Fuck Yes…

There is an amazing article I read… Thank you Facebook Sharing.

Fuck Yes, or No By Mark Manson.

Pure genius. Not because it’s revolutionary, but because it’s what has always been true. It’s slightly juvenile in the sense that it is aimed at relationships and the courting process, but still holds more weight than many other things… I’ve thought about this article quite a bit lately.

As much as I would like to say I’m motivated to have a relationship, I find that most of the time I’m in a state of ‘Meh’… I used to think that something was wrong with me when I couldn’t quite figure out what someone else was thinking or feeling. Hence, I turned to straight sex in my past. Now, I turn to plain old ‘ignore-ance.’

For whatever issues I’ve been raised with, this spills over into so many other areas of my life. Jobs, goals, family, … even cars. I go so far and soon realize “This isn’t what I’m supposed to be doing”… and if I catch myself in time, I’ll escape and move along.

This idea of ‘Fuck Yes or No’ is something that I wish more people could understand.

Why on earth should it be ok to pursue something that doesn’t pursue you? I’m not religious in the traditional sense, but I tend to have faith in whatever happens, happens. Truth is, it’s worked out pretty damn well. I still get hurt feelings and my pride gets roughed up a bit but ya know what? Who the fuck cares? If I was able to go back in time and tell myself ten years ago that I would have done everything I did, I’d call bullshit. And if I wouldn’t believe it, how the hell do I expect anyone else to believe that I could do it all over again? And who has the balls to stick around while it happens?

Well shit…

I’m realizing it’s really time for something new to happen in my life. Hopefully I’m in some sort of control of what happens.

For the last many months I’ve been trying to wrap my head around some craziness that has occurred in my life. I’ve also realized that there really truly, is nothing stopping me from doing anything worthwhile except for… myself. No, really…

The Dog House Saloon in Fayetteville, NC was where it all came together. Well, most of it. Some of it came from the once in a lifetime love affair I had with a Colonel’s wife. Anyways. I’d drag the Harley out of the garage most nights and ride straight down to have a few cold ones. Coors Light was my vice at the time. Maybe it was the fact that I had a for-real Harley that I got treated like family there, but one of the best things about that place was when I walked in, I didn’t even have to ask for a drink. Daniel, Sarah, Chris, Tara Lee, Clint…. and Ame… Oh, Ame… You were the butter to my bread when I was able to drag you out for company… Or karaoke… Or just kickin’ it listening to cover bands all night.

I remember sitting there one day with Daniel and I said… “I’m going to open a place when I get out.” I was never so sure of anything in my life until that point. Well, mo-fuckers…. I did it. It was a humbling experience really. I got support from people I never expected and I also got hands held out from people I never expected. I lost my soul in that place. It was the moment I’ve written about before in this blog… I sold my .45 to quell those thoughts from coming to fruition. Though I wasn’t a high volume place, I was always running out of food, short staffed and I found myself starting at zero every damn month. What could have catapulted me to the next level was spent on keeping people off my back. It’s surprising who has your back when such things are on the line.

I’m determined to open another place. Or multiples of places. As much as it’s about the money, it’s really about the passion you find within yourself to do something. I can’t quite preach the ideals that I think will carry me through to the next big thing in life, but I can do my best to wrangle up the demons that seem to keep me from progressing.

Somewhere, deep down the fire is still alive… and I’ll be able to tell a bad-ass story someday.

Merry kissmyass…

I really do like the holidays. Really. But every year that I spend the way I do, the more I appreciate the fact that Christmas should be less about things and more about the finer things in life. Seems that everyone always has somewhere to go or something to do. Even when they go to do the things they are rushing to go do, people seem to be in a hurry to be somewhere else. You go to work, wanting to go home… You are at home, living around the schedule to go back to work. Haircuts, oil changes shopping, doctor visits, lunch meetings… Need I go on?

Christmas in Southern California is awesome! It’s almost eighty degrees out and there’s still plenty to keep a perpetually single guy occupied. Thing is, being in a place like this makes me want to spend Christmas in a small town with people that truly appreciate the holidays for their own special reason.

It doesn’t have to be for religious meanings nor does it have to be for anti-religious purposes. The holiday season should be a time to come together as families, friends and communities to let bygones be bygones… Not simply a temporary hold on the conflicts we live with throughout the year. It most definitely shouldn’t be about the commercialism of it.

I’m enjoying a Christmas looking out for myself once again. I’m happy… no matter how much guilt is laid on me by people who think I shouldn’t live this way. Off to bed for now for an early morning at work…

Don’t be a douche…

Karma will inevitably come back to you. I’m living proof of that. Though I’ve been living for myself in a little different manner lately, I’ve had my fair share of nefarious activities in the past that have come back to haunt me in more ways than one.

I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the number of douche-bags I’ve had the pleasure of dealing with in my life. With the shit I’ve put up with and experiences I’ve had, I can take quite an objective look at things now. Especially when it comes to watching some of these idiots from my own gender act the way they do in front of women. I’d love to make an example out of one of my recent experiences with one of the douche-clan members but I’ll afford karma a bit more time to do her thing.

There’s a little thing called ‘bird dogging’ that a lot of these young’ns don’t understand. It’s not just about women either. It can be from many avenues of life. Salesmen, Drivers, Friends, Family, Military, Nature… Someone will almost always be available to come in and take advantage of your situation when you let your guard down. It’s also part of the Bro Code. Not the ‘How I met Your Mother’ version, but the real, no shit, die for your brother kind of version.

Now this concept of Bird Dogging can apply to either sex and really any individual that has something someone else wants and has started working for. You can’t win against a Bird Dogger. All you can really do is cock your head to the side like a confused puppy, drop the mic, turn around and start over again. If you try to call someone out as they are bird dogging, they’re already prepared with a rebuttal that’ll make you look like an idiot. “What are you talkin’ about man? I’m just sittin’ here chillin’…” You look like the neurotic one at that point.

Ever worked in sales? Same thing. I worked with a bonified snake quite a few years ago selling cell phones. It’s a lucrative business and commissions were outrageous. We could make ten grand a month if we were good enough. This snake used to literally wait until I turned around for a second then he would find a way to talk to potential buyers. He’d posture himself where the other salespeople would look like the uninformed newbies and the customer would end up buying from him. He’d take the sale of course. His karma came way later but what made it worse is that the customers he sold to, he lied to. So most of the time when he was snaking a sale, one of his prior customers would come in wanting answers. Being in a sales AND customer service position, the rest of us were left handling his shit work without getting paid more than a base salary (beans compared to the commissions).

More importantly, the game of courting a person of interest is where Bird Dogging really shines. You know, the time you have a few friends over and you invite someone you’re interested in. You literally do something so simple as using the restroom and your ‘buddies’ have already started taking their positions with the target. They carefully watch your every move and as soon as you may be at risk of being put in the dreaded friend zone, they kick up the charm and divert any chance of affection away from you and on to something else.

Now, for a handful of little pukes that I’ve dealt with in the past, they think it’s all about getting some ass, or not. It’s really not, in my book at least. Sometimes mature people understand that things need to be cultivated and nourished. Not for the potential of plowing that specific field per say, but to refine a reputation and character that other people will take notice to. It’s almost like a cartoon skit from the eighties. You get a lot of people out there that want to pick up where they think others should leave off.

I see this in business as well. I was never really at risk of someone actually ‘taking’ my business from me, but the attitude was there. People think they are entitled to things when they really have no concept of what it takes to really build something. I worked my skin to the bones building my restaurant. (read past blogs to understand what kind of undertaking that was). A year or so after it was open I had a little twit working for me. She worked maybe ten hours a week. I fired her because I found her journal underneath the cash register. Realizing that she left in a spot where she should have been working, I took the liberty to read what was being written. (If it was in the back with personal  items, it’d be a different story). Of all the shit she was talking about me in there, she wrote about how the business wouldn’t survive without her and that she’d take over one day and it would be hers…. People really think this way! She was a part time kid and was obviously blind to the realization that a business just isn’t ‘there’ one day. Sadly, the hard work and effort that people think they put in, isn’t really anything to be proud of. Imagine giving full control of a company to a snot nosed twerp that always says “I can run this place a million times better than these people can…”  Right…

This is an important concept about consideration that people should pay a little more attention to. People will stand by ready to jump on the gravy train as soon as it starts rolling. They’ll then be able to jump off whenever they please with no liability for their actions. It’s no wonder that people with money don’t want to share what they have. There’s a odd mention of this in the military. “How can we trust our brothers to our left and our right with our life, but we couldn’t trust them a second with our wife?…”

Don’t be a bird dogger.

Temporary life of mine…

One of my favorite things to do when I was a kid was to build stuff. It could be out of mud, Legos, paper or whatever. What I liked more than that was sharing it with others. Maybe it was a cool ramp to jump my bike on… Maybe it was a bed sheet fort. It was something I’m not going to say I totally understood at that time, but I knew who I was and what I wanted out of my life, as juvenile as it was.

When I was plucked out of the life I knew of and moved to Washington, I never really felt the same. I always felt like wherever I was, was never more than a temporary place until I got back to where I needed to be. I found myself moving from friend to friend, then after high school I moved from place to place just to satisfy an urge I never quite understood. Before the military, I did nothing more than play hopscotch from town to town.

As I signed up for the military, I understood from day one that it was a temporary thing for my life. It would be the next stepping stone. A life was created, then for reasons I now understand, I was plucked away from it to try and begin a life in Washington. Problem is, it was never where I wanted to be.

The last few years I’ve settled some business that has been tugging at my heels. The blowout with my family, the acceptance of throwing in the towel to my business, purging my storage of ‘stuff’, and even a trip or two to Tennessee cleared my mind of ‘coulda woulda shouldas’…

Tomorrow morning I get the keys to my new place in California. The rent is obnoxious, the cities are crowded and the government shut down may make for an interesting ride as I’m supposed to start school on the GI Bill’s dime. These things don’t matter to me though.

The journey I’ve been on for the last many years has kinda been like a high school social. I’ve stepped into situations only to quickly realize I’m not part of the crowd of sorts. Relationships and potential relationships took their turn on me. Though at times I felt like tucking my tail between my legs and pouting my way to the door, I now stand with my head a little bit taller because I realize my worth even if others have no need for it. Same thing with jobs and places I’ve lived. I never felt like I was where I was supposed to be.

I’m starting a new non-temporary life. It’s just me, my car, a small truckload of stuff and some money in the bank. The argument I seem to get is that the area I chose to move won’t be that great after a while. Fine… So there’s a possibility I may not like it. I can move pretty darn easy. Truth of the matter is, I’m fully aware of who has been there for me without pushing me into feelings of guilt or shame for choices I’ve made in my life.

As nice as it would be to say I’ve washed my hands clean of my past, I know it won’t be that cut and dry. If I meet someone that wants to be in my life and deserves my attention then she will know that at least at this point, there is no ulterior motive except the little fire inside me that wants to build something again, and share it with someone that truly appreciates it. There’s a handful of people that I miss in my life but I’m beyond losing sleep over it.

This is my time to sink or swim for myself. Tonight is the last night of my past and tomorrow morning is the first day of the rest of my life… Again…

Some truth…

The day my final occupancy permit was approved for the restaurant, I couldn’t have wanted to leave town any more than that day. Not only was the vision of what I wanted awash in weird interpersonal politics, people had wasted my time so much that by the time I turned on the open sign I owed two months of rent and had to figure out how to pay employees I had ensured had a job.

Little by little things came together. I drank, I worked, I drank some more, I worked. Good and bad came along with the adventure. Of all the bad things that came along with my place, I had some really good things. Casey was probably the best manager I could have asked for. Aside from some minor fundamental disagreements, I didn’t think I would ever have someone like her that I could totally trust with the business. Unfortunately, at the end of it all decisions were made that in a way, I wish I could change.

The decision to sell came after a plethora of battles within my own head. I had so many options, yet getting out of town won through.

I spoke with a realtor that I thought would have my best interests. Boy, was I wrong. What a crook. The initial offer was great. I could recoup the money I spent on the whole thing and walk away at a solid baseline of zero. Of course, the desperation I had to leave could not be masked. The asshole of a property manager that took over the complex made for an interesting negotiation. I had eight months left on my lease and I made if very clear that I would NOT be continuing. Even if it meant clearing all the equipment out on that final day and throwing it in the trash. Figuring I would try to do the prudent thing and sell it, I was railroaded and in a way I really don’t mind it now.

The buyers (so it was told by the idiot realtor) offered to sign a new five year lease if they could have three months free rent. A-fucking-mazing! I’ll take it. Wouldn’t ya know, the property manger, who didn’t like that I scored such a good deal on my initial lease declined to sign. He said I would have to pay for the free rent if they wanted that offer. You’re kidding me right?

Logistically the cards fell out of my favor. The buyers had the leverage of a crook of a realtor, the asinine nature of a property manager, and were a couple who had a sudden sense of entitlement and power because of the deal they were scoring.

Being a nice guy, who wanted nothing more than to be done with it all, I offered any help to the new buyers. Of course, the prick of a guy thought I was useless to him and he of course knew everything there was to know about this place. Him and his wife played the role of talking shit about me for quite some time after the deal was done. Contracts to be transferred over during the sale of the business never occurred and a peculiar consequence of their sheer ignorance caused their power, gas and telephone to be shut off because a few weeks after the sale I was informed it was all still in my name. I made the call and said ‘shut it down, right now.’ I think the electric stayed on but the gas man locked out the valve and the phone service was gone. Oh, and the phone number they thought they would get wasn’t transferred over because they didn’t buy the ‘business’ they bought the assets and the right to conduct business as I was.

So many issues I could discuss, but the primary thing I want to share is that I didn’t fail.

Quite a few people offered condolences to me after I was done with the place. I looked upon them in confusion because regardless of what the naysayers think, my business was successful. The support system I thought I had throughout is what failed me. I took my losses and moved on, regardless of what it did to my credibility. Even though the players at the end turned against me and made me out to look like the asshole, I was in fact the asshole that created it from damn near nothing. Oh, and the place is still standing as a testament to the foundation that I created. The current owners will never ever admit to even themselves that someone else actually gave birth to their business, but I did. They don’t know the agony of getting up at five in the morning to build a place while fighting with county inspectors, health departments, vendors, employee interviews, contractors that never fucking showed up… It’s cool though right?
I could write a blog spanning more words than this entire years worth of what I went through during the course of opening and running this business.

Some will conclude that it was all about the money. It wasn’t. Sure, I hoped for busier days to pay the bills a little farther ahead but I was never really worried about making any money for any given day. What I was worried about was a complete meltdown of the superficial support system that I had arbitrarily created. I beat it to the punch.

One of the best feelings in the world when I had my place was to send food out and look through the kitchen window to see someone take a first bite of one of my hamburgers. The reaction from countless people is something that is keeping the fire alive inside me to create something more… Later on of course… And to the older lady that started crying when I said I was selling, that was enough to make me realize that I have no business listening to anyone bad mouth who I am and what I can do.

Down the line I have paid the price of having to hear people belittle me under their breath. Now, I understand that people really don’t care about me and don’t spend every waking minute of their day discussing what they think of me, but each and every tidbit of shit talking that I hear adds up and reminds me that though I want to give people the benefit of the doubt, I need to trust my gut when I believe people don’t have the integrity I think they should.

Until the next crazy thing I do in my life, I’m going to live as if everything is just gettin’ by. I want to see who my real, no-shit friends are. I want to see who stands by me expecting nothing in return. It is then, that I will feel the desire to share more of who I really am, and what I can really do…

Fuzzy cuffs…

I have a peculiar way about me that makes some people turn their backs to me. This isn’t a pouty little entry about how no one likes me… Waaah… I know that plenty of people like me in their own special way. I was sitting here thinking about all kinds of situations I’ve found myself in over the past fifteen years or so of my life and there’s a striking commonality with events in my life.

Girlfriends and even friends have been unfaithful to me. People have befriended me at times for superficial reasons. Even complete strangers treat me like I’m a strange object for their affection. Affection for whatever it is they are thinking about and want me to be influenced by it. People don’t like my approach a lot of times. I have a dry sense of humor and I’m fairly passive… To a point…

I’ve noticed some of these consignees that I deliver to are complete assholes. Some guy in Minnesota at SuperValue foods starting getting pissy like a spoiled thirteen year old because I wanted to verify I was in the correct spot because the address on the shipping papers conflicted with my dispatch. Simple question but when he threw my paperwork down and walked away from me I simply turned around to go back to the truck. As I turned around I voiced my broad opinion and said something that I’m actually going to censor from this blog. He got the point that I could really care less about whatever the hell I was delivering. My job description does not state anything about having to put up with shit like his. Eventually it all got taken care of and I finally left that place. Maybe it was just Minnesota… Even the dispatchers at some of these terminals are total cockwads. I called one lady and started to say what I needed and mid sentence she said in a very cuntish tone, ‘what’s your truck number?’ Ok, so I told her. She asked what I needed… As soon as the first word came out of my mouth she got even more cuntish and exclaimed ‘you’re going to have to speak up or call back some other time, I can’t play this game right now.’ Wow… Ok…

I’m sure that story fits in with this idea somehow. Thing is, I’ve made a constant effort in the past many years of my life to be considerate and understanding when it comes to dealing with people. I try to be nice to fast food workers, bankers, toll booth operators, school administration and for the most part complete strangers. When people turn on me, I typically don’t snap back. I simply close up my thoughts and work on my plan of attack to leave the situation.

I’ve also tried to be more considerate to people that come into my life. Maybe it can be called accommodating. The last roommate situation I was in, I made sure to keep my ‘crap’ out of common areas and respect the space and peace of others. Apparently things don’t get reciprocated like I would expect. There was a fast approaching breaking point for me and I decided it would be best to leave. Now all I have to deal with is my personal business being talked about and judgement being passed by people who might not be aware that I do cover myself with keeping evidence of nefarious activities… Just to keep the playing field level…

My accommodation also comes in the form of simply being concerned of someone else’s well being when they are around me. A funny little incident happened a while back. I was in bed with someone and she seemed quite uncomfortable throughout the night. I woke up because I had the sense that she was awake. She was tossing and turning and in the haze of waking up it seemed like she was on the verge of saying something… So I asked very quietly ‘are you awake?’ Dumb question I know, but if she was asleep I’d let her sleep obviously… Apparently she’s a light sleeper because she jumped up in a sort of panic and flopped out of the bed. ‘Whats going on? What time is it?’ I… Uhh… It’s like 4 am, I was seeing if you were ok…. She actually got pissed at me for waking her up. Sorry? Go back to sleep? But no, she decided to immediately get out of the bed, get dressed and leave to go do whatever the hell it is she does… Later that day I was actually quite irritated at her because of that (amongst other things). I said, ‘ya know, sorry I woke you but you didn’t need to react that way. I was making sure you were ok because it seemed like you were either uncomfortable or maybe needed something…’ End result of that day was me realizing that although some people don’t know how to handle my version of concern and consideration, I’m not planning on changing anytime soon… And no, me and this girl were not, and never have had sex. It’d probably be awesome if we did, but she’s got a few too many ‘other guy’ issues to work out.

If you made it this far, here’s where the meat of my blog idea takes place.

None of us can make everyone happy all the time. Someone is going to have a problem with something that we do at some point. It could be your past, your present or your future plans. Trying to please people is seemingly a dead end road… But it’s not.

I don’t ever regret being nice to someone. I don’t ever regret taking charge of a situation. I don’t ever regret trying to get along with others. I don’t regret being considerate or kind or even a bit ‘too nice’. When it comes to looking at a prospective relationship with someone, I am in fact a nice guy. I wait to make the first move. I’m cautious when I express how I feel. Even with friends, I try to be less difficult when it comes to whatever it is that we are doing. I’m an easy guy and I know that it’s not all about me.

So the conundrum about nice guys finishing last versus sometimes it’s best to just take control… I get it. I really do. Sometimes I just have to speak my mind. I guess I have to be a dick sometimes. That is, if it’s meant to be all about me…

I keep a pair of fuzzy handcuffs to remind me of who I am at heart. Once someone lets me in, it’s Game on! The handcuffs resemble a control that I am completely comfortable having with someone else, yet making it have nothing to do with me. I want to earn the trust of others to the point where they know I’m not going to betray them. If they want to betray me, then it’s a whole other story. I’m a passive person on the outside but there is still in fact a little fire inside me that I wish to be able to share with someone else again. Preferably with someone who appreciates my attempt at being considerate and can work through my social awkwardness…

I’m apologetic about a lot of things that are a result of my actions but I am not apologetic about who I am and who I want to be.

Toast to that…

Freedom is within my reach… Finally. I just took a trip to California to scope out where I want to make a life. In so many ways, it was the most successful trip I ever had. I still don’t have an exact picture on where I’ll live or exactly what I’ll do but it was everything I didn’t realize I really truly wanted.

While I was drinking an obnoxiously priced IPA at the airport bar waiting for the return flight to Seattle, I came to full realization that the logistics will be more of a challenge than I am willing to admit right now. Greater than that realization was the fact that I am doing this for me, and my soul. I’m tired of trying to hang on to things hoping that it isn’t what it really is. I have dead weight in my storage unit, my email account and more importantly in my heart. As First Sergeant Wilson would say about his email account, ‘just go bankrupt and erase it all and start over.’ That idea stuck in my head and has been a vivid reminder of exactly what I need to do. We all know that our lives we know can be taken away from us in an instant and of course we want to make the best of what we have while we have it. I also believe that we have full responsibility to take charge of our lives and be the ones to do what fate seems to do on its own at times.

Of my final sunset…

Lets see if I can do this right tonight. Sitting here on the bow of my boat soaking in a wonderful sunset, feeling quite a bit troubled at the feelings I’m having. This isn’t for anyone else to really relate to in regards to a specific situation, but maybe there is some continuity with a few of us that helps us understand these trying times.

Walking back to the boat from 7-11 I glanced over as the sun hid behind the Olympic Mountains. The water turns to glass and the hum of the shipyard solidifies the memories I sometimes wish I never had here. My return here after flight school is temporary. In just a few weeks I will head south to start a new life. A truly new life. My boat should be sold tomorrow or the next day and all my personal belongings will essentially fit in my car. Albeit I still may use a trailer to haul my shit.

In the process of minimizing my life and preparing for the next step, I’ve confirmed the way I feel about things. Much of what I write about is easily taken on the negative side of things but its not a true reflection of who I am inside.

Something I feel strong about tonight is the only thing keeping me going right now. I know I have support from all sorts of people in my life, but there are few that may not understand what they’ve done for me the last few weeks. Paul, for being an absolute true friend. I mean, who really brings you beer down to a fishing dock and lowers it down like a hero? It’s a small gesture that resembles exactly what I’ve missed in a friend for so many years of my life. Shane, for being a friend that expects little yet seems to understand so much of my life. Through being busy and having a hectic life, the little time that is taken out to be a friend means more than ever. Richelle, my first kiss, and ultimately my first love. No pressure to please or impress because as always we seem to see eye to eye. Well, at least at this point in our lives. My neighbors Paul, Doug, Shane, Craig, Jon and even the snobbish power boaters that snub their nose to me because I own a sea slug of a sailboat. I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to be around, even though I was gone for two years of it. Leon and Jeannie for being absolute supporters, and for the BBQ that will be had tomorrow. Last on this list but nowhere near the least is Natalie. Who knew that spending so much time in close quarters could be so stress-free. And who on essentially short notice, drives four hours to spend time with this lame ass? The last hurrah on Turtle couldn’t have been spent any better. If only there could be more.

I’ve met a ton of people throughout my life and they each impact me in their own special way. Sarah J, Daniel, Casey S, Casey O, Chris, Duane, Clint… The list goes on and on so please no one find offense if a mention isn’t in this entry. My point of this is the realization of what’s important in our lives. It isn’t money, or possessions or looks. It’s about surrounding yourself with people that accept each other for the way they are. No criticism, no bullshit, no pompous chest thumping… Just real acceptance for who we are as human beings trying to get through this crazy life.

The last few weeks have shown me not only what I knew I never wanted, but it has also shown me what I now know I need in my life. It’s a much overused catchphrase in my repertoire but asking anyone who’s up for the ride is a moot point. A decision had to be made for myself, and as much as I’m torn with possibilities at this point, I have to stay true to course. We’ll see where this crazy life takes me and maybe, just maybe it’ll be worth it in the end.

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Fireflys…

It was the summer time of ’07 if I have my timeline right. Me and a few other guys from Fort Bragg went to spend a weekend at Philpot Lake, VA. We bought two racks of Busch Light, hot dogs, chips, burgers etc. etc…. I was well beyond ‘finding my youth’ but if there was any time in my life that truly made me feel alive again, it was this weekend. Everything was perfect. Including the boat in which we had to drain out every few hours. It may have simply been just another weekend trip for some of the other guys, but it did something for me that I haven’t experienced since being a kid on the Yuba River in California.

The first day consisted of finding the perfect campsite on the island right in the middle of the lake. If anyone is ever on the east coast and wants an awesome place to camp, Philpot is it! The lake itself is pretty big. We would make laps with the boat and a few kneeboards in tow. I could never really get the hang of water skiing but kneeboarding is so much easier. We’d take turns speeding past the public park waving at all the women we could find, showing off our god awful farmer’s tans from way too much time being deployed. As awesome as it would have been to find some cuties to bring back and party at the camp-site, nothing could out-do the fun we had being just the guys. In fact, the entire weekend we still had a rack and half of beer left. You know you’re having a good time when the last thing on your mind is alcohol.

The first night we were pretty much toast. Literally toast. The sunburns had started to set in but none of us seemed to care one bit. At this point at least. The glassy smooth lake made the perfect backdrop to our campfire on the beach. The smores… The dogs… The stories… I even think a few of us slept outside each night. It was the first time in my life I had ever truly seen a firefly. Lots of them! When I think back on it, it was almost like a dream. Something out of a movie. I knew Casey pretty well but the other guys were fairly new to me. None of it mattered though. There was no alpha-male and there was no shame in being who we were. We had our shirts off and had no reason to feel self-conscious about the way we looked to anyone. There was no pressure to drink, or eat or even talk if we didn’t want to. No plans set in stone except the knowledge that Sunday afternoon would be the day we venture back into the mundane life we seemed to be living.

I wish I wasn’t so tired for blogs of this sort. I want to write a better story about this but I simply can’t. For what it’s worth, if no one has experienced a true outing with friends, you’re missing out. It was a guy’s weekend that was made perfect because it was truly a guy’s weekend. No girls to compete for, no awkward third wheels, no chest thumping or over inflated egos. No drama. A boat that would commence an uncontrollable spiral of you let go of the steering wheel was probably the best boat I’ve ever ridden in. I miss those times. A LOT.