What I Would Say To High School Me

Two things happened over the weekend that inspired me to write this…

I watched Season 4 Episode 11 of One Tree Hill this weekend where everyone reflects on high school and talks about their futures. They discuss their fears, what drives them and what they hope to do before finishing high school. All the important stuff to a 17-year-old kid. The teacher wrote five words on the board to classify the students during class…

  • Geek
  • Prom Queen
  • Loner
  • Jock
  • “Friendly” aka slut

The second was March 24, 1984…34 years ago, five high school strangers sat in a library for a Saturday detention spilling their hearts out. They shed tears. They told secrets. They found out they had more in common than they thought. The movie I am referring to is none other than brat pack classic, The Breakfast Club. 34 years ago, this brilliant letter was written…

Dear Mr. Vernon, 

We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it is we did wrong. But we think you’re crazy for making us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see as you want to see us, in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a Brain…and an Athlete…and a Basket Case….a Princess…and a Criminal. Does that answer your question? 

Sincerely yours,
The Breakfast Club 

Notice the two trends here? We are talking about stereotypes. That pretty much is high school in a nutshell.

One of the things that baffles me about society and a lot of parents is how easily they forget how difficult of an age it is between 14-18. You are stuck somewhere between child and adult. You get some freedom, but you’re still under parental control. As each year passes in high school, you find yourself with a little larger leash.

All the while, you are still trying to figure out who you are and where you fit in. Chances are, you are probably more emotionally unstable than you will be during any of your other years of life. You want the world to think you’re confident and don’t care what others think, but deep down in places you don’t talk about, you really do. At least that is most of us.

It doesn’t really matter what label you fall under, these things apply to most people. If you are reading this and you are a high school student…

I want you to know that this isn’t the end. This isn’t even the beginning. The world changes so much after high school and you can literally be anything or anyone you want to be. This is your prelude to who you are or who you become. Enjoy the ride. Fuck what people think. Easier said than done probably, but try your best.


Stop worrying. You care too much about fitting in. Stop being embarrassed about being yourself. Go have fun. No matter what happens, you’ll be fine. 

I was at a new school with a new group of people. Most of these kids had been going to school together for 9-10 years. While I knew some of the people in school, most of them were foreign to me. Hell, even the people I “knew,” I didn’t truly know them. They were just another familiar face.

I didn’t partake in a lot of extras except baseball. Even then, I didn’t really hang out with a lot of people from the team. I didn’t go to a single dance. I was terrified of rejection from girls. I went to just one football game. My friend tried to introduce me to a girl. I am sitting there like “you come here often?” I was the epitome of awkward.


It’s not you. It’s them. People come and go and that’s ok. You’re also not the bad influence parents think you are. You’re just a high school kid doing high school things. 

I am the youngest of three and the only one with a penis. Therefore, as my mom puts it…

“The first child swallows a quarter and you take them to the ER.”

“The second child swallows a quarter and you just say it’ll come out one end or the other.”

“The third child swallows a quarter and you just expect them to make change.”

Needless to say, my parents weren’t very concerned with how I spent my Friday and Saturday nights. There was transparency. They knew I started drinking on weekends. They knew I wanted to have a social life. Like they said, they would rather me drink and them know me and my friends would be ok. I started having parties and my friends and I would drink. I quickly developed a reputation among certain parents who thought I was an awful child and my parents were terrible people because they allowed drinking. Apparently, they don’t think that anymore as I have turned out to be a decent human being. Funny how that works out. I remember thinking they were idiots then. Now I just laugh about it.

By having parties, I also learned that people use you. People aren’t your real friends. That was my biggest struggle. I would get so pissed if I wasn’t invited somewhere with people I associated with. Most of that changed in February that year when I started dating my wife.


Let the past go. 

I spent a lot of time junior year worried so much about friends I had lost. Looking back, why? It’s not like I talk to most of the people I hung out with high school anyway.

I spent a lot of time wondering if I made the wrong decision quitting baseball. Although, I was happier not playing. I struggled with the what could have been and not what is. It was something I never really talked about, but it was always weighing on me. Let’s be honest, I wasn’t going pro in it. Why worry?


You’ll be ok. Try to live for the moment. 

I know how cliche’ it is, but fuck it flew by.

I wasn’t the most diligent student. I don’t exactly remember when I received my acceptance letter to Nicholls. It was the only school I applied to. I was worried I wasn’t going to go to college. Even if I did, I was worried I would flunk out (1.8 first semester woooot wooooot). I almost did. Life just has a way of working itself out sometimes.

In the end

You’re a teenager. Have fun. Worry about tomorrow later. I had friends who got into serious trouble in high school. They wound up ok. I had friends who smoked entirely too much weed and enjoyed other drugs too much. They wound up ok. I was worried too much about other people and drank a lot. I turned out ok. Despite what your teachers and parents say that high school determines your future, look at me.

I had a 2.0 heading into senior year. My extracurriculars involved shot gunning beers, downing bottles of Jagermeister and puking or passing out. Whatever came first. Usually the latter. These words aren’t a ticket to ruin your life by doing something absolutely insane, but have fun. You’ll be ok. It’s high school.


My Thoughts on the Whole Gun Conundrum: Here we go…

Before I begin this column, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I feel like I have to say this before I write the column since people get their panties in a wad over things like this. If you enjoy your guns, I am by no means saying you are a bad person for enjoying those things.

I know plenty of good people in the NRA. I know plenty of good people who shoot or hunt regularly. Being as how I respect your position. I expect the same.

I am not one of these far left people who think you should be in a straight jacket for wanting to own your guns. If you think I should be in one because I don’t think you should be allowed to own certain weapons, bite a toe because you are probably the person who bitches about the left listening to self serving bias but you yourself do nothing but engulf yourself in FOX news. Therefore, standing next to you, we can probably hear the ocean.

If you want to have a civil conversation, I can do that without using banter as seen above.

What I am hear to talk about are a few arguments that people use to defend why they want to own semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles and weapons of that nature.

Protect Ourselves from a Government Takeover or Other Criminals

It is a play off the second amendment that the people should have the power to form a militia in the event of a government takeover, both foreign or domestic.

First off, this was passed in 1791 when guns took about a minute to reload a single round. We didn’t have the killing machines they have now with assault weapons, automatic weapons (although illegal) and semi-auto weapons.

Second, if a foreign government tries to takeover, the US wouldn’t allow that to happen based on the amount of defense spending. They would crush whoever came in. When is the last time we had an outright war on US soil? No one is that ballsy. Unless ET is flying to our doorstep, we should be ok.

Third, if the US government wants you dead, you’re dead. Your AR-15 isn’t going to save you or anyone else. They have drones that can blow up my entire block as wells as yours. They have nukes that can wipe out entire cities. They have EMPs that can destroy our electronics. Not to mention, the amount of tanks and choppers they have to cause pandemonium is plentiful. If a well regulated military can’t stop them, what makes you think you can, other than maybe arrogance?

They want us dead. We are dead.

As far as defending your home is concerned, I am sure a glock will do just fine. You probably don’t need a ghillie suit and AR-15 to do that.

Guns Don’t Kill People

(Insert eye roll) No, they don’t. They are inanimate objects by definition. However, to say guns don’t give people a certain power over someone who is unarmed and hell, even if they are armed is foolish. It is an easy ticket to punch a death card. I find it funny when people say this because don’t you use them to “protect yourself.” If they are not killing machines, why not just carry a knife? If they are not killing machines, why do the military use weapons similar to guns to AR-15s?

Aside from that, Many times you may hear people talk about drunk drivers killing people. The major difference is they are not getting behind the wheel with the intention of taking someone’s life. Cars are also strictly regulated with things like seat belts, air bags, top speeds, obtaining a license among other things.

It is also illegal to drive drunk. That brings me to the next argument…

Criminals Will Still Find A Way to Obtain the Weapons

I love this one because apparently laws aren’t full proof and automatically mean everyone will abide by them. Someone find me a law that not a single person has broken…don’t worry, I’ll wait.

Laws by definition are to hopefully stop things from happening, but we don’t live in a utopian world where everything goes as planned. However, laws can certainly prevent things from happening more often. If they were to pass a law on the ban of weapons such as the ARs, assault weapons, certain mods and semi auto rifles causing the mass shootings to dip by just 5%, that is a net win in my book.

Imagine if we used the enactment of laws to justify other crimes or obtaining other weapons.

Why stop at assault and semi auto weapons? Why not just make atomic bombs, RPGs, Grenade Launchers (or noob tubes) legal?

What if we used that logic for drugs, money laundering, rape and murder?

You know what guys, criminals will still find a way to get their meth. Gang members are still going to gang bang girls. Why even make it illegal? It sounds ludicrous when you say it out loud.

The funny part about this argument is the fact that most mass shooters purchased their weapons legally anyway.

People Will Then Use Handguns or Shotguns

Take away the semi auto part and I’m sorry, we are not talking about Jason Bourne here. Even with semi-automatic hand guns, unless this person is highly trained and skilled, they aren’t clearing out an entire building unscathed in most cases. You do have outliers such as the Virginia Tech shooting.

Of the top 20 deadliest mass shootings in the US, 9 have been carried out with strictly hand guns or shotguns. Two of those nine were considered in the top 10 deadliest.

Arm All Teachers

What happens when a teacher decides to snap? I don’t know about you, but I had some pretty unstable teachers throughout my life.

What happens when little Tim gets hold of said gun and accidentally or intentionally shoots someone?

What happens when faced with a shooter? Do we really expect our teachers to be trained killers like our military and shoot a threat?

Also, we can’t afford better education systems, but we can push an initiative to arms hundreds or thousands of teachers? K.

My Contention

  • Ban ALL Semi Automatic Rifles, Assault Rifles, Regulate Mags

I don’t believe it is necessary to have a stockpile of weapons which can be used to kill loads of people. I understand most hand guns like glocks are semi automatic weapons. Therefore, I would personally want to ban the number of rounds fired per mag to maybe 6 or 8.

  • Stricter Background Checks for Obtaining Guns

You can purchase a gun and have it in a month in some cases. I like the initiative of raising the age to 21. I had to sit through 24 hours of training to work in the frozen food section at a Winn Dixie. Shit, if I had to sit through that, make people sit through an x amount of hours on gun safety. Some states do require courses, but make it a federal law.

  • Mental Health Checks

If there are any red flags, then obviously evaluate as seen fit. But, this is a slippery slope because ultimately, a narcissistic sociopath can probably pass a psych eval with no issue.

  • Shooting Ranges

If you want to shoot assault rifles for fun, I have no problem with people being allowed to do this at a place such as a shooting range.

  • Protecting Our Schools

One idea I heard that I did think was fairly decent, although I have heard opposition from teachers. Have ex military personnel stand a post at the schools to give them jobs once they go into the reserves, retire or simply withdraw. I would be ok with my tax dollars going toward salaries for these individuals. Obviously, we wouldn’t want anyone with extreme signs of PTSD.

Hell, even more resource officers. Metal detectors are also something I always thought would be worth thinking about. The main counter to this it makes schools feel unsafe and could hurt public education, which is a fair point.


If you want your guns, then just say you want your guns. Just quit with the bullshit excuses why you want them. As said in the beginning, if someone comes to me and says I just like being able to own an AR-15, fine. I can’t really argue any point against that. At that point, we can agree to disagree.

But to sit here and say you want to be able to protect yourself against a government take over, I will laugh in your face.

If you say you want it to defend your home, use your car or butter knife that you vehemently defend as a viable weapon.

Just stop lying to yourself about why you want them. You want them because you like them. Just like I want video games because I like them. If the government said Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto and other violent games were banned because of psychological effects and thought it could adequately save lives, well then I guess my games would be taken away. Oh well.

I have no reason for playing them other than I like them and have fun playing them. Much like you have fun shooting your guns. There are plenty of decent people who use illegal drugs, but those things are still illegal.

5 Months with Finn: We’re Finally Getting The Hang of This

When I wrote what month 4 was like, Finn was dealing with croupe and a double ear infection.

After a month and a half of dealing with illness and feeling crummy, my boy is finally feeling good. I am too. This past month has been fairly smooth. Obviously a few hiccups here and there, but ultimately, I don’t remember most of them.

I struggled horribly in the beginning with my patience which is starting to get much better and I am thrilled about that. Finn is starting to adjust and he has found a little routine in his life, which is good.

At 5 months, he is starting to develop a little personality and letting it shine.

My favorite part of the day is waking up to his smiling little face. He is definitely a morning person which is just what I need to start my day. Unfortunately, he wakes me up earlier than I would like to get up, but that damn smile is worth it.

I am fortunate to have a job where I go in mid morning around 9-10 am so I get to spend a little time with him. He will usually wakes up around 7am and I will grab him and put him in the bed with me. He will lay next to me while I get my extra 10-15 minutes. Some mornings he will give me more because he goes back to sleep.

The second I wake up and look over at him, he is usually staring off at something and kicking away. I will say good morning buddy and he usually looks over and gives the biggest smile in the world. It is such a wonderful feeling.

Then, I will grab him and stand him up on my chest which loves. Then I will hold him over my head which gets a big smile as well. After, I usually lay him on my chest and we just hang out for 20 minutes or so. It is my favorite 20 minutes of the day. The tough part is leaving, especially with how fast this kid is growing. I feel like I leave and he’s bigger by the time I get home from work.

Some nights I get home and he is already being put to sleep, which sucks. But most days, I get to spend a couple of hours with him before he goes to bed. He loves tummy time, getting changed, his toys and his baths. For the most part, the only time he gets upset is when he is hungry.

Something new he has discovered is that Benny, our cat, is a living breathing thing. I picked him up earlier today from my in-laws and the cat came up to him. When he did, the biggest smile ran across Finn’s face. I swear it was the cutest thing I have ever seen.

We have a learning and growing little dude on our hands. He is my world. It is only getting better and better.