80 Proof Playlist Update #4

I’ve decided to update the ol’ 80 Proof Playlist, because why not:

Here’s the latest round of song, in chronological order of the posts published. This time, I’ll also post some feedback on the song/post.

  1. “This is not a love song; this isn’t fantasy-land…” (Rush – Cold Fire)
    1. I actually didn’t like this song at first, but now it’s grown on me. I like the post as I see it as a very good basic building block of a relationship – settings expectations for better or worse. I believe I made my own version based on it and I think I’m going to make a second, revised version. Below is one of his best points.
    2. 18. If you have a problem with me, I expect you to tell me about it. I will continue to behave the way I do until I’m clearly told it is unacceptable. I may continue even afterwords but I’m willing to listen to reason.

  2. “After I count down three rounds…” – (The Dead South – In Hell I’ll Be In Good Company)
    1. This song is often stuck in my head after I give it a listen. Then I listen to it 20 times to get it through my system. Then 20 more.
  3. “Here besides news of holy war and holy need…” – (Duran Duran – Ordinary World)
    1. This is another song that grew on me. I’m not normally a fan of Duran Duran, beyond a few recognized hits. As for the post, I like it because it references important posts in Ace’s inventory, which makes it easier for me to reference them later.
  4. “Am I the righteous or the damned?” – (In This Moment – Oh Lord)
    1. Besides a good song, I like this post because it’s a promise to get to 52 posts in a year. Which I greatly appreciate given that Ace’s blog is one of the few I still read.
  5. “But find the ones that bring you life and you’ll find me” – (Nothing More – Fade In/Fade Out)
    1. This song rends my heart. It scares me. It reminds me that my Father is about to turn 70 this year, and though he looks around 10-20 years younger, depending on the day, when he started caring for my Mother after her stroke three years ago, it was the first time I’d seen him tired. The first time I’d seen him as an old man. The first time I’d seen him as normal. The first time I’d realized that he’d eventually fade out, just like my grandparents. I’m not ready for that at all.
    2. I enjoy homework assignments.
  6. “When the night is young and the land is dark…” (Stand By Me – Barron, Lemmy Kilminster, Dave Lombardo)
    1. I can appreciate the experience Ace talks about in this post as I’ve lived it a couple times. Even though I misinterpreted the homework assignment, I got out an email that contains a lot of what I should have said to someone some 3-8 years sooner than I did. The song’s an interesting variation, too.
  7. “I don’t have to look at you to see in yours eyes…” – (Drain – Right Through You)
    1. This song is eeriely beautiful. And it came in my life a time so appropriate for it that I don’t think it was just happenstance.
    2. It makes an extremely good point about how women tend to look for the meaning in what people don’t say or reveal. Which is an interesting way to look at things – it also makes more sense why some women are attracted to men who look like outright scumbags, besides the obvious talking points.
  8. “She’s got a smile that heals me…” – (Billy Joel – She’s Got a Way)
    1. I’m a fan of Billy Joel.
    2. There’s so much negativity around that we often forget there’s a very good reason that men naturally want women in their lives. It’s just that their natural programming to be a helpmeet to the right man is subverted by propaganda and societal messages that invert natural drives and incentivize the worst in women rather than rewarding their best and discouraging otherwise.
  9. “Behind the curtain, in the pantomime…” – (Queen – The Show Must Go On)
    1. I’m a fan of Queen
    2. I really like the central message of the song – too many men let a bad relationship or even worse, the end of a good one, torpedo their lives. I’m guilty of this to an extent as well, though I’m better than I used to be.
    3. I like that Ace reminds the reader that he’s learned things the hard way and has suffered plenty himself, rather than just pretending he was either always an Alpha Male or that he just magically found the keys to the kingdom and you too, for the price of $69.99, can be ballsdeep in a tsunami of women like me!
  10. “No way to prepare; impending despair…” (Type O Negative – Anesthesia)
    1. I’m slowly becoming a Type O Negative fan.
    2. This song has an eerie quality to it. Ace has said, a couple of times, that he hopes to be your dark secret that you read under the covers with a flashlight under the dark of night. This song is great background music for it.
    3. I agree with the premise to this post; loss and how you deal with it, are more responsible for your success with women than many things. Hell, most men, including myself, were drawn to this corner of the web because an overwhelming sense of loss. Loss of a loved one, and perceived loss of future opportunities due to lack of knowledge.


Ice Cream Cake Game

~ this was written yesterday night and posted this morning

Tonight, to console myself over disappointing news, I decided I’d go to a friend’s house for dinner and a movie. It was already decided ahead of time what we’d watch and that I would be bringing ice cream cake. I felt bad bringing the remains of the ice cream cake that I bought for my roommate, to welcome him coming home from graduating Ranger School, so I bought a new one.

An Oreo Cake with chocolate and cookie dough.

As I was walking towards their door from my car, parked across the street in the grass, I saw a mixed group of two girls and two guys. I asked them if they knew any of my friends. When they replied that they knew neither the man or his wife, I introduced myself:

Me: “Hi, I’m Thomas and I love ice cream cake.”

Them: “Is that an ice cream cake?”

Me: “Why yes it is. An oreo ice cream cake.”

*gets to the door*

Me: “Would you like some?”

Them: “Are you serious?”

Me: “Yeah, do you have a knife?”

I ended up introducing them to my friends and getting all their names. Sadly I only remember the name of the girls. Turns out, one of the guys knew my buddy. He was a soldier in my friend’s platoon (my friend was the Platoon Leader). We chatted for a little bit. The group I met were helping a fella and his lady move, but they’d be there for a while. I got’em two slices.

Apparently they all had a stressful day of moving and I made their night by adding ice cream cake to it.

Today was good day, despite its disappointing, frustrating start.


“I recall the scent of you when everything was fine…”

Each time I go through a bad break up, I immediately look back on my memories of the relationship and try to see all the things I did and said, to try and find lessons in them. I do this as it gives me a cold comfort and because I hope to never repeat them again in the future. I’d probably credit me doing this more than any of the tricks of trade I learned regarding women, for my success with them. For each new relationship I had, I instantly put to use the new lessons and saw almost immediate results each time. In fact, each successive serious relationship I had was more satisfying than the last, and each girl was better quality than the last.

However, apparently I haven’t done this to all of them. This break up here, wasn’t really a break up.

“You see, this past weekend, I broke up with my girlfriend. It was the most amicable break up I’ve had the pleasure of enduring to this day. The thing was, I knew it was coming. I knew it the night before. I knew it a month before.

Because I had warnings – repeated warnings.

Many men who say they didn’t see it coming either couldn’t read the signs or didn’t want to.

You know how it goes. The relationship cools down slightly. Comfortable. You’ve got a confidence that’s hard to rock.

Then it happens. Somethings’s amiss.

She doesn’t refer to you by your usual pet name. She doesn’t sign off in the usual manner. She replies to the messages you send slower than usual. She forgets to call you back. She is not as receptive to your advances as you last remember. She asks you what would you would do if she just didn’t want to have sex anymore. You can’t remember the last time she got jealous. She told you that if you broke up, she was happy she met you.

I’m sure you’ll recognize something in there.”

That break up didn’t affect me as bad as it would have because it was never over for me. Because I never had to deal with it. At the time, I was worried about my mother who had a stroke three months prior and losing my job, which was extremely important to me. By the time I had overcome my physical limitations and saved my job I had met someone on tinder, a German girl I called Jora, who surprised me with the caliber of person she was and how quick I was smitten by her.

A single attack of conscience, doing the right thing at an awkward time set the relationship on a collision course from which it didn’t recover. It ended with the girl I thought I might love going completely radio silent on me, including deleting my snapchat, me as a friend on Facebook, and blocking me on all channels of communication. I was…destroyed. Morose. Miserable. Desperate to learn new lessons so that this would never happen again. And I did learn.

But I didn’t learn from my break up with…we’ll call her Mia. I never truly suffered through the break up, truly examined why it ended beyond an increased amount of distance. The thing is, I always believed that distance takes problems and exacerbates them. It is not necessarily the problem in of itself.

However, recently this past December, close to New Year’s I started talking to Mia again. She broke up with her then boyfriend about a week later, something I was not surprised about. Using the lessons I learned from Jora, I immediately set about telling her a lot of my innermost thoughts about what happened and ultimately trying to make her understand that she was in fact important to me and that I did in fact care about her, more than she thought. Because I never fully suffered from the break up, and I realize, never fully accepted it was over, old feelings started to come back. I starting thinking about getting back together with her. After a while, she got wise to me and asked me why I was talking to her so much all of a sudden.

I talked to her pretty much everyday for a large part of January. Some of February. But then I fell back into old habits. From my last conversation with her, she briefly thought about getting back together when I bought and mailed her flowers for Valentine’s day. The first time I’ve ever done anything like that for her, and apparently the first time any boyfriend of hers ever bought her flowers. But then shortly after I disappeared into my old habits and video games, when my life had taken a turn for the worse. She realized that I hadn’t quite changed and that she was that important to me. At least I definitely didn’t act like it.

Last night, I had a long conversation with her, and probably the last one for a while. I started off by asking how she was and how her new banking job was doing. When she asked about me, I didn’t hide that I was hurt, but didn’t focus on it either. While I did want to get back together, still felt like I loved her, her answering my first question of “What are you thinking/What do you want?” quickly dispelled any notion of trying to go that way. So I prolonged the conversation so I could one enjoy her company as much as I could before it was over and two so I could be comfortable enough to tell her what I was really thinking.

She repaid me in full by explaining how she felt good when she broke up with her exe because she didn’t have to worry about someone else. Why they weren’t texting her, what were they doing, why didn’t they want to spend every minute with her. And she didn’t want to meet someone new and lose that good feeling. But she did. She met someone as she was leaving her old job. Told me how she didn’t want to like him, but he was steadfast in texting her every day, all the time. At first she didn’t like it, but it grew on her. She noticed that he was texting her when he woke up, when he was at work, and when he couldn’t see her, he wanted to call her. She felt happy and didn’t know why and that’s when one of her friends told her that she felt loved and cared for (she briefly tried to say that she didn’t need it, but it was very nice to have! 😉 ). There were many other things said and discussed but the important thing is twofold:

  1. Dealing with this situation has been extremely painful for me. I haven’t felt this bad since highschool or my second serious relationship in college.
  2. I’ve realized that I was a terrible boyfriend to this girl in many ways. And I never saw that before. The fact that I was her first and had other redeeming qualities merely meant that I got away with more than I should have. And it’s these many lessons I’m learning, now that I see things with a new lens once again, that give me enough cold comfort to function normally right now, instead of curling into a ball and mulling over what a I gem I had, what a gem I overlooked.


The Biggest Problem In My Life Right Now

The biggest problem in my life right now is two fold:

  1. I’m still a good journey and a half from where I need to be, to both be the man I want and need to be
  2. I’m almost all talk and little if any concrete action beyond a day or two when it comes to changing my life. I’m always on the precipice of taking this action. Precipice of taking that action. My paradigm is changing. But I haven’t truly made any difficult choices. I’ve put off many important ones and gotten away with them for now. This is worse than just suffering from delusion damage. I see the bars clearly, but like Louis CK, do nothing about them.
    1. If this be the case, then do I not deserve my imprisonment?
    2. If I can hardly see beyond my nose, because hardly anything beyond it is important to me, what kind of a life will I lead? What kind of a life do I deserve?
    3. How can I expect to live if I can’t make a decision?

Facing a firing squad feels easier than facing the conversation I am going to have. And that’s why I have to have it.Wald

Thomas Time


My name’s Thomas and I often introduce myself as “Thomas, like the Train”. Or “Thomas the Train”. Usually I get a laugh or a knowing smile. As a fan myself, of the original Thomas the Train series I get a kick out of that.

A while back, the morning after New Year’s, a friend of mine, we’ll call him ‘Heli’ introduced me to a concept called “Thomas Time”.

Basically, Heli explained that I, ‘Thomas’, when I say I am going to be somewhere, either show up [hours] early or [hours] late. He explained that I am predictable in that I am unpredictable; I often zig instead of zag and vice versa. Planning with me can be an exercise in frustration. The only reason, Heli said, why he doesn’t mind as much as he might, is that I don’t make demands on people’s time, don’t get mad when they don’t clear their schedule for me, and am perfectly happy to do my own thing, even sleep in my own car in the event of a mismatch in schedules or communication.

Recently, I pretty much, torpedoe’d a different friend’s New Year’s Eve. He told me he wasn’t mad at me the next day (knowing that I am how I am), but just doesn’t want to do “Thomas Time” planning anymore. I believe he was mad, may be over it now, but we haven’t talked much since.

I talked on the phone with my Dad about ‘Thomas Time’ and heard knowing laughs. I realize that I’ve been on “Thomas Time” since about 5 years ago when I started seriously chasing girls the first semester of my junior year in college. My friends were mostly insulated from Thomas Time because I knew them in military college, where I was in fact very punctual and easy to make plans with. But my long suffering family knows Thomas Time all too well, even if they didn’t make up a name for it (they probably did and I just don’t remember).

I could say that my flakiness is in part, in response to flaky girls, but that would just be deflecting blame and responsibility.

I realize that if I don’t get a handle on Thomas Time, and eventually retire it, I’ll eventually railroad both over my friendships and relationships with family. It’s part of my New Year’s Resolutions, to get a handle on Thomas Time.



When I was younger I used to have a theory I called environmentalism, which seemed to better explain people’s’ behavior towards one another than how ‘racism’ did. That is, people develop opinions about the world and others depending one what their environment is comprised of.

For example, if you’re a policeman, you might tend to think of the world in three terms: cops, perpetrators (perps), and civilians. If you meet someone who’s not a cop, you’re already more likely to put them one of two boxes.

When it comes to race, I always thought that no one intrinsically dislike another race. At best, one is indifferent and forms opinions based on the types of people one interacts with. If you’ve got only negative interactions of a race, then you’ll have negative opinions. However, people, races, sexes, all behave differently in different locations and circumstances. For example, whites in the US are different from whites in England. Whites in the North are different from Whites in the South. Same with blacks. Blacks in Chicago are different from Blacks in New York and Blacks in America are wholly different from Blacks in Africa. A man who interacts with Blacks in Chicago is liable to have a vastly different opinion of Blacks than a man who interacts with Blacks in Africa.

I believe that people start with neutral opinions of other people and other places and form them after repeated interactions. If one travels, it gives one a bit of perspective that different people can be even more varied in behavior and beliefs in different areas, even amongst a particular race or nationality.


“…and I Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart…”

This past year has been busy and my motivation to post has been tiny. But this year, I hope to change that. This was meant to go up earlier last year. I think I didn’t publish it because I wasn’t yet happy with it. Instead of letting perfect be the enemy of good, I’m going to publish today. Luckily, I had a little inspiration and was able to add to it.

I wrote this down 9 June 2017, to be published today, 4 July 2017. A two year anniversary.

“Everytime we talk, I remember that day,

Suddenly you clear up the haze,

Don’t be fooled it was no small heart break,

It’ll haunt me, for the rest of my days.


Everytime we talk, I can’t decide,

Whether or not I should push you away,

Or maybe I want to pull you in,

Equivocating, this is my fate,


…and I nearly forgot my broken heart,

It’s given me years of ache,

But still despite all of the enduring pain,

I’m addicted to, this game


Everytime we talk, I feel alive,

It’s not over but you can’t deny,

The cycle goes like day and night,

For now it’s a hello and good bye,


You’re like a habit that I can’t kick,

Everynow and then I need a fix,

More than I deserve, I get my wish,

My eyes roll back as I take hit,


…and I nearly forgot my broken heart,

It’s given me years of ache,

But still despite all of the enduring pain,

I’m addicted to, this game


I just want to be done learning,

So I can start living, but it’s hard,

After every disaster, looms happy ever after,

But it’s hard…”


P.S. The original chorus and the bridge in the lyrics actually fit this poem quite well, but I was trying my best to be original.

“And I nearly forgot my broken heart,

It’s taken me miles away,

From the memory of how it broke apart,

Here we go ’round, again

Every single feeling tells me this is leading,

To a heart in broken little pieces,

And you know I need this,

Like a hole…”


Blood on the Risers v.2

I wrote my own version of the above song as a cadence for my platoon to sing when I went through airborne school a little over a year ago. Sadly, we never got to sing it. I thought I might put it up here so that the pages containing the lyrics don’t get lost in my next move.

There was a paratrooper, he was from 1st platoon,

He jumped outta the plane, thought this is what he wanted to do,

Realized a little too late, he was fresh outta ‘chutes!

He ain’t gonna jump no more!


Gory, gory, what a hullava way to die,

Gory, gory, what a hullava way to die,

Gory, gory, what a hullava way to die,

He ain’t gonna jump no more!


There was a paratrooper, he was from 2nd platoon,

He curb stomped riggers and smurfs for fun, his boots were bloody blue,

The riggers they had enough, they put a few holes in his chute,

And he ain’t gonna jump no more!


There was a para-hoorah, he was from 3rd platoon,

A dirty, nasty marine, basic trained at Camp Lejeune,

He popped a motorboner, put a hole in his ‘chute,

And he ain’t gonna jump no more!


There was a paratrooper, he was from 4th platoon,

Locked and loaded, high speed and ready to go,

Got up, shuffled, out the door in his airborne boots,

He’s gonna jump some more!


Glory, glory, what a hell of a way to fly,

Glory, glory, what a helluva way to fly,

Glory, glory, what a helluva way to fly,

He’s prob’ly gonna jump s’more!


The hapless troopers of first, second, and third platoons,

Barrelled through the air, in the hot month of June,

Not a safe space in the sky, their time was coming soon,

And they ain’t gonna jump no more!


There was blood upon their risers, there were brains upon their chutes,

Intestines were a-dangling, from their paratrooper suits,

They were a mess, they picked’em up and poured them from their boots,

They ain’t gonna jump no more!”

Clearly, I was part of fourth platoon, the best platoon.