Friday, March 23, 2007

I'm (probably) out. Here's why.

"A person is as young as their dreams and as old as their cynicism."

That quote, from Dr. Tony Campolo, pretty much sums it up. All my Marine buddies can relate, I'm sure.

It's terrifying- in essence I'm quitting my job to finish my degree to start a new career making less than I make now. My family's against the idea- except my amazing wife who'd follow me to hell and back-, and frankly I'm not convinced it's the best idea. I do know, however, that I cannot see myself doing this for 12 more years.

I joined for 4, stayed for 8, and don't feel bad about not wanting to spend 12 more years in an organization where having a family is a liability under the ruse of trying to make things better for my family. The retirement pay at 20 years is meager at best, and it's certainly not worth doing something I don't love for that much longer.

I grew up in one city for 20 years; one house for 16 of those 20. My 5-year-old has lived in 6 places before his 6th birthday. I'm not ok with that. Some people are, but I'm not wired that way. My family is the most important thing in the world to me, and I've had to live to the contrary for the last 5 years just to get by. I actually had my boss tell me yesterday that I should bring my 5 and 2 year olds to PT with me at 5:30 in the morning because our kids' caretaker had a death in the family and T is in Chicago for her sister's boot camp graduation.


But God, do I love the Corps. It's like an addiction, almost. I go to work every day, and even if I hate working where I do, with who I do, I love what I do. I still get a little choked up every time I hear the Marines Hymn, and putting on the "U.S. Marines" nametape every day is a mystic kind of feeling that given all the time in the world I couldn't explain to you. Mushy, I know, but when I think about waking up day after day and not "being a Marine," it's depressing and exciting all at once.

So what does all this psychobabble mean? Not real sure. Maybe one of the 5 or so Psych students on my friends list (to include the one I go to bed with every night) can explain all this to me. It probably wouldn't do any good, though, because I'm hard headded and stubborn when it comes to this.

I wish someone would just make this decision for me. That way no matter which way it goes, I'd have someone to blame for the bitterness and depression that will surely come regardless of which decision I make.

Is that transparent enough?

Off to work.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Paging Steve Urkel

So here was my day Wednesday.

My two least favorite things: Dentists and classic country music. Not Charlie Daniels classic. No- the twangy ol' crap that is the soundtrack for about every lost-in-the-woods horror movie from the past 30 years.

I had to go to dental for my regular checkup. Ok, I can live with that. Just a checkup. But as I take a seat in the chair, I noticed a little radio in the corner playing hick hymns at much too high a volume. Now I have no problem with being in an office and having personally objectable material being played via radio or TV. It is, after all, not my office. But here's the thing: do me a favor. When I come into your office to have some work done, can you at least drop the volume to where your dental assistant (whom got a kick out of being called the tooth fairy ...) doesn't have to raise their voice to talk to you?

So as he scraped, poked, picked, and sighed disapprovingly, I had to listen to some of the worst music ever recorded. All I was missing was a live standup routine by Kathy Griffin. If she would have showed up and done one of her campy, girl power, patently unfunny routines- taking care to pause for laughter even though nobody is laughing- that would have capped the day off nicely.

Then it got better. And of course, by better, I mean "dear God, someone please shoot me."

Wifey took me car shopping. For a minivan. A white one. Why not just wear a sign around my neck:
NOTICE: My manhood has officially been surrendered. Please see my wife for further information, or if you should require any decision whatsoever. She, of course, makes all the decisions in this family.

Update: Now the minivan is red, and as it is a Chrysler Town and Country, it is about as nice as a minivan can be. But it's still a van. The mini kind.

Recap: Dentist. Country twang. Shopping for minivan all in one day. Saturday I'm going to have to skydive, then run 12 miles. After that I'm going to kill an animal with my bare hands and grill its flesh over an open flame. After consuming the bounty of my kill, I'll play 18 holes of golf, consuming one adult beverage per hole. After that, it's off to Lake Lewisville to fish the night away. I'm not shaving, nor will I shower until I'm good and ready. I'm leaving my clothes on the floor and scratching "down there" whenever I feel the urge.

Then maybe I can make up for about half of my demasculination.

Or not.

Monday, May 22, 2006

For the record

One of my closest friends is going through some serious hell with the family. Not the typical "you didn't call me last weekend" stuff, but the real, down and dirty, may not talk to eachother again type hell. This got me thinking.

My family- of which most of you, blood relative or not are a part- have had some pretty long trips through relational hell. However, nothing the likes of this. I know I have not always been the easiest pill to swallow, and most of you have not either. The fact that we can still see eye to eye, or more importantly we don't flip out when we disagree, makes me love you all more than you can know. I'm thankful for each of you, regardless- and because of- what we've been through in the past.

Enough of this mushy crap. MySpace is a trip. I have heard from people who I thought were in jail and/or dead, who have mostly grown into productive adults. I don't know why I'm so suprised by this. If there would have been a senior superlative vote for "Most likely to blow loads of talent," that would have been me. However, it never ceases to amaze me that life is moving as fast for my childhood friends as it is moving for me.

Here's one example, and rehashing this in my mind will lead to a future entry ...

Me and a childhood friend decided it would be a cool thing to do to steal my mom's car and take it for a joyride.

We were 13 and 12.

Long story (and upcoming blog) short, we wrecked it. A lot. In a field. On a golf course. In broad daylight. Trying to escape a guy running at us with a shotgun.


Anyway, he's now a soldier with a 10 year old kid and an AR15 I'm eventually going to show him how to shoot. I'm a Marine in charge of Marketing and Public Relations for the Corps's recruiting efforts in the Soutwestern United States.

God help us all. Sleep tight, America. Me and Bryan have it all under control.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Idle Worship

I'll keep this short.

American Idol.


Those of you who watch religiously, answer honestly: Would you pay good money to go watch either of the finalists do a two hour concert? If there's so much shock and outrage about Chris being voted off, why didn't you vote for him?

I'll admit, I watched this season because I was mildly entertained by Kellie Pickler and extremely interested in Chris Daughtry. Dude could front most rock bands on the radio right now. Then slowly, week by week, the best singers were eliminated, leaving us with Taylor and McPhee.


So as Ryan "how do I still have a job?" Seacrest reads the votes next week, ushering in the latest vanilla flavored pop star (Ruben? Fantasia? Heard anything from your Idols lately?), I'll be doing something far more interesting-

Anything else.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Mind Numbing

Is it 4:30 yet?

So much of my day is spent staring at the clock, begging the little hand to hit the four and the big hand to hit the 6. Does this make me a bad employee?

This phenomenon is particularly severe on Friday. I wonder how long it would take me to dread Friday like I currently do, say Tuesday for example, if I changed work schedules to have Tuesday and Wednesday off.

I ate crab and shrimp stuffed raviolli for lunch. It was pretty great.

My kids are pretty much the best things on this planet. I would trade one nonsense conversation with my son about what Connor said to Ms. Heather today at naptime for just about anything. Why? Because he's my son. I don't care what your kid did today (except you, Dad). Parents love their kids. They tolerate yours.

I'm learning to play guitar. I currently suck at it. I can play all of 3 songs without a Capo and another 5-6 with one. I can't exactly figure out what to do with the pick. I keep getting in the way of myself. When I get to where I can hold my own with it, the number of instruments I can play, at least basically, will be up to 5. My goal is 8. Maybe I should wait till I'm great at one to be average at 8. Maybe you should mind your own business.

Still don't like Chinese food. I can manage to eat here occasionally, but only rarely and when I'm specifically in the mood.

Oh, and don't give me crap if you love Chinese food. I don't care if you do. I personally don't.

I'm pretty good at this journalism thing. So the blog isn't great. My writings that I spend a little time on are damn good. That doesn't make me arrogant, it makes me confident.

I'm also a decent musician. I play, write, and arrange much better than someone should who came from a high school music program as pathetic as mine was. Problematic, because I can't decide if I want to be a musician or journalist. I guess I could be a music journalist, but then I'd have to listen to mainstream music (read: crappy crap that's made by crappy musicians who crap out music that sounds like crap), and I don't want to (a) write column after column about why hacks like Brittany Simpson and Lindsay Aguilera are single-handedly ruining music by dumbing down the industry with their popcorn crap and cookie cutter songs that the American public turn into multi-platinum hits or (b) lie to you and tell you I like any of it.

Remember when musicians played instruments?

(Editorial note: for more on this, see the post titled 'Revival.')

Ok, that's all for now. Coming next time, an undercover investigation into the allegations that I'm overwatering my yard in an attempt to make it look nicer than my pretentious neighbors.
Only 2 hours and 28 minutes to go. Hang in there, Chris. Time flies when you're having fun.

Never mind. We're screwed.