Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Found Most of It

Here's my old blog that I wrote before meeting Karen -- before our first date. I thought it was a good indicator of how I thought, what drove me and where my head was at. It's funny how someone can grow so much in two years time -- I'm a lot different of a person, fundamentally the same, but growing in leaps and bounds in some ways.


January 25, 2006


It’s the time of year when I begin working the fishing shows. People at these shows come primarily from a different walk of life; a lot of them only come out of their hiding to attend these shows. They’re often the bruised, the battered, the beaten.

Don’t get me wrong – the fishing community is largely a part of the larger world, and there are plenty of people here that one would consider normal (but, what is normal, but that’s for another time). But many of us anglers are different, and we know we’re different. We’re driven by fish. The striped bass, the flounder, trout, tuna, marlin, and other species dictate how we act and what we do. We study their movements, their habits, how it relates to time, tides and moon cycles, and so on. We keep journals that illustrate how many fish we caught on certain days, and analyze trends. Many of us are hardcore, and we fish that way.

It’s a good way to live life, though. The things you see when you’re fishing are phenomenal, from the dolphins porpoising all around the boat to the birds, the sunrises and sunsets and more. The most beautiful things in the world I have seen while on the water, and it reminds me of how little I am in the grand scheme of things.

Back to the people. They’re a good group overall, but some are quite bizarre. Many are quite quiet, many disturbed, many alcoholics, and many rednecks.

You experience this first-hand when you’re at the show. In life, you surround yourself with people that are like you, have your same attitude towards living and how to treat others. At the shows, you experience people that you may not socialize with, but you still need to talk to them, work with them, and make them loyal readers of your magazine. You also need to work with your advertisers, making them loyal to the magazine as well.

Note: I began writing this at a show, feeling like the people that were there were a bunch of freaks! By the end of the show, my feelings had dissipated and actually turned around! Over the course of a long weekend, I got to rekindle many relationships with advertisers, retailers, general anglers. I also got to talk with a number of our readers, some of whom had called me; what a wonderful experience. It’s nice to feel like your work means something to someone, and they see the direct results of my labors.

My favorite part of the shows is giving seminars. At these sessions, I speak to others and showi them the passion that one can have with fishing. I get to bring them the magic and paint them the picture that they may or may not have experienced.

I love people, and feed off of their energy. I want them to feel my energy; I want to excite, stimulate and inspire. I want to lead.

The more I think about it, the more it makes sense for me to be some type of speaker where I can inspire and lead others. It would be my ultimate position, working with others so they can reach their personal best. From college, I looked around and said that the world needs to see change, and I wanted to change it. I wanted to make things different, to paint a different world for people.

My Big Brother (in my fraternity – don’t have a big brother genetically) Dave is a motivational speaker. He talks to corporations and gives speeches on being a better person, has a motivation hotline and a self-published book and audio series as well. Maybe I work with Dave on something. Maybe we go for the individuals. Maybe I write a book and follow it up with a speaking tour. Maybe we do infomercials on cable TV.

Need to do something.

I feel so fragmented in my approach to life right now, but I’ve got so many possibilities. My goals are simple:
1. Make some short-term income that can help supplement my income.
2. Build long-term income towards investments, including real estate, so I can be financially self-sufficient.
3. Have fun!

Number three is important in the grand scheme of things, and I won’t sacrifice my personal life for professional. I’m happy for the balance to go out of whack for a little bit, but never too long.

I’m going to continue with getting hosting done and working with Goose – he’s absolutely visionary, and we can both benefit from the work. The dude’s on the bleeding edge and continues to have what we saw in him when we were teens:

“Goose, we need something that will do the following. Now go make it.” He’d make it and then some. Never lost that talent.

Don’t make money for someone else forever. Make it for yourself and those closest to you first, boy.


My high school reunion was such a wonderful experience. To see all those people that I hadn’t seen in years was so enlightening, so nice, that I wouldn’t have traded it for the world. The only way that I’ll miss any future reunions is if I’m too ill, as the opportunity to see the people that I grew up with is still such a rare opportunity.

I miss them all. I miss the security that I felt in high school. College was initially tough for me, because I felt so accepted in high school, and it took me time to feel that level of acceptance in college. It was partially my own doing (not feeling accepted in college), but I quickly learned how to play the game, and things were fine.

The reunion was uneventful overall. Watching all the cliques disintegrate was a wonderful things. I watched the “cool” people talk to the braniacs, and vice versa. It’s like after 10 years, they all finally got it – too bad that for many, it was too late.

Even though it’s only for a night, I cherished the moment and thought about it for quite some time afterwards. I hope my children have the special moments and special experiences that I had while I was in high school. I’m not sure why, but I felt akin with everyone in that town, and I’ll never forget that feeling. I think that it’s given me the confidence and drive that I have now and continues to pay large dividends.

I got the opportunity to see some old girlfriends. The first love of my life was there. She was beginning to look a little ragged and not as absolutely gorgeous as she was when we were young; not only that, she was still trying to associate with the cool crowd. Ironically, my Dad said that she came to my parents’ house a couple of years ago looking for me; he never told me, because I wished she and I had gone to lunch or dinner just to catch up.

My wife didn’t want to go to my reunion. She said that she wouldn’t know anyone and would not have fun. It made me sad and was telling of the road that we were on.

I got to see other girlfriends as well, some of whom were fully pregnant. We danced and told each other how we missed each other. What a great experience, as always.

Clearly, one of the best people that I saw was Korin, my neighborhood friend and the best female friend that I had in High School. She asked me to sign her yearbook (as I hadn’t signed it in high school), and we spent lots of time together. I met her husband who seems like a real nice guy, and I was quite happy for her. After the reunion was over, everyone went up to a suite that someone had reserved for the night where we continued having fun.

Korin, two other people (I can’t believe I’m forgetting their names right now!) including Brian Davidson and another girl, and I sat around as Brian played guitar and we all sang. I swear that we sang 30 songs and had the best time, just like old times. No matter what we did, we were able to kick loose, let go and have a great time. We were comfortable with one another, knew everything about each other and knew that things were going to be okay.

When the night was over, I walked Korin back to her room as I left to go home. Korin said to me, “you had so many girlfriends in high school, but you never wanted to date me.”

I’ve often thought about what Korin said to me back in 1998 after our 10-year reunion. Nearly 10 years later, I still think about it. I never knew and did not want to broach such a solid friendship. I know that a friendship will survive even tough times like that, but chancing that could have ended in disaster. Besides that, she always told me that she liked Eddie, and that’s another broach of trust that I wasn’t comfortable doing.

This girl meant the world to me. We did everything together; we used to talk about our relationships, our friendships, other people. We used to meet at night and just walk around the streets, listening to music and walking around, talking, laughing. We used to explore the woods together, go fishing and do whatever. After school, we would all get together and do goofy, goofy things. We didn’t have good times together – the time that we spent, now that I really think about it, were great. Fantastic.

It takes a lack of comfort to realize how important it is to be comfortable with someone. I was always so comfortable with her. Korin knew me, inside and out. I would have done most anything for her, and I don’t think that she knew it. Her parents were religious, and her father was a strict disciplinarian; I felt bad for Korin as her parents were hard on her and let her do little. She would have to lie to her parents to do what most others were allowed.

I wish she knew that I would have done anything for her. I wish that she had told me how she felt. I don’t know if anything would have changed, but she should have known.

I may contact Korin just to talk with her, because I feel that things are so unresolved with us. It’s not that I want to upset her family or anything, I just want her to know what she meant to me and that I’ll always care for her. She’ll always be one of my best friends, and I’ll always be here for her if she needs her. I hope she’s as happy as she deserves, because she’s truly a person with a good heart and soul, something that’s rare in this world.

Pretty soon, my 20 year reunion will be here. I’ll get to see everyone again, and I hope most everyone goes. I’ll be there.


What a wonderful medium. I have developed such a love, such a passion, such a desire for music. I can lose myself, then find myself again, in music.

There’s little that allows you to express yourself in a more beautiful, or a more ugly, way than music. We are all artists in our own right, but musicians truly bring expression to a new level. Whether it’s a guitar, a piano, a full band, someone singing or whatever it may be, we all can get insights into others through their music.

Someone recently told me about one of their favorite albums, an artist that I barely knew and an album that I knew nothing of. I went and bought it and found a whole new world. A new level of passion, new feelings, and another part of expression:

We’re gonna rise from these ashes like a bird of flame,
take my hand
We’ve gotta go where we can shine

Show your true self. Break yourself down so you’re raw, you’re pure, you’re beautiful. Your inner anger, happiness, fears and confidence are shed in time, and learn who you are and what drives you, what inspires you, what scares you, if you wish:

Baby let’s go below the surface
To see what we can find
There’s no reason to be nervous
‘Cuz it happens all the time
I don’t want to go up to the mountains
I don’t want to go down to the sea
We’re gonna stay right here until we unravel
The mystery
While the lights of the city are shining below
Gonna hold on to you, girl and never let go
While everyone else is just walking around in their sleep
Baby let’s dig down deep

Let the music course through your ears, through your veins, through your soul, through your fingertips. Let it encompass your being. Let it overcome you, overwhelm you, overtake you, push you beyond your boundaries, then pull you back in, if you want to. It can do to you what you want, what you’re most comfortable with, or it can do nothing to you. You can let it inspire you to dance, or you can just listen. It’s what you make of it.

Sounds familiar.

January 23, 2006

The Winter Grind

Here I am, sitting in Baltimore, Maryland at a beautiful hotel and about to spend the week here. I'll be attending a local boat show and giving seminars. This year's going to be intense with the seminars, from the one I did last week and this past weekend to the ones I'll be giving at various club meetings -- I'm also the guest of honor at an annual convention in two weeks. The fun never stops.

The problem is that I have no personal life. I have absolutely no social happenings, and my guitar that I bring on the road with me is my only friend. There's nothing I can do but keep on going and get through it.

I see beautiful places. I miss my kids. I'm really missing them dearly. Brian's sick and Michael's birthday is in a week. I will be off for his birthday weekend, but it's just tough. I miss them more than anything.

So I whine a little bit -- let me get it off my chest -- it's my free writing (I'm beginning to see a pattern here). It'll be over soon, before I know it.


January 16, 2006

The Bookstore

I had to sit in a bookstore's coffee shop today as I waited for a delivery of magazines. To pass time, I did a lot of people watching; always a fun adventure when you're checking out the world in a bookstore.

You get to see all walks of life, from children, teens and college students to older adults. Some are socializing, while most are reading books and magazines; I wonder how many of these people will actually buy what they're reading.

There was one woman who was in the coffee shop before I sat down as I was waiting for my first cup of decaf. As she left, we exchanged glances, and I gave my normal hello to her. She was pretty, and as she left, I felt her walking away with her eyes locked on me as I looked at the book that I was holding. She stopped and was looking at a rack of magazines, so I glanced up quickly. Her eyes were still locked on me, so I smiled politely, then moved my attention back to the book I had in my hand.

This bookstore is located in Suburbia, about 3 hours from my present home. However, it's about 10 minutes from where the kids live, so I'm here pretty regularly. It's your typical Borders, containing volumes of books, of course, music, DVDs and the coffee shop.

After I got my coffee, I found a table, then sat down by myself, and started to read the book I picked out (another Me Project book). As I'm reading, I glance up. The woman who was looking so fondly at me has come back into the coffee shop, this time for something else to drink, a water I think. She's paying for the product and is 20 feet directly in front of me. She completes her purchase, stops to pick up a straw and sits down at the table right next to me. She has no book in hand, no nothing.

Your move, Den.

Do I know her? Is she someone I went to High School with? No, I'd remember her if she went to high school. Did I work with her?

No, I don't remember anyone that looks like her. I'd remember her if I knew her -- five foot, two, dark brown hair past her shoulders, slender and green eyes. I'd remember. I don't forget many faces and can usually put them back in the situations that I met them, if I concentrate.

I kept reading, paying little attention to her. I gave up my move. Game over.

The woman left within three minutes and marched right out of the store. I could be wrong, but I still suspect she came back into the coffee shop to talk to me, and I didn't bite. I hid behind the book that I was reading although I could feel her presence as she sat down at the table next to me, the smell of her perfume invading my table. Maybe I'm wrong.

Regardless, I should have spoken with her. We all go to a place where we think this person has some secret agenda and they're looking for something from you. I hid behind my security blanket, some book I took off the shelf, while I should have just small talked her. Even if she just wanted to drink something, most people (like me) like that interaction. But I was a coward, I feared the unknown, a conversation with a pretty girl that was probably going to be about nothing.

I would have gotten a lot from the conversation, as I would have had an opportunity to open my mouth on a day primarily spent in solitary confinement as I go to pick up magazines alone, drive alone, eat alone, read alone. I can't even really talk on the cell phone much as my cell phone's battery is weak.

Maybe I just think too much. Maybe I shouldn't worry about such things. However, if I don't worry about these things, won't I ever be able to benefit from the fear of talking to someone? I'm not afraid of talking with people that are older, younger or different than me (someone that I wouldn't date), but those that I would date I can just strike up a conversation. I often feel like they're going to think that I'm being contrived or feeding them lines.

Need to work on being able to small talk or big talk anyone.


Just got back from a boat show over the weekend, and all I can say is that I'm tired. It was a long weekend show that ran all day long; we were sponsoring the fishing seminars, so I was running ragged making announcements and introducing speakers. Don't know if we'll do seminars at this show again, as they weren't as successful as I'd like; we had 20 people at most attend all the seminars, which is no good.

Enough about work; I'm exhausted.

The nice thing about the weekend was that I got to spend time in another city. The bad thing was that I really didn't get to do much; I befriended the bartenders at the hotel, and we would go to a local English tavern after they got off work for a drink. So, I walked a couple of blocks, had a drink then went home and to bed. Played a little guitar, but only a little -- the hotel said that I had to play in my room, and my Office Manager's son was working the show with me and staying in the same room. I didn't want to disturb him, so I played in the hotel hallway -- rediculous, but my 6-string was calling my name.

The nice thing about the weekend was the people I met. I met lots of people that had no agendas and just wanted to chat, or play darts or whatever. I was complimented many times as well, which felt good also. Need to learn to take compliments better.

Okay, time to go to bed. I'm tired but wanted to convey something. Have another hectic week, and I'm speaking this weekend. Need to prepare so I'm ready to roll...also need to do LOTS of work and get personal life in order; plenty to do, never enough time!

January 14, 2006


It’s a strange time. Life’s right now in automatic mode. My weekends are packed with work, and my personal life is nonexistent. Seeing the kids now is a real chore and is downright impossible on some weekends. I know that the family/work balance goes out of whack sometimes, but for the amount that I work, it’s really crazy right now and will remain this way for some time to come.

Other personal items only get more confusing. I’ve been sent big messages that indicate the state of any relationships I have will remain distant, and that’s honestly probably the best. It’s still tough, as I feel a connection. I’ve never been wrong, but maybe this isn’t a mutual feeling. Maybe what I feel and see when we’re together is wrong.

Remember, this is my free writing; I’m going to be ambiguous because I can. If you don’t get it, don’t worry.

It may be the right time for me to feel a broken heart. Nothing’s gone far but I feel those emotional strings sometimes tightening. It may be good and will probably do me some good. I feel bad because I’ve broken so many hearts, and it’s not like I ever did it intentionally, but it’s just what happens. You need to love the way you love; if people fall for you and you don’t fall for them, or if the relationship changes and you feel the need to move on, you’ve got to move on. I’ve tried to rekindle my feelings in the past, and it usually doesn’t work.

There are times when you need to fly solo, or even go underground, and I’m beginning to feel like it’s my time to head down under. With the crazy work schedule, I don’t think that the world would even miss me. But I’ve been having so much fun that I don’t know if I should stop now; I still feel guilty at times for the amount of fun that I’ve been having.

The problem is that when you feel it, you feel it. Unfortunately, you may feel it, but the timing may not be right. It may just be a bad overall time, and you can’t push things. Have patience, my boy, have patience. If you wait and let things shake out, they may work out for the best. It’s tough though, because I’m used to pushing the issue and making things happen. I’ve learned how to have poise, but to use it and be patient isn’t always easy. The Me Project continues…

So, do I stop having fun? Stop going out and kicking loose? There’s really nothing that’s getting hurt – I don’t usually drink enough to even get drunk, and I’m just out and having fun. I’ve really learned to have fun and make almost any situation as fun as it can be. It’s nice to let go and be yourself.

The other night, I decided that I was going to head underground for the next three months. I’m not sure that I can head fully underground – I may need to go have fun, just not try to date or start any relationships. It’s a new day, and I, once again, need to work on me.

Get the business underway. Get caught up in all aspects of work. Get the abs in order. Get better on the guitar. Get the book done and out. Get it all together.

Get going, boy, get going…

January 11, 2006

Let my inspiration flow...

Not sure what's happened in the past couple of days, but I'm feeling re-energized, invigorated and ready to take on some big things. My workload has increased three- or four-fold, but it's okay -- I'm still finding time to write. The chains are broken again, and I'm back to heads-down into the empowered world. It's a good world, and it's a good thing.

Inspiration, move me brightly...

It's strange how you go from being under- to over-inspired over time; what I need to work on is having a steady flow of creativity, but, of course, it's not like the old days. When you are a copywriter by trade, you unleash your mind so you can go new places and explore new things. Then you become a manager, and the shackles begin. I often shed them through creative writing and outdoors writing, then I became the Editor of an outdoors publication...back to the shackles.

I'm easily inspired and need little to turn it on. I can usually do it myself, but I was having a tough time getting out of my own way! When you see it and feel it, you know:

"Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if you look at it right..."

Back on. It's back on, big time. No shackles, no nothing. In a free fall and loving every minute of it. Hopefully, I'll be flying soon...

Where to start? So much to do, so little time. Start slow, and work yourself up to the fever that you feel. That's what I'm doing. Starting to get up early in the morning, moving on a couple of things quickly, then keep moving. Get your day's work done, then let go and see where it takes you.

It may be the mixture that my life has right now -- between work, working out and extracurricular activities, it's got a decent balance, and I'm finally free to go where I need to go. Pretty liberating.

Confused? I'm sorry. Remember, it's my free writing. Doesn't have to always make sense, and because I publish it on the web, I need to be ambiguous at times.

You also meet people in your journey that help inspire you and help you break your shackles. They don't need to know it, and it's nothing that they've done. That's the beauty of inspiration, it's a pure force that grabs your spirit and motivates from within. When inspired, your greatness abounds.

Okay, now I'm just babbling. Time for a run!

-- den

January 10, 2006

The Me Project Continued

The Me Project continues. I'm continuing to work on myself and sometimes even focus on myself so I can make me a better person. My ultimate goal? To push myself beyond my current boundaries -- to continue to grow personally and professionally so I can reach new hights and levels of satisfaction.

The process has led me to read quite a bit. In the past few months, I've read a number of books about maximizing my own productivity and happiness, including books like, "Date or Soul Mate?" Believe it or not, the books on finding people that match you push you to realize who you are before you go looking for someone else. Enough on that -- it's somewhat embarrassing, but indicative of my path, nonetheless.

Actually, that book was one of the better books that I read, as it asks you 20 questions about how you view yourself and how others view you. The results of it are quite eye-opening, and the whole process makes you look inside yourself.

You know, it's difficult talking about yourself, and it's something I need to work on. I get sick of hearing about me, and I find it easier to ask others questions about themselves then sit there and ramble on about myself. It gives others a comfort level that they have in me, because as I talk to them, I find out what level I can associate with them about.

Except her. She's got me in a tizzy, to talk like the locals do, right now. I'm finding that I can relate on her on almost EVERY level, and I don't think we've even dug deep enough to see how much it could be. Scared to jump, scared that I'll start holding on too much, scared not to hold on, but I'm just free writing. I've gotten off the subject. But it is my free writing, isn't it? Read some Joyce and you'll learn about stream of conscience!

Anyway, back to the Me Project -- stay focused Den, stay focused. Here are the current goals in the Me Project:
1. Get back into good shape. Down to 170 to 175 pounds and a better defined body
2. Career -- get back on track -- don't settle for mediocrity -- launch successful venture
3. Continue working on the kids and developing them -- teach them the 7 habits and help them internalize. Be sure that they learn at least one new thing when I spend extended time with them.
4. No smoking
5. Continue my learning on the guitar. By year's end, begin learning next instrument.
6. Continue surrounding myself with quality people. Find the best, most beautiful and smartest, and hold on tightly to them. Learn all I can from them and the examples they provide.
7. Minimize fear of the unknown. Embrace uncertainty and learn to thrive in that state. While I don't want to stay there, I've learned too much to turn back now.
8. See my family more. Need to see my Mom and Dad, brother and extended family as much as possible. I miss them.
9. See friends from High School more. Miss them dearly also and feel like I'm losing the connections (although I'm not).

Okay, enough for now. The Me Project continues and will continue.

January 07, 2006

Going to load in some free writing

I'm loading in some of my old free writing that I've done in the past few weeks. Some of it is new, some old, and in no particular order. My blogs were accidentally deleted, and I can't get them back. You should never lose your free writing -- it gives you a glimpse of where you were at when you wrote the material; where your head was.

Anyway, I may try to re-create some of this lost material, but, of course, I'm at a different place from where I am now. We'll see...

Please enjoy these blogs. They may be useful or interesting to you or they may not -- I always said I was an open book, but I never planned to be this open. Makes you feel kind of vulnerable. You need to expose your true self to grow as a person, so here goes, for as long as I can handle it.


I've switched my blogging software

I've had to switch my blogging software, as the previous software was just so darn buggy. I'll try to recreate the old blog files -- some of them I saved to word processing, while others were erased completely. Today's will be recreated no matter what, but others may or may not.

If you're reading my blogs, let me know. Let me know what you'd like to see and what you wouldn't. Drop a line to Happy reading!


January 04, 2006

The Second Time Around

She comes back into my life; the first time was amazing - a connection that I can't explain, can't understand. Even when we were apart and communicated so little, her words pulled me in. The things she wouldn't even know:

"That's a lie, and I don't want to lie to her; I'd rather hope that she just forgets over time."

No liars. Be a straight shooter with me, even if it's bad. I'd rather know if this isn't what you're looking for, just tell me, I'll lick my wounds and move on.

The second time was as good, if not better, than the first. I felt crummy the first time, and unfortunately, this second time was her turn. We started off uncomfortable at first, then quickly talked through the uncomfortable moments.

The night again was amazing, with the connection happening again, this time in public. I still remember the moment.

She grabbed me tight, pulled me in close to her with all her might in a crowd of people and muttered something to the effect of, "don't do this to me!" I told her that this was what I was looking for.

"I'm starting to like you," she said as we drove along. I can't break my promise to you. I won't call unless returning a call, and won't harass you. When the time's right, we do it again. I won't push too hard, may nudge a little at times, but no pushing.

It's there. She knows it and so do I. I promised her that I won't like her, and I won't. I do like being with her, and I will tell her that. The funny thing is that if she was gone tomorrow it would be okay. I've enjoyed my time with her, and while I hope I can spend more with her in the future, I appreciate what we've done so far.

Don't be greedy.

I look back on the night and have a number of wishes. Wish we had gone home sooner together; I wasn't trying to get her too drunk or anything. I just wanted to show her fun. I forget that she knows how to have fun without me.

I don't remember the last time I asked somebody, "what are you thinking about?" I really wonder what she's thinking about. Where her mind's going. Not in a worrisome mode, but curious to see the adventures she has in there.

Someone who looks at the world differently. Someone who appreciates what is around her. Someone who is downright sexy. Someone who can have fun anywhere by letting go. Someone who gets that feeling of the magic in a moment, an experience, a thought, a touch...

"Don't touch me," she said as I put my hand on the small of her back and walked beside her.
"Huh, bu-," I tried to retort.
"Don't try to control me," she barked back.

The hand isn't one of control. The hand is one of support, one of caring, one of empowering. I've found that the best way to partner is to give up the reigns, or just take one, but don't try to control. I don't like it, and wouldn't like to try to be controlled. Provide support, empowerment and love, and all will work out just fine.

There's more, but that's for later. Another installment.

What's next? Don't know. Scary but exciting at the same time. Whatever happens does, and all I can do is let it happen. Buckle in.

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