Category Archives: American Culture

Prioritizing, Baby

She said, “you’re not paying attention, honey!”

He didn’t respond. 

“Hun, can you hear me?!?” she exclaimed. 

He didn’t mumble a response.  He straight up ignored.  He was not tired.  He was not distracted.  He was energized. He was FOCUSED!  And he was prioritizing.  He was re-prioritizing.  He was analyzing. He was reflecting, planning, and doing.  

What he wasn’t doing was explaining his moves. He no longer extended the courtesy of sharing his thoughts.  He was no longer afraid. Therefore their were no more “concerns” to mull over. 

He was taking back his life.  He was unapologetic.  He was assertive and no longer cared about the negativity, nay-saying, or the bull!  He recognized that there’d be fallout from his new approach. He was unmoved.  It was a consequence that he was willing to take.  There were no more “risks” because everything now was safe.  

He’s grown.  Few people understand his new walk.  He’s tightened his circle.  It’s so small now that it merely a dot.  And he’s good!

Her voice faded to the background as his own conscience echoed in the foreground.  He was consumed in his thoughts.  His actions were a slalom on a high-speed race course.  Analogies and alliteration drove his pen. His sketches resembled Dream clouds and flow charts.  

His life was his own.  His business was not his life.  Instead, his life became his business.  And for the first time in 43 years, he felt alive.  

(To be continued)

The Crime Against Children You Don’t Hear About

I’ve joined to movement. Won’t you join us?

The Chemist Tom

Here we go again, diving into another primary season here in New Jersey. Following the abysmal state of our economy under the leadership of the likes of Chris Christie, Steve Sweeney and Vincent Prieto, the state is now poised to do everything we can to maintain the status quo.

While we lag behind in the economy, pension solvency, and with a 6.5% unemployment rate (surrounded by states with at least a 1%-point gain on us) isn’t it time to ask ourselves how good our quo really is?

Currently, we’re second in education only to Massachusetts, but our public school funding formula has been mismanaged by everyone in Trenton to a tune of a $1 billion shortfall every year. We hand out more than $7 billion in corporate subsidies and we currently suck hard at maintaining a solvent economy.

Here in New Jersey,the teachers and staff of our school…

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Eyes Wide Shut

(The puzzle pieces do not match the picture on the puzzle box)

How long will you labor over misunderstandings, confusion, and mess before you pause?  How long will you question and ponder the reasons before you slow down and step back?  How long before you stop planning and strategizing before you hault?

Be still. Close your eyes. Listen. Then stop listening.  Shut out the noise.  Put your hands down.  Breathe.  What do you smell? 

Does it smell good?  Or is it bull…?

Open your eyes.  Move about.  Stop.  Look around.  Breathe.  Is it the same?

When your position changes, but your perspective does not…STOP.  

How many times will you restrategize before you surrender?  This energy that we consume fighting a fight in a sea of complacency…

Who are we fighting for?  Are we fighting collectively?  Or are we fighting alone?


Are we missing some of the pieces to the puzzle? Are we forcing pieces to fit despite the fact that the puzzle will never be complete.  Will we be satisfied with a partial result?  

Are our objectives aligned?   Are we fighting for the same thing?  Are we fighting each other?  Are we controlling access to some of the puzzle pieces?  Would you do that?  Why?

We are struggling daily with forces that we perceive as negative.  The change-makers will make change.  But what will they change?  Will they change their position?  Will they change their approach?  Or will they change their minds? 

There are answers.  We just don’t know the questions yet.  

We have someone fighting us right now.  They think they know why.  So do we.  But we are wrong.  We are all wrong.  

There’s another way.  Close your eyes.  Be still…


You gave me something that you could take away.

You gave me…hope.

You made a promise.

You convinced me to love.


And then you took it away.

It was a planned removal.

A calculated risk.


A manipulation of trust.

A conception of sin

That turned out to be the best thing that could have ever happened to us.

The most horrid, mean-heated, demon-ization of our relationship manifested into the biggest blessing.

You left me.  And I’m grateful.



Suspend the Rules

We deal in the “what if’s”

when recognizing how fortunate we are

We convince ourselves that there’s a single point

in our own personal history that our life changed

(for the better or for the worst)


But let’s suspend the rules

Let’s release…

Let’s offer the responsibility up to a force greater than our own.

Things happen!


We convince ourselves that things happen for a reason.

As intellectuals, we accept the premise of cause and effect.

Things happen…


…and we convince ourselves that we can take measures to prevent

…things from happening.


Be humbled.  Accept that we don’t know!


Not knowing IS ignorance,

But ignorance doesn’t need to be blissful.


The bliss comes from not caring.

But the bliss can come from gaining knowledge.

The bliss can come from the release.


The release of defeat.

The release of deceit.

The release of something sweet.

The receipt of…



…the knowledge that comes from wisdom

…the wisdom that comes from an awareness

…and the awareness that what we know to

be true…


…is WRONG.


Suspend your beliefs.

Slowly close your eyes.

Rise & Shine

Rise and shine, and give God the glory, Glory…

Before I awaken my resting Angels 
Before I walk out this door 

And inhale the air outside

I pray the Lord keep them by His side
We are blessed to have

each and every soul

That is in our lives

I pray He protects each of us

That He keep us

That He humble us

Empower us

Through wisdom

And Hope.

Through Faith

And Love


Linda, Retired from Michigan

Today is a great day!  Why?  Because I can count. But I can’t count high enough.  There are too many blessing to count.  I’d never be done counting.  I’d start with the fact that I woke up this morning (1).  Then I’d count the fact that my health is better than others (2).  I couldn’t overlook my beautiful and healthy family (3). I could go on and on, but it would eventually sound like I’m bragging.  

I am a humble man, and in my humility I am open to a world of criticism and/or praise.  My ego yearns for positive reinforcement.  Today was no different, except for…

Today I met Linda, retired from Michigan.  While chatting with Jocelyn from North Carolina, I began to editorialize and socialize and entertain. It was beautiful!  My audience was responsive.  My presentation was edgy and relavent. My audience attentively smiled and asked for more.  We were engaged and it felt natural.  

Most teachers are natural entertainers.  We are knowledgeable about social interaction and we are well versed on how to perpetuate a conversation.  We are always seeking that “teachable moment.”  It’s like a drug, but way more addictive.  

Linda, retired from Michigan, was also a teacher. She knows the struggle, and she continues to advocate for our students and the conditions that current educators struggle with routinely. 

She looked me squarely in the eye and said, “you should be a comedian!”  I kindly thanked her for the compliment.  And then I thought, maybe Linda, retired from Michigan, was right. 

This fired me up, I told three more stories.  Career, relationships, and parenthood…these would be my topics (my comic bits). My audience agreed.  So I embellished and tweaked each real story until one man laughed so hard. I thought he was going to need a doctor.  

When I began to bloggers ago, it was personal therapy and reflection.  But what better therapy is there than laughter? And I could provide a service to others???   THIS IS MY love language–affirming words and service towards others.  

Stay tuned.  

  1. If you’d like to read more from the author of MSKTB, click on these links:

Let the journey continue!