#NaptownSlim on ‘grace’ and ‘comfort’
Peace, y’all. Your man, Naptown Slim with a quick word about comfort and grace.
See that goofy grin? I couldn’t flash that at you a while back, baby. Slim had worry on his mind. Used to always hear how them worries led to grey hairs and such. Ha.
I look at myself every day in the mirror and see more of those grey hairs. Started with three riiiiiight under my nose, which cracked me up eventually cuz they always caught the light in flicks, man. “LOOK AT EM, BABY! THREE BAD BOYS RIIIIIGHT THERE…!”…then they called for reinforcements.
They never bothered me and they never looked like ‘worry’ to me though. We all get older, we all grey, we all spread out in areas and such. It happens.
Some folks see that first grey hair and start tripping and some say that leads to more grey hair. Hey, man…if you’re lucky enough to have hair that has a chance to get grey, you’re doing something right.
So, here you have it, a comfortably happy grin surrounded by a ‘salt and pepper’ beard that is leaning towards the saltier side of things…and it’s totally cool. I think a big key to aging gracefully is simply being comfortable in the skin you’re in.
I’m trying…and the fact that I’m trying is reason enough for me to smile…even with 300 ‘bad boys’ in the front instead of the three that started the party.
Grow up and stay young while you do it.
So sayeth Naptown Slim.
Let’s rap a bit.
It’s Father’s Day again. This is a day that is full of confusion and emotions for me. My relationship with my Dad is one of the most confounding of all the relationships I’ve had in my life. Not the most, but it’s definitely up there.
My Dad. My. I only had one, just like everybody else, and he did what he could for me. There were times when he was Superman and times when he was Lex Luthor, but he was MY Dad. He’s the one that made me. He’s the one I got…and I am so very thankful. It took me time, counseling, and a lotta love from a lotta people to get over some issues I had. I don’t even wanna delve into all that today, which leads to the point of this note.
I’ve seen a lotta people very bitter about their Dads. I’ve seen people only so happy to throw Dad under the bus on Father’s Day, everything from ‘Dude wasn’t shit. My Mama did EVERYTHANG’ to ‘This ain’t even a real holiday’. Those very well may be the case, but there are 364 other days in the year to talk about that. The idea of pooing on Pops today is kinda uncool. (and I won’t front, there were some Father’s Days in the past when I didn’t call on purpose. I’m not perfect, just aware.)
Dads are not perfect. Lotsa times anymore, they’re not even there. I understand the want to paint a picture of the Mother as a saint, especially if you grew up with her as the main parent, as I did.
Now, here’s a curveball; My Mother took ill when I was very young. The Mama that came back to 401 wasn’t the same person that I remembered. When this happened, I recall all the men in my life stepping up, Dad included.
My Uncles in Indianpolis, Jack, Tim, and Marc, kept constant watch over me and didn’t allow me to fall off in my studies, sports, or anything that I showed an interest in. They encouraged me and taught me new things, fostered the things I was interested in at a young age and didn’t let me get away with bullshit. My Dad’s brother, Uncle Duane (affectionately known as ‘Bebe’), would send me cards and call, making sure I was alright. Shit, my Uncle Marion put up with me and showed me DC after my very first plane ride! My Grandfather, John (God, I love that man) was over-the-TOP with attention and love, taking me to my ‘first’ baseball game, taking me along to his cherished ‘Victory Garden’ (Shoutout to Mayor Hudnut for picking my Grandpa. Good choice.) to harvest vegetables and pick weeds, letting me pick the station on the radio when we went to pick strawberries for Grandma. These things shaped my life as much as anything my Dad did or didn’t do. These men all became ‘Father Figures’ to me when I reeeeeeally needed it most…
…and my Dad did great things too. I stayed an extra month in Gary one summer and had the time of my life. That time is something I always go back to when I start having resentful feelings about the time we missed. It was there. He does love me. He loved the shit outta me. Jeez, man…he was like 19 or 20 when I got here. I think about myself at 19 and know what I was doing, can’t say that I woulda been ready for ‘Russell III’. Considering the circumstances, he didn’t do that bad and I can’t say that I coulda done better at 19. One good thing about getting older, (hopefully) you get wiser.
Everything is not ‘black and white’. When your parents split, one is not ‘good’ and one is not ‘bad’. People just aren’t built like that. I’ve come to accept the faults of my Dad, but when I do that I make sure that I acknowledge what was great about him. Trust me, man; if you can avoid it, don’t paint an image of either parent that you’ll regret later. There’s good and bad in EVERYBODY…
And then, there’s that ‘Uncle/Grandpa’ thing…how can I watch people bash their fathers all day without acknowledging the people who filled in the gaps. We all have father-figures that we have assigned importance to, be it teachers, other family members, bosses (yep, bosses), or if you’re as lucky as I was, Uncles and Grandpas. Celebrate all these people. Talking about your Daddy issues today is like going to a birthday party for someone else and bitching the whole time because YOU ain’t getting presents.
I ain’t havin it.
Big Russ, you the man. I miss you all the time and I regret not getting to hang out with you more. I think about you all the time and have all these little idiosyncrasies and mannerisms that SCREAM ‘Russell’s Boy’ to anyone who knew you. It’s amazing. I smile every time anyone with a connection to Gary recognizes me, which happens a lot. Regardless of any beefs I had back in the day, I never questioned how much you loved me. You trusted me enough from the minute I got here to give me your very name, dude. That’s love. That’s major. You taught me stuff, you took me places and then was no question that you did it with a chest full of pride. I love you, Dad.
I’d give up years of my life to tell you that in person, one more time. I’m telling you now in front of everybody because I’ve seen so much bitterness towards Dads today that it took me aback. I gotta counter it, maybe my example will help someone today, and maybe that person is me. I apologize for those years I didn’t call on purpose. I’m sorry that I held some things against you for an extended time. I wish so much I could tell you all of this and hug you.
I guess my hopes are that someone who doesn’t feel good about today can read this and see that it ain’t all bad and it can get better. There IS a man in your life worth celebrating, maybe even the one you been talking down. It’s a lot easier than carrying the weight of resentment of years past. Shit, if it’s like that, be the bigger person, make the first step and start fixing things.
I won’t ever have the chance to call my Dad again on Father’s Day, but I damn sure ain’t gonna call him anything bad today either. I hope you can get to that point with yours or never had to worry about it.
For my Uncles, Brother, Cousins, for the Father-Figures in people’s lives and everyone else… Happy Father’s Day.
Respect and Grace,
(PS - Shoutout to my Aunties too, man. We’ll cover that on Mother’s Day or sumn… I love you all!)
#SHRUGLIFE - ‘You Can Only Do So Much; Reign Of The #BLOCKHAMMER’
Maybe it’s me, but as I gather new followers, I actually TALK to them…if they talk to me. I’ve already been very clear as to why I won’t follow people back. I’m gonna illustrate to you another way to ensure you have the #BLOCKHAMMER come down on you.
Starting with the first picture…you see I have finally taken the time to tweet this guy back. This is a person that tweeted me ‘Follow me back!’ three days in a row, all being ignored. I finally addressed the pest in what you see in the first picture.
You would think the fact that I ignored him thrice would give him pause to think…
“Hmmm…maybe I should approach him another way, perhaps, engage in a bit of conversation about music, seeing as how it appears he has been in a few bands, hosts a rock show on television station where he lives, writes an article in a great free local read…I AM a rock guitarist in a band that’s looking for a vocalist, maybe he knows someone…hmmmm..”
NAH. That ain’t how it works when people think they belong in your circle just because they may know who you are. Usually the people who think like that don’t have their shit together and actually think YOU have YOURS together, so I can understand. But dig this, every time after he would tweet me, my VERY NEXT TWEET would simply say…
“I don’t follow back.”
The last two times, I actually gave a bit of a tweech about why I don’t follow back…and after that was done, I tweeted the blogs about why I don’t follow back, labelled and everything, very plain to see… (at the end of this post, I will have links to those blogs for you to check out, should you wish) and once I started adding his desperate ass into the mix, I included the meme you see and a link to my blog about why I don’t follow people BACK, MAN…
Then HE TWEETED ME AGAIN asking why not seeing as how he followed me…which let me know….
“Hmmmm….you don’t read your timeline, because your dumb ass is the unaware ‘Metalocalypse’, dime-store Dimebag Darrell lookin mufugga that as inspired the harangues about why I don’t follow people back you dumbass…”
Dime-store Darrell also took this opportunity to say ‘your like an emotional bitch’
I’m the emotional one, but you’ve been tweeting me begging me to follow for three days and when I address you in a way not of your liking, you resort to calling me names…and you still want me to follow you…but I’m the ‘emotional bitch’… Oh..OK.
…and I left the apostrophe thing alone…too easy.
I tried, man. What more can I do other than address the situation as it happens? If you ain’t reading your timeline, is it my fault? And why should I follow you, dude? WTF do we have in common other than Twitter? What have you talked to me about? What have you retweeted from my page? What have you shown me a common ground and understanding about? You OBVIOUSLY don’t understand SHIT because you are talking about you’re “a guitarist looking for a vocalist” for your eternally anonymous band and you’re “networking”…but the second tweet to me once you had my attention addressed me as a ‘bitch’.
That’s how you network, dawg. That’s how you talk to the dude who hosts the show that would be your best shot to have your video played in the city he lives in. Smooth. That’s how you get people to follow you, yo, you gotta call em ‘bitches’, try that out, your numbers are gonna shoot through the roof, yo. Aaaaaaand in terms of looking for a vocalist, hmmm…I wouldn’t know much about that, I didn’t play in one of the illest rock bands that my city ever saw and still have people come up to me talking about music I made in the 90’s and I’m not making music today, nawp, not me…that ain’t me, that’s the OTHER ‘Rusty’…’Rusty Beddenracher’…Yeah, that’s what that is.
Of course, this dumbass will never know that, for he has felt the wrath of the #BLOCKHAMMER and if he were to dare to try to talk to me thru any other profile, he should be aware that I have no doubt in my mind that I am smarter than him and I KNOW I have a bigger team that ain’t got jackshit to do with ‘#followback’…please believe it. Please do.
So, as dumb shit like this continues to happen to me, it lets me know that I’m doing something right, because as you see, many people came to holler at me as I retweeted what was going down. These are links to their pages, good follows, y’all. #Shruglife knows the way
All those people are people that I talk to or see in my mentions and timeline on a regular basis and they’re cool. I’ve known some #inreallife, (like Joia and Paul) and most of them I met on Twitter via being my natural funky self and #Shruglife.
You EARN people’s trust on Twitter and once that trust is extended, you can find yourself having illuminating conversations, laughs, and making legitimate connections and friends moreso than any other social-media site, but it all starts with personality and social grace. If you ain’t got social grace #inreallife, you DAMN SURE ain’t gonna have it in ‘social media’…and I wouldn’t kick it with you in any location; cyberspace, my place, any place. We ain’t finna click.
and…WITH A SHRUG LIKE THAT OF THE MIGHTY THOR, I RAISED MY ARMS HIGH AND DOWN CAME THE #BLOCKHAMMER! I HAD TO SMITE HIM GREATLY INTO THE VAST UNKNOWN…GOODBYE, DIMESTORE DARRELL, NETWORKER, METALOCALYPSIAN WARRIOR for eternally nameless band that no one has heard of cares about or ever will. Continue your downward spiral into the abyss of cyberloneliness and thinking you actually have people who care on your timeline!!
#SHRUGLIFE don’t eem care. And we’re the COOL ones… Wow.
Chuuch. #Shruglife #TBM #LaNon #ATFU Ministry and Industy ADIYM. WBYA. Learn sumn…
…and here’s the links to the blogs I send people when they get on that corny ‘follow back’ shit…