A Day In The Life Of Something I Know Nothing About; Metropolitan Living

When I tell you I live in a rural area, I’m not exaggerating.

Do you see the white speck right in the middle? That's me.

Do you see the white speck right in the middle? That’s me.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about the wastelands of South Dakota where people don’t actually exist. We have electricity, running water and internet service; just not a lot of it.

As part of my ongoing series exploring things I know nothing about, I wanted to find out how different life is in the big city. What am I missing, tucked away in my quiet little corner of the world?

So I reached out to Anna at the Home and Away blog for some insight on metropolitan living.

Now, we’re all about low brow humor hear at the Big Dick Chronicles. How I came into contact with such a lovely, sophisticated woman as Anna still puzzles me. But I’m not going to question my good fortune, I’m just going to pump her for information to help improve my blog.

She was kind enough to assist me and as I read her responses, I found that our lives could not be more different.

1. Some brief background; what is your history of metropolitan living? How much of your life has been spent in large cities? What was your earliest age for living in a large city?

“I was born in Moscow and raised in the center of the city – the Kremlin was down the street from my school.

See that white spot in the middle? That's the Kremlin.

See that white spot in the middle? That’s the Kremlin.

Then, after a bit of back and forth between continents, I moved to the United States as a teen. After high school years spent in Suburbia (Maryland and Rhode Island) I went to college in Washington, DC and moved to New York City (Manhattan) after graduation. Nearly seven years later I was back to Moscow, which is where I live now. Oh, and while in college, I spent a year studying abroad in Paris and Madrid. When I travel internationally I tend to stick to cities for most of my itinerary as well – London, Florence, Amsterdam.”

Let’s put some context to that. The city of Moscow has a current population of approximately 11.9 million in an area of approximately 1,000 square miles. That’s a population density of 11,900 people per square mile.

In contrast, I have lived 93% (I did the math) of my life in areas with less than 10,000 people. More than half of that time has been spent in areas with less than 500 people. I currently live in the country, in a county with less than 10,000 people in 400 square miles. That’s an average of 25 people per square mile.

2. When you were younger (teens, college age) what did a night on the town look like?

“College was all about clubs on weekends. We were a pretty mainstream crowd – no funky underground musicians for us, just so we could seem cool! But we’d dance all night and then get a falafel from a corner cart at dawn before passing out. One of the unsung benefits of big city living is that nobody cards you at restaurants, especially when you’re wearing a suit on the way back from Congressional internship. So when not dancing, my friends and I would go out to “nice” DC restaurants for cocktails – we were such sophisticates! – and foreign policy debates. I don’t think any of us ever had a fake ID.”

We're gonna play Where's Waldo on DCclubbing.com until we find her.

We’re gonna play Where’s Waldo on dcclubbing.com until we find her.

In the late 90′s MTV aired a show “Sex in the 90′s” that highlighted the differences in life in New York versus middle America. The small town was Monett, MO. Not where I’m from, but nearby and similar enough. I wish I could find a clip to show you, but it’s long gone. Watching them try to describe the weekend “night life” in a small down was quite disturbing.

What do small town teens do on the weekend?

“Well, you just drive around on the main drag. Most folks turn around down there at the Sonic and then you drive down to the Casey’s store and turn around there. And you do that until you either find a girl or run out of gas money.”

Oh my.

My weekends were spent in a town of about 7,000 people. Our strip was the McDonald’s to the movie theater parking lot. When we ran out of gas money, we would run home and grab our bikes and just ride around town until 3 am.

Did I mention that I wasn’t real successful with the ladies?

But that was then. What about now?

3. And now? What does a night on the town look like as an adult?

“I certainly don’t take full advantage of Moscow’s nightlife, which is vivid and boisterous, because in my old age I am yawning by 1 am.(I actually tried to find some photos of Moscow nightlife to insert here, but they were all highly inappropriate for this article.)

Instead it’s theater (I have a dozen within walking distance from my apartment), a fancy lounge if a coworker is throwing a party (sugary cocktails have been replaced with vodka rocks with lemon), or a pub – my favorite. The weekends now are all about winding down from work, rather than being released into the wild!
In New York, one of my favorite things to do on a summer weekend was to go to the rooftop of the Metropolitan Museum of Art for champagne, funky installations and gorgeous city views.”

Okay, that's just not fair.

Okay, that’s just not fair.

Being in a rural area, we live an hour from everywhere. So a night on the town often begins with the hunt for a babysitter. Our over night babysitter is often the in-laws who are an hour away. That means we have to start by 4 pm, or we spend the first two to three hours of the evening driving.

Once that’s out of the way, we can choose from a movie, dinner, or an occasional comedian. Most times, we opt to just stay in. Grill a steak and watch cheesy movies until bed time.

We are starting to spend more weekends getting together with friends. This involves hanging out, grilling burgers, and drinking my buddy’s home brewed beer while the kids play. We’ve got friends coming over this weekend to enjoy some adult conversation while the kids run wild in the pool.

One of the things I hear people complain about is that it is too quiet in the country.

4. Step outside at 10:00 pm. What do you hear?:”

“Traffic! After-work rush hour might be over, but restaurant, theater and club rush is in full swing. Oh, and construction – usually for another hour at least.”

What do I hear? Bugs. Especially crickets. From every direction. Occasionally, the cicadas come around and it sounds like an electric generator right outside your windows. There was a pack of coyotes off in the distance tonight and occasionally, a semi out on the highway two miles away.

5. Let’s see a photo of what your daily life looks like.

The taxi ride to work.

The taxi ride to work.

The view from my office.

The view from my office.

What an amazing amount of life that is going on all around!

This is the view from my driveway;

Can you see my neighbor? Me either.

Can you see my neighbor? Me either.

There is a house back there somewhere.

There is a house back there somewhere.

I always enjoy finding out what people enjoy most from their adventures. So I asked.

6. What has been your favorite place to live? Your least favorite?

“I LOVED living in Manhattan. New York overwhelms a lot of people and I think the key here is finding your own little corner that’s a spiritual match of sorts. For me it was the quiet, green streets of the Upper East Side, with lots of sushi restaurants and Irish pubs. I took to it like fish to the water. Also the months spent in Madrid were pretty epic – that’s the city that embodies the “never sleep” mantra more than any other where I’ve lived. And I love Moscow, of course!

On the flip side there was Paris. Beautiful but overrun with tourists 365 days a year, it was also very difficult to enjoy for a poor college student incidentally placed in a very posh neighborhood. I was constantly counting my Euro-centimes and couldn’t do what I wanted to. It felt like a city for the rich – unlike NYC or Madrid, which could be easily enjoyed on the cheap.”

My current location is by far my favorite, mostly because it is mine. It’s the home that I’ve helped create. This is the place where I first began to feel like an adult.

The small towns where I grew up held too much dysfunction for me to romanticize; mostly because they were filled with my dysfunctional family. I don’t miss them.

Metropolitan life is so starkly different from anything I’ve ever experienced, that I can’t help but wonder, what am I missing?

7. What is the attraction of city life?

“So many – where do I start?! I think for most people, myself included, it’s about 24-7 access – to food, entertainment, basic services. It’s about freedom – doing what you want when you want to. It’s about choice – whether of the kind of cuisine I want to have for dinner, or whether I want to spend my weekend at a zoo or a movie theater or ice skating rink or a park. It’s about being able to call a friend on a whim and meet for a drink half an hour later, without anyone having to drive several towns over. It’s about having a dozen of friends and acquaintances all connected through metro lines. I also have a strong feeling of community and safety in a city – we are all in this together. If something happens there are a dozen doors I can knock on in 2 minutes. You are never alone. I love that.”

Dang, it’s hard to compete with that.

I think the first attraction of country life is the freedom. The land is mine to cultivate, build, create as I please. Life in the country requires a degree of self reliance. I have to know a moderate amount about construction, auto mechanics, and household repairs. We’re too far removed from service providers to call someone out every time something goes wrong.

There is no intrusion, no loud neighbors that keep me up at night. I can go outside and pee in the yard. We can swim naked in the pool at two in the afternoon (when the kids are still at school).

We basically live in a park. I can sit in a tree stand and watch a bobcat walk by 40′ away. Tonight I watched two large bucks jump across our road and into the woods next door. I’ve watched a coyote walk up to the base of my tree while hunting. We had a flying squirrel that liked to sneak into a closet and eat our dog treats.

It is quiet and relaxed. We don’t need speed bumps on our road. It’s gravel. Common sense keeps you at a leisurely pace.

So what if that all changed tomorrow? What if my job suddenly threw me in the middle of New York City?

8. After living my entire life in a rural setting, what would be the hardest adjustment if my family suddenly had to move to a very large city?

“Oh boy. This I can answer only based on the complaints of suburbanites who’ve visited me in New York or Moscow. Thus I am going to throw three options at you.
1-The noise and the lights. You would probably need earplugs and light-blocking curtains to go to sleep. By contrast, I have a problem going to sleep in a rural area because it is quiet and scary and creepy.
2-The traffic, both human and automotive. There is always a congestion, there is always honking, there are always people pushing you aside if you’re blocking their path onto the train. Everyone crosses on the red light when the cops aren’t looking. It’s mad. Only the strongest will survive.
3-There is no back yard for the kids to play in. You have to go to a park or a playground, and usually some supervision is best. In the summer a lot of people head out to the countryside at least for a few weeks. BUT – there are zoos and sea worlds and museums and festivals and amusement parks and educational resources like no other. I loved growing up in the city.
PS – there is a persistent stereotype of city people as rude and unfriendly. It is totally false. We just don’t like it when anyone is blocking the sidewalk as we rush to office/home/theater.”

Hearing this wonderful homage to city life, I’m left with the question; am I missing out?

The city is a wonderful life for some, but I’m a very laid back introvert. I would feel crushed in the city. The teeming masses would suck all of the energy out of me. Conversely, some people cannot handle the openness and lack of creature comforts that come from life in the country. To them, the silence is deafening.

What did I learn from researching this post? If I ever travel to the city, I better find a guide. I would be completely lost and forget to enjoy a single moment of it.

When you’ve had your fill of dick jokes, I highly recommend you check out Anna’s blog for some legitimate culture. She has some unbelievably beautiful photos from her travels throughout the world and travel magazine quality commentary.

“Just F@#$ Me Already!” What Nice Guys Don’t Understand About Sex

Sometimes, I feel like that masked magician who went on tv to give away all the secrets of magic.

My new avatar?

My new avatar?

Here at the Big Dick Chronicles I offer free of charge, and open to the world, insights into the often dysfunctional inner workings of how men think. I do this for good, you understand. This isn’t ammunition; it’s designed to help improve marriages.

If you are married to, or in a relationship with, a Nice Guy, congratulations. You are probably involved with a very skilled lover. Technically speaking.

We Nice Guys pride ourselves on being competent, and sex is no exception. We strive to make sure that we’re capable of satisfying a woman as thoroughly as possible. If our bedroom were a restaurant, our motto would be, “Nobody Leaves Here Hungry.”

Which is an apt metaphor for how we view sex.

Being with a Nice Guy is like having your own personal chef, on call 24 hours a day to provide you with a seven course meal of orgasmic delight. All you have to do is give us a nod and we’re pulling out the dough hooks for some made from scratch pastries.

In fact, we live to cater to your desires with a menu that would impress Chef Mario Batali.

He's impressed.

He’s impressed.

It is all yours! And all you have to do is let us cook for you! And why the hell are you pulling out a loaf of bread and a pack of baloney!
Oops, sorry. Nice Guys don’t get angry or frustrated. I’ll cut that last paragraph during editing.

This is how we think. We have the ability to bring you the utmost in sensual pleasure. We’re willing to perform these duties any time and anywhere. We’ll fire up the grill, we’ll do all the work, hell we’ve even do the dishes and put the kids to bed.

We are offering you gourmet seven course sex here. So why is that when we turn on the oven, you give us this pained expression and say, “I’m really not that hungry tonight, dear”?

Ladies, are you tired yet? I bet you are. Knowing what I know now, I’m tired for you. That is utterly exhausting.

Gentleman, listen up! Your sexual abilities do not dictate her hunger for sex!

I’ll give you a moment. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Better now? Okay, let’s continue.

Nice Guys are notoriously caught up on making sure we aren’t jerks when it comes to sex. If you aren’t satisfied, we feel like failures. Worse yet, we feel selfish. These are two of the most difficult emotions for any Nice Guy to endure. It’s even worse when we experience them together.

So sex becomes an event for us. We’re gonna make sure you get your money’s worth baby!

Every Nice Guy reading this is asking, “So what’s the problem?”

It isn’t what she wants.

What do you mean?! Who doesn’t want a gourmet meal?

Sorry guys, it isn’t for you to decide.

If you are one of those guys who says, “I’m going to blow your mind for three straight hours” every damn time you have sex, you are going to be disappointed. Whether you like it or not, this isn’t what women want.

So what goes wrong?

1. Too much pressure.
Guys, you have no idea the pressure you put on a woman when you make it clear that your intention is long, drawn out, multiple orgasm sex. Men don’t get it because we have no concept of failing to orgasm. We’re more concerned with trying not to orgasm.

If your wife is faced with the choice of trying to meet your expectations of responding with multiple orgasms (unlikely on most days) or simply avoiding the encounter…well, you know what happens. You get sex when she’s in the mood for marathon sex.

2. It becomes clear that you aren’t listening.
If your wife says, “Okay, but make it quick.” What do you hear? Your initial assumption is that she’s offering placating sex; the worst sex imaginable for a Nice Guy.

"I hope he hurries, I forgot to dvr Love It Or List It."

“I hope he hurries, I forgot to dvr Love It Or List It.”

But perhaps, just maybe, she just wants it quick.

This was one of the hardest truths I ever had to accept. The day my wife said, “Sometimes I just want you to throw me down, fuck me hard and walk away,” was difficult for me. I knew she was telling me the truth, but it contradicted everything I thought I understood about women and sex. She was asking me to…to…oh my God, she was asking me to act like a jerk.

(and all the women cheered)

3. You are completely dismissing and bypassing a women’s desire to be used.
This one was so hard for me.
Women can get off on the sensations of being used.
Women can have mind blowing orgasms from being taken.
And most importantly, women often prefer being used over being catered to.

How the hell is that possible?

Quite simple really; servants aren’t sexy.

Chris Hemsworth is sexy.

You're welcome ladies. You know who you are.

You’re welcome ladies. You know who you are.

And I guaran-damn-tee you he never once got laid by promising to service his wife. That’s a guy that throws you down, rips your favorite panties off (and you don’t mind, do you ladies?) and just pounds away until he’s satisfied.

Can you pull that off? I bet you could. If you tried.

4. Her orgasm is her responsibility.
I’m borrowing this concept from Athol Kay  at marriedmansexlife.com.

Make sure you understand the intent of this statement. I’m not telling you to be an asshole. Just be mindful of the fact that it’s perfectly acceptable to most women for you to orgasm even if she doesn’t. If she wants it, she can let you know and then do your best to accommodate.

Trying to force it upon her is ultimately selfish when you stop to think about it. It’s saying that you understand what’s best for her more than she does. It says that your desire to prove your ability is more important that her ability to enjoy sex the way she wants. It says you aren’t willing to consider that you might be wrong about this.

Have a conversation with your woman. I dare you. Asking if she feels pressured when you have sex. Ask her if she actually wants it quick sometimes. Ask her if it’s okay for you to be a jerk once in awhile.

And then, for God’s sake, listen to her when she answers you.

Sunday School Notes: The Timing Of The Coming Of Christ

[Okay, I welcome all debates and opinions on this site, but be warned; the Sunday School Notes section starts with the premise that God exists and concerns himself with the affairs of men. My personal beliefs are explicitly laid out here.

If you aren't a believer and you want to argue, just skip the post. Contact me by email if you want to question our premise, but I'm not posting this to start a theological debate.

If you are a believer and want to question my statements within the "God exists" paradigm, by all means, please do! I want to get this right and you may have thoughts I hadn't considered.]

We are beginning our series of question, “Things In The Bible I Have A Problem With”. These are questions submitted by the members of the Young Married Couples class that I teach.

The first question we will address is this: How does the crucifixion fit in the timeline of history? Did Jesus come at that specific time because the time was right? Or did God cause all these events to happen so that Jesus could come when he did?

1. Galations 4:4 “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his son.”

In approximately 330 b.c., Alexander the Great conquers the known world, spreading the Greek Koine as an almost universal language.

Rome takes over when Greek rule ends, keeping the Kione language and bringing improved infrastructure and roads throughout every region.

These two events allow the message of the gospel to be quickly and efficiently spread throughout most of the known world.

2. The fulfillment of messianic prophecies
There are approximately 400 Old Testament messianic prophecies that pointed to the coming Christ. Many of them relevant to his birthplace and time. The current events of that time were significant to the fulfillment of the Old testament prophecies.

As Christians, we aren’t surprised that Jesus came at a time when events in history were lining up to provide the perfect setting for the spread of the gospel. We look at that as one of the indicators of God’s ultimate sovereignty.

What is more interesting is that these events were taking place outside of the Jewish world in unrelated ways. Meaning, it wasn’t Alexander the Great’s intention to conquer the world in order to more easily spread the gospel. Rome didn’t build the infrastructure for the purpose of increasing the effectiveness of the apostles.

Which brings us to the question we struggle with;
Did God cause Alexander’s success to ensure the spread of the gospel, or did he simply take advantage of it?

Romans 13:1 makes a pretty definitive statement about God’s position with authorities on earth.
“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

Keep in mind, Paul was writing this to Roman citizens referring to the Roman government, not the religious authorities. He was describing secular men in secular roles.
If this is a true statement, then it is true for all authority in all places, in all times. That means Ronald Reagan was established by God. So was Barak Obama. And Stalin, and Moa, and Castro and every third world dictator you’ve never heard of.

So, if God is in control, why did he allow (you could even argue; choose) the bad ones?

1. All men, even the authorities, have free will.
Keep in mind, all men are created with free will to choose good or evil. As the Old Testament outlines the lives of the kings of Israel, you see over and over the phrase, “And Jehoshaphat walked in the ways of his father, Asa” “Amon walked in all the ways that his father walked.”

Some were good, some were bad, but all chose their path. God may have placed them, but all were free to choose to walk in the way of the Lord, or not.

2. God’s will is going to be accomplished. If not by this authority, then by the next.

Esther 4:12 “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place and you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows, but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this.”

The logical argument is that God established Alexander the Great, but had he not been successful, God would have established another until His will was accomplished..

Now let’s take a left turn into a whole different angle.

3. God does not see time as we see time.

2nd Peter 3:8 “But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.”
The immediate interpretation we have for this is that watching a thousand years of history unfold is no different to God than us watching an all day marathon of Game of Thrones.

The tiny speck that is my 75 year existence is just a blip on the cosmic radar. What seems so momentous to me, barely exists in the history of time.

But it’s more than that. Logically speaking, a God that IS, exists in all places at all times, for all time. God is not limited to a place or time. If he only exists here, now, then he does not currently exist in the future or past. That is a limitation that is placed on us mortal, physical beings. By definition, God must exist without limit. God is now, while simultaneously being in the complete past and complete future.

God doesn’t just know what I’m going to do tomorrow, he’s already experiencing it. The concept of “a thousand years as a day” doesn’t just mean God is old, it means that he experiences no passage of time.

In John 8:58, Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was, I am!” The Pharisees were outraged because he was taking the name that God gave Moses when he asked “who shall I tell them has sent me?” But the root word Jesus used was “eimi” which means to be present. God’s name, I AM, is the word “hayah“.

Jesus was telling them, “before Abraham was, I EXIST”.

He is active in every second of a millennium simultaneously. So, while we see this fascinating, complex series of events which play out over the course of human history, God experiences them all in one singular event. From “in the beginning” to the final days of human existence. It’s all already happened.

I can’t conceive of that from my earthly perspective. I have to frame it as esp, or fortune telling, or some paranormal ability that gives God special insight into things yet to come. But logically I know, that if God exists, he must exist this way. There is no other way he could be and still meet the qualifications of God.

So, if God already knows the results and he has put everything in place as he chooses, do we actually have any freedom of choice? Or are we all just mindless robots following God’s orders and we don’t even know it? That is next weeks topic.

What Do YOU Learn From Early Successes?

I have been fortunate to have experienced a fair amount of early successes in my life.

As I mentioned in my last post, the first poem I ever wrote won second place in a regional school poetry contest. I was in sixth grade.

I had my first threesome in second grade. Seriously. Two third grade girls lured me into the bedroom closet and took their clothes off. For the sake on not being disgusting, I won’t describe what happened. But my clothes stayed on.

In 2004, I began writing short stories. The first story I ever tried to submit, The Blood of The Wicked, was immediately accepted by an on-line publication, Skive Magazine. A few weeks later, I was contacted by a film school student named Craig Ormiston telling me he had read my story and wanted to make it into a short film.

wicked3 wicked2(1)

Actual screen shots from the short film.

Actual screen shots from the short film.

In high school, I got a 30 on my ACT’s (midwest’s version of the SAT’s) on my first try. That is the elusive 95%. First kid in my school to do so in several years.

I played basketball in high school, I’m 6’2′, and I was one of only two kids in my class who could dunk a basketball. I’m talking two handed throw down. I could almost touch my elbow the rim.

So, what did these early successes get me? Not jack shit.

The rest of my poems are in my notebooks, never again to be seen.

I didn’t have my first kiss until I was 16. I never had a girlfriend in high school and I was a virgin until I was 19. And even that was a completely messed up affair. My wife was my second actual relationship.

I actively wrote short stories for about another year, then just…stopped. I never attempted to submit anything else for publication. I just lost all interest.

I had my ACT results sent to three schools in my state. Two of them didn’t even acknowledge me.

I sat the bench my entire junior year of basketball and quit the first day of practice my senior year. I could jump like you wouldn’t believe, but I actually sucked at basketball as a sport.

So, what is my point?

None of the things that came easy have lasted. The only affect they’ve had is to mess with my head. I wanted them to mean something. I wanted people to notice my accomplishments and be impressed. What an awesome guy I must be to have accomplished these things! And with so little effort!

But nobody noticed and nobody cared. And while I enjoyed them, they really weren’t that important to me. Except the short story. I’m actually damn proud of that one.

I wish the poetry contest would have paid some money. I had to attend a formal gathering where they recognized all the winners. It was very uncomfortable for my family as it was a bit of a dress up affair and no one in my family owned any decent clothes. Frankly, it was embarrassing and I wish it hadn’t happened.

I wish the threesome had come along ten years later when I really needed to know what the hell to do with girls.

I would have traded the jumping for a decent outside shot any day.

I wish my guidance counselor hadn’t made such a big freaking deal about the test scores. When I got to college, the scores didn’t matter and C’s get degrees just as well as A’s and B’s.

You know which things matter to me?

The ones I had to work my ass off to figure out, often through lots of trial and error.

My job that I didn’t find until I was 27, after four years of floundering after college, wondering if I was going to amount to anything.

My storage shed in the back yard that I built by hand three times before I got it correct enough stand up.

The 12 bars of Cliffs of Dover that it took me a year to learn on the guitar. That equates to less than 30 seconds of the four minute song. I’ll never be good enough to learn the rest.

This silly blog that gets fewer visitors a month than most of you get in a day.

And most importantly; my marriage. Which I can say I get right more often than I get wrong, but I’m still figuring it out.

It’s simple really; I’ve got more invested in the failures. Every time I have to start over, I’m making the decision to continue in spite of poor results. I’m investing myself emotionally in the process of failure and success. And once I find success, I see it as a true accomplishment.

Easy successes are fine. They can be a fun part of life, but it’s the ones you have to work for that you really appreciate.

No go work your ass off.

I Miss Your Touch

I bet you didn’t know I write poetry, did ya?
Hell yes. 2nd place in the regional poetry contest back in 6th grade. Some crap about a rainstorm. All I remember is that it didn’t rhyme and that somehow made it better than the ones that did.

On through college, I found it was much easier to be poetic when I was miserable and lonely. I haven’t had that in a long time, so my poetic skills are a bit dusty.

I’ve been in Iowa for a week now and I’m ready to get home. I missed my daughter’s 10th birthday yesterday and I will miss my youngest daughter’s Tae Kwon Do test tomorrow. There is a little bit that old melancholy setting in and it has stirred up the poet in me.

This is a tribute to my wonderful wife, whom I am missing very much right now.

Your eyes are shining and you smile.
“I want to touch.”

Fingertips drag across my chest, leaving goose bumps in their wake.
I want to grab you and throw you down, but no. You want to touch.
Your hands are cool, a refreshing contrast to my hot skin.
You scratch, you kiss. You nip.
“I want to touch,” you say when I yelp.

I surrender to you, I am yours.
Soft whispers of touch cover every inch of my body,
slowly exploring as if it were the first time.
I close my eyes, hypnotized as you trace a line up and down my arm.
I am lost in the tenderness of your touch.

I try not to kick you when you poke that spot in my side.
“Let me make it up to you,” you say.
And your touch isn’t cool anymore.
Hot, wet kisses make slow circles down my legs,
tempting me with promises of what your touch can do.

I am fully yours, but I will not beg.
It isn’t required; you want to touch.

Your soft touch turns hungry.
I am at your mercy and you tease me.
Drawing me close to the edge, pulling me back. Over and over again.
I will not beg. But it is not required.
You want to touch. And taste.

You nuzzle my neck and caress my face, curling your body against mine.
Tomorrow, I will throw you down and have my way with you.
Tonight, I am content to let you touch.

On The Road

It is Saturday night, I’m sitting in a hotel room in the middle of Iowa, naked, wearing only a cockring.

I am in Iowa for work. I’m wearing the cockring because they are surprisingly comfortable.

It's a bit snug.

It’s a bit snug.

My family is back home enjoying the 4th of July weekend with some good friends. I’m enjoying hotel room cable tv which is just a little better than taking a bottle rocket to the eye.

Iowa is a nice enough place with really great people and the worst cow shit odor you can imagine. It’s a good thing I’m not writing for a travel guide, because that would be my entry. “Great folks, lots of cow shit.”

That isn't dirt they're walking in.

That isn’t dirt they’re walking in.

What am I doing in Iowa? That’s a great question. I’m glad you asked.

I am an insurance claims adjuster. I know, sexy right? On rare occasions, I get called to Iowa to assist some of the small, local insurance companies if they get hit by large hail storms. It looks like this….

hailstone

and it results in this…

iowa hail

hail-casey-7-JPG

I’ll be here for about a week, meets lots of nice people, then go home and jump back into my daily routine.

I realize this is turning into a boring post so I will get to the point.

I have one co-worker here with me. His name is Chuck. He joined our company last year and has a great work ethic. Insurance claims is a “work your ass off” profession. My pay is strictly tied to productivity; no base salary, no safety net. I work, I get paid. I don’t work, I don’t get paid.

We arrived in Iowa on Thursday. Chuck advised me that he had six inspections set for the day. I told him I had two. He looked at me a bit quizzically, but didn’t say much.

On Friday, He scheduled six more. I scheduled five. “That’s it?” he says. “That’s all your doing?”

“Yep.”

Here’s how this works. I inspect the homeowner’s property. I prepare an estimate for their damages, and then they sign off on the payment amount. My job isn’t done until they sign the paperwork. (For the record, I do my best to make sure I pay more than enough to cover the repairs. I hate having to re-open a file.)

I’ve written before about how awesome I am at my job. Chuck knows this because all the bosses and secretaries keep telling him, “Do it like Adam does it and you’ll be fine.” So I know he was sizing me up to see how well he could compete. That’s totally cool. We’re very independent minded and competitive here.

My first appointment on Friday is at 9 am. Chuck did the same. I finished for the day at 1:30. Chuck called me around 5:00 to say he had only made it through three of his inspections and he still had all the paperwork to do when he got back to the hotel. I was napping when he returned.

“What do you mean, done? Like ‘signed off on the paperwork’ done?”
“Yeah.”
“How?”
“Eh,” I shrugged. I don’t know him well enough to say, “because I’ve got a big dick,” but that’s the answer that was going through my head.
“I’m going to have to give you some of my claims. I won’t be able to get them all done in time,” he says.

We spent the evening discussing our work methods. I showed him some examples of my work and he just shook his head. “I can’t do it that fast. I don’t know how you do it.”
“Eh,” I said and shrugged.

Okay, I promise I’m not just being an arrogant jackass. There’s an actual point to this.

What separates me from my co-workers? Why is this guy, who came in quite proud of his ability, shaking his head and looking at me as if I am a magical being?

Here is the secret to my success. Feel free to integrate it into your own life as needed.

1. Efficiency trumps speed and strength.
Back in college, I worked third shift at Wal-Mart. We were unloading a trailer that had several loads of 50 lb weight sets. I jumped right in and started carrying them out one at a time. One of the older guys strolled in, taking his time. As I was walking back to the trailer to grab my third box, he stopped me.

“You know the difference between you and me, Adam? You’re strong enough to carry them out one at a time. I’m smart enough to carry them out five at a time.” And then he wheeled the dolly on out the door.

I never forgot that lesson. Thanks, Herb.

2. Efficiency creates strength and speed.
The best advice I’ve received in this business came from my first boss.
“Never pick up a file more than once if you can help it.”

Coming back to a project over and over again generates redundancy and wastes time in set up and transitions.

I set my appointments two hours apart and by the time I leave their homes, everything is complete. My customers feel like I’ve given them four star treatment because of the amount of time I spend with them, and I have an answer for them on the spot.

No one else in my company does it this way.

Chuck called me yesterday. As he was leaving a property, telling the homeowner that he would get back to him in a couple of days, the owner’s friend stopped by. He told Chuck’s customer that his adjuster (me) had already been out, left him an estimate and was turning it in for payment.

Chuck cussed me a little for that. “Eh,” I said, and shrugged.

3. There is no substitute for working your ass off.

At the end of the day, these things only matters because I push myself. I’ve learned to be proficient with my computer skills, knowledgeable in my field, and willing to work as much as needed to get the job done. But what sets it all apart is learning to be outrageously efficient with my work flow, to the point that it looks like I’m not even trying.

My plan is to let my co-workers go on thinking that. They assume that, because I make it look easy, it must be easy.  And when they discover it isn’t, they aren’t quite sure what to make of me. I think that’s always to my advantage.

Happy Independence Day everyone!

A Day In The Life Of Something I Know Nothing About: Gaming

I’m not talking about pickup artist gaming,

I got that shit down.

I got that shit down.

I’m talking about the world of video games.

I’m 36 years old and some days I feel like the world’s youngest crotchety old man. Nothing makes me feel like the world is passing me by more than technology. It seems like I’ve been saying, “I don’t understand these kids and their new fangled i-things” for the last 15 years.

Along with my almost petulant aversion to technology, I found myself disavowing video games as well.

Let me tell you how bad it is. I never owned anything newer than a Nintendo. (For myself. The kids has a Wii and we just bought a used Xbox 360) My last video game purchase was Legend of Zelda.

I never made it past the fourth level.

I never made it past the fourth level.

The only video game I ever beat was Kung Fu. I’ve never engaged in a multi-player online game. Hell, I didn’t even play Farmville.

So, what have I been missing?

To find out, I reached out to a video game aficionado, Rich Drummond, editor and founder of Gaming Tech United. He graciously agreed to answer some questions to bring me up to speed with the gaming world.

Some brief background; How long have you been gaming? When did you really start to feel passionate about it?
I’ve been gaming for literally my whole life. Growing up in a house with younger parents, (Mom was 20, Dad was 21), my dad frequently played his Sega Genesis with his buddies, so I was always playing those games when I was growing up. Being born in 1993, I was also the exact target age group for Pokemon when that craze started up, so just like every kid my age, the Pokemon video game were always plugged into my Game Boy Color. When I was older, I eventually bought a Xbox 360 and from there my love for video games really blossomed.
I grew really passionate around 2011 when a game called The Elder Scrolls V: Skryim came out. It was after that game that my love of writing and video games came together. I started a site entitled Richie D Rants and eventually wanted a more professional platform, I created Gaming Tech United, where I am right now.”

Notice that he indicates that he dad was frequently playing Sega Genesis as an adult back in ’93. My age group, kids from the 80′s were the first generation to grow up with video games in the home. You might assume that we are also the first generation of adults that are avid video game players, but you’d be wrong.

While my age group makes up the majority of players, the age group 36+ makes up 36% of players, we aren’t the first generation of adults to play. When I was 5 years old (1982) my dad (a single father) and all of his friends had Atari 2600′s. And none of the other guys had kids. Keep in mind, this thing had a retail price of $125 in 1982. This was not a toy and we kids had to ask permission to play it.

"This is a highly complex computer thingy. You kids wouldn't understand what to do with it."

“This is a highly complex computer thingy. You kids wouldn’t understand what to do with it.”

While the dynamic of adults playing video games is nothing new, the “community” of gaming has changed drastically.

My dad’s community was a group of guys sitting around drinking beer, playing games with no save function. It was a competition, like a basketball game. When the game was over, you went home and started from scratch the next time you got together.

In my teenage years, my gaming community consisted of swapping cheat codes for Contra (guys..up up down down left right left right BA..am I right?) and letting the kids down the street borrow and get through the first seven levels of Zelda for me.

In today’s gaming world, community is everything. Not only do a majority of games offer multiplayer modes, but the interaction involved in online discussions has exploded. A google search for the phrase “gaming forum” gets 179,000,000 results.

Describe what the gaming community was like when you first got into this.
The gaming community has and always will be a very bipolar animal. It hasn’t changed much since I was younger, but with the internet, those who are uneducated are now louder than ever. There are many people that get more enjoyment out of shitting on what other gamers enjoy, but no matter what sort of games you’re in to, there is a message board, chat group or website for you.
That’s always been the great thing about the community. From the day I jumped in, there’s always been a great group of people that enjoy the things you do.

How would you describe today’s gaming community? How important, to you, is the social aspect of gaming?
Like I’ve stated before, the internet has intensified a lot of trolls and just plain assholes, but it has also brought together a lot of great and creative people. Dedicated gaming sites and message boards are bigger than ever and even some of the biggest YouTubers are creating video game sites.
All in all, the social aspect of gaming is a pretty integral part of the community. From message boards, to gaming websites, to multiplayer games, the video games community and industry will only continue to expand.

A key point that he brings up; whatever your interests, there is already a large group out there to share it with. I assumed that if I tried to get into gaming today I would be lost in this overwhelming sea of information. But the gaming community has grown so large that you can narrow your focus to your specific interests and still find everything you need to get started.

For instance, one of the few games I’ve actually enjoyed as an adult was Mortal Kombat. The game has been released multiple times and is available on all the current platforms. There are entire forums devote solely to this one game franchise. And they’re active, too. At 6:00 am on a Wednesday morning, there were over 100 uses online at trmk.org.

Or maybe you insist on being stuck in the past, like me. Head on over retrocollect.com’s retro gaming forum with nearly 7,000 topics and over 8,000 members.

My point is, no matter what your level of interest, it is still available for you today.

Since I was feeling a bit nostalgic, I asked Rich about some of his favorite highlights over the years.

Like I stated before, Pokemon was the first big gaming craze I was into. From trading and training them, all the way to flaunting them to your buddies, Pokemon was a blast when I was growing up. When the Xbox 360 came out, Halo 3 was a game that my buddies and I really got our money’s worth out of. I don’t like the series that much anymore, but that game was a blast for us.
As I get older, I’m starting to enjoy more single player experiences, like Skyrim and BioShock Infinite as it’s nice to sit back, relax and play a game at my own pace. The best part about the advancement in technology has been the addition of voice chat, so that while I may be playing a single player game alone at my apartment at college, I can still talk to my buddies from back home.

My highlights were River Raid and Boxing on Atari.

Note the conspicuous lack of Hispanics. These games were so unrealistic.

Note the conspicuous lack of Hispanics. These games were so unrealistic.

I still had it in my head that the video gaming world had past me by and it was just moving too fast for me to consider jumping on board. The idea of jumping into a multi-player online game overwhelms me and I assumed that it would be a complete non-starter. If you aren’t already and avid gamer, don’t bother starting now. Nobody has the time to sit down and teach grandpa how to turn on an Xbox.

It turns out, Rich thinks just the opposite.

If I decided I wanted to get involved in gaming today, what do I need to know? How hard would it be to just jump in?
I believe now is the easiest time to jump into the gaming community. Not only is the online community pretty welcoming, there are plenty of walkthroughs and how-to’s that can be found online. The console experience is streamlined to the point that even a grandparent could learn how to operate them and the vast genres of games will satisfy anyone’s tastes.

Well I’ll be damned.

My last big concern about gaming wasn’t just how much I had missed, but how much more complex is it going to get. I’m afraid that just about the time I figure it out, everyone will be moving on to something else I don’t understand and I’ve wasted my time. So I asked Rich what he thought was on the horizon.

What changes in the gaming world do you see coming in the next 1-5 years? Are they going to make it easier or more difficult for new members to join the community?
The next “big thing” that will be hitting the gaming world in the near future is the use of Virtual Reality devices. These are found in things like the Oculus Rift and Sony’s Project Morpheus. These devices will actually put gamers into their games and give the experience a big boost. It may also help a new crowd get into gaming as there will be fewer things to control/buttons to press and make the experience more true to life. Will this just be a fad like 3D? Will it crash and burn like the Virtual Boy? Time will only tell, but there are many people in the gaming world that are really excited to see where it’s going to go.

So maybe the gaming world isn’t so scary after all. I am a grown ass man after all, I can still learn something new. So, to prove that, I bought a new video game today.

Wii-Mortal Kombat

Well, it isn’t a new game. It’s actually six years old, but it’s new to me. I’m hoping to be pulling my son’s spine out through his throat by this time next week.

I asked Rich if he had a recommended top 5 sites if you want to learn more about gaming. He recommended the following:

IGN
Kotaku
The Escapist Magazine
Giant Bomb
Joystiq

You can find out more about Rich Drummond at the following;