Monday, December 28, 2015

Teach Young Males How to Talk to Women

Each day I get older, I see values that meant something to my parents get diluted or just flat-out ignored.  What's so depressing about it is that society is okay with it.  There aren't enough people to stand up and say "no, that's not how it's done."  I'm all for evolution of values, but not to the point of eradication.

So many of today's younger parents are just lazy or too focused on themselves to be bothered with raising the kids they brought into the world.  The end result is a society of young people who have absolutely no concept of the word "respect."  I used to think the lack of respect was limited to those roughly 30 years or younger, but I was wrong.  I've encountered people close to my age who have no concept of the word "respect."  Not even on a friendship level.

One thing that needs to be focused on is how some dudes talk to women.  There are some women who contribute to why guys can be disrespectful at times just by accepting the behavior.  I've met quite a few "bad guys" with "decent women" because the women condoned what the guys did.  But I don't think that a guy should allow a woman to dictate how he lives his life.  Even if a woman allows a man to be disrespectful doesn't mean that he should do it.  Being a man means doing the right thing regardless if doing the wrong thing is condoned or not.  Regardless of what your friends think.

Guys now tend to take the shortest route to sex.  That means that they will approach each woman the same way regardless of the woman.  She can be dressed like a stereotypical THOT or like an attorney, but he'll virtually approach her the same because guys now are taught "quantity" over "quality."  They won't waste their time trying to be the wolf in sheep's clothing.  They just come right out and let you know that they're a wolf.  If you don't like it then they've wasted what, 2 or 3 minutes with the "Say, Slim?" approach?  If you buy what they're selling then they know that they can probably get what they want out of you.

Those who know better need to teach them that it's wrong to take that approach.  That approach leads to heartaches and unplanned pregnancies with people you don't respect.  It's up to us, especially men, to teach younger guys that it's okay to chat up women, but be a man about it.  Understand that she's a mother, daughter, or sister to someone.  Know that women, despite what some cultures of society promotes, should be treated with dignity.

Society has changed both men and woman in so many ways.  Men are now becoming softer and more sensitive and woman are becoming harder and edgier.  That makes it difficult to approach relationships more than ever, but we each need to be responsible for our own gender.  We need to stop pointing fingers at what the other gender is/isn't doing and pay attention to our own.  Men need to raise boys and women need to raise girls.

It's just that simple.

Monday, December 21, 2015

"One Way Or Another: You Will Pay" by @EveRabi1 #Books

Get your copy on Amazon here!
Years ago, together with my lover, Bear, I framed my ex-husband Tom for murder. I had no choice – Tom was abusive, vengeful and determined to make me pay for having the strength to escape his clutches. He was even prepared to murder my children and lover to get back at me. With him behind bars, I thought I could finally exhale and start living again. I did and I was blissfully happy. 

But a life sentence behind bars isn’t stopping him from coming after me. He is determined to use every resource he can lay his hands on to get at me. It has become a game and the outcome promises to be brutal and fatal. To protect my family, I have no choice but to play along. Tom plans to win this game. Trouble is, I just have to win. 

This modern, contemporary romance and suspense-filled thriller from Eve Rabi is a riveting drama of lust, deception and revenge. It will keep you gripped and leave you begging for more. 

Reviews: “Fantastic read. Actually found myself agitated at having to pause from reading.”

“I absolutely could not sleep or stop reading until I finished.”

“I have read some good books, but this beats them all.”

“I normally read crime stories, but Eve Rabi has steered me into reading just about all her romantic crime novels.”

“Lies, conspiracy, embezzlement, sex, greed, kidnapping...it's all there.”

Warning: Contains violence, steamy sex scenes and strong language.


Eve Rabi lives in Sydney Australia, but she hails from South Africa. She is the author of 20+ modern-day love stories and is known for her kick-ass leading ladies, her alpha males and her ability to make you laugh and make you cry while falling in love. 

Where to find Eve Rabi online:

Please follow Eve Rabi’s Blog: http://everabi.wordpress.com/ 
Website: http://everabi.wordpress.com/ 
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/eve.rabi 
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/everabiauthor

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Don't Ever Expect Reciprocation

One of the hardest things some people are having to learn is how not to expect things from people.  Some of us we're taught at a very young age that if you do thoughtful things for people that it will return in twofold.  However it was never said that it would return from the people that you did the nice thing for.

I have a friend in his early 20's who is a really nice guy.  He will do almost anything for anyone, sometimes at his own expense.  What bothers him is that people will not do the same for him.  I totally get where he's coming from on this because I once felt like that.  It took me getting mad at myself over and over again until I realized that people aren't loyal to you for random acts of kindness.

I had to explain to him that like my dad, I always believed in helping people even if it meant going out of my way a bit.  However,  I had to learn how to say "no."  Some things aren't worth the stress that you'll endure.  It may be easier said than done for most people, but for me back then, it was very difficult to say "no" to something that I knew I was fully capable of doing.  I had to realize that everyone doesn't deserve your efforts.  Some people only deserve your minimum.

So when you bust your behind to accommodate someone, don't feel as if they're in debt to you.  They don't owe you anything other than a "thank you" and any agreed upon compensation you two may have.  But they don't owe you a favor, an undying friendship, or anything like that.

I explained to him that guys like him have a hard time understanding how it's so easy for him to be nice yet so hard to receive kindness in return.  I told that's a good quality to have, but it will cause more heartache in his future.  I wasn't trying to discourage him by any means, but I did want to let him know that a personality like that comes with a target.  People will take advantage of you because of your willingness to give.  It can be a friendship, relationship, or even family.

The bottom line is: I don't ever expect anyone to look out for me the way that I look out for them.  It may sound sad to say that, but disappointment is doubled when you have unrealistic expectations.  Gone are the days that I have faith in people to do the right thing.  That's not the world that we live in these days.  People look out for themselves and when they don't need you any more then you'll know it.

I still try to be a generous guy, but only to a certain extent.  And I only give 100% to people who may have done nice things for me in the past.  I know that it may not be the right attitude to have, but I just refuse to be disappointed again.

Friday, November 27, 2015

What Happened to Being Sweet?

That's funny. Women born before 1975 appeared to do it easily.
I'm as old school as they come which means there's a huge disconnect between me and a lot of folks.  Because of that, people younger than me tend to not understand why I shake my head at some of the things going on in today's society.  Especially when it comes to how men and women interact.

I had a gap in dating from 2002-2012 during the time that I was married to my late wife.  Unfortunately, when I got thrust back into the dating world, I had no idea how much things had changed.  What a difference a decade makes!

Right before I first started dating my late wife in 1998, there were two or three other women who had my interest.  All of them brought something different to the table, but the main quality all of them had is that they were sweet.  Not just to me, but to everyone around them.  They knew how to treat me (encouraging).  They knew how to treat their elders (respectful).  They knew how to treat children (nurturing).

Those days are gone.

Fast forward to 2015 and things have changed quite a bit.  Many women try to put guys in "their place."  Many women have no idea how to conduct themselves around their elders without being offensive.  Many women will curse around or even at their kids.  So many women don't carry themselves like ladies.

Because in 2015, it's been put in our heads that none of that stuff matters.  It's okay to do whatever you want and those who don't understand it, forget them!  They don't pay your bills so who cares what they think, right?

One of the main things that made me smile when thinking about a woman is no more.  Sweetness is gone.  Women now are just as hard if not harder than men and it's quite an adjustment.  The sweet, nurturing, inspirational ladies that once made me feel 10 feet tall are rarer than ever these days.  To some women, to be sweet is to be weak.  If she's too kind to a man then he may use it as leverage in the relationship.  Can't have a guy thinking that you actually like him, right?

A man is supposed to be a visionary, leader, teacher, cultivator, provider, and protector.  All six of those things come to us naturally, but society teaches us how to suppress them.  The same applies to women.  Social media and TV encourages women to not worry about their reputation.

Look at that photo of Nicki Minaj and read her quote again.  She thinks that being "super-sweet," "sexy", or "nice" is hard?

SMH.


This ad has nothing to do with this post other than the word "sweet," but it's a hilarious ad to me.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Lessons in Accountability from a 12-Year Old

I was at my god son's football game last Monday. On their only touchdown play, he was called for holding and the penalty resulted in nullifying the TD.

He was taken out of the game and the coach talked to him about what happened.  His body language on the sidelines showed that he was angry with himself.  After the game, he was visibly upset and said that he "let the team down."

Words can't express how proud that I was to hear him say that.  This is a 12-year old thinking about his team when most adults can only think about themselves.

If everyone took the same approach to accountability as he does then how much better would we all be for it?  If everyone at work gave 100% then our jobs would be easier.  If everyone at home gave 100% then our family lives would be easier.

Take a lesson from a 12-year old playing a game and make sure that you're accountable for your actions.

My god son may have gotten a penalty, but he's still my MVP.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

There's An Art to Complaining

Written on 10/5/15...

I'm sitting at a place called Upton Tire Pro.  They do different automotive services from tire replacements to oil changes.  I'm using their waiting room computer right now.  I like to write when I'm here because I can usually get up to an hour of uninterrupted writing.

I come here regularly, but I have had my run-ins with the company.  They haven't always called me when my vehicle was ready and they've completely forgotten my car being parked out front on two occasions. However, they do good work and they're convenient to my home, so I continue to go (for now).

Today there is a man who has come to the counter on three separate occasions to complain about something.  He's a mid-50's white guy with frizzy hair and what appears to be a nasty cold.

He first complained about how the company's website timed out on him while trying to book an appointment for an oil change.  In fact, I heard that story three times as he repeated it to the people in the waiting room.

He then complained about how he wasn't feeling well, but decided to come up here anyway.  He figured that he could get an oil change and tire rotation on a Monday because Mondays "aren't busy."  What exactly he's basing that on I have no idea.  Every business is busy on a Monday these days.

As this guy is complaining, I'm sitting over here typing and hoping that he doesn't look over my shoulder to see this.  His whiny and pathetic sounding voice is funny and sad at the same time.  I don't know whether to fall out of my chair laughing or give him a hug and some chicken noodle soup.  Either way, I can tell that the employees are sick of him.

30 minutes pass and Mr. Sniffles approaches the front desk once again and says, "what's the purpose of getting an appointment if you're not going to work on the car?  My car hasn't moved."

I actually agree with his point, but still, there aren't too many places that are on-time for appointments aside from movie theaters.  He asks for his keys because he's "sick and didn't want to come in the first place."

The employee doesn't say a word and hands him his keys.  The man repeats his story from Chapter 1 about the appointment system not working, the fact that he's sick, and how appointments mean nothing at Upton Tire Pro to the employee who is looking down at her computer and ignoring him.  Afterwards, he turns and leaves as the room quietly watches.

I have nothing against complaining, but there's an art to it.  Some people are really good at it while others suck.  This guy fits into the "suck" category.  You can't effectively complain if you're annoying.  And the consensus in the waiting room based on the convo that occurred after dude left was that he was annoying.

In my opinion, complaining only works if you can get the other person to respond to what you're saying.  Asking questions that force them to show their incompetence by answering usually does the trick!  You have to establish guilt in order to have something done about it.  Making them hate you isn't going to amount to anything being done to resolve your issue.  Well, that's unless the employee actually cares.  And where can you find an employee like that outside of Chick-Fil-A?

At least he helped me pass the time.  They're just getting to my 2:00 PM appointment at 2:39 PM.  Oh, well.  I kinda know that goes with the territory with most garages.  All you can do is grin and bear it or start changing your own oil.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Affection is Better Than Perfection

She's 5'2" and curvy in all of the right places.  As a matter of fact, she looks like the number 8 in high heels.  Her lips would make a lollipop shed a tear of joy from anticipation.  Full and soft to the touch.  Her hair is soft, silky and shoulder length.  Her cat-like hazel eyes can mesmerize anyone bold enough to stare too long at them.  She is the epitome of a Perfect 10... but she has no concept of how to handle a significant other.  None whatsoever.

Dag.

In today's society where hot bods are pushed to us ad nauseum on social media and on television, it's easy to get caught up on a person's looks.  As a guy who stays on the go, I encounter good-looking women quite often.  Some of them are single, too.  But spend up to 15 minutes or so talking to them and you will quickly find out why that is the case.

Yet it's still so tempting to ask them out.  In my mind, I know that she's selfish and has no clue of how to love me, but there are many factors that will compel me to ask her out:

1) She's hot.  'Nuff said.
2) My friends would think that I'm a rock star to bring a nugget like her around.
3) That fantasy in my head that she'll figure it all out and become the "perfect woman."

Well, there's no such thing as the perfect woman (or man) for that matter.  However, there is a such thing as finding someone who is "perfect for you."  It's all about figuring out who cares for you more than anything else.  Beauty fades and with that being said, who wants to be sitting next to a 60 year old hag with an personality problem decades down the road?

Not me.  If people start focusing on "affection" instead of "perfection" then they can have someone who shows them daily that they love them rather than someone who is essentially putting on a masquerade.

Although that's what we should all ultimately crave, it's still okay to continue to date hot women in the meantime, right?  Even if they are shallow and/or selfish?  I'm just asking for a friend. :)

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Check Out Singer/Songwriter, @Nick_Festari!

Check out his music on Soundcloud!
WRITER / ARRANGER / SINGER Roberto Festari (a.k.a. Nick Festari) started to study piano at 9 years old. When he was 16, he became one of the organists of his parish. It was there that he took his first steps accompanying a talented choir during the liturgical celebrations and performances.
 
In that period, Nick met the 2 people who would have believed in him, and together they have been writing some of the best eurobeat hits for years. In 1986 he started a cover band with some friends where he has been playing keyboards for about 2 years. In 1987 the musicians and Live Music Studio owners Claudio Accatino & Federico Rimonti began to work with the well-known dance producer Mark Farina. Nick Festari started to cooperate with them playing some arrangements and rhythmics, progressively improving his studio work skills.

In the meantime, he became a member of a band and gospel/Christian rock choir that performed in some churches and small local theaters. Furthermore, he participated in various song contests as writer, winning the last edition in 1992. In the same year, Accatino & Rimonti joined Time Records (a famous Italian dance label) and proposed to Nick to writing new melodies for the Japanese audience.

Two years later, Claudio and Federico started their own label, "HI-NRG ATTACK", where Festari was involved in writing almost 800 songs in about 20 years, also arranging and often singing these tracks behind many aliases with his own particular style. These songs have been long appreciated by the Japanese fans and a good part of the world that love eurobeat and Italo-dance.

At the end of 2012, Nick considered the chance to undertake a solo career and began to write a voice/piano pop-ballad. Once finished, he took some months to make a hard decision, and in summer 2013 he took a chance and left eurobeat, dance scenes and HI-NRG ATTACK that gave many satisfactions and professional skills to him. Now Nick Festari dives into pop-music trying to reach for a totally new audience with his own style so appreciated in his former path.

www.NickFestari.com

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Liars Come A Dime A Dozen

I've been back in the dating world for about five months now and there have been two things that's been made abundantly clear to me: one of them is that the world is filled with liars.

Not so much the type of liar who tries to scheme something out of you.  But the type of liar who will tell you what you want to hear knowing that they have no intention of following up.  I hate it when someone says that they're going to do something knowing that they're not going to make an attempt at all.  I am a man of my word and I absolutely do not say I'm going to do something without doing it (barring some emergency).  Lord knows that I've dealt with my share of people who don't subscribe to the same theory though.

The second thing that I've learned is that: women lie just as much as men.  And they're not as good at it as they may have once been historically.  Lying is definitely no longer a "man thing" in 2015.  From the lies told on Facebook to the lies told in reality, so many women appear to be in some invisible competition that requires them to act more than what they are.  Sometimes I look at some of the things that my lady FB friends post and think to myself, "Doesn't she know that some of her friends know her in real life?"

But the pressure of 5,000 "friends" will drive some people to do so many things just to maintain their online reputation.  Even if it soils their real life reputation.

I guess all I can do is try to sort out the good from the bad.  I understand that not everyone is honest and that some lies aren't meant to be harmful (telling someone with a messed up hairstyle that it "looks good" to avoid hurting their feelings).

Lying may be a necessary evil in some situations.  But to what I would guess is a majority of American citizens, it's not that big of a deal to lie to someone you know or don't know just to get some sort of temporary (and mostly meaningless) victory from it.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Don't Let Your Struggle Become Your Identity

"Who's that dude?"

"Oh, that's the guy that has four babies by three different women."

"Who's the chick?"

"That's the one who got her car repossessed last week."

"What about that guy?"

"Who?  Him?  He's the one that can't keep a job."

We all have problems.  Things come up in our lives that tend to take over our very being.  You can't let that happen.  Don't let your problems become the center of every day that you live.  Doing so will cause people to identify you with whatever struggles that you may have.

Life was designed for us to have problems.  It's true that some have a lot more than others, but that's beside the point.  Problems are supposed to be temporary.  There's a way out of every problem that society has ever known.  It may not be easily achieved, but there is a way even if the odds aren't in your favor.

Be the one who overcame.  Be the one who survived.  Be the one who defied the odds and made something out of nothing.  It's your life.  Your destiny.  Let your struggles mold you and not control you.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

How to Make Your Wedding More Memorable

VOTE for the app here!
A wedding is one of those moments in a couple's life that will always be remembered.  Even for those who may marry multiple times there are usually a lot of great times that are captured during those moments.  Moments that a lot of us may want to relive countless times in the future.

Photographers and videographers can make or break those memories, but now there is another option that can turn your wedding photos into something that you and your loved ones can truly relive forever.

WedCam is simply one of the coolest and most innovative phone apps that I've seen in a long time.  It takes your memories and literally brings them to life.  Who wouldn't want that for their wedding?

Check out the example of how it works below:


Imagine being able to relive the magical moments of your wedding not just through a beautiful photo album, but also through your phone or tablet!  WedCam takes your photos and brings them to life with their amazing technology.  You, your friends and your family can forever enjoy that special day without the hassle of mailing DVDs to each and everyone who wishes to see it.  WedCam gives a more convenient and fun way of experience those nuptials all over again.

But WedCam needs your help! Qualcomm and Unity are rewarding and recognizing developers and their apps that showcase Qualcomm® Vuforia™ vision-based technology. The app that receives the most votes from the Unity Developer community wins $10,000 cash, a Unity 5 Pro License (2 top runners-up will also receive the licenses), and more!

Voting ends September 9 so get your vote in today and support an amazing technology!


Visit the WedCam YouTube Channel for more demonstrations of other things the app can do!

*Available at the App Store and on Google Play or just visit www.WedCamApp.com.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

(Full Movie) "Palmos - The Demon Inside" via @HorrorSociety

I don't watch too many horror movies, especially those with a lot of gore.  But for those who are into it I wanted to direct you to one of my sponsors, "Palmos - The Demon Inside."

Alex likes to party, smoke weed and have some fun. One day walking by the street he is possessed by a powerful demon, now that he became a vessel he is going to infect people all over the globe with a demonic virus that transforms people in self mutilating paranoid freaks.

This movie has a lot of great special effects and gore for those who aren't too squeamish!  Click the play button below and enjoy the full length movie!  You can also visit their website for more information on the movie and the Horror Society!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

#Ferguson: A Year Later

Last week, I found myself in the St. Louis area on business.  I decided that since it was only a 20 minute drive to Ferguson that I at least wanted to see the city to see what it was like.  I had no idea that I would leave with an empty feeling inside.


Arriving in the city didn't feel like arriving in any other city.  All of the stories in the media over the past year and has turned Ferguson into somewhat of a "haunted house" type of feel.  You're looking around as if to expect to see something "pop off."

But as I drove through the city, I didn't see media vans and cameras.  I didn't see any protesters (most protests occurred during the evening and I was there during the morning).  The city appeared just like any other city.  There did appear to be tension in the air just from some of the locals we came into contact with, but for the most part, just another day in an every day city.

We thought about just turning around and leaving, but then I decided to pull over and Google the Mike Brown incident.  I wanted to learn more about where it occurred.  Maybe we were on the wrong side of town and the commotion that we see each night on TV is elsewhere.  That's when I came across the street name where Mike Brown was shot.  It was about a 10 minute drive from where we were.

(Right click and open link in new tab to zoom)

I wasn't aware of the memorial dedicated to Mike Brown.  When I drove down the street where everything happened, I was actually surprised to come up on it so quickly.  There was very little traffic at the time and the few cars that did drive by did so slowly.

Four kids, no older than 12 years old, came walking by the memorial.  They barely looked at it as they crossed the street and said "hello" to us on their way into their apartment.  I didn't want to ask them if they knew Mike Brown or not, but somehow I knew that they did.  What did the memorial mean to them?  Did it make them hate cops more or did it make them fear cops more?  Did they look at Mike Brown as some sort of martyr for allegedly standing up to an officer or did they look at him as a troubled kid who took things too far?

(Right click and open link in new tab to zoom)

Once I drove past the memorial, I pulled over to get a closer look at some items placed on the side of the road.  This is where I felt the bottom of my stomach drop.  I saw stuffed animals with names written on their shirts: 
  • Aiyana Jones, a 7-year old killed in a police raid in Detroit.  
  • Tamir Rice, a 12-year old killed on a playground in Cleveland with a toy gun.
  • Sandra Bland, a 28-year old arrested for resisting arrest despite never being initially charged with a crime.
There has to be another way for cops to do their jobs without incidents like these.  Why does everything have to end in tragedy?  At one time, being a black man made you feel like prey, but I never imagined that feeling would extend to black women and black children.

If you've read my blog long enough then you know that I have no tolerance for criminals.  But you also know that I believe in the punishment fitting the crime.  We'll never know if Mike Brown actually tried to harm that officer on that day because he's not here to tell his story.  A lot of people have not gotten to tell their stories because they are dead.

As we left Ferguson, we were silent for a good 20 minutes.  However, before we got outside of the city limits, we saw two kids walking down the street and it made us wonder if they would make it home that day.  So many never did.


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Friday, August 14, 2015

Attitudes and Missed Opportunities

(7/22/15) I'm getting into the elevator as this attractive lady is stepping out. I say, "Excuse me, ma'am?" as I point to the floor.

She never makes eye contact and says "good day" and keeps walking.

I then blurt out, "You dropped something on..."

But, before I can finish, she says, "Thank you, have a nice day, sir," in one breath and disappears around the corner.

I step into the elevator and proceed to pick up the $10 that I can only assume that she dropped.

I understand that some women get flirted with constantly.  Especially when you're attractive.  However, every guy is not the same.  99 may try to get your attention in an attempt to vie for your affections, but Guy #100 may just be trying to tell you to watch out for that oncoming bus.  Stop assuming.

Oh, well. Lunch is on her today. :)

Saturday, August 1, 2015

"My Brother, My Rival" by @EveRabi1 #Books

Cody Garrett, a former Navy SEAL, has never met a skirt he didn’t fancy. His six-pack, rugged looks and bad boy image ensures a steady stream of hot babes waiting to slip him their phone numbers wherever he goes.

So, he is confused when Bridie Barker refuses to go on a date with him. It’s not like she’s a stunning beauty or something. According to him, her ears are big, she’s well-rounded and she’s not even a D-cup.

In spite of her shortcomings, the more she pushes him away, the more he finds himself thinking of her.

Twenty-year-old Bridie Barker has control issues. Every detail in her life is planned. Her closet is color-coded and she has an array of storage containers, to ensure that everything is in its correct place.

Her whole world is black and white, and grey areas are a no-no. When she meets the warm and grounded Scott Garrett, she thinks she has found her soul mate. Unfortunately, and to her disappointment, things don’t pan out with Scott.

While waiting tables, she has a disastrous run-in with his brother, wild boy Cody Garrett, king of body shots, who parties every night with a different girl. Even though he’s good to look at and makes her laugh, she turns down his advances as he’s clearly the tag-and-release kind of guy. Besides, she is pretty sure he does not own a single storage container, and she’s certain that his closet is not color-coded.

Problem is, Cody Garrett finds her rejection an aphrodisiac and pursues her.

Buying Links:


Eve Rabi lives in Sydney Australia, but she hails from South Africa.  She is the author of 26 modern-day love stories and is known for her kick-ass leading ladies, her alpha males and her ability to make you laugh and make you cry while falling in love.  

Where to find Eve Rabi online

Please follow Eve Rabi’s Blog: http://everabi.wordpress.com/
Amazon.com link: http://www.amazon.com/Eve-Rabi/e/B005HXX1C4

Post #600!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Being A Good Guy Means Nothing

Hear me out before jumping to conclusions over my eye-catching title.  I'm definitely not saying that fellas out there should resort to dog-like tactics and abandon doing the right thing when it comes to women.  I just wanted to share a perspective that one of my Facebook friends posted.

I have never really considered this particular perspective before, but when I truly considered what was being said, it made a lot of sense to me.

Here's the post:

FYI: Guys please go sit down with that a woman don't want a good man mess/excuse when she's just not interested in you... First of all just because "you" perceive yourself to be a good man doesn't mean that's what I see... Everyone's definition of good is different... Second of all even if you are a good man doesn't mean we would be good together.... Therefore,I would suggest that you take your good arse,on your good way and have a good day!! 👉🏽🚪Everyone feels that they are a good catch in someway! GTFOH!!! Oh yes Happy Sunday!!

Simple and to the point.  Now, I don't know what prompted her post, but it hit home with me after I considered what was being conveyed.  I've always been respectful, giving, honest, etc.  Things that a lot of women say that they want in a man.  But, I lost sight of the fact that it doesn't guarantee me anything.  No one owes me a date or anything simply because of how I evaluate myself.

I see on it TV as well as read tweets and posts of women who say "all I want is a good man."  And I bought into that and took it at face value.  A mistake that I'll not make again.  There's more to the statement that's left unsaid.  "All I want is a good man... who is (insert height here) or (insert size here) or (insert style/swag here) or (insert career here), etc."  To me, that's what is not being said when that statement is being made.

And you know what?  There's absolutely nothing wrong with that!  We all want what we want.  Countless times in my life, I've shied away from certain women because I didn't like how they dressed, I didn't like how they spoke, or maybe they just weren't attractive to me.  There are a number of reasons all of us pass up on someone who may actually be a nice person, but they just don't do it for us for some reason.

As a guy, it's very hard to admit that a lady just may not be into you.  Especially when you feel as if you have the world to offer her.  A lot of us want to justify how we select our mates yet criticize why others don't select us.  That's just simply unfair.

So, I thank Kandi for opening my eyes to something that I've never considered.  You don't blame a person for not seeing you the way that you see yourself.  If it's something about you that she doesn't like that you can change, then fix it.  If it's something about you that you can't change, then just find someone who has more of an appreciation for whatever that is.  Either way, being a good guy means nothing if a woman just isn't into you.

With permission from Kandi

Friday, July 24, 2015

Does Jackson, #Mississippi Deserve Entertainment?

Another opportunity missed in the capital city of the Magnolia State. The state of Mississippi is known for its parks, waterways, and museums. All of that is an awesome opportunity to educate yourself on nature, history, and more. However, what's a state without a little fun now and then? And what's a capital city without family fun events to treat the kids?

For those not familiar with the capital city of Jackson, there really isn't a lot to do when it comes to tourist entertainment. We locals can usually find things to do to occupy our time now and then.  Whether it's eating out or visiting live music venues. But, visitors don't have it as easy. There just isn't enough on the menu to make someone say, "hey, let's spend a weekend in Jackson!"

The citizens have blamed the politicians for this dilemma and normally, I would agree with them. But, not this time. This time the citizens appear to have no one to blame but themselves.

An event called "Slide the City" started advertising on social media towards the beginning of Spring. They were taking advanced sales for admission to the biggest water slide the city has ever seen. It's a huge, mobile water slide that tours cities across the nation and allows people to slide as far as three blocks. What kid wouldn't enjoy a water slide that goes that far? You would think that people would be all over it and that the advanced orders would sell out quickly. Wrong.

Welcome to Jackson, Mississippi.

A place where people complain that there needs to be more to do, but won't support what's already here or wants to come here. SMH. We've seen miniature golf courses, go-kart tracks, bowling alleys, arcades, movie theaters, and more all go the way of the dinosaur over the past couple of decades. Once the newness wore off, people stopped going. Once they stopped going, the places basically ran themselves into the ground.

When I was growing up, we had four or five movie theaters in the city. However, we haven't had one in roughly 20 years and I'm thankful that someone is finally building one that opens next year. I wouldn't be surprised if Jackson was the only capital city in the nation without a movie theater.

I know that the citizens aren't 100% the blame for the lack of things to do. I just get frustrated when there's an opportunity to support something and we choose not to do it. We had a Strikeforce mixed-martial arts event back in 2010 at the Jackson Convention Center. Showtime was there to film the event and there was a huge production behind it. I got my tickets and had a great time watching the fights. But, the enthusiasm and support just wasn't there.  I don't think that Showtime has been back to Jackson since and I'm guessing that they won't ever again.


It's time to stop blaming politicians for everything. Yes, they can do more to help the city's entertainment venues grow, but we need to do our part as well to entice entertainment opportunities to come. Businesses see other businesses pulling out of the city and it deters future businesses from coming.

Besides, to deny a water slide in August in Mississippi is just craziness to me. It's 95+ degrees and you don't want to slide in water for a weekend?  Now the kids who had their parents pre-order their tickets are disappointed.  They have nothing different to discuss when school returns.

I guess it's just another day in the capital city.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Blogaversary: Year 5!

Has it been five years already?  Time flies when you're having fun, I guess.  I know that I haven't been blogging as often as I once did.  I've had other things to distract me from blogging, but I still enjoy it.  It's still somewhat therapeutic to get on here and type away about the many things that occur in the world that irk me.  I also enjoy sharing funny stories from time-to-time, although it's been a while since I've done so.

But, I want to thank all of you who have taken the time to read at least one blog post.  I don't know how many consistent readers I have these days.  I used to have regular commenters, but that's a thing of the past.  Most people would rather comment on a Facebook post than a blog these days.  At least that way you will look smart in front of people you know.  And I totally get that.

However, it doesn't deter me from posting.  I've gotten over 935,000 hits in five years.  I know people still read even if they don't comment and I'm very thankful for that.  I will continue to share my perspectives on current events and relationships.  I will allow a sneak peek into my life regarding my search for the right woman, milestones/achievements, and stories of my family.  I will continue to use my blog as a platform to promote others who are doing much worthier things than me.

Hopefully, I can get another five years out of this thing.  So, sit back, relax and thank Q for common sense.  Because some things still just need to be said.  And I'm that dude to say it.

Friday, July 10, 2015

You Shouldn't Have to Ask to Be Pleased

What is one of many things that makes someone feel special?  One answer is getting something that they want or need unexpectedly.  Think about opening a present on Christmas Day or on your birthday and seeing that one thing that you really wanted or needed.  That's the same feeling people should get throughout the course of a relationship.

We guys are notorious for not being thoughtful.  We'll wait until Valentine's Day or her birthday to do something that a woman can appreciate.  And even then some guys let certain dates sneak up on them and they rush to the mall without giving the gift much thought.

Women are in the same boat, too.  Some men don't require much yet some women simply don't respect the things men ask for.  Some women are so stuck on being treated like a queen that they forget that a king is part of the royal package.

Why do we make it so hard to give our mates what they want/need without them having to demand it?  People shouldn't have to constantly ask to be pleased by their mates.  If you have no intention of pleasing your mate then maybe you should be by yourself. At least there's no pressure in disappointing yourself.

People should listen to their mates and absorb what they say.  If she says that she's tired of the front door squeaking then don't wait on her to directly ask you, "will you fix the squeaky door?"  Take action and get it done so when she comes home the next time she'll notice that it didn't squeak.

And ladies, when he tells you that he had a tough day at work, don't act like it means nothing.  Some women are quick to say that "men don't open up" yet when we do, who is listening?  Just because we're guys we're "going to be alright" and don't need a compassionate listener now and then?

If a relationship is going to be successful then thoughtfulness has to exist.  Your list of priorities should include doing something to make your mate smile.  If that's not happening regularly then it's just a matter of time before unhappiness ensues and the relationship dies.


Monday, July 6, 2015

Women Are Definitely Calling The Shots in Dating

(Way) Back in the day, let's say the early 60's, guys could call the shots when it came to courting. Men were the bread winners and that afforded them some luxuries when it came to a mate selection. A lot of guys had the ability to choose exactly what they wanted in a mate because at the time, most women were simply looking for security. They wanted a man who could pay the bills and be a provider to a family.

Fast forward to 2015 and the roles have completely changed. Guys are no longer sole providers of households. In fact, guys are rarely providers of households in a lot of communities across the country which is a blog post within itself. Ladies have gotten more educated and have increased their earning potential. The result: now they are the ones making the mate selection.

The days when a woman only cared about security are just about gone. Now that she has her own, she can do what the guys once did exclusively: she can pick and choose a mate as she pleases.

For the old school, provider type of guy, this is a huge dilemma.  Because now, despite being reliable, responsible, and secure, you have to be attractive, exciting, and generous in order to "get the girl" in so many cases.  She doesn't have to go for reliable, responsible, and secure any more because she can provide all of that for herself.  If she so chooses, she now has the luxury of going after knuckleheads built like Vin Diesel because she can pick up the slack.

Oh, snap!  That sucks for a reliable, responsible, secure dude like me (not remotely built like Vin Diesel)!  LOL!  If I don't hit the gym hard then I'll be relegated to a side piece (at best) whose only responsibility is taking her out on dates while "Vin Diesel" gets the goods after I drop her off at home!  (drops down and does 50 push ups...)

Okay, maybe I only did 22 push ups, but that's beside the point.  In all seriousness, guys who look to do the right thing and treat people the right way can't be worried about what the selection process some women have adopted.  There are still some women who just want a nice guy who treats people right (call me).

Besides, who can blame women for doing the same thing that men did decades ago?  Ladies can now enjoy a bigger dating pool because security is no longer a worry. Now the guys can work on being "suitable husbands" and concentrate on "looking the part."  I know a few guys who are "gym rats" that farm themselves out to multiple women.  They understand that they're only wanted because of their bodies and they are more than happy to oblige these women who really don't seek much else.

I don't knock those brothas one bit for reaping the benefits of toned biceps and ab muscles.  Maybe I would be less reliable, responsible, and secure, too if I had six pack abs instead of a keg!  Only time will tell... :)

(23.....  24....  25....)

Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Provider and A Protector

Father's Day has come and gone and my dad just celebrated his 74th birthday.  I'm so thankful for the positive influences that he's had on my life.  I firmly believe that my father was put on this earth for two things.  And those two things are all he's done his entire life. He seems to only get enjoyment out of seeing everything and everyone taken care of. Well, I take that back. He also gets enjoyment out of his occasional afternoon naps.
However, his main purposes in life is to be a provider and a protector. Is that old school way of thinking dead to us now?

I remember when I was in 1st grade and my mom would wake me up for school, I'd hear my father walking through the house and getting ready for work. He didn't have to be there until 7 AM, but he was usually out of the house shortly after 6 AM despite it only being a 15 minute drive. He didn't believe in being late for anything. He would take cold cuts and crackers for his lunch because he didn't require much. He brought his paycheck home to my mom to take care of the household and kept very little for himself. He only needed gas for his truck and enough to buy something to eat to hold him over until dinner time.

After working in a factory from 7 AM - 4 PM, I can remember hearing his truck driving across the railroad tracks as he entered the neighborhood. Our dogs would start barking because they knew the sound of his truck. They also knew that it was time for them to eat as well. My older brother and I would be sitting on the floor doing homework or watching cartoons by the time he got home. He would sometimes come into the house, drop his keys on the couch near the door and would just start dancing. My father's dancing style was (and still is) very similar to a one "George Jefferson" from the popular 70's sitcom "The Jeffersons." As he would dance, he would say, "Work it out, Pop!" I'm not sure where that saying came from, but it ultimately became the reason my brother and I have called him "Pop" for as long as we can remember.

After his performance, I would grab my shoes while he was taking time to greet my mom. She was usually putting the finishing touches on dinner when he got home. If she had to work late then my grandmother (on my mom's side) would be finishing up dinner for all of us. Before settling down to eat, Pop would go back outside to feed the dogs and I was right behind him as he walked out of the house. After a long day of work, he could have easily gotten fed up with a 6 year old following his every movement. In fact, that's kind of how I got the childhood nickname "Shadow."

But he never ran me off. I'd watch him feed the dogs and refill their water dishes. Afterwards, he would do one of many things that may have been needed around the house from changing the oil in the vehicles to working in my grandmother's garden where she grew vegetables year around. Despite a day that started out at 6 AM, Pop would work until it got dark outside on most days. His reward? A full stomach from a delicious dinner and watching TV until after the news went off.

He did this for 20+ years for sometimes six days a week. Going to work for Challenger Electric/GTE wasn't Pop's job. Being "Pop" was his job. And he took it seriously.

But he was (and still is) more than just "Pop". He is also "Uncle Leroy" or "Mr. Leroy" to kids in the neighborhood. Everyone in the neighborhood knows my father. He's the one who will give you a popsicle in the summertime when you're a good kid, but will also chastise you for being a disrespectful kid. You have to say "yes or no, sir" when addressing him. You have to say "thank you" when receiving something from him. Any sign of disrespect will pretty much get you banned from the property regardless of your age.

Pop believes in a natural order to things and that includes a kid knowing his/her place. Step out of line around adults and you'll quickly get reminded that you are a kid. Another thing that makes Pop an icon in the neighborhood is that despite his generosity and willingness to help, he has a temper. Not necessarily a fly-off-the-handle type of temper, but a temper nonetheless. His tolerance for foolishness is extremely low.  He does not tolerate anyone messing with his family.

My brother and I took different paths from a lot of the other kids in my neighborhood. My neighborhood has turned out drug dealers, rapists, and even a murderer or two. But, none of those guys every brought that mess to our house. Because they knew what Pop would do to them if they did anything to negatively influence or harm me or my brother. No police force would be able to stop him from getting to that person. He made that known to the small-time criminals who were once my friends that they were no longer welcomed at our house.

I once thought that they developed other interests and stopped coming around because of that, but as I got into my teens I realized that they stopped coming around because of Pop. They knew that if they attempted to get me ormy brother caught up in their lifestyles that Pop would come after them. However, he didn't just want to save me and my brother from that element, he also wanted to save them as well. I remember as a 10 year old that a friend of mine from around the corner came by to play. He'd recently gotten in trouble for stealing a pair of skates from the nearby skating rink. Pop was aware of the incident and when he came home from work and saw us outside playing he was upset with the boy. He asked him if he stole the skates and the boy admitted that he did. Pop scolded him about stealing and gave him a firm lecture while I watched uncomfortably. He told him how thieves ended up in jail or shot while trying to take someone's property. He told him that he needed to get his life together, but until then, thieves weren't welcomed in his yard.  The boy left and ultimately never came back. He eventually got sent to prison a couple of years later and someone killed him in jail when he was in his late teens.

So, the bad elements simply stayed away from our house and my friends eventually changed. The guys that he couldn't talk any sense into got older, but they never lost respect for Pop. Many houses got broken into in our neighborhood, but never ours. Many kids got "jumped" by so-called "gang members," but never me or my brother. Many arugments and fights took place in my neighborhood, but they were never in front of our house.

At 74 years old, Pop is still the same as he was when I was a kid. He's a taxi for my 92 year old grandmother (mom's side) to make sure she makes it to all of doctor's appointments and to church. He's always the one that people in the neighborhood call when they have car trouble. He's the one that a 3rd generation of kids refer to as "Uncle Leroy" when they want a popsicle on a hot day. And despite living by himself, when he's away from home for long periods of time, nearby neighbors (some with criminal records) watch his home to ensure that nothing happens to it.

My father has his flaws and he's far from perfect. Like many of us, he's made some mistakes in his life that he undoubtedly regrets. But, although I am self-sufficient and living my own life just a few miles away from the old neighborhood, he would be there if I ever needed him for anything. He's still a provider and a protector. It's what keeps him going. And even at 43 years old, I'm still hoping to be just like my Pop.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

5 Things That Make a Relationship Work

We are born into this world as selfish beings.  A baby wants to do what they want when they want.  They will cry when they can't have their way.  Over time, they are taught to appreciate and love those who have their best interest at heart.  Until society teaches them otherwise.

Is making a relationship work as difficult as most people make it out to be?  It's two people who love being together more than they love being apart.  Sounds simple enough, right?  Well, not so fast, Speedy Gonzales.  The hardest part of a relationship is finding someone with the same level of commitment that you have.  The same mindset.  The same goals in mind.

You can't control what others do, but there are some things that you can do to ensure that you're holding up your end of things:

1. Are you paying attention?

Listening is very important in relationships.  It helps to understand your mate's mindset and it allows you to be comforting in times of need.  You should know a lot about your mate from their childhood experiences to what their work day was like.  If you're not an authority of your mate's info like clothes sizes, high school's name, and simple things of that nature then you're either not asking the right questions or you're not paying attention.  Knowing simple things can go a long way towards showing someone that you care enough to know their experiences.

2. Are you being dependable?

I don't know about some, but this is huge for me.  You have to be reliable if you're going to be in a successful relationship.  If "oh, I forgot" or "I got tied up" becomes your answer to a lot of reasons you failed to do something then expect your mate to eventually check out on you.  No one wants to be with someone who they don't trust to do what they say they're going to do.  We all know what it's like to be disappointed and it's not a pleasant feeling when a person shows you that they don't care.  Be reliable.  Be supportive.  Be there when the person needs you to be.

3. Are you thoughtful?

This is something that seems to fly right over the heads of so many Americans today.  Thoughtfulness.  We're subconsciously trained to think of ourselves so much that we rarely take time to think of others.  You should always look to brighten your mate's day.  Well, to be honest, you should and brighten anyone's day, but we're focusing on relationships here.  Surprise them with a home cooked meal, massage their feet, or something of that nature.  Pay attention to small details and cater to your mate.  Nothing makes a mate feel more emotionally secure than you showing effort to make them happy.  You don't even have to be present to do it.  Sending flowers to their job or buying them something they need/want shows that you care.  What says "love" more than showing that you thought of a person when they weren't even present?

4. Are you giving them what they want?

Everyone has a guilty pleasure that is more enjoyable when done with a loved one than alone.  However, it may only be something that your mate may enjoy and you could care less about it.  Whatever it may be, do it.  Maybe your mate likes a show that you don't care for.  Who cares?  Watch it with them and make them happy.  It could be an art show that he/she wants to attend.  Don't just go, show interest and make sure your attitude is a positive one.  And of course, it could be something physical/sexual that doesn't bring you pleasure, but pleases them.  Do it right and do it often.  Give it your 100%.  Being in love is as much about giving as it is receiving.  In fact, it's more about giving.  Everyone communicates what makes them happy or unhappy and we just need to pay attention and give it to them.

5. Are you being honest?

Sounds easy, but some people struggle with this.  Not necessarily because they're intentionally deceiving their mate, but because they're deceiving themselves.  So many people don't truly know what they want in a relationship yet they'll jump into one without a goal in mind.  This is one of the reasons why divorce rates are so high these days.  It's not a good idea to figure out how to swim after you've jumped in the water.  A lot of us are infatuated with the idea of being in a relationship despite the fact that we're not ready for one.  Be honest in evaluating yourself and knowing what you want.  It can prevent a lot of stress and heartache down the line.

Conclusion:

You may be asking yourself, "What makes him the authority on making a relationship work?"  Well, I'm not an expert.  I just have an opinions.  However, I've discussed this with enough people in my life and read enough blog posts, social media statuses, and other things to know what people say they want.  It's pretty common knowledge what people say they want in a relationship, but how many are willing to do what it takes to achieve that?  Only about 50% of us if you look at today's divorce rate.

People date for many reasons: they enjoy having someone in their company, they want "something to do" until something better comes along, or maybe they're genuinely looking for a life companion.  This blog post doesn't apply to the first two because they are self-serving.  This post is meant to be a blueprint for those truly looking for love.  For if you do those five things and your mate reciprocates, then how could the two of you not be happy?

Good luck out there!


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I'm Such A Memorable Guy!

(1/28/15) I pulled up to a stop light this morning on my way to work and this lady pulled up next to me and signals for me to roll down my window. I'm thinking she's going to tell me that something is wrong with my car, but instead she asked if I remembered her.

I look confused because the entire ordeal is extremely random.  I check to see if the light is still red and then I return my gaze towards her with a look of confusion.  She looked familiar, but I had no idea who she could be.  A former coworker?  A college classmate?  Before I could answer, she said, "I met you in the elevator at the Doubletree in Memphis."

I let out an "ohhhhhhhhhh!"  I did remember her from the hotel.  I'd met her on the elevator.

But, wait.  I took that trip back in mid-November.  Still amazed at her recall abilities, I asked how she was doing.  She told me that she was on her way to work.  She asked me if I'd been back to Memphis and I told her that I had not.  The stop light turned green, she told me to have a good day, and then drove off.  Let me back up a bit back to November 2014...

I met this lady on the elevator at a hotel.  I don't even recall how the conversation started, but I'm pretty sure that I started it.  I always talk to people on elevators because I get a kick out of talking to people in awkward moments.  She told me that she was also from Jackson, MS and that she thought I looked familiar.  We didn't know each other, but Jackson isn't all that big, so it's possible that we had mutual friends or something.  Our conversation lasted 30 seconds at best.  About twenty minutes later, I went back to the elevator to go down and get something out of my car and I ran into her again.  Like me, she was also taking a vacation just for the heck of it.  Just to get away from home.  We chatted for less than a minute on the elevator ride down and as we exited the hotel I told her to enjoy her stay and that was the last I saw of her.  At least until I passed her on a frontage road on my way to work.

I'm a talker.  I will talk to someone just because we're in the same area.  But what could I have possibly said to make this woman remember me?  90 seconds of total talk time and you can recognize me passing you on a frontage road two months later?  Through my slightly tinted windows?  I'm just not buying that.  At some point during that weekend in Memphis, she had to have seen me get into my car.  Maybe she recognized the Univ. of Southern Mississippi tag that used to be on the front of my car because I just don't see how she could have spotted me the way she did.

I guess I'll never know unless she sees me again some where.  Dag, I'm such a memorable guy.  I don't know if that's good or bad.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Explode or Implode: The Building is Still Coming Down #Stress

I visited New Orleans over an extended Memorial Day weekend and took so much from my four day stay.  Despite my 20 or 30-something visits to The Big Easy, for the first time I got to interact with the locals and see a side I've never seen before.  I had plenty of cajun/creole cooking, took a steamboat ride down the Mississippi River, enjoyed a Second Line band, and more.

However, one thing really stood out to me on my trip was a visit to a church on that Sunday morning.  The pastor's sermon fell in line with one of my recent blog posts called "The Burden of the Stress Catcher".  It was as if he was speaking directly to me.  Needless to say, I was very attentive and could identify with almost every point he was making.

He talked about how people who are relied upon the most are usually the last to receive help themselves.  I thought about how often I come to the aid of people for so many things.  Most of them are small contributions, but they're contributions all the same.  I do it for the "thank you's" because I really don't expect much else from people other than that.

Although those who know me well would probably jokingly disagree, I am human.  I have feelings.  I deal with problems and turmoil in life.  But I rarely feel like I'm able to express those feelings to anyone.  Most people in my life are so used to me being "the strong one" that they rarely notice (or care) that something is bothering me.  And even if they get an inclination that something is wrong, they may ask "what's wrong?", but if I say "nothing" because I'm uncomfortable discussing it at that time then the conversation pretty much ends there.

One thing that I do better than anyone that I know is read people.  I know what makes people tick and I use that to determine their moods.  Being able to see that someone is in need of something coupled with my willingness to help people almost compels me to step in and try to make things better when things are bad.  I always want to help fix the problem.  The downside is that I know that person won't be there for me in the same capacity or will let me down in an attempt to do so.  Yet I still put forth the effort to brighten their day.

7 days a week I've done this since as long as I can remember.  In work life or home life I'm making someone smile.  I'll see that someone appears to be down and I may compliment them to cheer them up.  I'll notice someone with a confused look and I'll ask questions to see if I can help.  You can't help everyone, but it's comforting to them to know that someone at least thought enough of them to try.

Someone once told me that is the reason I have no known enemies.  Because I've probably helped them, too, in some shape, form, or fashion.  Yet to express how I feel, blogging is the safest venue for me to vent.  It prevents me from potentially offending anyone, or having to listen to unsolicited advice, or avoid having someone try and one-up my problems with one of their own.  The latter I encounter regularly because I'm supposed to be "the strong one," right?  My problems don't matter.  Some people seem to think that I can deal with my problems on my own so they gloss over mine and present me theirs.

Despite all of my rantings, I'm not without loved ones.  There are people in my life who care for me and want to see me happy.  It's unfair of me to expect them to read my moods as easily as I read theirs.  You have to really be in tune with people to realize that something is off and my personality is  difficult to figure out.

I maintain a positive attitude because that is what keeps me going.  I can be extremely sad or mad and not always show it because I don't like for either of those emotions to dominate my life for long periods of time.  To not be that way is to rely on society to bail me out of my bad feelings and I can't take a chance on them accepting that challenge.  Even when I'm "not feeling myself" people would assume that I'm simply just tired before they would assume that I'm stressed.  And even if I did open up to someone, would they be unbiased or would they be judgmental?  I usually encounter one if not both when presenting problems to people.  That's why it's easier to keep certain things to myself and figure it out on my own.

But, the one thing the pastor said on Sunday that really resonated with me was this: "Regardless if it explodes or implodes, the building is still coming down.  Let it out."  He was referring to keeping stress pinned up inside of ourselves.  Either you can explode in anger or allow it to slowly kill you inside, but either way your temple will be destroyed.

I've got to work on preserving my temple.  Just a few weeks ago I posted about how I've embraced being people's"stress catcher" over the years and now I'm realizing that someone needs to catch mine now and then!

I've got to stop allowing my happiness to be dictated by other people's happiness.  I have to find more people I trust enough to ask for help when I need someone to listen to me.  I've got to stop getting the short end of the stick and focus on myself before "my building" starts to crumble.  Because although I'm looking out for others, others aren't always looking out for me.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Do You Even Know Why Blacks are Angry?

(This is based on a statement given on my radio show a few weeks ago..)

As of late, the country has been focused on the city of Baltimore. However, very few are talking about how a man died and the police's role, if any, in his death. Instead we are pounded with video and photos of rioting. I've stated on my show numerous times before that I'm against rioting. I said that I didn't agree with rioters tearing up their own cities.

That was back during the Trayvon Martin trial. Since then we've seen the following:

Victor White III, 22, Iberia Parish, La.—March 22, 2014 The coroner says he shot himself while handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser.

Eric Garner, 43, New York, N.Y.—July 17, 2014 Choked to death by a cop while being restrained by other officers.  Famously known as the "I can't breathe" killing.

John Crawford III, 22, Beavercreek, Ohio—August 5, 2014 Crawford was fatally shot while carrying a pellet gun in a Wal-Mart. The gun was unsold merchandise and out of its package. A man named Ronald Ritchie told 911 that he looked like he was pointing it at people, but a month later he admitted that Crawford was not pointing the gun at people. Aftermath: No indictment.

Michael Brown, 18, Ferguson, Mo.—August 9, 2014 By now my line of thinking is swaying a bit. I said on the air that I don't condone rioting, but I would understand it more if people rioted in the communities of the oppressors instead of their own communities. 

Ezell Ford, 25, Los Angeles, Calif.—August 12, 2014 Ford was shot by police who were conducting "an investigative stop." " A struggle ensued," read the LAPD's news release. Ford's family members say he was lying down when shot. Aftermath: The LAPD, which hasn't closed the investigation into Ford's death, put an indefinite "investigative hold" on the coroner's autopsy report to prevent witness testimony from being tainted.

Tamir Rice, 12, Cleveland, Ohio—Nov. 22, 2014 Officer Tim Loehmann shot and killed Rice, who was holding a BB gun, seconds after spotting him at a park. This is after a 911 caller told dispatch that they believed that the kid was carrying a toy gun and not a real one.

Rumain Brisbon, 34, Phoenix, Ariz.—Dec. 2, 2014 Brisbon, an unarmed black father of four, was shot to death in when a police officer apparently mistook his bottle of pills for a gun. Aftermath: Pending.

Baltimore, MD then hits the scene with a man who died from serious injuries sustained during an arrest. My stance: I still do not condone rioting. But, for the first time, I understand it. I understand that people have reached a boiling point. Too many unarmed black people are dying at the hands of cops without investigations that make you feel the slightest bit of confidence in the justice system.

Do unarmed white people get shot by police? I'm sure that they do. They probably get shot more than black people because there are a lot more white people than black people in this country. The odds favor that. However, does the media report it when it happens? Absolutely not. It's not going to get the reaction and ratings as much as an unarmed black person being shot.

Those who know me know that I'm not one to complain unless I have a solution. Did everyone that I named above either commit a crime, tried to run from the police, or tried to resist arrest? Just about all of them did at least one if not all of those things. That still doesn't give the police the right to shoot them like dogs in the streets though.  However, for those who did either one of those three things, they do have some responsibility in what happened. Now, I'm not talking about the wrong place/wrong time victims. I'm talking about the people who had opportunities to comply and chose not to do so.

My plea to those black men out there now who may get stopped by police: if you comply then you may get a chance to live. You may not be doing anything wrong, but try to stay alive first and save the arguing for the courts.  Ice Cube once rapped that he would rather be "judged by 12 than carried by 6."  In other words, let a jury decide your fate rather than take matters in your own hands and later be carried by pall bearers.  There's no sense in being right if you're dead right.

Next, the police. The ones who are sworn to "protect and serve." I know that you all are scared. If you're scared then quit. Policing is not for you. It's just that simple. Learn how to take subjects down without your gun being a first resort. There are too many weapons from rubber bullets and salt pellets to pepper spray and tasers that you can use to take people down. Even if someone runs from you or even swings on you, you don't have a right to kill them. They may even deserve to be roughed up and society may even be better off to be rid of them. But, that's not up to you as a cop. That's up to a jury. You're not Judge Dredd.

And lastly, the media. You took a city of 400,000 black people in Baltimore and painted the picture that every last one of them is burning the city down. Let's be honest: out of those 400,000 black people there may have been 500 or so rioting? To be generous let's say there were a thousand rioting. 

Don't act like .0025 of the black population is representing all black people. Especially you, FOX News! 

There are a lot of people trying to peacefully protest yet they always seem to escape your cameras. There are Twitter photos taken by white people of white people looting convenience stores, but those photos don't represent what the media wants conveyed to the public.

As long as black people are portrayed as the boogeyman the more a cop would prefer to shoot one rather than take a chance to see what his real intent is. We've spent days watching videos of cops vs. Black Baltimore. People are criticizing the rioters. People are criticizing those who are criticizing the rioters.

No one is asking the question: why are they so mad? Why are cops so scared? Why is Freddie Gray dead?

I'm guessing a some of you didn't even know his name.

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