Sunday, December 14, 2008

Thank you for the Christmas gifts Mr. Steinbrenner



As long as I can remember and for no other reason than simply being a fan, Mr. George Steinbrenner, the boss himself, always brings holiday cheer by improving my beloved Yankees and bringing that holiday spirit my way. I know the holidays are on their way when the New York Yankees, the greatest franchise in sports, gets a gift for the fans that hopefully keeps on giving and brings a smile. No other team does this year after year like the Yanks do and this is part of the reason that its such an empire. The owner cares about winning as much as, if not more than the fans. I may not always agree with who comes and goes, but every December there is another gift of hope for the upcoming season. In my lifetime, that I can remember there have been many gifts in December and they are:

1991--Danny Tartabull, come on, he was on Seinfeld

1992-Jim Abbott-later threw a no-hitter the following season, Jimmy Key-was a big game pitcher for the 1996 season particularly, Wade Boggs-another Boston great realizing that greatness is further south in the Bronx---think riding that horse

1993-Louis Polonia-stole some bases

1994-Jack McDowell-middle finger to the fans, gotta love it, Tony Fernandez-last great Yankee shortstop before #2 Derek Jetah

1995-Resigning Wade Boggs, David Cone-most dominating big game pitcher I can remember as a Yankee, Tim Raines-1996 Championship alum, Mariano Duncan-1996 Championship alum

1996-Mike Stanton-special lefty reliever added greatness to bullpen for years

1997
-Chilli Davis-on the 1998 and 1999 championship team-power hitting DH, Scott Brosius-2001 game 4, 1998 World Series MVP

1998- Resigning of David Cone and Bernie Williams, keep greatness with greatness

1999
-Roger Clemens-love him or hate him now, then, one of most dominating pitchers ever

2000
- Dwight Gooden-back again after winning World Series and throwing no-hitter in 1996, Luis Sojo-underappreciated, got big hits and did all the little things right

2001-Jason Giambi-"if you can't beat em, join em", Rondell White-fast outfielder, Robin Ventura-sweet swinging third basemen from the Mets, David Wells-coming back again Boomer

2002-Todd Zeile-from the Mets, Jose Contrares-Cuban dominant pitcher, later won World Series with White Sox in 2005, Hideki Matsui- Godzilla-Japan's Babe Ruth in the house that Ruth built, Resigning-Clemens and El-Duque

2003-Javier Vasquez-hard throwing pitcher, Kevin Brown-Won World Series with Marlins-big game pitcher, Miguel Cairo-all the little things, Ruben Sierra- came back bigger and better, Aaron Boone-just hit that Home Run here's a contract, oh you got hurt, we need a third baseman.......Alex Rodriguez-contract is huge but this guy can play, 2007 season I have never seen anything like it, Gary Sheffeild- loved him, Torre comments-fahget you, Tom Gordon-good in relief for a bit

2004- Randy Johnson-doomed from the start but in his prime never better, Tino Martinez-back in pinstripes good to have it happen, Carl Pavano-big contract for a guy who pitched maybe 20 times in 4 years for 40 million dollars, each start about 2 million dollars

2005
- Johnny Damon-the tradition continues, Kyle Farnsworth-big name big joke, Octavio Dotel-big name, DL

2006- Kei Igawa-lotta hype no delivery, Andy Pettitte-welcome back with that stare and cutter, big time

2007- Alex Rodriguez-couldnt have opted out at a better time I didnt even realize the Sox
won the series because everything was AROD this and AROD that, huge, Andy Pettitte-one year deal

2008-C.C. Sabathia-biggest contract in baseball history for a pitcher, 2007 Cy Young award
winner, could have had one this year in the NL, we'll see, but thank you, A.J. Burnett- Dominant right handed pitcher, another large contract, thank you George

There is probably more to come before the holidays are over, but I am excited, New Ballpark, New Faces, big time....Go Yankees.......

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

NFL Picks Week 15

Last Week: 11-5

Season Totals: 115-60

Winners are in bold

New Orleans at Chicago
Tampa Bay at Atlanta
Washington
at Cincinnatti
Detroit at Indianapolis
San Diego
at Kansas City
Green Bay at Jacksonville
Seattle at St. Louis
San Francisco at Miami
Buffalo at NY Jets
Tennessee at Houston
Minnesota at Arizona
Denver
at Carolina
Pittsburgh at Baltimore
New England
at Oakland
NY Giants at Dallas
Cleveland at Philadelphia

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Cannabis Sativa



As many of you know, I was in love with drugs and had a passionate affair with Mary Jane. I loved everything about this wonderful plant, the look, texture, smell, colors, taste, and best of all the sensation she gave me when I smoked her. Mary Jane by herself was trouble for me because she would always bring her friends Allison and Candy. Then they run my life like bad women do. Anyways, this blog is not about my romances with these ladies but I feel the need to write about my old friend Mary. I havent smoked her in almost 5 years, but I smell her once in awhile and see her once in awhile too. Shes with alot of other people now and all they all say the same thing, shes not that bad.


I agree with this statement. Since the arguement is always if alcohol is legal so should marijuana and since that is the most frequented arguement I'll put my two cents in. As someone who abused them both aggressively for about a decade I would have to say that I would prefer marijuana to be legal as to alcohol. Since I have started counseling clients and attending further education courses I have seen and heard many issues associated with alcohol that are not associated with even heroin. The main one being that more people die when they stop using alcohol then when they stop using heroin. This is true and it is scary. "Normal" people dont see this or think this. The body of a long term heroin user would be a great improvement to a body of a long time alcohol user. The statistics for cirrhosis of the liver is as impressive as those for cigarettes and cancer but people dont see that. Every time a person drinks cells are destroyed in the liver, your bodies main organ for cleaning itself and keeping poison out. Alcohol also is banned by more religions then marijuana which is encouraged among, hindus, natives, muslims, some sects of buddhism and of course the rastafari'.


Think about it...who would you get in a car with? (1)a person who never smoked pot before and just did, (2) a pot smoker who had never driven while high and was just about to, (3) a pot smoker who drives high all the time, (4) a person with any amount of alcohol in them. I would hope for your sake and the sake of those who care about you, that you wouldnt pick #4. As we all know the dangers of drinking and driving there are virtually no dangers to smoking weed and driving, yes that is what I am saying. Any tests that have been done to show that people on marijuana are impaired are false becuase they ask people to smoke marijuana who dont smoke marijuana and then have them drive cars when they have never driven before, in that case pot would affect driving, but thats not reality. People who are stoned generally focus more on what they are doing because they are aware of the effects of marijuana. To be stoned and aware that one is forgetful you would compensate and follow what is going on so that even if you forget you are aware, whereas with alcohol you dont know what is going on and if you do you arent drinking enough or you may have a problem.


I would much rather be around 100 stoned on pot people than 100 drunks any day of the week, it makes for a happier society. I am not saying to make alcohol illegal but I hope that people are truely aware that alcohol and cigarettes are the two leading killers in this country. Think about what a hangover feels like and how painful it can be. There is no hangover from pot.




thats all for now....check you later man!!!

NFL Picks Week 14

Last Week: 12-4

Season Totals: 104-55

Winners are in bold

Oakland at San Diego
Jacksonville at Chicago
Minnesota
at Detroit
Houston at Green Bay
Cleveland at Tennessee
Cincinnati at Indianapolis
Atlanta at New Orleans
Philadelphia at NY Giants
NY Jets at San Francisco
New England at Seattle
Kansas City at Denver
Miami at Buffalo
St. Louis at Arizona
Dallas
at Pittsburgh
Washington at Baltimore
Tampa Bay
at Carolina

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

NFL Picks Week 13

Last Week: 10-6

Season Totals: 92-51

Winners are in bold

Tennessee at Detroit
Seattle at Dallas
Arizona at Philadelphia
San Francisco at Buffalo
Baltimore at Cincinnati
Indianapolis at Cleveland
Miami at St. Louis
NY Giants at Washington
New Orleans at Tampa Bay
Carolina at Green Bay
Atlanta at San Diego
Denver at NY Jets
Pittsburgh at New England
Kansas City at Oakland
Chicago at Minnesota
Jacksonville at Houston

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

NFL Picks Week 12

Last Week: 9-6

Season Totals: 82-45

Winners are in bold

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh
Tampa Bay at Detroit
NY Jets at Tennessee
Buffalo at Kansas City
Chicago
at St. Louis
New England at Miami
Minnesota at Jacksonville
Philadelphia at Baltimore
Houston at Cleveland
San Francisco at Dallas
Oakland at Denver
Washington
at Seattle
NY Giants at Arizona
Carolina at Atlanta
Indianapolis
at San Diego
Green Bay at New Orleans

Monday, November 17, 2008

Perspectives??????



Balance is one of those things almost everyone attempts to deal with. In America, people live to work and in other countries people work to live. I fit into the category of work to live. I enjoy the field I am studying and hope to make a big difference someday, at the same time though, I plan to have a hell of a lot of fun while I am doing it. Dealing with people's problems all day can get very draining and troublesome. Almost dehumanizing people. This is not good. There needs to be balance. I am amazed at those who seem to find it and I want to help those that cannot. I am in total awe of people like Mother Theresa or the Dalai Lama. These are people who all their lives have helped people in the most drastic of hopeless and stressful situations, yet they find away to be there for the next person and maintain their love of humanity. What is the difference between them and the person that gives up? The person that has had enough and calls it quits? I really don't know the answer and maybe there isn't one, but I lean towards the idea of perspective.
Perspective is something that has helped me greatly many times throughout my life. Sometimes I have gone through some really shitty times just to gain perspective. The whole idea of religion, spirituality and philosophy is seen through the perspective lens. People talk to other people about their problems to get a perspective that maybe they did not see. I think the difference between people like the Dalai Lama and Mother Theresa is perspective. They see the whole picture. They see the good, the bad, and the ugly and they treat it all the same, with unconditional love and understanding. Most of us wouldnt know how to handle talking to a stranger as they die from cancer or saving your people when your government kicks you out of your own country and tries to kill you. Most of us have a breaking point and for alot of us its as simple as driving a car. How does the pastor manage to visit dying people in the hospital, homeless in the shelter, kids with cancer and mental disabilities. Most people couldnt do it day in and day out. What is thier perspective that drives them foward to another day of grief for those you care about?
For me its hope. I have a very hopeful perspective of a better day. That maybe today a client will realize what is causing their issues, maybe today they wont use drugs, maybe today someone will be honest, maybe today. As the sun rises and sets things are born and die. Change is everywhere all the time. From the sun, moon, stars, sky, leaves, wind, rain...nature. Its in our nature to change, sometimes it just takes awhile. My life has been one of constant change and I have felt hope many times and seen a change on the other side many times. I am hopeful because of where I came from, what I went through, to gain perspective. When I sit in class learning how to help people in new ways I remember that today is a great day. I am not on a bench in a park, stung out, and starving. I am broke but happy. I work hard, I play hard. I am passionate about the things in my life, working to live not living to work. I don't know what drives so many of the people I admire, but I would like to think that we have a similar way of viewing the world and its beauty and imperfections. If I could do any of the things for other people what people have done for me I will have served a purpose, which is yet just another perspective.

The pics at the top are in no way spinning so why are they spinning?
The last picture: 1.) Stare at the 4 little dots on the middle of the picture for 30 seconds
2.) then look at a wall near you
3.) a bright spot will appear
4.) twinkle a few times and you'll see a figure
5.) What do you see? Or even WHO do you see?
Slide 12


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Into The Wild


I have to say of all the movies I have seen in the past few years there are only a few that standout and "into the wild" would be one of best. I couldnt tell you who it stars but it was directed by and written for the screen by Sean Penn who I admire not just as an actor but as an avocate of change and the soundtrack is by none other than Eddie Vedder who without Pearl Jam makes a more laid back "folky" album that shines with the insightful lyrics and the voice that belongs to Mr. Vedder. This story is one that truely moved me as few movies do. There were feelings of hope, amazement, shock, despair, happiness, excitement, intrigue, freedom, and perspective throughout the movie.

This is a true story of an actual person, Christopher McCandless, as told by his sister. Chris always percieved his parents as materialistic and manipulative so he makes a huge decision to burn all of his identification documents, donate his savings to charity, and set out across the counrty to live alone off the land in Alaska. Of course he runs into many different sects of people like the farm owner, who is played by Vince Vaughn, some hippies, and an older man who lives alone. It takes him 2 years to finally get to Alasks and when he does there is noone there. He finds his freedom living off the land and if you want to know the rest watch the movie.


I know my perspective on life is so different than most people. I am an idealist like Bob Dylan, Jack Kerouac, Hunter S. Thompson or anyone from the 60s. In a personality survey that I recently took I scored as an idealist and only 8% of the rest of the world scores that way. I like to think I am unique. This movie has major things that I would love to do. I would love to go cross country and would certainly love to find that sort of freedom. Our society is work to make money so that you can spend money because everything costs money. If this wasnt the case there would be some real freedom there. Seeing that portrayed is intense. As Desiree and I found out this summer, we would not be able to do things like this becuase we couldnt even start a fire in the middle of the desert.

I love the nature aspect of this movie. The wild. Most people get a sense of awe from nature and before religion nature spoke for itself. There is nothing like the pacific northwest. The trees are huge, the air is fresh, the water is cold and it is everywhere. The wildlife is unbeleiveable because there is not alot of people out there. Whether I am at the beach, a lake, a river, the mountains, or in a very flat land I am amazed by nature. It was here before people and will be here after people. Every religion teaches about these wants that we have, desires, suffering, greed, envy, lust, sloth, and idolatry but they are all a part of every religion and every society except in nature. Nature just is. The natives respected nature unlike many societies today. If i remember right God took Noah and 2 of every animal. Not 2 humans but every animal. Who was more beloved? who kills who? but thats another story.

This is also a portrayal of the ultimate rebellion. In that rebellion every person he meets shares that desire to just go from the life that has been made for you. I am more free in the US than anywhere else but from the time you are born you are conditioned to be a part of the whole. You go to school where they teach you what they want you to learn, you go to church where they teach you what they want you to learn, you play the sports they want, you are held to thier standards and why not escape all of that. This was the point of "another brick in the wall" by Pink Floyd. We are not just people in the factory of life, but we are. We are born and trained to go to school, work, pay taxes, get married, have kids, raise them and die fullfilled. Maybe there is another way? In this movie the character has the courage to do this as I actually do not. But the thought remains the same.

People really find out who they are when they are alone. You learn alot because there is nothing to distract it but then if you cannot share it did it really happen. Some things I beleive are meant to be seen and felt when you are alone just as some things are meant to be seen and felt with others, everything has a time and a place. Humans are unique because of these experiences of thought. The challenges we overcome. When you rely only on yourself, you find out alot about your limitations and your strengths that get masked when other people are around. Knowing these things about yourself and sharing them with others builds great relationships and moments in life. If you can be happy on your own another person is icing on the cake. When I see a sunrise I am in awe but when i see a sunrise with Desiree there is a shared moment of awe that cannot be communicated. When the character goes for this it is unreal to see it play out and know that this really did happen.

I loved this movie and the soundtrack on top of it had to be the best I have heard in a long time. I highly recommend the soundtrack and the movie. Ill leave you with some lyrics from the movie:

"Society"


It's a mistery to me

we have a greed

with which we have agreed

You think you have to want

more than you need

until you have it all you won't be free


society, you're a crazy breed

I hope you're not lonely without me


When you want more than you have

you think you need

and when you think more than you want

your thoughts begin to bleed

I think I need to find a bigger place

'cos when you have more than you think

you need more space


society, you're a crazy breed

I hope you're not lonely without me

society, crazy and deep


I hope you're not lonely without me

there's those thinking more or less less is more

but if less is more how you're keeping score?

Means for every point you make

your level drops

kinda like its starting from the top

you can't do that...


society, you're a crazy breed

I hope you're not lonely without me

society, crazy and deepI hope you're not lonely without me

society, have mercy on me

I hope you're not angry if I disagree

society, crazy and deep

I hope you're not lonely without me


"Rise"

You can never know

Just where to put all your faith

And how will it grow

Gonna rise up

Burning black holes in dark memories

Gonna rise up

Turning mistakes into gold

Such is the passage of time

Too fast to fold

Suddenly swallowed by signs

Low and behold

Gonna rise up

Find my direction magnetically

Gonna rise up

Throw down my ace in the hole




NFL Picks Week 11

Last Week: 11-3

Season Totals: 73-39


Winners are in bold


NY Jets at New England
Denver at Atlanta
Philadelphia
at Cincinnati
Chicago at Green Bay
Houston at Indianapolis
New Orleans
at Kansas City
Oakland at Miami
Baltimore
at NY Giants
Minnesota at Tampa Bay
Detroit at Carolina
St. Louis at San Francisco
Arizona at Seattle
San Diego at Pittsburgh
Tennessee at Jacksonville
Dallas at Washington
Cleveland at Buffalo

Friday, November 7, 2008

NFL Picks Week 10

Last Week: 11-2

Season Totals: 62-36

Winners are in bold

Denver at Cleveland
New Orleans at Atlanta
Tennessee at Chicago
Jacksonville at Detroit
Seattle at Miami
Green Bay at Minnesota
Buffalo at New England
St. Louis at NY Jets
Baltimore at Houston
Carolina at Oakland
Indianapolis at Pittsburgh
Kansas City at San Diego
NY Giants at Philadelphia
San Francisco at Arizona


Bye: Cincinnati, Dallas, Tampa Bay, Washington

















































Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Obama '08


Time is running out so here it is my official public endorsement of Barack Obama, as if you didnt already know. With this election being the most historical of my lifetime and probably the most important for my entire lifetime this election will be the closest and interesting election ever. With issues like the economy being at its worst in the history of the United States and war, education, health care, foreign policy, experience, energy, global warming, tax cuts, civil rights, disablility, seniors, and disablilty all coming into play. The simple fact that he took no money from a lobbyist and rain a clean and grass root supported by the people for the people campaign as no candidate has ever done, speaks volumes. I have no great quotes or philosophies to impart but I hope if you read this you vote. It matters this year. North Carolina for instance is neck and neck with 7 days to go for the first time in 36 years. Votes matter.


I'll start with the economy. It is horrible out there right now. 401k's are gone, social security that has been coming out of your and my checks since we could work is gone, people are being laid off at alarming rates. This is the Republican philosophy. Tax cuts for the rich and it will trickle down to the poor. This greed has led to lay offs for the rich which then trickle down on the poor, leaving the poor unemployable for lack of jobs. The overall elimination of the lower classes in America. For the last 8 years people making less than $250,000 a year get taxed less than me who doesnt come close to that. How is that Christian or fair. If anything it should be the same, but with the economy in ruin Obama has the better plan. 95% of America will receive a tax break. While the 5% that make $250,000 a year will pay more. I dont feel bad for Joe the Plumber he makes a quarter million dollars a year consider your taxes your charity and get over that fact that your neighbors, who you are supposed to love as you love yourself, are dying of hunger in America. Figure it out for yourself: http://taxcut.barackobama.com/ this will show you how much you will save on taxes under each candidates plan.


Health Care is another big issue with many gray areas surrounding it. What I will say is the reupublican plan is a scam. The simple fact is that the $5,000 tax incentive he talks about for health care will be given to the health care provider not you, then he will tax you on money you never saw. Once again hurt the poor help the rich. Universal health care however flawed or minimimal it may be is better than what many American's have now. On top of that it stimulates the economy by producing more jobs and services in the health care arena and finally puts us on par with what 3rd world counrties do better than us.


The war in Iraq is a major issue. The republican stance is to stay forever, Obama wants to slowly take troops out of Iraq and into Afghanistan. I agree with this for so many reasons but primarily that Iraq never attacked us, had no weapons of mass destruction, and of course has nothing to do with the terrorists that did attack us on 9/11. The fact that their government is their religion over there, there is no hope for establishing a democracy in that country. That is a whole different story. Simply put even though he is a war hero, this war is over his head and a fresh face is needed to make peace in a region that wants no more dirty american politics.


Education is not something I have heard Republicans talk about and when they do there is not much to say. We are a stupid country, hence we eat poorly, watch bad TV, screw up our own economy, allow kids to shoot up schools, and can't do simple math and reading. We are falling behind the rest of the world. It's like a sports franchise, build your prosepects build your future winners. If the red sox can do it maybe america can to. Obama wants to pay teachers more and have better teachers. Kids need to learn.


Finally and I will end here. The word Democrat has Democracy as its base which is what America is and Republican is Republic of Britain which is who we kicked out when we came here from Europe, they have some how had the power to screw up our counrty for 8 years that needs to stop here. It's like a circle...we wanted to reform religion and now religion particulary christianity is a hypocracy. Turn the other cheek...invade Iraq...God bless america, Love your neighbor as yourself....no tax cuts for the poor, no welfare, screw those lazy people.....he who is without sin cast the first stone.....he is a terrorist, anti american......see what I am saying.


P.S. McCain is old, real old and Palin, really? I have more education than she does, she doesnt even know what the Vice President does let alone if he dies, she is the President...God Bless us all even baby jesus..

Week 9 Pics

Last Week: 8-6

Season Totals: 50-34

Winners are in bold

NY Jets at Buffalo
Detroit at Chicago
Jacksonville at Cincinnati
Baltimore at Cleveland
Green Bay at Tennessee
Arizona at St. Louis
Houston at Minnesota
Tampa Bay
at Kansas City
Miami at Denver
Atlanta at Oakland
Dallas at NY Giants
Philadelphia
at Seattle
New England at Indianapolis
Pittsburgh
at Washington

·Bye: New Orleans, San Diego, San Francisco, Carolina

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Thoughts on Reality TV


Although currently in my life I do not have much time to watch televsion, it stills seems to find a way to annoy me. Whether its hearing people talk about it, seeing it advertised or as it was yesterday seeing Kim Kardashian in the NY Times Newspaper. She made the front page of one of the sections with the sub title "famous for being famous". I have never enjoyed shows like the "real world" or "survivor" largely due to the fact that they claim to be reality TV and are in fact cut, edited, and most of the time scripted for ratings. The only time I was ever into something so false was back when I would drink a case and watch Monday night Raw, it only looks real when you are in fact smashed. It boggles my mind that people would watch this stuff for many reasons and I am going to tell you them.
The first reason would have to be the whole "mindless entertainment" arguement. I watch it for "mindless entertainment". It leads me to believe that you must have a really disturbed mind if for your entertainment you wish to watch people be cruel to one another and suffer (knowing that it is not reality). Dont we have enough suffering in this world without having to create more? Why not a reality show that just shows the people in Darfur suffering and dying. They are just as skinny as some of these people in reality tv. These shows have arguing about cheating on your partner or something stupid with your best friend or roomate, the Darfur show will have arguing over who might eat today and families being murdered in genocide, real and unscripted suffering just for your "mindless entertainment". My mindless entertainment is fun, funny, relaxing and entertaining. Watching people suffer is not fun or funny or entertaining to me. Watching people hurt other people physically can be funny mostly if accidental and in some cases like jackass they are just finding ways to hurt themselves which can be humorous, they dont take themselves seriously. In most of these shows people are psychologically abusing people, demeaning and degrading other human beings. I find that inhumane, evil, and sickening. These are not well intentioned actions. Instead why not go to a soup kitchen for that hour, see the suffering and help ease some of it, mindless entertainment. Or teach poor kids in bad neighborhoods to read so they might have a chance, volunteer time with the elderly, spend time in a hospital with cancer patients, there are so many ways you can watch suffering and help ease it too.
On to the next reason reality tv is filthy. Maybe MTV and others think we are dumb enough to be watching these shows so we must not be smart enough to recognize that the economy is terrible!!!!terrible!!!there is 5% of the counrty that lives like these people do, maybe less then that. Who has time for the arguements, caddyness, shopping with no work. Who has that kind of money, not a very many of us. What it does though is impose on kids that this is the way you have to be to be popular, accepted, interesting, and of course famous. If you dont have the 400$ shoes or the bags or the iphones or the mercedes you dont have what it takes to be famous. Its garbage. I dont care what rich people do with their lives but I dont want or need to watch them waste it when I work hard for it, I would do much more with that kind of money then they would anyday. It is a kick in the balls to America's self-esteem, its no wonder that our counrty has the highest rate of depression and mental illness in the entire world. If you saw everyday all these rich people acting like idiots on TV and the whole world cared to read about them, watch them and talk about them and you are the average "joe six-pack" you would start to question why you work so hard....the values are all out of whack....it is a reminder that "hey, buddy, you arent rich". Although I am not an advocate of organized religion I do believe in many aspects of the spiritual realm. This showing of material things over and over breeds things like, greed, covetting, desire, idololatry, suffering, obsession, lust, and sloth. These are not good things for any religion I dont care which one. My grandma grew up in the Great Depression and never felt poor or that the economy was bad, and when I asked her how that was posssible she said it was because there wasnt the displays of wealth everywhere, wealth had no meaning because everyone was poor and working together in Newark, NJ so they never felt like there was something missing or that they werent good enough like people do today. Today the rich flaunt thier excess in the face of the world and that is why other countries arent liking us and why there are so many issues of crime in our counrty.
I am sure some of the people on these shows are decent people and are doing a great deal of acting to make money. I am a believer that everyone is a good person, however, I wouldnt want any of the characters on the tv in my life. They would never be my friend because they display all of the qulaities that I wouldnt want a person in my life to possess. Maybe some people out there that watch these shows want these people in thier lives, they dress like them, act like them, talk like them, and treat them like they are celebrities. Without the veiwer these are not celebrities. They don't display any talents, skills, ambition, compassion, and anyone can look that good on TV or in a magazine, here's a link if you dont buy that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-Y9XWXwGC8
I wish they would do a reality TV show on people helping and see how popular it is. The peace corps, habitat for humanity, celebrities helping other people and if they fight or do something caddy they are gone and have to donate a million dollars to a charity. If they live in excess during this period they are gone as well. Teach people values again. Teach compassion, problem solving, coping, understanding, openmindedness, non-judgemental, being happy with what you are blessed enough to have. There is so much suffering in the world and in America, why watch fake suffering and ignore real suffering?

Week 8 pics

Last Week: 8-6

Season total: 42-28

Winners are in bold

Tampa Bay at Dallas
Washington at Detroit
Buffalo at Miami
St. Louis at New England
San Diego at New Orleans
Kansas City at NY Jets
Atlanta at Philadelphia
Oakland at Baltimore
Arizona at Carolina
Cleveland at Jacksonville
Cincinnati at Houston
NY Giants at Pittsburgh
Seattle at San Francisco
Indianapolis at Tennessee

·Bye: Chicago, Denver, Green Bay, Minnesota

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Week 7 picks

Last Week: 8-6

Season Total : 34-22

Winners are in bold

San Diego at Buffalo
Minnesota at Chicago
Pittsburgh
at Cincinnati
Tennessee at Kansas City
Dallas at St. Louis
Baltimore at Miami
San Francisco at NY Giants
New Orleans at Carolina
Detroit at Houston
NY Jets at Oakland
Indianapolis at Green Bay
Cleveland at Washington
Seattle at Tampa Bay
Denver
at New England

·Bye: Atlanta, Philadelphia, Arizona, Jacksonville

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

some thoughts on the moment

Day by day I attend class with a bunch of really smart people who are well educated, well experienced and hard working in a graduate level program at East Carolina University. I never really take that moment to really appreciate where I am, where I am going next and how I got here as I assume most people don't either. The whole thing is as the dead say "a long strange trip", which of course can have many meanings.

I never thought in a million years that this is where I would be and what I would be doing, but I just get up and do it, day in day out part of that automatic grind to get ahead in life or keep up with the pack. Accomplishments or success really doesnt mean anything without the process involved. Thats what makes or breaks you. You find your strengths in your weaknesses. I always wonder how people end up with careers they never thought they would want to do and love it, or someone that set out to do one thing ending up enjoying something totally different. They discover these things in that process of getting to wherer they are, sometimes its random and sometimes its a calling.

Me personally, I never believed I would still be alive at 25 years of age. Teachers and friends would tell me I was not going to make it that far in life. I dropped out of high school not cause I couldnt do the work but because I didnt feel like it was my path, and I had intense interests in other things at that time which were more important at that point. Then I struggled through a bad relationship, struggled in sobriety and worked on getting my GED, then my associates degree as a punk with a nose ring, bandanas, and tattoos. Made it that far then was accepted to a school in the duurty durt and up and moved out of that horrible relationship, in which there was no relating, and really had noone but myself in this new strange place, even four years later its still a strange place,to go through everything I had to get through to gain some idea of who I may be and what that means to me. In that process I made some friends, lost some friends, met a lovely lady, traveled alot, worked on the 12 steps of AA and NA, worked on relating with my family, changed musical tastes, became addicted to books, movies, and music, completed a Bachelor of Psychology degree and somehow ended up as one of 11 people accepted into the Graduate school program I am in and I decided maybe to do this in Febuary and had to apply by March. Last minute. There is a million others things that happened in between all of those steps in my career, emotions, thoughts, relations, smiles, laughter, depression, struggles, fall downs, decisions, pick ups, patience, starting over,adventure, friendship, exercise, helping others, humility, honesty, loyalty, independence, volunteering, sports, spiritual development, peace of mind, proud, grace, open mind, dreaming, competitive, creative, determination, dependable, laziness, serious, stubborn, sympathy, persuasive, learning, hopeless, learning how to trust people, experience, anger, optimism, other shoe may not drop...just yet, there is a wide range of events that occur within events that shape who I have become and helped me get where I am.

Sometimes I can get caught up in the grind and not slow it down to realize that this is life......enjoy it.....Its hard with the economy being screwed and politics going crazy, war, hunger, genocide, not to think about those things and want to help of solve the worlds problems on top of your own, but right now in front of me is what is what is right now, enjoy it, enjoy the process because the process is the accomplishment, the process is the moment, all the moments make life.

Week 6 Picks

Last Week: 8-6

Season Total : 26-16

Winners are in bold

Week 6

Chicago at Atlanta
Baltimore at Indianapolis
Detroit at Minnesota
Oakland at New Orleans
Cincinnati at NY Jets
Carolina at Tampa Bay
St. Louis at Washington
Miami at Houston
Jacksonville
at Denver
Dallas at Arizona
Philadelphia at San Francisco
Green Bay at Seattle
New England at San Diego
NY Giants at Cleveland

·Bye: Buffalo, Tennessee, Kansas City, Pittsburgh

Thursday, October 2, 2008

some thoughts on fear

Fear is one of the essential emotions in humanity. Almost everyone experiences it at some level big or small. The feeling of fear can morph into so many others feelings of anxiety, worry, pain, anger, frustration, happiness, and even hope. Fear depends on the person and the perspective. Some people can be debilitated by fear while others thrive on fear, generally everyone is afraid of something whether a spider or the president. As a songwriter once wrote, "hands and feet are all alike but fear between divides us".
I have experienced many types of fear throughout the course of my life and still do, I have almost accepted it as a natural part of my existence. Most of my fear stems from the past or the future. Fear of what I have done in the past coming around to haunt my future, fear that some of the things I have done are unforgivable, fear that I am in way over my head in Graduate school, fear that I will never succeed in this awful economy, fear that my kids will grow up in a screwed up world, fear that I wont live long enough to do what I want to do, fear that a lovely lady would someday take her love away, fear that there is no heaven or hell, the list could go on and on for days. None of these however is happening right now, but they could happen tomorrow. How can you ignore the future and the past and worry about today knowing that today will have great bearing on tomorrow?
One day at a time is a catchy slogan but it is also a very positive way to live life. It center is based on awareness of yourself and others around you for a small portion of time trying to do what is best as if it where the last day we will ever be alive. This is how we deal with the past and the future, by dealing with today. By doing the best we could for today and then again tomorrow we can greatly change our future.
I get hope from fear. That may sound weird or strange but I am both so it shouldn't sound to out there. Fear is something I could never feel in my life. I would bury it and drown it out with a lot of drugs and a lot of alcohol, no worries. Today though I can feel fear, accept it, try to understand it, and that is a huge change for me. That one simple thing has given a ray of hope to so many aspect of my life to grow and grow. Feelings of any kind are extremely hard to deal with for someone who has avoided dealing with them for years. Its like starting life at 22 years of age with the emotional state of a 10 year old because of that avoidance for so long. So in many ways I am only a grand age of 13. The hope comes from the awareness that I CAN change, if I CAN change that I CAN change almost anything. A little hope snuck through the door and opened up all the windows. There are still things to be afraid of but there are know things to be hopeful about, the fear does not win out. For some people fear does win out. They give up, life has made them beleive that they can't do this or cant do that, they have come to beleive that there is no hope for themselves in certain situations. This is deprssion, when fear has been internalized as anger, guilt, remorse, hopelessness....I have been there too, like I said, all it took was a tiny bit of hope to sneak in. With each let down we start laying bricks to build those walls to keep hope out. Eventually we may succeed and be totally isolated but hope usually busts in somehow in some form or the other, whether it be a friend, a song, a sunset, a smile from a stranger, or a spiritual moment of clarity.
Call me crazy but I am a beleiver that we are all as humans essentially at the core "good" people. We may do things that are really bad but we are all good. For example myself, I have lied and stolen from some very important people in my life to get money to get drugs so I could get high. Does that make me a bad person or a person that is good but lacking proper judgement? And then who is to decide? the law? the church? God? or you? or me? The way I see it is we are all good and if we are all "God's Children" then we will make mistakes like children do...this however is no excuse to be ignorant. I get lied to all the time by people I am trying to help, their walls are up, they can't trust. If I can give them that little bit of trust and they learn to trust me hope can bust in and grow from there. A person has to beleive they can do something and we will return to our "good" being. It takes standing up to that fear long enough to overcome it one time and then sooner or later another time.
Today I am can be very afraid, because every thing I am involved in is unknown, new and intimidating, I have come such a long way into the unknown. I can live with that fear only by accepting it. I know that I am afraid I give it my best shot and most of the time its ok and sometimes its not either way I stood up and had the balls to take a shot. I said I CAN even if I knew I couldnt. Sometimes you suprise yourself and most of the time you give yourself hope and that hope can be shared with others. You dont learn how to swim by keeping one foot out of the water. Jump in give it a shot, we live, we learn and it always seems to work out if honestly you go about it this way, HONESTLY, there are no shortcuts in life.
So whether it be a job interview, a major life change, a choice that changes the course of your life, don't run from the fear, dont deny that it is there, acknowledge, accept and deal with that fear because the fear will give you the answer you are looking for. I fear a person with no fear for they dont feel. Fear is the evil, the good, the devil, God, faith, atheism, absolute, uncertainty, it is in almost every thing we do, its all in how we percieve it or dont percieve it that changes who we are.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Week 5 Picks

Last week: 8-4

Season total: 18-10

Winners are in Bold

Kansas City at Carolina
Chicago at Detroit
Atlanta at Green Bay
San Diego at Miami
Seattle at NY Giants
Washington at Philadelphia
Tennessee at Baltimore
Indianapolis
at Houston
Tampa Bay at Denver
Buffalo at Arizona
New England at San Francisco
Cincinnati at Dallas

Sunday Night
Pittsburgh at Jacksonville

Monday Night
Minnesota at New Orleans

·Bye: Cleveland, Oakland, St. Louis, NY Jets

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Final Farewell


The House that Ruth built has turned off its lights to the baseball world. As the greatest venue of any kind in the United States of America. Everybody knows the history, the Yankees, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Joe Dimaggio, Lou Gehrig, The Pope, Nelson Mandela, Muhammed Ali, Joe Louis, The New York football Giants, Johnny Unitas, Win one for the Gipper, Marilyn Monroe, JFK, the list can go on and on forever. Unlike other stadiums that try to be more convienent to you, food, beer, space, luxury boxes, new and clean, Yankee stadium was the most personable of all stadiums. You were invited to a museum, a cathedral, history in the making, the feeling of 85 years of amazing moments on any given night against any team. All you need is a hot dog and a beer you don't need the sushi in seattle or the salmon in san diego, those are not baseball food its yuppie food. San Diego even sold wine bottles, there is no wining or crying in baseball.

My first memories of the staduim are very similar to my last. That first trip through the tunnel and the colors just open up the senses in a way I have never experienced, even at museums and actual cathedrals, I could pray in Yankee Stadium. There is a New York feel to it, fast paced, tradition, larger than life, hard working, pride. My father took me to my first game at the stadium and I took him to our last game this year. I saw some amazing moments at this stadium and was spoiled with all the winning ever since seeing guys like Bernie Williams and Derek Jeter play at Albany-Colonie and meeting them at the baseball camps they held. I remember seeing Danny Tartabull smash a home run, Daryl Strawberry hitting 2 in one game, Cecil Feilder belting one in 1996, Paul O'Neill and the target signs everytime he came to bat, seeing guys like Cal Ripken, Kirby Puckett, Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco, Frank Thomas, seeing Barry Bonds (before we know what we know now) blasting one almost out of the stadium, Ken Griffey Jr. hitting 3 in one game over the fences, the amazing pitchers, Clemens, Cone, Wells, Pettitte, Rivera, Wetteland, Key, Gooden, El Duque, Jeff Nelson, Mike Stanton, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, and Mike Mussina. Then there is Arod, Giambi, Damon, Posada, Chamberlain, Tino, the lsit goes on from the 90s alone.

In 2004, though a friend of mine I am sure regrets it now, gave me his ticket to the 13 inning thrill ride of a baseball game between the Red Sox and Yankees in which Derek Jeter dove into the stands. Micheal Kay still calls it the best game he's ever seen. I have always been hard on Jeter especially since I've watched him since the days at heritage park teaching me and my friends how to field ground ball correctly. That night told me everything I ever have to know about Jeter, hes always been clutch, talented, and hard working, but that was heart...... he came out with blood on his face and that saved the game. No other player in baseball would have done that, only a Yankee, and only Jeter, that is why he is the Captain. At the end of a victory in the final night at the stadium Jeter was given the microphone in what a speech like Gehrig, Ruth or Mantle.... Jeter was given his moment at the stadium with a sold out crowd and a microphone, it was amazing. My girlfriend and I became very choked up, feeling the moment through a television set in North Carolina. Thats the thing with this stadium, like Yogi's commercial, its in you, it lives, it breathes, in your heart and your mind. I will always remember these moments that make that stadium priceless. The friez, Bob Shephard, the bleacher creatures, the fans, monument park, the rain delays, the subway pulling up to the stadium, enter sandman, the seventh inning stretch and the bronx cheer. I am lucky enough to have gone as many times as I did.


Yankee Stadium is like the song says "And find I'm a number one, Top of the list, King of the Hill Number One"


Week 4 Pics

Last week :10-6

Winners are in bold

Minnesota at Tennessee
Denver at Kansas City
San Francisco at New Orleans
Arizona at NY Jets
Green Bay at Tampa Bay
Atlanta at Carolina
Houston at Jacksonville
Cleveland
at Cincinnati
San Diego at Oakland
Buffalo at St. Louis
Washington at Dallas

Sunday Night
Philadelphia at Chicago

Monday Night
Baltimore at Pittsburgh

Bye: Detroit, Indianapolis, Miami, New England, NY Giants, Seattle

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

driving top 5s


I spend an hour and a half on the highway each day, up to 2 hrs. somedays. This can be incredibly tiresome so I try to make the best of it. Usually it is a reflective period in the morning as it takes about 45 minutes to get to school. I watch the sun graze the dew over the cotton and tobacco fields, look at the still deep black water and listen to music thinking of the day ahead and day behind reminding myself to enjoy the moment I have. At the end of the day it is an awesome ride, one because I am going home to see a lovely lady and because I can relax for a moment and enjoy the ride. Usually the sun is high and hot so the windows down wind in my face sun in my eyes beautiful ride, some nights the sun is setting and when its flat and the sun sets I believe God has enjoyed LSD once or twice....the arrangement of colors can be breathtaking, at night time when it is dark, no lights on the highway...the stars are so big and bright over an endless sky, quiet, calm, refreshing....with gas being prices it is driving that far can really be a pain in the pocket but it is an enjoyable ride to take, it all depends on the moment.

Since I also am a music junkie, and have the opportunity to listen frequently I have a top 5 on my Dead playlist and DMB playlist for this month of september:


Dead

1.)Scarlet Begonias

2.)Music Never Stopped

3.)Tennessee Jed

4.)Jack Straw

5.) Cassidy


Dave

1.) Rapunzel

2.) #41 (12/8/98 version bela fleck, jeff coffin and leroi moore)

3.) Break Free

4.) A Dream so Real

5.) Warehouse



Thats all for now....keep truckin'!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Week 3 Picks

Winners are in Bold

Kansas City at Atlanta
Oakland at Buffalo
Tampa Bay at Chicago
Houston at Tennessee
Carolina at Minnesota
Miami at New England
Cincinnati at NY Giants
Arizona at Washington
Detroit at San Francisco
St. Louis at Seattle
New Orleans
at Denver
Pittsburgh at Philadelphia
Jacksonville at Indianapolis
Cleveland
at Baltimore
Dallas at Green Bay
NY Jets at San Diego

Football season 2008 picks


Due to the fact that I am a junkie for sports, particularly football...among many other things, I want to give my NFL 2008 predictions now before it is too late and I have unfair information to pick. Week 2 was just completed, although many weeknesses have been shown, particularly Tom Brady out for the season, there is still a lot of football to be played...so here it is:


NFC East winner: Dallas Cowboys
NFC North winner: Minnesota Vikings
NFC South winner: New Orleans Saints
NFC West winner: Arizona Cardinals
NFC Wild Cards: Philadelphia Eagles
New York Giants

AFC East winner: New England Patriots
AFC North winner: Pittsburgh Steelers
AFC South winner: Indianapolis Colts
AFC West winner: San Diego Chargers
AFC Wild Cards: New York Jets
Tennessee Titans

Playoffs Week 1: New York Jets over New England Patriots
Indianapolis Colts over Tennessee Titans
Philadelphia Eagles over Arizona Cardinals
New York Giants over Minnesota Vikings

Playoffs Week 2: Pittsburgh Steelers over New York Jets
Indianapolis Colts over San Diego Chargers
Dallas Cowboys over New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles over New Orleans Saints

Championchip round: Pittsburgh Steelers over Indianapolis Colts
Philadelphia Eagles over Dallas Cowboys

Super Bowl: Philadelphia Eagles over Pittsburgh Steelers

Monday, September 15, 2008

never forget


Once again September 11th has come and gone. Seven years since the horrifying attacks occured. I was not in Manhattan when it happened but a few weeks later I was. I remember getting searched getting on the train down, seeing the military pointing guns in Grand Central Station, the military riding around on Park and 5th avenue patroling. I remembering going down to Ground Zero and seeing the wall of support flyers from so many countries, missing person flyers for so many people....the debris on the streets, the graves blown up out of the cemetary, the subway trains flipped upside down in the subways underneath Canal Street and meeting a man who would drink tea with his wife everyday in the same spot pouring her tea into the ground as she was no longer there to meet him. I did not see protests and selling of memorbilia, I saw fireman and cops who lost friends and family I saw construction being done and people working together. It was a ghost town down there. I will never forget those images or those people that died. In the most defining moment of my generation people came together and since then have been torn apart. There are few flags hoisted now, no more USA chants, no more hello's and concern from or for strangers, no more coming together for causes, no more agreements. We stood with the towers united and fell with them divided. Politics has alot to do with it. The media says remembering this tradgedy every year is depressing and I cannot beleive that 7 years later people have forgotten because of such things as politics and wars. We have not gotten Bin Laden and even when we do it is not over. America lost alot of itself that day and how we have acted since then had not been American. Don't forget those people that died, those that were heroes and those heroes that are fighting for us everyday in Iraq and Afghanistan and everywhere else. We had one attack that day because of the soldiers who protect us, other countries dont have that, and I have the freedom to write this, other countries dont have that, neva forget 9/11 RIP..........

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Half Nelson


One more movie review, since I have 6 hours to kill between my classes, sorry homes, The movie "Half-Nelson". This movies stars Ryan Gosling, the "dreamy dude" from the "Notebook" for all you ladies, particularly the lovely lady that dates me, as a Crack-addicted teacher in the inner city. This movie is disturbing, shocking and powerful. He is a brilliant teacher with a scarred past who turns down more money to work in the "hood" as he feels he will be making a difference. Or maybe he figured he wanted to hide away his Crack addiction in a place maybe noone would figure him out. Helping the students one imparticular has become his priority but his addiction gets in the way. This is not your typical "white teacher in the black hood school" story. Again another movie that is deep that looks at socioeconomic and racial issues as well as confronting our ideals on drug addicts, as they are not always the bums on the street, but sometimes, your DR.'s Lawyers, and even teachers. Another good movie to rent sometime. I'm done with movie reviews, sorry homes, peace!

Things We Lost In The Fire


I'm not ripping off my good friends movie blog, but I am giving a movie review because I enjoy movies as much as the next guy and maybe someone else will enjoy the flick too, I was surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did. "Things we lost in the Fire" starring Benicio Del Toro and Halle Berry was a very under rated movie with tremendous acting performances, particularly by Benicio. The movie has a slower pace to it which is necessary due to the heavy drama that develops as the movie reaches deeper and deeper with real touchy feelings of loss, depression, anger, resentment, forgiveness, loyalty, addiction, recovery, relapse, fear, courage, honor, dignity, confusion, guilt, honesty, and letting go. There are a great many levels that this movie takes place on where there are no words but just watching as the story unfolds. Being an addict myself and having seen several "glorification" movies of getting high and also your"feel good" recovery stories, I felt that this story was accurate, real, and individualized as each addicts story is. Benicio Del Toro easily deserves an award for his performance in this film. This was a touching story. If you have the time I highly suggest you rent this movie. Word!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Thanks for the memories


The last time I did not get to see the only cathedral in baseball decorated on national television for the glorious pinstripes in the boogie down bronx in october I was 10 years old. 15 years ago, 1993, was the last time sports most storied team did not participate in october baseball. This year looks like that streak will come to an end as the Yankees of 2008 are not a team but a bunch of overpaid choke artists. Alot has happened in 15 years and alot has changes since the year 1993. Kurt Cobain was still alive so were Biggie and Tupac. The devil rays and diamondbacks werent even teams yet and the rockies and marlins were in their innaugural seasons. The steriod era was just beginning and football had just begun free agency. Micheal Jordan retired for the first time and the drug "X" was just becomming popular. The seattle music scene had just taken off and the red hot chilli peppers had jsut released bloodsexsugarmagik. Guns and Roses were still around and Dre, Snoop and Warren G had shown what was happening on the left coast. Clinton had just taken office and the OJ trial would soon follow. This streak has lasted for so long including four world series victories and six AL pennants.
It has been one hell of a ride. Getting knocked out by Griffey in 95 to Leyrtiz's blast in 1996. The streak of 13 straight world series wins including 4 over the braves in 96, 4 over the padres in 98, 4 over the braves again in 99 and then game 1 and 2 victories over the mets in 2000 before taking the series in 5 games. 2001 2 outs bottom of the ninth down 3-1 not one night but two coming back to win. Grand Slam's in game 1 of 1998, Wetteland saves 4 straight in 1996, Clemens in 2001 in seattle, Jeter's flip in oakland in 2001, Justice homer's against oakland and seattle, Walk off's for bernie, Jeffery Mayer in 1996, the list goes on and on to Aaron F**** Boone in 2003. Bernie Williams has come and gone. There are no more Tino's, Paully's, Coneheads, and Boomers. No more guys like Chad Curtis, Shane Spencer, Ricky Ledee's, Wade Boggs, or Cecil Fielder's. We have had it good, too good for so long. It is what us New Yorkers have come to expect, the best of it all. I feel for the fans of Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Cinncinatti, Washington, Baltimore, and Texas. Derek Jeter will not know what to do with himself come October 1st. Mr. November cannot play in October.
I am glad to live and die with the Yankees and to have been a fan during this amazing run. My life has been crazy changing in the last 15 years but I could always count on the Yanks in October. There have been legends passing on, September 11th, Darryl Strawberry's struggles, and Corey Lidle. Reggie and Yogi finally came back and Mattingly's number retired. I battles through drugs and alcohol and struggles with religion and faith. God is defintely a Yankees fan. Unless we go on a miraculous run, and we have before, this will not be our year.
Whether you love them or hate them they add to the excitement of the game. In a stadium with so much history......thanks for the memories. And always remember, gangsters and millionaire's wear pinstripes....who the F**** wears RED SOX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Pain

One of my favorite feelings in this world is pain. I have sought it out, provoked it, fought for it, asked for it, and inflicted a great deal of it on myself. Your whole life its "stay away from the stove you might burn yourself and get hurt", or "wear a helmet on a bike so you dont crack your head open". There are good reasons for protecting yourself from that type of pain, at the same time though pain is a good learning experience, and possibly the best motivator. There is no way to protect from emotional pain. Most people feel pain and want it to stop, they go to the DR. get a pill, feel better. These are all just band aides in reality they go on easy and then fall off even easier like in the shower when you are not even realizing it. Real pain gets worse, much worse, before it gets better. Some people take drugs, get a new girl, buy fancy things, or convince themselves they are ok to alleviate this feeling of pain. Some people do nothing whatsoever and just cover it up adding it to the baggage they carry around with them in their daily lives. I feel for these people a great deal.
A person like me loves pain. I lived it most of my life, I am very comfortable with pain. I frequently would put myself in situations where people who were close to me would then hate me or be really mad with me so I could reach that comfortness that comes with pain for me. I enjoyed pain so much and was used to it so much that I would go numb and detach from reality on a lot of drugs which became more and more and more over time. How many 18 year olds do you know that had liver damage from drugs and alcohol. I was never and until recently, have never been comfortable with happiness, or normalness, balance or success. Those feeling made me want to get high and go back to the feelings I am more comfortable with. I dont enjoy people being happy for me, congradulating me, or praising me. Those feeling I never experienced for a good 21 years of my life. I wanted to fail, give up easy, and make it almost impossible for myself to come out on top. So that I would feel pain and live in it.
Later on in life I have learned that pain is good but happiness is too. Just like anything else in this world, daytime daylight to nightime darkness, winter to summer, up to down, everything is about balance. Today I am not numb to pain or peace, I feel both, sometimes simultaneously, it lets me know that I am alive and not detahced from reality and most importantly sober. People these days only want happiness, with all these happy pills, alcohol, self-help books, material things and sex. People avoid pain and put themselves in worse positions to feel more pain later then to just accept the pain they are feeling right now. Its our culture. Just like good and evil there is two sides to everything. This is why marriage vows are in sickness and in health, better or for worse, both sides of the pendulum is balance, is love, is peace. Pain is not a quick fix just like happiness does not come over night and you cannot buy happiness. Pain takes time to deal with as does happiness and acceptance is the key. NO ifs, ands, or buts, no one more, last time, can'ts or won'ts, we all are smart enough to see truth and know truth but we deny truth because of the pain involved with reality. Thats ok for a while and is only natural eventually acceptance is it.
I encourage people in pain to feel it, accept it, enjoy it, be grateful you are alive enough to feel that pain and to make it your own, go through it. Of course those that are happy find peace with it and dont take it for granted because it will not always be that way. Pain and peace are a part of who we all are and in how we deal with these emotions enables us to grow and become more spiritual beings.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Past and Present

The other night I had the privilege of escorting a beautiful girl to a surpirse concert in the middle of the woods on a rainy night in Raleigh North Carolina to hear one of her favorite singers of all time none other then Sir John Hiatt. Not being too familiar with this man and his band beyong songs like "Have a little Faith in Me" and "Cry Love", the lovely lady I was with shared with me everything that John Hiatt has meant to her throughout her life, especially in her past. Growing up John Hiatt's music was always on the radio at family gatherings, trips and most of all vacations at Schroon lake with family and friends. From the opening note of the evening this girl was glowing with excitement and radiating vast energy with this love for the music, what the music means now and back then. I could see the happy childhood in her eyes, feel it in her movements, and hear it in her voice. Knowing that she was loved so much and that I love her so much now was a heart jumping out of the chest feeling. I love how music can do that to people. To bring back emotion and create new meaning for the same sound during a different experience. I also love seeing how some things never change, but grow deeper and stronger as time, which is irrelevant when you have forever, goes by.
My childhood was not such a happy one. There are no memories of lakehouses, family laughter, carefree events where everyone gets along and is "nice" to each other. I have different memories because I am a different person and made different choices when my different options and circumstances presented themselves. I dont regret any of the things that I went through because I am exactly where I am supposed to be today.....the Proudest Junkie. Although I definitely am sorry for alot of them. However, being able to see that not all people go through the things I did and that my life is COMPLETELY different today, I know someday, I will have moments that will be linked through time with my family that bring that certain type of energy and happiness to my being. Who knows, they may have happened already. I was completly in awe of being able to share that moment the other night with this particular loving girl.
The past shapes who we are today. When I venture out into the world when people meet me or even get to know me, they have no idea, not even a thought in their mind that I would be the type of person to have done any of the things I have done and been through what I have been through. I know it, think it, feel it and breath it, it will always be a part of me and in every essence it is who I am. The happy girl who had a happy childhood continues to live a happy life. She also has added a great deal of happiness to my life, which without her past I may not be living my current days or my future to the extent that I am. So you never know which moments will change your life...just showup rain or shine. I am a Proud Junkie and each day that passes that feeling grows deeper and stronger.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Coasting


I am not a believer of coasting through life or anything else for that matter. When I think of coasting images of a hill with two sides one up and one down comes to my mind, where is there time to coast, if the hill is flat where is the momentum to coast. My idea is that I am always either moving foward or backward with no in between. To be a "dead head" for a minute, the quote "when life looks like easy street there is danger at your door". Easy street could be coasting and the momentum is about to end.
It has always been harder for a crazy minded fool like myself to move foward then to move backwards. I generally will take seventeen steps back and a huge one foward only the break my hypothetical ass and fall back again. Because of this struggle I view the hills of balance going up is hard and going down is so easy. Wouldnt it be nice of we could all act crazy and have no regard for anything or anyone and not care that this was the life we chose. In reality most of us are better people then that dramatic idea. Going down the hill is so easy though, almost like coasting.
I felt like I was coasting at one point in my life. Routine of normality, boring, predictable, safe....or at least I thought. Thats the thing I didnt realize that I wasnt cruising up the hill but was coasting down it and I couldnt see or feel the end of the ride that leads to a big fall I was oblivious that I was feeling how I was and that I was not living to my own knowing of my own potential. The standards we live to are our own. Depression follows and the devils reach up to pry down to a dark place.
I live day by day with the notion that I am always in motion not just going through the motions but in a motion. Trying to do the next best thing, in the next good or bad situation, to the next person, place or thing, trying to live my dreams, and help others live thiers, when those actions stop I know I am in trouble. So I question which way I am going in situations and try to take just one step in the right direction, where that takes me I dont know but I'll get there someday.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Reminders

Each day that goes by the older and busier life becomes. There are more responsibilities, commitments and distractions from the important things in life. Being a passionate person and an addictive being I can get lost in anything and let the focus or ego get out of hand. I have been lucky enough to find a place where I am forced to remember how lucky I am and where I came from. The ocean.
I have been alot of places and seen and done plenty of things and the ocean is when I am reminded of how truely small I am in this life. The waves were crashing and receding far before I was even an idea and they will be far after I am gone. In a world where everything is in a hurry and everything changes the ocean is consistent and balanced. The waves still come and go in the dead of winter when noone is there to see just as they do in the summer when the beaches are over populated. This never stops, never changes and nobody has any control or say over it. The tide is balance in its purest form, waves crash and go foward, then the tides pulls backwards and the water follows. Giving of life and taking away of life simple natural order of life. Whenever I feel as if I have done something amazing the ocean lets me know where I stand just as when I am not so well, the ocean puts the perspective back in order for me.
Not being able to see a definite begining or ending also has a strong impact on my perspective. The world is huge and the sun will come and go everyday no matter what we do even if we have millions of choices in are lives, which technology has made even more plentiful, these are all distractions from the deep seeded meanings of life. Every form of spirituality involves water as life. The ocean can replenish life or take it away with rip currents or hurricanes, flooding, tsunami's all of these things out of our control, a reminder that no matter who we think we are or what we think we mean to this world that it is not about us as a person but us as people. I am reminded of the excellent movie "Cast Away", were Tom Hank's character is stranded on an island. The sun and the water are the only reasons he is able to survive but they are also the greatest threat to his mere existance. The saying "you never know what the tide will bring" are the reasons we live. Things we have no control over at all, vulnerabilty, humility, love. The ending of that movie he finally gets one choice, his only choice, of which way to go.
Some people dont have a choice and some people have too many choices but I hope everyone has something out there that reminds them of just how small they are and how big this existence truely is. This past week I was stressed over the small things like school, work, and of course money but it was nothing seeing the ocean couldnt handle. I felt the hot sun, the cool breeze, smelt the salty air, and heard the waves crash on the sand looking out to a diamond blue forever that I will never comprehend and I felt loved and at peace.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Say Goodbye

I wanna say it was about 2 years ago now that I found out someone that was very important in my life was dead. Death is not an exciting topic and is devestating for all involved. I met my friend when I was in treatment for my addictions. He was like a brother to me but because he was older he was more of a father figure, up to that point I never really related to my father. My friend was a big strong imposing figure with tattoos and piercing but was also one of the kindest "teddy bear" a type a person you could ever meet. Dealing with lifelong addiction problems together a deep bond was formed. After he and I left the treatment center we stayed in touch for several years. His wife and son had a place in the adirondacks that was a great escape for me to go up and hike, swim and shoot the breeze with my good friend. As addictions and other diseases do, the using began again.
I relapsed sometime in 2002 and after a few months of using heavily my friend suggested to me that I come up there, get away, clear my head and my body for a few days and because I valued what he said so much, I did take the up north trip. That weekend was a blur of withdrawls, but I do remember, till this day, the words he spoke to me when I was beating myself up. He said " you could have cancer, get it treated, be a-okay, then it comes back for no reason. This is like alcoholism.....so treat it again" It was a very Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) solution to my huge problems, but for me it had some use. I began treating my problem but was very unaware that my friend had big problems of his own.
A year or so later when I was picking up the pieces again, I found out my friend was using heroin and not for fun. People in his life had no idea and it had came so far as his wife was pregnant with his first child. He called and talked and visited and talked and I do believe tried and talked some more. Eventually his only child was born, a beautiful baby girl. Nobody really knows what happened then. Even after seeing him a couple more times, he never wanted to talk about his wife leaving with his child because he couldnt stop using, but when he did he understood, all the while his new friends who didnt know the truth about him because he couldnt stop using and he never talked about the war that was going on inside for his soul.  He knew the reality of the situation but was more comfortable running from it.
I moved to North Carolina in August of 2004, seeing him a week before I left. In the Spring of 2005 he called and asked if I would let him live with me down here to get clean. We had a plane ticket and a plan. I never heard from him again. I didnt know where his wife lived and noone to tell me where or why or what happened. I feared the worst. A year later I found out that he died from a drug induced cardiac arrest at the age of 36. I found out from an old friend. The whole ordeal was incredibly sad. This was one of the most remarkable people I have ever known and will always have a profound influence on my life and at 36 he died. Noone to call out to, no real friends, family left him, this is not that way to go.   He could have chose something different.  I have never been at peace with this because it was hard to grieve almost a year after someone died and with drugs its hard to know what to feel because so many decisions are made that would not happen if the person was in their right mind.  Sometimes the pain is too much and there is a reason in everything.  I do think about him, I have reminders in my tattoos, and in my lifestyle. I will not go out like that and I hope others dont either. So I am saying goodbye to my friend Sean, may you rest in peace the war is over we love you.........

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bob Dylan

My favorite musician of all time has to be Bob Dylan. The man has written some of the best songs over the past century and continues to be an inspiring force in music today. He is truely the greatest songwriter of our time. He has been recognized countless times with over 15 grammy awards through the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and into the new milenium as well as a recent Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for songwriter and poet. At 69 years of age the man still tours doing over 50 shows a year. Recently Martin Scorcese produced a documentary on him and the movie "I'm not there" portrayed the many different lifestyles of a true artist. His music has survived time and inspired many as his words from the 60s are coming full circle again with this generation.

Some of my Favorite lyrics:

"In a many dark hour I've been thinkin' about this That Jesus Christ Was betrayed by a kiss But I can't think for you You'll have to decide Whether Judas Iscariot Had God on his side.So now as I'm leavin' I'm weary as Hell The confusion I'm feelin 'Ain't no tongue can tell The words fill my head And fall to the floor If God's on our side He'll stop the next war."

"Someday, everything is gonna be diff'rent When I paint my masterpiece."

"So now I'm goin' back again, I got to get to her somehow. All the people we used to know They're an illusion to me now. Some are mathematicians Some are carpenter's wives. Don't know how it all got started, I don't know what they're doin' with their lives. But me, I'm still on the road Headin' for another joint We always did feel the same, We just saw it from a different point of view, Tangled up in blue."

"Now the rainman gave me two cures, Then he said, "Jump right in." The one was Texas medicine, The other was just railroad gin. An' like a fool I mixed them An' it strangled up my mind, An' now people just get uglier An' I have no sense of time. Oh, Mama, can this really be the end, To be stuck inside of Mobile With the Memphis blues again."

"I been wond'rin' all about me Ever since I seen you there. On the cliffs of your wildcat charms I'm riding, I know I'm 'round you but I don't know where. You have slayed me, you have made me, I got to laugh halfways off my heels. I got to know, babe, will I be touching you So I can tell if I'm really real."

"Stake my future on a hell of a past Looks like tomorrow is coming on fast Ain't complaining 'bout what I got Seen better times, but who has not?"

"You say you lost your faith But that's not where it's at You had no faith to lose And you know it"

"A South politician preaches to the poor white man,"You got more than the blacks, don't complain. You're better than them, you been born with white skin," they explain. And the Negro's name Is used it is plain For the politician's gain As he rises to fame And the poor white remains On the caboose of the train But it ain't him to blame He's only a pawn in their game."

"I was born here and I'll die here against my will I know it looks like I'm moving, but I'm standing still Every nerve in my body is so vacant and numb I can't even remember what it was I came here to get away from Don't even hear a murmur of a prayer It's not dark yet, but it's getting there."

"Then take me disappearin' through the smoke rings of my mind, Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves, The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach,Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow. Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free, Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands, With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves, Let me forget about today until tomorrow."

"Let me ask you one question Is your money that good Will it buy you forgiveness Do you think that it could I think you will find When your death takes its toll All the money you made Will never buy back your soul"

"My love she speaks like silence, Without ideals or violence, She doesn't have to say she's faithful, Yet she's true, like ice, like fire. People carry roses, Make promises by the hours, My love she laughs like the flowers, Valentines can't buy her."

"How does it feel How does it feel To be on your own With no direction home Like a complete unknown Like a rolling stone?"

"They say ev'rything can be replaced, Yet ev'ry distance is not near. So I remember ev'ry face Of ev'ry man who put me here. I see my light come shining From the west unto the east. Any day now, any day now, I shall be released."

"But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed You're gonna have to serve somebody, Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord But you're gonna have to serve somebody."

"How many years can a mountain exist Before it's washed to the sea? Yes, 'n' how many years can some people exist Before they're allowed to be free? Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head, Pretending he just doesn't see? The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind, The answer is blowin' in the wind."

"Oh, what did you see, my blue-eyed son? Oh, what did you see, my darling young one? I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it, I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin', I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin', I saw a white ladder all covered with water, I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken, I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children, And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall."