I’m Terrified of Peacocks and You Should Be Too

September 23rd, 1997. I’m 5 years old, visiting a small, local zoo in my coastal hometown. It’s a beautiful morning: fall has started to roll in, so the air is calm and cool, with a slight breeze in the air. The sun shines brightly in the sky, it’s warmth caressing my skin. Everything was right in the world, and I was about to see some BADASS animals! Gorillas, zebras, lions — the mind boggled at the wonders I was about to experience.

Yet that is not how this story goes. No, this anecdote of innocence and discovery is about to take a dark and irreversible turn. The subsequent experience will have far-reaching consequences that continue to affect my life to this very day. For those faint of heart, I would suggest leaving this post behind to read about kittens or learn Martha Stewart’s thoughts about pet clothing and accessories (there’s a fantastic bit about diamond dog necklaces that you CANNOT miss).

For those brave enough to stick around, I commend you for your courage… or, is it stupidity? Because this story covers one of the most fearsome creatures in the animal kingdom. An animal of such brutality and gut-wrenching fear, it haunts the nightmares of children and adults alike.

I am speaking, of course, of the peacock.

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OH GAWD, LOOK AWAY

Yes, the peacock, more generally known as peafowl (which is significantly less intimidating, so we’ll stick with the former). This is an animal of deception, using its intelligence and cunning to fool its victims into believing it is an innocent, dumb bird. That’s what I thought on that fateful September morning. The day everything changed.

As I walked into the zoo, I saw these birds all over the grounds. Pecking around, shrieking out, they were off-putting to say the least. As a sane human being, they freaked me out — even in my youth I could sense their evil. But my parents reassured me, “they’re just stupid birds. They can’t even hurt you, and they’re actually kinda pretty.”

So I let my guard down, opening myself up to the potential that these creepy blue turkeys had some redeemable qualities. We walked into the zoo, and one of the first things I saw was a large cage with a very big peacock inside. We walked over, staring at the bird from a distance. It walked closer to our side of the cage, and I resisted the urge to run as every atom in my body screamed out in terror. I reflected on my parents words, and I convinced myself that they were right, that I had nothing to worry about.

As soon as I became comfortable with the animal, the instant I accepted it, that peacock, that son of a bitch, turned around and unfurled its god-forsaken feathers. The world around me disappeared, leaving nothing but lifeless eyes staring back at me.

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THE HORROR… THE PURE, UNADULTERATED HORROR

I burst into tears, wailing as the peacock pranced around, obviously proud of making a small child cry. My parents tried to understand why I was so upset, but they didn’t get it. They didn’t see the eyes the way I did. Those eyes…

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GET THAT OUTTA HERE

Were they from the souls the peacock had stolen over the years? Were they picked clean from the peacock’s victims, carried around as a sick kind of trophy? I didn’t know, nor did I want to. I just wanted to leave that zoo and never see those monsters again. I knew, with every fiber of my being, that peacocks were the spawn of the devil and should be avoided at all costs.

Need more convincing? Check out these horrifying and totally legit peacock facts:

  • Peacocks use their feathers as a way of attracting mates. Take a moment to think about the implications of that sentence. Other peacocks get off at the sight of these tail feathers. Which really means they get off at the sight of other’s suffering, particularly the suffering of small children. That’s not just perverted; that’s sick.
  • Peacocks can fly. That’s right. Despite the fact that their soul-sucking tails take up 60% of their body, peacocks can still lift themselves into the air, giving them the perfect vantage point to strike you from behind when you least expect it.
  • Peacocks are deceptive as fuck. First off, they use their evolutionary background as birds to convince you they’re dumb as dirt. Second, they use their bright colors to lull you into a false sense of security. Third, they use their odd body shape to make you think they can’t fly. Hell, they can even FAKE HAVING SEX, using this trickery to convince females that they get a lot of action. I’ll say that again: these birds can fake copulation so they can actually get laid.
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This madman is probably faking an orgasm right now

As I’ve grown older I’ve been able to control my peacock fear, but it is always lurking, ready to incapacitate me at any moment. Peacock awareness is severely lacking in our country, so this is my Peacock Public Service Announcement (PPSA™). I beg you to heed my warning, for your life, and the life of your loved ones, could depend on it.

 

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The similarities in our differences 

Give me liberty. Period.

Being happy. Being free. Being joyful. Being fearless. Just being. Existing. Breathing. We do it. We can’t help it. We have to. We want to. Wait, do we?

Yes. Yes we do. We do want to. We want to live and never die. We were not made to die we were made to live. And to live abundantly. Not abundantly in treasures or riches or any commodity or good measured and valued by man. But. To live in harmony with one another. 

Growing, laughing, learning, sharing life with one another as humans.

 
What would happen if we started focusing on what we agree on instead of arguing about all our varied differences of opinion? 

Freedom humanity love peace hope joy

We the people, of the United States of America, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility. Provide for the common defense, for ourselves and our prosperity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. 

Inalienable: (according to Merriam Webster:  

incapable of being alienated, surrendered, or transferred 

No surrender or transfer allowed. None. Zero. Nada.
 
Why do we not claim what is ours? #questionoftheday

Just Ask…

Asking for help is one of the hardest things for me to do. Asking admits weakness, admits failure, and puts me in a vulnerable position. Asking for help is also the most freeing experience. Through asking, I find that I humble myself and start to accept that I have faults that need repairing. I also realize that I need to learn to become better, and becoming better is crucial to a happy life.

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My adventure started when I began setting goals. I am not talking about the type of goals that one sets as a child—I want to be an astronaut!—I am speaking about goals that are SMART, or specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. I created an excel spreadsheet with a list of my goals, and when they should be accomplished. I quickly realized that some of my goals were not going to be able to be achieved by simply working hard. Hard work is crucial to success, but bashing your head against a brick wall will not cause the wall to come down. I realized I needed to develop skills. For example, one of my current goals is to become better with my finances. I realize that I need help from people around me. Yet, I do not want to admit that I have a spending problem. I do not want to show people my failed budget attempts. I want to bury my head in the sand, and pretend that there is not an issue.

Psychologists state that people bury their head in the sand because they feel guilty, and want to avoid the negative feelings related to solving their own problems. I do not want to deal with the fact that I am terrible with my own money. But, I also hate owning a maxed out credit card. I hate not being able to do cool things with friends. I hate not having a financially stable future. I know that I need help. The past couple days I called my best friend. He is one of the best people with money I know. I told him my issue, and he told me to map it out.

Over the past three days I put together an extensive budget via Google Sheets and shared it with my friend. This took hours… I put every single thing I bought on the sheet, and placed each purchase into a category. I began to realize that I was losing money seven dollars at a time. Seven dollars here, seven dollars there… then, no more dollars. I saw that I was spending way too much money on lunch every day. A problem that could be easily solved by making my own. Further, I saw that my habits were not nearly as bad as I thought they were. I was able to construct a sheet that calculated the average spending of each category and multiplied it over 12 months. I then set a saving target and reduced the future amount of spending each month to meet my saving target. This plan is not perfect, however, the data allowed me to make an informed decision about how to change my behavior, but I still needed to put the plan in action.

I view this like nutrition and exercise. First, I have to know myself. I must know what I eat, when I eat it, why I eat it. I also need to know everything about my base line exercise habits. Then, I must define what the target condition looks, and feels like. An example for money is my saving target. For health, it could be a certain weight, or a 5K time, or even an all-time high weight lifting number. Then, you have to make a plan. This starts by understanding your current behavior and making slight changes to move towards the target condition. For saving, it is spending less on lunch each day (a fairly simple task). For exercise, it could be just going to the gym 5 times a week (just showing up/not exercising). Then, look at the difference between your results, and your past behavior. This may seem simple, or extremely difficult, but it all starts with asking somebody else for help.

For example, my budget sheet is shared with my friend. He put together the same type of budget so we can both track each other’s spending behavior. This allows us to talk about our spending strategies and to learn from each other’s mistakes.

AAC

Tell me about the man

The word “man” and the pronoun “he” are all meant to refer to a human, regardless of their gender identity. 

Don’t tell me about his policies.

When it comes to politics (or life in general), the integrity of a man means much more to me than whether he considers himself a democrat or a republican. A bipartisan political structure and democracy are not – in fact – mutually exclusive but yet they are perceived as such in the 2016 version of American culture.

Let’s look at an example, shall we?

The Weimar Period – Germany before the first world war

More coming soon. Stay tuned. 

 

 

 

Humble beginnings

What does it mean to be remembered?

What does it mean to be remembered? Does it mean having your name written in the accepted official history of the day? Does it mean living on through stories passed from generation to generation? Does it mean having a monument dedicated to your life’s achievements? What does it mean to achieve? Who defines what is success and what is failure? I certainly don’t know.

What’s in a name anyways? Does the name your parents gave you at birth define who you are as a person? What does define us? Are we defined by the society we live in or are we defined by our responses to that system? Are we a product of our society or are we merely a function of it? I still don’t know.

You tell me what it means to be remembered. Because frankly, I’m not smart enough to figure it out.

I don’t know where this blog is going. Or if anyone will ever read it. Nor do I care. I need a medium to voice the questions that rise to my mind without answer. I need a blank space to write. Welcome to the inside of my mind. If you’re brave enough, come get lost with me.