Breaking Down Walls

The Beginning – The 30 Day challenge

In the last few years I have been attempting to build a life for myself that I could be proud of and that I could look back on as full. I believe that life is for living, cliques I know, but I don’t want to grow old having more regrets than adventures. I may not get to everything that I want to do but I am attempting to taste as much of life as I can 30 days at a time.

I have taken on 30 day challenges that motivate me, that teach me, and that test me. I have given up television, porn, and alcohol. I have edited my diet, been vegan, been Paleo, been sugar free, given up fried foods and have been a water champion (a gallon a day). I have read book and written journals, listened to music and watched movies, done yoga and exercised daily, all for 30 day challenges. Some of these events tested my patience and resolve. Some I didn’t finish and some I have continued with after the 30 days had passed.

The last challenge took me off of social media. I was not allowed to log into any of the socials for any reason. I could communicate through text and phone call but could not peruse the life events of my friends and family. I had discovered that I was losing time in my life scrolling. I found that I was becoming addicted to the scroll. I felt like I couldn’t stop checking for the most recent updates. I was not sharing my life but I wanted to know everything about everyone…FOMO. The challenge was 1. to test my will against this new addiction, 2. to regain the time I was losing, 3. to determine if there was any reason that I could justify needing social media, and 4. to see if anyone would notice.

I have to say it was harder than it sounds. I experienced ghost messages (I felt alerts happening although I wasn’t logged in). I found myself in the early days reaching for my phone when I was bored or just out of habit. As the time went on I found I did get more sleep, I found I had more time to relax. I was not getting as anxious about my phone not being in my hand. My battery life on the phone improved and I didn’t need to ‘like’ anything or comment on anything. After I returned to social media I found that I really didn’t miss anything. I have seen that I have begun to scroll at an increased pace and the sleep has reduced. I may have to get off of socials for a longer time but that is a challenge for the future.

One drawback was that I don’t think most people noticed that I was not on the socials. I have to admit I did not feel good noticing that I didn’t receive many calls or text or wellness checks. I wondered what would happen if I just stopped communicating with people that I associated with. How long would it take for anyone to notice. Why? why did I feel so forgettable? I have to admit this realization did a number on my ego. I wondered if I misjudged my impact on my friends and families lives. I wondered if I had seen the relationships in an exaggerated light.

Luckily, a friend reached out to me a few days ago and I was able to get some perspective. I was told that I usually speak in broad terms and was made aware that I was very guarded even to the closest people around me, I don’t share stories or my past or what I’m going through. This was an opinion that I had to agree was very true. I realized a couldn’t expect anyone to want to care about me if I didn’t allow anyone to get to know me. I can’t just be a passenger in the relationships in my life. I have to share and be open. So, I have decided to break the walls down.

For the next 30 days I will be an open book and will share daily on this site, not just the good idea of me, but all the crumbs and dirty bits that may be painful to share. For better or worse I will be digging into the dark corners but at the end of this 30 days, if you follow this, you should have a better picture of just who I am.

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House Arrest

When I started trying to write this one I found that it seemed to be missing soul. I decided to redo it this way and hope I like it better. In these Covid times I can’t help but feel my solitude even more than normal. The days have become more routine and truly my own Groundhogs day. I needed to escape my house anyway possible. I caught up with shows that I wanted to watch and even found a way to watch the movie Tenet to see if I could get back to normal times. Unfortunately, even a great movie didn’t get me out of my four walls.

I decided to go to Atlanta for the weekend and that was really helpful. I got to spend time with friends and catchup. I was able to be around people, hugs, and talk to people face to face. We went to a couple local places to eat U-Joint, and Home Grown were fantastic. Apparently Home Grown not only have a fantastic Comfy chicken and gravy breakfast, but they have been featured on a couple food channels for their fantastic menu. I was able to even get to J.D.’s by the Lake, and enjoy Lake Allatoona’s views and fresh air. By the way if you watched the show Ozarks J.D.’s was the real bar location that Marty Byrde purchased when the moved to the “Ozarks”.

On the flight up and back on Spirit (my first time on Spirit) I was able to watch the show Criminal on Netflix. It helped me not think about the full flight of travelers that may or may not have been healthy. The show played to my inner detective even though the setting of the show was the same interrogation room for all the episodes. I got into Atlanta and was excited my Hynes Eagle weekend backpack worked as my personal bag so no bag fees.

Then there was Ember the Blue Australian Shepherd Dog puppy that is now the new member of my extended friends and family. She was just a ball of fur with so much personality. She has the most crazy marble eyes, 3 colors and of course like any new born is completely fearless and just wants to play and nap all day. That being said, I got my pet fix though so no, I will not be getting any personal pets soon.

Overall the trip was fantastic and what I needed. Now that I’m back home I can refocus on setting goals and making my way to financial independence. That way if these lock downs continue I can book a couple getaways and at least pretend things aren’t weird.

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Hold on

Imagine going to your favorite amusement park and getting on your favorite ride. You got into your seat and are all buckled in. You might be riding alone or with a partner. Others might be in a group but you are all ready to ride. You might see others scared or nervous about the ride. You yourself might have some anxiety as you wait for the ride to start going. You know you just need to get past the build up then the fun will begin. Maybe after the big drop it will be better. One thing you know for sure is that the ride will end but you wish it can go on forever.

As the ride goes, some parts are fun and you are alive you are alert you are focused…you white knuckle some of it and you let go at other parts. For some of you the ride it torture for some it’s freedom. There is screaming, tears, laughter, maybe even breathe taking moments. Some people start the ride ready to die but as it gets closer to the end they don’t want it to end.

The ride give and takes from you…you’re proud that you were brave to stay on but you might have lost some money out of your pockets. You might have lost a hat, who knows. You can get that all back later. The thing is those things you lost don’t compare to the fun you experienced. You wish you could stay on that ride forever.

Well here is a poor kept secret you are on that ride called LIFE right now. It’s true it has it’s ups and downs it can make you so excited and can scare you completely. The only thing to remember is the cold hard truth of it…you can only ride this ride once. Once it’s ended there is no second ride (that we know of). Make it count. Enjoy every second that you are here. Don’t worry about the change you will lose…the ride is the important bit. Enjoy the ride and hold on.

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Covid’s Kiss

For an introvert meeting new people is difficult. It is hard to get out of my head sometimes to actually attempt to interact with someone new. I usually have to motivate myself or have liquid courage to even speak to a stranger. Apparently, I have taken “stranger danger” to heart. Bars, clubs, or just hanging out with friends usually allowed me to have a chance at meeting someone new, but here comes Covid to just make things just a tiny bit harder.

Bars are closed so no liquid courage. Restaurants, movie theaters, and most attractions are closed so there goes traditional date nights. Friends and families are all staying away from each other so no home gatherings. Masks are necessary whenever you are in any store or out in public so I can’t even really communicate with anyone or see their face. What do I have left, arranged marriage?

It feels like I will find someone online or within some distant relationship. I have never really tried a long distant thing but I don’t hear good things. So online, I can try to get to know someone but I have no idea if we really connect and who knows when we would ever be able to be in the same place without both of us taking a test first. The first date is potentially a 14 day affair where one of us could possibly die or be sick. How are we supposed to date or have sex?

To be fair some companies are going to make a killing at these covid times. Just today I found a Facebook promotion for their new dating app. They made sure to mention they would help me date during Covid. Then of course there are those remote sex toys that can be purchased to simulate your partner if you have one. There is Zoom, Skype, and food delivery apps that can help me have a remote date.

The one thing that I can’t imagine happening in this Covid time is the one thing I love the most about new relationships besides getting to know someone, it’s “making out”…mainly kissing. I love kissing. Thanks Covid…now I can die if I kiss someone. It’s like all my favorite things turning into vegetables. Shoes?..no asparagus. Movies and music?…no boiled Brussels sprouts. The feel of soft moist lips against your own with tongues probing and sharing one breath?…no just steamed, mushy, unseasoned zucchini.

Kissing is so much more intimate to me than sex. I hear that it cost extra for kissing if you have to pay for a sexual partner. I know that’s an extreme situation but it’s an example of how special kissing is. Kissing is so primal, so animal, it can cause other physiological functions in the body that usually require stimulation to just happen. It causes “excitement” is what I’m saying. I sometimes look at people and just wonder if they are good kissers and what it would be like to kiss them.

My already small dating window is now even smaller. New rules have emerged. The test for Covid-19 isn’t always free and can take up to 14 days to just show a result. For a private person like me I have no idea how I am supposed to meet someone and build a relationship when I can’t be closer than 6 feet from anyone. Anyway, if someone can tell me how to date during Covid that would great, Thanks.

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The word “Should”

I recently have discovered that I am not a fan of the word “should” or “shouldn’t”. In life there are no absolutes, there are no existing paths that we can predict exactly. When those terms are used I can feel my muscles tighten and the hair on my arm to rise. It is not as bad as some other words that make me have a physically violent reaction but I am finding myself way more aware of how and when they are used.

I did a quick search online for the term “The word should” and received a full page of results with articles expressing the reasons we need to resist using the term “should”. I felt somewhat vindicated once I found those results. I am not alone to think that the use of the term should and shouldn’t can lead to a negative or defensive communcation.

There are no exacts in life so nothing should be expected to happen or not happen. When we say “it should” or “it shouldn’t” we are expressing that we expect a result and are not open to any variation. Life is all about variation. We go through our life not knowing what is to come moment to moment. In my career I have been met with situations where variations can happen but for some of the superiors they shouldn’t have. This never explains the varied result or presented a correction it just indicated that the result that was achieved “should not” have. But it did. The person that says “well it shouldn’t have” appears to be in a battle with their own beliefs beyond a technical issue

When I hear should or shouldn’t I feel challenged. I get defensive. I feel judged. I feel like the person that says that to me doesn’t believe me. They don’t believe I have done something correctly or that the process supersedes life itself. Life is mostly chaos nothing should or shouldn’t occur.

My final argument, don’t tell me what to do, or what I should do or shouldn’t do.

I will try to not use the words should or shouldn’t.

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The Institution of a Human

I was taught to be a gentleman. I was taught to be respectful to other, to give and earn respect. My family raised me to stand tall, to look others in the eye, to be honest and fair. I was taught not to judge or idolize other people as we are all Gods creation. I was taught to work hard and aim for the stars, that anything was possible. I was told I could do anything I set my mind to, that my only limitation was my imagination. For most of my days on this planet what I was taught and what I have learned have not always matched up.

My parents moved our family the drug infested city to a quiet Florida town when I was an adolescent. There goal was to give us a better chance to grow up without worrying about threats of violence or the trappings of crime. More importantly, they knew that we didn’t have to be involved in crime to have possible negative interactions with law enforcement.

Jay-Z has a line in the song “Do it Again” in which he says the lines “I Seen the same thing happen to Kane – Three cuts in your eyebrow tryin to wild out “. Well, long before that song I was a fan of Big Daddy Kane and would want to be as cool as him, so as you can guess with the influence of some older teens I shaved cuts in my eyebrow. I had no idea the slits would have meaning. Looking it up would explain that slits in the eyebrow can mean gang affiliation, or like the teardrop it could count the amount of intentional crime the bearer may have committed. Now I know it could also just mean I was trying to seem cool and failing but to a stranger it could be a different story. My parents freaked out when they saw me. They couldn’t understand what I was thinking. As a kid I couldn’t understand why they weren’t cool it was just slits. This is why I love them though…they sat me down and explained what they feared about me making such body modification. Keep in mind this was the late 80’s…tattoos were strictly for sailors or someone with some jail time. Piercings were really only in the ears or maybe the nose if they were super freaks, so body modifications were not the norm. This was my first police conversation.

My parents were concerned that if someone, with similar slits in their eyebrows, had committed a crime and the police came looking for the person I could easily be mistaken for that person and be taken to jail. They explained it was as equally important to avoid the police as it was to avoid the criminals. They told me about the night my uncle was arrested and put in jail because a false witness claimed he raped a women. He was later released and charges dropped since he bared no resemblance to the real rapist, but he did spend a weekend in jail while they figured it out. From that point I learned to avoid law enforcement. Respect them but stay away from them.

Dave Chappelle has a joke where he explains that we want to call police for help too but we don’t because we know they would never believe that we were the victim. The rift between civilians and law enforcement is not new. It has been in existence to some degree all my life. I have a hard time recalling any music, shows, or movies where law enforcement was painted in a positive light. I have to think back to Andy Griffith show or Swat if I want to see a police system that doesn’t have some sort of corruption in it. Think about it, what positive police story do you know about. The last one I know happened a few years back when an officer bought shoes for a homeless man. Turns out that was for a photo opportunity and may not have been the most genuine act.

This is not to say that police have not done remarkable work or have not helped in some way but it’s more to say they have a bad reputation and refuse to try to improve it. They risk their lives to try to make a difference in crime and that is commendable. I just can’t report that I know of them collectively attempting to make a positive difference in anyone’s life. Corruption, quotas, abuse of power, law breaking, apathy, and violence are too easy to associate with the system built to protect and serve.

I will admit I am prejudiced about law enforcement. They are out to arrest as many people as they can to boost their numbers. They will plant drugs on me, they will say I fit the description of a man that did – fill in the blank-. They will search my car, my house, my person. They will arrest me in public and release me in private. They will judge me before they say a word to me. They will shoot first and ask no questions. They will lie, cheat, and steal to close their case. They will ignore facts to make it work. They will harass me. They drink, they do drugs, they cheat on their families, they take bribes, they beat people up. They are disrespectful and rude. They are disorganized and out of shape. They are racist to all and are dirty. They are a gang. “Losers” and “Thugs”. They are lazy and scared, dumb and will never go on to do anything good but take tax payer money and live off the system. Not you, you’re one of the good ones. Some of my friends are officers. If they would just be good they wouldn’t have anything to worry about.

Protect and Serve. Look out for me, support me, assist me, prevent harm from coming to me, guide me…these are all part of the job too. Where has that gone? Has the institution fallen victim to the money grab trap where corners are cut to the limit and you only focus on numbers? Do you not want to be better?

As a black man, I follow the rules and have been luck enough to not have to interact with law enforcement. I want you to know I still know what to do when I get pulled over or stopped. I open all the windows, I turn off the car and turn off the music. I have both hands on the wheel and don’t make any sudden movements. I use my best English, speak slowly and clearly. I announce my movements. I answer with Sir, please and thank you’s. I don’t raise my voice and try to smile. I don’t argue or challenge the offense. I do everything I can to survive and limit the time that I have to interact with law enforcement. That should give me about a 50-50 shot to make it home. If I see a cop on the street I might cross the street. If I am near them I make sure I know the exits and keep an eye on their body language. As you are aware I have to be extra careful with what I do or say to de-escalate situations or I might die. If you have never felt that in you life, be blessed. Tell any officer you know to stop brutalizing and killing black people.

This is my experience. I don’t expect it to be yours but understand it could be. Please don’t think because you are not black you have it any easier. You can and will get the same treatment on any given interaction. Especially now. You see my friends you have joined in standing up to police to get them to change their ways. Well now, they will either treat us all better or treat us all worse. Our number 1 cop has called for harsher treatment and has not called for reform so expect some really interesting interactions to come. We won’t be able to call it racist if the next televised beating is of a beautiful young white male. (They will miss the point that we want them to stop beating and killing us not just stop killing and beating black people.) We might lose that point as well if we are not careful.

Please listen to the podcast Serial (season 3). It’s about the Cleveland Judicial system. It gives you a clear view of what happens when people are arrested and get into the system in any state. That entire judicial institution needs an overhaul and it’s own blog.

A word of advise. Don’t believe everything the media shows you. They have an agenda to sell horror. They won’t show you everything and they won’t show you anything positive. They will turn and twist the perspective to give the most horrific point of view. The worst witnesses, the worst angles, then they will yell “see, see, look how bad this is”. They spread negativity and promote violence and crime. They can just as racist as anyone they just hide it with fancy words. They will distract you with the new crazy story and not completely stop talking about the last thing. Is Kim Jung Un still alive?, What happened to R Kelly, or Harvey Weinstein? It the Talaban still an issue? Are we still at war? Didn’t someone attack one of our ships? I healthcare reform still an issue? What about the wall, who’s paying for that? Are people still locked up in detention centers with family members missing? Is Michigan water still brown? What about global warming, is that still a thing? Oh is Covid-19 still a thing? Are people still dying? Are there still mass graves and ice body trucks?

The news and media will corrupt the truth. They will hide the truth from you. They will tell you something is bad for you this week and good for you next week. They will give out your name as a evil person but when you are found innocent you might get a 2 sentence back page update saying you were released and innocent. The news is not your friend no matter what team you support.

Media people do better. Police do better. The entire judicial system do better.

Minority people we have to protect ourselves and each other. If you see something crazy in the neighborhood and you can help, help. Travel in groups so you have witnesses and alibis. If an arrest is going down film it so they can’t plant drugs on us or lie on us. Let’s eat better. Let’s build our communities. Help your neighbor, if you are mowing your lawn ask the neighbor if they need help with theirs. If you know how to work on cars and you see your neighbor with a beater on the lawn ask them if they need help with it. Let’s beautify our neighborhoods. Lets put cameras up around our homes on a closed circuit network so we can self patrol and not depend on the government to do it. They don’t want us to do well so lets do better than that. Let’s build our money, let’s go our families. Let’s support local, mom and pop shops. Let’s vote and build community outreach. Let’s hold all the politicians accountable. If they aren’t doing we vote in who will. I don’t mean accept people the put in our face, pick the right people and grow them to do what we ask not what the money tells them to do. I you see corruption happening spread the word so we know who’s out hear taking money and not representing us. This goes for any so called national support group that you find out is not support like they claim. Let’s not fall for the nonsense anymore. Don’t let them distract you or try to force you into doing something that will hurt you.

Thank you for reading this. I am numb about what has happened in these past weeks but I am hopeful that change will happen. Stay focused on the issue and on the goal…don’t let them change the narrative or tell us what we want. We are here for each other and calling for reform and justice. Don’t forget that.

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Running Man

Ever since I could remember I have not been a fan of running. I know all about the benefits of running…weight loss, stress relief, runner’s high, extra days to my life. I have friends that love to run and do it to relax. I know I would get so much out of it but it has never been a good experience for me. I’m gonna give you my top 3 running memories.

The first was when I was very small, probably 7 or so. I was in Brooklyn NY, and it was summer in the late afternoon. I was with a my cousin and we were with some neighborhood kids just doing what kids do. Some were on bikes and we were on foot. I don’t recall who came up with the idea of racing but I recall myself lining up against one of the kids that was a bike. It was man vs man on machine. In my mind my speed would leave that bike in the dust. The race track a parking lot seemed to my young eyes to be about a mile…(I had no idea what a mile was at that time, it was probably 5 car lengths in reality). All the other kids lined up and were ready to see the greatest race of their young lives.

The start was fair and I had the early lead..I couldn’t be stopped…I was planning my victory speech when I got my first alert of fear. I didn’t see anything but the finish but then I heard the sound that would turn this run of fun into a run for my life. It was the sound of a nightmare, it was dark deep rumble. The waves the sound made translated to my mind that “if you dare stop running I will consume your entire being”. The beast let out his snapping bark as it warning that it’s teeth were hungry, hungry for man and I was on the menu. I could feel his hot breath on my neck. I had to escape his clutches the only way I knew how and that was to push my body past it’s known limits and simply run!

Looking back I can tell you I didn’t see who had the pup restrained or where they came from and that just added to my fear. I didn’t expect the barks so it scared the run out of me. I no longer cared about a race I just didn’t want to get bit. However big or small the dog was it sounded like it wanted my life. In reality I was not in danger since the dog could not get to me but I had no idea and I ran all the way home.

The second run event happened a few years later. I was was walking home with my dad from the Newark Penn Station (train station in Newark NJ). We were joined by a neighbor that lived in our building and his daughter that was my age. As the adults were engaged in conversation on the walk the girl and I were left to entertain ourselves. We began to play a little racing game. We would race each other across each intersection. We were equals as for a time the races found each of us being victorious. As we progressed home my confidence increased. I did get a bit cocky but karma had some teaching to do. We entered a major intersection and I had the jets on…I knew I had the advantage as the finish line closed in. I was so confident that I turned my head to taunt my opponent and the lead increased. I turned back forward to claim victory only to have a rope and my nose to become quickly acquainted.

It all happened in slow motion. The rope was put up to guard against pedestrians stepping into a sidewalk repair. That rope perfectly aligned with my nose bridge and stopped the top half of my body while my legs took flight. I was on my back before I know what happened. I didn’t know how to breath since all the air had escaped my body. That was probably one of my last races ever. Of course being embarrassed in front of a girl didn’t help.

Time number 3. This was again a chase than a run but I entered gears I never knew I had in my little legs. I had several routes home from school in Orange NJ and I would alter my route randomly with friends as we walked to each of our destinations. One afternoon as I neared the corner to turn to my home I was confronted by the neighborhood bully. They called him Dirty Bert and he should have been in middle school but he might as well had been an adult to me. He approached me with a surprising aggression that I didn’t expect. It was like I landed in the middle of a conversation I didn’t know we were having. He came at me like I had wronged him in some unknown way. He questioned me with the skills of a seasoned interrogator as he posed my coat collar. I could see my house but it seemed to be an impossible option to get to. He invited me to challenge his ability to beat me up by telling me to “say I won’t” repeatedly. I didn’t know what I did to this kid but I knew I had to get away from this situation.

I was shoved to the ground as I looked for an escape opportunity. I was so glad that I spent times watching movies on Saturday afternoons and had learned that sand to the face offered a chance. I got some sand in my hand and waited for the perfect time, then I was swift like Nike and flew down the block on winged shoes. I made a right then another never looking back. I found a spot to hide for a moment as my enemy looked for me. My hiding space was brief as my location not secure. I barely escaped my pursuer again when he discover where I tried to hide. I ran and ran making a third right getting back to the original location of this nightmare. I was fortunate that Bert had ended his chase and I made it home.

I told my parents about what happened and it was one of the few time that I saw my father that angry. A few days later my father and Bert had a conversation…and I never had a bully issue again.

It might not be fair to use these examples to prevent me from running but they do add to my hesitance to try. I also think I need to improve my breathing so I can run better.

This is where you come in. How do I begin a running routine, and how do I improve my breathing? Are there any exercises I should do first to build up to running or that can improve my breathing and heart rate?

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The Norm?

“Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider, is chaos for the fly.” – Morticia Addams

We are going through a crazy time right now. We have to stay in our homes and wear masks and gloves. People are becoming ill at an alarming rate. We have runs on products and foods and unemployment is the highest we’ve seen in a generation. Industries and the economy are under attack and are under threat. Life for all of use has been a bit different these past few months.

Sometimes I have to remember this is not a movie that this is real life. What is happening can and has effected people that I know. I have not gotten sick myself but there are days that I question is this really happening. I attempted to keep my life as normal as I could at the start of this outbreak. I woke up at the same time, went to work at the same time, ate out at the same places, and didn’t change a thing. I didn’t start running to the store to buy everything. Even when my work management opened the opportunity to work remotely I still went into the office. This was not really a chaotic enough event for me to worry.

I had enough supplies, my normal routine didn’t need to change since I really don’t do much during the week besides work and home. I wash my hands, and even last year purchased gloves and medical masks. To be fair, I bought those things while everyone in the office was sick and still coming to work. People in the office made fun of me for making too much out of a normal flu. You can see the irony.

This type of world issue makes an over thinker like me seem like a genius. Always thinking about what could happen, the what if’s of things. I had 36 rolls of toilet paper in my closet…and that is normal for me. I had paper towels and Clorox wipes. I even had some bleach just running lower than my normal. Even my work setup already existed with no major change required. I was ready.

Now I have moved to the next level. I have begun my hurricane prep. While people are fighting for toilet paper I ordered batteries, a battery powered fan, soups, spam, chick peas. I have a propane stove, I have battery and wind powered radios, I have a full tank of gas and cash on hand. I have been buying cases of water and making sure I have at least 4 cases at all times. The funny thing is while prepping for hurricanes that haven’t happened yet all the things I need are still available. Side note I was still able to find toilet paper, bleach, wipes and paper towels at my local Sam’s club. I haven’t been in any danger.

I haven’t had to freak out in this chaos. I have had time to think (always dangerous). I heard someone say “if you don’t use the things you have you will lose them.” I have had time to look around my house and realize it was a bit of a mess. For the past 2 days I’ve been de-cluttering and cleaning. I realized I have things that I haven’t seen or used for years. I realized I had boxes in my living room that I had no idea what was in them. I realized I had a minor hurricane in my house. I started in a closet and 6 containers that hadn’t been opened in 4 years. I purged what I didn’t need to keep and put the rest back. I bought a shelving unit to store all the kitchen devices I bought over the years and almost never used.

I went through those boxes, and wouldn’t you know it, half of them were empty. I had a book shelf and unfortunately is fell apart when I attempted to move it (ordered a new one). I bought kitchen island so I could actually cook more and have more space to work. I cleaned the kitchen and actually cooked. I took some items to the salvation army that I didn’t need. Now my apartment doesn’t look so bad.

During this time I have also made contact with with friends and family I haven’t been able to spend time with in years. I have used Zoom, House Party, Skype, Twitch, and Facebook to meet with family that I haven’t seen since I was 9 years old.

This is life. This is normal. Can you imagine my that my life is better now than is was before this virus hit? Life gives you lemons, clean your house. What is chaos really? Is it life falling apart or is it an opportunity to clear out the waste and focus on what is really important?

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Day – 30 – Fin…for now

So almost 30 consistent day of blogging have come to an end. This is it. This is day 30. What did I get out of this? Well, I think I was able to provide some really good inside into who I am and my history. Some of the stories didn’t include some details only to protect the innocent. Each entry was like a reopening of a scar but I think they all helped me heal. I know some of these post have been long but I hope that it helps the readers get to know some things about me. I have other stories but they could incriminate too many people.

I will continue to blog on a less regular basis so I can get into the next 30 days. About that, I have the next 30 day challenge set to start tomorrow. I have a goal of drinking 1 gallon of water a day and to sleep 8 hours a night. Now these sound easy but realize it is almost 1:30 am that I am writing this. The other problem is that drinking more water means more peeing so I will have to hit the restroom more often. Hopefully my management understands what is happening. With the 8 hours it will be tough since my body is use to going to bed late and up early.

Although, some of these posts were difficult to write and took time they were all special to me. I appreciate everyone that followed this block or that took the time to read the posts. l hope to keep inspiring people. I hope to keep opening up to all of those people close to me and strengthening my relationships. I learned that I could write a little and that I might have found a hobby I can keep with. I love you all and it’s Fin.

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Day – 29 – Until the Wheels Fall Off

All I can do is laugh sometimes. I had a car issue this week. Well it has been an ongoing issue for a while but I decided I needed to get it fixed. My budget has been tight for a while but with a car payment I would have to get that second job I don’t want to get. Anyway, I worked with a great mechanic and he ordered the parts and gave me a fantastic family price. I paid him and set a date to get the repairs done. The plan was to get there at noon and back by 4. Well here is where the plans and reality love to make jokes. The parts I needed were great but the then other parts went bad. So I paid for the new parts and I thought okay pay it now and then don’t have to worry about a car issue for a while. I got home about 9pm. The car felt great and I was feeling optomistic.

This morning I was a little behind on time and as I left a black cat walked in front of my car. I am not superstitious but hear me out. I got into the car to discover my new favorite jeans had a hole in the leg. I didn’t have time to change so I went to work and hoped that would be all of the stress I would face.

I got through the day and planned to do two blogs, this one and my final of the 30 days of blogging. I got home and grabbed my laptop. I got back into the car and got a call from my mother. We were catching up and as I pulled into the parking space I noticed a new shiny “check engine soon” light came on. I turned the car off and back on and the light came back on. I turned it off again and popped the hood. I checked the one thing I thought it could be, the oil. It seemed low so I figured let it rest and see if the light would go away. I would put oil in the car and hope to not see the light, but it came back up. I called the mechanic in hopes that he would have a great simple fix.

He explained that I need to have it scanned and that the oil would not show that light. I went to the local car parts shop and they gave me the code. I called the mechanic and he explained what he felt the code meant. Another will need to be purchased and he will come to me in a few days to hopefully fix whatever this fresh nonsense is. I am frustrated but like the survivor that I am, I will get through this and deal with the bigger issues in the road headed my way.

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Day – 28 – Art-fart (totally unedited)

I have an affinity for the arts. Music, acting, dance, visual arts, Martial, body, you name it I like the arts. I like beautiful things. I try to find the beauty in everything. This is one of the broad terms that I express. So here are some more direct examples of how I take in the “arts”.

I am a lover of music. I usually have to be in a mood to listen to certain styles. This evening I started by listening to a mix of jazz. I got tired of that, it was making me sleepy. Then I moved over to listening to Skepta and Stormzy…2 of the UK’s best known Hip Hop artists. Then as I am writing this I am listening to ASAP Ferg. I might change over to some 90s Nine inch Nails before I shut down. Earlier I listened to a DUB mix….perfect smokers mix (I would be such a pot aficionado.) I can listen to almost any type of music and appreciate the hard work the artist, the band and engineer put into that 4 minutes that I hear. I listen to the music and the lyrics so it is always interesting to hear something new when you are listening to a song I’ve heard countless times. Check out the podcast Disect. The host breaks down albums and give so much insight to the artist and the details of their work I have had to listen to albums and songs I thought I knew and it becomes almost like a college course.

I love a good story. I usually invest time in movies and shows that touch my story bone. I loves certain books for the same reason. One thing that I do and can be annoying to others is actively try to figure out the course the show can go. I can usually predict what the creator of the show is attempting to accomplish and what the story will be. There are shows that catch me off guard. Game of thrones was one of those. I watched the first season and thought I had it down until the main character was killed at the end of the first season. They had me from there. I immediately read the wiki on the stories, got all the books and read them and became a fan craving more. That is what made the end so disappointing. It came in with a roar and just died with a yelp. Most shows have a problem with ending in my opinion.

I love martial arts. It started when I discovered the Saturday afternoon Kung-fu movies. The movies were silly but the choreography was amazing…also the english voice dubs were hilarious. I am now a huge fan of mixed martial arts. I respect the development and the bravery of the fighters. I usually like to study the fights and see try to see what the combatants are attempting to do. What new techniques will they attempt? The little things that they do, the tells of what they will do next. It is an amazing sport to watch. I know this is probably why gladiator sports have always been so popular.

I love visual arts I love to study the famous pieces that everyone knows. I think about how they did these master works with out any technological assistance; how they mixed colors how they developed their skills. I know I don’t currently have the steady hand for it. I love how I can look at a Dali painting and find something new every time. I love learning about new artist and seeing what they can put together that hasn’t been done already. Their stories are often interesting as well.

Along with paint I like good tattoos. The artistry is incredible to me. I like to learn about the stories behind each one. Some mean something some don’t. I could never decide on something I would want on my body forever. I would rather visually take them in and be impressed by the details and the originality. I hear it painful and addicting to get tattooed, so it’s a good thing I haven’t gotten one.

I love the beauty and artistry in nature. The colors that occur naturally the sounds of a water fall or the ocean, animal calls, even the wind. The human body is incredible if I think about it. It all works together to allow us to move. It’s impressive if you look at how one defect can change the way the body has to work. Nature creates some of the most amazing art. I love the colors in eyes and structure of a symmetrical face.

My current biggest artistic love is comedy. I love to laugh. I love all kinds of comedy, juvenile and intelligent all the same. When I get down and need a quick distraction I will turn on a comedian special and 99% of the time I feel better in no time. I love the way the jokes can seem so simple but if you break it down it is very scientific. The timing has to be on point. The punchline has to catch the audience. The comedian has no time to win over the audience. It is amazing to hear about comedian techniques and how some attempt to push the audience to almost hate them just so they can practice bringing them all the way back. I love to learn how much time is put into making the joke better. It is one of the only jobs that I know that the person doing it has a really good chance of getting boo’d. I wish I could boo people I work with…lol.

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