A quote – but not a quotable quote …

“You can not give what you do not have.”

I have searched for this quote online and found that it indeed has been said … but not necessarily in the context I am quoting it from.  SO — in that case — here it is:

“You cannot give what you do not have.” – Michael Hugh, 2013

I said this at checkout today in the store and it immediately sparked a “profound look” from the cashier.  She was in her mid to late 40’s, with signs of obvious outward intelligence, so she wasn’t “deer in the headlights” … she responded with, “That is absolutely true.”  What spurred me to say this was that they only had one of a specific item that I wanted – so, I accepted the fact that they had one, and proceeded with the previous statement.

And as I was walking out – I started thinking on that statement.  And it is SO correct… in the most fundamental manner, that is.  I know there are arguments about “Well, the government give out millions and billions of dollars that it doesn’t have and it seems legit.” …. But that is government, a mythical beast that no one can slay that does what it wants outside the realm of both reality and sanity.  But that is a different post.

You can’t give what you don’t have.

I can’t give you a TV if I don’t have a TV to give.  I can’t give you respect if I don’t have respect myself.  I can’t give you love if I have no love to give….  you get the point.

We do, however, give in abundance those things that we DO have, especially if we don’t want it.  Hate, spite, grudges, jealousy…. the ability for a single human being to inflict emotional, mental and physical pain on others is astounding, and highly disturbing that we wield these weapons daily.

But I make a promise to you all, my friends.  I want to give you laughter, because I have that in abundance.  I want to likewise give you sarcasm, hugs and genuine appreciation.  I will also give you challenges, and hopefully creative methods to solve said challenges.

And hopefully, if I happen to give you enough – you might have enough to give to me as well, because then you will have them.

“Nonsensical ravings of a lunatic mind ….” – Gene Wilder – Young Frankenstein – 1974


All we have to fear…

… is fear itself?  I call shenanigans on that.

I have a saying that I have always said about karaoke.  If you can get up and sing in front of your peers, then what else have you left to fear?  Today, I was confronted with that notion, did some introspection, and came up with my theory.

A friend of mine posted a “Reality of Fear” on Facebook.

You are not scared of the dark,
You are scared of what’s in it.

You are not afraid of heights,
You are afraid of falling.

You are not afraid of people around you,
You’re just afraid of rejection.

You’re not afraid to love,
You’re just afraid of not being loved back.

You’re not afraid to let go,
You’re just afraid to accept the reality that she’s gone.

You’re not afraid to try again,
You’re just afraid of getting hurt for the same reason.

It made me think about what I am afraid of – my fears. And I discovered that I am afraid of less than I thought.  Oh, yes, I am afraid of falling – that is why heights are not my favorite… but looking into one of the fears that I thought I had, I realized that the fear is not really what I thought it was.

I stand up on stage and sing in front of audiences.  Karaoke has freed me of a LOT of my fears.  My fear of self … self worth, self image, self inhibition.  I have been able to grow as a person and shed almost all of my insecurities, thanks to Karaoke … Karate Karaoke in particular.  It provided a warm, friendly, supportive atmosphere that allowed me to grow as a person.  So it turned back to my original fear, the one that had ruled my life for so long.

I used to think I was afraid of being alone.  I changed my mind about that a few years back, evolving that into “I prefer not to be alone, but I am no longer afraid of it… I need to be comfortable in my own skin before anyone could be comfortable with me.”  And I have held true to that for the last  few years.  But today, I examined that fear again, and I realize it is something completely different.

I am afraid to be alone, though not for reasons that you may think.  I am genuinely afraid to be alone, because if I choke, there will be no one around to give me the Heimlich Maneuver.  If I fall in the shower, no one will hear it to call for help.  If I slip in the garage and crack my head on the tile, there will be no one to look to see if I am all right because I have been in the garage for too long.

I am not afraid to be without a relationship.  I am not afraid to sit in silence with my own company.  I am even not afraid to miss out on “couples night at the roller rink” …. It seems my biggest fear is dying *because* I am alone… weird, huh?

Oh… And spiders …. *shiver* …. can’t forget spiders …

Some …. times in our lives … We all have pain … We all have sorrow …

Fortunately, most of us have those people in our lives that make that sorrow diminish, if not disappear.  Those people that we can depend on to brighten our day, just by their quirky laugh, their upbeat wit, or even just by saying “I understand”.

I say that a lot.  “I understand” … but there are times when I believe people misconstrue that for “I know”.  While I have been through much in my time here on this rock, I have not been through everything.  But because of my experiences, I believe that I can formulate a concept of how something feels or a situation that someone is going through.

“I understand…”

“You can’t know what this feels like – you have never gone through something like this – how can you know?”

“I didn’t say I know what it feels like, I said I understand how that could feel that way.  I would never presume to put myself in your shoes and say that I know how it feels until I have walked a mile in your shoes”

Which I don’t recommend if you are a man saying that to a female friend – you don’t want to ever try to walk a mile in heels, I know what that feels like …

ANYWAYS – I have those people in my life.  Those people that brighten my day just because. Those people that when I get the mere thought of – I can experience a myriad of other emotions besides anger, sadness, or regret.  Some of them don’t even realize their impact on me… some of them do.  There are people that understand me (yes – they exist), but very few people in this universe GET me.  I can count them on one hand.  And that is not to diminish the importance of everyone who is in my life, because I value EVERY SINGLE ONE of my friends – even the ones that piss me off from time to time, but that does not preclude them from my heart.

But the ones that get me – I cannot live without.  They are a force that surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together ….. wait, wrong force.  But the concept is still valid.  There are parts of me that I believe would be lost without them.  Maybe that is a little dramatic, but it just underlines their importance to me.  We all have those people, they are categorized in those silly little posts:

“A friend would come bail you out of jail, but a true friend would be there in jail right beside you.”

Okay – that is an odd example – but you get the meaning.  These people can read you like an audio-book … not even needing to open the cover and know that there is something amiss… They will call you out of the blue, and after you answer, will ask “What’s wrong?”

I guess the point I am trying to make is:  I am thankful for all the people in my life that help me get back to “me” in the times when I do have pain and sorrow… and I hope that I do the same for them as well.

If I am cut, do I not bleed?

“Water off a duck’s back …”

Those of you who know me know this to be my ever-lasting motto.  The meaning behind it is simple – if you let things get to you, they can harm you in ways that sometimes can’t even be seen… but they are felt.  So – let them roll off you like water off a duck’s back.

But this duck’s feathers are quite ragged as of late.

Imagine being on a tennis court.  and the automated tennis companion launches a ball at you.  You have the time to react, situate, and deal with the oncoming projectile.  Now imagine the cannon malfunctions and starts firing those spherical rubber bullets at a more rapid pace, say 3 every second ….. all aimed at you.  You might be able to fend off a few, but you cannot swing that fast – you get pelted… and no matter how protective your cute little tennis outfit is, if you get hit in the same place over and over – it is going to leave bruises.

Ever since my move – this is how I have felt… floundering on a brand new tennis court with a shiny new racket, an automated partner, but still wearing my same outfit.  Sure – the court is beautiful – full of opportunity and I do know some of the members here… but the staff has just loaded a case of brand new tennis balls and it feels like I my racket is unstrung.

I won’t go into the details of all the situations I have been facing, because that is old news and nothing anyone really wants to hear…  but suffice to say – I need my feathers back …. to either protect myself – or enable me to fly far far away…

A little story …

Opinion: A view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.

Dictatorial: the  imposing one’s will or opinions on others.

I have a little story to tell about Bob and Joe.


Joe: I think I will go outside today.  I have thought about it quite a bit and I have decided that I would love to just go outside.

Bob: Hey now – I think that is a horrible idea … you know – you could be hit by a car.

J: But I have thought about it quite a bit – and yeah, there is that possibility – but I will keep my eyes open.

B: No – you don’t understand. You seriously could be hit by a car.  I think it is actually more likely for you to be hit by a car than not.

J: But, I know there are cars OUT there – but I feel that I am pretty observant and can avoid getting hit by a car.

B: But the cars will hit you.  They will ride up on the sidewalk and run you down – you won’t be able to see them.  HEY FRANK!  DO YOU THINK JOE SHOULD GO OUTSIDE?

Frank: Hell no – he will be hit by a car!

B: See – you just need to not go outside ever – because then you will never be hit by the cars.

J: But – I think I am pretty smart and aware of my surroundings – I think that if I go outside – I can remain vigilant and make sure that no cars will hit me.  I can even avoid being where cars are – but I just want to go outside.  It is a lovely day and I just want to be outside.  I am pretty sure I will be fine.

B: *psh* – well – you are going to be hit by a car – one will veer up wherever you are and blind-side you – you can’t avoid it.  It is a VERY bad idea for you to go outside – Bad things WILL happen.  The cars are gunning for you.

J: *sigh*


No matter how much Joe tries to placate Bob or anyone else – Joe is doomed.  He knows the risks he is taking by going outside.  He is aware that he cannot “plan for every unforeseen possibility”… he is willing to take those risks because he just wants to be outside.  Yet NOBODY can see how vigilant he is or how he IS prepared…  All they see are the freaking cars…

I feel sad for Joe…

Goodbye … at least the best one I can have


“Hey, wasaaaaaabi! What’s Japenning! heh heh!”

“Hey there boss! What’s shakin? working hard or hardly workin?”

“Oh man, woke up too early this morning again – couldn’t get back to sleep so I went and grabbed a coffee and now I am in the office.  Matt had the lights on and the TV going again last night and wouldn’t turn the sound down, and when I went out to leave, he wasn’t even in the room… drives me INSANE!”

“Oh damn – sorry to hear that, man – I am telling you – you should take a few days and come up here to decompress – it would be a nice getaway, and you would be able to chalk it up to work.”

“I might just do that – but for now, I have something I wanted to talk to you about…”

“Uh oh – sounds ominous – everything okay?”

“Not exactly… I have to go into a meeting for a while. I might not have phone reception there, so not sure if you will be able to get in touch with me for a bit.  I just wanted to tell you that it has been really amazing working with you this last year and a half – I really wish we would have met sooner so we could have done more work and play together.  I am proud of you, and really impressed with your abilities.  Please keep up the good work and the next time you talk with Mike, tell him the same thing – tell him not to let his amazing mind go to waste.  He must be sleeping now because I can’t get a hold of him. But you two are an amazing team that will take this company far – I have faith in you…”

“Hugh, man – it sounds to me like you aren’t going to ever come out of this meeting ….”

“Hello? ….. Hugh?”



And that is where I woke up, my face completely drenched from all the tears I had left in me. I desperately grabbed at my phone to see if I could get the call back …

Yesterday, one of the most crushing things to me was that I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye… and it manifested in my dreams.  I believe this was Hugh trying to tell me goodbye, or maybe it is that I just wish it was.

This hurts …. I miss the Hugh-man so much…

Dream a little dream …

“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.” — Edgar Allen Poe

For some, dreaming is an escape.  For others, it is a way to introspect.  And for others still, it is a form of prognostication, or so they believe.

For me – it is sheer entertainment.

I have often found that I dream of things that I want: to be the hero; to find the treasure; to be secure; to have that which I always desired ….

But more often than not, my dreams are wildly fantastic, filled with adventure, horror, romance, quandary… and most often, surrealism.  My dreams tend to be immensely vivid, filled with color, sounds and sometimes even Egyptian hieroglyphics. But enough about my dream last night…

There are other definitions for dreams.  Aspirations, ruminations, deliberations … come to think of it, a lot of -tion words. I have recently thought about my dreams, and tried to boil them down into the most basic thoughts I could.

  • I want to have a job I love
  • I want to have my family happy and healthy
  • I want my family to be proud of me
  • I want to live comfortably, but not necessarily extravagantly
  • If I have a relationship in life, I want her to be my partner – I want to be the most important thing in her world – and I want her to be the most important thing in mine
  • I want to be immortalized through my friends and family – I want stories of “Uncle Mike” or “Wasaabi” to be told through the ages, or at least a few generations
  • Above all – I want to be happy (funny how the last line in a list usually starts out “Above all”)

I have achieved a couple of these already – but since I am still on this rock, it is a question of maintenance.  Can I maintain my dreams?  If I were to achieve all of these tomorrow – what would the cost be for me to maintain?

Therein lies my personal perplexity: When should I try to attain all of these?  Before I wink out in this existence, how can I make sure I have achieved my dreams?

I have not found an answer to these yet – so until I do, I must be content to dream my dreams of fighting aliens invading our planet – solving the riddles of a Mayan temple to reach the inner sanctum made of the perfect bacon – and protecting my loved ones the best that I can, no matter what the odds.

Mr. Sandman …. bring me that dream, please 🙂