I’m not big on the horoscopes. I don’t put too much stock in astrology, and I was raised to basically act like it doesn’t exist.
After thirty-three years of life though, I can finally look at one and not get the shakes and hear my mom’s voice in the back of my head yelling that it’s evil.
I’m a Scorpio, I don’t know if that makes me compatible with any of you guys, but if it does, hit me up, we’ll do Scorpio stuff together and wage a war on Libras, because Libra sounds like liberal and we don’t like liberals.
|Side not, this is when I was a Scorpio Scorpion, there’s some irony there, I can appreciate that.|
That said, I’m playing along with this prompt if for no other reason than to complete my thirty days and get this challenge over with.
You should feel emotionally stable today, but you may feel a bit unsure of yourself when it comes to data. Someone is challenging your way of thinking and demanding that you take a step farther out on the fragile limb. You’re happy on the part of the branch that’s much thicker and more stable. Feel free to stay there if you don’t feel comfortable taking a chance now.
So there you have it, there’s my horoscope for today. So does it fit me? Let’s break it down.
I should feel emotionally stable today — Well, I think I feel pretty stable most days, thanks to an antidepressant and a healthy mental exercise where I stand in front of a mirror and say, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.”
I feel unsure about data — Not true. I love Data. Data was one of my favorite characters on Star Trek.
Someone is challenging…step farther out on the fragile limb — I don’t feel like a lot of folks challenge the way I think, but if you do, I wish you’d say something. I have a particular person in my life right now who is trying to make me miserable, but I’m just gonna SHAKE IT OFF, SHAKE IT OFF, OOOOOOO OOOO OHHHH!
You’re happy on the part of the branch that’s thicker — Uh…duh. I weigh 325 pounds. If I get out on a branch, it’s gonna be a thick one. More supportive. Speaking of, I’m going to try to go deer hunting this next week, and we’re going to see if I can’t climb a tree. I’ll let you know. Or not, depending on if the branch snaps.
Feel free to stay there if you don’t feel comfortable taking a chance now — Thank you, horoscope. Thank you for giving me permission TO LIVE MY OWN EFFING LIFE. I think I will stay where I’m at, because it feels good. This branch is thick, it’s leafy and deciduous*, it has a coffee pot and good books, and I can bring my Xbox up here and plug it in to the built in television with wi-fi. So yeah, thanks horoscope.com, but I’m good.
*literally the only word I know in relation to trees, I think it means leafy.
I know my children are cute, but I often forget how cute until someone else tells me. When my daughter sat down next to you on the bench where patrons wait for tables, I honestly thought she’d get in your way. I was moving in to make sure she didn’t bother you and I quickly realized that wouldn’t be necessary. Instead, you turned to her and spoke to her like she was a grown up, and I don’t know if you noticed, but she loves being talked to like a grown up.
In today’s world, there’s nothing simpler while waiting for a table than to pull out a cell phone and hop on Facebook or Twitter, or send a text to a friend. You showed my daughter that it’s okay to meet new people, to joke with strangers as long as mom and dad are around, or to pass the time without a screen in your face. You held her attention by telling her stories and asking her questions about her favorite subject—her—and she giggled as she had to practically yell her answers back to you.
Because in a world where it’s hard to trust new people, you showed us that there are still those out there who aren’t evil. You complimented her purse and her blond hair. Your wife asked how our youngest child got his red hair, and my wife explained that it came from my side of the family. Truth be told, we adopted our children, and they don’t take anything from our genes. We didn’t want to bother you with that, besides, they aren’t adopted to us, they’re our kids.
Because I heard you tell her that I was a gentleman. All I did was get up when a woman walked in with a walker, and I really hope that anyone would have done the same. It’s nice to be recognized for our actions once in a while though, and I want my daughter to look up to me, and I think what you told her will carry a lot of weight. Sometimes she needs to hear a stranger say her old man is all right.
Because you married a woman just as nice as you are. Because she asked us questions, told us how cute our kids are, and was just an all-around pleasant person to talk to. I’d love to hear the story about how you two met, and how you fell in love. I’m sure that she was attracted to your kindness and to your toughness. I’d like to know how many years you’ve had together. What you’ve been through. How many kids you have. I hope you two have many more years of visiting Rib Crib.
Because, somehow, we left the restaurant at the same time and you asked me, “Where’s my little girl?” And then you stood and held the door open for my daughter and told her goodbye. You showed her you’re a gentleman yourself, and you’re also another person who was kind to her. If you knew the life she came from, you’d know how much that means to her.
Because on the way to the truck, my daughter looked at me and laughed, and talked about how you were from Boston, and how you kept saying your “cah was in the pahking lot.” She said you told her your wife fought in the Civil War, and she thought that was hilarious. She said you were funny, and nice, and all the things young people are looking for in older people.
So thank you, gentleman we met while waiting for a table at Rib Crib. I didn’t get your name, I don’t know where you live, and I wish I had a little more time to talk to you. Maybe one day I’ll see you again and I’ll get to thank you personally. Maybe I won’t. And just in case I don’t, I want the world to know how much your small gesture of kindness meant to me, the father of the little girl whose heart you won.
Some of you are going to get a kick out of these, and some of you are going to think I’m an idiot. I have some pretty irrational fears, and I don’t usually like discussing them with people, lest they, you know, think I’m an idiot.
Here we go though, in no particular order, five of my deepest fears.
One day I’ll wake up and none of this will be real — I’ve worked hard to get where I am today, and I’ve been extremely blessed by God to get here as well. I am scared to death that none of it is real. This life, my wife, kids, my job, my degree, my moderate level of success, my family…none of it exists, I’m in some sort of fugue state, or, even worse, I was mentally incapacitated many years ago, and I’ve created my environment. I won’t go so far as to say I’m scared I’m in “The Matrix” or anything that unrealistic, but I am terrified that nothing I have is real.
That I’ll outlive my wife, my kids, or my brothers — No one wants to outlive their kids, I understand that. However, I’m petrified of outliving my wife or my brothers as well. I do not want to grieve the loss of any of these people. If something happened to Alicia, it would mean that I’d be responsible for not only me, but for three children. It would also mean that half of me—half of my identity, half of my sanity, half of my soul—would be missing. I have no idea how I’d cope. I watched my mom grieve for my dad, and I want no part of it. And in that same vein, I want to be the first to die of my brothers. I don’t want to go through what my dad did, watching two of his brothers die before he did. When I really sit down and explore this, it boils down to selfishness, and I won’t deny that I am a selfish person.
That I’ll die in my sleep — I don’t want to die in my sleep. I want to go out guns blazing, or pushing a kid out of the way of a speeding bus, or saving one of my students from something evil. I want to give my life for someone else. I don’t want to go peacefully in the night, and have my family discover my cold body the next morning. I want to see it coming. I want to stare into the gun barrel, the fire, or the headlights and make a final stand, say something incredibly cool, and go meet my Savior. Dying in my sleep sounds like such a cop out. I have no idea why this is a fear of mine. No idea. But it is.
I’m scared of raising children who will one day return to their biological parents — When my children turn eighteen, they’ll be legal adults who are allowed to live their own lives. Since we’ve adopted them, and since they have biological parents who are still alive, one day they’ll be faced with a choice of whether or not they want to see them again, and then if that meeting goes well, they’ll want to move in, or back to that town, or see them more and more. I’m so scared of sinking fifteen years of parenting and love into a child only to hear them say, “I’m moving out,” and watch them walk away, knowing there is nothing I can do to stop them. This is something I pray about. This is something that sticks in the back of my head, and I’m sure Alicia thinks about it as well. It’s one of the downsides to adopting, and there’s nothing I can do about it. I think that’s what bothers me the most, is that I’m not in control. I hate not being in control. Kids, if you’re reading this before I get to show it to you, just know that I will never keep you from your bio parents, and I love you.
Canned biscuits — We’ve gone pretty deep in my psyche here, and I think I need to lighten the mood, so I’m giving you a genuine fear of mine that is genuinely ridiculous. I hate opening biscuits. I cannot press a spoon into the seam because the pop scares me. I’m scared to even peel the wrapping paper off of them because I think it’s going to pop prematurely. When I peel the wrapper, I throw the can on the counter to pop it open, because then I’m in control of what happens. I also hate popping balloons, and will leave a room if too many of them are being popped. I hate things like that, they scare me, and I don’t do being scared. It’s why I don’t do horror movies. Jump cuts make my heart skip.My favorite color is orange.
I like it because it’s bright, like my personality and my future.
That’s it for today, can’t go too far with this one.
Love you guys.
Happy Sunday evening to you people, I hope your weekend was pleasant.
Mine certainly was, because I got to pull my baby out and wrap my big strong hands around him.
I’m talking of course about Liam Beaston, my beautiful Desert Eagle .50.
|He’s gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous and I love him.|
But tonight’s assignment doesn’t call for talking about my guns. Tonight’s assignment is a quote that I try to live by.
Go ahead and get ready to laugh, because everyone does when I tell them where the quote comes from.
The quote is by Albus Dumbledore, wise and wizened old headmaster of that glorious fictional learning institution, Hogwarts.
Let me know when you’re done laughing.
Finished? Okay, here we go. Here’s the quote.
“Youth can not know how age thinks and feels, but old men are guilty if they forget what it is like to be young.”
I gave my principal this quote sometime last week, and told him it was a crucial part of my educational philosophy. I never want to forget what it was like to be a teenager, how I felt when a teacher captured my attention, how I felt when I was given homework, how my life outside the school affected my behavior in it.
Just a few days after sharing this with Mark, I experienced a great deal of disappointment with some of my students. Mark talked me down off the ledge, so to speak, and I was grateful. After our talk, he looked at me and said, “Remember that quote you told me the other day? Don’t forget what it was like to be a teenager.”
I think it’s easier as I get older to talk about how “kids these days” act. Old men have been doing this for centuries, millennia.
“Kids these days don’t appreciate anything.”
“Kids these days don’t have any respect for anything.”
“Kids these days need to be spanked more.”
I will admit that sometimes I am guilty of speaking ill of “kids these days.” But I was a kid once, and I was an idiot. I was disrespectful when I could get away with it, and you were too. I slacked off when the pressure wasn’t on, and you did too. I let my parents down, I let my teachers down, and I may have let you down, if you’re a reader who was involved in my formative years.
I cannot forget what it was like to be young, lest I be guilty of robbing my charges of their youth. I cannot expect my students and my children to think like me, or else I am guilty of adding yet again more weight to the already bursting-at-the-seams backpack of adolescence.
So that’s it, there’s my quote. Laugh if you want, I’ll understand. Love you guys. I’m not going to lie, this has probably been my favorite one so far. There’s not much in the way of introducing this, so here you go, my day.
- Woke up at 6:45. Way too early. Time change has me twisted
- Fixed toilet for children. Told wife we needed new innards for toilet
- Put a customized shotgun on three gun sale sites
- Got ready for Keeli’s soccer game. Still haven’t had coffee
- Got told my shotgun had a “redneck paint job”
- Aven found fourteen eggs in the coop
- Tried to get Siri to remind me to bullet every fifteen minutes, prompting my daughter to ask what bulleting meant
- Watched Akeeli and Drake do the “Watch me whip, watch me waddle” dance
- Took meds at 8 a.m., one bottle was empty, and I made a behind the back toss into the trash can with it while no one was watching, I’ve still got it
- Got breakfast at McDonald’s
- Went to soccer game. Ugh
- During halftime of the game, came across this quote: “If actions speak louder than words, then writing speaks louder than both – for writing is the action by which words are manifested.” – Jake Weidmann
- Left soccer game. Only lost by one point.
- Went to the hardware store, got stuff for a new chicken feeder. Also got bones for the dogs
- Came home and Aven and I successfully built a new chicken feeder, first try, I’m still blown away. First thing Aven and I have done in a while that we haven’t fought about.
- While I was building the coop, I had a hater on Instagram throw some shade and try to start some beef. I sat for a while deciding on how to verbally eviscerate her, then deleted and blocked her from all social networks (probably the thing I’m most proud of today)
- Rested for a minute then showered
- Got out of the shower, dressed, then Drake decided to hit me with some sort of fabric whip thing, so I chased him down and hit him back. He learned a valuable lesson.
- Left the house to go to my brother’s, had a fight with Alicia on the way about guns and money
- Got to my brother’s house early.
- Poured my grandfather and I a couple fingers of Jameson
- Griped about eating for the next two hours
- Texted Kinman for a while, and I was thankful for that
- Family finally all arrived and I got to eat!
- Played catch up with a cousin I haven’t seen in a couple of years
- Watched OSU beat the brakes off TCU
- Watched mom set up “Minute to win it” games on the deck
- Watched a few family members play with a cutie on my lap
|Miss Hensley Grace|
- Participated in the games, only won one, you stacked pencils on the back of your hand then caught them, proud to say I’ve still got it
- Left too early, but had to get home and study my lesson for tomorrow
- Got home
- Studied for my lesson and watched a gun deal fall through, so I changed clothes
- Found the ASL video for Adele’s “Hello” which led me to watch that video no less than twenty times
Hello – Adele ASL Interpretation from Molly Lou Bartholomew on Vimeo
- Finally picked up my laptop and blogged
- Told the kids goodnight whilst blogging, you’re taking time from them now, feel good about yourself?
I have a lot of pet peeves.
Listing three of them is going to be tough, but here we go.
|I have a touch of the road rage. But only for idiots.|
1. Slow drivers — As you can tell from this blog about me having road rage against my grandparents, I can’t stand those who drive under the speed limit. There’s something about following someone driving 55 in a 65 that makes me want to follow them home, beat them with a garden rake, find their kitten/puppy, take that kitten/puppy and throw it into a ceiling fan. I’d apologize afterwards of course, and buy them a new kitten/puppy, and maybe put a band-aid on their raked face, but the damage would already be done I guess. I feel like I’ve said a lot of things here so we’re just going to move on.
|I hate this band more than I hate the University of North Carolina.|
2. Listening to anything by Rascal Flatts — Look, I don’t care if God Blessed the Broken Road, What Hurts the Most is that you’re actually listening to this crap. My Wish when I hear one of their songs is that shortly after Here Comes the Goodbye, or I’ll Riot and then I’m Movin’ On. I know that Life is a Highway, but I Won’t Let Go of my desire to Rewind every single song I’ve ever heard of theirs and pretend like it never entered my ears. If you like Rascal Flatts, you’re basically a Winner at a Losin’ Game and Me and My Gang will bite you on the throat and I Won’t Let Go, so Just Let it Hurt. I Like the Sound of That.
|This has to be the worst sight in the world outside of catching your wife in the arms of Edward from Twilight.|
3. Running out of toilet paper — Okay, this has happened like twice in the last two days. I finish up in the restroom, finish reading your Facebook or Twitter posts, reach for the toilet paper, and boom goes the dynamite, it’s not there. Open the cabinet, nothing. Look around the entire bathroom, nothing. Just sitting there, unclean and sad, wishing I had a soft animal or a power washer. Trust me, it’s a little humiliating to yell at your three year old to bring you a roll from their bathroom.
So there you have it, my three pet peeves. Tomorrow I get to bullet point my entire day, and since tomorrow is the Sloat Family Thanksgiving Dinner, it should be a heck of a time. Love you guys.
Look at us, we’re almost halfway through this thing.
Today’s prompt might be tough for you to read, but it’s not tough for me to write, so don’t worry.
Here’s the thing. Sloat men have a bad habit of dying by their 40th birthday. Here’s a list:
Uncle dead at nine.
Uncle dead at twenty.
Grandpa dead at forty.
Father dead at forty.
In seven years I’ll be 39.
Maybe I’ll live that long, maybe I won’t. Family history says no, but God does big things.
In seven years, Alicia and I will have been married for almost twenty years. Akeeli will be seventeen, Aven will be fifteen, and Drake will be ten. Maybe there’s a fourth Sloat child by that point, who knows?
I’ll have been a teacher at Okay Public Schools for eight years. I hope to have at least written one novel, maybe a trilogy, those seem to be pretty successful.
I want to have gotten the Teacher of the Year award from my school, the state, and be working on National Teacher of the Year.
My seventh grade class will be graduating in seven years. I want them to come up to me on their graduation day and tell me that I made some sort of impact. Anything.
Hopefully I’ll have a few years of being a head coach under my belt, and I want to be leading a team to a state tournament. Then I want to win it. I want the ring I never got in high school.
I really want to lose some weight. I do. I’d like to lose 150 pounds in the next seven years, and I know that’s completely reasonable, and I’m in charge of my own journey, and all I have to do is put my mind to it, and blah, blah, blah. I just have to buckle down and do it. That’s it. That’s like, twenty-one pounds a year. Totally doable.
I don’t necessarily want a “better” life in 2022, I just want to be a better person. I happen to like my life right now, and don’t want a whole lot to change, except internally. I want to be Travis 2.0. I want to be closer to my children, closer to my wife, and closer to my God.
That’s me in seven years. Love you guys.
Some of these prompts are nuts, others are nuts and I can still write about them. This prompt is one of the latter.
I love my drive to school in the morning. And since school is my work, I’m killing two prompts with one pen here, or however that works in literary terms.
There are two ways for me to get to school. I call one the low road, and one the high road. The low road is officially about thirteen seconds shorter than the high road, and on days where that thirteen seconds matters (there are those days, trust me), I take the low road. It’s boring. They’re building a new bridge on it, and there are lots of big trucks doing irresponsible things and tearing the road up, so it’s gotten a bit more exciting recently, but I still hate it.
The high road though, man. It’s better. It’s way better. You see, on the high road, I get to cross Fort Gibson Dam.
Some of you may not know what that is, and that’s okay. It’s just a big concrete wall keeping water out of one side, and keeping it in on the other. There are gates that let the water out…you know what a dam is.
Here’s why I love it though.
To me, it’s the perfect meshing together of man’s work and God’s creation. The power of water and the strength of steel and concrete. The antiseptic and practical look of retention, and the beauty of tree-laden “mountains” surrounding it.
Right now, the leaves are turning. So when I drive on to the dam, I’m given a panoramic view of a cacophony of color, birds of prey (dead or living), and the thrill of driving across something that, if it broke, thousands would be crushed under the weight of the water.
I took a video the other day to blog about in a different context, but I think it works here. It’s of the best part of my drive — the part where I drive from darkness into light.
No, it’s not that dramatic. But I love it. About halfway across the dam, you drive out of the shadow of a mountain, and the world lights up around you. I squint—I always squint—and smile as I feel the sudden rush of warm light on my face. Little things happen. The interior equipment in my truck, the radio, the gauges, light up a little brighter automatically. Stark contrasts are formed.
It’s beautiful. But, I’ll let you determine that for yourself.
Love you guys.
Many of you have figured this out already, but in case you haven’t, I like to make people laugh.
I had the sweetest post on my Facebook Sunday. A woman posted a picture where I’m in a group of people, and everyone in the group was laughing. It never really occurred to me how much I enjoyed making people laugh until I saw that picture. Maybe it’s a ministry. Maybe Tim Hawkins should snatch me up on his next tour.
Naturally, if I like to make people laugh, then I love to laugh myself. I love listening to stand-up comedy, funny podcasts, and watching comedians on Netflix. I prefer sit-coms over dramas, and I like being around funny people.
That said, half of today’s prompt is difficult for me.
You see, I have a favorite phrase that makes me laugh all the time. That phrase is:
“Pump the brakes” will make me laugh about 99 times out of 100.
But the second phrase that makes me laugh, that’s a thinker. So that’s what I did. I thought about it.
And after thinking about it for nigh an hour, I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t have a second phrase that makes me laugh every time I hear it. What I do have though, is a thinker.
The following is a quote from Philip K. Dick, and it’s from his book, VALIS. This quote is one of my favorites, and in fact, I rocked it as my desktop background on my computer for a while.
“There exists, for everyone, a sentence – a series of words – that has the power to destroy you. Another sentence exists, another series of words, that could heal you. If you’re lucky you will get the second, but you can be certain of getting the first.”
That quote rocks my world. Every single time I read it, I’m stuck wondering what my sentences are. They have to exist, so what are they? I don’t think I’ve been destroyed by a sentence, but hearing, “Your dad has died,” was pretty rough.
What are your sentences? Have you gotten them yet?
Love you guys.
I really kind of gave this one away the other day when I blogged about someone who fascinates me, which is my wife.
So figured I’d talk to you this morning about another relationship I’m in. One that I am very passionate about. One that I think about constantly, catching myself thinking about it at random times during the day, especially closer to 5 p.m.
It’s a give/take relationship, one where I take and the other party gives. And boy do they give. They just keep giving, and giving, and just when I think they can’t give anymore, I find myself again being the recipient of their creamy, gooey love.
The relationship I’m talking about?
|There is no pleasure, no rapture, no exquisite sin so sweet as Velveeta cheese.|
That’s right. Velveeta cheese. I love it so much.
I only eat it one way, really, and that’s mixed with Ro-tel and a little bit of milk, then spread over tortilla chips with taco meat of some kind slathered on top like a hat on a gorgeous woman.
I had a Twitter argument once with a gal who insisted I could make a better cheese sauce with flour and butter and cheddar and some chiles. I gave it a shot, knowing in the back of my mind that I was cheating on Velveeta, praying she didn’t find out, and I put that nasty cheese sauce on my chips, took one bite, threw it out, and ran to my kitchen confessing my sins to Velveeta and swearing on my life I’d never cheat on her again.
Look, I know it’s not cheese, per se. I know that if a couple of the molecules were mixed around it would technically be plastic and not a food product. I know that eventually, when diabetes takes my leg, and then my other leg, that I’ll have to put the blame on someone, and that someone will probably be…NEVER VELVEETA.
My relationship with Velveeta started when I was a kid. I can fondly remember “nacho nights” at the Sloat home, wherein my mom (bless her less than three) would melt down the Velveeta, mix in the Ro-tel, and set out a few scraps of lettuce under the guise that it would make the dish “better for you.”
I’ve carried that love until now, and I plan to carry it for the next ten or so years, until my “cheese”-engorged heart beats its sallow, soggy last beat and I’m carried into heaven in a river of unnatural yellow goo on a nacho chip boat whilst taco meat trees shake their fruits gently into the river.
Excuse me guys I just drooled on myself.
Now it’s time for me to tell you about an imposter in this relationship.
An evil succubus doing her best to destroy the relationship between so many and the Yellow Gold.
|Not the actual product, they make a block cheese too.|
That’s right, the So-Cheezy.
Like I said in the caption, they make a block-style cheese just like Velveeta, and it is terrible. Just awful stuff, grainy, doesn’t melt the same, an imposter all the way around. Don’t you dare buy So-Cheezy and tell me, “It’s the same stuff.” That’s worse than setting a kiwi in front of me. I might hit you.
There’s only one Yellow Gold. There’s only one Velveeta. And she has my heart.
Love you guys.
Before we get started, yeah I skipped yesterday, big deal, let’s just call this thing what it is, an “I’ll write when I feel like it but don’t judge me if I miss a day” challenge.
Today’s topic is a fruit I dislike and why, and it’s an easy one with a blanket answer.
I hate any fruit with fuzz on it.
Peaches, kiwis, and anything else that might exist where you have to shave it before you eat it.
|Hair has a place. That place is not on fruit.|
Don’t think the double-entendre is lost on me, in fact I have a funny story about that.
Several years ago, I was in Sunday School class when the mayor of Muskogee walked up to me and asked me if I liked peaches.
“Travis, do you like peaches?”
“No Bob, I don’t.”
“Bob I don’t eat anything with hair on it.”
|Pretty much Mayor Bob, if Mayor Bob was black. And short.|
I’d like to tell you that this is the most awkward thing I’ve ever said in church, but if you’ve known me for more than five minutes, you’d know that’s a lie.
Back to the fruit though, it’s a sensation thing. If I want a piece of fruit, I want something smooth and easy to eat. I can’t do bananas because the texture makes me gag. I’ll eat every banana Laffy Taffy you ever set in front of me though.
Kiwis are definitely worse than peaches. I’d eat a peach if someone cut it up and did the dirty work for me, but if you set a kiwi in front of me we’ll just stop talking. I won’t even say bye, I’m just going to walk away and say, “Hey Siri, delete **** from my contacts.” If you aren’t in my contacts, I’m going to find one of your friends, ask them for your number so I can apologize later, then block your number. I hate kiwi that much.
Fruits I do like? Well, apples, oranges, watermelons, grapes, melons of all kinds (heh), berries, and tomatoes, because I’m that guy that will tell you tomatoes are really fruit even though everyone knows that already and no one cares.
Also, I quick aside, I turned 33 today, and I started No-Shave November, and my birthday is technically 25 hours long* which is awesome. Just don’t get me fruit as a present. Love you guys.
*I have no idea if the math is right and I don’t care