Don’t be a dick about it…doctrines

I’m going to start out talking a little bit about who I am and how I am before I go into how I decided on the title of this particular blog.

“When there are too many assholes around,
I feel like its my duty to be a dick.”
― Hazar Emiral

It’s been a frustrating and exciting 8 years in this job and I can hardly believe how much time has passed and how quickly it has passed.  I am currently preparing to leave my current location and move on to the next.  At the same time, I have to study Spanish, write evaluations and a variety of other reports, think about what training I need, pack out my current house, meet and greet new people, think about the new requirements I will be facing in my new position … AND… continue staying up to pace on my current work. This adds additional pressure on maintaining my positive attitude and not breaking down or getting angry about things that are out of my control.

This is my third country and I love it and will miss it when I leave.  I pretty much say that about every place I have ever been.  This country though is super special to me (I probably say that about every country as well).  The people in particular are super special to me (yes, I say that as well).

I think the country and its people like me as well.  One of the things I really like about it is the people who live and work here very easily express their anger, their joy, their frustrations and their absolute happiness and faith.  I love that because that is really how I am as well.  Not everyone loves that about me and not everyone “gets” that about me.  I do not hide much of what I am feeling and people pretty much know exactly how I feel as I am feeling it.

I am admittedly not a clear speaker.  I talk in circles and “use too many words”.  I can easily be led off topic (but do not believe for a second I have forgotten the original theme of the conversation).  I’m often wrongly accused of being mad, frustrated, unhappy and way too abrupt…. but really I’m just trying to talk.  The irony is, the people who do not feel that I am all of those negative things really see me as super happy, flakey, funny, light-hearted, and spontaneous person.  I have been working on trying to meld the two versions of me into one package but seriously, when I lose it it is usually only after trying to be all of the positive forms of myself to obtain a positive result from a variety of people and no one is hearing me and the ones that do hear me do not understand how much effort it is taking to be so nice for so long.

Dalton: All you have to do is follow three simple rules. One, never underestimate your opponent. Expect the unexpected. Two, take it outside. Never start anything inside the bar unless it’s absolutely necessary. And three, be nice. – Roadhouse

Yes, I am sarcastic and some take that as being snide.  Yes, I am abrupt and some take that as being rude.  Yes, I am often too honest and some take that as being offensive.  I swear I am really trying to tone that down as this personality type does not play out well in my current job.  I’d like to think I’m not a dick.. but even I feel bad after I chastise myself and I have been doing that to me for over 50 years. I can only imagine how it might make someone else… who has not spent as much time with me as I have… feel bad when I try to make my instructions or advice heard and understood.

So as the pressure has been building and I have become increasingly frustrated about all that is currently on my plate, I have had to remind myself nearly every day to just chill.. (did I mention I am also doing a construction project on my house in the U.S. while being overseas.. so..yeah.. )

So there I was.  Just minding my own business.  Trying to get through the one thing that would lead to the next thing.  Story of my life.  Story of every person’s life I suppose.  Sometimes trying to slow down and other times trying to just step it up a notch.  But just trying to chill.. just chill.. and I look on the floor of my bedroom and see a worn out, folded over, dirty, typed document.IMG_0919

To be clear, this is not mine.  I live alone.  Where did it come from?  Timely yes… but who knew that i was needing this message right now.. in my home.. seriously the universe must be keying into my breakdown.  So basically because I probably have been being a bit of a dick lately and I am guessing this is a world wide phenom these days.. I thought I would share with the world what the universe shared with me.  It’s good stuff.. it really is… so here goes.


Pretty good right?  Still not sure where it came from.  But obviously great advice.   I am who I am (Sam I am) and have grown to be how I am from my many emotional stances.  I am not always the nicest in my expressions but I want to always be nice in my intent.

I could do nice, but it’s just not as much fun. Being nice isn’t my biggest goal in life. I’m trying to be honest about who I am, and that’s not always nice. I’m not always the world’s cheerleader.  Sharon Stone

The only difference between me and others is that they think they can change something with cute little poems, nice cards or embracing trees and being nice to little lapdogs. Henry Rollins

It’s no good being nice and young and naive. There’s no good in that at all. You’ve got to do it all yourself, and you’ve gotta learn quick. And you can’t look for sympathy either. John Lydon

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Philo

It’s not our job to play judge and jury, to determine who is worthy of our kindness and who is not. We just need to be kind, unconditionally and without ulterior motive, even – or rather, especially – when we’d prefer not to be. Josh Radnor

Be kind, don’t judge, and have respect for others. If we can all do this, the world would be a better place. The point is to teach this to the next generation. Jasmine Guinness


Life of Value

Beach Day – short and sweet.  This is the first time I have travelled to the beach and did not actually take pictures of the beach.  For some reason I was much more interested in the journey then the actual time spent there.  I hope you find it as interesting as I did!!

Fait alone will lead you to – – –

The Netherlands

Much of the Netherlands lies leagues below sea level.  On one level I knew this but traveling there and actually seeing several different cities and the leaning of the buildings as they struggled to stand straight and tall in the sand, it really dawned on me that I was literally walking under the sea.  Not really but it was an impressive thought that everything i walked on had once been under water.  I understood after visiting several cities that the Dutch really were born of the sea.  I stayed in Wassanaar near a windmil, visited the Hague, Edam-Volendam, Leiden, Delft, Haarlem,  and a few other surrounding cities.  It was amazing and so different from my visit to Amsterdam.  I was super happy to have been able to get back there and explore areas that I had not been to before.  I hope you enjoy.


Dad – Behind every great daughter is a truly amazing dad

My last post about my dad was back in June.  I just went back and read it about 3 times.  Loved looking at the photos and remembering him how he was.  He has always been the most influential man in my life.  He lifted my self-esteem (Sami, you are my favorite!). He helped me grow great work ethics (It’s better to do a job right the first time then have to re-do the job) and a superb ability to out stubborn anyone (Sami, always admit when you are wrong, but if you are right, never back down).  He developed in me a crazy ability to laugh at my own jokes, even if no one else did and to tell really, really terrible jokes (Little Johnny was in the classroom and had to go to the bathroom, he raised his hand and said…).

I am who I am because of him.

My Daddy was my hero. He was always there for me when I needed him. He listened to me and taught me so many things. But most of all he was fun.
—Bindi Irwin

No worries, he’s still here.  But he’s aging, getting sick, being hospitalized, getting out, continuing on with his crazy life, going a little crazy at times, getting sick again, acting like a child, getting old, and just moving through life faster than I want him to.

Years ago he said to me as we were sitting in a dive bar in Spokane, “Sami, you see that young man walking through that door? How old do you think he is?” I looked at the young man walking in the bar and said, “Well he’s at least 21!”  Dad said, “Yeah, at least 21!  That’s how I see myself when I think of myself.  Then I walk by a mirror and I think….who is that old man looking back at me.  I can’t imagine it’s me.  I never feel that way.  I can’t imagine it’s me.  I really can’t”

We both sort of laughed about it and moved on with our lives.  Fast forward about 20 years.  I feel what he felt sometimes.  But I feel it more when i look at him now.  Especially being so far away from him.

When I was working in Nepal, I had just gone through the earthquake and so was a little shattered and scattered and I happened to call him up.  He didn’t sound like himself at all.  I was convinced he had had a minor stroke.  I rushed home as quickly as I could.. which is a feat.. let me tell you.  The folks I worked for were super amazing and supported me through this emotional roller coaster.  I arrived back in Spokane and for the most part it seemed like all was well and I had panicked for no reason at all.  Except, every once in a while, he would sort of tear up.  Right before I was due to leave for my next assignment, I met up with him and he looked ecstatic.  I asked him why he was so darn happy all of a sudden.  He told me he had received GREAT news from the doctor.. all of his tests came back clean and he was as healthy as an old horse like him could be.  So, apparently there had been a reason for me to sort of panic.  Dads.. what are you gonna do.

Well, about 3 good years later and here we go again.  A few weeks ago, I got a call from my sister.  She said, “Dad’s been in the hospital with heart and kidney problems.  He also has pneumonia.  Apparently he had been in an auto accident several  weeks ago and didn’t tell anyone.”  He checked himself out of the hospital because he didn’t want to stay there. Wouldn’t follow any of the doctor’s recommendations and was being a pain in the butt to everyone.  She flew to Arizona and worked him through his situation and attitude. Got his meds worked out and sent some pictures to help my other sister and i get emotionally prepared for whatever might happen.

Snidely Whiplash

This is a little doohickey dad found in a parking lot. Snidely rode with my dad for nearly 40 years when he was a truck driver. I began using it as a “keep dad safe” lucky charm.

Over the course of the past few weeks, my sis has been going from Washington to Arizona to check in on him, get him set up with doctors, physical therapy.  I’m not sure what I would have done, or how I would have handled it without her.  It’s been super stressful and emotional.  It’s so weird to see him in this position.  It breaks my heart.

When I think of him that is now how I see him.  I can’t imagine it’s him.  In my minds eye and in my heart, that’s not how I see him.  Then I look at these pictures or see him in person and I think….who is that old man looking back at me.  I can’t imagine it’s him.  I really can’t.

Then, as I was writing this blog, literally just now, my sister sent me the below messages and photos.

Screen Shot 2018-01-24 at 9.18.49 PM


I catch my breath and in my head say, “Thank you!!” Because now, for a minute at least,  I can imagine him .. how I think of him ..

Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes.
—Gloria Naylor


Naija Style

Even as the archer loves the arrow that flies, so too he loves the bow that remains constant in his hands.     Nigeria

Make no mistake, I get it, weddings around the world can be amazing, glorious, inspirational, and even horrible.  But weddings in Nigeria are sensational and chaotic things.  I have been fortunate enough (and honored enough) to have been invited to another wedding in Nigeria of one of my colleagues.  Wow!! Just pure fun.

The color, the chaos, multiple photographers, kids, dancing, eating, matching clothes…


The kiss..



welcome.. the bride and groom….


Other cultural posts about heritage

YorkCastle, Rantings, Petroglyphs, roaming, patron saints, Morya, legacy, hotdogs, blarney, irene, Unsung