Dirty but with Decorum

Let me first preface this piece with the fact I really know very little about this topic. I’m too awkward for any kind of sexting so this is purely an opinion piece spurred by a recent discussion with friends and it has been awhile since I’ve written so here we are.

I understand the place sexting has in our society, though I don’t necessarily get it that’s neither here nor there. As we covered several times before on this blog, I’m exceptionally awkward so there are a lot of social trends I don’t get. This is more of a treatise on sexting etiquette, at least how I best see it so here goes nothing!

Rule #1: You should never ask for one. I feel like the whole allure of sexting is the element of surprise so if you ask for a booty pic that just cancels out the excitement. You buy lingerie to surprise your significant other in the bedroom, right? I feel like those same rules should apply here too. So, please, for the love of everything that is good and right, here’s looking at you my fellow male gender, please stop asking for them.

Rule #2: I can’t speak for all women but from what I’ve read and heard from friends is they rarely, if ever, want dick pics. There’s just nothing attractive really about that part of the male anatomy and I have one. Of course, I’ve learned to never speak in generalizations so if you’re in a relationship where this is not the case, I’m sure the context of the relationship will give a clue it’s a good idea to send one so fire away. In all other cases, here’s an idea if your significant other sends you a booty pic perhaps a picture back of your shock and awe or a profession of your appreciation for the surprise would be better rather than a picture of your junk. Maybe even flowers, those are always nice for any occasion.

Rule #3: Similarly to Rule #1, nobody should ever expect anything. They should be a surprise as covered above. So perhaps things get a little flirty in your messages, don’t be upset if it doesn’t result in a booty pic. I for one, find a witty exchange of words just as intoxicating as any picture if I’m honest. Granted I may be incredibly nerdy but I imagine there are other people out there who would appreciate it just as much. So, you know, just be a nice and respectful person.

These are three pretty simple rules I’d say that should be easy enough to follow and make the whole sexting experience more enjoyable for everyone involved. So while even though, not many people read my little space on the internet maybe I can positively affect one person’s experience and then it’s worth all the awkwardness of writing this.

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Follow Your Heart And Get A Bump On The Head

I don’t have any empirical evidence to back up my assertion but I wager that more often than not “following your heart” doesn’t tend to lead heartbreak. I know it’s been awhile since I’ve written but I never expressly mentioned what lead to my writing hiatus. I followed my heart and it cancelled my wedding.

It’s honestly my fault it went down that way. My significant other was open about her stance on children from a very early point in the relationship, but I thought that could change as the relationship developed. Finally, we arrived to the point where marriage sounded like a real possibility and without giving the issue of kids a second thought I jumped in head-first to the engagement. I loved her so it made sense. She is one of the sweetest people I will ever know and that’s what makes what happened even harder to cope.

We did discuss the topic of kids again and she again stated how that wasn’t how she pictured her adulthood. She made sure to understand I was on the same page and because I so badly wanted this relationship to work I rationalized that not having kids was something I wanted to. I mean you never stop worrying about kids and I am already a notorious worrier.

As the wedding moved closer, my excitement for spending the rest of my life with this wonderful woman had just one hangup bothering me more and more, you guessed it, kids. Finally, I had to come clean that I do want kids and that sounded the death knell for our relationship. Seeing her cry, because of me, has to be one of the lowest points of my life because I promised I’d never hurt her and yet here I was hurting her.

I felt awful for weeks afterwards for how I handled it. It wasn’t fair to her at all, we made all these plans that I managed to dash in an evening. I can only imagine the hurt she went through in the last few months. I will be forever in her debt for all the positive changes she brought out in me and can only hope she can find some good in our relationship as well.

There have only been a few moments in my life that I felt lost and this one of those hence my hiatus from writing. They say writing is cathartic so I felt it best to get these words out on the page and then maybe the words will flow easier once again. It’s been quite the road to be sure but I think I’m finally in a place again where words might start to make sentences and I can try piecing them together.

 

 

A Fond Farewell

First things first, I want to thank everyone who has been keeping up with my blog posts. They have been few and far between lately but somehow some of you out there seem to give them a read and I’m very grateful!

Unfortunately, this will most likely be my last blog post as I am planning on deleting this blog in the upcoming days. It’s been a rough go of it lately and looking back at the pieces I’ve written in the past I feel like I let that version of myself down since then. The only thing I could rationalize to myself was to delete it and hope my current self can achieve all those things I’ve written about proudly.

Perhaps I may return to the blogging world eventually or somehow maybe I’ll find the inspiration that I’ve been lacking and keep this one going. All in all, I’m not exactly sure what will unfold with the fate of the blog but I appreciate all of you who have been around for the ride.

Until I perhaps find the words to bring to you lovely readers again, I bid you a fond adieu.

What The Hallmark Movies Didn’t Teach Me

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Recently, I was helping my parents clean some things up in our basement. While tidying up, we moved some of my sister’s books. Seeing the spines of the book had me experiences all kinds of feels about seeing her constantly reading book after book, she had a much more voracious appetite for reading than I ever did.

Thinking of her and how I haven’t seen her in months since she moved to Australia had me feeling admittedly kind of bummed, even if we didn’t get along all that well when she was here. Of course, compounding all of this we’re nearing the holiday season when being together with your family is one of the major features of the season.

Being someone who loves Hallmark holiday movies, I can’t help but appreciate the neat and tidy endings chockfull of that warm fuzzy feeling you get by the end of it with the whole family gathered around the tree. The thing is I’ve realized the opportunity to have all your family together for the holidays is a tad more challenging an endeavor than these feel-good movies portray. Granted I’m not sure many or any have relatives on a different continent but I digress even across the country I’m sure it’s a challenge.

I suppose Christmas cards and a phone call are the next best thing and I will most certainly do that but still, a hug would be nice. All this sappiness, led me to think what about a family of mine to spend the holidays like I did with my parents and siblings over the years?

Those Hallmark holiday movies make having a family such a simple decision and while there may some comedic chaos, overall a relatively calm family dynamic with the children. Somehow I don’t remember as a kid the holidays ever being without chaos, especially when you have a train. Sorry, mom and dad!

While I love watching these holiday favorites and I will forever love watching them, I feel like they left me in a quandary because kids are obviously chaotic, yet totally worth it endeavor. But as much as I love those warm and fuzzy feelings, real life won’t result quite, in the same way, all the time. Trust me, I’ve tried more than my fair share of romantic comedy scenes and they never seem to go the way I pictured them.

I refuse to peg this trait as a Millenial thing but I think for many of us having a stable career established takes slightly longer than our predecessors so perhaps we’re just starting to reap the benefits of success at a later age. I want to go on adventures and experiences that with kids would be a definite challenge. Though I imagine baby humans and baby alpacas would get along swimmingly.

I know kids are a blessing and someday I may want them but there is even the very real chance that I can’t even physically have kids so there is that. But I still want my warm and fuzzy Hallmark holiday and luckily, I do have loving friends and family and even some of those family and friends have little ones so that’s something.

In the end, I know I’ll have those kinds of holidays I love watching during the 25 Days of Christmas. Perhaps, it will be with my wife, baby, and a fur baby or some other combo of adults, children, and furry critters but what I know for sure is I’ll most definitely craft a fantastic Christmas tree and village scene!

Do You Even Have A Soul?

21787_10151383536234180_416057602_nMy initial reaction to if souls exist is that if there were no souls, the world would be a boring place.

Let me preface this by saying while I do believe in God, I do not intend on tying these two things together, though for me they are linked. I think no matter your beliefs that souls exist. I believe nature has a soul this includes the air we breathe, the trees we appreciate, and of course all those creatures of the earth we call animals.

As for my offering of proof, all I can go on is feeling but I believe its feelings you have all experience. Have you gone on a walk in a park and when you see, hear, and feel a breeze whisk through the trees do you feel some sense of connection to nature? I certainly can’t describe the sensation and even if it were possible with my minute command of the written word I could hardly do it justice. I’ll just posit it like this in these moments I can understand how native peoples feel connected to their environment.

It’s as if nature is having a conversation with itself and its inviting me to join in and appreciate the environment around me. We always talk about the might of nature and it’s certainly a beautiful but also dangerous thing. We talk about listening to it so we can save it which I think is a noble cause we should never stop pursuing. Consider all these things we consider about nature and the fact that it’s a living, breathing thing and tell me how it does not have a soul?

As part of nature, I firmly believe plants and animals have souls too. How many times have you seen a family of animals whether like raccoons, or any other scurrying critter cross the street? They care for their young in such a loving way that I have to believe they have souls too. And, of course, with man’s best friend the dog I rest my case on those fuzzy companions because we’ve all seen how loving and amazing they can be.

This brings me to my last point, soulmates. If we have a soul then that begs to reason soulmates exist too. As a skeptical yet hopeless romantic, I will forever believe in soulmates. I’ve heard in several different places that each person has two or three soulmates in the world for them and this should be encouraging because this means your odds are better that way.

But I digress from that point just to say if you met that person you want to/are spending the rest of your life with when you think about them or look at them how do you feel? Do you feel this indescribable warm and fuzzy feeling that you usually get after experiencing a feel good story? That must mean you’re living your own feel-good story.

Soulmates to me are best described as that indescribable warm and fuzzy feeling. You can’t necessarily put words to it but you and your partner know it’s there. I like to believe it’s that feeling that causes those initial tears when the bride and groom see each other on the altar at their wedding.

In fact, I’m getting those warm and fuzzy feelings right now while I write this. I guess what I’m saying is live life soulfully.

 

 

How Do You Spell Success?

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One of the definitions the dictionary gives for success is “a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity.” Let’s clearly pay attention to the keyword “desired” so clearly Webster, all us writing nerds clearly revere the dictionary gods, felt success is indeed measured in the eyes of the person. But I’m sure you’ve read many a piece discussing that.

My ponderance for this piece is rather if you don’t attain what you define as a success if your life a missed opportunity? If you establish these arbitrary success goals, shoot for them and miss what does that amount to in a life?

In an attempt to answer this question I look at some of my own definitions of success for myself to see where I land.

  • Earn a career in professional baseball either as a player or journalist

It became pretty clear during my little league days that a professional playing career wasn’t in the cards. In all seriousness, have you seen me run? It’s somewhat less impressive than a young Forrest Gump running with his leg braces on. The journalism route had some promise as I did land some writing opportunities covering minor league baseball for a few summers. However, when I applied twice for an internship and various other major league baseball positions, I never got the call. My writing career did lead me to interview a dog, cover a high school prom, and special interviews of both a WWII and Vietnam vet.

  • Earn a PhD and teach college

I did get the opportunity teach college when I was earning my master’s and it truly was an inspiring experience. In a classroom is a definite place I fit in and at least some students said I was pretty good at what I did. When it came time to apply to doctorate programs, I was given a flat out no by all the schools. It appears as maybe I’m not as nerdy as I think. Seeing all hopes of a professorship dashed, I found myself taking refuge in the only place I felt comfortable another college degree. Library school, yes it’s a real thing, was the next logical place to go with a background in history and English. I considered myself a bookworm, even if I didn’t really read all that much. I figured library degrees also included museums and archives and any career that could lead me to interact with dinosaurs didn’t sound so bad to me. As things turned out, I haven’t necessarily encountered dinosaurs in my job description yet but it could be a real possibility.

  • Work at a job that allows me to make a difference

Okay, so you might think how can a librarian make a positive difference in someone’s life? And you’re right, I’m not going out on a daily basis and saving lives or performing some kind of positive life altering act in the library. I’ve always wanted to make a positive impact on the world and be able to look at something and be able to say that someone’s life is better thanks in some part to something I did. The crazy thing I’ve learned in my short time as a librarian is that by simply being nice to be people and helping them with their various questions, however simple they may be, makes their day better and in the end, isn’t that making a difference?

  • Publish a book

While I am a writer, writing something for publication has never really been something I’ve felt confident I could do, but of course, I’d love to see people enjoying something I created. Ever since I was kicked out of AP Lit during high school because I didn’t possess good enough English skills to carry on in the advanced track I’ve had a complex when it comes to my writing. However, I did write a children’s book with a dinosaur, of course, which to me sounded like a fantastic idea. To date, not one agent has agreed to take a chance on mine, though to be fair this still has time to change.  What I have learned out of the process so far is I can write a book. The few souls who offered feedback on my story thought it was cute so maybe there’s hope for me yet.

In the end, I really haven’t achieved any of the goals I set to call myself a success. Sure, this is disappointing, but at the very least each time I took a shot I found myself falling into something else at least. Life doesn’t seem so bad considering where I’m at compared to where maybe high school me saw myself. So I guess what I’m asking is are goals and success synonymous, what say you?

A Father, A Boy, and A Baseball

19420716_10155549876074180_5738259942869982332_nSome of my earliest memories involve baseball. I remember my dad getting me a plastic bat and ball at a very young age and teaching me to swing for the fences like The Great Bambino. With that early love of baseball came a love of the Cleveland Indians as well.

If you know me at all you know that my life to some degree revolves around baseball, more specifically the Cleveland Indians. I have this belief that my fandom somehow has magical powers ala Angels in The Outfield and can help the players perform at their peak. Though to be fair if you saw me during Game 7 of the 2016 World Series you would have sworn the Indians would have beaten the Cubs.

Just the same, learning about baseball and how to play the game will always remain one of my favorite memories of my dad. I have fond memories of us listening to a game while barbequing on the grill outside. It doesnt quite get a better combo than that. It’s a bond we will always share and it’s one that if I ever have kids I will be sure to pass on to them as well.

Of course, our shared love of the Indians throughout my childhood has led to another bond of sorts, a love for the team’s radio man, Tom Hamilton. Though I’ve never met him by listening to him for over 20 years I feel like I know him so well, a though I’m sure many Cleveland Indians fans share.

He’s taught me so much more than just baseball, he’s given me life lessons. His children are most certainly lucky to have him as a dad, but he feels like family to me too. Perhaps an uncle maybe, yes, I think Uncle Tom has a nice ring to it.

It’s funny really how much I owe to baseball. It’s given an everlasting well of memories to share with my dad, a passion to root for in the Cleveland Indians, a wise legendary figure in Tom Hamilton, and even if only for a brief while an athletic career.

Hamilton, You’re My Hero

Playbill_from_the_original_Broadway_production_of_HamiltonThank you Lin-Manuel Miranda, you were able to make history captivating for the masses. While I’m an avid lover of history I didn’t even have the understanding of one of America’s founding fathers that I now do thanks to Hamilton and I am eternally grateful.

What many teachers couldn’t do, attract students to love history, you were able to do with fantastic music and lyrics. It’s truly a testament to your skills but also I think it’s a promising sign for people in general. By helping people realize that events from over 200 years ago are just as relevant to today than they were during their own time, you proved history is not boring.

Of course, most history teachers don’t have the ability to put on a play for every major historical event, and to be honest I’m not sure if that’s something we’d even want. Just the same, I think the major takeaway that we can make from Hamilton is history needs to be told in a way that people can imagine themselves in those events. For it to truly come alive and captivate there needs to be an investment in the historical narrative just like we do with our favorite characters in books and television.

Hamilton achieved that connection not only by the music and lyrics that melded a historical culture with today’s culture but by also using a multicultural cast to represent the players of the narrative. There is nothing better short of time travel than that to help give the visualization to the public that they are in fact taking part in the unfolding of history and that these histories are all our stories.

History is a passion of mine and I’ve always seen it as exciting and engaging and it’s a goal of mine to teach it to others in that same way it comes alive for me. I had the good fortune of having teachers that can weave the narratives of history in a way that they can flow off the page and into my imagination and those have been a good part of what has driven me continue to pursue my ultimate goal.

However, what Lin-Manuel Miranda created has taken my goals for history to new heights. While I’m sure I can’t write mesmerizing lyrics that can tell a founding father’s history I can only hope that I can harness those fundamentals he used to create Hamilton and bring them to classroom learning. So once again, thank you!

 

Lessons Learned from The Obituary Page

“You know the Greeks didn’t write obituaries. They only asked one question after a man died: “Did he have passion?” ~ Serendipity

I spend a good part of my job working with obituaries and let me say that I enjoy that work. I am a people person, which is probably why I fit so well as a librarian, so I feel that in the process of interacting with all these obituaries I get to learn about the lives of so many people.

Obituaries, I think, are a testament to our sense of optimism as a society. It’s our way of sharing the good things our friends and relatives accomplished and the memories we share of them so others can share in those happy sentiments as well. As a journalist when I was tasked with writing obituaries I didn’t have this same view but I imagine some years of life have helped formulate this much sunnier outlook.

As a writer I suppose it would only make sense that at some point I’d consider how my own obituary would be worded. That’s where the quote from the movie Serendipity comes into play because I’d want mine to read that I lived with passion. There’s nothing wrong with the traditional format of detailing one’s life through their work, their family, favorite activities, and other accomplishments they may have achieved while on earth. It’s a charming testament to human life, for sure.

However, I believe our lives should be lived with passion and as such I’d like my obituary to read like that. My Greek ancestors had some pretty good ideas, afterall, and I think this is definitely one of them.

I want to make a difference in the world. I want to be a positive force in people’s lives. I want to do incredible things. In short, I want to live passionately as best I can and I feel as a result of that lifestyle I will leave this world positively. I hope that when my time comes my obituary will tell that story.

Of course, I have to accomplish these things in life for them to be immortalized in the passionate words I hope for. As such, in a way, I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned from obituaries for they have taught me how to live.

Love Like A Penguin

1-5-13vsyduI’m sure many of you are aware of the tradition of penguins showing their affection with a pebble. It might be the most adorable behavior in the animal kingdom. The male searches for the perfect pebble to give to his penguin crush and hopes for her to accept it. That’s a major leap of faith to put that kind of time and effort into something that you don’t necessarily know the result. This is just one of many reasons why I love penguins aside from the fact that they are the best-dressed animal!

It’s almost as if penguins live their life according to perhaps one of my favorite movie quotes of all time.

“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.” – We Bought A Zoo

I mean let’s face it for a penguin that is just about as brave a move you can get and I greatly respect them for that. All I know is I need to hold that line a little closer to my heart and I owe penguins the thanks for that.

I have a tendency to ramble, as many of you who have met me probably know. I’m also a little awkward to boot so you can imagine the fantastically funny sitcom episodes that make up my life.

The crazy thing is even around the most amazing girl in my life I still have those slight feelings of awkwardness and rambling happens. I guess every time I’m around her I’m hit with the realization of how amazing this all is and I become your quintessential pinnacle moment of a romantic comedy.

I am getting better at keeping the awkwardness at a normal level though but I suppose it will always be a small part of me. Luckily, she finds it funny and as such I do believe she’s earned a nomination to sainthood.

If I were a penguin I would gladly present her with the most beautiful pebble I could find without hesitation! So thank you penguins for reminding me of the importance of courage and bravery and thank you Matt Damon for a great quote to remember it by.