Life

Health Care from My Eyes

So I never really gave much thought in the past to people that had no health care. Why? Because I’ve always had it through my employers with every job I’ve had. As you all know I lost my job back in September 2009. Of course that means no more health care. I couldn’t afford the COBRA they offered either. SO I’ve done fine all year last year until this past week. I’ve come down with something that’s pretty vicious. Don’t think it’s like the flu though. Feels like the bronchitis I’ve had in the past many times. Problem is in the past I’ve had health care so I just would go to the doctor’s office, get a prescription, and in a few days be fine. Not the case this time. I’m going on a week now with no change in health. Over the counter stuff isn’t working. Going to have to hit up a free clinic on Thursday (as that’s the only day they’re open). I feel embarrassed to be honest, having to go to a free clinic for health care. Why do you ask? I can’t explain it. I just do. I feel ashamed that I am so poor I can’t afford health care. But at the same time this has made me realize what millions of Americans go through every single day. I still don’t support government controlled health care though. Especially when there are penalties for not having any health care and breaks for illegal aliens, etc. Anyways enough ranting. Time to go dope myself up with more drugs.

Homophobic

So I was reading the other day about how the NFL has rejected two ads for the Super Bowl. The first ad was for a gay dating website called ManCrunch.com. The second was for GoDaddy. Now granted GoDaddy has been known to push the envelope with it’s commercials but this one was not that bad. Has the NFL forgotten that it’s 2010? Have they not realized that the homosexuals in this world are not evil disgusting people and that they don’t have to hide anymore? In a statement, the network said, “After reviewing the ad — which is entirely commercial in nature — our Standards and Practices department decided not to accept this particular spot.” They added that it “is not within the Network’s Broadcast Standards for Super Bowl Sunday.” Mind you the NFL has accepted a pro-life organization ad featuring college football star Tim Tebow.

Below are the two commercials that got rejected. Tell me what you think.

The World We Live In

earthSo I sit here just pondering random thougths of nothing. Wondering where did I go wrong in life? Who did I piss off to have the year I’ve had? Other than meeting the most amazing woman ever 2009 has been a hellacious year for me. Let’s recap since the year is coming to a close in a few weeks. First off I get divorced back in April (seperation started Jan 1, 2009). Ok fine I’ll deal with it. Best thing that ever happened to me actually though. I find a roommate fairly fast. Cool guy who was down on his luck, hurting for money, etc. Same situation I was in a few years back when I lived in Chicago. I let him live here and he paid me some rent but not that much. I’ve decided to let it slide because of the fact that I was in the same boat not that long ago and someone lent a hand and let me catch a break. This was my chance to return the favor to someone else in need. Still consider him a great friend. He was a godsend really. He helped get me through the roughest times by helping me forget there were rough times to begin with.

I met the most wonderful woman back in March of 2009 (like I said earlier this was the ONLY good thing to happen in 2009). We’d crossed paths unknowingly a year ago and here we are now dating. Who would have known? She’s been my rock throughout everything. I really don’t think I’d still be here (no I don’t mean dead just not living here) if it wasn’t for her. She’s been my strength when I had none. She makes waking up every morning worth it. She’ll be my wife someday.

So we fast forward to September 9, 2009. I lose my job. Worst time for that to happen. Luckily I’ve gotten on unemployment but it’s not making the bills get paid. It’s less than 50% of what I was making before at my job. Mortgage is hard to pay. So far I’ve not gotten foreclosed on….yet. So it’s just been a struggle to get the bills I have paid, etc.

So yeah 2009 has been a hell of  a year. To believe that I’m still here standing is a feat in itself. Again without the support of my AWESOME girlfriend and my great and amazing family I know I wouldn’t be here like I am right now. So anyways there’s a little taste of what I’ve gone through this past year. I hope 2010 turns out better for me.

Um Hello? Are You Out There Harold?

Ok so I know I said I’d be back in August and I planned on it. But things changed. First I decided to run for the city council at-large seat where I live. So that’s been occupying most of my time. And most recently (yesterday 9/9/09) I lost my job. So now I am in desperation mode and trying to find work FAST. Worst time to lose a job. So it’s gonna be a little while before I can start posting but I may pop in here and now. Please stay subscribed because I promise I will be back. I’ve got a great book that I got in the mail a few months back from an awesome author and he sent me two copies. One to read and review and one to give away. I’ve got the review written now I just need to get it posted and get a contest going for someone to win the book. Trust me it’s a really good book. Lots of lies, sex, etc. Just up a majority of my reader’s alley. So keep checking back and you may be surprised I may get inspired to write some stuff again real soon. Got some free time on my hand anyways HAHA!

Taking A Break

As you can tell I haven’t been posting much since the first part of June. Just had a lot of stuff going on and haven’t had the time to sit and write. I’m going to take a break until August to try and get a few things together for a couple of giveaways sometime in August or early September. I’ll see you all in August.

Affirmative Racism

aa1I’m sure you all know and have heard of affirmative action. In case you haven’t here is a short definition of what is it.

Affirmative Action – A policy or a program that seeks to redress past discrimination through active measures to ensure equal opportunity, as in education and employment.

Basically it is a program the government setup to make sure that minorities have the same opportunities at getting a job as any non-minority do. This is fine and dandy. I’m not saying they shouldn’t have the same rights. I believe everyone is equal no matter their race, sex, or religion. But what I do have a problem is when two people go for the same job and one gets it because they’re African American, Hispanic, Asian, or basically anything except Caucasian. Companies nowadays will end up hiring someone who is less qualified than another person applying for a job just because they don’t have enough “minorities” working in the company and they fear a lawsuit.

To me affirmative action has done nothing but cause more racism. Not against the minorities, but rather against the average white man/woman. I have known plenty of my friends who are white lose a chance at a good job because the company had to hire more minorities because the bigwigs up top were getting scared that if they didn’t have a certain Caucasian to Minority ratio they would feel the wrath of the all mighty lawsuit. What a crock. Why must companies today feel threatened just because they chose to hire a white person who was way more qualified for a job?

The black community is always screaming that they’re oppressed and that they are always being wronged or that racism is against all blacks. I’m sorry, but racism affects pretty much everyone. White, Black, Asian, Hispanic, gay, Catholic, Baptist, etc. Yet it usually seems to be the black community who are mostly throwing out the racism card. Yes we were wrong for having slavery. I agree with that 100%, but come on how many years ago was that? Why must we continue to be hassled for something we had no control over? How do you even know my ancestors played a part? I’m part Cherokee Indian. Do you hear me complaining about how my ancestors were murdered and used/abused? Do you hear me wanting reparations? Do you hear me, as a white male, throwing a fit when a black person calls me whitey, honkey, trailer trash, etc? How many black comics come on stage and put down white people? A LOT! Even some of my favorite ones. Yet if I were to go on stage and do the same stuff about minorities I’d be labeled a racist and possibly get my butt kicked. Yet when minorities do it they get laughs, applause, etc. Double standard anyone?

Again don’t take my comments as racist. They aren’t meant to be that. Yes racism exists and yes it is a big problem, but it is not just against one certain minority. As I said earlier it is against all kinds of people and many times not based on their skin color. Look at the gay community. They’ve had to deal with racism towards them. It isn’t really racism but prejudice, but it falls along the same lines.

I know this rant has gone away from my main point of how screwed up Affirmative Action is, but I felt it necessary to point out some things in order to show how Affirmative action doesn’t help everyone. It has done nothing, but cost a lot of qualified people good jobs just because a company only has so many Asians or Hispanics, or African Americans, or whatever working for them. I will end this with one simple solution to the problems caused by Affirmative Action. Find a way to prevent lawsuits from even going to court over something as stupid as “Oh I didn’t get hired and it is because I am Hispanic.” Once we can do that we can totally do away with Affirmative Action.

I know I’m gonna offend some people out there with this post, but so be it. I know that I am not the only person who thinks this way.

Ten Ways to Survive a Divorce: Part 2

600xpopupgallerySo as promised here are the remaining five ways to survive a divorce. Again these are not fact or based on any scientific research. Rather than are my own ideas and some are things I’ve done myself to get through my recent divorce. As always feel free to share your own ways to survive a divorce in the comments section.

6. Turn to Religion – If you are or were religious what better place to go to get your mind off your divorce than Church/Synagogue/Mosque/etc. Sometimes you have to give up control and turn it over to a higher power. You may be pleasantly surprised of the results when you do this. It’s also a great place to make some new friends that you can turn to when you are down and need a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen to your problems.

7. Go Shopping – Now most guys reading this are probably going “Harold are you crazy? You want me to go shopping?” Ok I know that typically most guys are the first species to want to hit the mall and buy stuff, but trust me. Go out and get some new clothes. Same applies to women so I’m not just saying this to the men. Buying a new outfit or outfits can help boost your self-esteem. Maybe get those outfits your ex never would let you get or said always made you look stupid, etc. Treat yourself to something fancy. You deserve it.

8. Make New Friends – Ok so how can you accomplish this you may ask? There are various ways. The easiest and most comfortable way is the Internet. Sign up on some friend sites like MySpace,  Facebook or Twitter (see my How To: Twitter article if you need help getting started). You’ll be surprised how many people you may know that are on here. Or you may find some new friends that live near you. Reconnect with old high school classmates that you haven’t spoken too or seen in years. Another place is dating websites. I won’t specifically endorse any here but there are alot of great ones out there and believe it or not they can be very beneficial.

9. Take Some Trips – If your bank account allows it go on a trip. Take a cruise or take that long road trip somewhere you’ve been wanting to go, but never could because your ex didn’t want to go there. Or go visit family. Anything to get you out of your house/apartment and get away from all of the stress that you are going through.

10. Learn to Play an Instrument – Why not take the extra free time you may have now as a divorcee and learn to play an instrument. Learn to play the guitar or the piano or the drums. Whatever floats your boat. This step has two advantages. First off you’ll learn a new talent and get your creative juices flowing. Secondly you can use your new talent to impress that new guy or gal you’ve been hanging out with. Note: Women LOVE guitar players or so I’m told.

Well there you have it. Ten ways to survive a divorce. Nothing too difficult and some fun thigns to do to try and take your mind off your divorce. Again none of these are facts, etc. but I personally have done some of these steps when I was getting divorced and after my divorce was final and I can honestly say that they helped me out tremendously. I hope they can help you in your journey through divorce.

Ten Ways to Survive a Divorce: Part 1

divorce-main_fullSo it’s happened. you’ve gotten divorced. How are you going to make it? You’ve been living on two incomes (in most cases) and sharing the living costs, bills, etc. Now you have to pay for stuff all by yourself. If you kept the house you’ve got a mortgage payment to pay for and maybe a car payment.  Add to that the fact that you’re now alone all the time. All of these things can add up to a lot of stress and can cause you a lot of unwanted suffering. Here are ten ways to survive a divorce (whether male or female) and make the best of your new life.

1. Start Writing – Whether it be a blog or an old fashioned diary/journal. Get your thoughts down on paper or on the Internet. I personally have taken to reviving my blog to express my feelings, etc. I’ve found that it’s helped me  a lot.

2. Get a Pet – Get a dog or a cat or any kind of pet that you can play with and hold or that will be around you and lay next to you. Build a bond with that animal. Animal shelters are a great place because the animals there have, just like you, lost someone and feel abandoned. Both you and the animal will understand how each other feels.

3. Work Out – Working out is a great way to release a lot of the stress you’re going to inevitably run into being divorced. It’s also a good way to keep in shape and get your exercise. On top of that you can meet some new friends this way and even another potential mate.

4. Volunteer – You’ve probably got more free time now that you’re divorced. Why not spend some of that time volunteering in your community. Help out at the local Goodwill or Salvation Army. Help with the homeless shelters if there are any, etc. Not only are you spending your new free time efficiently you’re providing a service that helps out others.

5. Get a Roommate – So you kept the house. Or you moved into a big apartment. It’s empty and lonely. Why not get a roommate? Not only will you get someone to talk to, hang out with, etc. you’ll be getting help with those bills you are having to pay all by yourself. Just make sure you get a roommate that you can trust. That’s the hardest part.

So there are  the first 5 steps to surviving a divorce. I’ll come back with the remaining 5 in a few days so check back for the second half of this post. Also if you have advice of your own feel free to leave them in the comments. This isn’t a definitive list that is set in stone but rather just my own thoughts and some are things I did to help myself survive my recent divorce.

Life’s Little Surprises

Sometimes life throws you that curveball everyone talks about. Sometimes you swing at it and you miss. Sometimes you get a home run. The point is you never know what the end result of your swing will be until after you’ve already swung. I’ve been through a lot in my 29 years on this earth. Some good, some bad, some well just whatever, but I wouldn’t change a single thing. I look back at my life and stop and think about the crazy stuff I did in college and how much I could have done differently. I wonder sometimes what might have been had I stayed in Illinois. What might have been had I gone to college in Ohio as I originally planned. But then I stop and realize that I am here, in small town Iowa for a reason. I was put in Newton, IA on purpose. I got married to my ex-wife for a reason. It was all planned before I was ever born. I know some of you are going “Has Harold lost his marbles” and I can see how one might think that. No I haven’t gone all weird on ya and crazy. I just have always thought that everything in life happens for a reason. I think that I met my ex-wife so that I would end up in Newton and get the job that I have now. A great job that is close to where I live.

curveball

Me getting divorced was God’s way of doing just what I had told him I wanted him to do. Take over and do what needed to be done to save my marriage. Well he saved me from a lot of continued heartache and pain and showed me that getting divorce was the right thing to do. I know that the religious sects say divorce is not a good thing, but sometimes you have to just say “God I’m sorry, but I have to do this” and move on. I did. I was angry though at first. I was pissed. I was cursing at God. How could he do this?  I asked him to help me save my marriage and he let all of this stuff happen? How could he do that to me? I now look back and realize how foolish I was thinking that. I realize that I was speaking out of anger and frustration. It took some very strong people in my life to make me realize that he did just what I asked. He helped me. He showed me the right thing to do and got me out of a situation that was unhealthy for me.

I went back to church this past Sunday as my mom and step-dad were in town visiting. We all went as did my new girlfriend. It was great. I was nervous because I hadn’t been there since that Christmas Eve service. I got some looks and what not because A) I was back after so long and B) had this woman with me that wasn’t my wife. In the long run I’m glad I went and I plan on going more often now. My girlfriend wants to go with me to so that’s always a plus. To have someone like that to stand by you and do stuff with you is great. I never had the support from my ex-wife. I never got what I get from my girlfriend I have now. It’s such a great feeling to get back 100% what I give out. Words can’t describe how that makes a person feel. How it warms your heart knowing they aren’t just going through the motions.

I just had all of this on my mind and thought what better thing to do than to get on here and get it down in writing. I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of this so leave your comments and let me know what ya think. Take care.

The Blame Game

blame1You know sometimes people feel the need to find that one person and make them the example. Most times that one person hasn’t even done anything wrong but because their newer or whatever they get the blame for everything. Is this necessary? I mean why should someone who has been doing things the way they’re trained and taught then turn around and take the fall or take the blame for something they had no control over. Especially when the situation wasn’t even necessary but was created to HELP people out? I just don’t get it. I guess you can blame it on a generation gap or something. I don’t know if the older generation just feel the need to find the younger person and make them feel like they did some big thing that was wrong or what but it’s ridiculous.

I get into work today and there’s an email from an employee upset about something that happened last night. I recently ordered a change in the Internet service for some of our employees that sometimes work from home. It was to upgrade their Internet speeds. It wasn’t asked of me nor was it necessary but it was an upgrade in speed that would actually REDUCE the cost of the service’s monthly cost. In these bad economic times what better than to save the company money right? So the orders weren’t scheduled to go through until today after 5:00 pm. One user emails us last night that his Internet was down at 5:00 pm and he had to spend two hours on the phone with the Internet tech support guys to get it working. The tech at the Internet company tells our employee that there was no order to upgrade speeds for his account (there was and is trust me). Then the tech feels the need to tell our employee that was the reason his Internet went down. Wait so there was no order for speed upgrade but that order for speed upgrade was the reason our employee’s Internet was down? Yeah that perplexed look on your face now is the same one I had.

I’m talking to my co-worker about this and they tell me that basically I screwed up and I need to fix it. Excuse me? Fix WHAT? There’s nothing to fix. I didn’t do anything wrong. First off the employee isn’t supposed to call for support and only four people here at the office are to have access. Ok so it was after hours and he needed to get it up and working fine whatever that’s not my issue with this. The issue is that I get told that this employee is upset and that I didn’t do something right. I did what I had been trained to do. So if I didn’t do something right, when doing what I had been trained to do, how can I be faulted for that? I don’t see the logic behind that at all.

I just feel like I’ve become the whipping boy for my department. I’m the youngest person in the department by at least 10 years or close to 10 years. 90%+ of the other people in my department are over 40. I guess because I’m the young one I don’t know as much and am naive and so I can’t do things right. Or is it that I can’t do them the way they WANT me to do them not necessarily the way they SHOULD be done? Just because you’ve done something a certain way for the past 10 years or whatever doesn’t always mean it’s the right or best way to do it. It just means you’ve been doing it that particular way. So when someone else comes along and does it their way that’s different than your way don’t right away assume that it’s wrong. So my way takes less time and is easier. Does that automatically make it a bad way to do it just because I’m not doing it the way you’ve done it for over 10 years? Absolutely not!

So yeah I just felt the need to rant and rave today. Thanks for listening.