Family reunion observations

It's been 4 years since we last ventured up to Indiana for a family reunion.

I'm not sure what exactly happened in those four years but it seems as though the female contingent somehow doubled. Did anyone else notice this?Lemme run it down for you.

This is gonna be from memory so forgive me if I leave a few out.

Males: Carlton, Don, Tim, Steve L., Michael, T.J., Levi, Nick Sr., Nick Jr., Jason, Jace, John, Todd, Hayden, Steve W., Mark, Glenn. 

Females: June, Joyce, Pat, Valerie, Michelle, Jayden-Faith, Cheri, Debbie S., Debbie L., Angie, Kayla, Alex, Emma, Samantha, Ashley, Paula, Ashllyn, Taylor, Kristen, Cora, Ellie, Kara, Amy, Heather. 

Okay, well it's not as bad as I thought now that I list everyone out. I guess it just seemed like so much estrogen because everyone is getting older. 

In any case it was wonderful seeing everyone again and let's not wait four years again this time. Let's cut it in half. See you all again in 2016! 

✌️


No Sex in the City (It's a good thing!)

A strange and wonderful paradigm shift has occurred in my life which for me, at least, has made it so much easier to deal with women and for women to deal with me.

And it was so easy. All I did was take sex completely out of the equation.

No longer do I look at a woman and wonder what she's like in bed. I'm even somewhat ashamed now to admit how much of a pig I've been in the past. I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to any and all women who've had to deal with that pig in the past by the way. I'm sure it was uncomfortable and if we have any future dealings you can be assured of a different much more respectful Nick.

Much of the focus in society today is on sex. Hence the infamous show referenced in the title of this post. I believe that fact really creates a lot more tension between the sexes than need be. If everyone on BOTH sides are looking at each other as sex objects and nothing else and spending ridiculous amounts of time and energy trying to make themselves outwardly appealing to the opposite sex is this really doing any good for society?

There are SO many more important issues to worry about in the world than making yourself as pretty or handsome as you can possibly be. Make yourself beautiful on the inside and it doesn't matter WHAT you look like on the outside, people will find you beautiful.

Love yourself    Love yourself    Love yourself

My wish for the world today is that we go back to a more traditional viewpoint and focus more on the beauty that's inside each of us. Personally I've vowed not to have sex until marriage but I realize that is taking a little far for most, especially the younger set in the sexual prime of their lives. But I also believe that if younger adults begin to adopt this way of thinking it will ease the tension between the sexes in years to come.

The best bet is to approach any relationship with ultimate respect for the other person and just try to be as loving, kind and encouraging as you can be to them. Do that and all your relationships will become happier and more fulfilling in the end.

What's going on with @MistyBeautiful you ask?

Well, she's probably..

Working out, reading, writing for multiple blogs, meditating, traveling, on a photo shoot, on a set, in the studio, helping out her family, counseling friends, praying, studying, watching Ted talks, following up with work via voice, text, email, setting up and attending charity events, managing/promoting on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, InstagramLinkedIn, various web sites), taking acting, voice, or dance lessons, playing with lions and tigers, walking her dog, acting silly, smelling roses..

She also sleeps pretty good but she rarely eats.

Don't worry, though. She's got PLENTY of time for a relationship. :-D

#blog: Have I taken a wrong turn down Paranoid Street?

Paranoia: an unfounded or exaggerated distrust of others, sometimes reaching delusional proportions. 

One evening a LONG time ago I indulged in far too much wacky tobaccy and was absolutely positive beyond anyone's ability to convince me otherwise that the frogs and crawdads across the creek were actually some sort of ultra-advanced surveillance out to get me because I could see the crawdads beady eyes looking at me and hear the frogs chirping signals to each other.

To this day friends who were with me laugh about how paranoid I was that night.

Although it was drug-induced, it shows how powerful the mind can become when you allow your thoughts, however ridiculous, to affect behavior. From the outside it looks as if you have gone completely nuts, but from the inside it is all too real.

Over the weekend I participated in a rally against Monsanto and GMO's and watched a Ted talk brought to my attention by a friend about how the U.S. government is collecting massive amounts of data on pretty much everyone worldwide.

While I don't believe my concerns about these issues have brought me anywhere close to the paranoid state I was in that evening many moons ago, I DO believe that if I continue to allow myself to fester about uncomfortable realities going on in the world they have the potential to escalate to the point where I worry about every single piece of food I put in my mouth or that big brother is watching me so close I want to just shut down and go hide in the woods.

I believe where the big issues are concerned it's important to be aware, educate yourself, and take a stand if need be to protect future generations, but it's also important to strike a balance and not allow said concerns to grow in your mind to a point they render you so fearful that you are incapable of functioning as a relatively normal and productive member of society.

The frogs and crawdads across the creek are NOT out to get me. They're nothing more than a beautiful part of the nature of the night.

Today I'm 48.

It's 7:30 in the morning on May 17th and In about 3 hours from now I will have officially existed outside of my mother's stomach for 48 years.

What does it mean to be 48? I don't know. Many people say age is just a number. Since I was born again recently you could say I'm less than a month old. Haha.

Here's an example of what my less than a month-old self would write about:

... okay well my less than a month-old self hasn't learned to write yet. Actually he's barely learned to do anything. The only thing he's really good at is peeing, pooping, eating, and crying but especially crying because what the HELL just happened?!?! He was perfectly fine in his mama's stomach but NOW he has been thrown into a place where he is wholly uncomfortable.

The only solace he gets from this new radically changed existence is being held and loved on by MANY people WAY bigger than him, the only one of which that doesn't scare him is his mother.

Cut to 48 years later and not a whole hell of a lot has changed. I'm STILL excellent at all the things I was good at when I was less than a month old although I cry significantly less. I'm also STILL most comfortable when I'm with my mother. Talk about a rock.

What I DO know about today is that I'm healthy and as happy as I've ever been. I wake up early looking forward to what each day will bring and go to sleep late thankful. You might wonder how I pull that off but I've been lucky enough to be blessed with a work life that affords me naps. I heart naps.

My prayer on my birthday is that everyone in the world is as healthy, happy, and lucky as I've been throughout my 48 years and spreads their joy to others in their own unique way. Have a wonderful day and God bless you!

Embrace your hypocrisy. (inspired by @jdwalt)

I subscribe to a daily email called "Seedbed Daily Text". Some of what I've blogged about recently comes from how @jdwalt interprets scripture.

Today he wrote about the notion that people who don't care for hypocritical sorts may be the most hypocritical people of all. ha. I certainly fall into that category. Especially THESE days. Hell, I roll my eyes at MYSELF knowing my sorted past and how I'm portraying myself now. I mean I've been a pretty unsavory character and downright mean in the past. 

I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to any and all who have witnessed me at some low points in the past and have had to endure that pain. I like to say I don't have any regrets in life, but causing others pain is definitely something one should attempt NOT to do. Seems pretty obvious but the crazy thing about doing the Devil's work is that he'll make you believe it's not hurting anyone. The fact of the matter is that not only are you hurting those you love, you're hurting the one you should love the most. Yourself. The Devil must get a really big kick outta that.

(on a side note, I believe I prefer the Devil to Satan, but it's probably only because the word Satan makes me think of the church lady from SNL and belittles him when in fact he probably shouldn't be so belittled. I don't know if you've looked around lately but he seems to be working pretty hard.)

So where were we? Oh yeah. Hypocrisy. Yes, I'm a hypocrite. And as I consider my future and the fact that although I am going to try harder than I have in the past to walk a line Christ would approve of, I am NOT him. Therefore, it is unlikely I will not fall to temptation along the way. At this point let's say a quick prayer. God, please give us the strength not to fall to temptation. Amen.

Why not do this? Embrace your own hypocrisy. Make it your friend because I'm pretty sure there's scripture that says "love thine enemies as thyself". Once hypocrisy is your friend it will be less likely to bite you in the ass.

Peace.

A fond (or not so fond) farewell to porn.

The latest Andrew Forrest sermon series called "It's Just Sex" has had a profound effect on me. Well, I say profound, but it's more like the straw that broke the camel's back. 

I've always enjoyed pornographic material since a very early age. I'm not going to go into my entire history with porn but I will say that it finally got to a point in the not too distant past where I was actually making money selling the product. I was good at it, too. I was doing it in ways nobody had ever considered. And I LOVED it. Getting to consume all the porn I want and make money at the same time? It was like having your cake and eating it too! At least that's what I thought at the time.

But for reasons I won't go into I stopped. I was kinda forced out but that's a long story for another time.

The bottom line is that when I go back and look at my entire history where porn is concerned there's very little I can take out of it as having a positive effect on my life. Really the only benefit I can think of helping me sleep at night but there are certainly countless other things you can do to help with that problem.

So after listening to Andrew and buying into his idea of establishing a counter-culture that doesn't use porn due to its negative effects on society, the most disgusting of which being the growing problem of sex trafficking that's going on in my own backyard, I've decided to follow along on that path. It's really not even a hard decision.

When I think about it, it's even a freeing decision because not spending (or wasting) time I used to spend watching porn I can now use doing more productive things, not the least of which might be to actually go out and try to do what I can to help curtail the sex trade problem

Thinking about helping others instead of concentrating on fulfilling my own selfish needs. What an amazing concept!

If you're interested in learning more about sex trafficking and what YOU can do to help combat the problem as well, here's an excellent article written by The Porch Dallas on the subject.


Cutting out my eyes. A moral dilemma.

I read something this morning that has me a little uneasy and really thinking.

There's scripture that says something along the lines of "if your right eye causes you to sin cut it out because it's better to lose an eye than go to hell."

The actual passage is more eloquent than that but you get the gist.

This is VERY difficult for me because it could be argued that my eyes have been the number one source of sin in my life.

And just to add insult to injury Jesus said that sin happens BEFORE the actual act. In other words if you even have an adulterous thought you have sinned whether or not you ever act upon it.

Well that REALLY sucks.

Luckily for all of us sinners my interpretation of Jesus' words is that it's mostly a scare tactic to make us more aware of our thoughts. It sucks for me because I like to say gd on occasion but according to Jesus even if I stop myself from actually saying the words I've still sinned because I thought them. Well hell. I can't win.

Here's what I've decided. I'm not going to cut my eyes OR my tongue out. What I WILL attempt to do, though, is look upon others with a purer heart and attempt to change whatever thought processes that led to me wanting to say gd.

I'm pretty sure God's goal is not to make us all perfect but just to get us to try a little harder. I can do that.

And so can you. :-)

Peace.

What's my purpose in life? To live.

I think it's interesting that we're taught that we'll get further in life if we have a clearly defined purpose. 

Really? I'm not sure about that one. 

I've never considered myself to have a purpose other than to be a good person and I'm pretty happy with where my purposeless existence has rendered me to this point. Further, I think having a purpose kinda puts undue stress on you to achieve said purpose.

Even further, why try to come up with your own purpose when God has a purpose for you. Who are we to try to trump God? He's damn good at the "has a purpose for you" game. If you don't believe me ask your mother if God has a purpose for you.

On the other hand, if your purpose is just to live and let God worry about it then the stress is considerably lower. I'm achieving my purpose even as I write this.

I'm gonna write a book called "A Purposeful Life" all about how you don't have to have a purpose in life. lol. Talk about a misleading title.

Less misleading, however, would be the tale of Joe Blow who lived a life devoid of any purpose until some life-changing event happened that led him to pursue a purpose that ultimately changed the world. And NOW I have the subtitle. "How Joe Blow changed the world."

Would you buy that book if I wrote it? Here's the first line:

Joseph Cotton Blow was not an extraordinary man. Until the day all that changed.

Sex dreams - A performance analysis

First of all I'd like to thank you if you are a woman who has graced me with her presence in my dreams. In real life you may not even know I exist but for whatever reason you decided to show up very sex-deprived in my dream world and eager to fix the problem. How exciting for both of us!

I'm nothing if not a realist, however, and as amazing as your performance was in my dream it's highly doubtful you'd be able to live up to that in real life.

Now I know what you're thinking. You're like "whatever, I'm better than you could ever imagine, mister man!" Well maybe so but let me explain.

When you're performing at your peak chances are you're highly attracted on a physical level with the man you are "engaged with" let's say. I'd say fucking but this is a family blog. Lol. Well it used to be. That didn't last long.

Anyway the point is that if you are a fantasy of mine I'm obviously attracted to YOU on a physical level but chances are you might not share that same attraction to me. I mean you might but I don't see women fainting when I walk through a bar so I'm just guessing I'm no George Clooney (or whoever your personal McDreamy is.)

That being the case you I can't see you attacking me with the same fervor you do in my dreams. Now I'm not saying you would be bad because there's no such thing as bad sex but living up to a "dream performance" is hard for even the most motivated woman.

All that said I would like to extend an invitation to any woman who has lustfully attacked me in my dreams to attempt to surpass that in real life if she'd like. :-D I'm a pretty busy dude but I could probably fit in you... err fit you in somewhere. My number is 469...