Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Definition of Sheep

I use the term "Sheep" often in my Facebook, Google+ and blog post.  Some people just don't get what I mean by the term.  So let me be specific.

A sheep is a person who does not make informed decisions and opinions.  Those I classify as sheep typically fall into one or more of the following categories.  Please note:  I am generalizing, and there are exceptions to every rule.

  • Bandwagon riders- everyone else is doing it, so I will do the same.  After all, I wouldn't want to be unique from others.
  • Media rhetoric spewers- "I saw it on Fox News," or "It was on a website somewhere."  Taking the easy route of gathering biased information to base ones opinion on is not an informed decision.
  • The bible said soers - using the bible as the SOLE (pun intended) reason for having an opinion does not an informed opinion make.  I respect your belief system (even if your belief system tells you not to respect mine), and the bible (and modern organized religion) is a basis for a moral system.  However, simply saying that "the bible says I must do this" or "the bible says I must believe that" is ludicrous, especially when you back your opinion with nothing else.  If you use the bible as a starting point, and then continue to do research to make an informed decision and included that information with your belief system, then you are NOT a sheep.  Sheep believe what they are told to believe by whatever religions leader and the bible, and do not look any further.
  • Cherry picker religious nuts who use the bible as the sole source of information and directive on any and all opinions (addendum to the previous bullet) - Cherry picker religion is when a person claims to be a christian/buddhist/jew/hindu/muslim/whatever, but only follows the religions doctrines of their chosen religion that they want to follow and ignore the rest.  Sadly, the vast majority of those who claim to belong to any given major or minor religion tend to fall into this category.  I have no respect for your religion as neither do you, or your would follow the religion completely or not at all.
  •  Straight party ticket voters - Sorry, but if you are still in the mind set that our county is based on a two party system, and that all persons belonging to that party all believe the same way, then you are beyond hope.  Additionally, every party is multiple planks in their platform, and sometimes, those planks contradict each other.  Elections are about the PERSON that is going to be representing you, not the party to which they belong.  If you do not take the time to review and understand each individual person that is running for any given position, or if you vote and make decisions simply because they are "Republican" or "Democrat," then you are not better than the bible said soers or the Cherry picker religions nuts.  There are very few (in fact, only one) straight party ticket voter (and yes, he is a Republican) that has ever shown that he takes the time to research the other side of the coin and still comes to the same opinion.  I respect his input and debate simply because they are informed, even if they are opposite of my opinions.
  • Those who absolutely refuse to even listen to another point of view - there are something like 7 billion people on this planet.  Each of us have our own opinion and point of view.  When you expect me to listen to yours, and then you flat out refuse to listen to mine (not necessarily accept my opinion, but just listen), your opinion becomes obsolete in my eyes.  You are so afraid that you might hear a convincing argument that opposes your opinion that you refuse to listen to anything from anyone.  That makes you a sheep.

There you go.  Sheep clearly defined.  You are lead easily because you don't want to become informed.  

I am fine with your opinions and beliefs, even if they don't coincide with mine.  All I ask is that you do the same (accept that your opinion is just that - an opinion) and be willing to listen to mine, that not everyone is going to agree with you,  and that you back every opinion with knowledge, research, and a little logical thinking.  Is that too much to ask?  Apparently, it is.  Welcome to America.

Just sayin.

    Wednesday, August 22, 2012

    Yet Another Move

    You might have noticed the change in venue...

    As I approach the time of renewing my web service contract, I have decided that it is no longer worth the cost.  And why pay, when I can get it free.

    I did move all of the more interesting post and previous comments to this location.  They are all here.  I still have some layout work to do, and with these preset tools,

    So, Dwayne's World Blog is now hosted here, and I will make attempts to write more often.

    Giving Unwanted Thanks to a Soldier

    (Originally posted on 03/27/2012)

    Don’t let the title fool you.  While I don’t support this silly war, I fully support our soldiers who are risking life and limb.  But something happened this weekend while Syd and I were at Fiesta Texas that has been bothering me, and so, I write this to get a little feedback, and maybe put my mind at ease, and as usual, to just vent.

    So here is the scenario.  Syd and I were having a daddy/daughter day at Fiesta Texas this weekend.  We had spent the entire day riding every roller coaster we would find because we both love them so much.  In between the Superman and the Scream, we decided to take a break.  We stopped at a park picnic area and sat to enjoy the shade.

    Also enjoying the shade was, based on the clothing that he was wearing, a young solder.  He couldn’t have been more than 25 or 26 years old.  He was in a wheel chair and both of his legs were missing.  He wore a below the knee prosthetic leg on his right leg, and his left leg was missing below the knee.  He was wearing a USMC T-shirt, had several military stickers on his chair, and had his cammo backpack on the back of his chair.  He was with a friend, also in causal military attire, and was sitting beside baby carriage, which was cradling a very small child.  The carriage had a USMC kiddie blanket over it protecting the kiddo from the sun.  His friend was video taping what I assume was their wives riding the Merry-Go-Round with another small child, around 3 or 4 years old.  The spouses and, even the 4 year old, were all wearing T-shirts advertising military connections.

    As we sat, Syd was staring, as young kiddos do, and I asked her not to do so.  She asked me what happened to the guy in the chair.  I explained to her that he was a soldier, that he had been fighting in the war, and was injured while in battle.  I told her that, sometimes, our soldiers who fight for our freedom, or the freedoms of others, volunteer their lives, health, and physical safety to maintain our ideas.  Of course, I didn’t mention to her that, in this current war, they are risking their lives to maintain our governments need to stick our noses in other peoples business and police the world, but I digress.  I explained to Syd that sometimes, during the course of their duties, soldiers are seriously injured, as in this case, and loose their limbs.  She said she felt sorry for him, and I told her not to.  I told her that he made it home and gets to see his children grow up and be with his family.  I told her that, yes, it sucks that he is going to be wheelchair bound for the rest of his life, but that many soldiers don’t even get that.  Many soldiers die in battle and their children don’t get to see them again.  I explained all this to her quietly out of ear shot of the soldier and his family and friends.
    She sat quietly for awhile mulling over and processing all we talked about, and then asked if it would be okay if she could go say thank you to him.  I was very proud of my little girl, and said that should could go say thank you.  But before we could stand up, an older couple walked up to the soldier, and humbly apologized for interrupting the soldiers day with his family.  The woman then crossed and blessed the soldier and thanked him for his sacrifice.  He said thank you, and the older couple walked away.  Immediately after, a small group of guys approached the soldier and his family and struck up a conversation about the fact that the group of guys was enjoying their last weekend in town before being shipped out for their tours overseas.  They chatted for a few minutes, and all of the group of guys said they were proud to be serving, and, that even though they didn’t know the wounded solder personally, they considered him a hero.  He thanked them, and the group of new soldiers departed.

    As we stood up to head over, one of the wives sighed heavily, and said, very loud, “I get so sick of that shit!”  The legless soldier said “If I hear one more thank you for your service I am going to shoot myself.”  The friend and his wife made similar rude and dismissive comments.  They all laughed and walked/rolled away.  Sydney looked at me and said “Never mind, daddy.  I don’t want to say thank you anymore.”  My heart broke for her.  Her image of this would-be hero was broken.

    I stood there dumbfounded.  I can imagine that it was devastating to loose his legs.  I can imagine that even hearing the constant thank yous might get a little old.  I even get that the constant interruptions to family time can get a little irritating.  And, even though many new soldiers go into battle with visions of grandeur and becoming a hero, I also know that, when reality sets in and it becomes plainly obvious that, sometimes, serving can leave a soldier in a chair for their rest of their lives, shunning or laughing at those who want to thank them for their services is downright insulting.

    We spend our days hearing and seeing “support our soldiers” and most of really do.  We love and support the brave men and women who serve our country and, sometimes, pay the ultimate price for that service.  I just couldn’t believe that this soldier and his family acted the way that they did.  If he didn’t want the attention, they why was he advertising the fact that he was in the military?

    It took everything I had not to go up to him and punch him in the head.  I shouldn’t let it bother me, but it did.  Their very poor attitude and comments harmed my daughters image of what a soldier and a hero is.  I maintained myself, and we walked away to enjoy the rest of our day.

    Am I reading too much into it?

    Either way, I am giving a big thank you to all those who serve in the military.  If you don’t want the thank you, too damn bad.  You are getting it anyway.

    Just sayin’.

    Comments to original post

    Rosalinda Witherspoon · ITT Technical Institute
    I thank no soldiers I also feel they are bothered by it, I have a son in the Navy and thank him all the time, it never bothers him I think he enjoys hearing, Thank you, and he's a proud great kid, well my kid that is. Lol.
    Just explain there are good soldiers and bad soldiers Just like there are good people and they are bad people.
    Hunter Hempfling · · Works at Chapel Hill UMC

    I would have felt the same as you did. I infact do say thank you to soldiers for maintaining my freedom and if they do not understand it applies for all soldiers then they are stupid. I thank them all not just the ones that came home with lost limbs. people sometimes don't realize that what they say can crush a child unbeknownst to them. I mean I trhank all people for any survise they provide to me its common courtesy jeez, what has happened to being humble and having manners?
    Angela Sledge Stelzer · Works at Arizona Department of Veterans' Services

    DI I was a soldier. I was injured. I will end up in a chair most likely sooner than later. My injury took 7 yrs to come almost completely debilitating. In my job people know I am a Vet. I can't hold the job otherwise. It makes me very uncomfortable when I am thanked for my or my husbands service. I do not know ow one who served could be so rude to those who realize that their freedoms are because of these soldiers. I never know how to react as I don't feel that a thank you is warranted. I did my job. This young Marine was in the wrong. He is obviously proud of his service to advertise his USMC status. I am sorry that this was Syds introduction to wounded soldiers. There are many that she sees everyday that she doesn't even realize are soldiers. These soldiers came home and did not pity themselves. They came home and overcame th
    e burdens of battle and reintegrated themselves into society. They most likely still suffer but they don't pity themselves or expect it from anyone else. The young Marine you saw most likely felt that people only thanked him out of pity which is hard to deal with with. This young man has been traumatized and most likely suffers with PTSD along with other serious unseen injuries. Give him time to grow up. In a few years he will most likely calm down and gain some perspective. I am not defending this young Marine. He was wrong in his reaction as was his spouse. (Spouses really get me angry) but it is not always what it seems. This man is fighting some serious demons and with maturity he will learn to be more gracious. I when approached will quietly thank the person and try to move on. Syd will have a lot of opportunity to meet more mature soldiers. Please don't allow this man to ruin Syds view of those who fight for her freedoms whether in reality or in the case of this war in ideals. Most soldiers are quiet and uncomfortable with thank yous but will accept and appreciate them. I appreciated your taking the time to teach Syd about these things. Thank you for taking the time to explain these important things to her. If you get a chance try to explain to her about quiet demons such as PTSD, TBI, depression and resentment that young soldiers often face when they come home in the prime of their lives in a state that has robbed them of their youth. Most will mature, but coming home while wonderful is a very hard transition to make especially when one is seriously wounded.
    • Dwayne Isbell · Registrar at ITT Technical Institute, East Campus

      Thank you for that response. I wanted to reply, and say, from the viewpoint of someone who didn't serve (not because I didn't want to but because I wasn't allowed to), that any person who puts their lives on the line for me and for my child is a hero and my thanks will always go out to you. It doesn't matter what you did in the military - from cleaning latrines to firing on the front lines - you put your life on the line, and because of that, you and every person who serves time is a hero in my book. And I want my child to feel the same way. I think what bothered me more than anything was the fact that her image of this type of person (military individual, regardless of their disability) was shattered. I understand where you come from, but you, your husband, and even this soldier at the park, deserve thanks from every perso
      n enjoying our freedoms. I will continue to explain to Syd and I will add in the explanations that you suggested. She will get past it. She understands my father and grandfather were military, and she respects them and understands their roles. I get that soldiers don't go into the military expecting thanks upon their return. It doesn't mean that they don't deserve that thanks. I also get that he probably has been getting the constant attention due to his disability since he got out of the military, but, as a soldier, a representative of our brave, there are better ways of handling it. Again, Angie, thanks for the perspective. It is always appreciated. Hopefully his mental and emotional wounds will heal, even if they take longer than his physical wounds.
    Lisa Stiles Ellison · Director of Sales at Staybridge Suites Lubbock

    My feeling is, if he didn't want the "publicity" of being a soldier that served this great country of ours... DON'T ADVERTISE IT! If I were a soldier and was injured to the extent of his injuries, I would not wear apparel that told that I was military, nor would I adorn my vehicle/wheelchair with military stickers. If you don't want the attention, as in this case, then don't advertise it. That makes me sad for Syd that she had to see that, because I am sure that it his a very rare case of bitterness. There are plenty of great men and women that have served, gotten injured, and still like for people, such as us, to go out of our way to Thank them! Tell her to keep her head up, and not let this discourage her from Thanking a Soldier!
    • Johnny Hale · Wylie High School

      I served in Vietnam and I got my first thank you for serving just a few months back. When we first got home some people would spit on us if they knew we were Vietnam veterns. It never happened to me but I heard of it.
    Elizabeth Smith · · ITT Technical Institute

    This guy was probably a classless jerk before he became a soldier anyway. I hope Syd will get past this and know that there are just terrible, mean, bitter people in the world. I don't know why all the "advertisement" for the Marines if he isn't proud to be one! This made me sad for Syd and our country. Thank you for sharing...and I share in your outrage both as a former soldier and military spouse.
    Mindy Brewster · Centerton, Arkansas

    I am not sure what to think about this situation. How he reacted very publicly was indeed wrong. He may be extremely proud to be USMC however if he does not wish for attention then he needs to take down the stickers.
    I agree with Angela about the trauma this person suffered.
    I am a very Proud Navy wife and there are time that I don't want to go about town strutting the Navy because we are there to have fun family time without distraction. Other times I will sport anything that say NAVY on it.
    I hope this man finds a more mature approach to the situation in the future.
    • Ashley Sasser
      wow my kids tell everyone military person in uniform thank u that is shocking and crule

    I Saw You Today (First Draft)

    (Originally posted on 12/18/2011)

    I saw you today.

    It had been so long.

    I thought that I missed you.

    I was surprised that I didn’t.

    It took so long to say goodbye to the memory of you.

    And even when I did, I realized I was holding onto nothing special.

    You said hello.  You ask how I’ve been.

    I had nothing to say.  I was more interested in the way I was seeing you now compared to way back then.

    No longer was I blind to the person you really are.

    No longer was there any feeling or emotions clouding my vision.

    The scars you left on my heart served to make my vision clear.

    The rose colored view had been washed away.

    I saw the failure that you are, failure as a person, as a human being.

    I saw the leech that you have become, or, have always been.

    I saw every lie you used to break my heart.

    I saw beyond your outer beauty to the evil creature within.

    I saw a darkened, ugly, black heart incapable of any love other than the narcissistic, self love you have for your self.

    I saw everything that you truly are, and I can’t believe that I fell for your facade.

    When I choose not to reply, but only smile, you ask me why.

    The smile grows into a grin.  How much I’ve grown, how much you have not.

    When I walk away, without a word, you made one last attempt and ask me why I hate you so.

    I think, I don’t hate you.  To hate you would imply that care about your existence.

    In reality, I have not only said goodbye, but I’ve forgotten you.

    And without memories of you, you are nothing.  That is what you were when you came in.  That is what you are now that I pushed you out.

    The smile on my face says it all.  Because when I turned my back on you without a word, I had a smile on my face.

    So when I saw you today,  I knew my choice to forget you was right.

    The Talk...Part I

    (Originally08/01/2011 posted

    I had to endure a very traumatic event this weekend.  All parents fear it.  Dad’s dread it.  I was hoping the day would never come.  But, alas, it finally arrived.  Amy (if your not familiar with  my nicknames for family and friends, see the Cast link on the menu, and try to keep up!) finally asked the right questions, which lead to the dreaded talk.  I am still shaking.

    First and foremost, you all know that Amy is my one and only, and I have no backups.  So I am a bit over protective (look at previous post), and have been very persistent in keeping her naive to some of the oddities and realities that come along with the discovery of sex, gender roles, and all the damage that puberty does to the human teenager.  She doesn’t watch movies that have any kind of sex references to them, we avoid those “not so fresh feeling” commercials, and when the general question of “how did the baby get in there” has arisen, we always tell her “we will tell you later” or revert to immaculate conception myths.  She knows I put her in her mommy’s tummy, but has no concept of how, and we are perfectly happy with that.  After all, I thought kissing is how my mom got pregnant with me until I was 12.

    She spent most of the summer with her cousins.  Her older cousin, who is now 13, somehow managed to blossom from the cute little rambunctious tom boy into a young woman in the matter of less than a year since we last saw them.  My jaw almost dropped when she walked in and looked 19 years old!  Her younger sister is already on the cusp on blossoming, and we knew that during the time they were going to be hanging out over the summer, someone what gonna notice something, and questions would be asked.  We just hoped that we would have another year before having to answer.  Sadly, that was not to be the case.
    We went to visit them and their grandmothers house, and decided to take the girls swimming.  Her older cousin said that she would be staying behind.  When Amy asked why, all she said was that she couldn’t go swimming today.  All the way to the pool, Amy asked again and again why her cousin couldn’t go swimming with them, and we kept saying that we would tell her later.  Luckily, no more questions.

    But this weekend, she marched me and Connie into Connie’s room, sat us on the bed, and said (and I quote)

    CRAP!  There was no getting out of it this time. (No, she wasn’t wearing combat boots with matching oven mitts….just go with it!)

    Well, I figured, I am a teacher.  Granted, I teach adults, but this little inquisitive creature in front of me couldn’t be all that different.  But, nonetheless, I am a teacher, and I could teach anything!  I would just have to use not so technical terms and lots of visual aids.  So I cranked up the Internet, Google imaged several cross section of that mysterious female anatomy, considered throwing together a nice PowerPoint, and started my lecture.  (Connie helped, of course).

    I explained that as boys and girls grow older, their bodies change.  (Luckily, I didn’t have to say more about boy parts or boy changes at this point…she was perfectly happy to hear about her own expected changes and leave it at that).  I explained that those changes included getting taller, boobs growing, and hair sprouting up in all sorts of weird places, along with all sorts of hormonal responses.  I told her she would probably turn into this creature that was torture to live with and she would hate her parents.  She promised she wouldn’t (I recorded the statement on my phone to play for her when she turns into an evil teenager).   She listened to me calmly and patiently.  I explained that one of the changes that a woman has is that she starts having periods every month, and thus was the reason that her cousin couldn’t go swimming, because it was her time of the month for a period.  Of course, my little information sponge wanted to know all the details about what a period was.  Sigh.  Onto the next slide.

    Up comes the cross section of the internals of female anatomy.  At this point, I began getting a bit uncomfortable, but trudged on.  After explaining that there were actually three “holes” on a woman in “that special area” and their general purposes (yes I was using 9 year old appropriate words), we moved into discussing what was at the top end of the “middle” hole.  This is where the pictures came in.  We showed her the fallopian tubes, the ovaries, and the uterus.  She asked where hers was.  Again with another diagram.  She wanted to know where mine was.  I told her boys don’t have them because boys don’t have babies – married women do.  So far, so good.  No questions I couldn’t handle so far.

    And she actually seemed to be okay with the discussion thus far, and at first, she seemed to be okay with this point in the conversation, and we couldn’t stop here.  I figured I had gotten off lightly, and I had placated her for at least a little while and I wouldn’t have to go into any more detail.

    Then I hear

     (No, during the course of our conversation, her outfit and hair didn’t change, and she didn’t grow flesh colored arms and legs…stay on track, folks!).  My thoughts…how the hell did this kid get so smart!!  Oh, wait.  She’s my kid.  That explains it.  So, now time too explain what a period is and what happens during this time of the month. (Keep in mind, Connie, Amy’s mom, is helping with this whole conversation, but a little more freaked out than I am to be having this conversation with our daughter.)

    So we explained that every month, an egg leaves the ovaries for a trip down the tubes into the uterus.  She crinkled her nose.  In preparation for the arrival, the uterus walls get thick with blood.  Of course, she asked why there needs to be blood for the egg.  And her mom chimed in at this point and said “In case of fertilization.”  Then it hit her what she had said.  The room got so quiet that we could hear a pin drop!  Holy cow, what if she ask how fertilization happens!  Were we ready for that?  Could she handle the how babies are made talk?  Could I handle the how babies are made talk?  I don’t think I took a breath for like an hour, but in reality, it was only 45 seconds while I watched the gears in her head turning…and finally, she said

    (Once again, ignore my morphing child!  I’m doin this on the fly).  Exhale, daddy, breath.  So I jump ahead to avoid any more thinking on the potential “fertilization” questions.  So I said, if the magic fertilization doesn’t happen, then there is no need for all that blood built up in the uterus, so it has to leave the body.
    She thought for awhile, crinkled her nose, and asked where the blood goes.  Her mom took over and said that was what the period is…the blood leaving the body through that middle hole, called the vagina.  We then spent the next 15 minutes goin over all that female related stuff that is on the special aisle at the grocery aisle, and even showed her how to put one on, just in case, and when it would probably happen to her, and so on.  And because her cousin had to wear one of those things, then she couldn’t go swimming.

    15 seconds of silence.

    Her response…

    We did spend a little more time explaining to her that she was going to hear stuff from her friends at school, and from her cousins, and so on, and whatever she heard, it was perfectly okay to come ask one of us for verification.  Of course, we told her that NO ONE was allowed to see or touch her special areas (but, she already knew that).  And finally, when stuff does start happening (gods forbid), then she could count on us to be there to help her through it.  I will be hyperventilating the whole way during that time, but I’ll do it.  Its my job after all.

    She said thanks, skipped out of the room, and told her cousins that she wanted to go climbing trees.  My little tom boy is still here.  Whew.  She hasn’t grown up and left yet.

    So I survived the talk, part one.  I am seriously dreading the talk part two, when we go into detail about the magical fertilization stage, and I thank the gods that she didn’t feel the need to ask.  Maybe my child just recognized that I was already on edge about this part, and decided to hold her questions until later…probably when she wants something and uses that want to bribe me to not have to tell her part two.  I don’t know what I will do when that does comes, but I think I will start preparing my PowerPoint presentation now!  Then after that, I gotta start worrying about when the boys start sniffing around.  But I already have the place picked out to hide the bodies.  That part will be easy!  :D

    Love you, FIPWWW!

    Just sayin.

    (P.S.  I borrowed several images from random places on the Internet for this post…if you want me to remove them, just let me know, and I will find someone else who wants to show off their work for free.)

    Comments to original post

    Josh N Cheri Rodriguez · Works at Oliver W Holmes High School
    I love that she was so curious about SCIENCE! j/k Dude more power to you for having the talk. My plan is to keep my little girl in diapers so she never has to wonder why she cant go swimming. I wonder if huggies makes swim diapers for teenagers?
    • Dwayne Isbell · Registrar at ITT Technical Institute, East Campus

      Why not...they make them for adults! That's a GREAT IDEA...too bad I didn't think of it until you mentioned it...she already know swimming. I'll think of something else! :D
    Bethany Faulkner
    Oh, the humanity! I had a class in school, and got the video about the excitement and going for ice cream to celebrate...Great job explaining!
    Etasha Ruggs
    Bravo! You did an awesome job. I wish they had PowerPoint when I was her age...it would have made things so much easier. I just got the "special" video in school.

    John Hughes: Teenage Expert…better than todays teenage crap movies!

    So I can’t take full credit for this particular idea.  It actually comes from two sources.  One is one of my favorite bartenders who made a very interesting Facebook post and the other from a friend of mine who had never heard of John Hughes, Weird Science, or the Brat Pack.  He’s young – but otherwise genius, so I don’t hold his age against him, but I figured I take this opportunity to bring back into the limelight John Hughes and his twisted, if not accurate, perspective of growing up in the 80′s…which, not so ironically, is pretty much the same as it is now.
    So, I don’t know if my bartender friend would be happy with me smearing his name all over Dwaynes-World, so we will just call him Bob, for now.  If he says it’s okay, then I’ll update this posting later.  A few weeks ago, he posted the following on his Facebook…
    “Every teenager should eject their Twilight or Harry Potter dvd, and watch every John Hughes movie ever made, then wonder why he read their minds.”
    I found this very interesting because I had just watched Weird Science a few hours earlier and was commenting on my Facebook how awesome that movie was.  Then later the following day, I commented to my friend (lets call him Space Cowboy for now) that I had just watched Weird Science, and he looked at me like I just grew a second head.  He had never heard of it!  I threw out a couple of other titles…Pretty in Pink, the Breakfast Club, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off…all I got was a blank stare.  I was shocked!  I couldn’t believe that he had never heard of these classic films!  Then I got to thinking back on Bob’s post…movies today that speak to the high school and younger crowd and that deal with life as a teenager or young adult are more the Harry Potter and Twilight type series…and are totally irrelevant.  (Speaking of Twilight, if you get a chance, check out this blog post from The Oatmeal on the Twilight films…you will be rolling!)  But I digress…

    These titles…and life as a teenager themes…come from the brilliant writer, director, and producer, John Hughes (1950-2009), who managed to take what can be, for some, the most dreary times of their lives (and yes, puberty and high school sucks, no matter how much you dress it up with clicks, extra curricular activities, and coming of age success stories), tosses in a mix of comedy, and manages to throw the message out there without getting all preachy.  And the best part it – that message is more accurate that anything you get today!  Forgiving the 80′s hair doos, what is now retro clothing, and original versions of music that is nothing but remakes by untalented swill artist who can’t think of anything original to say today, most everyone can relate to some of Hughes genre of movie titles.

    What made this series of films so great is the common cast the chose to play the roles of his tormented teenagers, who came to be known as the Brat Pack.  Among those labeled with this title (one that many were not happy with for details, read this wiki article), are Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, Kevin Bacon, Matthew Broderick, Jon Cryer, John Cusack, Jami Gertz, Mary Stuart Masterson, Sean Penn, Lou Diamond Phillips, Kiefer Sutherland, and Lea Thompson.

    (The 80′s Brat Packers can be likened to the the late 90′s group of actors who often appeared in movies and themed films together.  This group consisted of Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Janeane Garofalo, Jason Lee, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Alan Rickman, Chris Rock, Salma Hayek, Shannen Doherty, Claire Forlani, and even Stan Lee himself.)

    My top 5 favorite Hughes films, and a must see for everyone, are

    #5:  Pretty in Pink

    Pretty in Pink. If you’ve never seen it, watch the trailer. If you have, watch the trailer. :D

    So the story goes…A poor girl (Andie) must choose between the affections of her doting childhood sweetheart (Duckie) and a rich but sensitive playboy (Blaine).  Of course, Duckie, who is now just the best friend, is is still totally smitten (borrowed that word from Frenchy!) with Andie, and when she finally gets a date with Blaine, the man of her dreams, the social clicks are not too thrilled that they are together.  Of course, he makes all the right moves, but leads her to make the right choice…and, it all plays out on prom night, and well, I don’t want to ruin the film for you, but she has to make a choice…
    I don’t know bout you, but there was always that “perfect person” that I was so in love with, that was hot, that I thought would make my life great, that if I could only be with them, then all my problems would go away.  And to make things worse, that person was totally unreachable.  Hell, that still happens today!  Meanwhile, I had that person I considered “my best friend” felt the same way about me.  But I never noticed my best friend…I was too focused on the untouchable.
    It’s the same dilemma every person faces today…even those that are considered the untouchable.  The story hasn’t changed…just the clicks, and even then, the clicks are the same…just different people in the same spots.  We find that what we want, and whats best for us don’t always go hand in hand.  Or, even better, that what we get what we wish for, things aren’t as great as they seemed they would be.

    #4: Weird Science

    Along the same lines of hard choices of love…or maybe just fitting in, comes Weird Science.  Again…if you’ve never seen it, screw the trailer…go rent the damn movie!

    Gary and Wyatt are a couple of best friends who want nothing more than to fit in.  Gary likes to think himself cool, but comes from parents who are raving old school, bible beating lunatics who have raised him to be a bit shy when it comes to taking a risk.  Wyatt spends more time worrying about what others are going to think always tries to live up to his families expectations, which he thinks he never does, and has an older brother who enjoys nothing more than making his life a living hell.  The thing is, both Gary and Wyatt spend more time trying to impress others, or do things they think will impress other, that they totally miss out on just being themselves.  So what do they do?  They use their smarts (yes, they are the not so typical nerds) and create the perfect woman, Lisa, out of an antiquated computer, a freak lightening storm, bras on their heads, and a barbie doll.  Lisa, who possess a unique perspective and some very unique “magic,” leads them on several adventures in an attempt to get them to learn that valuable lesson that many of us learn way to late in life – BE YOURSELF!  Again, not going to ruin the film, so you gotta go watch it!  It is WELL worth it!

    #3: Sixteen Candles

    16 Candles comes in third on my list.  Why?  Well, primarily, because it is funny as hell.  Especially the scene where Samantha gets felt up by her grandmother!  With this cutesy little story, Samantha is 15 years old, getting ready to celebrate her 16th, and her family is so caught up with whats going on, they forget (or she feels like they have forgotten) her upcoming birthday. At the same time, she is heads over heals with the most popular guy on campus (I mean, really, who isn’t!), while being pursued by the weirdest and “geekiest” boy at school.  To make matters worse, her older sister is getting married, and her family just inherited a foreign exchange student by the name of Long Duc Dong!!  This one is one of the funniest of the whole set.
    And also, very relate-able.  I remember the day when I thought that my family either didn’t understand anything that was going on in my life or just didn’t care.  Even when they tried to show they cared, I just didn’t see it.  I even remember telling my parents there is no way they could understand, because apparently, they had been born parents and couldn’t see it from my point of view.  And every kid goes through that!  This movie is so much better about integrating this rite of passage than freakin Bella Swan and people not understanding her need to choose between a vampire or a dog!  Seriously!

    #2: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

    This flick is kinda out of the Brat Pack genre, but nonetheless is one of Hughes better films:  Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

      So Ferris is the typical slacker guy at school, more interested in having fun than getting his education.  He has had his fair share of trouble (mostly with skipping school), and his goodie two shoes sister wants nothing more than to bust him (hmmm…just realized that Phineas and Ferb might have picked up a plot line from this movie…but I digress).  Before graduate, Ferris decides to have one more grand slam day, and ditches school.  After an elaborate set up to skip out, he convinces his parents of his illness and they let him stay home sick.  Instead, he borrows a Farrari, and parties it up.  A baseball game, a parade, you name it, he did it.  And his principal is in tow the whole way (along with his tattletale sister), trying to catch this well known school skipper.  Has a great ending, and snappy little commentary from Ferris himself throughout the movie, and in the end, even the tattletale sister ends up on his side.  But, wait, won’t say more.  Catch the film.
    So this one is all about how to skip school.  Not really, but it still has the standard Hughes teenage commentary about overbearing parental unit cruelties that we all thought were just to be mean as well as that social status seeking that we all went through.  And it is way more realistic than Mean Girls (social status seeking), Bring it On (cutesy cheerleader drivel), or Harry Potter (cruelty from the adults…though, it did turn out to be a great drama).

    #1: The Breakfast Club

    And my top John Hughes film choice is…. The Breakfast Club!

      This has always been one of my favorite all time films.  The focus of this flick – clicks!  (ha!  nice rhyme!).  This film focuses on a group of high school students who are placed in Saturday detention (OMG – we needs bring Saturday detention back!!!!!!  This in school suspension crap doesn’t work) for their various “crimes” in school.  There is the popular, rich girl princess; the geeky, straight A student; the oh, so handsome jock; the pot head, bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks; and the creepy, weird girl that no one gets (what today is called Emo).  First and foremost, I think that Ally Sheedy played the BEST part in this movie – especially when they had lunch!.  Anyway, these 5, who would have nothing to do with each other during normal school hours because it is a crime to cross click lines in the high school hallways, hafta deal with a demented (and I think slightly emotionally and mentally worn out due to working in education for too long) principal, who goes out of his way to catch them doing something they aren’t suppose to be doing while in detention!  And, of course, they spend their time trying to get away with everything possible!  During the process, the realize that they have more in common, and even put aside click lines and learn a little about why they are the way they are!

    I loved this because I belonged to the geeky, straight B, outcast, wrong side of the track, poor country boy click when I was growing up.  Don’t get me wrong, I hated the fact that my family didn’t have the money to buy the name brand clothes or buy me a car (I rode the bus) or that I wasn’t on the football team, and I would never get a chance to be in the popular crowd because I just didn’t measure up in high school click terms.  HOWEVER, looking back, I grew up a better person not belonging to those crowds!  And I love my parents for all they did give me and I wasn’t a spoiled brat, though my mom (and maybe my sister and brother) will say different from time to time.  The look at clicks in the film are classic and right on the ball.  Today’s films tend to focus on the popular click, and don’t even bother to go outside the hallways, much less into the lives of the people who belong to the popular clicks.

    So there it is.  My count down to the best of the best of the John Hughes films.  Do yourself a favor.  Forget all that crap you see today.  It is so fake compared to these films that it isn’t even worth it.  Plus, you will get to see some funky hair doos, hear original versions of songs, and see what it was like to really grow up…not get hand held through our teenage years like most high school students do today.

    Lets have John Hughes movie night!!  Who’s down?

    Just Sayin.

    Comments to original post 

    Jeremy Wayne Monett · ITT Technical Institute
    You can't do John Hughes without doing The Great outdoors.Planes trains and automobiles, and Uncle Buck! Particularly Uncle Buck.
    • Dwayne Isbell · Registrar at ITT Technical Institute, East Campus

      True, but I was focusing more on the John Hughes life of a teenager genera...so neither of those you mentioned would fit in. Maybe I will do a total tribute to Hughes later, and do an overall top 5.
    • Mark Harmon · San Antonio, Texas

      Especially Ferris Bueller...
    Roman A. Guerra · English Teacher JV Baseball coach at Edcouch-Elsa ISD

    that if I could only be with them, then all my problems would go away....was it a Freudian slip that you said, "them" LOL.
    • Dwayne Isbell · Registrar at ITT Technical Institute, East Campus

      Possibly...I had alot of crushes in HS!! :D. What can I say ... :)
    Christopher Mendoza
    haha I have seen sixteen candles and ferris buellers day off :P I'm not that bad haha.
    • Dwayne Isbell · Registrar at ITT Technical Institute, East Campus

      Yeah, but you didn't know Weird Science....but I called you a genius, so its all good. :D
    Bethany Faulkner
    Hey, Mean Girls was pretty good if you had ever been a girl in High School! Otherwise, you have, as always, outdones yourself!

    Oops...there's something I need to tell you...

    (Originally posted 06/03/2011)

    So, I downtown taking care of some business on my free time, and I happen to come across this poster halfway hanging from the side of a building.  It had an interesting look to it, and hey, I've got time to kill, so I go to check it out....

     Of course, I think this is just another one of the billions of the have safe sex posters, signage, and notifications that we are bombarded with on a daily basis.  But...look closely...and then check out the site...its just proof that the Internet can and is used for EVERYTHING - including anonymously notifying one of your many flings you may have left them with a little gift! (Notice the fine print:  This is from a friend at inSpot: the STD Internet Notification Service for Partners or Tricks).  Hehehehehe.

    inSpot.org provides two free services:  1) locate a center near you where you can be tested for HIV or other STD's, and 2) notify someone you may have infected anonymously via E-mail with a cute little e-Card.
    Great idea for three reasons.  1) if I'm puttin my junk somewhere it shouldn't be goin, then I wanna be able to find a quick and easy way to get tested to make sure I didn't take away more than I bargained for.  2) if I put my junk somewhere and left  behind more than they bargained for (even if I didn't mean too), I wanna be able to tell them WITHOUT THEM KNOWING IT WAS ME!  And 3) If your junk gave my junk cooties, you better hope to the gods that I don't get my hands on you-so this anonymous little card may be the only thing that saves your life!

    Now, seriously, #1 and #2 is not something I worry about.  My junk is picky where it goes and who it plays with, and I have a doc that can check up on these things for me if anything out of the ordinary pops up (no pun intended).  When my junk plays with someone elses junk, I generally know that person well enough not to worry about getting cooties. But I think that if I were to open my e-Mail one day, and find something like the following:
     I would probably have a heart attack.  First off, I can guarantee you I will know who it is from.  And secondly, those cutesy little faces are not going to make life any better-thank you very much for the attempt to soften the blow (pun intended).  Of course, I would take care of business, get tested, get treated, and being to plan my revenge.

    While I think this is awesome that there is something out there like this, I am thinking: seriously!!  WTF!  Basically, it allows one to tell someone else if they gave them something they probably don't want, but it also allows one to not take responsibility!  I guess at least notifying them is something, but, still...think about it.

    There are some basic rules when it comes to puttin out:
    1. Keep it in your pants.
    2. If you ignore rule one, then COVER IT UP when you use it.
    3. If you ignore rules one and two, then if you get something, or give something, then at least have the BALLS TO TELL THEM TO THEIR FACE!!  After all, you were looking them in the face (or maybe the back of their head) when you gave it to them!
    Seriously, inSpot - kudos to you!  While I think the cards are a little cheesy (go check em out...some are actually a riot), thank you for putting something out there that people might actually use to spread something besides the bugs they carry on their Mr. Winkys or their cooters.  There is one serious setback to this service, tho.  There are some out there who don't keep track of so much as the names of the people they shag.  Or have so many, they couldn't keep track if they tried. Sad, sad, sad.

    Play.  But play safe.

    Just sayin.

    (PS...I lifted these images from inSpot.org.  I'm providing free advertising, so I hope you don't mind.)

    Comments to origional post

    John Rod
    I actually so a TV add for this. and yeah agree completely.

    I enjoy the freedom to ...

    (Originally posted 05/30/2011)

    Work where I choose (Because you chose to defend our country)

    Go to school where I choose (Because you chose to lay you life on the line)
    Study what I choose (Because you chose to devote your life)
    Eat what I choose (Because you chose to make a sacrifice)
    Praise what I choose (Because you chose to believe in our society)

    Date whom I choose (Because you chose us first)
    Read what I choose (Because you chose to put on the uniform)
    Spend time with who I choose (Because you chose to stand on the front lines)

    Live where I choose (Because you chose to train)
    Say what I choose (Because you chose to become the best of the best)
    Buy what I choose (Because you chose to face danger)
    Drive what I choose (Because you chose to guard our beliefs)
    Marry who I choose (Because you chose to protect and serve)
    Visit who I choose (Because you chose to leave your loved ones behind)

    Vote for who I choose (Because you chose to honor our ideas)
    Drink when I choose (Because you chose to battle those who would hurt us)
    Sleep in when I choose (Because you choose to preserve our way of life)

    Sleep with whom I choose (Because you chose to safeguard our principles)
    Watch what I choose (Because you died in our defense)
    Believe what I choose (Because you chose to run headlong into battle)
    Raise my child how I choose (Because you chose to go into uncertain danger)
    Pray how I choose (Because you chose the needs of the many)

    Serve how I choose (Because you chose to define heroism)
    Pay what I choose (Because you chose to secure our rights)
    Listen to the music I choose (Because you chose to cherish our constitution)

    Think what I choose (Because you chose my life over yours)
    Live as I choose (Because you choose)

    I choose (Because of you)

    I choose (Because of you)

    I choose (Because of you)

    Thank you for my right to choose.

    I have the freedom to go for what I choose, when I choose, where I choose, and how I choose.  Those wants may not always be the best choice for me, and sometimes I may get in trouble for them, but the point is, I have the freedom to choose.  And those freedoms are thanks to you, the men and women of our armed forces that fight to protect our nation and the freedoms that come with being a citizen of this great nation.  I could not choose what I want, or even be aware of these freedoms had it not been for you living, and dying, to protect the very ideas that make America what it is today.  Sure, we have our issues and problems, and we don’t always agree.  But that is the freedom of choice that we have to make.
    We devote every day to you with every choice we have and every freedom we enjoy.  Memorial Day, is a special day to devote to you, those who have fallen, in order to keep those choices we take for granted every day.  And sadly, people even take for granted this most solemn day.  It’s not just another holiday where we don’t have to go to work.  It’s not just another commercial holiday where marketers reduce their prices. It’s not a day devoted to BBQ with friends and family.  It’s not a day to serve as a 3 day weekend for a trip to the beach or stay out all night on Sunday night at the bar.  That’s not its purpose.  It’s a day to remember those who lay and have laid down their lives for us to have the freedoms to take a day off, to have a BBQ, to spend the night getting drunk, to shop for discount prices, and drive across the country because we choose.  Celebrate it right, and no matter what you’re doing, remember, and say thank you to the men and women in uniform, either in person, or at the sites of their burials, for the sacrifice they made so that you have the to choose.

    To our troops, current and past, this blogger thanks you for all you do, for serving our country, and by extension, my freedom, and to the soldiers and families of those soldiers who have lost their lives in their sacred chosen duty to our nation, thank you for your sacrifice to keep the Land of the Free just that – free.
    Just sayin.

    Comments made to original post

    Nikki H Gomaa
    I think this totally sums up Memorial Day. As you said above: Thank.
    You Men and Women for your Sacrifice, without it, we would not be free. Now let's Celebrate Our Freedom!
    Gina Shubin · Works at The Home Depot

    That is very true. This says everything! Amen

    Birthday Wishes

    (Originally Posted 04/11/2011)

    Yeah, I know.  Seems kinda selfish and pretentious to post my birthday wishes on my blog page, but, because I care, and I realize that some of you are stressing HARD about what you are going to do to celebrate my special day, I am providing the following list for you.  Plus, it's my page and my birthday, dammit, so here they are!  (You only have 7 days left, so better hurry!)

    PS...I don't think any of these "wishes" are too much to ask...
    • A winning lottery ticket.  Doesn't have to be "the big one," just a couple mil so that I can get out of this goshforsaken debt!  And throw a big party.  PS - note the key word in there...WINNING lottery ticket.
    • Never hafta clean my bathroom again.  Don't get me wrong - I need it cleaned, I just don't want to be the one to clean it!  I will do the rest of the house, but I HATE cleaning bathrooms!  If you volunteer to do this chore for me, then you will be free from having to gift any other birthdays for the rest of my life!
    • A new wardrobe.  While you at it, I need to lose about 90 more pounds, get rid of my widows peak, and get some face work done (save the cracks, you jerks!).  After that, you can throw in the wardrobe.
    • I needa meet Jake Gyllenhaal.  Don't read into it!  I just think he's a gifted actor and I love his movies.  If you love me, you will make it happen.  'Nuf said
    • I miss birthday cards from my family with $$$ in them!  They stopped happening around the time I was 25.  What’s that all about!??!!
    • Lower gas prices...again.  I filled up my car the other day and it cost me nearly 60 bucks!  WTF!!!  A gas card perhaps!? :D
    • A little understanding and for people to swallow their own damn pride!  I am so sick of all of this crap where people are bashing each other because of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.  Get over yourselves!  Were all different - that's what keeps life interesting.
    • Get rid of the ENTIRE current population of our government and start over from scratch with people in those spots!  Some of those geezers have been there since dirt was invented and are more interested in their own selves than the people the represent.
    • The perfect relationship!  No liars, not cheats, no losers, no wimps, no jealous drama laden person who takes more than they give.  Someone to spend my days and nights with, good and bad.  I know there out there!  They just keep eluding me!  (Honestly, at this point, I would settle for A relationship!  Man, these nights are getting COLD!)
    • Did I mention a winning lottery ticket?
    • A second job!  The industry is so bad right now and I am SOOOOO broke I can't pay for that damn expensive gas to get back and forth to work!  I'll do anything!  Just use me for something!  I ain't picky!  (Wait, that sounds really bad! - don't be pervs!)
    • <I am reserving this spot for when I think of more things that I want for my birthday…>  If you think of anything else I might want, let me know and I'll add it to the list!  Maybe.
    I know, I know.  Wishful thinking.  Truth is, I'm alive, I'm relatively healthy, I have the greatest kiddo one could ask for, and I have the best friends and family that a person could ask for!  I am going to spend the evening out with them on Saturday to ring in my 36th (ugh) birthday, so that’s what will make me happy for my birthday.  Plus, they are all obligated to buy me a shot!

    PS – I wasn’t kidding about the gas card and $$$ in a cardJust sayin.

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012

    Geez...you would think I had just stabbed a priest or something!

    (Originally posted on 04/07/2011)

    I was going to say "shot the president," but I didn't feel the need to have the FBI busting down my door within minutes of posting this!  Hmmmm...I wonder if they will since I said it in the body instead of the title.

    Anywho, today, something interesting happened.  And tho I have been seeing this whole bigotry happening for a LOOOONNGGG time now, it just really was shoved in my face today.

    First, I am sick.  Like I feel like hammered shit.  I ache, sore throat, low grade temp, and I took my day off to sleep and self medicate.  Now I can't sleep, and I still feel like shit, so blog here I am.  Oops...off topic again.

     Anyway, at some point, I decided to make a run to the store to get some of Sprite since none of my so called friends came by to check on me and make sure I wasn't one foot in the grave.  For the record, I am not, thanks for asking!  Anyway, I went to the store to get Sprite.

    As I waited in line, I noticed that I was low on cigarettes and decided to stock up.  Not that I was smoking much today cause my throat is sore and none of my friends came to check up on me.  But I digress again.  After waiting nearly 10 minutes with my 2 liter of overpriced soda behind the gramps who sorted through his retirement plan (aka, lottery ticket purchases) for which he paid in quarters and dimes, I finally made it to the counter.  I placed my soda on the counter and placed my well rehearsed order for my cancer in a box.

    Of course, they didn't have them out on display...they had to go dig for my brand as the shipment just came in.  While I wait patiently, a very large woman (to quote Keiser....orca big) cleared her throat and proceeded to lecture me on the dangers of smoking.  The conversation went something like this:

    Shamu:  You do know that those things will kill you, don't you?
    I notice at this point that she is holding onto 3 convenient store hot dogs, large bag of chips, and diet cola in her hands, not to mention the king sized candy bar in her pocket.  So I say in a very loud and praising voice...
    Me:  Oh My Gosh!  I had no idea!!  Thank you, oh Thank you for saving my life!!!!
    Then I rolled my eyes and turned away
    Shamu:  I'm being serious!  Smoking kills!
    Me:  And that extra 600 pounds you are carrying around on your waist, kneecaps, and cankles won't kill you?
    Those of you that know me know that I speak my mind...especially when I am in a foul mood...
    Shamu:  There is no need to judge me!
    Me:  That's the pot calling the kettle black!
    Shamu:  Excuse me!
    At this point, she shifts her hefty weight onto one leg, and begins bobbing her head.  I might also mention at this point that Shamu is "African American"
    Me:  Just mind your own fuchin business and leave me alone.

    Around this time, the cashier returns with my death in a box, I pay my sin tax, and am on my way.  It got me to thinking.  Why the hell am I being judged because I like to smoke.  Yes, I like to smoke.  And I am being judged by not only Orca lady, but by society in general!  We sit and bitch and moan about being judgmental all day long and twice on Sunday!  We get upset if someone says something or post something or believes in something contrary to what we believe, sometimes going to war over it!  Yet, it is okay for people as a society to decide that my choice of bad habits is taboo and therefore okay to judge me on it?

    As I drove home thinking about Orca lady, I lit up, rolled down my window and turned on my music to relax.  I am at a stop light, and the lady in the car next to me actually had the nerve to ask me to roll up my window because the smoke was making her sick.  I nearly flicked my cigarette in her car...which, by the way, was loaded down with empty beer cans in the back seat and a case in the front seat - not that I am judging or anything.

    I was fuming, but like usual, I swallowed my pride, ran the light, and went home to take more meds and sleep some more.

    It all comes down to this...
    The jackasses that run our country decided that they didn't want to risk another prohibition (for those of you in our current education system - that was when they actually outlawed alcohol and it was an abysmal failure, but I don't expect you to know that - not because you weren't taught that - you were, but because you are not held accountable for your own education, so you don't bother to learn, and then blame the teachers for it - ugh - sorry - sick and on the soap box) decided that smoking should be taboo, and the process of turning it into a social outcast activity began.

    First, it became illegal to smoke on federal or state property, including public schools, libraries, court houses, etc.  Okay.  I can deal with that.

    Next, a sin tax is posed on cigarettes (along with other things that are considered socially amoral, even though they are practiced by pretty much everyone).  Supposedly, the money that was garnered from the sin tax was suppose to go towards education, but keep in  mind that teachers are being laid off left and right, so we know it didn't go where it was suppose to.  Ugh - stay on topic, Dwayne.

    Next, it became legal for private corporations and companies to ban smoking on their properties - this long after the federal and state owned properties became non-smoking.  So now, my job included, I am not allowed to smoke...I have to cross the street.  I can't even sit in my car and smoke.

    THEN - cities and states decided that it is not okay to smoke in restaurants and bars...I am okay with restaurants, but in bars!  Next they will be telling me that I can't even smoke in my own home!
    So now, not only am I severely limited on where I can smoke, I pay out the ass to do so, and I get treated like I just stabbed a priest or held up a dead baby sign while doing so.  And the RIGHT to smoke is still being chiseled away.

    I am incensed because I make a choice to smoke.  I like to smoke.  I like the way that it relaxes me.  I wish it didn't have the bad smell that comes with it, but to be honest, as a smoker, I like the smell!  And I miss it when I don't smoke for a long period of time.  The point is...ITS MY CHOICE!  And by choice, I do NOT smoke in restaurants.  I do not smoke in my own car when other people are in it with me.  I do not smoke in non smoking areas.  I do not smoke in other peoples home or cars.  I DO smoke in bars because that is when I like to smoke the most-unless, of course, the bar is non-smoking.  Then I just don't go there.  I don't smoke at home all that often.  I smoke at work when it gets stressful.  My point is...I DO  NOT push my smoking habit off on other people.  So why, oh why, does society decide to push their NON-SMOKING off on me!

    I realize that it is just a taboo thing to do, but some people make it out to be worse than farting in a crowded elevator or peeing in a public drinking fountain.  If you don't want to smoke, then don't smoke.  Your choice.  I want to smoke.  I accept the risk of my choice.  I realize that it will kill me someday, but then again, if it doesn't then something else will.  Just keep your damn mouth shut unless I am breaking the rules and smoking in a place where it is not allowed.

    Before you start throwing stones (not just the individual - but society in general), take a look at some of the stuff that you do in your own home!  How about I start pushing for lobbying against that?  How about something that you enjoy doing (moral or amoral) becomes a social taboo just because someone else disagrees with it?  I thought this was country of freedom?  Remember, when you are pointing at someone, you are point four fingers right back at yourself.

    Also remember this - if smoking is allowed, I am going to smoke.  If you don't like it, move to a non-smoking area.  Its my choice...I am not pushing it off on you...don't push your choice off on me.  And for the record - OUTDOORS is a SMOKING AREA!  If I am the required 50 feet away from the door of a building, then I am OUTDOORS and I WILL SMOKE.  Don't walk into my cloud to tell me it is bothering you.  Walk the other way.

    I'm just saying.  Ignore my rants...I'm sick and irritated.  Tomorrow I will be better.

    PS - I jest about my friends not checking in - mom texted, and several of my buddies did call and check up or made post...but for those of you who didn't = >raspberry on you!

    Comments made on original post

    Sarah Rivers · Northeastern State University
    Dwayne, you are absolutely right. I personally choose not to smoke. I grew up with my parents who were heavy smokers and got asked one time (by Mr. Rose - the HS principal) if I smoked because I always smelled like it. I was so embarassed. That alone made me not want to. But we do live in a society where we are automatically judged by what we do. We could be the greatest, most kind, giving person in the world...but God forbid we have a habit that society deems wrong. That's instant grounds for execution. It is your right to choose to smoke just like it's my right to choose not to. My hats off to you Dwayne.
    Roman A. Guerra · English Teacher JV Baseball coach at Edcouch-Elsa ISD

    Very well said D. I agree with you that everyone wants to push their views on you though you clearly state you CHOOSE to smoke. You know I don't smoke, but I did have cancer. Yet, I still feel it is up to that person. I have nothing against you smoking, but like you said, just don't do it where you're not supposed to. Everyone else can S**K it! LOL ps the teacher stuff is awesome as well.
    Bethany Faulkner
    I am just going to start the campaign...I will vote Dwayne Isbell in 2012!
    Etasha Ruggs
    Oh how I love this! I am singing your praises to all that can hear.