Sticking around a while


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(I almost regret drawing this now)

I haven’t written much here recently, mostly because I’ve been so busy.  My life seems to have been caught up in some kind of whirlwind that has been propelling it forward at 4x the normal speed.  So many good and bad things that it would take about five posts just to summarize it all.

That said, I have some good news to report.

After He Who Shall Not Be Named became president elect, it really felt like my country had suddenly become a place I was afraid to live in.  Not because I’m one of the many who are literally threatened by his proposals, I’m fortunate enough to have the ‘right’ skin color and gender, but because of the people who look like me that supported him.  And, would you want your tax dollars going to that asshole?

But it’s not just that.  For the past five months I’ve been working on a book about spirituality and life.  As an agnostic (basically someone spiritual without a specific religion), I became obsessed with writing something that would basically be a bible for people like me.  I was making a lot of progress and was really, really excited about where it was going.  It’s a totally new way of looking at life and death, at being open minded and appreciating diversity.  In a lot of ways it’s a really beautiful set of concepts that I think could unite people around positivity instead of dividing them.

The thing is, He Who Shall Not Be Named actively goes against every single part of my new ‘religion’.  Literally, point for point, that asshole violated every guiding idea that I came up with.  It’s all about truth, equality, and being accepting of those with differences.  Half the time he violated all of those in a single tweet.  That’s terrifying.

I couldn’t sleep the night of the election.  I was horrified.  Not only was this country a far, far scarier place than I ever imagined… A MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE VOTED AGAINST EVERY PRINCIPLE I HOLD DEAR.

I almost threw away my book, my cherished project.

I wanted to leave the country, after throwing up everything I had ever eaten.  I wanted to crawl in a hole in some far part of the world and hide, hoping the end of days would miss me.

That feeling lasted for two days.  I was shopping for cheap property in Canada.  Not kidding.  I’ve been to Canada a number of times, it’s a truly amazing place that deserves a lot more recognition than it gets.  I’d consider that an upgrade in almost every way.  Did you see how awesome they’ve been with the Syrian immigrants?  Makes me tear up.

But then I had this thought.  The only reason that He Who Shall Not Be Named got elected is because of fear.  A lot of people who are normally smart and kind allowed fear to blind them to the obvious faults of someone who never should have even been in the running for political office.  They allowed fear to mislead them.

Which meant, if I let fear of the future influence my decisions, I would just be promoting the same mistake.

So, instead, I decided to stay and fight.  Not with fists or even words, but with love and compassion.  I’m going to try to live up to my own ideals and continue to promote them.

I picked up my book and kept writing.  I also made a few phone calls to various charities to see what I could do to make the world a better place.

That’s where the good news comes in.

This week, I heard back from my favorite of the organizations.  Without naming them, they support a lot of people that have earned it and really need it.  They’d like my help organizing a new program to spread their message and raise funds.  I’m ridiculously excited because the program is really cool, the charity is amazing, and I’ll get to help out one of most deserving groups of people.

I guess the message is this, no matter how scary the world might seem, no matter how bad things look, it’s worth sticking around and standing up for what we believe in.  And every one of us, no matter our talent or ability, are still capable of improving someone else’s life and making the world a better place.

That asshole doesn’t represent me, what I do represents me.

O.M.F.G.


I genuinely don’t know how to write any of this because, quite literally, the possibility never occurred to me… but somehow the unthinkable seems to have happened.  Not just unthinkable, un-fucking-fathomable.  You might imagine me perched over a type writer, fingernails chewed to the quick, trying to think of witty one-liners, but the truth is I just feel hollow.  Gutted.  It feels like this is all a form of mass hysteria, as though there’s still a chance to wake up in the morning and find out this all one sick dream.  Please, god, if you grant a single prayer in this poor agnostic man’s life, let this all be one really bad dream.

I would probably be crying right now if I wasn’t so fucking scared, and fear is barely winning the war over shame at this point.  I am so fucking ashamed of my country tonight.  And, as a veteran, I don’t say that lightly.

If this somehow isn’t mass hysteria, or a really bad dream, or a fucked up episode of Punked… all I can do is apologize to the world.  I am truly, desperately sorry that this shit is happening.  This makes Americans look fucking awful, I know.  I can only say that most of us are sane, decent human beings… or at least I thought so until today.  As cynical as I claim to be, at heart I believe the true nature of human beings revolves around kindness and generosity.  In my book, those are the core principles of humanity – kindness and generosity, especially toward our fellow human beings.  That something like this could have happened seriously shakes my faith in humanity, and that isn’t some blogger hyperbole.  Tonight is a night that needs no exaggeration.  Fellow Americans broke my heart in way I hadn’t thought possible.

I went to the polls, I held my nose and voted for the only candidate.  I did what I could, so I refuse to take a full portion of the blame for what’s to come… and there will be a lot of blame being thrown around in the years to come.

To the next generation, I apologize.  Shit just got a lot worse for you, I know.  Us parents, and our parents before us, had already done a pretty good job fucking up the world for you, I guess this is just the icing on the proverbial apocalyptic cake.  If we hadn’t left you with an impossible future before, it’s certainly a magnitude closer now.

At this late hour on the end of a psychedelic, bad trip of a day I’ll leave you all with one last, sad premonition: Unfortunately, my fellow Americans, almost all of us are going to live long enough to profoundly regret not doing more to prevent this from happening.

Belated Update


**Slightly drunk. Be gentle.**

So, I’ve been meaning to post an update for a while but for that to happen there has to be a pause in the action long enough to write shit down.  That hasn’t really happened.  Well, actually I’ve had a few moments here and there, but that time has been spent desperately trying to recharge my batteries so that I might be able to make it through another day.

On the good side, I’m in a relationship that makes me happier than I have been in a long time.  But don’t worry, my curmudgeonly side has been well fed by pretty much everything else.

On the negative side, I kind of feel my personal happiness has somehow upset the balance of the universe and tilted it against me.  Other than the girlfriend, pretty much everything else in my life has turned into a country song…

I lost my dog…

I lost my truck (car)…

I lost my health…

I lost my job…

I lost my house…

I lost my kid…

That’s only a slight exaggeration.  Most of those things aren’t totally lost, just about 75% destroyed.  Not to the point of no return, but close.  And they aren’t resolved yet, so things could still get worse.

I don’t expect that all to make sense, I’m just venting.  If the universe is listening, I could use a break.

When it rains… (update)


In my effort to tell a fairly short, somewhat amusing story I left out a lot of important things and didn’t get into detail on others.  As such, I’m a little concerned that people are getting the wrong idea -which is mostly my fault since I’m the one trying to tell the story.  I think it was the tone, it was light and silly where I should have had more variance.

So, for a moment, lets back up to before Stephanie came to visit.

Oh yeah, my dog died.  My constant companion through thick and thin, my best bud, my awesome rescue buddy that definitely saved me more than I saved her.  It’s hard to describe the intensity of the grief and loneliness that I’ve been going through for months.  Not only that, my dog was an important part of my relationship with both Jane and Stephanie, though I don’t particularly want to go into that right now.

I still have a memorial on my kitchen counter, photos and toys and things.  You can imagine how Stephanie felt seeing the toys she’d bought, the conversations we had about the dog, etc.  It wasn’t easy.

The first night that Stephanie was here I 100% planned on sleeping on the couch and giving her the bed.  And that’s how we started out the night.

But here’s the thing with loneliness/depression (whatever mental stuff is going on), you can distract yourself all day but those five minutes before you fall asleep are the worst.  I was just staring at the ceiling of the living room, feeling so sad and alone… but there’s this other human being, who’s kind and understanding, not ten feet away in the bedroom.

I went into the bedroom to cuddle.  Seriously.  I couldn’t stand having someone that close and still feeling that alone.  And one thing led to another…

Like I said, I knew she was a bad candidate for FWB.  But I couldn’t help myself.  I couldn’t.  I kind of played it off like it was a guy thing in pt 1 but that was a small part of the equation.  I was trying for light and funny rather than depressing.

And hopefully that gives you all a better idea how all this happened.

When it rains… pt 2


(You can read part one here.  Quick summary: I slept with my best friend, Stephanie, while she was visiting, might have messed up that relationship.)

After I broke up with Stephanie last year I realized I wasn’t in a place for relationships.  Mentally, emotionally… with the impending move and everything, I just couldn’t do it.

But I didn’t want to be celibate either.

Enter Jane. Continue reading

When it rains… pt 1


So, I’m not entirely sure how it happened but in a few short weeks my life went from simple, easy, and predictable to something very different.

I’m really tempted at this point to copy and paste some of the text conversations to illustrate what’s going on… but I’m not sure anyone would believe me.  Without understanding the backstory and the ladies involved, I wouldn’t believe it either.

Let’s rewind a few weeks and lay it all out in order. Continue reading

Just Another Night


So, I have a bunch of stuff I should probably write about, I’ve even started several posts, but I just had an interesting experience and I want to write about it.

Tonight was my first philosophy class.  Woohoo, I know.  It’s really cool that I got back into school.  Anyway, the class didn’t start until late so I didn’t get back home until late.

I pulled into my parking spot about ten o’clock at night.  As I walked toward the apartment building I noticed that there was a light on in the car beside mine.  It wasn’t a big light, it was almost invisible from outside the car, it was one of the little ones for the back seat in a sedan, but it was definitely on.

Now, I don’t know where you grew up, so what I’m about to say might sound weird, but in my home town if you see something like that you make sure to say something about it.  Where I’m from, a dead car battery is, no shit, a life or death situation.  And with the cold temperatures, someone leaving their headlights on (or dome lights, or whatever) can kill a battery way faster than you might think.  Sometimes it only takes ten minutes and the car won’t start.

But where I live now it’s definitely not a life or death situation.

I hesitated, I’ll admit it.  It was late at night, I didn’t know those neighbors, and most modern cars have circuits that will turn off lights before the battery dies.

((A quick side note: the reason I don’t know these neighbors is because they’re renters that just moved in.  That unit has a really high turn over rate.))

I only hesitated for a moment though.

Now, nobody likes having a stranger show up on their doorstep after 10 o’clock at night.  I know that.  I also know what’s worse than having a stranger show up after 10 o’clock is having a big, strange, white dude with a shaved head and tattoos show up.  (What made it slightly easier for me was I’d just come from class and was dressed nicely, a polo shirt instead of my usual black T.)

Another relevant detail, while we live in a gated apartment complex the neighborhood outside gets pretty sketchy when the sun goes down.  We all lock our doors.

So, with all that in mind, I struck a pose as submissive and apologetic as I could and knocked on the neighbor’s door.  This is America, I assume everyone has a gun.  And, honestly, I’m one of the most easy going dudes you’ll ever meet but if I was home with my family and some stranger knocked on the door after 10 I’d be tempted to answer with gun behind my back.  So, as the person knocking, I want to try and put whoever answers the door to ease as quick as I can.

A very cautious, young, black woman answered.  Now, I knew that the reinforced screen door (“bad” neighborhood) was locked because I tried to open it so I could knock when I realized they didn’t have a door bell, so I wasn’t surprised when she opened the inner door but made no motion towards the outer door.  Smart woman.

From her body language I’m sure she was alone.

I quickly apologized for interrupting her evening and explained that there was a light on in her car.  She looked like she was still in shock over having a white dude on her porch, either that or she thought I was trying to pull something over on her, so I ended up explaining the car-light-battery thing a couple times.

It was a very quick conversation.  When I was sure she understood what I was talking about I said good night and turned to leave.

I was listening for it, she didn’t leave her apartment to check the car until I was halfway to my place.  She wasn’t going to step outside until she was sure I wasn’t anywhere near her door.  Smart girl.

Now, part of me found this whole thing totally ridiculous and at the same time totally justifiable.  It’s almost hard to explain.

I was trying to do this family a favor… but I was scared I might get shot for being a strange dude knocking at night… and she’s scared because there’s a strange dude knocking at night.  (The Luis C.K. joke comes to mind, “Men are the worst thing that ever happened to women.”)

For both of our safety we have to do this established dance.  I make sure I leave at least an arms length between me and the door so I’m not in their face immediately, keep my hands visible, communicate clearly and make no moves that might be taken as too assertive or aggressive.  For her part, keeping a locked door between me and her, making sure she didn’t leave any openings or vulnerabilities, waiting for me to leave before opening the door, etc.

I mean, those are the kinds of practical precautions that I would teach my son or daughter – for both sides of the situation.  I did what I could to keep a potentially tense situation from escalating, she answered the door but took practical precautions.  It makes sense.

And yet, at the same time, it’s really kind of ridiculous that a two second favor requires that dance.  It seems silly but I can’t think of an easy alternative.  Ridiculous but justifiable.

Just had to share.

 

Shitty day


I’ve been collecting thoughts about grief today, writing down all the crap I’ve been through in the last two weeks.  Eventually that will be a post, probably, but I need to write about today… well, today.

Losing Georgia was, and to a large degree still is, devastating.  She was such a huge part of my life, every part of it every day, her loss left a huge hole.  I was seriously a fucking mess for the first week.  There was the whole roller coaster of emotion, my head was a pit, I could hardly get through the days.

My ongoing mantra was: It’s okay to be sad, just don’t let it control you.  (I’ve had problems with alcohol and loss before, I wanted to make sure I didn’t repeat those patterns.  And I haven’t.) Continue reading

Just a quick note to say…


This has been a horrible, shitty, no good, very bad, terrible week.  The worst week I’ve had in a long time.  I feel like I’m falling apart.

My dog died.

Seriously.

It was very sudden and totally unexpected… and completely devastating.  Super Dog has been the most important part of my day to day life since I adopted her from the Humane Society.  Best dog ever, I couldn’t have asked for a better girl.  She was there for me all day, every day, with a wag in her tail and a smile on her face for the last three years.  It’s barely been two days and I can’t even put into words what it feels like that she isn’t here anymore.

I’m going to write a long memorial post for her probably later this week.  I write, that’s how I process and remember the big stuff.  I wouldn’t blame you if you weren’t up for reading it, I imagine I’ll be sobbing the whole time I’m writing it, but it’s going to happen.

R.I.P. Super Dog

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A Little Tease


This afternoon I was at a coffee shop with a friend.  It’s a weekly thing we do, just to get together.

This week, at the table next to us was a beautiful, older woman.  Where we were, in that area, right outside the college, there are always a ton of young, hot women around.   Granted, she was a bit older than the usual college crowd but nothing that far out of the ordinary.  Both me and the friend are single but that’s not why we go there, it’s just a convenient location, it does make for fun scenery though.

This woman was one of those almost ageless types.  The kind where you have to give a generous range when trying to guess an age.  I’d have to say, somewhere between mid-40’s and early-60’s.  Seriously, it could be anywhere in those two decades.  Mature but hot and in terrific shape.

So, I kept half an eye on her while she was there.  I try and go for “appreciative of a beautiful woman” and polite rather than “leering” but it’s hard to judge one’s own behavior.  PG on the outside, whatever NC17 stuff is going on inside my head.

About half an hour after she arrived she opened up some boxes she brought with her.  I thought maybe she’d just finished some shopping and was looking at her purchases but then she started setting things up.  Some speakers, a little projector, a laptop.

She had even less technical know-how than I have, so I ended up helping her.  All the while I wondered why anyone would be setting up speakers and a projector in the middle of a coffee shop, but I put that question aside while helping her find outlets and the right cords.

Best guess, this woman was a little younger than my mom, probably early to mid 50’s, blonde, leggy, and attractive as hell.  She was wearing this sun dress that clung to every curve, and she had some nice curves.

We chatted a little bit, she was really nice.  I was tempted to put some moves on until I found out what she was doing…

With permission from the owners, she was showing an educational film about the wonders of having child birth at home… and those of use in that area of the coffee shop were warned that the film was quite graphic…

In a coffee shop.  At four o’clock on a week day.

Yeah, that’s a quick libido killer.

Me and my friend made some quick goodbyes and beat feet out of there.

Too bad, I liked her.  There’s just no way I could sleep with a woman who goes around to coffee shops and shows movies like that.  Nothing against the movies themselves, or the ideas behind them, but that’s just too much for me.