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Hello, my name is Phil Romo. I was born on February 23rd, 1979.
My goal for my 40th birthday was to squat more than my body weight (I’m about 193 at the moment) for five sets of five reps. Here’s one of those sets.
I love the image above. It’s a display of an archaic form of societal ritual present in wolves. In it, you see the seeds of civilization and even a primitive form of grace.
The two wolves just had a dominance dispute. It’s easy to see that the wolf on the left won and the wolf on the right lost. Teeth bared, the Alpha wolf is putting the Beta wolf into it’s place. The Beta is licking the Alpha’s snout. It’s a display of submission and a negotiation. That negotiation is going something like this:
Beta Wolf- "I'm sorry about that. I suck. Here, here's my throat. Go ahead and tear it out."
Alpha Wolf- "Yeah, true. You DO suck and I COULD kill you, but you might come in handy if we need to take down an elk. So I'm going to let you live, just stop being such a shitweasel."
Beta Wolf- "Okay, thanks bro!"
“Is she really going out with him” is another way of saying, “Why not me?” The age old question of awkward teenage boy throughout history, myself included. Picture for a moment me at 16 years old sitting at the top of the amphitheatre of my high school. My friend Chad and I are looking at one of the most devastatingly attractive girls at our school holding hands with a neanderthal. What was it? Why was she with him?
People often wonder is Trump is crazy like a fox or just plain crazy. I think his tweet where he admitted to his son colluding with Russia put that debate to rest once and for all. There is no plan, there is no grand design. He's winging it and doing a piss poor job of it. He's in trouble and he needs to end the investigation NOW so that more of his shady dealings don't see the light of day. As it turns out, that's not so easy to do because the American presidency is not a dictatorship and you figure that someone ought to know that before they actually become president. Mueller has him in a corner. Trump is desperate, but thank God he's inept.
On June 5 the surgeon removed a mass from my neck the size of an orange. They split me open from ear to mid-neck to remove all of it and cut down one of my neck muscles to a sliver. I had trouble supporting my neck muscularly but I was in surprisingly little pain. I was out of the hospital in two days and spent the next week recovering.
It was not lost on me that my scar resembled a noose around my neck marking the halfway point of my life.
A student recently asked me how I felt about being nearly 40. I answered that I'm completely fine with it. Approaching 40 is good, I'm happier than 20 and more centered than 30. I haven't ruined my life with poor choices and I have a lot to be thankful for.
If I have one regret, it's that it took me until half of my life to figure out how to orient myself properly. To read, practice, exercise, do what is meaningful, not what is expedient. Do these things daily and don't allow yourself to fall off the path because "I deserve it". I don't deserve a damn thing. Let me earn what I have through hard work and discipline. Better late than never, I suppose.
I've stopped poisoning myself this past month. Although I have slipped a few days, my goal of 10g of sugar during the week has been fairly consistent. I've reacquainted myself with my Olympic rings and have begun running and cycling more often.
I haven't given up bread, but that is next to go in February. I rode up to Mt. Baldy with some friends this month. It's a drag to have to pull so much weight up a mountain but that's motivation to get lighter.
If the story is strong and the narrative is tight, then I will overlook most other shortcomings that a movie might have. Explosions, CGI and Jerry Bruckheimer-isms do nothing for me. Give me good story and characters that are well developed enough and I will go wherever the director takes me.
Happy New Year. 2017 did a real number on me. Many positive things happened like the birth of my son, Ethan James. At the same time, I lost sight of my personal goals due to stress and the changes that occurred in my life. I started to become someone whose values didn't align with the best version of myself. It happens, but it ends now.
From October 20 to November 10 our son Ethan James Romo was in the NICU at Glendale Adventist Hospital. It was the most trying time our family had ever experienced. Julian expressed to me very frequently how frustrated he was that he didn't get to see his baby brother. This is the moment that Julian got to meet Ethan for the first time.
When I met you I knew I would need to make room for you.
There was no place for excess baggage or things frivolous in nature.
When I met you I knew I would have to be better than I was to match you.
For you were no small thing, no brief encounter, and no short-term affair.
I would have to elevate myself to have you in my life. To have you be mine I would need to be better than what I was before you. I would need to sort myself out to be the person you needed in your life.
An instinct kicked in the moment Stephen replied. This is going to take me to the edge of my ability. This wasn't going to be easy, Mt. Wilson never is. I wasn't in good climbing condition so I couldn't rely on strong physical ability. I had to go deep to make it, my mind would have to push me when my body failed me. I was going to venture far outside of my comfort zone. I was going outside the walls.
It was a huge gamble for the Alt-Right in America. It wasn't a stretch at all to assume that the Antifa protesters and SJW's would cross the line first. For months now on college campuses the left has been shouting down and physically attacking right-leaning speakers who they didn't agree with. The right wing commentators had plenty of ammo. Google had just fired an employee who circulated a memo which discussed gender differences, the contents of which the higher ups at Google didn't see eye to eye with. The left was crumbling under the weight of their own hypocrisy.
What was going to send them over the edge? Nazis of course.
Iconic movies and stories deeply ingrained in the narrative of society can often lose their substantive impact with time. Disney released perhaps their greatest animated film "Pinocchio" in 1940 while the second world war was well under way and America was not yet directly involved in Europe's most bloody crisis of moral identity.
Being a skeptic is healthy. Believing in every conspiracy theory that you come across is not. In the 4th century B.C. greek philosopher Pyrrho established the school of Pyrrhonian skepticism. The purveying belief was that it was impossible to know anything for certain. This is called acatalespia, the belief that human knowledge never amounts to certainty, only to to probability.
Pyrrhonians can be subdivided into those who are ephectic (a "suspension of judgment"), zetetic ("engaged in seeking"), or aporetic ("engaged in refutation").
We are swimming in a aporetic Pyrrhonians right now.
4:30 AM- Monday May 22, 2017
I'm up. The easy decision is to lay back down and try to get more sleep. Not happening. My approach to Monday sets the tone for the entire week. Last week was a wash. Commitments, rehearsals and a late night gig left me off my preferred course. It's time to attack this week.
I go out onto my designated warm up area and do a ten minute meditation. Centered, I start my bodyweight fitness routine. It's still dark outside, it seems the world is still asleep as I grunt out another set of push ups. All I'm missing is a pull up bar and parallel bars for dips and so I ride my bike to the nearest fitness park. There's hardly anyone out on the streets. By 6 AM the workout is complete. I'm home and able to get JP ready for school. I have the rest of the morning to write and to practice.
I am free.
I was vacationing in Mexico when I got the text from Caleb in late November 2016. He asked if I would be available to play both the Daytime Emmy awards and the Creative Arts Emmy shows just like I did last year. I told him that I would be ecstatic to do the show again and that he could count me in.
My name is Phil Romo and I have just finished six weeks of radiation therapy. Each session lasted for about five minutes and were done five days a week, Monday through Friday. This is what my neck looked like during the final week.
The technician clips my mask onto the table I'm laying on. The mask is tight. There isn't room to wiggle around or squirm. I fall into a calm mental state and relax my arms to my sides. The EBRT (external beam radiation therapy) machine above my face whirs and slowly rotates to my left side. The machine is shooting radiation into the side of my neck. From my peripheral I see the glow of a red light. I feel the sting of a light heat against my neck and in a minute it's over. One more session down.
I have the weirdest freaking life.