Suicide;

September comes to a close and hardly a blip on your radar was Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. It scrapes the periphery of the main stream media. Besides an awesome performance by Logic at the VMA’s (anyone still watch that?) pop culture could care less. Beautiful people’s lives are destroyed by this, there’s a few moments of reflection and then it’s gone. There are foundations and programs across the country that help with prevention and awareness everyday but you don’t know about them. They are funded by private donations. You won’t but I ask anyway. Donate. It sounds harsh and will rub you the wrong way but if it were a dog charity or a kids cancer benefit you wouldn’t hesitate. The number of people that are being personally affected by this scourge grows daily and yet we do nothing. I’m angry.

How about some Statistics. There are more than 1,000 suicides on college campuses every year! More than 395,000 people are treated every year in hospital ER’s for self inflicted wounds! Less than 25% of people affected with depression seek adequate treatment! Unwillingness to seek help is a leading cause of suicide! On average almost 20 veterans a day, die by suicide!

Get help, seek treatment, find a way. You can’t beat a beast like this alone. September is almost over and you’ll have another year to ignore.

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Mom, I am not.

I’ve written about the plight of the stay at home dad a little bit I think. I’ve written how the world of parenting is not set up for these beasts of burden. I’ve told stories of odd looks and “mom approved products.” I’ve tried to match the ferocity of my female counterparts. I work hard. I’ve put forth great effort and not so great.  I’ve cried. I was all wrong. I am not a mom. I will never be as good as a mom. I am dad. Dad’s suck at being moms or at least this one does anyways. To all the Moms out there, I’m sorry I thought I could step on your territory and thrive. I kneel to your greatness. Is this satire? I’ll let you decide. For now, I concentrate on being dad. Fuck you societal norms. Fuck progress, let’s go back to the terrible ways of the past or as you call it, America.

Beer.

Going to the store. Going to make beer. Homebrew is good for you.

Football.

I played it. I lived it. I love it. I can call it (not impressed by Tony Romo highlights calling a game). I could probably be a damn fine coach.  I don’t watch it anymore? I’ve given the excuse that we cut our cable (direct TV actually, red zone and all) but the reasons for tuning out go much deeper. No, I’m not boycotting because of political virtue. No, I’m not ghosting because of the violence and head injury prone nature of the game. I’m not going to lie, not paying an enormous bill is a part of it. Direct TV has no loyalty to long time customers, but that’s a whole different post. The 2 main reasons for not watching or even paying attention are my kids and my friends or lack there of. When I think about football its the relationships that come along with it that are in the forefront of my mind. Playing high school ball was about me and my buds competing on the practice field and then going into battle with rivals. When I tried to play college ball, there were a few people that I loved being around and learning nuanced offensive play calling. Watching the game, I always think about friends that I no longer am close with or don’t live near. I have a very difficult time making new friends, so this has touched some nerve that is very uncomfortable. My kids have taken precedence for the last couple years and they have zero interest in sports TV. Oh yeah, this article applies to most sports, not just football.  It’s a strange place I find myself in. Not knowing anything about something that I’ve been watching and enjoying my entire life is bizarre. I don’t know if it’s temporary or not. I don’t know the next step. I don’t know a lot. For now, I’m actually enjoying my time away from sports. I have more time for other stuff and don’t get miffed if I miss a game. I know they don’t miss me.

Smiles?

The continual hardening of American faces is a disease. I want to be in a good mood. I want to laugh and smile without reason. Smiles are infectious and more powerful than the army of frown but they are in short supply. The smile palace is being decimated by negative ion bombs. Human beings are destroying each other from the inside out. Mother nature has nothing on the inner turmoil of the conscious being. I smiled at a girl this morning and she gave me the “fuck you and your dog” look back. Out loud I said, “I don’t have a dog…” Here’s the good news. There are people out there that combat bitch face everyday. There are happy people. I must find them. I am happy but it’s mostly contained within my household. My perma-frown grows a little by the hour. I must change. I plead with my insides to get out of my way. I beg my wall to come down. I’m scared of making friends. The mere thought gives me anxiety. I don’t know how or what to do. My suggestion box is open and available. By the way, I appreciate humor and the art of sarcasm but it’s not always the way.

Strangers With Candy

I used to say “strangers are only friends I haven’t made yet.” That was an ion ago and I’ve grown old and bitter. Strangers are my biggest allies right now. Other than the inner workings of my household, it’s been the support and love that complete God Damn strangers have given me lately that keeps me doing “passion projects.” Thank you. Thank you for liking, commenting, messaging me, for ideas, for encouragement, for knowledge, for piece of mind. I really can’t say thank you enough.   This also serves as a critical notice to my “friends and family.” (of course there are exceptions, so don’t get all pissy if you fall in that category).  I write you all the time, text you, phone you, email you… a loooooot of you. Don’t take your friends and family for granted. I’ve begun to let go of the fact that I will not be friends with you if this is “one sided.” If you’re saying to yourself right now, “yeah, I haven’t heard from you in a while…” You may be on that list. Find each other people. Let’s change the way we relate. Or, let’s go back to the old school, where we didn’t have technology to make it easier, and completely lose touch with one another. Maybe that is the whole point. Is it? I continue on, will you join me or be laid to waste on the side of the super highway?

Re Run but Important

I wrote “The Kids Aren’t Alright” in 2011 and nothing has changed for the better. If anything, the educational system is far worse. This Betsy lady cares nothing about the public school system and kids don’t seem to be even in the Top 10 priority of this administration. Top that with the idea to even think about deporting 800,000 kids that have only known America as home is infuriating. I don’t know what to do. For the first time in my life, I’m really looking at other countries for residence. We probably won’t make that move but it’s never been in the forward of my thoughts either. I’m hopeful good people will prevail and all evils will be corrected. The kids in this fucking place need the adults to start acting like adults. Please read my old post below. Love, Billy.

We went to a tree lighting ceremony tonight for the city we live in. It was beautiful, had a very small town feel. They had children’s choirs singing Christmas carols, yummy food, a snow field for kids to play in,  free hot chocolate and coffee, and of course, Santa showed up. I finally felt a little bit at home. One disturbing occurrence however, we were eating and this little girl approached Stephanie and asked her if she knew where she supposed to go. Stephanie leaned down and talked to the girl and told me she would be right back. When she got back she explained. The girl’s parents just sent her up to the stage from probably a few hundred yards away. She was signing in one of the choirs. When asked, “where are your parents?” She said,” They didn’t want to come up here.” Keep in mind, there were probably a couple thousand people at the event. Here’s the kicker, she was a third grader and had to ask a stranger to help her find the way. Parents piss me off sometimes.
So from time to time I watch the food network and one of my favorite shows is, Chopped. I watched a great episode tonight. It featured school cafeteria cooks. It was really good but I heard some disturbing statistics. They said that there are 1/3 of school children in the United States that don’t get enough to eat. They also mentioned that about 1/3 of school children are now or approaching obesity. That is way too many kids not getting correct nutrition. Couple that with our public school system nightmare and we really have a crisis here. I believe that with all the shit going on in our country right now, kids are getting lost in the fold.
I always hear parents say, “there’s no instruction manual…” Well, there are plenty of books that would help. I believe that education reform should be the priority of this country and that includes nutrition and health. I recently heard a man (far right-wing((but that shouldn’t matter))) say that this reform is not a priority at this time. I thought to myself, “this guy’s is about 65 years old. He will probably live another 20 years or so and then who will be running the country? The kids in the broken education system shoving shit in their mouths or starving because school lunches are inadequate… That makes sense a whole hell of  a lot of sense.” Tune in and watch this upcoming election and the shit stream that comes from it and ask yourself what’s important. They wonder why young people don’t vote. It’s because the leadership doesn’t give a rat’s ass about them.