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.  

Monday, February 13, 2017

Ugh - Pre Valentine's Day Up-chuck-Date

Sometimes the point of having a blog is that it's a place where you can jot your thoughts down, and perhaps someone else might read them and either confirm or deny that you are in fact mentally insane.  Or just f--king crazy.  One of the two.

So working update, Wednesday will mark the close of my 3rd official week as a Postmates courier.  So far so good.  I've made some money, got some nice tips.  It's a good thing FOR NOW.  Gets me out of the house and keeps me active with enough in between time to feel like I'm still independent and doing my own thing.  Right now I'm on day 20, and I actually have driven 14 of those 20 days, and half of the days that I didn't drive happened in the first week alone.  So in the last two weeks I've missed a total of 3 days of driving.   On average I make about $10 per delivery.  But it's all about the averages.  Because not every day is going to have a fantastic tip.  My average is about one and one-half deliveries per hour.  Again on average.  So you can see what my hourly rate is by simple math, and yeah it's not the greatest.  But for now it's what I can live with.

I do feel like I am in control of how much money I want to make, and it does seem to be about as much effort as I want to give multiplied by the demand for delivery on a given day in the North Hollywood/Studio City/Burbank corridor divided by the vagaries of the weather.  I've noticed on days filled with good weather people don't want delivery as much, unless it's a Friday.  Rainy days get better tips and more orders.  The amount of tip has nothing so much to do with the complication of the order, the length of time it takes to get it to them, nor the friendliness of the delivery driver.  It appears to have no rhyme or reason at all.

I'll say this, as with my own personal tipping, if I can afford a service where tipping is appropriate, then by all means I tip according to service quality.  If I'm getting a two-dollar cup of coffee at Starbucks that I'm not a regular at, I can't afford to tip.  Generally though I don't get a $2 cup of coffee from Starbucks, I get a $1.29 refill at 7-11 from their cappucinno machine.  Every 7th refill is free even.

Which brings me to Valentine's Day.

I hate Valentine's Day.  Even when I had a Valentine, I hated it.  Because it was always a big deal.  She always wanted the Hallmark Valentines Days that we maybe had in the beginning, and more and more I looked at it like a piece of shit holiday made up to make money off of poor suckers.  This year, as you know if you're bothering to read this, I'm alone and have no Valentine to celebrate with other than my beautiful daughter Kaylee.  As I say, I have no ROMANTIC Valentine.  For the second year in a row.  I'm OK with it I guess.  Sure I'd like to be out there dating someone nice and have something special to do tomorrow.  But I'm not there yet.

I'm not even remotely close to being there yet.  And that sucks in a number of ways as well.

See I'm not feeling good enough about myself and my situation to be able to embody my actions with that amazing charismatic thoughts and feelings that would come out to be something that would attract a romantic interest.  Not beating around the bush with fancy words, I don't feel pretty enough or worthy enough of love.

I am back to the feelings of that I'll never have another relationship like the one I had with my wife.  With is of course on the face of it 100% true.  I had BETTER not having another relationship like the one I've had with Melissa since June of 2000.  There are parts of it that I'd like to have replicated, but then other parts that can be left aside.  I certainly don't ever want to have to relive the last two years of the marriage but I'd say that at least 70% of the 13 years that made up our relationship prior to the last two years was pretty good most of the time.

Seems like "pretty good" is all I'm allowed to get or be.  Not great, not spectacular, just "pretty good" - slightly above average.  A C+ or a B- in school.

So I'll work tomorrow morning after I drop Kaylee off at school.  I do kind of expect at least one delivery of cookies, cake, something sweet, or flowers.  I really don't want to have to deliver flowers tomorrow though.  I guess I'll have Kaylee stay after school if it gets busy.  I'm definitely going to cut off before the rush hour though, my understanding is that delivery is pretty dead between 3 pm and 5 pm on weekdays normally anyway.

I'm getting to know the new area I live in, so that's a plus.  Delivery driving is definitely a good way to rapid-fire learn the street system.  And no map program is perfect anyway.  Apple Maps works seamlessly with the Postmates app.  So that's a plus.  Even still I get lost and turned around sometimes.

Trying not to make a big deal out of February 14.  I mean last year we were in complete limbo, this year it's over and we're both moving on.  She's moving on faster than I am.  But it's not a race supposedly.

Written 3 columns for the Pro Wrestling Torch website about the Topps WWE Slam Trading Card App.  So that's something.  I need to write a 4th article tomorrow or Wednesday.  I'm a little burnt out on Wrestling at the moment.  Didn't watch RAW tonight.





Monday, January 16, 2017

Birthday Musings

I turned 46 years old today.  My last couple of birthdays have, well, sucked even though my birthday is on a holiday, and I rarely have to work.  Last year because my wife and I were in the middle of breaking up (for good it turns out) I was pretty much depressed and didn't feel like celebrating.

I was hoping this year would be different.  But my Mom got sick yesterday and can't celebrate with us.  I basically planned to go to Dave and Busters with my daughter and have as much fun as possible, and so that's what we did.  But the thing is, my daughter is 10 and she has a way of making everything about herself.

Maybe it was my fault for letting her stay up late last night, but she didn't get home from being with her Mom and Grandma Pat until almost 8 PM and she had just gotten back a bunch of toys and stuff that had been in storage for almost a year, plus no school today.  It was a perfect storm.

I've been going to bed too late, mostly because I'm still trying to adjust to Kaylee's new school schedule.  So after sending her to bed way too close to Midnight, I was up for another couple of hours.  All I wanted to do this morning was sleep.  Unfortunately my 10 year old wanted me to wake up at the crack of dawn with her and start celebrating.  She just couldn't understand that on MY day all I wanted to do was relax.  So I finally allowed her to make me breakfast in bed (waffles, yummy) and coffee,
Waffles!
which I had to ask for several times.  Then after opening her presents to me (3x Hot Wheels), I decided to try to get a little more shut-eye since Dave and Busters wasn't going to be open until much later.  But between Kaylee and the cat, I wasn't allowed to get much rest.  I swear every ten minutes one or both of them decided that I didn't need to sleep.  Even after multiple scoldings Kaylee still kept bugging me.

So I finally get up about 12:30 PM and go to take a shower.  I tell Kaylee to get ready to go, but does she?  No.  She messes around and dawdles and still isn't ready by the time I was out of the shower and ready to go.  This is after bugging me all morning to get going.  It's like no matter what I tell her she just does the opposite.

We finally get out of the house and on the road.  Decided to check out a different D&B in Arcadia instead of Hollywood, so the drive is about 30 minutes.  No problem.  Parking is tight, the mall is crowded on the holiday Monday, but we find a place and make our way to the arcade.  After waiting for what seems like 10 minutes to reload my power card, we're off to the games.  But first I'm wanting an adult beverage, and I get Kaylee as slushee too.  For the next two hours we try to have fun.  I say try because despite telling my daughter several times that we're going to play what I wanted to play and that we were going to play ticket games, she pouts when we don't play what she wants.  I even let her choose a couple games, but she continues to pout.  After all our credits are pretty much gone she starts to exhibit more poutiness.  I know she's only 10, but I've been reminding her all day that today was my one day for myself, and that after this morning's behavior she needed to be on her best behavior.

We end up with just over 1200 tickets, just enough for about a $10 trinket.  She told me earlier that she was going to let ME choose whatever I wanted, but the first thing she does is decide that she wants a donut plush that would take up over half our tickets.  When I told her that's not happening she sulks.  I decide on a cool Superman Pint Glass that leave about 150 tickets left over, and I tell her she gets a candy.  Fine, she chooses pixie sticks, pure sugar.  Lovely.

Now I've never been to this particular mall before, so I'm wanting to check it out, especially since there's a Daiso and a couple other cool stores there.  But by now I've got a pouty, tired and whiney child on my hands.  This is not turning out to be a good birthday, and to try to get her to change her attitude, I tell her that her behavior has been inappropriate thus far and that I was tired of hearing her whine and pout today.  We'd already been in a couple stores where she pointed out thing that she wanted, and I had warned her that we weren't there to buy her things today and to stop asking.  Doesn't sink in at all, because that's all she keeps doing.  Until finally I've had enough.  I sit her down by herself and tell her that she's really making my day miserable and that I've had enough of her behavior and to knock off the pouting, whining and the selfish behavior.

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful.  We hit up Daiso and I buy a few things for the house.  And yes, she did get some small items today, in fact she got quite a few small things today, including: a couple of Five Nights at Freddy's stickers, a cool color your self folder for school, a ring eraser and a doll outfit.  I bought myself a building block light kit.  That's it.
Here's what I got for my birthday - I bought everything except the three Hot Wheels.

I don't even get to choose what I really want for dinner because she's tired and just wants to hit a drive through.  We got Taco Bell.

I love my daughter, I really do, and I usually spoil her to no end.  I missed her when she was with her Mom this weekend, and I didn't really do anything for myself this weekend because I wanted to save my money to have a good day with my daughter (and I was hoping my Mom too), but that didn't happen.  So two years in a row, my birthday pretty much sucked.

I did get to have two glasses of Guiness and a great shot the bartender made me for my special day at D&B.  So there's that.  I guess at my age I don't get to enjoy birthdays anymore.  I guess next year I just won't even try.

I did get almost 50 people wishing me a happy birthday on Facebook, and that's always awesome.  I love my FB friends.  Especially since I'm so choosy about who I friend (you may notice 95% of my friends are people I know in real life).  I don't mean to be this whiney either.  I know I have a lot of people who love and care about me and my family.  But honestly I don't feel all that special today.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Why am I so Emotional?

Males are taught, mostly by their fathers, not to show emotion.  At least in Western Culture that's the paradigm.  I don't remember my father crying much, the rare occasions that I did were important and I remember them vividly.  The day John Lennon died in December 1980 was one such moment.

I've cried a lot over the last year.  Over a great many things.  My marriage, my being alone, the emotions that come over me when watching something particularly filled with gravitas on TV, and sometimes just being with my beautiful daughter makes me cry.

I've been thinking about death a lot this year.  Sometimes wishing it would come to me to end this cycle of pain.  I won't lie, I wanted to die on more than one occasion this year.  I thought about killing myself.  I planned on how to do it.  But I didn't go beyond that.  I have a lot to live for.  I have a daughter who relies on me to be her Daddy, and I want to see her grow up.  I couldn't take my own life and cause the huge amount of emotional pain to my loved ones.

My path is not clear.  But it certainly seems to be better than the alternative.  So I sally forth.

Really I'm OK.

I'm hanging in.