10K challenge

Friday, June 15, 2012

Pardon the interruption

So part 2 was supposed to come out about now.  Well, things happened and that got in the way.  Part 2 will come later tonight.

Missions have been run on Empire avenue, people who didn't fulfill the mission to the satisfaction of the Creator have been called out for their transgressions.  It has been a big stink all day and all night long.  Before I tell you the rest of the story, I'll share this example with you to show what's been done:

Subject: On the desk -- please please read all the way through don't leave it on the desk 

There was a certain Professor of Religion named Dr. Christianson, a studious man who taught at a small college in the western United States. Dr. Christianson taught the required survey course in Christianity at this particular institution. . Every student was required to take this course his freshman year, regardless of his or her major.

Although Dr. Christianson tried hard to communicate the essence of the gospel in his class, he found that most of his students looked upon the course as nothing but required drudgery. Despite his best efforts, most students refused to take Christianity seriously.

This year, Dr. Christianson had a special student named Steve. Steve was only a freshman, but was studying with the intent of going onto seminary for the ministry. Steve was popular, he was well liked, and he was an imposing physical specimen. He was now the starting center on the school football team, and was the best student in the professor's class..

One day, Dr. Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk with him. "How many push-ups can you do?"

Steve said, "I do about 200 every night."

"200? That's pretty good, Steve," Dr.. Christianson said. "Do you think you could do 300?"

Steve replied, "I don't know.... I've never done 300 at a time."

"Do you think you could?" again asked Dr. Christianson.

"Well, I can try," said Steve.

"Can you do 300 in sets of 10? I have a class project in mind and I need you to do about 300 push-ups in sets of ten for this to work. Can you do it? I need you to tell me you can do it," said the professor.

Steve said, "Well... I think I can...yeah, I can do it."

Dr. Christianson said, "Good! I need you to do this on Friday. Let me explain what I have in mind."

Friday came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front of the room.

When class started, the professor pulled out a big box of donuts. No, these weren't the normal kinds of donuts, they were the extra fancy BIG kind, with cream centers and frosting swirls. 

Everyone was pretty excited it was Friday, the last class of the day, and they were going to get an early start on the weekend with a party in Dr. Christianson' s class.

Dr. Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked, "Cynthia, do you want to have one of these donuts?"

Cynthia said, "Yes."

Dr. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Cynthia can have a donut?"

"Sure." Steve jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten. Then Steve again sat in his desk. Dr. Christianson put a donut on
Cynthia's desk.

Dr. Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, and asked, "Joe, do you want a donut?"

Joe said, "Yes."

Dr. Christianson asked, "Steve would you do ten push-ups so Joe can have a donut?"

Steve did ten push-ups, Joe got a donut. And so it went, down the first aisle, Steve did ten push-ups for every person before they got their donut.

Walking down the second aisle, Dr. Christianson came to Scott. Scott was on the basketball team, and in as good condition as Steve. He was very popular and never lacking for female companionship.

When the professor asked, "Scott do you want a donut?"

Scott's reply was, "Well, can I do my own push-ups?"

Dr. Christianson said, "No, Steve has to do them."

Then Scott said, "Well, I don't want one then."

Dr. Christianson shrugged and then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Scott can have a donut he doesn't want?"

With perfect obedience Steve started to do ten push-ups.

Scott said, "HEY! I said I didn't want one!"

Dr. Christianson said, "Look! this is my classroom, my class, my desks, and these are my donuts. Just leave it on the desk if you don't want it." And he put a donut on Scott's desk.

Now by this time, Steve had begun to slow down a little. He just stayed on the floor between sets because it took too much effort to be getting up and down . You could start to see a little perspiration coming out around his brow.

Dr. Christianson started down the third row. Now the students were beginning to get a little angry. Dr. Christianson asked Jenny, "Jenny, do you want a donut?"

Sternly, Jenny said, "No."

Then Dr. Christianson asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten more push-ups so Jenny can have a donut that she doesn't want?"

Steve did ten....Jenny got a donut.

By now, a growing sense of uneasiness filled the room. The students were beginning to say "No" and there were all these uneaten donuts on the desks.

Steve also had to really put forth a lot of extra effort to get these push-ups done for each donut. There began to be a small pool of sweat on the floor beneath his face, his arms and brow were beginning to get red because of the physical effort involved.

Dr. Christianson asked Robert, who was the most vocal unbeliever in the class, to watch Steve do each push up to make sure he did the full ten push-ups in a set because he couldn't bear to watch all of Steve's work for all of those uneaten donuts. He sent Robert over to where Steve was so Robert could count the set and watch Steve closely.

Dr. Christianson started down the fourth row. During his class, however, some students from other classes had wandered in and sat down on the steps along the radiators that ran down the sides of the room.

When the professor realized this, he did a quick count and saw that now there were 34 students in the room. He started to worry if Steve would be able to make it.

Dr. Christianson went on to the next person and the next and the next. Near the end of that row, Steve was really having a rough time. He was taking a lot more time to complete each set.

Steve asked Dr Christianson, "Do I have to make my nose touch on each one?"

Dr. Christianson thought for a moment, "Well, they're your push-ups. You are in charge now. You can do them any way that you want." And Dr. Christianson went on.

A few moments later, Jason, a recent transfer student, came to the room and was about to come in when all the students yelled in one voice, "NO! Don't come in! Stay out!"

Jason didn't know what was going on. Steve picked up his head and said, "No, let him come."

Professor Christianson said, "You realize that if Jason comes in you will have to do ten push-ups for him?"

Steve said, "Yes, let him come in. Give him a donut."

Dr. Christianson said, "Okay, Steve, I'll let you get Jason's out of the way right now. Jason, do you want a donut?"

Jason, new to the room, hardly knew what was going on. "Yes," he said, "give me a donut." "Steve, will you do ten push-ups so that Jason can have a donut?"

Steve did ten push-ups very slowly and with great effort. Jason, bewildered, was handed a donut and sat down.

Dr. Christianson finished the fourth row, and then started on those visitors seated by the heaters. Steve's arms were now shaking with each push-up in a struggle to lift himself against the force of gravity. By this time sweat was profusely dropping off of his face, there was no sound except his heavy breathing; there was not a dry eye in the room.

The very last two students in the room were two young women, both cheerleaders, and very popular. Dr. Christianson went to Linda, the second to last, and asked, "Linda, do you want a doughnut?"

Linda said, very sadly, "No, thank you."

Professor Christianson quietly asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Linda can have a donut she doesn't want?"

Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten very slow push-ups for Linda.

Then Dr Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan. "Susan, do you want a donut?"

Susan, with tears flowing down her face, began to cry. "Dr. Christianson, why can't I help him?"

Dr. Christianson, with tears of his own, said, "No, Steve has to do it alone. I have given him this task and he is in charge of seeing that everyone has an opportunity for a donut whether they want it or not. When I decided to have a party this last day of class, I looked at my grade book. Steve here is the only student with a perfect grade. Everyone else has failed a test, skipped class, or offered me inferior work.

Steve told me that in football practice, when a player messes up he must do push-ups. I told Steve that none of you could come to my party unless he paid the price by doing your push ups. He and I made a deal for your sakes."

"Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Susan can have a donut?"

As Steve very slowly finished his last push-up, with the understanding that he had accomplished all that was required of him, having done 350 push-ups, his arms buckled beneath him and he fell to the floor.

Dr. Christianson turned to the room and said. "And so it was, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, on the cross, plead to the Father, 'into thy hands I commend my spirit.' With the understanding that He had done everything that was required of Him, He yielded up His life. And like some of those in this room, many of us leave the gift on the desk, uneaten."

Two students helped Steve up off the floor and to a seat, physically exhausted, but wearing a thin smile.

"Well done, good and faithful servant," said the professor, adding "Not all sermons are preached in words."

Turning to his class, the professor said, "My wish is that you might understand and fully comprehend all the riches of grace and mercy that have been given to you through the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He spared not only His Begotten Son, but gave Him up for us all, for the whole Church, now and forever. Whether or not we choose to accept His gift to us, the price has been paid."

"Wouldn't you be foolish and ungrateful to leave it lying on the desk?"
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So, with this in mind, I went and did my 6 comments as requested.  And then went back and did an additional 28 comments that others didn't do.  I did this for a few reasons.  


1) I am a follower of Christ...  While i may not be a perfect example, I make mistakes, I get wound up, and then finally calm down.


2) One of my favorite parables was that of turning the other cheek.  It means take a licking and keep on ticking.  If someone steals from you, it probably means they need it more than you.


3) anyone who publicly proclaims their faith is called to carry the cross, and be above reproach.  Today, I was not above reproach.


4) no one is perfect and we're all fighting our own battles.  Calling people out in a public way for their transgressions has never gotten anyone anywhere.  When we do wrong, God forgives us before we ask for forgiveness.  Heck, it was 2000 years ago that God sent his son to die for us.  He forgave us that long ago knowing we'd make mistakes.  He doesn't put it on a banner in the sky saying "He messed up!" or "She cheated" or "He's a thief".  He patiently waits for people to correct their transgressions.


So with all that, I'm going to forgive what's been done to me, and instead work harder to accept everyone for who they are and not what i think they should be.  


Hopefully you'll do the same thing.

Fathers Day Memories

Let me start by saying that I didn't pay attention to Fathers Day until I was an adult.  I never purchased a neck tie, a sweater, a picture frame, or anything else like that for my father.  It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized that my Mom had been both my mom and dad for my entire life.  Fathers day is quite bittersweet for me.  It reminds me all the years my dad threw away and didn't realize the great opportunity he had while I was young to truly cherish every second of being a dad.

With that being said, Now as a Dad myself, I cherish every day that I get to be a father.  So, for the next few days, I'll share the stages so far in being a dad.  Starting with "Honey, I'm pregnant!"

*side note* this is being written at 2 in the morning because my son had a nightmare about dinosaurs (they're learning about them in preschool).  Soon to be Dad's...  this is part of life.  Invest in energy drinks and coffee, and a comfy couch!  So, while I wait for him to fall back to sleep, write I shall!

I remember before my son was born....  when my wife told me she was pregnant.  I was so skeptical that I promptly drove to the nearest gas station, bought two more home pregnancy tests, and told my wife "Pee on these to be sure!"  Yeah, not the most romantic thing right?  And then those minutes of waiting.  Which are both the most incredibly awesome and also the most "OH HOLY SHIT I MIGHT BE A DAD AND I'LL MESS EVERYTHING UP" thoughts.  That was the first thought of a soon to be Dad.

Then, the visits to the Midwife, the OB/GYN, and every other doctors appointment.  I was most thankful that I was able to be at every appointment for the duration of my wife's pregnancy.  I wanted to be there even for the um....  weird stuff.

Every moment during her pregnancy was something of a miracle to me.  taking the weekly pictures to see her belly growing, finally feeling our son kick (I swear he was watching a Bruce Lee movie half the time and mimicking the moves!), and then B-day.  The 2 days of the Braxton Hicks (sp?) and then the day of labor finally arrived.  

I had watched the water birth videos (the first couple times, I needed a barf bucket), and then I was ready for everything to happen.  But then, our son's heart beat wasn't strong enough and next thing I know, my wife is being rushed in for an emergency C section.  I was told to sit in a chair and wait until I could go in.  Those 13 minutes of waiting gave me every horrible doubt and feeling you could think of.  And then the door opened, and the doc said Come on in!

And just a few minutes later, there was our baby boy!  My first thought?  "Holy shit he's got elephant balls!  but that quickly went away when I realized my poor wife couldn't see him from where she was on the table.  So I was able to take him to her and see the glow on her face and feel the huge grin on mine.

It was so late at night when our son was born that the only people in the waiting room were my mom and aunt.  Oh imagine the pride I had when I carried my son out to see his grandma and great auntie!  It felt as if my mom had never been prouder and happier and my aunt was the same.  I still remember walking out with him (and being scared to death I'd drop him too!)

The next few days were quite a blur.  But probably the funniest memory was when he had that first poop.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is a God because if there wasn't, the nurse wouldn't have been in the room to help me because I was LOST!!!!  She showed me (all the while i was gagging) how to properly change a diaper.  

And finally, the drive home...  While it was only maybe a 3 mile drive home, I probably took a good twenty minutes to get home.  Wasn't any way in hell I was going to go this far and mess it all up with being a hot shot.

Well, that'll finish part one.  Part two will come out sometime friday afternoon with years 0-1 and 1-2. Saturday year 2-3 and sunday year 3-4 (which is my favorite so far)

Fathers out there...  What are your favorite memories of Fatherhood?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What's been bothering me

I posted this just as a rant on Facebook the other night.  It got some great reactions!

For those of you who aren't friends with me, you can click HERE to be taken to the post.  You can comment, like, share, or even disagree.

BUT, Please take a moment to read it.  If you don't want to shoot me a friend request, I understand.  I hope that it just makes you think for a moment and hopefully compells you to think a little differently and maybe be a little bit more open minded.  Thank you for reading :)

And, if you don't want to send me a friend request to read it, you can just read the text below

So, a few things have been jumbling around my head the past few days.

1. I wish the holidays (minus the freezing weather) happened year round. I've given more in the past 2 weeks out of my wallet than I think I did all year long. I emptied my coin jar, coin pouch in my car (probably $45 worth in change alone), donated about 15 lbs of canned goods, and countless bills into the Salvation Army red cans in front of Raleys. Something about the holidays just gets me to really think about the rest of the world.

2. Ashley Nicole Ingram shared these sentiments today: Tim Tebow is RAKED across the coals for sharing his faith on national television. He's a believer in his God. He's passionate about it. He talks the talk and walks the walk. He's a missionary. He goes overseas and helps out those who are less fortunate. When I see all of you Tebow Critics get off FB and off the couch and help like he has, then I'll listen. Until then, please keep your ignorant comments to yourself! (the holiday spirit is upon me, but it won't keep me from culling ignorant and bigoted people from my friends. It's not about numbers, it's about relationships here).

3. Those of you who keep spouting that gay marraige should never be allowed should read this following statement... It's cynical, funny, and true all at the same time... "What is the #1 cause of divorce??? Marraige". How is it that two men or two women who love each other cannot be married yet a man and woman who HATE each other can remain married? Defeats the purpose no? And those who say Marriage is sacred really need to wake up. Let's take the plank out of our own eye for a moment mmk? They aren't trying to hold you down and force you to be gay. They just want to live their own lifestyle. AND I can hear this being said already "I just don't want to hear about it." Well, I don't want to read your drama about baby dady on FB all damn day. I don't want to hear about how stupid your husband is or how stupid your employer is. Isn't that the same thing??? Me thinks so. You force me to listen to your drama ALL.DAY.LONG. It clogs my feed so that's all I see is just negativity. Guess what? That's about to leave my FB. This is what I tell people all day long when they say "Justin, I don't want to read about gay marraige anymore". Then stop reading whatever book or magazine you're reading. Stop watching the TV that talks about it all day long. If you don't want to hear, read, or see it, Close your eyes and ears because obviously your mind is already too narrow to see anything else.

That's it for my rant. Feel free to comment, for everyone DOES have an opinion. Everyone does come from different backgrounds. But, for the LOVE OF GOD if you have an opinion, PLEASE make sure it doesn't come off sounding like a 3 year old monkey with dyslexia and tourettes. Ignorant comments are NOT welcome!






The Nice Guy

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The lesson in death (even though it blows nuts)

Actually, the lesson seriously blows a big ol donkey dick.  There's no other way to put it.

I'd rather still have one of my childhood friends around and NOT learn the lesson than vice versa.

The story:  October 19th, 2011, a very good friend named Jessie passed away.  Leaving a wife and a 1 1/2 year old son behind.  It was an unfortunate and tragic accident that left many of us asking "Why God WHY?!?!"

And over the past three weeks, I've kept asking that question.  I've started to doubt my faith (which has only happened 4 times in my life), I've stopped asking God WHY, and just stopped the conversation.  I didn't want to talk with God OR know the reason why.  I wasn't ready to hear the lesson or even accept it...  Until yesterday after Jessie's memorial.

At the memorial, I ran into many people I haven't spoken to since high school.  10+ years and I thought that leaving all those people behind was a good thing.  Well....  Kinda.  I would say for every 40 people I saw who I wanted to see again, I saw 1 I didn't.  All in all, about 7 people from school who I could care less about and the rest who I was happy to see again.  Even though the circumstance made the meeting bittersweet.

Yesterday, I shed a lot of tears.  I hugged many friends who I hadn't seen in a long time.  I took down countless phone numbers of people who I had lost touch with.  And then....  The stories about Jessie started flowing, the laughter became louder, and the memories came rushing back.

And then My phone vibrated telling me someone had commented on my question:  Struggling a little bit with faith 2 day. why does god grant miracles for some and not for others?  My cousin Heidi responded with this:
Heidi Keen Hazelwood: Favor ain't Fair. Those that are called to be with the Lord are favored. Remember "weeping may endure for the night but joy cometh in the morning"(Psalm 30:5) be strong and stay encouraged-all prayers are answered in God's way-not our own. Hugs


Here are some other responses I got yesterday:


even if the lesson is just to hug more often and tell people each day you love them, there is a lesson, I swear.


there's a lesson in everything, even the really, really, really bad :( Some day we can look back and say, I was stronger because of this and my faith grew. Tits up kid, love ya!


We only get to see the present. Fortunately, He knows (and holds) the future. The miracle ur praying for may inhibit His future plans...it sucks but is also just His way of allowing us to NOT carry the burden, but let Him do it!


SO, what did I learn?  What was the lesson?  How does this all make sense?  in school, Jessie was my defender.  He stood up for me, he stood up for the underdogs.  He was willing to put his neck on the line to make sure someone else was safe.  He was also very well known for helping people get to know each other....  some of my dearest friends from high school came about because of Jessie.

In Jessie's last gift to the world, his organs were donated to people who needed them to continue living.  In Jessie's death, many others could live.  In Jessie's death, he was able to give the ultimate gift.  He gave life to at least 7 other people.  In his death, I was able to find friends who I had lost touch with.  I was able to talk to people I never thought I would talk to again.  Even after Jessie had left this world, he was still working his magic.

The pain of losing him still hurts.  The pain of knowing the loved ones he left behind hurts.  But I know he's in a better place.  I know it wasn't our will, but it was God's will (that sentence is still hard to accept, but I do).  He brought us all back together, he helped some of us get rid of the animosity that was once there.  He helped us realize that tomorrow is a new day and we should take advantage to hug, kiss, and love on the people we care about.  No one ever died of giving one extra hug or kiss or "I love you".  

SO, let's make sure we don't waste that opportunity and realize that tomorrow is never guaranteed.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Killing of the Bullies

Shit. I've started it. It's been nagging at me for a while. It's been nagging at me for nearly 20 years. The assholes in my life who have bullied me. The ones who no matter how much time goes by, I still can't shake the anger and rage that wells up when I think about it.

I should be asleep in bed with my wife right now. I should be catching some z's because tomorrow is going to be a long day of work. Instead, I've been trying for the past 12 hours to write this post. This is the final version... Let's just say I've worn out Ctrl+A and delete today.

So, here goes. Want to know what goes through the mind of someone that's been bullied? Want to know why I strive every day to be a nice guy and stand up for the underdogs? Here's why:

Have you ever spent the first month of school being so nervous about bullies that you spend the first hour of the morning throwing up because you are so full of fear?

Have you ever felt as if no matter how hard you try to just blend, you still stick out like a sore thumb with a sign saying "Hurt me badly please?!"

Have you ever really had a wedgie so bad that your butt bled? I'm not talking about a little blood... I'm talking about being afraid of going to the ER because you can't get it to stop?

Have you ever been in the high school pool with the bully and pretend you have to shit for an entire hour because you know if you get into the pool, they're going to put you under until you actually think you are going to die?

Have you thought of 3,472,573,927,875 ways of killing your bully because that's far better than thinking about the pain you feel? And once you thought of every possible way of killing them, you then feel such guilt because now your own rage, anger, and violence that you want to direct towards someone is what you've been enduring?

Have you ever felt as if a supervisor purposefully sought you out just to pick on you?

Yep, here goes with my role call of bullies that should have had the shit beaten out of them repeatedly. Following everything they did to make my life hell. The people in high school I left the names out. The worthless supervisors in the Navy... Maybe their employers will find this and question the integrity of their employees....

Junior High School:
J.H. While this grade a Asshole never put his hands on me, him and his cohort P made sure that their words stung more than anything. Penzoil... That was the nickname gifted to me by these two. Why? I had pimples.. LOTS of them. I had oily skin. The joke? Hey JD, if you sold all the oil on your face to Penzoil, you'd be a millionaire! The one time I tried to stand up to P was on the weekend. I had gone to my school to go rollerblading. I just wanted to have some time to skate around on a nice blacktop that was smooth and envision being like the olympic skater Olav Koss. That dream was quickly taken away as P chased me around the blacktop with a belt and kept hitting me until I fell. I tried to defend myself but apparently her BIG brother was playing basketball. I.O. took it upon himself to come over and "defend" little sister. You know the "back breaker drop" that pro wrestlers do? I lost count at around 7 or 8 times being dropped on his knee. I laid there in my own pee and cried until they all left and I could limp home barefoot since they saw fit to take my rollerblades with them. Thankfully no one was home, I could take a shower, throw away the soiled clothes, and lick my wounds in silence. Sadly, most people who are bullied all go home and suffer silently. Trying to hide the shame they feel for not being able to stand up for themselves. We suffer silently asking God WHY? Why can't I fit in? Why do they continue to torture me?

High School:
R.P. and J.H., and the countless (worthless) wannabe gang bangers and their piece of shit girlfriends

Yes, these Grade A assholes were the ones who threw apples at me (IN CLASS), shoved me off the bleachers, tried repeatedly to drown me in the pool, gave me wedgies that again left my butt bleeding profusely. The ones that would pick on me in class and the worthless teachers who just shrugged it off. Yes Coach Johnson, I'm looking at you.

The worthless gang bangers who thought wearing red made them suddenly god's gift to the world and also gave them the right to torment every timid white boy who crossed their path. The ones who would throw rocks at me when I wasn't looking. That's why I started wearing baseball hats. They lessened the pain of a golf ball sized rock pelting me in the head.

This whole time of experiencing pain and humiliation grew and grew. Shit, I wish I could say that the bullying stopped at high school.

I joined the Navy. I wanted to serve my country. Too bad the military is full of roided out washed up football players who now have a chip on their shoulder. Or think of the people who were discriminated against in the early 80's and 90's. Three people come to mind who made me hate the Navy and wish they would fall overboard. BM1 Richard Blanding. This guy had to be the piss poorest example of a leader I've seen in the Navy. I guess because he was hazed and picked on by white guys when he first joined, it was his turn to return the favor. Guess who got the shittiest jobs on the ship? Yep, this poor timid white boy. Enter Chief Warrant Officer Ezell. He's the best example of reverse racism I've ever seen. He had his little pride and joy Seaman Hamilton. One day, Hamilton told me to "get the fuck out of my way" and I replied "Fuck off asshole". The next morning at Muster, CWO Ezell called me out in front of the whole department. He suspended my liberty for the entire visit to Bahrain and made me stand double watches each day. And then my final nemesis on the USS Cleveland.... Chief Warrant Officer Eugene Schlotterbeck. This guy was a flat out douche bag. He found every reason to torment me. He called me a fat ass, "Cantgetright", worthless excuse for a sailor. He did the same thing that Blanding did. He made me do the shittiest of jobs, work the longest hours, and endure the verbal onslaught day in and day out.

Those are the people that made my life hell. They are the ones who have shown me that the only way I can be is nice. I never got the chance to get revenge on them. I still want revenge. I've tried to shake the anger and rage that built up from the 6th grade on. It goes away most of the time. But then there are times like today (this post actually started last night), in which I can't shake it. I highly doubt the bullies remember any of these events. But I do. They are all scars on my heart and mind that weigh heavily every time the topic of bullies comes up. The shame I felt after one particularly bad experience with R.P. in which I drove home, grabbed a wooden baseball bat, drove back to school with every intention of finding him and bashing in his knees and ending whatever chances of playing football he had. How shameful I felt as I sat in my car and cried for the duration of 4th period, lunch, 5th period, and 6th period. nearly 4 hours I sat in my car. One minute enraged at the injustice. The next moment cloaked in self loathing that I had nearly stooped to his level. Going back and forth in the worst game of dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde I'd ever experienced.

Thankfully, I chose not to assault R.P.

Thankfully, I've learned that the only way to stop someone from being bullied is to stand up and do something. I fact, I now make it a point to stop whatever I'm doing when witnessing bullying in action and do it in a swift and powerful manner. I may get my ass handed to me while doing it. But I know that if someone just once would have stood up for me, I may have found the ability to stand up for myself.

And Thankfully, because of the pain I endured, I will emphasize being a kind, loving, and gentle Man to my son. I will ensure that he knows it is completely unacceptable to bully someone. I will expect him to be a gentleman. He will be Chivalrous, he will be kind, he will be loving, and he will stand up for those who can't stand up for themselves. He will befriend those who just need a friend. Simply, He's just another Nice Guy in training.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

American Chopper is a detriment to fatherhood

I've been an avid fan and watcher of American Chopper since its inception over 5 years ago. I was fascinated with the imaginative bikes they created, intrigued by the dynamic of the father son relationship, and overall trainwreck that I saw on a weekly basis.

I started watching the show before I was a dad. And now that my son is almost 3 1/2 years old, I have a newfound appreciation to fatherhood. I've also had A LOT of time to reflect on my childhood and how my father interacted with me.

Last night I watched my final episode of American Chopper. The show now consists of 5% bike building and 95% Sr. and his cronies talking shit about Jr. All I see is Sr bad mouthing his sons on national television. All I see is the people working at OCC badmouthing Jr. and Sr. not only agreeing with those people, but adding onto what they are saying.

I understand father son relationships can be hard. I understand that there will be disagreements. I understand that sometimes a father and son will butt heads. However, the constant trashing of his sons on national television finally drove me over the edge last night. I just couldn't take it anymore.

All during the show I kept thinking to both my childhood and my adult life as a Dad. I thought about my first marraige and how my dad said he wouldn't come to my wedding because my grandma and aunt (his mom and sister) would be there. They had a falling out the previous year and so he refused to come to the wedding. He flat out said "I won't come because your aunt and grandma will be there". I asked "For your one and only son Dad? You won't come to the wedding?". His simple one word answer ended up being the most hurtful response he'd ever give me: "NO". I hung up and didn't talk to him for nearly 6 years.

Well, the first marriage didn't work out. That's fine. It wasn't meant to be.

Then, in 2006 I met the beautiful woman I'm married to now. They say the second shot at something is always better. Well, this second shot is wonderful and I'm loving every second being married to my wife and having three kids. BUT, the second wedding was coming up and I called my dad to invite him. Mind you, the wedding was in March. no hot weather, not hurricane like rains... just great weather. He can't handle the hot weather so I figured it would be no problem for him to come to it. But then again, that's what I get for figuring my dad would actually care.

His excuse this time for not coming? I can't make the drive. my rebuttal: Dad, I'll pay for your plane ticket. it's a 45 minute flight. Nope, no can do was the response. It's been nearly a year since I last talked to my dad and the wedding was 5 1/2 years ago. I tried making the relationship work over the phone and even driving up a couple times and visiting. It just didn't work out. I couldn't give anymore to the one way relationship between my father and I. Him being the parent should give 150% to the father son relationship. but I was always the one putting in the effort and getting nothing back.

SO, Siyonara American Chopper. So long Paul Sr. Because of your douchebag ways and pride, the relationship with your sons will never be a good one. You'll always have to be #1 and make sure you have the last word.

Here's the deal: Dads out there... It's not about being #1 or having the last word. It's not about being right or perfect. It's about being a Dad. It's about caring for your kids and setting aside your pride and petty differences and being there for your kids. Regardless of what their faith, personality, sexual orientation, or interests are. You love your kids, you don't say mean or hurtful things to them or about them. You love them 100%.

My son asked me a few weeks ago for a pink car. I couldn't find one at walmart but I've been looking online for the perfect pink car for him. I love him regardless of wanting a camo humvee or a pink mazda miata. I will love him whether he wants to be in gymnastics or wants to play football. I will love him if he wants to play the Clarinet or dance Ballet. I'll love him until my very last breath on this earth and nothing will ever change that. I'll never say a hurtful word to him and I'll help him as best as I can for him to realize his dreams. Why? Because that's what a real man and a real dad does.

Discovery Channel: Maybe instead of making a show that demonstrates a cruel hurtful relationship, you can find a father and son duo who love each other unconditionally and work together harmoniously. Make a show that doesn't have all the drama but all the love and successes of a father son relationship. When you do that, I'll come back to your channel.

Tell me, what do you wish your mom or dad had done for you that they never did?

The Nice Guy

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Where were you? What did you think?

This is another post that will be part Nice Guy part Sailor. I apologize if any foul language offends anyone.

Right now I'm a heinz 51 mix of emotions. Humble one moment, angry the next. Somber now, and ten minutes from now, seeing red and wanting vengeance. Last night motivated, this morning, holding back.

Let me bring you back ten years ago this evening. I was on the USS Cleveland returning from a 6 month deployment to the Persian Gulf. The sun had set, we were 4 days from arriving home to our friends and family, and in an overall very happy mood. The movie Pearl Harbor had just been released and we had the chance to watch it. We called it Movie at Sea. We opened the Hangar Bay on the flight deck, put up a huge white sheet, and watched movies. I sat with my mom and enjoyed the movie. I was appreciative that my mom was able to share being out at sea on a US Naval Warship with her only son. It was a beautiful evening in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

That was 12 hours before our Captain told us about the Attacks. It was the last peaceful/non war time freedom I had.

on the morning of September 11th, 2001, We were set to have an awards ceremony at 0800. Our Captain was always early. He was a great Commanding Officer. He took care of our crew. He wasn't this hoity toity officer who made people wait because he was the boss. He was the kind of officer that made sure his crew was happy. He was the kind who never kept us waiting just because he felt like it.

SO, on that morning, 0800 came and went.... 0830 came and went. Somewhere around 0840, the captain came on the 1MC (Ships loudspeaker). "Cleveland...." This was the first sign of something wrong. Whenever he spoke to the ship, he was always chipper and ALWAYS Said "Good Morning or Good Afternoon or Good evening"... Instead we got "Cleveland.... The awards ceremony will be cancelled this morning. There has been a terrorist attack in New York. I don't have many details right now, but the news is playing on the Mess Decks. Please make your way there. We're most likely going to get the most relevant information there in real time than what I'll get from my chain of command."

My initial reaction? WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?!?!?.... I walked to the Mess Decks and watched in horror as I saw two planes fly into the Twin Towers. I saw the people jumping to their deaths. I saw friends who had family back in NY go white in the face and try to reach their family. They had no luck since most of the phones were over capacity. I watched them worry themselves grey. They were in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and had NO WAY to know if their family was ok.

I watched the mood of the ship go from disbelief, to shock, to horror, to complete anger. As much as we wanted to go home to our families, at that point, there was only one thing that every sailor on that ship wanted.... They wanted the blood of the extremist radical pieces of shit spilled in every country that they belonged to. They wanted to inflict the most cruel, harmful, inhumane damage possible to those who caused this tragedy. I went from being the laid back, nice california guy to someone who couldn't wait to get behind my .50 cal Machine gun and make sure someone was on the receiving end of my fury.

I didn't care if there would be collateral damage. I wanted the whole god damn middle east turned into a glass parking lot. I wanted the radical fucks to be tortured until they shit themselves. I wanted them to endure so much pain that they would denounce their god and burn in hell. I wanted nothing more than to find one of them, throw them in a pig pen and have their bodies defiled by the swine in the pen with them. after that I wanted to find every last one of them, cut their eyelids out, and MAKE them watch naked women walk around. I WANTED them to know that their "Heaven" that they so desperately wanted was now wretched out of their possession. I wanted them to feel an ounce of the pain that over 3000 families felt that day.

Do I still feel that way? YOU BET YOUR SWEET ASS I DO! But now, I want them to feel the pain that over 10,000 familes feel every day. If you're here after reading my Bio on twitter, Yes, James 3 is my favorite book in the bible. YES, I do believe in forgiveness. But even now ten years later, I cannot forgive those who inflicted so much pain, loss, and fear into our nation. Even with OBL killed, Even with Saddam killed, I don't feel a sense of relief or retribution. I can only hope that their "GOD" is a false god and they do spend eternity in a lake of fire. I hope that their 40 virgins are Madelin Albright, Nancy Pelosi, and Hillary Clinton. Hell, I hope one of the other virgins is Strom Thurman while we're at it.

Is this post WAY out of the norm on this blog? Yes. Do I apologize for the way I feel? NO.

For the following three years after 9/11, I was in a constant state of alertness. I was in a constant state of not knowing if another attack would happen. I was in a constant state of feeling as if the last time I saw my family would be when I went home on leave. I was in a constant state of anger because our country didn't deserve this. I was in a constant state of sorrow for the familes that lost loved ones. and over the past ten years, I've constantly thought of every family who loses a soldier, sailor, and airman because of the war that was a result of 9/11.

Yesterday morning, one of my friends on FB shared this audio clip. To say that the anger I felt ten years ago welled back up within me would be an understatement. Now All I wish for is that countries that still harbor terrorists would be turned into a big glass parking lot, Donald trump buys it, turns it into a big whorehouse with a moat filled with pigs.

I tried to swallow all these feelings over the past week. But I just can't anymore. I've already heard too many times "Why do we have to care about what happened ten years ago?" I was only in junior high when that happened, I don't care." and the absolute most ignorant statement I've heard this week: "I think that spending a day remembering 9/11 is a waste and an interruption to football". Really???? To those people I say this... The only reason why I don't beat the ever loving dog shit out of you right now is because it's illegal. even then, it's almost worth it.

Lets hope an pray that an event like 9/11 doesn't happen again, and we don't have a memorial for such an atrocious event like this in our future.

Signed

The cranky, angry, sailor (but still Nice Guy)