We are guilty as sin for living our lives caring what other people think of us as a whole. We just tiptoe and pussyfoot through life by doing things just to please others. Well, my readers, we cannot live by pleasing everyone. That’s just living in a prison and allowing the guard to swallow the key.
I wanted to post this on Independence Day weekend to give the cyber world something more to the plate next to the rack of ribs, potato salad, baked beans, and Aunt Betsy’s apple pie. Food for thought to give us the energy to knock down the wall we build ourselves around. Not to be political here just bare with me. We groaned at the idea of Donald Trump wanting to construct a wall around the border. Why do we do it around the realms our of minds?
One word. Perception. We drive ourselves crazy by our actions, appearances, and lives being allowed by how we think other people perceive us. It’s not healthy for us to think that way. Especially for me with my Generalized Anxiety Disorder. It will be discussed later on in this blog site. This madness has to stop and we must start by not giving a damn.
We are not that special. We have not come from the loins of royalty. For years, when I started this blog site, I have always said that I’m just a kook with a forum. I’m sure an unmarried, childless woman wants to contest that theory via email, but, hey, c’est la vie.
We live in a society where we live, breathe, and die with our smartphones. So if you do something awkward or embarrassing, we will forget about it some odd seconds later being too busy thinking about ourselves and our shortcomings or immerse ourselves in our smartphones checking out the Facebook feeds. During my time in college, I mastered the art of not giving a damn. As an example, for my psychology class, I gave a presentation wearing my purple wig and lab coat. The teacher was keen with the idea and gave me a B in the course. Also, for another course, I used a Star Wars light saber as a pointer for a presentation and walked out with an A. Another thing I have learned from those said experiences is that most people are looking around to see how other people are reacting. They want to be part of the flow and seen as they know what’s going on.
By now, we are familiar with the phrase, a sucker is born every minute. The sucker will become the people-pleaser who go to the extremes accommodating to others. If you are in fear of being judged, I strongly advise you to seek psychiatric help. Most people despise push-overs and will have no problem disrespecting them out in the public square. You can never please everyone and I learned that in the Air Force. I was the only one, if not one of the few, on the fitness center staff who had no qualms telling colonels and generals what they can and cannot do. They didn’t like it, but it has earned me respect. For the single guys, people pleasing will not get you a woman such as this one below.
To wrap up this wonderful, classic commentary with a shiny bow. I will leave you with three things.
Know Your Values:
It can never be stressed enough to know your core values. People cannot look up to you when you have no values and nothing to aim for in life. When you have a set of values and something to believe in, people will respect you. Also, remember that like and respect are two different things.
Put Yourself Out There:
I’ve been doing it for years. I have no problem sharing a bit of the wealth. After all, sharing is caring. Blogging, public speaking, asking someone out, or even dancing!
Surround Yourself With Confident People:
Here’s the other thing I’ve been doing for years. Surround yourself with people who are confident and live life without selling themselves short. Within time, they will influence your way of life and well-being. Back when I was in the Air Force, I spent weekends with guys who had no problem speaking their minds and never compromised their values. One of the reasons they allowed me to hang out with them is that I can be honest and direct, even when we disagreed with each other once in a while.
This is something that cannot be done overnight but do not get discouraged. It is a change that will grow with time. I grew up in a poor area where any form of intelligent life is frowned upon. I got into a lot of fights over it, but I kept on standing and refused to be part of the status quo.
Those who influence and mentor other people do not give a damn. They are revered, admired, and respected amongst other people. Do it anyway you wanna, be fearless, and stand up for what you believe in. After all, there is a world full of people who do not. Happy Independence Day!
For a long time, I’ve been going through the process of writing resumes, going to job interviews, and attending job fairs. The regimen has groomed me to become a better writer and astute in marketing. While I am unable to use these abilities in my current government job, the circumstance has enabled me to continue using them in this blog and real estate investing. Before real estate investing, I lent my writing talents to help co-workers with their resumes. I can guarantee eight times out of ten that they can get into the door, but it was up to them to make it through the interview.
One night after a college class and helping a co-worker via email with his resume, I realized it was time for a change. Working for nothing was exasperating! The gains I acquired from that experience were the progression of my General Anxiety Disorder, insomnia, and caffeine addiction. That’s when I learned regular college is not for everyone! After the final night of the spring semester, I just withdrew for the sake of my health and my sanity. It was hasta la vista, babies. It was back to setting up residence on the campus of the University of Hard Knocks! Fortunately, I was making enough money for someone with a bachelor’s degree. It was cool at that time.
Since I took a scheduled day off from work, it gave me the night to sit back and play with my phone a bit. I went inside of my contacts and paid attention to who was actually in there. It took me back into another world I belonged. Fortunately, it wasn’t the world of Mac and Rachel. Give yourself a pat on the back if you got the timely reference that was produced by Procter & Gamble. Over a course of several years, I have acquired friends who started businesses and became successful. Part of me wished I didn’t leave that realm, but I did what I had to do.
In that world, they have taken me under their wings and taught me about financial education. I learned about the power of interest rates and financial vehicles such as an IRA and a 529. Before I go into depth, I ask that you put on your seat belt. You may experience some turbulence during the ride! Also, refrain from eating unless you have a cast iron stomach!
Courtesy of Fidelity Investments, an IRA is an account set up at a financial institution that allows an individual to save for retirement with tax-free growth or on a tax-deferred basis. There are three types of IRAs-Traditional, Roth, and Rollover-each with different advantages.
A traditional IRA is based on the contributions of money you may be able to deduct on your tax return, and any earnings can potentially grow tax-deferred until you withdraw them in retirement. Many retirees also find themselves in a lower tax bracket than they were in pre-retirement, so the tax-deferral means the money may be taxed at a lower rate.
A Roth IRA is based on the contributions of money you’ve already paid taxes on (after-tax), and your money may potentially grow tax-free, with tax-free withdrawals in retirement, provided that certain conditions are met.
A Rollover IRA is a Traditional IRA intended for money “rolled over” from a qualified retirement plan. Rollovers involve moving eligible assets from an employer-sponsored plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b), into an IRA. Whether you choose a Traditional or Roth IRA, the tax benefits allow your savings to grow potentially, or compound, more quickly than in a taxable account.
A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to encourage saving for future college costs. 529 plans, legally known as “qualified tuition plans,” are sponsored by states, state agencies, or educational institutions and are authorized by Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code.
Many financial services such as your First Financial Services in New York, Westward, NorthStar Financial Services, UBS, Primerica, Prudential, Wells-Fargo, and many others will help you set up and establish an IRA and/or a 529 plan.
Depending on the advisor, let’s say you went to Fidelity for an example, you can contribute an initial investment (as little as $50) or establish periodic contributions from your bank account (as little as $15 a month). You will more than likely need a job to maintain it. However, I am not a licensed professional. It is at the discretion of your advisor.
Now, speaking for myself, I realized my means were expanding quicker than my wallet and needed to work to live instead of living to work. I enjoy going to events such as baseball and hockey games; concerts, and WWE events. Also, dining out with friends and embark on the idea of travel. I had the privilege of going overseas during my Air Force years, and I wouldn’t mind doing it again on my terms. Of course, I cannot forget about investing for my retirement.
Despite serving my country in both military and civilian service, I cringe at the idea of allowing my future in the hands of the government. In an ideal world, I would love for the government to give me a free house, but we all know that’s not going to happen. We as a nation have put too much faith in politicians and bureaucrats. It’s just insane, our favorite word of the day, to rely on them knowing we are going to be $20 trillion in the hole by the end of President Obama’s term. Also, throw the collapsing dollar, retiring baby boomers, growing trade deficit, a country with an entitlement mentality, higher oil prices, and ludicrous tax breaks for the wealthy into the mix, it will be a sh&*storm that frat houses cannot even fathom of making after a chicken and beer cookout! Unless there is an economic reform, a tax reform, and a reduction in term limits, the United States will suffer the same fate as Rome and Greece!
It does come across I moonlight as a correspondent for the Fox News Business Channel, but far from it. I am a citizen who is tired of the status quo’s antiquated idea of going to school, getting a job, and placing faith in a group of strangers. That’s a false sense of security, and it is bizarre. It has behooved me to make some changes or allow circumstances to make some changes for me. Life is too short to accept the latter. It is up to you either get busy living or get busy dying. Too many great minds refuse to choose the former and that is a tragedy. Until the next time, devoted readers, live long and prosper!
For song of the entry, here is Lonnie Liston Smith with Expansions!
One Thursday after work, I was hanging out at the west side of St. Louis with a then-fellow, aspiring entrepreneur, Randy. We were hanging out in his car in a school parking lot watching a massive, traffic jam from Hell on the highway and eating some dinner from Arby’s. Cars were barely moving an inch a minute and we decided to tune in on an old school R&B radio station. Ironically, Earth, Wind, & Fire’s song, Getaway starts to play.
“Scottie, look at this craziness. People are working just for peanuts to sit in traffic,” he said.
He continues, “We get up at oh-dark-thirty to deal with the crazies in traffic and in management at the job. If it were 1989 again, I’d say sign me up. These days, it’s just, whiskey-tango-foxtrot, man. There are mornings I want to tell the brass to kiss me where the sun doesn’t shine and head back to California and deal with my crazy ex-wife.”
Randy, a retired, middle-aged, Navy veteran who left San Diego, California to find a new life here in the Midwest. He realized he had it good there despite the ex-wife. I understood his frustration. Back before the economy tanked, I learned about personal finances from sitting in seminars and meeting and greeting actual millionaires. Some even told me that I was groomed to be an entrepreneur due to the work ethic and disciplined instilled in me from my time in the Air Force. They were right about that. I was fortunate enough not to be on the front line during my time in the military, but I developed a “never say die” attitude.
It came in handy for me while I was in between gigs. My days consisted of getting up at around two in the afternoon to apply for jobs, both government and private, while watching cartoons. I didn’t rule out temp jobs as long as they add more meat to my resume. It explains why I am hellbent on fighting against reality at times. I had to learn to live below my means and figuratively tossing my resumes against companies’ wall to see what would stick. I never kept count of how many resumes I sent, digital and physical, to prevent myself from feeling discouraged. I received phone calls for a copious amount of interviews. And I even turned down a job due to an unprofessional interviewer who has grossly insulted my intelligence.
Fortunately, by the end of that summer, I had two job offers on the table. It was an awe-inspiring feat in the face of a bad economy. Notwithstanding that I was employed again, I needed to get back into the world of entrepreneurs, but as an entrepreneur. It didn’t sit well with me having them in my virtual Rolodex and I’m working for the Man instead of for self. Especially, since I had to endure a government shutdown.
About a little over a couple of years of being back in the working world, there was news talking about an impending government shutdown. I didn’t put much stock into it considering it was all talk. However, the talk became a reality when I came into work one Monday. People were elated about the shutdown and saw it as a vacation except for me. From what I endured while I was unemployed, I wasn’t pissed. I was livid! I wanted to flip desks, scream, and cuss!
From that point forward, I made it a point not to listen to people who cling to superannuated principles that depreciate quicker than the American dollar.
A month after observing the traffic jam from Hell, Randy decided to head back to California. He sucked at saying goodbyes and had his landlord tell me when I was about to knock on his apartment door one day. Just like Randy, I have to run away. I have to run away from the insanity. Once I achieve my goal, I’m partying in Las Vegas! Until the next time, devoted readers, live long and prosper!
For song of the entry, here is Roy Ayers with Running Away!
Back in 2014, I awaken in a sunny bedroom at a house smelled of coffee and cinnamon. It was a sharp contrast from sleeping in a one-bedroom apartment with a scent of Imo’s sausage pizza and Pepsi cola. I saw a ceiling fan going above me and wondered if I were in the Air Force dorm back in Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. I groggily turned to my right and saw a bathroom in front of me. Without thinking, I threw on a pair of penguin slippers and darted down a flight of stairs.
“It’s about time you got out of bed, sleepy head,” a honeyed, pleasing voice said.
At a dining room table, there was a brunette with a set of gray eyes that were calm as the sea in a moonlight stroll on the beach. She was in a pair of warm purple, satin pajamas that covered her milky, delicate skin.
“Good morning,” I said, walking to the kitchen to help myself to some coffee.
“You were fidgeting a few hours ago. Is it something about the business that you’re not telling me?” she asked.
“No, it isn’t. It’s my blog site. I just cannot understand how introversion and extroversion can fly over people’s heads,” I said, pouring coffee in the cup.
I walked back into the dining room and sat next to her at the table. I glanced at an envelope addressed to Marianna Avison-Poindexter. I thought, holy smokes, I’m married to a woman that men will fight for to win her affections. It seemed that I must be doing alright. I mean, better than alright. I’m doing splendidly with a cup of joe in my hand and discussing my problem to a button-nosed fox.
“Scottie, the concept of introversion and extroversion will fly over people’s heads because they cannot and never will understand it,” she said.
She took another sip of coffee and continued, “It’s one of the reasons why I married you. You needed someone to translate some things to the typical person for you. It’s just that you have a hard time understanding people at times. You did great with the marketing. You had a couple of entries ready to go, a voice actress to do the advertisement, and the word of mouth through mix CDs to friends and co-workers. It’s just, regardless of the execution, the idea is too big for them.”
I had to let it sink in conjunction with my morning coffee. Marianna was right. The experience was like watching a 747 airplane flying over people’s heads figuratively. And literally, since I was at a place near an airport. That bowl of irony didn’t save the idea from being anemic. When I started blogging many, many years ago, the main thing I did was keep it simple. Nevertheless, I strayed from keeping things uncomplicated into making it the opposite.
“However, it is something to research and post in the future for your fan base. Market towards the ones who will always understand and not some people who will never get you. Just continue being the maverick I remember reading about while I was back home in Hamilton, Ontario. You posted some favorites such as An Antibiotic and Five Jacksons, the poem 4 A.M., The Day Scottie Lost His Groove and the sequel, How Scottie Got His Groove Back. I almost nicknamed you Stella Penguin instead of Scottie Penguin. You flipped and rehabbed a lot of houses to avoid that title,” She said.
I learned not only I married an attractive woman. I married a comedian. I wondered if Eugene Levy was in her family tree. If it were the case, I think I missed plenty of Thanksgiving dinners up in Hamilton listening to stories and watching hockey. She took another taste of her coffee and continued, “Take it back to where you were and it will fall back to place.”
She kissed me on the forehead and headed back to the kitchen to get some more coffee. There was a loud knock on the door. I ran to open the door and picked up a package. Suddenly, a voice yelled, “FORE!”
From out of nowhere, a golf ball hit me squared on the head. My eyes rolled back as my body leaned against the door. I slid down to the ground and passed out. Then, I suddenly found myself back in my apartment with a persistent, loud knock on the door.
“Just a minute,” I yelled at the door.
I found myself sleeping on the couch during a hockey game. I was in my evening attire of a St. Louis Blues jersey and Batman pajama pants. I hopped off to answer the door.
“Are you Scottie Poindexter?” a smooth, familiar voice asked.
I was stunned to realize that the woman in my dream worked for FedEx. My brain was still sleeping to process it and then, I noticed her wedding ring. Now, that woke me back up to reality.
“Yes,” I said.
“I need your signature for this package. Did I wake you, sweetie?” She asked.
“Yeah, you did,” I said, taking the clipboard from her to sign.
I handed it back to her and picked up the package. I thought whoever is married to her is perhaps the luckiest guy on the block.
“You have a good day,” I said.
She fist bumped my knuckle and said, “You too and let’s go, Blues.”
She walked off as quickly as she appeared in my dream. From the dream and what I learned from my interaction with the FedEx lady, time was not on my side. I’m sorry, kids. None of us are meant to have moves like Jagger. However, what I did learn was to keep on writing and stay persistent.
For song of the entry, here is “Feel It” by the Crusaders from their acclaimed 1976 album, Free As The Wind. Until the next entry, live long and prosper!
Not the best set up, but hooked together to my liking. Each component from a different era. In my living room, I have a Yahama receiver with a USB flash drive port from when I invested in my first house and an Audio-Technica turntable from when I was back in the Air Force. Also, in my office, I have a computer built to my specifications and an LED Samsung monitor. And a good pair of Logitech speakers from my Air Force days.
What came first? The music or the writing? Before I even started writing, I remember car rides with my mom when we would sing along to songs from back in the 1980s. When I was riding with my dad, he would often ask me who was that singer or rapper.
RECORDS, CDs, CASSETTES, MP3s
Fields of generations of music ranging from different eras. Fields of them! My collection is what makes me the toast of the town to the cool kids. Funk, R&B, New Wave, Rock and Roll, Rap, Jazz, Classical, and et cetera. I miss the days of making mixtapes. Nothing screams solidarity than handing a fellow music lover a mixtape that was slapped together on a Memorex cassette. I remember buying Memorex blank tapes by the pack at the local department store, Venture’s. I miss those days and wouldn’t mind reliving those moments.
The older I got, more of my friends became digital. Thanks to Facebook, we get to stay in touch and learn what’s going on in each other’s lives. I would still be in the St. Louis-Metro East area and another friend will be in another state who has settled down with a family and a well-paying gig. Through the realms of Facebook and Twitter, they will know what I am listening to via Spotify. For the readers who are oblivious about it, Spotify is a music streaming, podcast, and video service that provides digital rights management–protected content from record labels and media companies. I came across Spotify roughly a couple of years ago. I thought to myself, this is cool. I learned I can share digital playlists to many friends I met over the years. One night, I had an epiphany. Over the years, I would pick a song from my physical music collection to go with the piece I was writing.
One night, I had an epiphany. Over the years, I would pick a song from my physical music collection to go with the piece I was writing. Now, with this site, I can use the same idea via Spotify! Unbeknownst to me, I was ahead of my time! All I needed to do was refresh myself with basic coding. I learned basic coding a little over ten years ago when I started blogging. Now, a bigger field to go wild and crazy with a playlist and not worry about time constraints like I did with blank cassettes. If I opened a pack of the tapes I have in my storage room and connected my old dual-cassette player to my computer, I’d have music for hours. The only thing I will have to do is create a playlist dedicated to the time of each side of the cassette.
Immediately after I wrote down the ideas and played around with the rough drafts, I would go through my music, both physical and digital, collection to find my soundtrack. It was a crazy time. I was juggling both my job during the day and a house flip in the evening. I used every spare time I had available. In roughly three weeks, a soundtrack was completed. To avoid going too crazy with it, I decided to put together twelve songs as a playlist and label it as a volume. The same motif will be applied here with the entries to have a good flow going. It helps to keep things interesting. Until the next time, devoted readers, live long and prosper!
For song of the entry, here is Gary Bartz with Funked Up!
I read the previous entry I posted here back last year. It sucked. Sucked bad. I decided to take it down and start fresh. It has been while since I am very critical of my writing. It can be either a good thing or bad thing. During my hiatus, when I was not focusing on my business, I found myself in random Facebook forums leaving unanimously, great essays in the comment section. After a year of doing that, I realized I had to get back into writing! Also, I was still putting money into the site while it was sitting idle.
I bought a notebook from a local store and started taking it with me everywhere. I’m not one of the cool kids who will talk to a digital tape recorder to store ideas. The idea of listening to my voice is the equivalent of nails on a chalkboard. The notebook has been an icebreaker with waitresses at restaurants. in fact, one of them thought I was a rapper. A part of me wanted to laugh at that assumption despite wearing headphones around my neck. I had to explain to the young lady that I am the complete opposite. Also, this is an opportunity to allow me to re-introduce myself.
I am an Air Force veteran who has served the United States for eight years and participated behind the scenes for the Global War on Terrorism. During my time in the service, writing has been a therapeutic outlet in terms of creating and expressing ideas. I turned the hobby into Scottropolis.com. The site mainly consists of warped humor, sarcasm, and retro pop cultural references intertwined with the reality of life. Before my time in the service, I was the kid who sat in the back of classrooms with a vivid imagination who would just write little stories based off of sitcoms and reruns.
I am a former deejay who happens to be a music lover. During the latter days of my military career, I started deejaying for private, military unit functions to boost morale for my fellow troops. I saved them thousands of dollars with my generous offer of doing it pro bono! I was so good at it that I was offered a job as a residential deejay for the NCO club. Unfortunately, I had to turn it down due to conflicts with my primary job in the Air Force and college part-time. I had a blast doing it and learned quite a bit from the experience. It’s something I wouldn’t mind doing again in the future. Since Giorgio Moroder is globe trotting and deejaying electronic dance music at the age of 74, why close that door?
These days, like any healthy human being, I work for the Man while real estate investing on the side. After going through countless of job interviews over the years, I found the nine-to-five rat race as wall-to-wall insanity. The experience has made me realize that life is too short to not tap into my potential and build a real estate portfolio. Over the years, I was fortunate to shake hands and co-mingle with successful, wealthy entrepreneurs. As I was sitting in a cubicle at work, I just couldn’t help but feel life passing me by, like that redheaded girl does to Charlie Brown. Yep, I know…good grief! I learned it was either reinvent myself while living or do the same thing with little to no result while dying.
Prior to posting this entry on the site, I scoured through my vast music collection to find a song to help make this entry complete. Here is Johnny “Hammon” Smith with Los Conquistadores Chocolatés from the Gears album! Until next entry, live long and prosper!