Is The Thirst Really Real?

There’s a fine line between being in love and being labeled as ‘thirsty’. Many people traverse this line on a daily basis, and they sometimes fluctuate between the two states. Being in love is the greatest feeling in the world; being called thirsty can make the biggest man feel two feet tall.

Last night I had my iTunes on random, and the song “Whenever, Wherever, Whatever” by Maxwell came on. I have loved this song since the first time I heard it. I always felt that the title alone was a proclamation of the power of love. If you haven’t heard the song, he is telling the woman in his life that she means so much to him that he would do any and everything in his power to please her. She means so much to him “for you and your blood, I will bleed”. That’s some real shit.

You would think that this is the kind of love that everyone – man and woman – longs to achieve. Who wouldn’t want the feeling of knowing that someone is so hopelessly in love with you; so devoted to your happiness, that they would disregard their own personal safety if it meant that you would go on unaffected? Surprisingly, not too many people aspire to have this kind of feeling.

The song begins with Maxwell saying “Lead me on girl if you must/Take my heart and my love/Take of me all that you want.” I used to think that was one of the greatest opening salvos in any song. He’s putting it out there that, even if it means that she is going to use him, he will let her, because it made her happy. That’s true, unabashed love, right?

I’m not so sure anymore.

When I listened to the song last night, for the first time ever, I thought to myself “Wow…. this dude is fucking crazy to give this woman that much power over him.” I realized that this song wasn’t about a guy confessing his undying love for a woman; it’s one mans plea to try and get this woman to notice him and what he can do for her. He was on some next-level begging throughout the entire song.

But isn’t that the kind of person that women are always complaining that they want, but can never find? Don’t we always hear women talking about they want to find a man who is all about them, and who wants to make them happy, etc.? Isn’t there a large population of women who want the kind of love that is shared in “The Notebook”, “Twilight”, or any other movie that has absolutely no basis in reality?

It’s difficult nowadays for men to express to women how they feel. It is rare that a man can feel confident in telling a woman that she has affected him in such a way that it’s hard for him to function without her somehow being involved in his day to day activities. There is a double standard when it comes to the expression of feelings: if a woman tells a man that his “good morning” texts always start her day off right and she looks forward to them each morning, its acceptable; if a guy does the same thing, chances are she is telling her friends “this cat is THIRSTY”. Can someone explain to me how this works?

I know that feelings develop at different speeds between people. It would be insane to think that, at any moment in time, two people feel exactly the same way about each other at the same time. However, when it is a guy whose feelings evolve sooner than the woman, he is thirsty; when the woman’s feelings take the leap first, it’s considered being in love.

So what is a person to do? If you hesitate to express how you feel, you may lose out on an opportunity to have something that could possibly lead to forever. On the flip side, if you are willing to put all of your cards on the table, there is a strong possibility that you are being laughed at behind your back, all the while the person you are aiming your affection to is soaking up the attention until they find some other new and shiny toy to play with. You see yourself as emoting; they see you as thirsting for them.

The reason why songs like “Whenever, Wherever, Whatever” work is because we never know the response of the person the lyrics are directed to. That’s why we can listen to it and tell ourselves that it is the way we want to express our feelings to that special someone. Think of your favorite love songs: when you listen to them, they give you a sense of hope, right? Give you a reason to believe in the existence of love. Now think about someone telling you those same words. Imagine someone feeling for you the way the artist in your favorite love song felt about his or her muse. Do you still think about love? Or do you think this person is just thirsty, and can’t possibly mean what they are telling you? The line between the two is getting more and more blurry.

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What Are You Fighting For?

I am a black man. I frequently wear hoodies, and enjoy candy from time to time. But I am NOT Treyvon Martin, and neither are you.

The unprovoked murder of 17-year-old Treyvon Martin is nothing short of a tragedy. The blatant racial stereotypes that were at the base of his killing have been a part of our society for decades. There is no justification for the taking of his life, and I am not here to write about what we need to do in order to prevent future occurrences. I am writing about a majority of the people who claim to be “outraged” by this tragedy.

The Internet is probably one of the greatest inventions in the history of man. A wealth of knowledge is available at your fingertips, and you can get it in a matter of seconds. The Internet can be used to educate, inform, and assist in a number of different forums. When it comes to tragedies like the Treyvon Martin murder, however, the Internet can be a tool of negativity.

“If you don’t stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything.”

It seems that whenever there is something tragic that occurs, people run to the Internet in order to voice their displeasure, and try to rally others behind a campaign. And while, in the beginning, these attempts seem to be genuine, after a couple of weeks (or when a new tragedy occurs), the original tragedy is all but forgotten. In the first quarter of 2012, we have seen two major Internet sensations pop up, speaking out against an injustice: “STOP KONY 2012”, and “I AM TREYVON MARTIN”.

In early March, a video was released speaking about how a man named Joseph Kony was recruiting young children into his guerrilla army, and using them as soldiers. The 30-minute video set the Internet on fire; overnight, there were Facebook posts and Twitter petitions to “Stop Kony”. I wasn’t educated on the history of this campaign, so I asked a friend who posted a “Stop Kony” poster on their Facebook page what exactly it was. Their response? “I’m not quite sure, but I keep hearing a lot about it, so it must be something bad.”

Less than a month later, Treyvon Martin was murdered. Once the story came out, there were a number of people speaking out about it on Twitter. The outrage was justified. The cry for justice was loud and clear. Then something happened. A comment was made by a prominent person in the media that Treyvon’s hoodie added to the fear that his killer had, and that the hoodie should be monitored in the black and Hispanic communities, because it facilitates the image of a violent person. All of a sudden, people started posting pictures of themselves wearing hoodies, and holding signs that said “I Am Treyvon Martin”.  The message was clear: “We will not stand for injustice and ignorance.”

I had no problem with any of the things noted above. What I have a problem with, is the small percentage of people of bastardize the cause, and try to pretend that they are apart of the group trying to find a solution, when they don’t even know the problem. I asked someone what was the significance of the hoodie, knowing that it was in response to the comments made by Geraldo Rivera. This person said that it was a way for people to mourn: but on a hoodie, and point your head to the ground, as if you were mourning the loss of a loved one.

Did I miss something??

When I was told that, I was angry. I wasn’t angry for their ignorance; like Ron White says, “You can’t fix stupid”. I was angry at the Internet. The Internet is the reason why a true grass roots movement can no longer prosper. It’s no longer about educating yourself to the problems and misdeeds of the world; now, its about supporting the latest trend. Since the Treyvon Martin murder, the outcry for “Stop Kony” has become little more than a whimper. But why? Were we able to stop his inhumane actions with our numerous Twitter and Facebook posts? Did our YouTube videos pleading to bring Joseph Kony to justice finally reach the right set of eyes, and he was stopped? No. Something else happened to take our attention away from that cause. And what happens six months from now, when another death, or another injustice occurs, or when the “I Am Treyvon Martin” movement simply loses its initial steam? How many people who are so adamant about protesting now will still be championing the cause then?

The crimes of Joseph Kony and the murder of Treyvon Martin (as well as many other lesser known crimes against humanity) deserve more than just 15 minutes of fame. These are the types of issues that we as a people should be fighting to eradicate, and not fighting to see who could come up with the cleverest avatar to post to our social media networks. The Internet allows a vast majority of us to have short attention spans, and it also allows us to push issues to the backburner when we see a new, hotter trend approaching. While something like that may work for clothing and electronics, it shouldn’t be acceptable when it comes to lives being lost and families being torn apart.

No, I am not Treyvon Martin; I’m just a person who hopes that those who claim to feel so passionate about the wrongdoing in the world are the same people who will be there fighting for the cause when no one else is. Otherwise, you’re just sheep being lead to the slaughter. Champion something you believe in and support 100%, otherwise don’t claim to want change.


I make saying goodbye seem simple

Blowing away like leaves in the wind

In and out I continue to float

Avoiding the beginning because I’m afraid of the end

The rain allows me to hide my tears

Dreams are muted by the screams of reality

Impossible for me to take advantage of life

Afraid to live for fear of mortality

You gave me a reason to feel again

To experience a feeling unknown

You helped me realize what love can be

And in turn, I refused to hold on

Atonement is impossible to attain now

Forgiveness can never be attained

All I can do is express my regret

And admit that my feelings still remain

For a moment in time it was different

Everything tasted so sweet

Now when I try to enjoy my surroundings

It only causes me to weep

I cant pretend that I know what I want

But I know that, somehow, I need you

But instead of telling you, again I blow away

What else am I going to do?

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Mad Men is one of the best television shows to ever be shown. Every episode is one that some person, at some point, can relate to. Anyone who has watched the series finds one of the characters that they latch on to, and find themselves invested in.

What does that say about me?

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Donald Draper is smooth as silk, to say the least. His words are stern, yet comforting; he is aggressive, yet passive; his entire life is a lie. The show is based around both his personal and business life, which – more often than not – seem to intertwine. He is a devoted family man, yet a frequent philanderer. He looks for anything, yet he is aware that he has everything at home. Too many traits that Don Draper exhibits are traits that I can find in myself, yet there is only one person that I continually relate to.

Roger Sterling.

Roger Sterling can’t help himself. He loves his daughter, values his wife, and knows that he should be….appropriate. But Joan Halloway is his kryptonite; a brunette call-girl is his weakness. He knows the difference between right and wrong, yet he can’t seem to adjust his sights so that they match up with his heart. And the more episodes of the show I watch, the more I find Roger Sterling to be the one character at Sterling-Cooper that I can’t escape.

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We all have that ‘one’. The one person that we can’t escape. No matter who we fall in love with, or who we end up with……we always reminisce. The downfall of humanity is our own minds. ‘What if?’ is the most dangerous question in the world; Roger Sterling always asks himself (sub-consciously) “What if I met Joan Halloway before I was married?” I realize that I ask more “What If?” questions than I have answers to. I have tried to figure out the reason for this,  and then I realized: I don’t have the answer because I don’t WANT an answer. An answer equates to finality; if I don’t have an answer, then I could always make up a different ending, no matter how many times I replay the situation. An answer means the end. I would rather have the means.

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In every scene of Mad Men, someone is either drinking or smoking. It is supposed to show a commonality between the characters; a uniformity between anyone who lived in the 1960’s. But the more I watch, the more I see that the drinking and smoking is exactly how it is currently…..it’s a crutch. Employing an outside interference to mask an interior insecurity. We all do it. For the cast of Mad Men, its alcohol and tobacco. What is it for us? What is it for me? Blogging? By the time we (I) figure it out, it may be too late. Roger Sterling had two heart attacks…..yet, to this day (in the series) he smokes at least a pack a day and cohorts with women that he knows should be forbidden to him. He and I are the same only because we know what is best for us, yet we still do what is best for our image.

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Tweeting Into Oblivion

I am going to attempt to speak in complete sentences and express whole thoughts in this blog. It is going to be hard, but I am going to do the best that I can.

Twitter has taken over the world.

We live in a hashtag-happy society. It seems as though anywhere we turn, we are bombarded with images of that damn blue bird or lowercase ‘t’. Go to your favorite restaurant, and you will see a sign (or sometimes a whiteboard) that says “Tweet Us!” Turn on the television, and every show is telling you that you can now find them on Twitter. It is everywhere. Hell, even once I post this blog, a link of it will be added to my Twitter account.

Last night, I was watching a basketball game on NBA TV, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. Every Tuesday night, NBA TV has what the call ‘Fan Night’, where the fans get to choose which two basketball games that are being played that night are shown on the network. Previously, the fans would need to visit http://www.nba.com to cast their votes; last night, I noticed something different. In the top right corner of the screen, in white lettering, was #FANNIGHT. Fans could now vote via Twitter! On Storage Wars (on A&E Network), they had a scroll on the top of the screen, displaying tweets from various watchers of the show, along with the hashtag #STORAGEWARS. Inside the NBA (on TNT) constantly shows tweets from fans and athletes during the pre-game, halftime, and post-game shows. It is hard to escape.

The most egregious, shameless self-promoting use of Twitter that I have witnessed, however, has to be every Monday night, when I (a grown man) watch WWE Monday Night Raw. The phrases ‘Twitter’, ‘Trending Worldwide’, and ‘Hashtag’ have become as much of the pro wrestling lexicon as ‘suplex’ and ‘bodyslam’. The WWE, for the most part, shied away from the social media outlets, sticking mostly to their own website (www.wwe.com) to relay news to the fans. It wasn’t until the summer of 2011, when the wrestling company noticed how many of their stars (notably CM Punk and Zack Ryder) were becoming huge stars OUTSIDE of the wrestling ring (Ryder, however, was mostly known for his YouTube clips, and crowning himself the “Internet World Champion”). Once it was seen that there was a medium where large numbers of people could communicate (or attempt to) with their favorite wrestler, Twitter become almost a necessity for the organization. Now, starting each episode, we see ‘#WWE #RAW’ flash at the bottom of our screen. When the wrestlers come to the ring, along with seeing their names, we get their Twitter handles (ex. ‘CM Punk’, then below it ‘@CMPunk’). Whenever something that is said or done during the show that registers on the Twitter richter scale, we are made aware by either the annoying Michael Cole, or a popup on the screen saying that it is trending.

Initially, seeing Twitter everywhere started to upset me. Why is it that, whenever I am trying to enjoying something, Twitter shows up? Why can’t I just enjoy one of my favorite TV shows without coming across some emblem of the website? How is it possible that Twitter has surpassed Facebook as being the social media outlet that is brought up the most in casual encounters? I didn’t have an answer for any of those questions. And I still don’t…..

…..But I do have the answer to another question: Why has Twitter become so damn popular?! Why do we care about what someone is thinking 24/7? When, before Twitter, did you ever find yourself pondering “I wonder what (insert celebrity A) thinks about (insert celebrity B) and their current breakdown?” And if you did, isn’t that what gossip rags such as US Weekly and Entertainment Weekly were for? The answer to these questions is much simpler than the ones posed above. The answer is this: our attention spans can no longer handle an entire magazine full of information. As a society, we are unable to process anything that is more than 140 characters. We are a ‘satisfy me now’ society; if the information does not come easily, we no longer value it. We want to be spoon fed as opposed to cut our own meat. Twitter allows us to put out short bursts of information, hoping that SOMEONE will come across our thoughts, agree with them, and then follow us. We try so hard to get our point across in 140 characters or less, and that has spilled out into our normal lives. When was the last time you had a conversation of substance with someone face to face, that wasn’t work related?

To be honest, I am a victim of this as much as anyone else. I initially joined Twitter back in 2009, but didn’t start to use it frequently until early 2010. Since then, I have tweeted almost daily, and I have noticed that my ability to converse in my everyday life has regressed almost to nothing. I find myself ‘LOL-ing’ when I don’t have anything to say in response to the person I am talking to; I speak in short sentences, rarely allowing myself to expand my point of view when speaking face to face. And this bothers me.

Every generation has left some sort of calling card by which they will be remembered. Every person who was a part of that generation will forever be associated with said calling card. We are now a week and a half into 2012. What can we do to avoid our calling card being “The 140 Character Generation”?


Some Things Shouldn’t Be Remembered

Fucking Google Calendar.

I thought I was doing fine. Everything, for the most part, was going well. I hadn’t thought about you (other than when asked) for months. Life had gone on.

Then, on October 31st, it reminds me: November 7th, Amanda’s Birthday. When I saw that alert, it all came rushing back. Now, no matter how hard I try, I can’t get her off my mind again. Let me rephrase that: I can’t help but think about how happy I was at this time last year, and how miserable I am now.

At this time last year, I was in love. Less than a month earlier, I had decided to move across country. I had the woman that I felt I was going to spend my life with; the woman that I thought that I was going to build my future with. I was shopping for winter clothes. I was waking up early in the morning, making her breakfast, leaving endearing messages on the dry erase board that was on the refrigerator, and rubbing her feet when she got home after a long day of work (anyone who knows me KNOWS that is a major step for me, considering I hate feet). I was participating in the double dates with her sister and her boyfriend, helping her nephew with his homework, and going sledding down snow covered mountains. And I loved every minute of it.

I miss her.

I miss rolling over in the middle of the night, and hearing her softly snoring. I miss how when the curtains covering the bedroom windows were slightly opened, the moon light would come into the bedroom, and it would be the only light for hours, while we snuggled. I miss sleeping in on Saturday mornings, and then us going out together and walking the little terror that she called a dog. I miss us watching movies together, cooking together. All of the mushy stuff that I used to think only happened in horrible love movies. I miss being that couple that everyone else is sick of, because they are so maddeningly in love that it makes you re-evaluate your own relationship. I miss having that kind of love that is described in songs. She was the one that helped me remember that I am capable of loving again. She showed me that it was ok for me to give my heart to someone, to trust them with my most prized possession.

One year ago today, I felt like things couldn’t get any better. There was nothing that made me happier than knowing, that, above all, even if I lost everything, I had love. Today, one year later, I realize that I HAVE lost everything….and love is nowhere to be found.


It Doesn’t Get Much Better Than This

Lately, I’ve had a pretty shitty outlook on life. I’ve told myself a million times (since August) that if it weren’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have ANY luck. I’ve already discussed the issues I had in August and September ad nauseam; October didn’t really start off much better, considering I spent six days in the gang unit of two separate county jails. But this isn’t me going into those issues again. Tonight, I am going to actually discuss one of the few positives that have happened to me in this time frame.

In past blogs, I have written about the friendships that I have that mean the most to me; the friends who have been there for me in my times of need, or to listen to me bitch and complain about my problems at the time. In each of those, I realized I left one person out. Now, it wasn’t done purposely; this person and I had grown apart over the past couple years, to the point where we didn’t have an actual conversation for about a year. Over the last five weeks, however, she and I have re-kindled our friendship, and I couldn’t be happier. That’s right, I’m talking about you, Erin Rae.

Erin and I started off as being “neighbors” for just over 10 years, living in the same apartment complex. She and I instantly hit it off, and I knew from the first time we hung out that I had a friend for life. As time passed and we got older, our interactions became more frequent, from enjoying a mason jar of moonshine that I brought over to her mother’s place (which she claims there is still some left of), to late nights spent at the bowling alley, taking funny pictures and drinking $2 shots. She was present at probably my favorite adult birthday party (my 22nd, which I only remember bits and pieces of), and to this day she and I have never had even an argument.

Recently, she and I started talking again, and I realized something: in all the time that I have known her, she has been one of few people who actually HELPS me with my issues. The help she provides, however, is much different than everyone else. While everyone else gives me advice, she’s one of the people I go to in order to escape from whatever bothers me at that time. If I’m feeling depressed about getting my heart broken, she won’t give me the typical “things will get better” speech; instead, we will go to he BNE’s house and hang out, talk about everything, and I’ll completely forget whatever is ailing me, even if it is only for a few hours.

Last week, she and I were waiting on some food to be brought out to us at KFC, and through our conversation, I realized something. Our conversation transitioned smoothly from why she was later showing up to her BNE’s house than everyone else, to why her water bill used to be so high. The information that was being discussed was as natural as telling a family member about how you met the love of your life. There were no awkward moments; come to think of it, I can’t remember a single time she and I have felt uncomfortable or awkward around each other. This conversation really solidified in my head the fact that she truly is more than just one of my best friends; she is like a sister to me. She is someone that knows no matter where I am in the world or in my life, I will always make time for her. I also realized that she is one of the most genuine, special, and amazing people that I know.

On Facebook recently, I posted, “Few people are able to leave their footprints on your heart and impressions in your mind, but when you come across those who can, be sure that you let them know each and every opportunity you can. For those who I have said “I love you” to, please be aware that I mean it each and every time, and I feel it with each passing day. It is you select few who make me the person I am, and for that, I am forever grateful.” She told me that she wasn’t sure if she fell into that category, because I have never actually told her that I love her. i told at that moment that I do, but the more I thought about it, I realized that the text message I sent her didn’t do her justice. That is the reason for this blog.

Erin, your footprints will forever be on my heart. Your smile will always be one that can make me feel better, no matter the situation. You are the friend that everyone needs in their life; the friend who provides an escape when things are bad, and makes things that are already great simply amazing. Instead of just telling you how much I love you and how much you mean to me, I decided to tell the entire Internet (or whoever actually reads my blog, haha). Nonetheless, thank you for everything you have done, and I look forward to us growing this already amazing friendship. Thank you for everything, Erin.