Adventures of the Great White Hunters

The wondrous wild was calling us, challenging us to come out and meet it. When the wild calls, men have to respond and so we set out, the two of us. We equipped ourselves with the things needed for the rigors of our adventure. This included one iPhone 4 and a Red Rider bb gun. We brought the iPhone because it has a camera and if in case mamma bear needed to get ahold of us. We brought the Red Rider bb gun in case we saw some deer, bears, jaguars, wolves, monsters or anything else that may cross the paths of two great white hunters on the hunt. So at about 1:35 pm we said good-bye to momma bear and little sister bear and set out on our trek. It was just the two of us and we knew we’d have to rely on one another.

We made our way out of civilization and into the infinite woods behind our house. About five minutes into our journey I left it up to my brave and adventurous partner if we should continue. He assured me that we must because of the wondrous wild calling us and all. I couldn’t argue because I heard it calling too. I told him once we turned and headed west, there may be a good chance we’ll have to find a place to camp, as I had never ventured so far. He assured me we would be all right. That we could build a house out of sticks and leaves and eat the deer we were going to shoot. After hearing it put that way, I figured I had about the best partner a man could hope to have in the wondrous wild.

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As we headed west my partner and I spotted several tracks. Most were deer but there were a few dog tracks scattered about as well. My partner informed me those tracks were most certainly wolf tracks. I responded that apparently we weren’t the only hunters in the woods. I thought they might be small to be wolf tracks but I figured one man’s opinion on such matters was likely as good as the other’s. There was no need in arguing with a fellow who seemed more confident than I. We followed the tracks until the opening of the large creek became too hard for my partner to ignore. My partner was very confident we would find some deer near the creek drinking water. In the absence of my own idea regarding deer and where they might be, I decided his idea didn’t sound too far-fetched. So the two us eased off the trail, through the weeds and bushes, and made our way on to the bank.

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Either the deer heard us coming or they were not thirsty at the time we made it down to the bank, because once we arrived and took survey of the place, there were no deer in sight. It was at this time my partner became anxious. He thought the deer might be sleeping. We held a council, the two us, deciding what our next move should be. He recommended we keep heading down the path. How far he intended us to travel, he never fully revealed. But I liked the idea and agreed. However, instead of heading out straight away, he recommended we ambush some leaves that were floating down the stream, passing in front of us. I didn’t find a lot of sense in doing this but my partner was adamant that we target practice with his Red Rider bb gun. So we did. We blasted a way at the unsuspecting leaves as they passed by slowly. The two of us together must have bagged a dozen before we broke camp and traveled further into the wild.

Again we set out in the same way we did before, full of adventure and anticipation of what the wild had in store for two white hunters. It was during the second leg of our journey that my partner amazed me with his tracking skills. I came to believe he could track a field mouse in the thickest field. Nothing escaped his eye or his imagination. He knew exactly where deer once stood and what direction they were likely traveling. He even found a thin limb and he used this tool of innovation to move the tall leaves of grass out of the way in order to inspect the ground more thoroughly. He would also use this limb to whack trees as he passed. I’m not sure why my partner was doing this. He could have been clearing a path or he could have been sword fighting. I never asked. I figured whatever a man likes to do with a stick is his business. However, I told him he might want to be quiet so that we do not scare away the deer and other wildlife. He insisted I not worry with trifling matters. The deer would think the noise is from another deer and this would likely make them come out and investigate. I guess I’ve heard of stranger things but my partner spoke so matter of fact his confidence won over my good reason.

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About twenty minutes later, and after several stops and detours, I should add, which were all insisted by my partner, we finally made it to a point I thought likely we would find deer. Now I don’t know if my partner’s strategy of whacking tree limbs and insisting we shoot mushrooms growing on fallen logs was the result of our luck or not. However, I cannot deny that we finally found some deer at the end of our trail. I spotted two that were probably bedding down before they saw me and jumped into a thicket. Unfortunately, my partner was behind me too far to see this. He was diligently inspecting the ground for tracks. He was very concerned over why I did not shoot the deer. I told him they were too fast. I noticed a shed of doubt and disappointment from him at my response. Again we held council, and again I deferred to his judgment on the matter. He recommended we continue walking and turn toward where I last saw the deer. This made no sense to me. The deer were likely in Canada by now. He asked me about Canada and how far away it was.

At any rate, his power of persuasion convinced me this was a good idea. So we set out on the third leg of our journey. The plan was to trek up to where I spotted the deer and circle hard around them. This is exactly what we did. And exactly as my partner planned, the idea worked. Not only did we see the two deer that I spotted 10 minutes earlier, there were at least 6 or 7 more with them. We were close enough to see quite a show. The deer leaped, jumped, and sprinted through the woods away from us. Their white rumps made it easy for us to follow as they ran deeper into the woods. I considered my partner to be one of the very best hunters I had ever encountered.

I had already decided since the Red Rider bb gun lacked the knockdown power to kill an animal the size of a deer, there was likely no reason to shoot at them. However, I did hand it over to my partner and let him shoot in that direction once the deer were out of sight. He was confident that he hit one and that we should head into the woods to track it down. I thought here would be a good time for another council. I said the chances of us finding him were slim to none but the chances of getting hot chocolate, if we headed back home, were almost certain.

For the first time during our adventure, my partner deferred to me. He thought my idea good and approved. And so we broke camp and headed out of the wild very satisfied men.

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I Made A Real Big Change

I guess I should start about how reluctant I am to sit and write about this particular subject. I’ve been staring at my screen, starting, restarting, writing and deleting. Instead of leading off with an aggravating introduction, perhaps I should just get to the point.

And that point is this: I can no longer call myself in good, clear conscience, a Christian. This didn’t just fall upon me one day when I wasn’t looking. I’ve always held a certain degree of skepticism about the story itself, the prophesies of the Old Testament leading to Jesus Christ, and the foundation upon which it all rests (not to mention the unfathomable and unreasonable stories, fables, allegories scattered about). When this doubt would begin to take hold of my thoughts, I dug in and studied. I probably have $400 worth of books on Christianity and religion written by some of the very best apologists. While my studies and help from bible tutors kept me in the fold, so to speak, my skepticism only made me feel inadequate and cursed.

Once these things failed to meet reason, and I finally admitted this to myself, denying their accuracy and supposed source did not scare me. In other words, I don’t fear damnation because of my unbelief.

This is saying a lot considering I grew up a moderate, but believing Christian, and since I have been married, I have been an active member. As a Southerner it is a practical qualification to be religious and a Christian. My wife is a devout Christian and she is the one who I have worried over and tried to please the most. It is important to her that her family belongs to Christendom, and especially that her kids are brought up knowing and worshipping God. Nonetheless, I came clean to her about my change of mind (I use mind instead of heart deliberately here) at about 6:30 AM two mornings ago.

I promised her that nothing in our family would change. I will still allow for her and the children to have the life they understand and are accustomed to. I will even remain a part of that until the kids are old enough to ask me my thoughts. I, however, can no longer live a dual life — pretending to believe but not really believing. It made me a miserable and tortured person.

I have no ambitions or intentions to lead anyone a way from their faith. I won’t harm anyone’s faith if I can help it.

So what does this make me?

Well, I can certainly say that I am not an atheist. I find that philosophy more arrogant, and which requires more faith than all the other religions combined. I am not an agnostic either. To me, that philosophy is lazy and too middle of the road for my liking. Therefore, I state confidently that I am a Deist — a monotheistic deist.

A deist in almost the same way Thomas Paine describes it. A deist in almost the same way as Albert Einstein describes it.

“My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God.”

[…]

I’m not an atheist, and I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand these laws. Our limited minds grasp the mysterious force that moves the constellations.”

I believe in God. I believe in His majesty, His magnificence, His munificence, and His existence through the revelation of His creation. I reckon I believe these things much in the same way the ancient Jews did before they set out to interpret and create Him in their image; before the Christians took these Jewish teachings and customs and from which constructed Christianity; before the Arabs took a mixture of both and constructed Islam; and before Joseph Smith learned of this and began his own revealed gospel movement in America.

The fact is each revealed religion is questionable, equally debatable, and totally unverifiable. Moreover, all make mutually exclusive claims. According to someone, everyone is going to Hell. In other words, according someone, everyone else is wrong.

I’m satisfied to say, I no longer have to worry with that fight. I’m sad to say that I have lost something that has been with me as long as I can remember. But I’m honest enough to say; this is my decision from an inner-battle I’ve been fighting for years. One in which has been finally brought to its conclusion. I’m confident that I won.

Some Different Advice on College and Learning

The Higher Learning Blues

First, let me start by saying this: College will not make you smart and your degree of success is not based on your intelligence. Rather college teaches you to learn, think critically, and express your ideas clearly and effectively. What you will learn in college has already been discovered, thoroughly debated and discussed. It is unlikely you have anything substantial to add. So you must learn to interpret (I never spell that word right on the first try) other’s thoughts and present them in your own voice. Strive for this only and you will be successful as a college student.

Instead of trying to become the next great theorists, one should start by setting goals instead.

  • I will not make less than a B on any exam or essay.
  • I will study, read, and practice.
  • I will study, read, and practice (repeat as much as you like).
  • I will not cram or write the day before the due date.
  • I will remember that if others can do it, so can I.

On the other hand, if you solely rely on your professors, lessons, and recommended readings to take you to your highest possible level, you will be thoroughly disappointed. Learning is a love of labor. So it is important that you have a high level of interest in whatever it is you decide to study. You should read widely and continuously. You should amass a formidable personal library. You should become a sponge. Nothing should come as a surprise to you in your given field of study. You should be able to give at least one clear and articulated point on any subject within your field on a moment’s notice. If you do these things mentioned you’ll be able to without knowing exactly how you did. This is the point when you’ve become a serious student.

If you can’t do this, you aren’t learning. If you can’t do this, you aren’t studying. But you’ll probably do well enough – all things being equal.

Learn to learn: Instead of knowing who Karl Marx or Hans Morgenthau was and what they wrote, you should know why each wrote in the first place. What was their era’s like in which they lived? What was their environment like that which motivated them to come to their conclusions? If you can do this, their ideas become more than just words in a book, and their photographs become more than black and white images. You’ll begin to understand them. This is how you learn. This is how you develop instincts and assume ownership of your ideas. This is what separates students from aspiring theorists.

Why did I say intelligence had very little to do with any of this? Let me put it like this. If you can form up, lay plumbing, frame, cut in rafters and build your own house, then you are intelligent. If you can cut and lay tile, you are intelligent. If you can tie a knot suitable for any burdensome task, you are intelligent. If you can crack open a motor and replace the heads, you are intelligent. If you can teach yourself to invest in the stock market, you are intelligent. The person I described may have never heard of Marx or may not even care to know more than just his name, but give him a task he understands and he’ll take ownership of it and complete it comparable to any trained professional.

In other words, college isn’t the be all and end all. It’s just another avenue toward higher learning. It’s not necessarily the place for higher learning. It’s what you do with the access to knowledge and tools for understanding that makes the difference.

You’ll want to link these gems.

The Feeling of Thinking – A Psychology Today blog by successful high school drop-out and author of Buccaneer-Scholar James Bach.

The Art of Self-Education – Lifelong learning enthusiast Race Bannon shares the self-education tips he picked up from experience with dozens of exciting careers.

Wide Awake Minds – Ryan McCarl, a graduate student studying education, blogs about his thoughts on teaching, learning, and self-education.

Freedom to Learn – A Psychology Today blog about the importance of play in learning from psychology professor Peter Gray.

Buccaneer Scholar – James Bach’s personal blog about his experiences with self-education.

LiteMind – A unique blog from Luciano Passuello examines the most effective ways to use your mind.

H/T to Self Made Scholar. Be sure to look around at this site.

Always Tip The Pizza Guy

Yesterday was Christmas Eve. I suspect we enjoyed it about as much as everyone else. We let the kids open presents from family members and friends and saved the ones from Santa and us for Christmas morning. It is a little tradition we have established.

It’s fun putting together the toys and setting up everything just right so when the kids come down the stairs, they will run into the impossible. A living room, which was totally normal before they went to bed, is now full of toys and surprises! Our little angels’ innocence should be used against them whenever possible!

The point of the post, however, is my wife and I typically find a family that isn’t so well off during the holiday season, and we help to provide anonymously a little extra. Being where we are from, it’s not hard to find families not too well off. Neither one of us came from what you would call “well off families.” However, this year we weren’t as diligent as before. Last week I made a call back home to a friend to ask if she could find me a family with kids that might be lacking this Christmas. Unfortunately, I waited too long to act and she wasn’t able to locate one before we were able to send a contribution.

But let me say this. This isn’t a post to make you reflect or place guilt. You are entitled to do what you want or not, whenever you feel like it or not feel like it, regardless of the season. I don’t normally share these sort of things but since I’m anonymous, I can here.

At any rate, I found a solution to our dilemma and one that eased my conscience. I decided to order pizza for our Christmas Eve supper. I figured whoever was delivering pizza for Dominos on Christmas Eve could use a little extra. So we ordered our pizza and tipped the deliveryman handsomely when he arrived. I hope he was surprised and thankful when he got a chance to see the receipt. I hope he will take the contribution and do a little extra for his family. I hope he’ll remember it and do a little extra for someone else in the future.

If you want to get philosophical about it, you might say I gave him that tip for my own benefit, to ease my own conscience so I can go to bed peacefully knowing I gave when I didn’t have to. Okay fine. But my act of self-interest will contribute down the line, in the long term regardless of the motives that led me to do it in the first place. Similarly, one day he might recall his good fortune and feel the need to return the favor for his own conscience’s sake. Regardless of the motive in which ever case, the deed will be done. There’s a term for this. Maybe maximizing efficiency is it but I’m not sure at the moment as it is late — technically it’s early.

I like the power we have as humans to do something because we should, not because we have to. You follow me?

Edmund Burke said a healthy regard to self-interests is the cause for all innovation and progress. If he didn’t say exactly that, he said something very close.

Merry Christmas.

A Pretty Darn Good Day

I can’t really say today was much different than any of the ones before. It’s just this day seemed to be different to me (in this case, the only one that matters) and that was enough for me to take notice.

I woke up at 6 am and spent a few extra hours with myself, which is something I always enjoy doing. What I did in those early morning hours of silence and solitude would blow your mind. It was two solid hours of reflection, thinking, and staring out the window. My thoughts went went from sports, to religion, to things between, all the way around to dumbing out on Facebook.

I even found the time to work in a 2 mile run after eating a light breakfast. The weather was so stinking cold though, I decided to run really fast for two miles and call it a day. I’ve been inside ever since. I took a shower, read, played with the kids, took a nap and worked in some more reading but I call that kind of reading serious nerd reading.

At any rate, I even worked my way around to preparing what I do best: Steaks.

Here is my latest project. Marinading a couple of ribeye steaks with a nice, chilled cabernet.

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My wife asked me to explain the mess in the picture. She spent most of the morning baking treats and making Christmas goodies to pass out to the neighbors. So that explains the clutter. I managed to clear an area large enough for my task. In  her defense, she is cleaning up in there if it makes you feel better.

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Upon further review, these pictures do those ribeyes no justice. They are gonna cook some kind of good!

What will I do with the rest of may day and evening? Well, I don’t rightly know at the moment. But I reckon the possibilities are endless as far as I’m concerned (in this case, the only one that matters).

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I saw these little nuggets on the interstate and grabbed a quick shot once traffic slowed or stopped, which fortunately in this case was every few feet.

*Having an issue rotating the pics in WordPress. The first image is of a hearse.

Reads: “Dead End Cemetery.” The guy was eating a McDonalds breakfast burrito but I couldn’t get a shot of that. At least not while he was shoving it in his mouth.

Doesn’t leave a lot to figure out does it. Kind of gets straight to the point.

A Sidewalk Encounter: A Very Short Story

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Once there was a young man who felt blessed to be living in the time that he was. Every day he was thankful that he was a part of what truly was the early beginning of a new era. His instructions at the university taught him many new things that heretofore had been unknown. With new knowledge and understanding, his perception and awareness of the world went through profound changes. He made it a point to teach and share this new knowledge and understanding.

One day, the young man was walking through town and noticed an old man sitting beside the sidewalk. This wasn’t the first or the second time he noticed the old man. This particular time he pitied him more than at any one before.

The young man approached the old man curious as to why he chose to sit instead of stand, keep silent instead of speak, and observe instead of engage with the humanity that passed him. The young man started by quizzing the old man on the latest works of art, philosophy and literature.

“They are classics already! The things these men can do with their hands, wit and intellect is unprecedented. We live in great times!”

The old man barely seemed to acknowledge what the young man was saying.

Undeterred the young man continued. “Haven’t you heard about the foreign king? There has never been any like him. A dreadful man who will stop at nothing to expand his kingdom’s borders! No people have ever encountered such a foul despot. These are dreadful times!”

Again, the old man failed to give a satisfactory response.

“Don’t you know we have a new king? This one is great. He speaks wonderfully and promises a better world. Haven’t you heard of this man? He is quite famous already. Many say he is the best king we have ever had. Surely no man like him has existed. How fortunate we are that he lives during our time!”

The only reaction from the old man was a nod and a slight shrug of his shoulders.

It finally dawned on the young man that the old man was certainly a whine-head.

The young man offered some of his wine, but the old man did not accept.

The young man sang the newest melody but the old man did not dance.

Exasperated, the young man finally asked, “Old man, why do you just sit there? Don’t you know life is passing you? What has happened that has made you give up? Do you not know anything?

“I’ve tried to enlighten you about the world around you but you sit still and dumb as a stone!

“I offered my wine but you refused.

“I sang a song for you but you refused to dance.

“I’ve tried to engage you in conversation, move you out of your tragic state but you refused to budge.

“Don’t you want to learn more about life?”

The old man raised his head and finally acknowledged the youngster’s presence.

“I did not drink your wine because it is bad for my blood pressure.

“I did not dance to your song because it was terrible, and you aren’t a very good singer.

“I’ve heard of your artists, philosophers and writers but their works and ideas are not new. They are only a reintroduction; a reproduction of the ones forgotten.

“I’ve heard of this foreign king. He seems perfectly reasonable and not at all outstanding as far as foreign kings are known to behave.

“I’ve heard of our new king but at my age, I’ve seen many kings and this one does not sound any different than all the ones who came before him.

“I sit here by this sidewalk because this is how I learn. I meet fools everyday who think they have so much to teach. Always in a hurry for converts to this or that new idea, though the ideas are only new for the reason they just learned them.”

Insulted the young man asked, “You did not learn anything from our encounter?”

“No, I did not. At my age there is only affirmation.” The old man said it more with his eyes than his words.

“And what has been affirmed for you today, old man?” the young man asked.

“There have always been more fools than teachers in this world.”

Just In Case the World Ends Tomorrow…

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Here are a few things I let come to my mind. There’s no rhyme or reason how they fell. Just some jotting-down of thoughts on the subjects that ran through my mind and down to my fingertips in anticipation of the big day!

Life

Is neither hard nor easy. Instead it’s to be navigated like an open sea. Sometimes it is peaceful, beautiful, with awesome sunsets and clear nights. Other times it’s a raging monster and you are enveloped in pitch black, all disoriented, and helplessly unsure. All you want is to find a safe harbor. Then you realize ships aren’t made for harbors. Harbors were made for ships. So you draw anchor and sail again.

Sometimes I think I’ve missed it entirely.

Even those who were successful at it still provide us with great examples of failure.

Death

Is a fact.

Some are natural, others are terribly tragic.

None are easy.

Someone somewhere will miss the one who as passed regardless of the one who did the passing.

Will be around as long as there is life.

Can be explained simply as a consequence of time and chance.

I fear it.

Me

I believe in God and an afterlife; though I’m not mystical, overly spiritual or terribly religious. But, I am all of the above in some regards.

I’ve been skinny dipping.

I’ve been punched in the nose and been given a black eye.

I’ve failed even when I tried my hardest.

I’ve blew some really great opportunities.

I’ve outperformed my peers (and feel a devilish satisfaction for doing it).

I once wrote and gave a great speech. To overcome my nerves, I pretended I was a great leader addressing an assembly. It was an act and it worked.

I floss everyday and brush my teeth two to three times a day.

I want to make my own wine.

I want to write a book.

My name isn’t Anonymous Host.

I like the word “ain’t” and well placed fragment sentences.

I’m not as smart as I pretend; though not as dumb either.

I’m too dumb to read the classics.

I dream about doing great things.

I love Mark Twain but have never read one of his books. I just feed from his anecdotes, quotes, and excerpts.

I read two biographies a year.

Home

Will always be where I grew up. Sometimes I GoogleEarth where I lived and look at the places I used to roam, play sports, and build forts in the woods. I use the timeline feature and try to recall a memory from each year. Some are bad, most are good. The timeline feature stops at 2010, which is a good thing because loggers leveled all those woods.

I miss it.

It’s being rented by a family I don’t know and never met.

Being a Dad

Still can’t believe it.

Marriage

Isn’t that hard but it can be ruined.

My wife is better than me. And that’s why I married her.

Ideas

Are important but not any more important than people.

People

Have come to me for advice as far back as I can remember.

I make friends easily but I only have two people I consider friends. It’s not a term to be used lightly but a title of honor to be given sparingly.

I don’t understand some of them.

One of the worst things you can do to someone is not live up to their expectations.

Will fail you; but who else can you trust?

Family

Is the most important thing in your life.

Will separate but never be too far.

Your own family supersedes your mother and father’s family.

Politics

Always does more harm than good.

Taxes

Are like dirt and air, only not as old.

Women

Really are complicated.

Have a feminine grace that can’t be explained but can’t fail to be noticed

Have a beauty that outlasts their “looks.”

Really can multitask better than men.

Were made for men. Mainly because men aren’t very good alone.

Yes, some can be trouble.

Will fall for the “bad boy” but that will pass. They prefer to marry the good boys or at least the one who have given up the “bad boy” act.

Tomorrow

Will roll around.

Will not be the day when the world will end.

Mayans

Why didn’t they create a wheel?

What is it That I Have in Store for Myself?

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Sometimes I like to take it all in. I mean really reflect and project. I may say to myself, “I started at this point and now we are here.” Then I estimate, with a little dumb luck I may just end up over there. Up to now, I’ve managed to keep the Coincidence Cavalry off my flank. I’m not sure how long that can last though.

It’s around this time that when I get my hopes up; I opt for another place to land. So I set a course for my new destination but I usually end up counting the trees in the forest. I get a little sidetracked, turned around, and so, have to do some back tracking. This is when I discover that I’m back where I started having made no real progress, only a few changes.

I don’t duck obstacles or challenges, provided they are worth my time. I’m lazy unless I feel engaged enough to put out effort. College was a breeze for me. When I finished, I didn’t feel any real sense of accomplishment. It was just a check in a box. Grad school is tiring but fun. I already have a feeling I’ll feel the same way when that’s done.

I tend to get in the way of my best laid plans. I ask myself, “What exactly is it that you want us to do?” I don’t have an answer other than, “Anything other than what we are doing now.”

“We said that last time, the time before that, and the time before them. At what point will we be satisfied and live.”

“We don’t have an answer for that. But we have to admit, each move put us in a better position than the one before.”

“True. But where does that put us personally?”

“We don’t have an answer for that.”

And so it goes. I am perpetually unsatisfied and unfulfilled. I scratch and claw my way to a position in life long enough to stand on my feet before I scratch and claw my way someplace else. I hate sitting still.

I’m so afraid that twenty years from now I’ll be that person that says, “When I finally grow up, I would like to do this.”

I can’t even tell you what “this” is for me.

My Forgetful Neighbor

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I’ve mentioned my neighbor briefly. If you recall, he is the one who likes to drink vodka all day. As a result of his unquenchable thirst, he is often forgetful of our encounters and conversations. It amuses me because when we meet, it is like the meeting before and the one before that never occurred. So we start with a clean slate nearly every time we bump into each other. If you think about it in the right way, it’s almost refreshing. I mean, there has to be some advantage to being an alcoholic.

At any rate, I was standing out in front of the pharmacy, which is just down the road from my house, waiting to get filled my daughter’s prescription for her sore throat and earache. As I’m out front looking at mouthwash for the 11teenth time, up strolls my neighbor.

“What’s up dude?” I hear someone say to my left.

I look over and there stands my forgetful neighbor pushing an empty buggy (buggy is shopping cart for us Southern folk). I’m sure he was drunk but I can’t tell — mainly because I’ve never seen him sober.

“Man, I texted you to let you know I had the fight on! You never texted me back.”

“I know man. I remember getting your text but I can’t remember why I didn’t text back. I think I may have fallen asleep.”

“But you remember getting my text?” Prying for more information.

“Yes, but I’m not sure what I was doing when I got it or why I didn’t respond.”

The back story is that I told him a week before that I planned to order the Pacquiao/Marquez fight on pay per view. I distinctly recall him being excited about the fight and he told me he would come to my house and join me. He even offered to bring a dish. Actually, the guy can cook and since the fight costs $65, I didn’t object. I said, “Good. Looking forward to it. I’ll text you a little before the fight after we put the kids down for bed.”

“Sounds good. Can’t wait.”

I considered it a done deal. But I should have known better. That was at least four or five days before the actual fight. Considering how many vodkas and cranberry juice cocktails he had over the span in between, the conversation might as well have never happened.