Archive for March, 2012

There are 3 laser treatments that I’d like to get.

  1. Laser Hair Removal – Specifically, I wonder if they would do my ears. Why do we need hair on our ears? (This alone might be a case for evolution. I mean, maybe we haven’t evolved past ear hair yet, but why would God have given that to us to begin with?)
  2. Lasik Eye Surgery – Sure, I’m able to sleep in my contacts and wear them for 30 days at a time, but it would definitely be nice to be able to see clearly without any kind of assistance.
  3. Vasectomy – (They do those with lasers now, right?)  I don’t feel the need to procreate. I don’t feel like there is anything missing from my life. I have two nephews, a niece, and a friend with children that I’m close with. I don’t see a need to have any of my own. There are plenty of people on the planet, so there’s no need for me to “go forth and multiply.” Taking that option away would also prevent me from accidentally getting someone pregnant and then either forcing a relationship or costing me child support. Maybe that’s jaded, but I know too many split parents that are crazy towards each other with the children caught in the middle. Too often those fights are about money and not about the child.

And why don’t we spell it lazer?

I want to be the poster boy for being single.  I hear friends, usually women, complaining on Facebook about how it sucks to be single, yada yada yada.  I’ve been single for so long, I feel like I’ve basically mastered it.  It’s a comfortable place for me. My life feels full, and it is hard to imagine fitting another person into it.

Being single doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re alone. It doesn’t stop you from hanging out with friends. It simply means that you lack a sexual/romantic partner.  In my situation, tho, I’m frequently doing things by myself.  My friends either don’t share the same interests with me or aren’t available due to kids, relationships, etc.

Some time ago, I decided that I wanted to do “things” and I wasn’t going to not do those “things” just because someone wasn’t available to do them with me. I go to the movies more than most of my friends. I go to metal concerts, and most of them don’t listen to that kind of music. Et cetera. I can’t see any point in putting my life on hold just because no one else’s schedule is clear.

On the flip side, I totally see the advantages. When I go to a movie, I’m there to watch the movie. Whether other people are there or not is inconsequential. When I go to see a band, I’m there to enjoy the music and the experience.  That doesn’t require two people. When I go on road trips, I can stop wherever I want and take detours whenever I want.  The only schedule is my schedule. If I decide that I want to go do something an hour from now, I can. I don’t have to worry about whether someone else is available on such short notice.

Technology has helped too.  Especially with road trips, I admit that it’s scarier getting lost on side roads by yourself than if you had another person with you.  With GPS and navigation available on smartphones, however, that is no longer a concern. I can easily and confidently explore at my leisure and not worry about whether or not I’ll find my way back to the highway.

Technology also helps take the loneliness out of being alone.  Through social media such as Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare, I can share what I’m doing.  This isn’t necessarily to brag, but it is to share and allow others to participate.  It’s like I’m taking everyone with me, in a non-interfering way. They can comment and offer suggestions or even get ideas for things that they may want to do.  Part of the reason I share what I’m doing is for education. Some people still don’t realize that there’s an IMAX screen in our local AMC theaters, so when I’m seeing a movie on the IMAX screen, I share that to remind people that there’s an IMAX screen available within a short traveling distance.

Every week I share my checkin at my local comic book store.  I do this because I’m happy about it but also to help support the business by spreading the word, to get the name of the store in front of people’s eyes.  If there’s a local event going on, I try to share it in advance and also while I’m there.

I think that when I’m doing something, and especially when I’m doing something with someone, it’s fun to share that.  I really can’t relate to people that don’t want to share where they are and who they are with. I don’t understand the need for secrecy.  I realize there’s a point of oversharing, but I try to be balanced. Sure, I checkin everywhere on Foursquare because that’s the venue for that sort of behavior.  I just don’t always post those checkins to other places.  I think anyone that’s truly a friend, not just people in the friends category on Facebook, are happy to see what you’re doing and, if you’re hanging out with friends, that you are.  I know I am.  I like seeing when people that I know are out having a good time.

I think that the single life is what you make of it. I think you can have plenty of fun by yourself, and you shouldn’t put your life, your fun and enjoyment, on hold just because someone else may not be available.  If you want someone to share the experience with, share it with everyone.  That’s what Facebook and other sites are for.

I hope that I can be an example to people that shows that you don’t have to have a significant other in order to have a full life.  There’s plenty to do, you just have to aim to do it. Don’t let others hold you back. What are you waiting for? If you want to do it, do it.

Beast of burden

Posted: March 21, 2012 in Random

I don’t understand it. I can’t relate to depending on others. Don’t get me wrong. I count my blessings, and I’m extremely grateful that I can support myself. What I don’t get is when someone has the means to support themself and doesn’t.

It doesn’t have to be big things either. If I have to go pick you up so that you can hang out at my house, then we have a problem. If we’re all gathering here, why should I have to leave? That’s going out of my way.

I’m not looking forward to being at an age where I’m a burden on someone else due to declining health. Some people already know what to expect. The thing is, if you’re being a burden now, will your friends and family be there for you when things get really bad? Or will you already have tapped out all of your resources?

Posted from WordPress for Android

Warning(s): I’m about to get extremely autobiographical. Also it will take me a bit to get to my point since I have to setup my setup for the point. 

I grew up as an only child till I was 7… so basically an only child since no one was close enough to my age for me to relate to them. I also grew up without a neighborhood. The street where I grew up is a 4-lane highway with a 55 mph speed limit. You didn’t dare play in the street, and there was definitely no cul-de-sac where the kids gathered. My neighbors were older people, so there were no kids next door either.  I went to a private Independent Baptist school thru 9th grade. I didn’t participate in any after school activities. I did go to a Southern Baptist church, tho.  I was actively involved in church, and went on quite a few trips with the youth group.

Given my neighborhood situation, I only saw my school friends during the school year unless they went to church with me. I began working when I was 14 but only on weekends. Once I turned 16, I worked during the week.  Although it was a grocery store job, there weren’t many people there that were my age, and the few that were had their own crowd they associated with.  I didn’t really make any serious friends there, and that was fine. I didn’t intend for it to be a career, plus I had my “social” life at church.

To summarize, I lived a pretty sheltered life and didn’t have many friends that I hung out with outside of structured activities such as church or school.

Fast forward to my post-teen young adult years. I took church very seriously. If there was an event, no matter how big or small, I was there.  I was there almost 7 nights a week.  I taught Sunday school, ran the sound board for the band during the singles’ group service on Friday nights, and became an integral part of the organization. I was 110% committed. When I wasn’t at church, I was thinking about church. When I wasn’t there or working, I’d be studying. I had shelves upon shelves of reference books. It would take me a solid week to prepare for Sunday school, because for me, it was literally school and I was literally a teacher. I was teaching my peers, college students and singles my own age. We weren’t doing the felt boards with stories of Noah and the Ark or Jonah and the Whale. We were looking at the New Testament, chapter by chapter, verse by verse. What did it really mean?  The English translation isn’t sufficient.  What did the original Greek say?  What was the culture at that time?  Did the culture have an impact on any idioms that were used? Et Cetera.

With all of the Bible studying and group activities, I didn’t save any time for dating. I did have friends that I hung out with tho.  Usually, they were like-minded individuals. We discussed the Bible and formed opinions. As we matured in our knowledge, we found that we didn’t necessarily agree with everything that was usually preached in Southern Baptist churches. There seemed to be too many analogies and empty stories and pleas for “sinners” to get “saved” instead of actually teaching the believers that were already there.  Around that time, some other like-minded individuals were starting new churches. Not baptist churches… non-denominational Bible churches.  And I left for one of those.

It was different being in a small church, especially one that was so hardcore.  Where I and my friends had really stood out in the previous setting, we were now in a group where we were basically average.  Everyone was of a similar mindset.  It was really great… for a while.

I was now 22. As I said, I hadn’t set aside time for dating. I skipped prom. I didn’t celebrate turning 21. None of it. I was getting frustrated with my job situation and wanted to find a better job. I couldn’t see myself working at the grocery store forever. As luck would have it, I was able to get a job at a call center. Now, I was older, had a decent job, had transportation, had more time on my hands.  I began to feel like I had missed out on certain aspects of life.  I made some friends at work that were close to my age. They didn’t go to church, but they seemed like good people.  I got along well with them.

I was starting to realize that there was a whole life outside of church. I started wanting to hang out with non-church friends and do non-church things.  I moved out and got my own place with a roommate who didn’t go to church.  It finally struck me: I was discovering myself and things that I really wanted to do. Those things conflicted with the teachings of the church, so I decided to stop going. Why? I didn’t want to be a hypocrite.

The church I was going to at the time practiced Church Discipline as taught in the New Testament, and I was ostracized. (I suppose I still am since I don’t think there is a statute of limitations on that.)

Hopefully, I’ve done a fairly good job of illustrating how I emerged from a sheltered life and ended up leaving the church.  Now, I need to introduce a few characters:

  • Player 1 is a friend who I recently reconnected with. He’s had his own struggles since he was sent to prison after a pastor had some evidence planted on his computer, but that’s a story for him to tell.  Back on point, though, we were friends and there was a mutual respect.
  • Player 2 is a woman who some have described as being manipulative. She usually has a group of girls that she’s supposedly mentoring but end up acting as more of a clique.

Player 1 is talking with Player 2 (they were both at the original Southern Baptist church, by the way), and he makes an off-hand remark that he misses me being around. Player 2 proceeds to inform him that I’m not going to church anymore because I’m gay.  ….Um, What?  When he told me this the other night, I about fell out laughing so hard. Where did that come from?  When I shared the news with my good friend who I see on a regular basis, he said that he had heard the same thing from another source.  Wow!  Why am I just now hearing about this 8 years later?  I guess it might’ve hurt me then, but now it’s just hilarious.

Anyone that knows me… any of my real friends… They’d know right away that wasn’t true.  It’s funny to me that the church people had to come up with a reason for my leaving that was unknown to me, and pretty far-fetched.  I left simply because my life was going in a different direction and I chose not to be a hypocrite. I didn’t want to be one of those “Sunday Christians” that only shows up on Sundays and/or holidays but doesn’t live their beliefs Monday thru Saturday.

I suppose that, technically, homosexuality would fall under the hypocrisy umbrella since the church is very anti-homosexual; however, that wasn’t a factor with me.  I may occasionally go to a gay bar since I have friends that hang out there (for some reason even though they are straight), but I’d much rather spend my time at the local strip club wasting money on lap dances (from women, just to be clear).

If you’ve stayed with me this far, congratulations. You’ve made it to the end. Thanks for allowing me to ramble on.  When I heard this story the other night I laughed so hard that I knew I had to share it. It just took a while to set it up.

You said something on your radio program that I disagree with.  I could change the channel, but that would be too simple. I need to do something extreme.  I can’t make this choice on my own.  I need to make sure that it’s extreme enough that other lemmings join me.  I’ve got it. You wear pants, right?  Great.  I’ll boycott pants. When people see me without my pants on, they’ll know that I’m not going to stand for your bullshit and they’ll take off their pants too.

I’ve read a little about the current controversy with Limbaugh. I don’t side with him, but I don’t side with his detractors either.  He’s one man spouting off opinions on a radio program.  He has as much influence over you as you allow.  If you disagree with what he says, change the channel. It’s that simple.

All of this hoopla with people getting in an uproar and companies pulling advertising is ridiculous.  I hate that consumers have so much power.  If enough consumers whine and bitch and moan, a company will easily cave. Companies can’t take a stand because they don’t want to lose the money that consumers bring in.  In comic books they say, “with great power comes great responsibility.”  In real life we say, “fuck responsibility, I’m going use my power regardless of the consequences.”

We’re big fans of Freedom of Speech until someone says something that we disagree with.  The sad thing is that we use our Freedom of Speech to crush that other person’s Freedom of Speech. We just don’t want to think about it like that.  Basically, you’re free to say whatever you want to say as long as I agree with everything you say.  Hypocrites.

We forget that in addition to Freedom of Speech, we have the undocumented Freedom of Listening.  If you don’t like what someone is saying, don’t listen. It’s just that simple. Change the channel. Go read a book. Go darn some socks. No one is strapping you down Clockwork Orange style making you listen to these things.  You make a conscious choice every time you tune into a program that you disagree with.

The end result is that we are killing honesty and straightforwardness.  Would you rather people only tell you what you want to hear or would you like for them to be honest so that you can make an informed decision about whether you agree or disagree?  Whether you agree with Rush Limbaugh or not, at least you know where he stands and you can make an easy choice whether or not to stand with him.  Would you rather him lie to you?  Would you rather him use vague language so that he’s saying the same thing but in a way that confuses you resulting in you agreeing with him when you normally wouldn’t?