November 16, 2009

Child Abuse

Imagine for a moment that you're back in middle school gym class. You're outside and it's a beautiful day, sun shining, birds chirping.
It's field day and you're supposed to be throwing the discus, jumping hurdles, and running across the green grass of the field with your fellow students, in a 100 meter dash.
Instead, you're lying on the blacktop just outside the gym auditorium, in front of your gym teacher, getting kicked again and again in your ribs, back, and face by 2 laughing bullies. All you can think is "God, please make them stop", as your ribs & back are screaming in pain, blood dribbles out of your nostrils into pools on the hot ground, and bruises are already starting to form all over your body.
And, let's say that this is a normal day for you, getting your ass kicked that is.
It was days like these that made up most of my late elementary, middle school, and early high school years.
I've been punched in the stomach just coming into the boys locker room in gym class, by a boy with a cast from his fist all the way up his forearm, just because he thought is was funny and was curious to see if he would feel the punch through his cast. It knocked the wind out of me, almost made me throw-up, and caused me to double over in pain. But, his cast was fine, didn't hurt him at all.
That gym class experience I wrote about above is a true experience that I went through in the 7th grade, and it really did happen just a mere 5 or 6 feet away from where my gym teacher stood, whistle around his neck, glancing down every 30 seconds or so to watch.
In high school I was robbed again and again by a group of 3 boys who waited for me at both ends of a street I had to walk down to get to the shopping center to eat lunch, and they stole everything from my mothers wristwatch(a gift from her grandmother that she'd let me borrow so I could keep track of time during lunch, because she couldn't afford to buy me one) to any amount of money I had on me to buy my lunch with. That was a daily experience for me.
And, I repeatedly told school officials(teachers, principals, deans, etc)what was going on, that I was being beaten up or robbed, and they did little to nothing to stop it or punish the other kids involved. That's not to say that those bullies weren't sometimes sent home with notes to their parents or didn't get in-school suspension sometimes. But, when they saw me the next time, they were more than happy to make me paying for my tattling on them.
To be honest, going to school was a mostly terrible experience for me. I hated going there knowing I was either going to have the crap beat out of me to amuse some bully or be robbed.
Now, you ask, "Why didn't you just fight back?"
Well, fighting back was a bad idea for 3 main reasons:
  1. If by an off chance the bully was alone, fighting back ended with me getting suspended or reprimanded, and reminded said bully to bring his friends back for revenge the next time he saw me.
  2. As stated above, there was rarely just one bully. There was usually at least 2 or 3 of them. So, fighting back would have led to more bruises and more blood loss for me, than if I just took it and got it over with.
  3. Bullies aren't typically pocket protector wearing, movie nerd types. They're usually big, mean, and enjoy what they're doing to you.
Now, next time you decide to ask someone whose been a victim, "Why didn't you fight back?", think to yourself, if you were attacked by a large, vicious pack of wild dogs, how would you feel if, while laying on the ground chewed up, someone asked you, "Well, why didn't you just fight back?"
So, anyhow, I dropped out of school in the 11th grade, mostly because I was wasting my time, along with the school and my parents time, being there. And, I haven't been robbed or beat up on a daily basis sense.
But, this post is a warning and a reality check for all of you parents out there whose kids come home with a black eye, empty pockets, and/or a bloody nose. It's time to get pro-active about this. You've got to do everything in your power to make sure your child doesn't have to go through the years of it that I went through. Talk to teachers, school officials, whoever you've got to talk to in order to make it stop. Just don't do the typical parent thing and say you'll talk to the other kids parents. For us that have been bullied, we know this only leads to a bigger whooping the next day by the bully who got in trouble from their parents because of us.
I would say the best thing you can do, and no it is not too extreme, is to call the police. Whether an adult does it or another kid, this is child abuse. Those bullies need to see that they can face abuse, assault, harassment, and robbery charges for what they do.
Bullying has become somewhat of an epidemic in school, and it should be taken just as seriously as physical and emotional abuse is taken in any other case.

June 5, 2009

Sharing my artwork :-)

Here is one painting I did last week, one of the first I've ever finished on canvas.
The other is copy of Dali's "Persistence of Memory" in chalk on our drive-way.
Thanks for looking...

June 3, 2009

Quit smoking, Grab a bottle of beer...

Alcoholism is an interesting "disease". It can take the most loving, caring, wonderful people and turn them against themselves. It destroys the lives of not only those who are the abusers and the family and friends of the abuser. Alcoholism kills thousands every year through automobile accidents, liver disease, home accidents(like fires), and dozens of other "side effects" of being drunk or the adverse effects of alcohol on the body.
Everyone in this country comes down so hard on smokers and as a smoker I understand addiction and why it's so bad for me and those around me. But why don't we get a bigger spotlight on alcohol abuse and the millions of lives it has destroyed. I don't see movie studios say anything about taking alcohol out of movies, the commericials that make it look like drinking as being a great pass time, and a million other places that alcohol abuse is actually put in a positive light. Yet there have been petition to take cigarettes out of movies to keep kids from learning the habit from their favorite movie stars. It's so terribly back-asswords...
Outside of guns and the atom bomb I'd put alcohol as one of the worse inventions of man.
I've known two major alcoholics in my life and watched them struggle with the decision between family and the bottle again and again. And I can't even begin to express my frustration at all the times I've seen tears that lead to nothing and promises broken.
That's it, that's all I've got to say about it. It makes me want to scream...

May 8, 2009

My Brain Hurts

Choices, choices, choices.....
I think we have too many of them nowadays. Almost everybody I know does the whole "What do you want for dinner?", "I don't know what do you want?", conversation every time they get hungry. You can pick Chinese, Korean, American, "New Age" health food, Italian, etc, etc, etc.
And this doesn't only apply to food. My wife and I have Netflix with the out at a time option and we still have a hard time keeping up with all the movies coming out. My daughter actually started crying one time when we took her to the store with her allowance and told her to get whatever toy she wanted(within her price range of course). She started crying about halfway through looking around the toy department. She said she couldn't choose and this was enough to make her break down and cry.
In this world of a billion choices we live in it's no wonder we almost always feel overwhelmed.
Choices are great and all but sometimes the best option is to limit yourself to just a couple of "favorite" options, whether it's a new DVD you want to buy, what your going to eat for dinner, or the bazillions of other choices we make in a day, and stick with our original "gut" choice.

April 27, 2009


People all over the U.S. and, not to sound too egotistical, all over the world are talking about the U.S. economy and the big mess we're in as a country. "How are we going to get out of this?", I hear from a lot of people I've talked to about it. I thought and thought on this trying to come up with a logical answer as to how and when we'll overcome the mess that's been created.
Than a friend and I were talking yesterday and today it finally meshed together to form the logical answer, at least for me.
Maybe it's not about how we're going to survive this or how we can get out of this mess. It could be that, like a wild fire, this is our chance to almost start from scratch.
Maybe it all needs to fall apart so that we can see the framework of this place we've made for ourselves over the past few hundred years.
I find myself realizing that every civilization on the planet has gone through a sort of renewal period throughout history and America being the young country that it is has to hit this period at some point. Why not now ?
Just about every renewal I've read about involved some kind of a revolution on the part of the people.
Now we've gone through the literal Revolution but it is in this day and age that we see the reality of the most diverse group of citizens ever to come together in history. Think of the American Revolution as the birth of our nation, the Civil War as our terrible twos, and now we're coming up on being toddlers and learning to walk and talk as a nation.
So, maybe it's not how do we fix this. Maybe it's formulating a new plan for the future. Our system need a renewal.

April 22, 2009

That Darn Evil Cows Milk

I know you probably looked at the title of this post and thought 'What the heck kind of title is that?'. But, this title is appropriate for how I feel about cows milk, as I am allergic to it. I've even tried the lactose intolerant form of milk and end up with the same symptoms as if I'd had a drink of regular milk. According to my doctor that is because lactose free milk still contains a trace of lactose that can cause problems for people with a strong enough allergy to the stuff.
Having been allergic to milk since I was around 10 or 11 years old I don't really remember enough about what it tastes like for it to affect me terribly. Yet, I'm still bad about eating cheese and ice cream, which affect me sometimes more than straight milk. I suffered through the side effects for quite a few years because I love the taste of ice cream and I love a good cheese sandwich. Over the past few years though our local grocery stores(King Soopers is an especially good place for me) have started carrying soy and dairy free ice creams. I know there were places you could find dairy free "dairy products" for a while now, but you had to go to a specialty store. And to be honest quite a few soy products are still pretty pricey compared to their dairy counter-parts because they're classified a "health food". And lets face it anything truly healthy is going to cost a bit more out of pocket(health officials wonder why we all cram down junk food, maybe because these high ranking officials have high ranking wages and don't think too much about the price of "healthy food").
Recently though I found an ice cream at my local King Soopers that sells dairy free ice cream called Purely Decadent(You can find their website HERE). They have tons of dairy free ice cream flavors to choose from. Which of course for us dairy free people is a huge leap. The choices in flavors have been limited to the basics(Vanilla and Chocolate) for a while now and it's nice to see a company that realizes even dairy free people have taste buds.
So, if your lactose intolerant or can't have dairy for any other reason check them out.
I better be going though, I'm sitting here and I want to eat the newest flavor I just got which just happens to be one of my favorite flavors, Cookie Dough.

April 18, 2009

A Common Concern

Why is it that most of us have the desire to escape the places to which we were born ?
If someone is born in Seattle, Washington they want to live in New York, New York and if born in Denver, Colorado they would rather live in San Fransisco, California.
I know it's not everyone, but it seems a common thread in quite a few people I've known over the years(as well as myself).
Is it the instinctual need to migrate or the human desire to explore ? Heck, maybe its part of the whole need to "grow up" and escape our parents, make a lives for ourselves.
The funny thing being of course is that most of us, no matter how far we travel, almost always seem to return for good to those places we had to get away from so badly.
I know that a big part of the people that want to move to California or New York is the want to be closer to movie stars, musicians, the "high life", riches and fame.
There are plenty of people that move to further their careers or be closer to someone they love.
But, those urges come later. I'm talking about the urge to "run away" that hits most of us in our teen years. Maybe it's all those things I've listed, maybe it's none of those.
That's why I want to hear from you, my readers, about your experiences with this urge to "get away". Where did you go ? Why did you go ? Anything about the subject that strikes words from the anvil of your mind.

April 8, 2009

Disinfect the World

Why is it that we've become so obsessed with a "clean" world ?
Isn't it amazing all the products currently on the market that contain some sort of anti-bacterial agent or disinfectant ?
The funny thing being of course is that if these things really worked to destroy all bacteria and germs these companies would be out of business. So, they have to make it appear as if we are in constant warfare with the microscopic world.
It's really no wonder so many of us are such big germi-phobes. Even my daughter received bubble gum smelling, anti-bacterial hand soap for Christmas. And she's only seven years old.
If I don't take it away from her or keep a close eye on her she uses it constantly because her young mind has bought into everything she sees on television, learns at school, or catches snippets of in adult conversation. She's only seven and quickly on the path to needing therapy when she's an adult.
The way I see it is that drug companies, anti-bacterial soap companies, and a zillion other companies that work to make sure we don't get sick, and if we do, to keep us healthy are mostly full of crap. Why would the companies that come up with and produce drugs for cancer or AIDS want there to really be a cure. How much of a profit would they make curing people as opposed to treating people ?
Heck, even if we cured the common cold or the flu there would be tons of drug companies, pharmacy's, politicians, and people between a rock and a hard place.
It's just never made much sense to me that people believe these companies are really working to make us healthy, when us being healthy is very un-profitable for these companies.
So, the answer to the question posed at the beginning of this post is simple.
We are obsessed with a "clean" world because we're surrounded by everything from government sponsored ads to commercials on television, radio ads, drug company commercials, etc, etc.
And this ads re-enforce I obsession with staying healthy, clean, and alive. Even if some of the things we do to accomplish those obsession are only leading us in the opposite direction.

April 3, 2009

Silly Puppets

It's quite amazing how gullible we, as a people, really are. I go to the store and see low fat this, and half the carbs that, blah, blah, blah. And I say to myself, well after I realize that in a few years my problem of trying to gain weight will be becoming an even bigger problem, is that these companies know how gullible we are. Everything from commercials to magazine covers are a trap designed to sucker us into buying this or that product and, you know what ? We fall for it 99 percent of the time.
You know George Bush wouldn't have had to formulate the Sep.11 attacks to get us riled up enough to attack the middle east, steal their oil, and get revenge on Saddam Hussein. All he had to have done was tell us that the surgeon general found in studies that killing Saddam and stealing oil would make us lose weight, or get the person we wanted to date us, or get rid of our pimples, or a billion other things and we would have gone over and reeked havoc in the Middle East.
It just blows my mind how devout we are to looking "perfect" and to what extremes we will go to obtain that "perfection". People kill each other on an hourly basis for cash, televisions, groceries, cigarettes, drugs, etc, etc. I just don't have words to describe how sad that makes me sometimes to think this is human nature.
Not to say I don't see the good in us and the wonderful things we can accomplish but if only half of us would stop seeking that "perfection"; that perfect body, the nicest car, the cell phone with the most features. We would accomplish so much more.
But that's just me ranting, so I guess I better get going. I'm formulating a plan to somehow produce a commercial or magazine ad that convinces people that getting tattoo's will help them lose 50 pounds in just two weeks. That way the whole job discrimination against the tattooed might be brought to a halt.

April 1, 2009

7 Pounds

I would have to say this is probably one of the best "drama" movies I've seen in a while. I would highly recommend this one for anyone looking for a movie that will really get your emotions pumping. "7 Pounds" stars Will Smith and is from the same team that put together the movie "Pursuit of Happiness". This movie will touch your heart and make those tears flow. I give this movie 8 out of 10 "Josephs World" Movie Points.

March 28, 2009

Wow !!!

Is it just me or is kids music, toys, and reading material getting racier and racier. I was just watching the Nickelodeon "Kids Choice Awards" with my 7 year old daughter and a certain group made my eyes just about pop out of my head in disbelief, the "Pussycat Dolls". They were on the show to perform a couple of their songs and their outfits and lyrics were not exactly what I'd call kid appropriate.
Another one, not on the awards, is those "Bratz" dolls. They are probably the sluttiest looking toy I think I've ever seen. Barbie has been around forever and she never sunk quite as low as these short skirt wearing, big lipped slut dolls called "Bratz".
I really think these musician, show producers, and toy makers need a conscience check. The "Pussycat Dolls" and the "Bratz" are the worst idea I could probably think of for what I want my daughter learning from.
Come on people, how low are we going to sink ? I get that your kids want the newest, coolest toys. But, maybe put some thought into what you're giving into. I know it's probably been said before too many times to count, but, you're their parents first and friend second.

March 25, 2009

Strange Yourself

ir·ra·tion·al (-rsh-nl)
a. Not endowed with reason.
b. Affected by loss of usual or normal mental clarity; incoherent, as from shock.
c. Marked by a lack of accord with reason or sound judgment: an irrational dislike.
a. Being a syllable in Greek and Latin prosody whose length does not fit the metric pattern.
b. Being a metric foot containing such a syllable.
3. Mathematics Of or relating to an irrational number.

The world, especially us in the U.S., is full of people with irrational fears.
My main ones are germs, speaking in public(except for in a job environment), and getting sick.
And I know that most of the time they are in fact irrational. It's not like I don't realize I'm overly worried sometimes about things to a much more extreme degree than "normal" people.
The thing that frustrates me the most is, one, my inability to just make those "voices" in my head shut up and, two, that I haven't always been as irrational as I am now. I was a just as "normal" as everyone else when I was younger and didn't worry so much about things that I shouldn't.
And it's quite amazing how much of what we make ourselves believe is true can become "real" if we obsess about it enough.
Here's an exercise for you all; Look at yourself in the mirror when you're depressed and feeling like crap about yourself and the world, than look at yourself in that same mirror when you feel like everything is going well and the world is grand. If done correctly you'll see two seriously different versions of yourself in the mirror.
Now I want to hear your irrational fears. I want to hear what the voices in your head are lying to you about, get a peak at your brain matter. So, send them in, I'm curious.
Oh and by the way, spiders freak me out too !!!

March 21, 2009

The Answer

I've finally figured out a solution to a major American problem. You see we have a male cat that up until two weeks ago was UN-neutered because he was too young. Well up until now he wasn't particularly human friendly. I mean he was all for us petting him when he was in the mood, but would nip at you or claw you at any given moment. He was fairly anti-social and kind of kept to himself most of the time. Well, we got him neutered and now he is the friendliest cat you could ever imagine. He can't get enough human affection and attention and he never claws or nips anymore.
So, what if instead of incarcerating violent criminals we just neutered them? It's the perfect answer to our prison over population problems and you can help them become upstanding citizens. You cut off their balls and maybe, just maybe, they'll become more affectionate and people friendly too.
Just a thought, no reason to listen to little ol me, just a thought.

March 20, 2009

Come on now...

My wife and I were recently discussing the anti-discrimination laws that employers are supposed to abide by law. And we both came to the same conclusion, they're useless.

The law completely relies on an employer either being outrageously stupid or extremely honest. An employer doesn't really have to give you any reason for not hiring you. Heck, half the time they don't even bother to call you back.

But, even if an employer doesn't hire you because your Christian, Muslim, overweight, too skinny, black, white, Asian, and so on and so forth, it's not like they're going to tell you that's why they didn't hire you.

They'll say something along the lines of "We already filled the position" or "Your qualification don't match our needs". Most aren't stupid enough to tell you they just don't like the fact that your one of the above mentioned.

So, why do these laws exist ? There is no real obligation to follow them. Plenty of people are hired and fired everyday for the reasons this law is supposed to protect against.

They just don't say it to your face.

March 19, 2009

Cheerleaders, Jocks, and Atheists.

Does high school ever really end ?

It's supposed to end when you leave the hallowed halls of stone and graffitied books behind.

But, you discover soon after that the high schools days aren't "over", that the "real" world is high schools identical twin.

It's still one big popularity contest with set "groups" of people, everything has a lot to do with who you know, and you'll still end up at home alone on a Saturday night if you're not "cool" enough.

People still brag about their fancy cars and their "bangin" stereos, and now that muscles a-hole who used to beat the crap out of you everyday at lunch is now your supervisor.

Of course now bullying is called assault and those dirty jokes you and your friends used to laugh about can make you end up in court for sexual harassment.

The point is, high school doesn't really end, it just gets bigger and meaner.

Instead of graffitied books and desks, it's the side of a building or a grocery store bathroom, instead of being called jocks and cheerleaders they're C.E.O.'s and nightmare managers.

So, what does this say about our "American" culture ?

On the bright side of all of this at least you can now say the pledge of allegiance or pray(out loud) whenever you feel like it. Just be sure you're not on government property or within ear shot of an atheist, Muslim, Buddhist, or bill of rights "thumper", these people are very sue happy nowadays.

March 13, 2009


We are all slowly being mummified by the foods we eat, the things we drink, and all other chemical substances we take into our bodies. The thousands and thousands of preservatives we ingest, inhale, and drink are not only preserving the products, it's preserving our body's. Now at first glance this doesn't sound all that bad. I'm thinking to myself 'Hey I'll look younger longer'. But, unfortunately that isn't the case. Apparently your not supposed to go through the preservation process while your still alive. I'd like to know if there is such thing as "real" food anymore that doesn't have some sort of preservative, hormones, or genetically enhanced parts. Now I get that a lot of people buy these "enhanced" foods to get rid of trans-fat and the like and I'm really sorry that you have a weight loss issue. The thing is though I have the opposite problem, I can't gain weight to save my life, and getting rid of all the natural fat and calories in our food is hurting me. I don't mean to be harsh but if you want to lose weight eat right and get some regular exercise. I know that everyone who is over weight or perceives themselves as being over weight wants an instant pill or a "magical" cure for their weight, but it doesn't exist at the moment. And since the industry can see that you want this instant fix they are filling all of our food and beverages with more and more chemicals and hormones to "help" you lose that weight. That's all for now, I know I didn't cover all the bases but I'm just not really in the mood to write a book at this moment.