Posts Tagged ‘men’


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…


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…


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.


Things I have written down in my phone notepad that haven’t really got enough legs to make it into a blog as of yet, but are still worth reading.

On Reading in the Military….Or more aptly: My Work Makes Me Read Things I’d Rather Not…..

I have been reading. I read a lot. I read mostly things I am forced to read and little that I’m not. I read a lot of books and such about tanks and bombs and guns; I read a little Shakespeare, but mostly, I read none. I often wonder how reading would be if I could choose the book, but I don’t chase the dream too long, because of where I work.

Things That Are Cooler in Idea than in Practice

This Blog.

Running marathons

Cross Fit

Eating an entire can of frosting

Remaking Karate Kid with Will Smith’s kid and making it based around a twelve year old kid. Subsequently, I went and saw the movie with another gung ho fan of Karate Kid the day it opened and looked like a child molester….Not to mention the awkward romance between two twelve year olds. Ali with an “I” was hot and every man wanted her….and here I am watching some Chinese child and whatever Will Smith’s son’s name is and trying to connect with the characters. When I was twelve, I was scared shitless of girls, and just wanted to play. Whatever.

More than two spoonfuls of fruit cocktail

I bet people who have showers with multiple heads that come at you from all angles and levels mostly use the normal shower setting.

My wife has a car with a camera that displays on the center console when you are going in reverse. It shows you everything, and to a certain extent, even looks around the corner. My truck does not have this feature. My truck has a normal stereo in the center console. I have now backed out of multiple areas while staring at my stereo console and never even looked to see who I was about to kill…..

A Notice of the Things I Want Upon My Death:

When I die I want a band that plays a song like Puff the Magic Dragon or Gloria Estefan’s “Christmas Through Your Eyes” in my honor, and then I hope that song is stuck in all of your heads, perpetually.

Since I will die old, I want all of my children and grandchildren brought into a room and told of a vast inheritance they are due. I want the lawyer to leave the room for fifteen minutes while my kids and grandkids grow giddy with excitement. I then want the lawyer to return and explain that the inheritance is all debt. I am not even sure people can inherit debt, but I would still like this done, because I am dead and I deserve my wishes be granted.

When I die, I hope all those who have angered me or betrayed me get stuck waiting while my vast train of a funeral procession drives by, and I hope those waiting, who deserve their fate, have to pee. (In some states, when a funeral procession goes by all traffic going in either direction must stop out of respect for the dead. I like this the most of all ceremonial traditions, because in this ceremony, the person who died finally gets to do to others what others have done to him or her his entire life—screw them over on his or her way somewhere. It is the one moment where the world stops for the person being transported to their final resting place has complete power—they are like the president for a day. Plus, they get those motorcycle cops, which remind me of CHIPS, and CHIPS was a great television show.)

I actually want Officer Frank “Ponch” Poncherello (Eric Estrada) as an escort for my funeral procession. This may seem impossible due to age differences, but that is not my problem; you people need to make this happen—have some respect. (I do not under any circumstances want his partner involved in any way, shape, or form.)

When I die, I hope that people throw a party, but not because I am gone. I hope the party is like I was still there and we all just partied on.

I want a casket with explicit instructions on 1) who I am, 2) who are my relatives, 3) relevant addresses 4) a list of my enemies. I will use this information to help me determine whose entrails I will eat first, after I turn to a zombie. I will eat my enemy’s entrails first and all others who are not on my “relatives list” second. Of note: I will sell spots on the “relatives list” to people who are not actually my relatives. The money will go to the band that will play at my death party. (No guarantee I will not kill you; there is little research into how much of the brain a zombie utilizes; therefore, I cannot, with any level of certainty, commit to not eating your entrails).

I want a breakaway lid to the casket and I want a shovel with me to help me get to the surface faster after I turn zombie, as well. The shovel should have a short handle, no more than 12 inches as I will not be able to utilize a shovel of regulation size. Picture, in your head, the difficulties involved in negotiating the shovel handle when with only a foot and a half of depth, plus the pressure of six feet of dirt pushing downwards on me and all you have left me is a regulation shovel? I need to preserve my zombie energy.

Additionally, I want a fresh pair of corduroys and Doc Martins in the casket because I want to be a zombie with grunge era fashion sense.

It is important that you all pay attention to my desires, because If I come back as a ghost, I will haunt the living hell out of anyone who denies me what I want.

I just wanted you to know, because I have been writing these little things on my iPhone for weeks, but didn’t know what to do….


Are you really surprised?

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20121117-084512.jpg (I did not take any of these pictures; conversely, I cut and pasted them from random news sites on the internet, this is my best effort at citing them)

This is what women do, people—all of them. If you are a female and reading this, I am not a she-hater, I love you, but I am acknowledging my conquering. Once a wild beast out gallivanting around the globe, I was lasso’d, wrestled to the ground, and hog tied by a fine ass woman. She was not mean or controlling; it took time, I didn’t even know it was happening, but flash forward to today, and all of my secret passwords are derivatives of hers.
I used to have my own PIN numbers, but at some point in the past, which I cannot put my finger on, I chose–let me repeat, I chose that things would be simpler if I just adopted hers. Not in front of me, but in a room, dark and silent, Whitney paid ceremonial homage to her conqueror heritage the day this happened. The ceremony was short, but respectful of a history full of women who have gone before her–all of them proficient in the art of domination.

20121117-084913.jpg (This is actually a pretty accurate depiction of Whitney. I mean, who wouldn’t let her drag them back to a cave for some Cro Magnon crazed relations…..)

So, here we are, 2012, soon to be 13, and another one bites the dust. Maybe, another two bite the dust, fallen victim to fine ass women. In English classes, we do a lot of discussing and writing about characters suffering from the greek term, Hamartia. The term denotes an individual’s “tragic flaw,” but when one writes a greek term first and then defines it for his reader, he or she is immediately more credible. Trust me, I have made a living trying to illustrate my credibility. Well, people, here is a shocker, which I have alluded to before, most men are suckers for attention from fine ass women. A strange phenomenon occurs in a man’s brain when a fine ass woman engages him in any way, shape, or form. Ask my wife, who is a fine ass woman, we crumble, we invite you places, we make deals with the devil, and we entertain our darker angels. This hamartia doesn’t have to ruin you. If you can understand it, you can beat it. There exists men who do not crumble under pressure, but there are others who, when entertained by a fine ass woman other than the fine ass woman who conquered them, fail. This is their tragic flaw. Pictorially, and very simply,

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Heroes fail, and in the case of most heroic men, it comes at the hands of a woman…..

Luckily for us men, most women are like my wife and conquer kindly, and are not trying to bring down nations, at least to this point, but this essay is on the great and evil conquerors, and I am going to layout before you specific literary and historical females who conquered with malice. But understand this, woe is the man who doesn’t understand that the woman whom he loves, honors, and obeys, has conquered him with great efficiency and skill. Men, this is a woman’s world, and we are but victims of their device. Like the cat batting at a toy dangling helplessly from a string, we are hanging at the mercy of a woman. Understand your plight, men, lest you find yourself thinking you are actually in control .

Again, and for the sake of being repetitive as a literary device, because I have heard that this is what writers do, women are trained conquerors. They have been doing it since the dawn of time, billions and billions of years ago in caves, I am sure, and continuing throughout all of history to today. It is a trait of evolution that the female species has developed and passed down from generation to generation. Women are hand-made to bring man down, and they are growing more and more efficient in their role as trained conquerors. Some women use their power for good and kind of conquer their man in a manner in which we men do not even understand is happening…this is called marriage or long-term relationships. The best and nicest of women have conquered their man. There is the exception, of course, the bone headed man, that traipses around bragging of his unconquered status, but he is a rarity, and usually not functioning. They are the men who you can find in a studio apartment selling elves, dwarves, magic potions, and other World of Warcraft awesomeness on eBay.

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I guess in order to do this right we have to start at the woman who ruined it for everyone….

Eve

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And so it begins, and how fitting that the first woman ever would bring down mankind….I could be chilling on the other side of the fence separating the heathens from us angelic men looking out at a bunch of suffering women laboring through pain, and all other types of horrible things. All the women would be working on stuff and dealing with the whole living in sin thing, whilst I frolicked from tree to tree sampling fruit we were allowed to eat and hanging around with wild animals that live in harmony with me…..I have to believe that if Adam could have just stuck to his convictions, the man upstairs would have sent down a much less fallible female for him to hang around with. As each subsequent woman failed, they would be cast out to hang out with Eve. Instead, here we are partaking in a perpetual cycle of eating the preverbal apple, all suffering together.

Delilah

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One of my favorite examples of what Santana sings about in the hit song, “Evil Woman.” Taking advantage of a man while he sleeps is the lowest of the low. You know how this story goes, but I offer you a weird bit of irony. I once went to a show in Vegas that re-enacted the Sampson and Delilah story; however, this specific version of the biblical drama was enhanced with the addition of the usual Vegas-style topless girls. As the tragedy unfolded, and Delilah systematically brought down Sampson, I was systematically being distracted by a woman’s breasts. In retrospect, I find it amusing how easy it would have been to cut my hair and steal my strength. I am a weak, weak man.

Lady Macbeth

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There exists no better example of a woman exerting a diabolical level of control over a man. Macbeth, an already successful and affluent member of society, convinced by his wife that it was not enough, began killing just about everyone. The blood of children, women, and all sorts of innocent people flowed freely in this Shakespearean play, and this blood is on one woman’s hands. The best part of this play is the complete mental breakdown Macbeth experiences on his trek to placate his demanding and evil wife. A terrific read and worth your while, but more importantly, another example of women as conquerors.

Cleopatra

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Cleopatra was probably as smoking hot as any biographer currently bedding retired generals. What’s great about Cleopatra is that she pretty much conquered everyone by being smoking hot. It is really that simple….ask Julius Caesar.

As far as I know, there is only one man who cannot be conquered. Like the beastly leviathan that cannot be caught or destroyed, one man has withstood multiple women’s attempts, and thrived through it all.

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If you think about it, I left out so many other easy examples. According to my sources (wikipedia), there are about 3.3 billion women on this earth, and I just didn’t have enough time for a picture of all of you.

So, here’s to you, women, Happy Conquering!!!

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


Lets be honest for a moment. We have all seen it, especially lately. Women have a voice in today’s society and it’s a good thing, I guess….Until they use it poorly, which I am about to illustrate to you. I put this all on women, because when I hear a man speak like what I am about to describe, I know they are simply brainwashed by a woman they are trying to make want to sleep with them. Trust me, I know men; we are all the same, and we will sell our souls to the first chance at luring a woman into thinking we are worth their while.

I am going to describe for you a couple of occasions when I think women have it all wrong. I suspect this will be a very popular post among females, and under this expectation, I have conducted a RealClear Politics Poll with statistics to back up my claims that women sometimes use their voice poorly, and the poll had shocking results. Of the three people I talked to, 100 percent concurred. Of the same three that I talked to, zero percent wanted me to use their name out of fear their woman would kill them.

Before I go any further, I need to write a disclaimer: The opinions presented in this blog are not the opinions of the writer and in no way can be attributed to Heath Phillips. It is also important to understand that Heath Phillips’ wife is beautiful and he loves her. She is also hot.

So under that premise, I present to you just a couple of things that women say as a collective that need to be curbed.

1. Women describe their baby’s age in months for entirely too long. There is a point where this becomes completely useless to me. I am good with numbers in lumps of three. Once you get to three of something, we need to call it something different. I think it is the Marine in me. No Marine really ever supervises on an immediate level more than three people. They may be responsible for more people, but they use a team of three to get things done.

Back to the point. When a woman is asked how old their child is, and the reply is “32 months,” my head actually blows up inside and it hurts my soul. I don’t even know how long 32 months is. Nobody does, and the ones who do, first had to do this mathematical equation in their head:

1 Year = 12 Months.

24 Months = 2 Years.

36 Months = 3 Years.

36 – 32 = 4.

12 – 4 = 8;

Thusly, the child is 2 years, 8 months old.

Right? Yeah, I don’t know either. Hey, and listen, just because there are those among you who can do that math faster than others, doesn’t make this okay either.

When I am elected into office on Tuesday, I will do away with months as a gauge for a child’s age and everything will be addressed by how it relates to a year. For instance, on Wednesday, my daughter will be 1/12 year old. On a related note: Women probably get this from when they were teens and dating and constantly bludgeoned their boyfriend for presents after every successful month they amassed in their torrid adolescent love affairs. If you are still using months to analyze the longevity of your relationship, there is a good chance the relationship is on shaky ground…..just sayin……unless this offends you…then just disregard.

2. Women say all kinds of things, but rarely do they say what they want. If a woman could get this one thing about a man, just this one thing, they would all have the man of their dreams; this one revelation is: Men actually don’t want to be on your fighting side. We want our females happy, so that they may want to enter into some form of relations with us. While at home, practice this today: “Honey, I would like ________,” and then fill in the blank with a want you may have. I know, this is revolutionary, but I make you this promise: Men will bend over backwards to give it to you.

On a related note: Men don’t want to make a decision that a woman’s happiness hinges upon when men think women already have a decision in mind and are just hoping we come to the same one. Make sense?
This is not fair, and actually sets you up for a trip down misery lane.

It is readily apparent to me that women conduct meetings and they come to certain agreements with one another–inter-gender treaties, if you will. At one of these meetings, women must have come to the decision that how much a man loves a woman is evidenced in their ability to decide upon a place to eat that matches the place the woman was already thinking of in their head. The aforementioned is why when Whitney says, “Heath, tonight you get to decide where we eat,” I always say Taco Bell, because it forces her to just come out and say what she wants….I am a brilliant man.

These are two specific instances where women are missing the mark. There are many men all over the world right now that are breathing in a collective sigh now that I have aired this out. We are lovers not fighters, and we are actively looking for loving at every avenue we come to. So we aren’t very good at the logistics of getting to said loving. In the end, all of us men are seeking the same goal…if we have somehow found ourselves actively arguing with you women over anything, it is just as much of a surprise to us as it is to you. I guarantee you that our goal before the fight started WAS devious in nature, because we are hunters on the prowl, but our intent was without malice. All we need is love…daily and nightly, and ever so rightly.

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


Read and watch a man, who has no earthly idea how to raise a child, raise a child.

I have been a father for about twelve days. This means that I possess the experience and all the prerequisites necessary to be deemed an expert in parenting by whomever deems people such things. As such, I can and will offer you unsolicited advice on the subject for the next, well, forever. For those of you who are not parents and have no interest in the matter, have no fear! Continue reading. I vow that my rants, advice, and rumblings will have value on a general life level. You just have to trust me, and help me–help you…

I want to talk to you about what nobody will. But I have to first write this disclaimer: I love being a father, and I am looking forward to every second of fatherhood. My wife loves being a mother and is also looking forward to every second of motherhood. It’s just not all rainbows and unicorns. Babies these days are just not as self sufficient as I was at two weeks old.

I am a bit concerned. All of this crying every time my daughter is hungry isn’t going to get my daughter married and out of the house anytime soon?

It’s two weeks into this raising a child thing, and every time my wife and I see a couple enjoying their life, or who looks like they may have slept more than three consecutive hours, we are quick to point out that they must not have kids.

My child is like an unhappy, non-contributing citizen of a communist government. My wife is the branch of the government that provides food. I am the part of the government that polices its citizens and enforces governmental regulations. As such, I have found my daughter guilty of a heinous crime–leeching off of all facets of government without contributing to its greater good. There you have it, I have illustrated the inefficiencies of communism by paralleling it to the state of my household. She is thankless in her leeching. This is not a trait I would have passed to her, I grow more and more concerned my wife has passed communist tendencies to my daughter.

I am not sure about a lot of things, but of these I am convinced:

1. My daughter seems unequivocally disappointed in my fathering abilities, but is willing to deal with it if I am holding a bottle.

2. My daughter is hellbent on killing her parents by systematically depriving them of all pleasures they once held dear. Mostly sleep, but followed by all other things I once derived joy from such as, but not limited to: beer consumption, eating a warm meal, smiling, not changing diapers, not being peed on, not being yelled at by a baby who refuses to use her words to specify what she is frustrated about, and finally, being able to touch my wife’s breasts without a look of horrific pain shooting through Whitney’s face.

3. She spawned from the womb well versed in Sun Tzu’s, The Art of War motivated and ready to utilize all aspects of warfare to annihilate her foes, and it seems we, her mother and I, are her mortal enemies.

I have developed a few Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) that help me in my struggle against this skilled, thinking, and adapting foe. They are as follows:

1. In a sweet and nurturing voice I say what I really feel to my baby. Just like I would say, “look at my beautiful baby girl, is she a happy baby, yes she is…..” You know the voice, I say, “look at this little terrorist who steals my sleep and consistently tries to make me fall asleep while driving to work….” I feel like saying exactly what I feel helps me get through the process. We both win in this scenario.

2. I have also become the most wicked swaddler of babies, I want to call it what it is; I don’t swaddle I straight-jacket, and it is amazing. I was reaffirmed in this process by a movie I watched about making your baby the happiest baby on the block, so, now it’s a free for all.

3. I have began conducting reconnaissance patrols of my child’s living areas when she believed no one was paying attention. Imagery from this patrol has confirmed my worst fears–I may be fighting a much more formidable foe than I first thought. This snapshot was taken just before my daughter snapped her eyes open. Of note, the recon team that took this picture has not been seen or heard of since this transmission. We are convinced that this picture is evidence of some form of telepathy; yes, my daughter is a Jedi, who may be leaning towards the dark side.

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In the early hours of Tuesday morning I was awake holding the most beautiful terrorist imaginable. I felt what I can only describe as resignation. This darling girl, my nemesis, was already beginning what my mother warned me about years ago: That being; I would one day pay for my transgressions against my parents in the form of my own child–this is my reckoning.

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


This blog is the first of a two-part blog. I would have posted the blog in its entirety, but I wanted to get you to come back and read more tomorrow to boost my ego. Also, I know that the people who read my blogs don’t have four hours to read all at once. But, rest assured; I will tell the entire story of my daughter’s entrance into the world.

Opening a Red Hook India Pale Ale, I was sitting down to watch the nightly news and enjoy the evening. I have routines, and I do not like them to be interrupted; I get anxiety when I am not doing exactly what I did yesterday at the exact same time today. At my most comfortable moment, it happened—everything that I wanted to be doing became the least important thing going down in the city. We were going to the hospital, and we were going to have a freaking baby! But let me not get ahead of myself here. Let me give you the introduction you deserve.

Having a baby is the exact same thing as a 13 hour road trip to Vegas except your chance of winning any money is less likely. I would argue that you are on the losing end of the money train by introducing children into any venture, but that will most likely be the subject of future blogs. When you first hit the road to the city of lights, you and your gang are ecstatic about the impending journey. You scream out the window into the night air, “Vegas!!!!!” Everything in your life has come to a focal point and that is the trip to Sin City you are embarking upon–things could not be more perfect.

Flash forward six and one half hours and take a glimpse into the car now. The gang of committed friends that were hell bent on ensuring you didn’t drive your car off of the road, or worse accidentally take a wrong turn and end up in Show Low Arizona, in the middle of a snow storm, are all passed out in the back seat. The enthusiastic scream into the night just a few hours earlier is more of an apprehensive question, “Vegas?” And your question is overpowered by snores and fogged up windows from the sleeping duo in the back seat.

As you arrive in Vegas, the Dynamic Duo of friends that accompanied you seems revitalized and ready for the ensuing three day bender. As I said, this is exactly how labor and delivery unfold except the three day bender following the delivery of a child, while just as sleepless and physically exhausting, involves less alcohol (barring the swabs for the belly button), just as much coffee, and as far as I can tell, there is no legal prostitution going on post partum, but we still have a few days left, so this could still go either way (If I ever write a blog entitled, You Won’t Believe It, There Was Legal Prostitution, you will know to come back here and read.)

So, that is the way it started—like a road trip to Vegas, but in this instance, you never know how far Vegas is away. When the journey towards meeting my daughter started I was as excited as I have ever been, but my excitement would clash head on with the demands of sleeplessness, watching a woman deal in pain that I cannot understand, and finally the homestretch towards fatherhood. Before, I go any farther into this, I want you to know that I am going to speak frankly about childbirth, its processes, what I had to witness, and most importantly, I want you to leave this blog with a much deeper appreciation for the woman as a species. Regardless of whether the mama receives an epidural or not, pregnancy and subsequently labor–both natural and through c-section are the most harrowing experiences a human can enter into, and I have a newfound appreciation for the experience.

Leaves hanging from the trees colored our drive a blur of oranges, yellows, browns, and fading greens as we made our way down the winding, country road leading from our front door to the interstate. We were on going to the hospital, and I was about to meet my daughter for the first time. I was nervous. I had done my homework, spent the hours reading about what is going to unfold before me, talked a big game about how I was going to be in the delivery room, and of course, I understood that the process we were beginning would end in a life changing addition to our home. Things were getting real, and if the moment itself didn’t sell this to you, then you need to know that Lieutenant Colonel Britney Spears was to deliver our baby. I was out of my mind not to use Britney lyrics in every piece of dialogue with this woman. I even accidently broke out into Womanizer once when she was in the room, but I guess she was ignoring me, or get this, during labor, I was not the center of attention! I know, it was a difficult role for me to bear, but it was my burden to hold.

At 6:00 pm, 1800 military time, Whitney was in a gown and progressing into labor. Contractions are a bitch, and the bitch was visiting the Whitness often. We knew we were going for the drugs, and it was time to make the decision. It is easy before the moment to say we will get the epidural, but the actual event of getting the epidural is a different beast in itself. Enter the drama. The anesthesiologist had to come brief Whitney on the what’s-it’s and how’s-it’s of the epidural process, and we were anxious to ask the doctor questions. The door swung open and I shit you not, in walked a woman who looked like Bill O’Reilly with a mullet. Bill O’Reilly looked like the last time she slept was during Nam and she had lived through a world of shit since her harsh days in the jungle. Helping complete the “This Is The Craziest Experience Ever” trifecta, she was dressed in a Kermit the Frog green set of scrubs and nestled on top of her head rested a shamrock chef’s hat perfectly accentuating the party end of her mullet—her entire ensemble screamed that what we were getting was a professional put you to sleeper.

Bill O’Reilly is, of course, required to convey to us the risks and such of the process of being “epiduraled,” but let me make sure you understand completely, there was nothing about Mullet Bill O’Reilly that compelled me to let her stab me through my spinal cord and deaden my body from the legs down, much less my wife. In the end of the fiasco, I had to go get Britney Spears to convince Whitney to let Bill O’Reilly plug medicine into her back. Very weird.

Enter my first task of the evening. I was to hold Whitney while Bill O’Reilly plugged her with meds. I remember watching a class we attended earlier in the pregnancy. I was a statue and I was unbelievable. Sure, Whitney had a needle in her back, but I had to hold her steady. Who wants that job? It was the scariest moment of my life, and I straight up rose to the occasion. I was better than the silver spray painted statue guys that work the streets in New Orleans. I was locked so stiff and for so long, that I was sweating. I would say things like, “you’re doing so well, Whitney,” but I would do it like the Tin Man asking for oil in The Wizard of Oz. Again, I was amazing, and as such Britney Spears gave me accolades.

As the epidural epiduraled Whitney’s legs and girlie areas, the contractions began coming more and more regularly. We were not pushing yet, and I say “we” because I want some credit in this whole deal. From my count, there were four people who at any given moment were allowed to scour my wife’s birthing canal, I was not one of them. They checked for all kinds of things, and I kept waiting for them to pull out a rabbit, or a long string of multi-colored handkerchiefs that never ended. The four would scour and then discuss, scour and then discuss, and then they would all busily read printouts and type things into computers. I had the distinct feeling that Whitney was glad she neither saw, nor felt the excitement taking place three feet south of her nose.

I wrote in an earlier blog about the types of fathers that exist in a delivery room. As the process unfolded, I never had a choice—I was going to be a part of this thing from the get go, and things were getting ready to go, but not before the doctor showed up and we paused. We paused so that we can discuss important information that needed addressing before we had this kid. For a 15 minutes, I worked feverishly to teach the doctor about the Pumpkin Spice Latte that Starbucks offers. I explained to the doctor that the Pumpkin Spice Latte is a warm glass of the season of Fall. You drink it in and you are magically wisped away to a pastoral environment like in the Viagra commercials (minus two bathtubs) where the trees are changing colors, and you can feel the harvesty goodness going on all around. I pleaded to the doctor that as soon as his shift is over, he needed to go to Starbucks and get the latte. He agreed that he was missing out and made me a promise to try it immediately, or as doctors speak, STAT. After he conceded, we decided we should get back to delivering the baby.

Two Pushes and a Gag

I never attended any breathing classes. I have seen television shows that are all based around the HEE-HEE-WHO method, but we never discussed the breathing to my knowledge. However, all of the classes that I did attend had pregnant ladies and their respective breasts in them and I may have been distracted, because pregnancy is sexy and boobs are, well, boobs. In the end, Whitney breathed like a marathon runner and I was in no place to say something like, “Whitney, you’re not breathing in the proper sounds…” I will tell you this: Whitney came up with a much more productive means to pushing this baby. Her method was simple and involved two incredible pushes followed by a severely destructive dry heave. Britney Spears and her gang of scouring thugs all commented that the dry heaves were actually very productive pushing mechanisms, and so it began that Whitney patented the Two Pushes and a Gag method to birthing. I plan to start conducting a travelling school that visits all major cities and metropolitan areas in 2013 to instruct this method to expecting mothers.

My second task of the evening was to hold her right leg while she pushed. There was no curtain, no stirrups, no separation from me and the vagina. I was right in the mix and it was amazing. I am not sure where the man would stand in the room should he not have wanted to witness this, because I could have caught the baby should she have made a move. I am a man, I wanted to help her, and the only thing I could do was just be there and not say stupid stuff. This was more difficult for me than one might think.

Here’s how it went:

The nurse would say a contraction was imminent and then I would act as a force for her to push against. The problem was that I underestimated my wife’s longing to get what is on the inside of her body out. My wife is strong. I was not ready for the forcefulness with which she pushed and found myself ineffective during her first push and pretty much ruined it. “I am better than this,” I thought to myself. I am a man. I fixed a mailbox with my bare hands and a hammer only two weeks ago. I can punch a hole into dry wall (as long as there is no stud directly behind it). I am a freaking man, and I just nearly got thrown through a wall by my wife during her first official push. I messed up, and Whitney in the midst of the warzone that is labor was still a very efficient identifier of my weakness during the push. She stopped and looked at me and said, “I hope our daughter is stronger than you….” I just wanted to curl into a ball and drink a pumpkin spiced latte…alas; I would have a chance to redeem myself.

Whitney pushed for two and a half hours and she looked like she could’ve done it for five more. I was extremely proud of her, and I was also overjoyed and thankful that I was without a uterus and vagina, because I would have made it to the first dry heave and been cashed.

As I said, I will continue this in the next blog, but as a teaser, I offer you this excerpt:

Seated in a wooden chair in the corner of the recovery room, I was holding my beautiful daughter. Outside in the hallway, it sounded as if a parade was approaching and we were about to see the front end pass by our door. The first event in the parade was Dr Britney Spears, who I love for being there, behind her was a train of nurses; doctors; random men and women; midgets and orphans; and last but not least, in the most dramatic float of them all, rode Whitney Phillips spouting out drug induced nonsensical phrases. Britney Spears approached me and my mother-in-law. She leaned in and said, “I don’t know if you’ll believe me, but in the post-operating processes, the following words were heard coming out of Whitney’s mouth: Dildos, Mike and Ike Candies, Hot Tamales, and dear God, Don’t Let the baby look like my husband.”…………..

I just wanted you to know, because I have been holding it in for a week and one day….


I am a travelling man, a worldly vagabond journeying this spherical orb in search of cultural realization, and the one thing I have witnessed by watching people with their phones and social networking is that we appear to have ninety percent of the population trying to escape their current reality and wirelessly travel somewhere else. The remaining ten percent are all trying to convince the aforementioned ninety percent that their reality is absolutely worthless, and that the ninety percenters need to wirelessly leave their real world behind and become obsessed with the 10 percenters’ reality. Even if the ten percent are only two blocks away, what they are doing is much more exciting than 90 percentville and deserves constant attention from the 90 percenters. I made a pie chart that simplifes the poor usage of possessive adjectives and pronouns. However, my computer won’t upload the work. So here are two simple statements of logic to explain said poor application of grammar:

1. 90 percent of the people would rather not be in their current physical reality; instead they would like to live in an internet reality.

2. 10 percent of the people are content with their physical reality, but want to pimp it to the other 90 percent who are unhappy as explained in logic statement 1. (see bottom figure for an image of my graphic).

I do not write this to call out people on their lunatic behavior. On the contrary, I am writing because I have seen some of these tendencies in myself. A common example is the two people I see on a date at a local diner or coffee shop, and while they are sitting in the same booth, breathing the same air, and for all intents and purposes “together,” they could not be more separate. They are drawn into an internet affair with everyone but the person at that table. Even if it is just to “check-in” we are still saying that the most important thing at the current moment is to let the world out there know what’s going down here. I have been in a moment of sheer wonder and excitement and actually said, “I need to post this to Facebook, so the world can see this.” This is addiction, and I am admitting it. Initially, this didn’t bother me, but after separating myself from my own self obsessed world and just watching other humans interact, I was kind of sickened. Even as I write this blog, I am anxiously thinking about posting it to Facebook, when I will subsequently pray that there are people willing to like my post. This is a perfect segue into my next topic.

Can I get a Thumbs-up, Or No?

What drives our self concept in today’s world is such a different beast than it was only five years ago. I actually consider myself a failure if the posts I put on FB are not received with a million thumbs-up from my Facebook friends. I have turned into the guy in the high school movies that so desperately tries to seek the approval of the popular group, but now instead of being invited to go to the next big shindig, the popular group throws you a big thumbs-up…I know that I am not alone in this feeling, and I have to venture that there are people reading this blog that have, at moments of brutal honesty and self criticality, thought that this internet, Smartphone reality is not healthy. We are all human beings seeking acceptance from the people we hold dear, but Facebook has increased the amount of people in your life that you are in constant contact with as opposed to ten years ago, where your friend list at any given time was probably five people that you saw two to three times a week. Now, we collect friends, and we want all of them to validate us all of the time. For those of you who read this and think that I am over generalizing, well, good for you, you haven’t succumb to the addiction that is this “networked social reality.” But in the end, the fact remains: One thumbs-up is a thousand accolades.

Facebook Friend Types: You Can’t Unread Something

I have a list of friends that is probably full of ten times the amount of people who actually value anything I say. There are people that read my posts and cringe at the fact that they just read my status. I do the same to others. The politically charged atmosphere we live in today has offered a unique glimpse into people on Facebook—most of which don’t have any business pretending to be educated on politics, but because Facebook is the passive-aggressive individuals place to rule, you can drop explosive tirades and just walk away… In the end, all you have to write is, “just sayin’” and you are absolved of any statement you made anyway.

I am making big moves. I want off of this crazy train, at least at the current level of use in my life. It is no longer an application on my Smartphone, as a matter of fact; I have removed any application from the phone that is related to social media. I first thought about doing this when I witnessed a “real life” friend using an old flip-top phone. This guy smiles all of the time, which led me to believe I, too, could find happiness by actually committing myself to those around me. He looks happy, and the coolest thing that he never does, is reach into his pocket and pull out a phone during conversation and make sure that there is nothing more exciting than the current reality going on somewhere else in the matrix. I am absolutely guilty of doing this to people. You might as well yawn, start singing, or just walk away while the person talking to you speaks, because you have exhibited the longing to already. Try ignoring the person in your life who matters the most so you can connect with the masses instead and see how this works for you. My wife is not someone to trifle with and this exact habit would note bode well for me, but I still have found myself reaching for my phone when she is talking to me.

Of my friends, there are no doubt the Facebook friends that relish in voyeuristically watching the lives of others and constantly comparing successes and failures. There are the friends who made an account five years ago, but don’t even check the thing—these are amazing people who are the most normal of us all. Right now, I am certain there are friends of mine who want nothing more than to delete me, but are just not pulling the trigger. There are lifelong friends that will be close to you forever. There are friends that don’t like a single thing about you, but like not liking you so much, they remain your friend to keep not liking you with more intensity. I talk to the same forty or fifty people on Facebook, and of no surprise, I love them. I love having a chance to interact with people that would have slipped through the tracks because of life and time and distance. I have Facebook friends that I am closer with now than I ever was when I actually had to live among them. These are the things I love about it. People from the hallways of my high school, former duty stations, and family alike, Facebook brings you together and it’s a good thing, but it can be destructive.

I think the thing I hate the most about all of this is that I am absolutely guilty of all of them. I’m watching you people. I am well aware of who deletes me. I know who decided I am not worth their time. I know when I didn’t make the cut during your yearly Facebook purge. And, most of all, I hate that it matters to me. So, I am going to purge the system from my reality. I am going retro. I am going to use my phone for calls. I am still going to use it to look up facts to prove I win arguments with my wife, but other than that, I am serious this time.

I am keeping the account, but it is gone from my travelling life. I am going to keep up with the thing, but I am eliminating it from dominating everything I do. I feel better already. I went out to a movie last night, and like clockwork, I picked up my phone to check it and ensure that I wasn’t missing anything. That moment when I realized that my move to the phone is the same involuntary type of movement that quitting smokers talk about, I knew I was making the right decision. This has been a long time coming. I am going to go somewhere with Whitney, and actually be there with her.

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

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