The Working Title

For most, writing is not an easy task. I’m still trying to figure out why I keep taking a stab at it. But here I am, pounding away at these keys in an effort to share my thoughts with you. Writing for pleasure may seem like the simplest route, as opposed to getting paid to write essays, stories, and other helpful articles, but it appears to not be the case at all. I can’t even come up with a decent title.

One thing I have come up with is that writing is a bit like life. I started out with absolutely no idea what I was doing or how to do it, though my intentions were good. Slowly, I started to form a thought in my head outlining the type of writer I wanted to be and what kind of approach I would take to make it happen. Somewhere along the way I lost sight of what I was doing and decided I just didn’t want to do it anymore, it’s too difficult. Boohoo.

Life works the same way. We start off not knowing anything or what to do with ourselves, but we are generally good people. As we grow older, experiences shape and mold us into what we are going to become as an adult and we decide what we want to accomplish as a human being. College, shitty jobs, paycheck to paycheck lives, and dealing with unbearable people make us lose track of what we were trying to accomplish and where we were going. We get blindsided by all of life’s little nuances and tricks. And then we have to start over. Once again, boohoo.

Starting over gets more and more difficult as we get older. Rediscovering ourselves isn’t fun anymore. It becomes a chore, a hassle. Yet we really don’t have much of a choice. For all the assholes who are going to say “you always have a choice, you can do anything you want to do,” shut up. We know this. We have potential. We have the support. We have the world in the palm of our hands. Isn’t life grand and simple and sweet and amazing. NO. It is NOT that easy. The only choice we have is to decide if we want to give up and be some cold hobo going from shelter to shelter or to try to pick ourselves up and make something new out of what has fallen apart. Most of us opt for the latter. Most of us will not be able to recover the track we were on at the beginning of our starry-eyed dreams, and although life has a way of working out and we end up being happy at the end, it is not what we had originally planned for ourselves. There is nothing wrong with that at all.

But not one person can tell me everything they did and accomplished and dreamed of went exactly according to plan and that there is no goal they did not accomplish. Everyone has something. You may not be able to admit it. As you are reading this, there is a tiny thought in the back of your head from 20 years ago screaming at you and tugging at you that you have suppressed and will always suppress.

This post was not meant to take such a negative turn, and I apologize for that. But it does confirm that both of my talking points are true. The first, writing and life have a lot in common. And the second, more often than not, things are not going to work out the way you want it to.

I’ll attempt to end this on a more positive note. With all of life’s downfalls and shortcomings, it isn’t all bad. Puppies and kittens exist, so there’s that. Life is a working title. It may not turn out as planned, but it will turn out. And by the end, whether it’s good or bad, you end up with an interesting read.

Stay classy, and I’ll see you at the next stop.

The Art of the Steal

You all remember The Quitter from yesterday, right? If not, then stop reading this post and go read it before going any further.

Welcome back, this is what it feels like to be caught up you lazy bum.

As I was saying, you all remember The Quitter from yesterday, right? Of course you do, I’m a very memorable writer and you should follow me immediately.

Ok, now that you’re following me, and that you’re all caught up, we can continue. No more holding back the rest of the class.

Due to the lack of composure and ethic of The Quitter, I spent a large portion of the day making phone calls and interviewing people. One young lady in particular stuck out like a sore thumb. With gangrene.

After going through most of the interview, she asks me if I’ll be performing a background check. Odd question to ask since most employers get a background check of their employees. I told her I would be doing that if we decided to go any further with the hiring process. She then proceeded to tell me that she was fired from a job about 7 years ago for stealing.

I’m a forgiving person and I don’t judge, as I’m sure you can tell from my obvious unicorns and rainbows demeanor. Unfortunately, when it comes to work, I have zero tolerance for certain things. Theft is one of those things. Especially in a business where we have our hands on hundreds of products each day, a lot of which is unsupervised.

I let her know that I would contact her to let her know either way if I wanted to continue the hiring process. She left, I immediately got on the internet.

Turns out, Klepto McStickyfingers had a misdemeanor for taking close to $500 right out of a register in front of a camera that she knew was there. Now, I know people change, everyone deserves a second chance, and all that jazz.

I also know that I have fifteen other applicants who haven’t stolen anything. Guess who I’m going to hire?

Back to the story. During my research online and a couple of calls to her old employer to find out what the circumstances were, I discovered quite a bit. McStickyfingers not only blatantly stole from her company, but told fellow employees in the weeks leading up to the crime that she’d easily be able to do it without getting caught. She thought the cameras didn’t work because they were too outdated and for sure didn’t have any kind of audio. They were there for a scare tactic. I bet she was scared when she got arrested.

I DO NOT CONDONE THEFT OF ANY KIND FROM ANY PERSON OR COMPANY.

That being said…

If you’re going to steal from someone, come on. Be fairly intelligent about it. Don’t tell people you’re capable of doing it, how and why you are capable of doing it, or when you’re going to do it. Try to block yourself from any cameras. Don’t be obvious about it. Make it look smooth.

I wrote a post a couple months ago called The Art of the Deal. Go read it. I’ll wait.

Okay, welcome back, again. If I have to make you go back one more time I’m throwing your ass out of this class.

Now insert the wealth of knowledge from The Art of the Deal into this post, The Art of the Steal. See what I did there with the titles? That was a complete coincidence. Yet it worked out seamlessly. I told you earlier I was great at this writing thing. You should read what I write every day like Iamthesunking does. Front of the class, top marks, teacher’s pet.

Anyway. Be smart about what you do. Even thieving. Again, I don’t condone theft in any way. But if you’re going to do something, do it well, think it out, be smart about it. I’d hire a good thief over a bad one any day just out of principle.

Don’t be like Klepto McStickyfingers.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a beautiful woman in my bed waiting for me to hold her so we can pass out.

Stay classy, and I’ll see you at the next stop.

The Deadline

I’ve had many jobs, all of which have had important deadlines to adhere to. My current job is no different. Several deadlines a day, weekly deadlines, monthly deadlines, even annual deadlines. This makes me very busy, very tired, and very focused.

One deadline in particular expired today. I’m always very prepared for anything that comes my way and I tend to finish whatever is thrown at me way ahead of time. This makes me look good, my team look good, and the company look good. So today I was finishing up some random daily task when I get approached by the guy in charge of operations for the company.

Take a guess as to why he approached me. To tell me I’m doing a great job? To give me a raise? To let me know that he wants me to take on more responsibility because I’m always ahead of the game? To shake my hand and hand over the company?

NO.

“Do you want to tell me why you’ve missed the last three deadlines you’ve been assigned?”

I was clearly surprised, the blood rushed to my face, I immediately went over everything I’ve done in the last month in my head and came up short. I’d done everything asked of me and then some and I’d done it extremely well and, as usual, ahead of time. I’m a very organized individual and I document and track everything I do.

So how in the world could I have missed something? Prepare to be enlightened.

The operations manager was out of town last Thursday and Friday and somehow missed any communication I had sent him. Obviously this guy gets a ton of emails every day so I can’t fault him too much. But he’s been doing that job for years. He should know at this point that he needs to go through his emails before he gets in someone’s face about not doing their job. Especially if said person is known for always doing their job correctly and ahead of time. Especially if he wasn’t in the office for two days, followed by a weekend. Especially if he had all day the following Monday to actually go through anything he may have missed. Especially if he ATTENDED AND RAN THE WEEKLY MEETING WITH ALL DEPARTMENT HEADS THAT HE HAS BEEN IN CHARGE OF SINCE THE FOUNDING OF THE COMPANY HE OWNS.

I’m probably being bitter. I’m sure he had a lot going on. Maybe a family emergency. Maybe something crazy stressful that had him preoccupied. Maybe it was an off day. It could be any number of reasons.

But I don’t have time to focus on all that right now. I have a deadline to make.

Stay classy, and I’ll see you at the next stop.

The Comeback

It’s been way too long, a couple of months at least. Consider this the first post in my renewed attempt at writing at least once a day. A lot has changed, some has stayed the same, and all of it has been for the better.

The format is the same you know and love: dry sense of humor, jokes you may or may not get, observations and experiences in my work and personal life, and the uncanny ability to come off as a general asshole, major dick, private douche (more bad jokes) regardless of the point I’m making or the fact that you agree with me.

First off, I have a new job. I get to work with a ton of people. It’s great, I think. You know how people are. I also get to be in charge of them, so we’ll see how that goes. On the bright side, I’m home every night, I get to cook every night, I get to see the old lady every night. On the other hand, no daily cross-country travel. Not that I don’t have a million complaints on my 10 minute commute to and from work every day (I’m talking to you silver 2003 Malibu that takes up 3 lanes on a 2 lane road in rush hour traffic). But all that other stuff makes up for it.

Next, I’ve more or less settled down and gotten used to the home and work life without the nuisances of a different hotel every night, fast food for every meal, and the insane hours that drive lesser people mad. On top of all that, there’s a cat next to me on the armrest of this couch so I’m going to type a bunch of nonsense to appeal to the cat lovers out there that think it’s adorable when cats walk all over keyboards: adjklfhdsakjabs;dca n sd lj lasdflkjkdf s dfh;ks ;k jsdkf;j sadkf. Gotta get those likes. Definitely wasn’t the cause of a very brief writer’s block and a poor excuse to take up space in this post.

Now that all of that is out of the way, I’ll just say that I’m sorry I haven’t written in a couple months, like I’m the only interesting person on the entire internet and you could figure out anything else in the world to do.

So begins my daily posting. Look out for tomorrow’s post where I rant for quite a while about the idiocy that is being a breatharian. You’re really going to enjoy it.

Stay classy, and I’ll see you at the next stop.

The Apology

This post is going to serve as an apology to my readers and followers. I haven’t posted in way too long and I promised to try to write at least once a day. Well I fucked that one up, it’s been a week or two.

Work has been insanely busy, I’ve been exhausted, and I’ve found the love of my life. Then again, she’s been on me to do some writing. So this is entirely on me.

Today I am rained out. Normally I go ahead ahead and work in whatever kind of weather is present, regardless of how terrible it is. But the jobs I’m working on now are going to be extra dangerous in these thunderstorms and lightning and hail and whatever else the heavens throw down.

So, here I am, in my hotel room in Temple, TX, apologizing to all of you. I’m sorry. There you go. Now I’m going to do some writing and see if I can’t get caught up. I have seen a lot in my absence, so keep a lookout for my next posts.

Stay classy, and I’ll see you at the next stop.

The Poem

With curious eyes like pools of dark chocolate
that make a man want to dive right in, 
and nut-brown hair with a tint of red, 
it's impossible to get this beauty out of your head.

Her laugh is contagious and lights up a room.
She is gentle and sweet and as stubborn as the Texas weather.
The perfect height for forehead kisses, 
she's sure to be the object of your affection forever. 

Never before has a passion been so true
as that of this woman who molds young minds.
Her fears and wishes and dreams match yours,
her goals and ambition can open all doors,
and her lighthearted spirit will keep your fates intertwined.

The sense of humor that inhabits her soul
brought you both together. 
It's a humor that is dark and brings laughter beyond control,
but can turn around and be light as a feather.

Even her expressions are as adorable as can be,
from the corners of her smile to her pout.
One short conversation with this pearl in the sea
and you will see what I'm talking about.

Even in sickness she will be fierce as the sun
and nothing in the world will stop her.
The object of your desire
becomes your heart's fire
and causes your emotions to stir.

She's cute and she's vulnerable
and she has no filter to show.
An old-school violinist
and a knack for Spanish
are examples of her knowledge that grows.

Dedication to family
and an overall happy demeanor
can prove how loving she can be.
Any tiny flaws
she may think she has
only make her more lovely to you and me.

This woman I speak of exists in the world,
or at least she does in mine. 
One should be so lucky as I seem to be
to find someone so divine.

So how will you know when you have found the woman
that has stayed in touch with her inner child?
Be patient and true
and realize that you
will do anything just to make her smile.

This angel with eyes like pools of dark chocolate
and red-tinted nut-brown hair,
is who you have sought,
will never leave your thoughts,
and no one will ever compare.

The Controversy

When I first started writing this blog, I told myself I wouldn’t discuss religion or politics too heavily, if at all. So far I’ve done a great job of staying true to that. I’ve now written 20 posts, with this being the 21st. Most of you seem to be on my side with most things that I’ve written about, so let’s see if we can change that. Some of you will agree with this post and some of you may hate it. I’m actually looking forward to any emails (michaelhowell0188@gmail.com) or comments in either case. Angry or not, stay with me until the end of this post.

With all the driving I do, especially in some of the states I do it in (Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama), I see a lot of things that make me think. One thing that I see almost every single day is a vehicle flying the Confederate flag, or a house with the Confederate flag flying outside their door or driveway. This is where I may lose some of you.

I’m all for remembering history and what it meant and how it shaped our nation. The United States of America, emphasis on the “United” part, for all it’s flaws, is a wonderful place to be, regardless of your political or religious affiliation, which is kind of the point. The Civil War and it’s two opposing sides, the Union and the Confederacy, were obviously a huge part of that and turned this country into what it is today. We should Always remember our nation’s history.

That being said, flying the Confederate flag and other flags next to it that say the South should secede or that it will rise again is disrespectful and a form of treason. If you want to have the flag as a historical commemoration then, by all means, please do so. Maybe you have ancestors that fought for the South, maybe you’re fascinated by that era of our history, maybe you think it’s pretty. But to fly it as a statement against The UNITED Stated of America goes against everything that The UNITED States of America stand for. Obviously the issue of the First Amendment comes into play here. So do what you want, and I’ll write about what I want.

The Civil War was just that: a war. A war with a winner and a loser. The South lost, and its general SURRENDERED. For those of you who aren’t aware, to surrender means you lost to an opponent and you submit to their authority. The Confederacy is no more. There are also some folks that believe the South can secede and successfully fight a war against the rest of the country. That thought is so far from being true I can’t even begin to explain why without sitting here for the next several hours.

This is a topic that I know I’ll be revisiting in the future, and I need to get to work. So, I’m going to leave it at that for now and see how many people I’ve pissed off.

Stay classy, and I’ll see you at the next stop.