Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Melancholy Imagination


This isn't really happening.
Eyes not daring to leave the corner of the street,
I wait for the school bus to bring them to me.
Waiting to hear the faint sound of the motor,
the familiar sound of brakes sighing,
dying to see the red stop sign reach out to protect the children as they exit the bus.
My heart constricts in familiar anticipation,
dying to see their bright, shining faces.
That won't happen, not today.

What purpose did this serve?
Only a monster could have done this.
A monster takes their life with a finger twitch.
Steal from them their hopes and dreams;
remove from me my hopes and dreams.
Never again to see them at play,
to hold them when they hurt.
Never know what sort of adult they would become,
nor know what sort of parents they'd become.
Never to cry with their child,
or to wipe the tears from their face.

Name your price, oh Lord!
The now empty home, I'd give up.
Everything I have is yours to give away,
just give them back, please.
Take my home, my career, and even my own life.
All of the time I have left alive, I offer.
Take me, oh Lord. Take me and give back to them.

Our home a mausoleum,
filled with cold relics and memories.
Empty of it's greatest treasure.
No laughter to be heard.
No voices to echo through the cold halls.
Dust gathered on forgotten belongings.
Toys no longer in use.
A puppy sick without a center to it's universe.
Arms that ache to feel the warm pressure of a hug.
Dry shoulders longing to feel the moist sting of tears.
A room empty, but full of pain;
a reflection of my heart.

Monday, December 17, 2012

"...disrespecting my spiritual beliefs..."


Okay, this isn’t so much a concrete exercise in putting thoughts to paper as it is to put on display an example of something that has recently become more of an issue. That issue, to which I’m referring, is an off and on again debate with people who happen to be atheists. Not that I find anything wrong with atheism at all. My faith does not require that anyone else believes as I do, and in many cases, I’ve preferred the company of non-believers over the years. It really boils down to a matter of politeness and non-judgmental attitude. 
Anyway, this post is a copy and pasting of a brief interaction between a (subjectively) good friend and I. He does have the capacity to be a great friend, but as I distance myself from my formerly antagonistic and judgmental mindset, he appears to have embraced it more fully. Maybe it’s not that he has really embraced it, but he definitely has begun to pick the wrong battles and shown a certain obnoxious quality. 
Anyway, read on. This is but one example of many of discussions we’ve had over the years. Yes, I’ll not show the name, but for there are some closer friends that may be able to guess the name of this person. Yes, in this case he doesn’t chime in as often as usual, but it’s the most recent I have. If you think any of my words rude or inappropriate, then so be it. Without further ado:
*My Initial Post*
I have enough questions regarding God’s actions (or lack thereof), so don’t expect me to be able to answer your questions reserved for him.
 
*Their Response*
You really think some imaginary figurehead had anything to do with it? It was the actions of a whacko with a gun, that’s all.
 
*Me*
Umm….Yeah. That I know.
 
*Me* 
Why do you feel compelled to enlighten anyone on the folly of their thinking? It was more annoying than pertinent. Also, read my post again. Did I blame anyone for anything?
 
*Me* 
Why is it so important that people accept your perceived truth? Why must I accept it? Do I cram it (my truth) down throats? I’ve said before that if I could stop having faith, I would. It would much easier to live without it. I am no more proud or happy that I have faith than I am for being white or hazel eyed. I just am. Lastly on the topic, if my resolute faith doesn’t appease you, move and ignore me.
 
*Me*
I value diversity in friendships, even your unique brand, but, more often than not, you’re just plain rude.
 
*Me*
Also, even if I was on the cusp of abandoning my “imaginary figurehead,” I wouldn’t turn to atheism based on your asinine example.
 
I posted another commented directed at this person’s example, and the example of others with whom I have dealt similarly over the years.
 
*Me*
As much as Christianity makes me want to eschew religion, recent atheist interactions make me want to embrace religion with open arms.
 
The reply I received:
 
*Their Response*
good luck with that, hide your head even deeper in that cloud and continue to blame things on the boogie-man.
 
This has gone on for years. Different words, not always questions, but dialogue bordering on rude harassment. Some of you (my Facebook friends reading this) will likely know of whom I speak and also have no doubt that I speak accurately of this person. This is also reflective of more recent interactions between others and I concerning my faith or their non-faith. 
 
I don’t care if you have faith or don’t have it. All I ask is that we be excellent to each other, and display respect for another, not that we do either because the other deserves it, but because we are worthy of such. If you want someone to value you enough to learn from you, then live in an admirable way. Condemnation of one’s lifestyle isn’t going to earn you any admirers of the condemned lifestyle, that’s for certain. By not respecting a person, you’re only going to put distance between yourself and them. 
 
[Edit] I took the time to omit certain statements that would otherwise give the person away, and I collected everything into an easier to read paragraph format. Originally posted via a social media platform, I didn’t want to give too much away and have you hunt this person down, as I likely would have done were I the reader.
 
Final thoughts, I don’t want you to hate this person. I don’t hate them, even if I become infuriated at them from time to time. What I want to illustrate, is that even a person I call a friend, has no problems disrespecting my spiritual beliefs. That bothers me more than the people I don’t even know.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Self Doubt


Self doubt has become too frequent.
I find myself wondering,
if the decisions I’ve made are the right ones;
wondering if the decisions yet to be made will be the right ones.
Confidence is fleeting;
self-doubt lingers like a headache,
causing pain without a determined source.
An idea sparks in the mind…
Positivity holds sway,
the future shines so clear and certain.
Not having yet made the choices, the destination seems obvious.
Blinders made of excitement and hope cloud your vision;
opacity surrounds the periphery,
showing you only the goal.
Then the choices beg to be made…
Ambivalence closes in,
smothering you in a blanket made of uncertainty.
Vision entire returns, allowing you to see the path fraught with obstacles.
Challenges loom overhead like immense collosi,
barring the way  for those daring to challenge.
Air becoming unbreathable,
I begin to lose consciousness…
Reality dawns.
The choice must be made…

Friday, December 7, 2012

"Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life."


Death has been called the "great equalizer." I know this is true, from an ashes-to-ashes point of view. We are all born and we all die, regardless of the impact we have, or do not have, during our time on this Earth. It's a curtain call for the wealthiest and poor alike, the most erudite and the most ignorant, the most benevolent and the most sinister. In dying, even the most insignificant person can be made to sound grand and the most grand person made to sound unimportant. Indeed, the great equalizer, is a very apt description of death.

As a member of very large, Polish Catholic family, I've been to a fair share of funerals. The earliest of which I don't remember, and even those I remember having attended, I wasn't particularly knowledgable of the person being mourned. In fact, I'd say my Grandmother passing in the summer of '96 was the first time in which a person's passing was felt so intensely, the first in which I remember having shed significant tears.

Around the same time of my Grandmother's passing, I experienced losing a person of my own generation, my own age. Jared Alger, a young guy I was aware of from band at Parkside Junior High School, made a few poor choices that resulted in his entering the great beyond via an auto accident. The impact of his passing shook up the school, as far as my class was concerned. The impact on me was less one of true loss, rather one of "someone my age I know died! Holy shit!" Not to suggest his passing wasn't met with sadness, but we weren't close at all. I thought him a good guy; was aware that many others were fond of him. Yet, the overriding impact was shock to see someone of a similar age die.

More than a decade later, I suffered the loss of someone much closer. My token lesbian friend, Tara Kate, left this world less than two weeks after she had been released from military service. Having moved in with me, I was the one who discovered the empty shell that housed her wonderful soul, and who - sadly - has that visual forever burned into my memory. Not just a great friend, Tara Kate was a soul who dispensed happiness like it was candy on Halloween. Yes, I lost a great friend, but the world lost a person epitomizing love.

Several years ago, I lost my Uncle John. Better said, my cousins, Nikki and Steve, lost their father; my Aunt Linda lost her husband. Any melancholy felt by me pales to what they must have felt. I say this with confidence, because during his funeral, I was overwhelmed with love for my own father, which they must have been. I could only think of how acutely I didn't ever want to lose my father, of how I never want to see either parent alone. This translates to the profound empathy I have for their loss of my Uncle John.

Today, the 7th of December, marks the funeral of André Breeding, a former classmate of mine. I didn't attend his funeral, rationalizing that we weren't especially close friends. André was someone whom I held in high regard. When his name were to come up in conversation, my thoughts to surface were "what a good dude" and "I wonder what homeboy is up to these days?" Never, as far as I can recall, did I think poorly of André, nor could I ever see him as undeserving of a good life, which was taken from him unfairly.

No scripture will I share. No talk of Heaven or the afterlife. My beliefs in such are strong, but, right now, unneeded. All we have left are memories of those who have gone before us. We will see them again, of that I am sure, but we're faced with the waiting period; the moving on and living. Their memories live on with us, and I hope we do them, and their memories, proud.

Yes, André, I write this with you in my heart. Not just you, but the people to whom I've referred as well. I suppose, the love I have in my heart is also for everyone, living and dead. Again, to André, this is really directed at you when I say that you must have lived well enough to leave behind so many positive thoughts and memories. God Bless and Namaste...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Naked

My skin chafes at the restraints of prudent fashion.
Generations of indoctrination pull at the strings to my thoughts,
manipulating my desire to embrace the new and different.
Wanting, aching, fighting, I finally rebel!
An article at a time, I undress.

Prompted by my body's whims, my clothing to falls to the ground,
not caring where it comes to rest.
Opening myself to scrutiny, I step into the open so all can see and judge.
The judgement never comes.

So many not noticing, I experience an epiphany.
I was the one judging all along, allowing myself to be deceived.
Shedding more than just garments, my heart and mind open to new thinking.
Clothing was the deception;
being naked the truth.

Misconceptions shedding as easily as the once restrictive garments, my pulse quickens.
Elements embrace me, rousing my senses as never before.
My body is tickled by a wave of curious new stimuli, my mind is laid bare;
laid bare to what could have been,
were it not for misconceptions.

Seeing with new eyes, I bare my body for all and no one.
Both humbled and exalted, I learn.
I am capable of seeing and not judging, of experiencing before rejecting.
My heart and mind are open, ready to be filled anew.
The mind is as naked as the body.

Awakened, enlightened, unfettered; I am naked.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Idle Hands....

"Shine On...Shine On Harvest Moon!"

As November draws to a close, I frown at my lack of creativity this month. There's no end to material to write about, but whenever an idea arises it is neither the place or time to jot the idea down for later exploration. Not that this is the best of excuses, I know, but it's an excuse nonetheless.

Several times I've sat down to my 'puter with an idea burning in my mind, but then I sit there, stumped, with writer's block. Waiting it out a few minutes, I then place my hands on the keyboard and let my thoughts flow, but the thoughts never seem pertinent to my original idea. They're just random thoughts, which have greased the way for insertion of more relatable words (brainstorming on the fly), but they remain just that, random. Saving my barely started draft, I vow to come back to it later, but even when I do, I'm more of the mind to scrap it and start fresh with something else. Such is the case tonight. This blog is the the third attempt at producing something; the first two drafts, hardly being anything more than a couple of half-assed opening lines, will soon face an unceremonious expunging.

Where I'm at with writing is difficult to put into words. As source material, I'm not one to journal, at least not in the conventional sense. You won't often find me detailing my day/week/month in a chronological way. Rather than linear or structured journaling, however, I'll let one...thought or revelation I've had that day become the starting point at which to begin. Things just flow from there on out, and sometimes, a new thought causes my entire blog to change. Sometimes, this change in direction results in the deletion of a bulk of my work in lieu of the newer thought.

I enjoy the writing process more than I ever did in High School, though I did enjoy it then, but I wasn't as aware of it. Similar to the way mathematically inclined people describe their love of the rules of arithmetic, I describe a love for the rules and structure of grammar.

Deviating from the unbending rules of mathematics, however, grammar can be flexible. Sure, there are rules to follow, but you can work within those rules to express something. Balancing out an equation is very linear and there isn't much in the way of expression to it. Take a single sentence - any random sentence in the world, and depending on the person, it can be expressed in a nearly infinite number of ways. "Love," for example, can be (has been) expressed in...well...more ways than I can count. And each way has the potential for being grammatically correct.

"All You Need Is Love!"
Of course, you can bend - or ignore - the rules of grammar to vary degrees, and still achieve a level of mastery that some of the most profound adherents to grammar will never achieve. It really pulls the saying, "he who is a master of words is a master of men," under the microscope.

Forgive my digression, but just being able to spew words with which I'm comfortable is a good thing. It could be about defecation, but as long I'm happy with the flow it's all good. That my fingers are moving like they haven't in a month's time is amazing.

How shall I overcome this...stagnation? This writer's block? Read more and live more, I think. Exposure to more stimuli might help. Stir things up a bit and see what comes out of the cauldron.

Friday, October 26, 2012

November 7th, Hurry Up!

A person holding the conch, being told the floor is yours, or being passed the microphone; different ways for different time periods. Jumping on a soapbox so that others can hear what one has to say is nothing new. Ignore, for a moment, the soapbox analogy. Examples of speaking to groups of people is nearly as constant as the world's longest running profession of prostitution, which could be a bit analogous to the source of irritation that prompts me to write this morning.

Come November 6, 2012, Americans will cast their vote in response to a months - or years - long process of several men trying to assume the office of the President of the United States. Other laws and offices that will be voted upon, but none, in my opinion, will make me happier to see come and go. Keeping my focus on American Presidential elections, I'll share some of what I understand concerning the history of the American Presidential campaign.

In it's earlier stages, campaigning for the office of President didn't have the benefit of reaching the same number of people that can be reached in recent years, a change owed to radio, television, and so on. Let's also acknowledge that people had shit to do, farms to tend, and families to raise; time was better spent hard at work rather than sitting idly listening to a person who really didn't matter in then daily lives, at least not perceptively so. Organized events were still in use, so there were still recorded picnics, parades and rallies that a candidate would use as vehicles to speak to the people. These still happen today, which are awesome opportunities for candidates to get their word out and endear themselves to the people which affect the outcome of the election.

Behind the scenes activity was evident too. Interested entities would organize these events as the candidate rode town to town. Buttons would be made, flyers printed, and banners sewn; all so the candidates presence would be felt wherever they were - and were not - able to go. A goal of "breed familiarity so that others vote for you" was still prevalent back then.

I imagine there are no less buttons and flyers these days, but the behind the scenes work is even more apparent. Turn on the TV and see an advertisement ending with "I'm (so & so) and I approve this message." The phone rings and on the other line is an automated voice preaching the amazing good on the horizon, should their particular candidate be elected, which is certain, but only with your vote. Drive through any random neighborhood and you'll see lawns planted with sign after sign expressing the homeowner's Presidential go-to guy. Talk show hosts become venues to gather support for a candidate, celebrity luminaries lend their support, and even musical artists stage shows to raise money for their chosen candidate, many artists of which who once sought to stick it to "the man." Fashion, even, has become a popular avenue for supporting one's chosen candidate. The interweb has become saturated with people seeking to have their two-cents heard. I wonder, is nothing exempt from political flag waving and rabble rousing? I'm surprised that food isn't injected with something that turns our bodily functions into campaign advertisements.

My irritation rose just writing the last paragraph. I don't even care to count the words or sentences within. Presidential election years are beyond irritating, and I know exactly why I feel this way. It has nothing to do with the ridiculous derision on both sides of the fence, though this, too, bugs the living shit out of me. It's not the arguing and endless debating amongst the little people (meaning "us"). It isn't even the campaign strategies mentioned above that send me over the edge. No, the source of this annoyance is far more insidious.

Seeing as there is no specific day in which campaigning begins, the start begins long before election year has arrived. Often times, a candidate is tapped for future ascendancy long before their designated time arrives. At first it's barely noticeable, finding it's way into the media like a slow moving cancer moving it's way through our lymphatic system, just waiting to embed itself and make itself known. Before you can protest it, you're favorite TV show is being interrupted or cancelled in lieu of a debate. Commercial times are filled with campaign spots. Written media becomes more focused on the topic. Facebook becomes increasingly permeated by candidate support. Soon, that's the only thing most of us talk about at bars and over tea & crumpets, not that I have a damn clue just what is a "crumpet."

Perhaps, like political opinions, this is an inherited trait from my father. I've listened to him for years grumble about the amount of time a candidate has to campaign in an effort to secure his/her goal. He believes, as I believe, that presidential campaigning should be limited - by law - to a specific amount of time. Not that I personally can say what timeframe is best, and even to what extent campaign efforts ought to be prohibited. Still, I find myself wondering things like "doesn't he have a job to do" or "how better could we spend all the money wasted on those campaigns?"

Yes, I know I'm a lowly sheep, however wayward. Unlike the men and women running for various political offices, I don't "know" anything; I only have "ideas."Ideas are infinitely better than knowing, in my opinion. Ideas can be changed more easily, are more flexible and don't require the same level of commitment. They are quickly adaptable and open to suggestion. Yes, I have...ideas.

Not entirely applicable to my rant, but...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Titty Sprinkles

Yes, Titty Sprinkles
For anyone aware of my brand of humor, you know that my particular brand is often morally ambiguous and left of center. Embarrassing, socially unacceptable, or downright offensive? I've been accused of each and then some. Sacrilegious has even been applied to my comedic throughts. There was a time when I was too offensive for a Hot Topic, a very "non-corporate" store slangin' counterculture goods unable to handle a few F-Bombs being spoken aloud. That's for another time. Besides, it's time to contemplate titty sprinkles.

So, just what are "titty sprinkles," you might ask. I thought it was obvious. They're sprinkles having to do with titties, duh! How silly of you to even wonder such things!

In reality, I have no idea what the hell they are or the origins to the term, nor am I really concerned. As I type this, however, there is a wave of Tweets & Retweets all over Twitter, courtesy of my beloved Suicide Girls. Juvenile, I suppose, to laugh at that bit of nonsensical vulgarity. It even brings to mind memories of prepubescence and the very immature humor that is often part of that era in our lives. Anyone remember laughing when someone said "let's do it" or "let's erect this thing?" Cue the Beavis & Butthead laughter. 

I have no problem with women, as long as they stay in the kitchen.
What exactly do I find funny? Hard to clarify, really. Everything is within the situation. I can laugh at the picture to the left, but in another situation, I'll find no humor in it at all. Jokes that concern prejudice will likely make me laugh, however amoral they may be. Sexual innuendos are a constant source of humor & flirtation, regardless of the their perceived immaturity of others. Hell, even an inappropriately place swear word can bring a smile to my face.

Regardless of the butt (hehehe) of the joke, there is a time and place when and where it is definitely NOT appropriate. Not that I'm the one to make that judgement, though I will frown on things when they seem inappropriate. You won't hear me crack a Jew joke at a Holocaust memorial, nor will you find me telling you the latest black joke at a KFC.

Seemed appropriate, given my recent comment concerning Jews.
Exactly why I, or anyone else for that matter, finds humor in more offensive material is a good question. For example, I find it disheartening and saddening when pondering the decimation of the Jewish people during WW2. I can only imagine what it was like to be slowly ostracized by one time neighbors, carried off in over - crowded trains, stripped of nearly all dignity, forced to watch our people suffer and die, and then - ultimately - divested of the last thing we have to call our own; our life. Being able to recognize, if not fully comprehend, those horrors, why do I still find myself able to laugh at a joke making light of that blight on human history? 

In spite of the blatant disrespect, I still laugh, or at the very least, smirk at such things. In the picture below, I know others find discomfort in such an image, yet, I can't help myself. I'm weak and vile and hypocritical, or so I acknowledge. I can easily reprimand others for making such jokes, arguing that it's not appropriate, but then arguing "place and time" when I myself am called out. 

WINNING!
Ignoring the more serious, I friend who once said she had "a mouth that could make a sailor blush." Only understanding this years later, I began wondering why if it's inappropriate in one situation, when is it ever appropriate? Perhaps it's the break in decorum that gives rise to the laughter, a sort of disbelief to which your mind confuses the appropriate response. It can be confusing, hearing your father scream all manner of obscenities when fixing the fuckin' plumbing or the goddamned car only to scorned for making use of the same choice words. How the plumbing can "fuck" or why God would choose to "damn that car" is beyond me, on that note.

Again with the break in decorum, or what is considered "couth." Why can I, at 32 years of age, become irritated with children who bust a grumpy, as my nieces refer to it, but cackle like a demon when I do it behind closed doors? Sexual innuendos are disrespectful to a more serious act, but so easy to make light of outside of mature conversation. The examples are endless, and very much subject to opinion. 

Assuming we're all guilty of these transgressions, I wonder if anyone else thinks as I do now. How many of us acknowledge what we find to be immature, yet still treat things so flippantly and facetious?
Leaving you a bit abruptly, I bid you adieu. 'Til next time....

Classy, but so poignant.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Movin' on up...

"...to the east side!"
Greetings and salutations, my beloved Andy-villains! Though our congregation is few in number, I will continue to preach. I hope that you continue to read, and, more importantly, enjoy my rants, ramblings and revelations.

My earlier expressed desire to be a Murse is in jeopardy. I won't go so far as to say dead and buried, but  it's nowhere near the perceived vocational calling it once was. Events have come to pass that have made me reevaluate that pathway, and have also given me cause to consider another, albeit it an older, once desired one. It's now that I am strongly leaning towards that older interest, while putting the more recent desire on the back burner. It might, however, make more sense if you allow me to put on the often rose-tinted glasses of the past, and let me elaborate further.

During a simpler time, back when I was cradled within the hallowed halls of my teenage alma mater, I had a knack for writing. Not that I was then an avid author of anything especially engaging, but it was a telante nonetheless. My rhetoric was often a source of complimentary statements, but even with that encouragement, I did not take writing seriously enough to consider "writing" as a chosen profession. I had entertained thoughts of becoming an English teacher, which is still being mulled over, but never anything akin to strict writing. Maybe I just wasn't sure who'd be interested in hearing my voice lent to reporting or perhaps I thought I lacked creativity. Even today, I feel that my ability with words is greater than that spark of creativity, the same spark that helps more prolific writers/authors to pour out all their creative thoughts onto the page.

If only men penmanship had enough game to use one of these.

Now, however, I find myself consider using my ability to form written discourse as more than just a past time. Be it for my own creative purposes or for an entity that requires someone with my talents. Perhaps in time, I'll begin to write a bit more creatively and produce short stories/novels of my own. Education, may also be a beneficial choice. By educating others, I can (possibly) imbue youth with an appreciation of the written word, but also maintain a continued learning of the rules of composition.

The Jeffersonian humor earlier in the blog is less indicative of any actual progress in life, and more revelatory of my decisions having been narrowed and solidified. It's also a sort of throw out to my Special Lady Friend, Phanny B. Relating to both - writing and Phanny - I feel as if I'm excited and comfortable with my decisions, that things can only "move on up" from here. I feel happy thinking that, even if poor, I'll be able to do something that I'm passionate in doing. Again, even if poor, I won't have to look beyond the Spexican at my side, knowing that I have what I want.

Although you may already be humming to something along the lines of "duhn, duhn, duh-duhnnnnn," allow me address something. I really don't know if "she" is "the one." I mean, in this day and age, there can be more "the one;" just look at the Highlander franchise for validation of this precept.  What I'm merely saying is that I want to take it further with her. I want to explore what a life spent with might be like. We're not even a full year into our relationship, but I have incredibly strong feelings for her.

I must've done something right in a previous life.
Why I want to avoid talk of weddings and marriage is in part due to many variables. I'm not sure if I'm the marrying type. I haven't been entirely confident of my decisions in the past, a lack of confidence that runs deep enough to cause more than a bit of anxiety. I want to explore a more intimate life with and see if any issues might arise that are "irreconcilable," so that we know before tie the knot.

There's a lot of indecision, that I've not hidden in many of my blogs. Important, however, is that I'm beginning to feel more certain: about life, my studies, Phanny too.  I may not be sure of things, but I'm beginning to feel that way. I just wish certainty had been less reluctant to meet me sooner.

There's more to share, as always is the case, but I'm signing off for the night. It's nearly 2am, and I'm at work and can't think of much more to say about my goings on. I'm going to kick up my feet, eat a granola bar, and prepare to taser anyway attempting to run.

Let's all be like the Fonz,
Andy

"Love, Peace, and Bacon Grease!"

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Nakedness

A man, completely naked save for being covered in cling wrap, walks into his psychiatrist's office. The psychiatrist takes one look at the man and proclaims, "I can clearly see your nuts."

Jokes aside, I'm here to talk about being naked. Not in a pornographic, bow-chicka-wow, ready to get down to doin' the nasty sort of way, but simply just being in a state of wearing no clothing.

Which brings to mind a series of questions and suggestions. When was the last time (besides getting some action) that you were naked? In the shower, perhaps? Did you immediately get dressed after the shower? Did you remain naked for any length of time after the shower? There are other questions that warrant being asked. Questions like, "do you sleep naked," "do you walk around the house naked," or "do anything naked outside of showering or sex?"

Not that any of these questions truly require answers. Share if you want, but they're really posed to make you think. They are of a mildly personal nature, so no worries if you keep things to yourself. Coming across as a creepy pervert was never intended.

I'm more intent on opening up discussion on the topic, for several reasons. One of the reasons being is that in recent years I haven't found enough time to be naked, other than sleeping and washing. Circumstances led me to choosing to live at home with parents for a time, and circumstances have - recently - made it a necessity. Not really interested in explaining to them my desire to be naked, I grin and tolerate a more clothed period of my life.

For the record, I don't consider myself a "nudist" or "naturist" by any means. Yes, I've been to resorts, but "nudist" is a label which some may try to place on me and I shun such labels. I simply find it more comfortable and enjoyable to not wear anything. Also, as enjoyable being naked outdoors might be, I feel no strong desire to go out of my way to be naked in public. I have no qualms about seeing others naked, nor being naked in front of others, but I've never felt compelled to organize naked events. Again, to reiterate, I just enjoy being naked.

Recently, I had a dream in which I rocked it with naught but a smile on my face and the breeze on my backside. The result of this dream invigorated my desire to be in the buff. Previously thinking myself not needing to be nude, it's now quite the contrary. I desperately miss spending more time naked. Even to the point I'd consider a resort in the near future, warmer weather permitting. 

Some may wonder why I want to live a more exposed lifestyle, and it's not always make them understand. Simple to explain, but not so easy in the understanding. I'll try to make myself clear.

NOT something I need to do nude.
Things I'd do naked, if it were more of an option: 
- read
- lay around
- feed the dog
- sit on the porch and drink a beer
- play video games
- go for a walk (legality and locale depending)

Get the picture? It doesn't matter what I'd do, it's just a matter of feeling more at ease and relaxed. Not that I'd force it on my friends, and there's also matters of safety to consider. For example, you won't see me roller blading without clothing and protective gear any time soon. Likewise, when the temps drop, I'm going to bundle up as much as the next person.

Relating to an earlier blog, I find it therapeutic and enhancing of meditation. Depending on the goals of meditation, being naked can really expose the body and mind to a variety of stimuli. You become more aware of changes in temperature and of the force of the wind, if outside. 

I do this all the time too!
Contributing to it's therapeutic effect, when naked there is no chance of feeling restricted or bothered by clothes. Not that I don't need to lose a few pounds, but my wardrobe has been ill-fitting for some time. Drop my draws and it's on like Donkey Kong! Long have I heard women can't wait to get home to take off their bras, so I know it can't be too hard to understand. Also, when cold at night, add more blankets and remove clothing. You'll stay warmer that way.

Addressing a prudish view of nudity, there is a belief that nudity equals sex, which is far from the case. Being naked may expose our sex organs, but just by taking off my clothes doesn't inherently mean a person wants sex. Using my own views as an example, I get more aroused by a woman in various stages of undress than when she is entirely naked. Think of strip clubs: how enticing would it be for the women to just stand on stage naked without the dancing or an undressing? My point is, arousal is more situational, requiring a building up process. Foreplay or pheromones, there is more to sex than just being naked. 

Dare to Bare, my Andy-villians! I'll go about my business and do my thing, and you shall do yours. Think I'm gross, weird, or a perv, then so be it.

While not "me," it isn't too far from my nude reality.


I'm tired (I choose)...


Not sure what I wanted to title this blog. It's true that I'm tired, but of what really? Many things drain me, leaving me feeling devoid of energy and lacking the necessary will propel myself forward. I've tried fooling myself, before, by thinking that I'm existing in the present. While I definitely am existing in the present, I would say it's far from living, which is what a growing, maturing entity does when they are further up on the hierarchy of needs, as put down my Maslow. I move through day-by-day motions, spend time with my Special Lady Friend, and allow things to happen to me. Not wanting many of these things to happen to me, but, alas, I have no energy. 

Borrowing the quote, "you can't start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one," I seek to express where I think I am (transitioning to "was") in life. My focus has been so intensely focused on the past couple years that I have been unable to see my current as anything but an extension of what had recently come to pass. It's simple to let it happen. I began to fear my own actions, thinking no matter what I did would end up being the wrong move. Inaction proved to be a harmful as well, seeing that my failure to act resulted in things biting me in the ass, things that could have been prevented.

I'm tired of looking in the past with so much disdain. I'm tired of wallowing in my damned, olympic sized pool of pity. I'm tired of having so much fear that my actions will result in failure. I'm tired of being...well...tired, physically and mentally.

Thirty-two years old, and I have the aches and pains of someone much older. God Heaven forbid I bring a child into this world in my state. I'd have a stroke before the kid reached the double digits. I can't even walk up the stairs to my girlfriend's apartment without feeling exhausted, albeit mildly. The general weakness contributes (I'm sure) to a weakened immune system, which adds to the overall malaise that typifies my day. And this is just the physical of which I complain. The mental weights are holding me down, which only exacerbates the whole situation.

Of course, it's almost a situation of which came first: the chicken or the egg. In this example, however, it's what came first: the physical sickness or the mental sickness? Not that it truly matters, at least not as far as I'm concerned. Changes have to be made, and the body isn't going to move itself without the mind. Now that I think about it, it is the mind's fault that I'm as far down as I've found myself now. By default, it's the mind's responsibility to move first in order to make any changes. I have to make the "choice" to move forward and keep my gaze that way as well. Start living rather than just existing. 

I choose to re-embrace meditation. So often, meditation has proven to calm me down and clarify my thoughts. Nearly everything should be meditated upon from here on out. That way, it'll be thinking of things several times over. Not to say I won't meditate just to relax. Sometimes just breathing and being aware of my own stillness is rejuvenating enough.

I choose to take a more proactive approach to my own health. In areas of food, I want to ingest better things, healthier things for me. I will be careful not to dwell on my lapses too much. This desire to avoid focusing on failures extends to physical exercise as well. My activity levels must increase if I want to live a great deal longer than I likely will if things remain unchanged. Too often I start a program only to abandon it, and while a "first step" is always necessary, so is a second step and beyond equally necessary.

I choose to begin living up to the quotes on my arm. I will start everyday off with a smile, and get it over with. I will - smaller steps at first - be the change I wish to see in the world. I will remember a beloved Seussism; "Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is nobody alive that is youer than you." These words will help me find empowerment to make good on my earlier stated choices.

Drawing this to a close, I'll add that it's a return to positivity I desire. Not that I wholly want to ignore the bad, or forget, but I want to be free of the mental prison which I, and life, has constructed around me. I want to develop, to progress mentally, physically and spiritually. I want to become a person that feels worthy of his own love, and of the love given him by others.

Namaste....



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ruminations on God and Faith


This blog began a short time ago as a status update in which I wanted to express certain thoughts and ideas. It soon became so much more than a few simple lines, and I felt it necessary to move it here instead. Hopefully it doesn't bore you to pieces or make you hate me. If it does, however, then so be it.

Having a relationship with, having faith in, God is often a troubling thing. On one hand, I know that were we to meet face-to-face (as much as one really can meet him/her/it face-to-face anyway), I will be humbled in the presence of such a powerful being; filled with awe, but not fearful as many might suggest. There are so many questions I have and too many problems with God's actions to just complacently open my heart and mind. Comparing God to our parent(s), do we open our hearts unconditionally to them, even if we can't reconcile to certain perceived affronts or evils perpetrated by them?

Many would provide arguments, for and against God, and to them I say, go right ahead. Cite scripture and tell me where I am wrong. Point out the fallacies of having faith in God. Tell me how I need to open my heart and submit. Give me a proverbial road map to spirituality. Most words will fall on mildly deaf ears, though not deaf ears due to an unwillingness to learn.

I have entered into a relationship with God, a sort of covenant, if you will. I will come to him, not as a subservient individual, but as a near equal. Not equal in the sense that I can create material things or will things into existence, but in the same way that, with my limited sphere of influence, I can affect change and inspire people to greater things. It is within my power - through understanding, compassion, and love - to example for people how best to live alongside our brothers and sisters. In that way do I see us (God and myself) as equals.

Cry out, "but Andy, you've got it all wrong! You make too many mistakes or you're not nearly as wise as the Lord God." I argue that God has achieved wisdom through meditation over the years, and through trial and error. It's apparent that he has changed his mind on many issues over the years, and that his love and patience have increased as a result.

The Book of Genesis details a simple truth: we were made in his image and likeness, men and women both. Not in a physical way, but in a metaphysical and very emotional way. Whatever he is mentally and emotionally capable of, so are we. The very nature of this belief provides an explanation beyond a simple thinking of "we look like God." I believe, it suggests that "God (also) looks like us." We're so perfect a reflection that whatever we are capable of, so is he as well. Read the old testament if you disagree with me, and take note the number of times he smites us out of disappointment or anger at violation of his commandments.

But it's not all anger and smiting (I love that word); he has matured since then, grown more patient and tolerant. Relating to an earlier statement I made, that his love and patience have increased, I only view these changes as confirmations of my beliefs.

If you seek to prove me wrong, by all means try, but don't be prepared for any real debate; in most cases I only participate to learn, with no real intent to change others' ways of thinking. Maybe I am wrong, and maybe I'm so far from the path that I shall never attain salvation. If that's the case, however, then I'm okay with the alternative. I'd rather burn for my beliefs than be rewarded for not being true to myself.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Monday Morning Musings...

Morning my Andyvillians! I bring to you tidings of the goings on in my world and that of the world immediately surrounding yours truly. Yes, it's a little early in the AM as I type this, but I'm inspired to creativity as I watch the rolling credits of a particularly stellar film - The Fountain. Just how many times I've watched this film is beyond me, but know that it seduced it's way into my Top 10 before I'd even finished watching it. As it continues to grow on me, it stands a chance of eventually displacing The Big Lebowski as my numero uno film of all time.

Pretty, isn't it? Image from the film via Google.
During one of my last ventures in writing, I really let loose a number of negative emotions concerning a number of issues that have been really weighing me down and fostering a sense of hopelessness in life. The particular issue on my mind as I type is the change in employment status. In the parlance of idiots with little grammatical ability: i gotz uh job! Not just any job either, though nor is it my dream job. It was an opportunity to work with troubled youth, which is closely associated with my career wishes for the future. Having come across the position early in the summer, I quickly became excited, though as it became less likely I would be hired, I began to lose hope. Even after an initial, very positive interview, I still had little cause to feel positive.

Rest at ease my chickadees, my fears concerning the position had proven to be misplaced as I was offered the job and have since been working for nigh on two weeks. Feeling very gainfully employed at this point, I can now turn my thoughts to other issues that need amending before I can resume my position as the ridiculously happy turd that annoys others with his optimism. School issues, relationship issues, and issues of a more or less serious natures. 

Something recent: I've been been feeling a bit melancholy concerning the change in status of friend - ships. Without pointing fingers, as rarely is it ever one-sided, I've been watching a friend with whom I was extremely close during high school and for the majority of the years since high school. He's doing his own thing and I'm doing mine, but I believe that I'm feeling it more acutely than he is, that he doesn't care about the change. Not that I haven't tried to remain friends, but I wonder if I've tried hard enough or not. Maybe I'll write more on this topic soon, because it doesn't apply solely to the individual on my mind right now, but he's the most relevant to the topic. 

For some odd reason I'm in the mood to throw in Casino Royale and watch Daniel Craig throw down as a more hardcore Bond. Until next time...

Why? Because it's fucking sweet!







Sunday, August 19, 2012

"The Old Guard Is Dying..."

Not a perfect "mug" shot, but it's neat.
Many, many eons ago, in the mid 1980s, a young tot stood proudly at the check out at the Holy Land of toy dispensaries in our beloved hamlet of Jackson, the Toy House for those of you lacking in local knowledge. Counting out his hard earned yet meager allowance, this young boy slid the coinage across the counter, eagerly trading said money for his desired prize: the Kenner made Supermobile for the Last Son of Krypton himself, Superman. Why in the name of Rao Superman needs any type of conveyance is beyond me. The dude can fly, ya' dig? How "super" can he really be if he needs a damn mode of transportation?!? Sure, I've since learned it was invented to shield him from Kryptonite should he be overwhelmed, but I think it was a cheap maneuver to fill wallets.

Ignorant to the annoying details of comic knowledge and/or crappy capitalist consumerism that led to the creation of acquired toy, this young'un frolicked away from the Toy House, prize in hand and father in tow. Where they were headed is lost to this child's memory; what mattered was his prize and the pride in knowing it was self purchased.

Among other things the young boy was oblivious too was that his allowance he brought with him wasn't quite enough to cover the cost of the toy. In fact, his father had subtly handed the clerk enough money to cover the remaining cost. This was the boy's earliest example he can still recollect in receiving monetary assistance from his parent's, even if initially unaware. Yes, this was the first example in his memory, but by no means would it be the last.

Me Old Man
Switching gears from the 3rd person, the young boy was me, and the father was, of course, my father. Likely you had guessed that already; after all, I gave plenty of hints. The tidbit about a Superman related toy being such an early memory along should have been a clue. Other hints might have helped, least of which is that it's my damn blog. For your viewing pleasure, I've included a pic of the father in question, though I wish I had more pics, especially from the time of the event (eons ago).

While the assistance rendered by my father isn't exactly the variety of which I've been receiving lately, it still illustrates a very fine point: my parents have always been there for me, either in the shadows or in a more real and physical way.

Throughout the years, they've been there in many different ways. My mother has been there as an eager and willing ear to all my problems, both trivial and more serious. My father worked some of the worst hours I could imagine, but I'll be damned if missed a Tee-Ball game or any similar event. Another wonderfully fond memory of my mother is of the two of us - mostly her - constructing a city and a system of tunnels out of the dirty pile in our back yard for my toys to populate. Between the two of them, they have provided me with a wealth of memories that bring a smile to my face in a moment's notice, pre-emptive shame in consideration of actions that I may (or may not) make, and tears to my face when thinking of things that have happened, are happening, and may come to pass.

My Mudda'
Several years ago, during an Uncle's funeral, a cousin brought tears to my eyes with words concerning his father. However disrespectful it may seem, my attention quickly shifted to thoughts of my own father, and also of my mother, both of whom were older than my Uncle at the time of his passing. Aware that we're all finite beings, it still doesn't occur to your heart - at least not mine - that your parents will someday move on from this world, and that you'll have to wait for your next life to hug them again, find comfort in their company, or to be consoled by them, as only parents are able to console. Furthermore, it's not solely the loss that is confronted; it's your own mortality. "The old guard is dying, and someone must fill their ranks." It's up to us to preserve their histories, until a time comes when another is able to preserve ours.

While in this train of thought, you might wonder if I'm thinking more of what comes after me, than what has come before. On the contrary, I couldn't be less concerned of those that follow in my footsteps. It's not that I don't care or don't want them to think fondly of me, at least not really. In an odd contrast, I want my parents to be proud of themselves through pride in the way I've turned out. Knowing that they did their best as parents ought to be enough, however, I want my life to validate this for them. I want my actions to stand as a testimonial to their awesome parenting.

In recent years, however, I feel as if I'm failing them. Events have occurred that were beyond my influence, and others have happened that I were under my influence. Unfortunately, several of the latter examples were not handled with the prudence with which they should have been handled. It is in this respect, that I feel that not only I am failing myself, but failing to validate feelings of adequacy in my parents.

At every turn, they are still there for me. Morning conversations over coffee, or helping me burn the midnight oil with a dilemma that I, at 32 years young, can't handle without their sage wisdom. Their help extends to the material as well, willing and (usually) able to lend a helping hand. If the situation is beyond improving, they at least can offer something to help ease the suffering, recently in the form of a cold glass of Bareman's witch I myself refused to purchase lately seeing it as something too frivolous.

I know I'm their child, but I should be taking care of them at this point. They've paid their dues, and they deserve a damn break. They shouldn't be letting themselves be worn down by what I perceive as me failing them. Yet, still they assume the role of protectors and comforters; confidants and counselors dispensing out harsh criticism only to build us up with advice born of years of love and learning. My mother and father exhibit love beyond measure, likely that of which only another loving parent can understand. When, and if, I have my own children, I can only hope that I will mean as much to them, as my own parents mean to me.

Mentioned before, "the old guard is dying." It's with this knowledge - and fear - that I pray they remain here long enough to look upon me, and all of my siblings, with a sense of pride and accomplishment. I want to know that they were fantastic parents; not feel it, but know it.

Much love, my Andyvillians...

Love the hell out of both of 'em! Looks odd that they both have their eyebrows cocked. If I remember correctly, she has a bruise and swollen eye; she fought my nephews head and the head won.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Day 54: I sort of miss the scruff.

Not that my face was ready for a battle of the beardos, but it was well on it's way to be a sculpted masterpiece.

Day 53: Upside Down!

Camera held wrong,
To avoid the painful flash,
Look silly I must.

Day 52: My Late Night Gaming Glasses

An Asshole I look,
Though A Lover do I feel,
All Geek Lies Within.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Day 51: My Newest Everyday Glasses

The latest pair (less than two weeks old) of my everyday glasses.

Day 50: May The Force Be With You!


Guess what I gots?!?!

Day 49: Ugh...I hate this place.

I hate this place. Okay, maybe I don't, but I'm glad to be done there.

Day 48: That isn't a pirate squint....


Friday morning and I couldn't lull myself back to sleep.

Day 47: Poofy Hair!

This year's 365 Project isn't quite the fun writing project that the previous year's was. On one hand, I want to minimize the amount of writing I was doing, because it was the perceived need to write more than a few lines of senseless drivel that was a major reason why I kept falling behind, particularly in the latter half of the year. Laziness is the second culprit, if you were wondering.

However, what drew me to the idea of a 365 Photo Project was very basic and simple: photos. Self portraits were the dominant subjects of choice, but there were others. I myself choice the "other" category and shot whatever I was around be it people, things, objects that reflected the way I was thinking. Taking it a step further I decide to write small blogs for each posting. Some days it even involved multiple photos.

Restarting the blog, I wanted to free myself from the constraints imposed by my adherence to the rules of the first 365 days; meaning less writing. I left it open to write as much as I wanted, however, and here we are.

To make it fun, I think I need to post everyday, but with a bare minimum of writing. At the end of the week, I'll post - maybe - a week's end blog to go with the portrait of choice and write more.

Day 46: Fuzzier Still

So unrawr right now.

Day 45: Year Old Glasses

I'd have never really worn this style of glass had it not been for the initial pair of Versace glasses. I can remember trying them on for the first time thinking, "how ugly these frames are!"

However, they were so comfortable and light to wear. Also, they didn't have the small nose bump things around the bridge of my schnozz to irritate me. And I grew to like the way I looked in them. They crossed over from "ugly" to "cool" in a short amount of time.

Several years after the Versaces, I ordered a similar pair from a cheaper website. Then a year after that, I ordered yet two more pair that are similar to the first two. Chances are I'll order more pairs like it too.

Day 44: My Head Hurts

Not that my head really hurts, nor is she really giving the ole' noggin' a massage. I just snapped the pic during one of our days of painting her workplace, which I'm glad to be finished with...God God I hated having to paint that joint.

Day 43: Working Hard or Hardly Working?

Finding myself spending a good amount of time with Phanny B, I find the need to deviate and do some homework, which is what I do. Of course, at this point, she caught me in the act of whoring myself to Facebook.

Day 42: My Versace Glasses

Recently I ordered a couple new sets of eyeglasses. I'll get to those later, but I decided to start snapping pics of each frame I still have. Kinda makes me wish I could find all the pairs I owned from my first pair on...

Day 41: Kilroy Was Here

I am ever so much a fan of the Kilroy style shots.

Day 40: Look Into My Eyes

Not a great shot at all, but that's not a big deal.