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Archive for the month “March, 2014”

Get me some learnin’

So, as an addition to the last post where I mentioned putting obstacles in my path, I have just implemented a major one. I received a degree of specialization in the Navy for Nuclear Mechanics and Reactor Theory and did some time at the university, but I didn’t attain a civilian degree. That being the case, I am in a company that distinguishes it’s employees between degreed and non-degreed to the extent that if you have a degree you get better opportunities for training, make bonuses, and move up quicker as well as have an organization dedicated to looking out for your well-being. If you do not have a degree…you are screwed.

Now I’m forced to get a degree or put a huge weight upon my shoulders. I am a relatively bright person I’d say so people casting me in the lot with manual laborers does not sit well. I don’t have anything wrong with manual laborers, mind you. Most of the men in my family were manual laborers or some sort (Mostly mechanics and technicians) but that isn’t me, at least not what I aspire to be. So I took the first step today and applied to an out of state college that would let me do distance learning on my own time and would accept most of my Navy college credits. I don’t exactly know how long it’s going to take me to get these credits or how I am going to pay for the tuition, but I will do it because I have to do it if I wish to improve my station in life.

I work about 50, sometimes 60, hours a week now so it’s going to be very, very difficult with work and the family but I’ll get it done. Here’s to challenges.


Teddy and Manson

So I’m just finishing reading one biography and heading into another one. The last one was about Charles Manson and the new one is about Theodore Roosevelt. A bit of a contrast here….

The Manson was more of an impulsive intrigue to know more about his infamy. What I really learned is that he was a weirdo lying coward with multiple complexes. That being said, the guy knew how to stick up for himself and was quite brilliant when he wasn’t being an idiot.

The second was driven by a need to identify with what people consider a great man. It just so happens that Teddy and I share the same birthday and several other ideals so I wanted to learn a bit more about him. So far, I’m liking the cut of his jib.

The contrast between the two men gave me a lot to ponder on the values and substance of people. In an age when things are getting easier and easier I find it unfortunate that life has become so lackadaisical and we desire more impulse and instant gratification, leaving behind the very beneficial virtues of hardship and extroversion. I am making it my personal goal to put as many obstacles in my way as possible. Not to make everything harder on myself, but to be able to overcome those obstacles and climb that much higher. Of course I’m not talking about mundane things. You won’t see me trap my breakfast inside a locked cage that guarded by a lion. But where I see beneficial ways to create constructive obstacles, I will try to implement them. I challenge you to do the same at least once a week. I also challenge any of you do a swordfight on the wings of a prop plane…because it sounds like it would be a cool story….

Demonic Leprechauns

Those are he best kind, right?

So, I’m pretty much a tamed lion at this point. I’ve got the wife, 2.5 kids, and a picket fence around my yard. That being said, I still have rituals that represent remnants of my life as a free-range lion when I used to strut around stalking gazelles and bowing up to other lions. One of those rituals is St. Patrick’s Day.

For the past 9 or so years I’ve went with my best friend to a bar on St. Patrick’s Day and we’ve drank until our faces were contorted into waxy remnants of their usual selves. Then I would wake up the next morning as late as usual with an extreme headache and vomiting for the better half of the morning. Luckily, I have outgrown binge drinking but the ritual still remains.

This year I thought it would be different, however. I thought I would just stay home, maybe grab a bottle of Guinness and maybe sip on it slowly recalling days of yore. That was until the phone call came. My friend calls and says, “It’s St. Patrick’s Day, we have to go out.” I try to give a mild excuse but he isn’t having it. He’s an alcoholic and for alcoholics (and us in our early 20s), St. Patrick’s Day is like the Superbowl. 

The problem is that we live quite far apart, but we make a compromise, use Google maps, and find some random bar to meet at. I drive 30 minutes from work and get there to find that the place has apparently been shut down. Which is probably good considering it looks like some kind of shady front for a strip club. We then decide to follow google maps to the nearest bar which is titled “Bikini Wing Bar”. Now I’m not sure if the waitresses wear bikinis and serve wings but I would like to think so. The only problem is that when we get there, its been slightly altered…into a pet shop. Now I’m all for puppies and goldfish but they aren’t going to help me today.

This is when I get the great idea to just turn right on the next major street and stop at the first bar I see. In case you are not aware, I live in Texas. While I do live in a major city (Houston), I am far northwest of what you would consider city and so this is a really dicey move.

So there she is on the right, “BFE Rock Club”. Aptly names for location and choice of clientele. We walk in to “just grab a beer” and there are three tatted bikers inside blocking our entrance. Now these aren’t big muscly and intimidating bikers (at least not to me). These are late 50s, I used to be a badass biker, type of guys. Having been around a great deal of bikers in my early life, I was comfortable. That was until they told me that I had to pay 15 dollars to get in. I tried to convince my friend that we should just go somewhere else but he offered to pay the cover and that was that.

That is when this great piece of dialog happened:

Biker: “You guys came on a good night.”

Me: “Oh yeah, why’s that.”

Biker: “Have you ever heard the song that goes, ‘Baby give me some beer, and some money, and I’ll ride you all night long.”

Me: “Not sure…that I have.”

Biker: “Well, its nationally known. The band here tonight wrote it. They’re called Psycho Stick”


So there we are. I am now drinking at bar run by old bikers to a band named Psycho Stick. But it gets better.

So as I walk in I look to the right and notice a giant stage with a 30 foot demon standing in the background, his skeletal wings draped across the entire wall. This should have been an indication that shit was about to get weird. But I’ve seen some things in my day and sometimes I am just desensitized to weirdness.

Next, we go up to the bar and there are some remarkably clean cut college age bartenders working. They tell me that they do not serve beer normally but I’m in luck because they ordered a keg for this occasion. One keg. For an entire crowded “club”. I go ahead and decide to get a beer while it was still in supply and low and behold they color it green. The only issue is that they bought several cases of green food coloring and they were pouring like half a bottle of green syrup into my 12 oz beer. I don’t think I need to tell you what my toilet bowl looked like that following day.

Now I’m feeling better and drinking a bit (an Irish Car Bomb was also had) when the first band come on. Chaos Sauce. Now, to their credit they were definitely at the right venue, but they were also only about 18 and their base player, a 5 foot girl could barely hold the bass and had an even lower aptitude for playing it. After about 20 minutes of screaming, that ordeal was over. The next band Abandon the Oath was actually not too bad and I was feeling okay when this older woman comes up next to me in what I can only describe as a greatly distressed spandex outfit with a see-through top. I’m not sure if it was supposed to be see-through or if the material integrity was just stretched so far that it opened up the fabric in space-time and created an optical illusion. Either way, it was less than desirable. So she starts hitting on me a bit and I’m trying really hard to be polite and ignore her at the same time. You know the move.

Then her boyfriend, who looks like a hispanic realistic interpretation of Joe Cool comes by the bar and starts eyeballing me. As soon as this happens my phone rings and it’s a really strange number. I answer and guess who it is. My father in law. He’s just had a heart attack, he’s in Singapore, and he can’t reach my wife. Have you ever tried to talk on the phone at a death metal concert with a seahag and her hebeast chatting you up? It’s not easy.

Finally I get enough sense to walk outside and finish the conversation and then promptly make my exit. I feel kind of bad because I told my friend very hurriedly that I was leaving, but on the other hand I wanted to get the hell out of there. I get home and get a text from my friend “That was awesome. We need to go back to that place again!” Not on your life pal. Not on your life.

Who are you?

Who are you?

Are you the stubbled reflection that gazes ominously?

Are you the words that take flight in the passion of the moment?

Are you the illustrious certification that adorns your office wall?

You are all of these and you are none of these.

You are the culmination of various experiences.

You are the stepping stones upon which your path meanders.

You are the kind smile that greets passers by.

You are the cold shoulder that turns on others.

You are.

Corporate Crackdown

So, some of you out there might be aware of my job as a lab technician for a company that deals with oil and gas. You might also be aware of my sense of duality that keeps me flip flopping back and forth like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Today one of the big wigs came in to give a speech about what was going on in the company concerning our location and the future plans and vaguely how they would affect us. To be fair, this needs to be done badly as we have been greatly mismanaged since the beginning and this had led to several financial and structural blunders. That being said, there is still a voice deep down inside of me that is holding an anarchy sign and wearing an eight inch green, spiked Mohawk and protesting vehemently.

In reality I want to be a well rounded adult and have the nurturing structure that keeps me tightly in bounds and steadily progressing toward a whimpering retirement in which I sit at home for the remainder of my years cutting out coupons for creams and complaining about the modern generation. That is to say, I want to want that because its boring and the path of least resistance. It would be very easy if this were my outlook. Unfortunately, the screaming anarchist punk in me (lets call him Rex because it sounds more rebellious than Quincy or Leopold) resists this with every turn. I’d say for every 80% that I agree with structural reform there is a 20% that I want to tear it all down and burn it to the ground.

I’m really not sure if I’ll ever be able to fully appreciate and capitulate to the gods of business. It might be my curse to be one foot in and one foot out for the rest of eternity. It’s quite ironic, however, that I am seen as a “company man” who has “drank the kool-aid” and this has earned me acclaim and will probably earn me a spot among the pantheon of business moguls here at some point. The real question is if I will look back at my progression will I be disappointed that I gave in and became part of the establishment and suddenly decide to tear it apart from the inside out, or will I (more likely) just become a tool; a cog in the corporate wheel.

Looking back this is kind of an uncharacteristic piece of literary work for me, but I’ll post it anyway…because the man can’t keep me down! 😉

How to deal with a narcissist

I’m not going to bother going into details about who this particular narcissist is that is plaguing me at the moment. Suffice it to say that he’s got my feathers ruffled. But I thought maybe my experience might help others…or at least be good for a laugh.

Well, I have to deal with this person quite frequently and for a long time I would just blow it off and call him a prick and comment to my friends about how highly he thinks of himself and I’d throw myself a little pity party. I’ve now learned that narcissists derive their compulsions from a lack of confidence and a constant need to be reassured of their own value. That being said, he is really only a victim of himself and my “snarkicism” isn’t helping anyone. So I’ve devised a plan.

From now on I will try to find things to compliment him on in a genuine and sincere fashion. I think by honestly looking at his positive contributions I will be able to better appreciate his input and not want to strangle him with an extension cord. Maybe. Also, I’ve decided that I will take a different approach when I need to talk to him. I will not try to invoke his own sense of self fulfillment by playing the hapless victim, I will only approach him on the topic of problem solving if I have thoroughly thought out my issues and have devised a plan, or several plans, of action. Then I can compliment him on his addition.

Sorry, that was a little less humorous than I was thinking it would be. It’s probably just due to the fact that I’m so irritated by it. Well, if I’ve learned how to do anything in 30 years its to let things go. So here’s to hoping…

Car Wrecks and Mailboxes

The two are unrelated you say. Hogwash!

So, as some of you may have noticed (the few of you who actually read my posts after my lengthy departure from the literary world of blogging) I am back to my old antics. In truth, I knew that I could never stay away from blogging, the desire to relieve myself of the thoughts and rants that bounce around in this spacious head of mine are too great.

With that in mind, I thought I should catch you up on some semi-recent events. Namely, the car wreck that landed me in the hospital for a little while. You see, most people would be perfectly right in assuming that a toll lane stop sign is a perfectly legal and legitimate place to stop. Unfortunately for Captain Textsalot (or whatever was distracting him) this theory was put into question.

It was a Thursday…and much like a Thursday, there was an ominous weight that hung in the air. Okay, maybe it was less ominous and more painful. I had been suffering from stomach pains which I thought were brought about by a hiatal hernia and I decided to go home from work. While waiting for the Cadillac full of strippers (more on this later) in front of me to drop their change (which was probably riddled with herpes and cocaine residue) and parked at a stop sign I was rear ended by a large truck going 60 miles per hour.

Let me put this in perspective. I drive…..erm….drove….a 2010 Honda Insight Hybrid which weighs significantly less than the Chevy Avalance that exhaust raped me from behind. The guy literally never hit his breaks and drove me through the car in front of me and into the concrete divider that separated the toll lanes. I must have been knocked unconscious because when I came to there was a lady trying to open my drivers side door.

The good news is that for a minute I didn’t feel my stomach pain. The bad news, and what was about to escalate in a short amount of time, was that my pain was not caused from a hiatal hernia. To make a long story short with the guy who hit me and the strippers in front, the girls in front of me were driving around in some guys car on their way to “dance” at work. The guy behind me said that he “thought I was going to go” and this is why he decided to try to see if he could run through my car. At first I refused medical help, but then I realized shortly after that I would need to go to the emergency room.

The reason for my alarm being that when my wife arrived to pick me up, my eyes and skin were both yellow. So now I was walking around like big birds shorter brother and on my way to the emergency room. The emergency room doctors and nurses rightfully deduced that I was walking and talking fine so I was not a high priority. After negative x-rays they were just about to let me go when they asked me for a urine sample. What secreted out of my nether-regions was something akin to coffee. The nurses actually stood in a circle holding it up to the light and gasping in amazement. Turns out my stomach trouble was really gallstones…

Being the lucky man I am, a gallstone had become lodged into my bile duct (possibly as a result of the accident, but probably not) causing my kidneys to back up with bile. After two surgeries, one to remove the obstruction and patch up the tube, and one to remove my gallbladder and its entirety I was now back to my normal hue. Unfortunately, the gall bladder was over-sized and hard as a rock and the incision had to be made larger which made my belly button look like a mini-vagina. No offense to you lovely ladies out there. But it’s the closest comparison I have.

The thing you don’t realize about Gerry the Gallbladder is that he breaks down all those nice fatty foods you like to stuff in your meat hole and turns them into nutritious vitamins and then stores the rest in your ass and thighs and spends the next half a day trying to get rid of them. But when Gerry leaves town….oh how the food gets its revenge. I now can’t eat anything that has fat in it without having to first make sure there is a bathroom within running distance. I’ve pretty much times it to 30 minutes before my body violently tries to rid itself of what I can only assume it thinks is the foulest food its ever encountered. I’ve met some devout people in my travels, but my bodies devotion to casting out the demons of Jack in the Box and Buffalo Wild Wings put all those to shame. I apologize if you’re eating right now….

So this brings us to the mailboxes. What I failed to mention previously is that as a result of the wreck I now have phantom back and pelvic pains that like to flare up at inopportune moments. Well, this past weekend I decided that I was going to dig up the old mailbox that was hanging in front of my house by duct tape and replace it with a nice new mailbox. Bad idea. After digging three feet of concrete out of the ground I felt like I had just received a massage via swift donkey kicking. If you’ve never tried this method of massage I highly recommend it. Especially if your level of self loathing is as evolved as mine.

So there you have it. Car Wrecks and Mailboxes. If you have any questions about how to deal with gallbladder issues or you just want to point at me in laugh feel free to comment below.


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