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!!

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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?

To Take a Knee

That escalated quickly. Everyone take a big deep breath. Put all your energy aside for a moment. No matter your position, sit and read. I want to offer a different point of view. I won’t try to change your mind. Most of you have decided that nobody can do that. Most of you are passionate through your eyes. So this is for everyone.

As previously stated I’m not watching football this year. I could not avoid the wreck this Sunday and carnage that followed.  I understand both sides of this argument (albeit completely different points of argument and way different levels of understanding). I get that certain patriots feel like they are being disrespected. Perhaps a family member has perished in battle, you’ve wept long and honor them every time you hear that song or bear that flag. I get the young black point of view. Colin first knelt last August. He did it because he thought it would bring attention to the struggle of the black male against the way they are policed. It’s understandable how both sides are outraged. I read a lot of posts, blogs, articles and threads on this topic over the last few hours. Only a few are amicable or even sympathetic to the opposition (or what they view as the opposition). In most of the messages it’s pure denouncement of the other side. It’s “my way, our way or get out.” It’s you “fucking white people don’t understand.” It’s “thug millionaires.” It’s “do it on your own time.” It’s “Hillary lost, get over it.” It’s “you are raping the honor from this country.” It’s “libetards.” It’s “fake patriotic fucks.” It’s “sons of bitches.”  These are direct quotes. These are Americans in present day America. If you said one of these things, in your brain I’m sure you have reason. Have you lost empathy? Have you lost compassion?

I scrolled through the still shots and watched a little video of these silent demonstrations. There were two images that struck me and I thought “that’s it, that’s a message that maybe ALL can understand!” The first was one teammate kneeling in between two that were standing. The second was a video of one teammate kneeling, when the song is over, a “standing” teammate helps the other up and embraces him. It struck me because these are men that disagree with each other but have agreed that the other has this right. They may even think that it is disrespectful but they accept their teammates’ point of view. They accept his difference. They recognize their difference. They empathize.  They then do to work for a common goal, together.

Then I head to the political realm. It typifies not working together. It wedges hard between two sides. I think to myself, “these are brilliant minds, yet they think they are on different teams?” A thought runs into my head, starts as a trickle and then burst like a damn. We need leaders that are more like the NFL players that stood and knelt next to one another. These “thug millionaires” have figured out how to work together better and more graciously than our elected officials. These “brilliant minds” that are put in place by us act like 4th graders. They draw hard lines in the sand and say to the American people, “they are wrong, we are right. Do not give. Take!” The American brain is forced to “choose.” You are “washed” one way or another. You’ve lost empathy.

“They should do this on their own time.” Google, “NFL players donate to charity or NFL players give to society.” I’m really surprised by the millionaire rhetoric. These young men do quite a bit for their respective communities but most of them like to stay out of the news. Even the one’s that are perceived at “thugs” give. “When former Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh isn’t busy on the field, he’s equally aggressive about donating to charity. In 2012, Forbes ranked Suh highest among NFL players on the top 30 most generous celebrities for his $2.6 million donation to the University of Nebraska, which included $2 million for the athletic department and another $600,000 to a scholarship fund for the College of Engineering. Suh also runs a number of his own charities, such as the Ndamukong Suh Family Foundation. With a new six-year contract from the Miami Dolphins worth over $114 million, Suh has plenty of capital to maintain his spot as the most charitable player in the game.” Remember him? He’s the “thug” that kept stomping heads on the field. I’m sure you had a name for him. My question to you is “what do you do?” I hope it’s more than a filter on Facebook. Can you empathize with his cause?

What are they kneeling for? Well, when Colin knelt it was in protest for police brutality. I’ve heard people say that this isn’t an issue, that police officers are just doing their jobs. Killing unarmed young men is not their jobs. They are protecting their own lives? I’m here to tell you it’s mostly not the men in uniforms fault. There are “rotten apples” within but mostly it is a systemic problem. Policing is not adequate. Training is not adequate. Community based policing does not exist in cities.   The judicial system is rigged against the poor. Did Colin’s protest do anything? There have been over 200 black people shot and killed by law enforcement in the year following Colin’s protest. You’ve seen video of unarmed kids just arguing with cops put down with extreme force. Training is not adequate. I’ve argued with police officers before. I’ve thought I was wrongly accused. I am alive. Can you imagine (empathy) being harassed everyday, just for walking to work? Can you put yourself in those shoes, because of where you are born, that might decide your life span? Can you speak with someone that has grown up there and try to understand? Can you empathize? Can you take action? Can you stop the frivolity of meaningless social media posts and actually face it? Can you fucking empathize?

This recent protest wasn’t about that though. These were colleagues of Colin’s taking a stand, a knee against the highest office in our country. A man that can’t seem to separate ratings from his job. A man who is calling out his own citizens. A man who called some people at a violent demonstration “good people” and these young men are “sons of bitches” that should be fired. A man who pushes an agenda against a person like Steph Curry, a family man, a Godly man. A man who thinks if you think or act different that he, you should be “out” or gone. I CANNOT EMPATHIZE.

I’m sorry that your brothers/sisters, sons/daughters, husbands/ wives died protecting this country. I truly am. I’m also sorry that a young black man feels like his life could be in jeopardy when a squad car rolls up. I truly am.

I applaud Colin. A dialogue has begun. It’s ugly at first, very. Over time we need to keep talking. I don’t know what the answer in the end is. Maybe it has to do with empathy and compassion for all people; in the neighborhood, in the county, in the state, in the country and God willing, GLOBALLY.

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.