Against the Math

Math is the universal language. When most things don’t make since, math usually does. That’s what the smart, Jeff Goldblum type characters tell us anyway.  My skill set does not line up with the “way of the number” and that’s a very good thing. For me, this year takes aim at percentages and says, “forget everything you thought you knew, screw the odds!”

June 3, 2018. It’s an upcoming Sunday, less than 90 days away, how it flies! At some point in the morning on that day I will be taking my place at the starting line in San Diego for my first marathon. I’ve been slowly increasing my training over the last few weeks and tonight while “fartleking” (a training method, not gas) on the treadmill I came to a realization, “I might actually be able to pull this shit off!” “Tons of people run marathons Billy, why are you so dramatic?” You might be saying. Well, no they don’t. Only .05% of the US population have ever run a marathon! A few months ago when I started this whole thing, I couldn’t jog around the block, making my percentage even lower. There is significance to the race and where it’s at as well, but that will be wrapped up at the end with a tidy bow just like you mathematicians like it!

June 4, 2018. Here’s where it gets fun and flabbergasting. The day after the marathon is, in my world called the “Longest Day in Golf.” It’s Sectional Qualifying day for the 2018 United States Open. I have not been to this day in my many attempts over the last decade and a half, or so. Without getting too golf-centric for my non-golf readers, let’s say it’s a really long shot to make it to the Open from qualifying. Let’s see if I can explain. There are 2 stages, Local and Sectional. 100 Local sites are held across the US, with a couple International locations. It is a 18 hole round of stroke play and so many from each site advance to Sectionals. That’s the easy part, except for the fact I’ve never done it. The longest day in golf consists of only 12 sites and 36 holes in one day for only a few spots at each location. Simple, shoot 3 good scores and get in, right? Here’s the math: 9,485 players tee’d it up at local qualifying in 2017, only 73 players gained entrance into the Open from Qualifying. If I do some quick gorilla math, that’s .77% (thanks Texas Instruments). So, you’re saying there’s a chance!!! A thought, “how many qualifiers have run a marathon the day before Sectionals? Get ready Golf Channel!

The game and the sites have unique significance in my life. This is where things get even more interesting. In our country, every 4 minutes someone dies from a drug overdose, an alcohol overdose or suicide. This is unfortunate math that permeates our culture and isn’t talked about near enough. I talk the shit out of it because someone has to! You hear all the tales of sorrow but not too many survivor’s regale the world in triumph.  I’m lucky enough to not have become one of those statistics, overcoming very one sided odds. 2001, San Diego California, it became my reality that I could end my own pain. Long story, that you can read somewhere in this blog, made short; something, someone, somehow intervened. I survived my first of a few near deaths. So, running a marathon in a city that holds that kind of memory is a very big deal to me. The dichotomy of that is San Diego is also home to some of my fondest memories and probably my favorite place on the west coast. One of the many things that has led me to this great life that I lead today is the game of golf, not just a game to me.

You want more “against the percentages” for 2018. A few years ago I went back to school. I started as a 38 year old freshman and a junior college. I’m busting my ass to complete my BA by the end of this year. That would be a monumental achievement for me.  Let me say that differently, that will be a monumental achievement for me. I don’t know the percentages of adults that go back to college and complete a BA and honestly I’m sick of math, so let’s just say it’s probably less than the marathon and US Open combined.

Add in a little man that will turn 2 the week after the Open (yes, I was hoping he was born on the weekend of) , a sassy 3 year old princess that turns 4 in October, a kick ass wife that has earned more of ME, my 42 birthday in October and many other ambitions I’ve got my sites set on and you could say 2018 is just another year in my crazy adventure.

If you are a realist and have no place for dreamers in you heart, please keep it to yourself. If you are new to my writing and would like, please read more. It can get ugly at times, so please don’t grammar Nazi me. I write these very quickly and tend to fuck up a little. I use foul language from time to time.  If you are from my public Instagram, welcome to a little more of me! If you’ve been reading for years, I’m back! Thanks for hanging in there during my hiatus!


Interest Poll

Are you interested in reading anymore from me? “Like” or comment on this post on the various platforms and I will determine if it’s worth it. Have an incredible day!!

Strange Parental Pride and Dick Publisher

Opposite sides of the unGodly spectrum that inhabits my experiences; parenting and publishing.
Everyone says this, “they don’t put that in parenting books,” or “nobody tells you that.” There are many parenting experiences that can only be felt in person and no amount of words can make it understandable to the childless. We went to dinner with Grandpa last night at our local pizza joint. Mom and Grandma are out of town on “business.” Overblown details aside, Piper said, “I have to go poo poo…” and ran down the hallway to the bathroom. We have been potty training for the last few weeks and she had been on a streak of no accidents for the entire week. I just figured she was about to pee her pants and then she unleashed a barrage of poops that would make any truck driver proud. It was “our” first successful poop in public. I’ve strangely never been more proud. It took me to the last day of high school and endless hours of cramming to pass a final in order to graduate, this trumped that with ease. As I sipped my cocktail and took a smooth draw from my Cuban (after the kids went to bed) last night, I continued to ponder the ridiculous nature of human beings. We are hilarious.
Other foot: I have a couple hundred readers on here, mostly other blog writers, some professional writers and publishers. I received an email out of the blue from one of the later. I will call him Publisher Prick, PP for short. PP wrote a sweet 2 paragraph email to me to inform me that a company such as there’s would never publish anything I write. It’s because of the “amateur attitude” I show towards grammar and language.” I do not give it the “respect it’s earned.” Here’s the best part. I didn’t send anything to him/her. I just occasionally write for fun. In my many social bios, I do list “amateur writer.” What would cause this kind of response? Why would someone try to yuck all over me? I know all the answers, do you? Perhaps this is part of the old guard trying to protect his format, his genre against the uneducated stylings of an adult student that’s just trying to find his place. Maybe this guy drank too much last night and has had enough of the daily story telling that has become my place. PP, more than likely is impotent, perhaps a basement dweller. Haven’t sold a book or script in a while you scumbag fuck?! Then something popped in my head, words of another online presence I listen too often. “When you start getting Trolls, you know you are doing something…” Is this my first real Troll? If so, I say thanks dildo, you’ve legitimized me and made me feel awesome this morning!! Is that opposite of what you were attempting. If my 3 year old took a shit at your house, I would be equally proud and no sir, we would not flush. Happy Monday!
“Don’t let anyone Yuck your Yum!” J.O.
Oh yeah, and enjoy Disney Land Mom and Grandma!!

Jim and Tiger

Few golfers bring me to the brink of joyful emotion more than that of Eldrick “Tiger” Woods. Good or bad; there has never been another public persona that has resonated in my soul. I don’t get too hyped about much these days but the thought of Tiger stalking the new generation of snot nosed talents in their flat brims and Euro fit slacks brings me to the point of giddy. He’s currently on the 8th hole of what I, along with thousands others, hope this is his “real” second coming. Only time and pressure might create this historically epic comeback, a real diamond. We wait, we watch, we hope.

I listen to KNBR, Bay Area sports radio on my short commute. I especially love Thursdays because they have my favorite sports voice on and a man I look up to as a person. There’s not much better than Jim Nance. They happened to be talking to him while Tiger was on his first hole. Jim turned on the coverage on his television, where ever he was and called TW’s first putt at birdie on the first. That was a moment created by universal timing for me to hear, that’s what I think anyway. I’m full of emotion and as I finish this, Mr. Woods has just birdied the 8th hole. Go get them Tiger! Make history.

2017 Vision, 2018 Action

I got an email the other day from a reader, “worried about you.” The message conveyed was one of care, one of substance. The writer wrote about stories of mine that had touched them and that my words had comforted them in times of great strife. My entire catalog was consumed by this person and then I received a message, “when someone of your depth disappears from a platform like this, I worry that you’ve slipped back to a dark place. Please tell me I’m wrong…”

Well, my dear person, you are very wrong. Life tastes better than it ever has. The honest truth is that I have tried to retract my self to one of observation. I’ve been on the watchtower for most of 2017, just watching humanity. I have an infinite want and desire to understand the species in which we were born. Why are we the way we are? What separates us from other animal, besides the obvious ones?  I’ve consumed so many words, videos, narratives and emotions this year that the sense that I was trying to make, cannot. I cannot give a conclusion to a hypothesis that doesn’t exist. The only truth that I know is that our time here is limited no matter our culture, age, color, politics, creed, religion or anything else our complicated human brains tell us that is important. So, that in mind, that I will be gone one day, I’ve spent recent days focusing on what is important and how I can get to it.

Legacy is number one for me. That includes what kind of friend/husband/father I am but also what I do to make a dent in the world. I’ve always entered a job by saying, “when I leave here it will be better than when I got hired.” I want the world to know that when I leave, a small contingent of souls or maybe large one will sing my name. Is that human ego propping it’s head up on my shoulder or something else?

1976-2017 have been fairly eventful and my wedding/kids births cannot be beat. That being said 2018 is shaping up to be an enormous one for ME. I will be writing about it as I go. I hope you read along. I hope you realize how much it means to me that you read my silly words. Thanks to the person, whom I do not know, for the care in your words. I’m grateful for you. As a matter of fact, I’ve found comfort recently in strangers’ encouragements and that’s another previous thought about humanity shot to shit.

Enjoy your Turkey!!

Fire Victim’s Sale

Hey there! If you don’t already know I am having a sale next week on multiple social media sites. Most of the items I’m procuring are between 20 and 40 bucks (There are a couple bigger packages as well) ! It’s an easy way to get a gift, maybe stocking stuffer, for a loved one! Also, ALL THE MONEY that I raise will be donated directly to fire victims! Please pay attention and if you haven’t already go FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM @BILLYGRANTGOLF.

Thanks for your attention and I’m going to keep posting updates until the sale begins!!!

Talk to Each Other.

Anger is not getting anything done. I’m angry and I haven’t done anything. Over the last few days I’ve been watching, reading, posting and writing. Has it done anything? Well, yeah, it has (contrary to previous sentence). It’s deepened the divide. It’s widened the wedge. I’ve watched my “friends” lists shrink. Instead of engaging in meaningful conversation, I “have been part of the problem.” We ALL have. I’ve emulated what our leadership has become. I am a hypocrite. I can fully admit complacency in the past. I’ve let my voice be silenced by my own fortitude. Meaning, that I didn’t want to piss people off with my views of the world, so I said nothing. However, the message boards are not where things get done. Reposting, posting and writing scathing articles that offend others is not the way. Getting out from behind the keyboard is the only way. Being able to talk to someone and disagree and then talk some more has been lost in the fold that has been created by both leadership and our own technology addicted brains. We are so willing to just let go of one another instead of listening and perhaps learning. I’ve been called out by 3 friends over the last two days. All conservative, middle country, white; their views are everything you assume; anti NFL protest, pro Trump, American first and I assume Christian. I did something crazy. I talked to them. Albeit, via text and message but the conversations were meaningful and powerful. Common ground was struck in all three relationships. Were our minds and values changed? No but understanding, recognition and some appreciation did. What? How? Those are questions that you need to figure out for yourselves.  They are uncomfortable but surprisingly therapeutic. I understand that there are people that won’t and refuse to participate in meaningful conversation about these issues from all sides of the spectrum and that’s unfortunate. That’s like the children in government. They will continue to separate themselves into the TWO CAMPS.  But there are those amongst us that can and we are the ones that need to change things. I’ve been crucified in the past for being in the middle, complicit but maybe my role is one of a moderator. We, the few in the middle must act like glue and heal our country.

So, I put out into this space a CHALLENGE (no ice bucket needed) to all who find themselves on a side. You know someone of opposite view, instead of ripping into their comment threads contact them and chat. Try. It may not turn out like mine have but it might. What do you have to lose? Then do something even crazier. Write about that experience and post it. PROVE THAT IT’S POSSIBLE. More than ever we need people to speak, to connect. It’s not happening from the top like it should. So let’s change the narrative. Let’s reverse Physics and make the shit roll up hill. WE THE PEOPLE. REMEMBER?