Month: October 2014

You Get What You Pay For – Part 1: Women

You probably already know I don’t subscribe to any specific theology, but I will be the first to tell you that world and the universe are alive and connected to you (along with everyone else.)  I don’t see karma as the divine reward/retribution that many portray it as because it’s very black and white (and this is, after all, the grey area.)  But what I do see is that in this world, you get what you pay for.  Not just with money, with action (or lack thereof) and even your way of being.

On Sun-day.  (Get it?)

On Sun-day. (Get it?)

For example, I have hinted in the past that I have been pretty successful sexually (no seriously, you wouldn’t believe some of it…)  The ladies I involve myself with are quality individuals who are smart, strong and beautiful in their own ways.  Of course like anything it ebbs and flows.  In my arrogance of comparing myself to a central celestial body, I liken my lovers to planets on varying sorts of orbits: very few pass daily or weekly, and then others once a month or two, 6 months, a year and sometimes even years.  But the key to my success is that I carry some sort of long-term relationship with each of these people.  The currency is patience and respect.  It is a mistake to discount anyone as not worth your time based on their current situation in life because the one constant in this world is change.  While that can be a scary thought to those you treasure now, the bright side to that concept is that new, and even those estranged may be brought back into your life.  It is in this manner that a woman I was drawn to over a decade ago might find her way to my affections in the present.   You can often have what you want if you’re willing to wait for it… NICELY.

Let me reinforce too that when I mentioned respect above, it was not a small part of the equation.  Most that know me, know that I’m much like Adam Levine and his fantastic quote (from my Misogyny post):“Maybe the reason I was promiscuous, and wanted to sleep with a lot of them, is that I love them so much.”  While in most cases I’m very hesitant to use the word “love”, I am not afraid to say that I respect and admire women completely.  In fact, I often state that they are much smarter than the majority of men whom I openly dislike for a number of reasons.  There are exceptions on both sides of course, but as far as I’m concerned, women are pretty much the best thing in the world.  The great thing is, they know when you regard them in this manner.  Some part of them unconsciously understands when you actually respect them as powerful, equal (or better!) individuals.  This automatically makes them feel comfortable and familiar with you.  At that point, if they feel the same physical attraction that you do, it’s only a matter of time (and respect.)

She'll tell ya!

She’ll tell you!

Let’s talk a little more about what respect means.  Because even if you don’t like the guy she’s with now, SHE has her reasons.  Perhaps it’s love, perhaps it’s security, sometimes it’s purely a situation that arose from a mistake.  But regardless of the circumstance, you must respect them.  You do not have the right to interfere with her life, make waves in her relationship, or cause awkwardness for her or her friends.  If you truly want to show respect, even if you don’t understand what she could possibly see in that guy, you will respect her situation and maintain your relationship on a level that she is comfortable with (like the weird concept called “friends”.)  This also means cheerfully accepting that some people have something truly amazing and rare, and that you will in fact never have them (to this day these make up some of my best friends, they and their good men both.)

The major thing that will bring all of this crashing down around you (and many relationships really) is being possessive and/or jealous.  For the most part I am not a possessive person, I value and am grateful for the honors I am given in terms of the women who share themselves with me (physically/mentally/emotionally.)  But just as you move on with your life, they do as well, and it’s none of your business what they do with the life they choose not to share with you.  There are exceptions, when they choose to involve you in another’s jealousy, or attempt to put you at risk through poor decisions, but that’s the point hen you draw the line (respectfully) and simply be a friend.

Preach.

Preach.

Further, you must be careful not to fall into the trap of introducing negativity through jealousy.  I am not completely immune to this, I admit that I have (on a couple of occasions) in the past fallen victim to this trap, but for the most part I’ve got a good handle on it.  You have to because introducing that sort of negativity into a relationship is poison, and will usually get you exactly the opposite of what you want.  Possessiveness and jealousy are concepts that reduce a woman to an object in order to be owned.  THAT sort of thinking is what will destroy any type of positive relationship; It is a complete lack of respect for her as a woman and as a person.  Ideally, you will earn her time, affection, adoration and even love by showing her the same.  It’s a price you should be excited to pay if you’re doing it right.

It’s easy to draw the conclusion based on my recent past and the things I write that I am anti-relationship, but this is not the truth.  I both want and respect real relationships.  It is also not my place to judge what is and is not a real relationship.  Monogamy is a pleasant and ideal situation for some (seems more and more rare these days) and I like to subscribe to the idea of meeting “the one”.   But for many it is not the only way, and I do not, by any means believe it is the only right way.  Many of the happiest and most functional couples and parents I know are in “non-traditional” relationships. (Silly term anyway considering historically, orgies and polygamy in various forms was commonplace.)  What makes a real  relationship in my world is love, trust, communication and respect.  Everything else is the business of those in the relationship and whomever they choose to share it with.

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Run

I’ve spoken briefly before about long-distance running being my cardio of choice.  In the past I’ve done Capoeira and a Tae Kwon Do based mixed martial art as well, but running has stuck with me more consistently than either of those.  The reason is simple: It’s mine.

10561713_10152659357917264_4839020079635313872_n

Current: Much better.

Obviously the concept of running isn’t mine, but when I run, it’s just me and my music.  When I first began running years ago in Seattle, it was mostly indoors on a treadmill (and later a really nice indoor track at WSU.)  The advantage of such things was climate control and smooth, even terrain. The disadvantage was that it’s boring and doesn’t prepare you as well for the outside world.  But the thing is, especially back then, I really didn’t like  running.   I didn’t know how to dress, so I was in typical, long gym shorts and I wore Nike GOLF shoes (yes seriously…) because they were the only real “athletic” shoes I owned and I figured they were “good enough.”  Thankfully at that point I was probably only running between 1-3 miles anyway or I might’ve actually damaged myself.

So, I needed cardio because my girlfriend at the time (who was SUPER nice about those things) actually admitted I “could lose a little” and my diet at the time consisted of Fast Food, Pizza and the occasional deli meat and cheese sandwich (those were good though, I miss those.)  Regardless I was chubby, and the Tae-bo videos I was doing at home weren’t cutting it.  So how do you convince yourself to do something awkward, uncomfortable and stressful on a regular basis?  Simple: distraction. Running is where I would develop my ideas, sort out my days, and figure things out.  I would do everything I could to take my mind away from the fact I was running because the moment I started focusing on the fact that I was running, I felt everything, my legs clumsily plodding on, my bronchial tubes contracting in protest and my heart racing trying to keep enough oxygen flowing to my muscles that were threatening to go on strike at any moment.

Over time I went from daydreaming to focused thoughts and battles with my own inner demons (some of which I obviously, admittedly lost…  those jerks are stubborn…) but as my thought processes became more involved and focused, my attention

We all have our demons...

We all have our demons…

went further and further away from the running until I developed a sort of auto-pilot that could potentially go on forever.  Imagine distracting yourself by sparring with another version of you inside your head.  You have to think of each movement, each strike, each block and the reactions to all of those things.  Then add in the fact that I’m an avid anime watcher and gamer and you’ve got all kinds of fantasy things going on (flying, weapons, energy beams, etc.)  It gets intense in there.  So all this distraction, and then all of a sudden you come out of it and realize you’ve already got three miles down and you don’t know where the time has gone.  That’s how I developed my natural pace, by distracting myself.

Over the years my runs evolved, by the time my ex and I broke up and I was back in Seattle I was up to five mile runs along with a workout (though still indoors.)  The nice thing about a treadmill is that you can manually speed yourself up to improve your pace and then allow your mind to wander off again.  Probably the only downside to this is that as you get comfortable, you can incrementally increase your pace, but the numbers deceive you, and though you might feel better about going 6.2 miles per hour instead of 6, the affect it has on you is minimal (granted any improvement is improvement.)

Moving to Florida was when things got serious, but not right away.  While I attended Full Sail I have a very similar routine involving runs at LA Fitness on a treadmill.  At this point I had to try a little harder to go into my head as that particular location has an abundance of attractive women in tight clothing… it was easy to get distracted.  To be honest (and this is just my personal opinion) I’ve always felt like LA Fitness is the place you go to be noticed (both genders.)  People seem flashier and it just feels like more of a “look at me!” mentality compared to a place like Planet Fitness where you just go to get the job done.  Maybe that’s just my personal experience though…

Capoeira:  The goofy looking upside-down one is me.

Capoeira: The goofy looking upside-down one is me.

Eventually I finally hit a point where I was just bored with running and tried other things.  There was about three years that I totally supplemented my cardio with Capoeira.  The desire to run would come and go, but I never felt motivated enough.  It was during my fourth year that I felt like I had become considerably lazier than I had been previously.  Additionally, though Capoeira was a fantastic exercise and gave me a great personal support structure, it didn’t do much to deal with my inner-demon.  In fact, because of the combatant nature of the art form and the rampant egos of some, it actually FED that side of me and brought it out from time to time.  I resolved to return to my runs in addition to Capoeira.  There is a convenient running trail that I can run to from my house with beautiful scenery and wildlife (but you have to watch for snakes.. and gators.. seriously.. I almost injured myself avoiding a snake on today’s run.)

Around this same time an avid runner joined my Capoeira group and invited me out to the Disney runs she liked to do.  At the time I had a bit of a crush on her, so I was feeling very motivated to impress her.  Since five miles had been my staple, I had to adjust to the upcoming “Race For the Taste” length that was a 10k (6.2 miles.)  The adjustment was easy and the run was magical.  I finished at a very good pace and felt inspired for more.  Over time I increased my distance to the point that just last year I was able to complete the Walt Disney World Marathon without stopping.  What an amazing experience (walking to the car shortly after finishing.. not so much.!)  I took a bit of a break after the marathon but have picking up my consistency more recently.  Even with a couple weeks off I can easily run a 10k at the drop of a hat, and could very likely finish a half-marathon with some struggle.  But the Walt Disney World wasn’t my last marathon.  This year the funds didn’t line up right but I’ll be back one way or another.

Walt Disney World Marathon! Magical!

Walt Disney World Marathon! Magical!

These days the hardest part of the run is getting my lazy ass out of the door.  Once I manage that, the run is good.  I’ve evolved a great playlist to motivate me while I go and have 3 different courses to run depending on where I am.  I don’t drink water during my runs because I want to be ready for cardio under any circumstances (you know.. impending zombie apocalypse rule #1: Cardio!)  As much as the meditation aspect is great, and I feel great after my run, my main reason is still the reason I started:  so I can come home after, eat my Magnum chocolate ice cream bar, drink my ginger ale and sit around writing a blog about why I run while feeling no laziness or guilt what-so-ever.  It keeps me acceptable for bachelor-like activities and extends my life span.

The Oatmeal (Best. Internet Comics. EVER.) wrote a highly entertaining and touching comic about why HE runs long distances that resonated with me and I think you will enjoy (far more than all these words, hence I put it at the end of the post.. suckers!)

Check it out here: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/running

It really is beautiful (check out his other stuff too.. hilarious!)  In the meantime thanks for reading!

You have nothing to fear but…

Halloween is on the horizon and though these days it’s a good excuse to spend money on revealing costumes better used in the bedroom, it originally used to be quite scary.  It’s origins, the Pegan festival of “Samhain” originated in Celtic culture some 2000 years ago.  The Celts believed that the dead could walk among the living at this time. Or rather, during Samhain, the living could visit with the dead.  It sounds both miraculous and unnatural to be reunited with the spirit of a departed love one.  Of course, if the situation were to end up like it almost always does in various horror stories that date back before Samhain, the spirits would inevitably turn on the living and disaster would follow in some form.

I dunno... seems like fun.

I dunno… seems like fun.

So what?  Well… that’s scary.  The one thing Samhain and the modern day commercialism that is Halloween have in common is that they both scare you in some form. (And actually Pegans were known for nude rituals.. so perhaps the lack of clothing is also a common element… but I digress…)  Where rituals of the old world were far more occult and legitimately scared some, now it’s the rush, the momentary fear that causes people to enjoy things like modern haunted houses and horror movies.  Heart rate increases, adrenaline surges and hyper-awareness sets in.  Studies have shown that it can even be addictive.  Fortunately haunted houses and horror movies are safe, fun and temporary.  The fear subsides and leaves you feeling giddy and happy. Such is the positive aspect of fear, if one even exists.

But let me tell you about the other, far more real side of fear: The most useful tool in existence to control people.

“I sense much fear in him…  Fear leads to anger.  Anger leads to hate.  Hate leads to suffering…” -Jedi Grandmaster Yoda

Film - Star Wars Episode III Revenge of The Sith

Wise, he is.

I’ve mentioned previously that I’m a manipulator.  I realized after disliking myself for a while that it’s not good or bad, it’s just a way of being.  I developed it as a means of social defense and survival when I was young and combined it with a knack for convincing, on the fly, compulsive lying.  I was a very good liar, and an arguably better manipulator.  Combining those two things with a “me against the world” mentality, negative attitude and general selfishness made me a pretty shitty person who got away with way too much.  As a lot of you know, I ultimately paid for being that person and became (arguably) better because of it. If nothing else, I’m honest anyway and I’m pretty good at spotting lies and manipulation when I see them.

Manipulation takes many forms.  In it’s most positive incarnation it’s true leadership.  You are being manipulated, but of your own free will with concepts that are transparent and straightforward.  Because of the lack of deception, you are able to make a choice as to whether to follow the message given to you or not, but the manipulation aspect makes you want to.  This is called motivation. (And yes, you can, in fact, manipulate yourself in the same manner.)

Seems nice.

Seems nice.

Unfortunately somewhere very early in the history of humanity, manipulators discovered the very effective power of fear.  As a primal instinct hard-wired into almost every human on the planet, very few things can affect and motivate a large amount of people better than fear can.  Ivan the Terrible, Benito Mussolini, Queen Ranavalona I of Madagascar, Joseph Stalin and of course (perhaps the most famous) Count Vlad Dracula all used fear as a potent weapon of control.  From working millions to death with an iron fist, to causing entire armies to flee from a forest of impaled corpses, these people became so terrifying that fighting them became unthinkable.

Fortunately over time, most of the world wised up, realized the destructive power of these madmen (and women) and overcame their fear in order to defeat and remove them.  But it didn’t end there, the modern ages are filled with fear in both similarly overt ways and arguably much more dangerous underlying ways.  In the spotlight we have obvious terrorists like the Taliban or the currently prominent ISIS who use publicized beheadings in order to virally increase their notoriety and also to attempt to scare people into taking them seriously.  Fortunately in most cases the civilized world does not respond to this sort of manipulation, and instead becomes motivated to destroy the source of such atrocities.

Granted HE scares me...

Fear him!

Unfortunately the new perpetuators and amplifiers of this fear are actually much closer to home: us.  “Fear of loss” is the term used for a well-known sales technique ranging from dating to buying a brand new car.  The concept is simple, they make you want something, or even feel as if it’s yours, and then make you take action by making you scared you will lose what you want.  When you go to a car dealership, find the perfect car, and then decide to you want to “think about it” or “sleep on it” before you purchase, they will do whatever they can to keep you from leaving. The majority of the time you’ll probably hear something like “Well we’ve got two other test drives scheduled, I can’t promise we can hold this one.” That’s dirty for sure (and often completely untrue) but it makes you hesitate to leave it and some people still fall for it. As bad as that is though, the media takes it one step further.

Though founded on the basis of providing the public with information, the truth about any newscast is that they need to make ratings.  Since their ratings (and in turn revenue) require as many viewers as possible, they have to manipulate you into thinking you have to watch them or you will lose something important: Information.  But to take it one step further, they have to convince you that you need them or the information you miss might just kill you.  It sounds silly, but if you listen to questions in interviews with very carefully selected “experts” you’ll hear pre-scripted questions like: “So do you believe that a terrorist attack in the US will happen again?”  or “What are the chances that Ebola will turn into an epidemic?” The questions aren’t necessarily dishonest, and (sometimes anyway) the answers aren’t either.  But it doesn’t matter, because as soon as they introduce that idea as a feasible possibility into your mind, you get scared.  When you get scared, you have to keep tuning in, so you have information, so you are ready, so you don’t die.

dont-believe-everything-you-see-on-the-internet

He’s so wise!

In the modern age we have an arguably scarier medium by which fear and falsities are transmitted: Social Media.  The internet allows for the passage of information without any sort of boundaries, filters, guidelines or truth to it.  Though many on the internet are savvy and intelligent enough to be aware of obviously false information, there’s still a large chunk (possibly even the majority these days,) that are easy prey for fear manipulation.  Even scarier are those who intentionally spread fear and panic through such false information, all for the sake additional clicks, addition traffic, advertising revenue, some sort of agenda or simply because it makes them feel powerful to control people.  Those on the internet, even on such mainstream sites such as Facebook are constantly bombarded with posts designed to get you to react without thinking and be scared, angry, outraged, sad or whatever it takes for them to act.  They promote bigotry, racism, sexism, religious persecution and general hate all through the power of instinctive fear.

Some with a more rational mind will take the time to look up figures, dig up real facts, and realize that all this fear mongering has become irrational and stupid. But a large majority will still be afraid, still be controlled and even go so far as to berate the rational people by telling them how sorry they’ll be when the shit hits the fan and we’re not ready.  We are fortunate that rational people are the ones that have defeated fear throughout the ages.  My only fear is that eventually there won’t be enough rational people to stop the manipulated masses from taking over and destroying us all.

Better call Max.

Better call Max.

Ebola will kill some people.  Terrorists will kill some people.  God (depending on what you believe) will kill some people.  Cats will kill some people.  Televisions will kill some people. Chocolate will kill some people.  Love.. just might kill some people.  But fear… fear could end up killing everyone… the entire human race.  So be one of the rational thinkers and when something you read on the internet or hear on the news makes you afraid, realize that you are being manipulated, question it, and then do your research and understand the reality (YOUR reality) of what you’re afraid of.  You’ll find that the more you understand, the less you fear.

“What’s your type?”

This often comes up when somebody is interested.  It’s a probing question that is actually saying “Am I your type?”.  Whenever I am asked this my initial response is that I don’t know.  “I don’t really have one..” I say.  Naturally this isn’t acceptable because it doesn’t give the inquisitor the information they are looking for.  So various questions to narrow the answer down follow. In response I try to figure it out intellectually based on past trends and preferences.  I’ll spare you some of the overcomplicated personality stuff (for now…) but on the shallow side the questioning breaks down to something like this:

Yes.

Yes.

“Are you a butt man or a boob man?”  (Those aren’t my words.. I think it’s a funny question.)  The answer is.. both?  But here’s the thing, I’ve gone for women that were quite skinny and very much enjoyed their look / body.  On the other hand I’ve been with a few women who invested to enhance their curves and very much enjoyed both the shape and feel of them.  So the cop-out would be.. both?  But I think that maybe boobs nudge out booty to a small degree.  In either case you can certainly have too much of a good thing… like I’ve said before, moderation.

When that’s too general for them they try to pin down a body-type.  It’s no easier for me to explain this way either.  Moderation.  I’ve dated hyper-athletic runner types that were super skinny and thought they were gorgeous in and out of clothes.  On the other hand I’ve been with similarly athletic women who’s body type keeps them a bit softer and curvier and been very into them.  My ex was directly in the middle of those.  The only real conclusion that I can come to is that I don’t like extremes.  Too overweight, or too (sickly) skinny will turn me off.  There’s a big difference between naturally or athletically skinny, and unhealthy skinny.  For me the key word is “feminine”.  I don’t mind the firmness of a girl who is in-shape, but I think maybe a girl that’s built solid might turn me off a little (don’t hold me to that though, I’ve never been with a bodybuilder type…)  All I know is that the pictures of the extreme body-builder ladies kind of scare me and I’m sorry but your six-pack isn’t going to impress me or turn me on.  (I really want to point out that everything in this post is subjective…)

normal_yui-aragaki-118-261-1

Yes.

And then of course race comes into play.  Sometimes I’m actually a little surprised people are willing to ask me.  But I can’t help much here either.  All my long-term relationships thus far have been with people of European genetic descent of some sort. However, I was once very much into a girl who’s half-Japanese heritage made her look like an islander (living in Florida helped with the tan aspect…) Meanwhile one of the most gorgeous girls I can remember seeing was half-African American and half-Korean.  I’ve been physically attracted to/involved with nearly every racial type across the spectrum.  The thing is I find a lot of attractive qualities in nearly every line of decent that humanity has broken into… it just depends how it’s arranged.   I suppose considering my most recent involvements / attractions I’m currently pretty attracted to those of Celtic and/or German descent, but not only is that a very general look, but subject to change as soon as I see something completely different that catches my eye… and honestly, even off the top of my head I can think of a few people that I think are gorgeous and don’t fit that “criteria”.

Yes.

Yes.

One thing I am pretty particular about is her face.  Specifically noses and eyes.  My last girlfriend had very much the “girl next door” look to her: Brown curly hair and pretty brown eyes that glowed a bit hazel under certain circumstances.  After we broke up, I leaned more towards lighter hair and lighter eyes for a while (likely due to contrast after some 5-6 years..)  But since then it’s been a steady mix of back and fourth.  There IS one rare exception though: vibrant green eyes.  I almost never see it, but years and years ago I had a dream involving an imaginary girl with green eyes… well over a decade later those eyes stick with me, but to date I’ve only ever seen a few that come close to matching them.  That’s not really a criteria though, more of a whim.  As of now, I find myself drawn to eyes that seem to glow in a certain light, which can be brown, hazel, blue or even silver like mine.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m literally surrounded by gorgeous women of all types with all kinds of backgrounds, but although I might find myself especially attracted to certain ones in certain ways, none have thus far quite fit.  However, the silver lining to this is that the primary issue with my not settling down is not physical, as that’s actually worked out VERY well in some cases.  So maybe my type really has little to do with what they specifically look like.  Maybe that’s just a small part of the magical force I need to feel for it to be a consideration.  So what’s the rest?  Personality?  Circumstance?  Magical Pheromones?  One thing is for certain, they need to be able to handle me… and that’s a lot to ask of anyone.

Don’t think this is over, I’ll post about the “deeper” stuff in a future post (lest you think I’m completely shallow).  There are aspects of personality that really irritate me or turn me on.  Unfortunately, that too can vary by the individual, but there are certainly some universal things that can add or take away attraction.  But it IS important to note that physical attraction DOES matter to me, and I think it does to you too.  Maybe you truly are the ascended being that completely looks past the outer shell, but I doubt it.  The outer shell reflects a bit of what’s inside.  I’m not going to be the person that wakes up in the morning, looks at the person I’m laying with, and cringes but then proceeds to tell her I love her.  If this is supposed to be indefinite and our children are a result of our genetics, I’m going to be a little picky.  Though with that said, physical beauty and attraction are subjective and I would never judge another for a choice I didn’t agree with.  What matters is what YOU find attractive when you’re being totally honest with yourself.

Yes.

Yes.

On a closing, related note, I have a friend who once declared to me that they just didn’t find a specific type of person attractive. It wasn’t personal, just not their thing.  As of right this moment, that is the EXACT type of person they have developed their first real crush in years on..  It just goes to show that even with preferences, there may be just the right combination of features that completely negate your previous feelings.

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

The Sunset of Misogyny

Adam Levine is a great man.  I read an article a while back in Details magazine (did I mention I’m occasionally accused of being a bit metrosexual?) in which he said:

“There’s two kinds of men: There are men who are fucking misogynist pigs, and then there are men who just really love women, who think they’re the most amazing people in the world. And that’s me,”

-and followed that up with-

“Maybe the reason I was promiscuous, and wanted to sleep with a lot of them, is that I love them so much.”

Perfect.  The moment I read that article I gained a new and lasting respect for the man (I’m a fan of Maroon 5 to some extent, but nothing like my obsession with DMB.)  Honestly the only thing I would add is to specify that he meant there’s two kinds of straight men in the world.  The gay guys out there add a whole new dimension (and are probably much more diverse.)    Those close to me know that I really don’t generally like men much.  Too many times I’ve come across men that the epitome of the “misogynist pigs” Adam talks about and don’t even realize it:

3t872bReally think women only “belong” in the home raising children? Pig.  Get upset when you come home and house isn’t perfect or dinner isn’t ready yet? Pig.Think that women shouldn’t be CEOs, soldiers, police, firefighters, mechanics, security guards, or any other profession? Pig.  Get mad when she goes out with her girlfriends (even though you’re out late with women often…)?  Pig.  Think women should get paid less than men for the same work? (Is this even a fucking question!?) Pig!!

I get it guys, you’re insecure.  She’s pretty, charismatic and intelligent.  If you let her out alone for too long, she’ll probably wise up and leave your ass.  Lucky for you they seem to have a programming flaw built into their system:  They’re generally pretty damn loyal too.  But, they are NOT stupid, and even if they don’t leave your ass, if you don’t put some effort into giving them reasons to be happy, they can and will go out and find their own reasons on their terms.  Is that a betrayal?  A violation of trust?  Well it’s about damn time.  The statistics say that historically married men have cheated on their wives 2 to 4 times more than the other way around, but that ratio is beginning to shrink.

Legit 50s Ad.  Points for honesty...

Legit 50s Ad. Points for honesty…

See it’s not like the good old days.  Though the term “Nuclear Family” initially shows up around 1925 or so (in the Oxford-English Dictionary), the concept got really popular in US culture around the 40s and 50s.  Those were days when you had the “ideal” family of the Husband and Wife and their children.  They were respectable members of the community that attended church every Sunday.  Father was the breadwinner that went to work all day while mother stayed home and cared for the home and children.  It all sounds very balanced and idealistic. Straight-up “Leave It To Beaver” style.

Except that it’s a bullshit facade.  Let’s talk about what was really happening.  First of all, Daddy was the master of the house. Let’s be clear that though the United States has made great strides in the modern era (there is still work to do,) it was founded very much in favor of the white male.  So sure, daddy went to work all day, and often had to go on “work trips” for days at a time.  Even when he was home, he often had to stay late or go out with his co-workers for drinks after work.  It’s just what you did as a professional.  Daddy worked very hard to be the master of the house.  I suppose this is true, because in reality daddy was probably seeing his mistress(es).  You see, in that ideal time men also had a great deal of power over whether a young lady got a job, was promoted, or kept her job. It certainly wasn’t every case, but if you think this didn’t happen and often, I suggest you do your research. Regardless of that, daddy didn’t have trouble finding a mistress because, after all, he was the man.

Meanwhile mommy was at home and is probably well aware of the mistresses.  Deep down it probably hurt her, but she had no real recourse.  As a woman you didn’t divorce in that day and age because then the church/society blames YOU for breaking up the family.  You were then no longer “family material”, and your skills and experience wouldn’t lend themselves well to the

I can't make this shit up...

professional world (unless you planned to work you way up the ladder as a mistress… again at the mercy of the men you serve.)  So what was mommy to do but accept her prison and make the best of it?  She needed him and she had to serve her husband and children or she had no real value to society or in the eyes of the church (and therefore god!!)  She once sought out her pastor for advice in dealing with her husband’s infidelity, but his response was that she must learn to forgive and maintain her “duty” to the family.  He also wanted to talk to little Billy (who is an Alter Boy!) to be sure he was remaining well-adjusted at home with mommy under stress.

Though it seems far-fetched, that a very realistic (albeit generalized) rendition of life for a US housewife in the fifties. Basically, throughout history, and in those “ideal” times when the “Sanctity of Marriage” that the anti-gay bigots like to toss around was the center of society, women were getting a pretty rotten deal.  But lately, the misogynist’s worst fears are coming true.  Women know they are strong, and smart.  In fact, they are very possibly in better shape than you are right now and I know a few that can pretty definitely kick your ass.  It’s also very likely they were smarter than you to begin with.

She'll kill you.

She’ll kill you.

So what’s a man to do?  How do you keep your interest/girlfriend/wife from going off and doing what she wants to do?  It’s simple, you can’t.  The harder you try to restrain her or hold her back, the more likely she’ll resist (just like you probably would were the roles reversed.)  Once you get jealous, and angry, and controlling… once you start making her feel bad or guilty for wanting to be herself, then you’re in trouble.  Because then she already feels bad about herself, about you and about your relationship.  Then you’ve created exactly what you were scared of and even if she doesn’t leave, she might very well find something to make her feel better and forget about things for a while.  At that point, it’s hard to blame her.

Modern relationships must be a partnership. Equals.  There is no longer a “master” (well.. unless you’re into that.. but that’s happy-old-couple-108591_200x200your business…)  Further, the most important parts of any equal partnership are trust, respect and (positive) communication.  If we truly want to be the one and only for somebody in the modern world, we’re going to have to work for it and earn it.  Not just in the beginning during courtship or the “honeymoon” phase, but one, two, five, ten, fifty+ years down the line.

It’s not easy, I believe most honestly can’t wholeheartedly pull it off.  As much as I’d like to think so, I’m not even certain I can.  But sometimes I come across one of those old couples celebrating their 50th anniversary that both seem genuinely happy.  They figured it out, maybe some of us can too.

Philosophy of Moderation (Part 1) – Physical

So recently I’ve been debating on how often to post.  On one hand I feel I have a lot of fairly interesting stuff to say, but on the other I don’t want to over-saturate you to the point you get bored with me right away.  As it is I babble enough, so best to space out your doses.  Originally I had thought every 2-3 days, but since I had about 2 visitors today, I’m thinking an average of every other day is ideal (as time allows) to keep you interested.

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But maybe not too much of this…

All that said it makes a lot of sense to talk about my belief in moderation here.  I know.. “WTF man.. you’re supposed to be a hedonist!”  Ohhh I am and I earn it.  But I even it out.  There HAS to be a balance.  Just as you can have too much of a bad thing, you can most certainly have too much of a good thing.

Keeping the balance is a lot harder than it sounds.  I’m in an office the majority of the day like many of you and I very strongly believe in a solid work-life balance/division.  Being that I’m an Executive Assistant for a busy CEO, that’s a lot harder to pull off than it sounds.  Beyond that I want to be consistent with my blog AND I play an MMO (Final Fantasy XIV ARR.. don’t you judge me!)  Meanwhile I’m reading Paulo Coelho’s latest (Adultery… more on that later) and I’m making a concentrated effort to see my friends more often and/or have more social life.  I could conceivably juggle all that, but there’s a major element missing: Physical activity.  Unfortunately I don’t have the genetics for a ridiculous metabolism, so If I were to only juggle the list above, I would get very, very plump (and my love of cheese alone would likely kill me.)

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Concrete… yeah, that happened.

But I can’t do that.  I’m an 8 year bachelor veteran, and frankly I want to get laid at least occasionally.  So as much as I would love for my charming personality to do all the work for me… I’m just not THAT awesome (actually.. I might be but why take chances right?)  I need to look sexually appealing too.  But how?  That evil, evil word: Discipline.  I spent many years serving as an assistant for a Tae Kwon Do Grandmaster (yes, seriously) and if anything stuck, it’s that even for somebody who wishes to indulge in worldly pleasures (that said Grandmaster may not agree with…) discipline is not only necessary, but it can greatly enhance your enjoyment.  So, I’ve got a plan with a friend of mine to train her at the gym twice a week, which in turn motivates me (because naturally I have to show her what I can do…)  Meanwhile I keep an Iron Gym (Pull up/chin-up bar) at work and toss sets in every few hours just to wake me up and keep my upper body engaged.  If you do NO other exercise, do the “ups”: pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups and chin ups.  Those alone can make a huge impact on your physical look.

My choice of cardio is long-distance running.  I know, I hated running for years too, but at some point it became a sort of meditation that lets me unplug from the world and focus inward.  I’ll post about that specifically later, but regardless, the key is to find SOME form of cardio you don’t hate.  This could be anything from DDR, to Spinning, to Mountain-Biking, to Marathon Sex (but honestly it would have to be marathon to count…), to Capoeira (I did it, look it up.)  As long as it gets your heart-rate up and involves you moving (so no, horror movies don’t count) then it’s going to be good for you.

BUT!  Don’t overdo it.  Perhaps you’ll become one of the body-building obsessed types that finds passion in sculpting themselves, but unless that’s what truly makes you happy, take it easy and give your body chance to recover.  Exercise is important to offset sedentary lifestyles like mine, but while extreme laziness is terrible for you, the opposite extreme can be just as bad.  People very often injure themselves (sometimes permanently) by being overly obsessed with their performance, and unless you’re a million-dollar athlete, I don’t think compromising your way of life is worth lifting that extra 50 lbs.

Don't be THAT person...

Don’t be THAT person…

The same goes for pushing your cardio too far.  A lot of trainers will push you until you literally vomit.  Any GOOD trainer will tell you this is WRONG.  Not only is puking generally not good for you, but even if you “toughen up” and go back to training when you’re done (also a TERRIBLE idea) your benefit will be drastically reduced (if not destroyed) and your recovery will take longer.

I suppose the key is; listen to your body.  If you’re like me and like to indulge in food but still want to keep fit, then you’re going to have to moderate those calories (and you’ll feel it if you don’t).  That’s not to say you shouldn’t eat that New York strip, smothered in sautéed mushrooms with a fresh lobster tail and melted butter for dipping… (because you should.. immediately..)  just, not every meal (though I would still be jealous of you on your deathbed…)  If you get used to listening to yourself,  you’ll know when you’ve been sitting too long, or when you need to take it down a notch to avoid being sick,  or when your blood sugar is low and you need to eat, or when you need to take a day off to let your body recover (and you do sometimes, period.)

Which brings me to the next, and possibly most essential point: REST.  For the love of god, rest and sleep.  Too often as teenagers we get used to staying up all night in marathon Netflix/Hulu/gaming sessions (okay fine.. not just as teenagers… but that’s only on rare weekends..)  Did you know that actually getting proper rest helps you LOSE WEIGHT?  It also makes you generally happier and helps you recover sooner meaning you will actually enjoy your exercise more and feel better about doing it more often.  Admittedly this is my weakest point.. I try to cram so much into a day that sometimes six hours a night seems difficult.  I recognize it and want to improve it as I already know I have noticeably better days when I’ve gotten about 7.5 hours of sleep or so.

I could go on and on about this, there’s sleep cycles to consider, fluid intake (drink water… lots of it… but even that to an extreme can damage you) meditation, supplements (I don’t take any other than a multivitamin sometimes) and the careful selection of your chosen poisons (quality!!)  But I’ll save those for future, specific posts.  Also, in the meantime I welcome questions about any of this, but be thoughtful and polite, or I’ll ignore you.   Meanwhile I’ll leave you with my general “plan” based on working M-F at around 45-50 hours a week (boss already said he wants me to work more… moderation?)

Sunday – Sleep In/Recover (Optional Workout Day/Cardio if no workout Saturday and I’m not “recovering“… ) + Chore day (Laundry, Dishes, etc.) Photo Edits, Blog

Monday – Work, Walking Dead with Friends, Photo Edits, Catch up on other shows (Crunch Ball + Elevated Diamond/Wide Push-ups while watching). FFXIV* for an hour or two if time.

Tuesday – Work, Train w/ Friend at Planet Fitness, Photo Edits, Blog and/or FFXIV*

Wednesday – Work, Cardio Day (Run 6-10mi), Photo Edits, FFXIV*

Thursday – Work, Train w/ Friend at Planet Fitness, Photo Edits, Blog and/or FFXIV*

Friday – Work, Beer and Wine Friday at Work, Typically Dinner out of some sort w/ Friends, Social Time otherwise late night FFXIV ARR.

Saturday – Sleep in.  Most common day for Photo Shoots (Possible Run/Workout Day in early afternoon.  Most common party day.  Social Time otherwise late night FFXIV ARR.

*The rule with Final Fantasy XIV ARR is “As time allows”.  It’s a guilty pleasure of sorts but is not to take precedence over real-life priorities and interactions… it does sometimes infringe on sleep (though it’s not allowed to…  discipline…)
**Sexual activity, social dinners, or other general debauchery will almost always overrule most aspects of the “plan” listed above and WILL trump sleep most days.  Life is meant to be lived, especially those parts!

Heavy Lifting back in the day...

Heavy Lifting back in the day…

Allow me to say to my friends who are body-builders / “hardcore” about their physical routine that this is not meant to disrespect your lifestyle.  As I mentioned, if that’s what truly makes you happy, nobody can argue with you and I’m in no place to judge anyone.  I simply disagree with it being best for me and for those I generally come across.  So if nothing else it just means you’re a special breed (but you already knew that. )  As usual, I think it comes down to “why”.  If it’s to fill some unexplainable hole in your soul and you only feel good when you push yourself past your limits, I think that’s unhealthy.  But if at the end of the day you’re happier in general because you fill your free time with hard work, then more power to you.  I’ll be over here with my scotch not being happy and not “swole”.

Finally, this blog will have a great variety of post topics. This one may have bored you, but stick with it, I think the next one will be a bit more fun.

“So, why are you single anyway?”

It’s a question I get asked almost every time the subject of relationships comes up.  Especially when I mention that it’s been some eight years since I was last attached.

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Pictured: Garlic Parmesan Brunch. (YUM.)

Earlier today I was having brunch with a couple of friends of mine and their adorable little boy. They were having one of those cute, half-serious but not serious arguments involving time spent with each other and various activities they do and do not share.  I sat there listening with a smile on my face and told them I was going to blog about it later (I assured them no specifics of course!)  Elaborating a bit, I told them that they are among the most well adjusted marriages I know (they are) and among the best parents I know as well.   Then I explained such discussions was one of the things I’m missing out on along with having a little one of my own.

“So why don’t you have a girlfriend?”

The short answer I gave them was that “I haven’t found anyone worth settling down for…” which is true on the surface, but the answer is a lot more complicated than that.  However, in order for you to have a full picture, I need to rewind a bit to my ex-girlfriend and the impact that relationship had on me.  I really hesitate to explain too much, because I don’t care to involve her in my writing and drudge up things from the past.  However, aspects of that relationship have a profound impact on how I see things now, so some of it is necessary.

Many years ago (I believe I was 20 or 21 at the time…) I encountered a girl at a horse show.  She wasn’t aware I was there and was unceremoniously cleaning her horse’s stall, but I couldn’t take my eyes off her.  It was like everything you hear about in stories or see in movies (at least the ones where the guy creepily stands there and watches somebody unbeknownst to them.)  To this day I don’t know if I ever told her about that, but regardless, we had shared friends (which is more complicated than it sounds.. but unimportant to this story) and over time I grew to know her more and more.  Finally, months later and after a lot of vague talk and a couple of awkward moments of eye contact that were way more powerful than they should’ve been, the opportunity to explore a relationship presented itself.

treehouse-12

The Tree House is gone. But it looked similar to this.

I will never forget the first night she came to meet me.  At the time I lived in a tree house (yes, seriously… it had plumbing and electricity) and she met me there.  It was perhaps the most nervous I had ever been, but I contained myself and we wandered the fields that my tree house was situated on, gazed at the starry night and talked for hours… I think we embraced at times, but nothing more as simply being close to her made me feel like I was glowing and euphoric.  Eventually we made our way back to my house and were on my deck talking before we went inside.  Internally I asked god “this is it.. isn’t it?” and as I looked up a shooting star crossed the sky in answer.  It was perfect.  We went inside and wandered up to the loft that only had enough room for my bed.  I want to stress that though I’m certain it had crossed my mind, my intentions were not really sexual…  I just wanted to be close to her (to her credit it would be a good month or more into the relationship before she actually slept with me.)  I don’t recall what we were talking about, or what I said exactly, but I remember eluding to wishing I could hold her there, and she immediately moved from the foot of the bed and literally fell into my arms. “Like this?” she asked.  Yes.  Just like that.

That was the beginning, and for a long time, a couple years at least, it was like that and more.  The truth of the matter is we were kids and though I was very happy and lighthearted for a time, as the years passed I sank further and further into the dark. Some six years later I was a selfish, compulsive liar and manipulator.  When some of the things I had done were eventually found out, her trust in me was destroyed and within twenty-four hours I was back in Seattle, licking my wounds and starting the long climb from the bottom of the barrel to rebuilding myself.  Even when that happened she saved me.  Over and over again for years she had bailed me out, been patient, and saved me from myself.  In the end, though I wasn’t strong enough for her, it was her being the person she was that inspired me to become (some of) the better person that I am.

Okay, so, cute story Jordan, but what’s your point?  Well, the point is I’m single because it has to be like that again.  It has to FEEL like that again, or I simply cannot do it.  That relationship ended because I was a liar to everyone, and even worse, to myself.  I had spent so long telling so many stories and being what I thought everyone wanted me to be, that I didn’t even know who I actually was.  I swore I would never fall into that trap again.  For me, for her and for whoever I ended up with.

So, instant love is unrealistic, but if I cannot feel that “thing”, that “it”, that magnetic pull that makes it difficult to not look at somebody in the room and makes you feel like you are glowing in their presence, I simply can’t do it.  I know what it feels like and I can’t not have it.  To accept any less would be a lie to myself and the other person, and I would rather be alone.

I’ve actually felt it to some degree a few times since, but it is rare.  On top of that, it is most certainly NOT the only criteria.  Unfortunately I learned through a bit of trial and error that the presence of “it” does NOT equal compatibility on mental or physical levels.  In addition, I’m willing to admit that my standards on physical and intellectual levels are arguably unrealistic.  In truth I am in contact daily with truly beautiful and intelligent women, and some of them I have grown to care about on various levels, but none of them quite fit.  If I were willing to compromise myself, it would be an honor to belong to one of them, but I cannot.  I refuse to look the woman I’m with in the eye and tell her I love her and want to be with her without believing/meaning it completely.

For now, in this form I often appear emotionless.  It’s true that over the years of rebuilding myself, various factors have eroded what a lot of people would call my humanity and made me seem cold.  I suppose I was like that before on many levels, but I was able to convince myself otherwise.  Not for her though, that was real.  Even in the latter years when things were difficult the pull was there, and even if little else about me was real, I did love her.  Also, to answer the inevitable question:  No, I won’t ever be back with her.  What we had was often amazing and perfect, but we are not those people anymore, and the person I was didn’t deserve it to begin with.  I will always respect and owe her, but that time is done.

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A nice place to try…

So, I’ll find that person someday, or I’ll be alone.  But either way I’ll be honest with myself, and with that in mind the life I have now is the probably the next best thing.  If it’s not, I’ll try my damnedest to make it that way.

The Grey Area

Since ancient times, man has sought power.  It’s interesting to think about how that came about, the concept of wanting power instead of simply surviving and keeping your family (pack) safe.  The strongest hunters became leaders of their tribes and natural selection took care of the weakest.  But as our society grew and advanced, intellect began to surpass strength through tools and innovation.  Strength gave way to manipulation (Leadership in it’s most open form, and deception on the other end) and numbers became far more powerful than any individual.  Thus was the rise of man, and eventually the ideals of society and theology.  Perhaps sometime I’ll go into the rest of how I feel that developed, but I’m trying NOT to bore you.  My point is that to this day we have antiquated systems of control in place with which to steer the masses in the direction the controllers please.  And who ARE those controllers?  It’s hard to answer because they exist on so many levels.

On the surface many answer to god.  I also believe in god, but my god does not seek to control me himself or through anyone claiming to be his (or her.. see? even I have a predisposition to assign a male gender to a higher being!) representative.   At no point will I claim to be a representative of this god’s authority either.  My spirituality is personal.  Regardless, the authority of god is by far the most often used tool of control/oppression of the masses.  The logical holes in most of these doctrines are blatant, and yet people ignore that and continue to believe because people have to believe in something, especially if they can’t figure out how to believe in themselves their own purpose.  I will never tell anyone (including many of my religious friends) that they are wrong, because I’m willing to admit that I don’t know.  But I will say that I very often disagree with what people do and do not do in the name of religion. (Especially those that are clearly bias and repressive toward women…)  I cannot, and will not buy into it.  Those that use antiquated, unfair and abusive rules of religion, society or tradition to repress and damage people will never be my friends and under certain circumstances could easily become a personal enemy.

Just me.

Welcome.

I am not a “good” man by any means.  But I strive to be an honest one.  It’s my belief that the more honest we our with ourselves and those around us, the better we can understand this life.  I seek experience, pleasure  and happiness for myself with no malice or desire to harm anyone else.  In some cases, that might end up being “wrong” to some of you, but I won’t ever force my ways on to you and it doesn’t feel wrong to me.  So  welcome to a small bit of my life.  Welcome to the grey area.

IN THE BEGINNING….

2014-09-26 15.12.48-1… I had to figure out what this was about. I wanted to write and I wanted to write for people that both do and don’t know me. As it is I write fairly often anyway, but always for myself or select individuals. Long ago I attempted a couple of different blogs with mixed results, but I still enjoy looking back on them. But I have a greater purpose in that I want this to actually be interesting to you. While that’s impossible for all of you, I figure if I can keep some of you around (and piss some of you off) I’ll be doing an okay job.

So what is this about? Well, me. I’m more or less a narcissist after all. But while it’s about me, it’s not. It’s about what you think about what I think. You don’t have to tell me (but I’m sure some of you will anyway, and that’s ok!) A lot of people close to me tell me that I’m different, that I see the world differently and they often don’t entirely understand why I do what I do. I can’t totally explain here, but by sharing my opinions, maybe you’ll get a better idea.

Ahhh but why would you care right? So many people blog, and reading is so much more boring than YouTube. Well, I decided I need to touch on some things that you will agree with, or get angry at. I’m going to try to manipulate you to react. I don’t care how you react (seriously it’s not personal… in most cases) as long as it makes you think, or feel, or both. In order to do that I need to focus on stuff that gets your attention, so basically: Sex, Lifestyle, Religion, Politics, Tech, whatever. Nothing is going to be held back except names and places of personal experiences may be changed to protect the innocent (in other words, people other than me.) Maybe you can put two and two together if you know me outside of the net, but keep in mind I’ll be counting on that, and misdirection is a powerful thing. I won’t lie (outside of previously mentioned), I really hate lying, but I’ll let you go wherever you want with what I give you, even if I know it’s the opposite direction.

Pictured: Sexy.

It won’t always be scandal or intense though. I’m also going to focus a lot on my hedonistic tendencies: Food, Drink, Sex, Things (Cars, Tech and what-not)… and whatever it is I do to enjoy my time on this world (experiences!) now. Frankly, I think that when people talk about dreams in the sense that you sacrifice now to be happy later is ridiculous. Goals are great, and working towards them gives you purpose (which you need, now!) but storing your happiness in the future is useless because I can guarantee two things: 1. The future isn’t going to play out exactly like you think, and 2. Once you get there, you’ll regret not having more fun along the way.  There’s also always the possibility that some of us simply won’t last as long as we expect to.

Perhaps that’s where the “Libertine” comes in. I’m no “Lord Byron” but I can definitively say that I exist in the grey area of morality. We should do what makes us happy now, and if something is NOT making us happy, it’s best to discard it.  Granted I realize in today’s complicated world it’s just not that simple… but that’s why the grey area exists; the world is not simple, and neither are the solutions.  You can MAKE it simple by leading a hard-line black and white life, but that either requires a huge amount of personal restraint, sacrifice and fortitude, or complete and total faith in ideals and concepts that are frankly questionable at best.  If you do it for the first reason, and are happy that way, I’m both impressed and respect you (even if I don’t agree with you.)  If you are one of the latter, I’m not judging you personally, but I feel it’s both a cop-out and dangerously narrow-minded.  I have many friends that are religious in some form but continue to keep an open mind, I can respect that much more…

Originally this post was much longer, but a friend I had proofreading this suggested I divide it here before I dive into some arguably heavier stuff.   For the sake of your attention span and avoiding boredom I agreed…