Friday, December 30, 2016

Resolutions that we can all get behind

Dear 2017, 

Resolutions are pledged by many of us as one year comes to a close and another opens with new possibilities. Things like go to the gym, eat better or drink less come to mind. Most have great intentions to stick with these plans from the start but always seem to fade into their old habits. Change is probably the toughest thing for a human to do. It’s scary, we get so use to our routines and forget that in order move forward in life we must constantly evolve. I’m guilty of it. This year though, I am going to share with you the changes that I will be implementing in my life and I will keep you updated on my progress….

1. Think before I speak: This has always been a struggle for me. Sometimes I say things that hurt people and not realize it till after the damage has been done. Masking it with sarcasm is an excuse I plan on no longer using. Along with getting professional help (yes, you heard that right peeps), I’m asking you guys to call me out if you see me doing it. We all get by with a little help from our friends. 

2. Say “I love you” more: To your significant other, friends or family that you love, this phrase never gets old. We tend to not use it enough and assume that the people we do love already know how you feel about them. Those 3 words can change someone’s day and put a smile on their face. Use them generously, the results will be tremendous. 

3. Listen: This skill is so powerful yet so hard to master as a male. I am a problem solver by nature but need to realize that sometimes I don't need to offer answers when the person you love has a problem or just wants to talk. Simply sitting there quiet and actively listening to what they have to say is the only thing they desire at that moment. Doing so will strengthen your relationship, thus brighten your future. 

4. Focus: On relationships, work, hobbies, etc. My ADD gets the better of me on occasions and I find myself not putting 100% to the task at hand sometimes, which I never want to do. Writing helps me with this so plan on more material in the coming year. 

5. Open up: As someone who has been on there own from a young age I sometimes have issues sharing things with those closest to me. When a problem arises, confide in that person you trust. Getting it out in the open can prevent small issues from becoming larger ones. The ability to communicate one on one with another person is a humans greatest asset and we don't use it enough. 

6. Be humble: I sometimes cross that line between confidence and cockiness. A man’s ego can get in the way both socially and professionally and the results are never good. If you see me doing this throat punch me. I’ll know that I deserved it. 

7. Happiness: I know this maybe cliche but stop and take a moment and appreciate the people, dogs and things you have in your life. God put them there for a reason, which is to make you smile so do so, because one day may be gone. 

8. Make America Great: I love this country, it’s flag, my guns and the people who defend it every day. We are all one and need to start acting that way. Until we accomplish this we are just another country. Let’s not let those great men who created this nation 240 years ago down. Merica. 

2016 the struggle was real for us all. Here’s to family, friends, loved ones and popping bottles as we open a new chapter. God Bless and I love you peeps! 

PS. I hope y'all have an amazing weekend, stay bundled it’s going to be a cold one and raise your glasses to what to com and remember…..This isn’t my first rodeo, says the person at there second. 

#newyears #newyearseve #deuces2016 #hello2017 #resolutions #empireliving 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

My Jerry Maguire moment...

Dear Self, 

(I’m going to go against my own rules of social media & discuss something personal with you.) 

My name is Marc Breckenridge and I have a problem. I have a penchant for driving away those who care the most about me. When things are good, I can find a way to destroy them and in the process, hurt deeply those who care about me the most. 

Why do I do this??? My answer to myself over the years is that it’s a self-protection method, it is my way of letting people close, but not close enough to eventually hurt me, when in reality I’m the one that is causing the suffering. I will say things to family, friends or a loved one and find myself questioning those words a moment later. They are not meant to be hurtful, but when I slowdown and analyze it, I realize that it is quite the opposite. Which is wrong to all parties involved. 

The real problem is a lot of times I don't realize that I'm doing it. In conversation or when I find myself joking around I use sarcasm as a defense mechanism that while I feel it may be playful and funny at times, it ends up hurting the other person. Sometimes in ways I may never know. 

Have you ever heard of the “quicksand” effect? You know what I’m talking about, when something you say hurts the other, they retaliate with words that they know will hurt you and this process repeats itself until both are mad and full of hate and anger towards the other…quicksand….The faster you try to get out, the deeper you find yourself. It is in this dark place that people who care about one another are not suppose to be. Add alcohol to this mix and the effect only greatly enhances itself. To best find your way out of this situation is just like rescuing yourself from real quicksand….Slow down. Think before you speak and most importantly know that you love and care about that other person so why on earth would you do or say anything to hurt them? It’s something we all learn as children but for some reason I and others sometimes forget about it as an adult.  

Here’s a personal example of what I’m talking about… I believe the words I used in a conversation with a loved one recently were, “Oh, I’m the failure?” In no way would I ever use this in a serious tone towards this person or to any other I care about. In my mind, it was meant to be sarcasm, but in reality it hurt the person I would never want to harm. Small words can have the most impact both positive and negative. Sometimes not saying a word at these moments is best, you may or may not know what this person is going through. 

As I continue to run off all the people who have genuinely loved me over my lifetime I sit here and ponder where I will be years from now. Will I be old, lonely and full of regret or do I fix this “fault” that I have carried with me my entire life? 

If you are a betting person, I would lay the mortgage on the latter. Constant self-improvement doesn't happen over night as much as we all would like it too. It takes hard work, and continuing to own up to your mistakes. Gains however small can be great, especially when the end result is a smile on the faces of the people you love and cherish the most. God Bless….

Ps. Thank you peeps for allowing me this forum to break away from the norm and discuss an issue like this. I know I’m not the only one out there and if this can help just one person then it is a win for everyone involved…Call it Christmas magic and remember….Fight for the fairy tale, it does exist…Believe that. 

#selfimprovement #identifytheproblem #gains #thrive #merrychristmas #empireliving 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The human aspect of this election cycle

Dear people of America, 

Every four years we get to do something special in this country and the only requirement is that you are a citizen of the United States. With that honor you have a chance to change the world. It doesn't matter your ethnicity, who you chose to love or how much money you have in your bank account. With the simple strike of a pen, we all have the power to put America back on track. 

Now I’m not saying that either of these stellar candidates that the current ruling parties of our political system has presented us will be the leader that we so desperately need as a country, but by not partaking in the process you have only yourself to blame for when we fail as a nation and can claim no credit when we succeed. It’s that simple. 

Stereotypes have never been more prevalent than this election cycle. If you're white, a redneck or old, you are voting for Trump. If you're black, a women or a millennial, you are voting for Clinton…WRONG. The media is their to report on what they perceive as election news, it shouldn’t make your political decisions for you. An experience I had reaffirmed my faith in this. I recently had a conversation in my travels with guy who was raised in Chicago and currently resides in Atlanta. We discussed for hours topics that ranged from sports to politics and what we both realized is our political views were identical in most aspects. One of us a black man from the inner city and the other a white guy raised on a farm. Isn't it funny how two people from completely different backgrounds can agree on something? We didn't need CNN or FOX news to tell us that, all we needed was our intelligence and our love for this country. 

Don’t vote for someone because they are a women or are a businessman. Vote for who YOU think will make this country great. Throw party beliefs aside and use that God given ability of “intelligent thought” to make your decisions. Please don't limit this to your presidential nomination, but to all other choices put forth before you on that ballot.

My political beliefs lean neither right or left. The only direction they angle towards is what is best for the United States. This is where our current political environment has failed us. We worry more on what will secure votes and money for our coffers rather than what will make this nation healthy again. 

This election has proven that we may not always be smart as Americans but we are resilient and passionate in what we believe in. I always say that we need a game changer to step forward and right this ship we call home and currently that person is you the American voter. The only people who can take this country back is you. Get out there and make the United States great. God Bless and I approved this ad. 

Ps. Happy Tuesday peeps on this election day. Get out there and accomplish some change for all of us and remember…..This drink isn't going to refill itself. 

#Unitedstates #election2016 #trump #hillary #vote #makeamericagreat #empireliving 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Forgetting the concept of a "TEAM"

Dear Colin Kaepernick, 

Sports matter. They are what is right in this country. On fields across the nation boys and girls of all ages participate in football, baseball, basketball, soccer, etc. and learn values that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. It is in the realm of organized sports that we learn what winning and losing is. Most importantly it teaches children at a young age the concept of a “TEAM”. You see, if you are on a team, their is no race, color, religion or politics. You are all brothers and sisters with one common goal in mind…Winning. No one is greater than the “TEAM” as a whole, no matter what their talent level is, because without their teammates they can achieve nothing. There’s no “black lives matter” or “white privilege”. Only do your job to the best of your ability and win or lose, know you left everything on the field in the name of “TEAM”. 

You see Colin, this is where you failed. I don't dislike you for not standing during the National Anthem and I don't despise you for your asinine comments concerning law enforcement in this country. I don't even resent you for being “oppressed” while making more in a year than most Americans will make in lifetime. It is your 1st Amendment right to say the things you've have said whether I or others like me like them or not. It’s what makes this country great, we are allowed to have an opinion on a given subject, and at the end of the day if we agree or not, we are all Americans and God Bless that. The reason I hate you is because you failed at the concept of “TEAM”. You put yourself and your opinion above everyone else on your “TEAM”. 

Instead of answering questions concerning how to improve your performance on the field and ways you think you can help your teammates this upcoming season, you have now put all the focus on you. A 2nd string quarterback that might not even make the “TEAM”. Why have you forgot what we all learned on the same fields growing up? 

If this subject was so dear to you and has shaped your life, where was this stance when you were actually relevant? You know when you were the starting quarterback of a Super Bowl caliber team and raking in the endorsement money. When you were strutting down red carpets in Hollywood and cashing checks. I’m guessing the money and fame were a better option than Malcolm X lids and Fidel Castro shirts. This would of been the time to best get your message across. People tend to pay more attention to leaders, not someone who maybe looking for a job at cutdown day. 

Instead of given a person who has failed at the “TEAM” concept so much run, I like to focus on the ones who haven't forgot what sports and “TEAM” is all about. Football made it possible for a young man named Travis Rudolph to change the life of a child with autism. He decided that the one kid eating alone needed company and sat down next to him. Their was no mention of a black man or a white juvenile only of a human being making another better. This is what “TEAM’ is all about, this is what makes sports great. 

If we all used the “TEAM” concept that we learned as youths this country would not have to be made great again, it still would be. Parents, get your kid off the numerous electrical devices that dominate their lives and get them outside, we need more Travis Rudolph’s in this world….GO TEAM! 

Ps. Happy Friday peeps on this start to Labor Day weekend. Get out there and enjoy that sun and remember If I have not texted you in a while, I probably haven't drunk. Be ready for a novel this weekend. 

#colinkaepernick #49ers #nfl #team #opression #kaepernick #empireliving 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Help Wanted: Leadership in a time of need

Dear people who call the United States home, 

240 years ago a group of remarkable men came together and formed the greatest country this world has ever seen and we been unsuccessful in every sense of the word to carry on that legacy. 

What happened to the United States? How have we failed our forefathers as a nation? These questions need to be answered now and addressed more than at any point and time in our history. 

Everyday the moral fabric of our society continues to erode. The divide that has been driven between all of us widens. Who is at fault for this?…WE ARE. 

Politicians we vote into office lack the leadership that this nation needs. With each passing election cycle, the choices we make weaken this country. Instead of bringing us together when tragedy happens, they use their personal rhetoric and political agenda to drive us apart. 

Their decisions have made us choose sides based on things such as the color of our skin or the person we pray too when the only side we should be on is that of the United States of America. It’s that simple. The lack of leadership has led us to become a country of hate towards one another. 

Where have the great ones gone? Names like Lincoln, Kennedy, King and Reagan were game changers for this country in times of need. They knew what to say, and the response needed in order to guide us through each crisis that presented itself. They laid blame on those responsible, not on an agenda. Traits lacking in our current president and each of his future successors. 

Not everyone in this world is good. Focusing on ridding it of these people is what we should do as a civilized society. Killing innocent men, women and children of all walks of life for your own personal agenda is not what I am talking about. This makes you part of the problem and thus you should be handled accordingly. 

The actions of one does not dictate a whole. Hate will never be defined by gender, color or religion. It is defined by and individual or group that wants to cause harm to its fellow men and women. How we react to their actions characterizes us all. Until we accept that we are doomed to fail as a country. 

Hate killed 49 innocent people in Orlando. Hate killed 5 police officers in Dallas. Hate will kill this country is we let it. I challenge you today to reach out to someone you wouldn't normally acknowledge. Say hi, ask how their day is going, buy them a drink or simply lend a smile. It is amazing how random acts of kindness that seem so small can have such a profound impact on an individual and their perception of you. God bless peeps and pray for the United States. 

PS. Happy Friday peeps on this short work week. Give someone a hug today, farmer or not and keep Dallas in your thoughts and remember….Two bears can’t live in one cave. What bear are you? 

#Dallas #shooting #police #violence #UnitedStates #pray #obama #leadership #empireliving

Friday, June 17, 2016

Say it with me Mr. President...Terrorism. See it's not that bad

Dear Mr. President, (An open letter to the POTUS) 

Barack, It’s been a while since we have talked but with your recent actions in light of the tragedy that struck Orlando, I felt it was warranted to share some sage advise with you. 

It has been almost a week since 49 innocent people lost there lives, yet you have failed numerous times when the media and a microphone has presented itself to address what and who is at fault for this heinous act which was….TERRORISM. 

In that time you have attacked the Republican candidate for your current position, the Constitution and members of the senate and congress while other world leaders have chosen to address the real problem….TERRORISM. 

One of those who spoke out was Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel. He gave the type of speech you Barack, the President of the United States or the current presidential candidates should have given the people of this country. Not once did he shy away from what and who was responsible….Radical Islam and TERRORISM. He also had no issue in letting the world know the other horrible acts this group of people likes to perform on those who don't conform with the way they think. from beatings to hangings to death, no one is safe from there terror. Straight, gay, black, white, christian, jew, etc., if you are an infidel, you are a potential target. You can’t reason with someone who is willing to take there life and harm others. TERRORISM is that simple. 

With that said, I’m all for real change that will keep anything out of a TERRORISTS hands that can kill and maim the innocent. If you are on the TERRORIST watch list you shouldn't be able to fly, buy guns, knives, fertilizer or anything else that can cause harm to the citizens of this nation. You also should not be a 6 year old child who has just mastered the technique of staying between the lines when coloring and be on said list. I know the government has compiled this directory of potential threats to our country which handicaps it from the start, but your administration should have the competence to get it right for the safety of all of us.  

See Barack, this is not racial or religious profiling, it’s TERRORIST profiling and the current face of that is radical Islam. When that changes, we can focus on the next group that decides to bring harm to our way of life. 

You have been presented with many opportunities to look into that camera and voice the words that will unify this nation just as your predecessor did after 9/11. Yet each time you fail to say what we all as a country so desperately want you to say….TERRORISM. 

With each passing day you have been unsuccessful in identifying the single greatest threat to the United States of your presidency. As the leader of the free world you should be disappointed in yourself and your effort. There is still time for change, and if I can you can Barack, so say it with me…TERRORISM. TERRORISM. TERRORISM. You see how simple that is? Have a good weekend buddy…Mahalo. 


Marcus Monroe 

PS. Happy Friday peeps on this unusually cool morning in God’s County. Hoping y'all have a great weekend and remember…Writing “simply stunning” under a girls Instagram will get your foot in the door. The rest is up too you. 

#Orlando #Orlandostrong #terrorism #terrorists #radicalislam #president #Barack #Obama #empireliving 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The tragedy in Orlando: Political agenda vs. Leadership

Dear Orlando terrorist attack, 

The world is filled with evil. People who hate our way of life and the choices our freedom allows us to make. In the early morning hours of June 12th we as a country were reminded of this again. 50 people dead. Not by guns, bombs or knives but by terrorism. A hatred for the United States and those of us who call it home.

As details of this tragedy unfolded, people were quick to blame who or what they thought were responsible for the senseless deaths of so many. Our own president was guilty of this. 

Barack your primary goal as the Commander in Chief is to unify this nation and you have been unsuccessful at it with each act of terror on this country’s soil. The only way to solve a problem is to admit their first is one. This is where you have failed Mr. President. In your quest to not alienate a portion of a religion that chooses to preach hate and instead push your political ideologies, you have divided a nation once again.

Our enemy isn't the 2nd Amendment, one’s political beliefs or any of the numerous things that the media and our so called “leaders” like to blame when a tragedy like this takes place. It is terrorism. It has had many faces over the 240 years that we have called ourselves the United States and currently it is that of radical Islamic extremists. It’s that simple, and if you are offended by this you are part of the problem. 

Leader’s identify a problem and solve it. They make the tough decisions and most importantly put their country first over all else. Vladimir Putin and Fran├žois Hollande both exemplified this when there respective nation’s were hit by terror a year ago. Polar opposites on the political pendulum, but each having a love for ones country and the desire to defend it first and foremost. They identified and went after what and who was responsible for it….Radical Islamic extremists. No political correctness needed.  

This isn't a time too attack our Constitution or political beliefs, it’s a time to unite the nation. We must throw political rhetoric aside for love of the flag and country. Stand up against those who want to destroy us and remind them again that this is the United States and we coward to no one. We are men and women, black and white, straight and gay, conservative and liberal, christian and muslim and will fight all who stand against our lifestyle and the choices our freedom allows us. On all issues ,whether we agree upon them or not. We all are America. 

Evil and terrorism doesn't discriminate, it attacks all because of it’s hatred towards itself and others. When we find a President who can agree with this statement and act on it we will once again be able to call this country great…God bless Orlando. 

PS. Happy Flag Day peeps on this cool June morning in God’s Country. May the red, white and blue be flying wherever you call work and remember….Happiness is that intersection of what you like to do and what you're good at. Find it and you will never work again. 

#America #orlando #terrorism #barack #obama #2ndamendment #guncontrol #empireliving 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The 2016 CMA Music Awards: Nashville is at it again

Dear 2016 CMT Music Awards,
Hello peeps, it is that time of year again for yet another review of the state of country music in Nashville. With each critique of this subject, it seems like the genre that I like too refer to as “bubble gum country” continues to move closer and closer to pop music and further away from the twang and story telling that made country music great. Without further ado, please sit back and enjoy the 2016 CMT Music Awards:

1. Bon Jovi opens the show which isn't a bad thing even though this is a country awards show on thee country music station. Instead of a crowd pleaser like “Bad Medicine” he plays something off his new album. Horrible choice. It sounds like what you hear on a country radio station today. Wait..What?!…God damn you Keith Urban.
2. Next up Cheap Trick. If you haven't heard of them it’s because they are not country and haven't been relevant since the Carter Administration.
3. Unless “Achy Breaky Heart” is blaring from a speaker their is no need for Miley’s dad to be on stage.
4. Next act up Pitbull. I would like to say I am making this up peeps but you cannot blame Tito’s or Fireball for this one.
5. The skinny jean phenomenon has now been replaced by yoga pants as the male country artist’s go too when on stage.
6. Because of Carrie Underwood dressing like that, Chico is now suffering from a shortage of crackers and I am lacking floor space in my bedroom.
7. Luke Bryan takes the stage. Hold on, I need to go make another drink.
8. I love me some Lululemon’s, just not on a man in cowboy boots.
9. One hour into the show and the first cowboy hat appears. Thank you Chris Stapleton.
10. Florida Georgia Line decided that a man bun was missing from the country music starter kit. Always the innovators.
11. Singing about t-shirts now gets you a number one song. Somewhere George Strait is shaken his head.
12. Cam possesses one of the best voices in country music. Why ruin it by adding a less talented version of the Spice Girls to her performance. Wait…It’s Nashville.
13. Just saw a Wayfair commercial. If I’m buying home design stuff I am going to Just saying.
14. Has anyone ever seen the dude from Little Big Town, Sir Richard Branson and the guys from ABBA together? Ever?
15. I want to high five whoever gave Cole Swindell a black eye. 
16. Dierks, you can throw a skin tight leather shirt and a duet with a smurf at me and I will keep on loving you. You're that good.
17. The commercials are currently the highlight of this awards show.
18. It is a sad day when a pop artist gets more airtime than a tribute too a legend as great as Merle Haggard.
19. It’s only a matter of time before Carrie Underwood leaves her husband for me.
20. Denim on denim, Wranglers and cowboy boots. God Bless you Blake Shelton.
21. PS. Sorry Miranda loves me more than you.
22. The crowd is trying to sing along to the song “Elvira” by the Oak Ridge Boys, neither knowing the lyrics or that they are country music legends.
23. Add Maren Morris to the list of women who will make country music great again. She is that good.
24. Nashville needs to strap a cape on Chris Stapleton’s back and an “S” on his chest. He is currently single handily saving the last bastion of real country in your city.
25. Looks like I need too add sleeveless plaid button-up and an extra earring to my Jason Aldean halloween costume this year.
26. Would someone please give Tim McGraw a damn cupcake!!!!
27. Pharrell in an all camo ensemble is closing the show. People, you thought it would never happen in your lifetime but I am speechless…..
In a show that lasted just over 3 hours I witnessed two performances that would be considered country music by myself, George Strait, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash and most of you reading this. Music is defined in genre’s for a reason. We like to listen too different melodies depending on our mood at that time, whether it be country, rap, pop, rock, classical, etc. By melding these together Nashville, you fail in what your audience really wants and that is sad because you have lost a generation of listeners. Thank God I have more vodka and Waylon playing on the radio….
PS. Happy Pre-Friday peeps from God’s Country. Raise a glass to the weekend and remember…Real women like flowers and chocolate but they LOVE vodka and tacos.

#CMT #CMTmusicawards #JJWatt #Erinandrews #nashville #nashvillesucks #empireliving

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Beware of the Bern

Dear Bernie Sanders, 

When the election season started and candidates began throwing their names in the hat to become the next President of the United States I warned friends that a little known senator from a place more famous for its syrup than its elected officials had an outstanding chance of not only securing his party’s nomination, but finding a place front and center at the next presidential inauguration.    

They laughed and scoffed at me stating that this crazy old man had no chance against the likes of Hillary, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and even Jeb Bush. All Washington heavyweights with deep pockets and the backing from each of their respective parties. Hell, they even said that the guy with the bad hair and a reality show stood a better chance (I’m glad they were right on this one). 

How could a 74 year old socialist secure enough votes to compete with the above mentioned candidates??? Who would cast enough ballots for him???…The answer is the largest generation of voters this country has seen since the so called “baby boomers” that’s who. They are a generation of entitlement and we as a country have only ourselves to blame. 

Their parents started them at a young age with this feeling of privilege. Discipline in homes was replaced by time-outs and other methods that were deemed more suitable than a spanking. Lessons learned in the realm of sports about the joys of winning and the agony of defeat were replaced by trophies for every participant, no matter what the scoreboard said. As they moved on too their teen and young adult years grades in school were eliminated, replaced by a note from the teacher or professor stating you did good, and even if you didn't you will get better. Are you starting to see a pattern here? With every passing year parents, teachers and the mentors of this generation failed at the opportunity to teach the lesson of self responsibility. We are now seeing the results of this play out everyday.  

Safe zones, free education, higher taxes on those who have been successful, government run health care, etc. the list goes on and on. All a direct effect of their upbringing. They don’t know how these luxuries will be payed for, they just know that no one has ever told them “NO” in their lifetime. Consequences for ones actions has been lost which is a big fail on our part as a country.  

There are outliers with this generation just like the ones that have come before it. They are the ones who were taught self responsibility and the value of hard work. That life is what you make of it, not what you are given. You know the ones I’m talking about….They are the ones who will make this country great. 

Here in California as you get off work and head to the voting booth to cast your ballot for the next president, shaking your head and still calling me crazy, remember there are 74.5 million others who may think a little differently. God bless and get out and vote…Merica. 

PS. Happy Tuesday on this election day in California. Every legal resident over the age of 18 should be walking around with that little sticker on stating “I voted” and if you don’t go do it and remember….Think in years. Work in months. Live in days. Mahalo. 

#berniesanders #feelthebern #millennials #election #makeamericagreat #empireliving

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Harambe the gorilla: In my own words

Dear Harambe the gorilla controversy, 

Hello friends, my name is Harambe and I am a gorilla who for the last 17 years has called Cincinnati home (not my choice, I suggested California). Chances are if you are reading this I am dead. Until recent events most of you had no idea who I was or cared about the trials and tribulations of myself or others like me, which I was fine with. I enjoyed my days eating all the bananas and coconuts I could fit in my belly and people watching humans at the zoo. You are a very strange species by the way, I will never understand the skinny jeans thing or Bernie Sanders supporters. Life was good up until a few days ago when a child fell into my pen and everything changed. 

As my death plays out across the country and the number of gorilla behaviorists, parenting experts and zoo architects increases, I would like to tell my side of the story and give feedback on the tragic event that took place a few days ago. 

First a little bit about me. For those of you who don't know as a Silver Back Gorilla I am the leader my troop or group. It consists of 5 to 30 others, both male and female. My duties include deciding when and where we travel, what we eat along with where we sleep. The most important job I have is the protection of my group. I am very territorial and if you come at me it’s on. I don't care if you are a gorilla from another troop or a three year old baby falling from the sky. I worked hard to get where I am today and nothing will keep me from taking care of other members of my family. I was raised in captivity but that doesn't mean the instincts that were instilled in my DNA won’t prevent me from becoming aggressive when provoked. No amount of human training can counter this. I am a wild animal by nature, not a dog or cat that has been domesticated over the years. 

A lot of you are upset at the zoo and for using lethal force to rescue the baby. Trust me, no one is more upset than me….I’m dead!!! What if the zoo experts didn't shot me and I remembered that I was “King of the Jungle” and ripped the child’s limbs off? The public would have a completely different opinion on this subject wouldn’t they? I know that if the tables were turned and I had to protect one of my own from what I thought was a threat I wouldn't hesitate. My only suggestion to my former employer is that next time you guys might want to keep a very strong tranquilizer gun around. Then I would still be enjoying those bananas and you wouldn't be dealing with all this negative press. 

Lastly to the people who are sending death threats to the parents of this child please stop. As a parent to numerous other gorillas I know how hard it is to keep track of them 24/7. The minute you turn your back they are swinging from trees or finding their way into places they shouldn't be. No amount of parenting can prevent this. For the last 38 years Gorilla World has kept the general public from mingling with myself and others like me. Sometimes tragedies like this happen, it’s sad but this is life. 

Humans, I applaud you for your dedication when it comes to the protection of animals like myself over your own kind when something heartbreaking like this occurs, as impulsive as it is. Please though try and act like a civilized species before passing judgement. This is why you are at the top of the food chain. By the way, met Cecil the lion up here. Remember him….I didn't think so. 

PS. Happy hump day on this scorcher in God’s Country. Please stay cool and remember…If the owl outside your house keeps saying “Who???” your response should be “Mike Jones” every time. 

#Harambe #silverbackgorilla #cincinnatizoo #gorillaworld #parenting #empireliving

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Memorial Day....Remembering what made this country great

Dear Memorial Day, 

Remember when this country was great? 

Before safe zones, participation trophies and free handouts their was a generation of Americans who had greater issues to deal with. Last weekend I attended my grandpa's funeral and it reminded me of the men and women who shaped this nation. 

My grandpa was a man of little words. The three things I knew about him growing up was that he was a rice farmer, drove a tank in World War II and drank Old Milwaukee beer (I still question this one). I would ask him questions about these subjects and others over the course of my childhood but he would never delve into any of them, especially ones pertaining to his time in the Army. His usual answers consisted of "people spend too much time talking and not working" or quite simply "get back too work." He never yelled or screamed just said it in a tone in which you didn't question him. 

It took his passing to reveal how he, like others of his generation helped shape the world. When family went through his belongings after his death they found a treasure trove of pictures from his time in the service. As I flipped through the pages of his pre-Instagram scrapbook I was amazed. From snaps of German tanks and artillery units that he and his crew destroyed to mingling with people they came across in war torn Europe I found a sense of pride come over me with each turn. When I came to the last few pages my pride morphed to patriotism as I gazed at pictures of them holding up Nazi flags that they had captured on there march towards Berlin, all with smiles on there faces. They were teenagers and young adults thrust into a war halfway across the globe and you ask why they were smiling?...Because they were proud to be Americans that's why. 

They were fighting for freedom. They received no trophies for being there. His safe zone was the inside of that tank. The free handouts they accepted came in the form of food and supplies from the people in the towns and cities they came across who were grateful that they had giving up there lives back home in order to restore theirs. That my friends is what made the United States the greatest country in the world. 

As his generation continues to pass we lose sight as a country on what they were actually fighting for. It wasn't for who you could marry or which bathroom you need to be told to use, it was for freedom. You know the freedom that allows you and I to have these conversations and debate these issues like civil men and woman. We have let the petty things takeover and it continues to ruin the moral fabric of this country. 

Before the rise in liberals and far right conservatives we all knew where we should pee. It wasn't something that needed to be a national headline or debated. We also knew who to marry. It was the person you loved and wanted to spend the rest of your life with. We were taught right from wrong. If you were bullied fight back. If you saw someone being bullied give them a hand. When you scored more points then the other team you won. If you didn't you lost. Earning an education meant going to school and paying for it, whether it be through work, grants or financial aid (their is no better feeling in life than writing that last check for this). 

We are only four generations removed from the men and women who are responsible for all we have today yet we are so far disconnected from what they were fighting for. It was to keep America great. Not make it great or make it great again. It’s time to get back to the basics in this country and remember the ideas and people that made it great in the first place. Until we do this we are destined to fail and that’s not something that should be in any American’s vocabulary. Happy Memorial Day and God Bless….Merica.  

PS. Greetings peeps on this gorgeous day in God’s Country. I hope you all get to enjoy a long weekend filled with cocktails and time by the water and remember…There’s only one word that rhymes with Thursday. It’s vodka. Cheers…. 

#memorialday #veterans #america #makeamericagreatagain #election2016 #empireliving