9 Year Anniversary

For The Wife and I, today was our 9th wedding anniversary. Nine years! Can’t believe it. A lot of people lost money on that first year. Yes, there were detractors, people who said we wouldn’t last a couple of months, let alone an entire year! True ’nuff. So, I’m happy to continue to disappoint all those people, who shall remain nameless.

Times haven’t always been easy going or all that great. As with any couple, I suppose, there were hard times mixed in there. Money was extra tight in the beginning. We jumped in head first. My wife wanted to work from home, keeping a couple of kids on the side. I worked full time at a job I’d only been at for 2 years and couldn’t stand. A month after we had been married, we discovered we were already expecting a baby. 7 months later, our boy popped out 7 1/2 weeks early, wasn’t able to breath on his own and spent a couple of weeks in the hospital. To top THAT off, our insurance, the fine Blue Cross Blue Shield folks, refused to pay for his stay in NICU. Despite numerous letters from the delivering doctor, the head of the NICU, the head nurse and the gentleman over my work’s HR department, the mighty board of important decision making at BCBS decided it was completely unnecessary for our nearly 8 week premature son to have to stay in the hospital. He should have been sent home the very next day and they absolutely refused to pay a single penny toward his medical bills.

Here you have 2 folks, one paycheck, a son nearly 2 months early and our insurance provider sticks us with a $56,000 hospital bill because they see no reason why a premature child whose lungs weren’t fully developed and couldn’t breath without a machine needed to be in the hospital. Add on top of that our attempts to clear up the usual bills and debts we had accumulated in our youth and badda-bing, you got a big old lump of worry and stress.

But we dug and busted hump and crawled through a lot of bull crap. Here we are. We have a huge, healthy 8 year old, I’m going on my 11th year at my job, my wife is still a stay-at-home mom who is still babysitting AND home schooling our son. We climbed out from our debt, finally was able to buy our own house instead of renting.

It’s a learning experience – one more of those things you need to experience because reading about it just doesn’t do it justice.

So, yeah, Happy Anniversary to my dear wife. May life continue to shine in our direction 🙂


Puddle of Mud – She Hates Me (Uncensored)

I’ve never heard anything else by this band. I’ve never bothered to look anything else up and sample it from this band. All I know is that I love this song. This is the uncensored, unofficial version of the music video because, honestly, to censor it and then broadcast it would defeat the entire meaning behind the song, just like Pink’s F*cking Perfect. So here you go.

A Series of Random Thoughts, Part 2: Negativity & Consequences

Today is your lucky day. After typing out a super-long, confusing, much more jumbled than normal post, I finally scrapped the entire thing and decided to start over. So here we are. I hope that this one will be a more focused and less rambling discussion of something I have a strong opinion on. This something being the idea that we – by way of negative, or bad, behavior – create our own problems. Be it karma, a spiritual backlash, punishment from a higher power – whatever your beliefs in what I’m going to try and explain my view on, I believe it is what causes us the most trouble in life.

I believe that our negative actions and habits lead – subconsciously or otherwise – to the troubles we have in our every day lives. Karma. That old what goes ’round, comes ’round method of life. Good vibes, bad vibes, good run of bad luck method of mayhem. If we behave badly, engage in negative aspects of life, then it has been my observation and experience that negative outcomes follow soon after. Describing what I’m talking about is where I have the most trouble. Let me try and work out as clear an example as I can. Hang with me for a few moments and we’ll see if I can do it. This may get messy. If it does, you’ll never know it because I’ll just trash this one, too and try to start over.

Let me use a semi-made-up person that I will call Bob as an example.

Bob is a successful college professor. He teaches several classes, has a good job, makes good money. Bob is also married and has two wonderful children and quite a successful side business that is also his hobby. He has managed to find a way to turn that hobby into something other people are willing to pay for. He has it all! But … Bob is actually always running into bad luck. Nothing seems to go right. He has the money, the family support, the career backdrop, but Bob just can’t seem to win. It is always something. Car troubles, student troubles, family arguments, etc.

Bob has it all – money, family, job. He is every definition of the word winning. (I swear, that is the only time I will resort to using that god-awful and much overused term.) Always under stress from things turning bad, Bob usually escapes into the wonderful world of pornography. He’s always been a fan of the porn industry. Bob attends adult conventions, follows the “stars” on Twitter and Facebook, sends them private messages, watches their bodies of (ahem) work. He really supports the adult film industry.

In this example, I believe the here that Bob invests his valuable time in the world of pornography, he is sabotaging his personal life by setting himself up for failure in other areas. Pornography is – in my opinion – a negative point in our lives. Some may view it as a healthy outlet, some may view it as a protected form of entertainment, but I view it as destructive as going out an trashing someone’s car or robbing another person. Bob’s gut feeling knows this and he subconsciously makes mistakes due to the conflicting emotions inside him. Now because of his involvement with a “seedier” side of life, his personal life is affected. He spends more money than he should and is overdrawn. He talks down to his wife and his marriage is on rocky ground. He is busy browsing porn sites and watching videos so he doesn’t have time for his kids. His job is affected, his time is consumed, yet he doesn’t know what the problem is.

Personally, I’ve seen the same thing happen to friends, to myself and to co-workers. I’m not just basing this on a wild far-flung theory I dreamed up. I have come to believe that actions that bare negativity – be it pornography, deplorable treatment of others, gossiping incessantly and so-forth – lead to a reversal of karma that comes back and smacks us in our own face.

My own example: back in the day I use to be similar to Bob, minus the money and family part. I, too, was in on a seedier side of the internet with its seemingly unlimited access to explicit adult content. All during this time of my life, everything that could go wrong did. I had the worst luck of anyone you’d ever seen. Once I began to grow out of that phase, adjust my life accordingly and actually change my way of living for the better, things improved. The same goes for those around me that I’ve witnessed with the same experiences. Not necessarily with something as adult oriented as porn, mind you, but I hope you get my example.

I’m not saying this is a religious experience – stepping away from the “bad” to experience the “good.” But I do believe that living a calmer, cleaner lifestyle directly affects the attitude and overall experience we face each day. Behave positively and you’ll be rewarded with positive results. Simple stuff. Deal with bad things and bad things will return to you 10-fold. Folks can choose their own method of dealing with this, through the comfort of religion and prayer or well wishes and good vibes as the kids call it these days. Either way, I feel that we have the control to change things for the better based on the simplest of our actions. Something that may not seem harmful – googling the latest leaked photos of a celebrity flashing their bits – may subconsciously set us up for sabotage at a later point. I think it is the deeply buried, internal moral compass we are all designed with. Some people have turned this compass off and they are some of our worst offenders. Others have forgotten how to read it and some only bother to glance at it when they’ve hit rock bottom in the hopes of getting back on the right track before veering off again.

As a society, I have little faith in the human race. We are violent, self destructive and more concerned with gossiping than getting anything constructive done. As a result, we live in a world filled with negativity and that crap builds up thicker then the carbon emissions our government worries about. There is a strong moral decay in the world and it all starts with the way we treat ourselves and the lives we live and expands from there. We do the drugs – even the over the counter variety that we view as harmless. We eat the fast food and get fat. We delve into the seedier sides of pornography and claim that it’s art and protected under free speech and expression. We defend one religion and call for tolerance while ripping another apart and condemning those that worship it. We fight wars overseas for the same reason we fight with our coworkers at work – because we can’t keep out noses out of other peoples business.

We create our own strife – at home as well as globally and then blame everyone but ourselves for the results. I suppose I should have used something other than pornography as my main example in this rant, but it is the one I feel other internet users can associate with as it is so wide spread online. If we just live a clean lifestyle – free of the venom that advertisers, co-workers, so-called friends and the other negative influences in our lives – I believe a person can have a near perfect experience. Of course, it takes two to tango, they say, so that will also depend on those you choose to associate with. Thinning the herd on friends and limiting contact with negative co-workers that in truth are holding you back can be more difficult, but I think the end result will be worth any hurt feelings or burnt bridges you must endure.

Negative actions equal negative reactions. We have a moral compass inside – are born with it – it’s that gut feeling that tells you something is wrong. Unfortunately we’ve learned to turn it off or have lost track of it all together. Society is crumbling around us and we’re slaves to abhorrent behavior, yet we wonder why bad things happen to us. Karma may be a bitch, but we are her master and control when she comes around.

Cuddle? That’ll Cost You $60

I first heard about this on The Angry Mailman Podcast (Episode 101, you can find a link to the site in my Links section on the right). Since that isn’t exactly something I felt comfortable looking up at work, I hit the Google when I got home. Sure enough, a 29 year-old New York woman has opened a cuddling business. If you are lonely and just want to hold someone, for $60, she’ll snuggle up to you. But that’s all … wink, wink … Please view the video over at Huffington Post, complete with an interview with the woman.

Huffington Post: Jackie Samuels Charges $60 for Cuddling in New York

Movies: The Hunger Games

Movies: The Hunger Games.

I have to admit, after hearing all the popular opinions of the movie and seeing all the merchandise associated with it, my hopes were high to see what all the excitement was about. So my wife and I finally got a change to sit down and watch this film.

The link above will take you to a quick personal review I typed out on The Hunger Games over the weekend. The site you’ll be directed to, Geek by Choice, is a blog a friend and I are posting on about all the nerdy/geek, tech and pop culture related items we enjoy.