Original Works

This page is a collection of original essays and various writings worked on by DJ in individual blurbs of past editions of DJ's Random Thoughts as well as from other places where DJ has posted original works, inspiring essays or interesting revelations.  This is not an exhaustive list but simply what DJ considers his best original works over the years.  Enjoy.

A Valentine's Day Confession About A Special Lady

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, I thought I'd open up about something I've kept close to the vest for years now about a particular woman who's been in my thoughts.   I'm not gonna reveal who this woman is, at least not before I get the chance to talk to her privately in person first & especially not online if I ever do at all.  In any event, if I ever got that chance, the following is something I would want her to know.   I'm taking a huge leap here opening up like this but I thought it might be worth the risk sharing it on this particular holiday.  It is a bit long and somewhat gushy in parts but who knows...folks might learn a little something about me in the process.  Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

          "You are a woman like no person I had ever known before.  The combination of your beauty, your charm, your warmth, your obvious caring nature, your heart and who you are as a person in general is like none I had ever experienced firsthand until I met you.  We met a few years ago when I was going through yet another extremely difficult time in my life.  Because of the stuff I was going through then, we only hung out for a relatively short period of time but even in that timeframe you made an impact that changed so many things for me.  I don't think we ever got to know or talk to each other as much as I had wanted to back then but every time a conversation between us ended I was left wanting more.  I did my damndest to hide my attraction to you and my feelings whenever you were around.  Deep down, though, I've been keeping how crazy for you I've been since then in check until there was a time where I could show you in person.  Now I honestly don't know if I can or should call this love just yet.  I thought I'd been in love before and a couple decades ago even asked one girl I thought I was in love with at the time to marry me.  However, once I met you I discovered feelings I never had before and started imagining my life in ways beyond anything I had known previously.  It threw a wrench into what I'd always thought love was about and also put any romantic feelings or attractions I had or thought I had toward other women in the past to shame.  That's no small feat by any means and my life has definitely not been the same since.  You not only inspired me during that difficult time to be a better person for the sake of wanting a chance to be with you but slowly and surely toward being a better person for my own sake.  There aren't enough words to express how thankful I am that you came along when you did and how much it's made a huge difference in me since.  You continue to shine just as brightly now as when I first met you.  Over the years I've been proud and humbled to call you my friend but I would be lying if I said I didn't want way more than that.  As most people know, I'm neither the kind of guy anyone would call a 'ladies man' who seems to attract women at the snap of their fingers nor the kind who would just hook up with a woman right after first meeting them, though in your case I would have happily made an exception.  I would rather be the kind of guy who does a lot of amazing things for one special lady than be someone who has a bunch of women in orbit around him waiting for just one supposedly amazing thing.  I have no qualms being selfish in wanting you to be my special lady.  I honestly have no idea if you've ever thought of me beyond just being a friend or an acquaintance or even considered the possibility since I've kept this so close to the vest.  I do hope that you're not scared of or freaked out by everything I've said here especially since I value the friendship we already have so much.  At a bare minimum, I know there are no guarantees in life but just know that I pray every day that you will eventually see in me a man who cares deeply about you, who keeps you in his heart and his thoughts, thinks the absolute world of you and dreams of being the one guy you call 'your man'."

  -  DJ Hamrick, Facebook, 02/14/14 (posted as status on private personal Facebook timeline; reposted publicly here on DJRT Original Works page on 07/01/14)

But I Am Not A Lemming

I'm expected to think and be like other people, but I am not a lemming.
I'm supposed to follow the family, but I am not a lemming.
I'm expected to be a part of the crowd, but I am not a lemming.
People want me to change for them to like me, but I am not a lemming.
People want me to change to continue liking me, but I am not a lemming.
I'm supposed to suck up to people for them to even consider noticing me, but I am not a lemming.
My individuality is not supposed to upset the status quo, but I am not a lemming.
People want me to acquiesce to their desires at their whim, but I am not a lemming.
I'm expected to be convenient for others' sake, but I am not a lemming.
I'm told people won't like me if I say something that offends them, but I am not a lemming.
I'm supposed to be part of the crew, but I am not a lemming.
I'm not allowed to express my viewpoint if it's not one shared by everybody else, but I am not a lemming.
It's not easy to be true to myself despite others' expectations especially when it bothers others, but I am not a lemming.
My invitations will be revoked if I don't “tow the company line,” but I am not a lemming.
I like to be invited to things, but I am not a lemming.
I'll get “cut off” if I don't change my way of thinking, but I am not a lemming.
I'm supposed to say things that people are supposed to like, but I am not a lemming.
People want to use my own words against me, but I am not a lemming.
People do not want to understand where I'm coming from, but I am not a lemming.
People say I'm whining if I say something they don't agree with, but I am not a lemming.
People want to read too much into what I say and believe the worst, but I am not a lemming.
People don't like when I stand up for myself or stand by what I say, but I am not a lemming.
I will suffer because I don't say the “right” things, but I am not a lemming.
I'm expected to “be a man about stuff” when I'm not given the same courtesy, but I am not a lemming.
I go about things in ways I am comfortable with, but I am not a lemming.
I may be sensitive and touchy sometimes, but I am not a lemming.
I'm supposed to lose myself in order to not lose my friends, but I am not a lemming.
People will read into what I write despite what I actually write, but I am not a lemming.
Only certain differences in opinion are “acceptable,” but I am not a lemming.
People say it's “too bad” if I'm inconvenienced or things aren't going my way, but I am not a lemming.
I'm expected to take crap from others and appreciate it because it's “honest,” but I am not a lemming.
It's not easy being part of a group, but I am not a lemming.
It's not easy being me, but I am not a lemming.

…....I may not be the easiest person to get along with, to understand, or to put up with. I am human, after all...but I am not a lemming.

  -  DJ Hamrick, DJRT, 7/12/09 (the “poetic” edition)

Reality Check – What Girls Need To Realize

I've got some "rules of the road" for ladies when it comes to dealing with guys. We guys don't care if you talk to other guys. We don't care if you're friends with other guys. But if you're sitting next to us when some random guy walks into the room and you jump up and tackle him without even introducing us...yeah, it's gonna make us mad. It doesn't help when you talk to him for ten minutes without even acknowledging the fact that we're still there. We don't care if a guy calls or texts you, but at 2 in the morning we do get concerned. Nothing is that important at 2 AM that can't wait until the daytime. Also, when we're complimenting you and saying you're pretty, beautiful, gorgeous, cute, and/or stunning, we freakin' mean it. Don't tell us we're wrong because sooner or later we'll stop trying to convince you of it simply because you don't want to believe us. The sexiest thing about a girl is her confidence. Don't be mad when we hold the door open. Take advantage of the mood we're in. Let us pay for you. Don't "feel bad" because we actually enjoy doing it. Smile and say "thank you." Kiss us when no one's looking. Better yet, if you kiss us when you know somebody's looking, we'll be more impressed. You don't have to get dressed up for us. When we go out with you, you don't have to feel the need to wear the shortest skirt you have or put on every kind of makeup you own. We like you for you and not how much you can get dolled up. Honestly, a girl looks more beautiful when she's just in her pj's or in a T-shirt and boxers. Don't take every single thing we say seriously. Sarcasm is a beautiful and underrated thing...see the beauty in it. Stop getting angry or worked up so easily. Stop using magazines or other media as your bible. Don't talk about how hot Chris Brown, Brad Pitt, or Justin Beiber is in front of us. It's not that we're jealous...we just don't care because it's really boring to us. That stuff is what you have girlfriends for. Whatever happened to the word "handsome?" We'd be utterly stunned by a girl who greeted us with "hey, handsome!" as opposed to "hey, baby!" or stud or cutie or sexy or whatever other generic pet names are out there. On the other hand, we're not saying we wouldn't like it, either. Ladies, we can't stress this enough: if you are NOT being treated right by a guy, don't wait for the idiot to change. Ditch that sorry disgrace to the male population and find someone who will treat you with the respect, love and dignity you deserve...someone who will honor your morals; someone who will make you smile when you're at your lowest; someone who will care for you even when you make mistakes; someone who will love you no matter how bad you may have just treated them; someone who will stop what they're doing just to look you in the eyes and say "I love you" and actually mean it. We do wonder why a lot of you females keep lusting after wannabe alpha males or so-called "hot" guys who have continuously treated many of you like dirt and would dump you at the drop of a hat in the event some "hotter" girl came along while there are other decent guys out there for the taking. You say you want to be with a "nice guy" but in reality they're just empty words because you haven't meant it nor done it. If you really wanted a nice guy, we'd rather you just stop talking about it and go flippin' do it already! Who knows? Maybe it's a guy that's been in the background all this time you never thought of before in that way. Seriously, ladies, how are you gonna know unless you actually find out for yourselves?

  -  DJ Hamrick, DJRT, 12/29/11 (the “2011 review” edition)

What It Feels Like To Be A Ghost

What does it feel like to be a ghost? It feels like people know that you're there but look through you like you're not. It feels like an imperfect memory that was once clear but is now hazy. It feels like something that is on the tip of your tongue but you just can't figure out what it is. It feels like echoes of times past both good and bad. It feels haunting, like you're holding onto something that you just can't let go of. It feels like a passing thought that is ultimately inconsequential and insignificant. If feels like you are the forgotten, prey to the mercies of the sands of time. It feels like you are simply a momentary distraction. If feels like you do not matter or factor into the grand scheme of things. It feels like your insignificance and loneliness grow by every beat your heart takes. It does not feel like ignorance because to ignore something takes active thought. It can feel like sadness or relief. It can feel good not to be thought of in a bad light but feel bad to not be thought of in a good light...if you are thought of at all. It feels like you are invisible yet not. That is what it feels like to be a ghost.

  -  DJ Hamrick, DJRT, 12/13/09 (the “ghost” edition)


Do you know what it’s like? Do you know what it’s like to be lonely? People say it’s our fault that we choose to be lonely. Nobody chooses to be lonely. We choose to be alone because we are lonely. No one to share your quality time with. No one to joke with. No one to tell you how much they care about you and vice versa. It is one of the worst feelings a person could have. I hate it when people tell me it’s my own fault. It doesn’t occur to them that maybe they are partially to blame. I’m not talking about the type of connection you have with a friend or family member. I’m talking about having a significant other in my life. It’s even more difficult when you don’t know how to connect in that special way. I wish there were a book that showed how to do that. Unfortunately, there is no such thing, or at least one that makes sense. If I knew what it was like to share my life and my time, it might be different. Until that time, I shall continue to be alone not of my own accord.

  -  DJ Hamrick, DJRT, 4/19/09 (the “raging inferno” edition)

If She Only Knew

I'm sorry that I bought you roses to tell you that I like you.
I'm sorry that I was raised to not sleep with you when you were drunk.
I'm sorry that my body's not ripped enough to "satisfy" your wants.
I'm sorry that I open your car door and pull out your chair like I was raised to do for a lady.
I'm sorry that I'm not cute enough to be "your guy."
I'm sorry that I'm actually nice and not an jerk.
I'm sorry I don't have a huge bank account to buy you expensive things.
I'm sorry I like to spend quality nights at home cuddling with you instead of being at a club.
I'm sorry I would rather make love to you then just sleep with you like some random guy.
I'm sorry that I'm always the one you need to talk to but never good enough to date.
I'm sorry that I always held your hair back when you threw up and didn't get mad at you for puking in my car, but when we went out you wanted to hook up with another random guy.
I'm sorry that I'm good enough to be there to pick you up at 4 AM when your new man hit you and dropped you off in the middle of nowhere, but not good enough to listen to me when I need a friend.
I'm sorry if you tell me you want to hang out with me only to be tossed aside when a “better-looking” guy comes around.
I'm sorry if I don't answer my phone anymore when you call and listen to you cry for hours instead of getting a couple hours of sleep before work.
I'm sorry that you can't realize I've been the one all along.
I'm sorry if you read this and know somebody like this but don't care.
But most of all, I'm sorry for not being sorry anymore.
I'm sorry that you can't accept me for who I am.
I'm sorry I can never do anything right or good enough to make it in your world.
I'm sorry I caught your man with another girl and told you about it...I thought that was what friends were for.
I'm sorry I told you I loved you and actually meant it.
I'm sorry that I talked to you for nine hours on Thanksgiving when your boyfriend was threatening you instead of spending time with my family.
I'm sorry that I cared.
I'm sorry that I listen to you at night talk about how you wish you could have done something different.

Ladies always whine and complain to their friends that there's never
any good guys out there and they always end up with jerks who
mistreat them. Well, ladies...next time you're complaining, maybe
look up to see who you're whining to...maybe that special someone
is right there hanging on your every word as usual, screaming in his
head, "Why won't you give me a chance?"

Because the person you are usually searching for is already right by you.

  -  DJ Hamrick, DJRT, 4/19/09 (the “raging inferno” edition)

Eulogy for Roger Byrd, 11/22/08

Before I begin, I'd like to pass along my condolences to Roger's wife Heather, their three children, and the rest of his family for their loss. I'd known Roger for about 17 years, and even though we hadn't seen each other that much in the past few years, I always considered him one of my best friends. He was one of the most honest and considerate people I have ever known and he was that way to everybody he cared about. We had a lot of interesting times together. One of the most memorable to me was soon after we first met. It was the first time we actually hung out after dancing at Park Alley in the Ohio State South Campus bar area. It was Roger, me, Mike Tutt, and Cory Pariseau. We all went to the McDonald's across from the campus, which was open late at the time. It was busy and it took a while to get our food but we all got to know each other better. While we were there, there was this drunk guy walking in and out of the restaurant with about five feet of toilet paper stuck to the bottom of his shoe. Now here's this guy walking back and forth with toilet paper stuck to his foot and we didn't really have the heart to tell him because, quite frankly, we were just getting a kick out of it. Apparently nobody else in the restaurant had the heart to tell him either because this went on for about...oh...approximately four hours. And as slap-happy as we were, we couldn't stop laughing and Roger actually fell out of his chair at one point, landing in the aisle EXTREMELY close to where someone had apparently thrown up earlier. He didn't land in it, but that didn't matter because it was just as funny. That night made it clear to me that this man, Roger Byrd, was somebody I wanted as a part of my life.

Before I close out, I would like to relate to you what he meant to me. One of my favorite stories in the Bible, and one of the most important to me personally, is the Parable of the Sower. In essence, it's about taking the seeds that you are given...in this case I'm going to use acorns...whether they represent a newly-found faith, a new home, or the start of a new friendship, planting them in the right soil and watching them flourish and grow into tall and mighty oaks which create the forests that represent who we are as people. In the forest that I would call my life, Roger Byrd was, is, and always will be one of the tallest and mightiest oaks in that forest. And it's not just that way for me...it applies to most of us who knew him as a friend and loved him like he was our brother. He helped make us better as people and I'm really going to miss him. Rest in peace, Rog.

  -  DJ Hamrick, DJRT, 3/29/09 (the “two weeks til B-day” edition)