Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 30 - A Letter To Yourself, Tell Yourself EVERYTHING You Love About Yourself

Well then.  My 300th post is all about myself. Guess I haven't come very far from the first post over a year and a half ago.  Whiny, self centered, job hating...check.  I'd give myself credit for consistency, but I think that's the wrong kind of compliment.

So, everything I love about me huh?  You know that Brad Paisley song "Letter To Me?"  If not, cause I know alls y'all didn't grow up in the Midwest like me and country music may be a foreign concept, take a gander below.  I wish I could talk to my child self as the me now.  Pretty sure that's why there are dozens of sayings about how hind sight is twenty twenty.  That would be easier in my opinion.  A letter of things I love about myself is just odd.




Dear Dorn, (Cordial, not too formal and not too homeboyish.  Oh and Seriously Microsoft, quit underlining my name.  It is not misspelled! Quit changing it to Dora, Dork or Darn.  Apple learned in in under a day.  Get with the program Bill!)

I know you don't take compliments well, so I'll start out slow and just enjoy it, I'm sure you'll see some things you agree with too. 

I love that you can walk into a kitchen with zero idea of what to cook for dinner and whip something incredibly tasty and whole house satisfying in under an hour...or even better when it's under 30 like tonight.  See that wasn't so hard.  You already freely admit you're a good cook.  Not quite America's Test Kitchen material, but Sandra Lee can certainly suck it!

I love that you've kept your marriage/relationship with your wife happy and exciting even after eight years together!  This month's entries have been chocked full of innuendos and blatant references, so this shouldn't surprise you at all at this point if you've been following along!  I love that you still find your wife attractive even while she's dealing with body image issues after two kids in two years.  Even better that you let her know too.  I love that you can still make her laugh...even if it's the same story from yesteryear that she's heard a dozen times.  (Probably why you love her too!)

Still on the marriage/wife topic.  I love that you're hopelessly committed to your wife and life with her.  I love that you make her a priority, even though she may beg to differ sometimes.  I love that you married your best friend and it didn't cross your mind that things could have worked out differently had you not dressed up in that bunny suit for 36 hours in an attempt to completely win her over.  (I'm sure that will come up in depth eventually.  No joke, I was a 6' Easter Bunny...make that 7' compensating for the head and ears, roaming the city on Easter Sunday!)

I love that your children adore you.  I love that your daughter gets voraciously jealous when you are holding your son.  It really does mean she's claimed you as hers and no one else's.  I love that your son not only looks incredibly like you, but he also laughs for you more than anyone else.  I love that, while it drives you insane, your daughter will not have anyone but Daddy take her potty when you are home.  I love that you know how to calm both down within seconds when they are throwing a tantrum.  I love that you know exactly what they need when they call out or cry for you without need for explanation.

Alright enough with the mushy family stuff.  I love that you can slip into a wide variety of Southern, Hillbilly, Country, Hick, Texan, and various other drawls and mumblings from south of the Mason Dixon, without missing a beat in a conversation.  (Southern drawls work particularly well while waiting tables.  Quick Hick comes in very handy when speaking "privately" to your wife in front of folks plagued with English as a Second Language.  And Folks, Texas truly is a whole other country and thus deserves its own exception).  Speaking of accents that get a laugh, I love that when you actually attempt to speak it, your Spanish is complimented for not sounding like an ignorant American is speaking it!

I love that you travel for family even though your parents won't.  I love that you have various creative bones in your body, I just wish you'd use one to actually complete something you've begun to execute.  I love that you look at life a bit differently than many of your peers.  Following the pack can typically get you out of danger, but it seldom gets you where you really want to go.

I'm sure there are bunches more that I love about you me OK this really is creepy, but I am getting tired and you I we screw it, just go to bed we have a super busy day tomorrow!

Love, Me(seriously what the eff pronoun am I supposed to use here?  Is this considered writing in second person?)

So happy this is over.  I haven't minded having a specific topic to work with each day.  It's given me motivation to jump on this computer each day (well almost).  I just don't know how much I've grown because of this.  Eh, maybe I've spent a bit more time liking me...a hell of a lot more than I did when I started it.  OK fine, it did it's job.  Thank you Rae & Wym for the inspiration.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 29 - Something You Hope To Change About Yourself And Why.

So many things I would love to see changed.  Tomorrow is all about things I love about myself.  I can find so much wrong that it's hard to see the positive.  So that gives me a lot to work with here yet I don't know how to choose. 

I spoke about procrastination earlier this month.  The one thing I've narrowed down ties into that and my post the other day about my wife trying to start her own company.  I've also talked about wanting to be a teacher before. 

That all adds up to me wanting to change my status in life.  I want to go back to school (want is probably a misnomer here as I HAVE to go back to school for this) and complete the requirements to become a teacher in Texas.  I don't know if elementary ed is a perfect fit but since I would get to teach a broad spectrum of topics, I think I would enjoy it more.  That said, High Schoolers or Middle Schoolers would benefit from a strong male figure (I heard that snicker...just work with me here).  I don't think, given my track record of college success, that I'm ready to strive for professor status.

I have never been motivated to go back to school for real.  I've been an working adult student before.  I quit because life (read that as a "new job that required 60 hours a week dedication") crept up on me.  Yes I see the irony in my inability to complete school yet I want to be a teacher.  That is more of my procrastination and laziness than my actual ability to achieve success in my studies.  When I apply myself I am a straight A student.  I just allow myself to slack off in the most costly and detrimental ways. 

I'm never going to be happy if I continue working in corporate America.  I can still do my wife's business on the side no matter what I do.  I know there is a ton of politics involved in every school district.  Also our litigious society has made teaching, especially for men, very difficult.  I'm OK with those challenges.  I want to do something that will make me proud to do what I do. 

I don't want to be conflicted about my decisions any more.  I need to do this.  I'm 31 now.  I don't think there is a cut off for teachers, but I can't wait too much longer.  School will absorb a couple years of my life and I need to get that out of the way before my kids are too old.  My goal is to start school again in January.  Here's to books and homework!  Here's to me making a change that is positive in every way.  Here's to finishing something I set out to do!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 28 - What If You Were Pregnant Or Got Someone Pregnant, What Would You Do?

Now if I got pregnant, as a man that would be a miracle.  So I'd call every reality TV production company in existence and bid for some beaucoup cash.  Hell I'd need it with three kids. 

I am SOOOOOO not ready to be a father of three.  If some freak accident with a jimmy cap happens or I finally get tired of using condoms as a married man, this might happen.  Seriously, I've used them more as a married man than I ever did single.  (not that I was unprotected, but most girlfriends were on birth control and disease didn't factor in).  Since my wife breastfeeds, birth control doesn't work.  Kinda like drinking grapefruit juice on antibiotics.  Somethings just don't play well with one another.  And since she breastfed all the way up to this last pregnancy, that means prego sex was the only reprieve from the little rubber guys I've had in two years. 

Yep, there that was.  How was it for you?  I guess I've stopped caring this month. Anyhoo, moving on.

If my wife got pregnant again, great.  We'd make it work and love that kid just as much as our other two.  I just don't want to deal with that stress right now.

Now if I got someone else pregnant...which is not even a slight possibility...but for the sake of argument let's roll with it.  I'd freak the fuck out first.  My original stance against abortion would probably go out the window.  Begging and pleading would probably ensue.  I'd panic if this came true.  I can lie.  Well.  But I don't know how I'd handle this one.  So since I'm a faithful husband, this won't ever happen and thus isn't worth my dwelling on it.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Day 27 - What's The Best Thing Going For You Right Now?

Yup, you guessed it.  My family.  Frankly, my job is wearing me out.  I've got no future with them and I've accepted that reality.  My finances are rough at best.  I'm working toward breathing room and should be doing alright soon.  My life is very family centric and I'm OK with that. 

Even though I was one of those people only five years ago...I have no clue how people couldn't want to have children.  They change your life.  They are difficult to handle sometimes.  They become the more important thing to consider with every decision.  They are so worth it. 

My kids give my existence meaning.  I enjoyed life, but frankly they are proof that I can do something amazing and do it well. 

I was talking to an employee the other day (he and his wife never want children.  Messy and expensive.) and saying basically everything above.  He thinks it's horrible that I've had two within two years.  He thinks I'm an idiot.  He was telling me about one of his customers who found out his and his wife's goals of zero kids.  The customer was telling him how genius that was.  He said he loves his kids and wouldn't trade them for the world, but he and his wife were so happy before them and now it's just he and them. 

I told my guy that while he's semi right what I think happens to people with kids is that they forget they have another relationship that supersedes the parent one.  Marriage.  Keeping Mom & Dad happy makes for a much happier family.  Making the connection between husband and wife thrive while kids are in the mix is hard.  That doesn't mean it can't happen.  You both have to make the effort. 

My wife was telling me about an episode of The Talk where a professional got on there and explained how to keep the relationship alive.  Her advice was horrible.  It was about parents, especially women being too tired for sex.  She said the best way for a stay at home mom to show the breadwinner why she is always so tired is to punish him.  Leave him alone for at minimum four hours a week with the kids and no lunch made or pacifiers in the house.  Then he'll be more understanding.  WTF?  I'm all for men pitching in and stay at home mothers getting out of the house without the kids for a while frequently.  But punishing the man because the wife feels punished is retarded.  It doesn't solve the problem or work toward a solution.  It's just bitchy. 

I don't know what the perfect solution is, but we seem to make it work.  Our conflicts (like this computer) aside, we love each other and enjoy spending time together.  We also have a healthy balance of work and parenting "duties."  If she's feeling abused or over worked, we talk about it.  I give her a break.  She also knows that it's not fair to make me "take over" as soon as I get off work just because I'm the new face.  We are a team.  We also make time for just ourselves...or at least take advantage of the brief moments when it is just ourselves.

I went down a very different path than I intended with this post but I think it's good to get those things out there.  I've enjoyed single life, married life and fatherhood.  Each one different and great.  Fatherhood continues to impress and make me stronger and a better person.  I hope everyone can find this kind of joy.  Seriously, having a little version of yourself look you dead in the eye and smile and squirm just because they got your attention is one of the greatest feelings ever. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 26 - Have You Ever Thought About Giving Up On Life? If So, When And Why?

I'm assuming they mean Suicide and not just being a lifeless shell of a person.  So, I'm gonna go on a brief rant in the following.  Soapbox and all!

In my life I've run the gamut of negative emotions.  I have felt depressed and worthless.  I have wondered why everything I do just sucks.  I've wondered why life has to be so difficult sometimes.  I have hated everyone and everything around me. 

I have never thought suicide was the solution. 

When those thoughts cross my mind, I am always able to remember other side of the coin.  I've been felt on top of the world.  I've loved my life.  I've thought things shouldn't be this good for anyone.  I've cherished everything and everyone around me.

No, I'm not bipolar.  I don't feel these things at the same time or swing from one extreme to another.  I'm just able to see something other than my own black hole.  Even the slump I've been in that sparked me doing this little challenge wouldn't make me want to just give up.  I have a beautiful family.  Stress that comes along with them and terror involved with paying for it, included.  They've made a life worth living for even better. 

Having made my case of why I don't see it as an option, I'd like to comment on people who commit suicide in general.  People who commit suicide are the most vile people on the planet save those who kill others.  Killing oneself is the ultimate act of hatred and selfishness.  You may think people around you don't care, but everyone you leave behind.  I could go on but frankly they just disgust me so I'll make an appeal to folks contemplating it.

My plea is that you seek help.  If help isn't there, know this: You can always change your situation.  It may be difficult to do so.  It may take some drastic alterations.  It can be done though and you will be far better off for it.  If you are scared of the consequences...suicide is far worse.  If the people in your life don't accept you, killing yourself doesn't change anything except your existence.  If they are the problem, what's the big deal with leaving them behind?  Afraid of how it would affect them or that they would try to stop you?  Your death takes their feelings and abilities out of the equation.  Why not just do that with out the messiness?  

Ultimately your decision to kill yourself is weak.  But it takes some balls to pull it off.  Why not take that assertive moment and make a break for it.  Why not change your job.  Change your relationship.  Change your life.  It is possible.  Nothing is so bad that death is an option. 

And please don't go to the whole terminal illness/pain argument.  It's as ridiculous as rape or incest being a rationale for abortion.  They are such a minute percentage of the actual cases.  Exceptions are exceptions.  Even then they are weak. 

So, I've made my point.  It was long and rambling.  But I can tell you this in summary.  My life at its lowest points is still worth living.  Nothing will ever change that.  I hope you feel the same way.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day 25 - The Reason You Believe You're Still Alive Today

Maybe I'm not thinking outside of the box enough here.  I just don't really get what they are asking.  I don't have one of those AA stories where someone picked me up from the gutter and turned my life around.  I've never hit rock bottom and found my one reason to live.

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones have a song called "The Impression That I Get."  The chorus is a bit backwardly ironic in the fact that they should actually knock on wood because they've never had to before.  But a simple interpretation of the song is that they've not had bad things happen to them and they are happy with that.  They also aren't sure they know if they could deal with it.



That's kinda how I'm feeling here.  I've had crappy things occur in my lifetime no doubt.  But I've never been to the brink.  I really should save this part for tomorrows post. 

Now, to answer the question.  First, I think I'm still alive because I have a brain and I use it.  I don't always use it correctly.  But for every time I inactively participate in life and something "happens to me;" twice as many decisions were made where I guided my own life. Second, I have people who give a shit about me.  This coincides with Thanksgiving very nicely.  I have always had people in my life that I love and who love me back.  Not always a spouse either. While the whole married with kids thing is definitely awesome, I've always had family and friends in my life to balance out the bad.  Third, I'm not deathly allergic to anything and have always worn my seat belt in cars so accidents have never been anything more than really expensive lessons in proper road behavior.  Fourth, I'm too full of myself to not be around.

Happy Thanksgiving.  Oh yeah, I'm thankful that this month is almost over.  I've about had it with these questions.  I don't think I'm getting as much out of them as I'd originally hoped.  But I'm this far in and am determined to finish!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 24 - Make A Playlist To Someone And Explain Why You Chose All The Songs

Do you remember making mix tapes for people?  I made my share of Mix CDs in my late teens and early twenties.  Once Napster came along, the possibilities were endless!

I have not however, ever created one for my wife.  Not sure why.  Maybe because our musical tastes at the beginning of our relationship were such polar opposites.  I've dragged her a little my way and she's dragged me back her direction.  We're similar yet very different still.  So Baby, here it is!

I'm going to include the YouTube embedding so if one strikes your fancy you can go ahead and indulge!

These songs are less about the way I feel about you.  These are songs that make me think about you.  Ones I associate with you.  Many that I'd never know if not for you.  Even a couple that are associated with you simply because you hate them so much.  Love you for it too!

1.) Pet Shop Boys - "Where the Streets Have No Name (Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You)"
I debated which one to chose.  This is after all more than a slight obsession for you.  While Opportunities and Domino Dancing are my favorites, the Pet Shop Boys are wholly yours baby.  I even considered proposing at their concert.  Once there and I realized we were one of less than 4 straight couples, it was just the wrong venue.  Obviously you can read that as: I chickened out big time!  I was also soooo nervous that I would lose the ring I kept clutching my cargo pocket the whole night.  I'm sure the folks we were dancing by didn't notice, but at the time I just new they thought I was a complete freak.



2.) New Order - "Bizarre Love Triangle"
Oh, Look!  Another unhealthy obsession of yours!



3.) The Cure - "Friday I'm In Love"
Seriously, my mom was an 80s lady but this was not in her wheel house so I wasn't introduced to them as a child.  As an adult I never bothered a listen until you.  I have to say, melancholy maybe, but Robert Smith gets a horrid rap from people about being so depressing.  Just about every song I've ever heard from them is about love and tends to be rather cutesy upbeat.  Maybe it was just the eyeliner.  Oh yeah, YouTube won't let me embed the original video.  Very funny too, so that's a shame.  But here's a jarring introduction in what I'm guessing is German the language you love as they perform it live.



4.) Bryan Adams - "Cuts Like A Knife"
I knew Summer of 69 was his before I met you.  I have to admit though, I had no clue that I knew so many poptastic hits from this little Kanuk.  Oh and I guess YouTube has some beef with allowing original videos to be embedded.  So again, here's the live version.



5.) Tori Amos - "Raspberry Swirl"
She's a dirty little girl, so I guess I know why you like her.  I am still not a fan, so I just picked one I knew you liked.  I don't ever hear her outside of when you control the CD player.  It just didn't feel right to leave her off this list.  I have to tell you though, this one gave me a head ache just listening to it to make sure it was legit.



6.) Elton John - "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters"
We share a love for this man.  So the possibilities were vast, but I know you really like this one.  Not sure why this video is set to images of Almost Famous...but we share that too, so just enjoy it.



 
7.) Robbie Williams - "Something Stupid"
Oh Robbie.  I'd heard his American radio hits, but when you let me listen to his album Swing While You're Winning, I came around.  Here's one from it, a Sinatra cover.  Oh and look it's got your girl singing Nancy's part.  FAR LESS creepy than the father daughter love ballad duet!



8.) Maroon 5 - "Harder to Breathe"
Our first concert together.  Well, not counting our first date at the MONSTERS OF ROCK festival!   Oh yeah, and we'll just ignore the latter events of that night that had you bailing me out of jail on your birthday! 



9.) Van Morrison - "Someone Like You"
Speaking of concerts.  I'm so sorry I had a severe DIVA moment and made you miss the Van Morrison Concert.  I'm pretty sure most people would have let my ass walk home instead of coming along.  Thanks for sticking by me.



10.) Rage Against the Machine - "Freak on a Leash"
I'm just kidding.  I won't post this video.  It's amazing how you can't name a single song by them yet if they are on for longer than 5 seconds you're asking me to flip the station.  At least you're consistent, I guess.  Astoundingly, works for Ke$ha, Beyonce, and Natasha Beddingfield too.  I'm willing to wager super fans couldn't nail it as quick as you.  Guess that makes them your Arch-Nemisis.

11.) David Bowie - "Magic Dance"
So how 'bout something that'll make you smile.  "You remind me of the babe. What Babe? The Babe with the power? What power? The power of voodoo? Who do? You do!"




12.) Reverend Horton Heat - "Eat Steak"
Thank you for introducing me to the Rev.  Before the only Rev I knew and loved was Al Green...still one of my faves, but this brought a whole new twist to my musical taste.  I'm a little better for it too.  Thank you.



13.) Killers - "Human"
Your modern musical obsession.  We saw them the first week we moved down to Austin.  I can't believe we haven't gone back.  Hell, we've seen far crappier bands more than once!  I'll get to work on it.  Promise.



14.) Iggy Pop - "Lust For Life""
Nah, I didn't chose the song we had our first dance to at our wedding.  Yes I remember...Etta James, "At Last."  This was our grand entrance song and I think it was far more fitting!  "I'm worth a million in prizes!"



15.) Prozzäk - "Shag Tag (You're It!)"
HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS BAND IN HIGH SCHOOL???? Thank you again, this is one of my favorite albums of all time.  You did that! 




There it is.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Hope you smiled.  Now (sorry or maybe your welcome, your call folks, not directed at anyone other than my lovely wife) re-read the last title!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Am I a Reg Man?

This is on the barbershop next door to one of my stores.  What exactly is REG MEN?  Do I qualify?  I mean, I'm pretty average for the most part.  Is there an up charge for red hair?  How bout if someone's in a wheel chair?  Do they get docked because the person has to squat a bit more?  How bout a man with curly hair?  Are they penalized because their locks aren't standard issue? 

This barbershop has a bad habit of not being open on time.  Anywhere from 15 minutes to two hours is standard practice. 

The other day a handwriten sign was posted stating:

For Inconvenient

Wong is sick

Store not open today

Manager

Thank you so much for going the extra mile to make sure we are put out.

Day 23 - Something You Wish You Had Done In Your Life

I've come up with several business ventures/ideas that my procrastination has allowed to slip out of my grasp.  I wish I had tried any or all of them.  I am definitely more the type to work for a corporation so I can have the stability and benefits.  That said, I'd love to be able to have my own thing working as well.  Like a back up plan or a "what I really enjoy" side gig.

My wife has stayed at home with the kids for the last year and a half.  We've been trying to figure out what we can do to supplement our income.  While a couple of my ideas would still work, they'd all require my dedication that's just not possible right now.  So she's been more than toying around with the idea of turning her sewing/crafting into a business.  I'm still an active part here, but it's not mine.

This is going to sound childish.  I can't believe she's going to have her own business before I do.  I've backed out of opportunities that were iffy, but I've also literally just let an idea sit and do nothing.

I wish I had pursued my ideas and dreams.  I know it's not too late.  I just wish by this point I wasn't in the wishing mode.  Ya know?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 22 - Something You Wish You Hadn't Done In Your Life

Wow, several moments in my history flashed before my eyes as I began thinking about this topic.  I don't know if I can share any of them.

My first time...you know.  Off the table.

Forging my parent's signature on school communications...the bad ones of course.

Skipping classes and subsequently failing out of my freshman year of college.  NOT going to dwell on that!

The time I spent the night in the "County Hotel."  Or the time I was a guest of a different County's Over Night Facility.  Yep, not in the mood to relive those ridiculous moments from my past.  

I can tell you this.  My children will not get away with anything.  I've done so much stupid crap.  Lying, Stealing, Cheating, Lying, and more Lying.

I think I'm going to talk about how my actions directly impacted my sister's character and general attitude.  I was not very nice to her growing up.  I was not patient.  I was a pretty crappy brother in retrospect.

I had my moments of kindness and times when my protective big brother nature would kick in, but most of the time I was just a jerk. 

My sister has Down's Syndrome (the sister who is only a year younger than me).  That should imply to you that she is generally a very happy, overly bubbly and outgoing person.  She can also be a cantankerous grouch.  That side of her is me coming out.  I tainted a perfect person because I had unchecked orneriness growing up. 

We fought over typical crap growing up, but I think I may have taken it too far.  I would tease her with getting in trouble with Mom & Dad when they got home.  In my defense, she narcked on me A LOT growing up too...and sometimes even when she did what ever I was getting in trouble for. 

I would also pick on her for the stupidest of things.  Whether that was the way she was chewing or whatever else crossed my discerning eye, I would berate her.  I see her do the same thing now as an adult.  She is demanding and unsharing.  Guess who set that example?

We had many good experiences growing up but I don't know that those (while probably the majority) out weigh the vile bullying that accompanied them.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 21 - Your Best Friend Is In A Car Accident Right After You Two Fight. What Do You Do?

I'm going to make the assumption this isn't a fatal car crash. 

I'm not a grudgey person.  My best friend needs me.  I'll put away what ever we fought about.  Nothing is so devastating that my friendship can't remain intact after a fight.  I'd be at the hospital that night.  I'd call his wife if she didn't know.  I'd do anything to help them get through the situation. 

I can't picture myself doing anything differently.  Saying "well fuck him" just isn't my style. 

Sorry, super short I know. 

Happy 12th Birthday to my little sister!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 20 → Your Views On Drugs And Alcohol

I remember as a child never wanting to do the stupid things my parents did when it came to smoking, drinking and the other kind of smoking.  Once I became a Christian, they were even more out of the realm of possibility.  Something changed when I was 16 and started smoking cigarettes.  I found alcohol when I was 18.  I found weed when I was 20 or so.  I've since tried just about everything that didn't involve a needle.  There were only a couple that were worth repeating.   

A block of my early twenties were dedicated to the restaurant subculture.  Work while normal people are out enjoying their evening.  Bartend while others sleep.  My night started when the shift was up.  If that was eleven at night or two in the morning, it didn't matter.  I didn't just go to bed because it was dark.  We'd party. 

My wife (then girlfriend) helped curtail a lot of that.  I still drink, but that doesn't require an illegal exchange to take place so I'm less worried about that.  My opinion on drugs on the other hand is still being formulated.

The primary factor here is my children.  I don't want to raise kids in an environment where they only hear no.  I don't want my kids to do drugs when they are in school.  As an adult, I don't care if they try something.  It's the addiction that I'm worried about.  I hope to raise my kids to make the appropriate judgement calls.

My wife has a different take.  She was not an experimenter.  She doesn't want my input  or more accepting view points to be presented.  She's probably right.  Frankly it is our responsibility to guide them in the right direction.  I'd probably just muddy the waters.

I do not believe marijuana should be legalized.  We don't need people to have another excuse to be lazy idiots.  That said, alcohol is still a drug.  It still alters you.  Is it enjoyable?  Yes.  It becomes dangerous in larger quantities both mentally and physically.  The majority of drugs are potentially harmful because they aren't regulated.  More so, people who are on them are too altered to know when something is too dangerous or if they've gone too far or if they've had too much. 

I think this could go on much longer, but because I'm still not solid on my stance, this isn't a soap box I should perch on.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day 19 - What Do You Think Of Religion? Or What Do You Think Of Politics?

Yeah, I've kinda been dreading this one.  These are two very volatile topics.  So, feel free to lay into me below or just skip it altogether, but don't think I've detailed everything below regardless of my long winded nature.  I honestly can't summarize my views on either in a blog post.  No exaggeration these topics could fill blogs for years.  They are also two of the core portions of a person.  It's like asking someone to explain "how" they think.  Nearly impossible to put into words and do yourself justice.

Although it looks like I have briefly spouted off about both in a blog post before.  Guess they aren't the off the table topics that I thought.

Let's start with the easier one.  Politics.  I am a conservative.  Specifically, I want Republicans running my country because they stand for less government, fewer taxes and for the United States of America to not be a national charity organization.    I think this is the important side of politics.  I don't think the government should put people on welfare indefinitely.  I don't think non registered inhabitants should get ANYTHING.  Translate that into, illegal aliens should go through proper channels...they effing exist for a reason...to get a damn visa and subsequent green card.  I think it should subsidize charitable organizations to help care for our wretched, poor and sick.

I'm not a fan of over spending in government.  That includes war.  We shouldn't be fighting someone else's fight.  We certainly shouldn't veil our need for control as human rights activism.    Bills submitted to the houses should be strictly one item/topic.  There shouldn't be a bill that gets voted up or down because it champion's XYZ while ABCDEF&G are hiding up it's skirt. 
I think politicians should be in office for a set period of time then ineligible for the same office.  All of them.  Also, aside from the President...because he deserves it...no one should collect a pension from service to the country greater than their time served.  There should also not be separate tax law and health care law for these folks.  They should receive the same government health care our troops get while in office and ditto that for when they get out of office. 

Speaking of health care.  I really don't know what I think anymore.  Our current system is highly corrupt.  I'm not thinking that putting it in the hands of corrupt government is a step in the right direction.  That said, something needs to change.  At least they are trying something new.  I just hope it doesn't devastate us more than save us.

Where my dial swings way left:  I am much more of an environmentalist than I ever dreamed I'd be.  I think people should benefit from being green.  I think businesses should benefit from being green from the government.  The government should stand behind people taking responsibility for their actions with respect for Earth.  Companies who destroy it should be taxed higher.

Morality shouldn't be a national issue.  States make laws, leave our constitution alone.  That goes for Abortion, Gambling, Alcohol, Marriage (gay and straight), or whatever people are squawking about these days.

Morality leads nicely into religion.  I don't know what I believe officially.  I'm definitely more on the Atheist/Agnostic side of the pie chart.  I am not so pompous to believe I (Humans) am the highest intelligence in the universe.  It makes sense that there is something greater, but I don't believe the legends and scribblings of man hold the answer.  I was raised in a Christian environment.  I lived the Christian lifestyle and believed I was a Christian.  Then I grew up.  I'll end my offensive comments there and will move onto my general thoughts on religion.

I think religions of the world provide structure and guidance for people.  As a whole we need these constructs to help us understand right from wrong and consequences of actions.  Every one of them have a similar goal: align morality, inspire devotion, and build community.  If you are unable to view your faith in these terms, you are far to subjective for this type of a conversation.  Whoops, there went another insult.

I strive to never sway someone's opinion on religion.  I don't gain anything from making someone see my view point.  If someone can rationally live life better as a follower of Christ, Jehovah, Mohamed, Buddha, or anyone else they choose, good for them.  I'm glad they have the inspiration needed.  I just wish people would actually live the things they preach instead of just preaching.  I'm also not one of those people who say "just don't push it on me.  Keep it to yourself."  If you're really excited and proud of something, I expect it to be shared.  Just don't get in a tizzy if you find someone who disagrees.  People are allowed to have different points of view.  Most of the time to them, you are just as absurdly wrong as you think they are.  Shock...I know!

Here comes another insult...I guess was just lying above cause I can't seem to hold them back and still make my point.  I think I am a better person than the average Christian or Muslim.  Since these are really the only two big ones (and yes I'm grouping Catholics and Mormons in with Christians since even with their diversions, they still hold the same tenants) with punishment by the same God should they fail in his teachings.  I don't need fear of Hell or falling out of God's grace to keep me in check.  I know that I'm stretching with the next point, but hear me out (assuming you're still here).  The idea that the only think keeping someone from killing someone else is that God said not to or else is quite terrifying.  I've met people who don't drink or don't gamble "because it's against their religion."  What?  Why not say that gambling and drinking are against my morals or more to the point...you think it's wrong.  Fine if your morals are founded in your love of Christ.  But don't throw Jesus under the bus as Debbie Downer because you can't take his teachings in as your own. 

Alright, I'm ending the insults and the stepping off my soap box.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 18 - Your Views On Gay Marriage

My views are pretty simple here.  I don't view being gay as a sin like most people who oppose gay marriage.  I don't think opening up same sex marriage will cripple our economy because suddenly more couples will be filing for health insurance who previously were excluded.

I also don't think it's any one's damn business who someone else marries.  That goes for arranged marriages.  That goes for the backwoods shot gun wedding (the real kind with a daddy holding a shot gun to the man who knocked his daughter up's head).Obviously I think family support is necessary, but it's your life, if they are unaccepting of your straight or gay partner, they probably aren't positive influences in your life to begin with.

Even more ridiculous is people who think being gay means you can't hold a consistent relationship or that the divorce rate will sky rocket because of them.  What the hell does a number like that even mean? 

The sanctity of marriage?  Really?  Marriage between a man and a woman is no less sacred than a high school steady now.  People divorce for the most inane reasons.  Folks who oppose gay marriage for this reason should be trying to ban divorce too.  If marriage is truly something worth protecting, fight to make it illegal to go back on your vows or commit adultery.  That's the fight people should make.  Not deciding who is worthy of marriage.

My wife and I both were raised by our step fathers.  We both were afraid of marriage and subsequent divorce.  Hell, we originally didn't want to wed just to save ourselves from that fate.  We realized our commitment to each other was stronger because neither of us will just walk away.  We both make it work.  And sometimes it's gritty and difficult.  That makes the relationship afterward that much better.  We continue to conquer any problems instead of cowardly walking away.  We are stronger as a couple when it passes.

Now, I'm not recommending banning of divorce.  I believe there are entirely valid reasons for it.  They just happen to be a tiny drop in the bucket of divorce reasons.

So, if we as straight people are unable to keep it together, yet we still continue to try try again....why should we keep gay people from striving for the exact same thing?  Love one another and the world will be a better place.

-Author's note.  I have been writing these a few days in advance because my boss is in town this week and I knew I wouldn't have the opportunity to devote as much time to publishing them.  So last night while watching Glee.  I heard a super concise version of my argument here.  I looked at my wife and said, "No Effing Way!  That's my biggest point on my blog post about gay marriage!"  Maybe there is something wrong with me that suddenly I felt validated when a kitschy TV show shared my view point

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 17 - A Book You've Read That Changed Your Views On Something

Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch

I found this book during a time in my life (after the events of the "hero post" from the other day) when I was looking for answers.  I needed to hear that the questions I was asking weren't abnormal.  I needed to find a little guidance without being preached at nor judged.

The premise of the books is that the author had a conversation where God would write through him.  He'd ask questions over the course of a few years when he'd be inspired to work.  That inspiration was from God.  The answers that would follow were from God.  I'll give you a minute to say it..."nut job!"  I agree, somewhat.

Whatever...I'm not crazy enough to believe it, but I do think the things "God" told him or inspired his pen to write are witty and intelligent.  Regardless if he really believes God's divine inspiration flowed through his pen or if he believes that God put the intelligence in him to answer these questions, his perspective was very keen and exactly what I was needing. 

I really think the author was a genius.  His concept was personal and well thought out.  His writing style was succinct yet well articulated.  His points were debatable, but I have a feeling he'd win.

Basically, he inspired me to think on my own and not force my mind into a box labeled "Christian."  If you follow the link above, you'll find lots of rave reviews and a slew of folks crying "Blasphemy!"  One negative review made a very good point.

"the 'wisdom' is what I would expect an articulate, well-versed liberal arts professor to say. So much of it is what we want to hear, what we want to believe. I felt like Neale created a God that placates people, tells them what they want to hear, tells of the wisdom of this age."

I think they are right.  Maybe this was my version of {Stands Up On Desk} "Oh Captain, My Captain." Maybe he just mirrored my own desires turned questions.  Sometimes the very thing people need is an opposing or adjacent point of view.  Sometimes that point of view may be wrong, but as long as it's what you seek, it fits the bill.  I didn't suddenly start subscribing to a cult or anything absurd.  I had just found someone else who found it more than OK to question the structures we've built around ourselves and our spirituality.   

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 16 - Someone Or Something You Definitely Could Live Without

Wow, I've hit a lot of topics in the previous two weeks that could be shoved in here.  I'd originally made the call to not talk about my body or my weight.  I'm going back on my decision. 

I really could live without about 50 pounds.  That would put me back in the 190 range.  My self esteem would be better.  My health (which is good right now, but I'm only 31) wouldn't be at risk. 

I think life would be better.  I'd be able to play with my kids more than I can currently.  I know the bedroom time would be even better if I was back to my early 20's size.  (yep, I'm done apologizing for referencing it at this point)

I've never been the type to work out on a regular basis.  I have found though, when I cut out alcohol (damn you beer and wine!) and actually exercise, I can shed it like crazy.  I'm just lazy, lazy, lazy.  Oh and I really like to drink....let's save that convo for the "views on alcohol and drugs" post.

I've even tried to blog my way into healthier/smaller portion eating...guess what?  I quit that cause it became very cumbersome.  You may most definitely translate that to lazy. 

Not going to spend anymore time here. It'll get depressing and I'm kinda working toward liking myself better, not beating myself up.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 15 - Something or Someone You Tried To Live Without, And Can't

"I wish I knew how to quit you!"

Smoking.

I started when I was 16 while working in a warehouse.  No break unless you smoke.  Once I was in the restaurant business it got a little out of hand. Over a pack a day.  When my wife and I first started dating, she didn't like it but didn't make a big deal of it.

Once we were living together, the rule was "no cigarettes before breakfast."  Fair enough.

As time went on, she began urging me to quit. I made the mistake of telling my mom this fact.  She, a smoker as well, said something along the lines of "no one will tell me I have to do something."  I then made a second mistake of telling my wife her reaction.  I know, I was still quite stupid when it came to relationships in my mid-twenties. 

I did eventually quit.  Gum and Patches don't work for me.  I had to go cold turkey.  It worked.  I quit for over a year.

I took a trip to New Jersey with my company and caved around a flock of smokers.  I started up for another few months at that point.  It was amazing, I smoked one cigarette and it was like I had never quit.  Full on cravings and like the previous period of non-smoking disappeared.

I hid this from my wife.  She found out the day we got married I'd started again.  Lemme just tell you, not a good time to jack with a woman!

See, she has no addiction issues.  She is incapable of seeing it from my perspective.  To her, I've said and become a non-smoker, therefore I am a non-smoker.  And going back on my word is on par with committing murder on the scale of evil things people can do. 

So I've hid it every time I've started again.  I do extra hand washings.  I make sure I'm not going to see her for at least an hour from time time of my last drag.  It's insane the amount of deception that goes into this horrible habit.  I have no clue how the super sensitive nose of a pregnant woman missed it, but she did. 

Worse is when I start back up, I hate myself.  It's just so hard to quit again.  And don't get me started on the weight gain!  Holy hell, I put on 20 to 30 pounds every time I quit.  I've now quit for an average of 6 months five times.  Every one of them restarted with just one...one damn it!

Yes, I realize if she reads this, she'll know, and maybe that's my passive way of confessing.  If not, my life will remain deceptively easier for the time.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 14 - A Hero That Has Let You Down

Back in the day, I was a good little Christian boy who was heavily involved in church.  We went to one church while my mom worked for another.  Our church had lost it's pastor and frankly wasn't as inciting for any of us to attend.  When I was about 12 she began watching the kids at the church she worked for on Wednesday evenings.  I would hang out.  I began to befriend several of the youths and decided I was going to switch churches.  The biggest problem was getting there.  That caused my parents to have to make a decision too.  They followed me over.

I became actively involved with the youth group.  Because my mom worked there, during the summers, I began spending a lot of time with the youth minister during the day.  His name was Bill Turner.  He was young, fresh out of school.  He'd worked for another church in Oklahoma during school (incidentally, the one our old pastor had left to become a minister at) but other than that, I think this was his first real job. 
No, not "Bootstrap" Bill Turner from Pirates of the Caribbean

We had a very close bond.  I can still remember stories he would share that as an adult alarm me that he would confide in a child about.  I'm not sure if he saw me as moldable clay or if he took pity on me because in his mind I was impoverished and came from a broken home (I've had the same step father I call Dad since I was three!).

Flash forward about five years.

My best friend and I got into loads of trouble.  We were typical teenagers, we just happened to each have strict Christian authority figures around us.  Somewhere along the way, I guess I fell out of Bill's good graces.  I asked questions he didn't have answers for.  I guess I was doing things he didn't agree with (even though he never spoke to me about them).  I been teaching children's church for a few years by this point.  So my time spent with him was far more limited that it had been, but I should have seen something coming.  I must have just had my teenager blinders on.

He had decided to leave the church for another.  The moving on to a better paying job (or as they call it,"Following God's Will") didn't bother me.  What did, was the fact that he didn't tell me at all.  In fact at the going away party, I was specifically UNinvited.  I didn't understand.  A man I'd looked up to for over five years decided to cut ties and never speak to me again. 

What hurt was, if you look at the whole philosophy Christians preach/follow, they are all about reaching out to the wayward souls or bringing lost sheep back into the flock.  From what I could tell, that's what he thought I was.  He just left me out there. 

It taught me a lot.  Adults are just as weak if not weaker than kids.  They bail when things get uncomfortable.  They hide from conflict.  It also allowed me the freedom to begin looking at my faith and philosophy of life in a whole new light.  I didn't have boundaries to maintain.  I didn't have any one to impress.  I was able to seek answers I needed without fear of persecution.  In many ways, Bill Turner, good and bad, helped me become the person I am today. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day 13 - A Band or Artist That Has Gotten You Through Some Tough Ass Days

I love music.  I listen to an extremely wide variety.  Death Metal and Gangsta Rap might be the only two I can't listen to.  Oh, yeah.  That crazy ass Inuit Throat Singing crap from the Simpsons Movie.  Probably not gonna pop "Sounds of the Boob Lady" into the CD player anytime soon.  Like anyone, I certainly have my favorites.  I also have my guilty pleasures that I shouldn't like.  These change as years go by and many time depending on my mood. 

When I'm down, listening to heavy beat laden dance music, bassy pop or even big band usually helps.  I need to be able to sing along and groove if it's gonna cheer me up.

When I want to chill, I'll throw on some down tempo alternative or classical music.

When I'm angry or need to release some aggression, I prefer harder alternative.

My go to every day music is classic rock (60's and 70's) or 70's, 80's and 90's country.  Both are comforting and mindless.  It's also music that you inexplicably know every word to.

Yeah, so I've been super generic here.  It's really impossible to pick just one.  I don't really make the associations with music like my wife does.  A song or album will evoke memories and even scents for her.

As far as newer music goes; I've been diggin' on Florence and the Machine, Paolo Nutini, David Guetta and Lady Gaga for the past year or better.  But give me a little STP, Tommy Dorsey, Garth Brooks, Elton John or Zeppelin  and I'm happy as a clam as well.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 12 - Something You Never Get Compliments On

My ingenuity or ability to think outside of the box to make something work.  That's what I think is under appreciated.  I believe, had I the ability to go back in time, I would have urged myself to go into engineering.

I'll be honest, this might just be a typical man thing.  We make/build/repair something...even if we were the ones who accidentally broke it...and then want someone to witness the miricle that is our genius!

At work, the typical person in my position is very, shall we say, hands off on the nitty gritty.  I'll actually bring in a ladder every few months with the HVAC filters and replace them at the stores.  Why?  Because while I'm doing a menial task, the contractors don't really think about the fact that I'm observing their customer interaction.  The intimidation factor of me sitting in their lobby during a transaction changes their behavior.  Playing the handyman role is far less intrusive and their guard is down.  I have the opportunity to see a (semi) realty at their store.

Some posters I'd ordered came in today.  They were not what I thought I was ordering form our supplier.  These things don't go into frames, they are wing-stand banners.  I'm talking two feet wide by six feet tall vinyl flags that go on what I can only describe as "old school projector screen" style stands.  Well, let's figure out how to make this work.  After going nuts sorting through Grainger's online catalog searching for "DOW ROD" and coming up with 11,411 search results (none of which resembling a stick) I headed down the road to Lowe's. 

Holy crap!  Wooden dow rods are expensive!  I thought I could pick up twenty for under $10.  We're talking $1.50-$6 each!  I found some PVC piping for electrical work.  They were five feet long, so I could cut them in half and get two out of each one.  They were only 75 cents each.  Thank you very much.  I walked back into the store I office out of with my purchases, and the counter agent starts laughing at me.  (He's seen me break a thing or two over the years)  His ineptness around all things to do with using his hands made him skeptical.  I'll have you know...after a brief demonstration how a pipe cutter works...my creation looked amazing hanging from the wall!  OK, so aside from the rod and finding the cheapest way to hang it (which was the trickiest part), this wasn't a complicated task, but it's still above and beyond what my peers would have done!

By the way, if you've never seen a pipe cutter before, seriously, this thing looks like a Medieval torture device.  Oh look!  Here's one now!

See those teeth looking things in the center?  Those ratchet with every click as the blade slowly and steadily slices cleanly through what ever has been stuck through the "eye" or "mouth" of the device.

I pointed out that this is not the sound you want to wake up to after a fight with your wife...especially if cheating is involved!  He said he'd have a shrinky dink with the first click!  Well there you have it folks that's three in a week.  Definitely a record for me!

Back to the topic at hand.  I'm not a master gageteer or junk recycler like mine or my wife's grandfather.  They seriously, never throw anything out because it could come in handy someday.  And they seldom use things for their intended purpose.  For example, my wife's Papaw wouldn't buy a humidifier.  Instead he took an old crockpot, filled it with water and put it in a corner of the room.  Works the same I guess.  He even made a indicator out of a painted perscription bottle cap so he knew when to refill it.  Honestly, I have dozens of examples of his hill billy engineering, but really he deserves a blog post or twenty all on his own.

I've re-purposed the end caps of a long gone futon (supposed to hold magazines) into spice racks that we still use to this day.  I even reworked the closets at our old apartment in ways that sadden me that no one will ever notice...inspired perfection I tell ya!

Ah well.  So no one comes running to compliment me on my works.  At least I know what I'm capable of.  Sadly, they are rarely worth a picture, but to me many of my creations are works of art!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 11 - Something People Seem To Compliment You The Most On

Hmmm.

Strangers tend to compliment my hair color or how beautiful my children are.  Not typing another blog on these two topics right now.

Family members love to tell me what a good cook I am or how smart I am.  I love cooking and my wife doesn't.  Being good at it is just a bonus.  I like to think I'm smart.  I don't think I can type a blog post about it without making myself sound like an unintelligent, self-indulgent prick.

The wife and past girl friends all have a very nice compliment that is probably best kept off the blog given that my Mother stops by every once and a while.  I also think I might start alienating folks more than normal given one phallic reference already this week, this topic might just be crossing a line.

Coworkers tend to tell me I'm so patient.  This one is humorous to anyone who really knows me.  So sure, let's roll with it.  It's safer and less douchey than the other options.

My particular job just requires a level of patience that must seem extreme to outsiders.  In fact now that I think about it, I had one of those folks I have to be patient with witness me in a not so patient moment yesterday.  I was arguing with a retarded customer on the phone in my car out front of his store.  He told me he and his employee were like "Wow, Dorn looks angry.  That's gotta be bad."  It wasn't really, I guess I just wasn't conscious of my facial expressions "in the privacy" of my own car.

Funny thing is, I don't realize I'm different with my direct reports.  I'm not even sure what is different.  I have a handful who've seen me blow up for certain.  My buddy, who has me help his stores every once in a while, is the first person who came to mind when I began this topic.  He always thanks me for not being like our other coworkers when I'm explaining things to his folks.  He's referring to them talking over the contractors heads or just rushing them through things.  Or more typically, and much worse, they just tell them to step aside and do it for them.  I'll actually take the time to explain the why and show them how.

What's funny to me is my complete lack of patience with my wife or kids.  Does this mean I care less about them than the people who run my stores?  

Even stranger though was growing up with a mentally handicapped sister supposedly gave me patience that people acknowledged.  I don't recall being patient with her at all.

I guess it's all about perception.  If people couldn't deal with something and they witness someone else doing so, they assume there is something special going on.  In reality, I think it's more along the lines of the old adage that "you never know what your capable of until you try."  Or is it that you're forced to?  Either way...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 10 - Someone You Need To Let Go, Or Wish You Didn’t Know

I've spoken about my previous boss quite a bit on this little blog.  I'm ashamed to admit the amount of air time he actually got.  This man just abused his relationship with me.  He hated to be stuck in the office.  My job involves tons of driving and going from location to location.  I became his personal chauffeur and daily entertainer.  It ultimately crushed my capacity to do my job effectively.  He also used me as an excuse every time he'd miss a call from his bosses.  In reality he would be a the movies or a strip club.  The line he'd give them though was that he was helping my department and must have been out of area when they called.

So when I started reporting to a new head honcho, I quickly realized it was my opportunity to jump ship from DOB (Dirty Old Boss).  I began distancing myself by frequenting the office only when I knew he wouldn't be around.  I didn't avail myself the way I had previously.

He was the type who constantly worried about being fired.  I'd give him the pep talk that "you know more than all of those guys.  You just have to work with your managers to bring your ideas to fruition.  You need to show the bosses that you can make it work down here."  He didn't want to DO anything.  So eventually it all caught up with him.  He was fired this year.

Guess what!  That previous year and a half of being his little buddy came back to bite me in the ass.  One of the three blog posts about this wretched time in my career!  In case you don't follow the link, here's the gist.  Because he was always with me and blamed his absence on helping me, I looked like an incompetent fool. 

Prior to his firing but after my transition to working for someone else DOB approached me.  You know what a pyramid scheme is right?  Yeah, he decided to pressure me into becoming a rep for Ambit Energy.  This is a Multilevel Marketing company for Electricity deregulation.  He conned one of my employees into doing it and kept pressuring a coworker by saying "look, just put it on your card, you'll never notice it, I need the commission."  This didn't work on me.

Now that he's unemployed, it's the only gig he has going for him, so he's full steam ahead.  I don't think it's very profitable though.  He may have hit rock bottom and be willing to alienate his friends and peers, but he just doesn't have the charm it takes to sucker people in.

He called me the other day to let me know his wife got a new job in Florida and he was interviewing for a position with a company that I should look into.  He talked to me about how there is life beyond the industry I was in and should get out while I can.  First, the job he's getting does the exact same thing as my job, just his product is stationary and mine has wheels.  So sad.  He needs to have someone else jump ship so he can feel better about the firing.  "Look, Dorn left because it was getting so bad, I'm just lucky they gave me a severance to do it!"

This is a man I wish I didn't know.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 9 - Someone You Didn’t Want To Let Go, But Just Drifted

I was kinda sitcom stereotypical male when it came to relationships.  Until I met my wife, I ran screaming away from every relationship as soon as real feelings kicked in or things started getting super serious. 

Many friendships throughout my life have been exactly this.  Just floating along through life.  Usually with only alcohol or other substances as the tie to each other. 

My best friend who technically fit this situation perfectly passed away two years ago.  I loved him like a brother, but there was very little positivity that came from the relationship beyond blurry memories.  Because that chapter in my life was closed for me, I don't know that I want to dwell on it. 

Sorry this wasn't as open as it could have been.  I'll give the remainder its day in court!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 8 - Someone Who Made Your Life Hell, Or Treated You Like Shit

I had several of bullies in life and especially middle school.  The bus ride home was pure torture....physically and mentally.

I grew up in a lower income home.  We weren't poor by traditional poverty standards, but both parents worked and had two kids to raise.  Neither had college educations but both were consistently employed.  My Dad (stepdad) got on with a good company when I was little and worked his way up.  So as I got older we had more money and a nicer home.  That said, there wasn't just money to blow even though my Mom has insane abilities to spend money like I can

I went to a private school in elementary and then we moved to a school district with insanely good credentials for middle and high school.  Both had very wealthy kids attending.  This left me open to ridicule for not having top of the line everything.  Shoes, Video Games, and later cars.  These kids were the type who got BMWs for their 16th birthday.  I was grateful for being given a car at all.  Mom got a new Minivan and I got to ride in a hatchback Hyundai Excel.  Then I didn't care cause I had wheels!  Looking back now, I'm impressed with my parents generosity.  I have friends who had to work to get their own ride.  Some whose parents matched and whatnot.  I was envious though, of the new Eclipses and Mustangs my friends were pimping.

To top it off I have a name like Dorn.  Unusual names aren't necessarily picked on more than normal ones, mine just happens to convert into lovely terms like Horny Dorny or Pornstar.  Admittedly, neither phased me.  At least I wasn't Dick or Peter.  God help those kids!

The cherry on top (pun intended) is that I'm a red head.  When there isn't anything left to pick on, kids go after looks.  I was 16 or so before I came around to liking my red hair.  Even then by 18 I was bleaching the crap out of it.

So there was the fodder they had to use.  And trust me, lots of them used it!  Being poor, having a wierd name and being a red head!  Guess what!  I've cursed my children with each one of these.  I really think it made me a better person.  While my parents definitely took care of us, I learned to appreciate what I have more than many.  My name and hair color stand out.  In a sea of faceless, nameless people, I have something that distinguishes myself. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 7 - Someone Who Has Made Your Life Worth Living For

Hands down, my wife has made my life worth living for.  I had fun before I met her.  I enjoyed being single as well as being in relationships before I met her.  We'd known each other for about 6 months before we were officially dating.  That 6 months was building up to something grand the whole time though!

So, I met her 8 years ago this week.  I was fired as assistant manager the day after my birthday...1 guess as to why.  Hint, it involved dozens of tequila and Jager shots and a very early Sunday morning restaurant opening.  So I went to the owner's brother who owned the sister location on the other side of town.  I began working as a bartender the next day.  Chalk one up for not burning bridges!

She was a waitress, I was a bartender, how predictable, right?  Wrong.  Reason number one, a couple of my roommates worked with her and didn't like her.  She was a goody-two-shoes, they were stoners.  That conflict of interest should have told me not to listen to them, but hey, they knew better than I.  After all they'd already surveyed the lay of the land.  Reason two, SHE MISPRONOUNCED MY NAME FOR A SOLID MONTH!  One syllable, thank you very much!

Those didn't sway the attraction.  By the time the company Christmas party rolled around, we were quite hot and heavy.  A few months later we were official.  Lemme just say (TMI) exploring Tulsa, Oklahoma with her was an incredible experience! 

OK, history lesson over.

My wife and I balance each other out.  She's spontaneous, yet responsible.  Bouncy, yet reserved.  I'm trepidations, yet irresponsible.  Laid back, yet outgoing.  She runs the house, I do all the cooking.  The compatibility is great.  The fact that we are both red heads is strange, even to us.  We are like minded in many things.  Where we differ makes for great debates. 

She makes me smile.  She laughs at my jokes.  Before I start sounding like a country song.  I love this woman.  If ever a reason to remain faithful was called to question, undoubtedly I would never be capable of breaking our bond.  She is my perfect match.  She has made me a perfect family.  She keeps me sane even while driving me nuts.

I wish everyone could find that perfect someone.  Just don't ever expect them to fall into your lap.  We've grown to be perfect for each other.  We've made the effort to get to this level of happiness.

This one seemed much easier than previous ones.  Tomorrow's will surely bring up some nasty memories.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day 6 - Something You Hope You Never Have To Do

Death came to mind on this one.  Not like "I hope I never have to Die."  I have no aspirations of vapirism or immortality.  At least not ones with any legitimacy. 

I was thinking "I hope I never have to bury one of my children."  Same goes for my wife.  Honestly, she wants to live to see the Tricentennial since she missed the Bicentennial by a year.  I on the other hand, unless medical science takes some more leaps and bounds in the next forty five years, don't want to gruel on much past 75.

So I started thinking, maybe it's not the burying or death part.  I have always dealt with death of friends, family, coworkers and employees fairly well.  Sometimes I think I might be a little too emotionally stunted because I don't dwell on it. 

Burying one of the kids is unimaginable, same for my wife, same with my parents and sisters.  I do know that it's part of life and realize it's not one of my real fears.  Even my own isn't scary. 

I hope I don't become a burden to my family when I'm old.  I don't want to need someone's assistance with bodily functions.  I don't want to be unable to do for myself.  I don't want get old.  Aging and getting older is different.  I don't want to hit decrepit. I can't deal with that.  I definitely don't want to lose my mind.  Not in the way I've already lost it! 

Incontinence, Senility, Weakness.  Those are what I hope I never have to do.  Here's three cheers for Medical Science and the healthy, noninvasive cures they will come out with in my lifetime!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Testing for Weaknesses?

A man used a disguise kit including a silicone head mask to pass off as an elderly passenger to board an Air Canada Flight.  CNN Story Link


Unreal.  Do you think he was just testing out the system for holes?  I mean the following as the most basic of observations, not necessarily intentionally racist.  If he was trying to disguise his identity, why not just use another person's passport.  He is obviously of Asian decent.  People don't examine identification that closely, even though security measures are heightened.  Just use your buddy that looks similar to yourself.  Hell, I could find another red head to be in cohouts with!  You see a picture but don't critically examine it.  As long as the names match on the ID and the boarding pass, no one would have noticed.  Wow, I sound like such a criminal and a racist.

Day 5 - Something You Hope to do in Your Life

So first instinct was the following:  I hope I raise successful, confident, intelligent, happy children.   I am an involved father.  I know my kid's personality already and the confident, intelligent and happy part have already been founded.  The success is a combo of my wife and I plus their effort from this point forward. Even then successful is so subjective that it's pointless to speculate.  So that's tabled.

In my life I hope to do something a bit more selfish.  I want to make enough money to travel frequently for vacations.  I don't just mean to Grandma's house either.  Before the kids we would spend at least one vacation a year that was fairly grand.  i.e. New York, San Fran, Montreal, etc.  We've traveled some with the kiddos but budget was in the forefront of most decisions.  Denver, Punxsutawney, Fort Lauderdale.  I'm talking Europe kind of traveling.  I'm talking exploring Egyptian, Incan or Oaxacan Pyramids and stuff. 

Not always with kids either!  I want to be able to say "Yay! Kids you get to spend a week with Grandma and Granddad!"  Then turn around and say "Yay Sweetie we're going to spend a week in Sydney."

So this hope is tied to money.  Oh well.  I want to see the world, beyond North America.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day 4 - Something you have to Forgive Someone For

Had a couple ideas here but nothing substantial.  I don't really hold grudges.  I don't forget things, but I'm more the type to allow things good or bad to just be experiences and nothing incredibly deeper.  I'm not articulating this the way I'd like. I don't cut people out of my life or stop talking to them for a while or punish them for things they've done.

I am not saying I don't judge people.  I can certainly be a snarky little bitch when I want to be.  I just get over things quickly.  Maybe I just find the best in the person and make it outweigh their indiscretion.  Or maybe I've just been spared egregious acts in my life time.  I doubt it's the latter. 

I do regret things I've done at other's suggestion or under their guidance.  My parents for example are fairly anti-social people on the scale of ASD through Super Out Going.  This led to difficulties maintaining friendships.  They are also overly cautious, non-spontaneous people.  This, with specific requests from good ole Mom, had me give up college scholarships that were across the country.

I don't know that these are things I should forgive them for though.  Ultimately, everything was my choice.  Oh and as an aside, I love my parents.  They were very good to me and my siblings.  They provided for us and tried to be involved in our lives...as much as the average set of working parents can be.

So I think that the whole forgiveness thing might be moot for me.  I find forgiveness of others easier than most.  Maybe if I spent a little more time dwelling on hurtful things, I'd feel differently.  I just don't.  I blow up in the moment and then the moment is over.  Now that I think of it, maybe that's how the same person can screw me over multiple times.  Good Lord, am I the typical personality of a battered spouse victim?  Nope, not going there!

Now You Too Can Smell Like the Bieb!

Bieber Scented Dog Tags.  It's Gold, Jerry, Gold!


Youtube sensation turned Mega Pop Star.  This little 16-year-old with mystifying hair has captured the attention of the entire world.  His stellar (mostly photo) autobiography was released last week.  He has a line of nail polish in the works and now he's struck a gold mine. 

Justin Bieber's very own Perfume Cologne scented Dog Tags.  Oh the day when I can exploit one or both of my children for world economic domination!