186.86

One hundred eighty six dollars and eighty six cents. That’s how much money is currently residing in my checking account. 

Why?

 I have a bachelors degree from a well respected university. I am living in supposedly the greatest country in the world. I have charisma, intelligence, and no physical ailments. I can read. I can write. I can dream. But I’m lacking. Or feel I am.

I’m not though. I have a beautiful family that loves me. I have dropped 60 pounds. I have aspirations and goals. Yet. 

Laziness is a real foul mouthed gangster. He steals your time, motivation, and riches. He reels you in with promises of rest and relaxation. But it’s a sirens call. A trap. I know it. You know it. We all know it. Then why do our ships keep setting sail in his direction? 

Momentum is an interesting word and an even more unique concept. All it takes is a single step. One action and off it goes gathering steam. Momentum can be an incredibly beautiful tidal wave. Or a devastatingly brutal avalanche. 
We feed off momentum. It’s the lifeblood of success. It all starts with a single action. Laziness with all of his lovely songs and soft pillows is no match for momentum once she gets going. 

One step. One minute. Can change everything. 

FUCK YOU LAZINESS. I’m so over your shit. 

Step one. Do something. Step two. Focus. Step three. Momentum. 

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+ 1

To whom it may concern,

In the good book it says judge and you will be judged. Condemn and you will be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. 

Then why is it so easy to judge and condemn but so difficult to forgive?

 Have you ever worked in retail? 

I have and I currently still do. For how much longer? Hopefully less than a month. God willing. 

If you’re reading this from a cell phone or tablet. If you see an LTE, 4G, or god forbid 3G signal at the top of your device. I may have helped you. Or someone like me.

I am a drug dealer. A dopamine pusher. An addiction enabler.

If you haven’t arrived at the conclusion that I sell cell phones. Let me confirm. I sell cell phones. Actually I do a lot more than that. In fact I push all kinds of services. Our motto is plus 1. If you come in for a phone you get a tablet. If you’re here for Internet you’re getting T.V. too. 

Here’s the kicker. We all suck. It doesn’t matter what provider you go to. They all have outlandish proration charges, convoluted customer service chains, and all they care about is plus 1. 

Why? How can they get away with it?

Simple. One word. Addiction. 

Did you know, that every time you get a text, notification, or a like on your latest Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter post. Dopamine is released in your system. Dopamine is a powerful little devil. It hooks you and sucks you deeper and deeper. Until you’re screaming, berating, and belittling the sales rep because your screen is broken and you didn’t back your information up. 

In the beginning I wanted to help I wanted to convince you it’s not true. They do care. They have to. The customer is always right. Right? 

Ehh. Not so much. You elected to not get insurance. Sorry you’ll have to go to Corporate for that. We can’t do that here. Imagine this totem pole I am the guy at the bottom. My hands are tied. I wish I had a better answer for you. These phrases I would repeat over and over to customers with terrible attitudes. 

Is it your fault? Is it mine? Is it the system? Who’s to blame? Who can we judge? Who can we condemn? 

Do we gather up our pitchforks? Do we riot? 

Or. 

Can we forgive? Can we recognize that we are all human beings? Is it enough to say I understand and I forgive you for treating me like shit. For cussing me out because your addiction reared its ugly head. Can you forgive me for sending you away? Can you forgive the system for taking advantage of our inherent weaknesses? 

We only get one go on this planet. As far as I know. What do you decide?

Judge? Condemn? Or forgive? 

I forgive you and me. Oh and them too. 

-Sammy 

Mindful Minutes

Have you ever had one of those days when you simply refuse to do the things you know you should? I have lost 60 pounds in 6 months. I am reading books again. I have decluttered my room. I have started writing and investing my time in learning how to become the best version of me. 

Yet, my mind keeps trying to put me in a box. It says you are a step away from being who you used to be. It says look at how you hit the snooze alarm this morning even though you know that it causes sleep inertia. Look at your bank account. You haven’t accomplished anything. 
I say that’s bullshit. I am an overcomer. I am a victor. I have greatness coursing through my blood. I am a spirit of power, joy, and compassion. I exude love and lead men. Beautiful women love me and I love them. I have brilliant ideas. I was created with intense care and consideration. 

Negative thoughts are mental garbage. Let’s empty the trash. What do you say? You in?

Sammy and the Two-Tailed Serpent

Part 1: The Garage

4:45 p.m. Tuesday evening. Incoming text received from the Commissioner. “Just putting this out there. I’m down for a game tomorrow if we get enough.”

It had been too long since our last game. I could feel it in my bones an aching no a longing to compete.

Wednesdays had been a regular event in our group for the last 5 years. No matter how far you drove, what city you resided in, and how you felt about life and love. There was always going to be a game at Kay’s.

I really don’t know much about Kay except he dealt blackjack for a few years. His ideas for creating a family friendly music show where he would read poetry dressed as a clown got more elaborate each time I would see him.

“I have a new idea for the second act of our show. You come out with your guitar and it’s on fire. Don’t worry it’s not real only an illusion. The faster you play the larger the flame will get. Then I will come flying out on a rope and douse you with water to save the day.”

As usual I smiled and nodded. Of course I am not opposed to such antics. In fact that sounds like an incredible idea for a kids show. I mean really pretty epic. But Kay isn’t the kind of man to get into business with.

The garage with it’s rundown fridge filled with cherry cokes, grape sodas, beer, and water reeked of abandon. It’s outer walls piled with forgotten and unused tools. Cigarette boxes, empty chewing tobacco cans, and beer bottles resided on the floor. Sam Kinison’s Wild Thing poster hung slightly construed off the wall as if to further personify the garage as a misfit rebel on the lamb.

SamK'sWildThing

Directly in the center of the room sat a massive rectangular table. Nothing like the round table of old. Where great leaders and knights came to regale tales and discuss important matters such as the safety of their borders. Around this table sat dragons, wolves, and serpents. This was no place for a clean cut white boy who hadn’t so much as had a single speeding ticket in his life. But the game had drawn him. She had a high price of admission and an even larger education fee. Her magic intoxicating, brutal, and alluring. Was my soul at stake? No… Maybe. But, my money certainly was.

I had walked into a coliseum of sorts. Instead of armor clad gladiators sporting swords of doom and maces of destruction. I sat across from assassins in hoodies with cigarettes between their teeth and chips in their hands. I was dealing with hardened lifers who were one trip away from falling into the outer edges of separation. They had no sympathy for an up and comer such as I. They had no charity for a polo clad, khaki wearing, wet behind the ears 18 year old wannabe poker player. I would be molded by fire and pushed to the limits of my humanity. I would be tested, insulted, and ignored. Mercy would be left at the dual doors of the garage. My game would not come easy, there would be no shortcuts.

4:46 p.m. Tuesday night, again.

I couldn’t wait, I wanted to play. The game at Kay’s had died and hadn’t been running for the last year. Sure we played every once in awhile. A Sunday here a Thursday there. It wasn’t the same. I wasn’t the same. I had changed. I was reading again. Writing even and I was eating better and working out. I wasn’t consumed anymore. I didn’t need it like I used to. But her magic is strong and I wanted it.

“Anyone down for one tonight? 8?” My response to the Commissioners request. Like a fire spreading slowly then erupting, the responses started to come in. “I’d be down”, “8pm? I can”. We were to have a full table… The Sandwich was back.

 Next time on Sammy’s Adventures. Sammy duels a two-tailed serpent.

Starting.

9,763. It’s time to start living.

Hi. Hey. How are you?

I agree these are very standard and socially acceptable ways of acknowledging another souls existence. It’s all very easy, another pattern to fall in line with. Another wave of the hand. A nod of the head. A twist of the shoulder. It’s safe. It’s comfortable. It’s all been done before, what other way is there? Small town Kansas culture personified.

How much time do we have? 

Have you ever asked yourself that? I mean its pretty simple right? All we have to do is Google, average life span of male in the US, right? Okay let’s find out.

2017-05-10

Excellent. Well how old am I?

2017-05-10 (1)

Nine thousand six hundred and seventy three days. Wow, well if the average life span of a US male is 78.94 years that means on average I will live 28,813 days. Nineteen thousand one hundred and forty days, I have on average 19,140 days left to live.

I think it’s time to start.

I want to be unique, different, and alluring. I dream of being fun, energetic, and memorable. I cannot do this if I continue starting my conversations with, hi, hey, how are you? From this day forward, my journey into the world of understanding body language, sparking interest, and creating attraction begins. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Move.

Are you ready?

Sammy’s Players Club would like to extend a warm welcome to you. Thank you for reading this blog. As a beloved reader we cordially invite you to apply for club membership. As a club member you will experience growth, friendship, and connection. We want to support and challenge you to become the best version of who you are. Club members are lifelong learners and challengers of conventional wisdom. Club members walk with grace, love, and understanding in their hearts. When push comes to shove Club members know how to be calm, cool, and collected under pressure. We work hard and play harder. The price of admittance? Good vibes, email address, and a willingness to contribute to the betterment of your fellow Club members. “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” –Helen Keller

Sincerely,

Sammy “The Sandwich” Kristoe