Monthly Archives: August 2014

No Mirrors? This could be bad!

No mirrors? All the mirrors in the world are just gone?

First thought, wouldn’t bother me, I really only look in the mirror in the morning when I am brushing what is left of my hair. And I could laugh at all the people that cannot walk by a mirror without looking to see if they look perfect. Man, that would be funny.

Then I would get myself ready to leave the house, get in the car, look in the rear-view……ummm……crap. No mirrors. It’s OK, I can do this. Pop a Dream Theater CD in and…….nothing. What the??? Wonder what is wrong with the stereo?

Pull out of the driveway turning my body to make sure I can see any cars or people walking since I don’t have mirrors, first thought is that Chiropractors are going to love cars without mirrors! Stop at the gas station to get something to drink, sure seems like everyone is in a real bad mood this morning. Stop to look at the morning paper and notice something different. It has no pictures, only words. At the bottom of the front page there is a note saying that pictures are no longer available. Something about all of the paper’s cameras malfunctioning. That’s weird.

Drive down the street and see a bunch of people standing in the parking lot at the University. Pull up and get out of my car to see what is going on. Just a bunch of people standing there with blank expressions.

“What’s going on?” I inquired.

“They shut us down. The entire science department is done.” a white lab coat carrying, bespectacled man replied.

“Why?”

He looked at me as if I was a complete idiot and said “All the mirrors are gone! No more microscopes, lasers or telescopes, can’t continue our research so they shut it all down.” He walked away shaking his head.

Really never had thought about all the uses of mirrors other than as a vain person’s personal grooming tool. This is bad. I drove down the street and looked over to see a “Closed For Business” sign being hung outside the local movie theater. Next door to that is the trucking terminal with a padlock on the gate in front. Can’t drive a truck without mirrors.

Streets are basically empty, which is good for me because I do not feel safe without my mirrors. No trucks on the road, or school buses. This is bad.

When I first thought about a world without mirrors, I didn’t think it would be that bad, I found some quotes about mirrors and how the absence of them would make people look at their inner beauty and inner peace instead of worrying about what their appearance was. People can still do that, with or without mirrors. But the world has evolved into a mirror reliant society it seems.

Sure, people can live without mirrors, but we would lose so much more than not being able to look at ourselves, don’t think that I would wish for it

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No Pain, No Change

No pain, no gain? That is the question of the day, do I believe it?

I believe that when it comes to making a change in your life, then yes, there is going to be pain involved. More than likely the pain comes before the change more so than during or after, but why else would you be changing something? If something is working, why change?

Some of us had to feel a lot of pain before we could make any gains, had to hit a bottom of some sort before we realized that our way just wasn’t working. Had to feel complete defeat before we were willing to admit that we needed help, and were willing to accept it.

There is no need for everyone to have to hit rock bottom before they make a change, I understand that and am glad of it. But change has to come from within, changing because someone else wants you to, a partner, a boss, a friend, usually doesn’t work and can lead to resentments. Changing for yourself, not necessarily by yourself, but for yourself is important. We all know what changes we need to make in our lives, most of us look at the change and make the decision on whether to change based on how much pain it is causing us at that moment. If there is pain, there is a chance of change. More pain, more chance of change and more chance of gain. So based on this, I say yes that the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” is absolutely true.

Below are lyrics that I keep coming back to because they just apply so much to my life.

To really feel the joy in life
You must suffer through the pain
When you surrender to the light 
You can face the darkest days

If you open up your eyes
And you put your trust in love
On those cold and endless nights 
You will never be alone

Passion glows within your heart
Like a furnace burning bright 
Until you struggle through the dark
You’ll never know that you’re alive

That’s all I got on change for now, hope everyone has a blessed day

Mark

 

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Seeing a Sunrise, or Feeling a Sunrise?

How often do you get to (or have to) be awake for sunrise?

Seeing the sun rise is an every day occurrence for me. Even when I don’t “have” to get up, I am up. Get up, get in shower, brush teeth, etc….walk out of bedroom to still darkness, even the animals haven’t stirred yet. Usually get on the computer for a little while until it is time to get my daughter to school, not much talking is done in the morning, just going through the morning routine.

To me, I usually don’t think about the sunrise, the dawning of a new day. It just happens because it is supposed to happen, Sun rises, sun sets, sun rises, sun sets. And that is a damn shame. Now if the question was, “when was the last time that you saw AND APPRECIATED a sunrise?”, that would have taken some serious thinking and remembering.

I am still relatively new to this new journey that my life has been redirected to. Ultimate goal is to be joyous, happy and free. Not there yet but headed in the right direction. Part of that journey I believe is to stop taking things for granted. I try, and when I try I usually can find some amazing things that this universe has to offer. Watching the clouds, kids playing in a park, having people around me that truly care about me for who I am, and not for what they can get from me. I have seen sunsets that I stopped and appreciated, but don’t remember doing that for a sunrise. Why is that?

I see pictures on blogs of some beautiful sunrises, but a picture is not the same as “feeling” it. Not only seeing it, but getting that sense of a new beginning, of hope for a better day. Hmm…..I guess I have something to ponder now. Maybe once I get to that happy, joyous and free place, the dawn of a new day will mean more to me. I hope so. Routines are just….routine. Going through the motions. That is not enough any more. I need better, I deserve better.

 

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Not In A Name

Eavesdropping. It’s in my name (My last name is Eaves), but am pretty sure it was not meant to be a family trait. At least that is my story and I am sticking to it.

Growing up I was a very sensitive kid, some would (and did) call me a weanie because I took everything that everyone said to heart. It hurts when that happens. When someone says something about you that you do not want to believe, it hurts. Especially when you start believing that what they are saying or thinking is the truth and that you are destined to be that kind of person.

When the prompt for the day was about overhearing snippets of other people’s conversations, I thought real hard about a funny anecdote of recent years that I could share, even thought about coming up with a fictional encounter to share. But as I sat here in the quiet house and waited for some clear direction to flitter its way into my brain, the memories came to me. And they were not good memories.

They are memories of me as a kid, purposefully listening in on conversations of older kids from my neighborhood. Sometimes my name would be brought up as I was kind of a squirrely kid I guess. Had friends, but always wanted to hang with the cooler kids, which made me their token nerd or punching bag. Someone that they could pick on so that their egos could stay inflated, but I was OK with it because I got to hang out with them. Meanwhile there were kids that were actual friends that did want to hang out with me, but I chose to go after the “big game”.

Anyway, listening in on conversations that they had, not knowing that I was listening, they would say things about me. Being that they were older, they were experimenting with cigarettes and beer and …….girls. I was against all of those things, all I wanted was to play baseball, football, street hockey, kick the can, it didn’t matter as long as it was a game. Several times I ratted them out to my parents, not knowing that it would get back to them. I became “the snitch” of the neighborhood.

On many occasions this new obsession of mine ended up with me getting very hurt, usually locking myself in my bedroom and crying into the pillow so that nobody knew, because if they knew, they would probably talk about that too. It was a vicious cycle, but I was too young and naive to know that I was the one that had to break it. I just wanted to be liked, just wanted to be one of the cool kids.

Well, that never happened. Never did break into that circle of people. Even today I see cliques everywhere. Be it in church, on the job or at a “get together”, I do not feel like I fit in to a specific group. It can be hard sometimes, I am not a conversationalist as I have mentioned many times on this blog. But the one thing that I have learned, is that there are other people that feel the same way that I do, but we seldom seem to find each other because that is just something that people do not talk about. How do you talk about feeling like you don’t fit in? How does that get brought up in a conversation with a group of people that you do not know real well? It doesn’t usually….

Being in a room full of people and feeling alone is one of the worst feelings that I know. Everybody wants to belong somewhere I believe. Even those that say that they do not care what others think of them, are saying that because they are actually thinking about what others are thinking of them. Why else would they say it?

I’m not looking for sympathy because I know that feeling this way is a choice I made, and that it is something that I can work on. Unfortunately a lot of choices we make as kids tend to stick with us for a very long time and manifest themselves into something much bigger. That is why I write, so that when I do remember these thoughts, I can get them out. I spent all of my life trying to cover up my feelings, there is no magic feeling faucet that can just be turned on and off, it takes time to change. That’s OK, I have time. And I am trying to learn humility and trying to become and remain teachable, because if I am not teachable, then I might as well just give up right now.

Anyway, back to eavesdropping, I do my best not to listen to other people’s conversations because I know that if I do, there might be something that is said that is going to affect me, either positively or negatively. And since I am not in the conversation, IT IS NONE OF MY DAMN BUSINESS!

But more important to me, is to try to never say anything about anybody that I would not say directly to that person. All I would be doing is spreading the crap that people like to take and run with. Contributing to the problem, and not the solution.

I mentioned that one of the worst feelings in the world is to be in a crowd of people and feeling alone. Well today I have found out what one of the best feelings in the world is…..to be in a room by myself….and to NOT feel alone.

Have a blessed day

Mark Eaves (not dropper)

 


Thought Heard Round The World

Ahhhh. . . .school year is upon us again. Thoughts of young minds yearning for the opportunity to grasp some new knowledge to be offered by under appreciated teachers. Proud parents watching their kids go off to school, taking that last minute picture of them getting on the bus or into the car that will propel them to academic greatness.

School spirit building as teachers ready themselves for the “Best Year Ever”. Memories of summer vacation dwindling down as we all set our alarms to wake us up on that glorious day, with unabated excitement and also tearful reminders that our babies are growing up.

And as the alarm sounds on that morning, that first day of school. One thought prevails upon all the rest across the nation. . .

“Just Five More Minutes Mom!”


Names Withheld to Protect the Guilty

“Dude!” I hear someone say as I stand in line at the grocery store.

I turn and see a somewhat familiar face behind me in line, pushing a cart full of Bud Light and Margarita mixes.

“Hey” I responded, lacking any better comeback.

“How ya been, man?”

“Been good, you?” I look at him quizzically.

“Ben, man, remember?”

“Oh yeah” I said scraping the corners of my brain to remember this person.

“We used to party all the time, remember?”

“Oh, I remember. How ya doing?”

“Awesome. Getting ready for a big weekend at the house.” he points to his cart full of alcohol. He motions me to come closer to him which I hesitantly oblige. “You know where I can get some weed, man?”

I snort out a laugh, trying unsuccessfully to control the strange noise that comes from your nose when you have to laugh, but refuse to open your mouth to let it out. “Man, I haven’t bought that in over 20 years.”

“Has it been that long? Whoa dude, we’re getting old”

I smiled at him and his black Foghat T-shirt that is way too tight on him. “Yeah, I guess we are”

“Man, you want to come over for a drink or something?”

“Nah, don’t drink any more”

“You still hang out over at Timbuktu?” in reference to a dive bar that I spent many a nights closing down.

“Um, no. I get up early to get my daughter to school and since I don’t drink…..” I replied

“Oh yeah….right. You got kids then?”

Although many responses came to mind, several of them referencing Captain Obvious, I simply  responded with a “Yup”

“Me too, but I haven’t seen them in a while. The Ex won’t let me see them for some reason. So dude, you don’t drink, you don’t smoke and you don’t hang out. You must have a REALLY boring life.”

I smiled at him because even though he didn’t mean it as a compliment, after all that I have put myself through, it was probably one of the best compliments I have received in a very, very long time!


My Best Comeback Ever!

You know those conversations that come to an end, sometimes due to an awkward silence or from someone saying something that you do not agree with, or don’t have a good answer so you just stand there gazing at them, mouth open in defiance but nothing coming out, but then some time later the perfect response hits you…..but it is too late because the conversation has ended?

Happens to me too often to count, but usually I let it go after a little while of stewing while the other person has completely forgot about the conversation and has moved on with their life. But there is one conversation, OK, one set of conversations that happened in my lifetime that I never ever gave the right comeback, until now.

When I was growing up, I was the only son of four kids, worse yet I was in the middle so I wasn’t the oldest and wasn’t the baby. Today that doesn’t really matter, but it does when you are growing up, but that is not what this is about.

This is about being my Father’s only son. The one that he expected the most out of and pushed because he believed that I could achieve greatness if I “just applied myself”. That no matter how good I did at something, he never wanted me to rest on my laurels and accept that it was the best I could do. That there was always something better out there if I wanted it.

“You’re smart enough to do anything you want, if you just get off your ass and do it. Stop making excuses.” he would say, usually after I had just screwed something up. “Your mother and I believe in you, we are your biggest fans. Nobody can ever love you like your parents do, remember that!”

And I would sit there and listen, waiting for it to be over, usually nodding my head when he asked me a question, which usually evoked a “I can’t hear you, talk to us!”

So I would say something stupid like “OK” or “I understand” which was usually followed by a “I promise NEVER to do it again”, which we all knew was a flat out lie. I have heard the term “Foxhole prayers” used when people pray to God that if He just gets them out of this mess, that they would never put themselves in that position again. That is what I basically did with my Dad. He got me out of so many jams throughout my life, way more than I deserved. But I hated going to him to ask for help because of the way I felt after one of his “lectures”. How disappointing I was to him and how he knows I can do better if I wasn’t so lethargic. That if I lost weight I would feel better about myself and would not be so damn lazy, watching TV all day instead of being out playing like normal kids. Or how I didn’t apply myself in college and ended up dropping out because I had no ambition. Or how I had lost every job I ever had because I “took the easy way out” instead of going by the rules.

Well, you know what? It hit me this morning that I had the ability to give that man a comeback that I never thought to use. One that would have probably shut him up and know that I was a good person and that I was going to be OK eventually. Maybe because I never used it, I never got better until recently.

My Dad passed away a couple years ago and I miss him, we all miss him. He was a good man that worked hard to give his family everything they needed and most of what they wanted. He wasn’t perfect, but he did the best with what he knew. I am sad that I did not realize how much I would miss him until he was gone, but I know he is always watching over us and I know that he is still willing to hand out one of those dissertations any time I screw up.

But this time I am going to be ready with the greatest comeback ever. A “zinger” that would stop the world for a moment and that silence would not be an awkward one, it would be a proud one.

After he is done talking, even if it is only in my head, I would stand up, walk right up to him, look him right smack dab in the eyes and say . . . . .

 

 

Thank You Dad!


The Ultimate Chore

Reading the card attached to the huge crate that just showed up on my door

In regards to all of the whining and bitching you have done about tedious chores throughout your life, you have been awarded this Choremaster 3187T. Easily programmed by voice prompt to be able to take over the most mundane daily tasks that drive you crazy. Once programmed, it will continue to do said chore for its lifetime. Daily recharging is required.

Wow, this is cool I thought as I try to open the crate to get it out and look at it. It took me about 20 minutes to find the damn hammer, but I found it and started to pry the crate open. As I was doing so, I was thinking about what chore I was going to have it do.

I really hate cleaning the litter boxes, maybe it can do that for me. Nah, that seems like a waste of this valuable piece of machinery.

Cleaning? Cooking? I like to cook but don’t like cleaning up afterwards, but that is just laziness, and it would only be used once in a while.

What else? I guess I could have it constantly cleaning the house, but. . . .I don’t know. What if it is loud and is constantly around me, while I am reading or writing, could be a distraction.

Walk the dog? It would probably kill poor Charlie by dragging him around outside in this Mississippi heat, No, I couldn’t do that to Charlie.

I realize that I have stopped trying to get the crate open and was just standing there thinking. Thinking about all the things that have happened recently and the second, third or fourth chances that I have been generously given in life. Thinking about all the things that I want to change about myself, so that I can become a better person and be useful to those around me. One of the character flaws that I need to work on is definitely laziness and I do not see how this machine can help that in any way.

So I stare at the crate and wonder what to do with it. I have already decided that I am not going to be needing it, and am trying to think of what to do. Return to manufacturer? That seems like a waste. Sell it to the highest bidder? It was given to me, making money off of it does not seem right. Throw it in the garage with all the other crap that I need to go through, nope, there is that laziness again. It would end up in the corner or buried under something.

Then it hit me. I pried open the cover as fast as I could and found the instructions. Programming seemed like it would be easy enough. I pulled out the module, all I had to do was to type in the chore on the screen and hit ENTER and supposedly it would be ready. So I typed out the command, but did not hit the enter key, put it back in the crate and nailed it shut.

I went online and got an address, called the delivery company to have them come pick it up, filled out the online waybill but left my name and return address off of it and waited for the truck to come.

A couple days later I was watching the news and saw a report about a local Children’s hospital receiving an anonymous gift.

“It just showed up here with a note saying that all we had to do was hit ENTER on the display. When we opened the crate, the screen already had typed on it Your chore is to give all the kids staying here HOPE

“One of the nurses immediately hit the enter key and it started moving, lights flashing, music started coming from it, and then the most amazing thing of all started happening. It started talking to the kids, and reading books to them, and showing movies on its screen for them to watch. I have never seen so many smiles around here, it really was a blessing that these kids needed” the spokesman said.

I sat and watched knowing that I had made the right choice. Well, the garage ain’t gonna clean itself!

 


Still He Rides

Jesse rides through the night under the Main Street light ridin’ slow. This is his escape. It is how he clears his mind. He needed to get away, to get out, to forget. To figure things out.
 
He rides through town where people are, where lights are flashing, where life is happening. It helps. Seeing people, other cars, lights, ball fields lit up after the games are over. The line of tail lights in his mirrors all heading to their nice, comfortable homes, where they too can try to pretend like everything is OK at home. He can’t do that anymore. Too many memories in that house.
 
So he rides through town, looking at the people laughing and drinking their margaritas out on the patio of the Mexican restaurant. He just rides on, expressionless, emotionless. He sees a couple guys out on the basketball courts in the park, playing one on one. Sweat drenching their shirts on this hot and humid night. He just rides on.
 
He rides across the bridge over the river that runs through town, sees a couple walking hand in hand on the sidewalk. The man waves to him, but he just stares forward. He rides past the police station, never had a problem with them, past the firehouse and the post office. He rides out on Elm Street past the houses of suburbia, SUV’s and pick-up trucks in almost every driveway. He rides on, looking for something, but not sure what.
 
He gets to the railroad tracks and stops, after this it is open country for miles and miles, no one would be out there, nothing but open land. He looks over to his right at the old gas station that still offers full service, sees the old man that owns the place sitting outside drinking a soda. The old man just nods and Jesse nods back. No need to have their conversation again, he understands, he might be the only one that does.
 
“Son, how come you just ride up to these tracks and just stops?” the old man had asked. “If I had that bike of yours, I’d be on the other side of the tracks just riding out in the open, nothin’ to bother you or get in your way. But you stop here every night, look across the tracks, then just turn around and go back the other way….why’s that?”
 
Jesse looks at the old man and just says, “Not sure I’d come back. . . . .”
 
 
 

Carbonated Heaven

Captain Picard was into Earl Grey tea; mention the Dude and we think: White Russians. What’s your signature beverage — and how did it achieve that status?

Wow, this was easy (he says with a small thermos filled with his favorite beverage sitting next to him)

Anyone that knows me would just laugh if someone asked me that question.

Now before I reveal the beverage of my choice, let me tell all of you concerned citizens of Blogopolis that I have heard all the lectures, and read all the warnings and know that I should cut down on my consumation of said beverage (Yes, consumation is now a word). But at this point in my life, I am not ready to give it up.

No, it is not alcohol or alcohol related and no, I do not drink it because I am on a diet. I drink Diet Pepsi, all day, every day.

That’s my story. Don’t drink coffee, don’t drink tea (sweet, iced, or hot), don’t drink much water (yes I know that is bad), I drink Diet Pepsi. . . .period. Will drink Diet Coke if Diet Pepsi is not available, but there is a difference, a big difference for us connoisseurs of dietary carbonated beverages. I LIKE DIET PEPSI. Case closed.

I’m thinking that if I mention Diet Pepsi enough, #DIETPEPSI, then the makers of Diet Pepsi might see this blog and realize that I am their number one fan, in the world. Love the stuff. (just held up a two liter bottle of it and smiled at the computer for good measure). Maybe I will get a lifetime supply of Diet Pepsi (love the stuff) or maybe I can become like Subway’s Jarrod and live off of making commercials for them. . . . .

Ahhh! Refreshing! Yum!

I love you Diet Pepsi! (OK, that was just weird)