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“Welcome to the world of the plastic beach!” June 28, 2010

Posted by osyrn in My life, Vacation.
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2 comments

Ten points if you got the reference from the title of this post.  If you didn’t, no worries, I’ll tell you what it is at the bottom.  Anywho, on to the matter at hand.  I just got back from a wonderful vacation with my family.  Every year I go down to Myrtle Beach for three or four days with my family (Mom, Dad, brothers, and nieces).  For those three/four days I play in a golf tournament with my dad and middle brother (Bobby).  While we’re playing golf, mom and my oldest brother (David) hang out at the condo, swim in the pool and/or ocean, and shop.  Once we’re done playing golf we come back to relieve them of “babysitting” duties with the girls and take our turn at the pool/beach.

This year’s trip was basically no different than the other trips, with one exception (which I’ll detail shortly).  Golf has always been a very solitary sport for me.  It has always been just the ball and me and I typically don’t worry about or compare myself to my playing partners or “winning” the tournament, etc.  I’m on the course to challenge myself, play the best golf I can, and have a good time.  The first round this year (played on Wednesday) was…how shall I say…horrendous, haha.  I played possibly the worst round of golf in my life.  I couldn’t do anything right and my score reflected that.

The second day I played so much better, struck the ball well, recovered well when I got into trouble, and putted much better.  Again, my score reflected my better play.  Imagine my surprise Friday morning when I got to the course and saw I was only one stroke behind the leader of my flight for the final round (they average your first two rounds and flight you based on your score for the final round on Friday).  As is typical for me before the start of the Friday round I told my dad and brother I was “going low” today, hahaha.  This inevitably leads to me shooting around my average and having no chance at winning my flight.  Well, I shot…how shall I say…”lights out” on Friday.  I actually went low and won my flight by two and half strokes.  Of course, this elicited comments of “you sandbagging S.O.B.” from my dad and brother (which is ironic, because my dad is the biggest sandbagger I know, haha, ask him what his handicap is and he’ll reply “what do you want it to be”.  Hey, apple doesn’t fall far from the tree).  Needless to say, I was pretty happy with my play on Friday, and got a nice trophy to boot!

Other than the golf, playing, swimming, and relaxing, we went Thursday night to visit some extended family (my dad’s cousin and her partner, Sandy) who recently moved to Sunset Beach.  This was a real treat, not only because Judy and Sandy are very nice people (they used to live in Seattle so I don’t know them well) and we had a great visit, but also because we were back in Sunset Beach which brought back a flood of old memories.  Growing up, we were the typical middle class family who did not have a lot of extra money.  Mom and Dad always provided well for us and I’m eternally grateful for everything they have done for me.  So our yearly family vacation was a week spent at my Dad’s Aunt’s cottage at Sunset Beach.  Sunset has always been, and still sort of is, a very sleepy, family oriented beach.  It has this beautiful one lane swing bridge that sadly is being replaced by a much larger, more modern bridge.  The local residents fought the new bridge for years, fearful of the impending commercial boom that will take over the quiet beach town once the new bridge is in, and sadly that battle has been lost.  All in the name of progress huh?  “Hmph” I say.  But, again, being back in Sunset was very nostalgic for me.  Some of my best memories come from the summers we spent there.  Stopping at Paul’s Place in Castle Hayne on the way to/from the beach to get the best hot dogs in the world.  My dad and brothers teaching me to swim in the ocean and body surf the waves.  Playing on the beach and building sand castles.  Feeding the ducks that used to come up to the cottage late in the day.  Sitting at the kitchen table with Grandmother Hughes (my dad’s mom) and having her teach me different kinds of Solitare and how to shuffle a deck of cards.  Putting together puzzles with my other grandmother, Grandmother Clements (my mom’s mom) and the great big, red, heavy, metal Coca-Cola cooler she used to bring packed full of homemade goodies.  Going to Calabash to play putt-putt or across the state line into South Carolina to get fire crackers (which were illegal in NC at the time).  Even now I get a little choked up thinking about those days.  Life was so much more simple and easy back then, where the hardest decisions while on vacation were what kind of homemade ice cream we were going to make for dessert or what I should buy with my hard earned chore money at the Nautical Gift Shop in Calabash.  And while going to Sunset every year wasn’t as glamorous or exotic as the summer vacations a lot of my friends took, looking back, I wouldn’t trade my childhood vacations with theirs for all the money in the world.  Thanks mom and dad, those were some of the best days of my life.

So other than the extremely hot weather (mid to upper 90’s everyday, with a heat index upwards of 110), it was a great trip.  I had fun playing golf, which I always do, and it was great spending time with my family.  It was also fun playing with my nieces in the pool and the ocean.  Those two are a handful and quickly wear their Uncle Chucky out, but, they’re worth it.  I only wish David’s girlfriend Denise and Bobby’s wife Amy and their baby girl Wilkie could have joined us.  Maybe next year!

Did you get my reference from above?  No?  I’m not surprised, it’s kind of obscure.  It’s the title of a song from Gorillaz latest album.  Again, ten points and good on ya if you got it.

Until next time…I hope you’re having a great summer so far, and hit em straight!

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Love fails? and content to be alone May 21, 2010

Posted by osyrn in My life.
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If you have ever been to a wedding you’ve probably heard the scripture from 1 Corinthians 13 that speaks of love. Verse 13 states that of faith, hope, and love, the greatest of these is love. While deep down I know this to be true, recently that belief has been shaken mightily. This is due to various experiences in my life, but none more so than the recent news that two of my best friends have called off their engagement to one another, and also terminated the relationship completely. I don’t know the details of why this happened (and I don’t need to know, it’s none of my business), but it does make me extremely sad for them. I’m sad because these two seemed to have found something rare and special. They seemed so perfectly matched. They were deeply in love with each other and it showed. I was very envious of what they had, and hoped (and still do) to find that one day with someone special. So imagine my utter shock when I learned that they had broken up.

So why does this shake my belief that love is the greatest thing and can conquer all? Because here I thought were two people who had it figured out. They were planning a life together, and now, that has all been…I don’t know, taken away?, thrown away?, destroyed? They are two of my best friends and I love them both dearly. I was so happy for them, and it hurts me to see them in so much pain now that this has happened.

This may sound cynical (and maybe it is), but this makes me believe even more that I am better off by myself, at least at this point in my life. People ask me all the time, “Chuck, you’re such a nice guy, how come you don’t have a girlfriend?” The most simple, honest answer to that question is because I don’t want one.  Part of it is that I am extremely picky when it comes to women.  Yes, I have dated plenty, but those women (while being attractive, funny, etc.) never had what I was looking for.  They never had “IT.”  I’m not sure what “it” is, but I know “it” when I see it, and it is very rare.  Which is why I’m hesitant to invest my time in someone that I have a pretty good feeling early on that they don’t have “it” and hence why I am alone.

I like the way John Mayer puts it in one of his newest songs “Perfectly Lonely”:

I see my friends around from time to time, when their ladies let em slip away.  And when they ask me how I’m doing with mine.  This is always what I say,

Nothing to do.  Nowhere to be.  A simple little kind of free.  Nothing to do.  No one but me.  Is it really hard to see,

Why I’m perfectly lonely.  I’m perfectly lonely.  I’m perfectly lonely (yeah).  Cause I don’t belong to anyone, nobody belongs to me.

Don’t get me wrong, there are times where I wish I had someone to share my life and experiences with, but overall, I am content with being alone.  That doesn’t mean I will always be that way.  The last verse of John’s song hits the nail on the head:

And this is not to say, there never comes a day, I’ll take my chances and start again.  And when I look behind, on all my younger times, I have to thank the wrongs that led me to a love so strong.

One of these days I know I’ll find that special someone I’m looking for, but until that day comes, I’ll keep doing my own thing, singing John’s song, and being perfectly lonely.

Boohoo, whoa is me… April 26, 2010

Posted by osyrn in My life.
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Kevin Smith (the writer, producer, director) is widely known for his films Clerks, Dogma, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, and many others. His dialogue can be pretty quick and witty, but is usually full of rude and crude “dick and fart” jokes, which, let’s be honest, in the right setting can be down right funny, and Smith excels in this area. All his movies have “dick and fart” jokes in them to some extent but none more so than “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.” The entire movie is basically one big “dick and fart” joke (how could it not be, it’s about Jay and Silent Bob).

In JSBSB, Smith has cameos of a lot (if not most) of the characters from his previous movies (see the movies I listed above). One particular scene has Ben Affleck reprising his role of Holden McNeil from “Chasing Amy.” Jay and Silent Bob have stopped by Holden’s to get money that belongs to them because they find out about a movie that is being made, “Bluntman and Chronic,” based on their likenesses from the comic book. At one point during the scene Holden says:

“Why in God’s name would I wanna keep writing about characters whose central preoccupation are weed and dick and fart jokes? I mean, ya gotta grow man. Don’t you ever want anything more for yourself? I know this poor hapless son of a bitch does. I look into his sorry doe eyes and I just, I see a man crying out. He’s crying out, “When Lord? When the fuck can your servant ditch this foul-mouthed little chucklehead to whom I am a constant victim of his folly, so much so that it prevents him from ever getting to kiss a girl! Fuck! When, Lord when? WHENS GONNA BE MY TIME?””

If you’ve never seen the movie, or are unfamiliar with Jay and Silent Bob, the hapless son of a bitch he’s talking about is Silent Bob.

Which brings me to my question, well, almost. I’d like to preface this by saying please don’t think I’m complaining, because I’m not. I mean, when I take an honest look at my life I realize that things really aren’t that bad, they’re actually pretty good. I’ve got my health, my family, the best friends in the world, a good job that pays well, a good place to live, food on the table, clothes on my back, and I basically don’t want for anything. However, it seems like lately (and by lately I mean over the last year or more), that between stress at work and personal issues that I won’t go into here, I’ve been…how to say…less than satisfied with my life, and honestly, I could really stand for something good to happen in my life.

Normally I’m a very optimistic, upbeat, energetic, outgoing person, but lately, I’m having a hard time staying positive, and feel like I’m struggling just to keep my head above water. I’m fighting the good fight and hanging in there like a hair in a biscuit, but sometimes I feel like it’s a losing battle. Yes, I know that I have control over that, but I feel like I’m stuck in a rut, and I’m not quite sure how to get out.

Which brings me to my question. I realize that with faith and patience the answer will eventually reveal itself (patience not being one of my better virtues mind you). I have asked this question many many times over the past year or more (and I ask this in a totally different manner than Holden did when speaking for Silent Bob), but the question still is this:

When, Lord when? When’s gonna be my time?