The state of health care

 

Today, I spent six hours looking for a new PCP who could see me and my kid before Fall. Let me make this clear. I was just making phone calls and asking about accepting new patients. At no time did insurance ever come into the equation. I went through three pages of “recommended PCPs for you” from Blue Cross Blue/Shield before I could find someone willing to see me and my son in the month of July.

Meanwhile, I’ve been paying $400 per month for insurance since January. Yep, $400 a month to buy me some half-assed guesswork from some a-hole in a lab coat to see me sometime in September.  But I beat the system because sometime in July, I’m traveling to the rough part of Sanford to get misdiagnosed by someone who’s dying to diagnose me with some kind of disorder that requires opiates.  So they can get a kickback. Despite the fact that I am, and always have been, allergic to opiates.

That is the state of American healthcare.

I am a diehard capitalist starting to see the drawbacks of universal health care.

I take no medication. I have no chronic conditions. I do not require the regular intervention of a medical provider. I mainly request one single thing from my healthcare provider. Once a year, tell me if I’m dying or not.  I feel like that kind of thing should cost no more than $50. Currently. I pay ten times as much. They’re turning something simple into a cash cow.

I liken it to a mistaken deal I just made with my kid. He’s 17 now, looking for his first job, so in the meantime, I offered a deal. $150 a week to cook meals and walk my dogs. By that, I meant simple. Give me some cut up hot dogs and mac and cheese every day and we’re kosher. But no, this motherfucker had to get fancy. Suddenly, I’m getting grocery lists for cilantro, and emulsified garlic and clarified butter, Also, I’m getting bothered, because no, my son can not cook all these fancy recipes by himself. He needs ME to show him how to emulsify garlic and clarify butter. And I’m like “what the fuck am I paying you for, motherfucker?”

My point is this. I know how to clarify butter. I know how to emulsify garlic. Me paying you to give me further guidance on subjects I’m already clear on is stupid. I’m paying you to do the things I don’t have time to do myself.

And the same goes for doctors. I know my heart palpitations are bad. I know my stomach cramps are not a good thing. I know that sometimes when I shit a little when I’m supposed to be farting, that is a frowny face.

I don’t need 37 consultations and a tube up my asshole to know that.

But that’s the state of healthcare today. We no longer trust ourselves. We no longer trust doctors and as a result, doctors no longer trust themselves. We’ve become incapable of diagnosing steak and potatoes because we’re looking for veal and cilantro in a lemon butter reduction.

But it all comes out the exact same shade of medium brown bullshit and somehow, I’m paying $4800 a year no matter what.

 

To the dude who sent me unsolicited non-con erotica

I’d followed your for weeks. Leanrd your patterns. So that night in the parking garage, when I slipped a flouride soaked rag over your mouth, was a long time coming. One you’re out, I toss your over my shoulder. As I jam my cock into your mouth, you regret your uppittty mouth. You weeps as you realize your my cumslave now…

This missive struck a nostalgic chord with me which I couldn’t quite place. It took me a minute before I put it together but finally, I got it. Your writing is reminiscent of the non-con rape fantasy erotica of the mid 80’s Harlequin Presents series, written far before Christian Grey was a twinkle in his sphinxlike, whore of a mother’s eye.

My point is, dear writer, that you’ve mistaken try-hard edginess for shock value. You’re like the Mormon who drinks a Mountain Dew in a crack house and thinks he’s bad.

You aren’t bad. You aren’t bad until you’ve written everything from gang rape tentacle porn to “Christian values” spank fiction to make a buck. You have no idea the things I’ve written and the values I’ve compromised. You cannot shock me. This shit you’ve sent? It’s amateur hour.

Let’s discuss why.

“So that night in the parking garage, when I slipped a fluoride-soaked rag over your mouth…”

You know what scares people? Situations they can relate to. There’s a reason hooker murderers get away with it more than anyone else. It’s because the general public can say, “I’m not a hooker, so that would never happen to me.” They don’t get scared because they can’t relate to the situation.

Parking garages don’t scare me. I haven’t been in one since April 23, 1996 – aka the debut episode of “Forensic Files.” Also, you drugged me with Fluoride? What was your end game? To get me an “A+ Flosser” sticker at my dentist’s office?

“One(sic) you’re out, I toss your(sic) over my shoulder.”

I am 5’9 inches tall and 175 pounds. You (according to the handle from your email, which sent me to your Twitter, which sent me to your Facebook page, which I used to look up your real name and location and find your court records from your 2016 DUI) are 5’6” and weigh 130.   You aren’t “tossing” anything unless you’re talking about tossing up the cookies you had at lunch because you have manorexia.  If you want to carry me, ladyboy, you’re going to need a crane.

“You regret your uppittty(sic) mouth…”

Don’t God-mod my character.  Also, how’d we get to cock jamming again? Wasn’t I over your shoulder a minute ago? Or more likely, on the OSHA-approved crane you rented with your mom’s credit card? It’s like you don’t even know how to continuity.

I didn’t make it all the way through your story and that’s not on me. That’s on you. As the author, it’s your job to “hook” me and get me to read on, whether you’re writing a children’s book or an anonymous threatening email. That didn’t happen.  Your story inspired the same reaction I feel when I’m deleting discount Louie Boutin comments from my spam folder. Mostly boredom mixed with mild annoyance that you exist at all. If you were trying to get my attention, you succeeded, but not in a good way. More in the way a mosquito does when it buzzes in your ear until you squish it and forget about it.

If the goal was to scare me, maybe don’t leave your comment under a verified Gmail address. That actually does the opposite of scaring me. It gives me all the power. I could forward this message verbatim to your mom, your boss, your girlfriend, your kindergarten teacher, or everyone in your Warhammer group. The only thing keeping me from going full-on scorched earth is laziness and the fact that I have no idea what “Warhammer” is.

My point is, I’ve read some poorly written non-con erotica in my time, but yours is the worst. Not the “worst” in a way where it’s disturbing. “Worst” in a way where it’s poorly executed and was clearly written by a child – which is weird because you’re in your thirties. So tell the middle schooler who ghost-wrote your erotica to work on their craft. You, on the other hand, should fling yourself face first off an overpass at your earliest convenience – if you can get a friend to drive you there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A message from the future to nice guys everywhere

I enjoy Quora. It’s a great place for know-it-alls to get validation from internet strangers, so clearly, that strikes a chord with me. I answer a lot of questions there and for some reason, I’m marked as a WW2 expert. I think it’s because of this one time I got into a drunken internet fight over the holocaust with a white nationalist. Weirdly, he wasn’t a denier. He was just upset I portrayed Hitler in an unflattering light in one of my posts because I claimed he was a poor military strategist.[i]

As I’m an avid Quora(er?), I get a regular feed of popular questions and topics of conversation. I typically ignore them. Then, I saw this gem in my inbox.

stupid questions

And they say there’s no such thing as a stupid question.

This question stems from the nice guy fantasy. Here it is in steps. I changed the font to red when the fantasy part starts.

  1. The meeting: A socially awkward dude meets a girl in his age range that he finds attractive. Based on the romantic comedies he watches religiously but claims he hates, he immediately attributes positive traits to this girl even though he knows very little about her.
  2. The relationship: He develops a friendship with a girl for the sole purpose of “girlfriend zoning” her. I call it “girlfriend zoning” because the friendzone doesn’t exist. It’s the default status we enter with any acquaintance. It’s not weird to expect to be friends with someone you just met. It is weird to expect an immediate romantic relationship (i.e. put them in the “girlfriend zone”.) During this “girlfriend zoning” stage, he continues to ignore any red flags, personality clashes or conflicting values. He’s convinced the “real” girl he made up in his head is somewhere under all that fallible human that gives him a semi.
  3. The confession: Now, I call this step “confession” even though that confession doesn’t always happen. In some cases, the guy makes an attempt and gets shot down. In most, the guy seethes silently as his friend fails to do anything to give him the relationship he feels he deserves. Short of showing up at his house and saying, “Hey, I’m your trophy girlfriend now. Let’s have weird kinky sex, even though I’m a virgin, while you tell me why PC gaming is better,” he won’t be satisfied. This is the point where he’s shot down because no one wants to be your mom/therapist/trophy/blow up doll.
  4. The rage: You’re so nice! Like the super nicest guy of all time. You respect women. Which is why you don’t understand why that dumb slut can’t see how great you’d be for her. How you’d give her all those things that she never said she wanted. You say you’d treat her like a queen, all the while not realizing how ironic that statement is. Most monarchical couples entered relationships for the sole purpose of furthering diplomatic efforts and rarely, if ever, were spurred by romantic feelings. These relationships almost always devolved into loveless, sexless partnerships as soon as enough heirs were secured. In these partnerships, the king got to do whatever the fuck he wanted. Meanwhile, the queen was expected to act as a paradigm of virtue and chastity before dying of old age at 45. Essentially, the queen was a figurehead, there to provide sex and assurance to the emotionally fragile men of her time. Fuck, no wonder you want to treat her “like a queen.” You get to pile all your unreasonable expectations onto her, hold her to ridiculous standards you could never meet yourself and then offer nothing in return. Shocker chicks aren’t into that.
  5. The sour grapes harvest: “The bitch got a boyfriend? He’s probably some Chad that beats and rapes her and she totally deserves it.” That’s the thing with nice guys. They’re not actually nice. I’m not an expert here, but I guarantee nice people don’t typically blame the victim or hope for terrible things to happen to others. Other people don’t need to “earn your respect.” You need to be a respectful member of society.
  6. The question. He posts a question on Quora asking for fake internet points and validation from other nice guys the world over.
  7. The epiphany. The girl he was in love with sees his question. It’s been ten years, and she’s been through a lot. Because she always dated rapists and abusers, she’s a single mother to six kids. Being pretty, she was unable to develop any useful life skills and has been trapped in a series of minimum wage jobs ever since she got too flabby to earn money on the stripper pole. She responds to his question, saying, “I’m so sorry. I knew you were nice but I never knew you were that nice!  If only I hadn’t rejected you when I had the chance. Oh, woe is me! Please take me back and care for me.”
  8. The end. He teleports behind her, and says “sorry, nothing personal kid but no fat chicks.” He tips his fedora and heads off to fuck all the waiting supermodels who love him because of his crazy new app that made him a billionaire.  

This, Quora dude, this is the story you want to happen. But the thing is, we both know it didn’t because you’re asking questions on Quora rather than gaining insight from your close friends Elon Musk and Warren Buffet.

So let me tell you the truth. She doesn’t regret rejecting you because she doesn’t remember you.  You don’t exist to her. You were the thirsty dude she met a long time ago. Even if you defeat the odds and somehow manage to become a tech billionaire like Marc Zuckerberg, she’s still going to ignore you because you weren’t that important to her life. She’s going to see you on CNN and say “that dude looks familiar. Was he the guy on the “Vampire Diaries?”[ii]

She doesn’t have six kids, but she probably has some because unlike you, she went ahead and continued to meet people and have life experiences rather than being stuck in a high school “jocks against the nerds” mindset. She went to college. She developed skills that she used to grow her career. She, at age forty, is statistically financially and professionally more stable than her male counterparts. She has a 401k, a college fund for her kids, six months of savings in her checking account, an average credit score of 750  and a mortgage.

She got all this through personal growth. She is not the same person today that she was at 19, 25 or 31. She doesn’t regret those years because they helped her carve out an abundant life. She’s in a happy relationship with someone who has the exact same mindset.

And she doesn’t remember you.

What I’m trying to say, Quora dude, is stop being sour grapes. This fantasy you have where she’s a 42-year-old failed stripper doesn’t make her look bad. It makes you look bad. Because apparently, you’ve been pining after a girl with no life skills or accomplishments outside of being pretty for a very long time. If your fantasy was real, you’d be even more pathetic than you are right now.

You did a brave thing by shooting your shot. You got shot down and that experience should make you tougher, help you grow. Take the loss, learn from it, and drop the sour grapes. Don’t ever think about your rejection again because she isn’t going to either. She doesn’t care and neither should you.

 

[i] Calling Hitler an excellent military strategist is like claiming Casey Anthony is an expert on early childhood development. Hitler was not a great military strategist. He was just charismatic and insane.  Russia could have assassinated him at any time. They chose not to because he was so incompetent and overly emotional, they knew he would end the Nazi party for them. He was Europe’s Kim Jong-il.

[ii] Whenever I see someone that I know I recognize but don’t know why, I just assume I saw them on the Vampire Diaries.

 

If you don’t vaccinate your children, you are a bad parent

Image result for anti vaxxer

I started an argument on Reddit a few days ago that’s starting to carry into my real life. As such, those individuals who disagreed with me should have found this blog by now. This is for you.

If you don’t vaccinate your children, you are a bad parent.

To clarify, if you say to me, “but I choose not to vaccinate my children because of my religious  conviction.” I say:

“If you’re part of a religion that allows children to die of preventable illnesses, you are a bad parent.”

Also, if you say to me, “we favor Eastern medicine and choose to treat our child in a holistic manner,” I say:

“Even well-respected practitioners of Eastern medicine understand it’s to be used in conjunction with – and not in favor of – vaccines. You are a bad parent.”

There is no “Big Vaccine” out there trying to scam you out of money. If a pharmaceutical company really wanted to scam you out of money, they would not CURE an illness with a vaccine and only get paid once. They would offer “treatment” and get paid on a monthly basis forever.

Perhaps, they would even convince you that something that doesn’t work at all is the only solution. Just spitballing ideas here, but I would go for oils. I’d tell people this was the natural way to cure this serious illness, taking advantage of their naivete. Because really, vaccines essentially eradicated the illness almost entirely and I know that there’s only a small percentage of a chance they’d ever get it – even unvaccinated.

But I don’t think too far ahead on that. Because soon, those idiots using my oils? They tell their friends to use my oils. As people rely on my useless oils, their children’s chances of getting a serious, preventable illness go up. Less vaccinated kids = higher chance of getting the illness. Eventually, illnesses that were eradicated decades ago start showing up again. But hey, by the time that happens, I’ll probably be dead because essential oils don’t cure strokes.

Yes, I’m talking about Gary Young. Seriously, fuck that guy

Before any anti-vaxxers tell me to “do my research” because you spent two hours looking up statistics on “Younglivingforever.com” or “essentialoils.gov,” let me tell you — you’re wrong.

I did my research. In that research, I learned that vaccines have exponentially reduced infant mortality rates while increasing life expectancy for the population overall. I learned that no vaccine has ever been linked to a case of autism and the vast increase in autism cases since the 1980s occurred due to doctors being better able to detect those on the spectrum through better medical resources. You can find this same exact information online at the CDC.

So let me say this one more time, in case I wasn’t clear before. If you don’t vaccinate your children, you are a bad parent.

The only qualified drug counselor is a prior addict

pain-not-addiction

People give advice all the time. For some people, it’s damn near an addiction. Not a real addiction. Those involve mind-altering substances. But it’s a prominent behavioral trait.

I’m one of those people. I give a lot of advice. Much of it unsolicited. But even I – know-it-all asshole that I am  – know where to draw the line.

Let me take you back. Picture it, Disappearing Island, Florida.  Went out to said island with a group of friends, as well as friends of friends I barely knew. During the trip, I lit up a cigarette. And here comes well-meaning asshole. We’ll call her “Cunt” – because I really don’t think she was well-meaning as much as she was a know-it-all cunt.

Cunt: You know that’s bad for you, right?

Me: Nope. No idea. Last my doctor told me, this was an ideal cure for female hysteria. Well, that and leaches.

Cunt: Have you ever tried to quit?

Me: Yes <proceeds to explain the approximate billion drugs, nicotine replacements, doctors, hypnotists and therapies I’ve tried >

Cunt: Well, what you really need to do is put your cigarettes in a baggie. Every day, you put less cigarettes in the baggie, until there’s no cigarettes in the baggie…<honestly, this retarded shit went on for twenty minutes and I can’t be bothered to regurgitate this stupid idea which I guarentee worked for no one in the world, ever.>

Me: Oh, did that work for you?

Cunt: No, I’m not a smoker.

Me: Well then, you don’t know shit. Now shut up.

Look, there are some things you need some experience on to be able to offer an opinion. There’s plenty of other things you don’t. For example, I don’t need to be a parent to know it’s wrong to punch a toddler in the face. Just from being alive, I know toddler’s faces are squashy, still forming and not safe for punching. This is a thing I would know if I’d never given birth.

I see a plane nose down in the center of a local Walmart, I don’t need a degree in aeronautics to determine the pilot fucked up. Planes aren’t supposed to land in Walmarts. Clearly, mistakes were made.

Some things, you can have an opinion on just seeing them. You don’t need any prior experience to understand the root issue. You punch a kid in the face, you’re a bad parent. You plow a plane into the Dale Earnhardt Jr. collection at the local Walmart, you’re a bad pilot. Even laymen can understand that.

But laymen don’t understand addiction. The job of an addiction counselor is the only one in the world where experience being high on drugs should be required. You need to have been an addict to understand an addict. And by an addict, I mean a real addict who’s been addicted to mind-altering substances. Not addicted to macramé, or mysteries or chocolate.

Stop appropriate my culture, pussies.

I mean the kind of addiction where – if you don’t have that thing you’re addicted to – you can’t function until you do. That thing becomes your sole purpose for being alive. When you try to quit that thing, your brain tricks you. It says “hey, come on, that shit makes you so happy. And life’s too short to be unhappy. Who cares if it makes you sick? Sure, not having it will make you live longer – but if you have to live without it, are you really interested in living that long anyway?”

Unless you’ve lived that, you don’t get it. Yes, you can be the kid of an addict, the friend of an addict, the partner of an addict and think you know – but you don’t. Your opinion isn’t going to make an addict quit, because addicts live inside themselves. They’re only capable of seeing a short-term world through their own eyes. And for the rest of their lives, even if they get clean, they will always think of that one thing that tempts them. At least once a day, they’ll remember that high. And they’ll never be able to let it go.

If you really want to give me advice on how to cure my addictive behaviors, give me the schematics for a time machine. That’s the only true cure-all – the ability to go back in time and stop myself before I started. At the very least, have some fucking experience in what being an addict is like. Only then are you qualified to dispense life advice to an addict.

 

 

 

Five Easy Steps To Working From Home

 

Multilevel marketing is not a pyramid scheme. It’s simply a product distribution system which uses a tiered incentive model to build on recruitment rather than actual product sales. That recruitment starts at a wide base, where the lowest earners begin. Each tier is narrower as you go up, indicating a smaller concentration of higher paid earners.   To give you a visual, it looks a bit like this;

Pyramid-scheme-example-1024x606

Wait – that’s a fucking pyramid!

I bring this up because I got this earlier.

message 1

And of course, my response;

message 2

I get a weird amount of these messages. I think because I pushed a human out of my body 15 years ago, I’m considered a prime  victim prospect for schemes like these. But the thing is, I already work from home and I didn’t even need to get sucked into an MLM scheme to do it. You can do it too. The steps are easy!

Step 1 – Select an area of interest that’s conducive to a work from home environment

Not all jobs can be done from home, so of course, you’re going to need to look for jobs that allow you to work with just an internet connection. Luckily, there are a plethora of opportunities out there and competition is very low because no one else wants to work from home. You’re the only one.

Just kidding. There are a limited number of opportunities that generally go to a small pool of candidates who have significant experience in their field. That brings us to step two.

Step 2 – Gain experience

This one is super easy. First, you just need to save up one year’s salary so you can support yourself as you work for a wide range of people who think that what you charge is too much and that you should just be working for exposure. At the same time, you’re going to need to go back to school so you can gain the certifications and education you need to stand out and charge rates on par with market average.

Now, it usually only takes about 10,000 hours of study to become an expert in your field. Sure, that sounds easy, but remember, you’re going to need to support yourself during those 10,000 hours of studying. That means taking on many, many jobs for cut rates as you compete with people from foreign countries who can afford to do it for less – and first world assholes who are doing it for free for the ‘exposure’ (while driving down the price of your work) . All of this is easily accomplished with a year or two of 80 to 120-hour work weeks.

That brings us to step 3.

Step 3 – Embrace crippling loneliness and isolation

While you’re working from home, alone, during these extended hours, it’s likely you won’t have the time, nor the money, to maintain most of your non-business relationships. On top of that, the long, lonely silent days will begin to get to you, until after awhile, you forget how to communicate with people at all.

You’ll begin playing true crime documentaries in the background as you work, just so the voices will create any kind of quasi-human connection. As you learn the details of literally every murder for the last century through osmosis, you will soon become convinced that everyone you have met or will meet in the future is a sex murderer. You will begin drinking to fill the hole inside of you – which brings us to step 4.

Step 4 – Cultivate Important business relationships

About 25% of a business’ net profit comes from 5% of its client base. That 5% represents the clients that you never drunkenly tell to fuck off – due to the aforementioned alcoholism developed in Step 3 – and will represent the majority of your business in the future. You will do anything for these clients and will stay up at night, crippled with anxiety as you realize these clients could have anyone.  Why do they stay with you? Is it pity? Is it laziness?

This will drive you to send an awkwardly worded ‘look, I just want to know where this relationship is going’ email at 4 o’clock in the morning. One of two things will happen. They will either dump you for your annoying insecurity or offer you a full time, telecommute position. That brings us to Step 5.

Step 5 – Profit

So really, all you have to do to work from home is save lots of money, take massive risks, spend hours upon hours upon hours working, give up all holidays, give up your social life, give up your dignity, health and sanity and maybe, just maybe you can work from home too.

Look, all sarcasm aside, what I’m trying to say is anyone who tells you that they have a great work from home, no experience necessary opportunity is a fucking scammer.    Actually getting to a point where you are able to work from home, in stable, gainful employment takes dedication, skill and is not nearly as fun as most people seem to think it is.

MLMs are scams. They are simply pyramid schemes with shitty products thrown in so they can meet some kind of legal loophole that doesn’t make them ‘legally’ scams. This allows the person at the tip of your pyramid to take all your money – completely legally — and write off all responsibility when the scam falls apart. Even now, politicians are funding their reelection campaigns with money directly from these pyramid schemes.

No, I’m not exaggerating. Look it up.

So MLM’s aren’t going anywhere anytime soon and neither are you if you sign on with one of these shady companies. If you really want to work from home, it takes sacrifice. It takes dedication. It takes complete willingness to make your entire life about work.

There is no such thing as a three-hour workweek. There is no such thing as easy money. There are no ‘easy’ steps to working from home. Working from home is hard.

If it was easy, everyone would do it.

If you have to say you are …you aren’t

Back in the day when I worked in insurance investigations, I had this supervisor who gave me some good advice. Specifically, he said the following;

“If they tell you they’re nice, they’re a dick. If they tell you they’re religious, they haven’t seen the inside of a church since the last time their mom made them go. If they tell you they’re honest, they’ve already started lying.”

At the time, I had a good laugh about it. He was a jaded dude who’d been in the insurance industry far too long, so he was used to people sucking. But as time went on, I realized he was right. If you have to tell someone you are something, it’s because you aren’t.

As an example, let’s take a look at the following message.

boilogy

Yes, a dude who claimed to have an IQ on par with Einstein’s was incapable of spelling ‘biology’—or holding a conversation without resorting to that obnoxious role play thing that 11-year-old weeaboos do.

Also, before you tell me it’s satire – if you have to tell someone it’s satire, it’s not. It’s you saying something stupid, getting called out and then trying to backpedal by calling it satire.

I bring this up because I think we need to start calling people out on their bullshit. I see a lot of these “my IQ is (insert some ridiculous number)” posts online but what I don’t see is people calling them out on it. Just a simple “no, it isn’t” would satisfy me.

Because no, that’s not your IQ. It’s a number that you made up to sound impressive or one given to you by one of those scam online degree sites. Either way, the fact that you drop the whole “my IQ is (insert some ridiculous number)” statement is actually what convinces me you’re an idiot. Smart people don’t have to tell the world how smart they are. They just do smart things like inventing nuclear energy or curing polio.

Same goes for being nice. If you have to tell someone you’re nice, it’s because you’ve never actually done anything nice to convince them you are. Doing the bare minimum to maintain your status in society does not qualify as being nice. For example, no, I would not punch a baby. This is not because I’m a nice person. It’s because it’s what people expect of me to maintain my space in a civilized society. Otherwise, yes, I probably would have punched at least one baby. To that baby — you know what you did.

On the other hand, I once knew a dude who gave up a well-paying career as a police detective so he could move himself and his entire family to the Ukraine to open an orphanage. During the entire process, he never once mentioned how nice he was.

Weird how that works.

Also, while we’re at it, stop trying to give yourselves degrees you haven’t earned. I once had a Walmart cashier tell me “I have a PhD level vocabulary” with a completely straight face.

You know how you know you have a Masters or PhD level knowledge?   You spend $90,000 and 200 classroom hours learning it. If you think that your life experience is transferrable as college credit, then there’s something called DANTES that you can use to get that credit.

Unless you actually have a degree from an accredited university, you don’t have a Masters or PhD level anything. Stop saying you do. It just makes you look stupid and it undermines the hard work of those who have actually spent the time and the money getting those degrees. It’s like me saying I’m a forensic psychologist because I like to watch “Criminal Minds.”

So before you tell someone you’re smart, or religious, or nice, ask yourself this. “Have I actually done anything that proves what I’m about to say?” Most often, the answer is no.

Because if you have to say you are, you aren’t. Those that are, they just do.