Ukraine On My Mind – One Year Later

One year ago this week, Russia invaded Ukraine. The Russians thought it would be a walk in the park and that Ukraine would just fall to them in a week. But in one day, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky changed that plan forever with these words:

First, outside the Ukrainian parliament in a direct address to Russian dictator Putin:

“When you come for us, you will not see our backs as we run. You will see our faces as we stand and fight.”

Second, later that day to the President of the United States:

“I don’t need a ride. I need ammunition. The fight is here.”

You see, Russia was counting on the Ukrainian government to flee into exile and for the country to collapse without any leadership. It was the same thing Hitler was counting on in 1940 when he began to bomb the living shit out Great Britain. Instead, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill said: “We will fight them on the beaches, and we will fight them in the streets.” Basically, Churchill and Zelensky were saying you’re going to have kill every damn one of us to take our country, but we’ll be sure to take as many of you with us.

Putin hasn’t capitulated yet, or fallen out of a window (like his critics seem to die accidentally from). But eventually Hitler was defeated and old Vladdy will go down too though I’d love to see him hanging from a scaffold in Red Square in Moscow. In the meantime, the Free World isn’t making the same mistakes as they did since the end of World War Two. This time they’re arming the Ukrainians with the latest and greatest in high-tech weaponry and providing real-time intelligence. Ukrainian membership in NATO and the European Union is being fast-tracked after years of both organizations being assholes and dragging their feet on a country that NEEDS to be in both organizations.

What’s really firing me up after a year is all the Russian propaganda being spewed out here on right-wing media like Fox News and other outlets. Let me break down a few of those lies for anyone who watches that fucking garbage:

Ukraine is led by a secret Nazi: No, they’re led by a Jew whose grandfather fought Nazis and comes from a long line of warriors.

There is no real-time reporting from Ukraine and what is being shown is all staged: DON’T BELIEVE THIS FALSE-FLAG BULLSHIT LIKE YOU BELIEVE THAT ABOUT SCHOOL SHOOTINGS HERE! I put that in all-caps because that false-flag, fake-news shit is like murdering people all over again.

Ukraine wants to be a part of Russia: No, they’ve been resisting Russian and formerly Soviet occupation for over a century. They’ve been starved to death, massacred, and oppressed by Russians so trust me, Russia hasn’t done a damn thing to be good to the Ukrainian people.

Oh, and this bullshit about how Ukraine needs to negotiate with Russia, here’s how to end the war:

Russian immediately ceases all hostilities and withdraws all troops out of Ukraine.

Russian returns all Ukrainian citizens taken prisoner.

Russia cooperates with war crimes investigators and turns over perpetrators to the World Criminal Court in The Hague for prosecution.

Russian pays reparations for damages to Ukraine.

Russian publicly accepts Ukraine as a sovereign nation and does NOT interfere in Ukrainian affairs or decisions in any way, shape, or form.

Now, Ukraine owes Russia NOTHING for this war. This war is all Russia’s fault and they’re the ones who must withdraw and surrender.

What angers me the most right now about this is elected members of the United States Congress spout Russian propaganda on a daily basis. To me, these members of Congress, all of whom are in the Republican Party, are Russian assets and traitors to the United States of America and the rest of the free world. I think in years to come when we find out how badly the Republican Party has been compromised, even extremely-jaded and cynical people like me will be shocked.

Most of all, too many people are silent in the face of all this. They might be thinking about it or working through the cognitive dissonance (here’s a link to a definition of that if you don’t know what that means). To those of you reading this who are ‘thinking’ through those Russian propaganda talking points, to quote my late father in all his rude and crude glory: shit or get off the pot.

And in the end, maybe somebody will push the big red button and blow us all to Kingdom Come. But my generation, (Generation X) has been living in the shadow of the mushroom cloud as the band Queen called nuclear destruction in their song, ‘Hammer to Fall’ like my parents’ generation did. But since 1945, cooler heads have prevailed and so many have saved the world whose names we’ll never know. So don’t talk about that nuclear-war bullshit to someone like me if you’re still trying to weasel out over going to the Russian side and thinking you can get away with lying about it.

Finally, in the worlds of the Ukrainian soldiers on Snake Island to the Russian warship that told them to surrender:

“Russian warship, go fuck yourself!”


My Van Life Dream

Image by Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

My GoFundMe – Van Fun to Get Me On the Road

I hope this link works as the one at the top of my homepage does:

My GoFundMe Link

I have decided to take the plunge on this GoFundMe because with an unpredictable source of income (Uber) and a high overhead due to my living situation, I haven’t been able to gain any traction on this goal of mine. So once a week I’ll be doing a blog post on my Van Life Dream as I will call it. I’ll post updates as to where I’m at on fundraising (because I will put my own money towards this, too when I can), and what I’m doing to plan for it. At some point, you might see screenshots of spreadsheets and items I want for my house-on-wheels.

Why the van and life on the road?

In 2017, I began to think about getting a secondhand RV and hitting the road and then I began to read about ‘van lifers’, people who converted vans, school buses, and other types of vehicles like ambulances (yes, I’ve really seen those along with small box-trucks) and shuttle busses, which is what I dream about because of the size though I’m willing to find anything that works for me and my budget.

The first thing about this life on the road that appealed to me was the potential for a much-lower overhead. Owning a van outright would mean no rent or mortgage and only campsite or RV park fees which are much less than renting an apartment and of course, no lease or long-term contract required there. Second, utility costs because you can power a generator with solar panels (have seen fold-out ones that can be set out on an extension cord so no need to fix-mount them to the top of a van), Water can be acquired by single-fee and some boon-dockers as they’re called (these are folks that really live off-the-grid and out in the wild as most are outdoor sports enthusiasts like mountain bikers and mountain climbers), use water filtration systems to filter collected rainwater. Now of course there’s always maintenance and repairs but my goal is to fit out my van out as simply as possible to where I can make repairs with a box of tools and parts I can carry along with me.

I’ve lived in one place pretty much all my life and though I love where I live, in the last few years I’ve discovered an intense desire to travel. I did a thousand-mile road trip a few years back and I loved it! I loved being on the road and seeing everything and being able to think, or just simply enjoy the ride. Before, I always felt fear at traveling because I didn’t have the confidence in myself to believe I could handle issues that came up. And when I first started voicing the idea of hitting the road, I had several people push back on me and basically tell me that I couldn’t handle living on the road… even though they hadn’t done what I was wanting to do to begin with.

I’m going to come out right here and say that for too long I believed I didn’t have it in me to pursue this dream so I held back. Now if anyone comes at me with that uninformed ignorance if they piss me enough I’m going to tell them to fuck all the way off. I can think, look up stuff on the internet, and ask for help if any problems come up. And at least I’ll know which ignorant assholes to avoid asking for anything with.

The van-life RV community is a very open and welcoming community who have provided a huge treasure-trove of information online for anyone wanting to hit the road and see the world. I hope to meet some of them to thank them for their awesomeness and I want to share my journey like the have to pay it forward.

But luckily, more people are supportive of this dream of mine than they were when I first voiced it out loud. Now I know our world has changed a lot in the last few years and I think more people than ever are getting sick of the grind, suburban conformity, and listening to ignorant assholes. I think more people are just wanting to throw off the chains of consumer culture and see the world and meet new people and not take up so damn much space.

This week I will work on creating a spreadsheet about van sizes and costs. Size is an issue in one unique area as I found out early on in my initial research: bed size. If you want to put a bed across the back of your van you need a van wide enough for that unless you’re willing to cut a mattress to fit. Luckily, mattresses are single-standard in size and width depending on how much mattress you want (I’m thinking a double or queen-size if I can fit it in).

If you want to donate to my dream, just click on the link here and thanks for doing so. I’ll keep everyone posted on my journey to making this dream a reality.

Cheers from the road!

The Best Dating App Questions

I’m currently not a dating app user and last posted on a dating app over ten years ago. I quickly realized they weren’t for me but I know many people use them and this morning I came up with what I think might be the best question to put on a dating app:

How do you handle your date and or significant other talking to other people in a social setting like at an event or a party, especially when they’re talking with someone of the opposite gender?

This question came to me because last night I picked up a couple from the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo (I’m an Uber driver here in San Antonio) and yes, they were drunk (which they admitted to me) but as the old saying goes, alcohol brings out the truth. With these two, it made me want to message the young lady (she had just turned twenty-one and the guy said he was a millennial so I’m thinking there was a bit of an age difference here) and tell her to dump this sorry loser’s ass. Why? Because of the way he practically interrogated her because she talked to this guy and girl they were seated next to. The loser-jerk kept telling her the guy was hitting on her and so on. The young lady said something very telling in reply to this loser jerk in that she was conflict-adverse and just trying to be nice.

There’s a quote from the author Margaret Attwood (she wrote ‘The Handmaid’s Tale): “Men are afraid women will reject them. Women are afraid men will kill them.”

And before I go any further here I want to say this:

I’m not saying all men are insensitive assholes, and I’m not going to address women who are insecure and jealous because that’s not the topic of conversation here so if you want to come at me with these bullshit arguments, I’m not going to tolerate that bullshit at all.

Now, back to the situation last night:

Another thing that really bothered me about this couple was how he kept telling her not to do things, like laugh too much or just talk about anything he didn’t want to talk about. Very controlling and domineering, acting like he knew better and that she was just being drunk and stupid. I will say most drunk people these days are borderline jerks because a lot of shitty behavior is exposed like this. And I know controlling and domineering behavior is rooted in deeply-buried insecurity and emotional issues, so I think a second question for any potential dating app or relationships in general is this:

Have you worked on your emotional issues and shit?

Because another thing I want to say when people are being irrational and insecure is work on your own shit!

A good number of people in this world have what I would call borderline-shit social skills and can’t read a room very well. Most people can’t really interpret social cues nearly as well as they think they can and because of that, people feel like they’re walking on eggshells, especially women. Because I was wondering how many women who are called ‘flirty’ are that way in order to not be accused of being a bitch if they don’t want to talk to someone, especially a man? Quite a few, I bet. I bet a lot of women subconsciously are hyper-vigilant around men because of bad experiences. It’s a damned if you, damned if you don’t kind of thing and that is complete and total fucking bullshit. No one should feel like they have to be a certain way or be hyper-vigilant around people just because they’ve had to deal with so many insecure assholes in their past (and present).

Now some naysayers have said social media has eroded people’s in-person social skills to the crap we’re dealing with now and I’m calling bullshit on that. People’s social skills were just as fucked up before the advent of social media and the internet because I remember life before the internet quite well. Online you can create a persona and craft your responses very carefully if you choose to or let your guard down completely and be good or bad.

As the great author Maya Angelou once said: “When people show you what they’re like, believe them.”

So, for me, if someone shows me they’re an insecure douche-canoe, I’m not going to write that off to alcohol or anything else. It’s going to be a neon-sign warning that I’m going to heed. And if some moron wants to come at me and say my standards are too high and I’ll end up all alone then good for me.

If dating apps allowed profanity in questions (which I’m not sure if they do or not) I’d put this piece into one question:

Have you worked on your emotional shit and if so, do you know how not to act like an insecure douche-canoe asshole in public or private?

Breaking Radio Silence – From You’re Not Too Bad to You Are Good Enough

In May 2014, I turned forty and like a lot of women I began to think about where I was at in and where I’d been. And at that time a thought came to me:

You’re not so bad.

That thought came from the surface of my life at that time: a decent-paying job I hadn’t learned how to hate yet, a nice little apartment, a car I think was paid off (or close to being paid off), great pets, time to piddle around with my writing, and books to read. The reason that simple statement, ‘you’re not so bad’ resonated with me so well back then was for so many years I felt like a terrible person. I felt like that no matter how much good I did, any time I made a mistake that single mistake no matter how unintentional it was wiped out all that good. That feeling came from dealing with people treating me like shit or flat-out ignoring me in my twenties when I was busting my ass trying to care of everyone else and have a tiny bit of time for myself. By the end of my twenties, I internalized so much awful shit it was amazing I was able to establish some semblance of life for myself in my thirties so that by forty I didn’t look so bad.

In the fall of 2016, I sat down and started the process of asking questions of myself to try and figure out why I thought and felt the way I did in order to make better decisions. As I’ve said before, healing was not on my mind back then because I didn’t think that was possible. But now I’ve begun to see the healing process truly began for me in May 2014 when I told myself for the first time I wasn’t such a bad person. Since then I’ve told myself I’m as flawed and fucked up as anyone else, but deep down, I know I’m not a bad person.

Why would someone feel like they’re a bad person, like they’re broken or damaged beyond repair? My answer is that I internalized all the wrong things about myself and not enough of the good things as those good things seemed few and far between. I’d been told in the past I came off like a self-sacrificing attention-seeking martyr though I think that was just a bullshit-excuse people used to project their shit onto me instead of dealing with it on their own. But those awful words and lies were razor-sharp talons that were sunk into the depths of my mind, my heart, and my soul and where the wounds and breaks came from.

In the last seven years I’ve been removing those talons one by one, a process that is very slow and painful at times. Once a talon is removed I burn it to ash and sweep that ash away, then I clean and stitch the wound closed and put a bandage over it. But I still pull splinters out and I’ll be doing that for the rest of my life.

For so long, I’ve always felt like a failure, like I didn’t have it in me to fully live my life. But I’m not a failure for internalizing shit in order to survive the hell I’ve been through in the past. The human mind internalizes things it hears enough and the experiences that accompany those shitty thoughts. But like I said yesterday, you can change that narrative, you can change the what your mind has internalized. It’s not an easy process but one that is definitely worth going through.

Saying ‘you are good enough’ is not false-positivity either. It’s not saying everything will be hunky-dory and fixed with a single snap. Anyone who buys into that bullshit is an idiot and an asshole for pushing it onto others. Telling yourself ‘you are good enough’ is just the beginning because if you just cover up the hard stuff with a façade made of lies in an attempt to appease someone, trust me that façade will come down very hard and in a lot of pieces. Since 2018, I’ve been picking up those pieces and working to build something better and stronger.

As the great singer Lizzo sings so beautifully, ‘truth hurts’, I also know the truth can set you free. Accepting the truth and refusing to back down from it means you can remove the talons that need to be removed from your mind, your heart, and your soul. And yes, that won’t be popular but life isn’t a popularity contest. You can’t, and you sure as hell don’t need to live your life to suit someone else’s narrative of you when that narrative isn’t good for you.

Looking back at May 2014, I didn’t realize how much a single thought could change me but I’m glad it came to me. And I’m glad it’s with me now and for the rest of my life as this: you are good enough.

Behind the Story – Changing the Narrative to Full-Throttle

For quite some time now, I’ve been trying to fully understand why I have never gone full-throttle on my writing. I’ve done a lot of question-and-answer sessions with myself over this and found a lot of answers as to why I think and feel the way I do. But even after finding those answers, every time I stepped up to the throttle to write, I always backed down. I backed down whenever some small problem came up, or when my anxiety kicked up inside my head and made me go into crisis-mode. I always felt like whenever a problem came up, no matter how big or small, or when my anxiety kicked in and gave me something to think about, I had to divert all my energy to deal with that crisis, real or imagined.

What this constant crisis-mode way of thinking did to me was internalize a message that I would never be good enough to pursue anything. That no matter what I did or didn’t do, someone wasn’t going to like it and they were going to let me know that. And in the past, there were people who created shit-storms for me to deal with because they thought I was going to cut and run and leave them to handle the enormous responsibilities I had taken on in my twenties and thirties. That in turn led me to construct a façade of a life in my late thirties-early forties of a quaint little life I thought would keep people off my ass. But facades that are built on fear and lies will crumble as mine did. In the years since that crumbling down, I’ve been working on picking up the pieces and trying to move on.

A short while back I read a piece about how people construct narratives in their minds, how they tell stories about thoughts and feelings and events in order to cope and try and deal with them. They create a narrative that might not be the best one, one that’s based on fear and trying not to draw any negative attention. But in that same piece it also said that people could change their narrative for the better. That phrase, ‘change the narrative’, has been in my head ever since as I realize that’s I’ve been trying to do without having a way to describe it until now. That phrase was followed by this one, “I am good enough.”

I say I’m good enough because that’s my way of saying I’m just as flawed and fucked up as anyone else but I know I’m a good person. I know I have tried to live my life without hatred, cruelty, or malice towards others. But for many years, I felt like I was the bad guy for wanting to pursue my writing and other goals for myself. And that was because there were people who pushed shame and guilt onto me whenever I stood up to their hateful, insensitive bullshit and fought back against their attempts to gaslight me into changing my story to suit their selfish needs. It’s been a very long time since I’ve dealt with that kind of shit and frankly, I don’t miss it at all. The possibility always exists but I have a new response to it, a response that is as rude and crude as I can make it: “Fuck all the way off.”

Fuck all the way off means I’m not going to deal with any shame or guilt that’s not necessary, nor will I allow anyone who tries to gaslight into changing my narrative to serve their selfish entitled bullshit life. And I honestly don’t give a fucking shit as to why people are selfish and entitled and justify hatred and cruelty towards others. Insensitivity is not an excuse either and that’s all I will say at this point about people who might be getting their back up reading this, along with keep reading. 😊  

For anyone who has ever held themselves back, you can change your narrative and move forward. You don’t have to go into full-on crisis-mode every time something happens or your anxiety kicks in and tries to divert your focus. And if someone gets wind of that and tries to pull some shit to keep you diverted, tell them to fuck all the way off.

The only responsibility I have right now first and foremost is to myself. I have to put in forty to sixty hours a week on the road to generate income. But the rest of my time is mine to do with as I see fit. And it’s not to be spent in constant crisis-mode or worrying about someone crawling out of the sewer to spew their shit at me. I’m changing that narrative because I know I’m good enough to make it possible.

I recently updated my homepage here on my website to showcase everything I’m putting up here. It’s a work-in-progress like life itself and where I’ll showcase my writing and other creative projects. Yes, the goal is to generate income off them and if you’ve got anything that can help me and want to share it with me, please let  me know and thank you.  

Today is where I say this:

Change your narrative because you’re good enough to succeed at it.

And if someone reading this doesn’t like that, they can fuck all the way off.

Now I will add here there is a lot more to this than I’m saying but that’s what you’ll read about in the book, ‘Behind the Story’ because my relationship with writing is complicated.

Stand or Fall – It Starts With the Books


When the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, one of the first things they did was start banning and burning books.

Ninety years later, the state of Florida is banning and removing books from classrooms and school libraries until they can be vetted by state-sponsored censors.

In other parts of the United States, there are laws being proposed in state legislatures like Florida’s and movements by right-wing Nazis here in this country all of whom vote Republican and all the legislation is sponsored by the Republican party. Therefore to me, the Republican Party is the American Nazi Party.

When I was a kid going to school in the 70’s/80’s/90’s the biggest things books were targeted for:

Bad language: I think this was the ultimate irony that reading curse words would corrupt us when we knew all the bad words by the time we started kindergarten thanks to parents who swore like crazy and the R-rated movies we watched.

Sex: Holy shit! If there was any hint of sexual relations and we read it we were all going to die!!!

Homosexuality: Any hint of that and we would all turn gay. Yes, this was the argument back then and there was no discussion of transgender issues (the word ‘transgender’ wasn’t in the lexicon back then).

Back then, if you were a white kid (like me) and you read books on Black history or the history and culture of other races and ethnicities, you were told that you were trying to be black (or insert other race/ethnicity here).

I look back at those days and think, how quaint. Because back then we just cranked up our headphones and listened to heavy metal, gangster rap, and read whatever the hell we wanted to. We knew the adults in power really didn’t give a shit about us past a certain point and courtesy of Rage Against the Machine, we knew the police were the bulls on parade and would do nothing to protect us.

Today books are banned for the following reasons:

Homosexuality and Transgender experiences: the bullshit-argument is that kids reading books with these topics are being ‘groomed’ by pedophiles. No, the pedophiles are the Christian ministers and police officers being arrested daily for being the pedophiles and groomers they rail against.

Black History and Other History and Stories that Aren’t White-Nazism: The bullshit-argument is that white kids will feel enormous shame and guilt reading about slavery and other oppression. I’ve actually had this told to my face and to that I say this: BULLSHIT! If you are a white person and reading about oppression and the true history of races and ethnicities other than yours makes you feel shame and guilt, you need to sit down, shut the fuck up, and ask yourself why.

I’ve read that many young people today (those being under 25) feel like the powers-that-be don’t really give a shit about them. They feel like these motherfuckers will ban their ban their books but flood the streets with guns and ammunition through mass production and permit-less gun ownership. They know law enforcement will stand outside their schools and let them be shot to death like they did in Uvalde and Parkland, Florida (Florida just passed a permit-less gun law this week). And they’re right about the American Nazi Party, aka the Republican Party. So yes, they vote Democrat and organize against the American Nazi Party and that’s really freaking these Nazis out which is why they’re banning books and putting more guns on the street.

At this point, if you’re reading this and have voted Republican and are probably really pissed off at me for calling Republicans Nazis, ask yourself why you can justify guns over books. Ask yourself you have to live in a state of perpetual anger and fear while these motherfuckers get richer every day and you get poorer every day? Because in the end, it’s all about the grift as lefties like me say. And these grifters will use any ideological-bullshit argument to maintain their power and wealth and they will destroy everyone and everything if they have to before they let that go.

At this point, if you think I’m being way too over-the-top here, let’s go back ninety years to Nazi Germany. Their book banning-burning led to mass murder that created a new word for the world: genocide. And if the Nazis had developed the nuclear bomb, they would have bombed the world into oblivion as they had the means to deliver those deadly payloads courtesy of the V1-V2 rockets and long-range bomber they have developed. Today, the threat of nuclear war is still around courtesy of Russian President Vladimir Putin (a really big donor to the Republican Party) but the real threat is the embrace of Nazi ideals of racial purity and hatred for anything other than white, heterosexual, and Christian beliefs here in this country.

I’m going to close out with an excerpt from an article that is definitely worth a read as it contains this quote which sums up the American Nazi Party intentions without the profanity I’m fond of:

But there’s an even deeper reason that book bans are such a mainstay of authoritarian politics, even as the ideas being suppressed shift from regime to regime. Authoritarians hate reading for the same reason they hate sex, or any private behavior that allows people to experience thoughts and feelings outside of the authoritarian’s control. Learning to sit quietly and read by yourself is, for most people, the first step towards being able to sit with your own thoughts. It’s crucial for learning to think for yourself. There’s a reason most teachers like to have a wide array of books on hand, giving kids the freedom to read on their own. It’s how kids develop other skills, like critical thinking and creativity. (link here for the complete article)

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