Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Media is Bought and Paid for

This was a recent story played on CNN. If you can’t see this as a “media story” that is a total advertisement for Ambien you are an idiot. Start looking at all media this way – it’s all bought and paid for by someone. Popular media is all an advertisement.

Message from the media: Take Ambien two at a time. It’s good for travelers. If you take it correctly you shouldn’t feel groggy. It’s safe. Even Navy Seals take it!

What a crock of shit! This is our media folks.

Success in life through Self-Control

Over the last three or four years I’ve gone through quite a metamorphosis. For most of my life, I’ve been a pretty lackluster guy. I’ve always been over weight, never dated pretty girls, never played any sports or was particularly good at anything, and so forth. Then one day, something just clicked…

In the days before I had my epiphany, I was spending my time as a lowly local government employee. I was just a year or so out of college, living the dream of just getting by when in walked Atticus. Back then I was more focused on playing pranks on my boss then actually getting any work done, and Atty strolled right into the middle of a doosey.

I had swapped all the family pictures in my boss’s office out with pictures of ghetto black people and rappers when he was away on vacation. My boss was just back from vacation and hadn’t taken them down yet, or was waiting for me to do it. You can imagine what a 20 year old Atty thought when he walked in to meet the guy who would be supervising him for a summer internship, only to see all these pictures of gansta rappers and little ghetto black kids everywhere!

Later, I approached Atty to introduce myself and he kind of chuckled about the pictures. I told him the boss’ older daughter was somehow involved, dating, or maybe even married to Ludacris and that was his extended family. Atty believed the story.

From that day on, I knew we were destined to be soul mates… or at least friends.

The Metamorphosis

Atty and I spent an entire summer taking “Frisbee Breaks” outside (since we didn’t smoke and noticed the smokers spend the better part of 15 min each hour smoking), playing sports on lunch hour and goofing off.

When that got old, we decided to start a business. In our hours of endless boredom working for the county government we decided to start our own little consulting shop, and believe it or not we actually picked up a few clients. At the height of our business we netted about $9k in revenue. Not too shabby for a couple goof offs wasting their lives in dead end government gigs. It also served as great mojo on our resumes.

Eventually Atty would move on, graduate from college and start a career making roughly $20k more a year than I was making while living a much more fulfilling professional life. I decided something had to change.

And that’s when it really sunk in that the solution to all my problems was self-control. If I wanted to change myself it was going to take focus, work and self-control. So I hunkered down and went on to earn a Master’s Degree… then I got a better job… then I lost about 40 lbs…. then I went and got an EVEN BETTER JOB.

When I think about this journey, I can’t believe I made it this far. I can’t even begin to add up the hours spend studying, reading, researching and writing papers to get that degree nor count the number of 5am sessions on the treadmill to lose the first 40 lbs.  But here I am today, on the other side of it all.

Hooray for you Mr. Hotshot….

I’m not writing to toot my own horn or brag, I’m writing to inspire. This morning while I was ironing my clothes for the workday ahead, I started thinking about old childhood friends of mine who have fell the wayside over the years.

Why did my friendship with these guys fizzle out? I also see the same happening with my family more and more. My crazy aunt mentioned to my wife that “Just cause your husband is a big shot now doesn’t mean we can buy her lunch” a few months back when we tried to pick up the tab over lunch. Comments like this from my mom, sister and old friends are more common than ever too, and not cause I’m trying to pay for everyone’s meals.

On one hand, it secretly hurts my feelings despite my best attempted efforts to act indifferent, while on the other, I see that it’s their way of projecting disappointment in themselves, whether they realize it or not.

Regardless, if you want change in your life, if you feel like it is lacking in some way, shape or form, the problem probably lies in how well you exercise self-control. Think about it.

-Holden

Life is Good

Right now I am sitting on my back porch, the grill is going, its about 70 degrees, the sun is shining, the wife is happy, my yard is freshly manicured, and I’m sipping on a premium cup of authentic Guatemalan coffee while researching my next trip to Cusco, Peru and Machu Picchu.

It’s times like this when I think about my life and appreciate the finer things. A good job, great friends, loyal wife, and opportunity to live life any way I please. Sometimes that’s all you can ask for – the freedom to live your life.

I do a lot of complaining and whining on this blog, so I figured a nice update when times are good wouldn’t hurt.

I’m looking forward to this site in a few months.

The Horrendous Cat Story

I like complaining about family, and believe it or not, I like to hear people complain about theirs! In fact, I’d say that one of the core elements to me and Atty’s friendship is our shared history of dealing with shit family.

Today I’m going to tell you about a stray cat that started a small war in my in-laws family. As you read it, you might think it sounds a bit like a cheesy reality TV show. If so, you’d be right about that.  Enjoy.

A new addition to the Family

A little over a month ago a stray cat showed up at my wife’s grandmother’s house. I think the cat was a little too clean and pretty to be a true stray.  I assumed yet another bunch of asses moved off and abandoned the poor thing.

My first instinct was to tell them not to feed it and it’ll go away. But then I thought to myself, “Eh, I’m not here four days a week, what do I care? Feed the damn thing. I won’t have to deal with it

As time went on, the cat became quite the family pet. Everyone fell in love with this beautiful, white fluffy cat. My older daughter especially loved it and asked incessantly to go see the damn thing. She never could decide on the cat’s name either. One day he was Wilbur, another Charlie, and another Tom.

After having the cat around a little over a month, he was pretty much the new family mascot. I even caught my wife buying food for it. The cheap bastard in me wanted to protest but then I once again thought to myself, “Eh, what do I care. I don’t have to deal with it. It lives over there…”

But oh, how the tides do change oh so quickly.

The Cat bit my Grandma!

Last Friday I was sitting at my computer. Fridays are my work from home day, and despite what anyone thinks, I was actually hunkered down in my sad, lonely little corner of the house working. Then I heard my wife on a call.

What…. It bit you? Really? But it’s such a nice cat…. Huh…. A tetanus shot? You really think you need a tetanus shot? Well I can’t take you, Holden is working and I can’t carry the girls with us to the doctor. Let me call momma and see if she can take you.”

My wife had been talking to her elderly, hypochondriac of a grandmother who will find any excuse to have someone carry her to the doctor. Immediately, my wife phoned her mom.

Hey, well the cat bit grandma. She wants someone to take her to the doctor…….. No, I can’t take her…. Well, if you can’t who will?  Yeah, I guess we’ll just have to call animal control…….. no, you know what, I always knew something wasn’t right with  that cat…………no, I said I can’t take her…… what, She’s calling you now? She KNOWS I’M ON THE PHONE WITH YOU! Why is she calling if she…..alright, I’ll just talk to you later.”

About now, I sat back in my chair and sighed, cause I knew shit was about to get dramatic.

15 minutes later my sister in law calls. She’s hysterical.

Hey…. Yeah I already called animal control…… no they aren’t going to kill the cat…… no they won’t put it to sleep, it’ll be fine……. What? It’s not MY fault the cat bit her, what do you want me to do about it….. calm down…..”

My sister in law is a bit peculiar to me in that she appears to value the lives of animals more than humans but has no problem devouring a bacon cheeseburger. I have seen the woman get in heated arguments over whether or not dogs actually do go to heaven! She would find a scene in a movie depicting a burlap sack full of puppies being drowned in the river more distressful than a scene depicting the holocaust.

Oh, and my father in law… multiply it by two.  Seriously, these folks ain’t right! -to put it in southern boy terms.

So, a few more minutes later and my father in law calls. About now, I’m pounding my face into my keyboard. I’ve not left the desk and refuse to acknowledge that I have any knowledge whatsoever about what is going on.

My father in law is all but screaming at my wife. The man isn’t quite right in the head. He is a truck driver by necessity because no one can stand to be around the foul mouthed, overly opinionated hick. The guy seriously has to have a job that puts him alone in a small compartment all by himself 99% of the day.

My wife hangs up and starts sobbing. I feel bad for her; after all, what the hell did she have to do with any of this? She’s just the poor soul in the middle of a bunch of morons.  I knew we shouldn’t have fed the cat.

So… lesson learned. Next time a damn stray shows up, I’m demanding no one feeds it and if need be, I will grab up whatever it is and “Re-Home” it.

-Hodlen

I do not speak to my Father

Yesterday was my Dad’s birthday. I didn’t call. I didn’t talk about it. I didn’t remind my wife or say anything to my best friend. I thought about it a few times and let the idea fade from my brain until I was busy doing something else instead.

Maybe I could have been the bigger man and gave him a call. I’m not sure he deserves it though. On the other hand maybe it would have been good for me – evidence that all of my harsh feelings towards him mean nothing. I didn’t call though. I want him to know that the life he has lived isn’t okay and that he doesn’t deserve a phone call from his only son.

My Dad represents almost everything in life that I dislike. He abuses the system, he mentally and physically abused my Mother, was never and still is not a good provider, he is the most selfish man I have ever known, he is a drug addict, and toxic to everyone he’s around. The worst part is that he walks around with a since of entitlement like the world and everyone in it owes him something.

The last Straw
I think the last straw was a couple months back when my Mom attempted suicide. My Dad and me weren’t really on speaking terms then either, but I hadn’t completely abandoned the idea of speaking to him. My Mom called me crying saying that my Dad was seeing someone else and that she “wanted to go be with Jesus.” It was terrible and I was more disgusted than afraid.

After that incident I found out that my Father had been sharing his meth addiction with my Mother. They were both hooked and it made more sense than ever why she was so fucked up. My Father has successfully used drugs and mental abuse as a form of mind control based on insecurity and getting high for the past 26 years on my Mother. No I think its too late for anyone to do anything about it. I somehow escaped.

The Holidays
The holidays are approaching too. This should make avoiding family even more difficult. At this point I completely refuse to speak to my Father or his mother. She has harbored him at a motel he owns where he makes beds and does maintenance for rent. That’s also where he cheats on my Mother and does meth.

The part that most disgust me is that my Grandmother is on this holy trip. She is and always has been “religious” yet she has somehow justified allowing my father to live on her property, have sex with other drug addicts, buy and sell meth, and abandon his responsibilities as a husband. That motel is a compound of irony.

I will not be uncivil – my quiet protest will be my absence. Luckily I have in-laws who are excellent people and I have adopted as my family. That also make my wife happy so it’s a win-win. I will make a small amount of time for my Mother, but her inability to do anything for herself, her mental laziness, and her constant complaints are something I can only deal with in small doses.

Looking ahead
In years to come I am not exactly sure how I will deal with this situation. Part of me says just forgive them and move on. Let them live their shitty lives and let the universe punish them accordingly. It is not my place. The best thing I can do is let it all go and move on.

Another part of me says just never speak to them again. Forget about it completely and move on in a different way. However; honestly I am not sure which method is the right one. If I maintain a relationship with my parents does that set me up for more heartache and trouble? Does it give my parents more opportunity to suck me in and make their problems my own? That is the risk.

Either way this whole thing has taught me the value of being a decent human being and a man of integrity. I am thankful for that.

Camping and Training for Machu Picchu

As I mentioned a few days ago – Holden, myself, and our wives will be headed to Machu Pucchu in about 9 months. In efforts to prevent my wife from dieing on the hike I’ve started a training regiment of periodic hiking and camping at a nearby state park.

Thoughts in the Wilderness

Even though I was only a few miles from the nearest road being a little bit off the beaten trail felt peaceful. Even the hiking, collecting fire wood, and setting up camp somehow felt relaxing. It had been such a long time since I spent the night outdoors I had almost forgotten what I was missing. Something about cooking your food over a fire you prepared yourself, next to a campsite, and the stars coming out – just feels calming.

At night I couldn’t take my eyes off the stars and I quickly realized why so many people were drawn to them 100s of years ago. It’s funny because before last night I can’t even remember the last time I took more than a couple of seconds to look up and appreciate the night sky.

The fresh air, something relaxing about being outdoors, and just the rare opportunity for a little isolation has quickly made camping something I plan to do a little more often. If anything, I’m more enthusiastic than ever about hitting up Machu Picchu.

Lesson Learned

Slow down, take a deep breath, enjoy nature, enjoy the ones you are with, and relax.