Saturday, December 31, 2016

Reflecting On 2016 And Looking Toward The New Year


As I sit at home this new years eve, I find myself reflecting on the last 12 months of my life. First and foremost, I woke up on the preferable side of the ground this morning, so I suppose I have that to be thankful for. But considering this article would not be possible without these fairly obvious circumstances, you are probably more interested in the other things I have to say.

Last December, I accepted a job with a new company. While I believe that any career change comes with the inevitable doubt of whether you made the right decision to take a new path, the last 12 months has proven to me that it was indeed a great decision for me. I have a great boss, they have great benefits, I truly believe in the product that I am selling, and most importantly, I'm happy.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Maybe This Year Will Be Different; Christmas For An Alienated Dad


As you sit at home with your family on Christmas Eve, watching Miracle on 34th Street or wrapping your last few presents, there's a father out there who won't get to see his kid tomorrow. Sure, he put up the old Christmas tree given to him by a friend when they no longer needed it; he even put on the lights and ornaments purchased from a neighbor's garage sale. He scraped together what little money he had left after child support and other bills were paid, then skipped enough meals so that he could afford to buy a few small toys for that little boy or girl; just in case their mother had a sudden change in heart and let them come over.

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He begrudgingly picks up the court papers, hastily signed by some judge who never even met him. These papers supposedly granting him the “right” to be a father to his own kid for a few hours every other weekend and on some holidays; essentially robbing him of the right to be a full-time parent. All of this just because his ex decided to leave him for someone else with more earning potential. Re-reading the rambling legal terminology, copied and pasted from some other poor soul's orders, he searches for the heading of the section pertaining to Christmas visitation. Even though he has read it hundreds of times and could probably recite it word for word in his sleep, he reads it one more time to make sure of the time he's supposed to meet his ex tomorrow to get his child.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Coming Together To Heal After An Emotional Election


Here we are, election day; only hours away from the climactic conclusion of what I would consider to be the most emotionally-charged presidential election in history (or at least in my lifetime). When this whole thing kicked off roughly 18 months ago, I think we all knew this election was going to be like nothing we had ever seen before. Thanks to social media, WikiLeaks, Project Veritas, and the overwhelmingly-biased news outlets, we were proven to be correct.

On one side, we had a Clinton, a socialist and a random smattering of a few other candidates who were mostly no-names. On the other side, we had a Bush, a neurosurgeon, a reality TV star/billionaire real estate tycoon, and enough random other slightly-above mediocre candidates to fill not one, but two debate stages. It was almost as if the Republicans decided to throw everything they had at the wall just to see what stuck.

Friday, November 4, 2016

The Assholes Of Halloween


Having grown up in a fairly conservative, religious home, Halloween was a little different for me than it might have been for most. When you were young, you probably saw Halloween as a night to dress up and go door to door with your friends, hoping to haul home a few pounds of cheap, skull-rotting candy. But for us, it was a family night. It was the night we went out for ice cream, or went to the movie theater, or sometimes just turned the front porch light off and played games or watched a movie at home.

My siblings and I never really understood what we were missing out on. We knew what our friends were doing on that night, but even though we weren't out ringing doorbells and begging for candy, we still looked forward to Halloween. To us, Halloween was always guaranteed to be a fun night to go out and do something special, in an attempt to avoid the trick-or-treaters who were patrolling our neighborhood.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Anthony Weiner's Wiener Could Help Determine Winner Of Presidential Election


As the FBI announced yesterday that they are re-opening their investigation into Hillary Clinton's private (illegal) email server, I find myself asking if it will make any difference in the outcome of the election. Apparently during a totally separate investigation into claims that now defunct former Congressman Anthony Weiner potentially sent HIS wiener to an underage girl by way of modern technology, new evidence was uncovered in relation to the Clinton case.

For those of you who might not follow the news as closely as I do, or who might not have been on social media the last couple days, the correlation between the two cases might not be immediately apparent. Anthony Weiner's recently-estranged wife, Huma Abedin, while holding various positions throughout Hillary Clinton's time in politics, for lack of a better term, she is Clinton's personal assistant (only because “Assistant To The Dark Lord And Future Wicked Witch Of The West Wing” didn't quite fit on a business card). So the theory is that through Abedin, Weiner was exposed (haha, get it?) to classified information by way of Clinton's illegal server.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Yes America, It's Okay To Not Accept The Results Of The Election


In the final Presidential debate last night, moderator Chris Wallace asked Donald Trump if he would “absolutely accept” the results of the election once the votes were counted. This question, of course, coming on the heels of Trump making claims throughout the campaign that the process was rigged against him.

Let me first say that aside from being forced to tag along with the Clinton campaign throughout the election, moderating a debate between these two candidates has to be one of the least desirable opportunities in media. The moderators of the previous debates, in my opinion and the opinion of many people I have spoken to, did a less-than-stellar job. Primarily, because they were all so biased against Trump. But also because they allowed their emotions show, and at times verbally attacked him on his answer to certain questions.

Although I believe Wallace did an excellent job of moderating the debate and remaining unbiased, I was a little surprised when he asked Trump if he would concede to Clinton if the results showed that he had lost the election. This of course, explained in justification of the fact that we have a tradition of a “peaceful transition of power”, so the country can come together after sometimes-heated and painful elections.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

My Trophy; A Letter To A Single Mom


Everyone knows single parents have a tough job, no matter what percentage of the time they have their kids. Raising kids is meant to be a two person job, so whether it's for a few hours, a few days or all the time, taking care of those kiddos' every waking want, need and demand can wear anyone out. Occasionally we all have that especially difficult week of parenting, where we are ready to throw in the towel on life, lock ourselves in our room to sleep just for a few hours and pray that whatever destruction is waiting on us when we emerge, can be repaired.

Unfortunately, whether due to being a responsible parent, or just out of fear of the destruction that would surely be waiting for us on the other side of that door, this voluntary confinement is usually just not an option. So rather than locking ourselves away to recover, we keep going and instead, we let our friendships and romantic relationships suffer the consequences of our sleep deprivation. We start questioning our romantic partner and wondering just why that girlfriend or boyfriend is still with us, since we see them giving so much, but receiving so little from us in return. We let our overly-active and sleep-deprived imagination run wild as we are wiping applesauce off the floor and simultaneously trying to soothe a crying toddler who has already forgotten why he or she is upset. Eventually we start jumping to ridiculous conclusions that usually revolve around our partner only wanting to be with us for some selfish unknown reason.

I have been on both sides of this situation. I have been with women who poured everything they had into our relationship; knowing they would receive much less from me in return. I have also been the one in relationships who was contributing everything, while my partner was giving almost nothing. No matter the situation, sometimes the only way to get your true thoughts and feelings across to that emotionally unavailable partner is to put your words down on paper.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Inconvenient Truth About Donald Trump's 2005 Comments Toward Women

 

About this time last year, when I first began writing and designing my blog, I did so with the intention of tackling controversial topics that other people might not be eager or able to write about. I wanted to say the things that many others were thinking, but no one else was willing to say. In the beginning, my plan was to not even tell my friends and family that I was the one writing the articles, so that I could protect myself behind a mask of anonymity, without fear of personal attacks or judgment. What I didn't realize at that point however, is that without the support of your friends and family; people who will read your articles even if they suck, it is next to impossible to increase the readership of your blog. So begrudgingly, I revealed to my family and social media friends that I was the author, in order to grow my page.

In some ways, I regret it. I sometimes wish I had remained anonymous so that I could truly speak my mind with no fear of repercussions. But at the same time, I believe it has in some ways helped me personally to grow and face my fears of condemnation. The first time I posted an article that made reference to sex, I must have sat there with my finger hovering above the button on my mouse for 20 minutes, debating whether to hit “publish”, worrying about who would read it and how they might judge me for it. But in the end, I decided that I shouldn't be worried about their opinions as long as I am being honest. Sure, I've offended some people. And out of the 10+ articles I've posted, and almost 3,500 page views, I can count on one hand how many times my family members have actually shared my posts, but it's okay. I didn't start my blog to make friends or to make people feel warm and fuzzy. I created my blog to help initiate the difficult conversations that make people uncomfortable in this world that is offended by everything.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

My (Mostly) Unbiased Thoughts On Last Night's First "Presidential" Debate

Photos: BU Rob13/Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons

Disclaimer: No, I'm not unbiased. Is anyone unbiased anymore? Obviously the media isn't, and if there is anyone out there who SHOULD be unbiased, it's them. Regardless, yes, I know who I'm voting for. But in this article I'm going to attempt to stay as unbiased as possible, while giving some advice to both candidates.
 
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After the debate last night, we were all inundated by various news outlets and commentators telling us who they believed "won" the battle. For the most part, the mainstream media commentators said they believed Clinton had won. Although interestingly enough, the majority of the somewhat credible polls showed Trump as the winner. No matter what the polls said though, I know that I and many others have completely lost faith in the polls since it seems that almost every aspect of this election is rigged by the biased media.

At this point in the campaign, the majority of the country has already decided who they are voting for. What I find incredible, is that more-so than any other election I can remember in my lifetime, the supporters of each candidate refuse to be swayed by anything that is said or done. It doesn't matter how illegal or how unacceptable it might be. If something negative is said about their candidate of choice, it is quickly brushed off as nothing more than a bold-faced lie, fabricated by the other side, with the sole purpose of damaging their reputation.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Public Schools Forced To Address The Transgender Restroom Issue Or Risk Losing Federal Funds



As I finished up the first part of my last article, “What Needs To Be Said About The Target Transgender Restroom Debacle” the transgender acceptance debate spread to the public school system, thanks to at least one school which made a similar statement to the one Target made. This was then followed by a directive from President Obama, declaring that all public schools should adopt a similar policy regarding restrooms and locker rooms, or risk losing their federal funds; funds which most public schools rely on just to keep their doors open.

We are talking about students who for the most part, are under the age of 18, and unable to provide any type of legal consent or make legal decisions without the input and approval of their parent or guardian. Personally, I believe that even if a child is questioning their gender in high school, it could be for any number of reasons. It probably isn't going to be until sometime after the age of 18 that they truly figure out whether it is a real issue or simply an insecure phase when they were questioning their identity due to other circumstances.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

What Needs To Be Said About The Target Transgender Restroom Debacle


April 19th, Target made the controversial announcement that transgender individuals who visited their stores were welcome to use the restroom and dressing room that aligns with their gender identity. Since then, social media has been ablaze with people on both sides of the issue, either coming out in support of Target's stance on transgender restroom acceptance, or damning the entire company and anyone who continues to shop at or be employed by Target to a fiery eternity in hell due to their “passive acceptance” of the issue.

Dammit, Target!  Why must you force us to discuss difficult topics?!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Remembering Enterprise – 8 Years Later

“Thank you for calling Enterprise Rent-A-Car, home of the weekend special!”

“Sure your insurance transfers, but it's only liability – you just need the damage waiver!”

“If you receive a call about your rental, would you be able to say you were completely satisfied?” 

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These statements and many others will forever echo in my head, guaranteed to bring about traumatic flashbacks to my days of indentured servitude to Enterprise Rent-A-Car. An experience that for years after leaving, still haunted my dreams. The company is constantly moving their employees around between branches, promoting some of the most ignorant douchebags in the country based on nothing more than sales numbers; numbers that are only achievable by lying, cheating and ticket-dodging your way to the top. There was also the massive employee turnover, due to low pay, long hours, mismanagement and the constant stress that comes from spending your day lying to the face of everyone who walks through the door.

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Illusion of Choice; How Modern Democracy Failed Bernie Sanders

Just a few hours after it was made public that the controversial website WikiLeaks had released in excess of 19,000 emails between members of the Democratic National Committee, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned her position with the party. As I'm sure you are well aware by now, this email leak contained emails between Schultz and other DNC members, discussing how they would undermine and eliminate Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, guaranteeing that Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic Nominee. This release of documents comes just slightly more than two weeks after FBI Director James Comey, after reciting pages of felony-worthy infractions made by Clinton, stated that he would not recommend an indictment against her.

Although not as widely-publicized, Bernie Sanders and his supporters had already accused Schultz and the DNC of showing preferential treatment toward Hillary Clinton. Among other allegations, claiming the party limited the number of sanctioned debates between Clinton and Sanders; knowing that Clinton does not come across as a likable candidate of the people if she speaks for more than 15 consecutive seconds. Both Sanders and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, had previously asked that Schultz be replaced due to her “obvious bias” against Sanders. These requests however, were quickly dismissed. Interestingly enough, Clinton and her team never had any issues with Schultz.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

What A Single Dad Wants In A Girlfriend


Having recently read a similar article describing What A Single Mom Wants In A Boyfriend, I began asking myself exactly what I was looking for in a woman with whom I choose to have a relationship.

I have a 4-year old daughter, although it was not until recently, after a brutal 14-month custody battle, I was finally granted 50/50 custody of her and no longer limited to being an every-other-weekend dad. You might think that change shouldn't have a significant effect on the qualities I look for in a woman, but it absolutely does. Almost any potential mate can handle a child that is not their own coming to visit four days a month. It isn't that big of a disruption in day-to-day life. Hell, once they can eat and get dressed on their own, they can practically babysit themselves, right?

Thursday, March 10, 2016

I Do It For Clarence



For those of you who might not know me personally, I am a state representative for an organization that advocates for equal parenting and assumed 50/50 custody of children in divorce and custody cases.  I spend a great amount of time helping admin a very active Facebook page, as well as counseling with various parents who are being forced out of their children's lives by bitter exes, false allegations and biased courts.  Even though I know from my own personal experience just how difficult this can be, I don't know if it truly hit me just how seriously it can devastate someone until recently.

I had just finished calling on one of my customers and decided to stop at a restaurant to grab some lunch and use their WI-FI.  As I got out of my car, a middle-aged homeless man approached my car, said his name was Clarence and asked if I could spare some change.  I told him I only had my debit card and no cash.  He asked if I was going inside and if so, if I would at least buy him a cup of coffee.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Guess What, Sweetheart;


You can walk out of your house every morning, paste a smile on your face and act like the world isn't crashing down around you.  You can make everyone think you have it all together, without a care in the world, and nothing but great things happening in your amazing life.  You can post pictures of yourself and your kids, appearing to the world to be a strong independent woman who has never known heartbreak; who has never had to worry about having enough money in your bank account to both pay your bills and keep food on the table for your family.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Law Enforcement, Racism and the Media


You turn on the evening news, and the first thing you see is a “Breaking News” banner emblazoned across the screen, as a young reporter dramatically tells a heart-wrenching story of another white police officer shooting an African American suspect.  The reporter spouts off statistics of law enforcement using lethal force, makes reference to the other non-lethal options officers have at their disposal, and then, gravely looking at you through the television screen, he asks the rhetorical question of how many more of these killings it will take before something is done about this unnecessary violence.

If you take this story at face value, then without waiting on the facts, you immediately start calling this a hate crime and demanding the officer be criminally charged, convicted and locked away, you are part of the problem.