Beyond the Cliff

SHARE THIS

How do you get beyond the cliff?

Leap!

Whatever happened to that iguana on St. John? I think about that iguana a lot. In case you missed the original, Have You Ever Felt Like a Baby Iguana?

Originally posted September 1, 2017. Hurricane Irma directly hit St. John on September 6, 2017. Irma was deemed a Cat5 hurricane only because Cat6 didn't (and still doesn't) exist.

Last we heard about the iguana, he’d taken a leap off the ledge of a villa’s porch on St. John.

Have You Ever Felt Like a Baby Iguana? Pt. 2

I only know what’s happened to me since I left the island.

Did the iguana survive Hurricane Irma?

I can't imagine he didn't. 

Granted, it was only a month and a half after the encounter that Hurricane Irma annihilated St. John. But, if anything would survive a direct hit along a hurricane’s path, it would be an iguana.

This is the stuff of Survivor!

That’s the stuff iguanas evolve to withstand.

I spent 21 more days on St. John. On my feet.

I returned to Arizona mid-August of 2017. I felt my time on the island was up. My soul was rejuvenated and I was ready to get home and write. I left in the nick of time.

I didn't understand until later exactly how just in time my departure was.

The Premonition

A few weeks before the iguana encounter, the island of St. John was in full swing Independence Day celebration. It was, in some ways an end of season shebang. The locals were excited as the vacation destination’s vacation was looming.

The picture below – of the jeep – was taken by me on July 4, 2017 on St. John at the island’s Independence Day parade.

I was living on St. John during the most memorable and impactful summer of my life.

What happened next rocked the worlds of everyone I’d just met.

Sometime after the unreported international border and customs scandal between the US and British Virgin islands, a succession of storms were brewing, literally. Secrets, secrets...

Along Came Irma

Now this? Life finally caught up with reality.

One of a host of Harbingers as of recent history.

Circle Back to Something Great

Two years ago today, I’d yet to embark on my trip to St. John. It seems appropriate to write a follow up to the original iguana story.

It’s been, after all, nearly two years since he took a leap off the proverbial cliff.

Reading the words I write is a bit like eavesdropping on the conversations I have with my imaginary friends. Except, here I am, handing you the recordings. Optimism. It's cute, isn't it?

A Part of My Soul Stayed on St. John

St. John changed my outlook on life. The people there, that summer restored my faith in humanity. I never felt more home away from home.

Ghosts and spirits are ever present on St. John. I met a lot of people there. Shadows play a funky role in your imagination.

I chose to roll with it.

The shadows played tricks on my eyes, so I had no choice but to see.

Iguana Piece of Me

I caught glimpses of them in the corners of my eyes.

You’re out there somewhere, lurking in the shadows. Don’t stay in those.

I don’t think the iguana from the first story even realizes who he is. All I know for sure is it was a bright, brilliant green and very young.

For the friends I met, three weeks later, St. John was in a much different place. Much like the iguana among them, they landed on their feet, stood still for a minute, and analyzed the situation. They persevered.

St. John survived.

The love for that island proved gravitational. The locals rose to the call of their one love, Love City.

They taught me about getting to the top the right way.

The Write Way to the Top

They taught me what it meant to follow your dreams. I learned what taking risks was all about. It becomes fun when you begin to question everything.

Then it snowballs. Writing is easy when you’ve got nothing to prove.

However, much like Irma, there are powers well at work way above anyone's ability to control, much less sense.

Hunker Down and Pray for Daylight

Listen up, folks. There are too many hypocrisies laying around to count. It’s time to see it for what it is, it’s hypocrisy. It’s never ok.

How long before we realize that’s what this is all about?

Astounding and Too Convenient

Our sitting president has been on record disrespecting women left and right, but Joe Biden gets a pass for pleading ignorant? What Pelosi? No Pelosi.

What Pelosi should have said is "nobody from the past should be elected, and we need to hold leaders to a higher standard. Otherwise we're doomed to repeat history, which would be great because I'm getting paid to do this."

And we act surprised when the past repeats itself. We quickly forget that Biden was part of the administration that led to Trump. Way to hit that Trump reset button for 2024.

Has anyone announced for 2028 yet? Talk about prime political real estate.

Washington stalwarts. They’re like fucking barnacles. Old, crusty barnacles.

Not So Green Anymore

Do I miss any past president? No.

Every last one of them has to do with the paved road that led to Trump. All while trying to pave it for Hillary. Whoops, backfired.

What happened, Obama?

We can’t change our old ways with the old players on the field. Want election reform? How about this? Reform the politicians.

Any official in an elected office before Trump was elected President of the United States, should never run for political office again.

If you currently hold office and have held an elected position in Washington D.C. longer than Trump, you’re the problem.

Bye.

That goes for both sides.

You’ve always been and will always be a problem. You’re (at least part of) the reason why we’re in the mess we’re in.

You’re part of the machine that made Trump possible. Then he won.

Yes, good people can be problems too. They only worsen once their intent far surpasses their ability to deliver, and their story only becomes more painful.

A true public servant offers themselves up for the people without collecting a tax payer funded salary.

An honest public servant can take a step back and realize they hit the iceberg years ago.

I can buy rose colored glasses. Empty words add no color.

The question is, can you solve the problem you’re in before it’s too late?

If you want change, then change.

Take Us To Your Leader

Wait, screw the leaders. Take me to your people. Let’s be real for a second. We are so much more than our leaders.

We are the ones our leaders strive to be.

I Woke Up

Checkmate!

What? It was only April Fools Day yesterday. Late, as usual.
Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2019
SHARE THIS

This Country’s Not Ready for An Election

SHARE THIS

Not Today, Satan!

What the hell is going on in this country? I’ll tell you. A bunch of bullshit.

Repetitive 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.

Navigating a maze of metaphors is no way to live. There’s a very dark side to this story.

I don’t want to tell the deeply personal parts of this story from a Bird Box, but I’ll do what I have to do.

Trump is in the White House for one reason and one reason only: Careless oversight of a plan gone awry.

Instead of addressing the issue, they chose to ignore it.

Too big to fail is a myth. It failed. Too big to succeed? The struggle is real.

The unraveling has lasted four cruel summers so far.

I’m being deliberately vague. Details to follow in short order, including every name I know attached to this clusterfuck.

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.

We’re still “investigating” the legitimacy of the last election.

I don't believe that's what this investigation is really about, but let's say it is. Stay on script.

If we don’t have answers sooner than later, Russian hacking is the least of the problems we can’t solve.

Scapegoats, scapegoats, all around, but we have an Amber Alert for accountability and responsibility.

Baby steps, America! The narratives grow and multiply like gremlins. Stabilize our current problems before creating more.

Hey Leaders! Here’s an Idea, Lead!

Voters deserve to make an informed decision based on results, not promises.

I know it’s tempting to run for president while holding current office. The current session started in January.

You can’t do your job effectively and run for president. That’s a disservice to your nation.

Take your pick. Either resign and run a 110% campaign, or stay in your current position. Commit to your country or show up for your state.

Campaigning is not your job. It’s do or die.

If you’re going to change the world, then change it. That won’t happen unless you adapt to a new reality.

I believe this ends well for America, but that doesn’t mean it will. I’ve done what I can. The time has come to stop dicking around.

Lives are on the line.

Back to My Bubble

I have nothing to prove and no reason to lie. The only truth I know is mine. That’s all that matters to me.

If I wanted to invent truth, I'd write about having a sex life, a gym membership, and the waterproof butt swab pregnancy test I invented after flunking algebra.

True Feelings

I can’t imagine a worse career than being a public servant serving their own needs over the people they serve.

The only thing I have absolute control over are my own actions.

I don’t know much about the new crop of Congress members. Time will tell which ones get hog tied to the next 50-year corruption scandal.

If you think you’re getting away with something nefarious, think again. Think long and hard. Remember this word: Eventually.

Silly goose, if you want any attention, you have to pull out your wallet. That's how you make friends in Washington.

And then one day…T

Presidents have no business leading a country if they can’t instill confidence in its citizens.

Hope doesn’t cut it anymore. We’re ready to feel something new.

The law of diminishing returns applies to this lesson. This jet will stall.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2019
SHARE THIS

A Perfect Stage to Rattle Your Cage, Pt. 3

SHARE THIS

But First, the First Two

In case you missed the first two:
A Perfect Stage to Rattle Your Cage, Pt. 1
A Perfect Stage to Rattle Your Cage, Pt. 2

How Long Have I Been in This Cage?

It’s easy to draw parallels between pop culture, politics, and real life.

When a picture I took four years ago resonates with me more than the day I took it, it’s somewhat spooky.

I took title picture of this blog four years ago.

The stage was set in the basement of a restaurant in downtown Phoenix. At the bottom of the basement stairs was a small standing area, roughly 5×5.

The first thing you notice is the fence. And then there was this.

The fencing was moreso wrapped around the people staring at the dolls than the dolls themselves.

What’s funny is that this particular bar is that it’s a “sister” location to a Milwaukee-based restaurant located by Cathedral Square.

I captured that picture before I moved to the area, but I still moved to the area.

How Long Have I Been on This Road?

If there was ever a foreshadowing to my life that I didn’t think twice about, this was it. Talk about being unaware of your surroundings…

Welcome to the Doll Cage, also known as Devilish Smirk.

All the pieces are coming together. Or came together. Coming together. Whatever it is, I’m further ahead than you think.

#desertlife

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2019
SHARE THIS

Marching to the Beat of a Dog Walk

SHARE THIS

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 are of 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.

Morning Routine

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.”

Home Office

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 money from 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.
I didn’t make this. I don’t know where it came from.

At some point, everything clicks. It can happen with or without a Bible.

Ladies and gentlemen, that’s how Devilish Smirk came to be.

Dog Walk

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.

Dog Talk

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.

Family Dogs

My grandparents already had a dog when I was born. When I was three, my dad brought Rusty home.

Spiro

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

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

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

My Dogs

I’ve written some things about the dogs I’ve had as an adult.

My Dog is My Co-Pirate
When is Surgery Right for a Dog?
Old as Dirt & Under the Knife
Pets and the Responsibility of Euthanasia
Marco’s Goodbye and Bella’s Hello
What Makes Cats so Great?
What I Didn’t Consider When Naming My Dog Marco

Instincts Activate

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.

Until next time, keep reaching for the stars.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2019
SHARE THIS

A Perfect Stage to Rattle Your Cage, Pt. 2

SHARE THIS

Indivisible, with Liberty, and Justice For All

By the time Americans graduate high school, we’ve repeated those words hundreds, if not thousands, of times.

If they mean anything to you, we have a lot of work to do.

We lost control of this forsaken nation. Uncle Sam pitted cruise control against autopilot. We got drunk with arrogance and became assholes.

Our allegiance to each other deteriorated while we collectively blacked out. We woke up face-down, ass-up, in a ditch, just in time to elect President Trump.

Everything around us is on fire.

Then, we went back to sleep.

In case you missed the first one, A Perfect Stage to Rattle Your Cage Pt. 1.

Linked In or Out?

You need to know how lucky you are. You’ve already won the lottery of life.

Believe it or not, it’s true. However, it’s a tricky truth, and it’s not enough to take my word for it.

It’s been an ugly and disturbing past four years. Is it a blessing? It feels like a curse. Whatever it is, it’s loud and painful.

We all felt and dealt with it in different ways.

How long will this last?

Ready Player Won

You can win at life when you’re ready.

You’ll feel ready before you win; long before. First, there are three things that fall squarely on you, and you alone.

Decisions, decisions, don't you just love having free will?
  • First, you have to truly believe you won.
  • Second, you must prove it through your actions.
  • Third, know that you are your only concern.

Yes, you need the hat trick. If you have that, you’re golden. Eventually. Maybe.

None of us have anything better to do than be better.

Too many people worry about others more than they worry about themselves.

In the playground of good and evil, there's nothing more to win.

When it comes to others, strive to inspire.

The Battle of Who Can Cry More

We all experience pain. It’s not a competition. We go through the shit we do in order to help others empathize with fucked up situations.

Life isn’t fair. And it’s easy to get pissed off about it. Hopefully, someday, people won’t have to deal with the shit we’ve dealt with anymore.

Did You Forget?

On this day, 18 years ago, 9/11 was still a plan.

We’d not yet begun the experiment and the subsequent time released aftermath, in a way only time can do.

Today’s reality feels like every movie you’ve ever seen.

The Hunger Games married the The Black Hole. The Capitol sent its citizens to deep space. They’ll never find the edge.

It’s Tron meets Basic Instinct. We navigate a vast and endless data-based world and realize we’re all fuckin’ human.

Also, we have a remarkable ability to make a scandal out of nothing.

You time slidin' son of a bitch. Deadpool 2. Josh Brolin. Goonies. Brand saves the day.

The Battle to Make the World a Better Place

Two Thousand, Zero Zero, Party’s Over, Oops Out of Time!

And here we are, 19 years later. This year marks the 18th anniversary of 9/11.

Are we ready to graduate to the next level? Level heads will prevail. Humanity will prevail.

I’m ready, but I can’t do it without you.

The roots of millennials come from Generation X. Who do you think had them? Step up, GenX.

Start prevailing.

Today was a Good Day

I feel like I’m stuck in a computer talking to and learning from itself. From every angle. An inward bomb, everything and everyone sucked in. Slurp. Bye!

Is it possible to be everything and nothing all at once? Time is irrelevant. There's a time and place for everything.

Need to Crumble to Rebuild

The people who appear to have won at first, don’t win in the end. How many times has the power shifted in your lifetime?

I haven’t seen a power shift in my 44 years. In fact, nothing’s changed except music and technology.

People still identify as either republican or democrat. I mean, Jesus.

People shouldn’t achieve personal fulfillment at the expense of others.

Unfortunately, that’s what we’ve become, today, in America. It’s shameful, and it’s time to do something about it.

In some way.

In your way.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2019
SHARE THIS