TNT Report: Visiting My Hero

Some of you may know this, but I rejoined Team In Training this year to run the Dallas Marathon while raising money to fight blood cancers.  This is part of a series about my journey.

My Team journey has been slow going given that our training season was right as I was starting to recover from my Tympanoplasty.  I just started running again this week and things are slow going.  I’ve raised a fair amount of money for my campaign so far and looking forward to raising the rest very soon.

A few weeks ago I went to visit my honored hero at his house.  “An Honored Hero is a dedicated individual or family member, affected by a blood cancer, who serves as an inspiration and provides support to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).”  My particular hero is a friend of Kim and her family.  I had met him before he was diagnosed with non-hodgkin lymphoma.  When I visited him, he was finishing the fifth of six rounds of chemotherapy.

My hero had no hair on his head and his eyebrows were gone.  He had a surgical mask on his mouth.  He rarely spoke and used a legal pad to communicate with his family.  He had lost a great deal of weight as well.  He had a “port” in his arm with three tubes.  One tube went into his body and close to his heart.  He walked around with the port on his arm during the chemotherapy and it had to be cleaned with saline each week.

This is not my honored hero but I wanted you to know what a port is. This is a free use photo.

I talked to Kim about what I saw.  She informed me that he wears the mask because his immune system is drastically weaker while on chemotherapy.  Being around a person with a cold or the flu could be fatal.  In addition his mouth has sores on it from the procedure.  When he was in his first few rounds of chemo, he was at the hospital from 8 AM to 5 PM.  Now he is able to go home but the procedure still takes a toll on him as well as his family.

The first time I did team in Training I was legit doing it just so I could get help in doing a triathlon.  And I did do those things and they were fine.  But I am in a unique position to use this platform for change in addition to freezing cold political takes and I’m gonna do that.

Kim and I are doing the Dallas Marathon this year as part of the Dallas Team in Training group.  To that end you can go to either my page or Kim’s page in order to make a donation.  Please share this with your friends, family and frenemies so that they can donate.  They can reach out to me at jeremyg36@gmail.com if they have questions.

We’re also having a housewarming party in August and a Halloween party in October.  In lieu of presents, please come with donations for Team.  Please email me at the stuff above if you would like an invite.

Thanks for reading this and I’ll have another post soon.

Featured photo was taken by Kim while on a run in Vegas.

Shyama and I Read the GOPHealthCare Bill and It’s BS

I know that a vote on the GOP version of the Health Care Bill is being delayed and is not happening right now, possibly because they don’t have the votes to pass it. But the truth is that it can be recalled and voted on at anytime and there are a number of things that can get added to the bill in order to make it more palatable for some GOP senators.

This health care bill is bad:

“So here is what the CBO [congressional budget office, a group of bipartasian nerds that review all bills in order to explain the cost of the bill and the effects of it] is saying: The BCRA’s subsidies are too small to make the silver plans [a healthcare plan that pays for 70% of a person’s expected healthcare costs] affordable for low-income people, and the plans it is trying to make affordable — the ones that cover 58 percent of expected costs — carry such high deductibles that low-income Americans won’t buy them because they won’t be able to afford to use them.”

vox, https://www.vox.com/…/26/15876778/cbo-senate-health-bill-gop

There are people who are alive right now who will die if the healthcare plan that is going through the senate right now makes it through the senate and gets to the President’s desk. That is a true thing. I don’t believe that should happen. Obamacare is not perfect in any respect, but the current bills going through congress don’t fix the underlying problems of Obamacare and hurt a lot of people.

We can work to change that by calling our senators and asking that they vote no against this bill. If you live in a place where your senators are already voting no, you can call them and thank them for voting no and asking them to delay this bill and any other bills like it. For more about that you can go to https://www.trumpcareten.org/crooked

You can call on the weekend, it’s fine. Many offices are keeping a count of how many calls they get and your calls can go in the count even if you don’t speak to someone. It’s fine. https://www.trumpcareten.org/crooked has a script that you can use.

July 4th is here and many of these senators are going to be doing some sort of parade walking or other july 4th something or other. We can go to these events and ask them to vote no or delay. If they’re in a car in a parade, then yell at them while they drive by. We have to do everything that we can here to save lives. Almost everyone knows someone who receives money from #Medicaid or is between 50-64, the age where the premium rates jump up.

Shyama and I read the health care bill last week and shot a video on it. We are going to be going to the Ted Cruz Town Hall McKinney Rally on wednesday and ask him to hold a town hall where he will submit himself to questions by his constituents. Please come with us. Call, text or pm me for more info.

Thank you for reading this. I know there is a lot of politics right now but we have to do what we can in order to make our voice heard.

Short: Siamese Cats and Dumbo’s “Jim Crows”

So i never saw “lady and the tramp” growing up or at least I don’t remember. For some reason I’ve been remembering the “siamese cat” song and thought to google it.

Yo. Hold on man. This song is terrrrrrible. Who thought this was okay? Who approved of this? What studio executive was like “we are Siamese if you please? Brilliant!”

I posted this on my facebook and I got the following responses:
“Maybe don’t re-watch Peter Pan.”
“Good ol racist Walt Disney…”
“Go watch Cinderella 2 (they made a sequel). And Cinderella 3!  [hold on just a minute.  they made a cinderalla 2 and 3?  wtf were they about?  did she lose her shoe again?  did she miss the after party?]”
“Brer rabbit and the tar baby [this I don’t remember, but I remember brer rabbit.] ”
“Don’t forget ‘Song of The South [we sang this song all the effing time in daycare.  i’m afraid to watch this]'”

But you know what was this worst?

“Dumbo and the Jim Crows”

So I googled it.

dear God.  It’s a bunch of crows.  And one of their name is Jim. WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS OKAY?  What vice president was all like “yes, I approve of this.”  Who signed the document giving this the green light?  What green light would it even have been?

I vividly remember watching Dumbo in kindergarten.  I was 6 years old.  I can’t believe what sort of stuff was being programmed into me.

Ugh.

This is part of a thing called “shorts,” which is short stuff that I write in other places and I post here because I’m really busy but I paid money for this domain.  

Three questions I have about this stepping video that don’t have anything to do with cultural appropriation.

Okay. So several months ago I watched the video below. I found it to be…interesting.

Now I have to say that I have watched this video about 20 times because there are little nuggets that I keep on finding. I also posted it to any personal Facebook page to see what my friends thought of it.

From what I can tell, based on the music stands, this was made in a Band hall.  And one of my friends said that this is Kappa Kappa Psi, which is a co-ed band fraternity which apparently Bill Clinton was in; whatever that means.  I don’t know what school this is in, but KKPsi was a lot more diverse in the movie Drumline.

via GIPHY

Now mind you, I don’t have anything to say about the caption on the top of the page.  All that stuff about caucasity and all that.  No comment as to that.  But the rest of it I’m going to roast.

A quick word about cultural appropriation and stepping

A lot of the statements that were posted on my personal page had to do with cultural appropriation which is basically when one culture takes something which could be viewed as from the culture of another and puts it on as their own. For more on cultural appropriation you can read up on it here. This teen vogue article has a recent example.  Stay woke, read Teen Vogue.  No, really.

There is a lot to be said about cultural appropriation and whether this was an act of cultural appropriation or not. It’s worth knowing that what they are doing is an art form known as stepping, which has its roots in black fraternity/sorority shows as well as african tribal dance.

But I don’t want to get into the details about whether this is cultural appropriation I want to talk about some other things that I see in this video. Because this is less about being an attempt at cultural appropriation and more about being…a bad step line.

1.  Where is the third person from the front’s shirt?

Okay so if you’ll notice the line has set outfits. The women are wearing baby blue tee shirts while the men are wearing dark blue. But what about that lady third from the front?  It looks like she’s wearing a straight up white shirt with no lettering. And if that is the case, where is her shirt?

That shirt is definitely not baby blue and definitely not navy blue. #nope

I mean, clearly she is in the right place. She knows the step reasonably well so I’m sure that she’s part of the group. Even though they are not a great team, this is too complicated a step to learn on the fly. So she’s clearly a member of the step team. Did she think today was practice and not the real show?  Maybe, but even that wouldn’t fly because why would you wear jeans to practice?

Where is her shirt?  Did you not know this was happening?  Was it not on your phone?  Did you not use the buddy system to make sure everyone is ready?  Did no one have extras just in case? Where is your dorm or apartment that you couldn’t go back and get it?  And were you not bothered by the fact that you didn’t have it on the way over to the performance?

2.  Why isn’t the first male member of the group at the front of the line?

Okay so it’s safe to say that the women are in the light blue shirts and the men are in the navy blue shirts. Take a look at the first male member of the group. While none of the people on this line are doing extremely well, it’s safe to say that he is putting in the most work.

via GIPHY

He honestly looks like the only one who is having a good time , which is part of the draw with stepping in the first place. And his moves are pretty solid. So why isn’t he up closer to the front of the line?  Heck, why isn’t he at the front of the line?

I don’t remember all the specifics from my time on the shades line but I’m pretty sure that the first person on the line sets the tone. I mean that’s what it’s like for the board game head of the class.  No earthly idea why I thought of this just now.

via GIPHY

So why isn’t he in the front of the line?  I mean clearly he’s better than the people who are at the front of the line. And it can’t be that he’s not a woman because clearly he’s in front of other women in the line.

This guy could really set the tone here. Too bad they won’t let him.

3.  Why don’t they have a transition from this line to whatever comes next?

Okay so they do this line step or whatever. But that’s not the end of the show, unfortunately. They have at least one more step to do.

Now I was in a step team in my church and then at Abilene Christian University (oh no, I’m not saying I was any good, I was just there.  Like they needed some black guys and I walked in because I was lost).  We were named Shades and we were non-Greek. We don’t have any recordings on Youtube from my day because we haven’t converted them from VCR tapes.  That’s how old I am.  When we did our step show in chapel we were kings and queens of the school for a good solid week. One thing that we did was transitions. Okay, so a transition is when you go from one formation to another. Typically you take a step to get there. Okay so here’s an example:

Okay so they are in one formation and they do a step to move into another formation. Simple, right?

So wtf are these people doing?

via GIPHY

So they’re doing one step and then they just move into whatever the next step is going to be without doing a proper transition. What the heck?

Did they not think that they needed one?  Did whoever taught them this line step not explain to them that they needed to do a transition? Did they leave that out?  Did they not see that on YouTube?  And who let them get this far without telling them this?  I don’t have their number otherwise I would call them. But one of you might.    Can you deliver the message to them?  Do the right thing and give them a call. I do this out of love. It’s all a labor of love.

Now mind you, there may be additional questions here that I haven’t hit on that don’t have anything to do with cultural appropriation. If you have one hen leave it in the comments. And make it funny.

Some Of The Thoughts That I had while Trying to Keep Up With My Girlfriend on a Triathlon

Last Sunday my girlfriend and I completed the caveman triathlon, a sprint triathlon in Flower Mound Texas. And man, was it something.

A word about me and Kim

As many of you know, Kim is my girlfriend. We love each other very much.

We’ve been doing racing events for over a year now and kim has beaten me in just about every single one.

2015 race for the Cure: she beat me by 1 minute.

2015 turkey trot: beat me by 10 minutes.

2016 cowtown half:  20 minutes.

2016 Tour De Fleurs (20k): somewhere around a freaking hour if not more.

2016 dallas marathon:  a freaking hour.

Her: 5 hours Me: 6:02 Done and done. #bmwdallasmarathon

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Last year in the caveman triathlon, her first one, she beat me by a few minutes.  Now mind you, the wet ground kept me from using my aero bars, but her run neutralized her slow swim and then some, leaving me minutes behind.

But that was also when she was slow. While I have been training this year more than ever, so has she. With private training in an endless pool and actually doing the workouts that her coach gives her she’s poised to have her fastest year yet.

His and hers.

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Race day

We barely got to the race in time to set up our transition areas. We piled into a little gymnasium adjacent to the pool near the swim would be happening. We put similar swim times down so I started right after her. I made my way through the water quickly after seeing a maneuver by another swimmer to kick off the wall and swim under the lane divider as opposed to going underneath the lane divider and then kicking off from the wall. I passed kim up quickly and then moved into the bike.

My transition from swim to bike was atrocious but my bike was strong. With an average of 17 mph (shut up, that’s a lot for me) I moved my way through the field and posted my fastest cycle time yet.

And that’s where things got interesting.

I got off my bike and went through transition and started the run. The run route starts in a path near the community center and is next to the end of the cycling route. So in other words you can see the cyclists finishing up the bike if you look for them. Which I was doing. I was looking for kim. And I found her.

Okay so this picture that I made with Paint explains where I saw her.  The red line is me on my run.  I started at the at the green dot near Gerault Park, ran through Heritage Park, out to garden Ridge Road, turned around and ran back through the park, then ran up on a path that meets Big Canyon Road and then back down to the finish, which is represented by the checkered dot.  The Green line represents Kim’s cycle; she was coming in to the parking lot when I saw her by way of the green line.  The blue circle represents where I saw her.  Remember that it’s swim/bike/run and there’s not that much more to go in the bike when I see her.  Maybe another quarter mile AT BEST which would take another minute on a bike at the speed she was going.

At that point, I started a mental…something. It wasn’t a dialogue per se because I was the only one there, but I was thinking pretty hard.  It went something like this.:

“Oh sh*t, there she goes!  I think she saw me.”
“She looks pretty good.  She looks strong”
“Oh I think she might pass me!  Oh sh*t she’s gonna pass me!”
“huff huff huff [I mean, I’m still running so I’m breathing hard]”
“Okay so this is a 5k.  So I need to be ahead of her when she starts running.  Like, far ahead.  How far ahead?”
“Okay.  We started at the same time today.  So we’re equal there.”
“Okay, if train A leaves the station…”

Pictured above: Me trying to figure out how far ahead of her I need to be when she starts running.

“Huff, huff, huff”
“Okay okay okay hang on.  Hang on hang on.  Okay.  So, she’s a minute per mile faster than me on the run.”
“So I need to be three minutes ahead of her when she starts running.”
“Wait.  Why am I even doing this? I’m calculating how far ahead I am going to be in front of my girlfriend to beat her?  What type of sh*t is this?”
“Wait.  How can I even call myself a feminist when I am calculating this sort of thing?  I’m such a sh*tty feminist!”
“Huff, huff, huff.”
“Okay we’re gonna have to come back to this existential crisis later.”
“So from where she is, she has a minute left on the bike.  And then 2 minutes in transition.  So I should make it as long as I can stay around 10:30 minute miles.”
“Gawd this is fast for me.  Maybe I should just give up and let her have it.”
“No, I can do this, I can make it.”
“Huff, huff, huff.”
“Okay, turn around.  Is she back there? [looks back] Okay not yet.  Let’s keep going.”

This went on for another 20 minutes or so until I got to the finish.  I finished ahead of her.  At this point I don’t know if that was a moral victory or what.  Also, no word on how much time I lost turning my body to look back and see if she was there.

Ultimately I finished in 1 hour and 21 minutes, my fastest time yet for a triathlon and qualifying me for the Best of the Best Triathlon in November, which is another reason I can’t get fat.  Ugh.  So many reasons.

here’s the proof. i figured this was for fast people. now i got one. whatever you say, racing company.

So now I have to keep training so I can not get embarrassed at this thing.  So if I win my age group does that make me the “best of the best of the best?”  That reference is for Chris.

I will be 100 years old and still never get over this scene. Freakin’ Jake Jensen, man. With honors.

Caveman triathlon. PR’ed by 9 minutes or so. Not a bad morning.

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As for Kim and I, it’s only a matter of time at this point.  She’ll be faster than me by the next triathlon if not already. She’s been working up a storm and I’m happy for her.

I Am Posting this Entire Response Here for you to Read

I recently came across a post from NY Mag that I really loved.  It has to deal with a lot of things that I am dealing with and have been for a while.  It also deals with the very real ideas of loneliness, prior ideas and conditioning and tons more that people go through every day.

Originally I was going to just going to post the whole thing, but that seemed like some amount of appropriation so I am just posting the response. It’s a column called “Dear Polly:”  You can see the whole thing here.

Dear TLIP,

Here’s something I didn’t want to face when I was younger, but that it feels less frightening to face now: People do exactly what they want to do. Sometimes that means they don’t show up. Sometimes their not showing up means that they’re awful, callous non-friends, and sometimes it means they just had something else they really, really wanted to do, and sometimes it means they’ve been blowing off plans with everyone for weeks and they don’t even know why.

I know it’s hard to deal with weak-sauce friends when you’re going through something as terrible as a dad with cancer. After my dad died when I was 25, I had many dark nights of the soul over the impoverished state of my friendships. A few friends called me and sent flowers. A lot of other friends didn’t do shit and seemed to avoid me when I returned to town. I started to define my absent friends as shitty friends. Then I started to think of ALL of my friends as shitty friends. I started to view people in general as disappointing and selfish. And I started to define myself as The Least Important Friend.

But I had already been doing that for years; when I look back now, I can see that. Even in high school, I always saw myself as the odd man out, the misfit, the one who didn’t belong. I looked at the easy affection that other friends had with each other and felt envious — even though I was just as close to most of them as they were to each other. I always suspected that I was the sidekick, less important, less powerful, and I would get left behind at some point.

I want to challenge you to use this terribly sad moment as an opportunity to look at the stories you’ve been telling about yourself for years. I guarantee you, they began before your friends started to blow you off. The extreme nature of your language — you have to beg your friends to see you, you imagine yourself becoming a bitter old hag — indicates that you have a thing for harsh stories about yourself. Look at your family life closely, too. By giving more than you really want to for your friends, are you re-creating some role you played in your family as a child? Are you still playing that role in your family, too?

As the youngest kid in my family, I always felt like a low-status follower type, but I always had to be “on” — entertaining, providing support, making everyone laugh. I felt like everyone’s happiness depended on me, yet I felt like no one really gave me the love I needed when I really needed it. So in friend groups, too, I’d define myself as an outsider. Everyone else had things in common that I didn’t — or that’s what I told myself. Everyone else loved each other more. This was maybe my way of staying safe, too. I wasn’t fully invested. Even when I loved and was loved by others, I didn’t openly express affection and devotion the way everyone else did. I was always prepared to bail on the whole group if I needed to. (That was also something every member of my family did. We all hid in our separate corners at the first sign of trouble.)

So it wasn’t JUST that my friends sometimes let me down. Because look: Friends are going to let you down. It happens. People do what they do. It still makes me angry, trust me! I can’t believe how people act sometimes. But you have to really forgive people for having preferences about what they want to do, and you do have to accept isolated incidents as much as you can. If it’s a deal-breaker for you, that’s fine. Stand up for yourself, for sure. But don’t use your anger as a way to avoid having to show up and be vulnerable and really tell your friend what you want from her. When I was younger, I took every single disappointment extremely personally, and I also held myself at arm’s length. I was overly servile but also a little bit combative and preemptively disappointed. I tried to please people way too much and sacrificed more than I wanted to (remember that singing-and-joke-telling youngest kid!), and I resented playing that role. But I very rarely asked for what I wanted from my friends. I didn’t deserve to ask, in my mind. I wasn’t important enough to ask.

When you tell me that you LOVINGLY SACRIFICED many days and dollars to celebrate your friends’ weddings, that sounds a little wrong to me. Weddings can be expensive and they can be a drag and they can be a total joy to attend. They can be all of those things. But the rule is, you show up or you don’t and you live with that choice. No one owes you anything just for attending their wedding. Saying that going to someone’s wedding is a sacrifice is like saying that throwing a wedding is a sacrifice. So many dollars and days that bride wasted on her wedding! And these ingrates are going to eat her $150-per-plate food and not even send her a wedding present? What’s wrong with them?

That’s not how it works. Have a wedding or don’t. Go to the wedding or skip it. Make your own choice and live with it. It’s true that people are assholes about their weddings. They get married in Bolivia and you’re supposed to cough up $6k to get there. They make you a bridesmaid with a bunch of terrible women you can’t stand. They expect presents when you can barely afford the plane ticket. This is our culture. It’s absurd. But you don’t have to go. And you can have your own event and register for gifts if you feel like it, too. You can do whatever the fuck you want. And when you do what you want, you’ll be more accepting when other people do what they want.

If you want people to know that your birthday party is very important to you and you want them to be there, send an invitation two months in advance with a personal note that says I REALLY WANT YOU TO BE THERE, NANCY. Email and ask if she can come. Follow up. You could even ask about possible dates to see when most friends can make it. You could even tell people: “Treat this like my wedding. This event is a big deal to me.” Ask for exactly what you want from your friends. Communicate clearly. I know it makes you feel vulnerable. That’s good for you, actually.

I worry that you won’t do that, because you’re stuck in a pattern of sacrificing too much and expecting too much. You’ve decided that people can either be amazing friends or they can get cut out. You are very attached to the idea of an unfair, insensitive, ungrateful mob of friends that you’ve given too much to. This story didn’t spring up out of thin air. This story began before you met these people. Trust me.

But are these high-school and college friends really people you love dearly and want to keep in your life forever? Do you care about them a lot, as individuals? Do you show it? Who do you love? Do you love being in a group or do groups do something weird to your sense of yourself? Which friends do seem to care? Why did your friend send you a present? Do you think she planned to go to the other party weeks ago, before you let her know about yours, and she genuinely felt bad but didn’t want to change her plans? Did you ask her? Do you talk to her often? Do you tell her how you feel about her choices, or would you rather expect a lot without saying so and then disappear without explanation?

I’m sure it’s more complicated than I’m making it sound. But the point is, you do have choices. You don’t have to sacrifice too much and then be treated badly. You don’t have to choose between caring too much and not caring at all (because you cut out every last bad friend). You can figure out how you feel about each individual friend in question instead of looking at them all like an undifferentiated mob of jerks. When your family life was pretty harsh — and based on your harsh language about yourself, I’m going to guess that it might’ve been — it’s so easy to turn individual friends, each with their own unique challenges and concerns, into an undifferentiated mob of jerks. Because that’s what a kid does when her family life is really stressful and taxing and no one is there supporting her and telling her to follow her heart and make whatever decision feels right to her. They all want her to simmer down and serve the group as a whole instead of stirring up shit. Lots of groups of friends function the same way. Lots of groups of friends rely on superficial bonds and a kind of high-fiving conformity. “We love each other so much!” they say as a group, but if anyone asks for something specific, something heavy, something deeper, it’s seen as awkward and uncool and unnecessary.

It’s not like every group of friends I ever had made sense to me. I followed people around sometimes without ever fitting in. I wasn’t just imagining things. I pleased people I didn’t want to please, people I didn’t care that much about. That’s what happens when you’re just playing your role. You want attention and respect and love, but you’re not really giving it out. And some people seek out neglectful friends the same way they seek out neglectful lovers: They can’t feel their feelings unless they’re being half-ignored and undervalued. Then they feel angry and lonely and sad. Those are the only feelings they know how to feel.

Sometimes in life, you have to stop and ask yourself, “Do I love this person or even like this person at all? Am I really committed to this friendship? Or am I just doing what I’ve always done?”

You’re an adult now. It’s time to look closely at how you behave and what you expect from the world. Clearly, not all of your friends have grown up yet. Having kids doesn’t make you an adult. Facing yourself and understanding what’s acting on you and knowing, for certain, what you want your life to look like: That’s what makes you an adult. Asking for what you want. Expressing your gratitude to the people who are good to you. Refusing to give too much to the people who aren’t good to you. These things make you an adult.

It took me sooo long to become an adult. I’m still a little childish sometimes. I still fall back into NOT asking for what I want and then getting all petulant and telling myself that people are bad and weak and they never go out of their way for anyone else.

But listen to me: People are not bad and weak. Many, many people are good and they will show up for you. Trust me. Some people don’t care about you that much. That doesn’t make them bad. Other people are busy, or they’re depressed, or they avoid you because you’re very intense and you expect a lot but you’re never that affectionate or soft or loving because you can’t feel your feelings that easily. Other people might go through a bad stage and then realize that they miss you like crazy, and they might become your closest friends in the long run. Try not to overthink every single perceived infraction. Try not to lump everyone together. Don’t lump yourself in with all of the Least Important Friends who care too much.

You can care too much and still be important. That’s a lesson that contradicts everything you’ve assumed so far, but you need to learn it in order to open your heart a little wider. You will have more friends, better friends, worse friends. You will have more parties, bigger parties, disastrous parties, pathetically half-attended parties. You must remember that you still matter, that your heart is still precious and important, even when people disappear and seem to be having fun somewhere else. Let your anger melt into sadness. Be vulnerable and admit that it’s hard to be single sometimes when everyone else seems busy all the time. That doesn’t make you unimportant. That doesn’t mean you will be a bitter old hag some day.

Most friendships are imperfect and frustrating, and you are very sensitive and easily hurt. Ask for more from your friends, directly. But be a better friend to yourself while you’re at it. Be your most important friend instead, the one who reminds you not to despair, the one who reminds you that life is long and friends come and go, the one who reminds you that everything you ever dreamed of is still possible, even now.

The big things that come up for me in this article is observing that “some ideas just don’t serve you.”  This is a popular idea that I have followed in my own coaching and one that i share with others.  We hold on to these ideas that don’t serve us at all for reasons that we can’t articulate.  Why not just get rid of those ideas and move on?

The second idea is “But don’t use your anger as a way to avoid having to show up and be vulnerable and really tell your friend what you want from her.”
This is great advice because there is real power in getting vulnerable with someone else.  Letting them really see you is a way that you can let them know who you are and what you want.

There are a couple of things that I like from this blog and many of them will be on my FB page over the next couple of days so be sure that you go there to see.

How an Episode of “Shutting Down Bullsh*t” Showed me that Tech has Disconnected Us

So there is this thing I watch called “Shutting Down Bullsh*t” with Dylan Marron.  It’s a thing where he invites people from different walks of life and asks them questions to preempt certain beliefs that people may have about those issues.  You know, to shut down the bullsh*t that people say about them.

A few weeks ago there was such an episode where Dylan called someone who trolled him.  Here it is.

 

Now I’m not going to get into all the minutiae of this because there is a lot to unpack and go over.  There are two things that I want to talk about here.

At 4:55 “Josh” says that what he does when he gets home is watches videos of people at arcades, specifically crane games, which is where the user controls a small metal claw with the purpose of picking up tangible items which then the user can keep (apparently there are a lot of these videos).

This is what this person decides to do all day.  All the technology that we have and this is what he does with it.  And I’m not going to say that I haven’t done something stupid or watched something pointless online, but it’s not what I do with most of my time.  We have technology that allows us to be more connected with our friends and other people but more often than not we are using it to be less connected.  And that’s the travesty.

The second thing that I want to look at is 8:07.  “Josh” admits that he goes to school, comes home and is alone, presumably to watch crane videos.

This thing is really sad.  I really feel bad for this guy because I feel like he may be hurting.  Like he may want to be connected with other people but he isn’t.    He could get out there and be more connected with people, even crane game players.  But he’s not.  You know he’s gotta be lonely, and this is going to be a bigger problem over time, especially with men like him.  This is going to be one of the next challenges:  how do we connect these sort of people to real people in real time.

And I’m not saying that I have an answer either, I’m just saying it’s time to recognize that this is a problem.  Because I don’t want to be 80 and married to my computer screen.

While working on this article I came across this NYT article, this TED Talk, this article from the Independent and this First Things post.

featured image via screen grab of this youtube video

Fun With Facebook Comments: Tomi Lahren Version

So I look at this funny media company called Cafe.  It’s awesome.  One thing that they particularly do well is supercuts of other people looking ridiculous.  Like the thing below of all the times Tomi Lahren has wiggled her hands to say goodnight on her TV show.

Hang on, we need to take a brief aside to talk about Tomi Lahren.

I mean, basically, Tomi Lahren is terrible.  I get that this is America and the market allows her to have a TV show, but I paid for this website that nobody reads so I get to say that she’s terrible.  She got her appeal by talking crap about people.  She’s what happens if the internet comment section took human form.  She’s a snowflake that talks about other people being snowflakes.  She’s a riddle wrapped in an enigma.  She’s what happens when you try to divide by zero.

She got on The View and said that she was pro-choice and she got suspended for it.  She’s probably done at TheBlaze.  Not that any of that matters.  This is what I said the other day about her, attached to this video.

Yes i heard that Tomi Lahren got suspended and is probably done at TheBlaze. and I want to say LOOKATGAWD* but we all know she’s going to get a job at Fox News. I mean, at least TheBlaze doesn’t get picked up by 24 hour fitness so I don’t have to watch her there.

And if they don’t pick her up then maybe she’ll be the flagship anchor for Breitbart TV (which will be mandatory in 2018, Paul Ryan is writing it into his budget while he does P90X). Or maybe her and Milo will do a podcast together. Who knows?

Also, one time i was at LA fitness working out (i have two gym memberships again, because F logic. also LA fitness locker rooms are musty AF) and there was fox news on one TV and Golf on the other. I fell asleep on the treadmill.

*from Awesomely Luvvie

I for one, can’t wait for that Milo/Tomi Podcast.  I think I’ll eat a bunch of KFC Double Downs and wait for the darkness to envelop me during the first episode.

But anyway, that’s not why I’m writing this.  Watch that clip again.  In the first couple of seconds she says she’s “from Dallas.”  Hold on just one second.

Tomi Lahren is not from Dallas.  At all.  Not now, not ever.  I don’t care if she does these shows, SHE. IS. NOT. FROM. DALLAS.  full stop.  Dallas is tolerant.  Dallas is kind.  Dallas is liberal.  As someone who IS from Dallas, I rebuke this.  We are Deep Ellum, we are Cedar Springs at Oaklawn, we are Oak Cliff.  We are the Rose Room.

You are not from Dallas, Ms. Lahren.  A thousand times #Nope.

Therefore, my comment:

She needs to stop saying ‘from dallas.’ I am from dallas. We do not claim her. Under no circumstances do we claim this foolishness.”

Clearly not as much love as my other recent comment, but good nonetheless.

UPDATE:  It looks like Tomi lost her job or is going to lose it maybe.  On the one hand, I like for people to have jobs, but on the other hand, she works for Glenn Beck and he gets to set the tone.  She’ll land on her feet I’m pretty sure.

Also, this will never not be funny.

 

All of The Confederate Flags that I saw on the Way to Pennslyvania

Recently I drove on a trip for a court case.  To Harrisburg Pennslyvania.  Let me repeat, that was in a car.

It was for the best and we have some really great conversation, but we still drove.  From Dallas, through Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and then through Pennslyvania.  It took over 20 hours.

One thing that I didn’t expect to see was so many confederate flags.  I don’t know why I didn’t think about this, but there were a LOT of flags.  I mean, with 45 and all, some of these flags probably got dusted off and put back up in prominent display.

I don’t know what to say about it, but I definitely had my head on a swivel while I was there.  Thankfully we were able to make it through without any trouble.  But I did take pictures of them.  Every single one I saw.

This first one is actually not a confederate flag.  So oops.

Might as well get my fat pants out. So much for swimsuit season. Maybe I can pass it off as “I’m bulking.”

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Offered without comment.

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So the thing about this picture is that a lady walked past him while he was wearing this and said “nice hoodie.”  WHILE I WAS THERE.  Obviously I was there because I heard it.  See, it’s her that you look out for.  Not him.  You already knows where she stands.  But she’s going to be passing him more ammo when the time comes.

I guess this one isn’t a confederate flag either.  But I hope he got what he was looking for.  To each their own.

Seen in Virginia. Please hurry.

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Cool, cool, cool

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I didn’t know soft drinks were wine where they pair with a specific type of junk food.

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This one was kind of interesting to me.  So is it like there’s alfred the butler with a british accent or something?  “Might I suggest the coca-cola sir?”

 

When you want to follow NHTSA guidelines and also be a bigot…

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Well, we made it through.  So all’s well that ends well.  I suppose.  Next time I’ll be flying.