Taking The Next Step!

Hello friends,

So life is trudging along, as it always does for me.  I suppose I shouldn’t use the word trudge. It actually moves along swiftly, and somewhat erratically at times as well.  I take it all in stride, and enjoy the fact that I live a life that isn’t “common”…that I can’t say with any certainty what my life will look like in 12 months…either good or bad.  I like that.  It can cause some stress and trepidation, but it’s the life that I’ve lived for so long, I really wouldn’t know how to do anything differently.

And with that in mind, I must announce that I am taking the next step in my blogging journey.  I am beginning a new blog. The title of this new blog is “Reflections of a Chicago Life” and it will be a part of the ChicagoNow blogging community.  ChicagoNow is the subsidiary, if you will, of a major newspaper here in Chicago.  Furthermore, it is the next natural step in my quest to eventually be a “professional blogger.” I don’t mean professional as making a living off of blogging, but if anyone was willing to pay me $10 a month to blog, I would feel like John Grisham!

Have no fear my friends, if you’ve enjoyed “Off The Beaten Path”, you will enjoy Reflections of a Chicago Life.  I can assure you you’ll find all the same things, and wide range of topics, that you found here.  I encourage you all to hop on over there, and subscribe immediately.

In addition, my Instagram and Twitter accounts will not change, and will be the same that are accessible from this site here.  I also have a Reflections of a Chicago Life Facebook Page.

I hope you all will embark on this new leg of my journey with me.  I promise you that you won’t regret it.  I may update here from time to time, if a topic goes far outside the scope of what I feel comfortable posting at ChicagoNow, but 99% of my blogging for the foreseeable future will be done there.  Thank you all so much for your continued support, and friendship.  We’re making big moves friends.

For Ms. Idella

So 2 days ago, a dear friend of mine said “You know, you haven’t blogged in forever.  I checked.” It struck me as a super sweet sentiment that she cares.  I promised her I would blog last night.

Promise broken.

I’m blogging now, before I head to bed.

So, I started this blog 2 months ago.  It originally was titled “Heartbreak and Lullabies”.   Continue reading

Expanding Oneself…One Experience At A Time

I love new experiences.

They nourish my soul…like they make me feel alive in a way that simple day to day motion does not.

My desire for new experiences has taken me all over the world, and served me well.  I’ve been fortunate enough to have had a multitude of experiences that many even older than me haven’t.

And when you had a desire for new experiences with a little dose of courage, there’s not much you can’t do.   Continue reading

Strange Moments: The Kid With the Dum Dums

:So I went to this really cool event in Chicago called ACTIVATE: Couch Place.  It was basically an outdoor dance party/art exhibition…staged in a pseudo alley in the downtown area.

I rarely drink, but I had 2 glasses of wine.

In rapid succession.

Which may have left me feeling buzzed.  Which in and of itself is sad.  2 glasses of wine.  I have the alcohol tolerance of a skinny 5th grader.

But beyond that…wine makes me feel…

….weird.

Continue reading

So Here’s The Problem

So on my way to work today, I decided to check out the new Kanye West track “All Day”.

Now, I would never label myself a Kanye West fan per se, but he is from Chicago, and I do have a special place in my heart for Chicago area artists (Kanye West, Common, Rhymefest, etc).  Also, I’d read a few music news outlets who had heralded this track as Kanye West busting out as a real lyricist with great musicality, blah, blah, blah…

So I listened to the track, which will be in rotation 24/7 on Urban Radio stations from here till May.

The only problem?

The track ain’t s**t.

Continue reading

Stuff That Kicks…

In many ways, I am the quintessential teacher. I love sharing information!!! I love opening the minds of others to new and interesting things. Any teacher will tell you how awesome it is when you see that light bulb go on in a students head, that “oh wow” moment. There is nothing like it.

In the same vein, I enjoy sharing things I enjoy with the world. Particularly, for my intent and purposes here, what comes to mind most is art and culture. Music, movies, books…there is rarely a day that goes by that I don’t share a song, or video, or comment about a book on my personal Facebook.

Well, I’m gonna start sharing those things here on my blog. I’m calling it the “Things That Kick” series…that means it kicks ass. So, in the future, I’ll be sharing art of various mediums with you all. I hope that over time, you’ll at least see one or two things that you’ll enjoy, or will be new to you, or will possibly broaden your horizons, or challenge your notions in one way or another.

Also, I’m in the process of creating some new pages, so I’ll be posting something when those are up.

I hope you all are doing well. Things in my life are moving at a crazy pace…I’ll let you know how things look in the dust settles.

Namaste.

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Riding Off The Beaten Path

I am a budding bicyclist. As I read somewhere recently, “I feel that it is the most civilized mode of transportation.” A few years back, I met a gentleman named Chris Figureida. We met through Couchsurfing.com. At the time, Chris was biking from Death Valley to Mt. Denali in Alaska. Then he climbed Denali. Climbed back down, and biked back to Death Valley. Chris bikes for Cycling for Heart, which he also heads, as an advocacy organization for bicycling and healthy lving Amazing right?

But I was most fascinated by Chris’ ability to bike such long distances. My goal is to one day spend a summer biking across the United States. That would be so awesome.

But for now, I bike around Chicago. Chicago was recently named the 2nd best bike city in America.

So, lucile de godoy recently inspired me with her post Bike Ride from Amsterdam to Broek in Waterline, and I assured her I would also shred some pictures of what it’s like to bike in Chicago. Well, Lucile, here you are. Also, a huge shout out to Let’s Go Ride A Bike and Freddie Photography for posting breathtaking and inspiring photos.

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Chicago: My Favorite Town

Chicago is by far my favorite town. One of the things I love about it most is its beauty.

Now, I’ve been lucky enough to see some beautiful places and things thus far in my life. The sun rising over the Mississippi River, the sun setting against the mountains of Afghanistan.

But, the beauty of Chicago is different. It’s not natural. It’s man-made, and constantly manipulated…but so very beautiful nonetheless.

Dear Dream Reader…

So my assignment, which I’m late in completing, is to publish a post to my dream reader.

I find this to be a daunting task, as I’ve never had a “dream reader” in mind. I have certainly had posts that were directed at one person or another, but never really gave much thought as to who my ideal reader would be. My blog is so varied, I don’t think I could nail one down. It’s a reflection of my life, which is up and down, topsy turvy, and fast-paced.

However, as I thought more about it I suppose dating, and my search for “love” is a recurring theme in my blog.

So, I suppose this post will be in that vein. To that young lady, who would dare take a chance on a guy like me. Allow me to offer a few clarifications on who I am, what I want, and what’s going on in my mind.

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First and foremost, I am a romantic.  I love romance. flowers, candles, handholding, kissing, cuddling… I love all of that stuff. Let’s stay in on a Friday night, cuddling under a huge blanket, watching a movie and sipping cocoa. Let me read to you, as you lie your head on my chest, and I play with your hair. Don’t be shocked if you wake up some mornings and find me watching you sleep. I imagine you look peaceful, and serene, and occasionally I went to take that in, and appreciate that beautify and serenity as a perfect counterpoint that the world presents to us everyday.

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I want us to be teammates, and best friends, as well as lovers. I think a key part of that is honesty and communication. I  want to be able to tell you anything and everything, and you do the same. I find in so many relationships, both mine and others, there’s so many secrets kept. Let’s not have any. Share your thoughts, hopes, dreams, worries and frustrations with me, and I will try hard to do the same. You have a crush on a sexy new guy at work? That’s cool. Come home and tell me all about it.  I’ll do the same when I develop a crush on someone at work.  Then we can use that fire, excitement, and tension to make our relationship hotter, which brings me to my next point…

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…I love sex… and you should too. I’m extremely comfortable in my sexuality, and yes, you should be too.  I’m extremely heterosexual, but I’m open to you exploring whatever it is that you feel you need to explore. I personally think that monogamy is an unnatural impulse at the least, and a time bomb waiting to happen at the most, but I have no problem being in a monogamous relationship, especially if it is for you.

You aren’t my first love. I have had several in my life before you came along, and I don’t want to have to lie to you about that either. I’d love to share some of those stories with you. I’d love to hear yours too. I wanna tell you about the women who broke my heart, as well as the lessons they taught me. All of those stories will have brought me to you.

I have tons of weaknesses. I have strange insecurities sometimes. I have quirks. I think life should be lived for joy, and passion, and not for money and security, so sometimes that brings a tumultuous nature to my life, and yes, sometimes I may need you to be a voice of reason and grounding, but sometimes I want you to push me…to live…to find my joy, and I want to share all of that with you.  I want us to push each other, to be better people, in all facets of life.

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Finally, you have to enter into this relationship knowing that I have a mistress, and her name is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  She is beautiful and exciting, and she does many of the same things for me that you do. I’d love for us to all get together for a 3-way, but if you’ re not interested, know that I will give you both equal time.

And in a nutshell… that’s me. That’s us.

And to end this aimless diatribe, let me share two songs that I’d like us to dance to together sometime. Enjoy!
~ D

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?