It finally happened; another word made the list of my personal, verbal equivalents to nails on a chalkboard.
It’s a lurking word I’ve noticed inching its way into the everyday Jargonitis of election politics: Conversation.
"Conversation" is the buzzword to be wary of for crafty answer dodging for 2020 campaigns.
The good news is, that’s already obvious.
Don’t get me wrong, communication is key component to building a civilized society, especially a connected one.
I take issue with politicians who refuse to take a stance - for whatever reason. I would never vote for someone waiting for polls to tell them how to think.
When it comes to elections, it no longer matters what candidates say. They’ve had decades to figure out where they stand.
What matters is what they have done and continue to do.
Actions matter more than anything.
Want a conversation? Start a book club.
“Conversations” don’t need to be brought to Washington.
If a politician hasn’t developed an opinion beyond dinner table discussions, they have no business running for president.
That's not to say they have no business in public service. It's just they're not ready for the highest office of the land.
Birds of a Feather
Everyday on my dog walk, I see all kinds of waterfowl. Of course they were going to make it into my stories at some point.
Today’s political scenario – this level of synchronicity between the media, our government’s behavior, and public reactions – appears categorically unnatural.
Motives can yank anything natural from everything. Let’s see where you stand.
The Cautious Goose Lacks Backbone
Nobody needs a new job title to take a stance.
Today, the same, (and more dangerous), tools are used to uproot political discourse amongst all of us since we were born: Political platforms. Both would have us believe we’re all fucked up.
20 years ago, Columbine happened and we’re still talking about guns. Somehow, sexuality is an issue and the Supreme Court is close to weighing in on whether or not I can be terminated for being me.
Abortion, religion, marriage, love, war, and Jesus are still arguments, and women still only make $0.70 to every man’s dollar, another statistic that appears unchanged from 20 years ago.
In the past 20 years, the Electoral College flipped the popular choice for POTUS results – twice!
What are the odds?
Naturally? Zero. Unnaturally? 100%
The only thing that hasn’t happened, God forbid, is another 9/11. September 11, 2001 will be 18 this year. It’s almost 20.
20 years ago, the Berlin Wall stood in history.
Today, we live in a country declared national emergency over funding of a wall.
The Careless Goose Lacks Heart
The presidential field is filled with fodder. I’m trying not to be too critical as there are other ongoing things from which we’re being distracted, so I’ll stick to the main careless goose: Donald Trump.
Trump was elected when Obama was president.
We can’t blame Trump on Trump. Trump happened as a result of something. A lot of somethings. Ever since the 2016 election, it’s been a turmoil spill.
The man who is responsible for “grab ’em by the pussy” in our vernacular is POTUS.
"Never in a million years..."
Welcome to year 1,000,001.
We've got a clean up on all aisles. All staff report for duty.
Pick a poison: Impeachment, resignation, wait, or Civil War? We know where Trump stands.
Our president reminded us how much of a fan he is of General Lee with his most recent defense of his “very fine people on both sides” Charlottesville, VA blunder.
Bill Clinton was impeached 20 years ago. By the same standards, Donald Trump would already be gone.
Before that, though, President Trump must face the music or we’re doomed to repeat something even more unsavory.
If only the Mueller Report would change it's name to either the Benghazi Report or the Starr Report. What would republicans do then? Wait, that already happened.
The Criminal Goose Goes to Jail
Hanging somewhere over us is the truth. It’s been captured. Rest assured things never end well for the criminal.
The challenge about truth is finding it. Once it’s found, it’s better to be on the right side of it, or figure out a way there.
Someone already nailed someone to that cross.
There is such a thing as too little too late.
Karma’s planning her own party. It’s no sweat off her back if she’s late. The last thing she wants to do is disappoint her guests.
The Courageous Goose Doesn’t Give a Duck
The only way out of this mess is to let the mess out of my mind.
The Ill Eagles
America doesn’t soar without Americans soaring.
Would you fly under Trump’s wing in a V formation? Do you trust the lift of the upwash from the wingtip vortices of that HBIC (head bird in charge)?
If anything he's making it harder to fly in this country.
Donald Trump never intended to win the presidency. His entire transition debacle made that evident. That, and his complete inability to keep his most senior positions filled.
It’s been a cascading turmoil slick ever since.
The President is too divisive of a figure at present time.
Plus, I can't imagine there isn't other shit he'd rather be doing.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up resigning. Any advisor to him who’s worth the dirt they walk on would encourage resignation this point.
I’ll be more surprised when this charade ends.
The shark tank smelled fishy before, but now it includes the added downgrade aroma of "carcass rotting in a swamp", which is ultimately what grabbed my pattention.
If it were up to me, this would have been over years ago. But, it’s not. Oh well.
The sooner we rid him from our marred democracy, the better off the country will be.
What the hell is going on in this country? I’ll tell you. A bunch of bullshit.
The 2020 narrative is a 1974 scandal coupled with an upside down list of 2016 contenders. This time it’s heavy on the D side.
The 2016 election was nothing more than a recycled 1992 ballot with the popular vote winner ultimately losing.
The only difference worth noting is that Florida decided the 2000 winner.
Never Say Never
What’s wrong with this picture?
If this doesn’t make you nervous, you forgot to never forget.
How do you prevent history from repeating itself?
Stop repeating it. Don't taunt the enemy. Stop inciting violence. Treat people equally. Unite Americans. Honor the Constitution. Fund education. Lead by example. Speak the truth. Solve problems. Stop being dicks. Understand your position, and the power of words.
Brad Nicolaisen and I had nothing to do with this fucked up charade.
We’re just two gay citizens of the United States, and our lives have been shredded. Certain rights and civil liberties are out of our reach.
I'm 15% Native American. My grandmother was born on a reservation in North Dakota. She met my grandfather in the military in Virginia. He was born and raised in Alaska.They were married and had their first child in Virginia, then returned to Alaska.
I’ve explained pieces of the puzzle in past stories, but I’ve only scratched the surface.
It gets significantly worse, and the flood will come.
Jesus, Take the Narrative
Announcing 2020 candidacy today is like eating ice cream for breakfast, lunch, dinner and washing your hair with toothpaste. It doesn’t make sense.
Here’s one thing we all have in common.We wake up, everyday. What happens next is anyone’s guess and, quite frankly, nobody’s business.
The difference between any of us is how aware we areof how we act.
The Daily Dog Walk
I’ve had dogs since 1999. My first two dogs were siblings. I’m on my third, and she has a brother. He belongs to a friend of mine so, by proxy, there’s a fourth.
Throughout the past 20 years of my life, dog walks have been a constant.
Dog walks are woven into the fabric of my daily life.
Everyday, no matter what I do, I take my dog on two, 45-minute walks, mixed with some fetch.
There are rarely circumstances that prevent that from happening.
I wake up everyday around 7:30 a.m. I don’t set my alarm and lately I’ve been waking up earlier.
The first thing I do is make coffee, then I pop into my home office. I turn on the lights, open the blinds, and pick up where I left off the day before.
That’s how I “clock in.”
I still have my old desk from the et alia days so there’s a familiar comfort when I sit down to work. On the surface, it’s not a bad gig.
Fact is, anyone can work from home. The problem is making moneyfrom home.
Never under estimate your ability to impact the lives of others.
Then, I do whatever I do all day.
The Road to Writing
I’ve always talked about being a writer, but I never wrote – nothing personal at least. That was a huge obstacle for me in the beginning – deciding what to say, what opinions to share, which vulnerabilities to expose, and most importantly, why.
I’ve written corporate communications throughout my life, but that’s a little different.
At age 40, the right set of awkward situations left me no choice but to explore being a writer for myself.
The circumstances were hard, but the decision was easy.
I didn’t know where the road was, much less where it led. I’m still unsure where it leads.
The reasons why I write, constantly evolve. My enthusiasm for writing ebbs and flows, but my commitment never wanes. To me, that’s an indicator I’m on the right path.
The time was now and four years later, now is still the time.
Aside from writing, every other option felt like surrender, like I gave up on life. Giving up was never an option. Lord knows, I’ve spent plenty of time thinking about it.
Nothing clears your conscience like hitting rock bottom.
I always return to the same spot: No, dumbass, this is what you’re meant to do. Of course it’s hard work, what’d you expect?
Say what you want about hobbies, but this one’s extremely fulfilling, and fulfillment is one of my main motivators. My daily goals evolve with the weather, but my long term goals feel closer than ever.
I live in a desert. Mirages are a problem, or even worse, an oasis.
Nobody rolls their eyes harder at me than myself.
At some point, everything clicks. It can happen with or without a Bible.
Ladies and gentlemen, that’s how Devilish Smirk came to be.
By 9:00 a.m. my dog wants to eat. I turn on The Price is Right. That show takes me to a comfortable place I remember as a child.
I listen to it in the background and I’m usually walking my dog before the Showcase Showdown.
That part of the show always bored me.
That’s how I know I’m on track for the day.
The connection we have with our dogs feels like some sort of magic. Underneath the blue Arizona sky, I’m locked and loaded into the power of collective imagination.
The future I see is brighter than ever. The sky is the limit and, as far as I know, Earth doesn’t have a glass atmosphere.
Whether or not it happens is up to me. That doesn’t mean it’s colorful, bright, and pretty every damn day.
Dead or alive, you are guaranteed a legacy fully directed by the actions you choose.
This kid is reaching for the stars.
My grandparents already had a dog when I was born. When I was three, my dad brought Rusty home.
Spiro was my grandparent’s dog. He was always around, until he wasn’t. I was seven or eight when he died. I remember melting down.
It was one of my first experiences with death, next to my babysitter’s parakeet; something going away to a different place. In real life. And they had him cremated.
And this was supposed to happen to people too? It didn’t make sense. Not nearly as much sense as it makes today.
Still, it’s never a great topic.
Both Denver and Marco were cremated.
Rusty was a Chesapeake Bay Retriever. He loved to hunt; that was his purpose. My dad is a hunter and Rusty was his dog. Rusty was a big part of my childhood, but I outgrew my relationship with Rusty because I wasn’t a hunter.
It wasn’t until a “condolences” card arrived from the vet that I even knew he was gone.
Lumi’s story is a little more complicated. He was my grandparent’s dog at the end of their lives. My grandma died first, and my grandpa followed two years later. Lumi was by both their sides when they passed.
After grandma passed, grandpa slowly, yet all too quickly, lost his will to live.
What about Lumi?
As part of a deal to keep him out of assisted living, Grandpa agreed the family could make some upgrades to his living situation. So long as he could be home, with his dog, that’s the only thing that mattered to him.
My aunt moved in with him for his last year.
By now, Lumi’s out of control. Grandpa couldn’t adequately care for Lumi, much less himself. Lumi started acting out, and regularly peed inside.
Upon replacing the carpet, it was clear that Lumi pissed everywhere, at some point, all over the house.
Lumi was cute, he was a Dachshund. He was not well behaved and never listened. He wasn’t trained any more than two elderly folks can train a dog.
He wasn’t neutered. He had huge nuts and would bite the toes or hump the ankles of anyone seated at the dinner table.
During the process of preparing the house for sale, Lumi was adopted into a new forever home
I’ve written some things about the dogs I’ve had as an adult.
All I know is this; whenever I’m down I stare into my dog’s eyes and everything, for that moment, fades to black, and I feel loved.
There are two types of people in the world. Dogs and cats.
We sniff out shit, smelling and licking each others’ butts along the way. Eventually, we encounter people who send shivers down our spines. Then we react. Instinctually.
I kid you not. Three little girls just explained this to me on my walk this afternoon. Dogs like to lick each others' butts, but not before they lick their own. Oh Scottsdale.
I didn’t ask God for a butthole metaphor when I went on my walk this morning, but he gave me one anyway.
God does what God wants, and I’m not one to argue.
Inspiration can be found in anything – if you look for it.
Life’s an internal journey. Things always get worse before they get better. The “better” part takes forever. Regardless of how long it takes to feel better, everyone can be better than they were yesterday.
Humans could stand to learn something about unconditional love from dogs. Dogs can be as fucked up as people, have anxiety, PTSD, or been abused. Yet somehow, when they’re loved, dogs love back, unequivocally and tenfold.
Imagine what humanity could do with the power of love.
Do all dogs go to heaven? I believe they do. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say I believe dogs are heaven sent.
Shut up, hippie! Communist socialist liberal scumbag! You've gone off the deep end! Fraud!
Dogs 1, Humans 0
The only reason I don’t have a cat is that I’m allergic to them. Literally, I’m allergic to pussy.
Is it weird that Losing My Religion by R.E.M. just played randomly? I think we're done here.