Tuesday, December 20, 2011
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
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!
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
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
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.
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
You see, I'm a salesman. My job is to talk, talk, talk, and talk some more. Of course, I have to listen to clients before I can talk. BUT, as a salesman, I was always taught to always find a way to sell the product I was pitching.
And then enters Hank. And he's blown that whole theory out of the water for me. Every day of Every week on Facebook, he finds someone who needs something from someone else he knows. Sounds kinda vague right? Well, he's done it so regularly that's really the best way to explain it.
While I've never met Hank face to face, I can't wait for the time that we do. He's got a hilarious personality, is always looking for ways to HELP others, and because of this, he's doing very well for himself.
It's called Relational Equity. Hank understands that. When you invest in others, spend time getting to know them, and pay attention to what their needs are... You end up being very successful and having MANY MANY people around you who WANT you around.
Hank's one of those guys.... I always smile when I see him post because I know he'll either be sharing a success story from someone he knows, or helping someone get what they need.
I HIGHLY suggest taking a moment and sending him a friend request on Facebook HERE, then going to one or all of his sites. qrcroi.com which helps people learn about QR Codes. LearnToPark.com which lets people vent and buy large orange post its to put on badly parked cars. My Promotional Product business promotionallyminded.com and my SendOutCards business cardsbyhank.com
Yeah yeah yeah lots of links I know. BUT, Lemme tell ya... Hank is a guy who understands relationships. He understands helping people. Take a minute to get to know him. I promise it will be worth your time!
The Nice Guy
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
I've been asking myself this question for the past few weeks. I drive to the town north of me once or twice a week depending on my needs. in this little 30 mile stretch of Freeway, I see more people being rude than kind.
This past week has reminded me that we take things just a tad too serious, and often forget about the things that matter. The funny part of this whole concept was that 5 years ago, I would have been the jackass cutting every person off trying to get to my destination with no concern about others.
In the past week, I've seen more middle fingers than cars, and more harsh words thrown around than on a Navy ship. I've seen more people cut off going 80 MPH than I can even count. Maybe it's the heat that us Northern Californians experience every summer? Maybe the economy has taken every last ounce of patience we have and thrown it out the window (literally and figuratively).
Maybe our society has become so caught up with "What about me??!!" than "what about my fellow human beings". Maybe we've become so accustomed to having things instantly, we no longer appreciate delayed gratification? Maybe people have forgotten the simple concept of a Random Act of Kindness?
As I set the cruise control to 70 on the freeway each time I trek up north, I see so many tailgating, cutting each other off, flipping each other off, and every other rude action that could be taken while driving, I thank God that I've been fortunate enough to realize that life isn't about the destination. It's about the journey. I shouldn't be focused on the finish line, but the beautiful flowers along the path and the person on that path with me.
As August hits us with full force, I ache for the holidays to get here. I ache for the kindness, charity, open arms, and patience that many people seem to suddenly remember. Maybe I'm naive to think that this "holiday kindness" could last year round. Maybe in a world full of fast paced madness, I'm able to stop and appreciate being stuck behind a semi going 55. Maybe I'm the person who would rather be late than never there. I do know that I don't want to be the dad looking down from above because I was too rushed to get somewhere. I want to get to the party on earth, but not upstairs just yet.
If by chance you are reading this, think about that wreckless driving maneuver you are about to make. Think about the mom and dad with their child in the backseat. Think about how that child would feel if they suddenly didn't have mommy and daddy around for the rest of their lives. Think about that person you see walking down the street who might be homeless. Is it really too much to simply stop somewhere and grab them a meal? Think about how you feel during the holidays, and keep that spirit year round. We are all capable of love greater than we can fathom. Why not share some of it with others that might need it?
Yes, this is August, but for me and my family, we're going to let everyone know we think it's Christmas time!
Monday, June 20, 2011
Thursday, June 9, 2011
"What makes America unique as a nation?"
This question was posed by the Red Bluff Daily News in our town. Here's my answer in 250 words or less.
The fact that we as a nation are in reality a nation of immigrants instantly makes us unique. Every creed, every religion, and every race is represented as America. What started as a group of people looking to get away from religious persecution led to a nation that is now a super power in the world. While in reality, we are a baby nation in comparison to those like Japan, China, England, Spain, Italy, and many others in Europe and Asia.
Many other countries force high school graduates to go into the military. While our country gives the option to go straight to work, college, military, or any other destination an 18 year old desires. While many other countries have one religion, we have them all. While other countries insist on practicing one and only one religion, our 1st Amendment gives the freedom to choose any religion.
Many other countries are known for one kind of dish. Here in the states however, we have deep dish pizza in Chicago, creole in the south, mexican food in the southwest, seafood in the northwest, alligator burgers in Florida, and about a million other choices for food. We don't have a "national dish" we have a heinz 57 mix of national dishes.
But for me, the absolute one thing that differentiates us as Americans, and us as a nation, is our Armed Forces, and those who support them. For without our military, all of the aforementioned qualities that was have wouldn't be possible. We support our troops, we have Memorial Day, we have Veterans Day. I don't know of any other nation that celebrates our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Veterans as much as we do. For that one reason, we are the most unique, and for that, I am PROUD to be a Veteran, and even prouder to call myself an American.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
There was a mom blogger who was also a military spouse. As a parent, our biggest fear has always, and will always be losing one of our children. This mom blogger had been out tweeting during the day with her kids and taking pictures of the forest, ducks, and everything in between. However, there was a silence for a couple hours and then an update that stopped me in my tracks. "Just found 2 yr old in the pool, on our way to ER, please pray". My heart sank for someone I had never met in real life but had interacted with numerous times online.
And so the support for her poured in. God was inundated with prayers from people all around the world. AND THEN, the most horrible and unimaginable thing happened. Someone went on the offensive and said "we need to verify that this isn't a scam. Don't send money until it's verified". This was just the beginning unfortunately. Further tweets and blog posts said "if she hadn't been tweeting, this child would still be alive". Up until that remark, I had kept my mouth shut and minded my manners. This was the straw that broke the camels back.
The business man in me said "keep your mouth shut and mind your own business". The man, father, husband, Navy Vet, and proud American in me shouted "KICK HER ASS SEABASS". Needless to say, the business man was locked in the basement. I started a twitter war of words with this woman. I threw all caution to the wind and did what was right. I stood up for a woman who was grieving, and was now being attacked by the one tooth wonder. (By the way, I'm doing my best to keep this as PG as possible, but even after almost two years, my blood still boils thinking about it)
Yes, I cursed, spoke like a sailor, probably offended a large portion of my following with my language and vulgarity. But the most important thing about the whole situation is I did was was right. I've always loved the saying "What may be popular may not be right, and what may be right may not be popular". In this instance, I've been told I was simply saying what everyone else didn't have the courage to say. Which is fine by me. Hell, I've been known to hop into battles and ruin my own reputation to defend others. Why did my reputation get damaged? EH who knows. Maybe it was my means to an end (read talking and acting like a sailor). Which in northern california is often frowned upon. That's another post.
In the end, I received many thanks from other mom bloggers (while also seeing my follower count dwindle). However, a few lessons were learned during this whole ordeal. I can be a best friend, or a worst enemy. I don't relish battle one bit, but I know it's a reality. It was my reality for 4 years in the Navy from 2000-2004.
Did I break every Social Media Manner in the rule book? I'm pretty sure I did. Did I meet some wonderful people in the process? You bet. Did I lose over half the people that followed me? Yes. Was it worth it? OH YEAH. I asked myself the question before I engaged in twitter war "Is this juice worth the squeeze? Will it damage my online presence in the process? The answer to both questions was Yes. But ultimately, That juice was worth the squeeze.
And lastly, the one thing that has come up in conversation over the past couple months is just how many people saw what I did, and subsequently followed me. Those same people have become friends, allies, business partners, and confidantes. I'm the one willing to take the heat when the situation calls for it. I'm the friend who answers the phone at 3 in the morning to pick you up if you had too much to drink. I'm the one who drops what I'm doing to help out those in need. This in the end, was worth more to most people than what others deemed as having poor social media manners.
Has there ever been a time where you had to throw manners aside to stop a thorn in your side or someone else's? If you saw the battle that happened then, what were your thoughts? Was I right or should I have kept my mouth shut? Looking forward to your responses!
Monday, June 6, 2011
They've made a difference to me and the community in which I live. Some have raised money for the poor, others for Veterans, and Women's shelters. These three alone are the most near and dear to my heart. Therefore, These people are not only "Local celebrities" to me, but are local heroes.
First up is Charlee Thompson. She's in the Army, a part of the Honor Guard, a HUGE advocate for veterans, and is an all around really cool woman. Every event I've attended in Shasta County in relation to Veterans has included seeing Charlee involved in some fashion. Her energy is infections, Intelligence in humbling, and has a smile that could disarm even the most angry world leaders. I consider it an honor to have met her and chatted with her on numerous occasions. And in my eyes the coolest thing she does is "Christmas For The Troops". She gets donations from places all over northern california and then sends off care packages to troops all around the world. Now, I don't know if it was the same group, but I received one of these care packages when I was on deployment in 2001. Let me tell you... Getting a package from a complete stranger or group of people who have never met me but support me from half way around the world.. That's incredible. I can't even put into words how much it means when something like that happens.
Next is Tad Shackles. He's a local DJ that does SO MANY great things in the area. Of course, that isn't his real name, but he threatened to start calling me "Nugget" (long story... another blog post) if I used his real name. Anyhoo... Tad had done the local version of "Dancing with the stars" and raised a TON of money. All of this was to benefit the Shasta Womens' Refuge. In an effort to raise as much money as possible, he actually spent almost 3 days on the top of a parking garage to raise money. All in all, he raised almost $13,000 in three days, and I believe around $20,000 in total. He's done countless other things as well. Including raising money for the Redding Soroptimists and he won the Mardi Gras King prize. He also won by raising money, selling tickets, and getting votes. Below are the photos of him on DWTS and as the Mardi Gras King.P.A.T.H - Poor And The Homeless of Tehama County. The amount of work that they have done in our little community to help the less fortunate is truly awe inspiring. They give of their time and energy in so many ways that it always inspires me to find ways to get involved. If you have a few bucks to spare, you can go to their website and donate HERE. Dave and Nancy are heroes to me and to our community!
While I'm at it, there's one other person that I consider to be such an amazing guy. His name is Tommy Corey. He's the creator of The Self Worth Project. He's kind, funny, and has an amazing heart. The images he takes and shares can bring tears to your eyes, make you smile, contemplate your life, think twice about the words you may direct towards another person, and help you realize that YOU are beautiful on the inside and out. He's an inspiration to me, and as of last count, about 9,334 others (fans on his fan page).
These are all people who are not only making a difference locally, but as far as their arms, heart, and love will allow them. They are all amazing people who I think are Heroes in my community.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Sunday, May 29, 2011
So what prompted me to write today? those same people who are blissfully ignorant of what has been sacrificed for their ability to party hard on Memorial Day. See, I had to run to Walmart earlier today and while I was there, I heard 5 different conversations. All of which included "Man, we are going to be so F*&^ing wasted tomorrow!". All the while PRAYING that I would hear one of them say "Just remember, we get to party because there are men and women who have given their lives for our right to have fun". Alas, I heard no such thing.
I have to be honest, I wanted to go slap the shit out of them and teach them a little bit about respect. They reminded me of the disrespectful punks who keep talking during the National Anthem, or who refuse to say the Pledge of Allegiance, or who refuse to remove their hat or cover their heart while the Pledge or the National Anthem are being performed.
The other thing that chaps my ass is when I hear about celebrities condemning our troops fighting a war half way around the world. They are a different kind of beast of which have a special place reserved in hell... along with attorneys. But then, there is a glimmer of hope in the video below that helps me realize that there are great musicians who care about our troops and do what they can to support them. Gene Simmons, You sir are awesome! Enjoy the video!
After you watched this, please take one moment to just say a simple prayer or take a moment of silence to honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our right to be a free country. God Bless America!!!
Sunday, May 15, 2011
from all the updates I've seen today about parents in RB who had kids who got nto the football team. I'm curious how many DIDN'T make the team. last time I heard, there were around 150 kids who didn't make it... Hey Jr. Spartans.... Time for an A&B team set up?
It reminded me of baseball tryouts and how some kids got on teams that were stacked and other teams were a case of the bad news bears... and even how some kids were picked to move up and others weren't. I remember time after time of going to tryouts and doing very well. I had practiced for hours each week during the off season and was determined to be the best player I could be. Oh how naive I was then....
It also reminded me of High School soccer tryouts. kind of similar story... The coach had his favorites... I ran a faster mile and a half, I was quicker at the 40 meter dash, I was able to jump higher, and easily defended more shots on goal. This was my freshman year. I didn't make the team. chalk it up to politics and favoritism and not wanting to be on the rookie. I get it.
Sophomore year, same story. exchange student from Brazil and a new coach and wanted to make it look good having a foreign exchange student. He reminded me of Jorge Campos. Flashy goalie, but not effective at actually keeping the ball from going in the net.
Junior year... same coach, but one of his sons was trying out... who was 6 inches shorter, slower, and just plain sucked. Yeah, you've found one of the Nice Guy's weaknesses. politics in sports. Honestly, the first two years I was able to chew it up and swallow my frustration. It hurt more knowing the team won one game that year. It also made it hurt less as I sat at each game and snickered to myself as they got slaughtered.
Recap: Freshman through junior year, soccer teams were chosen based on politics.
And then my senior year came around... We had a coach that was actually a soccer player, played for Chico State, and knew the game inside and out. Regardless of whether I made the team or not, I knew I had put in outrageous amounts of work into being in the best shape ever. I searched high and low for tips and tricks of how to be a better goalie, and to understand the game. I learned and practiced Plyometrics, I started running long distance, I did weightlifting. When I wasn't in school or attending church, I had a soccer ball with me. Come hell or high water, I was going to make the team my senior year.
Tryouts arrive and sure enough, some of the "chosen ones" made their jokes "Hey, is JD going to set the record for most tryouts and not make the team" kind of crap. At that moment, I knew I was going to show them up. I could have played any position and beat them. both in ball skills and endurance. I worked my ass off and I planned on showing it. And whaddya know? Having an intelligent coach and a year's worth of hard training paid off. I was starting goalie for every game that season. In the toughest loss of the season, I actually set a league record for the most saves in a game... 47. We lost 1-0 to Pleasant Valley. And at the end of the year, I was awarded All League Goalie by the coaches of the league.
So, the question of the hour is this: Should returning players have to tryout? How should perceived favoritism be handled? And most importantly... what should parents tell their kids when they don't make the team?
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
As a Veteran, American, and Citizen of the USA, my heart cries with sadness to hear about another young life lost to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. As I read the story about this young man, my heart broke for the mom and wife he left back home. At the same time, my heart swelled with pride as I read that he went back to Afghanistan early to be with his unit. His devotion to this country is unquestionable. The price he paid doesn't have a dollar sign attached to it.
I am attending the funeral Thursday afternoon in support of his family. In fact, as I am writing this, the local news channel just posted this on Facebook: "Want to show your support for Preston Dennis' family? We are handing out American flags for you to wave as Dennis' body is taken from McDonalds Chapel to the Vets Cemetary in Igo on Thursday. Flags are free to the first 400 who come to our station on Auditorium Dr. in Redding, Wednesday from 8-5pm. Hope to see you!"
I will be there to support the family, honor a fallen brother in arms, and show my respect for those who have paid the ultimate price for our nation. This man gave his life for every right we have today as an American. Please take a moment and say a prayer for this fallen soldier and his family.
Take a moment to thank anyone you know who is serving or has served. Take a moment to tell your family you love them. While we still have this privilege, there are those who don't. May this fallen soldier RIP and may God bring peace to their lives and hearts.
I remember how much it would anger me when other kids would make such horrible remarks towards these kids. I remember how they would mock them with their words and actions. Most importantly, I remember the unconditional love and forgiveness that permeated from their body. No matter how many taunts, jokes, pranks, or mean words were slung at them, they went about their day loving every person that came across their path.
I remember the first time I realized how jealous I was of these kids. I was jealous because they somehow neglected to notice those foul beings who made fun of them. I was jealous that these kids were able to love any and every person with whom they met. I remember wishing that I could have that ability.
Today, I got to spend a couple hours helping put on the hoop shoot and soccer shoot booth for the Elks Lodge. I got to see at least a thousand smiling faces having the times of their lives. I got to celebrate something that I take for granted on a regular basis. I was able to shoot the basketball and kick the soccer ball with all of these kids, high five them every time they shot the ball or kicked it. I found myself on more than a few occasions choking up a little bit because I was reminded that there are people in the world who are pure of heart, who only want to love. I was shown that there is joy in everything in life. I saw a community of people who love each other and only want the best for each other.
I watched this video a couple years ago. I remember crying so hard because I've seen people act the same way as described and I didn't stand up or say anything. I cried because I didn't defend the defenseless. Take 5 minutes and watch this video. I promise it will be worth your while.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
This topic of bullies has been one of the biggest sorrows and burdens my entire life. This past month has brought all of the memories from my past to the surface and I've had to painfully remember them and use those memories to talk to those around me who are or have been bullied. being called every cruel term about pimples to having a gut. to not wearing the "cool clothes" to smelling like cigarettes because my mom and grandma smoked in the house. to not fitting in and not being accepted for who I was. From the jackass who tormented me every chance he got in high school to the guy who repeatedly tormented me in the pool during PE. The girls who would laugh at me and wouldn't give me the time of day. the ones who looked at me as if I were a Leaper and would give them a disease if they talked to me or had to sit next to me. High school in a nutshell was a nightmare. the football player who was coach johnsons' pride and joy who threw apples and oranges at me, who shoved me into lockers, called me every horrible name he could think of, and made it his life's mission to make me miserable. from pantsing me every chance he got and calling me needle dick whenever there was a group of girls around. He was there to make sure I was the one who was laughed at when there were plenty of people to laugh at me with him.
Yeah, i hated high school. I hated the teachers that didn't listen, I hated the students that laughed at me, i hated those who took it upon themselves to make sure I was as unhappy as possible. What goes through the mind of a kid who is bullied? first, sadness. second, hatred. third, self doubt. fourth, more hatred. fifth, depressing/anxiety/rage. see the pattern? with each and every time that someone is bullied, their rage grows. What happens if that rage doesn't have an outlet? mayhem. That kid who was bullied incessantly finally cannot take it anymore and does one of two things. They take their life, or the life of another. How do I know? I fantasized about the revenge I wanted. it consumed me. All I could think about was the vengeance that I would have one day. The day that I wasn't paying attention and I was hit with an apple in the head from across the classroom and the teacher did NOTHING. What did I have planned at that point? I packed my backpack, I went to my car, I went home, grabbed a baseball bat, and started driving back to school. I was going to make sure that the pain I felt both physically and mentally would be transferred back to this guy. I got back to school and sat in my car for what felt like hours. I cried. I cried hard. Who had I become? This person with so much rage I wanted to cause physical harm to another person? It scared the hell out of me. long story short, I chose NOT to take out my rage on him. Call it a miracle of God, call it a turning point, call it whatever you want. I somehow became the exception. I chose not to hurt another human being.
So, How did I make it out alive? 8 people come to mind apart from my family. Eddie Henderson, Heidi Henderson, Jennifer Morris, Jesse Morris, Daryl Jones, Jenny Jones, Jim Monck, and Sharon Monck, and Bev Kelley. These were all people that were either a pastor, youth pastor, or leader and role model to me. These were people that accepted me completely. pimples, gut, and awkwardness, and everything else. They made me feel as if I belonged. I gradually BELIEVED that I belonged. Eddie, Jesse, and Daryl kept me on the straight and narrow and the wonderful women were the shoulder I needed to share my burdens with. I can confidently say that without them, I don't know if I would be here today.
Thank you Eddie, Heidi, Jennider, Jesse, Daryl, Jenny, Bev, Jim, and Sharon for being there for me when I needed it. You have truly been a godsend to me in my life.
I learned one very important lesson in all of this: It will get better. maybe not today, or tomorrow, but it will get better. I promise.
P.S. do you have a story similar to this? Were you the bully and changed your ways? Share in the comments section and let the world know that Bullies will not be tolerated anymore!
Monday, April 11, 2011
SO, little kid starts walking off and then Tub's friends start mouthing off "Hey, why the fuck do you care?!?!" Let's see.... I was that kid less than 15 years ago. The memories are still VERY clear to me. The memories of being bullied. the memories of having the ever loving dog shit beat out of me are still VERY vivid to me. While your buddy was beating the hell out of him (the little guy) you were watching and laughing. then your mouthy little girlfriend yelled "You're dead you little shit"... now, I see that as a valid threat So I got on the phone and called the police. The two little punks got in their beat up little rice burner car (but not before I got their license plate.. it's 5NKJ761 in case anyone wants to find out who owns it so I can call their parents btw).
While I was waiting for the police to show up, Tubs and his merry band of hoodrats kept slinging insults and threats at me. Unfortunately, they were all under age or I might be writing this blog from jail... that's another story.
SO, I think the day is over, broke up a fight, and did a good deed. hopefully the smaller boy won't have to deal with those bullies again. BUT WAIT, I WAS WRONG!!!!!
So Hoodrat 1 and Hoodrat 2 drive past me, and then proceed to follow me. for 30 minutes.... I called the police again and their response? "well sir, you can come to the police dept if you think they will follow you". Right, and Osama Bin Laden is gunna roll up to the white house and say "Hey Pres Obama, lets partay!". Sure.
So, I decide to slow down and let them drive up next to me. I say "Hello ladies, tell me, are either of you over the age of 18? because if you are, we'll park now and I'll teach you what it means to trifle with someone. Hell, I'll even let the two of you fight. so long as I get to record it and post it on youtube after I've filed my report with the police department for harrasment and threats. Because i'm feeling generous, I will let you know this one thing: I am a Navy Veteran, I was bullied a lot in school, I have no patience or tolerance for bullies, and I will teach you both a lesson on picking on someone. just because there are two of you doesn't mean I won't beat the shit out of you. You will either learn today or another day that picking on someone doesn't do the world any good. now scamper along, go play xbox and talk shit to someone for fragging them in a make believe world where you think you are superior."
They promptly drove off after peeling out their tires while screaming expletives.
SO, here's what I learned today.....
Bullies need to have their asses handed to them for them to eventually realize the harm they are doing. case in point here:
As an adult, whether you have the time or not, whether you are late to work, or have the entire day to yourself... If you see someone being picked on or beaten up or being bullied... stop the damn car and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!! By driving past events like these, you are passively condoning violence and bullies. Stand up for the little guy. I hear so many people talk about how they hate bullies, but they never do anything about it. Was there a chance Tubs and his 4 friends could have ganged up on me? Certainly! Would the kid who was being bullied gotten away? Yep. I am strong enough to take an ass whipping. But how about all those kids who have committed suicide because they weren't strong enough? If they would have seen just one person stand up for them, maybe they would see that they do have someone on their side.
thirdly, the police department is slooooooooooowwwwwww. I was no more than 4 blocks away from the RBPD when this happened. 15 minutes passed before a cop showed up. To say I was fairly disappointed in their *ahem* "timeliness" would be an understatement. and obviously, they have more important things to do... as to what, i'm not sure.
Fourth... a friend of mine said that a 1V1 fight is fair... sure, in MMA fights, Boxing, and other blood sports. Both people step into the ring knowing full well they are going to bash each others' brains in. but in this instance??? a kid twice the size of another? I can only guess by the few seconds of a fight that neither had formal training in fighting. so the argument that it was "fair" is invalid. There was nothing fair about this fight. it was a big boy picking on a little boy. that's not fair in my book.
and Lastly, I vow to ALWAYS stop when I see someone being picked on. Whether the bully is half my size or twice my size. If I get my ass beat in the process of defending someone who can't defend themselves... Those are bumps and bruises I'm willing to take on.
In this day & age, Bullies shouldn't be able to get away with things like this. The police department needs to round the kid up, and take them to Juvie. The schools need to stomp this incessant amount of bullying before it's too late for another child. If you ever pass by an event like the one today, you are just as guilty as the bully in my eyes.
Here's the the underdog! Here's to Rudy! Here's to all people who stand up against bullies and stand up to protect those who can't defend themselves.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
on a side note.. I've been attending a Mastermind Group for the past month. I'm nearly done with my vision board. on there I wrote the following idea: 100K/50K. This year, I want to earn 100K. I also want to find a way to donate half of that to these organizations. I just added one mid way through this post that was 50%. I am hoping that I can get people to donate $25k to these organizations while I am donating my 50K. ok, back to the post.
SO, there I am driving down the road and I realize that one of my life's passions is to volunteer and help raise money for those in need. I've worked with the Mentally ill in Shasta County and when the non profit I worked for shut down, I've never felt so helpless in my life. I had to tll 17 people that I needed to help them find a new home. I hear most of them are doing well. That makes me happy. But there are still transitional housing programs that are certainly struggling. Many city and county governments cut funding for these programs first. Sad to say, but that's how it goes. SO, There is an organization here in Red Bluff called P.A.T.H. (Poor and The Homeless). Here is their website: www.redbluffpath.org. You can also click this link to donate: https://www.justgive.org/basket?acton=donate&ein=68-0465095
Next is The Alyssa Araiza Wings of Angels Organization. Such a great organization! If you go to their website, please have tissues handy. You'll need them. I had to change my shirt since I didn't have a hanky nearby.
Next is the Make a Wish Foundation. Really, I can't say enough about how much this organization rocks. I've been listening to their radiothon all day today. Listening to the stories of kids and their wishes. I pretty much gave up calling on potential customers because every time I got in the car, I found myself pulled over crying listening to the great stories told by parents siblings, and the kids who had wishes come true. If you have a spare ten dollars, please donate to them. I know how tore up I get when my son has an ear infection! I can't even being to try to imagine how these kids, parents, and siblings feel. All I know is I heard happy story after happy story today. I am heading over tomorrow to hand one of the radio DJ's a $50 bill to help out. Here's the link to donate: https://simplecheckout.authorize.net/payment/CatalogPayment.aspx
And lastly, my good buddy Pedro Perez and his wife Christy have two kids with Mitochondria. I will be honest, I can hardly understand what the hell this disease is. I do know this: Mitochondrial diseases can affect any organ in the body and at any age. I also know how many times Pedro and his wife have been in the ER trying to find out what is happening to their lovely kids. By the way, their kids are absolutely adorable. His son Ethan has the awesomest laugh that I've ever heard. It would be a sad day if that Laugh didn't permeate into the world anymore. SO, Now that you've donated to Make a Wish, PATH, and Wings of Angels, take your credit card one more time and click HERE.
If you only spent one dollar at each place. That's one coffee. Can you go without Starbucks or Dutch Bros or Java Detour for one morning? Can you skip McDonald's to help out? I am skipping fast food and coffee and sodas. That money alone should help me donate around $100 a month to all of these groups. So please, from me, my friends, those I've never met before, and millions who you or I will never meet face to face, I urge you to help out. Thank you.
The Nice Guy
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
I found this email that I had printed out when I was in the Navy. I read it last weekend and then shared it as a note on Facebook. Then today, I found an article about a wounded soldier who was heckled at Columbia University while giving a speech in support of the ROTC. You can read the story HERE. I tell ya what, by the end of the story, I found my knuckles were white and my blood was boiling. OF COURSE the ritsy titsy rich parents don't want their kids to go to war or learn what it means to serve our country. OF COURSE they are against the war. OF COURSE they would say the military preys on low income families. What really pisses me off? The amount of federal funding that goes to Columbia. I don't know how much, but I am more than certain that they get money from the government. so these pansy ass students who are against the war want to rally and say things like "1 in 3 females in the military are sexually assaulted" But they failed to mention how many females are sexually assaulted on a college campus. hypocrisy much?!?!
Anyways, off my soap box. Here's the note I posted on Facebook. Tell me what you think about all of this.
"It could have been any night of the week, as I sat in one of those loud and casuel steak houses that are cropping up all over the country. You kjnow the type- a bucket of peanuts on the table, shells littering the floor, and a bunch of perky collee kids racing around with longneck beers and sizzling platters.
Taking a sip of my iced tea, I studied the crowd oer the rim of my glass. I let my gaze linger on a few of the tables next to me, where several uniformed military members were enjoying their meals. Smiling sadly, I glanced across my booth tothe empty seat where my husband usually sat. Had it only been a few weeks since we had sat at this very table talking about his upcoming deployment to the middle east? He made me promise to come back to this restaurant once a month, sit in our booth, and treat myself to a nice dinner. He told me that he would treasure the thought of me there eating a steak and thinking about him until he came home. I fingered the little flag pin I wear on my jacket and wondered where at that moment he was. Was he safe and warm? Was his cold any better? Were any of my letters getting to him? As I pondered all of these things, shrill feminine voices from the next booth broke into my thoughts.
"I don't know what Bush is thinking invading Iraq. Didn't he learn anything from his father's mistakes? He is an idiot anyway. I can't believe he is even in office. You know he stole the election"
I cut into my steak and tried not to listen as they began an endless tirade of running fown our president. I thought about the last night I was with my husband as he prepared to deploy. He has just returned from getting his smallpox and Anthrax shots and the image of him standing in our kitchen packing his gas mask still gave me chills.
once again, their voiced invaded my thoughts.
"Its all about oil you know. Our military will go in and rape and pillage and steal all the oil they can int he name of freedom. I wonder how many innocent lives our soldiers will take without a thought? It is just pure greed"
My chest tightened and I stared at my wedding ring. I could picture how handsome my husband was in his mess dress the day he slipped it on my finger. I wondered what he was wearing at that moment. He probably had on his desert uniform. Affectionately dubbed coffee stains, over the top of which he wore a heavy bulletproof vest.
"We should just leave Iraw alone. I don't think they are hiding any weapeons... I think it is all a ploy to increase the president's popularity and pad the budget of our military at the expense of social security and education. We are just asking for another 9/11 and I can't say when it happens again that we didn't deserve it"
Teir words brought to mind the war protesters I had watched gathering outside our base. Did no one appreciate the sacrifice of brave men and women who leave theirhomes and family to ensure our freedom? I glimpsed at the tables around me an saw the faces of some of those courageous men. Looking sad as they listened to the ladies talk.
"Well, I for one, think it is a travesty to invade Iraw and I am certainly sick of our tax dollars going to train professional baby killers we call a Military."
Professional baby killers?!?! As I thought about what a wonderful father my husband is and wondered how long it would be before he was able tosee his children again, indignation rose up within me. Normally reserved, pride in my husband gave me a boldness I ha never known. Tonight, one voice would cry our on behalf of themilitary. One shy woman would stand and let her pride in our troops be known. I made my way to their table, placing my palms flat on it and lowered myself to be eye level with them. Smiling I said "I couldn't help overhearing your your conversation. I am sitting over here trying to enjoy my dinner alone. Do you know why I am alone? Because my husband, whom I love dearly, is halfway across the world defending your right to say rotten things about him. You have the right to your opinion, and what you think is none of my business. But what you say in my hearing is and I will not sit by and listen to you run down my country, my president, my husband, and all these other fine men and women in here who put their lives on the line to give you the freedom tocomplain. Freedom is expensive ladies. Don't let your words and actions cheapen it."
I must have been louder than I meant to be, because about that time the manager came over and asked if everything was all right. "yes, thank you" I replied and then turned back to the ladies. "Enjoy the rest of your meal."
To my surprise, as I sat down to finish my steak, a round of applause broke out in the restaurant. Not long after the ladies picked up their check and scurried away, the manager brought me a huge helping of apple cobbler and ice cream. Compliments of the table to my left. He told me that the ladies had tried to pay for my dinner but someone had already beaten them to it. When I asked who, he said the couple had already left, but that the man had mentioned he was a WWII Vet and wanted to take care of the wife of one of our boys.
I turned to thank the soldiers for the cobbler, but they wouldn't hear a word of it retorting "Thank you, you said what we wanted to, but weren't allowed"
As I drove home that night, for the first time in a while, I didn't feel quite so alone. My heart was filled with the warmth of all the patrons who had stopped by my table to tell me they too were proud of my husband and that he would be in their prayers. I knew their flags would fliy a little higher the next day. Perhaps they would look for tangible ways to show their pride in our country and our troops. And maybe, just MAYBE, the two ladies sitting at that table next to me would pause for a minute to appreciate all the freedom this great country offers and what it costs to maintain. As for me, I had learned that one voice can make a difference. Maybe the next time protesters gather outside the gates of the base where I live, I will proudly stand across the street with a sign of my own. a sign that says "THANK YOU!!"
Note from me:
I also fought for every persons right for freedom of speech, the right to have an opinion, the right to live in this country without fear of religious persecution. whenever the weather is decent in Red Bluff (meaning around 70 degrees with no wind or rain or blistering heat) a group of protsters gather on main street to protest the war and protest the military. I like to call them fair weather protesters. If it REALLY mattered to them, they would be out there all day every day of every week of every month of every year. Rain, sleet, snow, sunshine, or 115 degree weather. But they aren't. Actions speak louder than words. If you care about something, SHOUT it from the the mountaintops. If you were able to read this note, thank a teacher. If you were able to read it in english, thank a veteran or service member.
If you found this note offensive, I honestly can't say I am sorry. If it did offend you, you have the right to not read it, you have the right to unfriend me, you have the right to call me whatever name you please. I won't be offended. After all, I fought for that right too.
To sum it all up, I think a sticker on a car I saw words it best. If you don't want to stand behind our troops, please, FEEL FREE to stand in front of them.