Posts Tagged With: Musing

Manly Man

Manly Man

I’ve often heard a guy talk about being ‘manly’, like his actions determine his level of maturity.  But really… who makes up the rules?  What is the measuring rod that determines the level of manliness that determines whether a male is manly enough?  I hope to God it isn’t his ability to spit a nasty wad of tobacco half way across the yard, hit a chicken in the head, and bounce off a bell.  That’s just stupid.  I also hope it isn’t the deepness or squeakiness of his voice, because I’ve heard some squeaky men and some deep-toned whiny babies.

So, what truly determines the level of manliness accepted by men?  Or do the women set this level of acceptability?

For me, what makes a man a man is simply the way he treats the women in his life.  Does he respect his mother?  Does he refer to females as bitches and ho’s? Does he treat his girlfriend like an object?  Does he treat his daughter like a burden or mistake? Does he treat his sisters like they’re not important?  How does a man treat the woman in his life?  An imbecile treats their women deplorably… and their accomplishments, achievements or abilities mean SHIT, regardless of their virginity status or deepness of voice.  An asshole is an asshole is an asshole.  A manly man, in my opinion, is someone who loves, adores, respects, protects, worries, and defends the women in their life.

Also, the way that a man is in life, often determines the type of woman he inspires in life.  A cheap, lying, asshole creates a long line of damaged, hurt women.  But a real man, a manly man, creates a long line of strong, creative, loving, independent women.

So, I suppose there is a measuring rod for ‘manly’, at least one I use… and I hope the world has enough manly men to help build up these beautiful women.  I don’t see many ‘manly’ men these days, but I do have to confess that I’ve some of the best manly friends.  I can’t help but become a better woman because of them.  I hope they know I love them and am proud to call them my friend.  I really am a lucky girl.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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Time to Breathe

Time to Breathe

Well, I’ve got my first interview set up for Monday.  I’ve been taking a small reprieve since my move to Florida with the job hunt because I just needed a little time to acclimate, breathe, and let the massive changes settle down a bit before jumping right into the next big change.  Don’t get me wrong, I THRIVE in change, it’s just that I’ve been going through so much change these last few years… I needed a little breather.  Also, I haven’t had a vacation of any sort in more than three years, and before that I had ‘working’ family vacations, so I just needed some time.  However, I wouldn’t call the time I’ve had ‘vacation’ time with any stretch of the imagination.  There was no vacation with all the packing, moving, decorating, gaming, trying to adjust to the heat, trying to adjust to living with a roommate, trying to adjust being away from my kids, trying to adjust to establishing a new workout routine, trying to adjust to finding my way around, and simply trying to adjust to just being me.

I miss my solitude.  I miss those I’ve left behind.  But, I’m here now.  So, wish me luck.

Till next time,

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Let the Music Move Me

LEt the Music Move Me

We’ve all heard the song, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”.  In fact, it’s one of those irritating songs that get stuck in my mind and I find myself humming it all day just from hearing the familiar simple notes.  But I’m discovering there’s a little power in that song, as well as others like it. Power that moves me.  When listening to it, I can’t help but sway to the familiar beat and feel my spirits lift as the positive lyrics run through my mind.  Perhaps I should actually take the time and learn the whole song.  I haven’t yet, because the chorus is powerful enough on its own.  I should, though.  I’ll put that down on my ‘to do’ list.

There’s another song that gets me moving without fail and that’s the Black-Eyed Peas, “Let’s Get It started.”  Man, I can’t help but move to the beat no matter how tired, how exhausted, how sad, or how upset I might be at the moment… I start bobbing my head, moving my shoulders, moving my soul.  If I’m sitting, I start doing the chair dance.  If I’m standing, my whole body is moving to the beat.  “Let’s get it started …in here. And the bass keeps runnin’ runnin’ and runnin’ runnin’, and runnin’ runnin’, and runnin’ runnin’, and runnin runnin’… everybody, everybody let’s get it into it, get stupid, get started, get started, get started, let’s get it started.”  If you’re looking for a good workout song… this is it.  If you just need a little pep in your step… this is the song too.  It’s more potent than a Red Bull or a 5-Hour Energy.  Hm…. I wonder how it’d do during a long session of tangled legs.  I imagine it’d involve lots of sweat… and… well, I better get my mind out of the gutter and back on topic.

There are other times when my heart is filled with things I can’t quite express in words, when I need to disconnect from the rational and let myself go in the spiritual, the emotional.  Go figure – a silent writer.  But, there are those wordless times, where deep emotions are pulling my insides out and blanketing me with despair, pain, or… like I mentioned, unspeakable feelings.  Those are the times I like to pick up my guitar and let the music out.  Most times there’s no rhyme or rhythm, no chords, no particular progression, breaking all the music rules and just let the music move me. Often I can never replay those particular chords or find that the same strumming progression, because I’ve released that emotion, I’ve release that unspeakable pain, and it isn’t something to be made sense of, to be captured in a song, to be bounded by rules and regulations.

I know I’m not typical. I tried that, and I failed miserably.  But, I also know I’m not the only one who can see some of the things I see, feel some of the things I feel, see some of the things I see, love some of the things I love, hate some of the things I hate, fear some of the things I fear, or think some of the things I think.  While there is no one exactly like me, because there can only be one me, only one who has lived or can live my life, there are similar things our souls share.  None of us are perfect.  None of us are without moments that create unspeakable words or emotions.  When you find yourself in one of those moments, let the music move you, let it heal you, let it remind you, let it be… as special, beautiful, and wonderful as you.  Don’t worry, be happy…. And let’s get it started, Ah?

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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Frustrated

Frustrated

I’m finding it easy to get frustrated these days.  My temper explodes at the simplest of things, like this morning when my running tracker on my phone updated and didn’t track my run, as it had for the past year.  Why the fuck doesn’t the app continue functioning as it had before it was updated?  Why does it disappear from my home keys, make me have to accept the new terms and conditions, change the way it’s displayed and make me spend a half hour frustrated as hell because it didn’t do what it had previously done, trying to figure out (unsuccessfully) how to add it back? I fucking hate the app now and won’t use that program again.  If I have to go through all that trouble, I’ll just go to the Google app store and download another free program that will track my running.  The app screwed itself in a failed attempt at upgrading.  Hint, hint… if you’re going to upgrade, then make it BETTER, but from a familiar point.  I’m not one to spend a lot of time HUNTING down what should be easily accessible.  I live in the modern age of convenience and I have a very, very short attention span.

Frustration number two.  I uploaded the new Windows 10 on my desktop.  I had done so earlier on my laptop and it went smoothly without a hitch.  I don’t mind the program, it’s a cross between XP and Windows 8, featuring the familiar features I love about XP, mixed with some of the newer features of 8, and splashed with a little bit of even newer options with the 10.  THAT I can handle.  Give me a little bit of familiar territory and ease me into the new stuff.  Smart. Convenient. Doable.  But, low and behold, my desktop obviously doesn’t like the transition.  I have spent the better part of my morning trying to figure out WHY I get to the load screen, type in my password, to have it only return back to the load screen, to type in my password, but NOT load up the program.  FUCK YOU technology.  I honestly don’t have the patience to handle all these little road blocks that are preventing me from being at my most productive.  I’ve got things to do. I’ve got a life I need to get back on track.  I’ve got to get busy, getting busy.  But NO, I have to waste MOST of my morning piddling around with fucking updates and booting problems.  Can you tell I’m frustrated just a bit?  I did actually wake up in a good mood, with a positive attitude, and with a happy outlook for a beautiful day.

Frustration number three. I know I’ve been hiding. I know I’ve been trying hard to acclimate to my new life, my new surroundings, my new …. well, everything.  But, damn… do I have to do it with the new ten pounds I gained?  Really?  Granted I’ve not been exercising.  Granted, my routine got detoured.  Granted I’ve spent a few days vegging out on television shows and video games, snacking all day (it doesn’t help I have a roommate that likes to cook ALL THE TIME), and smelling food cooking all day long, etc.  Granted my allergies are killing me, and I mean literally killing me.  I live with a dog.  He’s a handsome little fellow, and lovable as can be.  He’s adorable.  Problem is, I’m allergic to dog hair, and this little cutie leaves hair everywhere.  How can I keep him out of my room, off my bed when he’s such a soothing medicine to me, cuddling up to me, loving on me?  I’m scared. I’m frustrated. I’m nervous about my future and my life. I miss my kids. I’m in unfamiliar territory.  I need him.  But, I can’t breathe, my ears are constantly stopped up, I have sinus migraines, and my lungs feel like they have a tight band around them.  I’m taking antihistamines that make me drowsy and lethargic, but they help …some.  I have an air purifier, that I think helps, but I can’t make myself UNallergic to dog hair.  I can’t leave. The dog can’t leave.  So what am I to do?  How am I to persevere?  Why the hell can’t my body, which grew up with dogs, get over this allergy shit and just go back to being normal?  Oh, boy.

And sex… well, I haven’t had sex in a while.  I’m not looking for a partner at the moment, and really I feel sick just even thinking about jumping back into the dating pool. You want to talk about frustration… dating in the 21st century is very, very frustrating.  While masturbation helps a bit, I’m sexually frustrated at the moment too.

So, yeah, I’m a little frustrated.  Well, okay… I’m a LOT of frustrated.  But even so, I’m also very hopeful, very optimistic about what lies ahead of me.  I have returned to my workout (even if the damned app didn’t record it), I will find that dependable job, then I will be able to move into my own apartment (dog free), and my sinuses will get a reprieve (if they don’t kill me first), I will lose these ten pounds and more, I will see my kids again somehow, I will fall in love and be loved in return, I will figure out what my new dreams are… and I will make them come true.  How do I know this?  I know me.  I’ve been here before.  I may be frustrated.  I may be at another difficult cross road.  I may have been knocked down a little bit. But, I’m a fighter.  I never stay down too long.  And if you know me at all, no matter how down I feel, how tough life gets, or how hopeless everything seems… I NEVER give up.

I’ve rested long enough.  I’m dusting my (fat) ass off, standing back up, and lacing up my gloves.  Let’s get this show on the road, bitch.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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The Fanatical Feminist

The Fanatical Feminist

Here I go again opening my big mouth, probably about to offend a lot of people, especially women.  Not because I’m being rebellious, but because I hate seeing what I’ve been seeing lately, and what I’ve been hearing lately, and I wanted to make it clear that these ‘popular’ and ‘politically correct’ opinions do not represent me in any way.

I’d like to start off by saying that I’m a feminist.  I’m a feminist in the way that I believe women should be treated fairly, paid fairly, and respected fairly in the world as an individual human being, as opposed to their male counterparts.  But, I’m not saying that women are equal, lower, or better than men… just different.    Just as the same way I don’t think people should be treated unequally because of their race, religion, or sexual orientation.  We are all different, and I celebrate those differences, but I believe that fairness, mutual respect, and compassion should be met and given based on individual aspects, not gender and so forth.

Of course, I live in the real world.. a world filled with hate, prejudice, oppression, and inequality.  I’m not blind to these issues, but I’m also not blinded by the fundamentalism from each of these factions toward, or for, each other.  I hate racism. I love people of all colors, and believe with my whole heart that equality and fairness should be meted in all colors.  But it’s not… and that’s evident in ALL colors.  Whites are not the only racists.

When it comes to feminism, I cry a lot.  I mean it literally tears me up inside when I read how women have been treated throughout our history.  Not just American history, but how women have been treated all over the world, and how women are still treated in the world.  I love this country and am glad to have been born here because I’m a woman with an opinion and mind of my own, and I’m given the freedom to express that opinion.  Had I been born in many other places, I would be stoned or tortured to even dare to express such opinions.  That’s a shame.  I don’t give a shit what religion you practice or what government you live under, if you treat a woman like shit – you’re a piece of shit and should be ashamed of yourself and hope your dick falls off.

I have nightmares sometimes about how women and little girls are molested, abused, kidnapped, forced into the sex trade as a slave, forced into prostitution, forced into labor camps, not given a voice, not given rights, and subjected to a totalitarian rule of a brutal man/woman.  It’s worse when the slavers are other women, but it happens.  I’ve been involved in many programs where I’ve tried to help women/girls flee from human trafficking or domestic abuse.  It kills me to see this type of evil in the world.  I’m not blind to it.  I see it, I do what I can, and I shed plenty of tears.  But… just because I’m fighting for women’s freedoms, for women’s rights, for women’s voices… that doesn’t mean I’m on a crusade to emasculate men in order to gain them.  This is where me and the feminist movement part ways.

I LOVE being a woman.  I celebrate it.  I love being different than a man.  I love men.  I love a lot of different things about men, and because I love and respect them, I’m not out to destroy them, demean them, debunk them, or degrade them in order to advance in this world.  Instead, I do the opposite.  I celebrate them, their differences, encourage them, strengthen them, and let them know how much I appreciate them for who/what they are… and this drives my feminist friends crazy.

I love being pampered, being adored, being spoiled by a man.  Not because I think they ‘should’ do those things because I’m a woman, but because I know they’re doing those things for me because they love me, they admire me, they adore me and want to make me happy.  I do the same thing for the men I love in this world… and this irks my feminist friends.

I love to please my man.  It brings me pleasure to please.  I love to cook for them, I love to provide the things that make them happy, I love to please them sexually, I love to make love to them and when I’m done, get up and go make them a sandwich.  (That’s the term used lately in a lot of articles.  However, I’d probably cook them a delicious gourmet meal.. not just a sandwich, but you get the picture.) I love to tell them how beautiful they are, how smart they are, how clever they are, and especially how strong they are. A brilliant mind is a huge turn-on for me, so when I see a man being clever, I compliment him on it.  A brave man willing to fight to protect me, protect the innocent, protect his country, protect those he loves is also a turn-on for me, and when I see a man who does that, I compliment him.  This is why I love soldiers, because they’re willing to put their lives on the line, and I know they’re doing it for me, for my country, for my freedom.

When I love something or someone, I want them to be happy, I want to please them, I want to see them become the best person they can possibly be and grab every opportunity in life to fulfill their dreams.  I become their biggest cheerleader, because I value them.  My feminist friends say I hurt the feminist movement by doing these things, that I’m telling men that my place is in the kitchen.  NO!  My place isn’t in the kitchen because I’m a woman, but because I’m a damned good cook and I love being in the kitchen.  I’d love for my man to be right there in that kitchen with me… cooking with me.  Hell, making love while we’re cooking would be even better.  But, a lot of men don’t like cooking or isn’t very good at it.  Guess what???  I’m not good at changing tires or oil in my car, and it’s actually a turn-on to watch my gorgeous man out there doing those kinds of things for me.  I know he’s not doing it just because he’s the man, but because he cares for me and knows I need my tires rotated and my oil changed so my car runs, etc.  A man doing things like that for me doesn’t make me feel inferior.  As a matter of fact, it makes me feel valued, precious, and appreciated.  I believe me cooking a delicious meal makes him feel the same toward me.

This struggle between men and women is a result when love becomes absent in a relationship.  When we are in love, we can’t do enough to please our partners, to appreciate them, to celebrate them, to make them happy.  When love becomes absent… that’s when what we used to do because we love them now feels like a forced chore and the roles of gender inequality began to battle.  No one thinks it’s offensive to fix their man a sandwich after sex when they’re in love, but once they fall out of love it becomes the fodder for a fight on equal rights.

In the work force, women still have a long way to go to be treated equally, but I thank God everyday how far the world has come over the last few decades.  LEAPS and BOUNDS, baby.  Leaps and bounds!  We are still moving in the right direction, but the femi-nazies need to back off and quit pitting men and women against each other.  Many of these extreme programs are fascists, not looking for equality, but imperialistic in domination.  I’m sorry, I’m NOT for that, nor will I ever be.  I still LOVE men and celebrate the differences of men and women.  YES, I will still fight for women’s rights, but not at the cost of our men.  I want men to be men, and not be afraid to be men because we live in an over-sensitive, easily-offended society bent on their emasculation.

FUCK THAT!  And if my feminist friends want to hate me for that – so be it, because I really don’t want or need their vitriol hate in my life.  If they’d concentrate on loving themselves and loving each other, perhaps we can end all this hate someday.  That’s all it is – hate.

Till next time,

~The Fanatical Feminist

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Why I Don’t Love You

Why I Don’t Love You

Inspired by the CW show, Jane the Virgin, I don’t want to tell you all the reasons why I love you.  I want to tell you all the reasons why I don’t.

I don’t love you because you’re the sexiest man I’ve ever seen. The first time I laid my eyes on you I lost my breath and my heart nearly leapt from my chest. From your pictures I thought you were kind ’f nerdy, a bit on the skinny side, too pretty for my taste, and not my type at all. I used to think that lightning wasn’t real and that love at first sight was the figment of an overactive imagination.  But, baby, I’m still burning and finding it hard to breathe. I dream of you; you’re the star of my fantasies.

I don’t love you because you’re the smartest man I’ve ever met.  The things you say make me question some of my own core beliefs and push me to look outside my box.  I don’t always agree with the ‘way’ you see the world, but I find ‘how’ you see it absolutely inspiring and amazing.  I never thought I’d meet someone as thirsty for knowledge and nerdy as me. You push me to learn more, to try harder, to think stronger.  I love that you often beat me in the intellectual games we play, that you disagree with me at almost every musing, and you argue with me about even the basic of understanding and enlightenment.  While I hate to lose the game or the argument, I smile because it turns me on to know there’s depth behind those dark, sexy eyes.

I don’t love you because you’re the funniest man I’ve ever  heard.  All the jokes and videos you send me somehow arrive at the moment I need them most, usually when the world seems like it’s caving in on me and a laugh is the perfect thing I needed.  It never fails – NEVER.  You always seem to message me JUST when I’ve been thinking about you, like we’re tuned into the same frequency.  It could be days between correspondences, but you always show up on time.

I don’t love you because you’re the most romantic man I’ve ever encountered.  The songs you send me not only move my feet, they move my heart. I’ve found myself several times with tears streaming down my face because the words, the  music, the message in the songs you send are the words, music, and messages I’ve always dreamed of hearing. You may not write an epic fantasy, or a string of poetry, or a ballad to melt the heart, but you sure do know how to pick the songs like a true artist.

I don’t love you because you’re the bravest man I’ve ever known.  You’ve put your life on the line in the name of duty, without hesitation and without fear.  I feel safe in your arms, so safe I keep falling asleep.  For an insomniac, that’s the greatest medicine in the world.  My favorite moment with you was lying in your arms, listening to your heartbeat, feeling your chest rise and fall with each breath, and your fingers gently stroked my hair as we watched television together.  I fell asleep, so deeply, so comfortably, and so relaxed.  The harshness of the world I’ve experienced makes that moment pure heaven to me. It was never about sex with you; it was always just you.

I don’t love you because your voice is exotic.  It makes me smile when I hear the way you pronounce things, or the sound of your laughter when you find something extremely funny, or the way you sing, or the sarcasm that drips from your lips like honey.  I especially don’t love you for the command and control I’ve heard in a tone that dictates authority, control, and unquestioning confidence. For someone who is never satisfied with the unanswered questions of the universe, to hear that particular sound of assurance is like ethereal music to my ears. My body reacts to your voice like a chord strummed in perfect tune – the joining of two sound waves in sync. As a safety measure, I insist on maintaining control of every aspect of my life, it’s how I protect myself.  But when I’m with you I lose all control.  I fumble my words, all well-laid plans vanish, my thoughts get jumbled, my resolve becomes liquid, and I betray myself and all the plans I’ve made.  I no longer think of me, what I want, what I want to do, but become completely immersed in pleasing you, which in doing so, pleases me more than I ever dreamed.

I don’t love you for all those reasons listed above. I love you because I can’t imagine this world without you. Even if I can’t be with you, just knowing you exist, knowing you’re alive, knowing you’re happy is enough.  I feel honored to have met you and privileged to have loved you. I know I’ll never stop loving you because you’re a part of my soul.  I love you enough to let you go. Because of you, I now know amazing, passionate, and deep love really exists. I have enjoyed falling in love with you and discovering how beautiful it can be. I honestly didn’t think this kind of love existed, and accepted the imitations it’s offered me for so long.  In loving you, I realize the kind of love someone once offered me, before they were taken away, was more beautiful than I ever imagined. Thank you.  I never truly understood it before, but now I do.

I know what I want now, and I can’t and won’t accept anything less.  The kind of love I have for you – I deserve that kind of love for myself. I want it.  I want to be adored, admired, respected, wanted, desired, appreciated, and passionately loved. Part of me believes that’s impossible, a dream that’ll never happen, but before I met you – I thought you were an impossible dream too.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: Musing, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How Do I Say Goodbye to a Dream?

How do I say goodbye to a dream, when the dream has been better than anything I’ve ever seen? How do I say goodbye to a love, deeper than the oceans or any love that ever was?

How do I say goodbye to my heart, beating stronger when we’re together and nearly stops when we’re apart? How do I say goodbye to  my breath, the very one that I lost at the very moment we met?

How do I say goodbye to a friend, who’s constant companionship I’d thought would never end?

How do I say goodbye? Where do I get the strength? I know what must be done, but I can’t even breathe.  How do I say goodbye to the greatest love I’ve ever known? How do I say goodbye? How do I move on?

It’s killing me to leave you, it’s killing me to stay. I want nothing more than to run into your arms, but I must run away. How do I say goodbye to you, how, oh how, do I breathe? You are the greatest love of my life, but I really have to leave.

I can’t stay here any longer, you’re not real, you’re just a dream. You’re the devil sent to torture me, the angel to unravel my seams.  Did you ever love me? Did you ever care? Or was it all just my imagination and a fool’s hat I wear?

How do I say goodbye?  Where do I get the strength? I know what must be done, but I can’t even breathe.  How do I say goodbye to the greatest love I’ve ever known?  How do I say goodbye? How do I move on?

It was a lovely dream, and I wish I could stay.  But life is calling me, it’s pulling me away.  I can’t worship you any longer, and pretend that you’re mine.  You belong to another and I’ve been left behind. To pick up the pieces of my broken, shattered heart,  With my arms loaded with shards, down the broken road I start.

Goodbye, my dream.  Goodbye, my heart. Good bye, my love.  Good bye.

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Evil Video Games – Be Damned!

*Caution: This rant contains strong opinions. Weak-minded and close-minded individuals need not read any further. You’ve been warned

Video Games Evil

Just in the last few days I’ve read no more than a half dozen Facebook posts linking to articles talking about the evils of kids playing video games.  Yet, NONE of these articles reported any scientific facts to back up their claims, just a bunch of close-minded opinions from parents, geriatrics, naturists, and social opinionists.  (Yeah, I made those last two up, but so fucking what, I’m a writer and I make up shit with my imagination.)

Before you jump down my throat and to your biased opinions, I want to warn you not to take me wrong.  I’m NOT pro or anti video games, I’m just another one of those opinionists who has had the privilege to see things from both sides of the issue.

What exactly is the issue?  Is gaming evil? Is our youth being corrupted by the video game industry?  Are kids learning anti-social behaviors due to excessive amount of video gaming? Are we desensitizing our children to violence and corruption through video games? Is video gaming destroying marriages and dating lives?

My response: You’re the fucking parent.  PARENT your children.  You’re the spouse.  Be the best SPOUSE possible. Quit projecting excuses of shitty relationships onto inanimate objects and activities for YOUR failures… and communicate. Quit trying to make your kids into mini models of yourself and let them discover who they are.  Quit trying to force your spouse into an idealistic mold of what and who you think they should be, and let them be themselves.  Did you fall in love with a person, or the idea of a person you want? Want to raise your kids right – raise them to be inquisitive.  Raise them to be curious, adventurous, and exploratory.  Teach them to learn, and then stand back and LET them learn, their way.  Want to make a marriage work, then love the person for who THEY are and don’t be close-minded to the things that bring them joy.  Try out their stuff… and encourage them to try yours… and between the two of you – find some common ground. Most of all, communicate with one another.

I play video games, and guess what?  I enjoy it.  Believe me, it takes skill, timing, talent, patience, determination, and dedication to become proficient with many, many, many of these games.  There’s a whole gaming world out there, filled with like-minded people.  Now with online gaming, chat sessions, fire-teams, and MMPG, new social skills are being developed.

As with ANYTHING, there’s always down sides, bad points, and abuse by players and non-players alike.  Do you know what’s more destructive in a parent/child relationship – a parent yelling at kid, putting him down, putting down the thing he loves to do, the thing  he’s excelling at, the thing perhaps his peers appreciate and applaud him for – simply because the parent doesn’t understand and they don’t take the time to find out.  Because it’s different than them, their experience, or their understanding – they tear it down and look for everything negative.  That’s abuse.  That’s bad parenting.  That’s despicable.

I watched a video of parents crying because their kids were more excited about playing video games or using their tablets than going outside and building a fort.  Instead of blaming themselves that they didn’t understand their kids, didn’t know what their children were doing, surprised their kids liked something different than them, perhaps they should have taken them outside and built a fucking fort with them.  I guarantee the next time that kid got into a chat with his friends, he would have been excited about telling them all about building a fort with their parents, and who knows… they may have just inspired a handful of OTHER kids to bug their parents to go outside and build fucking forts too. Instead, video games got blamed for their bad parenting.  I wonder how many parents would actually take the time to go outside and build a fort with their kids?  Perhaps THAT’s the answer to why some kids spend so much time on video games.

I heard a couple arguing not long ago while I was in a chat session with a fireteam during a raid.  The girlfriend was in the background whining and complaining about how her boyfriend spent too much time on his video game, more time with his gaming friends than her, and that he obviously didn’t love her as much.  That was an example of manipulation at its finest. This was also the same guy that often talked to us in our group, telling us of all the fun, adventurous things he and his girlfriend did all the time together, how much he loved her, how much he was trying out all the stuff she liked to do – some he liked, some he didn’t like.  But his gaming time was getting less and less and less.  He was a fantastic and gifted player and had dreams of playing on a MLG team, but he received no support from his family, from his friends, and now from his girlfriend.  None of these ass-wipes were willing to play with him, or allow him the time to perfect his skills so he could chase his dream.  In their minds, gaming wasn’t an acceptable option.  Perhaps had he been a musician, writer, artist, dancer, singer, or actor he’d get the support he needed to follow his passion.  Oh, wait… most of those don’t get much support either – because it’s not practical to follow an art.  He’s fucked.

I don’t know why it has to be one or the other, gaming or nature, art or hobby, right or wrong.  Video games are not evil.  Playing video games is not evil.  NOT communicating with your kids or your partner – that is what is evil and THAT is all up to each of us as an individual.

I’d love to have a relationship with a gamer, a writer, a musician, an artist, a hiker, a naturist, an adventurer, etc. I’d love to be with someone passionate about something, not some lame-assed fucker blaming everyone else for their failures, or someone who always takes the safe, practical route because it’s what’s expected.  I’ve known too many of those.  And… if you are one of these artists (gamers especially), perhaps the smart thing would be to choose relationships with other artists, or at least open-minded people who will  understand and support your passion.  If you choose a lame, close-minded traditionalist, then you can’t bitch when they bitch at you for not being just like them, or when they don’t understand you. Keep it real.

Anyway, since I saw all these blamers putting out their articles, I thought I’d put out one of my own. Bottom line: Stop blaming video games for your shitty relationship habits.

Till next time,

~KV Kvothe

*Image from:  http://www.zazzle.com

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It’s Time

It’s Time

It’s time. I’ve been putting a majority of my life on hold, refusing to make any major decisions, actually panicking to do so.  Not because I’m afraid of change, but because I’ve been grieving, grieving a life that once was and a dream of a life that will never be.  This is part of the grieving process I find fascinating.  Not in a good way, but as a point of observation and understanding.  When we lose someone, or go through a major shift in our lives, we grieve the dreams that died because of the loss or the shift.  I had many dreams that I’ve had to let go, and their loss broke my heart.

It’s time.  It’s time to finally look at all the broken pieces and start putting them together again.  I can’t remake the image that once was, but I can make something new, something beautiful, a new dream.  For the longest time I didn’t want to think about a new dream, because I was still hurting over the loss of the old one, but I have to let it go and move forward.  That’s how life works.  I will die inside if I remain where I’m currently dwelling, because I’m just existing, I’m not living, I’m not dreaming. I’m afraid.  I’m afraid to grab another dream, because what if I lose it, too?  Can my heart take it?  Can my soul bear any more pain?  That’s been my fear, still is my fear, but fear cannot stop me. It’s time.

It’s time to pull the covers from the mirrors, to open the doors of adventure, and get back to my life. I had made so many strides forward before the detour of cancer and heartbreak interfered, but it’s time to get back to progress.  Pausing causes roadblocks and complications.  My life is somewhat a mess because of my inactions, my indecisions, my grieving, but it’s not hopeless.  It’s time I quit existing and surviving from day to day to building a better tomorrow, to striving toward new success, new adventures, new opportunities.  It’s time to get busy. It’s time to let loose the woman inside me, who for so many times and so many years made shit happen, accomplished amazing feats, and scaled mighty mountains.  She’s amazing and the things she can accomplish are absolutely mind-blowing, and I’m glad to see she’s waking up and taking control. I’m so tired of hearing myself say, ‘I used to …” It’s time.

Is everything going to just magically happen, opportunities going to land at my door, miraculous blessings make all my dreams come true, love come walking through the door to sweep me off my feet?  Not in my experience.  No, the journey is just beginning, and every success I’ve ever enjoyed required hard work, determination, drive, energy, focus and sacrifice.  It’s hard.  It’s always been hard.  But, it’s time.

The dreams I once had are dead; they’re gone.  It’s time I start dreaming new ones.  I don’t care what I  used to do, what I’ve done, or what I’ve once achieved …I’m a new person.  That person I used to be died along with the cancer that invaded my body and the ache that attacked my heart.  Those dreams, relationships and aspirations died too. Will I do similar things I did in the past?  Will I be a badass, a writer, an entrepreneur, a lover, an explorer, an agent, a gourmet cook, a fitness guru, a motivational speaker, a wife, a leader, a volunteer, etc.?  I don’t know, maybe some, maybe none, but it’s time I start dreaming, and whoever I become – she’s going to be beautiful and amazing.

It’s time… it’s time to live.  I’m turning 44 this week.  I’m starting my life all over again.  Watch out, because it’s going to be amazing.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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Happiness

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Happiness.  Is it real?  Does it really exist? What does it look like? What does it consist? What are the rules, parameters, stipulations?  How can something undefined, unsolidified exist?  How can something so distinctly relative and individually interpreted be definable in any common sense or in a general definition?

According to Webster’s Dictionary, happiness is the state of being happy; an experience that makes you happy.  But, what is happy? Again, Merriam-Webster declares that happy is an adjective that means feeling pleasure and enjoyment because of your life, situation, etc.; showing or causing feelings of pleasure and enjoyment; pleased or glad about a particular situation, event, etc.

Well, then everyone in the world has had such moments, even the most depraved, repressed, depressed, enslaved person has at one time or another experienced such moments.  But, does that make them happy?

A writer friend of mine, Tom Piccirilli, well, more or less a writer acquaintance of mine, passed away a few days ago. I had the pleasure of interviewing him last year for West Georgia Living Magazine.  I think fondly on our interview, on his appreciative words about my article, on his gifts as a wonderful writer.  His wife posted about his passing today on his Facebook account.  My heart broke that he had finally lost his battle with cancer, but it wasn’t sadness I felt when reading his wife’s words, it was something deeper than that, something precious.  I was being shown what happiness was in the midst of grief. His wife spoke of the happy years they had together.  Sure they had plenty of bad times and bad moments, he battled cancer – it was tough, but they spent those times together, loving each other, supporting one another, and that is what made them happy.  Bad moments couldn’t destroy their overall happiness; they didn’t matter.

I remember loving James during the most stressful time of my life, and when he died and the darkness settled in on me, that’s when I knew I had been happy right in the middle of the struggles.  I have many, many happy moments with my kids: I remember playing outside in the rain with them, splashing in the mud, lying in bed telling them stories, slip-n-sliding in kitchen floor (it was my way of mopping), smack-talking during a board or card game, having Guitar Hero competitions, letting them show me how to pop waves on the jet ski, playing the clean-up-race-game, dressing up in costumes for a mid-night book release party, and so on and so forth.  My kids loved me and I loved them… and I was really happy.

Things change.  People grow up, lives get disrupted, and some leave this world and leave us behind.  My world has changed so much in the last few years and I’ve shed quite a few tears because of it, but you know what… I’m still happy, I still know happiness, it’s just in different things and comes in different ways. It’s never in what I think it should or would be. I’m kinda lost trying to figure out who I am and where I belong.  Happiness, for me, is now found in a random text, while killing aliens, in an occasional touch, in a sweet kiss, or in a simple embrace.  Some days I’m so sad I can’t breathe, but even in that I find happiness.

I can’t go back and grab happiness from anything in my past.  Those things don’t work for my present. I can’t sit and wait for happiness to happen, because it’s not something you can make happen, and tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.  It’s a present state of being, regardless of feelings, because of what is happening here and now.  I’m learning happiness comes from loving and being loved… and I love very much, and am loved very much.  Is it ideal, how I think I should be, or consists of what I should do, or wrapped in a way I think it should come?  Does it matter?  No.  I can’t fit my life into the shape, the mold, or the ideal of anything other than what it is.  It’s crazy.  It’s odd.  It’s different.  It’s unconventional.  It’s weird.  It clashes with every group of society and I’m really sick and tired of trying to make it fit somewhere.  I don’t fit in, and those strange creatures who don’t often understand why they love me, love me for all that I am.  They can’t seem to get rid of me, but they can’t define me either.  Doesn’t matter… as long as they love me, I’m happy.

Should I leave this world tomorrow… know that I lived today and I was happy.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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