Category Archives: Journal

Survival of the Fittest or The Softer Side of Me

Note, the following was one of many started but not finished pieces of writing I seem to have accumulated over the years.  I merely finished it recently.  This one I started over one year ago on 12/5/15 and can only guess what it was a response to.

Survival of the Fittest:

I’m not gonna lie, or try fronting.  Today got a little emotional for me.  Out of nowhere, I started to uncontrollably sob, the hysterical kind where after a minute or so, you realize how ridiculous you must look to anyone and everyone else if they could see you at that moment, and that thought makes you laugh, and you spending the remainder of your diva moment alternating uncontrollably between the two, until eventually it just stops out of the blue, for no apparent reason, and with as much advance notice and fanfare as it first came on with, which is none.

Maybe it finally got that snickers bar.

I’ll be the first to admit that I have this nasty habit of never allowing myself to feel proud or to be excited or to admit fear or many of the other basic emotional responses to various environmental stimuli.  I don’t know why I do this, or what it is I’m afraid of to where my instinctual response is to downplay my interest level or to not ever let on just how much something truly means to me, but it must somehow be tied into my survival as all instincts naturally are.  The only thing I do know is it often has the opposite effect in my life, stunting my growth as a person and alienating me from people and situations that I would otherwise stand to benefit from in the long run.

Maybe I’m afraid that by letting on the fact I’m excited about something will in some way influence the universe in delivering it to me or me to it, because there are many times I feel like the universe and fate, (if there even is such a thing), is out to get me.  It’s because those times I do show any outward exuberance towards something all I’m ever left with is a sense of disappointment when it doesn’t measure up, or deliver in the end, which it never does. 

Just Who Do You Think You Are?

After allowing myself to feel dejected for a while, I start to think to myself, who do I think I am to  have the audacity to feel I deserve anything from this world, from this life, from the universe? 

Such Hubris.

I am nothing, and no-one.

Nothing’s guaranteed except THIS very moment you’re currently living in, and even then the only thing you know is that this too will end, though you know not when.  Time is not a linear thing in this regard, all moments were not created equal, some last only an instant and some moments go on for longer like the energizer bunny.   How much of that is dependent on the individual, how much is by design, and how much would have happened the same way irrespective of who it happened to?

I’m not fooling anyone, am I?

What is it that makes me think not letting on about whether there exists a softer side of myself in any way makes me less vulnerable?  A soft underbelly is a soft underbelly, just ask Churchill.  The immobility this fear and these questions leaves me with cripples me, and leaves me paralyzed, at least from the brain down because my mind is constantly racing and working in overdrive, which acts as a counterweight to everything else about me.

The more effort it exerts, the less I’m able to do.   Classic cookie cutter example showing the pitfalls and dangers of overthinking, purely textbook.  In extreme cases, if left untreated, for long enough, a death of sorts is possible, even likely.

A slow and painful death, arduous to reach,  immobilized with fear, laying at the bottom of a kiddie pool slowly being filled with Piranha from the Amazon which would be easy enough for you to escape from if not for being paralyzed from the brain down.  All you would have to do, is stand up, step out, and voilà, crisis averted.

Instead, you just lie there, slowly dying from the inside out, one tiny bite at a time.  I know no physical pain remotely comparable to the psychic pain this causes and I wouldn’t ever wish it on another human being because it’s a pain I’m all too familiar with, having experienced it to some degree for my entire life, or at least as much of it as I can remember.

That’s what I get, for thinking the universe owes me jack diddly shit when it doesn’t, or maybe it does which is why that’s what I get and that’s another thought that terrifies the shit out of me.  What if I’m not nearly so good, or so decent, as I thought I was?

What if the universe has long since moved off of the gold standard, and the dollar, and now paid it’s bills using nothing but Karma?  How fucked would I be, would you be, would we all be? I’d be in debt up to my eyeballs either way and maybe that’s why my life has taken such twists and such turns as to make “move over murphy” become my new mantra?

I’m sure I’m not the only one this change in cosmic currency would affect in such a way either, because the universe, by it’s very name and definition, is universal.

You wanna talk about a global economic crisis; try that shit on for size; then we’ll talk.

Karma, yeah it can be a real motherfucker and it always has a funny way of coming back around and biting you right in the ass when you least suspect it.  But if that truly is the case, by that logic, to have the string of shitty luck I’ve had I must have done something truly horrific.

My whole life I’ve felt singled out, picked on, targeted, taken advantage of, or had shit started with me because for some apparent reason, one I’m unfamiliar with, I look like I make for an easy target or something.  Sometimes I catch myself searching for the sign or the target that must rest right between my shoulder blades and paints a bullseye upon my back when I stretch my arms, which I do often on account of my bad shoulder, to no avail.

Nothings there.

Maybe it’s the fact I don’t feel the need to puff out my chest, mark my territory, inflate my ego, or brag about how I’m the man in bed, in the head, or anywhere else (save work), and that was only because work was more about effort than anything.  If you wanted to get better, you would, if you didn’t, you wouldn’t.  Simple enough concept really, or so I thought.

Maybe it was my general stature which is small, or my demeanor which is and always has been of a much larger variety because I always try to carry myself well through this world (and sometimes I fail at it miserably), because I’ve always believed that while it may not be about the destination, how you undertake the journey matters, the way in which you go about getting there really fucking matters in the end.

In this belief, as with many others, I’m left feeling all alone in sticking to my guns and my morals and in all those things which I believe develop ones character in the long run it always feels like I’m the sole person standing up for myself, or for others in a room full of people sitting down on those things.  The only sane person in a world of insane people…now doesn’t that sound crazy?

At which point do I stop being the sane one? 

But I know I’m not crazy and I feel it in my heart that I’m not wrong either, that a lot of things that go on which people have conditioned themselves to accept are in fact wrong, in such a blatant way, and with such wanton disregard for the very basic principles of human decency that it serves as a damning condemnation of society today and begs the question whether we humans still have any decency left within us.

We should all be ashamed of ourselves, and I say with intentionality because while I may not subscribe to it, there is more that I could be doing to change it as well and therefore my own inaction makes me just as guilty as anyone else.

The only recourse which prevents me from adopting the cold and callous attitude of my immediate surroundings, and not to have already said, “fuck it, I take what comes next”, flipped the switch and turned the lights off for good, which I’ve already tried to do once (though that’s a different story for another time), is to adopt a devil may care attitude, and give off a general aloofness to the happenings of the world, both of which are just as much evolutionary adaptation as they are a conscious choice.

How else could I exist in a world so filled with hate, and with such reckless disregard for the wellbeing of others when I have so much love in my own heart and care more about others than I do myself?    

A major complication this presents me with, is the extremely small number of people I allow to get close enough to see me past a very superficial conception which, on account of my aforementioned defense mechanisms, and natural tendencies is at odds with the real me, and with my true self.

Due to my poor track record with those I have allowed to get close enough to hurt me, this path has now become littered with booby traps and other hazards and one must overcome obstacles which are daunting if nothing else.

Anyone in their right mind would rather have a family picnic in the middle of Korea’s demilitarized zone during the height of the tensions between the North and South, or would prefer an honest answer to the question about whether that dress makes them look fat or not, I know I would.

Needless to say, more often than not, my dinner plans consist of a standing reservation for one followed by light drinks, some quality time with me, myself, and I; maybe even dessert, we’ll see how everyone plays their cards first.

Judging by what I’ve seen from this world, I’m content with that, though sometimes even I get lonely and feel hopeless, and even I can only do that whole me against the world routine, carrying the world’s woes upon my back like Atlas, before I’m eventually forced to either shrug or be crushed under the sheer weight of it all it’s just too much pressure.

   

Here’s some of my oldies but goodies

https://sammyscoops.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/the-passing-of-rodney-king-what-it-made-me-think/

https://sammyscoops.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/an-attempt-to-write-these-wrongs/

https://sammyscoops.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/modern-age-lynchingtrayvon-martin-emmitt-till-of-today/

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Hey there strangers…

Hey, there you!

I have a slight confession to make…

I’ve missed some golden opportunities

Look I’m a little embarrassed in my lackluster performance this past year, I really screwed the pooch and missed out on delivering some solid material on a lot of issues near and dear to my heart such as #BlackLivesMatter, and the general push to de-militarize what has quickly come to resemble an occupying force; being the most glaring example that just jumps right out at me.

I’d also in that same vein, have to say that I missed out on the main events which kicked off the 50th Anniversary of the Black Panthers for Self Defense founding in Oakland California by Bobby Seale and Huey Newton as a direct response to many of these same issues surrounding police tactics and increased presence in communities of color.

It’s so striking to me the many similarities between the Black Panther Party’s mission and that of the #BlackLives movementi from today’s day and age; And I’m not talking they vaguely resemble one another (some real fraternal twin shit), I’m talkin that two peas in a pod, I share your thoughts, and whatever other weird “ness” known only to those who share every last thing in common, including their DNA, you know, the identical variety.  Essentially the issues being raised could have been lifted straight from 50 years ago and plopped down right here in the middle of everything else.

Moving Forward

I’ve got a lot of other really great ideas and nowhere near enough time for me to possibly flesh them all out in as  much depth as I’d like to or that they deserve to be treated with, but giving it an honest go never hurt anyone (at least anyone I can think of) other than ego and pride should we fall flat on our faces, but such is life right?   The act of simply showing up and trying is more than most do on a daily basis, and those unwilling to leave it all on the table and risk overextending and belly flopping aren’t trying hard enough,  period. So they should zip it as far as I’m concerned, there’s no room for idle talk.

I almost forgot to mention

Last but certainly not least, I should explain why it is I have so little time and availability with which to maintain this thing… Your boy made moves, of the epic life altering variety and let me tell you the struggle has been real.

I know I had allueded to wanting to pursue the profession I had known I wanted to do a long time ago, I jsut decided to take a year off of school in order to work full-time, get out of my dad’s place he was kind enough to let me live in, just not very peacefully, or without any sort of tension.

Well, it took a while, and things got off to a rather rocky start, but I finally shook them damn cobwebs off; I’ve taken and passed both the CBEST and all three subsections of the CSET for Social Science, a lot of which, such as Economics I had to either do a major refresh or teach myself entirely from scratch.  It was a lot, and I do mean a lot of hard work, and it’s not nearly done yet, not by a long shot.  In fact, this party’s just barely getting started.

In order to do justice to this most priveledged of professions with so much potential to affect our youth, and one I have such deep respect for, I had to really give it my all, and be committed, and let me tell you, I gave up everything to ride this one out until the wheels come off.  I’m in it to win it.

I guess I should start with…THANKS

And I definitely need to give thanks to all those I’ve encountered who’ve also heard its calling, especially those who had the grave misfortune of having me as one of their students, because they helped shape me into the person I am today, gave me their unwavering belief and support along the years, and having given me a love for learning that’s given me so many gifts in such a short timeframe that I will forever be indebted to them.

If that’s not enough, they did it in a way that not only let me be me, and do things in my own way, but actively encouraged the process of finding those things in the first place despite some of my poorer choices along lifes continous pathway of trial and error.

And let’s just say, mines had more than it’s fair share of errors along the way, but my decision to pick this dream up, dust if off, and bring it out of deferrment will never be one of them.

It’s the first thing I’ve done in my life that just felt right, which begs the question, “what took you so long?”, and while I may not be able to ever truly answer that fully, in a way that does the question, or my path up to this point any degree of justice, what I can, and will do, is respond in such a way that makes up for lost time, and says “I have arrived”.

Stay tuned, cuz baby, you aint seen nothin yet!

2016-06-04-20160604_211703

 

Dear Obama: A Letter On Delusions and Disillusionment Past and Present.

Here’s My Initial Thoughts:

Official photographic portrait of US President...
Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Obama sure talked a big game in ’08 , slightly downsized in 2012,
Obama 2.012 was with its original luster…it was also a campaign I was a small part of hoping to practice what I preached;
But the whole campaign something for me just felt, well, it just felt kinda off….
 
What should have been clue #1
 
No longer was he promising change; government cooperation, transparency, and efficiency; a more open and available presidency where the president could make a complete sentence, a president in touch with the will of the common person, not the corporate personhood, repatriation of our fugitive civil liberties…. hmmmmm I wonder
 
Not really being totally gung-ho about Obama especially his foreign policy, and knowing it would be the same under either,  I made what I felt was the least shitty of two shitty choices, opting to take what I could get in the form of his domestic social policies vs. their non-existence under Mitt Romney.  It’s only a few months into his last and final lame duck term, and I’ve got the strong feeling I chose wrong
Mitt Romney in Fresno
Mitt Romney in Fresno (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
 
The truth is, aside from his oratory, which is still good, but not great; certainly ranking much higher than Bush’s, he’s failed to deliver on any of these promises. Lately even his speeches have been coming up short, and falling flat and seem if anything empty, and lackluster.

Is It Time For Tough Love?

Despite having supported him on election day of ’08, and the campaign of 2012 as an intern, I have to show some tough love right now, because theres nothing I hate more than a fucking liar.

Dear Obama

I’ve had it!

It’s not me, it’s you; let me tell you why:

No more passes, no more silence, no longer will I allow my subconscious to ignore your repeated human rights abuses, persecution of web sites internet activists and whistle-blowers, or your escalation of the drone war and War on Terror.

The belief that it’s alright if, “they’re a son of a bitch, but they’re our son of a bitch” is both mistaken, and flawed. Just as it was when we applied it to brutal dictators willing to bow to US interests; Ngo Diem, Mubarrak, or Sadaam & Bin Laden; It’s flawed in the here, and the now.

If you were really “my guy” you would not be making empty promises you have no intention to deliver on. I wouldn’t be forced to make the least shitty of two shitty choices, forced to wipe and wash up afterwards either way….

You would be about that change you so clearly stated you wished to bring, boutty-bout it, but instead;

You’ve become just another political hack and a crony.

the only difference between yourself, and a career politician, is you’re not any good at it; obviously having no political leverage or capital as your failure to secure your agenda on gun control and the budget (sequester) make evident to us.  You fail to be effective at pushing for legislation many people actually want in the Senate with it’s Democrat majority, let alone the Republican House….

Your failure to do so despite the tragedy at Sandy Hook, yet the ease with which you took away or “suspended” our miranda rights in the wake of the bombing at the Boston Marathon has been most enlightening……. and appears to be your MO, your modus operandi.

You wouldn’t refuse to release the prisoners from Guatanamo, many of whom we have long known are not terrorists, to their rightful homes, having been unlawfully imprisoned and tortured for over 10 yrs…….

You wouldn’t have kill lists or claim to have the power to kill US citizens overseas with drone strikes…..

You also wouldn’t persecute anyone bringing it from the darkness of shadow into the light, by putting it online, speaking about it publicly, or otherwise making it available for the American people to find……

Frodo Baggins:

Elijah Wood as Frodo in Peter Jackson's live-a...
Elijah Wood as Frodo in Peter Jackson’s live-action version of The Lord of the Rings. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Far from the shire, you now sit atop Mt.Doom gazing at the fire, finally able to destroy the one ring….and you can’t do it, placing it snugly back upon your finger, fading away into invisibility, just like the you I thought we’d once come to know.

No longer are you behind those ideals and beliefs as myself as you once were, or claimed to be. A born again Christian, only in reverse; its like you became a Jehova Witness goin door to door to spread the word on nights and weekends.

Keep that gospel, drink your bullshit and your lies down with that Jim Jones Kool-Aid for all I give a fuck;
Just stuff it.

No More:

Your failure to enact any meaningful legislation, or to step above the fray and carry yourself with honesty and dignity in addressing the American people, your secrecy, half-truth, white lies and those of the bold faced variety have taken their toll on me, and on all of us for that matter.

The only transparency you’re concerned with is the ability to carry out an agenda and it’s policies so transparent nobody else can see it. The only rights are those you take away and give to the executive branch of government so you may better remain within the shadows, safely invisible while wearing the ring you once wished to destroy and now adore.

The only problem is, you’re not Tolkien, this is not “The Lord of the Rings” and there is no Gollum saving you from your poor choices and ultimate frailty of your will; There are no Elven ships to take you from these shores to Vallinor to save you from the burden of your choices it was a fictional fantasy;

There’s just us,

For you to restore your faith to me, to us, all you must do is make good on those words you speak, as opposed to them being merely empty words.  That is the true measure of a man and where you consistently come up short.  Until you honor your word as your bond, until you become worthy of the Nobel prize you won, until you step from the shadows, bringing your actions clearly into the light-as they should be, until you stop using the justice department to unjustly persecute those who embarrass you by telling people the truth you’re unwilling to tell; you are not a leader, or a man.

In the meantime,

I’ve had it! 

 

The Key To Living Your Life Happily

If You Intend To Be Happy In Your Pursuits You Must;

Be True To Yourself
So true though. You just gotta be yourself.

Its impossible to exaggerate the importance and power of “self talk” in relation to your overall happiness. When you think of yourself as having worth, you challenge yourself more, accomplishing more in the process and begin truly believing in the untapped potential contained within. Believing in yourself and doing what makes you happy translates into added benefits in all areas of your life as well.

People tend to want to spend time with you when you’re positive, comfortable, and confident in your interactions. Honesty and authenticity in your words and actions is easily recognized by others. You’ll enjoy healthier relationships; rich and fulfilling in nature. Acting naturally ensures the people in your life appreciate you for who are.

They accept and like you because of your “flaws”, not in spite of them. Doing things you enjoy even makes work, and getting an education fun. If you don’t have passion for what you’re doing, you’ll find its hard do well or for very long. It won’t matter how much it pays, what it looks like on paper, or what it allows you to buy; you can’t buy happiness.

These are lessons I’ve forced myself to learn and re-learn throughout my life. Being injured and off work for a long time, forced me to begin applying myself to find things I found worth doing because they were meaningful instead of just easy, or comfortable. At the beginning of my experience with the injury and with workers compensation, I felt stripped of my life. In reality it had been returned to me. With nothing to do with my time aside from being miserable (of which I did plenty), it forced me to pursue things I find interesting to combat my feelings of depression; a major improvement over a dead end job. I found a way to turn this into a positive, developing more new skills and experience in new area’s than I had in the last 2yrs of my life.

In doing so, I interned with the Obama campaign which I didn’t enjoy as much as I thought I would. In the process of my campaign work I discovered a program doing writing workshops for incarcerated youth from a campaign volunteer who volunteered with them as well. Getting involved in the program made me realize how much I enjoy working with those kids we like to label as being “at risk” and I’m good at it as well.

Live Your Life With

Let Your Passion Shine Through
With passion is the only way to live your life! Everything else is irrelevant. Do what you love and love what you do.

I spent a good part of my life living with a single mother in a dysfunctional family, having little money and even less direction.  In efforts to fit in I began acting out of character for myself.  Getting in trouble, ditching class, experimenting with alcohol and other substances inevitably resulted in academic consequences.  I can remember in 9th grade we did a mock year book categories for our science class, I was voted most likely to go to jail…I think they were only half being funny….lightweight-hardcore.

That assessment hit closer to the mark than they could have thought.  I nearly didn’t graduate high school on time if at all, let alone make it into a 4 year college which had always been a personal goal of mine.  Despite feeling disappointed, and discouraged from this, I kept at it, working harder because I had to, always with my eye on the prize.

When I began Junior College, I used the new beginning as such, devoting myself to my studies and becoming active on campus.  Soon, building each goal upon another the transformation was clear.  Going from a chronic underachiever to gaining an Associates degree, and then transferring to UC Berkeley and gaining my Bachelors degree in History. As the first in my family to go to college and without anyone to really guide me ensuring I was on the right track or what to expect it was really difficult at times; but I appreciate it as a personal accomplishment so much more for it.

My growth and transformation in this process taught me a lot about myself and the limitless potential within each of us so long as we allow ourselves to believe in our ability. Its gratifying to come through the adversity in your life, reaching your goals, never losing sight of that light at the end of the tunnel. The act of re-fashioning yourself into a better person, reborn from the ashes of your mistakes and your failures is redemptive and empowering. The ability to become a phoenix resides within each of us, it just needs nourishment to flourish.

Having lost sight of this for a time despite my accomplishments; I sank back into feelings of depression and self-doubt making many of those poor decisions again.  This experience gives me a deeper appreciation for just how fine a line it is separating “I can’t” from the “I can”, and achievements from everything you were too scared to try.

Realizing this makes me understand how important it is to help others pick themselves up and dust themselves off when they have stumbled or fallen.  The ability to see and believe in your potential is a flame you must vigilantly fan and stoke in yourself and in others lest it go out; quickly striking a spark igniting it again in times its snuffed out.

Theres no doubt in my mind,  my journey is not a special one, the adversity not nearly as severe or as challenging as what inner city youth face today. Poverty and all of it’s manifestations is ugly and brutal enough here at home, let alone the rest of the world, but it was something important to me, and I did it. Having applied as a long shot, I’d already began making arrangements to go somewhere else when I found out I had been accepted.  The opportunity to go to college, and the one that I did for that matter, forever altered the course of my life with impact, in a major way.  A gift for which I”m eternally grateful.

Thinking back now, I remembering just how close I came to never experiencing any of it.  I almost never mailed in the application at all…  This makes me wonder how many others are out there at this very moment who find themselves now in  similar boat as I was then, “application packets”  hovering over the waste basket… Which in turn resolved me to share my passion for education and lifelong learning and my story as an inspiration to others, hoping to help at least one person to take that shot, even if it is an “oh what the hell, why not?” and in the dark.

As it stands now, I’ve begun the almighty litmus test of turning belief into action, interviewing soon for several programs similar to Teach for America, where I can try making an impact right out the door, as well as volunteering.

To be quite honest, I’ve never been happier or more comfortable with a decision in my life my eyes finally opened to whats important in my life, and it makes me wonder “what the hell took ya’ so long?”.
Using my story as a lesson for others, I offer up these few bits of advice

My Advice To You

  • Don’t dwell on your mistakes, treat them as transformative agents for change instead.
  • You should chase those dreams your mind is quickest to abandon or discredit;
  • Live your life happily and fully, being honest to yourself at all times, and in service of others when you’re able.
  • By doing so not only will you be happier for it, you never know how many lives you’ll touch, or people you’ll inspire.

 

These Burning Questions Lit A Fire

Wanna know something?

Spider in Des Moines, Iowa
Trippy Looking spider from the park in Des Moines, IA

Well I’m gonna tell  you anyways 

I’ve always wondered why people can’t come more to the center, attempt to meet somewhere in the middle in an effort to compromise a little. 

Society places these taboo’s on speaking about the things of importance; politics, religion, our place in life

 Everything has become so cut and dry, right or wrong, black or white… good or bad, heaven or hell; its all subjective it’s what you make of it…

Heaven forbid you get that awkward question and have to explain what you believe to someone else.

Maybe you’re scared,

Who knows, you may surprise yourself discoveries in the learned & unlearned 

Until we come together trying to understand each other, crooked politicians will continue to grow fat off kick-backs, runnin game on us all night.

Why is it that we have allowed petty differences to divide us so thoroughly as we have now?    

Why two sides can’t just “agree to disagree” while still making an honest effort at coming to a better understanding of the person “opposing” them?

 Things  of no consequence to others dominate their thought process, who’s doing what behind closed doors with who in the comfort of their own home?…

Women’s personal choice on what to do with their body is soon to be legislated or subject to an investigation or trial by“”Grand Jury”?

 Why is it people are so concerned with what others are doing as they themselves live an imperfect life while calling it “flawless”?

Didn’t we learn that lesson in Kindergarten?

Why does our government do horrible things in our name, and without many of ours knowledge?

How can we all go about our lives so wrapped up in pettiness, yet blissfully ignorant about things that matter?

How can people be filled with such malice, acting out cruelty and murder upon one another? s even kill each other?

 

How can we tell ourselves were a free Democracy and not take any interest politics except every 2 years?

Why would they deny us the imformation necessary to make informed decisons if this is Democracy? 

Things would go much better; much smoother, more efficient and effective…all those things that were not.

When exactly was it that human life became trumped in value by the almighty $$$?

 

AmeriCorps at the Badlands South Dakota
Just Another Day At The Office

 

I just need to know the future leads forward; the path of progress…otherwise

I’m not sure how much longer I can live in a cold world like this.

One filled with greed, and reckless disregard for ourselves, the environment, and for others.

A world filled with pain, and frustration, 

Collective anguish….  But theres hope yet… 

One day, for all these questions I’ll finally have some answers…

I have to believe  theres hope yet.

Eventually you have to ask yourself a final question, 

HOW MUCH CAN YOU LIVE WITH?

As a student of history, I’ve come to learn that sometimes theres just no good explanation to why it is we do the fucked up stuff we do to each other…

People, especially those in power will get away with whatever you let them…

just that much, and no more

Just because I make plain the less flattering aspects of stuff,

Doesn’t mean I’m not proud of where I grew up.

I just have tough love, because I know that we as society can handle it.

Rise to the challenge, and grow.

Lets you and me

Really be,

The change we wish to seek.

For liberty, equality

Peace, Justice 

& freedom for all.

what are we waiting for?

The time is now

 

This Takes Some Getting Used To

I don’t think that I have ever felt so worthless as I do now. I generally feel like a disgrace to humanity. This being off work is starting to seriously eat at me. I’ve began meaningful relationships with the spiders in my apartment, only to fatally stab them in the back in a fit of rage (more like a cleaning frenzy, but who’s counting?), re-enacting one of the daytime “programs”.  Ohhh the programs, you mustn’t forget the programs.  You know, the ones you love to hate and hate to love, like Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie frenemies to the bitter end.  A fatally depraved showing of one upmanship.
 You know it’s bad
when you in all seriousness refer to your apartment as the Batcave.

When bathing or getting dressed reaches that uncomfortable medium, somewhere in limbo between noteworthy event, and outright spectator sport.  Each cycle of lather rinse repeat is worthy of noting on your personal calendar or worse yet

SCRAPBOOK.—– Let’s CELEBRATE, ARRRRRIIIIBBBBA!!!

Im in deep with a bookie,

I recently took up a bet with myself.  A bet born the bastard child of boredom and depression, to see how long I could go without bathing. I topped out at three days or so, and I swear I could have gone more if it weren’t for the confounded humidity. It was all over as soon as I could smell my own balls when I sat down on the couch.

GAME OVER:

Apparently Even I Have to Draw the Line Somewhere. I can no longer say with conviction that my depravity holds no bounds.

to be continued…

Amazing Posts: Life\’s Instructions

I found this on the internet a while ago and seeing as its Easter I figured this was as good a time as any to share.  So, without further ado, I present to you;

Life\’s Instructions

Have a firm handshake.Look people in the eye.Sing in the shower.Own a great stereo system.If in a fight, hit first and hit hard.Keep secrets.Never give up on anybody. Miracles happen everyday.Always accept an outstretched hand.Be brave. Even if you\’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference.Whistle.Avoid sarcastic remarks.Choose your life\’s mate carefully. From this one decision will come 90 per cent of all your happiness or misery.Make it a habit to do nice things for people who will never find out.Lend only those books you never care to see again.Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all that they have.When playing games with ! children, let them win.Give people a second chance, but not a third.Be romantic.Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.Loosen up. Relax. Except for rare life-and-death matters, nothing is as important as it first seems.Don\’t allow the phone to interrupt important moments. It\’s there for our convenience, not the caller\’s.Be a good loser.Be a good winner.Think twice before burdening a friend with a secret.When someone hugs you, let them be the first to let go.Be modest. A lot was accomplished before you were born.Keep it simple.Beware of the person who has nothing to lose.Don\’t burn bridges. You\’ll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river.Live your life so that your epitaph could read, No RegretsBe bold and courageous. When you look back on life, you\’ll regret thethings you didn\’t do more than the one\’s you did.Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them.Remember no one makes it alone. Have a grateful heart and be quick to acknowledge those who helped you.Take charge of your attitude. Don\’t let someone else choose it for you.Visit friends and relatives when they are in hospital; you need only stay a few minutes.Begin each day with some of your favorite music.Once in a while, take the scenic route.Send a lot of Valentine cards. Sign them, \’Someone who thinks you\’re terrific.\’Answer the phone with enthusiasm and energy in your voice.Keep a note pad and pencil on your bed-side table. Million-dollar ideas sometimes strike at 3 a.m.Show respect for everyone who works for a living, regardless of how trivial their job.Send your loved ones flowers. Think of a reason later.Make someone\’s day by paying the toll for the person in the car behind you.Become someone\’s hero.Marry only for love.Count your blessings.Compliment the meal when you\’re a guest in someone\’s home.Wave at the children on a school bus.Remember that 80 per cent of the success in any job is based on your ability to deal with people.Don\’t expect life to be fair.

via Amazing Posts: Life\’s Instructions.

Welcome to My House of Mirrors: A Smashing Good Time!

I can’t deny it any longer.  There is most certainly something wrong with me.  There must be.  That is the only explanation for everything.  There is absolutely nothing “right” about the way I feel, and act, or see myself.  Nothing normal with most times not feeling comfortable in your own skin, a stranger to yourself, like looking upon an unflattering reflection from a fun house mirror.  Allowing distortion to become your reality.  Believing yourself undeserving personal triumphs and acclaim irrespective of the hard work & time spent.  What few accomplishments I do have, I paid for.  The price-tag was not minutes, days, or years but in blood, sweat and tears.  Nothing in my life, and I mean nothing has come easily or cost cheap.  What lessons I have learned thus far on my journey have been hard-fought, even ill gained….Pyrhic victories….I wouldn’t wish on anyone else.  But I respect and appreciate the outlook and wisdom gained, refusing to give it up, even if that option existed in anything but children’s tales., or video games in the modern age.

 [RESET]

 better luck next time,

next life,

reset, restart, level up, press continue…..

Internally I know I am unfair to myself.  I’ve been aware of this for some time…..Aware and conscious but not awake…like a lucid dream I’m unable to awake from.

More like a nightmare, all I can think is,

they lied,

cuz the truth has not set me free.  I feel more bound, constrained by this guilty knowledge, that I not only can do more, but I should do more.    Despite feeling that I have reached my breaking point, now ready to heed my personal “call to action”,  the real action aspect of it still proves problematic.  Where do you start, when the system feels broken?  What can you do to find your path in the world?  How will I know that I’ve made the right choice?  As I struggle to find answers to these questions I am walking in place, frozen by fear….fear of what?  fear of failure?  fear of pain? or fear of success? and fear of what I may find within the depths of myself if forced in that direction?   Fear that I will have to pay up for a bet made against myself long ago that I have neither the ability or the justification to pay.

Made prisoner through my self-awareness, unable to return to my carefree and ignorant bliss. Aware of the fact that there are some things that eventually,

you just have to let go of,

The Incredible Hulk (2008 video game)
The Incredible Hulk (2008 video game) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I cling for a handle with every ounce of strength left in my tired, spent fingers despite their lack of feeling….Just reflexive knee jerk reactions running, synapses firing on pure instinct and latent memories, acting as they think they should….survival mode ….Fighting it tooth and nail….    At times, I don’t even recognize myself, perhaps displeased with the contour of a particular mirror, creating an unpleasant vision.  Either that or I legitimately scare myself, how quickly it can all change.  Like Bruce Banner into the Incredible Hulk, a switch gets flipped and all traces of my peaceful demeanor fades away like a bad paint job.  I have no love for the person I’m left with when it happens….No love for scaring or hurting people, especially those closest to me, when I wouldn’t hurt a fly.  Wishing I could rid myself of HIM, and carry on, all Jekyll and no Hyde.  That is the moment when you know its bad, when you can’t even recognize yourself.  When your image has become so distorted you couldn’t pick yourself out of a line-up.  Where did he go?  That idealistic version of myself,

Such infectious optimism,

childlike passion for life!

but so naive,  That kid is gone forever,

The Incredible Hulk (TV series)

Lost amidst the pain of depression, an ache from deep within, amplified by the emptiness felt inside.

Contents lost in my personal battle with self-esteem and addiction fought as a coming of age…….

debris strewn across my rent, tattered soul….Something of a sheltered youth, I made a misguided choice without giving it much thought.  I did it in search of acceptance, having just come through a very trying and lonely time in my life.  Uprooting in the middle of a school year, leaving the world  I knew and the people who populated it behind.  Despite not giving it my full attention, I still knew deep down that it was wrong, I shouldn’t do it.  A fact that I never forgot, reminding myself of it endlessly, every time I did it only further worsening my dilemma.  At times I feel that I traded my dignity for “friends”…  making the fatal mistake of assuming they were ones worth keeping in my life.  Too new to the world to have the wisdom necessary to tell important from filler… Unknown to me , this decision would proved to more expensive than anyone could ever believe, rife with un-foreseen cost and hidden fees.  This moment of weakness’ span would quietly stretch across entire  years of my life until it pervaded my very sense of being.  Allowing this to happen is something I’m yet to forgive of myself and only myself… Such fools we were, emulating some fabricated vision of cool.  An immature, reckless philosophy on life, centered around living fast and dying young.  I guess it seems easier when you havent had the time or opportunity to fall flat on your face & make an honest mistake.  Easier to ride the pine and think about what could have been than it is to hit the game winning shot.

It is unfortunate to have had to make such an immense decision so young. Handicapped by an understanding of the world constrained by my age.  I was still unaware how wide the spectrum of human behavior is…or how low some are willing to go.   My eyes still half-opened enough that I still believed everyone was basically good, things functioned as they should.  I wish I was a positive person again, or knew how to.  I wish that I knew how to even like myself again.  Alas, if that is a possibility it is not one that I am familiar with.  Google street view has yet to update that map, the one of myself…i heard its due out sometime after they finish with the one of the Amazon River.  Until that time, I’m left bushwhacking it, far from beaten path, on the road less travelled.  Making tentative swipes at the unknown when the situation calls for reckless abandon and wanton hacking away.

I wish I could pinpoint it…..the moment I lost my mojo, the good vibes, call it karma if you will.  Regardless of title, for the last few years I’ve been awkwardly moving my body.  An uncontrolled epileptic spasmodic jerking, like Elaine from Seinfeld.  Clearly unable to keep the rhythm, silently hoping, to one day do like Stella….

Get my groove back….

Once again moving in tune to the beat in my head.

full synchronization……body…mind….spirit….

all kept inline with a common purpose and underlying goal.

Judging by my recent actions, I wont hold my breath… this reality can only exist far in the future, if its reality at all…  For the moment, I would rather sabotage myself than give it a shot, and potentially fail.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are younot to be? …Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory … that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”  -Marianne Williamson

For the moment I must settle for the understanding that any action is better than inaction.  Unless you make a choice, take a stand, and potentially make a “mistake” you are unable to truly discover yourself.  Anything other than that isn’t fair to yourself… because its hardly living at all.

Count the Blessings by the Barrel: A Workers Comp Tale

Alright, lookin back at this I see it’s somewhat lengthy, thats ok with me.  Its what my fingers produced when gravity ran its course.  If nobody reads it, I dont care.  Its not for anyone else.  I just had to get it off my chest, put this out in the open.  Heads up though, its about to get real personal….

I’ve been depressed, like clinically fucking depressed.   And right when I felt like things had started to turn around for me at work and in my personal life, or when I felt like I was starting to truly be happy again.

BOOM

everything changes...

           I was working crazy amounts of overtime because I became the head order writer/main dairy clerk for a large grocery store Safeway just before Thanksgiving.  Anyone who has worked at a grocery store knows during the holidays and NFL season, everybody and their momma has discovered a new affinity for sour cream, cream cheese, butter, cheese, you know all the shit I have to order and work with basically no help, in a store that does a million a week in business on average (during the holidays think closer to WAY MORE).   Anyways, I got done workin like a 12 or 13 hour day, hit a friend up, had a few beers and an appetizer at our local pub went back to my place and I was done like dinner.  I passed out exhausted within like 20 minutes of being home.  What made it really bad was the fact I was supposed to give him a ride home when we were done chillin.

         Anyways, when I woke up on the couch I had that feeling in my hands of being “asleep”  like I fell asleep on it and all it had to do was shake it out or something for it to wake up and get the blood flow goin, get rid of that pins and needles sensation.  A goal which became increasingly more and more important to me as time went on.  For some reason this time it was the most intensely uncomfortable sensation I had yet experienced in my life.  If that wasn’t cause enough for concern, any time it felt like it was starting to go away and I would start to fall back asleep it would return with a vengeance and wake me back up again.  Alarms were definitely blaring when the sensation still hadn’t returned half-way through the following day.  Despite this “minor inconvenience”  I proceeded to work for close to two weeks before I said anything.

           That was the 15th of November and I still don’t feel the ring and middle fingers on my left hand to this second as I type these words.  To top it off, I had moved apartments & been working a physical job for several months earlier with a very painful or sore shoulder.  My life, “in a nutshell” since about June or July has been a regular, consistent 7-11 on the pain scale.  At times I can’t even pick up my water bottle because of my shoulder, even if I could get a firm grip with the affected hand.   Even though I wouldn’t have been able to afford all the physical therapy if I had gone through my own personal Dr. I wish I had never reported the injury through work.  Doing so was the biggest mistake EVER!!!!!  I can no longer even work at my store, where at least I’m comfortable in the sense of I know everyone.  No, its Safeway’s policy that they don’t allow you to stay at your store when you’re on workers compensation, at least until I’m fully cleared to come back without restrictions by the Dr. which is NOT looking promising anytime soon.  Especially since this new Dr. saw me for less than an hour and took one look at my MRI and scheduled me for a second one and wants me to see an orthopedic surgeon now. and wrote me off from work indefinitely.  I found this last part especially intriguing because the Dr. I saw the day before him said she was unable to write me off work because I “wasn’t totally disabled”….  She also said everything on my MRI looked fine other than the nerve damage and resulting loss of muscle bulk…..

Am I the only one who feels like their reactions were on opposing ends of the spectrum?

My life is now dominated by Dr.’s visits and BULLSHIT.  Receiving misinformation, when I receive any…. Getting the runaround or mistreated by people in distant corporate offices as if filing a claim relinquished any earlier claim I may have had, you know, like the one where I’m treated like a person who deserves respect.  My whole world is flipped on its head, and the not knowing whats going on from one week to the next, is stressing me out.  As if I don’t already have enough on my plate right now, Im forced to work at a new store with new people, on days instead of nights which requires an entirely different skill set.  I don’t know what I expected from the process, but it wasnt this.  Sometimes it feels like I’m right on the brink of losing whatever tenuous grasp I may still possess…And then what?

This whole experience has been the most de-humanizing experience I’ve ever gone through.  Between that and the pain, Im not gonna lie, there were several points where I’ve just been ready to check out, say fuck it and pull the plug, make it end.

I just know that I can’t live like this.

Cant let her see me this weak,

                 Can’t keep pretending that I’m OK

                                   Cant continue writhing in pain

                                                             OR

                                                      Relying on painkillers just to make it through the day.  I couldn’t tell you the last time I cried before this.  Now it seems almost like I’m crying every day.  My pride has most assuredly learned to take an Ali like  pounding.  The only problem is there’s no “dope” to rope but me.

It just feels like they’re never gonna get it together and at least patch me up to the point where I’m not in near agony on a GOOD day.  It took me 3 months of seeing a Dr. to get her to order an MRI and I shit you not, during my last appointment with the astute Dr. she said to me “I think you have something wrong with your shoulder”.  I mean, how do you respond to that?  Keep in mind, I had in fact told her this very same thing, EVERY SINGLE APPOINTMENT!  Sometimes I just feel like I’m invisible, or like she thought I was faking it, as if I had given just cause for my credibility to suddenly be in question.  I mean, the nerve, I should be questioning her own credibility, because certainly I would like to verify her crackerjack credentials!  Every time I told her that I needed a refill I got that condescending look, like I’m some sort of junky.  It couldn’t possibly be related to the fact that I wake up in pain, I go to sleep in pain, and that’s when I can even get comfortable enough to fall asleep any more because…..yep you guessed it.  I feel like sayin What has two thumbs and hurts like a bitch?  This guyyyyy…….  If anything its only increased from when I first filed the claim.  I’m still not entirely sure whats wrong with me, but at least it seems like this new guy “understands the words that are comin outta my mouth” to quote Rush Hour

Its times like this, I need to remember how lucky I am to still be here. (And by here I mean like HERE, on this earth here) Or just how close I came to that not being the case.  I gotta work more on appreciating the things I do have at this moment, even if good health is not among them.  When I take stock of the amazing people I have in my life, or how far I’ve come in some areas of my personal development, or how far I have left to go… When I look at it that way, and the ways in which I have grown from having experienced this.  I truly do count my blessings by the barrel

Keep the CHANGE ya’ Filthy Animal

What happened to the change we were promised?  That new direction for America, repairing our credibility amongst the “world population” that was so terribly tarnished?  What happened to working to end the partisan gridlock that has become our reality, prompting the disaffection and the cry for CHANGE?

I understand that theres only so much that one man can do, that he inherited a mess far beyond a quick fix’s reach.  Or that members of Congress (in both parties) are behaving like children, uninviting each other from their birthdays.  But I had such high hopes for you Barry….

[sigh]

You rode in with such momentum, the first African American president! Such a milestone!

Especially to someone like me who grew up feeling guilty for the sins of another. Who studied and enjoyed the history of social movements, the incubation of change

lasting, legitimate, change.  I thought you’d finish his legacy.  Or that we would see large liberal gains.  Huge grassroots support, trying to get the communities involved in themselves, in each other, in AMERICA…  But like I said, theres really only so much that one man can do.  I’m sure the desire to create change was there.  But the demands and the “responsibility” of the presidency were too powerful to overcome.  A magnet whose force exerts a constant pull growing stronger with time.  Hard to go against the grain when deception, and malice are built into the very framework of the system.  Fostering a culture of liars and thieves.  Not man enough to “sack up” and accept responsibility when the shit hits the fan.  A different sales pitch for every demographic, so many angles theyre walkin into walls.

 A house of mirrors, reality so distorted theres no alternative but to carry on pretending, in an attempt to maintain the deception.

 I think perhaps the time has come when the government will have to answer for its misdeeds.

 The sheer scope of the “Occupy”  leads one to believe that,

the lack of unifying claim or demand should worry them….

Everyone was unified only in their lack of patience for the same old games, the stalemates in Congress, Hyperbole in elections.

Promises unfulfilled….

Dishonesty and incompotence in its barest and most plain form for all to see.

Its usually in the second term that the administration really gets their way.   Nothing to lose.  I just wonder if you’ll have enough left in the tank to resist. To do the right thing, even if it may be unpopular, or politically imprudent.

I think not….

the whole institution is flawed.  Our government is fat and bloated, but wont admit to its Hostess addiction.

Possibly setting itself up to be able to argue the “twinkie defense”.

 Citizens United

 Wal-Mart or McDonalds is the same as you and me.  Flesh and blood living breathing fighting…or no..

….it makes sense right……?

I no longer have any faith in an institution that I have come to respect less and less the more Ive learned.

GREED

for power, for wealth, knows no bounds, no limits known to the human nature.

I thought you were different Barry,

that you would ride that wave into the next “100 days” providing us with a dose of alphabet soup.

to cure our hunger for something of substance.  To stick to our ribs.

Instead you’ve lost that momentum, “the moment” your balance?

 crushed by that wave, flushed with the rest of the fluids, bodily or otherwise.

your victory or loss is of little consequence.

Im just looking forward to seeing Ronald McDonald at the polls.  I wonder what hes registered as….

(D)? (R)?  Its the same party, same shit, different day

well at least they only get one vote, right?

 Just one vote……

worth the same as yours or mine….