Expect The Unexpected

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I briefly mentioned a question my 17 y/o daughter asked me while out for an evening walk in my last post’ “Shake Your Tail Feathers” and I promised to write about it since I didn’t want to sidetrack that post. Well, here we are. I really don’t know what she will think about me writing what I will be writing since she will not be previewing it, she will read it for the first time after it is published as will everyone else who makes the choice to read it. I ask that y’all hold your judgements, if any, because as a household certain decisions have been made for very specific reasons. My daughter, who will be 18 in less six weeks, has been dating this same guy now for about 2 years. I have held, in reserve, my opinions of the relationship after my initial thoughts were expressed. I have nothing against him personally, but he is 2 years older than my daughter and I always considered that a problem. But, as we can tell, life has pressed forward and we are faced with the present day and the challenges she offers for us. Over time the boyfriend has grown on me and impresses me that he has embraced his own life challenges and found the courage to pull himself up by his bootstraps and literally kick some ass to ensure his place in this world. In fact, let’s start there, let’s start with a brief history of the boy and you will see why I have grown to like him a little.

A few months before they began to date (they had been friends for who knows how long) his dad passed away. The death came fast as it was a fast moving cancer in his main organs that was never diagnosed. When it was caught he was admitted to the hospital and passed away a few weeks later. It is said he and his dad were pretty close, the only problems or mixed words they had were about his step mother who was unliked by the boyfriend from very early on. Within days of the funeral he was kicked out of the house he had grown up in and was lucky his aunt lived near by because he accepted the offer to move in with her. Since he had already graduated high school he at least didn’t have to worry about that as well. Skip forward a bit and soon the relationship between him and his aunt deteriated which is when he decided to move in with his older brother. His older brother helped with the part time job but also wanted him to help with the monthly rent and utilities. So what did he do? He got a second job and soon replaced the part time job with a full time job. He has been working these two jobs basically to keep a roof over his head and a little food in his belly. In a way, that’s where we come in, since he eats dinner here almost every night and spends his off time on the weekends in our spare room located right across from the master bedroom. Life isn’t great but he is surviving it for now. Then, three weeks ago his brother (and roommate), dropped a nice bomb on him. It was announced that he and his girlfriend were moving to Las Vegas, getting married, and staying there ton work and live. Now he has a predicament because he cannot afford rent non that apartment on his own. Enter my daughter and her solution.

So, while we were out walking she decided to ask me what I thought of him and his whole situation. I knew she was going somewhere with it but I just didn’t know where yet. Then she hits me with it, she wants permission to ask him to move into our house. A very bold request coming from someone who does not pay any of the bills. When she was done selling me her idea she looked at me as if I had an immediate answer to give her, which I did, but thought it be best to discuss it with her mother anyway. Needless to say she had already spoken to her mother and she was told it was up to me. It took her a week to get up the courage to talk to me according to her mother. She was hoping her mother would break the ice but she never did, never even dropped a hint, and never warned me either. We sat him down and hadna long talk about the arrangements which by judging the looks on his face was the first time he had heard about the solution. I wonder where my daughter gets her sneakiness.

We don’t know what his answer is as of yet because his pride is kinda getting in the way, he doesn’t want the handout. Like I explained to him, life happens, we have all been in a place which had no real way to succeed and some of us were lucky we had family or friends to lend a helping hand to us. Plus, as I explained to them all, he will not be living there for free nor will we become his maid. But, with that being said his life will become significantly less burdened since he will not have to throw away so much money on rent. I am looking long term, I know they will get married one day and if I can help make that a better transition then I will do it for both of them. At this point I really don’t know what tomorrow holds for him because nothing has been set in stone yet.

I complain allot about not being needed in the daddy role so much any more and that will probably never change. What can I say, I miss my babies. I miss the days when the dilemma was a scratched elbow or lost toy in the treeline. I know, we get older and our roles in our children’s life change. Seems that I am in a support role now. Its not a bad place to be I guess. I sure hope life’s problems get easier to solve. This will all work out I am sure, he will move into the spare bedroom of my chosing and we’ll just press forward. I used to be such a great hard ass, I wonder what happened to me.

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Shake Your Tail Feathers

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For the past few months I have been following the advice of the diabetic dietitian I formally was insured to see which is to walk at least one hour a day covering at least one mile in distance.. I don’t go to a gym, nor do I visit any circular monotonous track, because I have plenty of room to walk on my property. Hell, the walk from my front door to the main street where my mailbox is located is just shy of 1/4 mile, so I have plenty of places to walk. In preparation I did cut a pathway for myself through a section of my wooded area because it was going to be easier to go through it than around it. While on the topic of taking advice, I was told I needed to write more on my blog to get back into the swing of things by a good southern doctor friend of mine, she knows who she is and that’s what counts here. In the end, I do walk for over 1 1/2 hours each evening and now write more on my blog, if this can be called actual writing to y’all. I enjoy my walks because it is very peaceful, very relaxing, and doctors say it benifits my health. Bonus.

Over the last few weeks I have noticed that the water fowl down on the pond and surrounding it have been acting differently which means that they are either spooked or they have just moved on. I am pretty lucky because this pond always attracts some spectacular wildlife to observe. When I looked a bit closer at the overgrown side of the pond I found 2 different places that a predator had made a meal of a few of the young ducks. This didn’t surprise me as my property backs up to the woods, a creek, and a few thousand acres of absolute nothingness. There have been some small paw prints in the mud around the area so I know there are dogs running around. I never minded them because they stay well out of sight and down in the bottoms of my property. I have seen one out of what I expect to be 3 or 4 of these “wild” dogs. I have had to pop that one in the ass with a pellet gun twice because it was getting closer with curiosity and I don’t need that in my actual yard around my house or other buildings. So, we tolerate each others presence so to say.

Later in the afternoon yesterday I had company on my walk, my 17 y/o daughter wanted to talk to me alone. Without getting to much into the talk right here so we don’t get sidetracked let me just say it was about her boyfriend and some problems he is having financially. In the end I was asked if he could move in. When I am done here I will get into that father daughter talk. That being said, the company was a pleasant change to my normal routine. As she gets older she seems to need daddy less and less each day. So, we walked, talked, and enjoyed the peaceful trek. About 45 minutes into our walk we noticed an odd smell, the distinct smell of something dead. This is a smell, for those of the all who don’t know, that is unmistakable, and as we got closer to the source it became much stronger in the air. She tried to guess what it could be that had perished in the woods and then she began to worry me a bit because she asked “what if it is a dead body?” Where in the hell did that come from? However, one never knows what one will stumble across in the woods while on a walk. Putting on my best daddy face I assured her it was not a dead human body we were smelling and this I know for a fact. There is a distinctly different smell between a rotting circus of an animal and that of a human being. What can I say, I have been around the block once or twice. Just imagine learning some of life’s lessons which can not be taught by another person rather they must be learned by experiencing them. Enough said about that, we have a dead animal to find now. Why? Because if we don’t then other predators will come to investigate the smell of death and then I might have a problem I don’t really want on my hands. The plan was to find it, remove it, and get it in the burn pile before it sparks too much interest with the other wildlife.

We walked ahead maybe 20 yards or so and we found the source. I was actually surprised because I was non this part of the trail Sunday evening and this was not here. There was actually more surprise in my mind than just the fact that it was laid there dead. In all the years I have lived here, pushing 10 years now, I have only seen one other coyote and she was on the other side of the creek heading away from the backside of my property. In fact, that was right about 7 years ago so its not like it is a common sight. Oh sure, we hear them in the dead of the night in the far off distance but never see them or any of their activities. But here we have a dead juvenile coyote. I flipped it over looking for obvious injuries and see nothing. I actually expected to see a bullet wound which would mean it just wandered up here and died from its injuries. But there is no clear sign. I called a friend of mine who works with the state of Texas wildlife department to find out what I needed or could do. He told me to just wait and he would come check it out. After he arrived and checked it out it was determined to be a natural death. We loaded the coyote into the bed of his personal truck, said our goodbyes, and that was that. I was in a hurry now to get up to my shop because I had a bag of lye  which I wanted to spread out where the coyote had been to get rid of the smell. Once that was done I had to go shower to get cleaned up for the night. Something my daughter had already done.

I see now that I will have to keep an eye on my land down by the bottoms because I do not need the predator threat around here. I may need to start walking with more than just my stick from now on for sure. Later last night my daughter was on the phone with her boyfriend where I heard her tell him that we had talked and about how our walk turned into a gruesome discovery. I giggled to myself as I walked by because I thought it was it was great, personally, walking and talking with the daughter who seems to have outgrown her daddy.

The Journey That Changed A life

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As a bartender in a full nude strip bar I was witness to many amazing sites, I got to meet many amazing people, and best of all I got to listen to the stories of many people. The incredible challenge I always had was knowing what to do with all of the information that had been offered to me. What do I do? Write a book? Write a movie? Neither, but I did write it all down. I took notes and wrote down triggers so that the stories would come back to me easy. Why do all that? Why bother? Good question, which the story I will tell today will hopefully relay and answer some of those questions. In time gone by I had a separate blog dedicated solely to telling stories from my perspective from behind the bar based on my conversations and observations. And, unfortunately I fell victim to some culling of blogs and it became a deleted statistic I chalked up as a great loss. However, as y’all can see here, I have been trying to maintain the tradition of telling my stories. from this point forward I will warn you that the content will become adult oriented and the language as well as the descriptive picture will become a bit more colorful. I’m not the best story-teller, but I try to be a fair story re-teller. Without further ado I will begin with a story about a 17 y/o runaway that set out on a journey that changed her perspective and changed her life forever. These are her experiences as she told them to me.

On the day after she turned 17 she decided that life in Schuyler Nebraska wasn’t what she wanted any longer. She had been thinking about leaving for a while but never had the guts to just up and walk away. Her home life was not anything she can admit to be glamorous by any means. Her mother had died a few years before which she took real hard. She was an only child and now she was still living with her mom’s boyfriend. He, in all reality, was all she had. He is decent to her. He has allowed her to continue to live with him as long as she stayed in school. It has become really weird because he has a new girlfriend who also lives with them. She is only 3 years older and that is hard enough to deal with. All remembrance of her mother is of her own accounts as the boyfriend rarely if ever talks about her. She started feeling out-of-place and in the way of the new life he was starting for himself. So, she decided that she needed to get away, far away, far enough that she didn’t have to worry about the life she wanted to leave behind. She celebrated her birthday with her friends and her part-time on and off boyfriend. It wasn’t a party or anything, just went out to a friends property to drink and get a little wild. The next morning she left the house she grew up in for the last 8 years with nothing but the clothes on her back and the cash she had been saving. As far as she was concerned she only took what she needed and would get more as she moved on and when it was needed. She just started walking south, following the back country roads, following railroads at times, and sleeping where she could when she could. She would bath in restrooms of fast food places and gas stations which was already getting old after a few days. She would get picked up on occasion but it rarely lasted very long because she would feel uncomfortable and unsafe. The only way she felt she could pay was with some kind of sexual favor and she didn’t want to go there.

Unfortunately as she traveled she found herself in need of money, food, and a warm place to stay the night. She learned that her body was something that she could use and get what she wanted in return. She would blow into different hole in the wall towns and waitress at the local bars mostly. She learned that the less she wore to work and the more she teased the men that this equaled more money. She recalled the time she wore the shortest shorts she could find to the bar one night. She remembers these shorts because they have become her lucky shorts over time. She thinks its funny because she got them at a thrift shop for twenty-five cents. While at the bar that night she was convinced to enter into a wet t-shirt contest because the 1st place prize was $1500.00 and a trip to Las Vegas. She remembers thinking Vegas was going the wrong direction for her but if she got the trip she would go and check it out. She spent allot of time telling little white lies about her age in order to work in the bars. Lucky for her they never asked for any identification because she didn’t even have any. So, she entered the contest with all the local girls from the bar and the area around. She knew she would have to make it dirty to have a chance. She wanted the guys to remember her when they went home drunk to their wives and girlfriends. She has began to find the power of showing a little skin here and there. She didn’t win the wet t-shirt contest, but she did place 3rd out of some 40 other women, which in her opinion wasn’t too damn bad. As well, it had a $400.00 prize to go with the title. She knew she would have to try just a little harder the next time. As it turns out her journey to wherever she was going was taking quite some time. It’s been close to a year now and she still finds herself moving. She spent a few months over the winter in San Antonio Texas where she made some good friends and had a decent job working at a hole in the wall strip club as a waitress and a bar-back. She was thinking that this is where it’s at, she just might have found her knew home.

Then, one day out of the blue her roommate decided she wanted to go to Houston to visit family and asked if she wanted to tag along for the weekend. She figured why not, let’s go. Just so happens that when they got into town they saw an advertisement for, as it was billed, the largest wet t-shirt contest on the planet. They joked about going, then the joking became serious, then the joking turned into a dare, the dare turned into a bet. They showed up at Club X in the early evening that Saturday to see if they could check out the competition. They realized real fast that the club was actually a full need strip club and they might be in over their heads. Since she was 18 now she actually had the required identification to prove her age to participate in the wet t-shirt contest. They were given t-shirts with the club logo all over it. As she finds out later, I had a contest of my own to design those t-shirts, she found that funny for some reason I found out later. After getting ready and so forth they had a few drinks when it was announced that there will be over 700 participants in the wet t-shirt contest. Seems that many people want the prizes and don’t care that they will have to show their tits to get it. She had learned over the last year that it’s just a wet t-shirt contest but what it turns out to be is a totally different animal. The men don’t want to see the girls in their t-shirt, they want to see everything but that. She also found that she needed to learn how to move like a stripper if she ever wanted to win, an edge that she thinks she mastered. Then, the parade of tatas began and she remembers how nervous she really was because there were 700 plus girls who all wanted the same prize. She made it thru the initial cut, she made it thru the semi-final cut, and ended up in the top 10 by the time the night progressed. It was time to turn up the heat, game fucking on! She put her game face on and showed Houston what she was made of. She ended up not winning however, she didn’t win the $10,000.00 cash prize for 1st, she didn’t win the $7,500.00 cash prize for 2nd place. She did secure 3rd place and that $5,000.00 purse. She was also approached by the club’s dancer recruiter and asked to attend the boot camp if she would like to have a job. Oh, her friend? Her friend got put out in the semi-finals, receiving a zero dollar prize.  She thought about the offer quite a bit the rest of the night and on into Sunday. She spoke to her friends mom and asked if she could stay with them for a while and she was told yes, of course. Her friend went back to San Antonio that night and she went back down to the strip club to talk to the recruiter about her offer. Since she had already answered the question if she wanted the job or not by staying she got geared up and fired up about going to boot camp to see if she gets the job.

She had to go shopping, she needed some clothes to do the boot camp, and some more street clothes because what she had wasn’t much anymore. During the two weeks of the boot camp she kept wondering if stripping was what she wanted to do. She kept weighing her options, and decided she would give it her best shot. At the end of the 2 weeks she was offered the job and she accepted the job. She remembers thinking that she can’t believe she has got herself into this. She realized that her journey was not important because she didn’t have a destination in mind at the time. Her first couple weeks were a little rough, getting into the routine, dealing with being on probation, and getting used to dancing in the nude in front of such large crowds. It was very overwhelming for her. Once she had been there for about a month she explained that she had stages she liked and disliked, her favorite stage was my bar because it was an opportunity to really let loose. My bar was extended out in all directions to serve as a decent sized stage, this stage even had it’s own pole. She began to meet people and open up and talk to people like myself when she had the time. She did pretty good money-wise and that made her pretty happy. Then, those dreams came crashing down around her, she ended up tearing her knee up real bad one night doing some very enlightening moves. I actually saw it because it happened on my bar. She considered her stripper career to now be ended. She ended up with a real wicked scar down the outside of her leg as a souvenir. She actually kept her job but moved to the front door checking i.d.s and taking admissions. While she was doing that she was going to school to get her TABC license. Once she got that she moved into the bars as a bar-back. She missed the money of stripping but didn’t really miss having to get naked to get paid. She did okay behind the bar, about $50,000 a year plus about $15,000.00 in tips annually. So, bartending wasn’t a bad gig either. Now, she reminded me, that it didn’t stop her from filling in on occasion or the random striptease while she was tending bar. She had fun with it.

She doesn’t think her journey is over because she doesn’t see herself staying in one place for too long. I think she will always do well in life because she chases what she wants and when she catches it she rides it like she stole it. Her story isn’t unlike many. People generally think poorly of strippers and often consider them to be no better than drug addict prostitutes. Not everyone that ends up stripping is running away from something, in fact, many aren’t running at all, they found that the income is great. Sadly, our society shuns nudity and makes it very taboo which tends to lend to be why when a person says strip bar or stripper it is usually done in a whisper. Yes, I know, being a nude stripper isn’t a game that everyone can or even wants to play, but it seems that more and more women are exploring it as an option. Everyday woman, like the ones you work with, go to school with, see at the grocery store, your neighbor, woman everywhere are trying new things for new reasons. Not every story always has a happy ending, as in life, sometimes there are tragedies as well.  Keep that in mind the next time you judge someone before knowing them. I hope you have enjoyed this latest installment to the Bartender Stories. Until next time, remember to eat it every day!

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