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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Chapter 2 of my yet to be titled book

Chapter 2

The pounding on the door continued.  “John!!!  John!!  Are you in there? I will break down this door.  JOHN!!!!!!!!!!!!”  John stared at the door.  He peered through the peep hole to see his best friend . . well his only friend.  Chet looked furious.  John stood there thinking of his options.  It was early for him, well, it was 2 in the afternoon, but it was early for him, so his mind wasn’t thinking very clearly.  He did not think he was in good enough physical shape to try to climb down the fire escape.  Well, that was a lie.  He was in shape, he just didn’t want to exhort himself. 
John realized he had to do something soon.  Chet was a member of the FBI, so he could actually kick in the door and get away with it.  “JOHN!!!!!!”  John sighed and opened the door to face his friend.  Chet barged passed him and straight into John’s bedroom.  John counted down from three on his fingers.  When his fingers reached zero, he heard, “WHAT THE . . . .!?!?!?  Why does it say Mommy on your cell phone!?!?  That’s how you list me in your phone!?!?” 
John sat down on the couch and smiled.  “Good to see you too Chet.  What can I do for you this morning?”
            “Why!!?!?!?  Why do I bother!?!?”  Chet stormed around the living room while John tried to suppress a smirk. “My last girlfriend told me that the best thing I could do is to let you fall into whatever deep depression filled hole it is that you want to!!  She told me that all you want to do is join Sam.  I told her that she was wrong.  I told her that you were just going through a rough spot and you would get through it.  I broke up with this girl because of the things she said about you!!  Do you realize that John!?!?  I left her because of YOU!!!!!  DO YOU KNOW HOW HOT SHE WAS!?!?!?!? 
            John had been trying to hold back the laughing, but with the last statement, he roared with laughter.  He laughed until his sides hurt.  As he looked through the tears that were rolling out of his eyes he noticed Chet was sitting on the chair laughing as hard as he was. 
            After several minutes of the chuckles dying down John spoke.  “You’re the only person that cares about me Chet, that’s why I named your cell phone number Mommy.”  John tried to keep a straight face but he burst into laughter and Chet did the same.  As the laughter finally subsided, John noticed a folder Chet was holding. 
            “Bring me a present Chet?” John asked.  Chet hesitated.  Oh crap, thought John.  “No!  No!!  I am done with the FBI!!!”  John was furious. 
            “Now John, calmed down.  You are being brought on as a consultant only.”
            “Chet, I have no interest.”
            “John, look, I know you don’t need the money. . .  Oh crap, I’m so sorry.”  John looked away.  Sam had a trust that was left to her by her grandparents.  Her grandparents were the only members of Sam’s family that liked him.  Honestly, they were stinking. filthy, rich. All of Sam’s trust had been left to John.  He didn’t know how much was exactly in the trust, but he knew it was enough for him to live five lives on. 
            Chet opened the folder in front of John.  He laid out four pictures of people that had been shot perfectly in the head.  It had John’s interest.  Chet let John look.  The case would sell itself and Chet knew that.  He just had to wait and John would hook himself.  As John leaned back, seeming to lose interest, Chet reeled him in with one little sentence.  “They were all shot by the same person, within five seconds of each other.”  John’s eyebrow shot up, and Chet knew he had his best friend back on the hunt with him.

Chapter 1 of my yet to be titled book.

Chapter 1
Two weeks later
Sunlight streamed into the apartment as John continued to beat on his alarm clock.  As the buzzing continued John realized it was his phone and not the alarm clock making this horrible racket.  As he focused his eyes on the name on his phone John groaned.  “Mommy” continued to flash across the face of his phone as John set his feet on the floor and held his head in his hands.  It wasn’t his real Mother of course.  His real Mother refused to speak to him now, which was fine by him.  In fact, John couldn’t remember speaking to any of his family since the funeral.
The funeral.  It had been three years, and it still seemed like yesterday.  It seemed like just yesterday when his in-laws cussed him in front of everyone at the gravesite.  It probably didn’t help he was three sheets to the wind while they were doing it.  It probably didn’t help that he told them they were interfering wastes of human flesh.  It probably didn’t help that he told them that he and Sam had never had children, not because of the job but because Sam didn’t want their interfering noses in the child’s life.  It sure didn’t help that his in-laws were right about John.  If John hadn’t been drinking . . . . If.  . . John’s thoughts were interrupted by the phone buzzing again.
John stood up and stretched.  He glanced out the window at the city.  New York.  Sam had wanted to live here.  Where else can you find the arts, the different types of people, the nightlife, and all the other wonders this city held she had asked him.  The most exciting city in the world. . .for John, it was also the loneliest city in the world.  John had only one friend here.  Most of John’s friends apparently agreed with the words his in-laws had spoken.  In fact, except for Chet, none of his friends had spoken to him since the funeral.  That was fine with John.  He didn’t need anyone.  No sirree, he was doing just fine one his own.  “They say every cloud has a silver lining and the silver lining is I haven’t had to listen to your stupidity since I lost her.  I don’t have to listen to your judgments, your foolish ideas, and I don’t have to listen to you speak.”  Johns smiled.  As he glanced over to the picture on his nightstand of him and the beautiful girl with him, his stomach dropped all over again.  The smile fell from his face.  “I know Sam.  It’s a lie.  I am not fine.  I’m a damn wreck and I don’t know how to go on each day without you.” 
            The phone buzzed again.  John walked out of the bedroom and walked into the kitchen.  He opened the freezer and stared at the bottle of vodka.  The bottle he had not touched since the funeral.  If only he hadn’t touched it before then.  . . . .  John had fought the same fight every morning for more than 3 years.  He had been to AA meetings, but he had never spoken.  He left the FBI after the incident.  He looked at the wall at his PI license and scoffed.  If you watched TV in the 80s, you would think every other street in a city had a private investigator on it.  What TV didn’t tell you is the majority of the work was process serving, chasing down debtors, and of course, spying on a spouse that someone thinks is cheating.
            With the type of work he did alone, it was a miracle he had been sober over three years.  John stared at the bottle and tears welled up in his eyes.  “Blast it Sam . . . .I’m .  . .  He was interrupted by a pounding on the door.  John wiped the tears from his eyes, shut the freezer door, sighed, and headed to towards it. 
           

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I got lucky, My hero never disappointed me.

This will not be my normal inane chatter.  This one will be about my hero that I never had to turn on the news and find out the things he did wrong, and although he did mess up at times, he owned his mistakes and showed me how to learn from them.  I'm talking about James Shelby Carner, my dad. 

My father only had a high school education, but good grief was he smart.  Why I didn't reword my algebra problems to talk about corn and fertilizer needed and go to him with them I'll never know.  I learned how to be a good husband, a good father, and a good person from him.  I didn't always take his advice, but who does? 

When I was in the third grade my father collapsed to the floor one night.  I was stunned.  I had never ever seen my father fall, even earlier that winter when he was on crutches when a tractor tire had fallen on him.  I learned that night that he had guillain barre syndrome.  Basically his nervous system lost the ability to work.  He was paralyzed from the neck down and it was moving slowly to his heart and lungs. 

I never knew how bad it really was until I was older.  They moved him from Princeton to Paducah one night and placed him on oxygen.  He was having trouble breathing and was put in ICU with four other patients.  He told me he asked the nurse if he was going to make it, and she said he would be fine.  A few days later the nurse admitted to my father of the five in ICU she thought he would be the first to go.  Someone flatlined in ICU and as Dad watched them wheeled away he simply asked God to heal him and he would work as hard as he had to rehabilitate himself.  I forget if two or three people died that night in the ICU, my father made it through the night and started the road to recovery.  The doctor moved him into a private room and said, "Where you go from here is up to you and your God."  Three weeks later my father was brought home in a wheelchair.  He was disgusted because the doctor wouldn't give him back his license until he could walk without crutches.  Three weeks after that he walked into the doctors office pitched the crutches on the doctor's desk and asked him if he could get his licence before he got pulled over for driving without one. 

He has had nerve problems ever since.  He has terrible cramps because of the damage, which made farming an interesting experience, but he never complained.  My sister's apartment burned and he had to move things out of there a few years back.  I got into town as quick as I could to help him.  We carried out everything from her second story apartment and finally after 6 or so hours, in the summer heat, coughing and black as coal from the charred filled rooms, my father said, I've done all I can do.  I was two seconds from telling him I was shot.  He was 65 and I was 32. 

My father has helped raise his grandchildren as if they were his own, and never complained.  He just does what has to be done.  Thank you dad.  Thank you for showing me what it means to be a man, husband, father, and a friend.  I love you.

Ok, sorry for being off topic on that one, but this blog is about me getting things out, and I wanted that out there.  Til next time . . .whenever that is . . . .

"Chuck"

Monday, August 15, 2011

How David Met Richelle part 1

My apologies to Billy Crystal et al

Summer 1995, I'm laying in my bedroom at 1314 Kentucky Street, sweating.  Remember there is no air conditioning.  My best bud since high school showed up with his current girlfriend and asked me to drop some things off for him when I went to Princeton.  He had his girlfriend with him, Richelle.  Richelle later told me she thought I was a dork.  Ah love at first sight. 

Fast forward a few weeks.  I had just got off work from the Wal-Mart deli and went over to Kevin's apartment, he was there with his girlfriend and invited me to stay and watch a movie with him.  At this time I was smoking again so I sat and watched a movie.  Richelle asked me not to smoke in front of her, and I didn't.  She told me later she still thought I was a dork.  I probably was.

About three or four weeks into the fall 95 semester I was in Kevin's dorm room asking him some very pointed questions.  He was really interested in a girl who was a RA in the dorm I worked as a nightclerk in.  He said he was considering dating her.  I asked him about Richelle.  He kinda shrugged his shoulders and I went off on him.  I told him he had no right to do that to anyone.  People deserved the truth, yada yada yada.   (Yes about this time I was going through the mess with whatsherface) (think I was channeling much!?)

I left his room furious, but he was calling Richelle. 

Edit:  Kevin later told me he would have called her, but he was a little surprised by my reaction. 

I really thougth I should call her and apologize to her for the idiot Kevin was being.  It was really none of my business though.  Who was I to call her?  I thougth about this for a long time, and decided better.  I mean it was really none of my business and I'd never see her again.

Thanksgiving time . . . Richelle had worked at the Wal-Mart deli the summer before and had quit for school just about the time I started.  I had never worked with her.  My boss Jackie asked me what I thougth about her coming back over the Christmas break.  I asked her why, and Jackie said Richelle was really good at party trays and we got a lot of orders for those over Christmas.  I said sure why not.  (please remember at this point in my life a 5th grader had more experience with the opposite sex than I did . . .possibly a 3rd grader did as well)

A few hours later I came around the corner where the makeshift office was with the schedule and I saw someone looking at the schedule.  I asked, "Can I help you?"  She spun around, surprised, and it was Richelle.  For the first time in my life I saw her, I mean really saw her.  I had no idea what I was feeling at the time, but now I know it was the first time I had ever, truly, fallen in love.  She looked absolutely flustered, like she had stolen something (besides my heart that is)(that was horrible, I may throw up from the mushiness from that one!!).  She asked me if I was Kevin's friend and I said yeah.  She then mumbled something about having to leave and bolted from the deli.  I watched her go and was very confused, yet had a goofy smile on my face.  A coworker asked me later what the goofy smile was for and I told her I had no idea.  I didn't at the time, but over the next few weeks . . . well I would find out. . . . TO BE CONTINUED

That's it for now . . .til next time. . . whenever that is .. .

"Chuck"

Friday, August 12, 2011

What I DID learn in 10 3/4 years as an Undergrad (just not right then) Part 2

So let's recap.  I, David, with no smooth moves at all in my romance playbook, pull the biggest blunder of all time.  I am now embarrassed, ashamed, and just down right mad.  I feel sorry for myself and skip the next two weeks of classes.  (Boy what a crybaby . . right?)  So I come back to class and after it is over my teacher calls me up and is apparently upset.  I have missed too many classes, and she is going to let me in, but if I miss one more for anything other than an emergency, I'm out.  I fail.  I said ok, and let it go.  Brenda/Bonnie/Cassie?  tries to talk to me.  I play it all cool that its no big deal.  Now she's telling me how her new boyfriend is an awful guy and I'm just praying for the good Lord to come take me away.  For two weeks everything is cool until I find out my mom is having a procedure.  I tell my teacher what's going on and I won't be there on the Monday of the procedure, she says fine, you know the rules.

Now I let that slide thinking it was a language/understanding thing.  (it wasn't)  Mom has the procedure and I'm back on Wednesday.  As soon as the class is over I get called again to the front and the teacher asks me why am I wasting my time here.  I have failed.  I go off, and she goes off right back.  I told her my mom was having surgery, and she said, "was it an emergency?"  I said I had no idea what could happen on the table.  She said if something had gone wrong you could have gone home.  I snapped.  I told her she was lousy and had no idea how she had been permitted to teach without knowing that 2/3 and 75% were not the same number.  I stormed out. 

That night at Wal-Mart guess who I ran into?  That's right, whatshername.  I told her what happened, and she said, "well you did miss a lot of classes."  I lost my fool mind.  I blamed her for many of those classes because she knew how I felt and she drug me along like some plaything to do with what she wanted.  I was no one's fool.  Someone stormed out crying . . I guess whatshername left eventually too.  I never saw her again after that. 

I blamed everyone in that situation but the right person .. me.  Yeah my teacher was harsh, but how many second chances had I burned and not even been around to know it.  Yeah it was bad timing on whatshername's part, but she was right, I had missed ALOT of classes.  I really wish I knew how to get ahold of whatshername, I'd like to apologize.  I was a jerk.  I should probably apologize to my teacher as well . . .well she didn't know that 2/3 and 75% were the same thing . . .

So that's something I did learn in my 10 3/4 years as an undergrad.  If you like this one let me know.  I'm sure I've got tons of stories that I can tell from this time in my life. . .til next time . . whenever that is. . . .

"Chuck"

Thursday, August 11, 2011

What I DID learn in 10 3/4 years as an Undergrad (just not right then) Part 1

My daughter is going through a phase right now.  "I didn't know."  That's her answer to everything that she has done wrong.  I know she's five, but it scarily reminds me of my favorite answer in my late teens and early to mid 20 (and late 20s and early 30s) "It's not my fault."  Everyone and everything was to blame for my actions but me in those days.  I didn't want to accept any responsibility for anything.  I've documented many reasons as to why in other posts, but to give the short answer that takes responsibility (see what I did there?) I felt entitled.  Why I felt that way, once again, many factors, but the biggest reason, immaturity. 

It was the fall of 1995.  I was living at 1314 Kentucky Street in Bowling Green. Today it is a parking lot. . .truth be told, that's an upgrade.  There were seven of us living in said house; 2 girls 5 guys.  We had painted the living room Smurf Blue and Royal Purple.  We had no cable, no air conditioning but we were having fun. Not all of us were enrolled, and those that weren't wanted to hang out with everyone else.  I had a heath class I was enrolled in that I hated, except for one part.  There was this girl in there that was absolutely beautiful, thought I was funny, and she actually would talk to me!  No, I don't remember her name so we'll call her Brenda, because I think it started with a B (although for some reason I'm thinking Sondra, or was that the girl I knew that worked at the movie theater . . .never mind I'm getting off topic.)

Anyway, I had a teacher who was not ideal.  I speak Daveesie.  That is a revved up Southern twang with some muttering.  My teacher was from an oriental country, I have no idea which one, but she had a heavy, heavy accent.  Needless to say a United Nations translator was needed.  She would say things like 75% and 2/3 . . same thing . .   Now hold the phone.  I knew they weren't and after class I made some comment that caused Brenda/Sondra/Beverly? to laugh.  She wanted to know if I'd like to study sometime.  I said. . .yeahsure  (one big word)  seyawednesday. . and bolted from the room. At this point in my life I was 21, I had one date, (that was the biggest disaster the world had ever seen) and had absolutely no idea how to act around women. 

Wednesday I skipped class. . I have no idea why, I just did.  Friday I got to class early . .I made a lame attempt at an excuse that she said was no big deal and she asked me if I knew about the party Saturday night.  Now I was suppose to go to the movies with everyone from the house to see Batman Forever.  I told her I had plans to see the movie, but I'd come down later since the party was only two blocks down from my house.  We all went to see the movie.  We got back and I asked everyone if they wanted to go with me to the party and they all said no, except one.  One of the girls.  (anyone yet see where this is going)  So I show up with my roommate who is very, very attractive, but we are nothing more than friends.  I find Brenda/Sondra/Sally? and introduce her.  (It still hasn't dawned on me yet)  She excused herself for a second and I didn't see her the rest of the night.  I looked for her about 10 minutes and someone told me she had left.  We headed back to the house shortly thereafter.

I skipped class all but one day that next week and she wasn't there that day.  I was at Wal-Mart Sunday night with my housemate and I ran into her.  I asked her if she was ok, and she said yeah.  My housemate wandered off, and Brenda/whateverhernamewas asked me how long we've been going out.  I explained we just were housemates and friends, that was it.  Yeah, now it's slowly dawning on me.  About this time, a guy came around the corner and said, "There you are babe!"  He said to me, "Hey don't I know you?" I didn't remember and then he said, "Yeah, you were at the party last weekend where I met whatshername."  I looked at whatshername and she gave me a look that said,  Sorry I didn't know.  About that time my housemate came back, and I gave a polite goodbye and I'll see you in class.  Under my breath I finished that sentence with the word "not"  (hey it was the 90s)   . . . .

TO BE CONTINUED  . . .

"Chuck"

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My time as a basketball official

It was the fall of 1994 and I was at my first semester at WKU.  I was BROKE.  I mean had a $1.50 to my name and living off of the noodles.  My good friend Chris had told me if I would take him home on the weekends I could officiate little league basketball.  I agreed.  I was calling a girl's basketball game.  I think they were 7 and 8 year olds, so you can imagine the high level of skill.  I think it was the 4th quarter and the score was 6-4 or something like that.  Basically all I had done was run up and down the court called 54 walking violations (I was giving them four and five steps), and hundreds of out of bounds calls. 

As per the norm there had been a turnover and I was the trail official, when somehow the ball was turned back over and the fastbreak had started towards me.  I was about halfway between center court and the top of the three point line, and for some reason I decided to start backpedaling.  (Get your Kleenexes.)  Apparently the foul line reached up and grabbed my foot.  I tumbled head over heels all the way back to where the pads were on the wall in the middle school gym.  As soon as I got right side up I began to watch the action, I did have my duty to perform after all.  The girls were standing laughing their heads off except for one.  She was eyeing the ball in the other teams hand.  She hit the ball clean, but knocked it directly on the foul line.  From my posterior I blew the whistle, and made the call.  The crowd stood and gave me a standing ovation.  I finished the game, but that was the end of my basketball officiating career.

I was told by many parents in the stands if they had video cameras I would be a very rich man from America's Funniest Home Videos.  Ok, that's it for now. . .til next time . . whenever that is . . .

"Chuck"

Thursday, August 4, 2011

My little LouLou

My little LouLou started Kindergarten today.  Now millions of parents have done this, but for me its a first.  What makes it so hard is I work less than 100 feet from her school.  In fact when I open the door by my desk and look out side, her room is on the other side of the window I look at. 

I dropped her off at Preschool three years ago, and the crying was terrible.  Grace was pretty upset too.  She cried every morning for three months, and when I came to pick her up, she was crying because other parents had picked their kid up and I hadn't shown up.  This morning, she was running down the sidewalk all excited.  She found her spot in the gym, hugged her mother about 5 times, and seemed to be nervous, but very excited.  At the time (40 minutes ago as I write this) I was fine.  Now.  . . my little LouLou is not so little. 

Side:  A few months ago I started calling her LouLou when I would do a Yogi Bear impersonation  . . .she in turn started calling me BooBoo. 

Today's going to be hard. I know it only gets harder.  This week she wouldn't let me take her to the bathroom at a restaurant.  She went to the girls room by herself.  That was hard on me, on her . . ehh.  I never wanted to be a father . . now I can't imagine not having my little girl in my life.  I can't imagine her not telling me I need to go to preschool because I can't count properly.  (I mess up on purpose) ( Really, I do)
I can't imagine her telling me about how I need to recycle so I won't fill up all the landfills.  I can't imagine her not giving me the look she gives me when I give her one of my crazy answers.  I can't imagine her not telling me she loves me so so much.

I know little girls grow up and become big girls, then young ladies, and then women.  I knew this was going to happen.  I just didn't know I wasn't ready for it.  Love you LouLou.

Ok, that's it for today . . I'm going to hunt down some Kleenex. . .only 6 hours and 10 minutes until I can go get her.  . . .pray for me today, I'm gonna need it. . til next time . . when ever that is.

"Chuck"  (BooBoo)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My first job

My first real paying job was at Dairy Queen in Princeton, KY.  Things about that job still stick in my head to this day.  Ken yelling, "If you've got time to lean you've got time to clean!"  But one thing many people don't know about my time there is some of the good, and I mean, good pranks pulled on me.  When I first started at Dairy Queen, I was so nervous.  I had this habit of taking my hat off, and pulling it tight down on my head.  If I had been playing poker I'd of been broke in two minutes.  Ken would see me doing thing, and yell, "Whatcha worried about now, Herman??"  He would say things to me that absolutely stunned me.  One day a very, very attractive lady came in and I waited on her.  After she left, Ken called me over and looked at me as serious as he could and said, "Herman . . .don't even think about chasing that . . . .if you caught it, you wouldn't know what to do with it!"  I turned 14 shades of red and adjusted my cap for a good half an hour.

My first day working with Ken was an ordeal.  Ken asked me to fix him a diet coke.  I brought it to him and he said, "Now get some bourbon out of the cooler."  I didn't ask any questions, and just went in and started looking.  Jody had to come get me out of the cooler, with the entire grill staff howling in laughter behind me.  A little later he told me to go bust up boxes and put them in the incinerator.  I busted away, but looked, and looked and couldn't find the incinerator.  When I walked in looking all confused, Doc was at the fryer laughing his head off.  He told me there was no incinerator, and to just put them in the the trash bin out back.

Doc played one of the greatest tricks ever on me.  I had been there a few months and it was slow.  I walked into drivethru and he was digging through the M&Ms.  He was putting something in a cup.  I asked him what was going on and he told me there was a customer coming in that wanted a green M&M blizzard.  (Tom Sawyer would have been proud of this one)  He said he had a lot to do, but they had to keep this guy happy.  I asked him if I could help, and he said, "I don't know, this is pretty important."  (Hook, line and sinker)  You get the idea, for the next hour I picked not green M&Ms, but pieces of smashed green M&Ms.  A few years later when I was in charge of closing I pulled the same trick on a newbie.  You'd think I would have been the bigger person, but no. 

Ok, that's all for this one.  Hoped you enjoyed it. . til next time . . whenever that is. . .

"Chuck"  ("Herman")

Our need to catagorize

You never get a second chance to make a first impression.  Don't judge a book by its cover.  Big things come in small packages.  It's not the size of the dog in the fight it's the size of the fight in the dog.  Do or do not do . . .there is no try.  Ok the last one I just had to throw in.  Sorry.  We all know these sayings by heart, and they are all true although some are contradictory. 

Our first impression is us judging people.  (You don't know me!!)  (sorry)  We see someone, make a decision and look for evidence to support that decision.  If the evidence doesn't fit we tend to dismiss it.  The sad thing is, sometimes we are right, heck often we are right, but it's when we are wrong is that we could not only make a fool out of ourselves, but could misjudge and even hurt an innocent person. 

I attended a multicultural diversity conference back in November.  It really opened my eyes. Let me give you an example.  The first day in the first five minutes the presenters introduced themselves.  There was a huge sheet of paper on the table and we were to list all the things we thought were true about each presenter while they left the room.  We went wild and put up every stray thought that entered our head and why we thought that.  When they came back in and started reading what we thought and why, we found out how far off we were.  Sometimes we nailed it, many times we didn't. 

I help people fill out forms all day, and its amazing how we try to box people into categories.  Democrat and Republican.  Caucasian, African American, or Other (how degrading is it to be referred to as other?)  I can go on, but the point I'm trying to make is we place people into categories WE are comfortable with.  Now how is that fair.  Why does everything have to have a name?  Are we so afraid of the unknown that we have to catorgorize everything? 

Try this if you think I'm crazy.  (and I'm not denying I'm not crazy)  The next time your out really pay attention to yourself when you see someone, and see if you're not trying to prejudge something about that person.  The next time you think someone acts out of thier character, realize it may just be they acted out of the character you had placed them in. 

Ok that's it on this one.  I know, a little deep and it makes us look at a part of ourselves we may not be comforatable with, but if we can't be comforatable with ourselves, than who can we really be comfortable with??   Til next time . . whenever that is . . .

"Chuck"

Monday, August 1, 2011

Who the heck is Chuck? (or my gaggle of nicknames)

Most people get through life with a nickname or two.  Me, I have possibly a dozen.  Let me tell you about them.  First of all my first name is John.  My Mother wanted to call me David so at school I always have to remember who I am on the first day.

The first nickname I received was Dave.  When I started band as a freshman for whatever reason, Bill my section leader started to call me Dave.  I tried to correct him and he ignored it.  Everytime he would introduce me it was Dave.  People who had know me for years called me Dave. 

Next was Chuck.  Mark Bumphus is personally responsible for that one.  You need some backstory on this one.  When I was in 8th grade, I had some ingrown toenails that had to be surgically removed.  They were awful.  The doctor said I should wear some type of leather shoe so they could breath better.  My Mother feeling sorry for the pain I was in went out and found me a pair of leather shoes . . . .that were hideous.  (I understand the song Parents Just Don't Understand)  The story goes is that Mark saw them and commented they looked like some kind of sad mix of Chuck Taylors and Buster Browns (There's a shoe brand you haven't heard in 20+ years)  If you don't know Mark he had a way of yelling stuff in a sing-song like voice that would carry all the way across a crowded cafeteria.  I went by one day and he said/sang, "There goes Chuck Brown!!"  Pretty soon everyone was calling me that.  Eventually the Brown got dropped.  For four years in high school I was Chuck.  I liked the name.  Didn't honestly care how it came about. If someone mentioned Chuck most people knew who it was back then.  I thought it was kinda cool.

Next up is the Clyde/Herman nickname.  For those of you who forgot I worked at Dairy Queen.  Ken Walker was the owner.  He told me once he couldn't remember all the new people so he just called the guys Clyde and Herman.  I started out as Clyde.  Daniel Davis started around the same time, he was Herman.  I had been there a week, went on vacation, came back and Daniel was Clyde, and I was Herman.  And I was, for 5 or 6 years.  Heck even now when I see Ken he yells Herman.  I loved Ken and Jody to death for all they did to me, and I gladly respond to it anytime.

Somewhere in here there was a Saturday morning that Dad and I were sitting around the house waiting for a UK game to start and Loony Tunes was on.  It was the one about the abominable snowman and Daffy being mistaken for a rabbit.  You know, "I will love him, and pet him, and queeze him, and name him George."  I looked over at Dad and said you look like a George.  He just laughed.  In the next one, there was a dog named Bubba, and Dad said I looked like a Bubba.  The rest of the day we called each other that.  And the day after that and after that.  Today, I'll call my Dad, he'll answer and I'll say, "Geroge?"  "Hey Bubba."  It's our thing.

Then there was Woodcraft.  There was a guy there named Jeff who was about 5 inches taller than me, but my size.  He always wore a tee shirt with a pocket in the front.  One day he had a roll of electrical tape in it and I said, "Jeff, you look a little lumpy there."  He got a big grin on his face and said, "You of all people shouldn't be calling people lumpy. . .Lumpy."  And from then on at Woodcraft I was Lumpy.

While I was at WKU bookstore, the assistant GM loved to harass me, and I'd harass right back.  One night we were closing together, and Jim said to some of the new cashiers, "You know David's wife calls him Mr. Delicious, don't you."  Richelle has never called me that, but for the next couple of years, I was referred to as that constantly.

The last nickname is one I shot down immediately.  I was trying to help a young lady with her financial aid, and she asked me my name.  I told her and she asked me if it would be alright if she referred to me as  "Big Daddy D Delicious".  She said it would be easier to remember.  I told her no, it would not be alright!  That was the last thing I needed!

I've had others through out my life.  JD, Big D, and others, but that's the lowdown on how I became the man of many names.  Til next time . . .whenever that is . .

"Chuck"

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My (not-so) silent killer

I have been diagnosed with sleep apnea.  My sleep is interrupted on average 124 times an hour.  That's not a misprint.  I go big or go home(and on this home is  . . .yeah.)  I was diagnosed almost 4 years ago, and now my life is different.  I don't get waken by eveyone in my house because they can't sleep do to the noise I make while sleeping.  I don't get a double hammer strike to the chest with my wife hovering over me yelling, "BREATHE!!!!  BREATHE!!!" and I can't because she has knocked all of the air out of my lungs.  I don't go to the bathroom 14 times a night  (also not a misprint)  Much of my paranoia and rage is also gone.  What isn't gone, as easily, are the habits I picked up while having apnea for over 25 years. 

This is a story that took place some 10 or so years ago, when I was on the verge of the height of my apnea.  I was working 12 1/2 hours shifts (6am to 6:30) pm Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  At the time I had an amazing collection of wrestling video tapes.  There was one time I had all but about 10 or 12 of the PPVs that WWE put out.  The biggest hole in my collection was Tuesday in Texas.  I had started to obsess over it.  (Another effect of the apnea, but also a part of my personality)  Someone online had posted that they hadn't gotten the last PPV, and if someone would make them a copy of it, they would send that person a copy of any WWE video they had.  I quickly sent an email to find out if they had Tuesday in Texas, they replied back that they did and I jumped up to make a copy.  It was at this time I saw the warning on the front of the PPV about making a copy.  However, I wanted Tuesday in Texas so bad, I went ahead.  I mailed it off that afternoon, which was a Monday.  I emailed the person to let them know I had sent it. 

Wednesday I got an email saying they had it and was making a copy of Tuesday in Texas for me, and he would ask me for my address when it was done so he wouldn't lose it.  I never heard anything that day, and Thursday I worked all day.  I was looking forward to the email when I got home, I was just sure it would be there.  No email.  I sent one asking if everything was alright.  On Friday there was no response.  Saturday morning I went to work a little bothered and told my chopsaw partner what was going on.  Now Jason always liked to get me riled up, but this time he had no idea what he had accomplished.  He simply said, maybe they're setting up a sting to get you for illegal pirating of a movie.  All day that played in my head and when I got home there was no email.  A ball of worry was starting to eat at my stomach.  Richelle was at work, and I was exhausted from work so I took a shower and went to bed around 8.  About 9:30 the phone rang. I was drug out of whatever crazed apnea spawned dream I was having and answered the phone.  No one was on the other line.  I just heard clicks. 

I swear to you this is the complete truth.  I started thinking, "Its the FBI!!!  They've wire tapped my phone!!! They are after me!!!"  I hung up and raced to the living room.  I called a friend and told him, "Can you come over, I need some help wiring my VCR?"  He was dumbfounded, I was the one in the group that always did that.  Next I got online and emailed the guy and said something to the following.  I appreciate your offer for Tuesday in Texas, but I do not want it.  Thank you.  (I have no idea what I thought that would accomplish)  I then grabbed two Giant trash bags and put ever wrestling VCR tape in them and hid them the bag.  My friend pulled up the same time my friends did.  Richelle asked them what they were doing here and they told her what they knew.  I screamed at them to open the trunk.  They did, not sure if I was possessed or not.  I put the bags of videos in the trunk.  I told them what was going on and they all burst out laughing.  I told them I wanted them to take me to another apartment complex so I could throw them in the garbage there so it couldn't be traced back to me. 

They couldn't breath they were laughing so hard.  I told them fine, do with the videos what you wish, but if it comes back on me, I'll rat you all out.  Richelle spent an hour trying to get me to calm down after they left.  You would think this would have been the instance for me to get some help, but no, not me.  I'm fine, they're the crazy ones.  (It is sad how screwed up I was)  What finally got me to the doctor was I kept waking up trying to figure out what I was hearing.  It sounded like  . .. I don't know someone choking to death.  After about two nights of this, I got up, and my wife screamed, "It's your snoring Dear!!!!  (no she didn't say dear.  We're big boys and girls, you can figure it out.) 

Anyway that's my apnea induced paranoia story.  There are many more.  Most are not funny, just sad.  I had a friend I bugged for two months to get a test done, and after he was on the machine at the clinic, he told me the next day the air was sweeter, colors were brighter . . .it was like some farout drug.  And he wanted more.  If you know someone in this shape, bug the crap out of them.  They may not like you for a while, but once they go, if they don't thank you for it. . . I'll be shocked.  Til next time . . .whenever that is . . .

"Chuck"

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The night I tried to throw Vitamins at Hulk Hogan

When I was 18, I decided I had to grow up. I gave up two things.  Comics and watching wrestling.  Giving up on wrestling wasn't that hard.  I didn't have cable, and my favorite wrestler, Hulk Hogan had started a semi-retirement.  This lasted for all of 4 1/2 years.  A month after I was married, I found myself and some friends watching a WCW PPV.  (pay per view)  I was aghast.  Hulk Hogan was a bad guy.  I had always loved Hogan, and it just destroyed me.  I really didn't know any of the other members of his crew, but I knew Hulk going bad was just wrong.  Now before you ask, yes, I did know wrestling was fake.  However so many things were not going the way I thought they should in my life I was channeling my resentment and anger into wrestling.  The only thing that was probably going right was my marriage. I was flunking out of school, working in a factory, and frankly thought I was headed to nowhere. 

Fast forward about 6 to 8 months and WCW Nitro was coming to Nashville.  It was held in the old arena.  We had great seats.  We were on the first row, off the floor.  If I looked left I was maybe 50 feet from the ring, and if I looked right I was maybe 20 feet from the entrance stage.  It was wonderful, until Jimmy Hendrick's Voodoo Child hit.  Out came Hogan and something in me snapped.  In my pocket was a bottle of vitamins.  No one knew I had them, but luckily David Wilhelm saw me pulling them out, and apparently so did Kevin Rogers.  They leaped at me and was holding me back.  Now imagine this, me half crazed with my arm cocked back trying to throw vitamins and two other guys trying to stop me and "disarm me" all while I was yelling the following, "SCREW YOU HOGAN!!!!  I TOOK MY VITAMINS, SAID MY PRAYERS, AND YOU TURNED YOUR SORRY BACK ON ME!!!!!!  SCREW YOU!!!!!!!  Now I have no idea if the man heard me or not.  But about that time he took off his glasses and looked directly in my direction.  Both Kevin and David were holding me back while I yelled and screamed.  (They had taken the vitamins away from me.)  Kevin kept telling me, Dude it's all fake, it's all fake.  I kept yelling at him, I supported every thing he ever did and he turned his back on me!!!  (If you'll notice during this point in my life it was how everyone had done me wrong.  This was a common occurrence for a good 10 years.)

I was exhausted the rest of the night.  It was an awesome evening in all, and it lead to the announcement of Lex Luger vs Hogan at Hog Wild for the belt.  Sting was in the rafters and I was happy. 

I look back on it now, and I'm lucky those two stopped me.  I look back on many of the things I did with regret, and this was one of them.  Hogan was playing a part, and played it so well.  I just was at such a bad place in my life with all the things I mentioned before and my sleep apnea(I'll discuss it in a future post) that I did something monumentally stupid.  Add in the fact I was 22, and well, the whole thing's not that surprising. 

Hogan returned to the WWE years later to face the Rock, and once again I was the only one of my group rooting him on.  I'm sure if he did see me that night he doesn't remember and he probably saw a lot worse during his nWo days.  It doesn't change the fact I acted like a nitwit.  Here is my favorite all time performer right in front of me and I'm trying to hit him in the head with a bottle of wal-mart vitamins.  Jeez. 

Ok, that's all I got for this time.  Til next time . . . whenever that is . . BROTHER . .. :)

"Chuck"

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

We all need education . . right?

So a few posts ago I told you about how my degree was nothing more than a hunting license. There is a book called Other Ways to Win: Creating Alternatives for High School Graduates by Gray and Herr. This book looks at the myth in America of how we have to go to college to "win". I know what you're thinking, Wait a minute David you've got degrees and work in getting people in college and you're saying not to go to college!?!? No, what I am saying is the degree you are working towards ought to be something specific that you can use.  Don't get me wrong there are still places where a bachelors of any sort will get you that "good job".  Typically it is in an area where few people have bachelors degrees and there is a need.  If you live in that sort of place and want to continue there, you have little to no worries. 

Then there is the part of education that no one wants to talk about.  Some people can't make it in college.  SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!!!!  NO!!!  YOU CAN'T SAY THAT!!!  ok.  Now that we got that out of our system.  Too many times we want to sugar coat things and not hurt people's feelings, but let's be honest.  If you busted your butt through high school and just got by, and have no interest in a 9-5 "white collar" job, than a 4 year university is probably not the best choice for you.  (I'm pausing for a second round of screeching)  Why do we have this idea in America that everyone must be a banker or teacher or something in the "white collar" industry?  If that was the case, then how would we eat?  (We could import it)  That's a great idea, because we've never been at another country's mercy on prices of things we import.  (Oil is the item you are searching for) 

Edit 1:  Let me emphasize here that I am speaking of students right out of high school that actually busted their butt.  If you just got by because you didn't try during high school than there may be potential.  If it is someone's dream to go to college, than I will NEVER discourage them!  The human spirit can get you through anything.  I am also not referring to those who want to go back/start school because they've lived in the real world.  They now have a fire in them that probably wasn't there in high school.

Edit 2:  Back to those who just didn't try during high school (my hand is raised).  One of two things will happen in college, they will be challenged and raise their work ethic, or they will only do just enough to get by until they get in a bind where they can't (my hand is raised)

I was discussing these ideas in my class one day, and a student blurted out, "someone's got to dig a ditch."  As I smiled, another student yelled, "You can't say that!!"  I asked why not.  She stuttered and finally said, "It's just not right!"  I said you mean, politically correct.  She nodded, and her boyfriend sitting beside her said, "He's not wrong."  (referring to the first student)  It was an eye opening discussion for some of them.  Let's try it this way.  If you like something, are good at it, and make a good living at it, why in the blast shouldn't you do it?!?!?!  If you love working on computers and need a 2 year degree, why wouldn't you go after that??  If you like working on small engines, why not do that???

So what am I saying, that you shouldn't go to college?  That you should?  That you only should if you make certain grades?  No to all of those.  You need an education.  Period, end of story.  Now, where do you need that education from.  If you want to work on small engines, than a BA in English will do you no good.  Likewise if you want to work in the medical field all you need is a CNA to start out with to see if that is an occupation for you.  Now this could lead me off on a tangent where the government is to blame for part of this phenomena around the county.  You can only receive financial aid if you are trying to get a 2 year degree or higher.  However that's a whole other rambling for a whole other day. 

Edit 3:  If you are interested in a CNA and can't get financial aid, let me know, there is a trick that will work that I am glad to share with you.

Simply put the education you get should match the job or field you are trying to enter.  There are apprenticeships, some companies have their own "college", or maybe you need to go out in the world and figure out what it is you want to do.  I went to college because I was "suppose" to.  I wasn't ready and had no idea what I wanted to do, and now I have $32,000 in student loans just for my undergrad to pay back. 

Everyone needs an education, just not the same education. The only thing I warn against in college choosing is know the schools accreditation.  Simply put, some schools credits won't transfer to another if you ever choose to transfer.  It doesn't mean the school is bad, it just means the credits won't transfer.  OK, I'm gonna stop here.  I could go for a long long time on this one.  If you have a student about to graduate high school I highly recommend the book for them.  It's anywhere from $20.00 to $.55 on amazon and it will make you think.  Til next time . . .whenever that is . . .

"Chuck"

Monday, July 25, 2011

There was this one tme, in band . . .Part 2 (Or how Boone's Farm about killed me on Space Mountain)

(The following is a story, it is just a story.  Any relation to actual events is purely coincidental)  (Big Wink)

(I in no way condone this activity)

Once apon a time there was junior in high school that went on a band trip, we'll call him David.  All of David's life he tried to be the good guy.  Where had that gotten him?  Nowhere.  David worked all the time, had few close friends and no girlfriend.  He wanted to make changes in his life and he decided he would do something drastic.  He would get drunk!  How David got the alcohol is a little fuzzy (honestly I don't remember)  all he knows is he had this God-awful brown bag and had to get it, with the alcohol inside, from a restaurant ( I think McDonalds) across the parking lot of a Motel, around the pool where some of the chaperons were, inside the room, and hidden before the room check, and not let anyone know about it.  (I'm hearing the mission impossible theme in my head now)  I almost made it until one of my classmates saw me that I was sure would rat me out.  Mind you I'm carrying this ugly brown, almost bowling bag.  She wanted to know what was in the bag.  I smiled and said I had cheeseburgers from McDonalds and I didn't want some of my other friends to know since they would try to eat them.  I then carefully unzipped the bag where she could see the McDonald's bag full of 10 cheeseburgers I had purchased and placed on top of the Strawberry Hill.  (Yeah I went all high class)

I got back to the room and I hid the bottle in the bathroom ceiling.  I then cleaned up all the dust and lint that fell in the bathroom.  A little while later there was a knock on the door.  A friend who had known the plan said it was going around we had alcohol.  This was getting ridiculous.  We agreed not to drink anything that night since we were being suspected.  That night right before we were "taped" in, there was a knock on our door and our chaperon came in.  She said there was word going around that we had alcohol.  I told her she was welcomed to look around.  And she did.  Everywhere.  She even took the back of the toilet lid off.  (that was one of the hiding places we discussed but I thought it was too much in plain sight)  She got ready to leave and apologized. She had to check, but she just knew we wouldn't do something like that. 

We didn't touch it until the night before we went home.  It really wasn't that good, but man did I get wasted.  On probably two cups.  If that.  I don't remember what happened that night, but I remember the drilling and jackhammering that was going on in our room as I was awaking.  Oh wait that was my head.  It was then it dawned on me someone was knocking on the door.  I opened the door and the sun was in the doorway.  My head spit in two.  Ok it didn't but it felt like it.  We were late for breakfast.  Someone slipped out and threw the bottle away so we couldn't get busted.  We packed up real quick (which was very slow in our condition.  I have no idea how much anyone else drank, if any at all) I thought the other two were moving and acting ok.  Me?  It was obvious I had a first class hangover.  I went to breakfast and what do you know but our chaperon walked right up to me, and asked, "Late night?"  I told her yeah, I wasn't used to that, and now I have a migraine.  She told me I needed some eggs, and insisted I have the scrambled ones made by the motel.  She even made sure and gave me some of the runny stuff.  I smiled the best I could and sat down.  There was no question what was wrong with me, but all proof was gone.  Our chaperon walked by and said, "Don't eat too much, in case Space Mountain makes you sick."  Oh crap.  I had forgotten that I had told her how much I was looking forward to Space Mountain.

Another friend, who had busted me in the parking lot a few days earlier, sat down and tried to give me an out.  She said she knew I would love Epcott, and I should go with her.  The chaperon had a smile on her face, and I could have got out of this mess, but I said no thank you.  One of the reasons I came to Florida was to ride Space Mountain.  Many times.  (cocky little cuss wasn't I)  My roommate punched my arm and said, "you've had that migraine all night, are you SURE THAT'S A GOOD IDEA!?!?"  I turned, and right in front of the chaperon said, "I can handle it if you can!"  Well now manhoods have been challenged.  What happened next, the best I remember it, was kinda like name that tune, except increasing.   Well I can ride it twice, no I can ride it 4 times . . .If I'm not mistaken, 16 was the number we stopped at before we realized the three of us were screwed beyond belief (me and my two roommates)  Our chaperon said she couldn't wait to hear about it, smiled and walked off. 

So we rode Space Mountain.  13 or 16 times, whatever the deal was.  None of us threw up on anyone, but by the end of the day, I thought I just might die.  I didn't touch alcohol for some two or three years after that.  I told my Mom what I had done a few weeks later, and while she was upset, she thought I'd had sufficient punishment.  My Dad always said that trip changed me, for the better.  I'm still not sure what he means by that.  The chaperon and I never actually discussed it, but she told me later that people have to try things.  I tried many other things that trip.  Chinese food for the first time, I rode a four wheeler across the Florida beach (with the chaperon riding behind me on one of those trips) and I tried to pierce my ear, by myself. . . for the first time. . . (to be continued)

"Chuck"

There was this one time, in band . . . Part 1

I was a band nerd (or is it geek?) back before it was cool to be one.  Let me tell you a story that you may or may not know.  I don't remember if this was the fall of 88 or 89, I think it was 88.  I don't remember if I had on shorts or if I had on a pair of pants that had a hole in them.  Back then I hated having to get new clothes because they never fit right, so if I had a pair that fit me I wore them until I literally wore holes in them.  Anyway we were practicing something and were stopped.  We came to attention and were being bawled out for not focusing or something another.  (When I say attention we literally were not suppose to move) (It happened what seemed like often back then)  It was then I felt something buzzing up my leg.  I never found out what exactly it was.  I know a bumblebee could only sting once, so it wasn't that, because this critter tore me up. 

Someone moved somewhere while at attention.  That got Mr Burton fired up and now we were being yelled at again about staying at attention.  This is about to become very ironic.  It was at that time this bee decided to sting the inside of my leg. . .high up.  . .you get the idea.  (This really happened, by the time I'm done you're going to think it was something out of Monty Python's Flying Circus.)  I remained at attention without screaming but I guess my upper body began twitching because Stephanie Stephens saw me and under her voice told me to stop moving that we were at attention.

It was at this point the bee moved to the middle of my pants.  Yeah . .. there.  . . .and stung.  Apparently my eyes bugged out of my head and I turned a funny color.  I didn't yell, but boy was I hurting!!  Stephanie was noticing this and asked very quietly if I was alright, to which I replied I have a bee in my pants.  Now I don't know if she thought I was making a lewd joke or what.  It was at that time I was stung again.  Tears were running down my face at this point.  She asked an incredulous, WHAT!?!?  I said there is a bee in my pants and I don't know what to do.  She told me to run over to the ditch and get the bee out.  We were on the near sidelines, and the ditch was about 20 feet pass the far sidelines.  I took off running.  At that point someone yelled, "Just drop them!!!"  I think it was Jason Merrick. . .or Chris Suggs.  I'm not for sure, it just seemed like that's who would yell it.  At that point the bee stung again and I agreed with them.   I was conscious enough to realize the color guard wasn't that far away and I was desperately trying not to give them a show.  I opened the front of my pants and couldn't find the darn thing and it stung again.  At this point someone yelled from the color guard, "just drop them baby."  I don't think Mr Burton ever forgave me for derailing his practice. 

With the bee (or whatever) set free it was then it dawned on me.  I had two choices; sulk and be made fun of forever, or be a good sport and realize that was probably the funniest thing I would ever have happen to me.  (although there are times I wonder if it ranks in the top 10).  While everyone laughed, and had a good time, I wasn't teased horribly.  In fact, it was just another day in band.  If anyone remembers something I left or has there own take from there vantage point (and if it was a vantage point you never wanted I humbly apologize) feel free to comment here or on facebook, twitter, or wherever.  Ok that's all I remember. . . If I can figure out how to write it without revealing those with me I may have Part 2 be Boone's farm and riding Space Mountain 16 times. 

"Chuck"

Friday, July 22, 2011

What I didn't learn in 10 3/4 years as an undergrad

Note: For those of you wondering why I have suddenly decided I need to blog, well I need it. I need to put my thoughts down somewhere and be held accountable to them. When your thoughts are out there for the world to see, it makes you reevaluate yourself. So thank you for sharing in my personal therapy. On with the blog.

A degree promises you . . .nothing. I mean everyone knows that, right? Right? For those of you who don't know my story, I'll try to hit the high(low)lights. In May of 1996 I took a job in a factory so I could support me and my future bride. I took the job so she could continue on full-time in college. Before anyone thinks that's a noble and grand gesture, please realize I was on academic, financial aid, and probably triple-secret probation for grades. I had managed in the previous three semesters a 0.66, 0.00 and a 0.00 GPA. WINNING!! So, I took the job, continued in school part time and continued in that phase for 4 years until Richelle graduated. I then left the factory and returned to college full-time . . sort of. I was taking full-time classes but not participating full-time. Anyway after much encouragement (threatened bodily harm) I finally buckled down and sprinted toward the finish line with my BS (appropriately named in my opinion) in Business Management. (I did manage a 3.5 or so in those last 3 semesters.  I had to.  I had to have an overall GPA of 2.5 to graduate.  I had a 2.52 at the end.)

I jumped out into the work force and said here I am!!  The work force said so what.

I. Was. Devastated. I eventually found employment as a Mortgage Customer Service Specialist. My mother put it best. I was the guy you, "Called and complained to when your payment goes up due to the escrow." I turned 30 while working that job. I was so miserable. I had never felt so absolutely worthless in my entire life.

I did research last year as a final project for one of my classes on underemployed people with degrees, and found out what I was feeling was very common. I also found out that others in my similar situation often felt worse than those unemployed, and many turned to alcohol. Yep, you guessed it.  Other than a social drink, or a certain band trip I attented at the age of 16, I have only drank in two periods in my life. The first was a two week period my first semester at WKU. The second was every weekend and most weeknights during my employment at US Bank. I don't even think Richelle realized how much I drank. When you factor in the sleep apnea I was going through . . well God got me through it somehow.

Edit: Let me add, I do not think I am better than anyone else working the previous jobs. Those jobs just weren't what I wanted to do with my life, and I felt like someone had cheated me. What it took me a long time to realize was it was me who cheated me by getting the easiest degree possible. (now we're tying back into the previous perception blog) What I learned later was I had to go through all of that to get where I am now. If there is interest I may expand on this part of my life in a future post.

Edit 2: I am not advocating the use or non use of alcohol. I am simply telling you what I did. I was trying to get away from the pain I felt, and I didn't.

Edit 3:  According to my Doctors by the time I got diagnosed with my sleep apnea, I had been suffering from it for about 20 years.  If you're doing the math, yes, according to them I had suffered from it from about the 6th grade on.  This is an entry into itself that I may do one day.

Now that I have depressed the crap out of you, let me tell you my point. I thought I was going to get a "good job" when I got out of college. The only thing my college degree got me was a hunting license. When people come to me today and say, "I'm going to get a degree in Business so I can open my own business," we have a long talk. I don't discourage them, but I lay out the facts. The facts are simple, unless you know someone, a general degree will get you a general job. (flipping burgers or answering phones) This is the jumping on point to another blog idea I have so I'll quit here.

Hope you learned something and maybe share with someone. Heck if you even understand why someone feels the way they do maybe you can help them with their frustration and pent up anger, and trust me pent up anger leads to the dark side.  (I just couldn't let the Star Wars thing go, could I?)

"Chuck"

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Inane thoughts on Perception

There are days we all talk to people and we seriously wonder if they are from the same planet we are from. How can they believe/say/think that?? How!?!? In this society we are so quick to judge. We hardly ever stop and think, what would make someone think that, what have they experienced/not experienced in their life? No, instead we wonder why are they wasting oxygen by talking! (come on, you know you do.)

As we grow up and become adults (and admittedly some of us take a hair longer than others) we use our life experiences to enter into how we see things. Huh? You want an example, well lucky you I have the perfect one, the original Star Wars trilogy. (this is the blog you were looking for)

As an 8 year old boy, Star Wars had almost everything I could want. Explosions, space fights, cool lightsabers, robots, and a big Wookie. There was one thing wrong. The girl kissed the hero, and that was just yuckie because girls have cooties. (remember I was 8). By the time Return of the Jedi came out we learned that Luke and Leia were brother and sister. Fast forward to when I was 16, and an all day Star Wars marathon that took place at Route 1 Box 251 (just wanted to see if I remember the old address before the 911 update) Princeton, KY. It occurred to me that Leia was kissing her brother and George Lucas knew they were brother and sister. GROSS!!!! That's just not right!!! How could he!?!? What is wrong with that man!?!?

Now the thing about this, as an 8 year old boy it was ok, they didn't know. As a 16 year old who "knew everything" I knew George Lucas knew so he had to be a sick perv. Wait, there is a third part to my trilogy. (See what I did there?) In college I learned about story telling in English class. I learned how to take a reader through a journey, and I learned the brilliance of what George did. He created a love triangle, but in the end no one lost! If Luke hadn't been Leia's brother someone would have gotten emotionally hurt in the end.

So what does all of this have to do with people making crazy statements? The next time someone makes what you think is a crazy statement, we (I'm guilty of it to) should wonder why. Why do you think that, and here's a crazy idea, ask. You may find out there is a very valid reason, or the person thinks they have a very valid reason (two totally different things) but at least you may have some understanding.

There is a man out there who took 7 common sense ideas and made a boatload of money off of them named Stephen Covey. His fifth habit, Seek first to Understand than to be Understood. We tend to skip that first part many times. If we took the time, we may not have battles, but just conversations. Ok, everyone hold hands and sing Kumbaya . . .everyone . . .everyone (sound of crickets)

Ok enough inane ramblings, hope you liked it. More later . . . whenever that is.

"Chuck"

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

10 things I'd like to do if money and time were no object

First off, please note all of the things in this blog are my opinion, they may not be right but they are mine. I've seen more bucket lists floating around lately than I can shake a stick at. (There's my Farmersvillian coming through) The following are the 10 things I'd most like to do if I had all the money and time at my disposal.

1. Lose 150 lbs.

2. Attend the NCAA National Championship Men's Basketball Game when UK wins a National Title.

3. Attend the NCAA National Championship Men's Basketball Game (different than #1)

4. Attend The NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four

5. Earn a PhD

6. Attend San Diego Comic Con for a week (during this time I would visit the San Diego Zoo)

7. Have something published that is not an academia paper.

8. Play in a World Series of Poker event

9. Have the guts to participate in a ghost hunt at Waverly Hills Sanatorium or The Stanley Hotel

10. Make a living writing.

Those not making the list but have potential:

1. Visit MLB Hall of Fame (Not until Pete Rose and Mark McGuire are inducted)

2. Attend a St Louis Cardinals game in St Louis


So let's discuss, shall we. #1. Well, that is my goal every day. I lose some I gain some. In the past year I have dropped that # from from 165. I try to make intelligent choices, but I like food. Too much. I know what your going to say. Exercise!!! When I exercise (or peel an orange, I sweat doing both) I sweat, and when I sweat I chafe, and now you know too much.

2, 3, 4. If I were to make it to a final four and UK would win the whole shebang (feel free to let me know if that is spelled incorrectly) it would kill 3 birds with one big stone.

5. This one makes me chuckle and shake my head in regret. The guy that took 10 3/4 years (entered college in the summer of 92 graduated in the fall of 02) now has 2 masters and wants a PhD. I found the program I want, but there are two small problems, the residency issue and the cost. So for now this goes on the back burner. Who knows what 10 more years might bring. I think one day I'll have it.

6. If you didn't know, I am a geek. I'm not this new school Miss USA geek, but back in the day, love my sci-fi, have a massive comic book collection, and will debate you on whether batman is too dark or not as a character for 5 hours geek. Comic con or SDCC is a geek's holy grail. Today it is very glamorized and has many television and movie details released, but back in the day it was just an old school comic show. I also want to visit the San Diego Zoo, you may now judge me (as if you hadn't been already)

7. I've debated this one for a while. I kinda have, but haven't. I want anything I have written over the past 22 years to be put out in some form, but technically it may have already happened. All around my house, if you know where to look, there is writing done by me. 10 different stories all stopped at various places, fantasy wrestling, a couple of movie scripts, a plot for several different comic book characters, and then there is numerous stuff in my head. For about three weeks I wrote the storyline for a small wrestling group in Owensboro. For some reason I don't anymore. I don't remember why I quit or if I was just not asked to do anything else, but it was out there for people to see (it may have only been 10 people, but that's fine).

8. I love poker. I'm not great, but I'm good. I would love just once to play in a WSOP event. I would love that event to be the main event, but I'm realistic. I cannot post 10k for anything like that. One day I hope to play in a 1500 event, heck I'd even play in a $200 circuit event in Indiana/Louisville.

9. I'm not going to argue with anyone if ghosts are real or not. I saw something when I was a child that has stuck with me the rest of my life. I was told I was a kid having nightmares, but what I saw was no nightmare. I have had a fascination with ghosts ever since. I wish I had the courage to attend some of these hunts, but I'm afraid I'd scream the scream of a young child who thinks they're holding a stick and suddenly realizes it's a praying mantis kind of scream if I ever did see something.

10. Bet 99.9% of you had no idea on this one. I love writing, I never feel better about myself than when I'm "creating" something. I get excited. It's some weird euphoria that I can't explain. Unfortunately I don't think I'm good enough to do it all day every day. But boy would I love to. What would I write? Honestly, comics. I even know some people in the industry. (We aren't best buds, but have chatted a bit) I doubt this one ever come to pass, but all I can do is keep on keeping on.

Ok, that's it. Hope it didn't bore the crap out of you. 'Til next time . . whenever that is.

"Chuck"