My Absence Makes Sense.

I’ve been trying to come up with an explanation to my absence of writing this blog. I think I have one.

Last week my family and I walked through the Redwoods in Northern California. If you haven’t been, go. We stood next to trees that were thousands of years old. Some were here even before Jesus Christ himself, that’s a powerful moment. I really started to examine the human ego and why we think we are so important. I questioned myself and society equally. My conclusion: people are the most complex and confused species in the history of the universe. We make beautiful things, like this golden ale I’m currently sipping on. We revel in our accomplishments, like flying into space. We create communities. We have the ability to grow our own food. All of the wonderment of human creation is displayed for anyone to see and yet, these trees don’t care. They live on despite our plan to destroy them. They evolved and actually have three times the chromosomes of other trees to deal with us and environmental catastrophe. They adapt and we, well we devolve in many ways. The earth is more powerful than man will ever be. The minute she doesn’t want us here anymore, game over. The earth and her massive redwoods will likely survive us and we will just be a blip in the fossil record.

What I am saying is that in some ways I feel like these trees. I watch the plight of man. I read the condemnation of politics. I try to understand. Here’s the truth: we just make shit up. Sometimes the inventions that are created don’t mean anything, like American Idol. I know people that cry during contest shows like that. Why? We are amazingly confused about what is important. I watch as parents of a new generation are not guiding their kids to be much better versions of themselves, rather just than just being versions of themselves. When my kid eventually says, “daddy, I want to be like you…” a conversation will be had. I watch people, smart people argue that their way is the only way, even though there are 7 billion other people on the planet and thousands of years of history. I watch people die for no reason. People have forgotten where they come from. They forgot that we are all evolved from the same place and whether it is Africa or God is irrelevant. People are all the same, biologically we only evolved based off where we migrated to in relation to the sun. People near the equator remained dark to protect against harmful sun radiation and people that moved north evolved lighter skin to take in the suns good vitamin D. That’s pretty fucking amazing, yet we forget because we have small brains and we like to  fight and measure of endowment. We fight because we think our way… you know the rest. Human Ego.

So, I grew tired of it. I don’t read mindless Facebook posts anymore. I exercise my right to think for myself and create children that will be able to think, not just regurgitate some idea I had once. ((yeah, yeah, every once in awhile I post or repost a point. And it’s always thrown back at me, like it’s my problem.)) Have we lost the ability to listen and only shout?

I am terrified at the lack of human empathy, the value of another’s life and disregard for another’s point of view. These three problems will destroy us, maybe not tomorrow or the next day but eventually it will catch up and those trees will still be blowing in the wind.

I’m not sure this ramble makes any sense to you but it does to my own “time to time” absence. I love people and hate people equally. Look around and find some good. Be kind to someone that you think could use it. Lose the Ego for just a second and feel how good it is to actually be allowed to live on this planet.

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SoCal, Where You At?

On June 3rd I will be lining up on the starting line at the Rock N Roll Marathon in San Diego. I would like to invite my friends in SoCal to join my support team. My wife and 2 youngsters will be coming as well. I would love you see your faces while I’m out on the course. I also would like to set up a dinner or lunch with all of you. It’s been so long and I would love to catch up.

Any new people that want to join in are always welcome.

Message me if you want further details. Cheers!

This Unfair Life

Simply put: life is unfair. Every turn of existence seems to  land a gut punch to the soul. I have a hard time some days compartmentalizing these feelings. As a parent that’s what you must become an expert at and I am working hard to achieve. It’s not bottling up fear, hurt, anger; it’s more a “put it over here” and save it for later, an appropriate later where you can battle it. Where you can cry hard and ask the questions of both your maker and your inner self.

We have been turned upside down recently by life’s unfair biology. I have no answers and once again I’m put in the position of being able to do nothing. I cannot help. I cannot advise. I cannot input. I cannot replace. I can only sit here, running my engine on empty. It is a false perception in my own noggin that I “cannot.” I do plenty, it’s more a question of effectiveness. Things have and are happening just outside of my outstretched arms. So, I must live on. I must continue to work hard. I must continue to work on me, on my legacy. I must continue to believe in myself, even when it’s hard to see purpose or reason through the tears.

I’ve started working towards some lofty goals this year and I have moments that I want to quit everyday. I ask myself, “why? You don’t have to do this… You are going to fall flat on your face, again…” This voice has reared it’s devastating head many times in my life. It’s easy quitting. I think I’ve written these words on here before (blog Deja vu?). The difference now is simple; there are 3 people that live in this house with me. People that I look up to figuratively and down to literally. One of the main things I want to show my kids and prove to my wife is that “you have to finish what you start.” I’ve never done this. It’s a point of embarrassment for me, not of pride. Want to know what some of these goals are, see my last post.

Who and what I’m leaning on is surprising. My new community that I’ve meandered into on Instagram is fantastic. The surprising part is that it’s comprised of mostly people I’ve never met, sprinkle in a couple individuals that I’ve know for a long time. The strangers have been sources of hope, inspiration, comedy, kindness, compassion, strength and love. They are different than the mainstays, the perceived “friends and family.” I am grateful everyday that I’ve found that platform. I know I have made friends for a lifetime there.

So, here I am. I take a deep breath, wipe my tear soaked tired eyes and go back to work. I must be a rock right now. I must only lead by example. Over the last couple years I’ve learned that trying to talk-help someone has minimal impact (at least from me, the untrained). However, action always wins; building legacy by showing my true grit is my new help for you. Here I go. Come along with me if you want.

 

 

 

Charlie.

We lost an incredible young lady this week. My niece, 35 year old Charlie Vine, passed away peacefully after enduring sudden cardiac arrest. I, along with anyone who has ever known her, are torn to pieces. Sense cannot be made of such a tragedy, so we will be forced to try and cope in our own ways.

Charlie defined what a free spirit is and we were always connected in some way. I will treasure the time we had on earth. I will write more about her when the gutted emotions subside and I can put a sentence together.

I wanted to write this because I know that there are people on here that knew her and maybe aren’t aware of what happened. Your compassion and love will be felt. Thanks in advance.

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!!