There’s No Fear Stamp In My Passport

There's No Fear Stamp In My PassportSince I love the sound of my own voice, Modern Philosophers, I’m constantly using this blog to tell you about how I’m making big changes to improve my life.

Now I can do without the wise ass comments pointing out that I can’t actually hear my voice when I write.  You know what I meant, and besides, you have no idea what goes on in my head and what I actually hear.

For all you know, I could be having the most amazing conversations with my blog posts every night.  That’s for me to know, and for you to never find out.

Can you tell it’s been a long week and my inner child has not only taken over control of the lap top, but is also overtired and wearing his favorite cranky pants?

I’ve slowly been working to overcome some of the overwhelming number of fears that paralyze me on a daily basis.

No, I’m not trying to recreate myself as Daredevil, The Man Without Fear, but I wouldn’t mind being a superhero.  All I really want, though, is to be a little less afraid of life so I can live it to the fullest.

This week, I took a major step in vanquishing my fear of airplanes, air travel, terrorist attacks, foreigners, confined spaces, countries where people drive on the wrong side of the road, and countries where soccer is the most popular sport.

That’s right, Modern Philosophers, I finally got my passport.

It's me in a Santa Claus hat, which is weird since it's May!Meet Austin, your future world traveler.

Citizens of the world, prepare yourselves for the Modern Philosopher Road Show.

Hide your Snapple, lock away your chocolate, and keep a Babel Fish ready.

I don’t know where I’m going, when I’ll be there, and how long I’ll stay, but I will be venturing outside of this great nation’s borders for the first time in my life.

Sure, I’ve been to Canada, but that’s really just America’s attic.  I’m talking real world travel!

I should never have allowed myself to go this long without a passport.  Even if I was too afraid to get on a plane, there was no real need to ever overcome that fear since I knew I couldn’t go too far without my magical little blue book.

I don’t know if I’ll ever truly fly without fear, but at least now I can find out, right?  Even if it’s an incredibly bumpy ride, it’s still better than locking myself away in the basement bunker of The House on the Hill.

The world deserves to be exposed to The Modern Philosopher, and I’ve kept it waiting far too long.  The Modern Philosopher World Tour will begin soon enough.

Right after I knock off a few banks to finance my globetrotting and, of course, buy a decent piece of luggage.

If you’d like to be further entertained by my quest to rekindle the adventurous spirit of my rebellious youth, check out this week’s column on The Good Men Project.  Here’s the handy link:  http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/oh-the-places-youll-go-when-fear-isnt-holding-you-back-austinhodgens-jrmk/

I’d love some suggestions for the first stamp in my passport.  Of course, my heart knows where it wants to go first, but my pale skin covets a sunny destination…

I’m a riot, right?  Enjoy more of the chaos by following me on Pinterest…

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My Adventures In Sleep Running

My Adventures in Sleep Running | The Return of the Modern PhilosopherI’m not going to point fingers at who is responsible for my going out for a run in a Zombie-like state this morning, Modern Philosophers, because I am getting a witty blog post out of the situation.

However, let’s just say that The House on the Hill now has one less intern darkening its halls because the boss had his beauty sleep interrupted.

I’m by no means a diva, but I do get cranky when I have not gotten my twelve hours of rest.

Until this morning, I had never heard of sleep running.

Now I’m not only well aware that it is a thing, but I also might have posted the best time by a sleep runner this calendar year.  I hope there’s an award that goes with that, preferably a medal, because I think it would be nice to have a little bling with me when I run.

I was so out of it this morning that the only real stretching I did was bending down to tie my shoes.  Okay, I’m lying about that.  I made one of the interns tie them.  Don’t judge me.  I was exhausted and those college kids are always hanging around, so they might as well do something to earn that college credit.

So tired was I (that I’m starting off paragraphs like Yoda apparently!) that I didn’t even bother bringing music with me.  Logging in to Pandora and putting the buds in my ears would’ve taken too much effort.

Sure, I could’ve buzzed my on call running band to join me for some live music, but my brain was too fuzzy for me to remember the phone number.

As a result, I just hit the road tight, devoid of tunes, and in a deep sleep.

I felt like a Zombie on my morning run. Probably smelled like one, too!I’m not even joking with you, Modern Philosophers.  I was so sound asleep that I had dreams about how much I hated running.  I don’t even have to see my camera crew’s footage of this morning’s exercise to know I looked exactly like a Zombie as I trudged down the street, moaning and searching for brains.

Clearly, I had no brains of my own because if I did, I would have remained in bed!

Honest to Zeus, I was ready to turn around after a quarter mile and actually negotiated with myself to keep going.  Yes, Modern Philosophers, I talked in my sleep, too.  Here’s a snippet from the official transcript:

Me: Running BLEEPS!  I want to go back to bed.

Me: Keep going and I’ll buy you a breakfast sandwich.

Me: BLEEP that!  I’d rather sleep than eat. This BLEEPING BLEEPS!

Me: If you can make it to the halfway point without stopping, I’ll let you walk home.

Me: BLEEP!  You’re BLEEPING lying, you BLEEP.

Me: I’ll throw in a Snapple.

Me Fine, but I still hate you, BLEEPhole.

Despite that amazing job of negotiating by one half of my sleepy, twisted mind, I somehow got my body to run the entire three miles.

Even harder to believe, I miraculously managed to pick up the pace, sprint up the last hill, and make it back to The House on the Hill in just under 30:00.

Just go run, you lazy BLEEP!I need to sleep run more often.

My times are better when I’m asleep.

I don’t get it, but I’m clearly faster when I’m lost in a deep slumber.  Perhaps I’ll try sleep working tomorrow.  Can’t hurt, right?

I wonder if I snored…

Do you like what you see here?  Wish you could check out more of my twisted running posts?  Follow me on Pinterest, dude.  I’ve got a board for that! 

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After Dinner Mints: That God Awful Gurgle

After Dinner Mints: That God Awful GurgleThe day got off to such a promising start, Modern Philosophers.

I was up bright and early to get in a run before work.  It was an overcast morning, which was excellent weather for leaving little pools of sweat along my running route.

I hadn’t run at all last week, so I was happy to get in my three miles without needing to call for paramedics.

Since I was up early, I had time to stop at the store for a breakfast sandwich and some chocolate milk, and then I headed into the office to put in a little overtime.

As often happens once I arrive at my place of employment, the day went downhill from there.  It was nothing major, mind you, just a series of unfortunate events that when strung together, would lead me to classify today as challenging.

Was it annoying that the work day began with my supervisor asking me why I’d left work early yesterday without permission?  Of course it was, seeing as how I’d made arrangements two months ago to leave a half hour early every Monday for a standing doctor’s appointment.

The fact that I even had to deal with such an issue got the employment portion of my day off on the wrong foot, and that’s a major development given how large my feet are.

I also spent a chunk of time trying to help another office figure out how to use our secure email system.  I’m no computer expert, but I do know they are supposed to make our lives easier.  That certainly wasn’t the case this afternoon.

The Machines might have had the last laugh today, but I still believe that mankind will triumph in the end and ward off The Robot Apocalypse.

The real turbulence that spun my day out of its flight plan hit unexpectedly at about 3:45.  I was at my desk, had just sent an email to IT about the secure email issue, when a cacophony of horrific sounds emanated from my belly.

What a handsome man!The god awful gurgling sent me running for the restroom at a pace much faster than I had achieved at any point during my morning run.

Those noises were not of this Earth.  They most likely came from a deep, dark, forbidden place where no man should ever visit because there are no bathrooms.

The gurgling was loud, low, and constant.  It was also quite unnerving.

I don’t think it was caused by something I ate.  No food could be that evil.

I’m not a doctor, but I self-diagnosed regardless.  I’m fairly confident that the odd noises and pain in my stomach were the result of an ancient curse, a demonic possession, or the early stages of an impending alien birth.

I managed to make it through the work day, but the ride home was something like a game of Beat the Clock.  I’m happy to report that I won, with my prize being not having a much more embarrassing story to tell you tonight, Modern Philosophers.

I’ve taken some ibuprofen, I’m hydrating, and I’ve prescribed myself a night of couch rest and mandatory DVR emptying duty.

The gurgling returns every now and then, which I take to mean that the curse, demon, or alien baby are not going to disappear without a fight.

I just hope that whatever the hell is going on down there decides to call it a night around 10:00 so I can get some much needed rest.

Settle down, ya noisy $%^&!!!  Some of us need our beauty sleep!

Don’t be alarmed.  Just follow me on Pinterest and all will be well…

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Monday Morning Coffee Club: 5/23/16

Monday Morning Coffee Club: 5/23/16Happy Monday, Modern Philosophers!

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the snowmen are finally melting!  Yes, it looks like Spring has invaded Maine in full force and banished the evil Winter despot Snow Miser from our borders.

What a gorgeous weekend!  I spent a lot of time outside, and most of that time was actually voluntary.

I had a little bit of a run in with my yard yesterday, which led to some scrapes and scratches, lots of cursing, and an incredible amount of sweat, but in the end, it was a positive experience because the lawn and yard look great.

For another week at least…

Summer unofficially begins a week from today on Memorial Day, so I am going to enjoy and make the most of this one week of Spring that Maine gets every year.

The main goal of this weekend was to recharge my batteries.  I worked a lot of overtime last week and my energy was severely depleted.  I needed a lazy weekend to just allow my fuel cells to regenerate.  I’m an older model, so my power pack needs a little more time to replenish itself.

Only five days stand between me and a much needed long weekend.  I am going to stay positive, focus on Friday at 5:00, and will myself to get there unscathed.

Another MondayI don’t have anything lined up for Memorial Day weekend yet, but something tells me (and that something is my stomach) that cheeseburgers and red hot dogs will be involved!  Yum!

Maybe you guys should all come to The House on the Hill for a barbecue!

Nothing can turn a Monday into a Fun Day like grilled meats, ice cold beverages, and a landslide of delicious sides, am I right?

So as I prepare for this work week, I’m going to keep positive by plotting out the menu for a killer Memorial Day barbecue.  What will you guys be throwing on the grill next Monday?  Let’s talk it out and we can all get through this Monday on a meat high.

I just find it really helps to look forward to all the great things that await me.  Sometimes, the present is a little too bland and even overwhelming for my tastes.  By spicy it up with thoughts of an amazing future, I can get through any day or situation.

I hope this little Monday pep talk helps you to conquer the day without fear.  There’s plenty of coffee, so help yourself.

Seriously, please fill up the comments section with menu ideas for the perfect Memorial Day barbecue.  Let’s get some chatter going on out there.  I want to hear from you!

Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest!

 

 

 

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To Hell With Mowing The Lawn

To Hell With Mowing The Lawn | The Return of the Modern Philosopher“I think mankind has made a ridiculous waste of free will,” The Devil declared as he handed me a Snapple from the cooler and then took one for himself.

We were sitting on the front porch of The House on the Hill.  It was a gorgeous May afternoon that would have been completely wasted had we spent it inside having our usual chuckle headed conversation.

“That’s a rather broad statement,” I pointed out as I popped the top on my bottle and took a long sip of the best stuff on Earth.  “Care to narrow it down a little?”

Lucifer rolled his eyes and shook his head before he deigned to answer my question.  “My former employer created you in His image and then sweetened the deal even further by granting you free will, which must be so nice given that Angels are forced to obey His every command.  What do you do with that gift?  You choose to waste your lives on frivolous endeavors like mowing the lawn.”

“What the Hell are you rambling on about?” I asked as I put my legs up on the porch rail to get myself really comfortable for his explanation.

“You have been given permission to make your own choices, lead your own lives, do anything your imperfect little hearts desire, and after weighing your options, you decide to waste an hour on a gorgeous Sunday cutting grass that’s only going to grow back.  It’s simply ludicrous!” The Prince of Darkness declared loud enough for my neighbors to hear across the street.

“Dude, settle down,” I cautioned.  “I don’t care if you have a pitchfork and the ability to sentence my soul to eternal damnation.  I’ve got neighbors and it isn’t cool to raise your voice in some anti-religious rant.  Got it?”

To Hell With Mowing The Lawn | The Return of the Modern PhilosopherSatan was clearly taken aback by my comments.  He brushed some lint off of his impeccably tailored suit, straightened his silk tie, and pulled his designer sunglasses down the bridge of his nose to glare at me over them like some sort of tough guy.

“Did you seriously just address me as ‘dude’?” he asked in disdain.  “Am I wearing a Hawaiian shirt, surfer shorts, and ratty sandals without being aware of it…amigo?”

“There you go making generalizations again,” I countered after talking a long sip of iced tie.  “An uptight prick in a million dollar suit can still be a dude.  Look it up.”

The conversation was getting ridiculous.  Either the sun was getting to us, or I simply had a title for this short story and no real idea of what to write.

It’s probably a little bit of both, but don’t let that prevent you from enjoying this tale.

“All I was trying to say, before being verbally accosted for no apparent reason, was that it seems like a waste of time to tend to grass that is only going to grow back,” The Devil clarified without really saying much of anything when you really think about it.

“What would you have me do?” I shot back at him.  “Just let it grow until this place looks like a serial killer’s not so secret lair?”

Don't you dare pave over my lawn!“Pave it over,” Lucifer countered without hesitation.  “Concrete solves so many problems.”

“This has to be the most ridiculous conversation we’ve ever had,” I observed as I looked down proudly at my beautiful, lush lawn.

“Mowing the lawn is such a waste of time that I’ve desperately tried to grow grass in Hell for decades so I can force the Damned to mow it for all eternity,” The Prince of Darkness revealed.  “Unfortunately, it’s just too hot down there for anything to grow.”

“Send up some of your guests any time and let them have a run at my lawn,” I offered.  “If you want to punish them even more, you can sit up here and have a conversation with them while they’re mowing.”

Satan didn’t laugh, but I thought it was hilarious.  I reached into the cooler for another Snapple and tried to push any thoughts of lawn care out of my mind.

After all, Sunday was supposed to be a day of rest…

You don’t need to make a deal with The Devil to follow me on Pinterest…

 

 

 

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Does Outside Sweat Weigh More?

Does Outdoor Sweat Weigh More?  Another odd look into fitness, health, and the way my body works...Today has probably been the most gorgeous day Maine has seen in 2016, Modern Philosophers.

The temperature is somewhere in the 80s, the sun is shining, and there’s a gentle breeze.  Spring has definitely arrived in the Land Snow Miser Would Not Relinquish, and it appears we have seen the last of the Snowmen for some time.

On a day this beautiful, it totally makes sense that I went to the gym to get in my cardio, right?

I know, you’re probably forming Deep Thoughts as to why I didn’t take advantage of the weather and run outside.

I asked myself the same thing, but conversations with myself usually end in a stalemate as I am incredibly stubborn and refuse to back down once I’ve made up my mind.

There must have been a reason I selected a morning inside at the gym rather than outside on the mean streets of my neighborhood, but logic rarely gets called into play when it comes to my fitness program.

Truth be told, I was just happy that I was eager to exercise, so I didn’t really question why I’d want to be indoors when Mother Nature had made the outside world so awesome.  I hadn’t done anything wellness related all week because I’d gone to work early every day to put in some overtime.

Any workout was acceptable at this point.  I needed a good sweat!

What? Doesn't everyone keep a team of scientists on standby down in the basement?I keep a team of old school scientists in lab coats on standby in case I ever have a science related question for the blog.

The brainiacs maintain a lab in the basement bunker of The House on the Hill.  Sometimes, they try to leave the lab and come up into the main part of the house.  The interns have strict instructions to discourage such behavior, and they know to send the eggheads scurrying back into the cellar anytime they try to rejoin the rest of society.

Don’t look at me like that, Modern Philosophers.  For the amount of money I pay those scientists, they should be thrilled to live underground like mole people.

Anyhow, I asked the lab coat posse if it was possible that outdoor sweat weighed more than indoor sweat.  When they collectively shot me a look of utter confusion, I clarified that I was looking for a reason that it might be more beneficial to sweat outside rather than inside, or vice versa.

They formed a nerd huddle, chatted it up for a few minutes, and then Dr. Nolan Twomey, King of the Basement Brains, told me it was his team’s theory that sweating indoors might actually be healthier.

The logic behind that conclusion being that it’s easier to sweat outside when the temperature is high and the sun is intense.  Sweating indoors is more of a challenge since there is likely air conditioning involved.  Plus, people are vain and have a natural instinct to not want to sweat in front of others, so in a crowded gym, it would really take an effort to open up those sweat glands and let the juices flow.

Look...it's me...sweating in the gym on a gorgeous Spring day!Now I’m no big brained lab coat wearer, but I do wear a toga and form Deep Thoughts on a consistent basis.  Those credentials having been explained, I’m going to say that I agree with the Nerd Herd’s Deep Thoughts.

As a result, I’m convinced that it was an excellent decision on my part to go to the gym, put in an intense bike workout, and sweat like an animal with a glandular problem.

I am by no means a men’s health expert, but I am a guy who is out of shape and looking to recapture the trim, athletic form I only wish I had in my twenties.

What I’m trying to say, Modern Philosophers, is Just Sweat.  It doesn’t matter where you do it, how you make it happen, or how offensive you smell after you’re done.

Just do something to remind your body who’s boss.  When you’re in your early nineties and still on the good side of a coffin, you’ll be thankful you took this advice!

Yes, I am this wise all the time.  Follow me on Pinterest and learn more!

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Friday Night Think Tank: Your Great White Whale

What's your great white whale, Modern Philosophers?Happy Friday, Modern Philosophers!

I’m sorry that the Friday Night Think Tank has been closed for so long, but I went on vacation, life got very busy, and I simply haven’t had the time to chill out with my favorite toga wearers to conjure up Deep Thoughts.

That all changes tonight.  I had the interns clean out the Think Tank and restock its bar and pantry.

So we should be all set for its Grand Reopening!

It’s been a very long week.  I worked a lot of overtime, didn’t get much sleep, and my brain might have short circuited at some point.  However, that’s all behind me now.  It’s Friday, the weather is beautiful, and I can hear the Deep Thoughts beginning to crash around inside my brain.

Who’s ready to get this Philosophy party started?

This week’s topic: What’s the dream or goal that’s remained forever elusive?  In other words, Ahab, what’s your Great White Whale?  Will you ever give up on chasing after it?

Friday Night Think Tank: Your Great White WhaleThis one should be obvious for me, Modern Philosophers, but as I pondered on it, I realized that there might be two massive beasts in my sea.

My full time writing career has remained ever elusive.  There have been times when I’ve felt like I’ve finally made it, but the harsh reality is that I really haven’t come close to a point where I could support myself as a writer.

Sure, I’ve had my successes, and that is what keeps the fire burning and my quest alive.  People have given me very nice sums of money either to write for them, or for the rights to something I’ve written.

Two of these projects have been turned into feature films.  The Hollywood Reporter has written about me.  Dr. Dre called me a “sick mother@#$%^*” and invited me to his house to discuss a project.

Maybe because I’ve had that kind of success, gotten to sit at the big boy table, and basked ever so briefly in the glow of what Hollywood has to offer its chosen ones, I can’t consider writing to be my Great White Whale.  I’ve never captured it, but I’ve had it in a holding tank in my personal aquarium on more than one remarkable occasion.

That means that finding true love has to be my Great White Whale.

I’ve been a Hopeless Romantic ever since birth when I had eyes for the cute nurse who changed my diapers in the hospital.

And yet, true love has forever eluded me.

Or maybe even that’s not right anymore, Modern Philosophers.  You can never tell with me since I signed that non-disclosure agreement before my vacation…

If you’re curious about what this all means, my new column on The Good Men Project delves much deeper in my quest for finding the love I truly deserve.

If you read it and enjoy it, could you please share it on social media?  Finding an audience for that column is becoming another Great White Whale.

Here’s the link:  http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/a-good-man-accepts-the-love-he-deserves-austinhodgens-jrmk/

So tell me about your Great White Whale.  Please assure me you’ll never give up on the chase.  After all, what fun is life without a little adventure?

Have a great weekend!

If you like what you read here, check me out on Pinterest…

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