Seattle (In Which I Discuss My Fascination With A City I’ve Never Been To)

Seattle. Big city in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve never been there, I’ve never met anyone from there, and yet I’ve got it in my head that I would like to live there.

I’ve heard some things about the Pacific Northwest, an Seattle in particular that make me want to experience it every day. The vegetation is supposed to be just so beautifully green,all the time. Good coffee there. It rains almost everyday. It’s cool and wet A LOT. That all sounds absolutely glorious.

I’m not one of those people that loves the sun. We tend to be fighting more often than not. I’m pale and I burn easy, and I’m not so great with heat. Since the time when the sun is most easily visible, most of those things tend to occur, I’m not a huge fan. I could deal with rain everyday. I love rain. I find it to be peaceful and cleansing as opposed to dreary and gross.

I love coffee. Any place I can go where coffee is the official drink is a good place as far as I’m concerned. If that coffee is better than average coffee, I’m practically buying my plane ticket now, thank you very much.

I also like plants. Mostly plants that are nearby, that I don’t have to walk through or near, but hey, I get the coffee and rain I can’t be to picky about the plants.

Now, I’m never moving to Seattle. I love where I live in good old North East Ohio. Also, my lovely Wife is a really big fan of the sun and she would literally make my life a living hell if I made her move somewhere that it rained almost everyday. I can’t say I blame her, most people like the sun at least a little, and not seeing it very often could get depressing. She also really likes seasons, though, and I suspect any place that has the same temperature, climate, and weather patterns day after day would drive her bonkers.

I just thought it was amusing that I love everything I’ve heard about a place I’ve never been, and it makes me want to go there.

-Christopher

 

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Judgment (In Which I Judge All Of Us)

Here are some song lyrics I want you to read. You may have heard the song before. If you haven’t, I’d recommend you check it out.

“Man In Black” by Johnny Cash

Well, you wonder why I always dress in black,
Why you never see bright colors on my back,
And why does my appearance seem to have a somber tone.
Well, there’s a reason for the things that I have on.

I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down,
Livin’ in the hopeless, hungry side of town,
I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime,
But is there because he’s a victim of the times.

I wear the black for those who never read,
Or listened to the words that Jesus said,
About the road to happiness through love and charity,
Why, you’d think He’s talking straight to you and me.

Well, we’re doin’ mighty fine, I do suppose,
In our streak of lightnin’ cars and fancy clothes,
But just so we’re reminded of the ones who are held back,
Up front there ought ‘a be a Man In Black.

I wear it for the sick and lonely old,
For the reckless ones whose bad trip left them cold,
I wear the black in mournin’ for the lives that could have been,
Each week we lose a hundred fine young men.

And, I wear it for the thousands who have died,
Believen’ that the Lord was on their side,
I wear it for another hundred thousand who have died,
Believen’ that we all were on their side.

Well, there’s things that never will be right I know,
And things need changin’ everywhere you go,
But ’til we start to make a move to make a few things right,
You’ll never see me wear a suit of white.

Ah, I’d love to wear a rainbow every day,
And tell the world that everything’s OK,
But I’ll try to carry off a little darkness on my back,
‘Till things are brighter, I’m the Man In Black.

Now stop and think for a minute.

Ready?

I understand that there are a lot of people in the world you or I may not agree with. Maybe they made some bad choices, or maybe there’s a conflict of beliefs. There’s not really any way to agree with everyone.

Do most of us ever stop and think how judgmental we usually are about it? I fully include myself in this group, as I have plenty of tolerance for major life decisions like religion, but not a whole lot when it comes to minor things like footwear choice. (Don’t ask me why, it’s dark in my head and I’m scared to be in there alone)

I was listening to this song the other day and it got me thinking about how there are a lot of people who spend a lot of time being judged for something. Regardless of whether or not you think they might deserve it, it can’t be much fun.

Since Johnny Cash is no longer with us to be “The Man in Black” I thought I’d bring it back around,so at least he could be with us all in spirit. Wouldn’t it be nice every once in awhile to stop and think? There are a lot of things wrong in this world, and there are plenty of reasons for that.

That said, today or the next time you see something that makes you think”Geez,why can’t we just get our shit together?”, instead of blaming or judging someone, stop and think about how much nicer it would be if it were just better.

It would be a lot easier to fix some of those problems if we weren’t so worried about who’s fault it was, and just worked to make it better in whatever way we can.

-Christopher

Water (In Which I Was Told What I Would Be Writing About)

I’m supposed to tell you all why I like water so much.

When I really stop and think about it, I guess I’ve always been a ‘Water Person’. I’ve never thought about it much before. We’ve all seen the quizzes ‘Which Element Are You?’ or ‘Pick Your Element’ or whatever. I was always fascinated by fire,and I tend to have a temper, so I just kind of assumed I was a ‘Fire’ kind of person. If you believe my Zodiac sign, Taurus, I’m an ‘Earth’-y person. If I have to do a comparison though, ‘Water’ seems most logical.

I tend to have a big range of moods. Those moods have a tendency to change quickly,based on very minor things. I usually try to avoid conflict, and settle into the easiest place to get to. I take the path of least resistance. When at rest I tend to stay there, and when I’m moving quickly I don’t care to be stopped. I’ve always felt a little connected to the moon.

All of the above traits are very ‘Water-like’. I never paid much attention to it before, but I have a lot of traits like that. Very water-reminiscent. So I guess that’s why, even though I never noticed, I’ve always been drawn to the water.

I don’t really need to live on the water, but I do like being able to look out a window and see blue forever. I like sitting next to the water. I like to hear it and smell it and watch it rhythmically surge in and then recede.

If I had to pick a specific kind of water, I’m talking about the ocean. Big, Blue and Wavy. I like boats, I enjoy being on them and on lakes, I enjoy fishing, and quiet and still water… but nothing, and I mean nothing will top standing on a beach in a storm watching waves crash in. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s very peaceful.

Maybe living on a beach would be the right way to go. I would be at work during the hottest part of the day, and I could just enjoy it in the early morning, and the late evening and during the storms and in the middle of the night.

I’ll have to keep all this in mind for when I make millions and get to live anywhere I want. I suspect it will be awhile.

-Christopher

Attention (In Which Men Are Condemned And Women Are Excused)

Since I’m not sure I want to address stripper poles for fear of… well I’m not really sure, but good things can’t come from that.
I thought I’d touch on a point made in the aforementioned post; women love attention.
I tend to agree with that statement, but there are some things that bother me about the concept.
Let’s start here; women love to get attention. Who doesn’t? The difference between men and women in this circumstance happens to be the kind of attention desired. Women want people to pay attention to them because when men do, they feel attractive or desirable, and when women do, they feel like those women are jealous of them or want to be them. Completely reasonable reactions. Thing is, men love that same attention just as much, but for different reasons.

Men want girls to pay attention to them because it makes them proud of themselves. When a woman is paying attention, he must be doing something right. They want other men to pay attention to them, because they think the other men are proud of them for something.

Short version: Women want admiration, men want approval.

What really amuses me about all this is the differing views on the attention once it’s given. Let’s start with the men this time. When a man goes out of his way to attract attention, he’s pleased by every little bit of that approval he’s seeking. It’s that validation he’s craving, whether it’s positive or negative. He’s succeeded at his goal.

When a woman gets the admiration they’ve gone the extra mile to attract, whether she’s pleased ab0ut it is handled on a case by case basis. It doesn’t really matter if the attention is positive or negative, how she views it it evaluated by some hidden criteria known only to her.

That’s where it takes a weird turn. If a woman wears a very low-cut top, a negative comment made by a desirable man is alright, where a positive comment made by an undesirable man is offensive.  Ladies can wear that short skirt, but shame on me for looking! but only if they didn’t want me to look in the first place… If they wanted me to then it’s ok. What sense does that make?

Seriously, no sense at all.

-Christopher

Cigarettes (In Which I Contradict Myself)

A friend of mine just wrote a post about her first cigarette. This got me to thinking about my first cigarette, and my continued contradictory relationship with tobacco in general.

My mother smoked cigarettes for awhile, my stepfather smoked cigarettes, my step-mother has smoked on and off for years, my father smokes cigars, my grandfather smokes cigars. I suppose it was relatively certain that I would try them at some point.

My first cigarette was no where near as eventful as Erica’s. It was near the end of my freshman year of college. Someone offered, I accepted. I bought a pack that summer. I suppose that I could say I was a smoker for that summer, since I kept some on hand. Generally more for social smoking than anything else. That changed the following fall.

My grandfather (not the one who smokes cigars) had been having some health issues, bad enough that they sent him for the gamut of serious tests. While I was back at school for my sophomore year, I got the call that my grandfather had a bone-based cancer. IT was bad, and wouldn’t get better. I went into stress overdrive. I got a friend of mine, and we went outside to talk and have a smoke. About the time I was done freaking out, and lighting my second cigarette, I looked at my friend and said “Gee, maybe since I just found out my grandpa has cancer, there’s a better way to handle that than smoking a cigarette.” We both quit smoking after that, and nothing has been the same since.

I had cigarettes after that, but only a few. I’ve had cigars since then, but only a few. It certainly makes a difference that My Wife, does not care for it, is allergic to the smoke, and the smoke aggravates her asthma.

The really strange thing is, I have, on numerous occasions since then, wanted and not wanted cigarettes at the same time.

I have no real desire to smoke. The main reasons being, it’s bad for me and My Wife does NOT me to. Obviously lots of other reasons too.

Sometimes, I do want to smoke. I want to sit on the deck at my house and have a cigar, or have a cigarette with my friends at a bonfire.

It is a really strange feeling to have 2 contradicting thoughts in quick succession, with no real conflict involved. Let me explain how the thoughts go:

(Sitting next to a fire in the fall)

It’s so nice out here. This beer is great. It’s great hanging out with these guys and a beer. I could really go for a cigarette. That would be great. Eh, I don’t really need one. My Wife would be DISPLEASED. Don’t really want to smell like stale cigarettes AND campfire tomorrow either. Look! s’mores!

See? No real conflict there. I don’t know if it’s some leftover impulse from that summer, or just the fact that cigarettes and bonfires seem to go hand in hand. Strange.

You know what makes me chuckle even more? I went to visit my dad not too long ago and we had some father/son time. With my wife’s blessing(since I’d be showering multiple times before seeing her again) I had a cigar with my dad.

I didn’t even enjoy it all that much.

-Chris

Innocence Lost (In Which Growing Up Is A Bad Thing)

The best part about growing up is getting to do all those adult things you always wanted to do as a kid. Everything looks like so much fun! Not to mention all the time you spend getting told ‘No.’ by someone older and ‘wiser’.

The worst part about growing up is realizing how much you hate everything that you have to do as an adult. Parents spend so much time hiding all the real life work, projects, chores, bills, and pain from their children. Now that I’m here, all I want to do is go back to when the bulk of my responsibilities revolved around homework and making sure the trash got to the curb on the right day.

Guess what I had to do yesterday. That’s right, I had to make sure the trash got to the curb on the correct day. The difference was, first I had to drag myself out of bed, then I had to get ready for work, find my own breakfast, drive to work, work for 9 hours, drive home, figure out dinner, fix dinner, clean up from dinner, and then make sure the trash got to the curb.

The real tragedy isn’t that as an adult I have to do all those things, in addition to what I had to do when I was 15. The real tragedy is that I thought it could only get better when I was 15, and the only way to find that out is to no longer be 15. I can never go back to when my portion of the housework took about 10 minutes. Realizing you can never go backwards is when the innocence is really lost.

There isn’t much to do besides feel jaded once you make both the realization that you can never go back, and the realization that you might actually want to.

Of course, it isn’t the end of the world that you can’t ditch all your responsibilities and act like a teenager again, but it might be the end of the world as you knew it before.

-Chris