Monday, January 1, 2018

My New Years Resolution

Is to write more.  Yes, that's my New Year's Resolution.  I need to work on my writing more.  I have a novel that I started and it's sitting on my old hard drive that crashed.  I have thought more about the story since I last saw it and a full rewrite would be fine at this point.  "The Void Queen's Wrath" shall live again.  Soon.

The daughter made it way past midnight this year, she is now 11 after all and that's about the age I remember staying up late on New Years.  I distinctly remember right before my 11th birthday, our first New Year's in San Diego being allowed to stay up late and watching the Rolling Stones Documentary about Altamont, "Gimme Shelter."  To say that was a seminal moment of my childhood would be an understatement.


Sunday, December 24, 2017

Humbug

Christmas Eve, 2017
You know, I've just about had it with the Holidays this year. Thank god it's over tomorrow. Really not feeling very Christmasy, sure it's slightly better than last year and 2018 looks good for us so far, but I have a bratty child (who I might add is having her first period this week, but that doesn't excuse the consistent behavior issues) who I have implored to clean up her room and start going through her toys.  She’d rather just sit around and watch TV or do nothing.  So I sent her to her room.

I’m really not feeling it this year yet again.  I’m not sure I ever will feel in the Christmas spirit ever again.  So much of the holiday in the past was wrapped up in how Melissa felt about it, and how she would try to make the best of it when we had nothing.  And when we had something it was even better.  Too many reminders of Christmas trips to Orem, or Las Vegas back in the day. 

Tomorrow I have nothing planned.  I can’t go to my Mom’s because they're all sick.  At least I have presents for Kaylee.

I’ve been working as much as I have been able to do so.  My groin are was feeling better this week so I didn’t go to DPSS last Monday like I said I was going to.  I postponed until Wednesday when I’d be on the West Side for my weekly work meeting, but that got cancelled.  So I didn’t go at all.  If I can last another month or so maybe I’ll get hired and get benefits so I won’t have to go.  When that’s your best case scenario, shit is fucked.  This is all because I still have no Medi-Cal benefits.  I called and spent over an hour on the phone trying to find out why and they said I had to go into DPSS which is on the West Side.

Melissa can’t come see Kaylee tomorrow because the car that she and her friend bought still isn’t working right and they don’t have any other transportation.  She asked if I would bring Kaylee to her, and I ranted that I wasn’t about to do anything for anyone right now and that’s how I started writing this entry.

So let’s take stock of where we’re at right now shall we?
I’m working full time on a project that is supposed to end at the end of the month, which is on Friday of this week.  Fortunately the CEO likes me and wants to keep me on board as admin or office manager or some other role.  Not really sure, but it looks like I’ll have gainful employment for at least January (1 month trial he said).  I can pay my own rent in January, and my bills if I continue to work full time.  With this next paycheck and a little more from the one I should get the first week of January rent is paid.  Also Mom said she'd send her to day camp and we decided on the first week of January, so that's a plus.

My lease goes month-to-month on the first as well, so I can move with a 30 day notice, which is good because I may need to move back to the West Side if this becomes permanent employment.  Of course I’ll still need help with the lease situation wherever I move to.  But it’s a start.  I’d like to get out of here and leave the bugs behind.
Kaylee has attended school for 5 days in December due to the weird fires that happened earlier this month.  This has put a huge strain on me personally because having her around means I’m distracted and cannot function at a maximum rate of speed.  Also means I have to deal with feeding her two more meals a day, and keeping her occupied while I try to work, which is not an easy task.

She got her first period on Wednesday of this last week, it’s Sunday now and she’s still bleeding I think.  I’m so frustrated with her though, it makes me see red.  She didn’t save any of her allowance money to buy me or anyone else any Christmas presents and didn’t even think about it.  When she went with my Mom and Nicole and Lana on Wednesday to get fitted for her first bras, I went and bought her Christmas presents because I wasn’t going to have the time to do so later.  I wrapped them and put them under our little Christmas tree and that’s ALL she has been focusing on for the last several days.  I get it, she’s still a kid, but she has no consideration for me or anyone else right now and that has me feeling terrible.

We just went to the grocery store, she wanted a Hot Wheels Peanuts car (Sally I think) and I bought it for her, because I was hoping she’d take her allowance and try to buy something for me or her mom.  Nope.  Didn’t even cross her mind.

We get back and I try to eat my lunch and start working, and she asks if she can turn on the TV, and I said I guess, but I’d rather you go in and clean your room or organize your toys like I’ve been asking.  She thinks a second and then says “what do you want to watch?”  AND that’s when I lost it.  If I had wanted to watch TV I would have turned it on myself Kaylee.  I’m trying to work right now and I don’t care what you watch, but if you don’t have anything in mind, then get up and go in your room and clean it up like I’ve been telling you to do. 

Then I started ranting about how much of a spoiled brat she’s been all week, that she hasn’t been thinking of anyone but herself, that she has done the bare minimum over the last several weeks and how disappointed I am with her.  If she's not on her tablet, it's her computer.  Unless I ban her from both, then and only then does she do something constructive.

I’ve failed as a parent.  I’ve failed as a husband.  I’ve failed as a human being.  Right now I just feel like a fucking failure.  I know why there are so many suicides around the holidays.  Holidays suck.  I don’t want to hear any Christmas music.  I don’t want to watch any Christmas specials or movies.  I just want it to be over already.  I want to get back to work on my project which is kicking my ass and stressing me out. 


Even my poor cat is stressing me out.  It started when I decided to get a cheap screen door ($10 – the mesh magnetic kind you see on tv) and let Oliver outside every so often.  I got him a collar with a name tag so he wouldn’t get lost.  He got irritated with the collar so much that he started scratching all around his head and neck to the point where he looked terrible.  So I bought him a cone of shame and he’s been in it for the last couple weeks.  He’s almost all healed up, but he persists on trying to scratch his head through the plastic cone and makes a terrible noise at all hours of the night.  That’s when he’s not all over me for affection. 

So yeah, humbug.  The only good thing about tomorrow is I get to watch Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who one more time. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Everyone Needs a Good Cry Every Now and Then

The last two years since October 2015 have been the hardest in my entire life.  Even the six months during the time between when my father was diagnosed with Lung Cancer and the day he passed away weren't this bad, but then again I was only 16 at the time and that was now 30 years ago.

I'll be 47 in January.  Sooner than later I'll be divorced.  I'm now a single father.  I get no help whatsoever from my daughter's mother because she's off doing her own downward spiral into oblivion.

I decided a few months ago that I would try to live without pharmaceuticals for awhile, just to see how I would react and cope.  I'd been on one anti-depressant or another (or two) since I was diagnosed with a "fatty-liver" shortly after my 30th birthday.  At first it was Effexor, then Lexapro, finally a combo of Lexapro and Welbutrin.  While I do technically have health insurance, and the meds were actually free toward the end there, my doctor of over a decade doesn't take MediCal and wouldn't renew my scripts anymore unless I came to see him, and since I can't afford an out-of-pocket office visit, well, I let the scripts run out.

I'm not sure how long it takes for the molecules to actually leave my body.  It's been at least a few months, I stopped taking them over the Summer.  The first couple weeks were bad, but after that it got better.  I feel "normal", whatever that means.  I don't feel like my head is in the clouds anymore, but I do feel very emotional.

I cry daily.

I'm not ashamed of that.  I've always "worn my emotions on my sleeve".  Whether it's anger or love, annoyance or glee, it comes out of me quite easily.

I'm over her.  It's taken me a long time to get to this point.  I no longer love her.  I no longer want to reconcile.  I just want her out of my life permanently.  I don't want to think about her.  I don't want to know what she's doing.  I don't care about her anymore.  And yet, I do.  Because she's still my daughter's mother, and my daughter deserves a mother. 

Maybe the anti-depressants blocked my ability to feel emotions for too long.  Maybe they've all been percolating under the surface of my psychic coffee maker.  (Speaking of which I need Coffee).  In any case, they're all coming out now.  I feel things with great intensity currently.  When I get angry, I get very angry.  When I get sad, I get very sad.  Is this the depression?  Is this emotional roller-coaster manic level material?  Or is it just my body readjusting to a new paradigm of not having pharmaceuticals in it?  Because beyond some ibuprofin for a headache, or sleep medication, I'm really not taking any drugs.

So I continue.  With daily sob sessions.  I'm often reminded of Holly Hunter's magnificent performance in the movie "Broadcast News" where her character takes a few minutes every morning to have a real crying jag before buttoning it up and becoming a professional bad-ass who runs the news room like the Joint Chiefs on a black ops mission.  Maybe this is what I need to do.  I'll give it a shot.  With the interweb tunnelz it's not hard to find stuff to give you "teh feelz".

This morning it was a video about a woman who was depressed and sitting on a park bench, and who had a life-changing moment when given the gift of a flower.  Yup, after seeing that, I bawled.  Then I went searching for more stuff to make me cry.  And now I'm writing this.  In a moment I'll get up and make some coffee and do a little work.  I'll go shower (because I need one I'm stinky) and head out to the bank to get a new ATM card and maybe do a little exploring before coming home for more work.

Kaylee's been sick the last few days and we've both been cooped up in the house, so cabin fever is definitely here.

You know what, maybe I'll take my laptop with me, go to the coffee house and work there for a change.  Yup, that's what I'll do.

In any case, let's see how tomorrow goes before I start crying again.  But feeling how I feel right now I wouldn't be surprised if there was another bout of teardrops later today.

But it's all good.  Because this is life and I'm living no matter what.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Shameless Plug - Back my Friend's Board Game Kickstarter

Come on, it's called Starship Awesome 3000!  It's a space themed board game that my buddy Matt Chapman, whom I used to work with at Card.com created and has put on Kickstarter.  I was backer #1!  It's only $45 for a full game, which these days is a bargain.

Come on you know you want to join me.




https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/matt2000/starship-awesome-3000

Thursday, May 18, 2017

May 18 and June 10 SUCK

Preface:  My father was born May 18, 1947 and died June 10, 1987.

This has been a very very frustrating day, as it usually is (June 10 is usually just as bad if not worse, I quit Mid America on June 10, and that wasn't even the worst day). the LITTLEST things will set me off when I feel like this, and I've already had two meltdowns. I try so hard to keep it bottled up and inside, but on this day it's too difficult. My emotions are all messed up, my head is pounding. I'm not looking for advice, I'm just trying to vent. I'll be OK in the morning.


Doesn't matter what I do. If I stay home by myself and hide it's worse. SO I try to be busy and not think about it, but of course the news about Chris Cornell didn't help. Roger Ailes I could give a fuck about, Cornell I appreciated. And I wasn't busy at all with work.

After work I pick up Kaylee and we go to TRU to pick up a couple more pieces for our Hot Wheels sets (<$10, don't judge). We get back, the pieces I picked up don't work the way I had hoped so that's a bummer. Then we go swimming. The water is very very cold, but it's been pretty hot, so I go in for a few, come out, read my book while Kaylee is swimming. I'm almost to the end of this book and it's a techno-thriller page-turner so I'm pretty into it, and I want to finish. I even tell Kaylee that, still managing to go in a couple more times (I like to go in, get wet, come out dry off, rinse repeat). Her new friend Joceyln comes home and she invites her into the pool to play.

NOW, don't get me wrong, I'm so very very glad that Kaylee has made a friend in the complex to play with. They get along and that's the important part. But Jocelyn is a motor-mouth who babbles constantly. I mean CONSTANTLY. After a few minutes my patience is wearing thin with her. But she's a kid and I"m an adult and I need to manage better, plus she's Kaylee's only friend nearby. Even still I have to actually tell her at one point that I'm trying to read and that she's being very distracting (she was sitting right next to me).

Eventually Jocelyn gets permission to go into the pool, and she kind of does, but then Kaylee splashes her, she whines. And I LOOOOSE it. I had told Kaylee when we got into the pool that we were not splashing today. And apparently it went in one ear and out the other. Between the constant babbling, my wanting to be left alone to read and just my overall malaise I snap. I tell Kaylee to get out of the pool to go inside and that she was grounded for the rest of the afternoon. Now my intention wasn't to actually ground her, I just didn't want Jocelyn coming over asking Kaylee to come play later. I actually even explain as much on the way back home. Kaylee sits and reads while I try to finish my book. Out the window i can see Jocelyn still at the pool, and I start to feel bad, so I tell Kaylee she can go back out to the pool and that when Jocelyn asks about the grounding, just tell her "don't worry about it."

So she does. And I'm left in heavenly silence for a time. And I read. Kaylee comes back and we read together. She asks what time is it, since we don't have a clock, I guess I should get one. It's after five so she asks if she can watch TV (we have a no Tv before 5 PM rule on school nights.) After I finish the book I consent. She makes me corn dogs. All is well.

Fast forward to about 7:45 pm. She's watched nothing but Steven Universe, most of which we've already seen. I decide to remake my bed and pick up the room, and that's when I start to lose my shit again. I have to ask her to move not once but twice because she's in the way of me remaking the bed. Once I get started my ire starts flowing pretty big time. The house is a mess and she's left stuff all over the room even though I have reminded her plenty of times that her things belong in her room. I don't have a room, she does now, and her stuff needs to stay there. I'm sweeping up errant cat litter from the floor, which is her job, she gets an allowance and as chores all she has to do is clean the cat box, take the trash out, feed Oliver in the morning and sweep up the cat litter when it gets dirty. I have to remind her to do each and every one of these things.

I get it, she's 10. But this is going on months now. She has to be reminded to brush her hair and teeth every single morning. Even this morning, I woke her up at 7 am and made her get into the shower so that I could shower and we could get to school on time. We were late. She didn't brush her teeth and she lied to me when she said she did. I cannot abide lying from her. I will not stand for it. Her mother is a pathological liar, and I will not tolerate that behavior any longer.

So I melt down.

Hard.

She's in bed now, and I just now went in to talk to her about what happened. I acknowledged that my behavior wasn't appropriate in that it wasn't necessarily her fault why I was so upset. And I apologized. And she says to me "I thought you said apologies don't mean anything." Touche. I've been saying that for a while because that's one of the things I learned working with Haven Pell at FunnelSource. Don't apologize, just do better next time. Saying sorry is a useless phrase. And it is. Acknowledging your behavior and striving to do better is more important. Being sorry isn't. I can't take it back. I said it. And some of it I meant. Especially the parts that I've had to repeat over and over ad nauseum.

It's like with my soon-to-be-ex-wife. She's still bringing up shit from the past that happened so long ago and that we've gone over so many times that it's a broken record. She can't get over shit from the past. It's why our marriage has failed. Now when she brings it up I tune out because it's no longer relevant. I'm done apologizing. I can't change what happened. Get over it.

I wish I could just "get over" my father passing. I never will though. I miss him daily. In many ways I blame his death on my lack of ability to really become an adult because in an instant I had to grow the fuck up. When you're on the phone with your Grandmother (who you can't stand in the first place) and you have to tell her that she needs to drive from LA to San Diego as soon as she can if she wants to see her son before he dies, and your'e 16, you go straight from being a kid to being an adult, and there's no looking back. In many ways I'm trying to recapture my youth because I feel like I lost a lot of it in one fell swoop.

And then I didn't have my Dad there in my 20's and 30's to guide me. One thing I've never really told anyone, he never taught me how to shave. I wasn't shaving when he died. Every time I have to shave I think about that. EVERY TIME.

I've had more than a few surrogate father figures in my time too, and they all filled one niche or another, but it's not the same. When I have needed my Dad the most he wasn't there.

Tomorrow is another day. I hope it's a good one.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

I've been watching music videos from the 1990's all night.  I really do need to probably stop.  I mean Jewel is saving my soul right now.

There will always be something about music in the 90's that I will appreciate.  I know that it's because I became an adult in the 90's and spent some great times with the modern alternative pop music of the 90's as a soundtrack.

There are certain songs that I will flash back to certain moments immediately every single damn time I hear them.

For example, I cannot hear virtually anything off of "Tragic Kingdom" by No Doubt and not think about  {Name Redacted}.  I redact her name now because when last I wrote about her way back in the early 00's she googled her name and asked me to remove it.

Joan Osborne's "One of Us" makes me think of my friend Shana.  We had a blast hanging out in during the El Nino Spring and Summer of 1997.  I met both Shana and {Name Redacted} at work at Price Enterprises.  They were both temps at one point.  I think they both may have even overlapped there.  I wish I had more friends of my Price days.  I have Kena as a FB friend, and of course Dave and Sean as FB friends.  Of course I'm still in touch with a good number of my friends from San Diego via FB, and for that I'm really thankful.

No I wish were still in touch with some of my older friends from Price Club.  Folks that were a good 5 to 10 years older than I was at the time, who were kind of big brothers and sisters to me.  Plus I do wonder what happened to a couple of my former colleagues.

I guess because it's now 20 years since that Spring of 1997.  That was a real turning point in my life.  Seriously an emotional and spiritual journey of about 20 months from the end of January '97 until I left San Diego for good in September of '98.

I had good times in the 90's.  Strike that, I had great times in the 90's.  After getting let go from Price I kind of wandered around for a long time, I really didn't have a direction.  I had really neglected my collegial studies because I always figured I had plenty of time.  I had just made the decision to go back to school before I got laid off.  In fact the first day of classes was my last day at Price.

That Shakespeare class I took in January 1997 from John Gregg at Mesa College was pretty interesting. I met two young ladies whom I had attractions to.  The Blonde was uber hot, but she was flirty and flighty.  And ultimately wasn't for me.  The Brunette was curvacious and pretty, but tortured.  She became a close friend for my remaining days of San Diego - named after a month of the year.  April.  I think she ended up sleeping with all my friends except for me.  We had a deeper friendship.  That's what she kept telling me.  We were supposed to move in together as roommates at one point, but I quit my job at Canyon Pottery and left the city to start a new life.  I haven't been able to find April on social media or the internet

I wonder about my friend Dina from Horace Mann Junior High.  I had a big old crush on Dina.  I google her and I see she's still in San Diego but not on social media.  I curse the pre-teen version of myself for not being bolder.  I wish I could go back in time ala Marty McFly sometimes.

I wonder about my ex-girlfriend Mary who was roommates with Sharon in that awesome place off of University near the Alibi.  You know I don't even know if I should call Mary an ex.  I guess so.

I wonder about {Name Redacted}.

I wonder about Diedie, aka Sarah who I dated for a brief period in 1990.  I remember reading Sandman #1 with her in 1989.

I don't have an eidetic memory, I'm glad I don't.  But I do remember a lot of things.

Do you?

What do you remember about me?

Are you even there?


Monday, February 27, 2017

My god I love The Band. I always liked the few songs I heard growing up, but beyond "The Weight" I didn't really listen to them until I was in my mid-20's. They truly were some fantastic musicians. If you need to listen to an album that will bring you down and lift you up all in the same 45 minutes or so, it doesn't get much better than "Music from Big Pink".




Now when I listen to that song I picture an Edgar Allen Poe inspired Edward Gorey landscape, cold and grey.  I figure its the late 1800's somewhere on the East Coast.


Do you ever go off on weird musical tangents, or strange internet quests?  Well I just did that.  I knew that "Long Black Veil" was a cover, but I had no idea who the original artist was, so I googled it.  It was written by two Hall of Fame Country songwriters and recorded first by Lefty Frizzell.  That version is a classic, and of course I wanted to hear it.






According to Wikipedia: "The writers later stated that they drew on three sources for their inspiration: Red Foley's recording of "God Walks These Hills With Me", a contemporary newspaper report about the unsolved murder of a priest, and the legend of a mysterious veiled woman who regularly visited Rudolph Valentino's grave. Dill himself called it an "instant folksong."


Cool, right?  


Yeah.  This is my kind of Country Music.  I can dig it.  Not going to always want to listen, but I respect it and I enjoy the likes of Johnny Cash, Patsy Clyne, and some of the older legends.


 It's amazing how a tempo and style change can completely change a song, made me think of the awesome track "Stagger Lee" from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds seminal Murder Ballads album, which honestly is a desert-island-disc for me.  Beware, contains language.  



Not the greatest video ever.  "Stagger Lee" is not a cover, not really.  The character of Stagger Lee is actually from a legend, or a tall tale, he's actually based on a real criminal and all around bad-ass named Lee Shelton who was born in 1865.  The most famous version of the folk song is by Lloyd Price and it was a hit in the 50's.




Two completely different songs right?

Right.

Excuse me while I continue my musical odyssey.