The Deathbed Test

This is not an original thought, and I do not know to whom to attribute it, so forgive me. Lately I have been reading several spiritual texts, as well as a novel which is rare for me, all apocalyptic in nature. End of the world, end of humankind, the role of the spirit or the soul…religion vs. spirituality…you can find yourself overwhelmed quickly with all those thoughts and different insights. People spend millions of dollars on therapy, self help books and materials, camps, retreats, counseling,…why? One reason and one reason only…they want to be happy. They feel inferior to other people they see in their lives or in their day, thinking that person has or knows something they don’t know. That’s why they seem happier than me. Often the person they envy is just as lost, and they are envious themselves of someone else who seems to have it all together. All of the books, seminars, products, etc. are just different packaged ways of trying to deliver the same thing…happiness. A quote I remind myself of often is, “There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.” Catchy, but most people would throw the flag and say that’s nice but doesn’t really help them. Perhaps this will.
The Deathbed Test is quite simply you imagining yourself on your deathbed. What do you think will be on your mind at that moment? What will your concerns/regrets be? Things you did, or things you wish you had done? Will you be thinking of a job or promotion you got or didn’t get? What will be most important to you in that moment? Now some might take this moment to rattle off to you about God and religion and whatever their point of view is…but this is more about the life you are leaving, not what happens afterward. Most people observed in their last moments, almost to a person, spoke of relationships. They talked of friends and family. They weren’t concerned about money, status, or any things that could be bought or sold. We come here with nothing and we leave with nothing. But the impact we have on each other is what lasts and those connections are what most people focus on at the end.
Stress is a human construct. It exists nowhere but in the mind of the individual. Things that we as individuals create stress over in our lives typically have no importance or value at the end. The Deathbed Test can be simply applied to almost any potentially stressful choice or situation. Will this matter to me then? How important is this and will it be a regret if I don’t at least try? And when measuring different options that may diminish or forever alter valued relationships, the choices become more clear and the stress subsides.
It is not a perfect solution, but offers the person a measure of control and peace that cannot be attained otherwise.

Paradigm Fail

I am passionate about my work and that can be dangerous. Although I am no longer the technophile of old, there is no blurring of my sense of technology as alchemy. Technology is my science, my religion of mysticism. In technology we will transform lead into gold with a blend of ritual and chemistry.

That being typed, it literally breaks my heart and I ache we have misrepresented technology and continue to conform to this misconception as we have evolution. As the movie Idiocracy suggested and the theory of evolution clearly explains, the organism which has evolved is the one adapted to thrive in an environment of Miley Cyrus twerking as an expression of ideas through dance. Technology is not synonymous with imagination and by deductive definition, has limitations.

Boeing recruited employees with a radio advertisement seeking people who desired to lift tons of weight into the skies with their mind. A fantastic clarification explaining the momentum of flight is imagination and not technology. I am certain if English swallows were gifted with imagination, they would develop a net to carry a coconut  to Medieval England and overcome a matter of weight ratios.

 

Or not….

 

She digs me, she digs me not…

“That motorcycle is just an extension of your penis…”

‘Why thank you. Spend more time riding it and you might not be so cranky.’

“The motorcycle?!?!?”

‘Either one.”

“Well if you spend more time waxing it, you would probably be less sarcastic.”

‘The motorcycle?’

“Either one.”

I think she digs me, but history has proven I am not so good with the womenfolk. What say you all?

The Death Of Spontaneity

The old adage about the grass always being greener on the other side is usually referring to peoples’ assumption that someone they know is much happier than they are. They look at another person’s lifestyle, profession and material possessions, and conclude they have it way better. In healthy individuals, this sparks drive and ambition to excel and achieve the same status or material gain through self improvement and competition. In less healthy individuals, this sparks resentment or coveting. Coveting is addressed in 2 of the 10 commandments, regarding material things and wives. No mention of coveting husbands being a problem…still think man didn’t alter the Bible a bit? Yes, you’re a total heathen if you read on.
Hey! Glad you’re still with me. My idea originated with coveting, which got me thinking about single peoples’ perspective about married people and vice versa. I have been with my wife for 18 years, married for 15. I had a 5 year dating relationship throughout college that could be categorized as volatile. When it ended abruptly, I responded much like the institutionalized Brooks from Shawshank Redemption who upon his parole after 50 years of incarceration hangs himself. I indeed felt like a reluctant parolee but the only thing I attempted to kill was my liver. There was the inevitable collateral damage that occurs when 2 objects collide. The 2 objects, my ego and reality. The damage, as you might have guessed, my poor brain cells. My wife came along, and like many fugitives or parolees who can’t handle life on the outside, I behaved in a way to get put back where I’m the most comfortable.
I’m most comfortable as a married person because I was not a “successful” single person. All of my dating/casual encounters had a painfully clumsy, Chevy Chase quality to them. On the rare occasion that I tried to date more than 1 woman, they always found out about each other. You can imagine how the more intimate encounters turned out. It was quite frustrating because I had several friends who were quite good at juggling these encounters. I have 2 friends that I’m reasonably sure have been recruited by the CIA for their cloak and dagger prowess. Being single like them, “successful”, looked great. Stress free, casual, unlimited. Beautiful women…or beautifully willing to do whatever. But alas, being single like that is a super power that I don’t possess. My super power is killing spiders and fair to sharp wit/sarcasm that has not been undone by the aforementioned brain cell damage.
Single people look to couples, married or not, and think someday I will find that. Or they think “THAT WILL NEVER BE ME! THAT WILL NEVER BE ME! THAT WILL NEVER BE, NEVER BE ME! NO!” (Quick Reader! What movie? If you don’t know, you need to shore up on the 80′s movie quotes.) If you are a single person reading this and want an honest assessment of marriage from a married person, here it is.
Being a husband and father is what I was meant to be. I know this more than I know anything else in my life. This in no way kept me from being scared out of my fucking mind on my wedding day and when our son was born. But never did I doubt for a minute that I was on the wrong path. If you don’t feel the same way to some degree, then maybe you are on a different path. I always knew I wanted to have a family.
Now, that being said, there are a million books, songs, and failed sitcoms about love and relationships. Most people will not admit it, but they do create the drama in their lives. There are hundreds of different scenarios that could be examined, but I believe all conflicts come from the ego. Selfishness, pride, needing to be right and the other person to be wrong…that sums up a lot of it. But my main issue in my relationship with my wife has less to do with her than with the kids…and here it is.
We are not spontaneous at all anymore. Parenthood completely fucks up spur of the moment anything. The impulsivity of being young and doing whatever you want whenever you want is done as soon as you have kids. Everything is planned, considered, written out, organized, choreographed, and synchronized. Want to do something without the kids? Can’t do it yet, have to get a sitter first. Want to jump each others’ bones right this second? Go check on the kids first and make sure they’re asleep…and lock the door in case they get up.
Choosing to have a family is probably the most daunting thing anyone can choose to do, besides getting involved in a land war in Asia. (Reader, another 80′s movie! Redeem yourself!) So, you must always remember that your spouse/s.o. is still the same person that you had sex with against the front door of your first apartment because she looked so hot, smiled, and flashed you. Do whatever you can to remember the mother or father of your lovely children is still the insatiable, sexual deviant you fell ass over tea kettle for so many years ago. Coveting should always be someone else’s problem.

PTSD – major contributor to self-inflicted male baldness

When a woman proclaims she wants to scream and tear her hair out; who cares? She has plenty, it will grow back completely, and she will temporarily both simultaneously save money on hair care products and really be able to dye those roots. When a man is maddened to this point, it is significant. That may be the last time hair is present in that particular place.

So my final post for a while pertains to the online dating milieu yet again. An apropos metaphor is none other than the scene from the movie Fight Club where random haikus are spammed across the company by the film’s narrator. The third-person perspective or seemingly Helen Keller narrator on a stage, without contact, is little more than the rant of a delusional vagrant.

I once sought to love     but instead hear only chirps     crickets droning temp.

I am going to the gym and then I plan to ride. Expect to hear from me again come Fall.

Accusation

“You are acting like an infant!”

Why. . . thank you. As complimentary as that derogatory accusation should be, I found it to be extremely accurate and condemning. Obviously not a condemnation of me but the accuser (thank you ego – you are my model for omnipotent monotheism).

As it happens, my needs are simpler than an infant’s.

1)      I need to be free of soil, an area where I am self-sufficient

2)      I need to be fed, another area of self-sufficiency

3)      I need a measure of comfort. Typically I can also provide this for myself.

Those being detailed, any amount of screaming, crying, and outburst seems justified. Failure to contribute what little is necessary to meet these needs demands attention and should be prioritized.

I do not put my hand on the stove burner, go into the wintery cold without suitable attire, procrastinate visiting the facilities until I have soiled myself. Should you find yourself the obstacle to my needs and ignore my initial polite request; expect all of my energy to be channeled into a tantrum of unintelligible noise and violent movement.

 

Let there be beer

At a local brewer’s annual birthday bash, I waited in line with my friend and presented, for her opinion, my latest pickup line. I received ‘the look’. Next I was chastised for not choosing a different beverage option than I had previously selected. “Ya’ll (I am in my hometown so I can use the local dialect) are a maddening breed dear lady. Staunch advocates of monogamy but in all other things you demand variety; so if I bed another woman than my girlfriend am I permitted to use the excuse of following her advice and trying something different?”

“It is clear why you haven’t had long term relationships,” she responded still giving me that look.

“What in the world do you mean? I have had dozens of long term relationships. You have only had one!”

Although she thought little of me in that moment, I was later redeemed. She forced the menfolk to try the cucumber beer which, at best, deserved a unique rejection. Her husband asked her why she would put that in her mouth and I reminded him it was never in a man’s best interest to question that particular impulse. On cuke beer’s behalf, it escapes well from a laughing mouth and I expect was good for my skin.

The charming wisdom I extract from these interactions is the simple folly women are equally prone. We will not accuse you of being just like your mother if you will cease regurgitating her philosophy of ‘how do you know until you have tried?’ Should the homophobes ever prove correct; then your dear, sweet grandmother and madre are more to blame as the gateway to homosexuality than any film, song, art, or bath house.

PTSD – revisited.

A return to some of the advice after Hys midlife crisis, rest assured it was a very brief moment of tribulation for my friend as I told him to grab his wife by the hair and say ‘I want to be the Tina to your Ike Turner in bed tonight.’ A little role reversal and play because occasionally married couples need to remember what it is like to attempt dressing and leave out the door before they are forced to make eye contact with the room’s other occupant.

Apologies, I have lost interest in reading this before completion.

So a few pointers for the menfolk and I do so ever hope women will comment and blame my tiny phallus for my woes and perspective.

1) That isn’t really her in the opening photo but that is probably the car she drives. Vehicle selfies are extremely common and equally mysterious. The last photo in the series, that is probably what she looks like.
2) Body type – the most ambiguous closed-ended question on the site. ‘About average’ references the people she surrounds herself with. Expect about average to mean all her single, unhappy friends who complain about how all the good men are gone or gay as they snap shoulder up selfies in the car.
3) Train for a marathon. Marathoners are the new cat ladies without the cats, doilies, or bad skin. Men may become distinguished with age, but a woman who exercises in the element stores sunlight which radiates from her endlessly.
4) Tremendous surprise, she likes fun, friends, family and travel. Chances are some of the photos are from travel. Ideal situation should you plan to be together only a fortnight per year.
5) Apparently you are competing with unemployed men who live at home where their poor hygiene is permitted as is their destructive financial philosophy. This does not make you more appealing. Riddle me that Batman.
6) Be a man. Do not hide behind the virtual nature of the interaction but be respectful of the other human being. I respond to all inquiries – to which I have been chided that they would rather be ignored.
7) Do not succumb to a form letter and focus unique open respondents. This isn’t Fast Times At Ridgemont High there Mike Damon

Finally, you will probably find the most utility in ignoring this, turning off your computer, and engaging the bipeds in person.

Outside the Waiting Room

Wow.

 

 

So anyway… I was contemplating my need to continue the online dating debacle, considered blogging about how much Texans could learn from the Russia/Ukraine situation, and even the possibility of an in-depth series concerning how the good ol’ US of A is a nation ripe for the conquering; and then I read my partner’s blog.

The clarity of his crisis is poignant in the use of rag-top as synonymous with convertible. Nice one Vanilla Ice.

I will respond to some of your thoughts quickly my friend as you need to gain some perspective.


 

You could always turn your mini-van into the Mystery Machine. I triple-dog dare you.

Is climbing Everest really an accomplishment? I mean Sherpa do it all the time and typically are carrying all the gear for the expedition leaders.

P90X to get into great shape? Round IS a shape sir and it is one of the shapes granting Confucius great fame. There is no story of his ripped abs, but there are many parables about his perfect circle.

Ever notice how everyone is practicing religion and never perfecting? Bro, in the Old Testament sense of the Lord your life is an abomination. You had best to quit twelve stepping your way to ingratiation and just be a good person. This paragraph is an inside joke dear reader and I know my friend is laughing having read these lines.

Find a cure for what exactly? No matter how many diseases or lack of gun control the human virus is unchecked across this world. Our arrogance is such we are incapable of accepting the only life at risk of the damage we do to this planet is our own. Cure hypocrisy or invent a solution for the same.

As for what others have done that you might also?                          Get over it.


 

Beyond that advice, accept the futility of life, accept your mortality, and continue to sensory masturbate into oblivion like everyone else. The challenge is following this advice in a fashion that improves the human condition for those around you.

How is this? Participate in our high school health class and read your blog to the students. No better contraceptive was ever invented. Teaching the young and hopeful the futility of life as a means of contraception is a great invention sir and I salute you.

A Few Thoughts in a Waiting Room.

I have put off diagnosing myself with a midlife crisis for some time now. I have joked about its possible existence from time to time only to get a laugh, or so I thought at the time. For the record, I have not nor do I ever intend to buy a red ragtop sportscar. Not my style, plus I’m 6’2 255 so I would look like a shriner minus the fez. I will never have a combover of any kind. Monk style baldness, however, has begun. As it progresses, I will eventually shave my head completely. I will not go quietly into monk or horseshoe baldness. I know the guy from NSYNC says he has the answer….but no. No treatments, no plugs, no transplants…no. I prefer oust look like the captain of a starship…thanks anyway.
These and other thoughts are spinning in my head because I am sitting in a Dr’s waiting room waiting on my 79 yr old mom to return. I am people watching in a waiting room where apparently all were present for the parting of the Red Sea. This caused me to reflect a bit about my own situation and status overall. I’m in good health, which is to say that I look like the before picture of an ex athlete on a Nutrisystem commercial. No complaints or issues with immediate family, wife and kids are good. We’re blessed to have jobs and a nice place to live. Please understand. I have no real problems compared to most, especially if you watch the news for longer than 30 seconds. The big drama in my life right now is deciding which private school my kids should attend. So, no sympathy needed or expected. However, I have a consistent, almost nagging feeling in waking hours that I am meant to be doing something else. Now, is it a great something else? Is it climbing Everest? New invention? Finding a cure? None of those rings true.
What have others done that I could do? I could change careers or go back to school. I could do P90X and get in great shape. I could become more devout in practicing religion. I could move to Iowa and build a baseball field. Nope…no answers yet. Blogging and drinking will continue to be the coping skills of choice for now…to be continued.