Gangsters, Athletes, and Rappers

What do mobsters, athletes and rappers have in common?

Ok. That’s a dumb question. Most rappers think they are gangsters and hang out/mention athletes.

In relation to me, however, those are the 3 things I have always wanted to be when I grow up.

“As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.” – Henry Hill, Goodfellas

This line has explained my life forever. I don’t remember the first time I wanted that life, but it has been for as long as I can remember, just like Henry Hill. The Godfather Part II is my favorite movie of all time. Followed closely by The Godfather and Goodfellas as 3 and 3a (my 2nd favorite movie is The Princess Bride. It is the most well rounded movie and will ALWAYS make me feel better. I can watch that movie any day, anytime, anywhere).

Ok. Back to being a goodfella. I’m  not talking about saggy pants, hat cocked sideways, throwing up gang signs (although I do/have done all of those things but that’s another story). I’m talking about $3,000 suits, money rolls from  collecting gambling debts, and having rule over your city. I know this is all glorified in the movies, but if you read up on things from the  actual Henry Hill or Al Capone, it really isn’t “glorified” as much as you may expect. Was there a lot of death and jail and bad things happening? Of course. But I’m oddly at piece with this. It truly doesn’t bother me. I would do it all to have that life.

Now on to being a rapper.  Let me start by saying I LOVE music. All kinds of music. I will listen to ANYTHING and have very few artists/genres I refuse to listen to. I love it all. My favorite (99% of the time because my taste fluxuates by the day sometimes) is rap. I love it for the play on words. The rhyming (or poetry. As you can tell I enjoy that from previous posts).  The way that you can say whatever the fuck you  want and hundreds of thousands of people will cheer. Again, it is also a lavish lifestyle, but this is the one dream job that I wouldn’t care as much about the money. Rhyming/poetry is my favorite form of expression. It is also the only dream job that  I still have a shot at living out, however unlikely it is.

As for being an athlete, one of the hardest days of my life was the day my football career ended. I was a senior in HS. I didn’t get injured and end my “career” that way. I’m just 5’7″ that isn’t very fast and kind of stocky. It just wasn’t in the cards for me. I still go to my brother’s games and have a hard time the first few games watching these kids play.  I love high school  football though. In my opinion, it is the purest sport that is played. The love and heart that goes out under the lights every Friday night is 2nd to none. I miss that. I miss the smell that is in the air in early September when you walk out onto that field. I miss it so much and wish I could have played more than  just 10 years.

I am trying to work my way into coaching now. I am currently helping with the scoreboard at games and filling in on away broadcasts.  I will always be around the sport, but it’s just not the  same as playing.

Well, that’s all I have for today.  The kids were watching tv and I was incredibly bored. Time to put them to bed. I hope you liked the little lighthearted look into my life.

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Me, Myself, and I

I have made the decision to focus on myself.  I’m not doing to well to start off, but I’m determined.  It’s been an awful 2 years and I need to become a better person.  Whether everything I have been through is 100% my fault of not, the fact of the matter is, I am still at fault.  I need to be better for me.  I’m not a person who is good at focusing on me.  I am someone who always puts others before myself.  I take on their pain in hopes that they can have some relief.  But I can’t do it anymore.  I can’t bare that weight.  I have gotten to the point where I’m not sure how much of my own weight I can bare.

I decided to get the help that I believe that I need.  I am too much of a realist thinker.  I see a situation and analyze it and (think) I know how to deal with it.  I don’t.  I can’t know the answers anymore.  Not because the situation doesn’t make sense to me (because, believe me, it makes no sense in my head), but because I’m just not equipped to deal with it.  I need help to deal with my shit.  This has been a very difficult realization to come to that I can’t fix it.

I started seeing a counselor last week and I have to say that I am very excited to go back this week.  I desperately need to feel like myself again.  The biggest problem is, I don’t know who myself is anymore.  It hasn’t just been 2 years of not feeling like myself and me being unhappy, but the last 2 years have been hell.

I do not feel very good about myself and I have really been a disappointment.  No one should go through life feeling this way; so I decided to make a change.  If nothing else, I will be happy to just figure out things about me.  We’ll see how it goes.

I Should Have Given More

God, Country, Family.

This is the code we are supposed to live by.

I served my country 4 years active duty and 2.5 years as a reservist. I wish I could have given more.

I have done a lot of things, right and wrong, but the one thing that I regret most is that I wish I could have given more.

I remember (like most people) where I was and what I was doing when those Towers were struck and fell. I remember like it was just yesterday, the emotions and feelings I felt that day. That day, I knew I was destined to join the service and protect the freedoms of this great country. I KNEW I would FIGHT for those freedoms and seek revenge on those who took the lives of great American people. That day my destiny became crystal clear.

But I should have given more.

I signed (my life away) at 17 years old with the (happy) approval of my father and (skeptical approval of my) mother. All I wanted to do was make a difference and ensure the safety of American lives.

I feel like I have failed.

I know in my heart that this isn’t true. I know I did a noble thing by joining the United States Navy. I know I did what 99% of other Americans wouldn’t or couldn’t do. I know I could have done more.

There are an enormous amount of reasons why someone joins the Armed Forces. There are very few who join to actually give their lives for the sake of their country and the people who live in it. I know this because I have encountered many of these people. Now I am not saying that their hearts didn’t change or their motives weren’t pure. I am not taking ANYTHING away from these men and women. I am just saying that not everyone joins for the same reason and that there are many incentives to become a service member.

All I can do is speak for myself and tell you that I joined to protect and serve this country in the noblest of ways. I was prepared to give my life for the people who enjoy the freedoms of the greatest country in the world.

Sometimes, it upsets me that I did not pay that price. Sometimes, I wish I could have given this country everything. Sometimes, I feel like I am a failure for not doing that.

There are a lot of reasons why I chose the Navy. There are a lot of reasons why I believe an 18 year old shouldn’t be able to make that choice. My biggest regret is that I didn’t stay. I didn’t help my shipmates and comrades. I didn’t do enough.

I left because I had a family and it was growing. Now I love my children and would do ANYTHING for them. I wouldn’t change that for the world. But I chose them over my country. I chose to be a father instead of a sailor/soldier. I don’t regret that, but I should have given more.

This may not all make sense to a lot of you. Hell, most of you might think I’m nuts. But it makes sense to me and it makes me disappointed in myself that I didn’t give more. I am a man torn in two. A family man and a man who would give his life for a piece of land that he believes is the greatest piece of land that his kids could grow up in. A man, who all he wants to do is keep them safe and protected for generations to come.

I have been torn in 2 since the day I left active duty. I thought I wanted something and was too stubborn to see that I was wrong and selfish.

I should have done more.

I should have given more.

I should have fulfilled my destiny.

Empty

I am an empty shell of my former self

An egg without its yoke

An empty bottle staring me in the face

A hollowed out tree

That won’t bear fruit when the seasons change

I’m on an eerie street

With snow falling to the ground

The moonlight is suffocated by the clouds on high

An empty vase

With nothing filling its empty space

Lost in the woods without a way to escape

I’m trapped in a hole

With no top to climb out

Enraged in a cage

With no one to hear my screams

I don’t even look strong on the outside

It’s as obvious as it seems

Honesty

Let’s try this again.

It has been a very long time since I have posted anything and there are several reasons for that.  The main reason is all I can think about is something that doesn’t need to be spread through any form of social media.  However, it has consumed my thoughts for over a year and it has worn me thin.

Honesty is something people always say they want to hear rather than a lie.  A lie will always come to fruition but there are some things that you need to keep a secret.  Some things nobody ever needs to know.  As much as that secret claws at you, you just can’t let it out.

Then it does and deciding to not lie anymore because the “truth will set you free”, right?  Wrong.  Sometimes it crashes your whole world.  Sometimes it makes it worse then letting that secret eat away at you.  Sometimes it kills every bit of your soul.

I can think of very little that hurts more than thinking you are doing the right thing by being honest and it all blows up your life into a billion, broken pieces.

I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean it.  There was nothing I could do.

I just wanted to live an honest life.

Sea Stories #2: Biggest Balls In the Navy

So this didn’t happen while I was at sea, but it is one of my favorite things that happened in the Navy.  It probably doesn’t paint a flattering picture of me, and it definitely exposes my temper, but it is one of my favorites nonetheless.

I had just checked into a new command after having surgery on my foot.  It was a shore duty command and Marc had gotten me the job.  I worked for a 2 Star Admiral in the facilities management department (Basically mopped and buffed floors and fixed any “issues” the building had.  Basically I sat in my office and didn’t do a damn thing for 8 hours a day).

The day before I checked in, I went over to the building to meet some of the people I’d be working with.  I had just found out I had made 3rd Class (E-4) and I was very excited.  Now I had broken my foot at the end of September and it was now May the following year.  I had just had surgery in April and had been useless on my feet for 7 months.  As soon as I walk in the building the day I was to check in, I was asked to get my height and weight taken.  This was someone who was trying to basically ruin my career and I only knew one person, my best friend Marc.

I know who called for the BAC and that is another story, but the person who was “buddies” with this person was the Master Chief (E-9) of the command.  Needless to say… We didn’t hit it off all that well.

Shortly after I started, CMC asked if I could get him a parking spot reserved outside of his office.  I guess when he got there, he didn’t like the office he had (mine) and moved to the other side of the building.  He already had a reserved parking spot outside of the side door that led right into my office.  Whatever.  I called the base and asked them to come out and move the space for him.  They told me that each command can only reserve a percentage of spaces and we were at the max.  I told them I was asking them to black out one space and move it somewhere else.  They basically told me that “they’d get to it” and I knew damn well that meant my work order was going to the bottom of the pile.

I kindly went to CMC’s office and told him that.  He tried to argue with me and I told HIM to call the base and get it taken care of.  He dismissed me from his office.

About a week later he came to me and asked if I could just get it done.  It didn’t have to be “official” and if the base ever said anything that he would explain to them what he wanted.  I told him I would call my old command and have a stencil drawn and I would have it done by the following week.

Turns out, my squadron was on a 3 week dept and couldn’t get it done in that time frame.  When I told Master Chief this, he was less than pleased.  He said, “We have a whole bunch of squadrons on this base!  Just go to one of them and ask for a stencil!”

That’s not how shit works in the Navy.  You have to know people.  Even if you “know people who know people” that sometimes can work too.  But I was on a different base and didn’t know ANYONE in ANY of those squadrons!  I can’t just walk up to them and demand they make something for my CMC!  They’d just laugh in my face!

I told him I couldn’t do that and he stormed out of my office like a 2 year old who just got told they aren’t the princess of the world.

The following week, some Senior Chief (E-8) who I had never even seen before, comes into my office, throws a bag of cans and a scalpel on my lap, and says, “Did CMC tell you to do something?  You fucking do it when Master Chief tells you to do it!  You have until COB.” and then he walked away.  I looked at my supervisor and said (loud enough I’m sure Senior heard me), “Who the FUCK was that?!?!?! What is this shit?”

It was a bag of 2 cans of red spay paint and one can of black.  He wanted me to go SPRAY PAINT THE FUCKING PARKING SPOT!

So, I took my scalpel, took some cardboard, and cut out a big CMC out of it.  Proceed to go outside and paint his parking space.

I fucked up my measurements and ended up painting the entire width of the spot red and put in big black letters CMC.

I was so mad that when Marc tried to come out and talk to me, I just ignored him.

When I was finished, I walked into CMC’s office and said, “There.  It’s done.”  He said “Thank you” and I went back to my office.

About a 10 minutes later, Marc comes running down to my office and said, “I see you’ve finished.”

Me: “Yeah.  Fuck him.  He’s a dick.  I’m not even gonna tell that fuck head of a Senior Chief”

Marc: “Well.  You got everyone laughing upstairs.  Someone looked out the window and said ‘Wow.  Who did that?  You know what that is?  That’s one big FUCK YOU to a Maser Chief!'”

Me:  “That is not what they said!”

Marc:  “Yup.  You have all those retired Chiefs, Senior Chiefs, and Master Chiefs, along with my Captain, thinking you have the biggest balls in the United States Navy.”

Me:  “I’m not fixing it.”

Marc:  “I know.”

It stayed there for about 3 months before I fixed it.  I litteraly had CMC BEGGING me to do it.  I finally gave in before my 2nd surgery on my feet.

It has been 7 years and it is still funny.  Whenever I’m in a shitty mood or feel trapped, this is the story I remember remind myself that “I have the biggest balls in the United States Navy.”

Quick Update

My apologies for not posting in so long.  As you know, I started a new job in May and I have been CRAZY busy!  I will hopefully make up for it with this and a post to follow.

As far as work goes, I am the IT manager at a company of about 75 people.  We are upgrading out Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.  This basically manages everything from quotes to purchasing materials to production to shipping to receipt of payment.  It is an all in one management system for any type of production company.  It’s boring stuff.

However, I came into this right as implementation was starting.  Luckily (for me, anyways), we have pushed back our “go live” date a month to August.  I am also fortunate enough to not be extremely involved yet and am just taking care of the basic software issues that any IT person would work on.  I have a coworker who is really taking the whole ERP system head on and is doing all the boring data shit that nobody wants to do hahahaha!

I have been very busy though!  I am trying to upgrade HALF of my users to Windows 7 because they are still on XP!  This is driving me crazy!  Not just because they are 3 OSs behind, but because the PCs are 6/7/8 years old!  They are starting to fail and having issues with a lot of programs, as I’m sure many of you know.

While I put out fires and try to work with the ERP system, I am also trying to learn my network.  There is absolutely NO documentation of how things are set up and the file structure and programs are a mess!  I will eventually have to upgrade 8 of my 11 servers to newer operating systems and clean up all the old shit that we don’t need.

It’s a lot of big projects.

Other than that, the fam is good and I’m working so I can’t say I’m in too bad of shape.

I’ve been reading all of your posts though and I am very happy you all are sticking with me!  Enjoy my next one as I will be continuing my Navy series!!!