Thursday, November 19, 2015

New Look, This is Legit

After years on my humble little blogger platform, it is now time to make things look a little more legit. Yeah, I'm super cereal now guys. This is not just going to be a blog. This is going to be a website in earnest.

 Actually, I just got tired of how I couldn't really get my logo on the other page. It looked kinda beat and I got irritated and finally said, fuckit, let's do this thing. This change was more for me, but I figured you would benefit from it too because it would be easier on the eyes.

 The old blog and posts will be up at this address indefinitely, so you can read it all anytime you want. If I do end up taking them down, I'll update here.

 The new site can be found officially at

Friday, October 23, 2015

why don't you just........

Everyone is guilty of placing judgment on others.  EVERYONE.  Don't lie, you know that you have placed judgment on someone at least once this week, whether it be a person you know, or even a celebrity you have never met.

I don't think people mean badly by it, for the most part. As I try to process my own past ways of thinking, I realize that one of many possible reasons for passing judgment is that it is a coping mechanism.

To take a moment at all to judge is to take a moment to imply that we care at all in either direction.

To judge is our means of rationalizing the world around us to fit our own personal agendas about how things should be and what we view as perfection for ourselves and those whom we surround ourselves and care about.

One way that I think many of us, including myself, judge others, is when they make decisions that we do not understand. Decisions that worry us because we perceive that they have a high risk of a negative outcome.

"Why didn't they just do ...... instead?"

I have recently found myself on the receiving end of this judgment for the choices that I have made to improve my life.

Life is messy.  We make the best choices we can using the information that we have. Often, all we can do is hope for the best possible outcome.  We make plans, but the world is full of chaos and plans don't always go as intended, even with the best of intentions.

Specific tidbits of judgment came to light today.

It came as no surprise. In fact, I had been waiting for it.  Wondering how it had taken so long for it  to show up.  How long people were probably whispering behind my back. I was curious about the half-informed recommendation for how I could have/should have created a "better" outcome. Curious about the uninformed assumption that was likely to follow. I shouldn't have cared, but I did, just a little.

I waited for it.  The judgment came in the form of a "should have." One that actually had crossed my mind as an option. An option that had terrible alternative outcomes if things went awry, even far less favorable than the current unintended scenario.

The judgment, however, came from a good place.  But, had the decision been made on my behalf, it would have been ill-informed at best and downright reckless at worst.  I entertained the thought and took it as what it was--a misguided display of solidarity in the midst of an outcome that disrupted their sensibilities.

"No. That would have never worked."  "You don't even know the half of it."

Monday, October 12, 2015


I used to be terrified of sushi.

The idea of consuming raw fish inspired the most intense fear in me.  I recall my 8th grade teacher telling us about someone who got an intestinal tapeworm from eating it and at that point I said NOPE. NOPE NOPE NOPE. NOPE.

Flash forward to high school. I slowly warmed up to the idea of California rolls. California rolls consisted of "imitation king crab" and since that wasn't real crab, there was no way I could get tapeworms from eating it. As it turns out, this California roll stuff was a gateway drug. Eventually, I lost my fear of the real thing and I became a sushi addict.

The one thing that I didn't lose my fear of was the price. I went through the last decade feeling extremely guilty every time I bought sushi, and mostly anything else, for that matter. Sushi was so good, but it was so costly. On my salary, or lack thereof at points, I shouldn't have been indulging. But sometimes, I just needed a taste.

During the same time that I evolved from a sushi-fearing child into a raw-fish-addicted-barbarian, I also evolved from a high school kid with a weekend job, to the purveyor of the Natty Light Lifestyle, and finally to a non-purveyor of that lifestyle who still drinks the shit because I got so used to it and don't like anything "better."

My cravings for sushi have become insatiable. As insatiable as my ambition for success and any other thing that I decide I want. But the difference is that I finally have worked myself to a point where I can satisfy that craving without guilt. For the first time in my life, I can eat sushi every day if I wanted to, without hesitation. I realize it is impractical to actually do this, lest I want to develop some strange form of malnutrition resulting from a lack of diversity in my diet (think about that headline: Woman hospitalized after eating sushi every day for 5 years).

But now that I have gained the ability to buy all the sushi I want, I have gained a new craving to reach goals, which has also become insatiable. The freedom I crave involves a level of risk perhaps a little higher even than the Russian Roulette that is eating sushi and not getting a tapeworm. It involves the chance, that if things don't go according to my plans, that I might go for a little while, or maybe a long while, where I will not be able to buy sushi anymore, without the return of the intense feelings of guilt over spending any money at all. It may seem small to someone who doesn't understand how far I have come, but to risk giving up one milestone to reach another is a tough trade-off.

Cravings. It is a strange thing to go from fearing something entirely, with every fiber of your being, to craving it with the same level of intensity.

It is an even stranger thing when you have to give up one former fear turned craving to give way to another.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Too Good To Quit

The first real time I voluntarily just quit something was when I quit water polo.  It was my senior year of high school. I was suffering from back problems and needed to take a few extra days to recover.  I explained the situation to my coach and she told me that if I missed another day of practice, that I was off the team.  She had acted as though I were just ditching practice to make out with the whole football team under the bleachers like Kelly Bundy or something, but the reality was that I cared about my health more than I cared to play polo on a team that clearly didn't value my well-being. I calmly told the coach that I understood.  I walked off the deck. I never returned. Folks were mystified as to what happened.  My good friend tried her hardest to convince me to return "You're too good to quit." People expected me back for my last swim season, too, but I never set foot on that pool deck again in high school. Looking back, I guess I was good. But my health came first.  The coach knew full well what she had said to me, but it was better for her to stay silent and save face.

In the end, all that remains of this is the story. I have been back in the pool since, I'm still a beast but it doesn't matter. My friend was right, I was too good to quit, but I did it anyway. The world is still turning.

The next quitting incident occurred when I quit singing for a hot minute. I brought up the notion of quitting to my choir director in college, a professor who was not exactly generous with giving compliments for any old reason, and he had a knee jerk reaction that I remember clearly.  I said to him that I was looking for a group to sing with after graduation, but that I wasn't sure where to go or if I should even continue at all - we both knew that my voice had deteriorated from stress, overuse, and singing notes that are too low even for most men to sing. He looked up at me, shook his head and said, "You're too good to quit."

Ultimately, I quit, but it didn't last.  It wasn't long before an opportunity presented itself to jam. Shortly after, someone else asked me to join a new group they had just started. Apparently, I really was too good to quit because this twenty-something year-old grandpa got brought back from early retirement.

Today, I was at work. I was teaching a class. It's funny, I do not like teaching classes because it takes a lot of energy out of me and I get too invested. But I have been told that I do it well. I was trying to reassure the student, who had said that they viewed the technology that we were learning as "legendary" and described how cool yet intimidating they thought it was. I told them that it was true that there was a lot to learn which is what makes it harder, but that once you get used to how things are supposed to look and get used to going through the steps, it becomes easier over time, as most things do. As I answered more of the student's questions, I accidentally broke the 4th wall and I said that I sometimes thought about leaving the field.  

"Why?" the student asked me. "You're too good to quit." 

I paused for a moment. I recalled every other time I had heard anyone say that to me and I laughed.

"That's just it. It's why I haven't left yet."

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

F%# the Haters: No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

That's how the quote supposedly goes.  It is attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt, but this is actually just the Reader's Digest version.  The full quote implies that no one can make you feel inferior if you already believe yourself to be superior, or if people believe that you are immune to their attempts at putting you down.

Some folks will try very hard to make you feel bad if they want to gain power over you for whatever reason.   Those same people might even try to make you look bad if they start realizing that their attempts to make you feel like crap aren't actually working.

Does what they think matter?


If there is someone out there bringing you down, remember that it most likely isn't a result of anything that you did.  In the end, it says more about them than it does about you. If you truly are being targeted by a bully, it is likely because they are already insecure and the only way that they can control the situation is by putting you down.

"Why would they be jealous of little ol' me?" you say.  

Fine.  If you're asking that, maybe they're not jealous.  Maybe it goes beyond just boiling down to insecurity and jealousy and actually vaporizes into a rotten fart.  Yes, I'm going there.  When in doubt, fart jokes are always there for us. Whoever is being an asshole to you, trying to make you feel all shitty (pun intended) about yourself is probably a stale, rotten fart and a meanie. Is that better?

Anyway, if haters are getting you down in life...

NOPE---STOP.  Fuck the haters! ...actually, don't.  They're probably terrible.  Soon enough, word will get out that they have STDs and they won't be able to fuck with anyone else.

But really, jokes aside, we're all too classy for this fuckery: haters won't get us down because we will not allow them a place in our lives or take them seriously.  Stay strong.

*Post is a shoutout to a pal who was targeted by an intense fb hater the other day.

Monday, September 14, 2015

F@$# the haters: I'm Not For Everyone

Some things are an acquired taste.  Keeping the company of some people can be an acquired taste, too.

I suspect that we all can find ourselves to be an acquired taste to other folks at some point or another.
Here's the thing.  We need to all learn to be okay with the fact that not everyone is going to like us everywhere we go.  Just as there have been numerous folks who I have encountered who have "rubbed me the wrong way" so to speak, I am sure that there are other folks who have felt the same way about me.

As I approach the upcoming week, I realize that I may enter into some uncomfortable scenarios.  They say that learning new things should make you uncomfortable.  But so does standing up for your ability to learn and standing up for what you know to be true. I refuse to tone down my personality, specifically the part of me that asks questions in order to understand and make sense of the world around me, that appreciates knowing the theory behind how things work before going and just doing them, and that doesn't easily accept answers that evoke memories of the perennial parental favorite "because I said so."  It would be scarier if I were a sheeperson who accepted everything blindly at face value, but I suspect that many establishments do not prefer that.

Someone once tried to tell me after a particularly bad breakup: "You'll never find anyone else.  No one else could stand you and how you are." Don't worry, reader pals, I didn't take it to heart and have since found a someone who can "stand me" (LOL). But I would be lying if I said that the comment didn't hurt at first. I was younger and slightly more naive - it was a hurtful thing to hear from a human who at one point claimed to have loved you. It was a personal assault on the very human desire to love and be loved in return and intended to make me feel as though I were unlovable.  Ultimately, however, this was just one person's opinion. Aside from this blog post, I had not given this incident much thought in many many years, as the inner conflict it sparked has since been resolved. The only bearing that it has had on my life is that it has served as a lesson on how to avoid insecure people who use negativity to regain control of their reality.

If being as I am is a problem, and it gets me into uncomfortable scenarios, or opens me up to haters, then so be it.  I am as I am, and I am not for everyone.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

An Open Letter: To the Trespassers who Steal Fruit from My Yard

So, almost two years have gone by since my last open letter. I would say it's pretty good that we've gone this long before a new batch of folks has simultaneously made me feel powerless and immensely angry enough to feel the need to write one of these things.

Prior to writing my first open letter, I never really saw much point in writing one to someone until I felt the need to do it myself. I used to think doing so was pointless because the act of writing the letter can be an admission that one feels as though they lack the power to change things by any other means. Remember Sinead O'Connor's letter to Miley?

This open letter is directed at the folks who insist on coming into my yard, onto my property, to steal the citrus fruits that are currently growing on the trees there. I grow more and more frustrated on a daily basis as I come up my driveway after a stressful day at work, only to see the fruit slowly disappearing from the trees before it even has a chance to ripen.

In writing this open letter, much as in my previous one, I'm admitting that I don't have the power to change things without risking bodily harm. Unwanted negative interactions with strangers, such as chasing down volatile thieves who know where I live, have always made me uncomfortable. I suspect that I'm not the only person who has ever felt this way. This open letter is also on behalf of anyone who has had similar experiences in this city or anywhere else but just never took a moment to put their discomfort to words.


Dear Pathetic Miscreants.

We are all aware that there are some nice fruit trees in my yard. The whole neighborhood is aware. However, it's a fucking shame that my family and I are the only ones who never get to enjoy very much, if any, of the fruit that is borne of these trees.

It's because pathetic thieves trespass onto my property on a fucking daily basis and pick the not-quite-ripened oranges, mandarins, and lemons off the fucking trees before my family or I even get a chance to so much as touch one of them or even see them ripen. We were planning on having some nice tree-ripened fruit this fall, but you fucked that up.

It's not even an impulsive choice--it is a clearly calculated plan that you rat shits devise and execute over time. Do you think we don't notice that you slit holes in the oranges to check if they're okay to pick? Do you think we don't see the half-eaten mandarins and peels that your sorry asses can't even fucking bother to clean off the driveway after you've pillaged the trees? Do you think that we won't notice that the branches of the tree are lifted because you strategically took a quarter of the oranges that were once there? Clearly you have a lot of thoughts, but none of them have anything to do with working, respecting private property, or being anything but a rat shit trespasser and thief.

Now, there are folks who are legitimately needy who might take a few pieces of fruit because they would rather not die of starvation. There are folks who on rare occasions may knock and ask if they can take a few items from the trees. I don't have a problem with helping legitimately needy people or considerate people who ask politely before stepping on the property and taking a reasonable small amount of fruit. Who I do have a problem with is entitled shitheads who think it's okay to come to our house and just steal things while I'm not home.

Fuck you people. Fuck you with something hard and sandpaper-y. Shit's not even fucking ripe yet and you're so thirsty that you need to come here and take the fruit before mother nature even said it was okay to eat. I know you're into tequila and corona with lime, but guess what, motherfucker--that's not a lime tree, that's a lemon tree. Unripe lemons aren't limes, asshole. Oh, your girl likes orange slices with her Blue Moon? Well guess what, she won't be impressed when you put a slice of half ripe yellow-green citrus that's hard as a fucking baseball in her drink and she won't be impressed that your broke ass didn't even pay for it. Adults coming to steal like this should be ashamed.

Oh. Wait. You're not old enough to drink? You're in middle school? High school? Wow you're fucking cool, junior. Your parents must be so proud that you're trying to build something for yourself this early. Too bad it's a rap sheet that you're working on.

That's chill though, the last guy who stole from me while I wasn't home got jail time. Stealing and trespassing is wrong and it will come back and bite you in the ass if you push your luck.  It doesn't matter who you are.

I hope when you get home with the green, half-ripe fruit that you stole from us that your friends laugh at you for being cheap, your lovers leave you for trying to give them unripe citrus in their fake hipster alcohol, mother nature shits on you on your way home, the fruit infests your shack with fruit flies, and/or that your parents or grandma throws a chancla or two at you in front of your crush.

Actually, nevermind the chancla. I don't want your mom to bust her favorite flip flop on your thick head.

That's all.