Finding My Passion (at what cost?)

A word of warning, I’m going to ramble for spell. It will be long winded and dull, and for the eight or nine of you that read through to the end, (optimistic, I know). I’ll be fortunate if two of you actually understand what I’m trying to say. But for those of you who do make it to the end, you’ll get a VERY rare glimpse at the chaotic white noise that occupies the space between my ears!

Who are you?

I was talking to a friend about college courses and careers and choices we make, and he asked me this question.

“Who are you?”

Who am I? He went on to explain, “You start by answering that question. The rest will take care of itself. The college, the job, the career, the income. Figure out who you are, and everything else falls into place around it.”

So. Who am I?

I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. This comes first. Always. This will affect the way I go about EVERYTHING else. It touches every decision I make. I’m not always a really good example of a Jehovah’s Witness, but I try hard. I am a husband to one beautiful wife, and father to two wonderful (though sometimes hyper) boys, who should probably read more, and play video games less. But they’re mine and I love them!

“Good.” my friend said. “So what are your passions?”

I’m a writer, and an artist of sorts. I’m a near expert doodler. Though I still have no idea how to make a living doing these things? Let’s face it, the job market for poet-doodlers is kind of soft these days.

“What else?” my ever patient friend encouraged…

Where to begin!

I love to cook. I’m a kitchen experimenter, and probably the only person you’ve ever met who’s used three different frying pans to make a single grilled cheese sandwich. But oh, what a grilled cheese sandwich it was! In fact I sometimes dream about opening my own restaurant. I have a couple names picked out. I can picture the view out the front picture window! (oceanfront, on the boardwalk, of course!) I’ve planned menus and pricing. I have graph paper somewhere that I used to layout where the tables and buffets would be. I even went as far as to contact a restaurant supply company and request a catalog. But I have zero interest in working in a restaurant. Cooking someone else’s menu would bore me and frustrate me to no end. “You want me to use ketchup? In the meatloaf? Are you out of your mind?”

I think the doodler in me would like to be a graphic designer. I could design logos. In fact I’ve designed rocking logos for EVERY made up company I’ve ever imagined myself opening… From landscape companies, to restaurants, to film studios, to freelance graphic design companies… But then again, if you opened a hair salon tomorrow and asked me to design the logo, I’d be bored in a few minutes and give up. Your company ideas aren’t nearly as cool as mine. Sorry. But it’s true.

I like photography, and architecture. And photography of architecture. But I’m not sure I’m good enough at either to make a living doing it. And aren’t there already enough architecturally focused coffee table books on the discount rack at Barnes & Noble?

I love sports. All sports, from Michael Jordan to California Chrome. But I’m thirty three years old, six foot nothing (at best), slightly overweight, and have the lungs of a two pack a day smoker, despite never having smoked. I like writing about, discussing and debating sports. But what guy doesn’t?

I absolutely LOVE listening to music. Unfortunately my musical talent ends at ipod, and even that sometimes requires my brother’s IT assistance.

I love the outdoors. I love camping and hiking, but have no interest in working outside in the heat and humidity, or the rain and cold, every day of my life.

I like sitting at my desk typing, but I would go CRAZY if I had to sit at a computer for eight hours a day working on someone else’s projects.

I like budgeting and planning my business ideas, but I have no interest in tracking someone else’s profit/loss numbers.

I love debating just about anything. From best three point shooter of all time, to best guitarist of all time, to should the Washington Redskins change their name, to why government run healthcare is the worst idea since Aqua came out with Barbie Girl. But only lawyers and politicians get paid to argue about stuff no one else cares about, and I don’t have time for a Law Degree.

I love physical fitness and exercise. But only if I’m doing the exercising. I have no interest in showing out of shape soccer moms or middle aged beer guts the correct form for doing sit-ups. YUCK!

I enjoy the idea of homesteading/disaster preparedness. However I’m not Charles Ingalls or Jack Bauer and I’ll never have the time and money to learn these things until AFTER I figure out the career path!

I like making people laugh, but only on paper. I could never get up on stage in a comedy club, in front of people. I can barely get through a 15 minute talk at the hall, and that’s with an outline in front of me.

Past that I still have no clue what I want to be when I grow up.

There are very few people on the face of the earth I envy more than the person who has a singular focused passion. Any passion would do. The mechanic who is perfectly content laying on his gravel driveway, under his cantankerous 94 Honda Civic, with grease and oil dripping down his arm. Or the carpenter who loves that feeling of stepping out of his workshop dripping sweat with sawdust stuck in places sawdust has no places being! Or maybe the kid who grew up playing doctor and knew from day one he was going to end up working in some sort of medical field. Maybe he’s a neurosurgeon? Maybe he’s an X-ray tech? But at least he had some plan!

I never had a plan. I’m thirty three and I still have no plan.

I’m fiercely loyal to God, roughly seven people, and to two or three sports teams. Which is why this indecisive nonsense bothers me so much! When it comes to hobbies, interests, and career choices I’m not only all over the map, with no central focus, but I’m also fickle. The idea of writing the great American novel sounds appealing for the first sixty or seventy pages, and then I run out of steam! Two or three months later when I get the bug to write again, I’ve lost interest in THAT novel and start a new one, and the vicious cycle continues!

The problem is, when you LIKE (and like is such a lame word) ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING, but don’t love any of it, choosing a career, based on your “passions” becomes so much more complicated. There is NOTHING on this list I enjoy enough to do eight hours a day five days a week without slowly losing my mind. Even writing. If I were forced to sit at a desk and write for eight hours a day, I think I’d quit. Or I would suffer the worst case of burnout induced writer’s block the world has ever seen.

By the way, my ever patient friend is currently contacting his therapist and icing his very tired ears. Some help he was!




Who Wears Short Shorts?

As the temperature rises, apparently so does the inexplicable need to reveal an inordinate amount of skin.  And I totally get it girls.  It’s hot outside.  You’ve returned from Spring Break in Cancun, or where I live more likely Panama City, and you want to show off the golden tan you worked so hard to perfect while you should have been studying for finals.  Totally understandable.

And I’m a guy.  I admit it.  I like legs as much as the next guy.  I’m normally the LAST person to complain about short shorts, but “ladies” (and I use that term in the loosest sense of the word), it’s getting a little preposterous.

Allow me, as a guy, to share three very real, very traumatic visual experiences from today.  I do this with only the smallest hint of sarcasm, but rest assured this rant isn’t for entertainment purposes.  It’s educational by nature.  If you listen closely to my three experiences, you’ll find three SUREFIRE, TIME PROVEN ways to tell if the shorts you’re wearing are indeed too short.

1) If your belly button hangs lower than the bottom of your shorts.

I’m sorry, but if you’re THAT out of shape you have no business wearing anything shorter than capris anyways.  Period.  End of discussion.

2) If I can actually see panties (?) or bathing suit bottom (?) hanging out of the bottom of your shorts.

Yes.  I’m talking to you in the pink boy shorts.  I know the boy shorts are confusing because they hang lower than your normal g-string.  But your shorts should still cover that nonsense.  Besides, nothing says sexy like an out of shape 48 year old trollop dressed like a sorority sister on her way to pajama day, smoking a cig in front of the local laundromat!

3) If your hip pockets hang out the bottom of your shorts.

Aren’t you a classy broad…  It doesn’t matter how nice your legs are, or how dark your tan is, you’re going to the hardware store to pick up a float for your toilet!  If you notice your pocket hanging out the bottom of your shorts blowing in the breeze, PLEASE STAY HOME.

Ladies, I only give you these three examples because I care for you.  And to prove it I’m extending the following offer…

If you find yourself wearing shorts in public, that fit into ANY of these 3 categories please contact me.  I’ll buy you a mirror.

My name is Jonathan Turrell
And that’s my two cents.

Tragedy In Clarksville

1) I hope the kids are okay.  In the end, that’s all that really matter!
2) The driver should have his license revoked. Who runs over a box big enough to hold two children? What if it had a big screen TV in it? Or a riding lawn mower? Not to mention that this dimwit said he didn’t realize the kids were in the box, explaining why he didn’t stop. A couple weeks back, I clipped a dog who ran under my back tire. Trust me. You know when you hit something!
3) The parents should be put in a box and run over. Who lets their 5 and 7 year old play in the street? I don’t let my 4 and 12 year old play in the front yard without adult supervision.

Sadness all around…

Public Service Announcement : YOUR Life Matters

Pictures captioned, “Black Lives Matter” seem to be trending on Facebook. And they do matter. No argument there.

But White lives matter too. (As a side point, I find it disturbing that those are the only two races defined by COLOR)

So do Asian lives.
So do Hispanic lives.
So do Italian lives.
So do French lives.
So do German lives.
And the list goes on and on.

To my friends of EVERY race, nationality or color.
YOUR life matters.
Take care of YOU!
Be safe out there.

Go into the “routine traffic stop” knowing that there’s nothing routine about it. (for you or the police officer).
Understand that BOTH parties are on edge!

REGARDLESS of what race you are…

When a cop says, “step out of your car” you step out of your car.
When a cop says “stay in your car” you stay in your car.
When a cop says “sit on that curb while I search your vehicle” you sit on the curb, laughing because you know he’s not gonna find anything.

If you’re not “dirty” and have nothing to hide, there’s no reason to resist, talk back, strike the officer, or make a break for it. And the second you do ANY of these things, REGARDLESS of race, understand that you’re putting yourself in harms way.  Please don’t put the police officer in a position where he has to make that kind of split second adrenaline filled decision. No good will come of it.  EVER!!!

Use your head.
Swallow your pride.
Keep your ego in check.
Think before you act.
Do YOUR part to prevent these situations.


Human Resources?

I applied for a job. Not my dream job. But a job. It’s local. It’s climate controlled. Not sure about the hours or the schedule or the pay yet, but it’s local and climate controlled, and that’s a step in the right direction.  An interview was set up for Friday at 2 PM at their home office in Nashville (over an hour from my house).

They leave a voicemail at 4:35 on Thursday, “I’m sorry Mr. Turrell we’re going to have to reschedule your interview for either 1PM or 4PM, we have a mandatory meeting that our staff has to attend Friday afternoon (which I interpret as she got asked out for lunch time drinks and wasn’t sure when she’d be back in the office).

Now the kicker is EITHER 1PM or 4PM would have worked for me. My son, Isaac was at his aunt Hannah’s. I had taken the day off work. All was right in the world. Except for the fact that the 2 dozen times I called them to confirm which time they needed me to show up, nobody answered the phone. Nobody even took the time out of their busy day to call me back.

UNTIL 1:24 on Friday, when I receive a call. “If you can make it up here by 2PM we can squeeze the interview in today. If not, we’ll have to reschedule for next week.”

PAUSE : Wasn’t 2PM when the “mandatory” meeting was? Wasn’t that what I originally agreed too anyways? A little late to be changing plans now sweetheart!

Now, to be clear.  I rescheduled the interview for next week. Just in case it DOES turn out to be my dream job.  But to be safe, while I was all dressed up and in the mood to interview, I applied at a couple other places in town. Because let’s face it, a company that is THAT disorganized, and THAT incredibly inefficient at returning time sensitive phone calls, would most likely be out of business before I finish my training anyways!

As a side point, do I really want to work for a company that doesn’t return phone calls in a timely manner? Just seems like simple ‘business 101’?  How did this numbskull get put in charge of recruiting?  You’re telling me this is the head of your Human Resources department?  She’s not human, or a resource.  She’s an overpaid clown.  No wonder your turnover is so high.

I’m getting paid $9 an hour to stack salsa, and this chick who can’t return a basic phone call has a good paying job, and is climbing the corporate ladder?  This is a perfect example of everything that is wrong with the American economy.  As Larry Winget (the “pitbull of personal development”) says, “If you’re business sucks, it’s because you as a business person suck.”  And this lady clearly sucks at her job!

My Apologies

I would like to take a moment to apologize to the fans of this blog.  My readers.

I started this blog with the best intentions of adding a new post at least once a week.   From February 7, 2014, through May 18, 2014, I did a splendid job.  And then I dropped the ball.  While I offer my humble apologies for neglecting this blog, and it’s readers, I really have no excuses.  Just life getting in the way of living.  Congregation responsibilities.  Working.  Paying bills.  Raising kids.  Facebook.  Netflix.  A lot of different little pieces of my life getting in the way of my writing.

What brought this unfortunate lapse in creativity to my attention?
At what point did I realize that it had been nearly 5 months since I’d written ANYTHING?

A couple nights ago, a friend from our congregation approached me at random and asked, “I heard you have a blog where you rant and rave about stuff?”  This is a pretty good friend, but certainly not anyone I’ve ever discussed my writing with.  She’s a little older than me.  And by that, I mean she’s NOT someone I would necessarily consider my “target audience”.  But in that moment she seemed like my number one fan, and it all hit me like a ton of bricks.  I suddenly realized how long it had been since I’d written ANYTHING.  I also caught a glimpse of how widespread my writing had become despite my lack of consistency, effort and focus.  Despite not adding a single post in 5 months, people were still approaching me and asking about my blog.  And I’m honestly not even sure if this friend was a member of our congregation the last time I posted a blog entry (if so, she was new to our congregation) but STILL she heard through the grapevine that I was a writer, and wanted to read my stuff!  I was so floored that I accidentally blew her off at first.  After standing there, stupefied for a moment, I mumbled something like, “Yeah, I used to.”  and walked away quickly, pretending to be to chasing after Isaac.

What had just occurred?
Was I suddenly ashamed of my writing?
Was I even a writer anymore?

A few minutes later, when the shock wore off, I scribbled down the web address for my blog and passed it to her, warning her that it had been a while since I added anything new to my blog.  I’m not sure if she’ll even check into my blog, but one thing is for sure, by her asking about my blog she lit a fire under me, and with her help I came to a couple of burning conclusions!

I am a writer.
I will ALWAYS be a writer.
I will continue to write, as time permits.  (unfortunately I have no way to guarantee when, or how often that will be)

That’s all I can promise for the time being…  It’s all I have to give…

That being said, I want my readers to rest assured that I do currently have SEVERAL new ideas for writing projects (though most have no place on this blog).  Regardless, I want you guys to know that I will be keeping my ‘fans’ (all 59 of you, according to Facebook “Likes”) posted, via this blog, and Facebook!  Until then, be well my friends!


Filthy Pigs And Little Kids


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I’m talking to YOU!

Yep, you.  You who brought your kid (4 years old?) into a public restroom.  You who patiently waited for your kid to finish taking care of business, only to yell, “Come on, you know we’re late. We don’t have time for that!” and drag him out the door, when your kid tries to head to the sink to wash his hands…

Before we go any further, allow me to explain a couple things about myself…

I have kids.

I’m a realist.

I know that once kids are brought into the picture all hopes of being completely sanitary go out the window.  I’ve wiped butts.  I’ve cleaned up throw up. I’ve shared silverware with sick kids.  I’ve watched kids eat food off of tabletops, floors, and park benches.  (Not that I readily encourage this, but I get that sometimes it happens).  I’ve even woke up at 1:13 in the morning to a crying kid who’s soaked his sheets, and thrown an old bath towel over it and told him to go back to sleep. As parents, we’ve ALL done NASTY things. Things most of us would NEVER admit to in public.

And I get being busy and in a hurry. Anyone who has kids, knows what it’s like to be running ten minutes late, with a little person dragging his short little legs as fast as he can, twenty feet behind you. We all know that feeling dude. So don’t think I’m asking you scrub your kid from fingertips to armpits with bleach and brillo pads.

As a parent I also realize that public restrooms are completely out of touch with how tall your child is. They can barely get their little hands under the running water. Let alone turn on the water and dispense the soap on their own… I get that your kid can’t actually wash his hands. You have to do that. Any good parent knows that this process generally involves YOU splashing some water on your kid’s hands. While your child splashes the mirror. And your shirt sleeves. And the bathroom floor.  Then YOU get to soap little hands that never really get rinsed because your kid is too busy turning the restroom into a waterpark to be bothered with hand washing technique. And I get that when you get done all of that and dry your hands off, which are now cleaner than your kid’s hands, you’ll be leaving the restroom holding a still wet, often soapy, little hand… Then sometime later, you as the parent will use your still slightly damp shirttails to dry his hands, wipe his running nose, and wipe off the chocolate (we as parents aren’t 100% sure what that gunk around the kid’s mouth actually is, so we’ll pretend that’s chocolate!). That’s life as a parent!

I get it.  I’m not expecting operating room sterility.

But I’m a firm believer that you owe it to the kid (and to the general public) to at least make an effort at basic cleanliness and disease prevention… All I’m asking for is decency.  Teach your kid that washing hands (even if it turns into a soapy, splashy, fiasco of a wet tee shirt contest and turns the bathroom floor into a ceramic slip n slide) is something that happens after using the restroom. EVERY TIME!  It’s like buckling your seatbelt when you get in a car, or silencing your cell phone when entering a movie theater. Allow your child the basic dignity of not being a filthy pig.  After all we don’t want him to grow up like you!

It Takes A Village To Raise A Child


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I don’t get to rant often enough anymore.

So here goes!

In order to improve 3 schools, the city of Chicago is planning on firing… EVERYONE! (or at least everyone in those 3 schools) A little drastic? Probably.

The headline absolutely kills me though, “Improving failed schools full of black kids is RACIST” What the what?

How is the Chicago Public School’s CEO (who happens to be black) cleaning house in an attempt to take measures (albeit seemingly desperate/severe measures) to IMPROVE the school system for it’s students (who are also predominantly black, according to this article) racist? By the way, according to the Chicago Public School’s web page, only 33.9% of the students are African American. While 45.2% are Hispanic. Yet, the teacher’s union claims, “This is an attack on Black schools..” Why are the Hispanics not upset about this? By the numbers, it’s technically a “Hispanic school”… Not to mention that labeling an entire body of ethnically diverse students under the broad umbrella of ONE particular color is, in and of itself, RACIST!

Unless the city is ONLY firing black teachers and ONLY hiring white teachers to replace them this has NOTHING to do with race.

It might have to do with a whole bunch of kids from the projects being raised in broken, abusive and neglectful homes who are probably too busy trying to survive to waste time learning algebraic equations and verb conjugation. It might be a result of too many drunk daddies and too many strung out mommies having too many babies at too early an age. Perhaps not enough parents attending parent teacher conferences and school plays contributed to the failure of the schools and their students. Or maybe, just maybe, the teachers are really that bad at their jobs! I went to high school. I know for a fact, that about 2/3 of MY teachers had been doing an incredibly stressful job, at far too low a salary, for far too many years and were simply burnt out. I don’t know what’s causing the issues. I don’t live in Chicago.

But what I will say, is this… To make the asinine blanket statement that this is strictly about an “attack” on one race, is absurd.

Before we go any further. Let me clear something up!

Some people are bigots. And racists. And horrible hateful people. I’m not arguing that. Racism is real, and it’s one of the most divisive, ugliest, nastiest traits a human can possess. And I truly HATE racists!

What upsets me, is the overuse of the race card. Not EVERY bad thing that happens to a person (or group of people) of a certain ethnic background is a result of their skin color. There are literally THOUSANDS of different variables having nothing to do with race, that contribute to any one student’s success (or failure). Upbringing. Home life. Financial status. Parental involvement. Quality of the teachers. Quality of the curriculum. Safety and security in the schools and surrounding neighborhoods. Etc. Etc. Etc. All of these variables have a greater affect on a child’s ability to receive an education than the color of his skin. It takes a village to raise a child.

So play the race card if you want. That’s your right, I guess?

Just understand that THIS, right here is the type of thing that discredits other, FAR more legitimate claims of racism. THIS is why when someone of ANY ethnic background, flippantly plays the race card without any forethought, half the people in the room roll their eyes and tune out. And in the end, dealing with idiots like the people on this teacher’s union, making these absurd claims, actually CONTRIBUTES to widening the gap between the races.

In the end rest assured, that my opinion doesn’t really matter. And neither does yours. In the end all that really matters, is that fact that “God is not partial,but in every nation the man who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.” Acts 10 : 34,35. His opinion matters.



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Seriously guys?  Tom and James, of Brisbane Australia have invented an app for busy guys that automatically sends pre-programmed text messages to their girlfriends when they haven’t talked in a while.  It even comes with countermeasures to prevent snoopy girlfriends from discovering the app.  Because building a relationship built on trust and communication clearly takes too much work…

And this is how you end up as fodder for…  I’ll give you guys a hint, I’m not sure who I’m most upset at…

GUYS – If you need an app that automatically texts your girlfriend, a “Hey, how are you doing?” type message on a daily basis, you probably don’t deserve a girlfriend.  Or a cell phone.  You clearly are too busy or too self absorbed to drag other human beings into that mess you call a life.  Stick to goldfish.  Zero interaction.  Zero accountability.  Always there for you when you need them.  And if it doesn’t work out you can flush her and buy a new one for $0.27.

GIRLS – If you’re dumb enough to not realize you’re interacting with pre-programmed text messages, you probably don’t deserve a boyfriend.  Seriously, I can buy you girls a digipet (remember those?)  You push the ‘feed me’ button and a little electronic image of a puppy dog with a wagging tail pops up.  How emotionally satisfying is that?  You know, not everyone can keep a virtual pet happy, and well fed.  It takes a real woman to keep a virtual boyfriend satisfied, let me tell you.  Go back to playing Sims 17 : Suburban Scandal.

Then there’s the creators of this mind bogglingly useless app.  BroApp?  Seriously?  Is that Australian for single?  If you’re spending so much time with your mates, that you don’t have time to send a simple text message, maybe you should be dating one of your mates?  You clearly like your ‘mates’ more then your mate anyways!

If crap like this is the future of the dating scene, I’m glad I’m happily married.

My name is Jonathan Turrell, and that’s my two cents!