Of Squirrels and Airplanes

It’s been a long, long, long time since I have had a day like this-literally years since I published a slightly impaired blog titled: An Intoxicated Tirade, or words to that effect. A conscientious blogger would create a link, but I don’t care.

Life as a struggling author is tough, and full of duties and obligations. Today was different though; I fulfilled all those daily tasks by 2:00 p.m. on a sunny and warm Sunday afternoon which allowed me a shopping trip including a visit to the liquor store.

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It should be noted that I mark the return of warm weather with a cocktail we Canadians call a Caesar-made from tomato/clam cocktail, vodka, and spices, including salt, pepper, celery salt, Worchestershire sauce (Did you seriously expect me to spell it right?) and Tobasco sauce. (Ditto.)

I spent TWO magical hours alone with my thoughts (and the booze) in direct sunlight which has always been my drug of choice when I needed to re-energize and refocus. There was a part of me who screamed I should have a book with me or what will the neighbors think? F*ck ’em.

ancient-arched-window-architecture-532902I moved to this neighborhood to be amongst the poor and down-trodden. Granted, houses in this area sell between one and two million dollars, but that does not mean the people here are rich; they just have good credit. As property values have gone from ridiculous to insane while I have been here, it led me to think about the retirees on a fixed income being displaced because they could not keep up with their property taxes as their property’s value exploded, forcing many to take out equity loans just to keep their homes.

After the second drink, I noticed a deep exhalation that I am certain has not been a part of my existence for some time. Some people meditate to accomplish this state-of-being, but I have not been making the time for any spiritual journeys of this nature lately. I am just too damn busy.

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So, about the squirrels . . . Ever notice the squirrel who is busting his (or her) ass (Who can tell?); digging up chestnuts and running across a busy street to bring home the bacon? He/she is unlike the other squirrels who have trained humans to feed them, and who unknowingly have become reliant on their trainees. I respect the hustler’s choice. I hope he/she doesn’t get squished by one of the vehicles travelling much too fast in our school zone.

It occurred to me upon sipping my third drink, I could really use more days like this. This prompted a revised want ad stolen from my book.

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WANTED: A good woman.

  • This old dog is tired and in need of a porch to sleep on.
  • Please send photo of your porch.
  • Applicants with a wrap-around-porch will automatically advance to the next round.
  • A porch swing will score bonus points.
  • If you have both a wrap-around-porch and a boat, you are gold. Please send photo of the boat as well.
  • If your porch overlooks a unicorn ranch, it is important you include this information.

Dinner Update: One part is burnt, and one part is still frozen. Balance is key.

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On to the airplanes-you can’t help but notice them while you are positioned to be face-first into the setting sun in the West, which coincidentally, is also where our airports are, relative to where I live. There are fast-movers, a.k.a. military stuff, at serious altitudes leaving twin contrails. Those are our F-18s. I did however see a fast-mover with a single contrail; I hope we didn’t buy one of those piece of sh*t single engine F-35s.

FYI: The texture of my chicken patties can be best equated with cutting cardboard with your standard cutlery. And again, I don’t care. Two hours of direct sunlight and four cocktails will do that to a person.

My man-bun-daddy neighbor with way too many health issues for his age and I just talked about using some of our more useless neighbors as food when the apocalypse comes. I suggested a barbecue sauce.

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What are the passers-by thinking as they acknowledge my smile, nod, or wave as I sit in my lawn chair basking in the sun? Are they jealous of my leisure time inactivity, or do they think I am hurting property values in the neighborhood? At the moment, I can confidently state I don’t give a flying f*ck about what others think.

One neighbor who regularly parks her car in front of my house chatted about her court day with our street’s bandit parking cop, and how she was kayaking on a river today. She does lead an interesting life.

autumn-beautiful-blur-658945I chatted briefly with my hot neighbor about how confusing this time of year was for her when it came to choosing what to wear. She was in sandals and a sweater coat. I suggested she remove the coat.

I saw some kids playing road hockey while armed with squirt guns. I guess I didn’t get that memo.

Birds chirping; the sounds of motorcycles and children at play; and the guy with saws. Dude, give it a f*cking rest already.

I thought up a killer book idea, but I’ve thought that before . . .

Much can happen in two hours if you go outside to figuratively stop and smell the flowers.

I admit I have been neglecting this blog, but sh*t happens. My Ms. Creant site blog has kept me busy with a ten-ish part series on the book publishing game. If you are a soon-to-be-published author not picked up by the big 5, you would be well-advised to tune in.

It’s now 10:30 p.m. and my nightcap is almost gone.

Ever notice how I only use contractions when I’m drinking?

Talk soon.

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Your Beliefs Create Your Reality. Part 8

Are “solid” people disappearing?

I know that if I choose to BELIEVE this, the universe will conspire to make this my REALITY so I fight this negative thought despite the overwhelming mounting evidence which seems to surround me. If I were to make this a personal belief, it could forever change me into someone I do not like. I could become bitter, resentful, and wary of the intentions of the people I meet. Truth be known, I am wary. I accept this about myself and simply view it as a defense mechanism―a result of living a long life among other humans.

What is a “solid” person?

Everyone will have a slightly different answer depending on their life experiences and their personal code of conduct which reflects how well developed their super-ego is. Freud first used this term almost one hundred years ago to describe the part of us that is supposed to moderate the wants of our id and ego. Some call it a moral center or compass, but it is also made up of the ethics and scruples taught to us which are also key components to a conscience. When we assess whether or not a person is “solid”, we are JUDGING them based on our own set of values.

People usually want to surround themselves with people possessing similar values but we cannot expect others in our social circles to live up to the standards we set for ourselves or else we set ourselves up for disappointment―a mistake I keep making.

I set very high achievable standards for myself, even though those standards often require a significant effort on my part in order to clear the bar. I have always wanted to be a good person―a “solid” person. When I was young and naive, just a couple of years ago, I actually thought most people wanted the same for themselves. However, life has a way of showing you just how wrong you can be.

Traits of “solid” people:

  1. They are honorable. Their word is their bond. It means everything to them.
  2. They care. They will drop everything to help a friend, loved one or even strangers.
  3. They give. They are grateful to be in a position to help.
  4. They remember everyone who ever helped them.
  5. They have your back. They know your worth. They stand up for you when gossips attempt to assassinate your character when you are not around.

I am fortunate to have a few such people in my life. Sadly, the number has dwindled over the years as the true nature of some fair weather types was finally revealed to me. If we are to use the above list to JUDGE others, we absolutely cannot fail someone for not achieving a perfect score. There are caring, giving, appreciative people who just cannot keep commitments they make, usually because they lack the organizational skills to keep track of their lives. While these good people may not live up to our Utopian expectations, they are nonetheless well meaning. They will frustrate us when they fail to come through on time, but the point is . . .  they do come through eventually.

Some say: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

If we must KEEP SCORE in order to gauge the quality of these relationships, I believe we should measure intentions vs. deeds expressed as a ratio. You can very quickly separate the talkers from the walkers in this way.

If you are over forty and have to deal with millennials or younger people on a regular basis, you will be frustrated by what appears to be a total lack of honor―where their word means nothing. Give them time. Eventually they will see the importance of being honorable. Until then, keep an eye on their intentions vs. deeds ratio before you say they are not solid.

 

 

A Holiday Message. . .

Times are tough.

There is a great deal of uncertainty at the very least, if not fear or outright paranoia in our world at the moment.

Please try to reign in these thoughts–especially over the holidays.

If you are able to read this on-line, it most likely means you can afford devices and services which connect you to this on-line world. This also implies that your immediate security needs of shelter, food, and clothing have also been met. Be grateful for what you have as there are a great many others who are not as fortunate and who will not be able to read this.

The holidays are a time for giving–our way of expressing love, caring and thanks to people we know.

 

Even strangers tend to treat us a little better at this time of year. They might smile as they hold a door for us when we have both of our hands full of shopping bags. Our preoccupation with finishing the damnable shopping, so that we can jump back into the hustle and bustle of the season, might make us overlook this tiny kind gesture. Seize the moment to look them in the eye and say thank you and wish them a happy holiday. It might be the only present they receive this year.

The holiday season puts increased demands on our time because of all the commitments we make to family and friends. This causes us to be stressed and possibly irritable. We need to remember that we are fortunate to have those friends and family members with us, as many others may not.

Some people will not be able to travel to see their friends and family this year. They may feel very alone. They can change that by volunteering their time to a cause they believe in. Many worthwhile causes do not close during the holidays and spending time with the other volunteers will almost certainly turn into new friendships.

We pick up the holiday spirit by being compassionate. Give some canned goods to the food bank, give some blankets to a shelter or contribute to your local toy drive. The smallest things make a difference in this world. We often forget this. We do not have to solve global warming to improve the planet; the kid who receives your toy this year might be destined to do that–if they are not emotionally scarred by Santa missing their home. This is how we are all connected.

Goodness spreads like a virus through all walks of life, across all religions, and it does not see the color of someones skin or their gender. By spreading that which we know to be good, we spread hope. The hope we create can alter the path of another.

This almost certainly will be my last blog post for a while.

I wish to extend my gratitude to all of you who follow me on social media. To you, and everyone you care about, I wish you a safe and happy holiday season.

E. A.

 

Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers!

Life With Women: The Long-Awaited Instruction Manual

This book was created for everyone, from young adults to seniors. It was written from a male’s point of view, speaking to men who are endlessly struggling to understand the opposite sex. For women, this is a fascinating journey inside the male psyche. The book gives a young reader a glimpse of the future, with a recommended timeline for key life events. Mature readers, who have already experienced much of what is discussed in the book, should come away with a new-found understanding, and perhaps even closure. Ms. Creant is a controversial, entertaining, yet informative look at everything that influences human behaviour including: relationships, life, health, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, politics, genetics—even physics. E. A. Barker shares twenty-four “inappropriate” stories of life with women. The author based these stories of women behaving badly on his real life experiences, spanning four decades of his search for an ideal partner. The lessons taken away from the book will serve to help readers make better choices, become more aware, grow, and change—at any stage of life.

ISBNs

978-1-77302-134-8 (8×10 Large Print Hardcover)

978-1-77302-132-4 (8×10 Large Print Paperback)

978-1-77302-133-1 (eBook)

Amazon US ➜ http://tinyurl.com/hpdbjtp
Amazon CA ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jxa7zab
Amazon AU ➜ http://tinyurl.com/zhufwl6
Amazon UK ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jnrp9dn
Smashwords ➜ http://tinyurl.com/grxg5sv
B&N ➜ http://tinyurl.com/j9murlr
Kobo ➜ http://tinyurl.com/je2ytyp
itunes ➜ http://tinyurl.com/h47zplv
Indigo ➜ http://tinyurl.com/jye4q5m

https://www.facebook.com/MsCreantTheWrongDoers/

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/58727166-e-a-barker

 

Blog 25: Why do we hurt people who care about us?

This may be yet another middle-aged guy thing.

Recent events have me questioning myself and a new person in my life.

I have too much on my plate, so I deemed it necessary to take a break from social media in order to FOCUS on turning my new place into a home. During this period, I will also be finishing the last round of edits on my manuscript, which I also believe to be a reasonable step. Additionally, it is possible that I have reached the point of exhaustion, as I cannot remember the last time I took even an entire day off or got away from things for a while. In my estimation, taking a break from everyone who can INTERFERE with those goals may not be healthy, yet it seems as though that is what I wish to do.

Attempting to understand what is driving you is never easy.

In my case, I am stressing over MONEY and TIME; but most people have those worries. When I was younger, those things cropped up from time to time but now it seems more frequent. I have had minor health problems and minor injuries that have negatively affected my projected timeline for the COMPLETION of my goals. This is an ongoing nagging FRUSTRATION that has been plaguing me for the last six months. EXPECTATIONS are my problem right now. If you do not have expectations, then you cannot be let down. Life rarely goes as expected, but knowing these words often is not enough to stave off stress.

My VISION of the life that I have been working toward, did not include the possibility of a significant other for reasons that are graphically detailed in my book. Instead, I imagined a life where I would write, travel, lead a healthier lifestyle, and only engage in casual sexual encounters. That is my idea of a SIMPLE PEACEFUL life that would ultimately make me HAPPY. This latest sexy cutie threatens my PLAN, and I have DOUBTS about my ability to meet her long-term needs.

If you allow yourself to stray off course into a relationship, you must have PATIENCE; and patience is something that is in very short supply with me these days.

We all love the feeling of being loved, and we can cling to the new exciting adventure just to keep that feeling. Lately however, I have found myself taking a PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE approach to this wonderful person, as my heart and head wrestle for supremacy. When I am pragmatic, my comments often tear at her fantasy of our future, causing her to be unhappy. I do not like myself when this happens; but it does happen, and quite regularly. There are a great many obstacles in our way, if we were to attempt a serious committed relationship, and I question whether I have the ENERGY or DESIRE to try it one more time. Sometimes, I actually RESENT the intrusion in my life by this beautiful young soul, and we have talked at length about my mixed feelings towards a long-term relationship; yet she PERSISTS, believing that we were brought together for a reason by a divine influence. Her beliefs allow for her to construct a happily ever after story that she is pursuing RELENTLESSLY. Anyone that reads my stuff knows that I do not believe in such things, so her ideology bothers me as well. I all too often view her caring interest as a DISRUPTION due to her INCESSANT need for communication that I view as unnecessary blathering via telephone or text.

I know that I am someone whose singular FOCUS allows me to COMPLETE things.

I know that I may have unrealistic EXPECTATIONS, and I am trying to make a conscious effort to swim with the current more often.

I know that my PLAN for a SIMPLE PEACEFUL life may get lonely or tiresome but should I not at least try it?

I know I am not PERFECTLY happy, but can a perfectionist ever truly be? I would like to find out though.

I know that my PATIENCE is directly tied to my stress level and I must get better at managing stress.

I know that my planned lifestyle changes will improve my ENERGY level.

I know that my internal CONFLICT will persist until I either commit or withdraw from this relationship.

I am very conscious of the fact that I am not being FAIR in this relationship.

I would MISS her if she was no longer in my life.

There is a fine line between doing what you know is best for yourself, and being selfish or narcissistic.

My book:

Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers!

Life with Women: the long awaited instruction manual.

Talks of relationships, health, life, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, genetics- even physics as well as how HOW SEVERELY DAMAGED THE AUTHOR IS.

I hope your biggest problem is that someone cares about you.

E. A.

Blog 24: (My Birthday Post) So what is mid-life?

Another birthday has arrived.

They are coming faster it seems.

A writer in his late forties shares a little too much.

At this point, I am well into mid-life and spend a great deal of time dealing with issues that ONLY people of my age can relate to. Younger people should read this however, as ALL this stuff is just around the corner for you, and it will be here faster than you can imagine.

My book explores the subject of MANOPAUSE nicely, so I will refrain from being repetitive. Instead, in this post, I will explore the tragic comedy of my personal situation.

Your birthday should be a time to be a little introspective but do not obsess or be unhappy about your circumstances just because another year has passed.

Just like having an old house, MAINTENANCE seems to consume more of your time these days if you want to remain attractive to the opposite sex. However, you do realize that you will eventually reach a point where the ones you are attracted to will view you as TOO OLD. That scares me. The upside of that day arriving, is that you will be able to let much of the maintenance slide.

Mirrors are your enemy!

My advice is to reduce the size of them or remove them from your place altogether.

If you are not ready to make that move, then you will have to face what appears there on a daily basis and do what you can about it.

The pessimist within, looks at my body in the mirror after getting out of the shower and notices that my mid-section has a layer of fat that was not present in my thirties. My pectorals need work but that is do-able. A little more walking or sex and I can shed some lbs. and tone my midriff up… some. The optimist within, realizes that I still have a better body than half of the guys out there that are still in their thirties, so I have that going for me. Most of those guys are chasing women in their twenties anyway, which leaves women in their thirties and early forties more readily available and vulnerable to my intellectual stimulation tactics.

Rogue hairs are showing up everywhere.

F. S. H. or follicle stimulating hormones are present in guys too.

The pessimist within says this is a real sign of old age being just around the corner. The optimist within realizes that a razor and tweezers are all that are required to make the problem go away so you can continue to live in denial for another week or so.

Grey hair has been an issue for me since I was in my thirties. My Nazi dominatrix hair-dresser insisted on eliminating them back then and has been doing so ever since. I don’t dare disappoint the mistress. The pessimist within, notices that my beard is about 50/50- salt vs. pepper now, but it can be colored as well. The optimist within reminds me that there are plenty of guys in their thirties that are losing their hair while I maintain a healthy full head of hair. Additionally, my grey is confined to only those two places… so far.

Your libido is not what it once was.

THANK GOD!

I remember getting hard with every slight breeze, sexy picture or beautiful woman that I came across. It was a very unproductive time in my life. The pessimist within notices, that I can sometimes go a couple of days without wanting sex. The optimist within me sees this as an opportunity to get stuff done.

Middle-age forces you to consider your mortality.

Your health will be noticed more often now.

The pessimist within looks back over this past year and remembers back issues, joint pain, a few colds or flu’s that seemed to linger, too much coughing and head congestion due to anything but my nicotine addiction (Denial, denial, denial.) and a fortunately short- relatively minor bout with the shingles virus. The optimist within realizes that it could have been much worse. My cardiovascular system is still quite good despite the abuse and I see many younger people in far worse shape than myself.

My Dentist and I will develop a new friendship due to my paying him far more regularly now. Smoking, sugar, wine among other things have wreaked havoc with my once white smile, but as my grandmother often said: “At least I still have all my teeth.” I did loosen one recently and that has me a little worried.

My energy level is at an all time low but I have discovered napping and really enjoy it.

You must fight off the urge to be critical.

You were incredibly “young and dumb” too.

It does not help that your patience is at an all time low, but if you are conscious of yourself, you can pretend that you still have the thick skin you once had. Every time I want to take a strip off someone younger than myself, I flash back to what I was doing at their age and it helps me to keep my mouth shut… most of the time.

My book:

Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers!

Life with Women: the long awaited instruction manual.

Talks of relationships, health, life, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, genetics- even physics as well as how YOUR ATTITUDE AND GRATITUDE WILL KEEP YOU YOUNGER LONGER.

Enjoy your birthdays… there may not be that many left.

Be as young as you can, for as long as you can.

E. A.