A Ukraine Story.

Back in March I booked a round trip flight to Warsaw, from April 2 to April 30th.

I had no plan, but I wanted to volunteer in Ukraine, so the plane ticket was the first step.

A few days later I found a video on Facebook, an interview with Volodomyr Prokip, a young pastor leading up the Methodist Church in Lviv, in western Ukraine. I called him up, he was housing displaced people at his church, and helping others get to the Polish border, to safety. I asked him if he needed help, he told me “Come over, we can use help, bring gun holsters, medical supplies and kneepads for the local territorial defense brigade.”

I reached out to the folks at my church here in Land O’ Lakes, spent some of my own money and got many donations.

A few days before I left this was the dining room table in my home:

Some people in my life (like my daughter Claire) thought I was nuts to go over there. I knew that going to Lviv was NOT as dangerous as other parts of Ukraine (like Mariupol) but there was certainly a risk in going over. Weird thing is that when I woke up on the morning of April 2nd there was a bible verse going through my brain;

“This is the day that the Lord hath made, we shall rejoice and be glad in it!”

Mom and Dad took me to the airport… total weight on my baggage was 80+ pounds.

I flew to Poland because there are no operational airports in Ukraine since the Russian invasion.

I don’t speak Polish or Ukranian, but during my time in Europe there was always someone around who spoke basic English… thank goodness!

I landed in Warsaw around noon on a Monday, so I took a cab over to the bus station and bought a bus ticket (for $32) that would take me east to Lviv, just across the Ukranian border.

I was the only American on the bus, many of the folks on the bus were Ukranians who had fled west to Poland in the previous month and were now deciding to return home in April. In early April western Ukraine was safer than eastern Ukraine, fewer incoming Russian missiles, but of course this changed later in the war…

The bus left Warsaw at 4PM, slowly plodding east to the Poland / Ukrainian border. There was a woman on the bus who worked in Ukraine as a high school English teacher, so we talked a bit and got to know each other.

In both Poland and Ukraine there is standard English instruction in middle school and high school, so most young people speak enough English to help a clueless American like me.

Whenever I met Ukrainian people and told them I was there to volunteer with the church I would always get a warm response… I grew to love the people of Ukraine in my time there.

About 2 hours into the long bus ride an older woman sitting behind me got a phone call and she started crying with tremendous sadness. Other people got upset as well so I asked the English teacher “What is she so upset about?”

That woman had just learned that her son, in the Ukranian Army, had been killed on the eastern front.

This conflict suddenly felt that much more real to me, the Russian Invasion was no longer something far away on CNN, it was right there in the bus, in the sound of a Mother weeping, in the faces of the other people comforting her. I began to cry, because I couldn’t imagine getting a call like that, about my own children….

The bus was delayed for about an hour at the Ukranian border, the border officer looked very closely at my passport and I explained to him how I was going to Lviv to volunteer with the church. I showed him a printout with information about Pastor Prokip and the address of the church in Lviv.

The slow bus arrived in Lviv at 1AM, and martial law was in effect so the pastor could not drive to pick me up without risking arrest. I looked at the GPS on my phone (which was at 10% battery) and decided to hike the 2.5 kilometers to Pastor Prokip’s apartment.

Both duffels and my backpack topped 80 pounds, so there I was, walking in the cold through a Ukranian city in the middle of the night with 2 heavy bags that made my arms ache.

I made the decision to go there, but I remember talking to God on this long walk, asking him if I was supposed to be there, in that moment, stopping every 300 feet to set the bags down and take a break.

I think I was meant to be there, walking along that street.

When I finally reached the apartment building I took this picture to remember that moment:

I’m amazed that Pastor Volodymyr Prokip welcomed a total stranger into his home (a crazy American), but we quickly became friends in the following weeks.

This guy is only 32 years old, yet he heads up a church that houses displaced people, and he helps everyone who comes to his church, no questions asked. When I got there in April he had already sent his wife and 2 sons to the Czech republic to get them out of harm’s way.

Here are some of the young people staying at the church, many of them lost their homes in eastern Ukraine due to Russian shelling:

My first full day in Lviv we helped a family move out of their apartment and pack up their belongings to move to Canada. I watched Pastor Prokip trying to move people to the border in a tiny 4 passenger car, so after a few days of working with him I called Harvester Methodist back here in Florida and we started a fund to raise money to help buy a van for the pastor’s church.

It took a month, but we raised $12,000 that is now being sent to Ukraine as this is being written.

There was also a large volunteer center in Lviv, so on days when Volodymyr did not need my help I would go there and volunteer:

One of the first people I met there was a high school kid named Vika, she spoke fluent English, I would see her every time I went there, and I predict she will be President of Ukraine one day:

Vika reminded me of my daughters back home, and I admired how she was always there volunteering and giving of her time.

Vika… when you run for Presidente I will return to Ukraine to be your campaign manager!

This retired gentleman was also at the volunteer center on a daily basis:

Right before I went to Ukraine I bought a new Samsung S21, all these pictures were taken on that phone.

Sometimes when I was done working for the day I would walk around Lviv taking pictures of the many churches and lovely buildings in this 800 year old city:

Lviv was part of Poland before WWII, then part of the USSR from 1945 until Independence in 1991. The entire city is full of lovely buildings and squares and hidden spots with quaint restaurants and places to see. There was an 8PM curfew, so the entire city closed early, but everything was open during the day.

There were many times when the War seemed far away and non-existent.

In mid-April of 2022 there where not that many missile attacks… but the air raid sirens were pretty common, this is what they sounded like:

For the rest of my life I’ll never hear this sound again without thinking of all the Ukrainian people who died in these senseless attacks. It’s a haunting sound, especially when 4 or 5 sirens start sounding off in the distance… echoing off the buildings.

Putin is a real bastard, and I hope him and his military leaders die a horrible death for what they’ve done to the innocent civilians in Ukraine and Syria.

There will be a reckoning.

Lviv is in Western Ukraine, 40 kilometers from the Polish border to the west. For this reason Lviv was safer then the cities in the eastern part of the country like Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kherson or Mariupol.

When I got to Ukraine in early April the Russians had already been pushed out of Kyiv (the first true Russian defeat) and the atrocities of Bucha were revealed in the days that followed.

Any student of history knows that Russian soldiers raped and murdered German civilians after Germany lost WWII, and the sad thing is how the Russian military leadership encouraged their soldiers to do the same in this conflict, even awarding medals to soldiers who committed war crimes in Bucha.

Both BBC and CNN had very accurate coverage of this conflict, with reporters on the ground in very dangerous places across Ukraine. Certainly this conflict has been recorded extensively, by drone cameras, by victims, by soldiers and the news media as well.

My plane ticket to Warsaw spanned April 3 to April 30th, so I decided to visit a friend over in Germany for my last week in Europe. Pastor Prokip drove me to the Polish border, and on that same MORNING Russian missiles fell on Lviv and killed 7 people. The area that was hit was on the same street I would use to walk to the volunteer center every morning….

This church was very close to the missile attacks.

Sunset over the Lviv train station… another site that was bombed in the weeks after I was there.

Other than raising the $12,000 for the church van I don’t know that my trip made any difference whatsoever, but I’m so glad I went there, I’m grateful to have become friends with Volodymyr Prokip and the people in his church, I’m glad I met Vika and the other folks at the volunteer center…

My parents and the folks at Harvester Methodist Church prayed for me, and I think that helped.

When I got back it was amazing to see everyone again.

Some thoughts:

I felt grateful to be alive. I trusted God, and He brought me back safe, to share this story.

It was a leap of Faith to step away from my work for a month and go to Ukraine.

We are so fortunate to live in a country that is safe and insulated from war.

I felt called to go, and it was the right thing to answer that call.

Before I went to Ukraine I was writing my 3rd book, and going there and having this experience helped me develop some of the ideas for that next project. If I don’t write much on this blog in the next few months, it’s because I’m using that material for my book.

I had some adventures in Poland and Germany, but that is for another blog post yet to be written!

Ben Alexander

May 16th : 2022

The Violinist from Bucha.

During my time in Lviv I saw this violinist performing in the city square, several times.

He’s very skilled, he would perform many hours, getting tips from me and hundreds of others.

One morning I struck up a conversation with him, he told me he escaped Bucha with his family just before the Russians rolled into town. I asked him if I could take this close up picture.

He told me several friends (his age) had been murdered by the Russians invading his hometown.

Then he picked up his violin, and played beautiful music.

He narrowly escaped a sure death, but many did not.

As a country, as a planet, we have to put safeguards in place so that murderous dictators think twice before targeting civilians.

I look at this young man’s face and I’m crying for all the young men and women who did NOT escape.

Ben Alexander

May 1, 2022

On me at all times.

The bracelet is a silver Balinese “Serpiente” and it represents the balance between Good and Evil.

The 9MM bullet is a promise to my daughters.

The ring is a symbol of FAMILY, I wear it on my right hand.

The Luminox watch tells me the time, even in utmost darkness.

These items are on my person, whenever I walk out the door.

March : 2022

Answering the call.

I was having dinner with my Mom and Dad last night and they asked me why I’m going to Europe in a few weeks, what is the true reason?

Are my motives wrong in going there?

In 1995 I got this notion about going to Taiwan… and if I hadn’t gone on that trip my daughters would not exist today.

My life would be drastically different.

Claire and Grace are my greatest blessings, my girls are angels on earth, really.

Of course, Taiwan in 1995 is very different from Ukraine in 2022…

I’ve been praying a whole lot in the past few weeks since I bought my plane ticket…

I’ve been thinking about why I’m here, as a man.

I have to do this trip, or I can’t look myself in the eye.

Even if I’m only cooking food for refugees in a Red Cross camp, far over the Polish border… I have to go.

Maybe this is my small expression of LOVE for people I haven’t even met yet.

Perhaps our main purpose is to LOVE others; our family, our friends, the Ukrainian people, even the Russian soldiers being coerced into fighting.

After all we’re all just a speck of dust in the swirling maelstrom of history.

I have NO IDEA what will happen in the next 90 days, I’m putting myself in God’s hands here.

I’m trusting HIM that this is the path I should be on.

He is with me, in all things, especially now.

Nothing more, nothing less.

………………………………………………..

Mom, I hope that answers your question.

It’s a good question.

…………………………………

Ben Alexander

March 14th : 2022

48 years, dammit.

This is me, now.

All that mileage on the tires is really starting to show… my chassis was stamped in 1974…..

Got three solar appointments today, 2nd appointment is out in Highlands County FL…. way out in the boonies. Most folks take off on their birthday, but I like selling solar and fer sure I’m closing at least one deal today, making a few shekels.

I like to work. Being productive makes me happy.

Mom and Dad are having me over for dinner, and I’m fasting all day, so dinner will be awesome… my brother George (newly retired from the federal government) will be there, along with his son, a track star down at University of Tampa.

I’m proud of my brother, for his successful career… and also for the fact that he raised a son who is an accomplished athlete, great student, and all around nice young man.

If I had a son I would have wanted him to turn out like my nephew.

God forbid if I had a son and he was a maniac like me…. oy!

**************************************

A week ago I was watching some news about the Ukraine invasion… so I bought a round trip ticket to Warsaw and decided to volunteer with the International Red Cross.

Still working out the details on this trip, but the first step was to just take action and buy the ticket.

My daughters are grown up, I got no pets, no wife… and the Navy SEAL who runs Tampa Bay Solar, Steve Rutherford, has given me his blessing.

When I told him about the trip he said “You’ll have plenty of work when you get back.”

That’s all I needed to hear.

My daughters are mad at me for putting myself in danger, so I have to get back home safe to them, and I will.

Perhaps they don’t understand that I need to do this, on many levels.

I can’t imagine staying home, just selling solar, knowing that I could have gone over and contributed, in some way.

I’ll write about the experience, of course.

Got a brand new Samsung phone that takes stellar pics, so there’s that.

Back in 2018 I bought a cheap phone with a crappy camera… this new phone is a huge leap in technology, the camera is just astounding.

I’m finally slogging through my third book, the Ukraine / Poland trip might just be a chapter in the book… or it might be an entire book on its own. Like the first 2 books I’ll self publish. I just got a royalty check from Amazon for $13!

I have no idea who is buying my first 2 books.

That’s my Claire on the cover of my first book, she was 14 at the time… the little girl is the daughter of the local photographer who took the pic.

Sometimes you have to go where you feel called.

In 1995 I booked a one way plane ticket to Taiwan and everyone in my life thought I was nutz, but I came back in one piece… and Claire and Grace would NOT have existed if I had not gone there, met Rachel, etc. etc.

God has a plan here, I have no idea where this will lead.

I hope y’all have an awesome day!

Ben Alexander

March : 2022

Saturday Feb 19th : 2022

This pic is from the Gasparilla Night Parade in Ybor last Saturday… Marcus on the left, our buddy Skelton on the right….

It was a night, indeed.

I’m writing this early Saturday morning before I plunge into a cold pool for 10 laps of torture.

I have my lines recorded in my phone for a play that starts Match 11th…

Going to Harvester Methodist to sing THIS at an 11AM Funeral:

After the “Celebration of Life” I have 1PM and 3PM appointments to go see SOLAR clients.

These are both initial appointments, so I might close a deal or I might NOT. Sometimes I close the deal on the first visit, but more than likely they call me back a week later, 6 months later, even 3 years later.

After 5 years of selling 500+ solar deals I don’t even think about it anymore. I feel like I could sell solar tied upside down, drunk and heavily sedated by Bill Cosby. You do anything consistently for 5 years and you’ll reach a Jedi Master level of ease with it.

I LOVE selling solar, because it comes as naturally to me as writing these goofy blogs posts.

I’m actually LOOKING FORWARD to my 2 afternoon appointments, and this is one of the reasons I close more deals than the average solar guy.

(If I could get that skilled at comedy I’d be at Marc Normand’s level of fame. My -newbie comic- buddy Per Bjorn is going out and doing Open Mics constantly… and I respect his hustle!)

OK, so TONIGHT Marcus is lighting up a bonfire at his place… I’m bringing some burgers and stuff…

Beer will be involved, I might fall asleep on pool furniture tonight…

TOMORROW there is a Falcon launch 120 miles east over at Canaveral, so we’re loading up Marcus’s motorhome at 6AM and heading over…

Of course, there will probably be other shenanigans that might pop up today, but the general framework is laid out…

… and THIS is just a random Saturday of my life; some swimming, some crying, some sales bullshit, burgers, beer and friendship.

Finding Joy in Solitude.

Listening to this piece as I write tonight:

I’m writing this in my home office on a Friday night at 10PM; the music is playing, the front window is open with a nice breeze flowing in… I can hear the crickets singing in my front yard.

It’s peaceful.

I grew up in family of six; 4 kids, 2 parents… got married and my daughter was born soon after, then her sister. There were always people around me, for the first 47 years of my life.

After my daughter moved out 2 months ago (and took the frickin’ CAT) I realized that this is the first time in 47 years I’ve lived totally and completely ALONE.

No family, no roomies. Zero pets, for now.

If I die in my sleep it will be several days before I’m found. If I ride out on my motorcycle and fly into a ditch (or a pond by the road) they won’t find me for WEEKS, if ever.

Could happen, right?

When my friend Marcus bet me $5K to stay date free / woman free until July 5th it felt like the craziest idea in the world… but after really cogitating on the idea I realized that Marcus is really teaching me how to be joyful in my solitude.

I’m not MISSING anything; I’m closing solar deals, hanging out with an eclectic group of friends and making many NEW friends in comedy, selling Goin’ Postal franchises, lifting weights, swimming, doing comedy, rehearsing for a musical, doing lotsa writing right here… even going to church on Sunday morning.

Since dating is NOT an option I’m working on my friendships.

I’m really lucky, really fortunate to live the life that I have.

I’m finding joy in my solitude, finally.

Thanks Marcus!

Ben Alexander

February 4 : 2022

Want better credit? Do THIS.

My credit score used to be below 600, now it’s over 800.

I was stressed out over money the first 40 years of my life.

In the last 8 years I shifted my INNER thinking about MONEY, lowered my costs and totally revamped my finances.

In doing so I finally reached some financial peace and equilibrium.

BTW, everything I wrote in this post is what I’ve taught my 2 daughters, and both my gilrs have decent credit, zero college debt and they are working in jobs with a decent income.

That’s my oldest daughter, Claire, in the pic above.

THIS is what I’ve learned in taking my credit from 600 to above 800:

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

#1. Look hard at your current work and ask yourself “Am I EASILY REPLACED?”

The easier it is to REPLACE you the easier it is to pay you peanuts as an employer. At Tampa Bay Solar we pay experienced solar installers up to $30 an HOUR because GREAT INSTALLERS are really hard to find, hire and replace. Installing solar is hard work, in tough conditions, but the pay matches that hardship.

If you work as a barista or a janitor or an unskilled ditch digger you will NEVER be paid well. If you can manage a TEAM of ditch diggers you’ll get a raise. Maybe you can LEARN to operate a ditch digging machine?

If you learn how to build a business that digs a million ditches each year you’ll be a millionaire.

I make a strong income at Tampa Bay Solar because I’ve spent the last FIVE YEARS becoming skilled at closing solar deals. When I started with TBS in 2017 I had NO IDEA what I was doing, but by the time I had closed 100 deals (a few months later) the owner had enough confidence in me to put me in a leadership position.

BTW, I was 43 when I got started at TBS, it’s never TOO late to find success and fix your finances.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

#2. Can you earn MORE where you’re currently at?

If you work a low paying job ask your boss about management opportunities. How does one move into management and get a pay hike? What does it take? The answer might surprise you. Being able to manage knuckleheads is a skill, and companies need people with management skills who can lead a team.

If there is ZERO path to management at your crappy company go work elsewhere, your ladder is leaning against the wrong opportunity.

Do not keep working as a waiter or bartender thinking you’ll make $100K a year someday, move onto a more skilled opportunity. If you don’t do that you’ll still be hustling for tips when you’re 50, when you’re body is broken and your feet hurt, and that really sucks.

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#3. Are there a bunch of credit cards in your wallet?

Credit cards are financial CANCER, each credit card you carry around is like a malignant tumor growing on your ass. If you had a gnarly tumor on your left buttock you’d go get it removed. Chop up your credit cards and use your raise at work to evaporate your balances.

I’ve used a DEBIT card for the last 8 years. My debit card is tied to a business account (owned by my LLC) that tracks my expenses, which helps me pay LESS federal taxes at the end of the year.

When the computers at Experian and Equifax figure out that you have multiple credit card outstanding loan balances your credit score will go down. Same goes for high balance amounts on auto loans… I bought several cars in the last decade and paid them off EARLY, and this raise my credit score really fast.

Paying off all your credit card balances and NOT having auto debt is a sure path to a higher credit score.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

#4. EAT OUT LESS.

$20 in groceries will buy you a few basic meals, but it will barely buy you one sit down meal at a restaurant. PLUS you have to tip the server.

If you’re broke? Eat at home before you go out, it takes a minute to make a salad or fry some eggs, but it is FAR cheaper than even the crappiest fast food.

Also; getting drunk at the bar is expensive… especially if you get pulled over after 6 or 7 drinks….

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#5. DITCH THE EGO PURCHASES!

If you’re broke, and live in a shitty apartment yet you drive a $40,000 Lexus (on lease) and rock a $10,000 Rolex (on a payment plan) you’re only fooling YOURSELF.

Folks who finance luxury goods usually have poor credit and pay 14% interest on dumb stuff THEY DON’T NEED. Do you earn $50,000 per year and drive a $50,000 SUV? This is why your credit sucks.

I drive a used Chevy Volt that I bought for less than $20,000… and it has 110,000 miles on it. Luxury cars, luxury watches, fancy clothes… that’s all bullshit to impress other people. Don’t try to impress people who don’t give a shit about you.

The people who CARE about you don’t give a rip about your luxury goods, and if they DO you might want to reconsider your social circle.

A luxury car (or big SUV) has more expensive tires, maintenance, fuel costs, payments and insurance.

The fancy Rolex on your wrist is just plain stupid…. especially if you have lingering credit card debt.

I made ALL these dumb mistakes, but when I finally ditched luxury / ego purchases my credit started to go up. Good credit, no debt…. your will have financial PEACE when you get there.

My inexpensive Chevy Volt with lotsa miles costs me very little to own and drive…

Paying OFF my home is my main financial priority this year.

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#6. Housing is freakin’ expensive.

As I write this in February of 2022 real estate prices (and rents) are through the roof in Tampa and this is a BAD time to buy real estate. Many of you are renting… and the struggle sits between finding an inexpensive place, but one that is NOT in a ghetto neighborhood where you won’t be safe.

My daughters are 22 and 24, so I feel your pain here… if you can find roomies who have a steady job this might be a way to parse your expenses.

One solution to this……………………

Wait out the market… when we get into a deep recession in two years buy a house cheap, then rent out 3 rooms to your friends and BECOME THE LANDLORD. Your three friends will cover the mortgage, you’ll live there for free, not a bad deal.

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#7. STOP TALKING ABOUT YOUR CRAPPY BROKENESS.

First of all, no one gives a damn if you’re broke.

I was listening to a young comedian bitch and moan about being broke… I offered him a job at Tampa Bay Solar and he did NOT take it. He’s probably STILL broke.

Silly goose…

If you talk about being broke you attract that crappy energy into your life. Talk about the future in a positive way, from your mouth to God’s ear, right?

When I started Balloon Distractions back in 2003 I would talk about having 100 restaurant clients when we only had 15. Once we had 100 clients I would talk about having 400 clients… you get the idea.

If you change your (broken) thinking about money it will be ABUNDANT.

Alos, don’t hate on successful people, instead use that energy to ask them how the hell they did it… you might learn something you can use to change your financial scenario.

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#8. Find a creative solution.

In 2003 I was twisting balloons on the street in Ybor to pay my mortgage… I was 29 years old… and in the next 9 months that goofy idea was making me over $100K a year. NO ONE thought it would work, yet that business went on to grow all over the United States… giving me a decent income until I sold the company in April of 2018.

That totally goofy idea got me on Season 5 of Shark Tank…

Need to make an extra $300 on weekends?

Buy a pressure washing machine and start handing out business cards… that’s better than complaining about your lack of money on social media. We all have a finite amount of energy, are you using your energy to grow, learn and earn… or are you just complaining about stuff?

You can complain, or you can promote the tar out of your side hustle.

My buddy started a post office store 20 years ago… then he franchised the idea and has 130 locations around the United States… you never know where a creative idea will take you.

Just google “Marcus Price, Goin’ Postal”

Note here: Marcus recently tapped me to help him sell GP franchises at $5K commission per sale…. so I’m doing that in addition to closing solar deals. Yahtzee!

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#9. Exercise a little more, LOOK better, feel better, get STRONGER.

It can’t hurt to slim down, look a little sharper, be in better health.

There are a ton of studies showing how obesity and poverty are strongly connected.

If you LIKE how you look in the mirror you will reflect that out to the world.

I’ve been lifting weights lately in an attempt to slim down and look better… I’m not happy with the 30 extra pounds I’m lugging around, so I’m taking action to correct that issue.

My 2017 Chevy Volt, with over 100K miles on it……

#10. Finally. DO NOT INCREASE your lifestyle.

When you increase your income you can either buy nicer stuff, or pay down your debt.

I could have bought a much bigger home in the last few years when my income increased, but I’m holding steady and paying off what I have.

Many young people live WAY OVER their means, especially when they start making more income.

If you made $15,000 per year in college and THEN you graduate and earn $60,000 it feels like a fortune… but in reality you can get caught up spending 100% of what you earn.

In my 30’s I made $100K most years and SPEND $100K, I was still BROKE, just at a riskier level!

KNOW where your expenses are and KNOW your income after taxes.

Earning $60K a year and living on $35K is far more peaceful than earning $150K and spending $150K!

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Ok, that’s TEN ideas that will improve your finances AND your credit score.

When your credit hits 800 let me know!

Ben Alexander

February : 2022

The $5,000 FILTER.

Last week I made a $5,000 bet with the always illustrious and creative Marcus Price in regards to me NOT dating anyone until July 5th of this year. No girlfriends, no lovers, a total drought.

No dates, a monkish existence, for 5 months.

In cogitating upon this premise (and agreeing to this INSANE wager) I realized that there is suddenly 5,000 reasons to be much more selective in whom I spend my time with.

If I want to be with someone BEFORE July 5th it will cost me $5,000!

Is she worth it?

Of course, I know some of you might ask, how will Marcus know if I stray off the reservation?

There exists an honor system between Marcus and I, and one component of this internal restraint is an element of character and honesty. We all need more of THAT.

Marcus also installed a camera in my bedroom.

Kidding, but I would NOT put that past him…….

But really, this $5,000 is one hell of a filter. I have to pay $5,000 to date someone, kiss someone, etc….

She really must be very special if I can’t wait until July 5th.

My other thought is this; perhaps I’ll develop a friendship with someone special and just HOLD OFF until July 5th. No harm in that, really. I’m allowed to hang out with friends, do cool stuff, work out, do comedy shows, act in a musical, sell Goin’ Postal franchises, close solar deals, go ax throwing, etc.

All social activities.

Maybe I’ll get some new ink?

New horizons, new adventures….

Ben Alexander

February 2022

Crunching it.

I joined the local Crunch for a few reasons:

  1. Lift weights and get stronger.
  2. Slim down while doing so.
  3. Get around an environment of healthy people doing healthy things.
  4. One more way to get out of my house / have something to do.

Don’t get me wrong, my house is perfectly fine… but I have TOO MUCH spare time, along with a 30 pound SPARE TIRE around my waist.

Sexy, eh?

The last few years I’ve spent too much time staring at YouTube, Match.com, Facebook and Netflix.

Good for entertainment value, bad for my overall physical health.

If you read my previous post about monks y’all know I’m on a “dating fast” until July 5th…

When there’s $5,000 on the line I take that shizz seriously, who wouldn’t?

Crunch is open from 5AM to 11PM at night… and they have every type of weight and exercise machine one can conjure up. I can go there anytime, really.

But (or maybe BUTT) there is also that environment, the pulsing music, people in great shape, doing healthy things… if I just went there for 1 hour per WEEK I would be inspired to get healthier.

Some of the guys at crunch are built like Marvel superheros. I wanna look like THAT.

Most of the folks (at the Crunch I go to) are younger than me and in better shape, God Bless Them!

I just want to look BETTER in 6 months than I look NOW.

Better is good.

I can workout with limited equipment at home, but I’m totally alone.

My sound system is paltry, so is my weight equipment.

This is a new year, a new start, and I’m NOT happy with what I see in the mirror, and especially how I look in my comedy videos when I’m onstage.

I want to be HAPPY with what I see in the mirror, and if I have to spend 3 or 4 hours a week at Crunch I’ll do it.

Less YouTube rabbit holes, more Crunch.

Let’s see where I’m at by the end of 2022.

Ben Alexander

January 31rst : 2022