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Too Personal?

I've been deleting a lot of the things I write recently. On the surface, many of them appear to more of the same. I think in some ways they are, but in others, I'm giving a little too much info about myself. Not the type that results in insurance fraud or a hacked phone, but information about who I am. I don't think most people understand that my critiques, criticisms, and simple observations about the world around me are real insights into who I am and more importantly where I am.

I once told someone, in that very instant, they could ask me anything and I had to answer honestly. They chose not to ask me anything. That invitation, for them, is still open. I know what they will choose. Have you ever thought about what you'd ask someone if given the chance at a single question, with no reservations and no repercussions? It's daunting, more for the one asking than the one answering. Then again, how many people would answer a question like this honestly? How many peopl…

Frantic

It's not a word we use often.
It's not a feeling we feel often.
It's not an act we experience or witness very often.

It is something I see, hear in another's voice and in their actions every day. It is something, to be quite honest, I find laughably intolerable. It is caused by one's own insecurities, anxieties, and inability to handle even the smallest of bumps in the road. It is self-created, often for no other reason than the need for attention. For if one were truly to be frantic, there would have to be a cause that could, maybe even should, cause dire results. Yet, those who act frantic, do so for no other reason than a lack of responsibility, accountability, and severe procrastination. The daily sighs let out and the solo conversations about being busy, running around, and the exclamation of "This is my life," is nothing more than a byproduct of living an inefficient lifestyle. A life where the simple task of waking up involved four presses of a sno…

Storytelling

Humans have the gift of a complex language and one of the benefits of this gift is storytelling. Our ability to use words to give detailed descriptions of past events, allows us to invite our audience into our lives. The words, especially adjectives, enhance, often exaggerate the magnitude of these events, but they also add tension, excitement, and most of all charm. The ability to use language to enthrall another is a special gift. This ability is not as common as one may think. 
Many people are said to have the gift of gab, but I find it to be a rarity. Knowing which section of a story to put emphasis on is easy because it is the reason we're telling the story. Knowing how to build up to it is the real gift. Some people (most) put so much effort into the buildup we're well aware of what they had for breakfast and decided to wear, while we wait for the meat of the story. They spend so much time on insignificant aspects of life, that one begins to wonder if this event really h…

Free Writing Winter Edition

Setting a timer for 6 Minutes

Been listening to a lot of rap music lately. I assume it's subconsciously me trying to be young again. Happy. I don't dream anymore, but recently, I had one and it bothered me. Maybe it means something more than its surface value. They say they all do. They say a lot. They, the masses, are usually wrong. I feel young and old simultaneously, but people, their words, their actions, remind me of the truth. I feel as though this is the first winter in my life I am feeling the cold. Four layers and still a chill. Shoveling has been a chore in years past. This year, I'm being acknowledged for it; even paid. It's only early-December, yet I'm shoveling. The seasons here seem to be but only two. Spring and Autumn last two weeks each. Or was it Summer? I miss an old friend and think of him often. Funny how those who could never get out of their own ruts, like me, always seemed to have some profound wisdom for others. I lack anyone like that in m…

Post-Thanksgiving Thankful List

As I comment on often, it is important to understand that thankfulness and gratefulness are not the same. In fact, the way the human psyche works, we often are (or become over time) thankful for that which we should be grateful for. Thankfulness is a feeling when something somewhat expected or anticipated happens. Gratitude is a feeling of appreciation that is consistent, remaining unchanged, over time. Thankfulness brings us brief happiness, while gratitude unlocks the joys we have in our lives.

This year, I am thankful for those children I see every day. The ones who bring me out of my doldrums and, like every kid I've worked with for almost 30 years, allow me to feel appreciated in a selfish world.

I am thankful for those who appreciate generosity and for those who display it. To me, for others, to the universe.

I am thankful for the few good mornings, good nights, and all the exchanges between. They are few, but they hold great power, when I wake, I think, and before I sleep.

Snowy Days

The ice and snow came early this year, as did the selfish behavior. Just days after those who preach thankfulness and gratitude had finished their gluttonous ways, the harsh winter weather came rolling through. Ice, lots of ice, was followed by snow, lots of snow. Shovels scraped and plows plowed. Some took their time, meticulously clearing straight paths, then salted. Others vigourosly dug in, created pockets of space among mountains of snow. All had the same initial goal, but it was when one had completed their task that their true selves peeked through.

Some lumbered through snow, down streets, around corners, through lawns no longer green. They helped the elderly, the sick, the parents with no wonder to supervise while they worked. Some simply helped those who had not woken, realizing they'd have done it for them; or maybe not. Others lay in bed, waiting for those selfless beings to clear a path, then at the very last minute, a cry of being busy or burdened, as they scraped ho…

My Rules

Society is controlled. We're controlled by our laws, our religious beliefs, our own moral compass, and the expectations others hold for us and we hold for them. The concept of treat others as you would want to be treated sounds commonsensical, but we live, at least us Americans, live in an egotistical, narcissistic, and materialistic world. Some call it capitalism, but there's much more to it than simply the economic foundation that has created us. Nevertheless, we all, regardless of where we pull these rules, we must abide by our own set of standards. Some may sound silly, but below are a list of rules I live by, all of which I feel puts me in the minority.

Be Punctual

I try, to the best of my ability to be early when possible, but tardiness is a habit that I try to avoid at all costs. Especially in the workplace.

Never leave dirty dishes in the sink

This one may sound comical or irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, but it's also the one I find puts me in the smallest …

A Day Without Joy?

Yesterday, I heard so many utter the question, "Is it Friday yet?" I smiled, pretended to laugh, all the while feeling pained by this oh so common cliche. Later in the day, I watched a movie and a man questioned a woman's choice to work where she did. A sketchy, brothel-type place, where it appeared as though the women simply entertained, platonically I assume. She responded that the job brought her happiness, each and every day, because she got to do the things she loved, to sing and dance. I thought about the man's saga, one which saw him give up his calling, because he no longer had a love for it. He lived a much simpler life, caring for his son and running a tiny store. He had happiness, but the only joy was his love for his son. The woman had a love for others, but also had something for herself. It's an important distinction.

Yesterday, I was sick. I don't get sick often and I've been handling this slight cold, but yesterday, for all intent and purp…

Mimicking

Remember, as a kid, how funny it was to mimic someone? You knew it frustrated others, especially adults, but you got such a belly laugh out of it. Then, when it was done to you, the frustration grew so quickly, you screamed, cried, maybe even lashed out and hit. It was one of those things so many of us did and had done to us that dissolved early on in our childhood. By our teens, there was nothing worse than being seen as someone who emulated another, at least obviously. As we get older, to vocally mimic someone would be seen as weird. To copy mannerisms, phrases, and actions would be absurd. While I've written about not being petty, ever, I found myself in a situation the other day, where another's grunts, groans, and weight-of-world antics so infuriating, that I wondered where someone could learn to project such hardship doing mundane tasks. Weightlifting grunts coming from cleaning dishes. Moving furniture moans from placing a spoon in a drawer. Drawn out sighs, as if the r…

Things Keeping Me Up

I have had insomnia for so long, it has become the norm. Between the stress that caused it initially to the financial woes, much self-inflicted, to the loneliness that is my existence, the night is when I have always had the most energy, whether in movement or in the mind. Lately, it's a combination of my schedule, often my cat, Swag's schedule, and my odd work schedule. While I'm working more, often seven days a week, the hours aren't steady, often not similar, and my tiny social life has made me feel, for the first time in almost two decades, exhausted. I blame nobody but myself.

I rarely feel physically exhausted, but mentally, I feel like a triathlete. I'm consumed by thoughts of the past, poor decisions, and good ones, but mostly I'm faced with the lack of change. I recently read a quote that stated that if we refuse to change what makes us unhappy, it becomes a choice. While I agree in theory, there is, at times, the simple act of survival we must accept.…

Four Years Vegetarian (3.5 Vegan)

Four years ago today, I made the decision to go meat-free. If you knew me before this decision, you'd be quite shocked, as I was known for being a true carnivore. Burgers with bacon, thick steaks dripping with their juices, medium-rare pork chops, loads of fish, and pretty much any and all exotic meats I could get my hands on. I was overweight, but internally I was technically healthy. So I thought. Six months into my journey, I started to feel terrible. Skeptics pointed to the lack of protein in my diet, but I was definitely charting this course with a nutritional app called myfitnesspal.com and knew my protein intake was right where it needed to be. I was taking a multivitamin for the first time in my life and making sure to "eat right." The only problem was, I wasn't. I wasn't only eating unhealthy, I was also contradicting the entire moral and ethical reason for my choice by continuing to eat dairy and eggs. I also felt bloated and had begun to gain some weig…

The Power Of Hugs

"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives." - Jack Roosevelt Robinson

This quote, attributed to and displayed on baseball and civil rights pioneer, Jackie Robinson's tombstone, is one of my favorite quotes. It has long served as a personal motto and reminder of why I do what I do, despite the lack of money or acknowledgment I may receive from others. Over the years, I'd like to think my life has been lived in a manner that directly reflects this quote and its meaning.

Yesterday, before work, I visited my old job. While my new job is quite similar, there are obviously differences, the main one being, a completely different set of kids. The kids I was visiting were kids I saw every weekday, with the exception of a few weeks each summer, for two years. A tiny fraction of my life, but quite a large part of theirs. I've thought about all of them over the last two months, some of them quite a bit. Yesterday, however, was the first time I would…

Mirror-less

I have found that most people live in mirror-less homes. They wake up, feeling as if they are the only people who must rise out of bed, go through whatever routine or ritual they need to get ready, and then make sure everyone who is around them is fully aware of the burdens they are about to embark on. The rest of us?

Well. despite what we may have to do, endure, maybe even overcome, we just don't understand. Somehow, no matter how many hours of travel, work, chores, and personal errands we must do, they view their time being used as integral to the Earth's continued spin on its axis. The sun rises with these people, despite the rest of us watching it do so, while they slumber, awaiting the ring of an alarm. They worked all day, despite their work clothes rotating and drying at 6 PM, while we're just getting home. They take two hours to cook an instant meal and the TV runs, while we're finally fixing our dinner. Then, of course, there are our flaws.

Our flaws are appar…

Self-Love v Self-Praise

"The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism." - Norman Vincent Peale 

Since the advent of Facebook, the concept of self-love has become blurred. Every one of us has a value and this value isn't based on how we view ourselves, but how our selves create a better life for those around us, thus, in turn, creating a better life for ourselves. For well-adjusted people, self-worth comes from the respect, adulation, and acknowledgment we garner from others, while never compromising our values. As time goes on, we no longer need these things from others, because we've created a world in which this is the norm. This is not to say these things do not continue or that we don't appreciate them, but we become accustomed to doing those things which bring others, and ourselves, joy and contentment. Those around us also become accustomed to our behaviors. It's important to realize, we can not love another until we love ours…

Adapting

I'm becoming obsessed with the psychology of humans. Why is it that cats, dogs, and anything else we may call pets can adapt to our lives, breaks in routine, and our silly habits and rituals, like daylight savings, while we can't handle the smallest mandatory changes in our behaviors or schedules?

I'd like to think I see myself as I truly am; a chameleon. I can adapt my behavior, my conversations, and my emotions to any and all situations. I know working with kids has allowed me to step outside of myself and cater to them, but I also believe it's taught me to do this with adults. I should add, being a lifelong barfly has allowed me to do this too. I'm always amazed at those who frequent watering holes daily who cannot adapt to the conversation and always go back to what they are comfortable speaking about. I feel this is the norm. I fall back to my go-to excuse and will blame, in part, social media. When we're allowed to only speak of ourselves, without interru…

Handling Things

We all have times in our lives when things get tough. Often, how we handle these events shape us. I've often thought about how losing a sister (a reversed adoption choice), the addition of my wonderful brother, my jobs, my ups and downs, and my recent surgery has made me what I am. I left out the sickness and the death of my mother, not because it didn't shape me, but because it is too important to be lumped into a group. The aftermath of her death is still shaping me to this day.

There are others I know and I wonder how those who treat daily life as a burden, despite no trauma or true weight on their shoulders, handle big things. It is these people, filled with cliched lines about their struggles and the need for constant approval,  acknowledgment, and sympathy (these people do not believe one could be empathetic, because they are so self-absorbed and delusional, they truly believe nobody in history has ever faced and persevered through what they've experienced, even if i…

Free Writing - Halloween Edition 2019

Still warm, but the winds are strong. Morning is dark and so are those whose moods change with the seasons. The incessant complaints about their chosen lives or vocations. The cat is too impatient to wait for the morning sun. I am too. We both sit, waiting to start what others put off. Snooze. Once, twice, usually three or four. This morning it was six. Then the rushed routine, her comments sucking the life out of the day. Kids eager for the light to come, so it can become dark again. This day is so important. A costume hides the disdain for kids. My smile changes, wanting nothing more than to see their alter egos. I think back to easier times. Krackle, Nestle Crunch, and Butterfingers. The World Series is over and now I must find another reason to escape this domicile. A conversation about D&D. Twenty-sided dice and then on to Carmine's/. An onlooker comments on what I pride myself on. Conversations with anyone, about anything. Not an expert on anything, but I guess I've …

What If The Things That Give You Joy Are Self-Defeating?

I don't know when it started, but somewhere along the way, down this path called life, I started noticing people more. I guess it's when I became comfortable with my own flaws, as society sees them, I was able to spot tendencies, traits, and routines in others. In my opinion, routine is the root of all evil. It's the rote memory of our existence, lacking any emotion. Even when surrounded by or committing to doing what we love most, routine, can and will, suck every ounce of joy out the experience. This is not to say routine does not serve a purpose, simply to imply that when we do the things we love, even for the ones we love in a mechanical way, it takes the joy out of it.

Think about our parents getting us ready for school. Out of love, the prepared our clothes, or breakfast, made sure our books and homework were in order, and that we were clean and presentable. They did this out of love and as we entered kindergarten their smiles sent us off with smiles of our own. As t…

Random Thoughts On A Rainy Sunday Morning

My generation rails against millennials, pointing out all their shortcomings and lack of sense, seemingly unaware that we are the generation who had to be told not to eat lead paint and needed temperature warnings on fast food coffee.

Working with kindergartners and first-graders warrants the wearing of a protective cup more than any football game I've ever played.

If a guy bends over and his underwear is presented, it is reviled, often with racial prejudice. When a woman bends over and her underwear is presented, it's considered sexy.

I will never feel more inferiors than when a white person tells a multilingual person to "learn the language."

I somewhat hate the word trained, when speaking about pets, but it's interesting how humans defend their pets' inability to assimilate to different situations. This is one area, where I believe, it says so much more about the human than the animal.

If you get the opportunity to read to a group of children, make sure no…

Blackboards

Some of us old-timers call them chalkboards.

Last night, during a discussion with an interesting younger man, it dawned on me that people my age, those whose childhood took place in the 1970s and whose high school years finished during the 1980s are the last of the generation whose lessons were given almost entirely using chalk and slate. At one point, the man (I refuse to call any adult, who acts like an adult, a kid), thought I meant am an overhead projector, until I explained the use of chalk. We then discussed literature, history, religion, sports, and the role and limits teachers have in today's educational system.

I  could have written this morning about conversational adaptability, which I was very pleased to have found company who held this not-so-common trait, but the fact that a blackboard, the centerpiece of the classroom, seemed somewhat alien to him. While I know he was aware of what I spoke of, I assume we'll one day find an entire generation who the thought of d…

Burden

I just finished watching the 1983 version of The Ballad of Narayama. Aside from my immediate desire to find the 1958 film, I was blown away by this version's final third. While the film looks deeply at our creation of laws and the need or desire to break them, I found one of the strongest issues with the film to be about burden. While I do not know if this was intended or simply a sincere look at ancient Japanese culture, I felt it stood out and it affected me deeply.

Living with people, who are not family, I've often listened to them speak about their burdens. The burden of work, school, family, and everyday life. I've often wondered how so many feel life itself, I mean the things we all face, is a burden. As an outsider, I'm allowed to look at the burden from a different perspective and without bias. I have come to realize, the burden many speak of is simply a matter of life conflicting with their leisure. Is this a burden? I don't know if I'm one to say, as …

The Extra Hour

A canceled class.
A later job start.
A weather delay.
Whatever it may be, there are those times, in all our lives, when we gain an hour of time in the morning. The go-to plan always seems to involve sleep. Whether attained or simply lounging in bed, many of us embrace the laziness the opportunity gives us and choose to do as little as possible, but is it the right choice.

In an era when more time is wasted on social media, "gourmet" coffee lines, and water cooler gossip, it's hard to believe an hour of nothing is all that important. Also, whether we like to admit it or not, we are all slaves to some form of routine. The extra hour does nothing but throw off our schedules and create haste. We have become a society that uses words like busy or swamped to describe simple necessary tasks while creating this illusion that our days need to be extended for us to compete against the terror that is the average day.

So why then do we choose lethargy during this additional hour? Wh…

Why Do People Say This?

Ever since internet memes, motivational posters, social media, and misquoting became the norm, one familiar, cliched, and infuriatingly common concept is that people should be kind, because it takes nothing. Could anything be more incorrect? Being kind isn't a normal human response. Being kind means that one must choose another over themselves. That they must be devoid of judgment and prejudice. It means they must be compassionate, sympathetic, and when possible, empathetic. 
How many people do you know that exhibit these features without effort? 
Being kind, with how our world has created us, is work. Relationships, parenting, friendships, and simple bonds, long and short, with acquaintances, come from some form of trust, honesty, and understanding. Three feelings that take time. To form them with a stranger is a rarity. 
This is not to say we should not all try to be kind, but it is very important to recognize that kindness is very often a difficult behavior, because of our envi…

Future Heartbreak

With the exception of Swag, my cat, Whooza, my roommate's dog, and my roommate, the one being I spend the most time with each and every day, is my neighbor's dog Hamoot (possibly spelled Helmut). He is a big, beautiful German Shepherd, but most importantly, he's my friend. Like me, he is alone most of the day. Outside, with nature, and aside from the occasional car to bark at or the landlord's visit, he lives in solitude. Each morning, when he is out, rain or shine, I go visit him and we play fetch, tug-of-war, and on the nicer days, just sit. There are times, like those with my closest human friends, when words are not needed to connect. I knew when I was moving here, it would be temporary, but I had no idea I'd have such a connection. I adore him, and he seems to adore me. Recently, due to scheduling and his rare time inside, I went a day and a half without seeing him. When I returned home, he lept, barked, then cascaded me with licks, massive paws against my che…

Confidence

Bragging is not confidence
Self-praise is not confidence
Belittling others is not confidence
Comparing one's self to others is not confidence
Believing you are indispensable is not confidence

Having those around you value, appreciate, and depend on you,
Even if they never ask you for anything

Confidence is knowing this.
Silently

The Greatest Toy

Kids will ooh and they will aah, when they open their gifts.
They will tell you they love it.
They will make a promise to cherish it and protect it.
They will take it with them, cuddle it in their sleep.
They will grow tired of it and choose to play with the dirt or a pile of leaves.
You'll replace it with the next "best" thing.
 They will tell you they love it.
They will make a promise to cherish it and protect it.
They will take it with them, cuddle it in their sleep.
They will grow tired of it and choose to play with the dirt or a pile of leaves.
You'll repeat the process throughout the years or maybe you won't,
They'll tell you their bored when they have everything to distract.
You'll feel frustration, as will they.
You'll say go play, which is what they want,
But they don't have the right toy, their favorite toy, the best toy.
You'll gaze at a room full of them, as will they.
You'll remind them of all you've bought them,
They'…

An Old Adage Dies Hard

"Never judge a book by its cover."

It's probably the most known, written about, and repeated old adage I know. It's something grandparents, parents, and teachers use as a teaching method about acceptance there is. It's also the most underused lesson we learn. Almost everyone prejudges others, but some make assumptions based on these judgments that change relationships before they get started.

Now, this is the part where I know I will sound slightly conceited.

Over the past ten years, but especially over the last three, I've realized that what I project is often not at all who I am. The person people first see, even the person they see daily, is not always the complete package of who I am. Much of it, I must admit could be labeled a fault of mine, but I think it says more about others than myself. I also try very hard to allow others to feel comfortable and often, in comfort, not only do their flaws surface, but their judgments.

I am 49.
I have Rosacea.
I am o…

Being Kind

Ever since social media took over our lives, the idea of kindness being an anomaly has grown. People, almost all that I know, post about this without ever looking at their own lives. They share a story, a video, or their own personal story, expecting praise, acknowledgment, and the ever-important like. What most fail to see is their own hypocrisy. If you're an adult, who claims to have been raised in a wonderful family, you value your faith, and you are a parent, a Facebook share should not be some sort of epiphany. It should, at the very least put a smile on your face, and at the very most, anger you. Anger you, because the sort of behavior you're bringing to attention is not the norm. If this is how you were raised, what your faith teaches, and how you want your children to act, it makes no sense for you to share this as a special message. It should, in your mind, be the norm.

The reality is, we're not good people and these posts, regardless of how touching and poignant …

The Subtle Nuances Of Pets

Many times, ardent pet lovers will wax poetic or show concern over their pet's behavior. Those without pets, but especially those with pets of their own, will comment that such behavior is completely normal. What they do not realize is that you're simply making a generic statement for something they would not understand, especially if they miss these cues from their own pets.

One of the things I've realized over the last four-plus years is that Swag, my cat, or should I say, my master, is very in-tune with my mental state. When I am sad, he tends to stick close by, but when I am stressed, he tends to wander, often leaving me surprises, thinking he's helping. When I am happy, content, rested, he is too. I worry about his eating habits, especially when he shuns his food, but interestingly, he tends to eat more when I eat more. Certain sounds spark his curiosity and he wants to try, often settling for a lick of his favorite, vegan butter. My behavior often dictates his, b…

Free Writing: Calm

The sun barely up. The meowing has stopped, as he shows love, brushing against my legs. We walk down the stairs together, I open the door, the cool air hits our faces. He scampers off towards the gate and crawls under. I turn, assemble his breakfast. Our routine is what he will expect when he returns. Half now, half for later. He waits, rather impatiently. I clean the spoon with my finger and give him a taste. He's come to expect it. I do dishes while he eats. He leaves a little and goes out to do what only he knows. Later, the dog will be in his pen. It's an enormous, area, with trails, leading into thick brush and trees. I'll pull a burr or two from his coat, sit and watch him eat. He'll then retrieve a small branch we've designated as our toy. Fetch, tug of war, or simply taunting me with it. I'll sit in a plastic chair, watching this magnificent beast with powerful jaws and caring eyes. He'll stand before me, letting me show him affection until he needs…

Odd Things About Me That Annoy People

Let me preface by saying, there are tons of legitimate reasons not to like me. I'm opinionated, persistent, lackadaisical, despise plans, like to drink, I enjoy discussing religion and politics, and at times, completely unmotivated, but for some reason, most people, aren't offended by those traits, but they are with these.

I'm vegan
I'm a morning person
I'm punctual
I do my research before spouting off about topics
I tend to dislike popular culture, especially when it comes to music and movies
I rarely watch TV, other than sports
The thought of travel, as the general American does it, doesn't excite me
I hate texting

I'm sure there are more, but I'll stop before it sounds as if I'm nitpicking about others nitpicking.

Short Thought On The Future

We here the old adage "I want to leave the world a better place for my children" all the time. It's usually said with unquestioned sincerity, despite our current world, regardless of your political view, much worse than it was years ago. We have to be careful how far back and how we generalize better, or not, because for some, whose rights have improved, their immediate world may be much better than the world their parents and grandparents lived in, but we can make generalizations when it comes to issues like the environment, mental health, gun violence, and the divisiveness we witness almost daily. In these respects, the world that our parents and grandparents left us is not any better, if not worse. Some of those parents and grandparents are still part of the problem, but what about the kids and grandchildren?

If one really wants to understand the state that we've left our world in, look at how one word is used: Kid. When I was a young bo, my friends were kids. Som…

I Am Not An Expert.

I've been working with kids so long, I've forgotten more experiences than most I've worked with will ever encounter. I am not an expert. I've come to know many people, in many fields, who believe their tenure, however long or short, gives them some entitlement to the thrown of all-knowing in their field. I could go on this route, but I am not an expert. I see people with a diploma taking on the role of molding kids into teens, teens into adults, and adults into productive workers in society, lack of a piece of paper, despite more years experience than they've been alive, has them making three times as much money. Again, I am not an expert. I listen to those with less than a decade of experience spout knowledge, based on Youtube videos and a handful of life experiences or classes, laughing at how little it has to do with real-life scenarios, then remind myself, I am not an expert. I know a lot of stuff about a lot of things and I know kids, their tendencies, their b…

America's Misconception

I've been fairly quiet when it comes to politics as of late. Losing Twitter, one would think I'd be incensed and irate, but I'm not. I've found a bit of piece in a new job, a new place to live, and trying to be more social in the real world. This time of year, however, it's tough. There are a lot of posts, most looking for personal attention, maybe even sympathies, wrapped in nationalism, masked in some odd misguided attempt at patriotism. Many, believe 9/12 was when America became one, when the reality is, our divisive ways, many of which are at the forefront of 2019 America, Trump's America, were spawned by 9/11. The following day, we pretended we could come together, but the reality is, our differences were given power, especially for those filled with hate. White America, an America I am part of, appears blind to this divisiveness it has caused. We now live in a time, much like the '60s and before, where people are judged by the smallest of differences,…

2019 NFL Predictions

I just realized I didn't do this last year and like every year, I know whether I do or don't, absolutely nobody cares. I should add, I've been pretty horrible at predicting the NFL over the past few years. So this year, I looked at no odds, no speculative articles, and just went game-by-game until I arrived at all of this.


#    North WLT Div 4 Ravens 10-6 3-3 5 Steelers 10-6 3-3 8