Tag Archive: friends

First let me clarify what “my Biff” is so this post will make sense and I will post a picture below as well.  Biff is a talking stuffed animal that was made by Mattel in 1965 and he was mine when I was just a “little crum cruncher” at the age of 4 (and by the way I am 48 now!).  I had lost track of him in my twenties with my wife’s aunt taking him saying she would fix him up as his clothes and body needed to be sewn up.  I did not concern my self with it as I had my own family I was raising, working and just dealing with more important things in my life.  I would ask about Biff periodically and my wife said she would check on it and we would move onto something else.

Flash forward to just a few years ago when I found out that Biff had made his way to my brother-in-law who now had possession of him.  Again the same thing, I would bring it up about checking on getting Biff back but it was not that important.  However, in the last year getting Biff back became more important and I will share that later.  Anyway, I was opening presents for Christmas and when I opened the box there was “Biff”!! I couldn’t believe it!! My older son had gotten him, gave him to my sister-in-law to sew up and repair and gave it to me for Christmas!! I was so excited to finally have Biff back in my possession! He doesn’t talk anymore because the voice box is broken, but that doesn’t matter as I have a fond childhood memory back in my possession.

As I reflect on why this is important to me it becomes obvious to me that age may play some part of this.  I find that as I get older I reflect on things that made me happy and that meant something to me and Biff was on of them.  This is not to say that I am not content with Life now, I am.  It just reminds me that having possessions and acquiring things really don’t have any meaning for me and I find myself wanting to spend my time being around my family and friends and remembering what is important and by having Biff back (even though he is an inanimate object) helps me to realize this. Biff helps me to think about the positive things in my childhood and not the negative and what is important to me today.  Biff is now proudly displayed on my bookshelf!




Me and the cowboy hat have an appointment tomorrow a 1:00!


As I post this blog I am a few hours away from leaving for me next dance competition this weekend and donning this cowboy hat that seems to have become part of my life even though I had no idea that it would!! I have posted before how OCD I was about wearing a cowboy hat etc.. so I will not go into that again, but suffice it to say I have become more accustomed to it as part of my dance attire!  Anyway, what I wanted to post about is what the “cowboy hat” has helped me to achieve in the personal aspects of my life and goals.

I am attending my third competition and have practiced and planned accordingly in hopes of improving my scores. With my last competition I was not satisfied with what I scored so I changed my game plans and prepared differently than my prior two times with more practice and lesson time. At this point I have had positive feed back from my partner and coach that things seem to look better and I am doing some of the necessary things to succeed.  I have approached this situation differently than the last two times with the following philosophy: 1)work hard, 2)have a good attitude, 3)listen to the coach.  I believe I did those things enough, but maybe not enough I just don’t know.

I also recognize that the things I have done differently may not work, or when it comes to show time I could make a mistake and that is just part of it.  But what I wanted to say is this; I have set the goals listed above and have tried to the best of my ability to make them happen. I have come to a point in my life that am tired of chasing things like money, promotions in a corporation, and things that do not have meaning in life.  As I make this transition from “chasing” these things I find myself to be a more content man and put my efforts into things that have meaning in life.

Some may say “how is this dancing give meaning to your life”?  I realize “different things have different meanings” for all people, but doing this competitions and learning to dance correctly has helped me interact with people I would have never made a connection with and this gives me satisfaction that maybe my actions or words have influenced someone in a positive way.  What I am doing with “my hobby” if you want to call it is give me a more balanced life and help take the stress away from the corporate world and for that I am thankful.  Because and the end of my life I will not be saying “wished I had worked more nights and weekend”!! I don’t plan on having any regrets and the end but I might wished I had taken dancing up sooner as it has given me an excitement for life that I haven’t had in a long time.

So if you take anything away from my post is to find something other than the everyday mundane things of life and do something that gives you excitement and joy in your life!! Don’t sit around and wait!! Take action and enjoy the life you have because none of us know when it will be over!


The Competition Cowboy

I decided to go ahead and post the photo above that I am going to talk about so hopefully what I have to say makes sense.  This was the second dance competition I had competed in and the first wearing this ht and clothes.  You must know what a change it was for me to even put a “cowboy hat” on my head!!  It was just an adjustment for me and a personal hurdle that I had to overcome which I did!   I had observed during my first competition the other male competitors wearing a black cowboy hat, black shirt, black pants and boots.  During the final stages of my preparation I finally decided I was going to do this a play the part for this particular dance competition.  Some might say “what is the big deal”? and all I will say is that most of the time I do not get out of my comfort zone and I have decided that it is about time that I do!!
The competition was a few weeks ago on a Saturday afternoon and put on my “outfit” and went down to the ballroom ready for competition!  I danced in six different events and did not knock off the cowboy hat one time!! That was a feat in itself!!  After it was over I was so pumped up and had so much fun that I hated for it to end!  I was asking myself “why did I seem to have more fun this year than last year”?  It dawned on me that not only was I participating in the dance competition but that I played the part as well by dressing up like a “dancing cowboy”!  This may sound corny, but with the everyday drudgery of life, sometimes it is good to play another role completely different from the person that you are in real life.  Playing this role and putting on this outfit is totally different for me and has been a positive influence on my life.
Sometimes you need to do other things in order to get your mind thinking in a different direction instead of the same thing everyday; get up, eat breakfast, go to work, come home, eat dinner, go to bed and get up and start it all over again the next day.  Even though I do not know what they are right now, I believe this has opened my eyes to other possibilities in life and to try new things. I have decided I am not going to sit around and let time pass by wishing I had tried something or be afraid to change and as I like to say “there are always possibilities”. This has been a positive change for me and as I type this post the “cowboy hat” is hanging on the chair post as a reminder to me of what I have overcome.
For those who care if you look in the photo I do not have “cowboy boots” on! I only mention this because this is the final hurdle I will overcome as I purchase a pair this year to complete my “dancing cowboy outfit”!! I am having a blast!! And by the way.. that is my sweetheart in the picture with me!!

Well blog world I have been behind because life has happened and I had my dance competition this last weekend and will blog about that later but I have to post my incident in Atlanta where we were staying.  But first I have to set this up on why this is like weird or funny so I will let the readers be the judge.  Last year about this time we were visiting San Diego and decided to head to the beach and enjoy the beautiful beach walk on Pacific Beach.  We were probably about 15-20 minutes away from our room and I just happened to look down and there was this big bunch of bird s**t all over the front of my shirt and there was like a lot of it!!  My wife and 23-year-old were like saying “””oooo nasty, gross etc…. and it was true!! I had to get back to the room and change my shirt and making sure I did not touch any of it.  We thought what dumb luck for this to happen, but not the end of the world.

Fast forward to this weekend in Atlanta for a dance competition we were attending.  I like to try to find a good “coffee and cappuccino” gas station (a gas station that sells quality coffee and cappuccino if there is such a thing)  Anyway, I found a place within walking distance and headed there Saturday for a cup and then on Sunday when the incident occurred! We were walking back to the hotel with coffee in hand just talking and I had taken a few sips and in the next few minutes I just happened to look down and saw this “white blob” on my lid about the six of a dime.  I thought “what is wrong with that lid”?  “Must be a defect in the lid, but I didn’t notice it when I put it on the cup”  Then it hit me ” This looks like bird s**t!! and sure enough it was!! Another bird had s**t almost one year to the day it happened to me in San Diego!!  I couldn’t believe!! Some bird has ruined my morning coffee!!

We had a good laugh about it and now a funny memory, but now this has happened two years in a row while I was out-of-town on vacation!! Wonder if this means anything positive or negative?? Or could just mean what my wife says about me after all “that I am full of s**t” lol

I have a story to tell about my neighbor that follows my previous post on People Observation #9.  After we had moved into our house 10 years ago I started a garden as I felt like I was carrying on the tradition of my papaw who had a garden and when I would visit I would help him work in it.  I didn’t know what I was doing but I got to hear him tell some story he made up or about being in World War II.  Anyway, my garden was large enough that I was able to give away some produce and I was happy to do so. In the meantime we had new neighbors move in and the were older and retired.  We became friends with them and each year after that when I had extra tomatoes I would give some to my neighbor.

As I would go and check my garden I would think “I have some tomatoes missing” because I could tell which ones would be ready in a few days and when I would go out in the garden to pick them they would be gone.  I suspected my retired neighbor was helping himself to “vine ripe tomatoes”!! but I had no proof.  Once day I was coming up the stairs into the kitchen as my back window looks out into the back yard and there he was!!! The neighbor had walked through my pine trees and standing at the edge of the tomato row, kind of hesitating and looking towards my house to see if anyone was watching. I watched this for a few minutes and then he did it!!! Bent over, picked a tomato and disappeared into the row of pine trees!! It was one of the funniest things to watch. You could see him debating in his mind “can I get this tomato without any watching”?? Like some little kid trying not to get caught!!

Anyway, this is how I coined the phrase “Tomato Bandit” in reference to my neighbor.  Just a funny story I wanted to share.

As I make this post my lab mix dog (Molly) is outside my kitchen door crying because it wants to come in, but she needs to stay outside to do its “potty business”.  Anyway, we live on 2 1/2 acres which is not fenced so I would just let her out and she would stay in the yard and I would let her back in.  In the last few years we had some neighbors move in that are retired and I noticed that Molly would not come back in right away so I figured out she had walked next door.  I began to see food items appear in my backyard that I had not seen before and concluded my neighbors were feeding Molly.  My neighbor likes to fish so I would find cut and cleaned fish, meat wrappers, one time it was a whole frozen block of hamburger, and just the other day I opened door and in the garage was a whole raw steak!!  These people throw their old food out in the yard and Molly wanders over there to eat it!!  I was unaware of this until I began to see the signs I mentioned above so I have started to keep a closed eye on Molly and bring her into the house more frequently.

I am trying to find a diplomatic way to approach this as I do not have a fenced yard and Molly is able to wander next door but I did not have this problem until they started feeding her.  I don’t get why they just throw food into the backyard!! I say just put it in the garbage! I don’t understand these people who just can’t throw things away.  I like my neighbors and we get a long I just don’t want my dog to get sick let alone die from eating this garbage! It is like when someone wants to give me furniture or clothes and we take it and it is junk or wore out and I kick myself for taking it and now “I have to throw it our or give it away.   My advice is that if it is garbage throw it out, if something you have is still usable give it to Goodwill or some other organization.

My Dog

Molly in the Kitchen waiting for a “healthy snack”!!

I have posted about our dance lessons and meeting new people and how fun this and got me to thinking about this and how we have been treated by some church members in the past in comparison to how we have been treated by our new relationships in the last few years.  For starters this is not a slam on the Church as I am a Christian, served on committees, attending regularly etc… all my life so my view is from extensive experience.  When we began to take our lessons and go to the local “honky-tonk” several people came right up to talk with us, within a few months we were invited with the group to a cookout, we went to the gun range together etc… and have made some good friends.  A few months later we met a different set of couples and within a few months they were inviting us to go on their out-of-town dance trips they had been taking together for several years and accepted us into their group which I thought was awesome.

In comparison to some church’s I have attended there are group’s already established and they do not want to let you in. Or, some people are self-righteous because they think you don’t attend enough and judge you for it.  Of all places where you should be included and not judged for things out of your control is in your Church!! I hope people who call themselves Christians really think this is ok?? The Church is not a country club for certain people to decide if they are good enough to be included or not.  It is sad that I can meet people who are not regular church attenders treat me better than some I have gone to Church with and it should not be this way. Then some wonder why Church attendance is dropping in this country and can’t figure out why.  We all can make mistakes and not realize what our attitude can do someone else, but if you did make an honest mistake then own up to it and try not to do it again, but don’t continually have a sorry attitude towards someone else especially in Church and if you are a Christian.

I was out with our group of friends last night for dancing and there is one man who attends that lives in our area while his family lives 7 hours away.  He will dance with the different ladies at the club and a few in particular on a regular basis.  I talk with him and we are friends and says he works here in the medical field and says he can’t find a job in the city he is from which is much larger than ours.  This person attends this club 3-4 nights a week while his wife takes care of the kids back home.  This seems odd to me but I do not judge or condemn anyone as this is his business.  But the reason I bring it up is because there apparently has been a change in the last few weeks.

Several weeks ago he said his wife called stressed out about the kids and he was upset saying about this.  Last week he left early and the last night he was not even there and some said the wife has put and end to “honky tonkin”!!  I am not picking on this person but I post this to make point in relation to the title of my post. This person seemed to be interested in himself and claiming “I just want to have a good time”.  Maybe not even thinking about the toll these decision were having on his family.  Sometimes we all can get caught up in “ourselves” and not take the time to think about others especially in our family situations.  When we only think about ourselves this can lead to conflict and sometimes years of separation and disconnect from those around us.

To me this is a good lesson, when the “red alert” is going off about the way you are acting then stop and listen to the alert it could save you a lot of grieve and headache down the road!

As I posted yesterday about my dance competition I wanted to add about my observation of the people I met and some that I was already familiar with.  I met one lady who talked to me about their group event from another city and was very interested in us attending their event, she was very pleasant and nice and we had a good conversation.  Seemed like to me the non professional dancers acknowledged and spoke with you but, there was another group of people from the dance club from the same city I live and how they acted and this is the point of my post.

We have seen these people out at local dance events and they sit off in a corner to themselves, don’t speak to anybody but who is in their group and present themselves as arrogant and egotistical all because they can dance better than others or think they can.  I don’t kiss up to anybody and I don’t care who you are if you can’t act civil.  Don’t get me wrong I believe in networking and all but I am not going to kiss somebody’s ass so they will like me!  Anyway, we competed in our dance competition categories and according to others we ran into and the judging we did well.  What do yo know?? Some of these people in the “stuck up” group acknowledged us, spoke to us and one of the women even asked me to dance!!

I just don’t get this?? I don’t think you should present yourself as superior to other people no matter what their ability and standing.  The next time I am in the same area with these people I am not going to run to them like they are my new friends!! I am going to stick with the friends I have!  There is no issue with being good at what you do, but remember “pride goes before a fall” and this could happen to any of us so that is why I stay humble and it has served me well.

I have posted about the dance lessons I have been taking and then going out on the weekend to practice what I have learned.  Now you have to understand that in order to practice what you have learned it is necessary to visit the local “honky-tonk” or other “venues” and these are places that I had not frequented often on my past.  However, in addition to learning to dance which I have observed are “a complex set of variables that take time to master” I have also enjoyed one of my favorite things to do which is watching the interaction of other people.  I like to call myself a “practiced observer” and it has served me very well.

Anyway, to the point of my title.  I notice in the setting outlined above there are many singles and I am not talking about twentysomethings, but the people my age in their 40’s-50’s and trying to find a partner or significant other.  In this one scenario I have observed there is this one dude that comes in (I will call him B) and sometimes he is with a female (I will call her P).  He never smiles and if we take a group lesson he is with P away from the group, he looks kinda like he is in a bad mood or something.  I have danced and talked with P and she is easy-going and seems to have a sweet personality.  Me and some of the others have heard how her partner talks to her about doing a dance move incorrectly being critical and disrespectful!!

If this was something serious or a million dollars on the line then maybe this would be acceptable but it is dancing for crying out loud!!  I don’t understand why she would let him talk to her like this over something where you are supposed to be having fun!!  I have others I have observed as well and will post on those later but this situation is the most recent event that came to my attention.

So my point is this, while it takes time to get to know someone I believe “your gut” will let you know sooner than later if this person is right for you.  I would address this to the ladies since this is what I have observed.  You do not need to settle for someone like this just to have somebody!!  You don’t need (usually a male) to disrespect you and try to manipulate you!!  Take your time and wait for the right person, deep down you know right off if this person is ok.  If not then move on!! Life is too short to be mistreated by another person.

As a “practiced observer” I will post on other people I have observed so we can all try to figure out why we do the things we do or at least try not to keep doing the wrong things over and over!