Posts Tagged ‘love and marriage’


I saw teenagers again yesterday.

As a matter of fact, I have seen more teenagers as of late than I have in quite awhile.

I blogged about teens before; they are reoccurring antagonists in my writing. I am always an innocent protagonist just trying to find his way through the obstacles of life being haunted by the constant prospect of teenagers lurking all around. I am of the sound opinion that one could re-write the entire screenplay for The Walking Dead simply by finding all the references to zombies and subsequently replacing them with wild and crazy teenagers. You really wouldn’t have to change the title of the show either, just the wardrobe of the monsters. Instead of tattered flannels and torn jeans, you would need itsy-bitsy shorts with random words across the butt region, and of course skinny jeans.

In the new version of the show, the skinny jean wearing teenage boys are the weaker of the monsters. They pale in comparison to the strength and abilities of the teenage girl monster. This is not that the teenage boys aren’t a force to be reckoned with–quite the opposite actually. It is just to say that if there is a teenage girl present, the teenage boy becomes resigned to trying to please the teenage girl and momentarily forgets his original mission to ruin the lives of the grown adult.

I so badly want to tell you that there are exceptions to this rule and that there are good teenagers out there–like the Twilight version of vampires, but alas, there are no sparkling teens. If you ever believe yourself to either be the owner of one or an acquaintance thereof, you have been seduced by the worst type…the sirens of the teenage world who lure adults into a false sense of security and trust, and then boom, you and countless screaming adult argonauts are shipwrecked and left for dead.

There are no “good teenagers,” there are only teenagers who, like an alcoholic who has kicked the habit but is in constant danger of falling off the wagon, are sober from committing any variety of teenage inequities, but will most likely falter and resume terrorizing the adult of our species.

Teenage boys, while not the most dangerous of their kind, are troubling because of two things:

1.) They have not grown into their appendages. They are a clumsy breed and have trouble with seemingly easy physical movements like walking or any combination of walking and another physical activity. Their feet are awkward and they do not know what to do with their arms. They lumber around from one place to another tripping and swinging their arms with no rhythm. This is why there is a good case for my Walking Dead contention earlier. The teenage boy is, for all intents and purposes, a zombie–in skinny jeans.

2.) They are unsure about their body hair. I have said this before and I say it again. If a teenage boy can grow facial hair of any kind, they will–regardless of whether it is in their best interest. Thusly, teenage boys tend to look homeless, which again aligns itself with the Walking Dead contention from earlier paragraphs. The hairstyles which teenage boys choose to wear are another problem for me. I do not want them to depart from this habit, however. This habit makes them easily negotiable should physical violence ever become necessary. Their vision is impaired by their bangs (this is a sentence that should never be associated with men). Men should not have bangs.

Teenage girls are the meanest of any human species. I have a list of over one thousand reasons why, so I will choose a couple that you NEED to know to function out there.

1.) Utilizing shorts that they had to sneak and put on without any self-respecting father’s permission, they control the teenage boys. They are actually the brains for the entire teenage population. They are the like the queen bee, or the leader of the bugs in Starship Troopers. They are miniature women. They have not yet honed all their skills, like those of their adult form, so they are even more dangerous–think baby rattle snake who is actually deadlier than their full grown counterpart because they cannot control the release of venom. Teenage girls are scary, because they are learning to be adult women, who are actually the most powerful being ever to exist. However, adult women are allowed to be scary and powerful, because 92.3 percent of time they use their power for good (when they do not, however, countries fail, people are murdered, horrible, horrible things happen: For further examples see any show on the Lifetime Movie Network, or take a second and study the breakup of the Beatles).

2.) Teenage girls are exceptionally bad because most of the teenage girls’ parents do not believe that their teenage girls are part of the group of bad teenage girls. It’s quite simple. Even as those of you with teenagers read this blog, you are saying to yourself, “Not my teenage girl.”

**Newsflash** All of you are saying this, but what I have written is happening out there, so at least one of you are wrong.

To a certain extent this rule applies to teen boys as well, but teen boys are not as adept at looking innocent. I am sorry teen boys, but adult women have passed on to their female children an ability to manipulate that will haunt you until your dying day. As a case in point, you know, there was a time when I had PIN numbers that were original to me…Now, after years of work on my wife’s part, all our PIN numbers are ones which she brought to our relationship. Most startlingly of all, I recently found that the PIN numbers utilized in my home are the same that my Mother-in-Law uses. This absolutely confirms my worst fears: Females have a much better training program then males. Its scope and organization is irrefutably better than even the military. I am certain that if males do have a training program it consists of only one rule, and that is: 1.) If what you are doing seems to please a female, continue doing that….

I write this as a warning of our enemy, people. They are not to be discarded as weak even though skinny jeans could lead one to that assertion. Teenagers are a thinking and adapting enemy. They are trying to take over the world and our only hope is that before this can happen, they begin the turn for adulthood. However, I have started to see may teenage characteristics in young twenty something year olds. Be vigilant. Think Anti-Teen Force Protection. Act like teens are trying to kill you and you should be fine.

I just wanted you to know, because I have been holding it in since last night at the movie theater where teenagers were hellbent on ruining the movie….


Longterm relationships, boyfriends and girlfriends, married, gay, straight, all carry around with them the same types of issues. All couples fight, and the ones that don’t are probably more destructive than the ones that actually have members that say what they are feeling to one another. In these relationships, there is a chance for growth. In the silent, seemingly happy and fight-less couples, one member is, no doubt feeling voiceless and oppressed. I told my wife on a couple of occasions, that there has to be at least one moment occasionally, in a marriage where the man should think he wants to become a monk and run off into some form of solitary lifestyle with just men, who all think the same way they do. I picture it being a little slice of heaven in some far off land. It will have over one hundred taps and all the beers will be my favorite microbrews. There would be a place to smoke cigars and it would be well ventilated. Other men would would show up and we’d all talk about 17th Century Literature, and everyone would agree with me…the problem in the end of all of this is that after the first drink from the bar, I would have think, “man, I wish my wife was here, she’d love this place..”

This is not a blog about fighting, you need to figure that our on your own, but you need to know it happens and to suck it up. Nope, enter this blog into the “How to Continue Dating Your Spouse, Long-term Boy/girlfriend” category. You didn’t ask for the advice, but then again, you didn’t ask for anything else I have written either.

Zombie movies are, in my opinion, the number one way to date your wife. Mine pulls me into her and holds on tight when humans are eating other humans. So, World War Z was going to be the venue of our first date (where we actually hired a babysitter and went out). I love my wife, and I want her to be happy. I want her to look at me and think, “damn, I won the husband lottery.”
In my quest for doing so, I compiled the following list of important behaviors. Some are proven, and some are conjecture. Either way, I would immediately include them in your relationships.

1. Open the door for your significant other.
This is huge, and it shouldn’t be that difficult. I open building doors for her, and generally, I am a man of great manners with an extremely chivalrous nature. So naturally, I chose to forego this necessity. Additionally, I opted to further compound my omission by making a joke. It went like this:

My wife says to me, “Just how I pictured our first date in months starting; my husband jumping in the car and waiting for me to open my own door.” I told her that it was rude of me and I would do better. My coping strategy is always to go to humor in order to move past any moment where I have screwed up. So I say to my wife, “If I have to remember these technicalities involved in car-door opening while dating, you have to remember your obligations for lewd and lascivious behavior once in the car, whose door was graciously opened for you.”

In perfect Whitney timing, she responds, “That’s not a problem, I will just think about Brad Pitt fighting zombies…mmmmmmmm.”

2. If going to a movie at a theater, show your wife how much you value her love by stopping at a Walgreens and buy boxes of candy ahead of time.

Don’t read that as sarcasm. This is actually a huge move in a marriage. One box of candy at the movie costs the same as three gallons of gas. It is like the airport and movie theater have the same owners and they are both dicks. Rich dicks. Anyway, I did this yesterday and this actually made my wife fall more in love with me more than ever. She runs the finances, so it is actually romantic for her to see me being economical.

I went into the store and saw the plethora of options for possible candy enjoyment. Panic ensued. I couldn’t remember the last thing Whitney said she was craving, (we don’t eat a ton of candy, so it has been awhile). So what I did was absolutely genius: I pretty much bought every candy there was. Once in the movies, she reached in her purse (the one that all women have that was purely brought to smuggle large items of “stuff” into areas that do not allow the “stuff” to be brought in from off the premises. One of the boxes was Whoppers. I had struck gold. Whitney breathed in a long content sigh and said in a high pitched voice she whisper yelled, “You remembered!!!! You love me!!!!”
Now, I hope she doesn’t realize that in not remembering the actual candy, subsequently panicking, and following that up with buying everything in reach, I spent more money on candy than we would have at the airport/movie theater.

3. When you leave the movie theater, and you remember to open her car door, also remind her of her obligations once inside again, because that joke never gets old, right?

I didn’t do this, but I really wish I did.

4. Make your wife or significant other laugh.
This is what I do to make up for my lack of “conventional good looks.” Making a woman laugh actually makes you more attractive to them. Make them laugh like it is your sole mission. It will show them that they are worth the effort, and there is nothing better than a wife who is smiling.

5. Don’t belittle your wife when she has non-sensical requests.
I say to Whitney, “Baby, little woman, sweet thing, do you want a Starbucks on the way to the theater.” She replied with, “No, I need a Starbucks, but I would rather have a coffee.”
I know, I know, but just let it go.

6. If you see a girl who your wife points out is pretty, always say she is dressed like a slut.
I didn’t do this, but it is always a good move. It is especially important to add a dimension of disgust to your voice. If you say it with excitement, it will not have the desired intent.

These are six important aspects of dating within a relationships that are sure to work.

In the end, I believe all of this is relatively true. We as humans put more time into impressing our bosses, random acquaintances, and just people who don’t matter than we do our spouses or boyfriends, or girlfriends, or whatever. My wife used to teach dance lessons, and she had this strange habit of not letting married people dance together when initially learning steps. Her answer when asked why was startling and true. “Most married people will treat a stranger nicer when they screw up the dance than they would their spouse.”

So find a good zombie movie and go. Buy some cheap candy and make her laugh. You’d be surprised what behavior that could lead to in a car….


The morning sun casts a peculiar glow over the hills of Ramona, California. One can feel an allusive sense of ominous foreboding. Things are not all as they should be, but why they feel it is not immediately evident. The warmth resulting from the peculiar glow, clashing with the cool breeze have pushed and pulled a dense fog up through the valleys and hills as if ghosts, unshackled from hell and the grave, search eerily for a soul to haunt. The fog is thick and invasive, and for an instant, it has swallowed up the world outside of my house leaving me surrounded by whatever it may bring.

Just as abruptly as its uninvited intrusion began, so goes the fog’s departure. What is left in its wake is a mystery. A set of footprints. A fruitless tree. A woman with an imagination as massive as the very blanket of fog, which rested thick and viscous over the house in Ramona, California. This is a story of intrigue and suspicion sure to confuse the most talented of sleuth. Holmes, The Hardy Boys, Mason, The Rescue Rangers, or Columbo, none of them could piece this thing together, because there resides no sense in this story of horror in the fog. None of them could, but Whitney can and did.

My cell phone buzzed and vibrated itself across my desk at work. It danced with and floated for a second or two making the snapping sound of hard plastic bouncing on the faux-wood desk interrupting the silent work of ten or so people.

“Hello, how are you today?” I ask immediately seeing the caller ID and noticing my lovely wife’s name.

There would be no reciprocity to my greeting that morning, instead, and in a frantic tone, “The oranges, they are all gone! Every one of them is gone, disappeared. Heath, where once there was a multitude of oranges a veritable cornucopia of beautiful deliciousness, there is nothing but emptiness.” Whitney rattled off into my ear.

When one’s wife offers up their concern over missing oranges or missing anything, the best course of action is to exude empathy, to join with them in their terror, or to nurture their investigative instincts. As such, I assert that there must be a gang of fruit loving animals roving the area stealing bushels of oranges. Having never had a fruit tree until a few weeks ago, I did not have the requisite expertise to rule out animals altogether. Although, only one night ago, the tree had tens of dozens of oranges and today there are none, not even a rotting orange biodegrading into the roots and dirt below the tree. These animals are overeating.

Whitney, absolutely not content with my assertion of a clan of bandit animals, set out on a mission to solve this mystery. Whitney offered up to me a startling find. While walking just outside our house on a freshly repaved street, still shining with new tar, Whitney found a trail of footprints that appeared out of nowhere and disappeared in the same manner. They were white like they were powdered chalk and after about ten or so steps, the footprints faded to black.

Were these the prints of an orange bandit?
What kind of criminal leaves this kind of tell-tale–the sudden chalk feet running away from the area of the fruit tree?
Firstly the oranges and now the footprints?
What kind of hellish ghoul are we dealing with?
Who steals oranges?
What kind of maniac steals only oranges and not something better; I mean go big or go home?

I tell you what, in Whitney’s head, there is only this set of possibilities: The thief is a human, and said human either floats, emits chalk out of their feet and also floats, and / or is human, loves oranges enough to steal them, but accidentally stepped in a bag of chalk that they were carrying in their car, which logically was there, because after stealing the oranges, they bandits had to hustle to a little league baseball field and prepare the baselines and batter’s box. She hasn’t quite worked out the chalk part yet.

It is under this sense of tension, that Whitney introduced a teenage boy to a 9mm. Our house overlooks the gate to the community. Whitney was looking out the window while doing the dishes. She watched as an unknown car rambled up the long road to the gate and stopped. A teenage boy jumped out of the car and began running up the hill, some three hundred yards to our home. With a rabbit killing shepherd, an aged heeler, and a three legged chihuahua in tow, Whitney met the teenager at the door. Oh yeah, and she had a gun.

The conversation was short lived and resulted in a teenage boy running faster away from our residence. Equally odd. The boy requested a tire jack to fix a flat, but after fleeing from the gun wielding Whitney, he jumped in a car with four working tires and raced off, stopping at no houses on the way out…

I don’t know anything anymore. I don’t know what I believe. I don’t know what comes in the fog, but I do know enough to tell you that I am done doubting my wife. I do not want to go the way of the running teenager. These are the reasons that I believe my wife. She has an unparalleled intuition and a gun. If she believes that the oranges were stolen by a floating, chalk footed, human of average foot size, than damn it, I believe her. So, be on the look out for two things: A floating, chalk footed, human of average foot size, and a gun wielding Whitney on a mission to solve ghostly crimes…

I just wanted you to know, because I have been holding it in for years…


We have become hikers. We haven’t become the hikers who have the shoes, knitted socks, and professional style walking sticks. We haven’t become the hikers who forage off of the land as we hike through it. As hikers, we are somewhat novice, but the cool thing about hiking is that you kind of practice for it every time you walk, because hiking is just a walk. Except, hikes are a walk where you constantly worry about snakes, your hydration, dying from the elements, an accidental wrong turn and subsequent three day search for your hypothermic and near lifeless body, and in my case, you have to worry about your wife trying to murder you.

If one was to get overly technical, the murder was probably warranted, but nonetheless, it added a new and somewhat unsuspected dimension to hiking. Like I said, we have become hikers. It wasn’t the result of a process of thought and in-depth research, it was a spur of the moment decision that hiking is what all the cool kids do, the realization, that we are also cool, and therefore should be hikers. So last weekend, we hiked, and what I want to relay to you in this edition of LifeasIKnowit is what hiking is all about. Maybe after reading this, you will all feel so inclined as to start off on a more active lifestyle. This entry would go down in the category of self-help, and it will be well worth your time to continue, trust me, I wrote it, I know how it ends. Plus, I went hiking with Whitney, the reoccurring character who plays my wife in previous blogs.

Hiking starts off with a bunch of happy hippies on a trail eating granola to carboload for the impending trek into nature’s bowels. Hiking probably actually starts off a day or two previous to the hike in question. I picture people preparing by packing their little hiking packs with water, snacks, compasses, random survivally things. Hiking probably starts with the hikers drinking water to prepare for said hike. All of these things are important for those interested in hiking, and as is to be expected, none of these were things we decided to do. I am being less than truthful, we drank a lot of beer and wine in preparation for the hike, which may have covered the carboloading portion of preparation, but defeated the hydration portion of prepping. (Although, Whitney believes that drinking is a great hydrator as it leaves your pee clear).

Everybody is happy at the beginning of a hike. There is much to be excited about. The trail is pretty, and you feel so productive that you can’t stand it! You walk about three hundred feet and you happen upon your first group of hikers who are finishing up the same hike. You try not to notice that they look like undead versions of the same group of hippies starting at the time you did. They walk, dragging their left legs along beside them. They do not talk; instead, they mumble and grunt loud guttural booms of sound from their respective diaphragms. You try not to notice the dog that probably started out walking with them, but whose lifeless body is now being dragged just behind their left legs. You are blind to this, and you quest on.

You are given one more seemingly innocent, yet foreboding warning of things to come when Whitney, who is walking like a professional walker–hands up and dangling, while breathing in a perfect rhythm who-who-hee-hee, says, “Do you think we should have brought sandwiches?” All you can do at this point is continue to fall in love with your own plan, or lack thereof. “We will be fine with what we have brought (which consists of a Nalgene bottle and, well that’s pretty much it.)”

You walk another half mile and the trail starts something alarming. The trail begins to go from a nice, flat and enjoyable walk, to an alarming incline and group of switchbacks. To give you a point of reference, the incline is the same incline Sisyphus was forced to push the boulder up in mythology, or more simply stated, the incline is the same walk you would have to walk, perpetually in hell (you can keep going, but it generally sucks). There was no gradual increase in incline, nature just reached out and smacked you in the face with itself. Softly and sweetly, in the back of your head you can still hear Whitney’s question echoing, “Do you think we should have brought sandwiches?”

You are now halfway up the mountain. You have stopped to rest and the pleasant blush resulting from the increase blood flow has turned into relentless panting and random words in between. Where once there was loving conversation between two happily married people, there is pretty much only the sound of contempt ridden scowls. People walk by you and for just a split second, you make it look like nothing is breaking you, like this is easy.

Another hiker on her way down passes and does it. She plants the time bomb. “Be careful,” she says. “I just about stepped on a snake. They disguise themselves so well.” So now, what was a quick moving pace has slowed to the exact same pace that those poor soldiers who search for land mines must walk. Our eyes never leaving the ground, dismally marking every square centimeter of the trail–this would be a part of my hell. “Do you think we should have brought sandwiches?” Still echoing.

What seems like four hours later you reach the top. Some experienced hikers are looking out at the view–it is beautiful. You smell marijuana. Some kids are smoking it while philosophizing over life’s meaning. You pan around the area and realize the problem with a hike. When you hike, once you get to the top, you still have to go back. You look to your left and see a group of jerks doing something just to rub their planning in your face. They are eating sandwiches. You turn Whitney around quickly and we start back down. You think you can hear something about sandwiches coming from Whitney, but you just press onward. If you ever thought down can’t be as hard as up, you are dead wrong. Down becomes a torturous near free fall that shoves your entire foot into the front one third of your shoes. You are like a Chinese woman with bound feet. Down sucks.

You find that you are about thirty feet ahead of Whitney. You stop and wait for her to catch up. She nears, and you notice that she is wearing kind of an empty look, like no one is home. You start to talk and before you can get out three words she says, “Unless you have a sandwich, I don’t think you should say a god damned word to me!”

As you near the end of the trail, you are both dragging our left foot behind us and grunting nightmarish sounds from our diaphragms. The group just starting, shoving sandwiches into their packs, still joyful and excited asks, “How was it?” You grunt at them and continue your zombie walk. There, just ahead of you is your truck. You have accomplished what you set out to do. Your marriage is stronger because of your lack of planning, right? Whitney looks at you and says, “I am godawful miserable right now.” Yes, you answer yourself. Not planning for the hike was a great decision for your marriage. But we are hikers now. Tested in the flames of hell.


The street that leads to the five-home community in Ramona, California is dissected by an iron gate that, most of the time, opens when you push the remote control. It is a beautiful gate, and right next to it, is a walking trail that says to the would be cruiser of our neighborhood, “We trust you if you are on foot, but we dare you to try and drive into this area uninvited.” After living here for just two weeks, I know that the gate is here for protection. It protects the hood from teenagers. This country road is the perfect little place for lasciviously intentioned boys to park with equally minded, but coy hipster girls.

My house sits about halfway up a steep hill that, at its pinnacle houses the remaining four homes. I drink. I drink while sitting on my back patio overlooking small family orchards, horses, and llamas (Whitney has decided that llamas are nosy animals). I drink while I listen to the barking and howling from coyotes, the relentless caw of the ravens and crows, and of course I drink while I watch my dogs salivate over rabbits that tease them in a similar manner as the hipster girls in the cars down the way do their skinny-jean wearing boyfriends. Rabbits move in stop animation. They find a spot and they freeze. Rabbits stare at you with their side-of-head eyeballs and taunt you while they poop with reckless abandon wherever they please.

My shepherd dog has had enough of this. Lobo, the big, burly and loving shepherd, has declared jihad on rabbits. They are infidels who have the tenacity to waltz into your yard, where you have staked your claim, where you drink and enjoy the country life, and where your dogs should be the only thing pooping with reckless abandon. Rabbits, to my boy Lobo, are a lost cause and should be eradicated. A battle was eminent and loomed ominous over our household.

Enter my poor, poor, good natured, sweet wife, Whitney. Friday night brought frivolity and movie watching to my family. We have made it a point over the years to use our Fridays as a night to relax at home and reconnect. The movie we watched came to an end, and it was time to let the three dogs out for their last shot at reckless defecation. What ensued was murder. It was the circle of life without Elton singing. What ensued was ravenous animality. Even the three-legged chihuahua was overly emotional as she sporadically ran in zig-zagging motions.

One single, solitary rabbit had found his or her way into the yard. Unfortunately for the rabbit, he or she did not take the tenth of a second necessary to dedicate to memory how it came to be in the yard. This is a life lesson to you, people. Always have a way out. When you walk into any place, a restaurant, a club, a store, or even a church, you have to know where the exits are located. You have to know where you can hide. You have to be engaged in your surroundings, because in the moment of confusion and chaos, you will run around moronically wishing you had been. A prepared rabbit lives to see another day. There are those out there that wish to do harm to unsuspecting and under prepared individuals, and Lobo, the alarmingly agile shepherd, is just such an entity.

Maybe five seconds passed. Lobo had cornered and overwhelmed the rabbit. Surprisingly, Baby, the old, but ferocious heeler was an accomplice in the cornering. Like dogs do, Lobo grabbed the unprepared rabbit and shook his head back and forth with such violence no rabbit spine could have survived. That was the end. That is as far as Lobo, the hunter, the manliest of all my dogs, had planned. He had no exit strategy, so he just pranced around the yard with his spoil of war. Dropping it in the middle of the yard, Lobo circled it and said, “This rabbit, is my rabbit. This rabbit is the first of many rabbits I will kill. This rabbit is…” Lobo stopped talking abruptly when I chased him off with a shovel. I stood over the rabbit.

Okay, for reals now, enter my poor, poor, good natured and sweet wife, Whitney.

“MURDERER!!!!” Whitney yelled compassionately. There Whitney stood emotionally moved to tears. “What did you do. Our dogs have tasted blood! What do we do!” Whitney continued, all the while Lobo is circling the area fist pumping as if he just created fire, but alertly scoping the scene for follow-on insurgent rabbit attacks.

“Whitney!” I yell. “They are dogs, and these are rabbits, this is what dogs do, now, you need to go inside.” I tell her to go inside because I know the rabbit is still alive and suffering. I am going to have to finish the job. Of course, and as I should have expected, Whitney needs background information and she needs it immediately.

“Why do I need to go inside?” “Why are you holding that shovel?” “How did Lobo kill it?” “Lobo will now want to kill everything and so will Baby.” “Our dogs are murderers and YOU are not even registering the gravity of this situation.”

I have to tell her the details, because I think the reality of the situation will be enough to make her head back to the safety of the house. “Whitney, I have to kill this rabbit, because it is suffering.” She responds in the only way Whitney could, “Heath, you need my moral support through this…”

At this point, all I can think of to do is the same thing I did to Lobo when he was rambling on about his kill. I run at Whitney with a shovel and yell, “Go inside, already!!”

Gentlemen. I commend to you today that running at your wife with a shovel was the wrong action. I am not sure why I thought that a shovel run would somehow fix the situation. In the end, I have not lived down this portion of my decision making that night. But, I, like Lobo, didn’t plan beyond the actual moment of action. I thought that Whitney would react like Lobo and just sprint away from me. Something in my mind said, “If you run at her with a shovel, she will retreat indoors, calm down, and respect you all the more after this fades away.” That was all I needed. Again, after a day of retrospection, running at your wife with a shovel is never a good idea.

Whitney will not be run at with a shovel and in the midst of all of the back breaking and war, Whitney’s voice echoed out into the darkness. “CAN’T YOU SEE I JUST NEED TO BE HELD RIGHT NOW?” There I was, shovel above my head trying to get her to flee into the house, stopped cold. “I just need to be held, and you are chasing me with a shovel.” While I did not believe that this was the moment for holding–a suffering rabbit needed to die and all, there was somehow something else in her voice. It was like she really was saying, “You. Ran. At. Me. With. A. Shovel.”

After a few moments, I was able to get her into the house. I finished the job and coerced Lobo, the dog who made me kill, who made me foolishly run at a woman, with a shovel back inside as well.

I found Whitney in bed, holding tightly to her chest the three-legged chihuahua saying, “You’re the only dog I love.” She repeated it like Dorothy trying to escape Oz. We both fell asleep.

In the morning, I woke up naturally to the staring eyes of Whitney. She is so beautiful. She was tracing the shape of my face with her eyes. It was almost like she was discovering me for the first time. I expected her to sing my praises for the manliness I exuded only hours before. Our eyes met. Whitney said softly, “Remember how last night you ran at me with a shovel.”

I had no clue what she was talking about.

I just wanted you to know, because I have been holding it in for years.


Certain magnetism exists between the mall and my wife. It is the allure of the over-accessorized ladies clad in black, past-the-knees dresses. They peddle their fragrances with relentless fervor while you hurriedly try to escape the cloud of chemicals emanating from the atomizer these women cling to like it’s their last weapon in the fight against the zombies. It is the cacophony of smells purging their way out of the food court rushing out in all directions like throngs of ghosts escaping from the Ghost Trap in any one of the Ghostbusters movies (if that analogy doesn’t make sense to you, you are too young or lacking the requisite knowledge to be reading this blog). It is the rush you get from competing with 14 other vehicles for the same spot and the joy of victory watching 13 other cars mope off to start another fight. All of these make the mall the place to be. All of these things and, well, watching the odd nature of teenagers and their poor decision making, especially with respect to facial hair and wardrobe.

So this was my Saturday. I was heading to the mall, and I was generally fine doing it, because there is nothing better than documenting the horrible lives of teenagers. We set off, driving down the long winding road towards civilization. For the sake of thoroughness, my story begins earlier in the week when an awkward blink of the eye sent my left contact lens tumbling to the carpet. Unfortunately, I was in the middle of a lecture from a General Officer in the Marine Corps and could not start crawling around on the floor to find the rogue lens. Instead, and probably more annoying to the speaker, I notified the surrounding Marines using a complex gesturing system, which involved me mimicking an awkward blink, holding my palm over my eye, and simultaneously pointing to the deck. This is the universal symbol for, “Don’t make a scene, but I lost my contact lens. Try and look inconspicuous while you help look for it, but please don’t let the general know that we are only minimally paying attention.” Unfortunately, this symbol seemed to be less than universally understood and was met with judgmental looks of my peers.

The irony being that, without that contact, I could not read the presentation’s slides, which were covering how to read more effectively. Long story short: I am now wearing glasses.

We set off, driving down the long winding road towards civilization. The brightness of the sunlight flickering in and out of the trees along the country road created a strobe light effect washing out my vision. Luckily I had brought my prescription sunglasses. Even more luckily, the prescription sunglasses were issued by the Marine Corps to me. There are many like them, but this pair is mine. Donning their awesomeness, I was once again blessed with vision and continued on my trek. At this point in the drive, Whitney and I have been bantering back and forth, talking about this and that, and generally enjoying the moment. I was relaying a story about the price of some item. Here is how it goes:

Heath: I was surprised once the lady told me how much it costed.

Whitney: What?

Heath: I said that I was blown away by how much the stuff costed.

Whitney: I’m sorry what?

Heath: Growing more aggravated. “Whitney, it costed a lot of money, and I wasn’t going to pay it!”

Whitney: I’m sorry, but did your cool little glasses make you forget how to use irregular verbs? I let it slip once, because I thought you were joking.

At this point I understood I was beat, so I switched into what I call, “I am insulted mode.” It is also called, “Misdirection.”

Heath: Hold on here! What is wrong with my sunglasses?

Whitney: I didn’t say anything was wrong with your sunglasses.

Heath: You said, “your cool glasses,” with a really snarky tone like they are nerdy.

Whitney: No, I don’t think they look nerdy…. they look like women’s glasses.

Heath: Oh, you think that I won’t wear them out in public?

Whitney: It’s not that I don’t think you will; it’s that I hope you won’t!

I spent the rest of the car ride looking at my feminine glasses in the mirror wondering if it was worth it to wear them in public. The tone with which Whitney said “it’s that I hope you won’t” echoing in my head made my mind up for me. I would not be wearing my sunglasses where anyone could see them in all of their femininity. I would do this for the sanctity of my marriage, because I am a man. A man with feminine glasses, but a man still, and I will sacrifice my eyes for her happiness—our happiness.

Arriving at the mall, I quickly secured my manly, and very cool military issue glasses, changing them out for my more traditional ones for casual wear. The mall was as I left it. Teenagers everywhere. Teenagers everywhere making horrible decisions. On three occasions, I bore witness to a teenage boy buying jewelry of all levels of ornament for their teenage lovers. How happy they looked, happy and pathetic. I wanted to rush in and grab the young man and yell. I wanted to stop the madness. I wanted to stop this kid’s downward spiral into the abyss of stupid gift buying. That was when I saw their faces. I knew I could not stop it. Each of the teenage boys, still relishing in their transition from boy to man, were letting any possible hair that wanted to grow, grow. Their faces looked like training grounds for pubic growth. I was ashamed. I know I did the same thing. I know that there were instances in my past where I had two distinctly different colors of beard hair, but I rocked it like it was hot. Teenagers.

I was just getting over the tomfoolery going on at the jewelry stores when we wandered by a man and his wife. This woman was laying into her husband. It was the kind of argument where the man closes his eyes and flies away. He flies away to a land of unicorns, chocolate rivers, and rainbow avalanches. A land where Chumbawamba’s “I get knocked down, but I get up again” plays endlessly, and where teenagers shave until the hair on their chin is all one color and stiffness. The man was making all of the right body gestures, but his soul was gone. Robotically forcing apologetic movements, but internally, he was surfing the rainbow avalanche to the base of Marshmallow Mountain. Whitney looked at me and made me promise that I would never let her do that to me. She hated the sight of the man, how embarrassed he must have been, how broken. To her credit, Whitney would never do this anyway, but the sentiment was well taken. I took the moment to ask Whitney if she thought that the man wore the wrong sunglasses in public or used the incorrect form of an irregular verb….she smiled, and just kept walking.

I just wanted you to know, because I have been holding it in for years…


The Fame Ponzi Scheme

Listen,

We can do this together. It is going to take you being unselfish and a little trust. I need all of your support on this, or we are not going to accomplish what I am about to explain. Before I go into detail, you need to know that this is not all about me either, there is plenty to go around. Nowadays with it being so cool to be communist, this shouldn’t be that difficult to get on board with. Seriously, this could change your life for the better and in a dramatic fashion.

So gather around, suspend your negativity and listen.

The theory:

Becoming famous, and the extravagance and riches associated with said fame can be a game changer for more than the person who is the “face” of this fame. One can use the fame of the famous person to their benefit. It sounds so Machiavellian, but in this instance it is not, because all would agree that this is how it should be. The person who initially finds fame and fortune is the stepping stool for those to follow. His selfless devotion to the betterment of the whole will save the day and change countless lives.

The Argument in the converse:

The Che Guevara / Castro Possibility. In this story of communist takeover, you have what I call, unoriginally, the “totalitarian in communist’s clothing” revolution. A leader guy with seemingly good intentions gets a bunch of other people with seemingly good intentions to help him overcome the oppressive regime with seemingly ill intentions. Unfortunately, upon successfully overthrowing the oppressive regime, the leader guy, who a bunch of well intended persons thought was well intentioned, becomes decidedly oppressive himself…or at least thats the way I think it went.

This is a possibility. This is why the person we send should be someone who can shoulder the burden of power (fame) and still function the way we need them to. To act as our preverbal “coyote” shepherding those he used to find fame originally through the divide separating the plebeians from the proletarians. Without using words I just looked up to find: We can’t afford to make a person famous and then have them become a Judas, who will kiss our cheek like we never existed. The person has to be of solid character, yet believably capable of being famous.

The MC Hammer Paradox. This troublesome little tale has a skilled dancer and purveyor of words who finds fame. After achieving his goal, he brings his entire neighborhood along to share in the party. Soon, Hammer finds himself struggling to make ends meet and with nothing left of the millions his feet had earned him. Regardless of how much the man prays, he cant touch this problem and it just won’t go away. When people should have had to hold him back and beg, “Hammer, don’t hurt ’em,!!!” he just let these so-called friends suck his life away.

This is much more unlikely because our plan is not parasitic in nature. I’m not, rather, the person we nominate, to send to fame isn’t just going to spread his riches, he is going to utilize the infrastructure of his fame to build the rest of the people’s. It is brilliant and absolutely without flaw. This isn’t the “come mooch off me” plan for life, it is the “let’s not waste an opportunity and only let idiots like the Kardshians and Perez Hilton be famous for nothing when we can all do it” plan.

The How:

We have to work together to make one of us famous. We have to violently enforce our will upon the outside world and take fame. We have to spread and push the name of the individual we are peddling with tenacity. Through voracious and relentless work towards a common goal we can raise one person to stardom regardless of what they are actually capable of doing that would solicit fame. The details need to be hashed out, but the premise is sound.

The Who:

As I have alluded to, this person needs to be of sound mental stature and able to deal with the pressure of riches. He needs to be convincing at convincing people he deserves to be famous. He needs to possess some intangible quality associated with people of fame. In short, this person must be of great character and willing to serve the people. Even shorter, I nominate myself.

Remember I’m doing this for you — I am your sacrificial lamb and we are about to usurp the way this world works.

Let me know?

I just wanted you to know, because I have been holding it in for years….


My wife slept in unusually late this morning, and when the need to go and inquire about her wellbeing overtook my longing to finish the morning’s dishes, I found her sitting, eyes still full of sleep wearing a smile upon her face. My daughter was laying beside her, so logically, I thought I was bearing witness to a mother’s bliss as she beheld the beautiful visage of tiny fingers and toes, and cooing and drool.

Still smiling, Whitney looked at me. For a moment, I thought that she was not merely enamored with that little baby, but also with me. I am worth enamoring over. Years of bliss must have been rushing through her mind flashing vivid images of the happiness I have given her. Like a dam swelling from the weight of the water seeking freedom from restraint, my soul was succumbing to growing tides of joy knowing the life I had given Whitney was fulfilling her needs. All was right in the world.

I walked softly toward her. Her smile grew with each step. In my head, I thought, “I am the freaking man!” This woman. This single woman thought I was the only man in the world. To her, I was the center of the universe, a sun whose gravitational pull provided the order to her world she needed to survive. Arriving bedside, I lovingly rambled, “look at you, happy girl!” In response, Whitney smiled the coy grin of a teenager half her age who just got passed a note from a boy in class. When Whitney is really smiling, I mean smiling the kind of genuine smile that derives itself from sincere joy, her eyes bend upwards, hinging from the inner and ever so gently form a beautiful slant. She wore that kind of smile as she said the following words:

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson came to me last night. Oh, my lord Jesus, he was loving him some Whitney, and we weren’t getting it on either. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was courting me. You see, Heath, I need to be courted. I need to be courted again by you. He said, ‘Girl, I don’t know up from down when I’m with you!’ And then, the best part, we played baseball together…It. Was. Awesome. I need to be courted like that.

There is something to be learned in all of this. Firstly, Whitney is an odd girl to court. Baseball and cliches? I can do that. And secondly, I need to look like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to give Whitney all that bullshit happiness I described above at such length. Actually, I guess there is a third and most important lesson: The Rock is not welcome in my home starting today.

I got some baseball to play, I’m out.

I just wanted you to know, because I’ve been holding it in for years…


Firstly, I dedicate this blog to Barry, he is a good man who shamelessly admits that he reads my blog. He lives in the northwest with a wonderful lady, Brittany. Together, these two love puppies and promote the idea that all puppies are created equal and that all puppies are inclined to do good things; it is just their owners, who being less than dignified, nurture the darker qualities of aggression in animals. This is not their only good point I swear to you, but people who love animals, are almost always good people…it is what it is.

Let me begin by saying my caveman conversion is going well. The fact is, it is fun and the food is pretty damned good. During week two and three, I had this period of three days where I wanted to kill people at random. This is the delirium tremens from taking away processed food. The good news: nobody was killed, but I did lose my temper twice at work over things that a normal Heath would have only lost his imaginary temper.

My imaginary temper is what I can only describe as an escalation of force mechanism internal to the vast catacombs of my brain that allows me an in-between, a purgatory where I don’t have to operate at berserker levels, or a constant state of hyper emotionalism (hulk-smash). You see, I get wound up and I talk with my hands. It has its goods; people never have to guess what I am thinking, and generally, if you don’t have to guess what one is thinking then nobody ends up disappointed or surprised. I am sure it has bads as well, but I refuse to discuss bads when talking about my attributes…it just brings me down, ya know. My imaginary temper has ensured for years I have not been beaten to death by somebody around me, and I guess to a certain extent, it has protected those around me from me. In my head, in the same exciting place where all of my imaginary fights occur, 90 percent of what I want to say to people is filtered out and sent to a garbage bin located in one of the cortexes of my mind to be used in a blog later on.

At any rate, I lost my temper, but it was more like an unwinding where I just kind of disintegrate over something that would make anyone mad—I just do it like I am in a play. It is very dramatic and possesses some of the same qualities of interpretive dance, which I will have you know frustrates me. Interpretive dance is too whimsical and uncontrolled, lacking in structure. People doing interpretive dance should never admit they messed up, because even their mess-ups look like a move that someone, somewhere can describe as brilliant—the same way that abstract art by renowned artists, worth gillions, looks a lot like something I drew 15 years ago that my dad said sucked.

At any rate again, there were two distinct moments where I wanted frozen yogurt. I didn’t want frozen yogurt because it is a healthier version of soft serve ice cream either. I wanted frozen yogurt that I turned into a collage of all my favorite chocolate and peanut butter candy plastered to frozen yogurt backdrop by hot fudge. I wanted it to be a “pay-by-the-ounce” place, and I wanted three pounds. Again, these longings are the delirium tremens—the pangs of addiction to sugar. Delicious refined sugar. I prevailed, but it had more to do with the fact that my longing for frozen yogurt was only out dueled by my laziness. I knew my laziness would come in handy.

Whitney is also doing well. She continues the hunt for new recipes, and neither she nor I have brought any processed food into this house. I like it. I like not eating the stuff. She made Paleo Bread, which we devoured with happy hearts. For our snack this week, she concocted an Almond milk chocolate shake with 25 grams of protein. Are you picking up what I am putting down here? I like the food, and that is essential to lifestyle change. I must admit that Whitney has been an extremely active sleeper since going paleo, but I am reluctant to reduce this to a result of the lifestyle when it is probably just further evidence that one day, she will kill me in my sleep, while she herself is sleeping, and that said killing will be violent and terrible. This is Whitney, she kills while she sleeps.

Insert perfect segue to another subject here.

I am reading a novel now. I have started reading for pleasure again. I recommend everyone reading this start reading for pleasure again unless that means you stop reading my blog, and seriously, if you cannot get pleasure from my blog, why were you reading it anyway—that’s kind of weird. The novel is The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie. It is a terrifically written novel so far and fun to read, but you need to read some form of study guide with it to help you get all there is to get about everything this guy is saying. I am pretty sure that sects of Islamic people want to kill Rushdie for this work, so this only adds to the fun.

The second novel I am reading is written by my sister, S. E. Culpepper. For years, my sister seemed only placed on this earth to tell on me for things I did as a teenager. Hers was a police presence, but with time and work, she has transformed into the perfect heathen. She is extremely talented and has just released her latest book in the Liaisons Series. A quick disclaimer on her novel. If you are scared that you can somehow “osmotically turn gay” by reading a novel about characters who are gay, or if you feel like your soul will immediately burst into flames if it you read a book with gay characters, or if you are hoping that by ignoring the idea of gay people they will cease to exist, then this book is probably not for you. But, I am telling you, she is my sister, and she is a writer worth reading.

This is what is happening with me.

I just wanted you to know, because I have been holding it in for years.


My blog could have been titled:

Happiness is All Around Us, Except in Me…

I Want to be Happy For You, But I am Having Trouble Making it My First Priority

Please Don’t Be Like Me: A Study in How I Have Trouble Being Overly Critical

Or Finally,

I’m Insecure, So Excuse Me While I Look For Ways to Bring You Down to an Acceptable Level of Average…

I chose, No, I am Happy For You, I’m Serious….Just Not All the Way, because I think this sounds a bit kinder towards the object of the statement. I want to go down in the records as being a kind and welcoming man, but I also want to be painted with honesty, and so should you. I want to think that after reading this, you walk away thinking, “Hey, Heath is just like me, and maybe, we all need a little work,” or most likely, “Sweet, I am not the only one who has trouble with being a human.”

Congratulations, you’re normal. What I am talking about is the same emotion we feel when we see the trashy looking soul that won a zillion dollars in a lottery we played, but lost. It is the same lottery that you had already fantasized how you would spend the money should you had won, and more so, how you were going to impress all around with how respectable and responsible you were in your fiscal prowess. But now, because you lost, you spend the next fifteen minutes of your life wasting it on playing the winning guy’s miserable existence out in your mind. Immediately, you flash forward ten years in this guy’s life and hope that he is desperately addicted to meth or coke; that he took out a million dollars in ones and gave it to a stripper at the local club, only to show up on the news after being beaten by the stripper’s ex-boyfriend; her ex-boyfriend recently learned that the love of his life and baby’s mama, Cinnamon, was seen philandering with that guy who won the millions—he, in an attempt to save his pride that had been stripped away like Cinnamon’s last thong on stage at TD’s Gentlemen’s Club, took his frustrations out on the subject of our fantastical voyage into the future, and, oh by the way, he stole the last bit of his coke, and found the briefcase full of ones that the winner had intended to use to convince Cinnamon to escape with him to a better life; subsequently, her boyfriend leaves the miserable winner in the gutter, face down, mumbling garbled phrases of longing for simpler days when his worst worries consisted of how he was going to afford the next six pack of Natural Light from the 7-11 down the street and still be able to buy another carton of cigarettes…you know, the bare necessities.

You quickly insert into this unfortunately lucky guy’s life an ineptness that is so profound that he will not be able to function as a normal person, because he has never dealt with real responsibility…not the kind you have. Oh. My. God. You could have done so many more responsible things should you have taken home the millions.

That is what I am talking about. We humans spend a lot of time making sure that we are doing okay. To a large extent, this is relatively harmless, at least towards others. It is a thought process we utilize to maintain an operational level of self-esteem and self-concept. Why did that guy deserve millions? It must be because he is going to be a parable for something larger to the world. He is the proverbial example of “be careful what you wish for.” Now that you have denigrated the dude’s existence, you can go on and be successful. This is the average man’s way of not murdering people out of envy or jealousy…we do it mentally and then we move on. Admit it. None of you are happy for the guy. If you say right now that you are, then you are the worst type of person….dishonest—and there is a level of Hell that Dante built especially for you…

And to a much smaller scale, we do this every day in our normal lives. The good news is that the victims of our little murders are generally not people we know and care about.

Girls, it works this way…It is the girl you see at the mall, who is dressed to the 9s and looking good…but maybe, a little too good for a trip to the mall, maybe a bit too revealingly clad, and you can tell this girl is as superficial as can be and that her entire existence is to get attention from men. You should be happy she is confident and pretty, right? Not in my world. She is looking at the same type of clothes you are and moves on to an area you are not interested in, but you kind of meander that way just so you can find the flaws in this little, under-dressed tramp…You examine her from top to bottom, you notice that she holds her bag, a certain way, that her make-up is a bit too thick….oooooohhhh there it is, this girl is hiding her real face from the world. Satisfied that you have deconstructed this girl sufficiently and kept your self esteem levels at functioning levels, you walk by her and say, “Girl, I just love your hair, it frames your face so well….” And then the girl knows you looked at her face…she is effectively neutralized.

It is what we do. Please tell me it is what we do…I want, so bad, to be normal…Personally, my “mental murders” are probably a bit over the top, but that is who I am. I am a man who constantly enters into imaginary fist fights with people and I win all of them. Usually the imaginary fights are the beginning of my mental destruction of whoever deserves it at that moment. Imaginarily, I have fought and won hundreds of battles. They have taken place in gyms, bars, bar restrooms, libraries, walking into work, and on Interstate 95 just outside my truck during a traffic jam. I have beaten many a redneck just for looking weirdly at me when they pass me by at Wal-Mart—all in my imagination.

The best part about my imaginary beatings is that they are all imaginary. No one ever gets hurt except the imaginary victim, and let me tell you, none of the imaginary victims were even close to imaginarily beating me. In the end, these imaginary conquests are just as much a part of me as the personality that you all see and hear. I cannot help what goes on in my insecure little brain. The imaginary fight is an unbelievable stress reliever for me, and an absolutely great way to boost my self-actualization levels. Have there been innocent victims on my imaginary battlefield? Sure, but such is life in my imaginary landscape. I have no time to get caught up in the “guilt game.” And guess what, I am a well functioning member of society. Imagine people who don’t function well and their inner thought life. I bet it is a scary, scary place. I contend they, too, have imaginary fights, but unfortunately, they cannot separate the two existences. Also, let’s be honest. I am undefeated in my imaginary world. My real world fighting experiences don’t always pan out as successfully….

To be completely honest, this is the part of me I hate the most. It is the part of me that reminds me that I am insecure about being among other humans. Worse still, it is the part of me that gives power to others over my existence. I hear other people say great and nice things to others, and I cannot help but harbor some skepticism towards what is being said simultaneously in their inner monologue. So, you can see, I project my inadequacies on others, again in hopes that it makes me more normal.

The Good News:

I know I do it. I know that I am probably going to continue to do it. However, I want you to know that many of the people I am closest to now started out as a person I tried to marginalize through my mental processes. This means that the feelings I have are not really affecting my ability to relate to them once meaningful discourse occurs. So, I am Happy for You, Just Not All the Way.

I am a work in progress. I will keep moving towards perfection, and along the way, I will probably mentally murder thousands, but I will be fine. I will write about it and be open with you people.

I just wanted you to know, because I have been holding it in for years.