Talented musician, photographer and friend of the show Christopher Kayfield (@KayfieldMedia) joins the gang. We jump off on St. Patrick’s Day, Baltimore, 2005 with KRS and work colleagues partaking in holiday festivities. Shots at noon lead to a rapid downhill descent, fortunately for Chris the luck of the Irish was with him that day.
In the News from “Not the Onion” we cover the absurdity of a teenage boy being prosecuted as an adult for having naked photos… of himself, on his own phone. This springboards into sharing our first experiences with pornography as teenagers. The Iranian President tells American citizens to not take it personal as his people chant “Death to America.” Chris Kayfield shares his theory on the alternative reasoning behind Donald Trump’s campaign. We finish out the segment with ShowerThoughts and an intense debate on PED’s (Performance Enhancing Drugs) in sports as well as in the bedroom.
Meditations goes to an unusual source of inspiration, looking at a quote from Kevin Smith: “Watch movies until you wanna make your own movie. Read books until you wanna write your own book. Imitate until you can innovate. Start now.” This opens a discussion on sources of creativity and inspiration while finding your own voice.
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Baltimore was my home for five years during my early twenties. The city gave me countless irreplaceable memories. When I think about my time living there I become incredibly nostalgic.
Playing football at Patterson Park and dodgeball at Du Burns Arena. Going out drinking every weekend in Canton or Federal Hill. Getting sushi and buckets of beer at Cross Street Market. Orioles games at Camden Yards. Looking back on those times I am incredibly grateful for those experiences. A part of me will always love Baltimore.
I have continued to spend time in Charm City for the last 10 years. Seeing riots break out in Baltimore struck a chord with me. I felt anguish and anger as I watched areas I frequented being looted and destroyed. It forced me to reevaluate and change my perspective on civil unrest.
I felt like the riots in Ferguson earlier this year were happening in another country. I was rather indifferent to them. My view of the riots was that a bunch of animals were destroying their homes. People were responding in a violent manner over the police shooting of a criminal. The cries of police abusing power were heard in my ears, but I didn’t take them to heart. Having been the subject of police brutality myself, one would think I would be more sympathetic.
When the riots first started in Baltimore I kept the same narrow minded view as I had on Ferguson. The police abused their power and took the life of another criminal. Now opportunists were using this tragedy as the impetus to loot and riot for their own personal gain.
The way much of the media depicted this situation perpetuated the same parochial view to the rest of the public. The news doesn’t normally show the peaceful protesters who are fed up, but are going about their way in a nonviolent manner. In my opinion they tend to show volatile events in an irresponsible and dangerous manner in the name of ratings.
When I would look at social media, the majority of my feed was made up of clips pushing the media’s agenda. Showing the riots instead of the nonviolent protests. There is a certain rush from the injustice we feel when we see people acting barbaric, attacking innocent bystanders and burning down their own neighborhoods.
It’s easy to join in with that gang mentality and push what the media outlets show us. They dictate how we should perceive and feel about what was occurring . In the past I would have joined in and shared the videos. I would have made insensitive statements without thinking twice. Hate and ignorance begets hate and ignorance.
Somewhere after the first day of the riots my mindset started to change. My thoughts shifted to the people I love in Baltimore. I became scared knowing they could possibly be victims of violence. I feared for a little boy, who’s only 5, that has to grow up in the face of this type of unrest in this country. The spill over and rage of people who feel that they have not been heard or seen for too long can no longer be silenced.
Out of every disaster and hardship comes opportunity if you look for it. Deep down I truly believe that somewhere in these tumultuous events lies hope for a better future with more understanding. This is possibly IF (and that is a gigantic if) we get the right people to look at and assess the situation. Not the same people who continue to get us into these devastating catastrophes.
The unfortunate fact is that so many of us, myself included, have a set belief system that interferes with us seeing opportunity in tragedy. It’s easy for me to drive on my default setting of what I have always thought was right and wrong. Life’s simple that way. I don’t have to make hard choices and think for myself. I just stick to what I have always believed and stay ignorant.
However, there are people with the ability to see the bigger picture. They have learned to expand their minds and remove the blinders that keep others from seeing the grey area where the opportunities live. They have the capability to take something like these riots and turn it into something exceptional.
The biggest problem with finding opportunity in these occurrences is that the truly gifted people with that ability want nothing to do with politics. We tend to have the most inept people, who are unwilling to perceive things differently, in power. That’s on both sides of the political spectrum. Until that changes, not much else will change.
When the right people examine a problem anything is possible. Our country can no longer tolerate the pain and suffering of individuals without trying to empower them. Archaic methods of making people dependent on a system that is broken and does not serve their best interests can no longer be allowed to exist. We need to create new ways to stimulate growth and development throughout our country and improve relations across the racial divide.
I spoke those famous last words around noon on St. Patrick’s Day in 2005.
I was working in sales for a fortune 100 company at the time. Since our region was above plan at that point in the year we all left work before lunch and headed out in Baltimore to partake in the St Paddy’s day festivities.
We went to Canton Square, which is an area in Baltimore with bars up and down both sides of the street. It was jammed packed with people and the lines for the bars were very long. Even before noon.
A friend of mine was bartending at the bar we went to. As soon as I saw him I ordered drinks and shots for everyone. It was on the company tab so I ordered several rounds.
About an hour after getting there I was struggling to keep it together. I don’t know how many shots and drinks I had in that hour. But I’m pretty sure it was too many.
My memory of the next 2-3 hours is pretty foggy. This was during a period of my life where I blacked out about 50% of the times I drank.
Apparently I left the bar around 3:30 in the afternoon (My memory about the day kicks back in around this time). I found myself sitting on a bench in the middle of Canton Square eating a pit beef sandwich. There were cops out everywhere patrolling the area to make sure drunk people, like myself, weren’t causing too much trouble.
One police officer rode past me on his bike while I was sitting on the bench. I decided it would be a good idea to throw the rest of my pit beef sandwich at him. The sandwich bounced off his bike helmet and he stopped immediately. He looked around for what hit him and who had thrown it.
Unfortunately for me, my St. Paddy’s day shenanigans captured the attention of another cop who watched the whole incident unfold. He quickly rushed up to me and pulled me off the bench. He informed the other officer what I had done. They weren’t very pleased with me to say the least.
They put me in handcuffs and escorted me through the square in front of thousands of people. Including several of my co-workers. That was fun explaining on Monday morning.
I kept asking the officers why they were detaining me. “What did I do wrong?” They told me I was going to jail for assaulting an officer. My only reply was, “With a pit beef sandwich.” This reply was met with an even greater level of contempt for me.
They threw me in the back of the police car and were about to take me to lock up for the night. Fortunately for me, a more serious situation arose that needed their attention. They released me with a criminal citation and told me to go home.
The mile or so that I stumbled back to my house was brutal. I’m not sure why I didn’t take a cab. I tripped over a curb, smashed my chin off the ground and bled for the rest of the walk.
I woke up the next morning to find the criminal citation on my nightstand. It was all crumbled up and I couldn’t quite make out what it said. However, I did recognize the words “Pit Beef Sandwich.”
I ended up having to hire a lawyer and go to court for the incident. Luckily for me The criminal citation had the wrong statute number on it and the DA didn’t want to go through the hassle of getting it changed. My lawyer squared things away and all the charges were dropped.
Back when Myspace was popular I was really into trolling the site for girls. Social Media was pretty new at that point. I feel like people were more open to the idea of meeting a complete stranger off the internet. It seemed socially acceptable to message random girls on Myspace like you would a dating site today. The conversation rate from message to date was pretty high for me, probably like 20%.
One girl from Myspace stood out among the rest. Let’s call her K. When I first saw her profile picture I was so into her. She was tiny; maybe 5’1, weighed about 105 lbs, with brown hair and rather tan. She looked a bit trashy, but I didn’t let that deter me from going after her.
I talked to K for two weeks off and on trying to get her go on a date with me. She always had some excuse for why she couldn’t hang out. Finally, one Thursday night she agreed to get together with me.
She lived in the the ghetto in West Baltimore. She didn’t have her car (or so she said) so I needed to pick her up. She jumped in my car and we chatted about life and work. She told me she worked for a company doing HR. I knew it was a lie, but I let it go. These should have been a clues about the night I was going to have.
We went to a bar to have a few drinks. The alcohol apparently fueled her ghetto side. She was loud and obnoxious. She started dropping the N Bomb while talking to people. Then justified saying it because she said she was part Cuban!? I was embarrassed for the both of us. The more she drank the more she became like a chick from Flavor of Love.
Even after I saw her behavior at the bar, I stuck to my plan and took her home with me. I figured I was already in pain so I might as well get something out of it. When we got back to my house around midnight I carried her up to my bedroom. Clothes came flying off, spread throughout the room. All was going to plan.
As I took off her underwear I noticed a really shitty looking tattoo on her pubic area. It looked like it was done in a jailhouse or someones living room. The tattoo was of a money sign and above it had the word “BUTTA.” I didn’t stop to ask questions at that point, I just preceded with what I brought her home for.
She started talking a lot during sex. But not in a good way. She kept calling me “white boy.” Then she told me “Im used to guys telling me, oh I want you to be my baby momma.” Now I don’t know who the fuck she was sleeping with prior to me, but I couldn’t help but laugh at what she had said. That laugh quickly turned into horror when I thought about the fact that I wasn’t wearing a condom. At this point I was just trying to finish as quickly as possible before I went soft.
The next morning I woke up around 7 AM with pretty bad hangover. I rolled over and asked K if she needed to leave to get to her job. She looked confused at first. Then she must have remembered the lie she told me about working in HR and replied “No my boss is out this week.”
She grabbed her purse from floor to get her phone out of it. In doing so a box cutter fell out of her purse onto my bed. For some reason this triggered me to ask about her about the BUTTA tattoo. She told me it was her ex boyfriends nickname and that he had a matching tattoo on his neck. I smirked at her. She countered that smirk by telling me that he was locked up for a double murder.
She continued to tell me interesting stories about her life. Like the boob job she got in South America. I asked why she would go to South America to get implants. Her response was “They were cheap.” She claimed her implants looked great, but she had to have them removed. Apparently the cosmetic surgeon in Colombia didn’t practice in the most sterile environment and she got a massive infection.
I had heard enough of her stories. It was time for me to get up, shower and get ready for work. But I didn’t really like the thought of leaving this chick alone in my room with my rolex, my money and my credit cards. I grabbed my things off my nightstand and brought them into the bathroom with me. I was pretty certain if I left them in the room she may vanish and take them with her.
While I was showering all I thought about was, I hope I didn’t catch anything or knock this chick up. My mind replayed the fact that I didn’t wear a condom or pull out. I couldn’t scrub my body hard enough with the soap to get the dirty feeling off. I pictured the tattoo, BUTTA.
I would like to say that I dropped K off on my way to work and never saw her again. But that would be a lie. We hung out one more time. It was more of a nightmare then the first experience. I couldn’t handle her so I left her at the bar. And that was the last time I saw Butta.
This weekend I went to Baltimore to meet up with some friends at a Belgian Beer-fest. On Saturday evening I decided to drive back home to Philly when I saw snow starting to come fall. The weather reports were calling for some heavy accumulation and I didn’t want to be stuck. It was Valentines day and I hadn’t booked a hotel for the night. To make matters worse we were hanging out about a mile away from where my ex was currently living. It had the makings me of getting horribly drunk and doing something asinine so I left.
As I started my trek home quickly realized I was driving directly into the storm. The snow was coming down hard. The wind was violently whipping snow all around which made conditions much worse. During certain points of the drive it was almost a complete white out. Visibility was barely three feet in front of me. Driving over 35 mph wasn’t an option.
Being from the North East you learn to become accustomed to driving in winter storm. Even though I’m normally a pretty shitty driver, I’d say my snow driving game is pretty strong. But, This was one of the worst storms I had ever driven in. About half way through I arrived at a bend in the road where traffic had come to a stand still. The road was so icy that people were spinning out of control and careening off the side of the road. Keeping control of my car became very difficult. I was going 5 mph and when I had to hit the breaks my car would slide out of the lane. Several times I came very close to bumping into other cars that were sliding all over the road with me.
With my steering wheel clenched my focus became on just getting past this small stretch of road safely. I could see cars 1/2 mile in front of me driving safely. It took the better part of 5 minutes to go 1000 feet. At that point I could hear the horn blasting from the truck behind me. The obnoxious sound aggravated me to no extent. I was swearing and freaking out behind the wheel because of this asshole behind me. Couldn’t he understand I was struggling like every other car on the road to make it through this section safely. His horn continued to blast! I couldn’t take it anymore. I lost it. I started to slide off the side of the road so I decided to just make it to the shoulder so this fucking guy could pass.
As I pulled to the side of the road I rolled my window down, stuck my arm out the car and flipped the trucker off. I was screaming every horrible combination of curse words at this guy and praying for his demise. Once the truck started passing me I realized why he was beeping and trying to get me to move over. The truck was a fucking SNOWPLOW! He wasn’t being an asshole. He was trying to help me. Once I let him in front of me I drove back onto the road and it was smooth sailing for the next 10 miles while I followed him.
I was so caught up in my own struggle to get out of the icy conditions I didn’t even bother to take a good look at the truck behind me. Instantly assuming he was just a typical asshole on the road trying to get home faster. I didn’t stop to realize he was honking his horn to get me to move over so he could clear the path for my journey home. I allowed my current situation to consume me and make me blind to the fact that there could be help out there in these dangerous conditions.
This story really happened to me February 14, 2015. This situation was like a giant metaphor for my life kicking me in the balls and saying HELLO! I become so entrenched in the bullshit that is pulling my life down that I don’t see that there is an easier way. My impatience, shortsightedness, and inability to see the big picture causes me to make poor choices. I can’t see past my current situation and the fact that it is only temporary. I am only concerned with how it is affecting me at that point in time. All I want to do is get out of whatever I’m feeling or dealing with as quickly as possible because it is just too much for me to bear.
The ride home sucked. It was treacherous and scary at times. I couldn’t see 5 feet in front of me or control my car at times. What is normally an hour and forty-five minute drive took the better part of 5 hours. This type of journey is on par with how I have lived my life. I don’t take the time to evaluate situations, see what is unfolding and navigate them correctly.
I have lived my life this way for as long as I can remember. My tendency is to ignore signs that are telling me to stop or slow down. The ironic part of that is I have “SLOW DOWN” tattooed across my knuckles as a reminder to myself. Something better is ahead of me if I’m patient, do the hard work and take the right actions. I don’t take the signs from God, the universe, friends or a real fucking snow plow that they are trying to get my attention for a reason. That they are trying to show me there is an easier path for me to drive on. That there is a better life or way of living if I am willing to slow down, put my ego aside and allow them to show me their plan.