Friday, February 28, 2014

FFF - Yay!

Or the Thrill of FFF'ing and the Agony of Not!
Check it out over at Three Spelling Mistakes!

Carisha speaking in Slavic voice:

"I was so look forward to Olympic games.  The Russian men they smoke too much, drink too much.  They expect the women to look beautiful and shave but they do nothing to make their look better.  I want to meet Western man that I hear wants to treat his woman good and talk to her and not go out drinking the vodka every night.

I meet Felipe at Olympic Village.  He ski from France and he very nice to me.  He ask me where I'm from and what are my dreams.  A man never ask me these things.  He takes me to a nice restaurant and kisses me and gives me perfume and tells me how lovely I am.

I decide I want him.  I wonder if he shaves.  I hear Western men sometimes shave the back and sometimes even down lower.  I ask him and he say yes and laughs.  I ask him why he laugh and he say "women shave, why not the men."  We go to his room and he says make yourself comfortable.  I take off my clothes and then he takes off his clothes.  He is not rushed so it is very sexy, not like many men I know.  Felipe, he has gorgeous body and I so surprise when the no hair on his back.  I say to him "this is so sexy, I like."  He say "wait to you see this!"  He drops his towel and his "mat" has the no hair around it.  I shocked and just say "YAY!" 

So I say "let me take your long sexy ski pole and I take long time to slalom down your slope!"

Felipe's smooth body feel so good next to mine, I want him in me for long time.

Then I confused when Felipe say he "botox my balls tomorrow to make silky smooth..."  What is this botox?"

NOTE:  Sorry, I stole borrowed that "botox my balls" thought from Dave Chappelle.


So another Olympics has concluded and we measure success by the medals we've won.  Or do we?

You know the Olympic motto is Citius, Altius, Fortius or Faster, Higher, Stronger in English.  Very high ideals well worth living up too.  It seems at this auspicious time when the nations of our world come together in peace and athletic harmony that it is more important to focus on that Olympic Creed coined by Pierre de Coubertine (father of the modern Olympics).  De Coubertine stated that

 "the most important thing in the Olympic games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle.  The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."

Wow, I'm moved!

So with that I want to revisit these Sochi Games, the 22nd games of the Winter Olympics, and see if the world did witness that great struggle for the conquest well fought!  Or to borrow that famous theme from ABC's Wide World of Sports "the human drama of athletic competition."

*  Did someone say "human drama of athletic competition?"

Well apparently there was, in fact, a lot of drama but not necessarily on the fields of athletic competition during these games.  But you got to hand it to human-kind no matter what field of endeavor we are on we tend to revert back to what we value most in life.  SEX!!

Apparently the really big story out of Sochi happens to be the new Facebook ap that is uniting the world in a new way that leads us to that most important endeavor listed above (SEX!).

Sure we expect our athletes to be focused for competition but what to do with all those powerful endorphins after the big race!  As former US Olympian (and according to my wife major hottie) Ryan Lochte remembered "about 70-75% of the athletes will have sex."

And apparently this has been going on forever!

But of course technology can always take athletic perfection to the next level!

You see I was just reading (yes sometimes I do read) the other day on Facebook (which is where most of my reading comes from) about Olympic athletes and the Tinder craze.  You ask why do Olympic athletes need something to start a fire with?  No, no, no; not that type of Tinder.  This is that new speed dating meets the I Phone app craze thing that's going on.  It's like meets Angry Birds.  Oh wait Angry Birds is so 2013, it's more like Flappy Bird.

Tinder is like Ashley Madison on steroids.  As they say "it's like real life but better."

I like u 2 & ur 1 floor away, let's screw!
As US Snowboarder Jaime Anderson said "tinder in the Olympic Village is next level, it's all athletes."  Yep, athletics often takes us to the next level of human endeavors.  As Jackie Robinson broke down the barriers of segregation, as Joe Lewis threw the first punch against Fascism, now so does this generation of athletes heroically take viral social speed sex based simply on hotness and proximity to the next level of that international Olympic vision of de Coubertine of taking part, struggling to fight the good fight, and above all do it faster, higher, and stronger!   :)

*     Breaking Down the Barriers of Ethnic Misconceptions

Or rather, is Borat a poor depiction of Russian men?

Ah, if you are a guy playing the social dating sites who doesn't know of a good Russian bride story.  I myself have had my own intersection with the curious and evocative creature that is that cute Russian girl "catfishing" online for a nice Western male benefactor.  And stupid me did not see the celestial convergence of a wide swath of Western travelers to a humongous media event in Russia!  I so should have gone.  This is like being a Cheeto salesmen the day after pot is legalized in Colorado. You gotta jump on it.

As the article I linked too above indicates Sochi must have been like shooting fish in a barrel.  As one American male said in the article "at first I thought....they (the volunteers) are supposed to smile at you and be friendly.  But then I realized it was a lot more to that, too.  I don't want to sound arrogant, I'm OK looking, but honestly this is awesome."

Ah to be young, single, liquid, and leaving "from Russia with love!"

But then to add insult to injury those Russian dudes just keep piling on the hate!

To further support this concept one may only look to the story about those Russian Cossacks attacking "Pussy Riot."

Now let me first say that American men are no different in some ways.  We too chase Pussy relentlessly and with the same passion and alacrity of our Russian Cossack peers.  But when we catch it we dang sure don't do what these dudes did!  Shame on you for not knowing what to do with pussy when you catch it!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Hey Life, Look at Me

So I've been keeping myself on a six posts per month diet.  The problem is that it means I have to get to six posts per month which sometimes is hard anymore given how busy I've become on the work front.  But whenever I get into these writing blocks I always think "what is the easiest way I can get out of this predicament?"  I know, lazy.  But that's just how I do things!

So today I'm going to go with a long standing tradition of mine and that is to copy other bloggers.  See, easy!

One thing I've seen other bloggers do is answer questions from some of their readers.  I really don't get very many e-mails from readers, nor do I get a lot of questions.  I guess people can just infer from my blog that I'm pretty vacant and obtuse so there is no reason to ask me any deep moral question.  Or maybe my readers are smart and know never to ask if you are afraid of the answer!

But I do get a few questions.  So here they are with my unique way of answering.  Trust me, avoiding the question has been an oft chosen tactic in my personal, work, and now blog life!  :)

*     So Ryan, I see a lot bloggers have ads on their pages or even links to Ashley Madison but you don't, why?

Such a good question.  You know I'd like to say it's all about artistic integrity.  My artistic emotions can't be clouded with commercialism.  However, if you have been watching Fox News you would know that is certainly not the case.  Truth be told I'm a Kenyan anti-colonial revolutionary who shuns the free-market system and has disdain for the commercialized capitalism this country was founded on.  I'm simply trying to change the direction of the country.

*   Ryan, do you and your wife still have sex?

See, so many people would consider that a simple black and white, yes/no question.  But I just don't roll like that.  I would equate my marital sex life to Hillary Clinton's stance on the abortion issue.  As Hillary says with abortion, my marital sex life is "safe, legal, and rare!"  And by legal well that's obvious, by infrequent well that should be obvious as well.  As for safe to the extent that the safest way to avoid STD's is through abstinence then I can assure you we are being VERY safe!

*     Ryan, is your Ashley Madison account still active?

See again here you must consider nuance.  The question you really have to ask yourself here is, "what is the definition of 'is'?"  I googled "is" and it is apparently the third person singular indicative of the verb "to be."  In the singular finite sense of the verb to be it would be hard to say that I would often make the expression "I am on Ashley Madison."  So in that case I am not active.  However in the non-finite sense one could make the expression "he could be on Ashley Madison," or "there are still some times when he finds himself on Ashley Madison for various reasons" and you wouldn't be incorrect in either case.  In fact in the transitive sense one could say that I am at times still completing action verb-like activities on Ashley Madison that do in fact have direct objects.  And even on a more literal level one could even consider me a figurative Transitive Vampire in that I still seek "lively, gothic, narrative tales to spin" on my blog.

Anyway, not sure if that made sense but surely you see why people don't tend to ask me very many questions.   :)

*     Ryan, how long do you plan on blogging?

Now that is a really good question.  One that I do so very often consider daily.  And honestly I waffle.  On some days I think "I've decided to vote yes to blogging after first deciding to vote to stop."  Then again, as I said to one reader "read my lips, no new posts!"  You saw how well that succeeded.  But finally I've decided to say this "if you like this blog you can keep it!"  And by that I mean that if you've been kicked off this blog because you have a cheap internet provider or live in a state with few internet connection choices you may have to lose it first but then you will probably be able to read it better with a new internet provider that, while slightly more expensive, may be subsidized.  I don't know, I hear different versions between Fox and MSNBC but I think no matter what I'll still be around for a while.  You know as long as people don't stop getting sick of reading about a rumbling, stumbling, bumbling husband - I'm sure I'll be around in some form or another.  I'm mean like health care people are not going to stop *uckin' and having babies because they now have to go through socialized medicine so I guess people won't stop coming back to this silly ridiculous blog!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Ryan's Repeats - So Happy Together

This week has been a little sad as one of my favorite shows ended last Sunday.  Looking back I feel even more connected as it had a four year run on the Disney Channel which somewhat closely coincides with my four year run on Ashley Madison and blogging.  It was a show the whole family enjoyed.  A show that seemed to fit more in the 80's when an entire family could enjoy the Cosby Show or Family Ties together and children and parents could laugh together and "get it."  Thankfully my family was able to watch the show often and laugh together and perhaps at ourselves when we saw parallels between the show and us.

But as I often do let's set that thought aside for a moment.

It's hard to know when I started thinking I might be able to talk about something other than chasing women on Ashley Madison.  Perhaps I always knew it.  Truth be told my favorite Riff Dog posts were always about something other than AM success such as Soccer Saturday's or helping some hot MILF who's car had broken down.  I've always found something interesting and sustaining about normality.  It's probably why I like Seinfeld so much, they invested so much time in talking (and laughing) about nothing.  It's probably why I've never been into fantasizing about stars, I like the women I see every day at the gym because they are real to me.  When Riff talked about admiring ladies at his kids soccer practice I could see him as a regular dude just like me.  Perhaps he was a little more suave and LA cool, but in reality he was kind of bumbling his way through life just like me.

I think on my blog it started with talking about my failures - they were always more fun (in hindsight) than my successes.  But through writing about my reaction to failures on AM I started thinking about life and how I fit into the cosmos or something (well that sounds good at least).  I think what I found is that I felt quite comfortable with this character I had become in life.

And so what started as an occasion look or observation about life became what I enjoyed most; looking at how us husbands manage to get through the day around the dramas of the wives and kids that run around us and often through us!

One show always seemed to capture my quietly content angst over life and that was Good Luck Charlie.  The family always seemed so genuine and the dad?  Well, he was a dad just like me.  Probably an expert in his field, revered by many, but at home just a little bit in the way and just not so very cool.  But I'm sure in the end loved for being that unseen safety net that is always there but not necessarily noticed.

Well, I'll miss Good Luck Charlie a lot.  Damn that Amy Dunkin is SO VERY HOT, the archetypal 40-something lady us "dogs" on AM would love to meet! And she is so like Shannon.  One of her best Amy quotes: “Whether it’s a mom and a dad, or two moms, or two dads . . . nobody likes your bug stories (Bob).” But thank God I don't have 5 kids!

And, "oh btw," here is one of those observational typical "guy moments" I ended up writing about and enjoying.

Oh and "Good Luck Charlie," you'll be missed by this happily frustrated dad.  You know my girls and I once mentally wrote a Good Luck Charlie episode.  I've got that on my blog "to-do" list some day, some day!  :)

Ryan's Repeat
from February 19th, 2013

The Setting:  A quaint tavern in Ryan's rustic bedroom community outside DC.  The town is bedazzled in the lights of Christmas and the tavern is full of happy guests.  

As we walked into the room I casually glanced over to her.  She radiated beauty and gleamed with happiness.  I knew we were right where she wanted to be; for once I was right, her prince.  As we walked in she lit up the room, she always does.  She always gets that attention.  I was proud to be with her.  I know women look at her and think she has it all (style, beauty, and class) and men look at me and think I've got it all in her.

Yeah, that is not quite the image of Cinderella when the prince notices the beautiful girl from across the room.  But when you are married you tend to become ONE singular image to the outside world.  You are no longer known as Ryan or Shannon, you are the Beaumonts or really more often ******'s dad or mom.  But if you are having a little soiree and need some witty banter about NASCAR and ribs sprinkled with dialogue on the best facial cremes used by the in-crowd and the coolest styles, gadgets, and reading lists in the New Yorker you'll want to invite the Beaumonts.  I'll let you guess who among Ryan and Shannon is the authority on which subject!  :)

Hey I'm into NASCAR and alternative fuels
What am I talking about today?  Couples dating!

No not that couples dating, I'm not cool like some of those Hot-wifing sites.  I'm just talking about the normal old Honeymooners type stuff.  You know what I mean, the couples you enjoy spending time with.  Really it ends up being just like high school, stressing out over what they think of you, are you right for them, do we measure up to a University professor and an Assistant District Attorney?  Are you an introverted couple or an extroverted couple; alpha or beta?

Hey buddy get your hands off your wife
Yes on that night we were joining a group of parents for our annual gathering as our offspring practiced for their holiday dance recital.  Yes a night of free after-care!  This was about our third year of doing this and yes Ryan who typically doesn't care to walk to the drum-beat of alpha or beta had organized the first grand fete two years back.  There is Mr and Mrs Lawyer (the younger) and the other Mr and Mrs Lawyer (the elder).  The Elder lawyers are very interesting because no matter where you talk about they have been there and either played golf or skied.  Best thing though is that Mr. Elder Lawyer is a full partner and probably a full on alcoholic and after his 3rd Scotch everything is on him!   There is also Mr IT Analyst and his wife Mrs Doctor.  There is Mrs Marketing Analyst and her husband Mr State Trooper.  Yes quit the nice gang.

Anyway, as I said this is about our third time doing this and the second time which is now about a year and a half ago I mentally thought out a post.  So now here I am actually doing it.

I could be seen with them
It occurred to me that once your married and the kids are old enough to be a little on their own you start to want to get back into the social scene.  And that is when you realize that you need to meet other couples.  You start to think which couples would compliment my passions of NASCAR and BBQ?  Does their hair color and choice of style compliment my Olive green eyes?  Will they accept the fact that I'm fiscally conservative yet still think Mitt Romney should pay some taxes.  Will they get that some things I'm serious as a heart attack over (like Big State U football) and most other things not so much.  Will they understand that I respect their reverence for the environment but NO I ain't givin' up Filet Mignon and that is not an insult to their cause.

Cute but don't make me look bad
Really it gets you to thinking the same way you did back in college.  My ideal couple would be good looking.  They don't have to have big tits.  In fact if she is a C cup I could care less.  But if the dude has big man boobs they are out immediately!  I would like them to be fit.  In fact I'd like to be able to go skiing or perhaps a hike along the Appalachian Trail. But no I ain't doing no triathlons   They don't have to be too smart, in fact to be honest I'd like them smart but not quite as smart as me.  They need to understand sports.  They don't have to be Bobby Knight but at least know what to cheer about.  I can take some alternate views on politics but I don't want them to be too much in my face.

So where does that leave you.  Well back in the day after I had sized up every chick in the DZ and DDD house and turned my nose at everyone I finally settled in on the best looking one that could tolerate me for more than 5 minutes (which means the one that would screw me a second time).  Well, as I said this is not about hot-wifing so in the end the ideal couple is the one who is available and that I can tolerate and who can tolerate me.  See, same as in college.

Actually the song above is pretty special to me.  I remember way back in 3rd grade I had a teacher, Mrs. C. She was very pretty; my first teacher crush.  Thinking back I suspect she had pretty nice tits as well but back then a shy 10 year old boy could develop just a little crush over a sweet smile, long brunette hair, and a lovely voice.  What made me enamored of her was that occasionally she would bring in her guitar and sing to us kiddies.  "Happy Together" was one of the songs I remember her singing and she looked so lovely to my young eyes as she sang.  Funny what I guy will remember.  So this is for you Mrs. C, although I doubt you'd approve of the forum.

Friday, February 14, 2014

FFF - Read My Lips

It's Valentine's Day, Who are you FFF'ing With?!
Head over to Three Spelling Mistakes and see who else is FFF'ing today

Ah, it's Valentine's Day.  Which means next Monday (February 17th) is Ashley Madison Day!

Ashley Madison statistics say that the day after Mother's Day and the day after Valentine's Day are their biggest days of the year, kind of like Tax Season for an Accountant or Black Friday if you are lucky enough to work at Wally World!  You will often also find that Monday is the biggest day of the week for Ashley Madison.  So much like we just experienced a "storm of the century" yesterday and today think of this coming Monday as sort of a "storm of the century" or a type of celestial convergence of Valentine's Day and a Monday.  Yes guys, take a peak on Monday and I bet you'll find some nice new ladies just looking to repeal their frustrations from a unsatisfying Valentine's Day weekend with an emancipation of erotic adventure with a handsome dude such as you!  And just think they will be stir crazy with cabin fever from all of this snow if you are on the east coast.

So whether you are giving a gift to your wife, sweetie, affair partner, or random hot MILF take care to make sure that present means something to her!  Or else she may be looking for the next handsome prince next week!  And if you are just that other handsome prince waiting for Monday, then "good luck," and read Kat's advice on Mistress gifts!  :)

As for me I'm the observant type and I'm lazy.  It appears from those Vermont Teddy Bear commercials I see everyday in the gym that all I have to do is order a Vermont Teddy Bear and a hot blonde will magically fall into bed with me!  So who wants a Vermont Teddy Bear, my bed awaits!  :)

Sorry, Valentine's Day Ashley Madison Day gets me all worked up.  So back to FFF.

She was just supposed to be my last fling with the 20-something generation.  I surely didn't need her but how can a middle-aged guy say no when a hot young intern hunts him down.

Really it was not just sexual gratification.  The wife had grown so cynical, nothing ever pleased her.  But Cher adored anything I did for her candy, teddy bears, candle-lit dinners, even a few sparkly trinkets.  And my God the sex!  Being on top of her was like time traveling to the late 80's in my college dorm room with that hot cheerleader I used to date; I wonder where she went.  Hey wait, I ended up marrying her!

We met in my car in the back of the parking lot.  Usually that meant something quit good for me.  She said she had something to tell me.  She got in the car and slinked down below me as she had done so often.  She said "read my lips" and then looked down.  Her head rose back up with a tear in her eye.  I have to say I felt a little heart broken as well at that moment as her lovely lips clutched that piece of candy.  "I can't do this anymore" it said.  Her soft brown eyes were so solemn, sad, and simultaneously enchanting.  Part of me in the moment wanted to throw my life away and ask her to stay with me.

But another part of me saw a love affair with an adoring man who would go through life with her.  That man's face was much younger than mine and I knew I must yield to him, image though he was.

I pulled her close to me and hugged her and kissed her.  I told her I understood and said I was glad for what we had shared.  She then got out of the car and left looking back once after I rolled the window down and said "Happy Valentine's Day, sweetie."

I count 330 so I guess that means I owe at least two heart breaks, so here goes.

Shannon - read a little about her here

Stupid me is always chasing the wrong girl.  I chased Shannon for several years and never quite caught her.  This cause was even more imbecilic considering that she had no less than three girls in her click that I knew were interested in me.  Each girl who was interested in me was quite nice looking by any normal male human's rational estimation.  But Shannon was the "it" girl and I just knew I would only be happy with "it."  I guess you really can't say you can have your heart broken by a girl you never really had a relationship with but I learned some hard lessons chasing Shannon.  I personally think we all deserve a good heartbreak because it is only when the heart is broken that we learn how good true love is when we actually find it.  So given how much I learned from making a fool of myself over Shannon I'll call it a heart break and a lesson learned.

Meredith - Doomed to always being a friend, Meredith was another girl I chased for several years and never quit caught.  But I met her a few years after Shannon so I had learned a few things.  I ended up going out with a friend of hers and had a fling with another and I always truly enjoyed the times I spent with her even if only platonic.  But in those late college years no matter who I was with I was always wanting to be with her and those beautiful blue eyes.

Here is a more exciting rendition of that fling.

"Hey Ryan, you said you wrote 330 words and you only gave us 2 heart breaks.  I think you owe us a 1/3 heartbreak!"

Well, you know I'm always about value so here goes a 1/3 heartbreak.

Ashley Madison - Yep this chic will definitely take you for a ride, hump you, dump you, and leave you wondering wtf just happened.  But damn, she'll give you some good *hit to blog about!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Everyone is Lucky, Everyone is Kind

On the road to Shambala......

Written in the early 1970's by Daniel Moore and covered and released almost simultaneously by Three Dog Night and B.W. Stevenson (as a country rock song similar to his hit My Maria), Shambala is a song about a spiritual journey toward the mythical kingdom of that name deep in the Himalayas.  The song fused themes of Eastern mysticism with that wonderful '70's singer/songwriter vibe that often tacked towards a gospel feel.  The term Shambala is in fact taken from the Buddhist word Shambhala which means the revelation one derives from teachings that acknowledge the desire and aspiration of human dignity and a flourishing culture of kindness.  While clearly the singer is on a journey to Shambala, the words simply mention the kindness he or she experiences along the way.  In that sense it can be inferred that Shambala may not be an actual physical place but a metaphysical metaphor for the journey towards spiritual awakening, awareness, peace, tranquility, and happiness.

"I can tell my sister by the flowers in her eyes..."

Oh Ryan...., have been out to Colorado this week 'cause it sounds like you been a smokin' sump'in'!

Not really.  See a few weeks ago I was sitting in a meeting minding my own business when I felt my IPhone buzz.  I saw the number was a *** area code.  I knew that probably meant a customer but I recognized that I had a missed call from that number earlier in the morning.  Perhaps it was a very irate customer.  Against my better judgment I excused myself and answered.

I said in my usual voice "this is Ryan."

On the other end, in an all familiar tone I heard a low sexy-smoky female voice say "hey Ryan Beaumont, do you ever answer your phone; do you know who this is."

WOW!  It was Alecia!

I replied quickly "hey Alecia I'm in a meeting, can I call you back in 15?"

She said "sure, talk to you later."

Now see, this is where two years ago I would stop and drag this out for two months.  But I'm on a 6 posts per month diet now so you get to read on a bit longer today or not since this still probably won't end in sex (at least for now)!

I bumbled my way through the remainder of the meeting wondering what on Earth Alecia was calling about. If you may remember I had found her on Facebook and we were "friends."  But other than a few cryptic notes "how are doing," "fine" we had not pursued any further communications.  Just in case you are new here Alecia was my first AM girl (read about her here).  While she is really cool and I enjoyed our time together it ended rather abruptly to my surprise (as at the time I was new to the game and didn't know that was a common outcome).

So I walk out of our meeting and call her as I am walking back to my office.  She answered with a voice that seemed genuinely glad to hear from me.  Apparently her office was planning a philanthropic event and was tasked with planning hospitality details.  She told me "I kind of got handed the duty of planning this event and I was thinking 'who do I know that can help' and then I thought, 'I know Ryan Beaumont - I'll call him.'"

Ladies, here is a hint on how to get me to do something (well really anything); tell me I'm wonderful and the only person you can think of to fulfill your particular need and you've got me like a puppy, truly!   :)

I was actually familiar with the event she was working on as we had helped in the past.  I told her to send me an e-mail with all the who, what, where, when and why and I would work up some suggestions.  Her e-mail came about 30 minutes later and we spent the rest of the day, off and on, planning the event.  We also made plans to meet at the site of the event the next week so I could see where we would be staging.  I really didn't need to do that as I said we had helped with this program in the past but it was, of course, an excuse to meet.

Alecia said we needed to "do lunch" some time and she said she missed the little cupcakes I used to bring her from the bakery in town.  Wow, good hint there for the future!

So shall I go ahead and talk about the wild animal sex we had for four hours amid the snow-storm?

Nah, this is about philanthropy and I, of course, don't want to embellish.

I think that is enough for today.

So for now on this snowy day.......

"How does your light shine in the halls of Shambala!"

Apparently to believe in Shambala is figuratively to believe that we live in our physical world with our proverbial Id and Ego at odds with one another with our Super Ego buried in the halls of Shambala.  As we do kind things (Ego wins) our "light" in Shambala glows brighter until we achieve some sort of paramount awareness.

"Anyone who furthers the name of Shambala shall be rewarded 100 times."

I was not sure if reuniting with Alecia on any level was going to brighten my light - but I knew I was likely to find out.

Oh and just in case you didn't know the origin of the term, "Three Dog Night" is a term from Australian Aboriginal peoples who on cold nights would sleep with their dogs (dingos).  If a night was particularly cold it was a "three dog night!"  Based on what it's been around here recently I'll be forming a group soon called the "(Electric) Twelve Dog (dang it's cold out there) Night!"      :)

Friday, February 7, 2014

I Belong in the Service of the Queen

"The Rain King" was a 1995 release by the Counting Crows off their August and Everything Else album.  It was a follow up to their more successful single "Mr. Jones." The song is sung through the voice of a man who feels that perhaps life has passed him by unjustly, that perhaps "I deserve a little more."  His statement that "I belong in the service of the queen" is a cry that he should be destined for some great service that will earn him great honor and distinction.

The title of the song is a reference to and the theme is influenced by Saul Bellow's 1959 novel Henderson the Rain King.  That novel is kind of like the Heart of Darkness and the Secret Life of Walter Mitty meet Where the Wild Things Are.  In the novel the protagonist, Henderson, flees his middle-class life for adventure in Africa.  In Africa Henderson has many adventures and ends up becoming the Rain King, a title bestowed on him because of his great physical prowess.  Soon after ascending to that title Henderson finds himself next in line to the throne of the tribe he has befriended. But at that point Henderson has achieved whatever measure of self awareness he had sought and flees the tribe only wishing now to return home.  The novel is an example of Bildungsroman (a coming of age story) where the hero, Henderson, develops psychological and moral growth through the novel as he finds that the spirit, body, and exterior world can exist in harmony.

Ooops, time to stop reading now; it appears Ryan is trying to be Dr. Full of It again, Professor Emeritus of Bull *hit.

Well to some extent my Ashley Madison chronicles have been my Rain King adventure.  You see from a time even before I graduated college back in those early '90's I felt I was on a mission in some sense "in the service of the queen."  I remember soon after I started my "career" job I soon developed a rock solid goal.  I was going to be a VP by the time I was 35!  I moved five times (four with Shannon) within twelve years, each time to a different time zone and part of the country.  Each time seemed to be an ascendancy to that ultimate goal.  In a very competitive industry where contracts are sold and won annually I was often the guy they sent in to clean things up, get through a re-bid, help with a renovation, open a new account or operation.  I always worked hard and I always assumed someone would recognize my good service and tap me at the appropriate time for the great opportunity I surely deserved.

But as I became too confident in my self and perhaps too sure of my destiny I met with failure.  But much like Henderson, at that critical moment, I was given the opportunity to flee back East to another opportunity.  This opportunity did not present the next step towards ascendancy to my goal.  It was simply a safety spot and at the time I was oh-so happy to land there.  For now I was content to just do my job and exist.  I also had the time to spend with my daughters which was a blessing.

However, in life, I have found that we are who we are.  My boss, who hired me and who I will always be indebted and endeared too, left pursuing a great opportunity just about the time I found Ashley Madison.  While I knew I would miss her and her mentorship it soon became apparent that I could help the division in her absence in a greater way with some of my financial abilities.  We did get a new boss who, if it can be possible, is even better than who we had before.  I knew him as a colleague before and had a great working relationship with him.  In his new role he sought me out to continue some of the work I had started. Additionally, I was invited (about two years ago now) to participate on a business planning team for a new venture my company was undertaking.  I ran all the pro forma financials and break-even analysis. This got me access to other leaders within the company.  Because of this I was asked to begin over-seeing financial analysis of other departments within the company.  Finally this past fall, after some departures, I have taken on some new operational roles and find myself near the precipice of that which I sought so many years ago.  Perhaps even on a grander scale than I could even conceive those many years ago.

I know, I know who wants to hear about somebody working.  But here is my journey.  Somewhere soon after the turn of the century my success turned to complacency and I got lost in my ambition forgetting that you must earn your service to the queen every day.  I fled and in my flight I was spiritually awoken.  At first I found myself not in service to the queen but in service to two little girls that I adore and treasured seeing grow up.  The balance I achieved made me a better person.  I then stumbled into an even darker forest on an April evening in 2010.  It was a social media site called Ashley Madison.  I quickly learned that the greatest trick to success was being human.  A little kindness and humor was a serving many ladies there rarely got to enjoy and I enjoyed serving it.  In doing so I continued to become a person I was more comfortable with.  In my earlier career dominated life I rarely thought of the type of person I wanted to be, I just wanted to be a VP and figured I would have time after to consider other life aspirations.  Now I realized that life was a journey that needed to be enjoyed at each step one takes.  The funnier, kinder, more accepting, more gracious person I became as a father and cavalier along the AM site now permeated my character at work.  But now I had balance, now my spirit, body, and exterior world were in harmony.  And perhaps more important I was not waiting on someone to ordain my destiny, I controlled, made, and earned my destiny.

So where to now?  In some sense as I find myself near that precipice I spoke of, I have to say I am right back to Ryan version pre-Y2K, career and success focused.  And yet as I look back over the past few years it doesn't nearly feel the same.  I appreciate this in a way one appreciates that first fresh apple of the fall or a particularly sweet Orange in mid-winter after having gone so long without.  And I feel it would be so nice to achieve success with someone side-by-side with me not aimlessly trying to catch up as I too often forced on Shannon long ago.

No, I think this time is different; this time is better.  Work is great.  If only I could get this relationship thing sorted out.  I think I have the tools to be successful I just need someone to realize that or perhaps have the courage to choose someone who already realized that.

Or perhaps I'm still rather pretentious.  After all this is the third time I've compared my life to a novel. You might remember my little Ryan as the Velveteen Rabbit thing a while back or Ryan as Edward Tulane.  Oh well at least it got me another post!

But do think about your journey.  That "hero's" journey necessarily involves a pit but just after that pit is opportunity.  Be ready to seize it!