The End of Phase 2 Pt. 4: Friends, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Human Race (sort of).

Last November—during my annual Brovember movie month—I watched 21 Jump Street. I caught the movie in the past on FX, always allotted for time and always censored. I don’t remember much from the movie. It’s not that memorable. Although, it did raise a question I had never thought to ask before: How do adults become friends?

When I met my long-time friend, Meester Binx (obviously not his real name), it was on the playground during our years at Sam Houston. Now Binx will argue with me until he’s blue in the face about that we met in first grade. I know that we met in kindergarten. We were walking in opposing directions and crossed paths. I hopped to my right and he hopped to his left. I moved to my left and he moved to his right. “Cut it out,” one of us said. “Cut what out,” responded the other in classic Dave Coulier fashion. And of course the squeaky, broken voice of typical childhood bashfulness broke the routine we found ourselves in. “Do you wanna be my friend?” This is another thing Binx will argue. In his version of the story, I asked it. In the true version of the story, we both asked it because we were obviously destined to be hetero life mates a la Jay and Silent Bob.

In Junior High (now referred to as Middle School), things changed a bit. The dynamics were the same. Chance introductions led to brief or lifelong camaraderie. And high school dragged those Junior High friends through the mud and I met their girlfriends and reunited with old elementary chums. In summation, I have never been without friends.

Post high school/college, most of my acquaintances were made because of the dire need of having classroom friends in case I missed a day. Those are the ones who “throw away” after the semester is over. If you so happened to share another course together, well, it saved you the trouble of having to make another friend. The friends that I made in college—the real ones—came from being a part of Sigma Tau Delta. And even those are just people have become just faces on social network.

The digital age has altered the term friend viciously. I catch myself several times during conversations. My Internet friend. A friend from Tumblr. This Facebook friend. The word follows or is followed by an adjective, the name of a website where we commune. Some of these people I can say I love. I love Samantha. I love Ashton. I love Jason and all his bearded glory. I love Jenn. I love that bastard Eddie. These are people who I could talk to. Who I’d go out and grab a drink with if I drank. I don’t drink. Don’t invite me out drinking. I’ll only ruin your night. And I’ll probably steal your keys. And your cell phone. Because I love you and I want you safe.

My adult friends are comprised by friends I’ve known all my life. There’s Binx, of course. There’s Monica, and there’s Miranda. There’s Jeanna. There’s Esmer and Jerry, who I met because of Jeanna. Monica and Joe go way back to kindergarten where Miranda came about in high school.

Then there are the work friends. These are the weasels who snaked into my life while I wasn’t watching. I go into every job saying that I won’t make friends. Before I know it, there are new people in my life that I actually enjoy talking to. That I enjoy hanging out with. That I can be a complete idiot around. Who’ll laugh when I need them to laugh at me. Who’ll make a joke to cheer me up. Who’ll invite me to places or force me to attend parties against my will. These are the people I don’t mind talking to, confessing to, confiding in. These are people I’d go out and have a drink with if I drank. I don’t drink. Don’t invite me to go out drinking with you. I’ll only snap embarrassing pictures of you and broadcast them on Tumblr and Instagram and Facebook and my blog (which you’re reading).

Somewhere we stop asking the question. Maybe it’s understood. We don’t need to mimic Channing Tatum in 21 Jump Street and sheepishly ask the guy we bullied in high school if he wants to be our friend. We just know. And I love that.


“A glittering star on a sea of myriad waves”

I don’t believe in a higher power. No god rules my decisions, good or bad. I don’t pray for others that are in need; I help them if I can. I don’t give praise to some imaginary friend for giving me another day on this earth. Don’t believe in astrological signs or psychics or homeopathy or runes or an afterlife or destiny or fate or anything predestined or written in the stars. No one’s ever read my cards, and the Bible is as factual to me as The Iliad or Metamorphosis or the latest John Grisham novel. And yet, somehow, whenever I make the above statement, it’s always responded with sheer shock. As if believing in nothing but the natural world is much more mind blowing than believing in some invisible guy in the sky.

I’m not an Atheist, let’s make that clear. I still wander the realms of agnosticism. And while I’m open to the concept of some alien being that created us, I’m 99.9% positive that god exists because humans exist, not the other way around. Most people see the .1% as a weakness, a crack in my facade. Believers see it as insurance. It’s something to pick at, chisel and hope that I make the leap either way. Just choose a side, like with bisexuals.

Exhibit A: I'm a sinner but that's okay cos god is greater than that.
Exhibit A: I’m a sinner but that’s okay cos god is greater than that.

Not a day goes by that I’m not bombarded with a pro-religion “meme” on Facebook. Not a day goes by that I read about how god has given us another day, as if some all-loving creator would just pull the plug for shits and giggles. And not a day goes by that I don’t read how they feel persecuted for their beliefs. This stems from something Jesus may have said (or it may have just been fabricated to explain the historical persecution of Christians). Women’s rights are seen as a persecution. Marriage equality is seen as persecution. Hell, gay acceptance has been in the spotlight recently.

Exhibit B: Comparing Apples to Oranges
Exhibit B: Comparing Apples to Oranges

When Jason Collins came out of the closet, the people accepted him. Well, for the most part. Because shortly after all the praising of his courage to come out of the closet as a professional athlete (who also happened to be African American), the backlash hit. Suddenly the religious right were up in arms, bitching how the media made a darling out of a sodomite but snubbed such an outstanding Christian like Tim Tebow. Keep it to yourself, Tebow, indeed. Because being a white, Christian male in the United States is so rare. Not as if it’s a dime a dozen or anything. Where as coming out as homosexual in the black community? A community that’s already a minority? It’s minority-ception, something Tebow will never understand, as Christians were never banned from marrying each other or enslaved by the African Homosexuals bigots.

Exhibit C: Wouldn't the Joker be a gift from god, as well?
Exhibit C: Wouldn’t the Joker be a gift from god, as well?

And that’s the problem I’m having here. This thought process I’m having. I have yet opened a newspaper to read an article about some poor kid pressured into suicide for believing in a god. Or the Supreme Court having a hearing on Christian Marriage rights. Or how Catholics are forced into abortion. Or how the first Thursday in May is National Science Experimenting day, where a rally is being held. No. What I read is the science that could’ve been but isn’t because Christians pale at the thought of stem cells being used as research. Or Christians with signs stating that god made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. And Facebook is just wallpapered with pointless, would-be deep memes about how god gives you the things like that boyfriend you always wanted, but no one ever bats an eye when said boyfriend beats you. I suppose, god works in mysterious ways.


“I Believe”

We have these books in the department, a nonfiction series entitled You Wouldn’t Want toThe titles vary from being sick or living during a certain points in history. I can’t help but to think that, somewhere along the line, the company will publish one called You Wouldn’t Want to be a Homosexual in 21st Century United States (a companion title will include being a woman in the United States). How is this still a discussion? It’s like victimizing the rapist, why, in this modern time, do we still do it?

Exhibit A
Exhibit A

Today, I showed my support for Marriage Equality by changing my Facebook profile pic (which is usually a picture of my son) to that equal sign surrounded by red (see Exhibit A). Several of my friends did the same. Now, are we, in away, delusional, that the Supreme Court will file through every Facebook account and take us into consideration? Not anymore than a football player takes into account of all the adoring fans watching from their living rooms wearing their jerseys. So why the image? Why not? It’s there. It’s not hurting anyone anymore than the girl wearing a cross necklace showing her support for Christianity. Or anymore harm than the beatnik wearing the Meat is Murder t-shirt. Nothing comes from it–necklace girl doesn’t convert people just by wearing a necklace and reading Meat is Murder on a tee doesn’t automatically make you a vegan. It just shows support. Nothing more and nothing less.

What grills me is that when I take a stance against prayer or religion as being a bunch of malarkey, I’m automatically lectured that it’s a source of comfort. Well, bitch, this is a source of comfort for me. To know that my friends (not all of them, sadly) are supporting the right for all Americans to live a happy life is comforting.

Change of Subject

Exhibit B
Exhibit B

In other news, I got a monkey (see Exhibit B). Obviously, he isn’t real. I’ve named him Pippin for now (it’s still undecided if the name will stick), and I’m working on his voice. I’m thinking lisp, but if we’re to use him for puppet shows at work, maybe I’ll give him a more endearing voice.

I might even appear with him at the poetry reading this Thursday. That’s also undecided.


Trigger Warning


“Borderlining schizo and guaranteed to cause a fuss” Placebo

Let me tell you something about bullies. They’re scum of the earth. They pick on the weak to feel superior. And I found that I am one.

It started as a joke on Facebook that exploded into something more. This is the joke, in its original, unaltered form:

So I feel shunned from a reading because I write prose, not poetry. Funny thing is, it’s an anti-bullying event. Go figure. This is fucking high school all over again. I’ll just sit here alone weeping.

Now, you’re asking what the hell am I talking about. I’ll explain. Earlier this week, I was invited to a poetry reading (to attend, not to partake). I agreed to it. I send out a mass invitation to all my local friends. I even went as far to offer assistance in the aid of streaming it. Last night, however, it was posted on the wall that it was poetry only. “No prose. Bring it!” I chuckled because a lesser mind would see as that a shunning of us prose writers. Sort of like the let down of not being invited to the cool kids’ table in high school. Hence, my joke.

I followed my joke status with a joke comment:

I’ll just host my own event. You’ll see. It’ll be way more awesome. I’m gonna gather all prose writers that were left out and we’ll show you that prose writers last longer and party harder. There’ll be music, art, films, a dj and a….a cow! Yeah. That’ll show you poet elitist hipsters!

This is where shit got ugly because it was taken as something factual. Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m way too lazy to organize an event (which is why I piggy back on other people’s shows). I’m gonna have to ignore that fact that I even stated I was having a cow at my pseudo event.

So what happened? A couple of friends made jokes about the post. The day went fine until I noticed that the event page was filled with hints toward my status update. Weird, right? Then I get a message from the chump who invited me. I told him it was a joke that seemed to have gotten carried away (this, by the way, is one of those people who believe that a anti-Islamic film is no reason for all those Islam extremists to get their panties up in a bunch). He didn’t care much for my explanation. He lectured me about bullying, going as far as calling me one.

A little history about me. I was never the cool kid. I made friends with certain people in high school for protection. I was punched. I was pushed around. Shoved against lockers. Choked. Beaten up. Made fun of. My money was stolen from me. I was kicked. I was tripped. I was thrown around like a goddamn rag down. My entire adolescence was spent looking over my shoulder because I knew people just didn’t like me. And it wasn’t just guys. Girls also had their share in personal attacks against me.

In short, I know a thing or two about bullying. And what did I do with all that torturous experience? I molded it into my craft. I’ve learned to laugh in the face of my tormentors. Beat them to the punch, and they have no fuel.

But apparently, my post pissed off a few people. I told my so-called friend (he’s since “unfriended” me) to calm down. His rebuttal? “Asshole, don’t tell me to calm down.” That’s not even a joke.

There are several forms of bullying (political, religious, and cultural are included in this). Attacking a religion based on their extremists is bullying. Calling Liberals idiots is bullying. Putting down other cultures is bullying. Bullying isn’t exclusive to kids. “Man up,” might be the obvious rebuttal, but that’s not the answer. Let’s not forget stating that loving someone of the same sex and wanting to get married is wrong, well, that’s just wrong.

I apologize (sorta) in another post, asking anyone who had beef with what I had to say to take it up with me. No one’s taken me up on that. These make believe text messages (because that’s what I’m taking it as) were just fictional. An attack on me because I never wanted to partake in his group (because I have alliances else where).

I’m not going to cater or censor myself for others benefit. Making me feel bad for something that didn’t happen (I checked the board, there’s nothing there), is a nice way to bully someone. Because what’s a bully exactly? Someone who forces you to feel lesser. Someone who makes you do something you don’t want to do. Someone who pretends to be a friend and uses you until you have no value. Someone who steals others ideas and pretend they’re his originally.



“A man had a son who was an anvil.”

Meet Shaun Damien

Let me tell you something about my mother. She has intuition. She successfully predicted the sex of all three of her kids – all boys. She successfully predicted the sex of all six of her grandchildren – we’re still on the fence whether she really predicted the first. So when I announced that Jyg was pregnant and she said – without missing a beat, it’s a girl.

Leave it to my son to prove her wrong.

Wait?! You’re Pregnant?

After of months of secrecy, we dropped the bomb on the social network. Previously, I was censored from saying anything on Facebook and Twitter. I took to Tumblr with the news because – let’s face it – no one really reads Tumblr. I dropped the not-so-subtle hints here, as well, finally coming out with the news when I posted my about me page, which I’m sure several of you rushed out to read.

I can’t explain Jyg’s need for keeping it under the table for so long, but I’m glad we finally came out with it. We’re having a baby. It’s probably the most greatest accomplishment to date (should’ve mentioned that in the interview yesterday).

What’s in a Name?

I don’t know where Shaun came from really, just that I knew I didn’t much care for the spelling S-H-A-W-N. The name always sounded hick-ish to me. And I’ve been one who wanted to push for more cultural names. But when you’ve known a dozen Joses, Marios, Reys, Miguels, Franciscos, etc. you realize that maybe you want something a little different, at least in the area.

I always assumed the fall back name was Michael. Shaun Michael. Apparently, I was wrong. It was William. Shaun William sounded too much like paint.

Damien because it’s my late cousin’s name. Only problem, when we did the name selecting game, we were far from getting pregnant. That allowed enough time for my sister-in-law to birth a son whose middle name is Damien. Jaycob Damien. Nice one.

But cousins can have the same middle name. There’s no rule in that, is there?

Departure from Emma Leigh

Let’s face it. Somewhere deep down I was really looking forward to having a daughter, if only to make Jyg happy. I still love my son just the same. But all those daydreams and images of me holding my first-born are in the process of being edited in my imagination. Still, this is only part of the adventure. Besides. It’s not written that Shaun will be the only one. There’s time yet.

Letters to Shaun

I originally took two urls on WordPress just for safe keeping. One was Letters to Emma and one was Letters to Shaun. Now that I know the sex of the my child, we may commence the show.

The title comes from “The Changeling” by Russell Edson.


“A Brand New Scent for Modern Men Invented by Cartoons”

"These are dark and evil days," the mouse told me as he nibbled my ear.

Charles Simic wrote about the absurdities of society in The World Doesn’t End. I wonder what he would think about the world now. When one of the greatest powers in human history has decided that pizza is now a vegetable. In which we help the rich and tax the poor. In which we ship our industries over seas. Where freedom of speech and the right to assemble is being snub out of existence.

Occupy Wall Street

It’s been – what? – two months now, hasn’t it? And while some trust fund babies haven’t aided the cause, only made it look seedy, the true believers – the real 99% – are continuing on. It’s becoming a trend, almost. It’s scary and exciting to see how far this will all go. I’ll keep my bags packed if the empire falls. Because all empires fall. And for such a young country, the power bestowed upon us – or rather self-proclaimed – has been abused for too long.

Occupy Hollywood

Censor the Internet, they scream! Censor it all! Remove the file sharing sites. Remove the torrents. Remove the copyrighted clips that float throughout the web and shut down the sites that host them. WordPress. Blogger. YouTube. Twitter. Tumblr. Facebook. Etc. Censor them all because we have the money and we can buy congress. We can buy the government. We can force the under-paid, blue-collar citizens to watch our movies, buy our albums, and watch our networks because we have the power. We have the money. But we want more.

Occupy the World

Tuition raises. Jobless society. Useless degrees. An unfavorable world we live in when education isn’t granted to anyone but the privileged. We work hard for the grades. We strive with student loans and hope for financial aid. We write on pieces of paper declaring we’re the 99%. We save enough money to buy that iPad. That iPhone. That technology while putting more money in the very pockets we’re trying to cut off. Life’s funny that way.

Occupy Yourselves

Take a breath. Close your eyes and breathe. The hammer in one hand and the chain with the other. The choice, of course, is yours.