Venting… but no backdraft?

I can probably sum up what I’m about to say in one phrase: Some people want to fart in the wind, but are shocked and appalled when the wind changes quickly and their own stink returns to their noses.

I understand that we all need to vent sometimes.  I’m the one that does the venting on occasion to trusted friends, and I have those that trust me to come to me for their release.  Sometimes we just need someone to hear us out.  That’s perfectly fine.  And sometimes, we don’t necessarily want or need any feedback, pep talk, or whatever… we just need to be heard.  That’s alright sometimes.

What irks the crap out of me, however,  is when you have folks that want to release and vent and spew and piss and moan and whine all over the place, but RARELY want any real feedback, especially when it’s gonna tell them about themselves.  Worse yet, they even cop an attitude toward you even you even attempt to interject anything unless you’re in complete agreement with them.

Maybe the reason that it gets on my nerves so much is that I expect my friends to give me some perspective, or to put me in check when I’m out of order.  What a crazy notion, right?

I’m sorry… but if you’re coming sideways then don’t come blowing off steam to me and expect me to just say “yeah”, nod my head in agreement, or give any such indication that I agree with, condone, or consent to your point of view.  When this is almost ALWAYS the case, you’re not really looking for a release… you’re just looking for someone to cosign and validate you in your mess.  Get real and GROW UP.

Oh, and let me drop this little tidbit… if you’re always complaining about what “people” are always saying to or about you, and these “people” are really the ones that are appointed in your life to look out for your best interests, your well being, and your very SOUL… then SHUT UP AND LISTEN.  They very well might be wrong in any particular instance… but at least take a doggone second to humble yourself, get your rump off of your shoulders, your nose out of the air, and HONESTLY EVALUATE YOURSELF.

Treasuring my dear friends

Before I begin, I must point out that I’m not much of a writer.  As I start to do the blogging thing more frequently, I realize that sometimes when I try to express my thoughts in written form, it just doesn’t seem to come out the way that I want it to.  Nonetheless, here I go…

I truly treasure my dearest friends.  I don’t have a lot of them… many acquaintances and many friends, but very few DEAR friends.  The select few that I can confide in, trust in, and have that same commitment and trust from me.  Sometimes they are someone who you’ve been close to for a very long time… sometimes they are someone that  you haven’t had that sort of history with, but somehow have that unspoken and effortless connection with.

There are certain qualities that these dear friends have that make them special to me… not that other friends lack these qualities, but the ones special to you are the ones you know without a doubt that you can rely on for a different level of communication.  It can’t always been explained, but you just feel it.

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Consistency: No Flip-Flopping

I’ve learned by experience the importance of being consistent in words and actions, and when it comes to your closest relationships it is that much more critical.  I am fed up with wishy washy nonsense from folks, whether they been acquaintances, family, or co-workers.  It’s a shame when you can’t take a person’s words at face value because that person has become notorious for flip-flopping as soon as it’s convenient for them.  Then when you you call them on it, you get some crap excuse similar to "well that was different" or sometimes they just dismiss or ignore it. 

Now this doesn’t mean that you got to folks expecting the same type of response from them every time.  A dear friend’s consistency is in not having to second guess their words, or suspecting that they’re gonna flip flop on you when it’s good for them.  You can take it to heart and know that they really mean what they say.

Objectivity

I like to think that I’m pretty good when it comes to thinking objectively.  When I disagree with something, I’m usually able to take a step back and try to view the situation from multiple perspectives and weigh that against my own viewpoint to make the most objective decision/opinion possible.  Nonetheless, it seems like common sense to me that to get a truly objective viewpoint, you need to get it from more than your own brain.  So to be able to got to that dear friend that is like-minded in their attempt to be objective when giving advise is a quality that shouldn’t be undervalued.

Be real, whether it’s favorable or not

Sometimes when we’re seeking the advice or counseling of others, what we want to hear and what we need to hear may be completely different.  A real friend isn’t one that just tickles your ears and fills your head with what you want ot hear and what makes you feel good inside.  Sometimes they’ll need to tell you something that might offend or even hurt you… but they’re doing it for your good.

The problem here is that some folks have real friends, and can’t appreciate it because they don’t want  the real answer.  They really want to hear the convenient answer, the answer that favors them, the answer that they feels justifies their mess, even if it’s not the correct answer.  So, sadly, they’ll turn from their true friends and run to the people that will scratch their itching ears just right.

I thank God that not only do I have people in my life that can and will tell me about myself when I need to be told, but that I’m humble enough to take it even if it stings.

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I know this is just the tip of the iceberg on this subject.  I’ll point out that as much as I try to exhibit these same quality to those that are dear to me, I’m still working on myself.  We all are, we’re not perfect, and we sometimes come up short in these very same qualities that I’ve described.  Lord knows I have.  But there’s a huge difference between sometimes falling short and constantly laying down because the effort isn’t even being made.

That said, I encourage each of you to take the time to appreciate the ones that you hold dear, the ones that you love, the ones that you depend on to keep you straight… and work just as hard to be that same friend for them.

Awww HECK naw!

I made these comments on a friends page on Facebook who posted this video, and I just had to blog it as well…

http://www.whoisthemonkey.com/videos/23/son-slaps-mom-on-dr-phil

If you just watched that and are a parent that believes in “spare the rod, spoil the child”, then you’re probably hype and ready to break off a pillar to crack this boy’s behind with.  Let me count this off…

  1. The second he raised his voice it would have been knocked back down.
  2. The moment he pointed his finger at me like that, he would have drawn back a stump cuz I would have ripped that sucka backwards.
  3. Shut up?!? Did you just tell me to shut up???? OH LAWD GIVE ME SKREMPH CUZ I’M ABOUT TO SHOW THIS BOY WHAT SHUT UP REALLY IS!
  4. Wanna lay some hands, eh? Aiiiight… Call the cops in advance, and tell them to bring Child Protective Serivces with them. Have some family members put together cash for some bail money and a good lawyer, then meet me at the jail. Hire some contractors and tell them to be ready to replace some windows and walls… While y’all getting all that together, I’ll be doing some remodeling of lil man’s face with said objects needing repair. Not a whuppin’… a BEATING. One of those “oh you think you grown and can take me??” beatings.

I hope that kid gets a good ol’ fashioned community beating, where any adult in authority within 10 miles comes to line up and put in some work on his behind.

Daddy’s Favorite Noggin Shows

Let me preface this by saying that my wife and I are not the type of parents that lets the TV raise our kids. These days, there is just way too much of that going on. Kids get sent to some crappy daycare of babysitter who sometimes parks them in front of the TV, then they come home and it’s either more TV or video games.

We make it a point to spend a ton of time with him, talking to him (not a bunch of baby babble talk either), and read to him (which, admittedly, we don’t do enough of lately). As he discovers new things, we make ourselves part of the process. For example, when we he discovered “himself” and would reach and grab during a diaper change, we’d tell him “Yes Evan, your penis is still there.” He may not have a clue as to what’s going on, but we’re setting a foundation in him… proper names for things, behavior, etc.

But as much as we interact with him, it’s almost inevitable that he’s gonna see the TV. Whether he’s sitting in a room with us, or playing and walking endless circles around whatever object happens to be on the floor, the TV will probably be on at some point and it will get his attention.

That said… our living room TV is set to “Noggin” quite a bit.  There are shows that clearly draw Evan’s attention more than others… and the same goes for Mom and Dad.  Tiana and I have our favorites that, in the occasional fit of silliness, we find ourselves enjoying more than Evan.  Here are a few that I like…

The Backyardigans – What can I say… Evan loves this show, and so do I for my own reasons.  The characters are unique, the presentation is vibrant, and their adventures are imaginative, creative, and just plain fun.  But what I like most is the music.  This show brings quite an array of tunes from all sorts of genres.  These kids can get down, and even be downright funky when they wanna.

Wonderpets – My wife thought this show was ultra-cute from the start.  I make a habit of mocking it whenever I could just to mess with her.  Truthfully, the show is cute.  Each episode they set out to rescue some young critter errr.. varmint I mean… animal in trouble.  The learn lessons along the way, but the biggest theme for the show is teamwork.  I still love to mock the show to my wife for my own amusement… in particular, how the parents of the resued baby whatever always show up after the fact (hehehehe).  But it is a very good show for the kiddies.

Little Bill – From the mind of Bill Cosby comes something refreshing… a kids show with a black family that isn’t cheesy.  Little Bill demonstrates a lot of the dynamics that occur in a family like this, and addresses a lot of those things in such a way that kids can understand and make sense of the things that happen in real life, while still learning the life lessons that you’d expect.

The Upside Down Show – This show is one of those learning shows that lean more on the “goofy fun” side… and it’s just that.  These two guys are SIL-LY, and very entertaining as they go on new adventures while discovering something “for the first time”.  You can tell that they are ginuinely having a great time while doing what they do best.  This is one of the few shows that can make Evan consistently stop what he’s doing to watch and laugh.

That’s all for now.  There are a few shows that get on my absolute last nerve… maybe I’ll post about those another time.

Life lessons…

I’m starting to realize that there are some relationships that either can’t or won’t be salvageable. Of course I’ve always known that… but it’s a different thing to realize it when it begins to apply to your life. It’s no surprise to me that things will work out that way sometimes, but that doesn’t make it any less disappointing sometimes.

I’m blessed that two of my closest friends over the years are ladies that I used to be in romantic relationships with. Even when I handled the separation in the worst way due to what I can only describe as my silly youth and immaturity, our friendships were so strong that to this day I can count on both of them for anything, and vice-versa. It kinda amazes me when I reflect on it.

But it doesn’t always work out that way. I ended one relationship in particular for reasons that I felt were the best for me at the time, and I was always up front about my feelings. There was a lot of anger, hurt, and bitterness directed toward me, much of it justified. I broke her heart, and that’s the one thing that I regret about the whole situation. I’m sure if she told the story, she could paint a picture that would make me seem like a complete jackass. Perhaps I was.

Nonetheless, in the times after I’ve always left the door open to be friends. Not that I expected everything to just be gravy and we suddenly be best buddies, but at least to be able to chat once in a while, say “hi how are ya” and have a genuine conversation. I’m just wired that way… I think of people, past and present, wonder how they’re doing, and hope that everything is going well in their lives, even if we weren’t friends at all or parted on bad terms. There were attempts, but ultimately I guess she couldn’t or wouldn’t. So eventually the occasional “hi how are ya” got a one word response if any… eventually I was removed from friends lists, etc.

So be it, and such is life. I wish only the absolute best for her.

I’ve changed and learned a lot since then. I went through a period of reconciliation… reflecting on my life, the decisions that I’ve made, the good bad and ugly. I’ve used that to work on myself abd grow, and I still am. The people that I can recall that I’ve hurt or disappointed are on good terms with me… not that I was ever infatuated with “making things right” with people, but sometimes it just happens. Sometimes you find things weren’t as bad as you suspected. Maybe in this case she hates me, or is indifferent but just would rather not be associated. Who knows.

What I’m finding is most important isn’t always trying to reconcile something that’s already dead and buried… but instead using the lessons learned to strengthen the friendships that I have right now, new and old. For that one failed friendship, I have so many more that have endured. Reconnecting with people here on FB shows me that in spite of a few mistakes, I’ve had a positive impact on the vast majority of the people that I’ve encountered in my life.

That means a lot to me. It serves to remind me that, in spite of my flaws, I can be a great husband, father, friend, acquaintance, supervisor, subordinate, peer, and man. I can count on people to hold my ladder, and they can count on me to hold theirs. I can be an asset to those around me, and not a leech.

I can sit here and smile, and know that I’m a good man… but be humble enough to realize that the people around me have been essential to being that man.

So to all of you that have been my friends, that have stuck with me, helped me, endured me, beared with me, forgiven me, considered me, thought of me, prayed for me, encouraged me, uplifted me, corrected me, justly chastized me, complimented me, constructively criticized me, and loved me… I thank you.

Ok, I’m done rambling, lol!

Yesterday, I wanted to kick a little girl…

I was at Fry’s checking out the Mac section of the store. I’m a Windows user, and wanted to get a quick feel for what Macs are all about. I was already kinda irritated, because it’s a big store and there seemed to be a multitude of little kids running around unsupervised (stupid parents don’t watch the news these days???). So I’m playing around on one of the mac systems, digging some of it’s features, finding my way around. Then this little girl comes up and starts poking around for no apparent reason, hits the power button on the machine I was using, and walks off.

WHAT THE HAM SAMMICH?!?

When the screen went black and I turned to see her leaving, I felt my leg twitch. I wanted to get a running start and kick the living crap out of her. She probably would have landed somewhere in appliances on the other side of the store had I turned it loose. All I needed was that red alert music from Kill Bill and it would have been ON.

Pardon me while I visit the Tribe… CAN I KICK HER?? YESSHA CAN!!!