Friday, February 29, 2008

A Few Thoughts for Friday

1. The first thing I thought when I woke up to reality this morning: "Fuck."

2. The second thought: Never trust anything that bleeds from the crotch once a month.

3. I scored some pretty good seats for the Kanye/Lupe concert. Now I have to wait more than two months for May 9th to arrive.

4. This weekend could get interesting.

5. I hate the truth, even though I hate people who lie to me. If the truth is going to kick me in the stomach and punch me in the testicles, keep lying to me. There are occasions where ignorance truly is bliss. I can attest to this.

6. Why do I keep trying when the end result has proven time and again to hurt so bad? On a related note, why do so many people base their decisions around protecting themselves and doing what won't get them hurt? That has to lead to a boring fucking life.

7. I'm sorry I can't be perfect.

8. Why does everyone live so afraid, and let their fears control them?

9. Love is all you really need. Don't let anyone else tell you any different. If they do, they're lying.

10. What is reality? If you ask me, it's what you make it. From the moment we're born we start dying. Do something. For God's sake don't waste your time with work. I'm trying to free myself of that as I type this. No one's last uttered sentence from their death bed while taking their last dying breath was "I wish I spent more time at the office." Live.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Clouded Head, But Thoughts of Clarity on Love

All our young lives we search for someone to love. Someone who makes us complete. We choose partners and change partners. We dance to a song of heartbreak and hope. All the while wondering if somewhere, somehow, there's someone who might be searching for us. Finding that person is a glorious feeling, let me assure you. It is a high that cannot be accomplished through the administration of any narcotic, legal or otherwise. I found that person, that someone, my Carolina girl. And you know what? I love her; I love her with every ounce of my being. Is she perfect? No, but neither am I - far from it. I'm the guy who never stops fighting for what he wants, what he believes in, what he knows is right. And right now, I'm paying for the sins and misdeeds of another. So be it. It won't last, and Lord knows I'm patient. Yet whenever I find myself in these uncertain type of positions, I can't help but ask "Why me?" and "Again?" I suppose it's going to have to take me dying before the big man upstairs gives me an answer to those queries. They're 1A and 1B on my list of things to remember to ask.

I am no one special. Just a common man with common thoughts; just Patrick. And I've led a common life thus far. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will be forgotten sooner rather than later. I'll probably never be famous. But in one respect, I have succeeded as gloriously as anyone who's ever lived. I've loved another with all my heart and soul and, for me, that has always been enough.

Heather, I love you.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Choices to be made...

On the fence right now with several potential life-altering decisions more significant than this:

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Weekend Highlights

I came home Friday night, packed a bag, and headed right back out to spend the weekend in Chapel Hill, not to return until late Monday night because the government gave us bankers the day off to celebrate dead Presidents.

The following are a few of the highlights:

1) Watched The History of Sex on the History channel over a bottle of pinot noir. I won't go into the details of the historical beliefs and events presented in this documentary, but let's just say it was anything but a turn on.

2) Went almost completely ethnic for weekend dining: Thai and Japanese were the cuisines of choice. I say almost because the barbeque sandwich, cheese fries and cold beer I had at Linda's on Franklin Street wasn't exactly ethnic, although what it did to my stomach made it feel that way.

3) Dropped Heather in the floor while performing an impromptu dance number following our meal at the bar with my best friend whose name also happens to be Patrick, and his girlfriend whose name also happens to be Heather (I hope that didn't confuse you too much. If you're keeping track at home that's two Patricks and two Heathers). You learn a lot about a girl when you drop her in the floor in public. She laughed it off = she's a keeper.

4) Heather had to get up at 7:30 on Saturday morning to get recertified for CPR administration. It's good to know she could save my life if she had to.

5) A M.A.S.H. unit of Tar Heel regulars, but mostly reserves, absolutely destroyed Virginia Tech. No worries there.

6) Went to brunch at The Weathervane for mom's birthday. It's funny how time flies and as you get older you realize you aren't that much different from your parents. Is she really 56?

7) Spoke to Tar Heel power forward/shooting guard Marcus Ginyard as he was getting off the escalator at the mall. Seemed like a pretty nice dude, as I would have expected.

8) One of the crazy ex's sent me multiple questionable text messages Friday night. If you're reading this and you know it was you. Call me. I'm worried about you. I hope everything is ok.

9) Thought about trading the whip in for a Lotus Elise seen here:

Heather is talking me out of it.

10) Duke lost. Thank you Deacons.

11) I'm definitely going to have to get a Macbook like the one I keep stealing from Heather. The writing seems to go so much easier outside the four walls of the house where I can find inspiration far easier.

12) Did you guys see the Lindsay Lohan pictures she posed for that are in The New Yorker? Good Lord. Connecting the dots would be a fun game, that's all I'm going to say.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Let me tell you about the angry white man...

There is a great deal of interest in this year's Presidential election, as everyone seems to recognize that the next POTUS has to be a lot better than George Bush. The Democrats are riding high with two groundbreaking candidates - a woman and an African-American - while the conservative Republicans are in a quandary about their party's nod to a quasi-liberal maverick in one John McCain.

Each candidate is carefully pandering to a smorgasborg of special interest groups, ranging from gay, lesbian, and transgender people, to children of illegal immigrants, to working mothers to evangelical Christians. There is one group no one has recognized, and it is the group that will decide the election: the "Angry White Man". The AWM comes from all economic backgrounds, from dirt poor to filthy rich. He represents all geographic areas in America, from urban sophisticate to rural redneck, the deep south to the mountain west, and left coast to east. His common trait is that he isn't looking for anything from anyone. His only desire is the promise to be able to make his own way on a level playing field. In many cases, he is an independent businessman, and he employs several people. He pays more than his share of taxes, and he works hard.

Victimhood syndrome buzzwords like "disenfranchised" and "marginalized", and dont' forget "voiceless" don't resonate with him. He's used to picking up the tab, whether it's the company Christmas party, three sets of braces, three college educations, or a beautiful wedding. He believes the constitution should be interpreted literally as opposed to a "living document" that is open to the whims and vagaries of a panel of judges who have never worked an honest day in their lives (this isn't American Idol).

The AWM owns firearms, and he's willing to pick up a gun to defend his home and his country. He is willing to lay down his life to defend the freedom and safety of others, and the thought of killing someone who needs killing really doesn't bother him.

The AWM is not a metrosexual, a homosexual, and he certainly is not a victim. No one like him drowned in Hurricane Katrina because he got his people together and got the hell out. Then he went back into the parishes to rescue those too helpless and stupid to help themselves, often as a police officer, a National Guard soldier, or a volunteer fireman. His last name and religion don't matter. He doesn't throw that in anyone's face. His background might be Italian, Polish, or German with Cherokee Indian mixed in, but he considers himself a white American.

The AWM is a man's man. He's the kind of guy who likes to play poker, watch football, hunt deer, play golf, and change his own oil once in a while. He coaches baseball, soccer and football teams for the youth and doesn't ask for a penny in return. He's the kind of guy who can add an addition on his house by himself, drill an oil well, weld a new bumper onto his truck, design a factory, and publish books. He can fill a train with 100,000 tons of coal and get it to the power plant on time so that you keep the lights on and never know what it took to flip that light switch.

Women either love him or hate him, but they know he's a man, not a dishrag. If they're looking for someone to walk all over, they've got the wrong guy. He stands up straight, opens doors for women, and says "Yes, sir" and "No ma'am." He might be a Republican and he might be a Democrat; he might be a Libetarian or a Green. He knows that his wife is more emotional than rational, and he guides the family in a rational manner. He's not a racist, but he is annoyed and disappointed when people of certain backgrounds exhibit behavior that typifies the worst stereotypes of their race. He's willing to give everyone a fair chance if they work hard, play by the rules and learn English.

Most importantly, the AWM is pissed off when his job site becomes flooded with illegal workers who don't pay taxes and his wages drop like a stone. When his job gets shipped overseas and he has to speak to some incomprehensible idiot in India for technical support, he simmers. When Al Sharpton comes on television, leading some rally for reparations for slavery or some other nonsense, he bites his tongue.
He also votes, and the AWM loathes Hillary Clinton. Her voice reminds him of a shovel scraping a rock. He recoils at the mere sight of her own television. Her very image disgusts him, and he cannot fathom why anyone would want her as their leader. It's not that she is a woman. It's that she is who she is. it's the liberal victim groups she panders to, the "poor me" attitude that she represents, her inability to give a straight answer to an honest question, his tax dollars that she wants to give to people who refuse to do anything for themselves.

There are millions of AWMs. Four million AWMs are members of the NRA, and all of them will vote against Hillary Clinton, just as the great majority of them voted for GWB. He hopes that she will be the Democratic nominee for President in 2008, and he will make sure that she gets beaten like a drum.

Just a little insight on the AWM. (Disclaimer: I never claimed to be an AWM, I'm just letting you know who he is.)

Have a good weekend...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Who I am, who I hope to be, and who I never will be

Who I am: My name is Patrick. I'm a 26 year old white male. I'm a corporate banker. I'm smart, I'm educated. I'm an intellectual. I'm honest, genuine, and caring. I have a bigger heart than anyone you will ever meet. I'm an idealist. An optimist. I believe things should happen the way they do in the movies. I'm a hopeless romantic. I'm a lover. I'm a singer (in the shower). I'm the world's biggest Tar Heel fan. I'm a good son, a great friend, and an even better boyfriend and lover, if you're ever lucky enough to call me that. I'm a cook. I'm a writer. I'm a drummer. I'm a golfer. A skydiver. I'm a neat freak. I'm patient. I'm a perfectionist, an ambitionist, a dreamer. A fighter. A chance taker. I'm just me.

Who I hope to be: Patrick Cox, author. A philanthropist. A great husband. A superior father. World's best grandfather; great grandfather if I'm lucky.

Who I never will be: A snob. A liar. A cheater. A doctor or a lawyer. A rich man. A violent person. A short-tempered person. A womanizer. A coward. A bad friend. An elitist. A Crocs wearer. A Nascar fan. A person who looks for the easy way out and takes it. A pessimist. A person rooted in certain, sure things.

I'm sorry that I cannot be all the things you want me to be. But I am Patrick, and I think that's a pretty good start.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Halfway Home, Plus Random Tuesday Fodder

As I type this, I'm approximately halfway through my manuscript. I've already begun compiling a list of potential publishers for my novel's particular genre and preparing packages to send to them. It's truly amazing to see all the different things they want to see from a first time author. The one thing they all require is the first ten pages of your manuscript. Check. A letter kissing their collective asses doesn't hurt either. This preparation will all be worth it if it means I get to check off another Top Ten item on my bucket list. Item #4 reads: I will have at least one of my novels published and made available for sale before I die. When it does occur, that will be three items completed out of the Top Ten and I'm only 26. This tells me two things: Either I need to slow down a bit or add to the list every time I check off another completed task. Hmmm. I'll have to think about that one. Something tells me all this bucket list talk has piqued your interest and I'll have to do a post soon dedicated solely to my list, the things I chose, and why. You can count on that one coming sometime in the near future to a computer near you, or an iPhone, or whatever it is you kids have these days.

Other random Tuesday fodder:

The DVR is going to get quite a workout tonight. The Tar Heels play at Virginia, One Tree Hill comes on, and a girl I know well from back home made it to the Hollywood audition rounds of American Idol, which also comes on tonight. Good luck Marsha! I don't think I have to tell too many of you which one of those takes priority, however.

Big, potential life-altering change possibly coming soon. Stay tuned.

My roommate's girlfriend's dog smells like sweaty testicles. He initially made this observation, and last night I concurred after giving it the old sniff test. Does not giving your dog a bath fall under Mayor Meeker's water restrictions?

Valentine's Day is Thursday. Don't forget the ones you love, and especially the ones who don't have someone to love them. You have no idea how much remembering someone can mean that that individual.

After much deliberation, I finally made a PostSecret. It felt good to get that out.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Excuse me. You-- I believe you have my stapler?

"And I said, I don't care if they lay me off either, because I told, I told Bill that if they move my desk one more time, then, then I'm quitting, I'm going to quit. And, and I told Don too, because they've moved my desk four times already this year, and I used to be over by the window, and I could see the squirrels, and they were married... But then, they switched from the Swingline to the Boston stapler, but I kept my Swingline stapler because it didn't bind up as much, and I kept the staples for the Swingline stapler and it's not okay because if they take my stapler then I'll, I'll, I'll set the building on fire..."

Those of you who are reading this and are up to date on your pop culture and the like know that the above quote can be attributed to the character Milton in Office Space. I liked Milton, as strange as the guy was. If I had to guess, I'd wager that he didn't start out that way. Years of a monotonous job as a cubicle dweller probably had a negative affect on the guy. Call it a hunch.

I, myself, am fortunate enough to have an office as opposed to a cubicle, yet I think lately I've been experiencing some of what the characters in Office Space went through. Things are becoming too monotonous. The following is a brief summary of how a typical work day usually goes. I suspect most of you have similar days: Get up at 6 AM. Put on a suit. Deal with people all day long you would have no desire to interact with if you were not being paid to do so. Stare at the clock. Call clients. Do paperwork. Quitting time arrives. Make the long commute home. Find something for dinner. Go to sleep. Rinse and repeat the following day.

Friends, these thoughts have been building inside me for quite some time, and they are reaching a climax. I've come to the realization that we are simply not meant to live this way. God did not put us on this earth to sit behind a desk in an office 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. We weren't meant to have upper management dictate to us how many days we can actually enjoy our lives; also known as how many vacation days we get per year. I don't know about you, but I don't want to be on my death bed and realize I wasted my life slaving for "the man." I want to enjoy my days. Do something I am passionate about. Make a real difference. Contribute something and look forward to waking up each day. My friends it took a while, but at 26 years old I have realized who and what I am; I'm a writer, soon to be author. I'm not doing it for the fame or fortune. If that happens, fine, I'll take it. But to be frank, I think I'd be just as happy free-lancing, writing a book or maybe even two a year, and making far less money than I do now. In fact, if someone said they'd employ me to do that for a lesser sum that I command now, I'd ask 'Where do I sign?'.

My message to you in today's entry is simple. When you find what you love, what you're good at - and there's no timeline for this, as I can attest to - do it. Even if it means you won't make six figures a year and drive a BMW. You can't take that stuff with you when you die anyway. Enjoy your life. Our time here is short. Every day spent behind a desk as a member of corporate America is one less day you can truly enjoy and embrace the world in which you live.

I'll leave you with something a very wise old man once told me. No one ever died wishing they'd spent one more day at the office.

Friday, February 1, 2008

13 More Days...

Today is February 1st, 2008, which means 13 days remain before February 14th. I'm sure I don't have to tell all of you socially conscious minded people that February 14th is Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day, in my mind, is the most over-commercialized holiday of them all (Can it really even be considered a holiday since no one gets the day off?). When I think of Valentine's Day, I get a mental image of a group of evil florist owners and chocolate manufacturers hidden away in a dark room somewhere, holding a secret convention about how to get more money out of the average American male this year than they did last year.

Don't get it twisted. I'm probably the most hopelessly romantic of any guy you'll ever meet, but I'm not naive enough to believe Valentine's Day holds any real significance. It's fake, fiscally driven, and does nothing but put pressure on men to attempt to prove their love to the women in their lives - as if doing so is really as easy as sending a dozen red roses (the most cliched, played out gesture of them all)and a box of chocolates.

Now gentlemen, I'm not saying don't do anything at all. That's the last thing I'm suggesting, and the last thing you want to do if you know what's good for you. What I am saying is put some thought into it. Take the time and effort to make the lady in your life know you care about her. Cook her dinner. Share a nice bottle of wine. Light candles. Draw her a bath with rose petals floating on the surface. Do something, just don't be regular.

It's no secret this holiday is geared towards men. It puts all the pressure on us. Women are expected to do nothing but sit back and look forward to being showered with gifts. How about you buy us something? How about you take us out to dinner? We've only taken you out every weekend the other 51 weeks of the year. And - now this is a big one - don't use sex as a bargaining tool. That doesn't take effort and is completely mindless. In fact if that's what you're doing I think that makes you a prositute. You're just being paid in gifts and nice dinners as opposed to cash money. I'm sure that strikes a nerve with some of you ladies, but stop for a second and think about why; because it's true. You aren't one of those women are you?

My biggest pet peeve with having Valentine's Day as a holiday is that it gives the impression that February 14th is the one day a year that you're supposed to remind your significant other that you care. That, if you ask me - and you did because you're reading this - is, to borrow from British slang terminology, bollocks. If you care about someone, it shouldn't take the formality of a commercially derived holiday to remind you to show them affection. There are 364 other days in the year. Use them. As Andre 3000 says on his album The Love Below, "Happy Valentine's Day. Every day's the 14th!"