Declaration of Dependence

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The past few weeks in my life have been somewhat dominated by lengthy sessions of soul searching. The topics of the future, where I fit into relationships in my life, how people fit into relationships in my life, mental stability, etc.

I've never been a very open person with what I'm personally going through. It's all about comfort, and I don't think, in my entire life, I'd ever felt comfortable...

Until about a year ago.

2007 was, in retrospect, was a chaotic and confusing time...but it may've been the best year I've lived through.

I'd felt I'd found the person I'd want to go the distance with in 2005. A few days after my birthday, however, that all came crashing down. And I know, wah wah. Same old story with a slightly different tune.

But it's funny how things that happened in the past drastically alter your course in life. When she left, it hurt like hell. Absolute hell, and thats a story so many people go through. He left, she left, and it's weird. They still are in same town, so what did they actually leave?

A hole in your heart where the blood ran out, to quote AFI.

The beginning of 2007 saw me boarding a plane to California to get away for a little bit. Working a job that truly had no pertinence to humanity ("Data gathering", aka phone surveys. Yeah, boo hiss--I'm sorry I was part of that, but money is money).

I met some new friends, some that to this day are some of the closest I could ever have. And it takes times like those to put everything else into perspective, where you can just stand outside the ring of fire and see whats being burned, whats burnt, and what can still be salvaged.

Returning back to Arizona after this trip, I felt like I couldn't continue on. Three months later, I was on a plane to Albany, New York with everything I owned in four suitcases.

A few months later my father was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer, and it was time to come home.

When I came back, it was really hard for me to have any connection with anyone anymore. A lot of people who'd I'd considered life-long friends...well, unfortunately the expiration date had come on that.

But I'd been lucky enough to strengthen a bond with someone who'd, in a million years, I would have never been able to say, "This person won't shape my life. She will shape, and change it."

Everything about her screams at you to take notice. Every part of her is charismatic. Her trials and tribulations haven't crippled her, they've made her stronger, and to me thats certainly more than commendable. It's god damned inspirational.

My family life, outside of my step-father, isn't one of cohesion. My mother and I butt heads constantly, and I honestly feel little to no connection to her. As a result, while I'm not an emotionally void person...I'm a better listener than I am a sharing person. It's so hard for me to fully trust someone, because it's never really panned out for me. I know it's the same for so many people, and thats one of the biggest reasons for all the misery and sorrow in the world.

But it's arbitrary. These feelings aren't singular, and I don't feel like I'm alone in feeling this way, I don't want that to be the tone you might get from this.

But for me, it's gotten to the point where sometimes it honestly feels like make or break. I've watched my mother for the past 23 years slip further from sanity, and I can't help but think thats whats in store for me. The future scares the shit out of me.

So much so that it's begun to paralyze the present, which will most likely if continued, affect the future. The same future I've been scared of since day one. Irony is a bitch mistress.

And I've never been able to fully digest things happening with me. I threw myself deeper into writing, into music, into movies and comic books and friends dilemmas.

It's so weird, the role that women play in mens lives. Why? They are only human, they aren't Jesus Christ, they weren't devised to be a savior. They aren't the reason for the problems in the world, or anything like that. But for some reason, that link towards women, the draw and the need, and the pining...thats the most universal language. Theres not one being on this planet that is impervious to the devastation of destination heartbreak. I defy anyone to not have at least one scar from the wars waged in love and loss.

So it happens, and you feel is emptiness. A void, because you never once realized how truly worthless you were until that moment of vindication you had became absent.

And for me, I've never been able to open myself up completely. To ever face what I've personally faced again, I don't know if I have it in me to kick out one more time. For so long I've felt that I wouldn't ever be able to be that person who could actually say what was really on their mind, and not face immediate retribution, and thats such an awkward place to be in.

I truly believe the reason why so many people face the same road blocks in their lives is because they don't have that missing piece to the puzzle, or at least an extra leg to help them walk on. I'd always felt that way...

Until now.

I'm not a needy person, I don't constantly have to spew what I wish to eschew. What chews constantly, I'm not that guy and I never will be. But everyone wants something behind them, just in case. And until now, I'd never been able to accept that help because It'd always felt that accepting help meant accepting defeat in the same breath. And it's not that I'm overtly proud; I just don't want to inconvenience anyone. Everyone else has their own problems, and knowing me doesn't signify to me that they've signed up to shoulder my burdens as well.

But with her, oh my God...it never has felt like that. Theres a transition we all make, and for most it's so subtle you never realize it's happened. You may never, either. I might never have, either, until recently.

All it takes is for you to believe in someone, and for them to believe in you too. It's so hard to have faith in a person, and I think thats where faith in God comes into play. What you can't see, feel, touch or hold can't ever really let you down, can it?

But to roll that dice...theres such odds that it will come up snake eyes. But with her, it's never even been a thought. It's never been something I've questioned. For the first time in my life, I can honestly say I have faith.

I think the world of her. And while I make a lot of stupid mistakes that drive her crazy, she's still there. I know deep in my heart I'd easily go to war for her. I love her with every ounce I can muster, and then some.

And to her I say thanks. I never want anyone I know to feel like I take our time together for granted. I've seen just how frail humanity can be, and I've seen how quickly things can change. And I know entirely, that whatever may come and whatever the future may hold for our friendship--good or bad, I've never been more lucky to've known someone. To be a minute pixilation in a picture in her life is better than merely observing the work in progress in passing.

For her, I'd weather whatever may come. It's a bit scary, but not in a negative way. Like riding the fastest roller coaster, and thats the best definition for how it is knowing her.

Her travels, her talents, her ambitions. Her way of handling the things that most people don't have the strength to even fathom, her humor and her intelligence...her wit, her observations and wisdom are astounding and awe-inspiring.

Where I was a year ago, I'd never have thought I'd be able to just look back at it and shrug. I'd never thought it'd no longer eat at me every moment. Now I'm grateful for it, more than any words could ever describe, because they've allowed me to see past the breakers and realize..."life's been good".

Thank you. God knows I'm fucked without you.


Mike Rowe Files For Unemployment.

Throughout my life, I've had notoriously bad luck with girls, but I've also noticed that with each folly I've learned something important.

Case in point: Fooling around with a girl on a bus heading towards church camp...It's probably not the best idea you could have. If you live at home with your parents, maybe buy a lock.

But I've learned that no matter how good things are going one moment, theres always another side to that coin. And when that other face rears it's ugly head (or tails), you better be somewhat prepared.

Sure, one moment you're drunkenly having sex on a friends bathroom floor, and shes saying you feel like God, but in the next moment you find out that...shit, shes an atheist.

I always thought I would be able to shake off the constraints I have about girls. The thing is, as I get older, they only get worse. My wanton love love for movies, comic books, video games, science, comic books and desire to punch George Lucas in the throat for what he's doing to my child hood have pretty much solidified me into a specific group. An elite group, filled with the brightest, strongest...okay, well, nerds.

Need a reference from a 1980's comedy flick? My name is Zuul. Need a Simpsons quote at the drop of a hat? I'll qygibxo you good.

And I find it remarkable I've even had as much sex as I've had. But one thing thats always surprised me, is the ease with which other guys my age seem to have in getting women.

It's like during high school, one of the numerous times I ditched, that was the day they gathered up all the guys and told them what to do.

For the past few years, since The 40 Year Old Virgin, I've had friends who've watched that make the comparison between Andy, and I.

"How so?"

"Well you have little collectibles. How many movies do you have? Whens the last time you left your house for something besides work or grocery shopping?"

"Come on, that could be anyone."

"You definitely put the pussy on the pedestal."

And before I can stop myself, I find myself saying, "What does that even mean?"

So the past few months I've been working on it. It's been nearly a year since I've tested the waters, if you will. So I started thinking like a scientist. What am I doing wrong, here. What have I learned, what process should I be taking.

I have a friend who's a girl, very attractive...all of that. One of the coolest things about her is her mentality, when it comes to sex. She has the mentality, and I mean this in the most sincere and complimentary way, the mentality of a guy who is single, who used to be a frat boy quarterback, and now continuously is smooth with the opposite sex. And it astounds me to no end.

Her advice would be to simply sack up, and do it. Simple as that. Yet to me, it seems like Stevie Wonder has a better chance at sight than I do being able to ever just "do it."

But I've learned a lot from this girl. A lot that maybe I should have learned growing up, but was too busy debating music or Simpsons episodes. Truth is, I just don't have that "it". What ever "it" is, I lack it, and I wish there was some sort of diagram that led you to the promised land.

But what I've learned from her is valuable.

I've learned when I'm nervous, the part of my brain that normally would tell me to 'think' and 'edit' what I'm about to say completely shuts off.

It only took countless (debatable) faux pas about her ethnicity, pondering if I had too much clothing during a very heart-felt moment, accidentally suggesting mob-like brutality on her pet hermit crab, insinuating she was somehow 'over-the'hill' and continuously frustrating her to points of near mental breakdown to realize that: I don't know how to talk to women. I don't know anything about them. I know more about thermodynamics than I do about the workings of the girl psyche. And sadly, thats very, very true.

So I've begun to work on that. I began calculating all the information I'd learned from previous girls, and I realized I've learned quite a bit and didn't even notice. Kind of like in Hospitality class.

I've learned if a girl has a piercing below the equator...well, she's not the girl you want to introduce to your parents. I've learned that girls are excellent liars. They can tell you nothing is wrong with a smile on their face, and begin to hate your guts while you think everything is hunky-god-damned-dory.

I've learned that they are much...much smarter than men. They've learned, early on, while we were out doing 'manly things' like inventing the wheel, or fighting a war or purifying salt water that just like the President of the United States, while he is the face of government, that the true power lays deep....deep behind the mask.

I know when it happened, too. It was during one of those times menfolk thought they were out "shoe shopping", they were gathering together plotting and planning their next moves.

I might sound like a paranoid fool, but put it into perspective: Who really needs that many shoes. Look in a girls closet. Forty pairs of things they have never, ever worn. Thats forty meetings they had, talking about you.

What proof do I have? Simple.

Males have turned a peanut into butter, they've turned dinosaur grease into fuel, they've made it possible for 2000 tons of steel float on water. All commendable accomplishments...except men also will wear a pair of underwear until it's six threads and half a button left, as long as the elastic still...elastifies. While we were too lazy to get up, walk six feet and change a channel, women figured out the flaws in logic we have.

There is no cure for the common cold, but there is a pill to make an impotent man Ron Jeremy's stand in. Our priorities are skewed, and women realized this. We think with our "intuition".

I guarantee you a girl came up with the concept of a blow job. It's too simple for man to think of. I also bet a woman came up with the idea for GPS.

It went something like this: A girl didn't know what to get her man, because he's already got a remote and microwave. She knew what lengths men would go to for any kind of release.

I mean, masturbating? I've done my fair share of Assassinating JFK, but it recently struck me that if you have to use lotion to do it...it's something that shouldn't naturally happen.

And a girl realized this too, and she realized it during her monthlies.

A woman also got tired of a man not asking for directions, but realized his love of gadgetry. Garmin!

I've also learned girls also mean more than what they say. A whole...lot...more.

Whats on your mind? "Nothing". Lies, lies...lies. She's probably pissed, and she's probably pissed at you for not knowing.

It's like that saying, "Feed them shit and leave them in the dark."

Theres a reason why terms like "pussy-whipped" exist, and there really isn't much of a proper equivalent.

Ever run into a wild guy friend you had in high school, or college? Always drinking, partying, a million girls and always up for a good time. You run into him years later, and he's married with a kid and he's not at all like the person of old? Thats because of her. And I'm not saying thats a bad thing, sometimes that needs to happen.

But I've learned that girls won't tell you whats on your mind. Why? Why all these game playing? Well, it's because, knuckle-head, that she cares about you a lot at the moment in time and you should recognize that. How do I figure? Because YOU ARE NOT EQUIPPED TO DEAL WITH THE PRESSURES SHE GOES THROUGH ON A DAILY BASIS, and when it gets to the point where all she does is want to shut up about it and not have to consume another portion of her life, then you should shut up and probably buy her something like flowers. Immediately, if not sooner.

For the love of God, don't press the issue. She'll come to you when shes ready to talk about something.

But I've also learned that girls will harbor resentment until the end of time. You could date a girl, piss her off and not realize it, break up with her and think thats it. Guess what? She still hates your guts, she still tells all her friends and THEY hate your guts.

If you fuck up badly enough with a girl, and you don't rectify the situation...you might as well move to the next city over, because that pool is no longer willing to let you swim in it.

Some girls just aren't worth your time, my God there are others so much better than the one who you think, not know, but think is the only one. You want what you can't have, like a baby only wants it's ball when it's taken away.

Every girl, even your little love dumpling, wants to fuck Josh Hartnett. Theres nothing you can do about it besides rent "Lucky Number Slevin" or "Pearl Harbor" and hope for the best.

She's never that drunk.

You're never that good.

She's never, ever unprepared for dire situations.

You'd better get prepared.

If she's a little bit young, it might seem fun...but it is not worth the hassle. Trust me.

She's had her fair share of discretionary events. Unlike you, however, not everyone knows.

Never, ever call her the name of an ex-girlfriend during an intimate exchange and expect that relationship to last.

She has just the same right to have sex with whomever she wants, whenever she wants. Get past that if she's with you. If she weren't interested, she'd still be looking for her panties on the dorm lawn. And no, it isn't settling if she chooses to stay with you...just shut up.

Just shut up.

You think you're right?

Shut up.

And most importantly...listen to her.

Confidence will get you places. Like they say in Hollywood, fake it til you make it.

Unfortunately, I'm not good enough to follow my own advice.


Glenn Danzig's Glass Jaw.

In 24 hours, America begins the end of it's two year long tap dance to choose the next leader.

The rest of the world sits on the cusp of page thats deciding if it will turn, or not. America may either go forward, or choose to attempt to stay in the old way of things and find a way to rectify the problems that have become so prevalent.

Regardless of who is chosen to lead this country, they need to realize that lives are at stake. That the past eight years, there has been more upheaval world wide than in recent memory.

The next leader needs to realize the Western Civilization is on the cusp of another Great Depression, and as history as taught us, World War is the only way to rectify, fully, a depression, and the tasks in front of us all are daunting.

It's sink or swim. Plain, and simply put we're in a do or die situation.

So it's up to Americans to vote and raise some concerns, yes, but it doesn't end there. These problems won't relent as soon as the next man takes helm at the Oval Office. We have to keep on this. Nothing will get done if you don't keep at the grindstone, even is it might cost you everything.

People want a change. They strive for a better future for themselves, and their children. It's a very noble thing to want, but these things will not happen without blood, sweat, and tears.

The competition has to stop. Differences are meaningless, because it's different variable that make everyday life worth living. Red state, blue state...mix it together and you get purple. We're all bruised from life...it's time we learn to heal together. For a house divided will crumble upon itself, so shall a people. But if the people are united, then they become something stronger than impenetrable.

But more important than the Presidential election, is the initiative portion of the ballot. Pay close attention, make sure not to skip over it. It's very important. More important than what happens in DC, because these are your own back yard.

So go out and vote, yeah. But don't think it's over after tomorrow. Life doesn't go on pause for four years until the next election, thats how these problems arose in the first place.