Archive for June, 2013

On Disappointment

Posted: June 27, 2013 in Life, parenting, relationships

Disappointment: Disappointment is the feeling of dissatisfaction that follows the failure of expectations or hopes to manifest. Similar to regret, it differs in that a person feeling regret focuses primarily on the personal choices that contributed to a poor outcome, while a person feeling disappointment focuses on the outcome itself.

Disappointment can be: getting that dreadful call from school that little Johnnie kicked Jimmy at recess.

Disappointment can be: Andrew Pinnock fumbling the ball on a pitch to the left that had him wide open at the 2 yard line for the game winner in 2002 against Georgia. (after you stood in the heat and driving rain for 4 hours)

Disappointment can be: Loving someone and not feeling it returned.

Disappointment can be: The cake that burns in the oven.

Disappointment can be: Ordering NO onions on your burger only to take a bite and CRUNCH, taste buds tarnished for the rest of the meal.

Disappointment can be: walks and costly errors that send your team home 1 run shy of the World Series.

Disappointment can be: Going to he ATM and and the machine telling you “You do not have enough funds to cover this withdrawal” (Screaming Frig You! is acceptable).

Disappointment can be: waiting for something in the mail and going to the box each day only to find junk mail and/or bills.

Disappointment can be: getting a haircut then getting out of the chair and thinking “HO – LY shit, What have I done?”

Disappointment can be: the last night of a trip – disappointed it must end.

There are many of these pitfalls that get us down. I recommend getting your blues tanned as the better alternative to therapy. 8 hours of sunshine, 1 bottle of rum, a grilled burger (no onions), some SPF 30, some saucy swimwear, a cool beach towel, and may the  words of Bobby Boucher – “Happiness is magic rays of sunshine that come down when you are feeling blue” heal your wounds.

I woke up next to something this morning that was beautiful and blue. It inspired me to share some beautiful and blue images with you.

So here we go.

lorient

Orient Beach, St. Martin (French Side). It is a zoomed out pic because a lot of folks there are naked and this is G rated. I was on a work trip so I never got to experience L’Orient except for the drive-by view (which I couldn’t see much). Inside the Bay area, this water changes color to a very pale turquoise.

Next up: honeymoon lovango Honeymoon Beach on St. John. Its a short hike with a 250 foot downhill “stroll”, but well worth it. Named Honeymoon due to its privacy and it certainly has nothing to do with Lavango Cay across the way. Lovango (pronounced “Love and GO”) Cay is rumored to be named for its brothels many years ago. MMMM dirty pirate sex. As you can see the water changes color due to the change in depth and the color of the sand.

Staying on St. John, we have probably the most photographed beach in all of the Caribbean: TrunkBay

Trunk Bay. This is the one you see on a lot of the post cards. Isn’t it awesome? I have not actually been to this one. I was on the way then stopped into an establishment in Mongoose Junction and my friend (Adam L) convinced me it was a good idea to challenge a Rasta in a firewater drinking contest near Momma Mooies. I believe I won, which means I really lost later on the boat ride back to St. Thomas. Adam will have to fill in the details.

One you guys may have seen is this one: cinnamon bay

It is the gorgeous and sexy Cinnamon Bay. Look at the Blue and check out those curves. Cinnamon Bay has been featured on postcards, posters and even album covers like this one: Old-Blue

Kenny Chesney’s Old Blue Chair. Most of the videos he shoots around the beaches and in his boat Soul Shine are in and around Cinnamon Bay and Gorda Sound. Why was it his favorite, because he lived there in this masterpiece – for a short while anyway:

kenny house

Last I heard it was still for sale at around 8 million. Great view of the Bay.

I have to give one shout out to St. Thomas. You won’t hear me give many, because while St. Thomas is nice, I’m a Crucian which means I think all St. Thomians assume they are better’n us and the 40 miles of sea between us could be 100 for all we care. You guys would have nothing if it were not for your t-shirt shops and cruise ships. You are the Dollywood Daytona Beach Myrtle Beach of the Caribbean. Anyway, here’s Megan’s Bay. It’s beautiful enough to host homes owned by Michael Jordan and Oprah. I think its pretty but the St. Thomas traffic makes it very difficult to enjoy. megans bay stt

Now to some that are very beautiful and very dear to me. First up WEST END! Near Fredericksted you’ll find Sandy Point. If you watch the last 3 minutes of Shawshank Redemption, you’ll see Morgan Freeman walk up to a boat on this beach. (It was supposed to be Mexico). Here is Sandy Point:

Sandy Point

On Sunday Funday, a tradition in St. Croix is to hitchhike on a boat over to Buck Island, anchor out, and party until dark. Its a flotilla of fun. Here’s the beach: Buck

But here is what Buck is known for: buck-island-snorkeling-fish

It is the only underwater national park in the US. The reef is amazing.

I have two more remaining. The first, I have shared previously. It’s my favorite and holds my fondest memories of my time in St. Croix. Cane Bay:

cane bay

There are a lot of pictures on my facebook page (and Alicia’s) of this beach and a pretty girl and some friendly dogs who found there way over to our towels for some snacks and kisses.

Last one: Shoys. Oh Shoys. Where i stay is just up the hill from here. I can see it out of my bedroom window and from the pool deck. Shoys you hold a very fond memory.

It was here Shoys that the “magic” happened.

So, to the pretty blues that inspired me, here’s something to inspire you.

pirate flag

This is one of my most favorite images. I’d love to have that tattoo’d across by back.

Favorite song lyrics, here they are:

Yes I am a pirate, two hundred years too late 
The cannons don’t thunder, there’s nothin’ to plunder 
I’m an over-forty victim of fate 
Arriving too late, arriving too late 

I’ve done a bit of smugglin’, I’ve run my share of grass 
I made enough money to buy Miami, but I pissed it away so fast 
Never meant to last, never meant to last 

And I have been drunk now for over two weeks 
I passed out and I rallied and I sprung a few leaks 
But I got stop wishin’, got to go fishin’ 
Down to rock bottom again 
Just a few friends, just a few friends

See, I often write about St. Croix and my love for the islands. This love affair didn’t start by chance in August of 2003. This love affair began when I was much much younger than 24 years old. I have always wanted a boat and to be able to run up down the water jumping out on islands and exploring. I did this quite often on the Ashepoo River. I have also wanted to eat the catch of the day each night – living one day to the next.

There is just so much to see and do throughout the Atlantic and Caribbean. Piracy may be dead, by nautical nomad-ism will never die. Its a burning feeling in the pit of my stomach. I see water and I wonder what its like out there gliding through her waves. I see a boat and I wonder where its headed and where its been and maybe what its hiding in its galley.

I respect and envy all captains. Those that run the freighters in and out of Charleston Harbor, the tugboat captains, shrimp boat captains, the crab fishing guys on tv – all are my heroes. While most seem angry or upset all the time, most if not all have confessed that they get to do what they love. Strangely almost all of them have sailors or fishermen for fathers. I did not. I have no idea where my infatuation began. I just know that I have been a parrot head for as long as I can remember and I dreamed of a salty piece of land before Jimmy wrote about it. I remember flipping over the A Pirate Looks at 40 tape when I was around 10. I’ve always thought a lei was sexy on a woman especially when paired with a nice midriff, a belly button piercing, and a peek-a-boo tattoo. I used to value rum as worth its weight in gold. Barbados makes the best. Sorry Cruicans. And for some odd reason I have passed the piracy gene down. A sure fire way to develop an accomplice is to grow your own!

In 4.5 years I will be a pirate looking at 40. This is not good. I still haven’t purchased   stolen this beauty:

depositphotos_3636074-Old-pirate-ship

I have nothing to plunder, but I have my eye on a few small islands in the Bahamas. Hello Eleuthera. I have not yet determined what booty I will seek. Gone are the square grouper days. Pillaging other boats gets you a visit from DEVRU (Seal Team 6). Running rum is more efficient thanks to FedEx and light tariffs. Also, it will most certainly not be criminal activity. I’d rather be hanged than spend time in a Puerto Rican prison.

accept no ones defintion

Let me preface by saying, I’m not an ungrateful person. I’m thankful for my good health, the health of my family and I’m thankful for all that I have. So don’t read this and think of me as Jim Carray shouting at God saying, “Smyte me oh Mighty Smyter!” (Bruce Almighty)

Cover of "Bruce Almighty [Blu-ray]"

Cover of Bruce Almighty [Blu-ray]

However, I am not satisfied with my lot in life. And by lot I don’t mean “I’m unhappy because I don’t have a lot of things.”  I simply mean I feel that I have more potential than what I’m using and I have more utility in my next 30 years than I had in the previous 35. I feel now is the time to make a move.

Only a few (ok, so maybe its 1 or 2 people before this post) know that I’m so tired of the field I’m in. I’m tired of the travel, tired of the type of things I have been asked to do, and tired of the “office.” I have said many times that if I could make what I make now in salary by swinging a hammer, I’d jump at it in a heartbeat. I’m tired of the ladders and especially those that run into a ceiling. I’m tired of the bullshit procedures that no one ever seems to follow and tired of those that refuse to enforce them. Especially, since they assisted in writing them in the first place. Note: My “wanting more” in this instance has nothing to do with money, although more would be nice.  The point here is its time to do something different, or in the very least, get the balls rolling.

No matter how hard I try, I’m never satisfied with myself. I live in a world of shouldas who co-mingle with couldas. This is me at some point on most days.

disaapoint yourself

My life is not a depressed state of being. I am happy with most things. As I said, I simply feel my potential is bottled right now.

For example, I’d much rather be assisting the Red Cross in Africa or Haiti, or constructing a school or hospital, than “pushing paper.” I’d rather be teaching English and Economics in Mexico than doing what it is I do. There are so many charities I wish I could support.

Last summer, I didn’t work in an office for two weeks. I worked for my father’s landscaping company. It. Was. AWESOME. I cut and chopped, planted, fertilized, sprayed and watered and at the end of each job, I could look out and SEE what I had done. As a guy, this accomplishment was very rewarding. The view is my pat on the back to myself. I’m not the least bit ashamed to say I need affirmation even if it only comes from me.

This guy has it:

pat on the back

So for my next 30 years, I’m going to work on improving my lot. And hopefully earn a few more pats along the way.

 

Marking Parkinson's

Marking Parkinson’s (Photo credit: EMSL)

Parkinson’s Disease:  It is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. The motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease result from the death of dopamine-generating cells in the substantia nigra, a region of the midbrain; the cause of this cell death is unknown. Early in the course of the disease, the most obvious symptoms are movement-related; these include shakingrigidityslowness of movement and difficulty with walking and gait. Later, thinking and behavioral problems may arise, with dementia commonly occurring in the advanced stages of the disease, whereas depression is the most common psychiatric symptom. Other symptoms include sensory, sleep and emotional problems. Parkinson’s disease is more common in the elderly, with most cases occurring after the age of 50. (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Many people have seen Michael J. Fox’s battle with Parkinson’s since the age of 30. Others witnessed Mohammad Ali’s struggle with this disease. It affects nearly 1 million people in the United States.

Researchers have tried something new. Its not a drug, but rather an electrical stimulant. It is essentially a pace maker for the brain.

I’m linking a video to one of the first case studies. You can mash here.  You can clearly see the effects of the disease switch on and off via remote control.

 

 

riddle

Cliffs notes: A young woman, who is Caucasian, applied to the University of Texas in 2008. She was denied admission. It was later discovered that MANY others were admitted with lower test scores, lower GPA’s, and with fewer recommendations, and fewer extracurricular activities.

Consequently, she sued the University over the Affirmative Action policy to admit minorities with the same, or even lower qualifications OVER someone who is not a member of a protected class. Basically, her lawsuit was based upon a reverse discrimination case. The argument is that the best applicant should win no matter what race, religion, etc. The Supreme Court was set to decide the issue today. However, in a chicken(ish) move, the Sup. Ct. decided via 7-1 vote to send the case back down to the lower Courts for additional rulings and findings. (Ruling found here).

This is a tough one for me. If my child had a 3.8 GPA and a 1500 (old score) SAT and was denied admission over ANYONE with a 3.5 and 1400, I would be furious. It has nothing to do with race, religions, ethnicity, etc. Conversely, If my child had a 3.5 and a 1400 and was denied in place of the 3.8 and 1500 student, I’d say, “Well, you got beat. Try again, or pick another school.” I just don’t see denying the clearly qualified student. What I feel should be done is a set standard of all scores above a certain number combined with a GPA above a certain number get in. The school can then admit any number of individuals based upon a quota of protected class members it chooses. But those with scores above them should not be denied. Set a bar for all students. If you are above that bar, you get in. If you are below that bar, you may not. But tell students ahead of time where the bar is located. SET A STANDARD FOR ADMISSIONS. DUH!

This is why I love the spirit of Olympic competition. Its the best in the world head-to-head and the judge is a stopwatch, a bulls eye, or a measuring stick. (No, I do not like subjective scoring events.) If Usain Bolt (Go Jamaica!) wins the 100M, is the stop watch racist? If Micheal Phelps wins the 400M, is the stop watch racist?  No, of course not.

We all know that race relations is a hot button issue in this country. It appears these types of policies throw fuel on the fire. Then when given the opportunity, the Sup. Ct. takes the coward way out of resolving this.

Please read and share.

Imperfectly Perfect

In fact, slavery still hasn’t ended, and it’s now 2013.

Yes, you read that correctly.  Slavery still exists.

People say that statistics can be skewed in anyone’s favor.  Well not this time.  How are these statistics for you?

– There are currently over 27,000,000 slaves worldwide.  That’s MILLION!  This is more than at any other point in human history.

– One in 100,000 of European traffickers are ever convicted.

– Only one to two percent of victims are ever rescued.

– The average age of trafficking victims is 12 years old.  Twelve!  Some of us have daughters that age.

In case you haven’t been able to figure it out yet, I’m talking about human trafficking.  Human trafficking is a very real problem.  And not just in Eastern Europe and Africa, but here, in the United States, as well.

What is human trafficking?  It’s the illegal trade of human…

View original post 1,353 more words

For Friday fun, I’m going to share something that I’m embarrassed to love. As I type this, I cringe and slink down into my chair and under my desk.

I am. *sigh

Embarrased to say.* shift in chair

That I “love” Taylor Swift.

There. Pure honestly.

She can’t sing very well. Her shows are over-produced and a Liz Rose in Tennessee writes most of her songs. Her dating life reminds me of this guy with the infamous line: “I get older, my women stay the same age.”

matt

Taylor, You’re 23, hun. Maybe you should date guys that are DONE with high school.  She’s 5’10” so that eliminates a lot of guys, so maybe her pool is shallow. She does have 165 million reasons to be choosy.

Her songs make me laugh. I often play MEAAAN while riding in the truck by myself. I sing the song obnoxiously loud. A while back, “We are NEVER NEVER EVER ….” was my wake up alarm. I jumped up and went running screaming to shut it off. (Was COMPLETELY awake then)

I have no idea why, but for some reason I felt the need to share this with my teenage stepson: NICE! Father of the year right there. 🙂 Nice lacy whites Taylor.

Back on track here. I’m embarrassed to say I think Taylor is awesome so long as she’s not sporting the chopped of bang look:

taylor bang

No Taylor.

 

yes taylor

 

YES Taylor. yes, yes, yes.

Oh, well the secret is out. Happy Friday everyone.

“Art is a jealous mistress; and if a man have a genius for painting, poetry, music, architecture or philosophy, he makes a bad husband and an ill provider.” Emerson, Ralph Waldo.

bucket

This post was inspired by a client who lost his spouse. I have created several of these lists and Alicia and I created 2 bucket lists for “together” activities.  I apologize if this runs long, but you are free to stop reading at any time.

I do want to preface my list by saying this is in no particular order and since most, if not all of these activities, would even be possible when the kids are away, it is not meant to be taken hey have no part of my list. I do specifically imply that all of these would be awesomer if I had my wife with me.

1. wrigley

I have always wanted to catch a summer mid-day game at Wrigley. Summer because the streets are booming with activity and the outfield wall ivy is green. Later, I want to go out for a  steak dinner at Harry Cary’s.  13 oz filet. mmmmm.

2. fenway

Would love to catch an afternoon game at Fenway. Nothing screams baseball like the lights coming on, a $10 hot dog and a $20 beer. :-/ Oh and during the day would be spent walking around Market St. The last time I was in Boston, Alicia took an amazing photo of the sunrise and its reflections turned the buildings and orangish color. Its beautiful. Now I want to see the sunset in Boston.

3. Empire state building

The Empire State Building. It is really amazing. So, on my bucket list is to take Alicia to the deck, and present her with this:

infinity ring

and ask her to renew our vows, while in NYC. This could only happen in the evening, as one cannot appreciate the view without the city lighting up before your eyes. The day would be spent walking up and down Lexington, over to Times Sq., and Rockerfeller Center and having a picnic just inside the corner of Central Park, where Alicia can drool over all the amazing shops on 5th Ave.

4. I want to spend a whole day catching my limit of these:

wahoo

That’s a Wahoo and my favorite fish to eat. If you haven’t had Wahoo tacos, you haven’t had a fish taco. I love blackened wahoo over rice with mango salsa and sweet peas. Hello to my wonderful friends and amazing chefs at Savant in St. Croix. They shared many secrets with me while sharing a drink in the back courtyard.

5. A second fishing trip would include my limit of these awesome fighters:

mahi

Grilled Mahi, Blackened Mahi sandwiches, Mahi steaks, (I’m drooling, I know).

6. elk

Would love to take one of these guys form a ranch in Colorado or Wyoming. I want at least a 6 by 6. I already have my order for the processor: french ribs, filets, Osso Bucco, loins wrapped in bacon, etc.

7. I also want to take one of these but, I want to do it with a knife and not a gun. I have plans for this, too. A large hickory fire and a spit. Our entire family over to eat the next day. MMMmmmm makes me hungry. Hopefully buy then I will have a good recipe for hash.

boar

8. I always wanted to go to this place and hunt ducks. Its the Mecca for duck hunting. Stuttgart, Arkansas. I have seen pictures where the amount of ducks flying in actually blacked out the sun. That’s awesome.

stuttgart duck

9. I would love to travel to Rome and Bologna, Italy. Also, I’d like to take Alicia Paris as French cuisine is her favorite. i imagine a few cooking classes in Italy and France could be arranged.

10. Spear fishing in the Caribbean would be great. Also, diving for bugs (spiny lobsters) then cruising through Gorda sound on the round about way to Jost Van Dyke.  Spend the night hanging out at Foxy’s. 😉 No Firewater rum for this guy.

I know I have many more items, but these were the first that popped in my head today and for some odd reason, I decided to write them down and share. Feel free to share yours, but don’t be disappointed if I steal your ideas and add them to my list.