Old, Rich, White Men . . .

I dislike everything about this man EXCEPT his awesome
potbelly and pink t-shirt. Those crack me up.
Wellllllll the world has had official confirmation that another cranky, old, white dude is a racist. Yes, yes. Cliven Bundy but ALSO Donald Sterling.

It should be a stunner to no one that some old, rich, white men are racists. I'm not saying they are ALLOWED to be or that we should ACCEPT it but we have to stop pretending like it is earth shattering that racism and hate and small mindedness are "alive" and "well" in the minds of cranky, old, rich dudes.

Also - let's stop giving the NBA credit for "addressing" this issue. It is WELL documented that Donald Sterling is and has been a racist for a long, long time. The league, his fellow owners, players, coaches, and avid fans of the business side of the game have known about this jergov for DECADES. They did NOTHING. Why? Because the league was making money and - like most hatred - it was something kept behind closed doors and only really echoed in the chambers of the game itself.

So what changed? Public knowledge. Some self-loathing whore (yes - that is the official term for a young, young woman of mixed ethnicity/heritage yet is still the girlfriend of an old, old married, racist man (you try to tell me those two really love(d) each other and I'll meet you on any street corner in America and fight you)) stole some of the audio she was recording for the "memoirs" of this monster in business-man's clothing (and if you have not listened to it - you totes should) and released them after what was (allegedly) a botched extortion attempt to get money from the fruit juice loving creep after their "romance" ended.

Was that enough? Nope. What made it something that required immediate action? Business.

The "image" of the league was getting destroyed. Analysts and pundits were raging. Current and former players were pointing fingers and sharing secrets. The media was pointing out the obvious challenges of a business (predominantly) owned by white men where (predominantly) black men do the work vs. talking about the sport itself. The PLAYOFFS have started, people. The league can't have this trouble during the TWO MONTH creep along to a champion.

More over there was BUSINESS cost. Advertisers were . . . gasp . . . pulling their money and dollars. Uh oh. "NOW we've got ourselves a problem" thought newly minted NBA boss Adam Silver.

SOOOOOO the league did something they would have been more than justified to do as long ago as 1993 (21 years to you and me) and banned Donald Sterling from the game for life. They WANT to force him to sell his team. They are going to fine him a WHOPPING $2.5MM (that whopping - as denoted by all caps - is sarcasm). They are essentially telling him "You give us the profits you make off less than one game of the 62 game regular season and you just sit home alllllllll day errrrrrryday and keep on collecting money off the efforts of your coach and players - themselves largely black - and enjoy your wife, mistress, and money . . . heck work on those memoirs the world is probably clamoring for. We're going to try to look like we know how to take action and we are going to go to court and waste money while you waste money but we're both going to make money the whole time."

Screw that. If I was sitting in my cube and saying racist crap (without assuring my audience I was joking) I would be fired. My livelihood would go away. My reputation would be tarnished. My pride would be hurt. An actual lesson might be learned.

The problem is that I'm old, white, and cranky . . . but not rich. I lack the key ingredient that allows me to sip fruit juice, have a mistress, and just brew and spew hate in my brain. Oh, oh, oh . . . that and I'm NOT at ALL a racist and I have NO hatred in my heart for anything but mistresses and fruit juice.


Arguments . . .

I know I've been patting myself on the back quite a bit lately (largely with undue motivations and hallow self-praise as the motivation) but I've honestly been turning a few corners in the race to maturity/adulthood.

The latest exhibit? Fighting.

I LOVE a good fight. Two people with passion and (perceived) facts, hair extensions, and high, high heels battling it out until one is still standing . . . okay - fine - a "good" fight is just those first two things DISCUSSING things.

Can you shout? Yep. Can you yell? Sure. Can you make it personally? If you're good at it. Can you convince someone of your position? Nope. Is that going to stop you? Not if you're good at it. Can you ever really "settle" a fight? Yes . . . yes. you. can. The best way? Don't have one.

Here's the thing . . . I have a tendency to attract - shalllllllllllllll we say - "dramatic" people. I like big personalities. I like big brains. I like big pet issues and projects and topics and causes. I like people who are unashamed of who they are and their personas. ALL these things are great at happy hour, dinners, afternoons of complaining about our enemies (those that will NOT follow us back on Twitter (?)), and if you want a posse of support for the days you feel like complaining. NONE of these things are good when you are sitting across the table (or cubicle wall, phone conversation, text message exchange, or e-mail chain) from these friggin' nut jobs (particularly if you are one yourself - like I am (my "other" business cards read Sean C. Amore, Big Personality). In THOSE moments these people are not attractive at all. They are not fun. They are not endearing. They are monsters (my "other, other" business cards read Sean C. Amore, Monster).

SOOOOO this brings me to the point. In the last few months - often through gritted teeth and/or passive aggressive mumbling, I have stopped arguing with people. Stopped taking the bait. Stopped playing the game. Stopped pretending a difference of opinion (that can not change the opinion of one person or the other) is worth the time wasted pushing and pulling against each other.

My shrink is super proud of me. My normal "competitors" on the field of verbal battle are mystified. My heart rate and stress level and balding head are all relieved. My "hind sight" (a perfect 20/20) is wondering what took me so long.

How do I do it? Turns out it is simple (most first graders know these things).

  1. Acknowledge how the other person feels and put it in terms that are your own to show you really understand vs. are just echoing back to them.
  2. Admit the fault where you are at fault AND admit the error in confusion that might have the other person feeling you are wrong.
  3. Apologize - genuinely - when you are/were wrong and when it is the right thing to do (they won't hear it or accept it but it is still there and might eventually land on them)
  4. Don't take the bait. Just keep restructuring the drama to facts or clarifying statements and questions (it will exhaust the "enemy" and will keep you from getting dramatic yourself. As lots, and lots of questions and let them answer and vent and share things (the nuggets are there) or at least hope they will clarify things so you can better respond.
  5. Be present only as long as you need - when it gets "dumb" . . . say so. I like the "This is dumb. We are both too busy, too bright, and too otherwise (insert positive adjective here) to waste our time. Let's move on."
  6. If the other person wants you to linger - do so ONLY as long as you need to to hear them all the way out. Then remind them THIS (not them) is dumb.
  7. Introduce variables ONLY when needed . . . example - if a friend who you work with starts challenging your professionalism - point out that they don't set a bar of professionalism you need to meet. It won't actually clarify anything and it might enrage them but, again, you have put it out there and it will land eventually . . . you are making their whole argument moot by stating their expectation is not important enough for you to feel challenged to meet it.
  8. Try to end on good terms. Tell them you want to be better. MEAN IT when you say it. Repeat back some action items (as appropriate - I will no longer have relations with you sister, for instance), set a timeline for meeting those expectations, and ask them if they have any additional concerns to discuss.
  9. Repeat MANY times that they are important to you. You DO want them to be happy and content. You WILL try to be better. You ARE doing what you can. You SEE their point. You VALUE their opinions (and sisters).
  10. Make a mental note of what things helped calm them down and what things set them off so you can rush to or avoid those same cues the next time (and there WILL be a next time).
Relationships are HARD, yo. I suck at them. Ask any person I have ever tried to have a relationship with. I am not perfect in any way, manner, shape, or form BUT I am getting better and growing up, focusing on the places I want and need to go and being better for myself and those I value.

If you disagree . . . let's fight about it. 


Wedding . . .

Sooooooo, your favorite curmudgeon drove allllll the way (2.5 hours) to the Kansas City suburbs this weekend to attend just my third wedding since separating from my ex-wife and the second since my formal divorce.

I will say that the cynicism and anger that was ever-present in my spiteful behavior at the first one (which happened to be my own brother's, sadly) mellowed nicely by the second one and this weekend, frankly, I found the whole thing really beautiful and refreshing. To answer the burning question - no - I did NOT cry - despite allergies making me itch my eye during the candle lighting (as I angrily barked at the person next to me that offered me a facial tissue . . . no sane person cries at the mere sight of open flame).

Here is how I feel (this hour about weddings and love and marriage) . . . I think marriage is an amazing CONCEPT. The idea of two people loving each other so much they want to spend the rest of their lives together almost in SPITE of the reality that marriage, much like our banking system, is something hard to root for. It is worth reminding oneself, however, that like the Federal Reserve itself marriage is made up of PEOPLE and PEOPLE are individuals and they are capable of raising above the average and shaming the expected and they can and will succeed and do great things if they endeavor upon them for the right reasons.

So if a couple wants to get married and they want me to join them for those symbolic hours . . . I'm there. Just drop me an invitation, promise me there will be iced tea available, don't make me laugh at too many personal/inside jokes, and please, please, please feature at least three group dances to get the parquet full of middle aged, high plains living, upper lip biting, white folks (and am apparently super, super hot Aunt  (of the groom) referred to as "California" by the groomsmen/ushers).

This wedding had all the indicators that success should follow. Two great, close, generally happy families with parents that are still married to their first spouses, siblings who are also married (some on their second lap around the track), enough tension in each family (like the physics that make bubbles float, shimmer, and pop) to keep it interesting, a shared vision for the future (save some dissension over the "need" for the groom to have a motorcycle) and a boatload of people who traveled from near and far to wish them well. And those people all got along and truly knew each other and enjoyed each other (I joked the wedding reception was like the show LOST where every "character" either knew or had crossed paths with everyone else at least one or two times in their life).

The day had a few interesting twists and turns for me . . .

  • I met dozens of people in a 24-hour span (which the networker and people watcher in me enjoyed thoroughly)
  • I listened to a very dramatic, four-part take on Ben Fold's "The Luckiest" (the first dance at my own wedding)
  • The world's most annoying/least endearing song (no offense, Nickleback) was played to gleeful screams and karaoke merriment way, way too early in the night
  • I got to sit directly UNDER the DJs speakers. And he was not even a good DJ.
  • I attempted to impress the kids at the party with a champagne glass tower that crashed down upon the first few drops of water being poured
  • I slow danced (which - with my two left feet and abhorrence of dancing in general would be better-described as "swaying to the music") to Garth Brook's "Low Places" (note - this link is to a poor cover of the great original) 
  • I ate a thing called "cheesy corn" that looks as gross as it sounds but tastes soooooo much better than you might ever imagine it could
  • I popped a small, flower-shaped thing I THOUGHT was going to be a low-sugar short bready/biscuit-y cookie thingy but was, instead, a super moist, super sweet mint thingy in to my fat mouth. I then freaked out and had to delicately spit out in a garbage can while the bride's mother (who provided them) was mere feet away
  • I sat at the rehearsal dinner with a bunch of 20-somethings . . . one of which had (allegedly) NEVER heard the song "Poison" before. Hashtag: The Day I Felt Officially Old
  • I was at a party with a guy named Merlin, a woman named Merna, and a couple with the last name of Nirschl (if "Meeting People with the Greatest Names in the History of the World" were like B-I-N-G-O . . . my card would be covered with stamps right now)
  • I saw a BAD-ASSED best man's toast. Wanna see it, too? Yes. You. Do. (Fret not, the camera shifts a few seconds in for better viewing):

So what is the point of all this? Life is full of great opportunities if you just open your mind, open your heart, full up the gas tank and have some FUN!

Congrats to the happy couple. May the laughter, joy, smiles, (happy) tears, and love carry you two through all the days of your lives and (as the father of the bride so wisely requested in his prayer before dinner) may it also help those of us who have and will help you along the way, too.



Sunday Funday . . .

With my formal joining of the tribe just a few weeks away - people have started asking "What sort of Jew are you going to be?" my answer . . . hopefully a GOOD one - like Mendy Pellin (where faith fits in and fuels his life).

Anywho - for those who have asked on what it means to live a Jewish life . . . here's some background on Judaism (but note that I'm a reform vs. orthodox Jew) and, because of good luck, Sukkot . . .


Shaving . . .

I could have sworn I've already DONE this post but I can't find it. So . . . shaving!

I have been asked three times in the last few months and I was typing the other day with a friend about shaving supplies and my shaving regime (yes - this is something we "men" do in the year 2014) so I figured I would write this post again so I can just send the link next time someone asks me about my tools-for-beardless-living.

If you don't care about how I shave (and why should you?) . . . move on. No hard feelings. But if you do. If. You. Do. Prepare to be inspired.

A few backgrounders that might be worth noting.

  1. I am the cheapest person you'll probably ever meet (don't insert a Jew joke here - those really aren't all that funny).
  2. I am not a hippie but I do think things like "organic" and "all natural" make sense when you are talking about personal grooming. More importantly, I don't believe you should put anything against your body that is not a naturally occurring substance or material (don't even get me started on f*cking parabens).
  3. I have very sensitive skin.
  4. I hate shaving. HATE it. If the people in my life (really just my daughter) allowed me to have a beard - I would. Not one of those horrible "Duck Dynasty" travesties but a well groomed thing that required clippers vs. blades and accouterments.
We good? Good.

Here we go . . . 

Pre-Shave Ritual
  • Take a warm shower (truly hot water is bad for your skin - be a better friend to yourself) and let the air get steamy
  • Right before I turn off the water I wash my face with my normal face wash and then scrub my cheeks, chin, upper lip, and neck with an exfoliating scrub making sure to make small circles on top of the hair I will soon shave (this roughs it up a little bit aggravates the follicles) 
  • I do NOT dry my face after my shower
  • I use a pre-shave oil on all the places I'm about to shave
The Actual Act of Shaving
  • I do not believe anything good every came from a can so shaving foams are out. I prefer shaving LOTION that doesn't foam, bubble, or make big piles. It really just serves to help the blade glide and to get my little hairs away from the skin itself. I also rub this in circular patterns to rough up my beard.
  • I am pretty sure that if you are using a razor with five or six blades, a vibrating function, and self-despensing moisturizers . . . you're missing the whole point. ONE blade. A safety blade, specifically. I own two - this one is my first and favorite. Trust me on this one, fellas . . . get rid of the disposables and the refillables and get a good, quality safety razor. It WILL cost you a little more upfront but the blades are super cheap so the investment pays for itself rather quickly. 
  • I shave "down". Then I shave "up". Then I do diagonals on my chin. This is not convention procedure and you should know shaving with a safety razor is very different than how most men shave (it is about speed and even pressure vs. jamming your blade in and ripping hair out)
After the Shave
  • Splash of warm water.
  • Another round of apricot scrub to the shaved area.
  • A quick splash of toner on a cotton swab to the whole face and neck.
  • Loud, angry curses at any nicks, cuts, or gushers.
  • After shave balm (no alcohol-based splashes unless you are an actual self-sadist) 
  • A dab of essential oils . . . for the ladies (again - no need for alcohol-based colognes, etc.)
  • Toilet paper squares on the bleeding spots (I get one every four or five times I shave - always at the worst, possible times)
That's it. You're good to go. Get shaving. Be well. 


Career Path and Plan . . .

I have reached a point of professional maturity (fear not, my brain and personality are still 12 years old) in the recent past.

I don't know if it was the six long months of unemployment last year or being a father or being divorced or just being at a point where I am ready to go deep vs. wide on my focuses and pursuits but I really, truly don't have it in me to wonder what else is out there these days.

It is appropriate and (nearly) mandatory to point out that I am professionally HAPPY these days. I have a growing brand to market, a new CEO with a marketing background who has pledged to move the function forward, a boss that seems to just know how to "manage" me (and by that I mean not let me actually self destruct/implode/destroy us all), a team that is a good mix of passion, skills, and white board, and an office full of people that are somewhere between TRULY horrible at what they do and TRULY amazing at what they do. And we have an entire accounting DEPARTMENT (evil laugh) for me to aggravate.

So what is this post about? I saw something the other day that - a year or two ago - would have been my "dream job" . . . the right title, the right amount of power, the right mix of what I know and what I want to learn, the perfect storm of marketing, sales, networking, and integration AND it was in an educational setting.

A year ago I would have begged - BEGGED - them to hire me. This time . . . I sent the lead to a friend who is job hunting and moved on.

I still dream. I still want to get that perfect storm of opportunity and risk and reward. I still want to grow and achieve more. I just don't feel like I'm searching or wandering any more. I am much more content to cultivate what I have right in front of me and let that be the fertile soil from which to create a storm.


Pledge KMUW . . .

Well, kiddos. It is that MAGICAL time of the (half) year when KMUW alters its normal schedule, pushes that HORRIBLE "The Writer's Almanac" back a few minutes and politely asks that the listeners of Wichita public radio (aka "Your Connection to the World") get out their checkbooks, debit cards, cash, change, last wills and testaments, and tax defer-ables and  GIVES to the station that loves you most.

Now - I'm a HUGE lover of public radio. I listen to 89.1 FM on my Stitcher app, in my shower, in my car, and at my desk MOST of the day. When I'm not streaming the station - I'm listening to podcasts of other NPR (and other contributing organization) shows. I have converted listeners from the dark, dark doldrums of commercial radio and I have made those who believed public radio to be for "hippies, elitists, the over-educated, and the boring" in to elite, over-educated, boring hippies. And I can do the same for you.

I know what you're thinking - I don't have the money to give to KMUW. Poppy-cock! Can you afford $10/month? Yes you can. Can you afford $40 in a lump sum? I'll bet you could. The truth? Can you write a check for $5MM? Yes, Charles Koch you CAN (and SHOULD). There is NO amount of money that is too much or too little (disclaimer - I give $125/campaign - just enough to get my tea mug each drive BUT I beg everyone I know to give, too). And that is where YOU, dear reader, come in.

It is time for Seandraising (it is fundraising but you bump out the first syllable to Sean vs. fun and you give my cleverness its due). That means YOU donate and I take the heat and/or do "stuff" in exchange. Last drive's campaign was almost TOO successful, frankly. I had some good fortune, a few new benefactors and some mis-calculations that drove me along.

Here is what we're pledging for . . .

$1,500 - (Because if we can't put well over a grand in the pot - why are we even playing?) I'll wear jeans to work some Friday and post photos of me in all the shame denim in the workplace can offer.

$1,750- I'll go another six months without talking about my favorite things in the whole, wide, world on social media. Again.

$2,000  - I'll finally admit my true feelings for Megan Lovely. (To clarify - they are not all that different than the feelings I've been sharing all these years).

$2,250 - I'll let anyone that gives $100 or more of the first $2,250 write a post here on the ol' blog. ANY topic you like. ANY tone you choose to take. I get a little over 100 visitors/readers per day. Your blog may be more popular, Perez Hilton, but it doesn't have nearly as many typos. Just think about that, bucko.

$2,500 - Everyone who contributes $25 or more to the first $2,500 raised gets to have their one, true burning question (that I can answer) answered. Let's solve the world's mysteries, people. Like how in the WORLD Sugar Sisters is still a real thing.

$2,750 - I (working with Bailey Blair and a mystery donor) will make the soon-to-be-single, already-ready-to-mingle Walker Schwartz reappear in the 316 area code for four days in mid-May. Get yourselves ready, ladies.

$3,000 - We'll have a Color Me Mine party and sell ALL our spoon rest creations on eBay and we'll give all the money back to the station. Seriously, paint your own pottery places are a HOOT.

$3,250 - I'll destroy every nude photo of my (post-pubescent - my mother is not giving up my baby photos) self ever taken. No. None exist. Just keep telling yourself that . . .

$3,500 - I'll run a 5K with JSzam (she won the right to run one with me in the fall and I ran it but not with her) AND try to keep up.

$3,750 - I'll have a little thing (nothing too serious, a few friends, a grill and some bocce) in my back yard in June. Anyone that gives will be invited (even if I don't like you at alllllllllll).

$4,000 - I'll kayak (swimming last year was ABSURD) a few miles of the Arkansas River in a boat not really intended for a man of my girth.

$4,250 - Whomever gives the $4,250th dollar gets to take over my Twitter account for 48 hours. No restrictions OTHER THAN I get to update my bio to clarify it is not really me Tweeting. I'm HUGE on Twitter, folks. They LOVE me over there.

$4,500 - I'll tell anyone that gives $250 or more on the way to $4,500 my Hebrew name before it is made public at my conversion in a few weeks. Like Carly Simon's "Your So Vain" it will shock you but you can't tell anyone what it is until after the world knows. No. It is not Schlubby Schlomo ben Goldenstein.

FINAL (5/6 at 9:45 PM CT) - Wellllll math was never my strong suit so I re-crunched the numbers and we ended lower than I thought. I need to add one last pledge amount but we are otherwise totaled out at $4,606. I could not be more appreciative of the response to this challenge and I am humbled at your generosity. THANK YOU!

$4,750 - Whomever gives this amount can pick the punishment (some restrictions apply, see store for details).

$5,000 - I'll run the Prairie Fire Half Marathon in October, 2014. Yep. You read it here first. I will run another half marathon . . . THIS TIME for my beloved KMUW AND I'll be wearing a friggin' tutu while I do it.

New rules this drive - you must still DM me through Twitter (@seancamore), message me through Facebook (yawn), hit me up on Google+ (that's the ticket) or e-mail or text me to tell me how much you gave (not pledged - GAVE) and matching funds do NOT count. Just what you give (unless you ARE the match in the matching funds at which point . . . game on).

I'll update the totals as we go and when we hit each goal I'll do one of those happy dances that only obese, middle-aged, white men can do.

So - let's DO this. Let's make Seandraising 2014 a HUGE success. We can be HEROES, people.


Sunday Funday . . .

In honor of Easter, I give you three British women (that go by "Loose Women" . . . it is like The View only British and way, way less annoying) engaged in competitive egg blowing. It is as awkward as you might presume/hope/pray . . .


Re-Invention . . .

When you go to your company's annual meeting (conference, convention, summit, forum, retreat, conclave, cattle call, circle jerk, assembly, convocation, kerfuffle, etc.) you need a few things . . . sensible yet stylish shoes (lots of walking and standing around, etc.), a blazer (and, fellas, PLEASE stop calling ANYTHING but a solid blue coat a blazer . . . it might be a sports coat, jacket, suit coat, or jacket but it is NOT a blazer), some fun stories and anecdotes, something to reduce bags under your eyes, and some business cards.

Why? You're going to be doing a lot of flesh pressing, story telling, experience sharing, laughing and joking, etc. and you're going to have to look good and be on your best behavior while doing all that with booze in ample supply.

I learned a LOT this week. Not just about the company I work for (and its past, present, and future) but also about my peers. Turns out you can blatantly see tension between colleagues I had assumed to be fast friends, friendship between colleagues I had assumed to be fast tensioners, people who "don't drink" drinking, cabs being taken at odd hours of the morning and night (my window overlooked the main entrance to the hotel and I slept horribly all week) and TONS of blessed, glorious cleavage if you just look around at the annual confab.

Here is the top story line of this last of week . . . re-invention. I'm NOT mocking in what I'm about to share (it is hard to tell in this forum but let me be clear) but I am fascinated and perplexed.

A colleague has decided that they want to go by a different name. Yes. That's right. Not in the spirit of a coworker that goes home Friday wearing a blazer and Henry moniker and comes back Monday in a skirt and Henrietta on their ID badge (which would also capture wan hunna purrrrr scent of my attention in a non-mocking way) but, rather, in the spirit of "Hey, if you guys could now call me Rosy vs. Roseanne (not the real names in either case), I'd appreciate it." And X has new business cards with that name on it to get the party started!

It seems Rosy is going through a re-invention. Divorcing. Thinking about career path. Worried about current direction. Feeling insecure in their skin and appearance. Trying to reassert themselves in every way they can. I applaud that. I really, truly do (been there, done that . . . many times) but I struggle with the idea of changing your name as part of boosting yourself.

Full disclosure . . . I have done what Rosy is doing. Kinda. I hope you are sitting down . . . those who know me and met me in 1998 or after say my last name "Uh-more" and anyone that knew me before 1998 or who knows anyone else in my family says it "A-more". The pre-98 crowd is right. When I moved to DC I just decided to tweak how I say my own last name. And to this day . . . I have NO idea why. NONE. But, 16 years, three months, four days later . . . it is what it is.

But I didn't tweak my last name as a statement of "Now I am THIS PERSON." and it was not based on a crisis of self. If I did it for any reason it was because it got a little closer to how my Grandparents said their name in the boot land from whence they came. It had nothing to do with wanting to be seen or treated differently - I was new to every person I was meeting anyway. There was no rebirth.

I digress . . . back to my colleague in crisis. So, Roseanne wants to be Rosy. Okay. Fine. But I'm still going to call her Roseanne. I'm still going to treat her exactly as I have since I first met her ten months ago. I'll wish her the best and hope her life settles quickly (divorce is hard). I'll encourage her in any way that I can. What will I also do? Roll my eyes. Think it is odd. Wish she wasn't doing it. Allow other people to feel about it however they way. It is an interesting choice - one that warrants reaction (good and bad).

The marketer in me sorta respects this move! She's doing a little branding, a little guerrilla marketing, she's doing a little PR too (trying to build buzz). People DID talk about her this week, too. Good and bad.

Re-invention is a long, drawn out, difficult, and plodding process. It takes work, support, good luck, focus, brains, and brawn. It takes people embracing the changes. It takes all that and more but it also depends on one thing . . . basis. You have to have a good, sturdy foundation and a good, honest reason for the desired change and bookmarking. Without that . . . well . . . you're just asking people to pay attention to it for whatever duration they are willing to do it. You're not really changing.


Sooth My Mind . . .

So I traveled for work last evening (and this will likely be my last blog post for the week accordingly) and it was a night full of mis-adventure . . .
  1. A rock hit and cracked my windshield a mile or so before the airport so I have that waiting for me when I get back.
  2. I landed in Dallas to find a text message from my brother asking me to call ASAP with "bad news" waiting for me - it seems my father (in all his infinite wisdom) decided to carry ALL the luggage from a nearly two-week excursion to Maryland and Pennsylvania up the stairs and FELL DOWN THE STAIRS. A broken rib, severely swollen right arm, wrist, and hand, a "brain bleed", an open wound on the back of the head, a loss of consciousness, 911-call, ambulance ride, CT scan (no, it is not spelled "cat"), and a night in the ICU later . . . he's fine. Or will be. In theory. This time.
  3. I got stuck in a row with the 20-something girl that looks too young to afford her Ugg boots, "Pink" sweatpants, D&G hoodie, horribly dried out and unhealthy looking hair extensions, Louis Vuitton carry-on bag (which was in my seat and she was not happy to move it to the . . . floor) and iPhone with debazzled case AND her nearly-identically dressed mother who only varied in appearance thanks to a set of massive, fake . . . you know . . . and some Botox up top. Bonus? The two of them used the cursed WiFi on the plane to shop for earrings the entire 98 minutes we were on the plane together (for a 45 minute flight).
  4. I got in a cab that assured me he knew how to get to the massive hotel/resort compound I will spend the week (I'm not telling you WHERE I am, stalkers (seriously though, come visit . . . this place is amazing)) took me to the WRONG (insert name of hotel brand here). So THEN we used my future phone to find the right place.
  5. The cabbie turned out to be a very cool fella and he sold me some seriously amazing incense (that's not even code for drugs - he really sold me incense) as we arrived at this place that seems like something out of an ambitious run at Disney World.
  6. I got here a full hour later than expected. Tired. Stressed. Worried about my pops. I just wanted something Pesach friendly (and a HAPPY PASSOVER all (while I'm on the subject)) to nosh on. Alas . . . restaurants were closed. Bar was closing (and had no food anyway). Room service had already shut down. Things looked grim for our stressed, food-addicted hero UNTIL, at check-in, he was calm, cool, polite and (genuinely) apathetic when told they didn't have any king size beds/rooms available for me . . . him. I simply said "Man . . . what a night. I just want a banana or two and some iced skim milk."
Five minutes later . . . BAM!

THANK YOU kind, king sir at the front desk, the folks that took care of my father and mother tonight and the mother in the window seat for those amazingly horrifying cans you bought at some "everything must go" cosmetic surgery flea market. Blek. 


Bad Haircut . . .

I got a BAD haircut on Friday evening. I'm not talking about the kind where you think "Eh . . . it'll grow back in." I'm talking about the kind where you think "Maybe those dirty hipsters and their wool, knit caps have a point."

When I wore a younger man's clothes - I had thick hair. THICK. The kind where, like deep pile carpet or those meditation sand trays (with little rakes and stones) on mid-level executive's desks, you ran your fingers through it and it stayed in that pattern until you ran your fingers another way. I loved it. And it loved me. But we knew our love affair would be brief because EVERY MAN on the branches of my family tree is bald. Mr. Clean type bald (other than my one, super awkward uncle that does a comb over that makes Donald Trump stop saying stupid things, lean to the right, and simply mutter "Dammmmmmmmmmmmmmn." (like Chris Tucker and Ice Cube in Friday)).

So . . . fast forward to the ripe, "old" age of 22 and I'm a recent college graduate and I'm dating a woman in DC and she says "Your hair is almost too gray and is thinning almost too much for you to be just 22." (She was older, sophisticated, and liked to verbally abuse me as foreplay (in my head - at least).) So by the age of 27 when I met my soon-to-be-wife I breathed a deep sigh of relief that I could give up the proverbial ghost, go bald, and live happily ever, please-don't-get-me-scalpal-melanoma-after.

I started cutting it really, really short and just letting go . . . to the brown and the thickness and the luxurious nature of my former hair.

And here I sit - nearly 11 years later - and I can honestly tell you I just want it over. I think, frequently, of going all Mr. Clean on myself and just letting my beautiful, cue ball dome reflect sun, sweat, and t-zone skin oil. It is exhausting to get my hair cut every four to six weeks and see my hair line marching, ever so slowly, to the back of my neck. It is horrifying to have my eyebrows and ear hair take almost as much time to trim as my locks themselves. It is demoralizing to add the "that" to the middle of "It is not bald."

BUT I have figured it out (get out your notepads, balding men and the (wo)men that love them). The "Zero-to-Finger-Length Fade". THE perfect hair cut for balding men everywhere. It is exactly as it sounds - it starts with no hair on your neck and lower head that gradually lengthens to the depth of the width of a stylist's fingers on their "holding" hand (the other hand - of course - being the scissor/cutting hand).

But even this, apparently, is not fool-proof. Asssssssssssss witnessed by the WORST. HAIR. CUT. EVER. on Friday evening.

(All say, in unison) "How. Bad. Was. It."


(again) "HOW bad?"

Let's just say I only did ONE social thing after the chop . . . went to services. My classmate John made fun of me three times before the Torah portion. My Rabbi making fun of me in front of the congregation bad (apparently I know have the same haircut as every male member of the ruling family of North Korea). The President of the congregation (himself sporting the aforementioned Mr. Clean cut) just laughed. Repeatedly. A nice, older woman - herself with a shock of fucshia hair in her otherwise white locks (that my daughter and I both truly love - not sarcasm . . . it is a wonderful bit of individuality) said "Oh THANK YOU for saying something bad about that hair - I was wondering what was going on earlier."

SO - I went Saturday, looking like Forrest Gump (the movie vs. Frank Ocean's), and had my hair not CUT but FIXED.

And fixed it is. The proud, subtle fade without notable steps or seams. The top exactly a finger's depth. My ears, eyebrows, and neck pristine. I feel whole again . . . until I look to admire it in the mirror and see the retreating, greying spectacle that is left behind.

Oh well. I once had really good hair - ONCE.


Sunday Funday . . .

I have recently become obsessed with this song (again - this is a reoccurring obsession for me). Please to enjoy . . .


Cryptic Blogging . . .

Ha. The Crypt Keeper. Get it? I'm super funny today. On FIRE funny.
I've addressed this a few times in the past (but apparently it is time to do it again). Let me be clear, people, I don't do "cryptic" blogging.

There are no messages in the tea leaves. There are no codes in the characters, typos, sentence structures, or chosen images. I don't indirectly address people, problems, relationships, or opportunities, and I don't subtly point fingers at me, others, or the sky above on this blog.

I don't do that EVER or ANYWHERE.

If I have one true problem it is that I don't do subtle. I don't do quiet. I don't do vague. I don't do cryptic. I have never, ever, ever bitten my tongue. I've never demured. I've never begged off. I've never even taken the high road in my communications strategy.

Just yesterday my professionalism was attacked (to repeat - I take two things in this world seriously . . . my daughter and my work ethic) by a colleague because I didn't drop everything to pretend that her inquiry was important to me or to even acknowledge/answer her question about when I could meet with her a midst four crisis, a kid with strep throat, and a super secret business card order to complete. And NO - I'm not being a hypocrite by vaguely addressing this here. We've been fighting over my indiscretion for nearly 24 hours. I can't shut up about it. I can't swallow my self-righteous indignation. I can't do cryptic. I CANNOT (one word - you are welcome, KER) just close my mouth and be quiet or shy.

When you read THIS do you think I'm telling you about my dating life or relationship status?

  1. Women who may (not) have feelings for/interest in you or who might (not) want you to have feelings for/interest in them do NOT appreciate professions of love to another woman on Facebook.

Do you think I'm EVER going to talk about my dating life or relationship status in vague, subtle terms? Do you think I want you to know ANYTHING about my romantic life via this blog? Pro tip . . . I'm not discussing any healthy or positive relationships in my life via a blog that is read by strangers (and beloved friends and family).

Is there any post on this blog that you have questions about? Any sentence structure that drives you nuts? Any subtle cues and clues you would like de-mystified?

Let me know. I'm here, 24/7 to answer your questions but please, please, please stop thinking you are learning anything about me in the subtle cues of the debacle that is this blog. If I don't SAY it - I am not "saying" it.

Rant adjourned. Here are some facts that you might appreciate . . .

  1. I love only three women that you need to know about in this forum - my daughter, my mother, and Connie Britton.
  2. I will never blog about my dating life. Directly or indirectly (re-read the above). 
  3. Hummus is delicious.
  4. Google+ is better than Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. I HOPE you will not believe me. Keep things quiet "over there" for me. No worries.
  5. George W. Bush was a horrible president and is a horrible, horrible painter/artist. Seriously. Bring your best counter argument. I'll listen, patiently, all day long.
  6. Speaking of creepy puppets . . . The Tales from the Crypt-inspired "Creepshow 2" movie, specifically the vignette "The Raft" scared me so much as a TEENAGER that I shared a bed with my younger brother for the entire summer and refused to go swimming.
  7. Midori was my favorite liquer in the world once upon a time - a long, long time ago. 
  8. I stopped drinking soda 11 days ago. I've hated myself a little more each day for the last 11 consecutive days.
  9. I have purchased three pair of penny loafers in the last week. Yes. Three. I needed them. Shut up. I said I NEEDED them.
  10. If you are not still going through puberty and you have a snapchat account, you need more hugs and/or love and/or therapy in your life. Seriously. 
There. I put some curiosities to rest and I stated some facts to clear up some potential confusions. 


Downtown Living . . .

When I first finished college and headed to Washington, DC I knew two things . . . 1) If I was going to live "in DC" I was going to live IN DC and 2) Living in a city is expensive and not without its downfalls. 

I was lucky. I lived in the Foggy Bottom (named for the humidity that would hang in the air around the State Department - if my memory/understanding is correct) neighborhood the first nine months and the Eastern Market neighborhood for the next six years. Both of those neighborhoods had more row homes than high rises of apartments and both had their own Metro and basic shopping within walking distance (I used to grocery shop in the basement of the Watergate - that was fun).

Then I got engaged and moved to Baltimore. The suburbs of. I know, I know. THEN we moved to the suburbs of the suburbs of the suburbs of the Connecticut suburbs of New York City and became parents. My urban life was over. 

When we moved to Wichita we bought a great house in College Hill and that was it. Near the park. Everyone wins. But I stayed IN Wichita. I at least got rid of the suburbs (NO disrespect, suburbanites . . . okay,  little disrespect).

But I am rethinking this whole notion that I am a parent now and I must live in green areas and can't live in a city center. The Wichita school district grants exceptions and and has magnet schools and has ways that my  kid can stay in her academic comfort zone and there is (wonderfully so) a rebirth happening in Wichita's once-vacated downtown (the problem truly is too much flat, cheap land surrounding it). 

I have friends who are in the middle of the movement to shake up the presumption that if you are parents near a city you must live in the 'burbs. They just moved their daughter, son, two dogs, and a cat from Derby to The Lux

I have been excited to see their place since they moved and I finally got a chance (the door has been open for me to visit for months - I've just been lazy about it) on Sunday. 

Now I want to move there really, really badly. Check out this amazing two bedroom apartment . . . 

A wall of windows runs the length of the unit. This is the living room.

The reverse angle - a small kitchen is bathed in light. Tons of storage.

A skywalk to a parking garage and mixed-use building are just outside.

The bigger bedroom is almost the size of my old apartment. Huge windows.

Walk in shower? I dig it. Baths freak me out anyway.

The smaller bedroom is anything but small - but lacks a window.
Is the Lux "cheap"? Eh. Subjective but when you factor in most of the utilities and WiFi Internet are included and the building, LEED/Green certified and everything, sips electricity from the faucet vs. gulps from the fire hose and that you have no lawn to mow or building to maintain . . . life is pretty good. There is also a rooftop deck (with grass and everything) and I'm told a second rooftop area will open next year with a pool and lounge area.

I don't know if I'm ready to make the move now (I JUST finished unpacking) but the call of The Lux is in my ears and I want to answer it.


Teaching . . .

The fine folks (sarcasm) of the Kansas legislature pulled some shenanigans this weekend and passed (by the narrowest of possible votes - which is how you KNOW shenanigans was pulled) and opened the door for our esteemed (I can't even type it without laughing) Governor Brownback to sign in to law the removal of the right for teachers to have the protections of due process.

Is it a strike against the union? Sure. Is that potential red flag to a state full of employees who work in heavily unionized shops and where every level of education just got a little more dicey? Yep. But I'm not going to make this about that . . . I want to focus on "due process" (as I understand it). I'm not a political scholar and I'm no law expert (so if I am all wet here - please just throw me a towel vs. jumping all over me) but there was one legislator that said something particularly troublesome (from my always uneasy perspective) . . .

Some lawmakers, like Republican Representative Allan Rothlisberg, say schools need to be run more like private sector businesses, where people can be hired and fired more easily.
“Produce or you’re gone," Rothlisberg says. "Private sector does it. You don’t meet standards, you don’t meet goals, you’re gone. That’s the way it should be in the public sector.”
Clearly Rep. Rothlisberg doesn't know much about anything . . . is he arguing there are no unions, processes, or protections in place in private business and the private sector? Even for an "at will" employment state like Kansas - lots of very poor-at-their-job-people get to stay employed for a long, long time.

I was raised by educators - my mother a teacher, my father an administrator. I listened to MANY conversations at dinner and at other times about how hard it is to educate and how hard it is to be a good educator. I chose NOT to teach. I'm horribly impatient, I don't like any kids (other than my own), and I would not want to put up with the politics of education. BUT I am observant enough to see the difference between what I do and what my parents did as relates to "due process" and "meeting standards" and "meeting goals" . . .

My press releases don't go home to 23 houses each night. None of my Tweets ever have to wonder where their next meal is coming from. While perhaps poorly written, none of my web copy has an actual learning disorder. There are no bullies in my laptop. There are no drugs, alcohol, or junk food getting in the way of my monthly analytics meeting. I am not in an environment where too many bodies occupy too little space or where budgets have cut back on everything including facial tissue, crayons, and the temperature that the building itself maintains.

Nope. I don't deal with any of that. But teachers do. Every. Single. Day.

Do I think the bad ones should be protected and allowed to keep their jobs? Heck no. I'm a taxpayer and that is the future of America they are half-assing. BUT I want them to have due process and to know why they are being fired. I want all of us to know. I want their colleagues to know as a warning sign that x = gone. Do I think due process should protect those accused of misconduct? Yep. It does at my job (private sector). Do I think due process should be used to evaluate a classroom that under-performs year after year on standardized tests? Sure.

People misunderstand teaching as an "easy" gig. 8 AM - 3 PM, summers off. That is the cliche, right? That is straight up wrong. I don't know ANY teachers that work those hours (and, frankly, the joke I once heard (can't remember who said it) was that teachers had to be out of work at 3 PM so they could compete against the high school kids for the hourly jobs they needed to supplement their incomes). I get time off from work. I, candidly, pretty much come and go as I please (I am at work way, way, WAY more than I am not - in case "due process" is watching). I work in the private sector.

I'm not saying all teachers are perfect. I'm not saying all private employees are perfect. I'm saying ALL professionals deserve the basic rights to know what they are accused of, to be able to defend themselves, and to know - if they fail in that defense - WHY they are being terminated.

This is the future of our country, people. Let's not make it any harder on those who are willing to push the ball up the hill.


20 Favorite TV Shows of All Time . . .

I have NEARLY (I'll never say "fully") exhausted the filler blog post that is the "favorites" list (and - if I ever feel like I have hit the proverbial wall I'll just restart with LEAST favorite stuff) but I realized that I've missed a key/obvious one . . . TV shows. I'm not much for TV these days (with the cancellation of Psych last week I can honestly say there are only three or four shows currently on the air that I care about at ALL . . . this is due to a conscious decision to get rid of cable and TV in my life vs. me being better than (I watch a TON of Netflix, Google Play, and PBS on Roku so I'm not better than staring at a screen for hours at a time).

Without additional delay . . . my favorite TV shows of all time (in order).

20) This Old House - It is probably a mixture of my complete inability to be "handy" mixed with my obsession with those who are handy AND those who can fix and improve things. Great show. I miss Bob Vila but the new guys are pretty awesome, too. Plays on PBS app.

19) Chappelle's Show - NOTHING says white kid trying to be edgy like laughing at Wayne Brady threatening to choke a b*tch. Seriously. NOTHING says it better. Plays on Amazon Prime.

18) Rubicon - Such a smart show. So short lived. I hate AMC for dumping it so soon. Not streaming.

17) Harper's Island - It was NOT a great show but I loved every second of this modern take on "And Then There Were None" and for that, I make no apologies. I really did not see the twist coming at the end and that made it all the better. The show - naturally - only had one season. Grrrr. Not streaming.

16) Terriers - I love Donal Logue. I love detective shows. I love them together. ANOTHER show (you'll sense a theme here) that I wish was not cancelled so early. Streaming on Netflix.

15) Soap - In a word, hilarious. In another word, groundbreaking (gay couples, adultery, people sharing beds, drugs and booze). In a repeated word, hilarious. Not streaming.

14) Family Guy - If loving Family Guy is wrong . . . I refuse to be right. Hilarious for allllll the wrong reasons. Streaming on Netflix and HuluPlus.

13) House of Cards - I mean . . . come on. If you don't love it - swrongwitchu? I also love the original BBC series, too. BOTH are streaming on Netflix.

12) Sherlock - I have always enjoyed detectives (another theme) and this one is the legendary one himself. The BBC version, with just three episodes per season, means three TV episodes better than just about any movie you could watch with the same 90 minutes. Streaming on Netflix and the PBS app.

11) Murder, She Wrote - This is a show I started watching as a guilty pleasure with my parents in high school. I have loved it since the first episode . . . I just can't figure out why anyone invited Jessica Fletcher ANYWHERE (everywhere she went, people died). Love a detective. Love Angela Lansbury. Streaming on Netflix.

10) The Muppet Show - Watched it as a kid and love it (and own the DVDs today) and there are times when I put on an episode with my daughter and can smell my house as a kid and the shampoo my parents made me use (full of parabens and other horrible crap).

9) The Killing - I was a wee disappointed at the finale of season one but forgave the show because it was sooooo good up until and then after for seasons two and most of season three. Complex characters and great story lines. Also - detectives. I'll be anxious to see how the show concludes in a Netflix-only format this year. Streaming on Netflix.

8) Friday Night Lights - Coach Taylor and family and players made seasons of television that were loosely based around high school football but if you think Friday Night Lights is ABOUT football . . . you're crazy. SUCH good television. Streaming on Netflix, HuluPlus, Amazon Prime.

7) Six Feet Under - A lot of people thought Sex and the City or The Sopranos were what solidified HBO as a "game changer" for television but, for me, Six Feet Under was the best of that bundle. Amazing stories and characters . . . and the occasional detective. No one ever won anything on that show - sorta like life itself. You ultimately lose out when you die. Streaming on HBO-Go.

6) Lost - I'll admit it . . . the middle seasons (three and early four) were not my favorites but I'd put the FULL Lost experience up against just about any TV show of this century for being bring, complex, rich, funny, sad, moving, and engaging. So many mysteries I'll never even try to understand. And that is just fine. Streaming on Netflix.

5) The Wire - The GREATEST TV SHOW OF ALL TIME. Amazing writing, amazing acting, amazing plots and stories, amazing everything. But it is not my favorite - it is just the best. I will openly and easily admit that I have a man crush on Idris Elba. He's amazing as is the whole thing. Also, detectives. LOTS of them. Streaming on HBO-Go.

4) Psych - Fake psychic (and real detective) Shawn Spencer and his fellow nutballs made some comedic gold over the years. This show was the hardest part about cancelling my cable a few years ago. Luckily you can buy a season for $25 vs. pay $200/month for cable. Choices, people. Seriously, though. Check out Psych. DETECTIVES. Streaming on Netflix, Amazon Prime, HuluPlus and the USA Website.

3) Sports Night - Lots of people point to The Social Network or Newsroom or maybe The West Wing as examples of Aaron Sorkin's greatness. And they are all great and worthy of the pointed fingers but, for me, Sports Night was fantastic. Just sharp writing and great characters. Another "cancelled too soon" show, for me. Not streaming (that I am aware of).

2) Felicity - I will admit that this show came out when I was just a few years ahead of these kids in life's path but, much like Sports Night and Aaron Sorkin  . . . if the only thing you know about JJ Abrams is Star Trek and Star Wars - you need to get back to your roots. Also . . . Keri Russell is the first skinny, flat chested woman I ever lusted for. Pretty much the last, too. It was the curls. And her beauty. Streaming on Netflix.

1) Gilmore Girls - Yes, yes, yes. You never saw it. It looked silly. It seemed absurd. What network(s) was it even on? The Gilmore Girls was the best written, most charming TV show ever. It is the only show I ever had to pause and rewind to be sure I got all the zingy jokes AND the only show (other than the one game of Monday Night Football I watched when Dennis Miller was in the booth) I ever had to look up references to make sure I got them. Hilarious show. Touching show. Cheesy in the best possible way. Watch it. Love it. You are welcome. Not streaming.

Honorable mentions to Luther and Monk - two (detective) shows I really do love and Archer - the randomest show I have ever loved and laughed so hard at. I wanted them (all three stream on Netflix and elsewhere) on the list but could not kick anything else out of the top twenty to wedge them in and I thought making a list of 23 was odd and I could not come up with two more shows to get to 25. I guess It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia would get me to 24 (I love that show). I could put Justified in there and round it out but . . . then where to put these five . . . how to juggle them against the others . . . I was going to just do 20 . . . ugh.

This is my confused brain just puking up the words at this point. Yet you are still reading. Odd.


Sunday Funday . . .

If you're not enjoying Soul Pancake on YouTube - you're missing out. How friggin' good does THIS look?!


Noah . . .

I saw Noah last night . . . actually yesterday afternoon (I mayyyyyy have ditched work a few hours early).

I have been excited to see Noah since I first heard of it months ago. No. Not because of the cast. Not only because of Darren Aronofsky (although I should admit I would watch just about anything he decided to put his name on). Candidly, I was mainly excited to see how the guy that made the amazing Black Swan (a movie where the characters follow the plot line of the production that follows the plot line of the ballet that is the center of the movie) would tackle the relatively short but plot-opportunity rich story of Noah and his boxy, boxy boat.

Not familiar with the source material? Come on . . . really? Noah is charged, by G-d, to build an arc to carry the animals of the world (the only ones that had not let wickedness come in to their behavior) while the "reset" button was hit on this big, bouncing ball. Along the way some tough sub decisions had to be made and not everyone wins.

How did Aronofsky handle it? Here's the trailer . . .

I will say I was not at all disappointed in the movie but I was not overwhelmed either. I was not expecting it to be faithful to the "Good Book" (common sense told me that - and all the media attention and conservative Christian uproar made it clear) and I was not expecting it to be some grand departure that had nothing to do with the source material either (because the world can come up with an apocalypse story, clearly). My favorite part of the film was the extended voice over scene where the creation story is told over footage of evolving animals, species, and landscapes . . . perhaps proof that the easiest-to-defend outlook is a mixture of G-d and science.

Here's what Noah was for me . . . the ultimate parenting movie. If G-d is our parent, how does he reprimand and reward us? If Noah is trying to follow the tradition of his father and lineage, how do children honor their parents? If Emzara (Noah's wife) is a mother and expectant Grandmother, what would she do or not do to protect her children? If Noah is a father who is charged with resetting the world while raising kids, what will he do to protect them? If you find a girl in the wasteland who has lost their father, would you raise her as your own?

All these questions are addressed . . . if indirectly. But the moral of the story is parenting is hard and the best you can do respect yourself, let your conscience and/or creator be your guide, and hope that you make the right decisions in order to provide something for your kids to have, honor, and pay forward when you are gone.

I would suggest Noah . . . the story line has its flaws (the stow-away, for instance) but it is beautifully made, well acted (for the most part), and the Kronos Quartet score is wonderful and Patti Smith's "Mercy" as the closing credits begin was spot on and well appreciated.


I'm Awkward Like That . . .

So I decided to play a little April Fool's Day joke on my Facebook "friends" yesterday. What did I go with? The (second) oldest prank in the books (the oldest, of course, being a false pregnancy) . . . the relationship. Yes. I said it. Yes. I realize that it is farce that I would chose social media (the bane of my existence (most days)) to announce to the world that I am in a loving, adult relationship. A) Because I would never actually "announce" such a thing and B) Because I would never do it over social media if I was going to do it. I would just sort of let people know when I saw them.

I'm not "better" than social media or the fact that we've become so lazy and/or self-absorbed that we actually believe Facebook is a good place to announce major life instances and that we think all of our "friends" care about them anyway . . . I'm just better than being a hypocrite about it . . . until I am not. Until I can make a joke out of it.

I'm not trying to imply that I got a piece of high-brow performance art that is deep, profound, and larger than canvas out of Facebook yesterday but I am saying that they should hang that sh*t in the Louvre. It was beautiful . . . until it wasn't.

Lessons learned . . .

  1. Women who may (not) have feelings for/interest in you or who might (not) want you to have feelings for/interest in them do NOT appreciate professions of love to another woman on Facebook.
  2. When you can get your father to buy off on your gag and "look him in the eye" and double down . . . your prank gets immediate validation/legs.

  1. People don't like to support and congratulate you on things that are not real - especially if you mock them for doing so.
  2. My parents really are great sports and amazing people. I am very blessed.
  3. I'm lucky to have people who care about me or if I am happy or not or if I am in a relationship or not and I should not make fun of or try to trick them.
  4. I am not smart enough to take the above two points and act accordingly.
Anywho - sorry for anyone that I hurt, scared, or - even worse - excited with my little prank. You'll know better next year . . . or will you?!


Play Ball . . .

I have decided my life is not ruled by quite enough absurdity. I took a quick gauge check this morning and realized that I'm actually only at about 87% absurdity. That is THIRTEEN percent I could pick up . . . so here it is. I, Sean C. Amore, of questionable mental and debatable physical health am becoming a SPORTS FAN.

Not just any sport - the American Pastime. Baseball. That sweet, sweet game that is so very, very important to at least 4% of our nation's population and some pockets of people around the world.

Why? Why NOT! It. Is. Baseball. Nine innings. 162 games/team/year (which means any one contest is worth just over .5% of the season's outcome). 30 teams (I think). 2 Divisions. And ONLY 16 of them (more than half) make the playoffs. That is MY SORTA sport. Major League Baseball is the YMCA youth soccer league of adult sports. Everyone gets a trophy and an orange wedge on the way to the car.

April Fool's Day joke? No chance. I'm going to pretend to "come out" later today (far more believable, I might add). You think I'm being sarcastic? You know me not. I am ALL IN for baseball in 2014.

Do I have a team? Heck yes. When I was a kid I would blindly cheer for the Chicago Cubs (we got WGN in Upstate) and I thought they were the cat's figurative meow. Now I'm an adult and I need another lovable lot of fellas that probably won't amount to a hill of beans again this year so . . . without additional delay . . . I am a Kansas City Royals fan!

Oh, yes. I am. I bought a hat online yesterday (say whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!) and I'm already scouting out three or four home games I can attend (because, let's be honest - it is TOO HOT in July and August to hang outside for three and a half hours). Why go in person? SNACKS! Baseball stadium food is scrum-didily-umptous and I know from scrum-didily-umptous.

So here it is. Day two of the season. "We" (oh - I should clarify here - I'm going to be THAT FAN that says "we" all season) may have lost the season opener to the Tigers of Deeeee-troit but they are likely going back to the World Series this year so that just earns us street cred and makes us all the "hungrier" for Friday night's home opener against the White Sox of Cheeeeeeee-cago (I wish, so friggin' bad, that I could be there in person to cheer for the boys in white and blue).

I'm going to learn the names of the players. I'm going to learn the name of the manager. I'm going to care, passionately, about baseball. For at least the next 180 days because that is about how long it takes for a season of baseball to run its course.

Play ball, Royals. I'm your biggest fan! Totes seriously.