The Death of the Nice Guy

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1536229813255619
Courtesy of Epic Videos

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find the above video on Youtube, so I included a link to the video on Facebook, which you all may or may not be able to view. So, allow me to offer you a brief synopsis:

A female Applebee’s employee with an attractive physical form (her face is blocked by a black bar) is outside her place of employment handing out coupons for a drink special they are having. A guy, modestly dressed, definitely a bit geeky, approaches her. He appears to be nice, intelligent (mentions a fact about the heat that he read in the days paper), and respectful. He compliments her and asks her if he can have her phone number. The next thing you hear is the resounding thud as he is shot out of the sky after several attempts, even offering just to take her out as friends.

So, up comes another guy, nowhere near as smartly dressed, and starts off the conversation with

“Yo, what’s good ma?”

From there he’s skinning and grinning, complimenting her “Does the free drink come with you? You teasing me ma! You look good. You look as good as a drumstick.”

So, he proceeds to entice her up the street to a secluded spot, where they exchange a few kisses, and finally end with a handjob, where he nearly entices her to lick the tip.

A HANDJOB?!?!?!?!

LICK THE TIP?!?!?!?!?

So, after busting in her hand, the guy takes off his sunglasses and do rag, revealing he’s the geeky guy from earlier. He then tells her she’s been exposed as a shallow, crazy chick who wouldn’t give her number to a nice guy, but will beat off a thug.

Now, I have no idea if the video is authentic or staged.  Nor do I know it’s origin, but I do know it’s real, because I’ve fucking lived it.

I like to think of myself s a pretty nice guy. I have my faults, dear lord do I have faults. But I always try my best to treat those around me with respect, especially women. And no, I’m not always successful, but it’s something I strive for.

And in the past, I have been accused by women I was getting acquainted with that I was “too nice.”

Well excuse me for not asking you to beat me off between the salad and the main course.

I’ve also seen guys, some of them uncouth, some of them downright dirtbags  approach the exact same women, with astounding success.

I’ve even done. I’ve put a couple of drinks in, and set out to just be that dude that I pretty much hate, and before you know it, the women are begging to go home with you.

Really?!?!?!?!

Hmm… after a while, you have to start to believe the trend, and perhaps offer a moment of silence to the nice guy.

Courtesy of: bottledupthoughtsandfeelings.blogspot.com

Courtesy of: bottledupthoughtsandfeelings.blogspot.com

Courtesy of: smartshoes.blogspot.com

Courtesy of: smartshoes.blogspot.com

We may not be the most fashion forward individuals. We may not even be dripping with sex appeal and machismo… but hot damn it, we’ve got charisma, and we’re nice… and nice ain’t half bad.

  • We won’t cheat on you.
  • We won’t hit on your friends behind your back.
  • We will treat you with dignity, honor, and respect, and as an equal, and not a possession or commodity.

I simply think about the women I KNOW and the tales of douchebaggery I’VE HEARD, and it boggles my mind.

And I’m the single one.

Well, that is probably for the best, because tomfoolery and I shall not be bedmates…

SHALL NOT BE BEDMATES!!!

So guys, have you noticed this trend as well?

Ladies, have you found yourself passing up on “nice guys” to date a “bad boy”, or a nice “fixer-upper” of a guy?

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Lust and Resentment

I love those moments when someone says the things you are thinking I your head perfectly… or provides you with a perspective that truly clarifies an outlook for you.

dansavage_121212Dan Savage often does that for me.

Let me start by saying that if you don’t listen to The Savage Lovecast, you should. It’s a  podcast version of Dan’s advice column, Savage Love.  There are 2 versions of it, the micro (free, 49 minutes with ads) and the magnum (paid, 82 minutes without ads). I will one Da subscribe, but for now I’m stuck with the micro version.  However, it’s a great, insightful show.

Anyway, recently Dan commented on the whole nude photo scandal including Jennifer Lawrence and a slew of other celebrities. I wholeheartedly agree with his opinion, and think he made some fabulous points.

  1. It’s horrible that they’re privacy was invaded.
  2. Fuck those people who say you shouldn’t take naked pictures of yourself if you don’t want them spread around. It’s not like they were sharing them, their phones and such were hacked and their privacy invaded.
  3. We have a  sick relationship with celebrities, it’s a combo platter of lust and resentment, which is one of the reasons we punish pornstars (while the porn industry is one of the single biggest money-making industries in the United States might I remind you) and we sometimes delight in seeing celebrities fall and fail.Dan explores this point further and I advise you check it out.
  4. Furthermore, it will be a great day when we all have “dirty” pictures online. The human body is beautiful; the naked form is beautiful and should be celebrated. It’s not something that should be hidden, and shamed. It will be a great time when someone can play “gotcha” with this kind of shit.

Oh, I have a dick? And you saw it?

I sext, and you found out?

Why yes, I have recorded sexual encounters, and no it’s not a big deal.

It’s a pretty ridiculous, and a huge fuck you to those who shamed the victims of this incident rather than the hackers. I’m also sharing a video that a friend sent me. I thin it relates well to this topic of unhealthy sexual outlook that we harbor in our society.

Grow the fuck up…

…and puritans eat my snatch.

Gallery

North Coast Music Festival

So many of you will know that I have generally turned my nose up at EDM in the past. Well I had an amazing time at North Coast Music Festival this weekend serving beer. While I saw a few crap bands, I saw some amazing ones too, and DJ’s. A few thoughts on live performances:

1) If everyone on the stage isn’t having more fun and sweating more than I am, I can’t fux wit you.
2) a band of questionable talent can sell it with a high energy show. Go figure!
3) I saw some DJ’s who performed better than some rock bands I’ve seen.

My mind was blown, and I’ll definitely be checking out this festival again in the future.

So here is a few of the sights and sounds from the festival.  I also wish that the sound actually did the performers justice.  Let me assure you the bass was amazing!!!

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The Nameless

Many years ago…what seems like a lifetime ago, I sang in a metal band. One of the last tunes we wrote was a song about homeless people. Very simple, and I called it The Nameless. I chose that title because homeless people often seem like nameless sentient beings, just floating through space. We often don’t recognize them, disregard them. We as a society get so caught up in the fast flow of life, that we don’t even bother to make eye contact with them, pass them by, and will sometimes label them as a nuisance, or a bother , rather than a person in need of help, in need of empathy. Please don’t misinterpret these words in a sense that I haven’t done these things. I have. I try not to, but I get caught up too. But, I’ve had times of sitting with homeless cats on a corner, and just rapping and shooting the shit, hearing their stories. Ultimately, I think that’s what many of us want; to have our story told. To have our voice heard, and to not be…nameless.

These thoughts all came into my head as the woman sat next to me. As I mentioned in my previous blog, Serendipity, my mind was already in a spin. Then the rain drove me to take cover at the bus stop, fearing the inclement weather would put me in a dangerous spot on my bicycle, with slick roads and impaired visibility to motorists.

The bus came by, and after exiting the bus, the woman ambled over to me and took a seat. The air around me immediately took on the scent of alcohol. She was a black woman, older , I’d put her in her 50’s perhaps. Well greyed hair, close cut and under a red baseball cap. Her clothes were dirty. She had a can in a brown paper bag that I later found to be an Icehouse.

She didn’t make eye contact. She just kind of turned her face towards me, but our gazes never met. She was clearly intoxicated. She leaned over and said, “Can I tell you something?”
“Of course” I said.

“I was in the Army.” “I saw things that no one should have to see.”

Her speech wasn’t clear at all times, but she told me how her experiences in the Army messed with her head. She recalled some instances…

“I always did my best…And we never left a man behind. We always brought them back.”

I never interrupted her. Only nodded and offered verbal agreements. She didn’t ‘t know this, but I understood perfectly everything she was saying.

As I looked at her face, listening to her story, tears began running down my cheeks. As I looked in her face, I just could see that her mind was gone. She wasn’t in the same time , or the same place that I was. That thought made my heart ache so badly.

This lady could be my mom. She could be someone’s mom. I looked down at the ground, not wanting her to see me cry. I couldn’t speak, I just listened, staring at her can of Icehouse.

When I was younger, I never could understand why homeless people would turn to vice…drugs and alcohol. I never could understand why you would make a bad situation worse.

I get it now. Not wanting to face life lucidly. Needing something to soften the edges of reality. I know that feeling all too well.

Many years ago, in what seems also, like a different lifetime, I attempted suicide. Very few people in my life know this. I’ve always guarded that secret . It’s something that I’ve always found shame in. But, I now know that it was a wake up call for me to change my life, which I did. I can relate so very well to the feeling of simply not feeling like you can face life. I tried vice too. For me, vice wasn’t even strong enough.

All of these thoughts swirled into my head as I looked into this woman’s face, and so many questions.
“Are you homeless?”
“How will you get out of the rain?”
“Do you have family? Where are they?”

But I didn’t ask. It was time for her to tell her story, as she chose to tell it.

Finally, I spoke up.
“I gotta get going ” was all I could muster, wiping the tears from my cheeks.

As I stood up, and waved goodbye meekly, she made eye contact with me for the first time.
“Bye”
“God Bless You Sister. Bye.

I wanted to do more. I should’ve said more.

And as I rode off, I thought about how appalling it is that we give billions of dollars to other countries, and yet I rode pass people under underpasses, awnings, and alleys trying to find a dry place to sleep. It’s not right. You’ll never be able to rationalize it to me . We could do better. We should do better. She should be enjoying her twilight years in a warm place, surrounded by love, not sitting on a cold bus stop in a rainstorm with me. It infuriates me now just thinking about it.

Also, as I rode home, I recognized how that experience served as a reminder. I was at a place today where I was beginning to feel bad for myself. At this point, I’m technically unemployed. Hustling up money to pay bills. Dealing with issues with my daughters…

…and I’ve been reminded that I’m ok. I have my mind, and my health. If I keep my head up, I’ll figure it out, and I’ll be ok. In the grand scheme of life, my problems are minuscule, and I feel ashamed for even being so self indulgent.

And so here I sit. I feel emotionally drained. I’m gonna go lie down, and I know that the sun will bring a brighter day. The woman will be on my mind. I hope she is ok.

Life is strange sometimes.

Serendipity

 

serendipity3Life is strange sometimes. As I’ve said before, I’m not sure which set of religious beliefs I’m willing to subscribe to. I do however believe in some variation of Karma. It just often seems like things are too coincidental to be simple happenstance. Thus, the serendipitous nature of life.

I started off the evening at a movie with great company. I chose to ride my bike instead of drive, despite the threat of rain. We saw an advanced screening (The Hundred Foot Journey) which left my mind in an absolute swirl of thought. I hopped on my bike and got about a block until the sky opened up. Two blocks later I stopped at a covered bus stop. I sat there for a bit until a bus came. A few people got off the bus, including an older woman who came over and sat next to me.

We only sat there for about 5 mins, but this was a very serendipitous experience that I will blog about shortly. From there, I pedaled onward in the downpour. About a mile further, something in my brain told me to stop again. I did, and not even a minute later saw an old battle buddy I hadn’t seen since getting back from Afghanistan. That experience brought a smile to my face and helped me find some equilibrium. From there I pedaled on home, and here I am.

My mind is still in a blur. I’ll sort it all out in due time. Now, I know this isn’t the first time that someone told you that life is serendipitous. However, sometimes we all need a reminder.  A reminder that life is out there to be lived, and if you go out to meet it, it will certainly meet you.  Namaste.

Speechless

Wow, time marches on.  It doesn’t wait for anyone…and yet we push ourselves to the ends of our existence, to get a larger piece of it.  Strange…no?  

Well…about 2 weeks back, I had an experience that left me speechless…which is pretty hard for me.  It also left me with a lot to think about in terms of perspective, and life.  

So, as some of you know, I’m a driver for the Lyft ride-share community, or a Lyfter.  Not familiar with it?  Google it.  It’s a new-ish service at the forefront of the sharing economy.  

Not familiar with that term, well allow me:

The sharing economy (aka the share economy, the shared economy, the mesh or the collaborative economy) refers to economic and social systems that enable shared access to goods, services, data and talent. These systems take a variety of forms but all leverage information technology to empower individuals, corporations, non-profits and government with information that enables distribution, sharing and reuse of excess capacity in goods and services.[1] A common premise is that when information about goods is shared, the value of those goods increases, for the business, for individuals, and for the community.[2]

Source: Wikipedia – The Sharing Economy

So, I was out and about Lyfting, and I picked up a guy and 2 of his friends.  We’ll just call him the guy.  So, they were out and about, having a good night, drinking, etc.  So, we drop the 2 friends off, and I’m taking the guy to his address, which is probably about 15 minutes away. 

We’re chit chatting, and he is offhandedly saying, “Man, I love my friends.”  I’m attributing this sentimentality to the residual effects of alcohol consumption.  He then looks over at me and says, “Can I tell you something?”  

“Of course you can” I replied.  I like to think I’m a good listener…at least some of the time.  I then waited to see what he was going to say.  I was expecting something along the lines of “I came out to my friends today” or something along those lines, when he quietly said,

“I’m dying.”  

“You mean in the Sylvia Plath sense of we are all dying one second at a time, or do you mean faster than the rest of us?”

“I have cancer.  I’m dying.”  

Wow.  What do you say to that?  What can you say to that?  So, I just sat, and listened.  

He was silent.  I said “Well, treatments are getting so much better these days. So much more effective.”  

“Yeah” he said, “but mine isn’t working.  My treatment isn’t working, and my condition is getting worse, and no one knows….but you.”

And there in lies the crux of what this guy was experiencing.  His friends had taken him out that evening to see his favorite band, and when to some of his favorite bars, and he didn’t have it in him to tell them that his radiation treatments and medication were having no effect on his cancer. 

“Not even my mother knows.  I just can’t tell her.”  

Wow.  I felt the gravity in the car seem to increase tenfold.  That explained the bald head, and the haggard look, even though a few minutes earlier, he was obviously in a state of joy.  

“You’re probably not gonna Lyft me any  more after this”

“Don’t be silly my friend, you’re an awesome guy, and you’re gonna give me a big fat tip because I’m awesome, so why wouldn’t I Lyft you again.”  

Conversation went on.  He told me about the copious amounts of medications he had to take, and the pain.  “It hurts so bad, every day.”  

I teared up at moments, but held my composure, because I felt at that moment, he needed someone to be strong.  

We neared his house, and we sat in front of his house talking a few more minutes.  He confessed that the only reason he hadn’t taken his own life was because of the effect it would have on his mother.  That would be the only thing worse than her having to see him succumb to his sickness.  

As he exited my car, I tried to think of something that could possibly lift the mood, end it at least on an even keel, all I had to offer was “I’ll see you next time my friend.”  

He then looked at me, and tears started streaming down his face, and he said “I hope so…I hope so.”  

Speechless.  

Be thankful/Be humble

I’m a firm believer that a central purpose if life is to make connections with others. Scratch that…to make POSITIVE connections with others. We make many of them, but so many of them are negative.
However, stop and think for a minute…and answer this question honestly:
“Do you connect with those people who have nothing to offer you?”
In that question, I mean, we so readily connect with people who have something we want; connections, money, sexual appeal….but what about those people who don’t readily have something material to offer us?
Here in Chicago, we have a lot of homeless people. I don’t know exact numbers, but a lot. Now, I’m not rolling in dough, but when I can, I try to give some change, or a dollar here and there. Over the years, as you take time, actually take time to stop and talk with some of these people, you can hear some amazing stories. Often depressing, often shocking, but very telling of that other side of society that many of us don’t see. How people fall through the cracks.
I’ll never forgot one night I started chatting with a homeless guy down in the Loop on Wabash, about 1 in the morning. He asked me what I do, and I mentioned that I had just gotten back from my deployment and was trying to figure out where I fit in.
He went into his pocket, and pulled out a military ID. Told me how after getting back from Iraq, his life basically fell apart from PTSD…and so on.
But recently, I had two interactions that reminded me of some things.
The first was on a bus stop. I was heading downtown, and waiting for the bus, sitting on a bench. An older gentleman, with a suitcase, obviously homeless, came over and sat next to me. He then pulled out a bottle of Maddog 20/20, and after taking a swig, offered me some. I declined, and then he asked me about the magazine I had at my side.
It was a Graciemag, a Jiu jitsu magazine. Something on the cover caught his eye, and I handed it to him. He flipped through the pages, and seemed genuinely interested in what he saw.
He then looked over to me and said, “You know who was a bad man?”
“Who?” I said, genuinely interested in what was to come.
“Bruce Lee! Did you know that when they filmed the Green Hornet, they had to slow down the film because he was too fast!”
I laughed. “Yeah, he was amazing for sure.”
“There’ll never be another one like him.”

A few nights ago, a woman asked me out for drinks. I said sure. I got ready to head out, but hadn’t had dinner, so I decided to stop and get something on the way. I happened to come across Arturo’s a 24 hour Mexican drunk hut. I parked, and was heading in, when a man stopped me.
“I hate to bother you man, but do you have a few dollars, so I can get some good. I’m out of work currently.”
I don’t carry cash usually, so I said, “I don’t have any cash, but I’m gonna get some food. Come on in with me.”
“Really?” He asked.
“Yeah, c’mon.”
So I ordered some food for me, and he ordered what he wanted, and as we waited, we sat and talked.
He said his name was Casper. He’d been working as a painter and carpenter when his car was stolen, with his wallet and phone in it.
“I was paid in cash, so it really hurt, because I lost my rent money, and then I was replaced at work.”
He mentioned he’d been in the U.S. since 1987, born in Mexico.
” I learned English in Mexico, and then learned more here. I also have learned some polish, and I like learning that.”
“Polish?” I asked.
“Yeah, some of the guys I worked with were Polish, so they would teach me the language while we worked,” and he then exhibited some of his skills for me.
He then said something very interesting.
“Back in ’87 and the ’90’s, if you needed a job, you’d apply to a few, and boom, you could get one fast. It’s not like that anymore. You can, apply, and apply, and apply, and hear nothing.”
Wow…that says a lot right?
While at the time it didn’t ‘t occur to me, but I was having a shared moment with these gentlemen, exchanging thoughts and ideas…and I wonder how many people would never do that, simply because at first glance, they had nothing to offer, and even needed of us.
These moments reminded me to be thankful. I worry about so many things, but in reality, I have a roof over my head, food to put in my mouth, and people who care enough about me who would offer me either if I didn’t have them.
What have I to complain about?
And they reminded me to be humble, because in an instant, my situation could change, and I could be that person that people so readily will look past when I’m asking for a few bucks. Deep issues…deep thought…

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Alaskan Adventure

Of course…not everything goes as you plan.

I’m still sitting in Alaska.

2 days before flying up here, I lost my wallet.  Fortunately, I still had my passport. So, I was able to fly out.  I immediately ordered a new one.

However, due to the remote location of the locale, it took a little longer than expected to get here.  Not to mention that Fedex does not deliver here.

So, my debit card should be here late afternoon, and then I will be heading to Fairbanks to see friends, and to watch the UFC fights on Saturday evening.

I’ve seen lots of people the few days I’ve been here though. I also got a chance to catch up with Leland and Donetta (the couple that kept my car and things for me), and Leroy and Karen (an elderly couple who adopted me during my second year here in Alaska).

One benefit of being here is being away from the craziness of the city for a while, and being in the company of such sweet people.

I actually just put a homemade Rhubarb crumble in the oven, made with fresh Rhubarb from the garden.  Next we’re going to make pesto with basil fresh out the garden as well. Don’t get to do that much in the city.

As amazing as some of the people up here are, I’m really looking forward to making my way back.

I’m also hoping to stop and train jiu jitsu on my way back to civilization. So I spent some time yesterday researching schools along my way.  Looking forward to hopefully getting to do that.

So how was everyone’s 4th?  Any good stories?  Let me know what’s up?

Reflections

I’m currently sitting in the Chicago Cultural Center. It’s an amazing place here in the downtown area. It’s quiet…most of the time. It offers tons of amazing art, music, and dance exhibits. It’s also one of the few places downtown that you can charge electronics, as well as access wifi. Also, the place does an amazing job of opening itself to the homeless here in Chicago.
Many times I’ve come here and seen homeless people relaxing, or eating, or occasionally just napping in one of the comfy chairs. It also has bathrooms and such. I suppose it offers a respite from the craziness that awaits pass the doors.
The reason I mention this is that as I came in here, sitting at their “charging table” long executive type table with an industrial power strip, I found myself sitting with 2 homeless people, an older gentleman and a woman probably a few years younger than myself.
As I say down, they were bartering food. “I’ll give you a sandwich for one of your bags of chips” I heard as I plugged my phone in. I said hello to both and started messing with my phone. The older gentleman and I began chatting about blues Fest. He told me the first 2 days had some really good acts.
As we were chatting, a young lady walked her. She was with a large group of women, and they had leftover cupcakes, which they offered to us. I said no thanks. The thought of taking food away from a homeless person struck me as wrong, but the older gentleman offered me one again. I said no.
“Wrong kind of carb for you huh? You look like the type of guy who takes some protein before heading out on his walks.”

How astute!

“I try” I said.

So I’m still here. The older gentleman is folding his clothes, and repacking his bag. The young lady left a while ago.

I was thinking about heading home, but I think I may wander back over to Blues Fest for a bit. I suppose I have nothing but time. And a low cell battery.

But I often like to take time to reflect, truly reflect on, all things considered, how amazingly lucky I am, and to remind myself that I better not f***ing forget it, because it could all change in a heartbeat.

What’s wrong with Cheerios?

Oh, that’s right…it wasn’t the taste or contents of the staple of many breakfasts since 1941…it was a commercial…a simple commercial.

So what could Cheerios put into a commercial that would get people fired up.  How risque could a cereal commercial be?

Well, enter an interracial family, and all hell breaks loose.  I don’t watch television, so I only happened to see the commercial after seeing a link to this brief video editorial on Huffington Post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/31/cheerios-commercial-racist-backlash_n_3363507.html

After watching the video, I shared it on Facebook, commenting that the reaction it received on Youtube didn’t surprise me at all.  At that point, a friend asked me “why?”

and that leads us to here.  Why do I not find a barrage of racist comments towards a Cheerios commercial featuring an interracial family surprising?

Well, in my honest opinion, and I only speak for myself, and from my life experience, I always feel like semi-sheltered caucasians are the only ones who find these things surprising…well, them and black politicians getting their 15 seconds of soundbite on the news.

It’s not surprising because our post-racial America of 2013 is full of prejudiced, racist, grimy motherf***ers.  I can’t even think of a nicer way to say it.  Is that everyone?  No, of course not…well…

…ok, well aside from Avenue Q’s opinion, we all have prejudices. But taking that next stop to “racism”, that’s not everyones bag.  However, it’s pretty obvious, to the observant eye that quite a few people are willing to take that step.

Case in point:

“President Barack Obama Is the Most Threatened President In History.”

That is a quantifiable fact.  All over some health care issues???  Riiiiiiiggggghhhhttt!

Let that thought sink in for a minute.  Our first black president is also the one that has received the most death threats…ever.  He averages 30 a day.  30…A….DAY!

Don’t even get me started on the vitriol that arises when Islam is brought into discussion.

Look, point blank, if you have a problem with all Muslims because of the actions of a handful (simply a handful; 23% of the world’s population is Muslim, or 1.6 billion people)…you suck. You’re a mouth breathing neanderthal.

Also, there was an interesting article 2 years ago that may have slid under many an average person’s radar:

Interracial marriage should be illegal, say 46% of Mississippi Republicans in new poll

Yeah….that really happened.

So, do I find the reaction to this commercial surprising?  Hell no!  I like to be optimistic, but I’ll never have blinders on to the current state of affairs in America.

Do I sometimes think that my life would run “smoother” if I was white?  Hell yeah it would!

Even in 2013, the knapsack of white privilege is still full. However, would I ever want to be white?  Hell no!

Not that there’s anything wrong with it.  I think there is an inherent character that is gained from the black experience in America. I attribute my strength of perseverance to that gained character.  I was often told as a child “You have to work harder than the white kids.”  I’ve found this idea to be true. Besides, I have a damn sexy year round tan that I wouldn’t trade in for anything.

That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with those white kids, or any other kids.  I can only say that from my viewpoint, being the only black person, let alone male, in my major in college was “interesting”, and it was f***ing awesome when I won the award for being the best student in the program.  However, I worked my a** off for that award. All those kids with mommy doctors and daddy lawyers couldn’t keep up with me, and part of that I attribute to the idea that in America, “You better learn to run nigga run!” Once my feet hit the ground, academically, I’m off and running.  Keep up if you can.

So, am I surprised?  No.  Should you be? No.  If you are, you’re not paying attention.

I could literally talk for days on this topic, but that won’t do any of us any good.  Namaste.