BennyEast.Com/Blog The official blog of Kenny West


What if?

What if every person got a chance to go back in time just once and change something they said or did?  Each person would be able to do this just once.  They can use it at any point in their lifetime.  They would only get to use this once and that would be it.  I'd definitely use this.  I would go back to 2 years ago.  I guess I really should go back to 2 and a half years ago to take back something mean I said to someone that I was just getting to know... Something I definitely wish I had never said about writing stuff online (and here I am writing it online... life is ironic I suppose... ).  I know if I never would have said that mean thing I could have possibly had something great at this very moment.  But because of something stupid I said... here I am... regretting that online convo that I still remember clear as day like it was yesterday.

That's what I would go back to.  I would change that and have never said that mean thing and... just have said what was really on my heart!  Which was... I like you a lot.  Buuuuut I didn't say that... I said something stupid instead.  And then I spent years trying to figure out a way to fix things... and then I just said even more stupid things and did even more stupid things to mess it up even more instead of fixing it.

I guess that's why we always seek forgiveness?

It's like this... I've been watching this show called Day Break on netflix.  It's about a detective caught in the same day over and over again.  Every day he gets another chance to figure out what is going on and to try to right the wrongs that are happening to him... but he's finding out that some of the things that seem to be happening to him... he ultimately may have caused in the first place with his own actions...

It really just has me thinking about how sometimes our own actions can cause not only pain in our own lives but the lives of those we interact with.  I think that's kind of what the show is mostly about... he is all about trying to find out why it's happening TO him... but he is learning that it's also the result of his own actions that things happen TO others... and then in return back to him.

What would you go back and change?  Anything?  Nothing?  I guess maybe the other option that people could choose would be the option not to make any changes and accept how the past was.  That's hard though.  The hardest thing I think is having someone in the past that you just wish you could talk to sooooooooooo bad... but you know you can't.  And maybe if you went back in time and changed that one thing... it would change things?  But maybe it wouldn't... maybe it would still end up just the same?

But what if?  There is always that what if.  What if you could go back and change one thing in the past.  What would it be?  How would it change your life now?  How would it change the lives of others?

I guess I need to think about those questions going forward.  How are my actions going to affect others?  I guess that's why we can't change the past... we just have to learn from that.  And go forward with that memory and grow and change as a person.  But I'll be honest... I REALLY wish I could go back and change that mean thing I said that was just stupid of me to say.  And if I could I often wonder how different the last 2 and a half years of my life could be?  And how different the last 2 and a half years of her life would be?

I think I can sum up how I feel at the moment with one song...

"I wish that I knew what I know now... when I was younger..."

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My Super Awesome New Purchase

Tonight I went to REI and took back two pair of pants that had things broken on them.  Zippers were busted and one had a whole in the knee and some other things.  They have a 100 percent satisfaction on all their products.  Soooooo if things break... you can just bring it back and they will credit you and you can go get what you want!  Soooo I got two new pair of pants... they were a little more... but that's the idea isn't it?  Let you return the broken and then you spend even more money!  And I'm a sucker for it.

It's cool because the new pants fit super perfect and I enjoy them just as much as the old ones.  I think maybe even if not more than the old ones.  Buuuuuut that's not my super awesome new purchase.  My awesome new purchase in addition to the pants are these cool cups.  Cups?  Yea... what's so great about cups you ask?  Well... my current cups are cheapy plastic walmart ones.  They are starting to get all cloudy.  Plastic always ends up getting cloudy on me.  I don't get it.  It starts out awesome and clear.  Then after a while it gets all gross and non-see-thru.  Glass doesn't have this problem.  But every time I have glass ware it always seems to break.  I'll just be lightly washing it and then accidentally nock it against the side of the sink and it's done for.  I guess this wouldn't be a problem if I had a dish washer.  But I don't have such luxuries.

Well sooooooo... I bought these cups.  I've been eying them for a while.  They are from the sam people that make my coffee/tea mug and also my water bottle.  The cups are just plain old nothing fancy cups and I love them.  They are the Klean Kanteen 4 pack of steel 16 ounce cups.  I can't wait to use them.  I'm hoping that they will pretty much be the last cups I'll ever need to buy.  I mean steel doesn't have the issues that glass and plastic have.  I guess it's simple things like the idea of having kitchen where that will last virtually forever is what makes me happy.  Also... they rock because they don't retain smells or tastes.  My plastic cups from Walmart seem to take forever to wash to finally get the previous drink smell out.  Hopefully this won't be an issue.  Anywho here's a picture and if you click the picture you can get more information on these awesome cups...

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I’ve come to realize something

I've come to realize that relationships/marriage/all that stuff is just never going to happen for me.  There are so many better guys out there that any girl that might have any interest in me would just be better off with.  I can't see a girl actually saying to herself I choose THIS guy as the ONE I want to be with.  Seriously?  Me?  No.  There are SOOOOO many other guys that are just soooooooo much better.  I don't want a girl to have to settle for me.  I don't want a girl to have to deal with me.  I'm weird... I'm odd... I have a folding bike in my living room attached to a bike trainer that I use to work out with.  I wear hiking pants almost every day... I sleep with night lights.

Seriously... I'm not a catch.  I'm not anything.  No girl will ever be happy with me.  I've come to realize that marriage or even a relationship is just no longer in my future.  It's just never going to happen for me because any girl I would possibly be with would just always want to change me... they would always wish I was someone more "normal" or better... they would always wish I was the guy out there that they SHOULD be with.

It's just how it is.  I wish I could be a guy that a girl would actually want to call "her guy" but it's just never going to happen.  I try sooooooo hard and I've tried with sooooo many girls... and eventually they just lose interest.  Eventually they just decide we'll be better as friends... and then a few weeks or months or years later there is some other guy they find that works better.  I'm never the one that works.

It's just how it has always been and how it will always be.  I've come to realize I'm never going to be the "one" that any girl wants.

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Three Day Weekend

So every other weekend we're doing 3 day weekends.  But that means the other every other is a 1 day weekend.  Is it worth it?  Oh yes.  For sure.  So last weekend I worked Saturday and was only off Sunday.  This weekend I'm off Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  I'm a fan.  It's nice to have the overtime money but I think I prefer having the three day weekend over the money.  I can make do with downsizing my budgeting.  I'm kinda at home being at home.  I'm able to work on all sorts of "To-Do" things and creative things.

It's weird how just that one day makes a difference either way.  I mean the one day weekend is kinda tiring and it does leave me not completely recharged for the week.  But since I know the next week I have an extra day coming up it sorta keeps me going.  Then come Thursday it almost feels like a mini vacation.  Then by the end of it on Sunday evening I'm about ready to get back to work and completely back in action.

The reason why we're doing Friday instead of Monday is because Friday is usually a little bit less going on.  Monday is kind of an all hands on deck hit the ground running type of day.  So that's where the idea came from to move the day off to the next weekend and make it a three day weekend.  Anywho I feel like having three consecutive days off in a row really gets the ball rolling for creative juices because then I can really get into the zone.  By that third day i'm so on it that I'm just way more productive than I could ever be with a regular weekend.  The first day is usually wasted just kinda unwinding and getting things in order.  Then the second day gets a few things done and by the third day I'm really on track.  We'll see what this does for my creative productivity.  Hopefully there will be more things on the way.  As always I'll post them up as I finish them!

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My car purchasing strategy

So... it's always good to have a strategy for things.  Most especially when making a big purchase!  So I definitely have made the decision to buy a new car.  I think having a reliable safe economically friendly car is just the responsible thing to do.  Now my current car is ok... but it's just sorta... well it's losing it's reliable feel.  Every time I go to drive it I get antsy.  I get nervous and don't feel confident driving it.  It just doesn't feel like it used to even this time last year.  It's becoming rather expensive to do repairs.  My last couple repair bills for the last 6 months have just been pretty up there.  I'd rather be putting that money into a new car that I can feel safe and sound riding around in.

I've done some research and come up with a few cars that I'm going to test drive.  The first one I did was the Honda Fit.  It's a pretty solid car.  It drives really nice and it's very quiet inside!  I enjoyed it a lot.  But I have come up with a strategy that involves me test driving at least 2 other cars.  Test drive 3 cars that I've found to be good candidates for my needs.  Those two other cars are actually 3 the Chevy Spark or the Chevy Sonic.  I'm going to consider those one car for now because I'll test drive both and then decide which one to include in the list.  Then the last car is the Ford Fiesta.  I also was considering the Mazda3.  But I'm not sure if I will actually test drive that car.  Basically I'm just looking for simple reliable cars that get great gas mileage and can possibly have an out the door price tag of under 15k.

As far as the packages or options or any of that stuff... just base models.  Base model with nothing but the standard features and as well a regular silver color.  Or just whatever they happen to have on the lot.  And lastly stick shift.  I currently drive a stick shift and rather enjoy it.  It's also cheaper!  The idea is that I just don't want any extra features.  The more features the more there is to break.  I just want something that will reliably get me from point A to point B and that's really it.  And as well something that will do it and won't cost a lot at the gas pump.  I'm really considering the Spark because it gets such great gas mileage and it's super duper less money than the others.  But apparently the Fit has gotten great reviews consistently and has a really spectacular track record.

Once I pick out a car that I do like my "part 2" of my strategy is to then go get three prices from three different dealers.  Then I will go for another round and tell each of the dealers the prices I got at the other dealer and if they want to sell me the car they have to give me the absolutely lowest price they can because if it's even a few dollars less at the other place... I'm going to buy it from them.

I'll let them fight amongst themselves for the sale.  When I was at the Honda place last night I told them I was only there to look and test drive and get information... that I WOULDN'T be buying anytime soon as in at least a month or two out... his response was "what can I do to get you to take this car home tonight"... in my head I thought well you can just give it to me I suppose.  Hahah... but I didn't say that.  I said "I'd love to... but I just can't.  I have a system and I have to compare a list of cars and all that.  So just the information and an estimated price will be all I can do tonight."  He then did that whole "go in the back" thing and came back out and wrote down a new price of 400 dollars less than the previous one.  I told him I would be back to discuss at a later date.  He seemed VERY eager to sell me a car!

And as much as I can't wait to be driving to and from work and the grocery store and such in a set of wheels that don't make my nerves go haywire with every bump I feel or noise I hear... I have to wait it out and take all my options into consideration to get the best bang for my buck.

If they are that eager to sell... they will be willing to work with me and be patient and take the time to sell me the car that will fit my needs at the pace that I am interested in.  I think it would be really cool if someone created a car company where the car price was the price.  There wasn't any "haggling" and that was that.  And then they are required to show you the mark up and all the costs involved in how much you pay verses how much the dealer and the sales person gets.  And then on top of that there would be like no pushy sales people because no one would get commissions.  It would just be buy what you want when you want.  And you just order the car online and then show up just to pick it up.  And the cars on the lot aren't actually the ones for sale they are just for show.  That'd be my kinda car buying situation.  I'm not a big fan of the whole "game" thing.  And also the prices would be even numbers.  LIke 10 grand exactly.  Or 12 grand.  Or whatever.  None of this 11,999.99 stuff.  And that would include ALL the fees.  So when the sticker says 12 grand.  That's the actual price that you pay.  There's no extra taxes, fees, or other random charges.  Indeedy.  But that's not the world we live in.  The world we live in is crazy complicated and super chaotic.  Soooooo thus my "strategy system" of comparing cars and then comparing dealers and then getting the dealers to fight with each other over my business.

The last thing I plan to do is get the extended warranty.  I just want piece of mind and to not have to worry about any more costly repairs.  I want to fix my costs so that they are the same no matter what each month and I don't have any more surprise months where I think I'm going to save X dollars and then end up spending way more than I even make that month.  Soooooo that's my car purchasing strategy at the moment.

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Inspiration and writing

Lately I've been listening to some iTunes U content from a provider called "Academy of Achievement"

I guess they are called providers?  I'm not entirely sure.  I think that's the best way to describe the organizations that run the channels because they aren't always colleges or universities.

Well anyways the series I'm listening to is called "Authors and Poets".  It's pretty great.  Each person is a famous author or musician or journalist or playwrights or poet or what have you.  And they each get 8 minutes to speak.  There are several other series that I hope to get to eventually.  They include scientists and nobel prize winners and political leaders and such.

Well most of these famous authors are people you would know that have written some pretty famous novels.  A lot of them talk about before they were famous.  Like when they wrote their first book.  Some of them just talk about how they woke up one morning when they were 35 years old and just started to write out the blue!  That's kinda what has happened to me with my books.  I'm actually working on two books now.  But mostly just the one book.  The second is still an idea.

It's super inspiring because before any of these people made it they were just people!  It's how most great notable people in the world start out.  For the most part they are just regular people and they have regular jobs and they just kind of start with an idea and just keep working at it!  I'm still focused on music but the writing thing is still going strong.  I've now been working on this book for a good while.  I've come up with a whole system for writing it.  It's pretty cool.  And it's a system I've adapted from songwriting.  It seems to be something that can work as well for writing more books.  I'm also using something similar to work on my youtube video ideas.  I think the best thing to do is to come up with a system that works.  Once that is in place things can just flow.

So all this talk about my book... and people keep asking me what it's about.  Hmmm... well I can't really give it away... It's just something you have to read to really understand what it's about I suppose.  But... well let's see...

I don't want to give up any content or ideas or anything like that.  I don't want to really give away anything.  Soooo maybe I'll try to describe it using the mood of the book.  Or the feeling of the book... using these two youtube videos...

So the book kinda starts out with this sort of mood... the feeling is very....


So watch and take in that video and feeling that song and video gives you.

That's how it starts... then... take in and watch this video and song...



OK then listen to that song... and sorta just take in the images they show... since I can't find a music video.

Like just the feeling that the songs give.. that's the idea of the book.  So it starts out very... I would say very dark and like there isn't any hope  and ends very light feeling... very hopeful...

I guess that's a LOT of books.  But that's sorta the idea.  It's not really what the book is about.  But again... its just... the mood and feeling of the book.  Hopeless... to hopeful.  Light to dark.  Impossible to anything is possible.

As I've been writing the book I constantly watch those two videos for inspiration along with a whole playlist of dozens of other songs and videos.

Writing is pretty much the most amazing thing I've ever taken up... because it allows you to the bleak truth of reality and make pretty much anything become possible....

And from listening to all these other famous authors that's how it started for them.  They were too broke to leave their apartments. Or they had lost people to death or divorce or betrayal or lost friends to distance or time.

Or they had just lost hope in the world in general and decided to put the pen to paper and put it all there.

So that's what I'm doing... just combining my life experiences along with my imagination with other artists inspiration and putting it into a novel.  Of complete hopelessness becoming a light and hope beyond about the world anything anyone can imagine.

Also it's pretty funny.  There are a lot of one liners that just crack me up every time I read them back to myself.

Some of the authors said it took them 5 years to write their first book.  So hopefully this won't take me that long.  But everyone will have to be very patient.  It's going to take me quite some time to finish writing this thing.  I would say it's pretty much all worked out.  I just have to start connecting things together and fixing logical things that don't completely make sense.  Writing a story is a bit like putting together a puzzle.  You start with just a bunch of pieces that don't make much sense and then you start to put those together and the picture becomes ever so slightly that much clearer as each piece falls into place.  And sometimes you have to take things apart you thought worked and rework them again.

But I am really enjoying the novel writing process!  It's pretty neat.

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Loaner car

I picked up a loaner car yesterday from the dealer when I dropped off my regular car.  I have to get the instrument panel replaced since it's no longer telling me the mileage... it's speaking words to me.  Or at least weird symbols and things.

I'd like to get at least 100k out of my car as far as miles go.  I think that should be do-able.  Then maybe after 100k miles I will consider looking at buying a new car.  I'm trying to start saving now for a new one.

In addition to the problem with the instrument panel I also am having the wiper blade motor replaced on the drivers side because it's making noises of the cranking or grinding kind when I turn them on!

Since it's not a service that can be done quickly they allowed me to have a loaner-mobile.  It's called the "stallion".  Ha... although there isn't anything super special about it.  It's just a regular four door sedan.  It's nice though to drive something different.  I'm guessing it's a 2010 or something like that.  It definitely has more power and pep than my car.  Also everything is automatic and automated... even the headlights come on and off by themselves!  I'm not used to such a nice ride!

To me having all that automated stuff means more things to repair when they start to fail.  So I'll stick with my basic rolly polly windows, my manual transmission and turning the lights on and off manually.

So yea hopefully it will be done soon.  They actually have to pull the instrument odometer thing out and send it away back to detroit or wherever the Chevy headquarters are.  Then they transfer the information from the broken one... to a new one.  It's all top secret and done in some underground lab or something like that.

So right now the car is sitting without a display or instrument panel.  Hopefully after this I won't have to fix that much as far as big repairs go.  I've spent a lot this year in car repairs so I've decided to scale back my driving and just stay in because of it.  I'm also considering moving across the street from work when my lease is up so that I won't have to put any miles on my car commuting to and from work.  All I can say is cars are very expensive to maintain!

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