKE button. What if my posts end up on the higher side of DISLIKEs than LIKEs? YIKES!

At any rate, I vow to get this addiction under control. I believe we should be able to express ourselves however we like to – no pun intended – and not have to worry whether someone is paying attention to our thoughts. It doesn’t matter whether you like to take pics of your food, show Fluffy the cat doing backflips, or provide deep thoughts like Stuart Smalley. Just be true to whom you are and screw everything else. And if you are fueled by the popularity bug in social media then so be it – just be ready that the bug could come back to bite you should our life patterns change. You, too, might find yourself in a help group for addictions.

In the meantime – please LIKE my post! I appreciate it!

Go well and with LIKEs good peeps.

My Non-Bucket List (or Things I will Never Do In My Lifetime)

Ah, life, filled with such joys, mysteries, and pleasantries. I want to get out more and more these days and enjoy these moments as I have become wiser with age. My eyes have experienced many things, my ears have heard the essence of beautiful music, and my senses have been brought to life because of my surroundings; therefore, I thought it would be good for me to reflect on some things that I promise myself I will never do at this stage of life. You do with your life as you desire, as for me, these following things will never make it in my book of life upon its completion.

  1. Become the next RAP/Hip Hop sensation – I’m quite certain I missed my calling back when I owned my beatbox, 2 turntables and a microphone. Sad to know I sold them at my garage sale.
  2. Skydiving – naw, I’m good here. Even if I live to be the ripe old age of 100 I will not have any desire.
  3. Eating deep-fried grasshoppers – really?? Do I even need to explain?
  4. Visiting Liberia – well, unless I join the missionary.
  5. Discovering nano-nuclear energy – technically I can still do this, but I’m having too much fun avoiding school at this juncture.
  6. Shooting zombies – I think I would get great pleasure blasting some zombies but what if it was someone I knew, like the guy I’m friends with in Accounting? I hope it doesn’t come to that because I’m sure he’d still remember the screwed up financials I provided him. My bad dog.
  7. Bungee jump off a bridge in the Amazon jungle – see Skydiving explanation above.
  8. Become a Texan – not even sure how this could be remotely possible, albeit it this is one thing that COULD very well occur given my employment. I’m just not cut out for wearing cowboy boots, a cowboy hat, and a cotton shirt with a big ass Texas flag across the front. Oh brother.
  9. Time travel – I know many of us are waiting for Marty’s return to the future but I’m guessing most of my generation will not see time travel come to fruition. Besides, who wants to end up like Jeff Goldbloom in “The Fly?” That would suck.

Yes, I know my list is fairly exhaustive and of course anything can happen. I won’t necessarily count these things completely out but I am 99.99% sure they won’t happen; although, I can really see myself as a shining rap star – kind of a cross between Kanye and Jay-Z perhaps? Only time will tell but don’t hold your breath waiting for it.

The 2003 Cubs Collapse as a Microcosm of Life

I was thinking, as I always do and it usually lands me in hot water, about the 2003 Cubs and how the resulting Steve Bartman interference caused the impending doom of the team to reach the World Series. Everything unraveled in such a way that it was like watching a train wreck – you couldn’t take your eyes off of it and you knew the ending was not going to be pretty. And today is that infamous anniversary of this train wreck.

Steve Bartman

However, the biggest issue surrounding this collapse was blaming Bartman for starting the butterfly effect. We’ll never know whether it was Bartman or not but humans are notorious for blaming (me included). And it is a very difficult task to overcome. To refresh your memory; Bartman reaches out for a foul ball as most baseball fans would’ve done – this causes fan interference – runs score and the Cubs lose the game – the next game the Cubs lose again – no World Series. This was further complicated as the Cubs were up 3 games to 2. So close and yet…

So what about life? If an action I take sets some mystical aura in motion that then has an impact on your life am I truly the conduit for the change / impact to your life or am I merely a part of the process? If we were predestined to follow the paths we do in life (unbeknownst to us) then is it really my fault for setting in motion those events that change your life? Or is it just life and your ability to deal with the changes?

Many of us will say it’s our inability to accept the changes that we are dealt and we should be stronger in doing so. Yet, we don’t truly believe this for ourselves because we continue to assert blame in various ways.

We blame the President for a bad economy although the motions for a bad economy were ever looming. Wives blame husbands for their discontent when it might be more to the matter. Children blame parents for the way in which they behave. Nations blame nations for tragic and unfortunate circumstances impacting their individual citizens.

In some cases the responsibility clearly lies with the firestarter – such as Hitler where we can all agree he was the culprit. Yet, life is full of choices. The choice to follow someone like a Hitler. Or another example is slavery. Many blacks were forced to come over on slave ships. And we all agree there is some blame for the African-American’s plight to overcome. Yet, many people feel that by now blacks should’ve already overcome. Take responsibility. Yet, there were so many other elements to add into the history and mix that make this almost an impossible scenario to accept the singularly responsible trigger.

So we stay hypocritical in aspects of life in which we can relate and we stand resolute on our beliefs in other circumstances where we do not comprehend. We are complex individuals no doubt, but ultimately it comes down to choice. And the choices we make can be deadly (to ourselves or families), might be wrong (Sarah Palin as a running mate), or cause more madness about us. But we do have to accept that our responsibility in all this does matter and has unseen consequences.

Are you willing to totally accept your own responsibility and the butterfly effect you have on life or are you still prone to think other individual’s actions are the reason you are where you are in life with mountaining barriers to overcome? The choice is yours, but choose you must. Good luck with that.

Go well and with love good peeps.

Greatness Abounds in All of Us

Derek Jeter’s recent act towards retirement ended in his game winning walk-off homerun. This was an amazing act almost to the script of his career. He will go down as one of the best shortstops in the history of Major League Baseball (MLB). All the while I thought to myself – that’s nice, but each of us has some greatness or great moment within us. Yes we do!

jeter

Whether you had your great moment when you were a teen or you are 80 greatness must be available for everyone. God wouldn’t have it any other way.

I can’t imagine there is no one on this Earth that presumes they don’t have it in them. I would challenge each and every one of us whether this to be true.

I don’t write this just to instill positivity in your day, which is easy to do when you are pumping up individuals concerning greatness, but it is the truth. I want my kids to understand their ability to be great. I want my nieces and nephews to know that they are great. I want my cousins and friends to realize the greatness in them.

Greatness is not reserved just for the likes of Derek Jeter. It is available and recognized for all.

And when you build on that great moment as Jeter has his entire career you come away with greatness beyond measure. A beautiful thing when you are paving your own road of life. But you don’t stop at one moment of greatness, although it is nice to reflect, but you catapult yourself to the next. Then to the next moment, and so on and so on until you look back and you smile at all of the great things you have accomplished. There is nothing wrong with admiring the road you traveled. It was YOUR road and YOU deserve to reflect on how you made. Some might even say, “Glory to God!” for the path they took.

Do not sell yourself short of your greatness. Do not boast about your ability to be great. Do not expect greatness to just appear in your life. You…just do it. (Sorry Nike, the phrase fit well.)

Greatness will follow the hard work you put in. It will show up at your doorsteps when you least expect it. It will follow you in life if you dedicate yourself to doing what is right.

And now, as I prepare my kids for school and life I am reminded of their opportunities for greatness. I am only here to clear the paths and allow them to be. They have already done some great things at their young ages, thus, we can all look back and tie these moments together creating a collective string of greatness. In the end they will appreciate their accomplishments and will hopefully continue to build on them.

Therefore, take this as encouragement for yourself – even if you don’t need it – but go out and be great.

Go well and with love good peeps.

BFFs For Real!

Best Friends Forever – or something like that. Regardless, the truth of the matter is the meaning of true friends.

Photo Sep 19, 2 18 05 PM

When I recently met with an old friend (of course we are both young at heart) I could not imagine the feelings I would have as we shared in conversation. We talked and laughed and both had a general appreciation for our friendship. Our conversations picked up just where we had left them almost two years ago since last seeing one another face to face. Having a connection such as ours is special especially in this microwave age in which we live.

Therefore, it made me think and appreciate those BFFs in my life. I can imagine we all have those “ride-or-die” types that will be there regardless of where we are in our life’s journey. Think about what makes that friend special; it can be the simplest of things or actions to the more complex.

  • As for me, those moments of understanding come into play. Having an understanding of one another and how we have gone through life and the journey we each faced.
  • Providing some level of support always makes a great friend. When you turn around and there is no one else to turn to there is that friend who is willing and capable to provide support when all else seems lost.
  • A friend is a person showing a genuine level of appreciation for who you are. While we all have our hang-ups and bizarre nuances it is a treasure when we can connect with another person that still appreciates our personality and quirks. It is not always the easiest thing to do thus we should cherish this effort when we recognize it.
  • Living life to the fullest can include having fun. When you connect with a good friend you have a ton of fun – however fun is defined for you – but usually you all share a similar definition of fun that is recognized and appreciated by both. It is a welcoming experience.
  • Our desire to connect is strong outweighing the highs and lulls of life. Whether we experience down time from friends as life’s activities dictate (family, career, schooling, etc.) we can always find our ways back to common ground as we reconnect. Reconnecting is the great part. This is what brings value to our lives.

Living in this age of social mediums and instant communications we have a tendency to take our friendships for granted. We don’t purposely do this we just develop a sense of instant response and gratification – but we don’t put as much value on the long term emotional connection created with our friends as we should. I for one recognize this with my friends and I routinely attempt to call myself out to show my appreciation and support. I may not be the most together person at times but I can honestly say my heart is genuine. And I am happy that my BFFs recognize this within me and continue to call me BFF.

Go well and with love good peeps.

If you’re Sexy and You Know it Clap Your Hands

Yes, women have heard it time and time again. Many men have uttered it time and time again. And most everyone believes it to some degree – I’m just too sexy!

But can we be real for a moment? I mean, not ignore facts and truth? Okay, great, then here it goes…

YES, you are ALL SEXY!  (In your own right, anyway)

Therefore, I’d like to take a moment and describe sexy for me – feel free to create your own list if you’d like.

  1. I love your curves – big or small – curves is where it’s at. And if you don’t have curves don’t fret because the smallest of curves emanates sexy.
  2. I enjoy a good, sexy stare as if you are mesmerized by me. Yes, it might be to pump up my ego but I will walk to China and back for you.
  3. When you giggle I giggle. Like a child. And it melts me.
  4. When you talk slowly and directly but in a soft tone I could listen to you until the end of time. No lie, end of time.
  5. When you walk with confidence I love to stare and revel in your aura. There is nothing sexier than a well defined strut.
  6. Women that give speeches – it combines beauty and smarts and there is nothing sexier than when the two worlds collide. The ultimate in sex appeal is how God crafted a being in this manner. Am I talking about a unicorn? Of course not, you’re real!
  7. Touch me on my chin or cheek and I will be at your command. I’m not into massages or such but when a woman knows just how to touch a man the man forgets any discomfort he has with touching. I’d be ready to cuddle with you throughout the night.
  8. Give me a big, beautiful, genuine smile and I will be yours. Forever.

All Smiles

There is nothing wrong with being sexy and we should cherish what sexy really is. It isn’t how you dress, whether you’re good in bed, or how good you can twerk, but it is your attitude starting from within. As a man I can’t get enough of the beauty women are able to display and it inspires me to be on my “A” game as well. Thus, it isn’t about how hard you have to work to please me it is how your sex appeal ignites me.

And when I am on fire I love it.

Go well and with love good peeps.

And Now for Something a Little Lighter

All I can say is WOW. I mean, WOW. I’ve experienced heavy stuff over the last couple of days – the topic of the day – Domestic Violence. Video releases of extreme punches and the fallout from that video. The topic has drained me mentally and tired me out. Therefore, I need to focus on something else to wipe my mind clean of the stressors of the day. Thus, as my good friend Bill Murray exclaimed in Stripes, “lighten up Francis.”

And lighter it will become. In my moments of lightieness (is that even a word) I’d like to focus on none other than me. Me!

Have you ever had an embarrassing moment in your life that you’d wish you could take back? Of course you have. We all have had maybe even a few. And I’m no different. So let me start with my embarrassing moments.

College days – way back when – while grabbing dinner in the dorm and trying to look like the tough guy I was I overfilled my tray with the high-cholesterol grub of the day and I became careless. When I set my tray down on the edge of the drink rack is when it happened. Whoop! There went my tray, grub and all down my entire body. If there was a rock I would’ve hid under it. I grimaced as the crowd stared at me. I can barely remember any noise as the entire room of 300 or so hungry college students took notice. I cried in my head, “Mama!” On a good note – at least I didn’t spill my drink. Wait, I actually did.

Or how about a time when no one was looking? It’s a little strange having an embarrassing moment when no one is looking because it feels like that old tale – if a tree falls in the forest does it make a sound? If no one sees you are you still embarrassed?

The short answer is yes.

As I was walking home one day down a side street in my neighborhood, minding my own business, I unknowingly passed under a bird’s nest. What happened next surprised me. The damn mama bird began attacking me! It flew over my head and darted down toward me intermittently pecking at me. As it swooped down I flung my arms at it in that “shoo-away” action. What the Hell?! My work backpack flung around in confusion as I began to frantically try to get away from the crazy bird. And then the daddy bird began to attack me as well. I began to trot away to get out of the eyeshot of the birds and away from the nest. This was as bad as a bee attack. Had there been a video of me flailing it would have been both humorous and embarrassing. At least there were no human eyes on me to witness this event. Embarrassing nonetheless.

Ah. I feel better to get these things off my chest. And I’m happy to share with you my little life stories that make up my life. We have to find those moments in time when we really need to lighten our days and take the pressures off of us. This is merely one of those times and if you can’t laugh at yourself how can you laugh at others?

Go well and with love good peeps.

Poetic License

I couldn’t wait to lay my eyes on her smooth caramel complexion, soft brown eyes, and voluptuous curves. She was everything. Her mind, body, and spirit captured a place in my imagination cementing the idea of us together. I imagined the air of her breathe as it touched my warm cheek as she would lean into my face whispering life into my ear. I could almost feel her body as I thought of the embrace we would have when I met her in the doorway of her newly acquired home. Once I held her in my arms I feared I would never let go thus exposing my true vulnerabilities with this goddess of mine.

My heart was thumping loudly through my crisp off-white Polo button-up as I parked my car. The thoughts that were running through my mind reminded me of the time when I first glimpsed a cute little redhead in the sixth grade. It was an innocent recollection of desire while I became acutely aware of my climb into boyhood. And here I was many years later with that familiar feeling. This feeling felt innocent enough although I thirst to meet my princess as I walked up the concrete steps. My previous thoughts of our first date ricocheted through my mind like tiny silver pellets. My plan unraveled as I took each step.

I rang the bell with a solid push from my thumb as my other hand held tightly to the bundle of brightly colored flowers I brought along for good company. I felt a tinge of sweat beginning to make its way down the side of my temple. In this moment of brevity I thought to leave, exit, get away and not allow her to witness me in such an awkward state. This wasn’t who I was. Was it? I was confident, witty, intelligent, and full of life. I make people laugh and smile at the stories I tell. I was the guy in the room where eyes gravitated. But who was I now?

My thoughts dissipated as the door gently swung open. And there she stood – in all of her beautiful glory. I was speechless.

I had prepared a poetic opening to address her as she answered the door but I was at a loss for words. Her beautiful brown hair glistened under the light from the porch as it effortlessly stretched to touch her shoulders. Her smile of acceptance should have eased my tense bones but instead its power melted me like butter and it left me as a useless puddle of emotion and sweat. My poetic license was lost for the moment as I made every attempt to regain my composure.

I prayed this was not a prelude for how the rest of my date would unfold. Well, my prayers fell upon deaf ears.

At least she invited me in.

…to be continued…

Always Savannah Liebster’d Me!

Savannah’s When Nothing Goes Write questions for me:

1. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?  Why?  I’m aware this is two questions.

The egg clearly came first. There was this big bang and…well never mind!

2. What is the favorite blog post you have written and why?

My Day of Positivity Starts…Now!”  Any time I write with the backdrop of my kid’s images it makes me feel great. They are my most important muses and they are what keep me strong during my times of weakness. It may sound cliché but it’s true. I love my little meeces to pieces!

3. What is your favorite blog post of mine and why?

The Struggle is Real – I enjoy almost all of Savannah’s posts and they seem to put a smile on my face. I often envision having conversations about our blogs in some coffee shop in some college town. The blogs remind me of how awesome life was when I was younger and how it still can be as I have matured. Besides, that’s one helluva title!

4. What celebrity would you most like to bang?

Uh, lot’s of ’em. Am I a pig for saying that? For sure Halle Berry and Salma Hayek top my list – although Halley would be a handful in a long-term deal. But we’re only talking banging, right?

5. What is your favorite sad song?

One of my favorite sad song’s is Amarillo Sky by Jason Aldean. Yeah, I’m a black man who can appreciate a little C&W but his song really speaks to me about the struggles one goes through in life and how we continue to persevere. My life has been full of challenges thus the song speaks to me.

6. What is your job, career, or hobby?

My job is in IT – a geek of sorts, although I am a project manager. I manage projects. I make sure people do what they’re supposed to do. And then I report it. To someone. Anyone that cares.

7. If you could be anyone besides yourself, who would it be and why?

Colin Powell. Without the Republican affiliation. He is a very respectable man, seems to be very smart, and he’s even debonaire. If not Colin Powell I’d be James Bond. He gets all the chicks.

8. What is your biggest regret?

Not having kids when I was younger. I have enjoyed my offspring so much I am somewhat sad that I messed around and didn’t have them 15 years earlier. However, I am more than grateful for my kids.

9. If you could go back and change #8, how would you do it?

Nope, never, it was meant to be. If I can’t guarantee that God would provide me the two same Angels into my life at 28 I would wait till I received the same 2 Angels in my life.

10. If you could have one super power, what would it be?

Mind control. I’m not really sure why it just seems like it’d be cool. I’d pull that Jedi-mind-trick often.

11 Random Facts About Myself:

I was born in a foreign country but I’m still an American.

I am a military brat.

I had an article published in the Chicago Sun Times back in the day.

I have a third nipple. It’s very small, like a wart, but confirmed by docs. Maybe I should get it pierced.

My kids and I almost appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live – we were 1 of 4 finalists.

I had very good English teachers that pushed me to write well and express myself.

Although I seem to be an extrovert I am an introvert at heart.

I believed I would be living the American Dream at this time in my life – however, dreams are not always meant to be realized.

One night back in college I saved someone’s life. The woman didn’t realize she was about to get hit by a train as she stood too close to the tracks. I grabbed her at the last-minute, pulled her off the end of the railroad tie, she turned to me and started crying, and then I calmly walked away as the train sped by. I hope this experience left meaningful impression on her life.

I purposely gave my daughter a name that began with the initial of one of my best friends. Therefore, her initials match mine and my best friend’s last names.

I own the entire Buffy the Vampire Slayer series on DVDs. I really dig Sarah Michelle Gellar. Is this weird?