Sunday, December 07, 2008

We are not the most intelligent life form

Humans I mean. Clearly some of our furry, 4-legged friends have us beat. Linda had 3 cats. Chesney (named after the country singer) was the first to go on Thursday. After that was Ranger. Finally she was left with Cheez-It, the orange idiot that licks the place where his balls USED to be. He had no home and despite my lack of love for cats, I'm a softy and told her to bring him.

When they arrived, Cheez-It was a little nuts. He had just lost his 2 best friends, spent 10 hours in the car and landed in unfamiliar territory. So we put him in the bathroom to keep him safe and enclosed. Over a few hours we brought him out in to the living room and he ended up behind the washer. So began the first fiasco of Jason pulling out the appliances and the cat (by way of his tail) and then rigging a contraption to prevent the cat from getting back there (which prevented us from also doing laundry). Back into the bathroom he went.

When it was time for bed, we closed the doors to all 3 bedrooms and opened the bathroom door. The house was a little more catproof by now and we figured he could sniff around while we slept. We wake up yesterday morning to no sign of Cheez-It.

After an extensive search around the house I notice a small flap of wood in the bathroom that allows access under the tub. Always knew it was there. Never paid much attention. So now I'm climbing under the tub with a flashlight looking for this furry pain in my ass, garnering a nice 6 inch scratch on my tricep in the process. No Cheez-It from what I can see. Next, I disassemble and remove my tub almost entirely and still no cat. I had assumed he found a way out of the house and that was that.

Even at 11pm you can't ignore the sad, just lost a pet face on your loved one so I'm outside in pajamas with a flashlight half climbed under my trailer in the mud and muck looking for Houdini's escape route or even paw prints in the mire. Nothing.

This morning I'm explaining to Linda how he's just gone. It sucks, yes, but hey, we looked everywhere - to include the washer and the oven - just in case.

For shits and giggles we talk about looking above the cabinets/cupboard. So I stand on the couch to look. Nothing but I see a shadow or something so she opens the cupboard and we realize there is no top and it's open to the ceiling. Well she moves a box of cereal and lets out a blood curdling scream. Who expects to see a cat looking back at you? The son of a bitch was in there the whole time. We think he went from counter to fridge and up and over into the cupboard. And he spent 2 days laughing at us frantically searching the house for him.

As a Cheez-It, the least he could have done would have been to hang with the snacks so I would have seen him before we went for breakfast food the next day. We were in there several times getting food throughout the day.

So the moral of the story is that he's safe and sound in the house and never left.... AND I need to build a top to the cupboard!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Explaining the change

Anyone who's known me for more than a day over the past 5 years has known that I came into the military to escape a lousy, waning economy, serve some time in the Air Force, get more education and punch out and head back to what I was affectionately calling "real life." You all know that things seem to be changing lately when it comes to future plans. Some are supportive, some are confused, some are downright mad, but everyone is basically confused. How can someone who all but had a suit and tie grafted onto his body and nearly a Brooks Brothers tattoo be contemplating staying in the military. The area of most bases, especially this one, sucks; the pay is shitty; it's not near friends and family; and I'm underutilizing my brain most days. Well here's some explanation.

In 2008 people go their own way. So many people from my graduating class are all over the country. It's not easy to find a job you love or make a buck or survive in the northeast or just be plain old happy in this world anymore because everything is so damned complicated. So when you find a solution to that, you take it. When you wake up happy and fulfilled, you stick with it. When you're in an overall life that fills and warms you and doesn't make you want to jump off a bridge, you embrace it.

I CANNOT go back to downtown manhattan. I won't walk those cold streets to a cold job that means nothing to me. I won't take the path back into that false WTC station and pretend my life is the year 2000 again. A concrete jungle built of glass and steel with icy winds whipping through the narrow streets of downtown manhattan. Walking headlong into those gusts only to take refuge in a fluorescent world of hustle and bustle making a buck for the guy above you. And when your life falls in the shitter or something goes wrong, you walk away from it for a day or a week or whatever and nobody knows you're missing, nobody calls, nobody cares. it's the matrix. It's a machine and we're all just cogs in it. Identical looking in suits and ties filling robotic functions. And yes we all look the same in the uniform but when I picture downtown, it's colorless. And not in a Film Noir, black and white movie kinda way. In a world of color where the color has been removed and left empty. Desaturated and drained. Downright dreary. I dread the thought of it.

After all I've seen in this world and especially in that area and now throughout the rest of this world through camouflage eyes, how could I ever go back and pretend like none of this ever happened? How could I watch my military brothers and sisters go off to war and die to protect our freedoms and not feel like a traitor myself. Not a traitor to the country but to my comrades in arms for abandoning them. We, as a military, are not flush with personnel and we certainly are not without enough conflict to help resolve in the world.

All the while I was so focused on "life after Air Force" that it wasn't until recently that I decided to internally examine myself from a perspective of "during Air Force." It was then that I realized that all that I've done had come to mean something to me. It wasn't just a job anymore. It was a life and a lifestyle.

What I do has an impact. My life in the corporate world was meaningless. Some $700k/year guy would call me in a panic because he had no clue where his 10am meeting was because he knocked his PalmPilot cable out of his computer with his fat foot in $800 wingtips. Not a great legacy. Now... when my systems don't work - people die. When they do work, we help rid the world of more folks that want to bestow upon us pain and suffering like they did in September of 2001. Lest we forget that was attack 2 on the same building. They did it in '93 and 8 years later, they came back. It's not a real war of country vs country. It's extremist ideals vs our ideals. My usual theory of... you don't like it change the channel doesn't apply to extremists. They can't ignore us and will stop at nothing until we're dead. People who share the uniform with me try to stop that and despite what Communist News Network (CNN) tells you; we're doing a damn good job of it.

I don't think I changed my mindset about what's best for me. I think I just stopped and smelled the roses long enough to finally realize what was there all along.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Update on me!

I started writing this last night but Myspace took a dump on me and pissed me off so now I have to start all over again. It was clever and witty and I'll try to replicate it now.

So I don't usually use this blog space to write about me as much as I use it for random thoughts, quotes, quips, musings, non-sequiturs and other tiny damaged notions but today I'll make an exception, while also showing you how the secret, manifestation and living in abundance are at work in my life again.

By now, most, if not all, of you have seen or commented on my status updates, adjustment of friends list or relationship status and yet, nobody seems to know where this has all come from so I'll tell you.

First and foremost, for those that don't know, this is not the same hollow shell of a selfish human being that I dated and nearly married a year ago.

Not less than 10 years ago I met a girl named Linda at a job we both worked at. We were both naive kids - one of us more than the other. I was 19, she was 17. We dated for a period of time and as things tend to do from time to time, this all kind of fell apart. We were kids, plain and simple. The details aren't even really important. What IS noteworthy, however, is that over the past decade we would come into contact every now and again. This, actually, usually consisted of Linda tracking me down, saying hello and followed by me telling her to go away. She's listen initially but she'd be back... she'd ALWAYS be back. And this would happen every year to year and a half. I'd date people, she'd date people. We both got engaged separately at one point.

Recently she found me, yet again, on here and we began to talk. It's important to note that every time we would get in contact, there would be a connection that was undeniable but it never went anywhere. This time we were both single and got to talking. The connection, unlike most others had not waned over time, but rather was seemingly stronger. So we made a plan for her to come down to SC from NJ and see me on the 15th of this month and stay for a week. As fate would have it, everything lined up and she was able to arrive this past Sunday on the 9th - and now stay for 2 weeks.

The moment she stepped out of the car, we were both bowled over with emotion. It's only Tuesday the 11th now and we haven't had alot of days together yet but it feels like forever and I mean that in a good way. Well folks, the truth of the matter is that what came with her is not only what she needs for this trip but also the first of 2 trips to... well... move herself down here.

Here is where the secret comes into play. The universe brought Linda into my life 10 years ago but we weren't ready to be together. Or maybe our lives weren't ready for it. Either way... it couldn't be at the moment. And then the universe would periodically and at the most random times put it back in contact. I don't know if it was just to remind us of each other or if it was to see if we were ready but it kept happening. And now she's back.

The other thing is that we all know about Linda 2 and how that all played out. That was the last REAL serious and long relationship that I have had. I mentioned that Linda showed up here this past Sunday, November 9th. That is 1 year exactly from the downfall with Linda 2. Just goes to show that the universe provided again. Closed the chapter of the wrong one to open it up for the right one.

So now you know the deal folks.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Economic Meltdown Article and My Thoughts. Non Partisan views

In my Internet travels I came across an article by Waldon Bello. He's a foreign policy columnist, professor, author, etc. He talks about the recent meltdown and it's causes. The article can be seen here - http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/5560 - but I've included a few excerpts.

Is the worst over?
No. If anything is clear from the contradictory moves of the last week — allowing Lehman Brothers to collapse while taking over AIG, and engineering Bank of America's takeover of Merrill Lynch — there's no strategy to deal with the crisis, just tactical responses. It's like the fire department's response to a conflagration.The $700 billion buyout of banks' bad mortgaged-backed securities is mainly a desperate effort to shore up confidence in the system, preventing the erosion of trust in the banks and other financial institutions and avoiding a massive bank run such as the one that triggered the Great Depression of 1929.

Did greed cause the collapse of global capitalism's nerve center?
Good old-fashioned greed certainly played a part. This is what Klaus Schwab, the organizer of the World Economic Forum, the yearly global elite jamboree in the Swiss Alps, meant when he said in an interview earlier this year: "We have to pay for the sins of the past."

Was it lack of regulation?
Yes. Everyone acknowledges by now that Wall Street's capacity to innovate and turn out more and more sophisticated financial instruments had run far ahead of government's regulatory capability. This wasn't because the government was incapable of regulating but because the dominant neoliberal, laissez-faire attitude prevented government from devising effective regulatory mechanisms.


Click the link to see the rest.

I agree with pretty much everything he said. It's really a no-brainer that the current economic collapse stems from deregulation and greed. Those who promote deregulation believe the markets and financial institution will police themselves. Give me a break! Greed is that exact reason you must have regulation.

These so-called sophisticated (read as complicated & speculative), financial instruments are like Ponzi schemes because they are priced not on inherent value (like earnings), but on perceived future value. Think of the internet bubble. The price keeps going up because everyone wants into what seems like a good thing. The price ends up having no relationship to the value of the company. As soon as someone heads for the exit, everyone else scrambles. The average Joe (not the plumber) and their 401k's end up holding herman.

I don't understand it though when Bello says neoliberal, laissez-faire attitudes and aligns that with Reaganism and Thatcherism. Those guys were big on supply-side economics (known as voodoo economics by their detractors). It is and always has been a conservative Republican agenda to remove constraints to growth which ignores the greed factor and "redistribution of wealth" for a trickle down effect (Bush tax cuts). There's nothing liberal about it, neo or otherwise. I could have missed something. I haven't been paying close attention these past 5 years.

Interestingly, McCain now calls tax cuts to the middle class a "redistribution of wealth" and equates it to socialism. Supply-side is the chief factor for overproduction in the absence of either demand or disposable income. I never understood that policy, but this article helps me see it effects now.

He makes a very good point about how investing in the financial sector doesn't create new value. If you invest in GM, say, they can invest in a new plant in Kansas to build cars and trucks and create jobs. All of that interms of inventory and payroll adds to the economy. The financial sector just creates credit swaps and derivatives that they don't even understand and whose price is not quoted anywhere. Pretty scary and nobody was watching.Interesting guy, this Bello. He doesn't present a partisan ideology, but what he blames is all Rebublican policy since Reagan's time. Meanwhile, he validates free trade - NAFTA of the Clinton years - and quotes George Soros, not your average Wall Street guy.

Maybe this helped explain some things. Maybe it confused you further. Either way... there it is.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Thoughts before Tuesday (This is gonna be long)

Get ready for this. With Tuesday's Presidential vote right around the corner, I couldn't sit idly by and say nothing. Not when there is so much at stake. You may agree or disagree and you are welcome to do either in the comments below. I welcome all viewpoints, regardless of how closely they align with my own. However, let me lay down a disclaimer saying that I will not tolerate any disparaging comments in any way, shape, or form. Rude, belligerent, berating attacks or wanton disregard for basic human decency and courtesy will be met with repercussions; more than likely an affected friendship. This is a blog full of opinions and as such, is beyond contestation. I am staunch in my viewpoints and sales pitches are not welcome. Read, respond, editorialize but do it courteously. On with the show.

We have a unique election this year. Every 4 years the candidates are unique to a degree but this one brings several new facets to the table. We have a black man as a first time contender. A female on the vice presidential ticket. The differences between the candidates are staggering from a standpoint of age, background, and levels of experience.

You can guess from my personality or quite simply from the use of the word "staunch" earlier that I am a Republican and a conservative Republican, at that. Staunch only means "steadfast" but it is not often used with regard to Democrats, Liberals, Socialists or Communists (all being nearly one and the same). These folks, hereafter referred to as Liberals for the sake of brevity, can rarely apply the word staunch to their ideals since by definition and nature, they waver in them at any and all given moments. So yes... I'm a Republican, hereafter referred to as Conservative.

I'm not going to try to sway you toward my side of the spectrum. I'm much farther right than the average individual anyway (with an exception here and there). I'd like to try to reel people just far enough to land right of middle, but I won't do that either. It's not important. Electoral colleges tell us that each vote is not really an individual vote but that's a different story for a different time. My goal is to lay facts on the line so each person can make a decision that is, at the very least, informed, if not inspired. These are facts and my personal beliefs. They are not sensationalized, nor is it Yellow Journalism.

Mazen Asabhi, was appointed to Barack Obama's campaign and left within 10 days. Asabhi had ties to Jamal Said who was involved in fundraising via racketeering for Hamas, a widely known Palestinian terrorist organization. Being tied, in any way, to a terrorist organization will preclude a job with two agencies - FBI and Secret Service. Mr. Obama is not qualified to be employed by the same agency sworn to protect his life. Additionally, these ties preclude the ability of one to hold a security clearance. Obama, as president, would also act as the commander-in-chief of our military. I'm not upset at him for his associations. It is how quickly the rules are thrown out for him. Of all the people he could have chosen for his campaign, was it really THAT hard to find someone that was never attached to Hamas?

The fact that he's ineligible to be president aside, let's examine some other issues. He has out-raised and out-spent McCain by an exorbitant amount. I wonder if he'd be open to applying a redistribution of wealth to campaign funding. Take some of Obama's money give it to McCain even though Obama earned it one way or another and let McCain spend it. I'd be hard pressed to see Obama go for that. But I don't blame him, I'm not a big fan of redistribution either. I work for my money. The guy on the corner that begs for a nickel doesn't deserve a dime of my hard earned cash. People fall on hard times, I understand that. Look at my rollercoaster ride of a financial life (for those of you who know me). I understand. But at the end of the day, I do, and always have done, what is necessary to make ends meet. Skip the Filet Mignon, get rid of the premium channels, pick up a part-time job. There are means to an end when it comes to financial well-being. If you choose to ignore available routes to monetary success, why should you be allowed to take cash off the folks who put forth 100% every day? Remember what Russia was a part of previously? The USSR. The 2nd S stood Socialist. Top dogs worked, middle management worked, the ditch diggers worked, the bums stood around. Everyone got a handout. Granted, the payments were not equal. It's not the same as tip sharing at closing time of a TGI Friday's. But people who did nothing, got something. And for those of you not really keeping up, I'll remind you what happened to the USSR... it failed and broke up into many little counties. Many of which have since struggled because the only foundation they have had as a political system was that same socialism/communism. So redistribution of wealth is a socialistic view which is contrary to our American way of life.

By American, I mean US. Canada is America. They give away healthcare. They are socialists. How do they afford that? With a minimum sales tax of 10% and income tax of 21.5% under the same terms that we pay 11.9% here. So even where socialism seems to work and is not oppressive, it's very expensive.

And the last thing we need is another expense in this country. The housing market went belly up and the stock market is lower than it's been in many years. Unemployment is up and we've yet to finish financing a major war and our involvement in a 2nd war. Let's not raise taxes to pay for a new concept.

But Barack Obama is a mere 47 without much experience. John McCain may be older than Mt. Rushmore and Chocolate Chip Cookies, as seen in ThingsYoungerThanJohnMcCain.com but with age comes experience. A junior senator has no place at the helm of an entire nation and one that is amidst turmoil within our borders as well as abroad.

The political climate of the world makes me nervous as well with North Korea being untrustworthy, Iraq and Afghanistan still a pair of messes, Iran run by the craziest son of a bitch on the planet and Israel getting fed up with all of it. India and Pakistan are itching for a fight. Maybe I'll blog about my vision for WWIII in the not too distant future. The point is that someone well seasoned in life, military strategies, and politics is what we need since many of the problems we're involved in are not truly our own.

As much as it sucks to say it, a good portion of this country may not be ready to introduce a black man to the oval office. I have no issues with the fact that he is black whatsoever, but rather, the ensuing problems we'll see in rural middle America. Those people are closed minded, yes, but they are closed minded Americans and as long as that remains true, they can be unhappy and cause potential issues. With all of the other tumultuous events around us, let's leave well enough alone I say.

My idea of a fun time is not strapping a dead panda to the front of a Lincoln Navigator and running over everyone in the Gay parade. I'm not a right wing extremist nutball. But I'm far from a bleeding heart. Democrats will change the world even if they have to spend every dollar of your money to do it. Al Gore flies, by himself, on a 20 person jet so he's not late for a speech on energy conservation.

Pulling the troops out of Iraq is something I'd love to see more than anything - especially since I am a veteran of foreign war myself. Does that mean it makes sense to do it immediately? Ever turn you computer off while it's doing things? Try taking your key out of the car while driving. There are steps to things. Procedures and policy and sometimes, just sometimes... it requires a little bit of finesse and grace. Jarring the Arab community will not make them like us any more, that's for sure. I want my military brothers and sisters home safe and sound. However, we are a volunteer force. I'll die for my country tomorrow if need be, as that is what I signed up to do. The innocent civilians on American soil should NEVER be put in harms way, but walking away from the middle east without warning will be jarring and will bring parts of the war here. Bring them home, but do it sensibly.

Barack Obama SEEMS charismatic, but YouTube search for "Barack without TelePrompTer" and see what you get - it's him stumbling over words, using the word breathalyzer and then inhalator when he means inhaler. He gets annoyed at the crowd, who are HIS supporters. His charisma is preprinted by a pro writer and when it fails, he loses his cool. That's during a speech. Imagine during a real crisis.

So if you like Barack Obama and want to vote for him for change then think about what changes need to be made. We don't need to share our wealth with people refusing to work in our own country. We don't need to take on values exhibited to be failed systems by many countries around the world. We don't need a Freshman lineman playing starting Quarterback at the championship game.

Maybe we need fresh blood after 8 incoherent years of Dubya. He's my commander-in-chief and in line with my political party but I think fresh blood is a good thing. John McCain's stale 72 year old blood is still fresh to the White House with a ton of experience to boot.

Please carefully consider your vote on Tuesday. Even in a democracy with electoral colleges, your vote can make a difference. The 2000 election was won with 537 votes after all was said and done. You do count. Vote... vote wisely.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Just a small addendum

After watching "The Secret" yet again last night, with who will hopefully be my newest convert, and having deep conversation about it; I came up with a couple more references to help relate the magical material to the masses.

As we know, you have to live in abundance. In case I haven't fully explained this concept thus far, let me take the liberty to do so now. You cannot worry about the finite amounts of things you have at the moment. Don't worry about checking your bank account before going to lunch. Just go. The money will be there. Go get the new DVD you want. Grab that T-shirt you have been eyeing for a while. I'm not telling you to go out and buy a boat tomorrow. It must be believable to you that you can afford it. If you want a steak, going to a place with $47 Filet Mignon may be a little much for you and your partner, but you don't have to eat more ramen either. Get some steaks from the market and treat yourself that way. Only you can define your limits and thresholds. It is important to live within your means without pinching pennies and counting every last financial calorie. Some people will squeeze the quarter until the eagle screams. If you're that concerned over it, you're not living in abundance.

Bob Proctor tells us about driving on the road at night. Your headlights are on. Do they illuminate your path from beginning to end? No they don't. Headlights will uncover 100-200 feet or so. And yet you get all the way to your destination. All you are concerned about is that next 100-200 feet. When you complete that, then it's the next set, all the way to the end. So know where you are, know where you're going and know the next step in the process. Take it in pieces.

If you're driving from New York to California, you look up a route. You decide to take Interstate 80 west across the country. Do you memorize every alternate road along the way in case there's traffic, accidents, road closures, etc? No you surely do not. You have faith that if the road is closed a detour will be provided for you. The point is that we don't always know the path, we just know that one will be provided for us. Why is that? It is because the universe provides.

If you want something, make a decision to get it. The word "today" is very, very important. Notice the difference in the 2 phrases to follow. Don't "make a decision to get it today." Instead "make a decision today to get it." The important part about today is making the decision; not getting whatever it is that you want. Maybe you can manifest a cup of coffee today but it may take a month or a year to manifest that new car or the perfect relationship. Timing is not important because you know it will be provided.

You have wants but you must let go of them. That doesn't mean give up. That means stop chasing them. Anyone who has been through high school can relate to chasing their crush. Generally, the harder you chase, the more elusive they become. Sit back, focus on your wants and desires and allow the universe to respond to your energy and provide it to you. How is not important. Do you honestly care how? Do you care if that $25,000 you want comes from a lottery ticket, inheritance, a new job, etc? No you don't. The end result is what is important. The spirit and intent of your wish. Let the universe do the work.

For those of you who understand the Air Force's enlisted promotion system, let me recount a series of events. For 2007, I studied as hard as I knew how for promotion. I fell 11 points shy (out of about 260 needed). This was in my pre-secret days. All the while my peers, co-workers/colleagues, bosses, etc had been telling me that I carry myself in the way that a promotee would. I act like I'm a rank higher in my demeanor, attitude, communication, ethic, motivation and so on. So this year came around. I didn't crack the book to study for a moment. I believed that I was already a rank higher. I acted as if it was already mine. This year I beat the needed score by 23 points. Add in the 11 I missed it by last year and you have an effective difference of 34 points. Now the Air Force gives you 8 points a year automatically so that leaves a true net gain of 26 points. And I didn't study for even one moment. I didn't jump 2 points or 6 points. I jumped 26 points without working for it. I believe it was my year. I lived in abundance and the universe took care of the rest. 26 points is not an accident or luck; that's meant to be.

The universe provides.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Anniversary Anxiety

They say that time heals all wounds, yet every year September comes and goes and I don't feel any healing. As a matter of fact, a piece of me dies on the eleventh of September year after year. Some may say that after 7 years, it's time to move on with my life and get it together. Some may say it's unhealthy to dwell on the pain and suffering I endure each year. I disagree. I don't dare say that it's healthy, however.

On September 11, 2001, we, as a nation, became victims of a world changing event. It was one of the most heinous crimes ever committed against humanity. I am in no way trying to undermine any of the rest of the world's problems or historical events. Simply, the way in which these events were carried out - sneakily and cowardly - was quite jarring. Everyone became part of the affected that day. Some of us more than others. Folks will, throughout their lives, come in contact with individuals present for the attacks or individuals who lost a friend or family member in the attacks. I, however, can personally speak from both sides of that coin.

I started my morning like the hundreds before it in an identical manner. I had the unique privilege of watching the planes crash, watching and hearing the towers collapse, being chased by dust and debris and being lost amidst chaos and mayhem. I left my house that day at 7am or so and did not arrive home until 1pm the following day. 30 hours out of the house - part of which was spent fearing for my life, others were spent frantically making sense of the events, finding my way somewhere safe, getting in touch with loved ones or laying awake, staring at the ceiling wondering where that sucker punch to the gut just came from. It was on that 30th hour that I finally was safe as safe gets in my childhood home with my family.

What should have been relief turned into further devastation when I learned my uncle was missing. Amidst tears and a knotted stomach I found and scanned photos of him and uploaded them to news sites as fast as my shaky hands would allow. I hadn't slept. I hadn't eaten. I hadn't showered. But what else could I do? Surely SOMEONE had seen him in person, would see the pictures and would make the connection back to us. Surely.

His firehouse was 85 blocks away, yet the 2nd on scene. How could a truck that far get there that quickly? It was done with an 18-year veteran at the helm. This would be my uncle. His experience and position would be what caused the inevitable. As a driver among that mess, he was doomed to arrange the truck while the team went in the first time, separating him from his herd of brothers. This is why we received the news that the house of Ladder 13 and Engine 22 lost 9 men that day - the remains of 8 of which were found. The 1 fateful man who was never recovered by so much as a stitching was, yet again our beloved family member.

Less than 2 weeks later, I was required to bring myself past that spot via a different path back to my office and collect my ridiculous salary like all was well and unaffected. That is, until the flailing economy caused by that day, left me professionally homeless 4 months and 4 days later. Of course in the span of time from the event until I lost my job, I also watched my mother slip into shadow and become and unrecognizable version of herself, attempted to comfort my aunt and cousins, spent our first Christmas without him and suffered through a pretend funeral for a photo only.

I've poured so much of myself, my thoughts, my feelings and my energy into these events that I just don't understand how I could possibly let go of my feelings. Frankly, I wouldn't want to even if I could. As something only true New Yorkers can understand, I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere ELSE on that morning. Not for one moment.

All the world over, New Yorkers are known for being assholes and rude. We are not. We are quite misunderstood. We are just busy. A lot happens in a New York minute. Millions of dollars change hand in that small, but densely populated city in such a short time. We are on a mission in a city that never sleeps. We, much like a public company has, are shareholders in our city. When it thrives, we thrive. When it hurts, we hurt. We are vested in the survival of that city. Growing up, partying and working among the clean, square lines of skyscrapers and grid-lined blocks, it's where I feel most comfortable. It's home. There is a kinship to the city and it's people that I feel.

I don't dwell on it every day but I do feel it. I carry my uncle in a tattoo of the maltese cross emblazoned on my left calf. His photo is on my fridge. An 8x10 is passed, looked at and acknowledged every time I leave my home. It does not run or ruin my day anymore throughout the year. This time of year, however, I'm affected. It is my full moon. I could wander the streets tearing apart innocent bystanders. I choose to barricade myself in a shroud of emotion and hurt until the anniversary passes and I regain control of my emotions. I have no choice; as I am alone in this. Physically I don't share the full appreciation for this, as there is nobody near me who has endured such horrific event. Emotionally, I am always alone. My family shares the loss. Some friends share the memories. I, alone, have both. The visions of explosions, collapses, terrified people jumping 110 stories to escape the horror inside, the sounds, the confusion.

The tremendous impact of my experiences is always present. I am changed by it. It is who I am. It is who I have become. It is who I am meant to be.

I can't escape this. To hide from it, is to forget it.

Leave my wound open.

Monday, September 01, 2008

It’s September and time to remember.

A few notes. 1) The numbers are incorrect. This was written within 2 weeks of the event and remains, as of yet, unedited. Forgive the misinformation in that way. 2) PATH = Port Authority Trans-Hudson and is a train that runs from stops in NJ into NYC and had a terminus at the WTC. 3) At the time I was still employed at the New York Stock Exchange. 4) There are minor plot-points left out purposely to keep this shorter than "War and Peace" but should make relative sense. With that being said. Here is the white meat.

A tragedy has struck. This tragedy has struck in the city of New York, but has had effects all across the nation. It is the greatest disaster we, as Americans, have ever seen on our own soil. On many levels, this event has reshaped our thoughts and views. It has brought the people of the nation together. It has once again made us whole. Strangers are weeping for the losses of others. Thoughts and prayers are being directed at the victims of the tragedy and nameless and faceless heroes who sacrificed their own lives to save the innocent; and to the families of both groups. Everyone has been watching the news. Everyone wants to know what comes next, what do we do now, how do we cope or simply, why. Commentators, field reporters and news anchors all have their own answers and interpretations to these questions, but does anyone really know? Will we ever really know? Despite what the news shows us about our retaliation efforts or political pushes to regain peace and order in the world, there will be things we, as an international community, will not be told. And nobody can tell us how to cope. The magnitude of this event has hit every single person differently. And everyone reacts in his or her own way.

It is painfully obvious that the aforementioned event is the act of terrorism that befell the World Trade Center, as well as Washington D.C., and the United States and the world. Since September 11th, there has been a bombardment of emotions coming from each individual's television or newspaper or radio. Students, not unlike myself, have written about it. It has become nearly the only topic around the water cooler at the office. Traveling through a shocked and changed Manhattan, conversations are overheard on every street corner, bus and subway train.

Structures have fallen victim to this, but structures can be rebuilt. Lives have fallen to this, but lives cannot be rebuilt. A number tall enough to reach the heavens of 6,000 men and women were taken from us by an act of hate. Twice that number of children is left with one parent or has been orphaned. Commuting to work has been re-routed and some people, although alive, are unemployed. It is not something that can be avoided nor hid from. It will not just "blow over." Many people who live outside the confines of Manhattan are afraid to return. One month ago that phobia would have been laughed at or criticized; now it is shared by many.

These are all things that New Yorkers and Americans have thought about in the days following September 11th. These are things that fall on macro-sociological level. As someone who works in lower Manhattan, few blocks from "Ground Zero," I have bore witness to many more micro-sociological events. I am a World Trade Center survivor. Monday morning, September 10th at 8:45 the PATH train emptied onto the platform, four levels below the street. Up the stairs to the newspaper stand for the daily dose from a crisp New York Times. Another flight of stairs and an escalator. Past all the shops; Warner Brothers, Bath and Body Works where the scent reminds me of the gifts I had purchased there last holiday season, New Balance sneaker shop and finally Au Bon Pain, the last stop before the outside world. Large black coffee and a warm bagel. A final set of stairs and double doors lead to the corner of Liberty Street and Church Street. A cigarette is lit and the home stretch to place of business is begun. All around, men and women going through each of his and her own routine to begin the day; each unknowingly making the trip for the last time.

The very next day my commute was delayed due to highway traffic and my life was spared. From Jersey City, I watched as a second jetliner crashed into the tower. Hurriedly, we all switched to an uptown PATH train and impatiently awaited our arrival into Manhattan. When the train emptied this time, it wasn't the same. A new place and a new frame of mind. No longer was it the calm, well-planned path to the final destination. Confusion all about; and people walked in a frenzy to make sense of everything. We were almost running. All at once the crowd turned the corner and stopped as if all were halted by an outside force. We looked up to see the two towers burning. They were cultural icons. They were representatives of the strength of the city. Their height marked our height of success in a place of business. And there they stood, burning, weakening, and waiting to die. Confusion, as well as habit to make your way to work amidst this mess and pure morbid curiosity brought the crowd closer; too close. As we stood just a few blocks away, watching the towers burning, the unthinkable happened. A noise unlike any other I have heard, followed by the collapse of the first tower. We ran. Everyone ran in different directions. Some of us were silent, some of us were screaming. None of us knew what to think about this. The only thought was to get away from there as quickly as possible.

At some point, the dust and debris stopped chasing me. I was in a safe place. Countless cell phones were quickly whipped from their holsters like an old west cowboy draws his gun. It was reaction to call everyone. Who is ok? Who needs to know that I am ok? "My call won't go through. Excuse me sir; may I use your phone? Mine seems to be unavailable." "I can't make any calls either," he replies. Manhattan's largest signal tower had just fallen. A native New Yorker, I was lost in the confusion and shock. Where do I go and how do I get there? I needed to be off of the island. On every street corner was the news blasting from car stereos. On every street corner more news about another attack, some of which proved to be false. Armageddon was a word that was being used over and over.

All mass transportation onto or off of the island was suspended. So I walked to Brooklyn - four hours later, arriving at my grandmother's house and I recounted the events to her. I was still unaccounted for with my employer and most of my family, but phones weren't working. I spent the night there – awake. The vision of what I saw and experienced replaying in my head like a broken record.

Wednesday, September 12th I decided it was time to venture home. Gathering up my last bit of courage, I sat on a train that brought me back to the place that I had spent so much time trying to get away from just 24 hours earlier. I continued my journey and made my way home. My family anxiously awaited my arrival home. All knew I was ok by then, but not satisfied until I had proved it by appearing in the flesh. Again, I recounted the horrific chain of events that led me there. With my head in my hands, I struggled to regain my composure. I did not know that the news I was about to receive would undo all my efforts. "Jason," softly spoke my mother. "There is no better or worse time to tell you this, so I'll just say it. Your uncle is among the missing." Thomas Sabella – uncle, brother, son, father… firefighter.

A brave man waiting out the last fifteen minutes of his shift to go home and see his family when the call came and the bell rang. There was an emergency at the World Trade Center and all New York City Firefighters were to respond. He never came home. Hope slipped away slowly at first but more quickly with each passing day. Many firemen were lost that day. While the average person was getting away from the troubled area as quickly as possible, these men were heading towards it. They brought out scores of people and went back for more. Ladder Company 13 was in the second tower to fall. My uncle led the team back in to rescue more people and the first tower fell. An authority figure from outside screamed into a radio, "The other tower fell. The one you're in might too. Get out of there now!" It was their chance to save their own lives. The response came back from inside, "There's more people in here. I'm not leaving." The second tower fell. He had spoken his last words. They were words of courage and bravery. Traits that we all have, but to a level that most will never know.

Due to the safety restrictions of the police and fire departments, my office was one of the many that remained close all that week and most of the next. Then came the time to return to work. The routine was gone. No more would that fresh copy of The New York Times be available. The hot coffee and warm bagel would have to be purchased some place else. The morning walk with all the familiar places and faces was gone. A map would have to be used to find the best route. Butterflies in the stomach made it feel like the first day at a new job. Up the steps from the subway that has become my new route into the air of downtown. I couldn't breathe. The air was thick and smelled like burning rubber. Ash and little pieces of debris were floating around. I look quickly to my right and see the plume of smoke traveling straight up in to the air. It made a shape of a tower, almost to mock the magnificent structure that once stood. I hear the sounds of the city but they're all different. No more talking amongst the commuters. No more discussions about the hot stock to buy. The sound… was silence.

Once again, in the same state of shock as I was in on the infamous Tuesday morning, I made my way through the streets to my office. Replacing the businessmen such as myself were Construction workers, Police officers and men of the National Guard. The faces on the people I passed were all the same. What was this place? The New York Stock Exchange now laid ahead; a familiar sight. For two years I rode the elevators of that building to and from my daily tasks. It looked unchanged and unaffected by this. A majestic building standing proud and ready to handle the pressure it would soon be under. Two forms of ID were necessary to enter Broad Street and more security checkpoints inside. The same security guards that waved good morning to me countless times now asked to see identification and "Please, sir, step through the metal detector." Although initially offended, I complied. Nobody knew whom to trust. I step through the doors and like a celebrity in front of the media; colleagues surround me. They all heard about the passing of my uncle and all wished to extend their condolences. I must go on with my day. There is a job that needs to get done. I have duties to perform. It was business as usual within the confines of the building and the horror was almost forgotten. I'm looking out my window and see a rooftop parking lot. There were only about nine cars compared to the dozens normally. Each of the cars was covered in dust. They hadn't been moved since the day the terror struck. Their owners must have perished. A group of people approach one car with keys and open all doors and the trunk. They were cleaning out the personal effects of the owner; maybe a parent, child, sibling, or spouse. It was all real again.

These events are now over. We have all adjusted our schedules and commutes and begun to carry on with our daily routines. Everyone has exchanged stories about where they were the day the trade center fell. The invasion of Normandy, dropping the atomic bomb, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the day the World Trade Center fell. Everyone who saw these days will remember where he or she was. In addition to remembering where I was, I will remember where Thomas Sabella was. He was running into a dangerous situation with men just like him for innocent people. The FDNY, the NYPD, and EMS are the true heroes of the world. All of the personalization has been forgotten though and we have embarked on a journey of retribution as a nation. It is time for recuperation. Memorials have been had for these men and women, but it's not enough. True remembrance should come through us trying to be like them. Help someone; go out of the way for someone. We have forgotten about race, color, religion, creed, or sexual orientation since September 11th. We are Americans. We have united and the attackers have failed in their mission to destroy and demoralize us. We have physical damage, but that can be repaired.

We have lost lives, but to live out the rest of our lives, the way the heroes did will keep them alive forever. Coming to that realization allows me to sleep again. The nation has a mission to make it known that we will stand proud and the government will handle the way in which we react. As individuals, we have our own mission. We have to be the best people we can and stick to our convictions of helping others and ignoring colors. Each one of us is colored – red, white and blue.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Perspective

So Josh, Kristine and Aden are on their way to Germany as we speak. Their second flight from Charlotte to Germany should be taking off soon, if not already. After all the buildup and waiting, they are on the way now. In the early hours of today, Kris wrote a blog. Here is an excerpt:

Six months ago we got news that we'd finally be leaving Shaw. It came to a surprise seeing as I thought Josh cleared his dream sheet, as he was going to get out of the military. Instead he came home Feburary 29th and said "we got orders." I looked at him and said "OK" (very sarcasticly) and he followed with "WE are going to Germany." Josh thought it was a mistake but it wasnt. The E-mail read "Hi, I'd like to be the first to Welccome you to your new base...." Much disbelief for both of us.

So instead of calling quits we are heading to Germany. Six months might seem like a long time but it wasnt. I need more time, We told our families first, I didnt get the response I wanted from my mother, my dad understands though he is sad. Josh parents; you could hear the sadness in their voice but they were the most positive along w/my sister and some friends. I know for a fact the news hit Jason the hardest.

Jason, I'll start w/you. You have been w/us since we welcomed Aden to this world in September 2004. You mean the world to us. Josh and I are so greatful for your friendship, love, and the care and attention you have given Aden. You and I have had our ups and down's but what friendship doesnt. I love you like a brother. And, I cant begin to thank you enough for everything you have done. You let Aden slobber on you, bite you, vomit on you, damn near tear your nose off and everythingn else. You love that boy like your own and for that I am so very greatful. You have always been there for Josh, and I know he's needed a friend like you. So many parties so many memorable nights. It has been a wild ride these last 4 years w/you. You are MY Italian Stallion. We love you. I wish you the best in the years to come. You will not be forgotten.

I took the day off from work and drove up to the airport with them and Josh's parents. We unloaded the cars and walked them in. After getting them all checked in we walked up to security. We were all apprehensive and stalled for a moment before admitting it was just time. And with that we said our goodbyes. We hugged and kissed. We told each other "I love you," "I'll miss you," and "I'll talk to you soon." We thanked each other for always being there. We wiped away each other's tears. Then I watched them go through security and up the ramp away from me and toward a whole new adventure. I kissed my baby boy 100 times.

I stood there watching them head toward the gate until they faded into tiny specks, barely able to discern their shape and identify them amongst the other travelers.

Slowly I made my way to the car, drying my own eyes and sat for a moment before beginning my drive back home. It was an instant after they turned away from me that I begun to miss them. They were still on South Carolina soil; yet they felt like they had been gone forever already.

I sent away my family today. I lost a piece of myself with their departure. It's 4 years, but a lifetime still. Our day to day will never be the same. We'll talk and email and get on webcams to be in touch. We'll send Christmas cards and even do our best to take sporadic trips to visit each other, but I can't show up at their house anymore. I can't peek in with a 6-pack and suffer through Josh making me watch a NASCAR race. I can't tickle Aden until he squirms away just because I feel like it.

So I have the rest of the day to fill now and back to work tomorrow. That will be good as it will occupy most of my day. Of course, Josh is the first person I call as soon as anything happens to me down here, good or bad, and I can't do that anymore either. This coming weekend will be when it hits me the most since we were together almost every weekend, all weekend long.

Those of you who know me well, know that I don't like situations that I can't buy or manipulate my way out of. I feel like I've had the wind knocked out of me. For 5 months we planned for this and prepared ourselves for it emotionally and mentally. But today it's here and I'm just not ready. I love that family and being apart from them is one thing I'd never try to do.

Amidst all of this I realize that nothing else matters. All the bitching I've done about all the other garbage going on in my life is worthless. I'm going to do my best to avoid burdening all my readers with more about the negativity and dramatic situations in my life. I talk about The Secret, positivity and living in abundance all the time and I've far from given up on it. Sometimes situations pile up and we have relapses. So I will try to get it together and only talk about what is truly important in life - friends, family and love given to them and received from them.

Josh and Kristine, I'm sure you'll read this in the next few days when you get settled there. I love you. I miss you. You guys and that baby boy are 3 very important people to me. We may be miles away geographically but we will always be near. You know that if you need anything; I'm there. Any time, any place. A plane ride will not keep us apart.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Ol’ Cincinnati Mindfuck

Actually, I have no idea why I attributed what you're about to read to Cincinnati. I don't even know anyone from Cincinnati and the decent people of that city don't deserve, as far as I know, to be generally associated with the below series of events. It just seemed like a catchy title at the time. For the record, I apologize to citizens of Cincinnati who don't exhibit the behaviors that will follow in this message. Now, on with the show.

This one is gonna ruffle feathers and piss someone off. The interesting part is that I'm so far beyond giving a rat's ass at this point. Keep in mind that I have not, am not, and will not attack, rock the boat, stir the pot, make waves or any number of cliches that liken someone to instigating and picking a fight. This is purely reactionary. So, don't like it? I don't care; don't read it. Don't think it should be public? I don't care; don't read it. Don't think it's accurate? I don't care; don't read it. See the pattern here? This is MY space. You have yours to do what you will with it. In mine I choose to keep up to date, the friends, family, cohorts, associates, readers and any otherwise interested parties. Or people who are simply bored enough to sit through these things. Maybe nobody but it makes ME feel better to not keep this garbage bottled up so that's that.

Alright boys and girls, here's ths scoop from inception to now, including the totally nonsensical junk in the wee hours of this morning - abridged version.

You all know I had relationship troubles recently. HA. Troubles. That's funny. this was more like being stabbed in the back with a 12" serrated bread knife and when I turned around to see what happened, I got kicked in the balls, spit in the face and same, said knife plunged into the front of me. I figured I'd put it mildly for everyone.

So I met a woman, gogeous, sexy, fun, etc. Right off the bat, I was drawn in. Rocky start, didn't care. Lots of situations, didn't care. Required changes to my life plan to make it work, didn't care. Would have been all worth it... at the time. My "Ginger" (for those that have seen Casino), had a man halfway in her life previously. Someone that was claimed was never to have been met as of press time. An adorable little Internet relationship from which feelings have been developed. The funny thing about Internet relationships is that it makes it easy for one or both parties to lie their happy asses off and this man, as it was told to me, made the most of that opportunity. And then I showed up and painted a different portrait of adult intimacy. I opened the door to show her what it SHOULD be like, she realized he was no good and we went on with our process.

This carried on through up and down, thick and thin for a few months. There were things that always remained in the back of her mind and she thought that they would be deal breakers for me. No amount of persuasion from me would ever convince her of otherwise. So I'm gonna straighten it out here and now since I have nothing to gain or lose. I could give a fuck less if the woman I'm with can have children. Yes I love children, but I do NOT need my own. I'm not even sure if I care to have my own. It makes NO difference to me, never really has. I'll be a good father and love a child whether it's mine or a stepkid. Other than that, it makes no nevermind to me. She never understood it; mostly because she didn't listen to me. I don't know why, so don't ask.

Anyway, I handled her kids and came to love them as they were part of her life and subsequently, part of mine. The same goes for all the lunatic shit in her life from the almost ex-husband to the family and whatnot. I was on the phone or on the way ready to help whether it was throwing money at the problem until it went away, or organizing things such as getting a list of 200 rental places and narrowing down all the ones that were not large enough or couldn't be afforded then taking the remaining list and organizing that one geographically and driving her around to each and every one on the list. Sometimes it was helpig find a solution and others it was just simply listening and saying, "Don't worry, it will be ok. I'm here and I love you." At one such juncture, she was fearful that an extraneous problem would cause me to leave her. I assured her that was not the case, nor would it ever be. And this is how we lived, every day, side by side, seemingly in love and happier than I had ever been at any point in my life. Yay for me. My life rocks! I was told she'd marry me tomorrow if she could because she could not imagine her life without me. Kickass! Keeps getting better.

Then one day she was gone. Where's the downward slope you're wondering? Yeah... me too. One day I go through the normal routine of calling her on the way home from work and I get no answer. But she has the decency to IM me and tell me she can't do this anymore and basically that was that. 2 weeks goes by and she still won't answer my call. I just wanted my things back and an explanation. I got that but none of it sounded true. Cop out excuses and what not. Oh well. I opened my heart and allowed it to be refilled by the universe and move on and heal. All was on the way to getting better for me.

Then I get an email from her with news that Mr. Internet based relationship is back and they are back together. Ummm... you were never together in the first place. It was over the Internet. Anyway... her love for him is so great that it can't be denied and yes she did care for me at one point and that I deserve to know the love she knows from him and some other such nonsense. I ignored it. Didn't respond. Fine, go for it. Oh yeah, she's moving diagonally across the country to be with him, kids in tow. Great. See ya. Good luck, peace out.

Then I get another attacking email a week later, to which I didn't respond because I was at work. Then I get another one calling me childish for not replying to the first. I have downtime at work alot of the time but when I do have work to do, it's balls to the wall and needs to get done. Plus, I still had nothing to say. Fine. congrats, good luck, Go away. I'm out of your life as you wanted, now why can't YOU leave me the fuck alone? When you disappeared that Friday I didn't call you for 2 weeks until I wanted my possessions back. After that, I didn't call or text you. Someone texted the hell out of someone else from the phone I gave you though... to the tune of an additional $230, mind you. Which I paid even though I shouldn't have had to. Thanks for helping out there. Anyway, I left it all alone. Wanted space; got space. I walked away like the good little puppy dog you treated me as.

Now all was said and done for a couple more weeks. I haven't heard from her, spoken to her or even OF her for that matter. Don't even think about her since the universe allows me to bring good into my life to replace the hurt. It was a fun run, didn't work and I moved on. In one of her nasty-grams to me she said that she heard so much shit from so many people. Well that to me is simply amazing because we only knew ONE common person who I don't speak to THAT regularly and hadn't spoken to this person about her at all. To this day, I'm not sure if this person even knows the whole story. I confided in a couple of people, most of whom live out of state and have NO contact with her. So I don't know what she heard or thought she heard but it was inaccurate. I've even gone back to meeting people again. I don't carry hangups around like that anymore. It's not worth it to drag hurt around town.

Here's the part where I did my breathing to stave off the Incredible Hulk syndrome that runs me out the door looking like a scene from The Matrix all strapped up. 2:30am this morning my phone rings from her. First time since the angry email on July 23rd. Against my immediate reaction, I chose not to answer. No voicemail. 2 minutes later, another call. I didn't answer. I was awake, just had nothing to say and wouldn't get sucked in. No voicemail and then it stopped.

I wanted to answer so badly because 1) I wanted to hear the reason why she was calling. What on this Earth could possess her to call me? What reason is there that would make me want to talk to her now? I thought it was an emergency at first and if that was the case, she would have kept calling or left me a voicemail. Neither of which happened so it couldn't have been THAT important.

And therein lies "The Ol' Cincinnati Mindfuck." HAHA. Someone loves you immensely, then spontaneously disappears only to say nasty shit for a few weeks and disappear again. Then out of the blue, calls in the wee hours of the morning. I've yet to sleep since that phone call. I'm still not a happy camper. If your intent was to fuck up my internals... accomplished. If it was to make me wonder what that could possibly be... accomplished. If it was to aggravate the shit out of me to the point I couldn't sleep since... ACCOMPLISHED.

I'd like everyone to note that throughout this, I've been confused and angry at the situation and even at her. I've been sarcastic a little. Notice I didn't attack her directly as a person. I didn't defame her character or belittle her. There were no insults. That's in black and white so I can't be accused of talking shit. Should I air dirty laundry on here? I don't know. I haven't used names or said anything that can be construed as slander or libel. I know a little about "yellow journalism" and I'm not taking opinion and parading it around as objective fact. Just stating how I feel.

The shit of it all is that deep down somewhere inside of me, I still love this woman. I just don't like her.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

For love OR money... maybe for the love OF money

So I'm a couple of drinks into it tonight because I had a long day hiding in a 110 degree ceiling, dropping tiles and renovating ductwork. It started to pour here earlier so I decided to relax with a drink or six. As per usual, my gears started to turn, as they do when I'm sober but especially as the booze fills my belly.

It seems as though my recent ramblings have been geared toward love or money so this one will address both at once.

Throughout my life I've chased love and I've chased money, but I've done both separately. I've run out of love on more than one occasion. I've run out of money more times than I can count. Regaining money is something I have direct control over. I can make more however I see fit. I can take another job. I can position myself where I can jockey for a raise (not within the military, of course). I can take side jobs doing photography, selling prints, building websites, etc. I don't have that same control over love. That is because love requires another person and they have to want what I'm selling. Many, over the years, have seemed to initially but they all seem to go batshit crazy sooner or later and fly the coop. So how does one overcome this obstacle? Well, the way I see it I can be patient, remember the laws of attraction and manifest an opportunity to me "the one." Or I can take an alternative approach and realize that The Secret says that like attracts like.

What do I like? I have my hobbies and I have the things that make me enjoy myself but beyond that I like money and things. I did say in one long winded blog that my "stuff" was no substitute for real relationships with people, be it business, friendship, romantic or otherwise. I'm not playing the black and white game. I'm seeing in shades of gray and seeking a successful cohabitation of the two.

How in the hell can I accomplish such a feat? Well, maybe I need to adjust my sights and zero in on a different kind of individual. People fall in love and people fall out of love. Opinions change. Desires falter and dreams fade. So... what's the constant? What can you bet on? Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your frame of reference, in today's American society you can bet that all that glitters is gold. We are blinded by the almighty dollar. Maybe some more than others but there's no two ways about that money CAN buy love. With more dollars you can do more things. I'm not saying to let your days revolve around the portrait of George and his compatriots but, at least, admit that opportunities abound when you're bottom line is well above the bottom.

So let's trim the fat and get to the meat of the matter here. You can lose money chasing women, but you can't lose women chasing money. So rather than get to know every in and out of a person, which is a virtual impossibility I can make an offer that some golddigger can't refuse. Skip the emotions, aka thoughts that block logic. If you date/marry/etc for love that can change on a whim of the other person, as my life has so vividly shown. Now... if I enter into an arrangement with an individual based on dollars and cents then I believe I have a better than average shots of retaining the situation.

Here's how I see it: you're a woman who loves money. I'm a guy with a bunch of it, let's say. As long as I keep you in diamonds and furs, you won't go anywhere. If the money dries up you leave. Am I hurt? Nope because it wasn't based on love. As long as the cash flows freely, you'll stick around.

Does it cost more? Of course it does, but as I said from the beginning, I can get more money. I can always get more money. And in return I have someone by my side for eternity.

So now I have to find someone who will meet my physical standards and be able to detach feelings from things. Someone who will love me for my bank account and not for who I am. I'll keep the checks coming and she'll stick around as long as I do.

The business of business is business. Numbers don't lie.

Now here's the $64 million question... am I serious or not? Do I mean it or have I drank too much? The world may never know. HAHAHA. Those who know me, know how ridiculous I can get when I think about something, when I drink and when I think about something while I'm drinking. Others know my ability to operate on a totally different plane from the average sane individual. I'll never tell.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Explosion of clarity taken from the muck and mire

This is gonna be a long one... I can feel it.

I just can't seem to quit this blogging thing. Maybe I should try. It would seem that posting my thoughts ruffles some feathers at times. Then again, if you don't include private musings, then why bother blogging at all? You can always say that if folks don't like what they see, then the shouldn't read it. It's not force fed to anyone and therefore, not my responsibility if people feel their toes are stepped on. It's said that freedom is neither absolute nor limitless. Your freedom ends when it begins to infringe on the freedom of another. I suppose that means that all of our liberties are meant to reach an equilibrium among us, or at least among the connected parties of any given situation. To that end, I suppose I should feel some kind of guilt for offending individuals, yet I do not. However, I am also not pleased for causing emotional strife for anyone I know and care for to any degree. Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that when I care for someone; I care for them very deeply regardless of the nature or level of our association. This holds true even when I feel I am personally wronged by someone or by their actions.

Unfortunately for me as of press time, and maybe for all of us throughout the continuum, life is a zero sum game. A gain by one party represents a loss by another. Or a gain within oneself requires a loss and subsequently we have a balance to zero. Maybe I shouldn't treat life like economics although it seems to apply in a multitude of situations. Relationships are prime examples of nature falling prey to the law of diminishing return. A theory defined as by returning to previous efforts repeatedly will garner less enjoyment each time. Eating steak every day will get old after a while. You will receive less satisfaction. Your return will, effectively, diminish each time. Maybe it's only MY relationships thus far. Here's the rub... not on my end.

So back to the zero sum qualities. It works in reverse. Negative is balanced by positive. Not always true positive. Sometimes it's just what will fill the void or distracts you long enough to stay out of the negative. Everyone knows how I feel about sinking into negativity and despair and how adamently I oppose that with all my effort. Several blogs ago I spoke of replacing "things" of minutia with real relationships and associations of importance. All the while, I relapsed into a previous frame of mind. I spent. That's what I have always done and that is what I did once more. I bought expensive and extravagant gifts for myself. I drained cents through my fingers like the sands of time through an hourglass - consistently, steadily and in a rythmically hypnotic fashion. I turned to the glitz and glamour of new stuff in hopes that I wouldn't remember why I was doing it in the first place. Even now, I send these words over the lanes of the information superhighway via keys of a brand new laptop that I so quickly decided I absolutely NEEDED.

I have re-run the past 3 months in my mind almost all minutes of all days since the latest string of unimaginable events became very real to me. The first few false starts, rocky moments gaining traction, the incredible acceleration, to what turned out to be terminal velocity, and the brick wall thrown up in front. I can tell you I saw it coming, but that's about as likely as someone figuring out the ending to "The 6th Sense" the first time. I can tell you I'm glad it went this way, but I'm not prone to false testimony. I can even tell you I understand it, but I don't, try as I may. My quote reads, "Through acceptance, comes understanding. Through understanding, comes acceptance. Through understanding and acceptance, comes resolution." I don't understand it so I guess I don't accept it. I'm not sure which of those two is the cause and which is the effect - at least not yet. I certainly don't feel resolved. I feel as if the words "The End" were projected on a movie screen just halfway through and I got sent home from the theater; without rhyme or reason and without a refund.

I've made efforts to say "to hell with it all. Who needs that shit anyway?" but at this point in our lives, we're all familiar with the term "defense mechanism." I did that because I know the part I played and I know what was brought upon me - a shower of positivity and wonderful moment succeeded by wonderful moment and then a drought; followed only by hurtful communications. I understand that all good things come to an end and I understand the plethora of reasons it happens. What I don't understand is how I've become the evildoer in all of it. I had supposed that I was simply not the proper man for the job; which I can accept. Now I believe that I'm seen as someone who is simply awful all around and I'm baffled as to how that switch came about. Moving from love to hate in such a short time, is a trip I'll never understand how anyone can make.

When I heard/read that, my blood pressure went through the roof, as it's been known to do. I got dizzy, my vision closed in, my head pounded and for the first time, I felt actual pain in my chest. I've felt that pain before but not related to emotion or reaction. It wasn't the loss but the series of events in the way the loss was garnered that was... killing me.

I did some thinking. I remembered the theories taught to us by The Secret. I remembered that the universe provides - always! It came to me. I have not lost anything. I have gained. It might seem impossible to understand how or what I have gained. As some people do, I also, after long and/or serious relationships sternly instruct my heart to stop feeling. I lead myself to believe that it is the end and I will never again feel the warmth of someone else's love. Usually, I simultaneously also admit that I don't actually believe it. Last November that was different. I believed it that time. I swore to myself and the public at large that I had reached the end of my romantic days. Out of the blue, my most recent situation arrived and before I had realized it myself, my heart had awoken from its coma-like slumber and was operating at full capacity.

Despite the chain of events that led me here to this message, I have not fallen back into the previous, post-relationship state I have become accustomed to. So maybe the last partnership was not supposed to work. Maybe it's role was always impermanence. It is quite possible that the entire thing was manifested by the universe to serve the sole purpose of reminding me that I am fully capable of loving again, even in the face of adversity.

Under those circumstances, I can truly say that no matter what kind of tension or anger I may appear to have on the surface, deep down inside there will always remain love. I will always place a level of importance on the entire thing and anyone associated with it because as a whole, it was a positive experience. It has provided me with memories I would not trade for anything and the knowledge that the end of one situation does not imply the end of all similar situations. Feelings toward a particular event are not representative of all my feelings.

So while I mourn this loss to a degree, I also am thankful for the condition in which I remain at the outset. I could not have achieved this new level of appreciation for loss by myself. My heart's desire is that one day, the anger I have felt directed at me will subside and it will be understood that I haven't in the past, don't now and won't in the future, harbor any negative feelings or ill will. One of the statements in the previous blog that I referenced here earlier was that I learn from everyone in my life in some way and that each person has shaped me into who I am today.

I'm not an awful person, I know that. I just don't want to be seen that way by anyone either. It may not matter what everyone thinks of me because you can't please everyone. I don't see it that way. We are all connected, we are all one. We are all made of the same energy. This is the core, defining principle of The Secret. So, I believe, it IS important what people think of you. You may be a step in the path for someone else to manifest something. If they falsely identify you as unworthy, then you will fall out of their chain and their manifestations can, and probably will, suffer. I'm not perfect. As a human, I'm flawed. I do try my best as often as I can though.

So I end this seemingly unending diatribe with a simple message. I have found the good in the bad. I have let go of the anger (mostly, it's a process). I have admitted a level of undying love that belongs to the good parts. I have realized the emotional injuries I have sustained are temporary and non-fatal. Most importantly, I have graduated to the next level of Secret based consciousness. I implore everyone to take something from this as applicable. Maybe this will be seen one day by whoever is meant to see it, according to the plan of the universe.

If you've suffered through to the end, thank you for your time. The situation was important, the person was important, the lesson was ultimately important.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bad is good

I'm not sure if I have anything to say or I just feel incomplete because I haven't rambled incessantly on here in a while. Regardless, here goes another round of me pontificating like a fuckin madman.

Bob Proctor is a genius and his words really linger in my head for days and weeks after hearing them. I often read and re-read his work and draw from it, more than what initially hit me. Usually, the things that enter my brain shortly after reading it, are simple things and only upon further investigation do I really see what he means. And then I extrapolate from there to some kind of logical end without knowing how I really arrived there.

I realized the other day, that bad is good. It doesn't make alot of sense but it's true. Bad things in life are good, to an extent. Be aware that I don't mean negative things or negativity as a school of thought. I just mean things that we don't want to happen are sometimes exactly what we need to happen. It's a matter of appreciation. If you only ever ate delicious food, would you appreciate it? Probably not. Anyone who's ever eaten a single bag of Peanut M&M's knows the taste in their mouth of that one louse M&M that I'm convinced they put in there on purpose. How good does the next good M&M taste thereafter (despite the cautious way in which you bite into it)?

Ever have makeup sex with a partner? Same thing applies. We need to have lousy things in our life so we can compare to the good things and have a true measurement. If you never fought in your relationship with your partner, is that healthy? The initial reaction is to say yes because nobody wants to fight - they think they don't want to fight. We are all human, we know this. As humans, we make mistakes. We're not perfect, as much as we may strive or claim to be at times. If you fucked up and your partner didn't say a word, would that make you feel better? Not me. Either they a) are not paying attention to what I do or b) don't give enough of a shit to say something. Either way... not good. No passion, no caring, no notice. Who wants that? But when you make a mistake and the other person screams at you or cries to you or simply tells you what's up and ignores you until he/she calms down, what happens inside? If you're not cold and heartless and have true feelings for that person, you are definitely affected, are you not? You may think it's because you got yelled at or caught but really, it's because you long for the time when things were happy. When it gets resolved and it's all calm again, and the smiles return, you feel better. Even better than you did before the fight happened in the first place (generally).

You need bad to have good. Maybe not to have it but to understand it, appreciate it and truly enjoy it. It's pretty simple. Of course this is not out of nowhere or without rhyme or reason. It ties into all the things I've been telling you about the past few months. Remember this. The next time something goes wrong, don't get down on yourself or the situation. Don't ask the universe "why does this always happen to me?" Understand that it has to happen to you. It's not a never ending situation. It's usually not even a situation that you can't get out of. It's a reality check. It's a wake up call. It's motivational even in the sense that when things are shitty you want to make them better. So you can succumb to the negative sitaution by projecting negativity and wondering why it always happens to you and not deal with it. Or you can recognize a negative situation as being an opportunity to stay positive, let the universe provide and find your way back to happy situations.

It's important to always be positive and never negative. Negativity begets negativity. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy and only you have the ability to break the cycle and bring good things back into your life.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Decisions

I know this is LONG but I didn't write it. This is a little something from Bob Proctor (of The Secret fame). When you have time, read it in its entirety. Just like The Secret, it will change your life.

Your greatest result … begins with your decision!

There is a single mental move you can make which, in a millisecond, will solve enormous problems for you. It has the potential to improve almost any personal or business situation you will ever encounter ... and it could literally propel you down the path to incredible success. We have a name for this magic mental activity ... it is called DECISION.

Decisions or the lack of them are responsible for the breaking or making of many a career. Individuals who have become very proficient at making decisions, without being influenced by the opinions of others, are the same people whose annual incomes fall into the six and seven figure category. However, it's not just your income that is affected by decisions; your whole life is dominated by this power. The health of your mind and body, the well-being of your family, your social life, the type of relationships you develop … all are dependent upon your ability to make sound decisions.

"Decision making" is not a class you can take

You would think anything as important as decision-making, when it has such farreaching power would be taught in every school, but it is not. To compound the problem, not only is decision-making missing from the curriculum of our educational institutions, up until recently, it's also been absent from most of the corporate training and human resource programs available.

So, how is a person expected to develop this mental ability? Quite simply, you must do it on your own. However, I think it's important to understand that it's not difficult to learn how to make wise decisions. Armed with the proper information and by subjecting yourself to certain disciplines, you can become a very effective decision maker.

You can virtually eliminate conflict and confusion in your life by becoming proficient at making decisions. Decision-making brings order to your mind, and of course, this order is then reflected in your objective world ... your results.

James Allen may have been thinking of decisions when he wrote, "We think in secret and it comes to pass. Environment is but our looking glass." No one can see you making decisions but they will almost always see the results of your decisions. The person who fails to develop their ability to make decisions is doomed because indecision sets up internal conflicts that can, without warming, escalate into all out mental and emotional wars. Psychiatrists have a name to describe these internal wars: it is ambivalence. My Oxford Dictionary tells me that ambivalence is the co-existence in one person of opposite feelings toward the same objective.

What happens when decisions are not made

You do not require a doctorate degree in psychiatry to understand that you are going to have difficulty in your life by permitting your mind to remain in an ambivalent state for any period of time. The person who does permit it to exist will become very despondent and virtually incapable of any type of productive activity. It is obvious that anyone who finds themselves in such a mental state is not living; at best, they are merely existing. A decision or a series of decisions would change everything.

A very basic law of the universe is "create or disintegrate". Indecision causes disintegration. How often have you heard a person say, "I don't know what to do." How often have you heard yourself say, "What should I do?" Think about some of the indecisive feelings you and virtually everyone on this planet experience from time to time.
LOVE THEM - LEAVE THEM
QUIT - STAY
DO IT - DON'T DO IT
GO BANKRUPT - NO DON'T
GO TO WORK - WATCH TV
BUY IT - DON'T BUY IT
SAY IT - DON'T SAY IT
TELL THEM - DON'T TELL THEM

Everyone, on occasion, has experienced these feelings of ambivalence. If it happens to you frequently, decide right now to stop it. The cause of ambivalence is indecision, but we must keep in mind that the truth is not always in the appearance of things. Indecision is a cause of ambivalence, however it is a secondary cause, it is not the primary cause.

Here's what all decision makers have in common

I have been studying the behavior of people who have become very proficient at making decisions for over a quarter century. They all have one thing in common. They have a very strong self image, a high degree of self-esteem. They may be as different as night is to day in numerous other respects, but they certainly possess confidence. Low self-esteem or a lack of confidence is the real culprit here. Decision makers are not afraid of making an error. If and when they make an error in their decision, or fail at something, they have the ability to shrug it off. They learn from the experience but they will never submit to the failure.

Every decision maker was either fortunate enough to have been raised in an environment where decision-making was a part of their upbringing, or they developed the ability themselves at a later date. They are aware of something that everyone, who hopes to live a full life, must understand: Decision making is something you cannot avoid.

That is the cardinal principle of decision making. DECIDE RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE WITH WHATEVER YOU'VE GOT. This is precisely why most people never master this important aspect of life. They permit their resources to dictate if and when a decision will or can be made. When John Kennedy asked Werner Von Braun what it would take to build a rocket that would carry a man to the moon and return him safely to earth, his answer was simple and direct. "The will to do it." President Kennedy never asked if it was possible. He never asked if they could afford it or any one of a thousand other questions, all of which would have ... at that time ... been valid questions.

President Kennedy made a decision ... he said, we will put a man on the moon and return him safely to earth before the end of the decade. The fact that it had never been done before in all the hundreds of thousands of years of human history was not even a consideration. He DECIDED where he was with what he had. The objective was accomplished in his mind the second he made the decision. It was only a matter of time ... which is governed by natural law before the goal was manifested in form for the whole world to see.

Here's what happens once you make the decision

I was ... just hours ago ... in an office with three people. We were discussing the purchase of shares in a company. I was selling, they were buying. After a reasonable amount of time, one of the partners asked me when I wanted a decision. I replied, "Right now." I said, "You already know what you want to do." There was some discussion about money. I pointed out that money had nothing to do with it. Once you make the decision you will find the money ... every time. If that is the only benefit you receive from this particular message on decision-making, burn it into your mind. It will change

your life. I explained to two of these people that I never let money enter my mind when I am deciding whether I will or will not do something. Whether I can afford it or not is never a consideration. Whether I want to or not is the only consideration. You can afford anything, there is an infinite supply of money. All of the money in the world is available to you, when the decision is firmly made. If you need money, you will attract it.

I am well aware there are any number of people who will say that is absurd. You can't just decide to do something if you do not have the necessary resources. And that's fine if that is the way they choose to think. I see that as a very limiting way of thinking.

In truth, it probably is not thinking at all ... it is very likely an opinion being expressed that was inherited from another older member of their family who did not think either.

Thinking is very important. Decision makers are great thinkers. Do you ever give much consideration to your thoughts? ... how they affect the various aspects of your life?

Although this should be one of our most serious considerations, for many people it is not.

There is a very small select few who make any attempt to control or govern their thoughts.

Anyone who has made a study of the great thinkers, the great decision makers, the achievers of history, will know they very rarely agreed on anything when it came to the study of human life. However, there was one point on which they were in complete and unanimous agreement and that was, "We become what we think about."

What do YOU think about? You and I must realize that our thoughts ultimately control every decision we make. You are the sum total of your thoughts. By taking charge this very minute, you can guarantee yourself a good day. Refuse to let unhappy, negative people or circumstances affect you.

Why circumstance gets in the way

The greatest stumbling block you will encounter when making important decisions in your life is circumstance. We let circumstance get us off the hook when we should be giving it everything we've got. More dreams are shattered and goals lost because of circumstance than any other single factor.

How often have you caught yourself saying, "I would like to do or have this but I can't because ..." Whatever follows "because" is the circumstance. Circumstances may cause a detour in your life but you should never permit them to stop you from making important decisions. Napoleon said, "Circumstances … I make them."

The next time you hear someone say they would like to vacation in Paris, or purchase a particular automobile but they can't because they have no money, explain they don't need the money until they make a decision to go to Paris or purchase the car.

When the decision is made, they will figure out a way to get the amount needed. They always do.

What happens if you make the wrong decision?

Many misguided individuals try something once or twice and if they do not hit the bullseye, they feel they are a failure. Failing does not make anyone a failure, but quitting most certainly does and quitting is a decision. By following that form of reasoning, you would have to say when you make a decision to quit, you make a decision to fail.

Every day in America, you hear about a baseball player signing a contract that will pay him a few million dollars a year. You should try to keep in mind ... that same player misses the ball more often than he hits it when he steps up to the plate.

Everyone remembers Babe Ruth for the 714 home runs he hit and they rarely mention that he struck out 1,330 times.

Charles F. Kettering said, and I quote, "When you're inventing , if you flunk 999 times and succeed once, you're in." That is true of just about any activity you can name, but the world will soon forget your failures in light of your achievements. Don't worry about failing, it will toughen you up and get you ready for your big win. Winning is a decision.

Many years ago Helen Keller was asked if she thought there was anything worse than being blind. She quickly replied that there was something much worse. She said, "The most pathetic person in the world is a person who has their sight but no vision." I agree with Helen Keller. At 91, J.C. Penny was asked how his eyesight was. He replied that his sight was failing but his vision had never been better. That is really great, isn't it?

Don't worry about how it's all supposed to turn out

When a person has no vision of a better way of life, they automatically shut themselves in a prison; they limit themselves to a life without hope. This frequently happens when a person has seriously tried, on a number of occasions, to win, only to meet with failure time after time. Repeated failures can damage a person's self-image and cause them to lose sight of their potential. They, therefore make a decision to give up and resign themselves to their fate.

Take the first step in predicting your own prosperous future. Build a mental picture of exactly how you would like to live. Make a firm decision to hold on to that vision and positive ways to improve everything will begin to flow into your mind.

Many people get a beautiful vision of how they would like to live but because they cannot see how they are going to make it all happen, they let the vision go. If they knew how they were going to get it or do it, they would have a plan not a vision. There is no inspiration in a plan but there sure is in a vision. When you get the vision, freeze frame it with a decision and don't worry about how you will do it or where the resources will come from. Charge your decision with enthusiasm ... that is important. Refuse to worry about how it will happen.

A course on Advanced Decision Making

We make advanced bookings when we fly somewhere, that is quite common. We make advanced reservations to eliminate any confusion or problems when the time arrives for the journey. We do the same with renting a car, for the same reason. Think of the problems you will eliminate by making many of the decisions you must make ... well in advance. I'll give you an excellent example. As I am preparing this message it is Ramadan, a time where all practicing Muslims fast. I was in an office yesterday in Kuala Lumpur and was asked if I would like a cup of tea or coffee. I replied that I would appreciate a cup of tea. The lady next to me was then asked if she would like a cup and she replied ... "No, I'm fasting." When she was asked, she did not have to decide whether she wanted anything or not. Whether she was thirsty or not was not a consideration. A decision had previously been made and her advanced Decision was well tempered with discipline.

The exact same concept works with a person when they are on a diet to release weight. Their decisions are made in advance. If they are offered a big slice of chocolate cake, they don't have to say, "Gee, that looks good ... I wonder if I should." The decision is made in advance.

I made a decision a long time ago that I would not participate in discussions of why something cannot be done. The only compensation you will ever receive for participating in or giving energy to that type of discussion, is something you do not want.

I always find it amazing at the number of seemingly intelligent people who persist in dragging you into these negative brainstorming sessions. In one breath these people tell you they seriously want to accomplish a particular objective. And, in the next breath, they begin talking about why they can't. Think of how much more of life they would enjoy by making a decision that they will no longer participate in that type of negative energy.

Other habits practiced by advanced decision makers . . .

The humanistic psychologist, Dr. Abraham Maslow who devoted his life to studying self actualized people, stated very clearly that we should follow our inner guide and not be swayed by the opinion of others or outside circumstances. Maslow's research showed that the decision makers in life had a number of things in common; most importantly, they did work they felt was worthwhile and important. They found work a pleasure, and there was little distinction between work and play. Dr. Maslow said, to be self actualized you must not only be doing work you consider to be important, you must do it well and enjoy it.

Dr. Maslow recorded that these superior performers had values, those qualities in their personalities they considered to be worthwhile and important. Their values were not imposed by society, parents or other people in their lives. They did make their own decisions. Like their work, they chose and developed their values themselves.

Your life is important and, at its best, life is short.

You have the potential to do anything you choose, and to do it well. But, you must make decisions and when the time for a decision arrives, you must make your decision where you are with what you've got.

Let me leave you with the words of two great decision makers, William James and Thomas Edison. William James suggested that, compared to what we ought to be, we are making use of only a small part of our physical and mental resources. Stating this concept broadly, the human individual thus lives far within his limits. He possesses powers of various sorts, which he habitually fails to use.

Years later, Thomas Edison said, and I quote, "If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves." By making a simple decision, the greatest minds of the past are available to you. You can literally learn how to turn your wildest dreams into reality.

Put this valuable information to use and recognize the greatness that exists within you. You have limitless resources of potential and ability waiting to be developed. Start today – there's never any time better than the present. Be all that you are capable of being!

Monday, July 14, 2008

$$$$$$$$$$

Everything costs so much damn money. Growing up is really starting to get on my nerves. I've about had it with funding my life at this point. It just never seems to end. Thankfully, I'm in a position where I can, fairly easily, cut checks for each thing. I've hit points where my cash flow was pretty low but those are isolated cases. Usually it's due to a large outpouring of cash in instances back to back that are unprecedented and unplanned and it's usually combined with the inability to move money into my daily account on time. Sometimes it has to do with not getting the "ok" from the financial manager. It's his job to make money for me; not let me spend too much so he's tight with my "allowance," plus he takes a percentage of what he makes me so you do the math.

The point here is that I remember, vaguely, the days where my biggest plan was scraping together $15 for the new CD or going to the movies. Needing 50 bucks was a special event. Now, everything is in the hundreds, or thousands and it's starting to irritate me.

New iPhone was $300 earlier in the weekend. I don't need it, per se, but anyone who knows me will know that in a way I do need it. Technology is my bread and butter and it pays my bills. Staying on top of things is important to me, as a person and important to my career. And these days I can honestly say, "Well, it's only $300."

Then I bought a new laptop. Again, I don't need it now but it's a future plan. Next year I leave the military so I have to be prepared for life outside of the Air Force. We all know that photography is going to play a major part in my life whether I do it as a career, a side business or as a hobby only, it's a big passion of mine and will be in my life no matter what. So I had to make the switch from MS Windows to Apple/Macintosh. My new MacBook Pro cost me a whopping 2 thousand dollars yesterday. No big deal. I got a good price on it and I'll get more than 2 grand worth of use out of it.

Today my external hard drive, where I store all my pertinent information such as documents, accounting information, customer invoices, etc decided to shit the bed on me. I absolutely NEED that information no matter what. So I called different data recovery services. And they each told me the same story on what went wrong and what it would take to fix it; and all quoted me the same price estimates at about $1800. Can I ignore it? Nope, sure can't. That's very important to me. So now I have to shell that money out next.

That puts me at 4 grand total for all this. Let's not even discuss the minor fixes the car needs and a 90k mile checkup because that's several hundred more dollars.

I should say to hell with it all, use the cash to invent a time machine and travel back to simpler days. Oh well. I guess it's my own fault. If I never had money, I wouldn't have expensive stuff and expensive hobbies and not need as much money. The more you have, the more you spend.

I'm not complaining when you get right down to it because I'm fortunate enough to have the cash to spend and I'm thankful that the Universe provided for me. It just seems that things pile up all at once and it gets frustrating that it's ALOT of things each for ALOT of money at the same time. It will all be worth it when I'm making money in a few weeks designing the new application for the new iPhone on my new Mac notebook.

Just having a little buyer's remorse for the moment. Besides, it's only money and you can't take it with you, right?