Pre-K: Where it all starts

I still remember when I was in Lubbock Pre K – a very young man learning to socialize with my peers as I did some basic learning.  I loved school back then.  I think I even kissed my first girl in Pre-K – Bonus – Anyway, as the spring season rolls around and parents start searching for the right place to enroll their children as they begin their quest for knowledge that will help them navigate this world, I consider how the beginnings of it all can either carry local kids to be a success within future Texas Colleges or stymie their individuality and make them turn their backs on school.

Here is what I suggest looking for in a Pre-K program:

  1.  Reviews – What are other people saying about this program – If parents from past years give glowing reviews about a Pre K program, put that school at the top of your list.
  2. Kind Teachers – If you are going to turn your children over to another adult, make sure they are compassionate.  Take a tour of the school and ask to meet some of the Pre K teachers.  You should be able to tell if they are kind in a very small amount of time.
  3. Christian standards – Even if you are not a Christian yourself it’s hard to beat an education focused on turning children into humans who are encouraged to love others.
  4. A crackerjack administration – Meet the principle and vice principle and ask questions about discipline, policies, missions and values.  You want the top levels of whatever school to be solid.  Shoddy leadership can really sink a ship.

Okay – That’s all I have to say about that.  For you parents who are about to hand your children over to a Pre K program, good luck and God bless!

 

Marriage 202: Are you qualified?

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We’ve covered your relational Blue Book value, your Human Fax Report, your Motivations for marriage – Today asks the question if you are qualified for marriage???

Okay, you future relationship gurus, let’s move on to our next set of FUAQs, which will help determine whether you are a solid candidate for marriage or for a prison cell (Yes, there is a difference in most cases.)

  1. Marriage Qualification Questions

What makes you think you are qualified for marriage?

Before you try to confidently answer in the affirmative, let’s begin with an even more basic question: Is there a necessary or at least a suggested skill-set for marriage?

Quick answer: YES!!!

(*If working at McDonald’s requires a minimal skill set and some basic pre-floor training so that customers don’t die, then marriage most definitely has a set of suggested skills, which makes someone less likely to fail in their “Extra Value” marriage.)

In fact, the skill set I believe is required for marriage is so huge and multi-faceted, I am amazed that anyone even attempts lifetime coupling without first proving themselves worthy by training with both Navy Seals and Great White Sharks.

I am pretty sure that the “necessary” skill set for a successful marriage requires that sort of high-level Special Forces toughness to go along with verbal and non-verbal communication expertise, high-level emotional intelligence, otherworldly spiritual connections, mind reading abilities, a Gandhi-like humility and the flexibility of a Cirque de Soleil performer.

Do many people qualify?

Quick answer: NO!!!

But since you unfortunately don’t have to prove yourself to any marriage Supreme Court before tying the knot, qualifications don’t matter in the short-term. But, in the long-term (which means mid-Honeymoon forward) you’d better be building your relational skills or suffer some very real consequences.

In book two of this relational series I’ll try to help train you to become a marriage master (okay, more like a marriage manager.) But in this first book, let me get you started by asking you some questions to get your brain rolling along the lines of qualification.

Ready or not, here they come.

———

  • Do you give up easily?
  • How have you ever persevered through difficulty?
  • What do you think about “double lives?” Do you hide things about yourself from people?
  • Are you a patient listener?
  • Are you a critic?
  • Are you good at finding faults in people and expressing them?
  • Are you clear with your meaning or are you often misunderstood?
  • Can you easily admit that you are wrong?
  • How are you at saying sorry?
  • What bothers you about your significant other at this stage? Have you expressed these things to them?
  • Do you understand that in the future you and whomever you are married to will get old, wrinkly and out of shape?
  • How are you with feeling trapped?
  • Do you have good credit?
  • Do you have significant debt?
  • Ever had a roommate? What was that situation like?
  • What would your past roommates say about you as a roommate?
  • Ever had to deal with disappointment?
  • How do you think you would deal with a loss/tragedy?
  • How do you teach people a lesson if they do wrong? (Ex: Silent Treatment)
  • What do you get stubborn about?
  • Are you an adult or a tall child? In other words, are you mature?
  • What makes you stress out? What is panic-attack worthy?
  • What are your manipulations? How do you try to get your way with people?
  • Is forever really forever? What do you think about divorce?
  • How do you handle other peoples’ failures?
  • Have you been completely honest with your significant other?
  • Are you putting on your best show? Is dating an interview process?
  • What kind of interviewer are you? What kind of worker are you after you get hired?
  • Are you connected spiritually? In what way and to which Faith/Power/Philosophy?
  • What are your needs? Are you a needy person?
  • Do you like/need people to help you solve problems?
  • What are your insecurities?
  • Do you have relational deal breakers?
  • For what reasons have you ended relationships in the past?
  • Are you a know-it-all?
  • Are you a corrector of small details that do not matter?
  • How do you argue?
  • How much do you care about what others think?
  • Are you a packrat or a hoarder?
  • Are you a clean-freak?
  • What are you obsessive about? Compulsive about? Impulsive about?
  • What life dreams or passions will you chase and with how much passion?
  • Have you ever killed someone?
  • Do you plan on cooking meth to make money for your family?

(Just keeping you on your toes with the last two…)

It’s important to ask the questions and to answer these questions honestly with your significant other in a pre-marital setting.  Find out what your partner thinks about these things so you can take off the relational blinders and take hold of marriage successfully!!!

Until next time, this is Ben Donley – check out LoudsmithMedia.com if you want to see more of me.  Or check out www.dreamtaxi.com to see where I work…

Marriage 101: Why get married???

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Before You get married:  Answer the Relational FUAQs (Frequently UnAnswered Questions)

                                             MARRIAGE 101

Have you ever asked the Frequently UnAnswered Questions?  

If not, you need to.  I am not expecting you to take them all on at one time.  But if you can take them slowly and have your significant other do the same, you will be a long way down the road to knowing what potential problems you might face (or actual problems you are facing) in your relationship.

Most of the questions below are questions about hopes, dreams and expectations and they are divided topically.  What I suggest is that you be as honest as you can with your answers, even if your answers vary widely from your partner’s.  Pay special attention to the areas where there is wide variance between you and your partner.  Where major gaps exist are where major relational problems originate.  Big gaps force big compromises or big issues, which can lead to anger, resentment, bitterness and especially disappointment.

*One must realize that keeping anger, resentment, bitterness and disappointment at minimum levels is a crucial thing when it comes to marital health.

So, if you do discover big gaps between you and your partner while you answer the questions below, do not ignore them or wish them away.  Make sure to find someone who can help you determine how to best bridge these gaps now before it is too late.

Now without further ado, let’s jump into our first set of FUAQs about why you want to get married in the first place…

I.  Motivation Questions

Do you have the correct motivations for marriage?  

Motivations are what drive you to act.  Motivations are what get you to press the pedal down and charge into a decision.  Motivations are the why behind the what.  They are the reasons why we move.  And if we move for the wrong reasons – if we step out because of misguided motives – and if things do not go the way that we thought they might, we will live doubt-ridden, frustrated lives…

I know far too many people who have less-than-perfect motivations when it comes to stepping into the search for a life partner.  People want to get married, but they desire a relationship for the wrong reasons.  Some of the most classic motivations are listed below with accompanying explanation and critique.

1.  It’s time – Our culture is pretty clear.  Marriage is supposed to happen for normal people at some point between the ages of 19 and 35.  If you do not land someone for an altar meeting ‘I do’ during this stage, you will be quietly judged as a relational failure or some sort of oddball.  In America, marriage is an expectation.  It means something.  And it has a timeframe, which carries with it a pressure for most people.

“I have to get married soon.”  That is what I hear people saying beginning from the time they graduate from high school until the ceremony is planned.  This voice gets louder and this pursuit gets more desperate with each passing birthday.  “Are you seriously dating anyone?”  That is the question coming from all directions.  And we feel it and we act to answer it. We know the “acceptable” window to grab hold of a significant other and we do all we can to check this off of our lists before the furrowed brows and turned down mouths undo our self-confidence.  As a result of this, we tend to settle for some one rather than the right one.  Or even worse, we bring someone into our most intimate nearness before we have been fully formed. We allow the cultural pressures to rush us into a hasty decision.  We do not wait because we cannot wait.

And isn’t culture correct?  Look at the mirror.  The mirror agrees.  My reflection is at its best during this timeframe.  I have the best chance to get the best person if I have fewer wrinkles and tighter pecs.  I am at my most attractive now, even if I am still emotionally and spiritually immature.  I can attract a better-looking human if I sign up now.  So let’s go.  Let’s give in to cultural expectations.  Let’s give into our reflections.  Let’s set ourselves up for a soul-crushing divorce.

“Not the best idea, Culture!”

While it is true that one will never be completely ready for marriage, this does not mean that the “soonest moment” is as good as any.  There are relational, emotional and spiritual lessons you can master before vowing your way into a lifelong covenant, which will help to increase your chances for joy and success within marriage.  It is a better time for marriage after you have “educated” yourself in these things.  So whether you are 18 or 45 (13 in Kentucky), do not let the rush set in.  Do not be motivated by someone else’s timeframe for you.  Become as ready as you can before you order the wedding cake.

2.  Completion – In the 1990’s there was hardly any movie quote more famous than the one Tom Cruise spoke out to Renee Zelwegger in the movie Jerry Maguire.  As Tom looked across the room, over several couches I am sure he was longing to jump on, his character told his estranged wife, “You complete me.”  And while super cheesy, this line has become a motivation for people as they seek to ‘hook a lifer’ to put in their heart’s prison.

I have counseled many people of both sexes who will speak out this same sentiment.  Either “I want someone to complete me,” or “I am marrying this person because they will complete me.”  Sounds cool, if only we were puzzles (but then it would not be that cool if we were puzzles, because puzzles do not marry – they are inanimate.)

The best part of this stated motivation is that people who say it are correct in their self-assessment.  They are incomplete and they do need completing.  We are all gapped and chipped and most of us are well aware of these breezy spaces.  This is an important realization that I do not want to minimize.  It is this realization that brings us to the truth of our personal brokenness, which can lead us to seeking help.  But it is a dangerous motivation for marriage.

Why?

Reality:  The person you are either dating or searching for will be like you in their incompletion.  They will not complete you and you will not complete them.  In fact, this person will do more to complicate you than complete you.  “You complicate me,” is what we should be saying to each other.

We all bring craziness to the table and to think that another imperfect human who is carrying their own emptiness into oneness is going to be the missing piece we need is foolishness.  And it is actually a cruel expectation.  To bear the weight of having to be someone else’s completion is too heavy a burden.  If this is the reason you are bringing another human into your life, you will be disappointed.  They will not be able to do it.

3. Straight-up attraction – Some people meet someone who fits right into their marriage ideal.  This person/prey is both hot enough and cool enough to warrant an immediate proposal.  Most of us have our lists and when someone matches most of the physical items on these lists, we claim them.  In other words, we become motivated by our ideals and driven by our common and physical senses.

This is a weak motivation because most of the things we are attracted to will fade and many of our ideals are not ideal.  People who marry beauty will struggle as their mate loses muscle and shakes hands with unattractiveness.

4.  Compatibility – Just because two people really, really like the same music, the same movies, the same television shows, the same style of hipster eyewear, the same restaurants, the same type of beer, and the same political party, does not mean they should get married.

Yes, it is true that compatibility and shared affinities typically link people into fun friendships.  And yes, it is nice when these things exist within a marriage.  It would suck to be married to a Lady Gaga groupie who re-watches Friends episodes when you prefer Death Metal and think television has been created for idiots.

But, as a lot of “compatible” couples find out after moving from the fun, romantic dating relationship and into a busy and often stressful marriage relationship, a life together is not built solely on what you both enjoy.  Unfortunately they do not realize this truth until they’ve already locked in for life.  Many couples are easily fooled by the compatibility motivation because there is the thought that “I’ve finally found someone who is a lot like me, because they like what I like.  We have too much in common for this not to be a workable lifelong partnership.”  This is a mistake for many reasons:  the compatibility focus is on external similarities which usually change over time; people often temporarily like what you like because they want to be in a relationship with you and don’t want anything to get in the way of perfection.

In conclusion, if you can find a person who you are extremely compatible with and they also pass some deeper, internal tests for lifetime partnership, you are a blessed human being.  But do not let yourself fall in love with someone you would do better going to Coachella or on a cruise with once a year.

5.  Offspring look-alikes – Most people want kids.  I am not sure why.  Babies cry and poop.  Toddlers pull stuff off of store shelves and throw tantrums to get the newest video game systems.  Then, after twelve years of having every one of their needs met, they morph into teenagers who borrow money, mock their parents and wreck family cars.

Anyway, I am not here to argue with the claim that there is no joy like having mini gene pool pals that will someday stick their parents into nursing homes.  I’m not the children-Grinch.  Kids are most certainly a blessing and I’m not trying to rain on any fertile parents’ parades.  I love playing with my nieces and nephews and training all of them how to successfully and sarcastically manage the world as it is.  (Having kids around can also be quite good for the person who needs to have their selfishness levels knocked down a few notches.)  But I will admit that I am here to attack “having children” as a motivation for marriage.  People who want to walk down the aisle with another person just so they can get one of these homemade tots are off their rockers.

Having kids within a marriage is a grand miracle.  But let’s be honest – one command that has been adequately taken care of is “Be fruitful and multiply.”  We’ve got plenty of people on the earth and no big crowd is outside your window chanting for you to add to the pile and to the traffic.

Just because you have the equipment to make it happen does not mean every couple should make use of that equipment to own a cool real-life doll to dress up and train in your odd manners and customs.  Go to the American Girl store and pretend first before you marry someone merely to have a partner who is willing to raise a kid with you.

6.  Companionship/Fears of Loneliness – The Beatles sang it well:  “All the lonely people.  Where do they all come from?  All the lonely people.  Where do they all belong? Ah, look at all the lonely people.  Ah, look at all the lonely people.  Eleanor Rigby died in the church and was buried along with her name.  Nobody came.”

Who the heck wants to be Eleanor Rigby?  Who wants to be one of the lonely people?  A person who lives on a crowded planet, but without having anyone who knows them, who hears them and who loves them.  That sort of reality sounds like a nightmare for most people (minus a few well-adjusted introverts, hermits and recluses.)  And to keep from becoming one of these permanent lonelies, people grasp at marriage as if it will be their salvation from one of their greatest fears.

“If I am married, I will always have someone who cares about me, who will always be with me and who will love me despite my weaknesses.”

A marriage = A lifetime companion = Someone to hang out with every day = Someone who will know me and care about me more than anyone else.

This is a really strong motivation for marriage in a lot of people.  And it is not a bad one.  But, here is some good advice for anyone who has this as a primary motivation for marriage:

-Don’t become dependent on one person for your happiness or your companionship.  This dependence can be smothering and can drive people away; as well, set you up to make ridiculous compromises to hold onto them.  If you “need” one person, you most likely won’t set healthy boundaries with them.

-Have very low expectations for your lifetime companion.  Most humans are more horny attack dogs than faithful Golden Retrievers.  Don’t let a lonely heart fool you.

-Don’t expect marriage to kill loneliness.  Some of the loneliest people in the world are married and cannot figure out why.  Most of the time it is because they have not built up a solid support structure of people outside of their marriage.

What’s your Love Blue Book? The Human Fax Report Part Two

What's your Relational Blue Book Value?
What’s your Relational Blue Book Value?

Well, here we go again –

It’s Human Fax Report Part Two and you are here to check on your relationship value.  I look forward to hearing about what you need to get fixed and how you are going to go about that fix…

I promise that if you take this seriously, it will help your relationships immensely…

  • How is your Power Train (spiritual condition)? Are you connected to God?
  • What sort of roads can you handle and do you tend to drive upon?
  • How much mileage do you have? Were most of the miles easy or hard? How many miles to the gallon do you get? (Speaks of emotional/relational energy)
  • Describe your make and model? Are you a Porsche or an Ice Cream Truck? What is your current price tag? How much are you worth in the Relationship Blue Book? What do you base that on?
  • What parts have been taken from you? How have you been stripped? Do you sense that there are missing parts and what does that mean for you? Replacements?
  • Have you been careful to have regular oil changes (emotional, spiritual, mental refills) or do you ride along until you hurt your overall condition causing permanent damage to self and others?
  • What are the seemingly benign glitches you just let be? Why?
  • How often do you get a wash? A detail?
  • Who else besides you do you allow to drive your life?
  • If you keep running as you are, how long do you think it will take for you to require a push? Who do you have in your life that you call on for a push?
  • Can you move forward or do you just look backwards? Have good rearview mirrors? (Are the things of the past closer than they appear?)
  • Are you high-maintenance requiring tons of upkeep by someone else or are you low-maintenance and able to roll on without much support from someone else?
  • If someone kicked your tires, would they pop?
  • What is your safety rating? Should people worry about crashing when driving along with you?
  • Are you dependable?
  • Can you be driven long-distances or do you overheat when you are made to wait?
  • How many owners have you had? Did they treat you well? Rag you out?
  • How big are your blind spots? What are things you cannot see to the right and left of you that threaten your safety if you make any sudden changes?
  • Do your lights work?
  • Do your brakes work? Can you put a stop to a relationship firmly or are you a brake pumper who can never seem to let go, even at obvious relational red lights?
  • What sort of driver are you suited for?
  • Do your windshield wipers work when a relational storm hits?
  • Are there any dead things in your trunk needing to be confessed or buried?
  • Are you a tow truck who makes a habit out of hooking up with broken down humans?

 Human Fax summary: Once you get to know yourself as written about above, it is key that you do not let the information define you. Sometimes when we decide to take a closer look at ourselves, we get depressed by what we discover and identify ourselves with the findings. But, you are not necessarily what it is you found out. You are simply being affected by it.

Sure, the Blue Book might say you are worth five hundred dollars because you can only get around behind a tow truck. But truth is, you can and will be restored if you let yourself enter into a holistic process of healing and transformation.

Yes. You have been broken and some parts of you do not work as well as they should. And while these parts are causing all sorts of relationship problems for you right now, the time will come when you will leave the junkyard once and for all.

 Suggestion: Get a pro therapist to help you deal with your emotional junk and then ask God to reveal your actual value. If you can find a spiritual director in your community, I’d recommend using them to help you with this second part. There seems to be too much self-hate in the hearts of so many of us.

What’s your Relational Blue Book? The Human Fax Report Part 1

I have never understood the Fox - What does this Fox say???
I have never understood the Fox – What does this Fox say???

Okay – You made it back for the Real Human Fax Report…

I think this means you want to see what sort of shape your “relational car” is in?

Do the following exercise and let me know what you come up with – or better yet, let your significant one know what you found…

Onward, brave relationship master of disaster –

Filling out a Human Fax Report

My Human Fax Report: When filling this out, recall that you are thinking of your relational life.

Part One:

  • How have you been wrecked by life/by others? Have you been in fender-benders? Dented? Flipped over and left in a ditch? Did the airbag release? Have you ever felt totaled?
  • Who/What has smashed into you?
  • Who/What have you smashed into?
  • How did the crashes come: Words? Physical abuse? Sexual abuse? Failure? Rejection? Betrayal? Abandonment? Manipulation? Parental Modeling? Selfishness?
  • How much damage did each crash cause? Did it cause visible and/or invisible wounding?
  • What did this/these event(s) bring about? What insecurities did each crash bring about? How much caution/protection do you now have as a result? How much fear of rejection? How much embarrassment? Do you hold onto grudges and unforgiveness? Did you develop patterns of comforting addictions to help you get through?
  • Have you ever taken your life to a good mechanic? Met with a therapist or pastoral counselor? Let a trained someone do some Diagnostics and a Fix? Was there Permanent or Temporary repair?
  • Did you try to do the mechanic work yourself? Or did you just suppress everything under a new paint job and drive on as if the things of the past would not affect your decisions/reactions/responses of the future?
  • What damage still needs to be fixed? What broken pieces are sticking out?

Okay – that’s part one of this sucker – Part Two is coming soon –

Oh yeah, I’m Ben Donley – lover of corporate housing midland and short-term furnished apartments – I say that because I treasure staying in places with amenities beyond my ability to provide for myself.  I also say it because I am a SEO hero and this feels like a good time to trumpet some amazing businesses I really like – Give it up for At Home Corporate Suites as you say hello to your new relationships…

Part Two of the Human Fax is next up!!!  Will you be ready to kick your own tires???

Relationships for “Love Morons” like Me: The Human Fax Report

How about a Human Fax Report???
How about a Human Fax Report???

You want some good relationship advice?

Or are you one of those relational stars who just knows “a friend” who is a relational moron and needs some help?

Well, I am a moron who wants to help out as many other morons as possible.  In other words, I am not qualified to give you a Ted Talk.  I am more qualified to give you a Celery Stalk (I rhymed it there if you didn’t notice.)

Anyway, let’s begin with a few facts before we launch into this read.

Fact #1: Of the two million couples that will get married in the U.S. this year, almost all of those polled report that they are “more in love than they have ever been” and are “positive about their decision to marry.”

Fact #2: Of those two million couples, almost all of them “expect” to be happily married to their spouse for the rest of their lives. (In other words, not many couples predict an imminent marital decline as they are saying or preparing to say “I Do.”)

Fact #3: Hardly anyone gets married just so they can experience divorce. (Divorce is not on most Bucket Lists.)

**With these three facts in mind, one has to wonder why so many people who boldly proclaim “I Do” quickly become those who start screaming, “I Do Not.” Honestly, how does mind-blowing love and togetherness transform into iPad-throwing hate and separation?

Maybe the better question for this relationship blog is this:

What can you do to make sure these things do not happen to you?

We shall attempt to answer with brevity and brilliance with our Preparation Marriage.

 ******

Preparation M  (Not to be mistaken with Preparation H)

What should every individual do before taking those risky and beautiful steps down the wedding aisle?

  1. Order a Human-Fax Report

Most people in this country will not even purchase a used car nowadays without finding out about its history. For years, there were far too many lemons sold, far too many bad buys and far too many machines breaking down before the first payment was made.

In response to this problem, some genius out there created a system by which potential car buyers could check out an automobile before making an expensive commitment and plunking down their hard earned cash. This Car-Fax reporting system has been used by millions of people to find out whether the car they are considering has been wrecked or in any way mistreated. People can find out about a driving machine’s repair history and then make an informed decision about the possible purchase. With this information in hand, a buyer can know whether this car is worth the risk.

Now I am not saying that getting married is the exact same thing as buying a car, but one thing the above makes me wonder is why people insist on this sort of intense information gathering when it comes to car buying, but rarely seek to discover the detailed history of a potential mate. I believe this level of tire kicking is necessary, not only for buying a used Audi, but also (and certainly more so) for purchasing a marriage partner. After all, isn’t a life commitment to another human being, who might turn out to be a walking talking lemon, a bigger decision than monthly payments?

I believe this is a huge deal and that is why I advise all of my counselees, before they get married, to fill out a “Human Fax” report (and order one from their mate).

While there is no actual faxing to be done (unless you want to), the idea remains the same — People providing vital and detailed histories about their brokenness, about their past wreckage and about their repair status so that someone else can make an informed decision as to whether or not they want to enter into a commitment.

While it is true that someone can lie about their past and present condition, it is not likely. After all, most people want to be somewhat honest when they step into a relationship because they want the same sort of honesty to come back to them. Thus, the value of this “Human Fax” is huge. It reveals to both parties potential areas of weakness and places in need of repair. And just because a “Human Fax” report exposes these types of things does not mean that a relationship will be a lemon. Just because someone has wreckage does not mean that they are un-drivable. It just brings reality into the open and hopefully draws individuals into the hands of mechanics who are able to help them become “roadworthy.”

To those in pre-dating mode: I recommend that you fill one of these out, too. Even those who do not yet have a significant person in mind for marriage. It is never too early to look under your own hood and to get yourself into the shop. (It has been interesting to work with single individuals on their “Human Fax” reports because what they find are the very problems that have been stalling their romantic pursuits in the first place.)

In the next blog, I have included an example of a “Human Fax” report. It uses symbolic car language. Don’t let that throw you off. Just roll with my weird brain for a bit and answer the questions you feel are relevant.

For those spiritual people out there: As you fill this out, ask God to search you and show you the truth of your condition. If there are lots of problems with your “car”, do not despair. Simply seek repair. If you are filling this form out with a significant other, make sure to offer grace to both them and yourself. Talk together about what must be done so when you take this longest relational road trip of your lives, you will be able to make it to your destination with minimal problems.

***

By the way, I am Ben Donley, former marriage advisor and current VP of Business Development at Dream Taxi.  I’m also an author and SEO stud.

I’ll see you in the next blog…

Monday’s Scream of Consciousness: Punctuation is for punks

monopoly

A stream of consciousness that is more like a scream of someone I once knew…

Staring into blue skies with a long term tree pressing into the heights right here in front of me grass is green and the shadow I sit in is quite lovely at a handicapped table no less where signs say I cannot smoke even if I wanted to which I don’t because nicotine doesn’t scratch the itches I have still I approve of the iced caffeine despite its corporate roots who has time to fight the powers that be especially when I don’t care that they make billions off of me well trained baristas keep me coming back and this landscaping warm and colorful and more alive than the TV I’ve been trading my life for lately more alive than even me and my anxiety ridden system that jackhammers through even the best sort of peace Jesus giveth and I giveth it all away to unnecessary worries which require least eternal cares but demand most of every temporary temporal energies why do I listen to their siren cries when these sirens cannot carry a tune or prove enough beauty to persuade why do I aim for the rocks of wreckage when it’s all just going to go away to pass away to burn up and be tossed away in favor of something better I guess it’s the disease in me the one that says I must be great at this game make money leave my marks set up memorable tracks produce goods and make progress and forget that the whole system is hacked to the benefit of the bourgeoisie boardwalk and park place and the dark green properties with hotels around and around to go hoping not to lose the slum shack you built on Baltic avenue get me complaining it’s worse than their voices because I have the choice to hold my tongue shut up I scream after days of trying to play and finding ways to lose every bit of my bankroll living from pay to pay week to week and I put on my noise cancelers try to retune my heart to restart then I end up here Blue skies in sight I can smell the warmth know deeply that while I’ve come apart at the seams and watched every drowned dream sink as rocks sink I can still see beauty in the simplest of things despite the diagnoses that plagued me despite the thief who devoured my best version of identity I can still grasp love or maybe love grasps me either way I’ll accept this alternative in this singular moment and hope it lasts longer this time

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Special thanks to Loudsmith Media and the Marketing experts at Dream Taxi for supporting my writing habit and being kind benefactors even when I refuse to use commas and periods…

The Right Songs Part One: Tomorrow’s Modern Thom Yorke

thomyorketomorrow’s modern boxes TODAY!

Hey, I am Ben Donley – marketing, media and SEO guru for DreamTaxi and for Loudsmith – If you need help with branding, optimization, consulting, or becoming a viral sensation, let me know…Otherwise, just read this and become a music feeler like me –

My ears have not been trained by Juilliard and I couldn’t tell you what makes up a great opera or an excellent bassoon solo – But, I have very strong feelings about “the right music” for the right moments in life – How the right songs can propel a crucial moment towards a desired end – How the right songs can lift you up from a deep depression – How the right songs can actually make working out on a stupid elliptical seem meaningful and cool (I look like a total moron on most workout equipment, by the way – but I feel like a total badass if I am rising and falling and sweating to anything by Alt-J – the other day I hit three miles and after watching my life flash before my eyes, I saw Matilda and she told me she liked ALL my freckles…)

Anyway, you know what I am talking about when it comes to intentionally feeling your way into or out of a situation via a musical rocket ship – Drop some Noah and the Whale, First Days of Spring, on yourself when you are sensing that you are the only one in the world who has totally blown it in the most important things and suddenly you are not alone – you are both on his ark and in the belly of that whale – down, but not out!

Slide into a double of Tame Impala shot with Let it Happen and Elephant and try to keep yourself from feeling better than what the world tells you that you must –

(Throw on some Taylor Dayne and just lie down in traffic – that’s the right music to be run over to or better yet, the wrong music for anything good.)

Okay, so we have established my taste patterns and how they tie into emotions – I’ll hit you with more in future days and you can feel free to add your 25 cents

(by the way, I think the saying, “my two cents” is funny and most appropriate nowadays – everyone seems to have an opinion they want to share/feel compelled to share and no matter how wise they think their post, tweet, spoken word, etc. is – it’s only worth two cents – boom – “yes, human, you just put your two cents in, and it was worth exactly that – thanks for stealing a part of my life with your two pennies of opinion.)

But that’s just my two cents – You, on the other hand, can give your take on this subject and it will actually be worth a quarter, which can still buy you a bouncy ball, a sticky hand, or a decent size piece of chewable round sugar –

Enough filler – let’s get to a right song that you might not be aware of – It’s called “Nose Grows Some” and it is a song on Thom Yorke’s latest solo project called, Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes.  First of all, this entire cd is mega underrated – If you don’t own it to play as background for your parties that feature opium-laced martinis and baklava-filled pinatas, then you are doing yourself and your guests a serious disservice – The whole cd is worthy of at least that – own it – allow it to seep into your pores – give it license to push out every memory of Taylor Swift, Rihanna, and Beyonce (et.al).  Why?  Because Thom Yorke ain’t going take kindly to having to share room in your life with death-pop like that – “All you single ladies, get your umbrellas, shake them off, and GET OUT!!!”

Now, to the song, “Nose Grows Some.”

It’s specifically the right song for writers who have writers block because it acts as a shovel for stuck-ness.

For any other non-writer, it will make you feel like you are being slowly jackhammered upwards while being embraced by a really handsome/pretty alien visitor that has pillow-top mattresses for hands – And if that sounds good to you, then put it on repeat.  You will feel energized and asleep at the same time.

No anal probes either, which a plus for me because I just am not a fan of colonoscopies, enemas, or prison time activity…

So, that is it – Listen to “Nose Grows Some” and tell me what you it makes you feel – Weigh in today before the firecrackers pop your fingers off…

Photo on 7-2-15 at 5.11 PM A barista is stalking me – can you see them?