The Side of History

America has for the most part been on the progressive side of history. We have fought against tyranny and we have won. But never before have we seen such a weak response to hate and violence than from the President of the US as we have in this time of upheaval.

I take a stand right! I do not tolerate, hate and violence. Racism has no place in America or anywhere.

Taking a stand against white supremacist and their kind should be as easy as taking a stand against any other kind of terrorism. If you can not see it for what it is, then you may need to look inside yourself.

I think the hardest thing to realize is how many people I know that share this racist view. This “heritage not hate” philosophy needs to change. That war is over. If we haven’t healed and moved on from the civil war, we have big problems.

But the Civil War is a red herring to white supremacy/hate groups. They hide behind that to put forward the notion that whites are being attacked.

This is about Power and Pecking order. It always has been about being afraid, it’s about a class war. See http://www.aei.org/publication/a-class-war/

That article comes from the right leaning America Enterprise Institute.

But in the end as Prager University explains, Slavery ultimately is the reason for the civil war. https://www.prageru.com/courses/history/was-civil-war-about-slavery

I think when you put it in context and research the history, this is not something anyone should embrace as their heritage. There is a lot of great things about the south that is heritage, but slavery and the civil war isn’t one of them.

Take a stand today, be a proud American, not a confederate.

Three Talk Love

She (Sarah), him (Joel) and her (Paula) sat having coffee, talking love.

"You don't know what love is." Sarah said.

"What is love? Actions or feeling?" Replied Joel.

"That is this the question isn't it? How you feel and what you express. They are different. Two separate aspects, both part of love."

Joel suggest, "Puppy love is probably the purest love there is. We may think it is not a mature love, but what other love comes upon another so pure?"

"Joel, you and your puppies!" Cried Paula.

"Well it's true!"

"It's true that you can't stop loving someone." Said Sarah.

"What IS true, is that love stays in my heart forever. "

"Even with an Ex?" Sarah retorted.

"Do you love your kids any less when they disappoint you? Hurt you? Love changes. Sarah maybe you refer to passion. Even marriages can have reduced fire, even if two people love each other. Sometimes roads traveled with another create a bond. Is that bond love? I guess if you choose to bind yourself to the relationship."

Joel paused a moment and then said, "What about you two? Every man is told that women are attracted to power and money. "

Sarah was first to speak, "Sure, money, power, if I'm a whore that can be bought. Men who see themselves as a reflection of their wallet and the women who follow after that are both quite shallow."

Paula followed up, "I agree, but you can love someone who can't provide. If you see your life with someone, long term, that money is a reflection of drive. It's the man's outward expression of his care. Because we worry about taking care of things like a roof over our head."

"But isn't that putting the cart before the horse?" Joel asked.

"Why invest time in a man who will never be a man?" Paula said.

"Why not look to see what is in a man's heart and nurture that? Can you see the value in something before you squeeze that value out?" Joel pressed Paula.

Sarah said, "Love is love. And you love who you love. Joel, you know that. People marry for lots of logical reasons, and Paula, sure, both men and women do that. But we were talking about Love. In its purest sense, two people can make it work, if that's what they want. It's all that logic that usually fucks things up."

Joel said, "I don't really know why I have loved who I've loved. But I have to admit, I do believe in love at first site. I know within an instant of walking in a room and hearing a woman's voice, seeing her smile, just watching her way…. I know if there is an attraction."

"And does that ever change? Because you guys can look at a naked woman and be aroused." Said Paula.

"Maybe, when you're 12! You two act as if fucking and love are the same thing. I assure you I mean that when I see a particular woman that I am attracted to, I just know. It's like magical chemistry. Come on, Sarah, tell me it isn't the same for you."

"It's generally not the same. I hangout with a guy and then after some time, it hits me, he's what I'm looking for. Maybe because I want to make sure that he's not just trying to weasel his weasel. Ha ha!"

"Well Sarah, I don't have a problem meeting a guy I find attractive and getting busy with him, if I find him attractive. But it's on my terms." Said Paula.

"Well you ladies are complicated. Love is complicated. But I guess the truth is we all have different thoughts, and see things in different ways. Probably won't get to the bottom of this tonight… who's up for shots!"

48 today

Here I am with my annual blog post to celebrate my journey around the sun.
As I reflect, 47 was a pretty banner year in my world.

  • Completed my Masters Degree
  • Organized a High School Reunion
  • Organized a 5K Race as a director
  • Served on community boards.

Then last week I almost met my own end with a pretty bad illness. While maybe I just thought of it as a bad sore throat, I have been repeatedly told how lucky I am to be alive. And that has not fallen on deaf ears at all.

So what else have I learned in a year? What to remind myself each year as time goes by?

I know that what I want to bring to any friendship, any relationship, is the additive. Let me part of enriching your life. There is no need for completing someone. I know this lesson well. It's the same story of the missing piece meeting the Big O.

Let's roll together, because we roll well. It's not about needs or wants. I have so few of those. But it is nice sometimes to roll with someone who wants to roll in your direction.

Everyone has different dreams. They don't have to be the same in order to find people who add to your life. They just have to keep supporting you on your journey. Those are the precious and special ones that I want around me. Nothing better than someone who challenges you a little and loves you a lot. And does so for no other reason than you make them smile.

So here at 48, I don't worry about anything, because after last week, I realize that I am iron and I am dust. We think we are forever and in an instant we can be gone. So say the I love you's, smile at everyone, and be glad to be alive. We are so lucky to be.

Sending love to you, universe! Because you get what you give, or so I'm lead to believe.

Love! ❤️

Being Sick

I think we've all been sick at some point in our lives. A cold, maybe something serious, like a pain that gets managed and results in surgery. But recently I was really sick, and it has been a moment I'm not sure I'm even recovered from.

You go through moments in your life that make you wonder what things are all about. It rocks you to the core of your mortality.

I sometimes forget that I'm just human. Just a guy trying to make it through each day, working, exercising, and doing the normal things.
I wonder though, what is it all for? I'm not married, I don't have a girlfriend, no kids, pets, plants, or anything that really relies on me.
I was in the ER and they told me they couldn't keep me at the hospital I was in, and I would have to go to a bigger one. The pain was unbearable and I didn't care, just needed relief. And it was in that moment, I thought about, who do I matter to? I could die right here tonight, and really, I would just be a footnote in a page of life. Sure my Mom would care, I thought, but at that moment my life flashed before my eyes.

I have a lot of friends, and I am grateful beyond words for them all.

I posted on Facebook to let people know I was sick. I knew when I posted, it could be my last post for a while, but fortunately it wasn't. I didn't have any answers to what was happening yet, but I felt I needed to communicate. I didn't have anyone to speak for me. And I worried at the same time that I was coming across as someone seeking sympathy, when I wasn't. Just someone telling my friends that I'm in bad shape. And people realized that fact quickly.

The outpouring of support was amazing, knowing that my friends have my back was just the best feeling as I went through the process.

I was offered rides home from the hospital, food and whatever I needed. So many great people that I'm lucky to have in my life.

And while I lament a life being alone, the takeaway is that you are not really alone if you don't want to be. We choose to isolate ourselves. We choose to protect our identity from our friends at times thinking that we don't want to be a bother. We think why would we push ourselves on people like that.

The people who are in your life that are your friends will be there and stand by you. Support comes in many different ways, so don't expect everyone to act or react the same. But in the end, your friends will be there.

LGBTQ because we all are…

Above all, love. Our failure to treat others with dignity and respect will be the downfall of our nation. The more we create divisions among our family and friends, the more we bleed and hurt.

Today Trump announced that Transsexual members of the Armed forces would no longer be allowed to serve. This is the kind of nonsense that does this country damage.

I will be the first to admit, I grew up in the Navy with some very conservative values, and I was the liberal among conservatives. But in the Submarine force, they weren't accepting of gays or women, and honestly minorities of any status. Here I was, someone of the Jewish faith out at sea on a Submarine, and for most, I was the first Jewish person these guys had ever met. I was an ambassador in a way. What I did and how I acted mattered a lot.

So getting back to the LGBTQ community, people thing that the entire military will be exclusively made up of LGBTQ. That would not be the case. I'm sure that few would meet someone Trans, but people will definitely meet LGB&Q people. And my guess is the numbers are much higher than people would ever guess or know.

Military life is hard enough without a President making it harder for the people who want to stand by and defend this land. The soldiers and sailors who are protecting our constitutional rights; The men and women who love America and are willing to give up their very life to defend it; they deserve to be treated like everyone else.

We need to stop turning the clocks backward. Every thing from allowing Gays to openly serve to having women in combat are positive steps to a uniform service that can leverage diversity in all its forms. We are bogged down in sex and sexuality and not about finding qualified soldiers and sailors who can perform.

You really don't know your neighbors if you hide out and never meet them. We are better than this. Because this hatred becomes an infection. It isn't who we are. Love your neighbor as yourself.

So judge a little less and love a little more, after all, we can grow.

Fitness…

This AM was my 4th day in a row of doing some sort of exercise. Started Tuesday with a 5K in the evening. Then another on on Wednesday. Yesterday I swam at the pool a few laps (boy that was hard) and today was my beach cross fit thing. 

So yay! I worked out. But honestly, I still feel so out of shape.  I like running because I can gauge my progress by watching my pace. It’s not about being competitive with anyone else except myself. I don’t want to be out of breathe so easily. I want to be able to have the stamina to go the distance. 

It’s not about washboard abs or anything like that. It’s about being able to touch your toes. It’s about being able to not see your belly, but your business. 

I know that weight is a struggle.

 It’s a struggle for everyone.

 You hit 18 and then life changes. Have kids, a spouse or just a busy life and exercise and diet can quickly fly out the window. But how do you change yourself and get to where you want to be? We set goals and for good or bad, fitness goals lose out in time management. Deadlines loom and making time for ourself becomes the first thrilling killed. Laying on the couch becomes more desireable. I know, I’m a victim of the carnivorous couch that gobbles up it’s relaxing victims whole. 
The best thing to help with staying active is have workout partners and accountability friends to keep you motivated. 

The struggle is real, but we can struggle together. 

Sometimes it’s having friends to remind us that we can do it, that provide encouragement are what’s important. And they can provide some smack talk along the way to remind us to get our butts in gear. 

So don’t give up on your fitness goals, because fitness is more than just how much you weigh, it’s strength, it’s core, it’s flexibility. 

Dating around 50

Male in his late 40’s, single again, now dating talking to his now single female friends over 50 about dating. 

Last night I had a conversation with some folks about the whole dating scene, and particularly online dating.  I was told I was a pessimist about online dating, but truth is I’m a realist. 

I think that online dating and lottery winning chances are comparable in many ways. 

Most people win lessor prizes and it happens all the time. You win that $20 scratch off and think you’ve struck gold for 5 minutes only to pour that money back in to see if you can really strike it rich then next time. But, after you loose, you wish you had the $20 back in your pocket. 

But online dating tends to be pretty superficial. We look at a photo, we swipe left or right. Maybe there is a profile and we see they like everything we like, but hey, they like country music or rap… moving on. Or we filter out great opportunities completely… 50 years+ 

At what point do you move the upper end of your search, especially if you are a guy?

Age is a factor of how you see yourself.  Sure we know lots of great relationships with age disparity, but when you consider the factors of vitality, worldliness, experience, open mindedness, and knowing that partner could possibly be there for the long term, what goes through your mind?

The scariest thing in dating is pure honesty. 

It’s a very harsh thing to be judged by strangers who really don’t know you. And you don’t want to waste your time, but at the same token, you don’t need to spill your guts about everything. Of course somethings are a must, like STI status. And that brings me to my big point. 

Sex driven dating. 

You look at a site like Tinder, and almost every woman on there writes “not looking for a hookup” and Tinder is known to be a hookup site, so it’s like what the fuck are you thinking. 

So friends who are looking in places like OKCupid and Match.com which are the same company these days find that guys are really motivated by sex. Hooking up is part of the end game for many. Not saying all, but depending on the situation, it really is what should be an expectation that women have from a dating site. And I’m speaking from the experience that my female friends tell me. 

Women do want to have sex, but generally speaking, sex is on the terms of the women.  I can’t think of a dating situation where the woman says, I want to fuck, and the guy says, I think we should wait for a few dates, and see how it goes. It probably happens, but not often. 

Dating and being with someone is about feeling a little bit more special, because you hope you mean something to someone. You want each day to wake up knowing that someone actually gives a fuck that you are on this planet. And it’s nice to know that you may be in the arms of that person hugging and enjoying each other’s company day after day, because as I have been quoted before, 

The purpose of life is to love. 

But as we join the online dating pools, buyer beware. You will have to hunt for the diamonds in the rough. And they are out there. But you will find a lot of false ones along the way. But when you find that precious one, hold on tight to that. 

But if you exhaust the pool of online dating, and many will become frustrated with it, develop your personality, and find relationships organically. My best experiences have been from meeting people in real life and they have been the great source of friendship and love. 

Love, High School and Reunions

Recently I attended my 30th Year high school reunion.  And if you are like many people who attend these sort of things, you wonder about people and how they are doing, and what became of different people.  In my case, I knew of a lot of people, but I didn’t really know a lot of people.  Events like these can create new friends from existing classmates.  You find out all of the one off friendships that you probably missed out.  Sometimes that’s a great start for creating new friendship, and it’s a great thing.

So I’ll be honest, I was hoping to make a connection with someone.  Looking for that available person who I might be able to hit it off with.  Alas, that just wasn’t going to happen.  I’m disappointed because I feel like it’s me.  I really believe that sharing this formidable years together growing up means we share a common basis for long lasting friendships.  And while I have that, all of the other things that seem to prevent me from having longer term relationships start to kick in.  Typical things, like this one smokes, or this person doesn’t take care of themself, or simply just not being attracted to someone.

But then what about love.  So a few of my High School crushes were there.  One was single and one was married, and I danced with them both.  I think it was a great time and wasn’t weird at all.  But the way I feel today about my crushes today is so different than 34 years ago.  I guess I resigned myself to let go.  I don’t know if I released them or me from my head.  It doesn’t mean I don’t want a friendship, but I don’t feel like I’m in love, as if there is some great possiblities.  I see great friendships, and that’s good, but love. I’ve never felt it change in my head before like it did in just the last few days.  I suppose it’s similar to what happened with me and my ex wife.  Great friends, but the romantic connection is gone.  I grieve a little bit in a way, because I did love romantically, even if it has always been unrequited.

In some cases I may never know how some people feel.  Some people resign or repress their feelings, because they are stuck in the place they are in, and we take these things to our graves.  I wonder what it would be like if someone told me the loved me, but said, take the knowledge of my love, even though I can not act upon it.  Would that sustain you, or make one fight hard for love?  Or maybe you don’t have to fight for it as long as you aren’t cut off from communication, because that would be the worst.

So the next day I was supposed to do things with many different people, and I was ghosted.  I made calls and sent texts, and not responses, from anyone.  I was sad.  Here I am with nothing to do, and I just wanted to hang out with friends.  I started to wonder, can you really go home again? I don’t know.  I’m torn between what was a wonderful get together of friends and classmates, and still being alone in the world.  Tomorrow I will return to my other life, with a completely different set of friends and colleagues, and I will continue my pursuit of normalcy.  But had I had a life altering experience, I would have considered setting things in motion to completely transform my life.

What’s online? 

Are you burnt out? Has the political crap and every other thing just making you want to tune out? Is it media overload?

Hey look at this! Read this. Listen to this?

Seems like we are feeding more and more into that online world where we act, react and create content. But who is curating it? 

I look at my own online persona and wonder, photos, words, posts, videos… can I even figure out where I am in the online tapistry?  Who do we create these masterpieces for? Friends, family, lovers, haters? Who is watching?

We used to talk about TV as having 300 channels with nothing on. Where are we now? More content and people vying for your time more so than ever before. We are the product. We create it and we are sold. 

This weekend I will be at my reunion. No doubt, we will be tweeting; facebooking, instagraming, snapchatting and more. And it will be fun, and the moment will last as a moment in time. Facebook will remind us in a year or 5 years that we were there. They will show us photos. 

But so much content. We are snapping moments and letting them be cast to the wind. 24 hours of a story, then gone forever. The trend is living in the now. 

I don’t know if that is so great, because you have to examine your life. It’s hard to know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been. 

I want to remember the people I love, as we have been, and as we are. Online is a slice of life. Good or bad, it’s at least moments to share. And I’m glad to be able to do so. 

Good Morning thoughts

I woke up this morning, looked at the time, it was 6:12am and thought, do I want to get up or sleep in?  I haven’t had a real chance to go and take some good photos of the sunrise lately and I knew, if it wasn’t raining, now would be a perfect time.  There were three possibilities that laid before me, run, photos or sleep.  I was awake, so going back to sleep would just probably a bit silly.  I wanted to run, but there is always the evening, even though rain has been in the forecast.  Then I had my nice camera out, and decided, get some great photos.  So I did, I quickly got dressed and made my way out to the beach, a block away from sleep central.  At first I didn’t want to get up, but something drew up to do it.  I only had 5 minutes before actual sunrise.  That moment when the sun broaches the horizon and the most spectacular show commences.  Depending on the clouds, you can see an array of different colors from golds to brilliant shades of blue.  The ocean’s expansiveness only adds to the amazing moments that occur for the brief moments during sunrise.

Sunrise on Cocoa Beach with Pier at 6:30AM
Sunrise

It is mostly quite on the beach.  There are a few people walking or running along.  Some people taking photos like myself.  And some just take in the beauty of the moment.

I think that watching the sunrise reminds me that we get to have a reset.  It’s a new day.  It’s a new beginning.  Each time the sun rises, it’s a chance at a new moment, and it is my moment to make.  No one can stop the sun on its set course, and it is constant in its walk through the sky.  So we are reminded that we have another opportunity to make the moments of our lives, and the lives of others be the best that they can be each and every day.