Sunday, October 16, 2011



When I am scuffling around with my homework that is when I am really appreciative of the opportunity that I have here in Omaha. Fate, the Goddess, whoever or whatever it is up there really likes me. A lot of my frustration at ‘things’, almost always internalized because I bear the ultimate responsibility for my involvement in quagmire-ish situations that I have found myself in, relationships with my peeps or otherwise, has been because I do believe that ‘God won’t let this child go wrong’ (well, that is what it feels like to me... an extrasensory sensation... besides, I do think I have a poetic license!). The formula for my life has always been the same, no matter how complex I have perceived things, a basic and simple one. Provide a solution to the equations that I am asked. That’s it.

Since I have left ‘the provincial town I once jogged ‘round’ I have been able to recover more of my mental faculties, as I think I have proven at Metro Community College, from scoring super high on the placement exam to handling my business in my classes. Also, I am finally getting used to my ‘new levels of normalcy’ when it comes to my body and its functions. I think on our last time out together, Nebraska asked me ‘Why do I make that noise?’ when I walk (or it could have been getting up or sitting down, that I don’t remember). Now that I am alone, I am sure that I do a lot of things that may seem a little ‘off’. Perhaps that is why when ‘club members’ see me that they seem to ‘recognize me’ as one of them.

Anywho, when I started this part of my journey one of the reasons that I wanted to be on my own is that I believe in the aphorisms that I spout and too many people either have doubts or are just too damn pessimistic for me.  I see difficulty as the opportunity to prove what I am made of and believing that I am of sterner stuff than the average bloke, I expect to move the mountain that I am approaching.  I don’t care how I look along the way or how long it takes.  I don’t want to seem rude or anything like that but it isn’t in my true nature to accept a lot of concern and pity. Sometimes it weakens the resolve to preserve, or so I think, and that is why I sometimes blow by the the kinds of questions like the one Nebraska asked. I really don’t know how to reply to the worries people express for me. I think back to the time I fought in the Toughman Contest in Greensboro and beat up everyone I faced, including this behemoth of a man, ‘the Grizzly’, who was 6’2, 300+, and was obvious an experienced boxer. The way he moved through his opponents was too surgical for him to just be some big lug who could punch.

Despite the moniker of ‘Big Mark’ (that’s what they call me!) I am not ‘big’ when it comes to sports. If anything, I may be a little smaller than average. This is a story I told a long time ago but the reason it is in my mind is because of my tasking of anyone, and I mean anyone, without exception, of anyone who desires to be close to me as defined by common social practices.
Though I made my claims to be ‘this’, the place I was ‘it’ was far, far away. Picking up and moving away allows you to be who you want, just as the internet empowers people to be who they would like to be or worse, which they imagine themselves they are, whatever anyone gets from the impression I make with my journal and/or my comments, that is precisely who I am. All you have to do is come here and find out!


Desperate times may call for desperate measures but they don’t necessarily have to coincide with a loss of reason. With my skill level and boundless confidence (you mean you couldn’t tell that I was a confident cat?) I knew that if I did some training and more importantly, changed my mindset that I would be WAY too much for these louts. So I explained to the two closet people to me in Carolina at the time what there ‘roles’ were as I got ready for the fight.
Since enough of our well-meaning friends were trying to talk me out of fighting in the show, the only two people I am counting on was my housemate and Delta. THEY could not show any of the same worries or concern for my well-being, not because I am simply reckless, but either they believed that I was the person I told them I was or they didn’t. And if they didn’t… well, the policy was in effect at the time and it was broken down for them in person.

There is a reason for this… this ‘requirement’, though some who are simply misinformed may read this and see it as insecurity. Whatever… if it is, it is because I have some strong examples to support my theory, and like ‘Hooked on Phonics’, it works for me!

One of the reasons that I appreciate the help and thoughts sent my way over the past 4 years is barely hidden in the lyrics of this song. The ones in particular which stood out to me were the ones that asking “Did you see jealousy in the eyes of the ones that you left behind?” because I swore that is what I saw beneath all the ‘good byes’ and the ‘miss you’ that I would hear at the airport. Out of respect to Bill Watterson’s wishes, I won’t try to look for and post the strip I had in mind (I heard that he doesn’t like for people to snag his work… and I am cool with his wishes), but it was one of Calvin in his principal’s office, telling him about the airplane he would be on an leave everyone behind. And here I was about to do the same thing IRL…


That is what Barry Sanders said to open the telecast of the Monday Night Football game between the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears and it was spot on. From here on out, this is where I will go to define why I have the attitude that I do about getting by.
“My job” is to live my life to the fullest and with no reservation and no excuses. Looking forward to milestones like getting my associates, walking around UN-O, and maybe standing in front of a classroom, or leading a gym, those are all things I expect to do and will get done, no question. And there are the things ‘…that we know that we don’t know’, between what I do know and believe in, I think like Rudie, I can’t fail!


Lovebabz said...

And the crowd ROARS! Ok that would be me getting everybody to do the wave at your graduation!

We get you! We heart YOU!

That corgi :) said...

I really do believe you will accomplish the goals you have laid out for yourself, Mark, and I do see you standing in front of the class or a gym one day! I also see you holding your diploma proudly at the graduation ceremony! I've said it before, but I'll say it again; you do make a plan, a goal, and you keep working on it, even in set backs, you keep moving ahead!


Beth said...

Having met you in real life, I can testify that you are exactly the way you are here on your blog! When it comes to Mark, folks, he IS what you read!

I think I getcha when it comes to a change of venue. For me, it was getting out of high school. I was defined a certain way by kids who had grown up with me, and there was no escaping the labels until I got away. I found that those meeting me had an entirely different opinion of me, and it was liberating. I never looked back!

L&R, Beth

Jonthy, Alice the uppity white cat's babysitter said...

Once again Lovebabz says it all!

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Actions speak as well as your words. Keep up the great work friend!

Tawnya said...

I totally commend you on going back to school. I for one, know how difficult it can get, even for us 'normal people'. Getting an Associate degree was one of the best days of my life and now I am looking forward to the Bachelor degree too. You are perfect the way you are to me! Hugs.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Your confidence is very admirable, buddy.

Much love,


Daniel said...

I don't really know what to say, you're impressing beyond speechless. So I think I just settle for a



DB said...

We are all underestimated or overestimated most of the time, so the world has no correct measuring rod for us. You don't blame yourself or excuse yourself, a mistake many make. You don't even need to explain yourself. Being honestly who you are, in the ring, in the gym or in front of a class is more eloquent than anything.

Good post, good going.

Have Myelin? said...

Yep, we all heart you! =)

Barbara said...

Hey Mark, I found your blog through another blog I read, and then saw you mentioned one of my good blog friends, Lou. Small world.

Love your writing and interesting life. Also agree with everything you said in regard to Obama.

I'll be back for more!