Pointless Inquisition

It’s been quite some time since I sat down and subjected myself to a dazzling array of pointless questions, but for some reason I love doing these. Maybe because it gives me a chance to flex my sarcasm muscles. Or maybe I’m just a masochist. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

1. Last beverage:

Photo by Toni Cuenca on Pexels.com

2. Last phone call:
Was entertaining, to say the least.

3. Last song you listened to:
Red Cold River – Breaking Benjamin

4. Last time you cried:
A few weeks ago. I was going through old home videos and some videos with mom came on and…well, you know….

5. Have you dated someone twice:
Ugh, yes. C’s mom. Evidently, I’m an idiot. (a recurring theme from these answers for some reason)

6. Have you ever been cheated on:
I don’t know for certain, but I would not be shocked to find out it happened.

7. Kissed someone & regretted it:
Absolutely. Something about my kisses brings out the crazy in some people, apparently.

8. Have you lost someone special:
Aunts, Uncles, and grandparents, but the hardest was mommy.

9. What are your three favorite colors:
1. I
2. Don’t
3. Know
Seriously, I don’t have favorites of anything. Well, probably most things.

10. Met someone who changed you in the past month:
I haven’t worn diapers since I was like 2, so no….

11. Kissed anyone on your friends list:
Well, yeah…

12. How many kids do you want:
I love my children and the bonus children I’ve helped raise over the past 25 or so years, but no more, please. I can’t handle any more.

13. Do you want any pets:
Aside from my children? No. I like dogs, but not a fan of cleaning up their crap, so I’m good.

14. Do you want to change your name:
Why would I do that? I’ve gone 45 years with this one so I’m dug-in at this point. If I changed it I’d probably forget to answer to it, honestly

15. What did you do for your last birthday:
Tried to go to a hibachi place only to find out it was closed. There was a sports bar next to it I hadn’t tried, so went there instead. To my great surprise, there was a drag show planned that night to celebrate pride month. It was…interesting.

16. What time did you wake up today:
Right after my alarm went off. Twice.

17. Name something you CANNOT wait for:
Bed time. Sleeeeeeeeeeepyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy…

18. Last time you saw your mother:
A few days after she passed…

19. Most visited webpage:
Google, duh. All knowledge is held there.

20. Nicknames:
Dad, daddy, hey you, dumb ass. You know, it depends who’s addressing me.

21. Relationship status:
All alone…

22. Zodiac sign:

23. Male or female:
I refuse to be defined by my genitalia!

24. Height:
With or without my shoes on? This is important, ya know.

25. Do you have a crush on someone:
What is this, high school? Should I be passing notes in class? Is that even a thing anymore? I guess kids just message each other on Snapchat these days. Check yes or no…

26. Piercings:
Confuse me. I’ve never looked at any part of my body and thought, “You know, this skin here needs more holes in it.”

27. Tattoos:
Look great on other people…most of the time. Not for me, though. Permanent choices have yet to end up permanent for me, so if I did get a tattoo it’d probably divorce me.

28. Strong or Weak:
Me? My coffee? My will? My desire to throat-punch stupid people? Please be more specific.


29. First surgery:
2nd grade to remove excess scar tissue from my half-recovered lost fingertip.

30. First best friend:
Southern Comfort, tbh.

31. First sport you joined:
Teeball, I think. I don’t know. I was a kid and that was a long time ago. I have trouble remembering what happened 40 minutes ago, let alone 40 years.

32. First vacation:
Erm, either Tawas City or Sunset Beach. Unless you count trips to Grandma’s house. If you count those then, you know, that, obviously.

33. First school:
Some preschool near Toledo whose name I probably couldn’t guess with 100 tries.

34. First pair of trainers:
Erm…wtf are we talking about here?


35. Lips or eyes:
Depends on whose lips or eyes we’re referring to.

36. Hugs or kisses:
Why does one have to be better than the other? I like them both equally. Remember? No favorites.

37. Shorter or taller:
Like, are you asking if it’s better if I’m shorter or taller or if someone else is? Let’s just make everyone the same height so we don’t have to worry about this question.

38. Older or younger:
Younger may be more physically fit, but older has more experience. That probably doesn’t really answer the question, but that’s what I’m going with

39. Romantic or spontaneous:
Spontaneous. Romance is a day-dream of the selfish.

40. Sensitive or loud:
Sensitive. Loud hurts my ears.

41. Hook-up or relationship:
Relationship. I don’t want anything as superficial as a temporary place to, erm, sheeth my sword.

42. Shy or outgoing:
I’m extremely shy and reserved and that makes it harder to form connections, so outgoing is definely better in most cases.


43. Kissed a stranger:
Define stranger. I mean, I’ve kissed on a first date. Are they still a stranger at that point?

44. Gotten a speeding ticket:
I maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay have a bit of a lead foot. When I first got my license I got so many speeding tickets that I nearly had my license suspended. I’m not quite so aggressive a driver these days.

45. Lost glasses/contacts:
Not yet. Don’t jinx me!!

46. Sex on first date:
Uhhhh….does not compute….

47. Broken someone’s heart:
Unfortunately. It’s a shitty feeling, too. I don’t ever want to hurt someone, but when it’s not working it’s not working.

48. Been arrested:
Not yet. Does that mean I’m innocent or that I just haven’t been caught? I’ll let you decide.

49. Have you turned someone down:
Yeah, that’s not fun, either.

50. Fallen for a friend:
Not that I recall. Oh, wait. Yeah. A long time ago. When I finally got the courage to say something to her I was shot down. Oh, well. Probably for the best anyhow.

51. Moved out of town:
I’ve moved out of several towns. I’m sort of a pro at it.


52. Miracles:
Not really. Things may seem miraculous sometimes, but really it’s either coincidence or fortune…or both.

53. Love at first sight:
Not in a romantic sense, no. However, I’ve loved each of my children since the moment I laid eyes on them.

54. Heaven:
I honestly have no clue what to believe in that regard. I was raised in church and as hard as it is for me to admit sometimes, I don’t feel like I live in a world created by a god I was raised to believe in. I’d like to think there is and that mom is watching me from among the clouds, but I just don’t know.

55. Santa Claus:
I’ll keep the facade going until C stops believing. Until then Santa is real.

56. Kiss on the first date:
I mean, I’ve done it before so….I guess so.

57. Angels:
See the answer to 54.

58. Yourself:
In some respects. I believe that, professionally, I can achieve anything I attempt. In my personal life I question everything. Am I a good person? A good father? A good son? A good friend? When I try to convince myself the answer is yes to those questions something deep inside me tells me I’m not. However, the opposite happens if ask myself if I’m an awful person. So I guess I’m just floating around in the middle of everything, unsure of anything.


59. Had more than 1 girlfriend/boyfriend at a time:
Hell no. One woman is more than enough to deal with. Why would I stress myself out like that?

60. Been in love with someone you couldn’t be with?:
Yup. It sucks ass.

61. Ever cheated on somebody:

62. If you could go back in time, how far would you go?:
I’d go back to last night and make myself go to bed on time. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz….

63. Are you afraid of falling in love:
Yes. The sudden stop at the end is excruciating.

64. Was your last relationship a mistake?
I wouldn’t say that. It didn’t work out in the end, but there were a lot of good times. Things just…changed.

65. Do you miss your last relationship?
Not really.

66. Who did you last say “i love you” to?
My little man.

67. Have you ever been depressed?
Damn near daily. Been a battle since I was a teenager. Like a horrifying roller coaster that doesn’t stop.

68. Are you insecure?
Absolutely. I am extremely insecure about my appearance and personality. I can’t see any of the good qualities others see me. Except for my sense of humor. I’m fucking hilarious.

69. How do you want to die?
I don’t, duh. Why would I want that?

70. Do you bite your nails?
Nope, only my food.

71. When was your last physical fight?
A few days ago. It was an epic battle, but in the end that fly never stood a chance.

72. Do you have an attitude?
Everyone has an attitude. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is up to interpretation, though. My attitude is sarcastic, perhaps even caustically so, and somewhere between positive and negative. I consider myself a realist.

73. Twirl or cut your spaghetti?

74. Do you tan a lot?
I don’t go to tanning booths or anything stupid like that, but if I’m outside for a day or so I’ll brown.

75. Ever eaten food in a car while someone or you are driving?
Yes, I’ve been on a road trip before…

76. Ever made out in a bathroom?
Well, yeah. When there are kids in the house you sneak those moments whenever you can.

77. Would you take any of your exes back?

78. Would you go back in time if you were given the chance?
Didn’t we already ask this question? I’d go back to the first time I answered this question so I can see what my answer is.

79. What are your plans for this weekend?
Hell if I know. That’s a long time from now.

80. Do you type fast?
Fast enough. Did you see how quickly I typed that answer up?

81. Can you spell well?
W-E-L-L. What do I win?

82: What are you craving right now?
Nothing in particular, but my tummy just grumbled at me so I suppose I should eat something.

83. Have you ever been on a horse?
Sure, but it just sat there. I didn’t have any quarters to put in it.

84. Would you live with someone without marrying them?
Why would I marry anyone I lived with?

85. What’s irritating you right now?
The fact that I have lived with someone without marrying them. Did I miss the memo on that?

86. Have you ever liked someone so much that it hurts?
I think if liking someone hurt I’d do whatever I could to, you know, not like them.

87. Does somebody love you?
My children do. I think…

88. Have you ever changed clothes in a car?
I don’t think so?

89. Milk chocolate or white chocolate?
Chocolate!! White chocolate is kinda gross…

90. Do you have trust issues?
Absolutely. Once you’ve gotten a hamburger from McDonald’s that’s actually just a condiment sandwich (no meat) you learn not to take things at face-value.

91. Longest relationship?
9 long years.

92: Do you believe your most recent ex thinks about you?
I hope not. She should move on and work on making herself happy.

93. Have you ever walked outside in your PJs?
Well, yeah. To pick up a delivery off the porch or something. I don’t go out places in my PJs because I’m classy.

94. Do you believe everything happens for a reason?
I used to, but not any more. There are just no good, logical reasons for some of the awful shit that happens to some of us.

95. Did you have dream last night?
If I did it’s been scrubbed from my memory. Perhaps my subconscious is trying to protect me from itself?

96. Have you ever been out of state?
I’ve been out of several states…

97. Do you play the Wii?
This must be an old list of questions….

98. Do you like Chinese food?
Absolutely. Who knew you could prepare chicken in so many different ways?

99. Are you afraid of the dark?
Not the dark itself, only what’s hiding in it.

100. Is cheating ever okay?
NO. If you wanna sleep around then don’t get in a fucking relationship.

101. What year has been your best?
Erm…idk. I guess a toss-up between 1999 and 2011. Duplicates of me were born in both years.

102. Do you believe in true love?
Yes, I’ve had pumpkin pie before.

103. Favorite weather?
Chilly fall weather so I can wear hoodies, drink coffee all day, and eat chilli for dinner. And watch FOOTBALL.

104. Do you like the snow?
Abso-frickin’-lutely. I will hit you with as many snowballs as I can make.

105. Do you like the outside?
Not in the summer when it’s sweltering hot and there are pesky bugs everywhere.

106. Is it cute when a boy/girl calls you baby?
Uhhhh….idk. I don’t think I’ve ever been called that.

107. Have you ever made out for more than a half hour straight?
Well, yeah. Why do you wanna know, you perv!

108. What makes you happy?
Seeing my children happy and laughing.

109. Ever been to Alaska?
I wish! I’d love to move to Alaska and get away from these stupid-hot summers.

110. Ever been to Hawaii?
Nope. Tell me what I’m missing.

111. Do you watch the news?
Nope. It has a negative impact on my mental health.

112. Do you love MTV?
I did when I was 12 and they actually played music videos. I haven’t really given a shit about it since 1994, though.

113. Do you like subway?
Spicy Italian, FTW!

114 Would it be hard to kiss the last person you kissed?
Not in the slightest.

115. Your best friend of the opposite sex likes you, what do you do?
Well, I get over my shock and ask this kind lady her name since I had no clue I had a best friend of the opposite sex.

116. Why did you decide to do this quiz?
Cause I’m waiting for updates to finish on this server and I’m bored…

117. Have you ever seen someone you knew and purposely avoided them?
All the time. I’m awkward in public and don’t know how to interact with people I randomly run into.

118. Do you have a friend of the opposite sex who you can act your complete self around?
Yeah, there’s a couple at work who get my irreverent sense of humor.

119. Who was the last person of the opposite sex you talked to?
A coworker.

120. Who was the last person you had a deep conversation with?
Uhhhhhhh….I haven’t the slightest clue. Probably my psychiatrist, I guess.

121. Ever bought condoms?
Nope. My ex-wife did that for me if/when I needed them.

122. Ever gotten pregnant?
Well, I’ve given birth to several food babies….

123. Have you ever slipped on ice?
Of course I have, I live in the midwest.

124 Have you ever missed the bus?
I’ve never even thrown anything at the bus.

125. Have you left the house without money?
Every day. I don’t keep cash on me.

126. Have you ever smoked cigarettes?
Nope. I’ve never understood the concept behind seeing something burn and thinking, “I need to inhale that.”

127. Have you ever smoked a cigar?
See the previous question, please. Stop repeating yourself.

128. Did you ever drink alcohol?
Oh, shit. Way too much over the past 10 years, off and on. I’ve used it as a coping mechanism far too frequently.

129. Did you ever watch “The Breakfast Club”?
Nope, but what about Second Breakfast Club?

130. Have you ever been overweight?
Since the 4th grade. I guess it’s partly genetic because I was an active child but still got chubby. Granted, as an adult I haven’t always eaten healthy or exercised properly, but yeah….

131. Ever been to a wedding?
Yes, I have watched people willingly give up their freedom.

132. Ever been in a wedding?
My own (twice – I’m an idiot), my brother’s, and a former friend’s.

133. Have you ever been on the computer for 5 hours straight?
I work in IT. It’s my job…

134. Did you ever watch TV for 5 hours straight?
When I’m sick I always, always put on the original Star Wars trilogy. It’s a silly tradition I’ve had since I was a kid. Also, occassionally on days off I’ll binge something on Netflix.

135. Ever kissed in the rain?
Probably, but I don’t recall a specific instance.

136. Did you ever shower with someone else?
Yessum. I mean, I can’t reach/wash every part of my back, ya know?

137. Did you ever fail a driver’s test?
Hahahaha, yeah. So, I took Driver’s Ed in Ohio where they do the maneuverability test instead of parallel parking, but took my road test after I had moved to Kentucky. I went in the wrong way….

138. Ever been outside your home country?
Nope. I’m boring, I guess.

139. Ever been on a road trip longer than 5 hours?
Oy, yeah. Did a 17 hour drive from Palm Beach a few years ago. That. Was. Awful.

140. Ever been to a professional sports game?
Oh, yeah. Pistons, Bengals, Falcons, Braves, Reds, Cyclones…

141. Have you ever broken a bone?
So, as impossible as it may sound, getting hit in the nose by a baseball can break a bone. Always wear protection, kids.

142. Did you ever win a trophy in your life?
Uh….I had several soccer trophies when I was a kid, but I don’t know if I won them or if they were participation trophies.

143. Ever get engaged?
For some idiotic reason, yeah.

144. Have you ever been on a diet?
Several. My weight has fluctuated wildly over the past 20 years…

145. Have you ever been on TV?
We were on some educational cable program when I was in 2nd grade, but I can’t remember what the hell it was all about.

146. Ever ridden in a taxi?
Hmmmmm….you know? I haven’t.

147. Ever been to prom?
Hell no. I don’t do dances.

148. Ever stayed up for 24 hours or more?
Yup. Sometimes I’m an insufferable insomniac.

149 Have you ever been to a concert?
Yup. Most recently I saw Seether, Starset, and Breaking Benjamin. Great show.

150. Have you ever had a crush on someone at work?
I once married a coworker. Learn from my fail, folks. Don’t do it.

151. Have you ever been in a car accident?
A handful, but luckily none resulting in serious injury.

152. Ever had braces?
Negative, ghostrider.

153. Did you ever learn another language?
I took 3 years of Spanish in high school and was fairly fluent at one point, but then I forgot it all…

154. Do you wear make-up?
Why would I do that?

155. Did you ever have your wisdom teeth taken out?
Nope. My wisdom is still intact.

156. Did you ever kiss someone a different race than yourself?
Nope. I’ve always been curious what it would be like to date outside my race, but just never lived in many areas where there are different races.

157. Ever dyed your hair?
Nope. I just take the clippers to my skull now so I don’t even have to mess with it.

158. Did you ever wear someone else’s clothes?
I’m sure I have, but I can’t recall a specific occurrance.

159. Ever ridden in an ambulance?
Nope, I’ve never enjoyed that most expensive of taxi rides…

160. Ever ridden in a helicopter?
Does a helicopter in a carnival ride count? If so, then no.

161. Ever caught the stove on fire?
I haven’t, but it runs in the family… I have burnt/melted kitchenware because I turned on the wrong burner, though. Does that count?

162. Ever meet someone famous?
I’ve ran into a few Bengals players around the area.

163. Ever been on an airplane?
I’ve been in one, but I feel like getting on one is not going to end well.

164. Ever been on a boat?
Several times. Family in Michigan have boats and live on lakes and it’s awesome.

165. Ever broken something expensive?
My car? My nose?

166. Did you ever kiss someone before you were 14?
Yeah, but just little smooches. Nothing inappropriate.

167. Did you ever find something valuable on the ground?
I found a money clip with about 70 bucks in it once.

Here I Go Again

“How come we only do things when she’s with us?” I asked.

It wasn’t long after my parents had divorced. My dad had started dating again. The only time we ever left the house to do things was when it was with his girlfriend (who is now my stepmom). My 14-year-old mind just wanted to feel like I mattered. Like our family mattered. I wanted us to do things as a family and (at the time) she wasn’t family.

This, apparently, was the “objection” to his dating that he had been expecting and I got the canned, “I’m allowed to be happy and move on” response. There was no discussion. It just was.

It wasn’t what I meant at all, but I never had the chance to explain that. I didn’t care that he was dating. I just wanted to matter to my father. To be important enough to spend time with him and my brothers without some (at the time) stranger.

But that didn’t happen.

A couple years later, my mom was dating. While driving somewhere I no longer recall, her boyfriend’s best friend admitted to me that he was using my mom for her car and money. My mom wasn’t rich at all. She worked 3rd shift at Walmart. But she had a job, a car, and supported his lazy ass while he sat home unemployed. He drove her to work in her own car and dropped her off. He picked her up from work in her own car. I don’t know where he went in her car while she was working.

When I confronted my mother with this information and inquired why she allowed herself to be treated this way, she didn’t want to hear it. She was completely dismissive of my opinion of how awfully she was being treated and disbelieved the fact that she was being used. I can’t remember what her exact response was. All I remember was the feeling. I didn’t matter. My thoughts and feelings were not important.

Those feelings are stuck in me like a spike in a railroad. When I separated from my first wife I swore to myself my children would never feel unwanted if I could help it. I would never make them feel like anyone was more important to me than them.

I had several disagreements with my second wife. Her social life was, and still is, the most important thing to her. She would frequently want to do things on the weekends I had my boys and get pissy with me when I wouldn’t get a sitter for them. I told her like I tell everyone else…my kids come first. I’d rather stay home with my kids than go out drinking. Or to a concert. Or wherever it was she wanted to go.

That train wreck ended 10 years ago (wow, didn’t realize it had been that long until just now).

I’ve been dating a nice woman for the past 4 years. This woman has a daughter and was a foster mom for four girls when I met her. We never did anything socially. What time we had together we stole in those moments the kids let us. I thought I’d never have to choose between her and my children. I thought, if anyone, she’d get it. I thought she’d understand. She was a single mom and put her kiddos first, too.

Fast-forward 4 years. The foster kids are no longer with us. Her daughter graduates next month. She randomly throws jabs my way about never spending time with her. She frequently makes snide remarks about my children. I mean, my children are difficult, no question. But they are still my children and I’m not going to put up with it.

Around a month ago she decided she wanted to go to Florida for a week on Spring Break. She asked me if C’s mom would keep him for a week so I could go with her. Um, no. Two things. First, the only time his mom has kept him longer than a weekend in the past 10 years is when she took him on vacation and when I was recovering from my surgery. She would have said no. Secondly, why the fuck would I go on a vacation without my child? Now that I’m thinking about it, she had planned on taking her daughter initially. The only reason she didn’t was that her daughter’s sibling was due to be born that week. So, really, she wanted me and her daughter to go, but not C. What the fuck? Would it have been nice to get away for a few days? Yes. Would I have felt like shit for not taking my son with me? Also yes. I was appalled she even asked. I would never ask her to exclude her daughter from something I wanted to do. What would it have felt like to him, I wonder, if I told him I was going to Florida without him? I would rather (and did) spend the week working with him pestering me about when I could play with him than go on a vacation without him.

While she was in Florida she texted me and started asking about other plans. Let’s do this in the summer. Let’s do that. My mental health has been absolutely abysmal lately, and I told her so. I told her I didn’t want to think about anything at the moment other than getting help for myself and my children. Baby C is doing well, but still has some social issues. He still craves constant attention. He still wants me to watch him as he does mundane things like play a video game or plays with one of his toys. When I take him to the park he insists that I watch him climb or slide. It’s cute for a 4-year-old. For an 11-year-old, it’s worrisome. He should be out of this phase. I’m trying to break him of this, but not having much luck to date. Baby A is going through a depressive episode of his own and I’m struggling to get him to care for himself. I can’t get him to call a doctor. I can’t get him to call a therapist. I can’t get him to look for a job. The only way I can get him to do things around the house is to go full drill sergeant on him and then we end up arguing. It’s tiresome.

So, to my surprise, the response I get from her to this admission is, “I hardly see you, when we have spent time together, C cannot handle it.” This snapped something in me. This wasn’t a typical “I wish we got to spend more time together” comment. This statement was laced with resentment.

Over the next few days, this comment kept eating away at me. I can only fight so many battles. I’m fighting my own and those of two of my children. I don’t have the mental stamina to fight a fourth battle. Especially not for someone who laments the time I spend fighting those battles because I’m not spending that time with her.

Look, I get it. She doesn’t want to be alone. Unfortunately, I can’t be the person who keeps the loneliness away. I have more important things to do. So, I’m done. I told her I can’t be what she needs me to be and that my kids come first. It was heartbreaking, but it’s what I have to do.

Where I’m At

A black sun rises.

The sun shines, but it’s always night.

Things are going well, yet I still focus on the negative.

I’ve conquered (for now) cancer.

I have a good job.

I have 3 healthy children.

Doesn’t matter.

All I can see is the darkness.

Nothing’s wrong, but I still need to numb the pain.

I don’t know how to stop.

I know I shouldn’t, but I buy another bottle.

I take another drink.

The next morning I wonder why.

These demons won’t fade.

Who’m I gonna call?

Interview With A Trooper – Part Deux

It’s time for another interview with your favorite trooper! No, no. Not FN2187. TD421! (Me.)


    1. Did your mother go to college? She did. And she rocked it.
    2. Do you believe ignorance is bliss? Why or why not? Yes. If you’re ignorant of all the shitty things going on in this world there’s nothing to be depressed about. I wish I were ignorant.
    3. Do you believe in love at first sight? I didn’t until I became a father.
    4. Do you belong to any warehouse stores (Costco, BJ’s, etc.)? I belong to no one.
    5. Do you carry a donor card? Well, my driver’s license says I’m a donor, so I guess?
    6. Do you eat breakfast every morning? Like a boss.
    7. Do you have a best friend, if so, then who? I do, and stop being so nosy.
    8. Do you have a catchphrase? I didn’t get that assignment, so I didn’t turn it in.
    9. Do you have a garden? I have a garden hose. Does that count? I used to have a garden gnome, too, but it disappeared many moves ago. I also downloaded Plants vs Zombies…
    10. Do you have a hidden dream that you’ve never shared with anyone? Like a dream that I had in my sleep or a dream I’d one day like to accomplish? Either way…no.
    11. Do you have a tattoo? Nope. My body is not a canvas. It’s more like the Stay-Puft Marshmellow Man.
    12. Do you have a whole lot of acquaintances or just a few very close friends? Why? Very few close friends, mostly because people suck.
    13. Do you have any allergies? Oh, yeah. I’m allergic to damn near everything in nature. And stupid people.
    14. Do you have any birthmarks? If so, where? Not that I’m aware of. I mean, there could be one on my ass and I’d never know. My neck just doesn’t bend that way.
    15. Do you have pets? Two little annoying minpins. STOP FUCKING BARKING!!!
    16. Do you hold any convictions that you would be willing to die for? Nope. I’ve never even been arrested.
    17. Do you know a hoarder? I live with one. Dammit…
    18. Do you know any triplets? I know one.
    19. Do you know how to pump your own gas? In more than one way. me40vlqg_fart-competition-surat_625x300_23_september_19
    20. Do you love dancing? Hell no.
      dancing rob ford
    21. Do you love your job? I don’t know about love, but I don’t dislike it, and that’s saying a lot.
    22. Do you prefer kissing or cuddling? Cuddling FTW!
    23. Do you prefer that people shoot straight with you or temper their words? Why? People who don’t shoot straight have terrible aim, so….. Seriously, though, shoot straight. Be honest. Don’t fuck with people.
    24. Do you prefer Titanic or The Notebook? How about Terminator? Or Star Wars? The Matrix? Honestly, Titanic isn’t a bad movie after it hits the iceberg….titanic_propeller
    25. Do you really know all the words to your national anthem? I think so.queen_fraggWait, I think I got the wrong thing…

How’s everyone? Would you like to be interviewed?? Tell me things.


Interview With a Trooper – Part 1

So I’ve been suffering from writer’s block for quite some time, so I found some questions to answer just to fill up this space. The list of questions I found, however, is about 350 questions long, so I decided to break it up into parts. Enjoy!

  1. After a breakup, would you rather be alone or be surrounded by friends? I’d rather be alone surrounded by friends. Go figure that one out.
  2. After a divorce, would you rather share custody or get full custody? Frankly, I’d rather have full custody of my children. However, I would never want to deprive my children of a relationship with their mothers, despite how awful I may think they are as both people and mothers.
  3. Any new and exciting things that you would like to share? None of the new things going on are exciting or worthy of sharing, unfortunately.
  4. Are you a dog person or cat person? Neither, really. I like dogs, but don’t want another being to take care of. Taking care of myself and my children is tiresome enough for this depressed soul.
  5. Are you a fan of any sports team? Yes, but they all suck, unfortunately. I wish I were as unloyal as bandwagon fans who just hop from one winning team to another so they’re never disappointed at the end of every game ever.
  6. Are you a good cook? I do alright, but I don’t really like to cook. I prefer to eat instead.
  7. Are you a hoarder? No! Get rid of everything! If you’ve moved as many times as I have you get rid of anything you don’t need.
  8. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Night owl. Waking up to an alarm is the worst.
  9. Are you an early adopter or late-adopter? I wasn’t adopted so I can’t participate in this question.
  10. Are you close to anyone now that you initially disliked? Nope. My instincts are usually dead on. Either that or I’m extremely stubborn. You know, I think I’m just stubborn. People suck.
  11. Are you high maintenance? I don’t think so, but obviously I’m biased.
  12. Are you more inclined to “build your own empire” or unleash the potential of others? Um, I don’t know. I’ve never had the opportunity to do either.
  13. Are you more likely to avoid conflict or engage it head-on? I avoid it until it’s inevitable. It’s a habit I probably should break.
  14. Are you named after anyone? Myself.
  15. Are you satisfied with how you spend your money? What would you change? No. Spending money on bills is extremely dissatisfying. I’d rather spend my money on fun things, like tacos.
  16. Are you scared of heights? It’s not the height I’m scared of so much as the fall.
  17. Are your grandparents still married? They aren’t even alive, but they were never divorced, so I’m guessing they’re in the afterlife holding hands and wondering where they went wrong with me.
  18. At what age did you go on your first date? Hell, I don’t know. I didn’t keep a diary then.
  19. Can you close your eyes and raise your eyebrows? I didn’t know until just now that I could. Thank you for giving me this proud moment.
  20. Can you dance? I prefer not to.
  21. Can you do a split? I can eat a banana split like a champ.
  22. Can you touch your nose with your tongue? Even if I could why would I want to? Who wants saliva all over their nose?
  23. Can you whistle? Sort of, but the dogs still don’t come.
  24. Describe yourself in a single sentence? What the hell is that??
  25. Did you dream last night? If I did I can’t remember.

Feel free to steal these and answer yourself!

One Slipped Through The Cracks

I took a week off of work after mom passed. I took care of everything I could possibly think of that needed to be done. A phone call I received today showed I missed at least one thing.

“May I speak to your mom?” the familiar voice asked in an Indian accent. It was the kidney specialist she’d been seeing for the past year. Not a nurse or secretary, but the doctor himself. From his personal cell phone.

I mentally stumbled a bit before answering. “She passed away in July.”

He was taken offguard a bit as he believed she was generally in good health. He expressed his condolences and said he was calling to check on her since she wasn’t at her appointment today.

I apologized. I thought I had cancelled the appointment. I then hung up and waited for something, anything to happen.

Nothing did.

I spent the month after mom passed in a drunken fog. I didn’t know how else to deal with the intolerable sadness and almost electrical anxiety I was feeling. I finally went to my doctor and asked for help. I told her I needed a different way to deal with the mania from which I was suffering. She adjusted the dosage on one med and traded one for another.

And it worked. I have not had any issues with anxiety since the adjustments. I have not consumed an ounce of alcohol since then, either. I have not felt anything, really, but I was okay with that.

Until today.

I feel like I should have felt something after that phone call. Sadness. Anger. An emotion of some kind.Of any kind. But there was nothing.

I emailed my doctor shortly after. I told her that the medicine is working as intended, which is great, but I don’t know if I can deal with the side affects. Well, side affect. I’m always tired. I’ve spent the last two weekends in the couch sleeping. I didn’t notice until today that I had been mostly devoid of emotion.

It’s been eating at me all evening and I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing. I don’t know what to do other than write this all out to get it out of my head.

So here it is. The contents of my head. Maybe this will help me make sense of it all.


No One Else on Earth

Many years ago I hosted a music challenge on my blog. One of the questions was, “What song most reminds you of your mother?” The answer was No One Else on Earth by Wynonna Judd. And it still is.

When I was a child my family was a typical Christian family. We went to church every Sunday. My brothers and I went to Catholic school. We went to CCD. We were all baptized, received first communion in 2nd grade, and we were all alter boys…without abusive priests.

During those years mom was a substitute teacher. She taught Sunday school. She volunteered several hours a week at our church. She was great friends with all of the priests. We spent our summers at the church participating in Bible camp and helping mom prep for the annual variety show the church hosted.

Life, it seemed, was great.

In 1989 my dad was transferred by his company to a suburb outside of Atlanta. My mother, brothers, and I were ripped away from the life we had built over a seven year period, and separated from friends we spent time with almost daily.

This broke my mother.

Not long after we moved to Georgia the stress of having been removed from everything she loved, along with a lifetime of small abuses and hidden demons, drove her into a mental hospital.

I don’t know what things happened to her while she was there. I know she made friends there who were nothing like the Christian folks she would normally associate with. She was roomed with women who’d been raped, lesbians who’d been bullied, and at least one with a severe psychotic diagnosis which I can no longer remember.

The woman I knew before she was hospitalized was not the same woman who emerged some weeks later. The woman I’d known my whole life was gone. The proper, religious girl who never uttered a foul word and listened to nothing but Christian music (helloooooo Amy Grant) had morphed into a woman who stood up for herself, listened to country music, and no longer let the expectations of others define who she was.

The balls and chains she’d been shackled by her entire life had been left behind.

The mother who returned to me was brutally honest. She smoked. She occasionally drank. She laughed more than I knew she was capable of. We had candid conversations about everything. She told me of her struggles. She confided her marital problems. She told me about things that happened to her as a child. 

She was free.

The Wynonna Judd hit seemed to be the anthem of her newfound freedom. Wherever we went in her red ’91 Escort we had the windows down and that song blaring. We’d both belt out the lyrics in our semi-melodious voices, and when the song was over I’d hit the rewind button (yes, cassette tapes were the medium of choice back then) and we’d do it all over again. Sometimes we’d just hop in the car and drive to nowhere in particular just so we could do this. 

I had always loved my mother unconditionally even though she probably didn’t realize this because how much of an asshole I was as a child, but somehow, I loved her more after this transformation. She was no longer the perfect housewife who stayed home and raised her kids. Now she was human. She was real. She was a person.

Mom had been diagnosed as bipolar, or manic depression as they called it back then. She would spend the next 30 years on antidepressants. During that time she’d be used by her second husband, diagnosed with heart disease and diabetes, have a triple bypass, and develop a sometimes debilitating anxiety problem. 

Yet somehow she smiled through it all. 

On July 21 I received the call I’d been dreading for more years than I care to remember. My mom had been found dead in her apartment while I was out of town. Sudden cardiac arrest. I was, and still am, devastated. My mother is the human I most aspire to be like. Flaws and all. 

My children had a grandmother who was just as excited as I was to learn of their existence. They had a grandmother who seemed insulted any time I asked her to babysit (Of COURSE she would watch them! Why was I even asking???). Her smile blossomed any time she saw them; even the twins, who grew less and less cute as they aged into their upper teens (sorry, kiddos, it happens to us all). 

Mom was just as honest with my boys as she was with me. When the twins were diagnosed with depression and anxiety she was more than happy to discuss her struggles with them so they’d feel a little less alone in their battles. I can’t ever thank her enough for everything she did for me and my children in the time she had with us. 

I’ve been meaning to write this for weeks, but have kept putting it off because this hurts. I’m not going to lie. In the last couple of years my mom drove me nuts. She had stopped caring for herself like she should have. It was extremely frustrating. She wasn’t adhering to the diabetic diet her doctor had prescribed. I don’t know if this was just fatigue from having lived a diabetic life for 20 years or if she was slowly succumbing to the demons in her mind. In the end, it doesn’t really matter. 

She lost. 

In the past three and a half weeks I’ve shed more tears than I knew my tear ducts could muster. In some respects, it still hasn’t sunk in. Gathering with her siblings without her present has been a completely disconcerting experience. Listening to the kind words shared from people who knew her have broken my heart into smaller pieces with every subsequent syllable spoken. I’ve blankly stared into pictures of her with her grandchildren for minutes uncounted, and usually look away only when tears have blurred my vision. Sometimes it feels like this was all inevitable, but often times it just feels unreal.

I feel like mom is in a better place now. A place where demons no longer haunt her. A place where her diseases no longer control her. A place of comfort from where she can watch as her grandchildren grow into men (and a woman) of character. A place from which she can laugh at their shenanigans and enjoy the times my children do to me what I did to her (and they do).

I love you, mommy. I hope you know that no one else on Earth could ever love me like you. No one. Ever.

An Open Letter To Whom The Boot Fits

We used to be…

  • friends
  • confidants
  • partners

But all good things come to an end, no?

One day I woke up to find that I’d been cut out of your life. Every method I had to reach you no longer worked. I was given no explanation. I had not been given a farewell. I had been given nothing but a cold, icy shoulder and a huge dose of sobering silence.

I was extremely vulnerable at the time. You were my rock. My compass. You were the one person I knew I could talk to. You were the one person I could confide in. The one person to whom I could tell anything. But suddenly, you ripped it all away. Like I was blindsided by a tractor trailer that had run a red light.

I was left with nothing but a mind full of questions and a scar on my heart. Where did you go? What did I do? Why?

I didn’t get answers to any of those questions. What I did get, however, was even worse. Other folks with whom I was friends cut ties with me. That was tough, but what made it almost unbearable was the reason. Those individuals cut ties with me based on things you told them. To this day I have no clue what you told them. I was simply told I was awful and needed to seek professional help. That was the deepest cut. It was one thing for you to cut me out like a cancerous skin cell. It was quite another for that infection to spread to others I trusted and counted on.

Throughout our friendship I fended off your advances. You were constantly asking me if I thought you were pretty. You perpetually sought validation of your attractiveness. These questions always, always made me uncomfortable, but I deflected the questions because I, in my vulnerable state, needed our friendship. You were attractive, I constantly reassured you, but I also made clear to you on several occasions that I was uncomfortable answering such questions from a married woman. I repeatedly refused requests to visit you. After months of being hammered with requests to visit you I conceded…on the condition that your husband was okay with it. You assured me he wouldn’t care.

Turns out you were wrong.

I don’t know what your husband thought he knew about us. I doubt he saw the messages in which I told you all we’d ever be is friends. I doubt he saw all the times I answered your requests to visit you by saying, “Only if your husband approves.” I can’t blame him for being hurt you sought emotional comfort from another man. I am upset with myself for walking right by every red flag like a blind man towards the end of a plank. I should have walked away long before I was amputated.

It’s been almost four years, but you recently messaged me and said something to the effect of, “We don’t have to be friends, but I want to explain what happened.”

Frankly, I don’t give a shit. I can understand cutting me out to save your marriage. I can understand cutting me out because of a jealous lover. What I can’t understand is people cutting ties with me because you told them I did horrible things. I still have no clue what horrible things you told them, but it was enough to get them to cut me out like a wart.

You know how an electric fence works to keep animals contained? They test the boundaries, but the pain of doing so keeps them from trying once they’ve figured out the consequences. You are my electric fence. I’m done testing that boundary and have no desire to revisit that pain.

I can’t forget that you spread malicious lies about me to people with whom I had relationships and the loss those lies incurred. I always treated you with respect. I never once entertained any thought of violating the sanctity of your marriage.

I don’t wish you ill. I hope you find, or have found, happiness and someone who treats you well. If you feel guilty about what you did, I feel like that’s what you deserve. I’m over it and past it. I suggest you find that place, too.

Be well.

Between Two Ears

It’s been awhile since I posted anything. I happen to have a few moments and an urge to quell my boredom, so I decided to submit myself to one of those inane internet interrogations known as surveys. Let’s see what happens, shall we?

How often do you bathe or shower?

Daily. The thought of being unclean leaves me feeling dirty.

If you were an underwater creature, which creature would it be?

Aquaman? I don’t know. Nothing under water seems that interesting to me.

Do you appreciate when people only move with meaning?

As a general rule, I don’t appreciate people at all. I was in Wal-Mart tonight it only confirmed that people are freakin’ retarded and I’m justified in my loathing of them.

What are you passionate about?

Being a father. That’s about it. Oh, and coffee. I’m very passionate about drinking coffee.

How did you fall into that line of thinking?

Hell if I know. If I were watching where I was going I wouldn’t have tripped into anything, let alone a line of thinking.

What do you think of relationships, platonic, sexual, and otherwise?

Relationships are freakin’ hard. It’s perpetual consideration of another’s feelings. There are expectations. It’s depending on others. It’s others depending on you. It’s trusting another. It’s earning another’s trust. It’ s give. It’s take. It’s yin. It’s yang. It’s black. It’s white. It’s magic when it works. It’s heartbreak when it doesn’t. It’s all decided by some deity unknown by any documented religion. A good relationship is like winning the lottery. A strained relationship is like another bill in the mail. Or an ulcer.  They are something I generally avoid because I don’t handle drama well and almost every relationship I’ve been involved in has gone up in flames.

What are your thoughts on familial and platonic relationships?

Um, I pretty much just answered this question. My familial relationships are complex. I definitely love my family, because, well, they’re my family. However, I don’t always like them. Except for my kids, of course. I always like them, even when they’re driving me into a bottle.

Who were you with yesterday?

Well, I took the day off. Got a couple of things done. Took the kids to the park. A pretty mundane day, overall. So mundane, in fact, that I can think of no witty answers to put here.

What woke you up this morning?

My bladder. He and I need to have a serious heart to, um, heart (or something). I’m tired of getting up multiple times in the night to pee.

Where are you?

I’m right here. Can’t you see me? Where are you?

Is tomorrow going to be a good day?

Who knows? If I could see into the future I’d have won the lottery by now.

Do you like anybody?

Very few people. Most people annoy me. That probably says more about me than it does others, but I can’t help that most people are stupid and that I can’t stand it.

Ever thrown up in public?

Does school count as “public”? I think that’s probably the only place I ever got sick and I wasn’t at home. When I was a kid I was one of those people who got sick when I saw vomit. Then I became a father…

Passed out because of alcohol?

Well, sure. Who hasn’t? I love The Hangover.

What’s on your mind RIGHT NOW?

The Wolf Pack.

What kind of home would you like?

A clean one that doesn’t deserve to be condemned.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I don’t wanna grow up. It’s a trap.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Probably in a mirror since that’s the only place I ever seem to see myself.

Do you like candy necklaces?

Let’s be honest. If I have candy I’m not going to put it around my neck. It’s going down my throat.

Do you listen to music every day?

Of course I do. It’s one of my addictions.

Do you still go trick or treating?

I have a seven year old. What do you think?

What was the last thing you ate?

A bowl full of….chili. Spicy.

Are you a fast typer?

I’m a pretty decent typist, if that’s what you’re asking. I’m not sure what a typer is.

Whats your favorite type of soda?

Whichever one has Southern Comfort in it.

Have you ever moved?

I’ve moved more times than an Alaskan nomad.

Have you ever won an award?

Do participation trophies count? Seriously, though, I’m sure I have, but I can’t remember what for.

Are you listening to music right now?

Nope. I find that if I have music on I tend to focus on it instead of what I’m writing, so instead I’m listening to the drone of a fan as it blows cool air across the room.

How long ’till your birthday?

Not long enough. I don’t want to get any older…

When were you the saddest in your whole life?

I couldn’t narrow down one day as the saddest day of my life. But the one place I’ve been on every sad day of my life is trapped in my head with my own self-destructive thoughts. 

Did you get this quiz from www.FunQuizNotes.com ?

Hell if I know. I’ve had these questions stashed for a rainy day. Of course, it’s not raining currently so there will probably be a penalty for withdrawing them prematurely…

What time is it?

Time to become self-sufficient and learn how to tell time yourself, ya bum.

Do you use ebay to buy or sell?

I buy items from eBay occasionally. Selling is too much of a hassle for me. I don’t have the patience for it so I just set things out on the curb and people just stop and pick them up in the middle of the night.

Who makes you mad?

Who doesn’t? I’m very disagreeable.

Have you ever heard a song written about you?

God I hope not. There are much better things to write about than I….like crying in a beer or something.

What do you do when you’re mad?

It depends. Sometimes I drink. Sometimes I go for a walk/run. It depends on how mad I am and who’s around.

What’s the worst thing you’ve done when you were mad?

Something I’m not proud of at all and still not ready to share.

Ever made anyone cry when you were mad?

Well, yeah. Haven’t we all? And then once we’re calm we feel like shit about it? Well, that’s how it goes for me, at least.

Do you swear when you’re mad?

I swear when I’m angry/sad/happy/drunk/sober/asleep/bored/stupefied/bemused/other.

When was the last time you actually cried?

When I was on my way to pick up my mom from the hospital a few months ago to transport her to a nursing facility. C got hurt at school and needed to go to the ER, but my mom needed to be moved, too, so I called his mom and told her she needed to get him there. I felt horrible that I couldn’t be there for my son and beat myself up about it for a good two or three days afterward.

Ever cried yourself to sleep?

Cried. Drank. It’s all the same, yes?

Do certain songs make you cry?

Not normally. However, if I’m in a depressive mood a certain song can, and has, pulled on my feels and spilled some tears.

What usually makes you cry?

What’s with all the crying??? Can’t we talk about something happy? Or at least something that’s not sad? Like french fries. We all like french fries, right?

Are you usually a happy person?

Nah. I’m not really happy or sad. I’m just kind of indifferent. 

What makes you the happiest?

Winning the lottery? At least, I’m guessing that it would. I’ll let you know for sure if/when I do.

Do you believe in yourself?

Well, no. As often as I lie to myself I just don’t trust myself. Would you believe me?

Do you feel like answering mindless questions? Are you bored like I am? Are you, too, wondering how to make it to the end of the day? Taking this survey won’t make you feel better about yourself, but it will get you closer to the end of the day.


What I Need To Say

I was signing up for some service; I don’t even remember which one now. Flipboard, I think. Doesn’t really matter. It made me put in an email address so I put in the throw-away one I use for everything I suspect might spam my inbox. This site, however, was one of those tricky sites that makes you click on an activation link in an email to complete your registration. Tricksy hobbitses.

So I logged into the email account to retrieve the link. I hadn’t checked this account in quite some time, and that’s when I saw them. Windows into my past. Old emails from when we used to correspond. From when you used to actually talk to me. Before the shit annihilated the fan.

You hadn’t crossed my mind in the longest time, and that surprised me. I read through the emails and all the pain came crashing back momentarily. The past is a horrible place to visit. And I should know. I was there the first time.

I contemplated sending you an email. I figured enough time had gone by that things could be discussed now. I sat and I pondered. And then I wondered and I pontificated. It was just about the time I stopped thinking about it when I rediscovered a song which I had heard before, but didn’t much care for. But the cover of this song hooked me and then the lyrics pulled me in. And with each cycle of this track the urge to write you became stronger and the need for words to burst from me spiraled out of control. If I knew what was good for me I’d probably stop listening to music altogether.

But I can’t bring myself to write you, and I won’t. I’ve already tried. I explained what happened and why. I’ve apologized profusely and repeatedly. I’ve gobbled up the blame like a hungry hippo. I’ve laid claim to fault. And none of it mattered. Yes, I fucked up and mishandled, well, everything, but that doesn’t mean I’m the monster you’ve imagined me to be in your head.

There was a time my guilt for this tormented me. There was a time I’d plunge myself into every bottle within my grasp to numb the pain. There was a time I wept like a neglected baby while trying to cope with my failure and the pain I’d caused. That time has long since passed.

Despite all that, I have these words desperate to escape me, so I’ll release them here. If somehow, some way, these words reach you, please know that I wish you all the happiness you so rightly deserve. I hope you’ve slayed the demons with which you struggled way back when. I hope your family is whole again and your heart healed. I hope you’ve found love and are being treated like the amazing person you truly are. I hope that none of the scars you wear on your heart were left by me. I hope that, if by chance you look in your rearview mirror, you see me as a broken man struggling to do his best instead of a devil hellbent on breaking every heart he could. Know that there are a lot of things I’ve done in the past five years I would change if I could, and what happened between us tops that list.

I have deleted the emails. I deleted our texts. I deleted your number long ago. I deleted the pictures. I have deleted every reminder of us and closed the blinds guarding the window to my past. I have no use for the demons who lurk there.

Hello from the outside
At least I can say that I’ve tried
To tell you I’m sorry for breaking your heart