Interview With a Trooper – Episode IX

Well hello there! It’s time again for me to answer questions from some strange person on the internet because evidently I have nothing better to do. Okay, nothing better I want to do. Do you feel better now that you’ve forced that confession out of me. DAMN YOU!!!

Ahem. Anyhow….so I answered stuff….

  1. What is the first movie you remember seeing? Probably one of the Star Wars movies. Dad used the VCR to tape them from TV somehow and I would watch them on repeat. Except for the last few minutes of Return of the Jedi, because he ran out of tape.
  2. What is the first thing you do when you get home? Shut the front door.
  3. What is the first thing you do when you open your eyes in the morning?  Close them again and try to go back to sleep.
  4. What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning? Why the hell am I up??
  5. What is the first time you were allowed to put on make-up? Idk, I still haven’t asked yet.
  6. What is the furthest you’ve ever been from home? Lost somewhere in my own head.
  7. What is the hardest part of your job? Walking out at the end of the day knowing I didn’t get everything done I wanted to.
  8. What is the last book you read? Exile by RA Salvatore
  9. What is the last compliment you got? Um…not sure. I don’t keep a log I can consult.
  10. What is the last film you saw? Spiderman Homecoming
  11. What is the last movie that you saw at the cinema? The Rise of Skywalker.
  12. What is the last thing you downloaded onto your computer? Handbrake so I could convert a video for someone at work.
  13. What is the last thing you watched on TV? Um, Spiderman Homecoming. You already asked me that.
  14. What is the longest period you’ve spent in a hospital? A day and a half…which was only two weeks ago.
  15. What is the most boring movie you’ve watched? Jesus of Nazareth. Every. Freakin’. Easter.
  16. What is the most difficult thing you’ve done for love? Not leave.
  17. What is the most important thing in your life? My children.
  18. What is the name of your favorite restaurant? I don’t have favorites. Of anything.
  19. What is the name of your first pet? Bunky. I’m not quite sure how mom came up with that name, but when she was naming our dog that was the name she answered to, so it stuck.
  20. What is the one item you can’t leave home without? My body.
  21. What is the pettiest thing you’ve done to prove a point? I’m sure I’ve done plenty of petty things in my life, but I’m not able to think of anything right now.
  22. What is the scariest movie you’ve watched? In 7th grade I was shown a video of a live birth in sex ed. That was pretty brutal.
  23. What is the strangest thing you believed as a child? My uncle had an Atlanta Falcons helmet on his mantle at home. He had me convinced for years that he had been a kicker for the Falcons back in the 70’s.
  24. What is the thing you change the TV channel with? It’s called a remote control, you tool.
  25. What is the weirdest thing you’ve seen in your life? Trump supporters.
  26. What is the worst grade you got on a test? An F, obviously. You can’t get any lower than that.
  27. What is under your bed? The floor. Duh.
  28. What is your all-time favorite town or city? I don’t have favorites!!! Why? Because I just don’t!!
  29. What is your best childhood memory? Not a specific memory, but just having the freedom to go outside and play with friends or to play with my brothers in our basement full of toys without a worry in the world.
  30. What is your best physical feature? Idk. My smile?

Interview With a Trooper – Episode VIII

It’s been a bit since I’ve posted an interview segment (because reasons), so I figured I’d get another post on the wall. How’s everyone doing??

  1. What did you do for your last birthday? Idk, that was 7 months ago. I think the twins came over, we cooked out, and I had some celebratory drinks.
  2. What did you dress up as on Halloween when you were eight? Probably Luke Skywalker or Han Solo. Either way, I was winning.
  3. What did you want to be when you grew up? When I was very young, a baseball player. In high school, a teacher. In my 20’s, the best dad possible. In the 30’s…same. Now, in my 40’s, I want to go back to my childhood.
  4. What do you call carbonated drink called? Call 911! I think the interviewer just had a stroke!
  5. What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?  Weird.
  6. What do you call your grandparents? I never met either of my grandfathers. Well, technically, that’s not true. One died before I was born, the other when I was two months old. So I did meet one of them, but I don’t remember it. Both of my grandmother’s I called grandma. Unoriginal, yes, but still loving.
  7. What do you consider unforgivable? Cheating, or any other form of betrayal from someone in whom you’ve placed trust.
  8. What do you dislike about living in your neighborhood? Nothing, so far. I mean, being this close to train tracks is somewhat annoying, but it’s not the end of the world.
  9. What do you do for a living? I do IT support in a K-12 school corporation.
  10. What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep? Toss and Turn? Try to get up and do something productive? I’ll normally either read or put on a movie I’ve seen a million times (like Star Wars) and eventually I’ll pass out.
  11. What do you do most when you are bored? Um, find something to do that isn’t boring. Duh.
  12. What do you find yourself always procrastinating? Procrastination.
  13. What do you like about your home? The roof is nice. It keeps out the rain.
  14. What do you love about living in your neighborhood? Um…IDK. It’s a neighborhood. I just live here.
  15. What do you love about your favorite TV Show? I don’t really have a favorite TV show. I don’t really have favorites of anything.
  16. What do you think about more than anything else? I’m trying not to think about anything these days. It keeps me from despair.
  17. What do you think about the most? Well, right now I’m thinking…how is this question any different than the one before it, and how it’s not, and that this is a stupid question.
  18. What does your name mean? It means I answer when someone says it.
  19. What drains your energy? What doesn’t? I haven’t had much energy at all these past few months. Hopefully, that will change as I recover from surgery.
  20. What dreams have you given up on as unrealistic? Having a child who doesn’t talk back.
  21. What female celebrity do you wish was your sister? Uh….I don’t know. I’ve never wished for another sibling. My family is already big as it is.
  22. What flavor of tea do you enjoy? I don’t really like tea. I pity the fool.
  23. What has been the hardest thing for you to face or learn? Hell, I don’t know. Even if you narrowed that question down to the last six months I couldn’t pick just one thing so much shit has been happening.
  24. What has required the most courage of you in your life so far? Walking away from my first marriage, methinks.
  25. What inspires you? I don’t know if inspired is the right term, but my children keep me motivated. Without them I don’t know what would keep me going.
  26. What is a strange occurrence you’ve experienced but have never (or rarely) shared with anyone? That my first wife used suicide as a tool to keep me from leaving her. I’ve written about it at length here, but it’s not something I shared with many people in real life. For some reason, I still feel a bit of shame about the whole ordeal.
  27. What is an ideal first date for you? Not having one.
  28. What is at the top of your bucket list? Creating a bucket list.
  29. What is good about how you are living your life right now? So far I have not given into despair.
  30. What is hard about being a parent? EVERYTHING.
  31. What is hard about not being a parent? NOTHING. I mean, that’s probably not true, but I’ve been a parent so long I can’t remember what it was like to NOT be a parent.
  32. What is on the walls of the room you are in? Pictures. I am surrounded by family pictures. I love it.
  33. What is one guilty pleasure you enjoy too much to give up? Coffee?
  34. What is one of the worse things that could happen to you? It already happened, I think.
  35. What is one thing that you’ve never revealed to your parents? See question 26…
  36. What is one thing you’d rather pay someone to do than do yourself? Why? Move. I hate moving and have moved way too many times in my life.
  37. What is something about yourself that you hope will change, but probably never will? How easily irritated I sometimes can be.
  38. What is something most people don’t know about you? Me and Vader hang out and play Texas Hold ‘Em every Saturday night.
  39. What is something that amazes you? How people keep defending Trump and the actions of the GOP somehow blocking witnesses to his impeachment trial.
  40. What is something that scares you that you would never ever try? Jumping out of a plane. Or even flying in one.
  41. What is something you are gifted at? Sarcasm.
  42. What is something you look for in a partner? A sense of humor.
  43. What is something you wish you were gifted at doing? Writing.
  44. What is something you’ve never done that you’d like to try? Winning the lottery.
  45. What is the best compliment you have ever received? You’re a good father.
  46. What is the best part of your job? There’s a lot of things I like about it. The camaraderie with those I work with. Interacting with the students (most of the time). The freedom I have to run the network as I deem best and the trust that’s been given to me to do so. The list goes on.
  47. What is the farthest-away place you’ve been? Bentonville, Arkansas. That was an interesting trip…
  48. What is the first amusement park you’ve been to? Six Flags over Georgia, I think.
  49. What is the first app you check when you wake up in the morning? Depends on which notification is at the top of the list.
  50. What is the first book you remember reading? One of the Hardy Boys novels. When I was in middle school I read a bunch of those books.

Runaway Train

newcoffeeIf we were having coffee you might raise an eyebrow at my SoCo and Coke. “I thought we were having coffee?” you might ask. To which I’d reply, “Coffee isn’t strong enough to help me face life.” Self-medication might not be healthy, but it helps me not to care that it’s not healthy. It also helps me cope with the struggles I face.

Working two jobs fucking blows. I have never felt so worn down. I am working 6 days a week. 40 hours at one job and 17 at the other. Any free time I have is spent with my children.

Well, with one of my children.

Baby C has had a disastrous start to his education. The ADHD I suspected he had going in to kindergarten has been confirmed with all the grace of a wrecking ball taking down a wall built with Legos. He has trouble focusing. He has trouble following direction. He’s disruptive in class. He has punched other students. He has kicked other students. He has spent entire afternoons with the “behavioral specialist.”

My son is brilliant. He has no problem learning the material in class. He knows his letters. He knows his sight words. He can count way past 100. I have to stop him simply because he’d count all day long and I have things to do. He knows his colors. He can sound words out.

What he can’t do is get past himself. Everything has to be his way or he simply loses his shit. He wears an imaginary crown and expects everyone else to bow down to his will. Some of this is typical 5-year-old behavior. Most of it is just inexplicable.

A month ago (or so) we scheduled an appointment with his doctor to have him evaluated for ADHD. We filled out forms. His teacher filled out forms. He was prescribed medication. The results have been less than spectacular.

Initially, he seemed to improve at school. The longer he’s been on the medication, however, the angrier he’s become. That’s when he started hitting other children at school. He began having outbursts of anger at home. Just today he’s yelled at me twice. It may not seem like a big deal, but he’s never, ever yelled at me before two days ago.

I’m done. I’m calling his doctor on Monday and demanding he be switched to a different medication.

One of the benefits of working at a school corporation is having access to hundreds of teachers who have dealt with every type of child one can encounter. They have a certified counselor on staff with whom I’ve been able to discuss Baby C’s difficulties. I have a medication in mind I want to try and a plan on how to attack C’s issues. While I’m thankful for that fighting this battle on top of everything else I’m going through is taking its toll on me.

If we were having coffee I’d confess I’m emotionally dead. I’ve unwittingly built a wall around myself and heartbreaks of the past have paid for it. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt anything, good or bad. I actually had a coworker say to me the other day, “You don’t ever talk to us.”

“I’m here to make money, not socialize,” was my response. Without hesitation. Without thought. And it’s true. I don’t have time for any of that bullshit. I’ve got shit to take care of. I’m there to earn a paycheck so I can catch up on my bills and have money to pay for the things my children need. I don’t have time for any kind of drama. I don’t want to listen to anyone bitching about their problems. I’ve got my own I’m trying to deal with.

The counselor I alluded to earlier told me that I was in survival mode when I confessed that I’d run out of empathy. My coworker is having similar problems with her 4-year-old. Unfortunately, I can’t muster up a shred of empathy for her. I just don’t give a shit. A part of me knows there’s something wrong with that. Unfortunately, I don’t give a shit.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that I’m tired of politics. I’m tired of listening to Trump spewing his idiotic rhetoric. I’m tired of his whining. I’m tired of the lies foaming from his orange mouth. I’m also tired of Hillary spewing her bullshit and acting like she’s got the interests of the regular American at heart. I can’t stand that she keeps bringing up Russia every time someone confronts her about the WikiLeaks emails instead of directly answering the questions. I don’t trust either one of those fools and I feel like no matter who wins we’re fucked. It’s an indictment of our democracy that these are the best two candidates our government could put forth.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that I’m fed up with all the clowns indignant because of NFL players kneeling during the anthem. The National Anthem and the American flag represent more than just our military. They represent our entire nation. Anyone who is confused by this doesn’t understand what the flag stands for. Colin Kaepernick and the other NFL players taking a knee during the anthem are absolutely NOT disrespecting the military. They are simply trying to bring attention to the fact that an inordinate number of minorities are being slain by white police officers. That’s it. They are upset that veterans of our military aren’t getting the medical care they need after sacrificing their lives and bodies for their nation. They are upset that “liberty and justice for all” isn’t actually for all. I get that people are tuning into football to escape the shittiness of reality, but that doesn’t change the fact that their message needs to be heard and acknowledged. This is not a nation I’m proud of. Yes, it’s a better place to live than most, but let’s not act like it’s perfect. We are flawed. Not all men (or women) are treated equally. This is NOT the land of the free.

If we were having coffee I’d apologize for going on for so long, but explain that I’ve got a lot on my plate. I’d then open my ears to listen to anything you have to say. After all is said and done, I’d probably give you a hug and apologize for being so distant. I don’t mean to be, but that’s just how I feel. I’d tell you I hope you’re all doing well and that things are looking up for you. Then I’d go crawl back inside the hole I’ve been hiding in.

Make Mine an Irish

newcoffeeIf we were having coffee I’d take my steaming hot cup o’ joe and apply a liberal dose of Bailey’s. It’s been that kind of week.

If we were having coffee I’d inform you that I’ve been overwhelmingly busy at work. Normally I wouldn’t mind having so full a plate, but my coworker makes things exceedingly difficult. My coworker thrives on drama. When she walks in the office she flaunts all of her personal drama. We all have problems, but when I’m trying to work I don’t want to hear about them. There’s a time and a place for that. She’s also an extremely negative person. She bitches about everything. She’s short with people. She’s rude. I could go on, but I think that’s enough. I’m honestly at the end of my rope. It’s to the point that I actively search for reasons not to go to our office.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that the kids went back to school this past Wednesday. As Baby C is 5 years old, that means he started Kindergarten. When telling anyone in the preceding weeks that my wee baby would be starting Kindergarten I got all manner of awwwwww’s, but I didn’t think much of it. Afterall, I’ve sent three other children off to their first day of Kindergarten. However, as I waited by the front door of C’s school while his mom carried him across the parking lot during a monsoon-like downpour, his smile so wide it nearly split his lips, I choked up a little. He was sooooo happy to be there and these past three days his most asked question has been when he’ll be going back. He loves it so far and I hope his enthusiasm never wanes.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that the twins worked with me this past summer helping me repair laptops, prep iPads, and do all other sorts of IT related stuff that we do while the students are out for the summer. They did an amazing job for the most part, even though sometimes their knack for arguing over petty stuff sometimes drove me nuts. Hence the Bailey’s.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that the transmission went out in my car a few weeks ago, forcing me to trade it in for a new vehicle and pick up a car payment, which, in turn, forced me to pick up a second job. I start that second job this Tuesday, so it’ll probably be a long time before we’re able to have coffee again. Irish or otherwise.

If we were having coffee I’d inform you that, tired of feeling like a zombie and being chained to multiple bottles of pills, I stopped taking my medication a couple of months ago. I’ve noticed that my well of patience is much more shallow, but overall I’m doing okay. I don’t like how easily irritated I sometimes become, but better that than feeling dependant on medication that perpetually left me with zero fucks to give about almost anything while completely draining me of all motivation.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that my former mother-in-law (C’s grannie) had a brain aneurism a couple of months ago. Fortunately, the amazing staff at UC Hospital was able to save her. Unfortunately, she suffered untold damage to her brain. When I first visited her she was very aware of what happened. She was lucid and we were able to have a normal conversation. When I visited her yesterday, however, her grip on reality wasn’t firm at all. I’m hoping this is a temporary setback. It was extremely difficult to hear some of the things she was saying, which made absolutely no sense at all. I didn’t know what to say, so I just nodded along and laughed at the appropriate times. What makes it even harder is that C seems to be a little afraid of her and didn’t really want to be there. I understand he doesn’t know what’s going on, but that doesn’t make it any easier to witness.

If we were having coffee I’d admit that I’ve finally run out of things to say and apologize for having gone on for far too long. Then I’d ask how you’re doing and listen to you talk about all the things, all the while feeling guilty for having blabbered about myself for so long. I’d get a second, and more than likely third, cup of Irish coffee, because, you know, you can’t just have one. And as the Bailey’s took hold we’d have all sorts of laughs and I’d probably get a little loud and a lot silly, because that’s what I do when I get my buzz on.

Finally, if we were having coffee I’d apologize for not being around. Like, at all. In order to preserve what little of my sanity I have left I’ve distanced myself from pretty much everyone, because my psyche can’t handle the drama that often-times comes with any kind of relationship. I’ve even gone as far as deleting all my social media accounts. I’d love to be a supportive friend, but I can barely handle my own problems, let alone support others as they handle theirs. As much as I like to think I’m strong and can handle whatever bullshit life hurls my way, these past few years have taught me quite the opposite. Maybe one day I’ll feel like I can handle having a social life again, but for right now all I feel like dealing with is my children and trying to raise them to the best of my ability.

It was nice seeing you and sharing a drink (or three). I hope to see you again soon, my friend. Time permitting.

Survey says…WTF?

Anyone remember MySpace? It was the first big social media website. At least, I think it was. It was the first one I was a member of. (Hehe, member <—Beavis and Butthead moment (I’m a little buzzed. Sorry.))

I don’t miss much from the days of MySpace. Remember how you could have a profile song? If you went to another person’s profile page their song started playing. Most of my friends listened to shitty music back in 2006. Luckily, most of those people aren’t in my life any more.

What I do miss from MySpace is the surveys. All the questions. I don’t know why I loved answering questions about myself so much. Talking about myself is something I’m not normally comfortable doing, but when asked a direct question I just blabber away like a teenager with the latest gossip.

The other day, Stephanie (of Stephallenous fame) posted a, by year 2006 MySpace standards, a survey and invited anyone who wished to join in the fun. Well, I wish and I’m joining the fun, dammit.

(Interjection: if you don’t read Stephanie you are totes missing out. She is like the WordPress version of Robin Williams. She can be deep, unpredictable, hilarious, and spontaneous. No matter what, she’s always entertaining.)

So here, in no particular order aside from numerical (this whole freakin’ system is out of order!), are 40 things you probably don’t know, or care to know, about me.

1 – Boxer shorts or budgy smugglers? The only smuggler I know is Han Solo, and he certainly doesn’t have carte blanche to hold my junk up all day. I mean, I know he’s played by Harrison Ford, but still. No touchy. Also, I prefer briefs, because I don’t like my bits swinging back and forth like some weird human raised by gorillas.

2 – What color of underwear are you currently wearing? Um, I don’t know. I put them on a long time ago. Like, this morning. When I was half asleep. Hold on. Let me look. Okay, they’re blue, you perv. Man, I had to get outta my chair and everything.

3 – How long have you been wearing them for? Since about 7 yesterday morning. It’s about 12:30AM now. Why does that make me feel gross? Fuck, I can’t even take a shower because there’s a busted pipe in my building and the water’s out. I might have to bum a shower tomorrow.

4 – Do you ever use binoculars to watch people? No, I don’t even like people. I certainly wouldn’t creep on them.

5 – Have you ever kicked someone in the groin? Not that I recall. Wait. I accidentally did it once. My brothers (all two of them), me, and a friend were playing football once while I was in high school. After a play my friend was down on all fours after a tackle. For some reason my teenage self thought it would be funny to kick him in the butt. I missed and got his punching bag instead. He was not impressed.

6 – Would you pull a trigger? Fuck yeah. Nerf guns rule.

7 – If you met your favorite celebrity, and they wanted to make out with you, would you? I don’t have a favorite celebrity. Frankly, I don’t understand this whole celebrity culture. I don’t get how people can be obsessed with people they’ve never met, and likely never will. I don’t understand how couchetards like Kim Kardashian can be made famous by being famous. They’re just people, people. Just people with more money.

8 – Have you ever slept in the same bed with someone you were not in a relationship with (not talking about sex and one-night-stands)? Well, yeah. My brother and I had to share a bed for a while when growing up. Also, there were times that my children have slept with me. But Baby B and Baby C do karate kicks in their sleep and I cut that shit out. There’s nothing worse than being kicked in the nuts while you’re sleeping. Okay, that’s not true. There are plenty of things worse than that, but not right after you’ve been kicked in the nuts.

9 – Have you had one-night-stands? Once. And I’m not very proud of it. Frankly, were it up to me we would have seen each other again.

10 – Does sex have the same importance to you now compared to when you were younger? Honestly, sex has never been that important to me. Don’t get me wrong, sex is great, but it’s not the end of the world if I don’t get any. I’m more concerned with making a connection and getting to know someone.

11 – Have you ever eaten a worm? Ewwwwwwwwww. Who would do that?

12 – What’s the grossest thing you’ve ever eaten? Beets. Hands down. I don’t even know why people serve them. They look like a slice of someone’s heart. Ack.

13 – How long do you spend sitting on the toilet? Well…this is embarrassing. I sit there a while because I take my phone with me. Before cell phones I took books with me. Maybe I’m weird, but I don’t like just sitting there with idle hands. I need something to occupy my mind.

14 – What do you do when you sit there (besides the obvious)? Um, read. Play games. Adjust my position so the part of my ass that’s asleep can wake back up.

15 – Have you ever been peed at? Amazingly, despite being the father of three boys, I’ve never been peed on. The wonders never cease.

16 – What’s the grossest thing you have ever swallowed? Well, this is a loaded question…with a nasty answer. I was feeding Baby A one night when he was about a month old. He ate from his bottle, then I burped him. Afterward I plucked him from my shoulders and brought him to my face so I could kiss him. That is exactly when he spit up…in my mouth. Regurgitated formula was spewed into my mouth by my own child. Gross. I’m not gonna lie…I still haven’t forgiven him.

17 – What’s the constantly dirtiest place in your home? I have three sons. Toilet. Hands down. Seat down, too.

18 – Why don’t you clean it? Because I’m tired of cleaning up after them!!

19 – Do you eat your boogers? Besides little people under the age of 5, who actually does that? I mean, gross. Gag.

20 – Can you describe the one smell that makes you gag? Um, hmmmm. There are a lot of smelly things out there but I can’t think of one that actually triggers my gag reflex.

21 – Have you ever had head lice? Luckily, no.

22 – Have you ever been utterly disappointed in someone? Every damned day of my life. Why can’t every one else be like me?

23 – Have you ever been scared of someone? I was pretty scared of my dad when I was a child. I was scared of my first wife. Not at what she would do to me, but rather at what she might do to herself.

24 – What do you do when you’re drunk that you wouldn’t want anyone to know about? I don’t really hide anything when I’m drunk. If I did something that embarrassing while drunk I’d probably never drink again. *shudders at that thought*

25 – Have you tried pole dancing? I didn’t know the Polish had their own type of dance.

26 – Have you been in a strip club? Once. I don’t see the allure.

27 – Have you ever run over an animal? I don’t think so. However, when I was a teenager a bird swooped down into the windshield of the car my mom was driving with me in the passenger seat. She ducked. And then stayed there. I had to actually tell her to get back up and watch the road before we wrecked. I love my mom, but she’s pretty goofy sometimes.

28 – Have you ever peed in snow? Lemon snow cones!!

29 – Have you ever made fun of someone and then regretted it? Yeah. Sometimes making fun of someone just kind of happens without thinking. Then I chide myself for being an asshole.

30 – What’s your favorite kind of question on Cards for Humanity (if you know the game)? I have no clue what this is. Can I have a mulligan?

31 – If the father of your best friend hit on you, what would you say to him? To be honest, my best friend is my brother, which would make his dad my dad. And that would be fucked up. I’d tell him to stop being fucked up.

32 – Would you go out on a date with someone half your age or double your age?No. The thought of dating someone just a few years older than my children or just a few years younger than my parents creeps me out.

33 – Do you clean the sink after brushing your teeth? I don’t scrub it or anything, but I do use a cup of water to rinse all the toothpaste down the drain.

34 – Have you ever spat in someone’s food or drink? Don’t be ridiculous. Of course not. Gross.

35 – Have you ever kissed someone only to be grossed out afterwards? See the answer to question 16.

36 – What is your number one goal in life, and are you living it? Right now my goal is to build a better home life for my children. They don’t have a bad home life, but it’s not quite as comfy as the life I had growing up, and that bothers me. No, I’m not living it, but I feel like I’m making baby steps towards it.

37 – Do you spy on your neighbor(s)? If yes, why? Fuck no. I don’t care what they’re doing. It’s none of my business.

38 – Have you ever danced and/or cried in the rain? Probably when I was younger. The only thing I do in the rain now is bitch about the rain.

39 – Have you ever ditched work to just chill out on your own (with or without Netflix)? I did it all the time when I worked for that retailer whose name rhymes with Stallmart. Since I quit about 8 years ago I haven’t done it (that I recall).

40 – What do you wish you were doing right now (anything goes)? Winning the lottery.

Hooray for surveys! You should play, too!

I’m Not Okay

If we were having coffee I’d have to get a few things in order first. I’d have to grab my favorite hazelnut creamer and dump a generous helping into my steaming cup of Colombian goodness. I love the way coffee makes me feel, but, frankly, it just doesn’t taste that well on its own. Secondly, I’d inform you that it’s pronounced coffeh, because cool.

If we were having coffeh I’d, were I to be honest (which is something I don’t normally do when it comes to my problems because I don’t want anyone to think I’m whining), tell you I’m not okay. Physically, I’m always tired. It doesn’t matter how much sleep I get my energy levels are about as low as a car’s battery whose headlights were left on overnight. It takes me ages to get going in the morning. If I don’t have a cup of coffeh before I head to work I have to combat the sandman along with asshole drivers during my morning commute.

If we were having coffeh I’d tell you that, mentally, I’m feeling a little fucked up. On nights without my children I feel encaged by loneliness, but the thought of going out and meeting new people (or old people) terrifies me. Too often when I get involved with others I feel like I get tangled in their drama, and I don’t want anything to do with that. I can barely hold myself together. I don’t need to deal with anyone else’s problems. Further, it seems, for one reason or another, almost every relationship I’ve had over the last few years (friendship or otherwise) has literally blown the fuck up. I’m afraid to get close to anyone because I fear the pain that comes with having that person ripped away.

Were we having coffeh I’d disclose that because of a miscommunication between my doctor and my pharmacy last month I went about a week and a half without my meds. Since then my emotional state has been colored increasingly blue. I can’t remember the last time I was in a decent mood. I’ve found myself on the brink of tears multiple times in the last month with no real catalyst. Motivation eludes me. My free time is spent in front of the TV binge-watching Netflix. (BTW, Dark Matter is a pretty kickass show). The thought of participating in any type of activity is distasteful. I don’t like leaving the house. The thought of writing generally makes me feel…meh. I find it hard to care about anything. In my mind, I know I need to get my ass up and do things, but translating those thoughts into actions is damn near impossible. I go to work, I come home. I do my part-time father thing. Then, I’m lost the rest of the time.

Were we having coffeh, I’d tell you I’ve been listening to this song on repeat, because the lyrics of this song latch on to me. They encapsulate me. They make me feel. I can’t put those feelings into words, and I don’t even think they’re good feelings, but they’re feelings. I guess that’s something.

Were we having coffeh I’d tell you how increasingly misanthropic I’m becoming. I literally can’t stand most of what humans do. To the planet. To each other. To animals.

I can’t comprehend how an idiot like Donald Trump has an actual chance to become president. He’s a sexist, racist, babbling idiot who encourages his followers to inflict violence on people who disagree with him, but, hey, he “tells it like is” so that must mean he’s presidential material.

I can’t comprehend why mass shootings and gun violence on our city streets has resulted in absolutely zero changes to gun laws.

I can’t comprehend why the general populace thinks it’s okay to be so hateful towards anyone who disagrees with them. It seems the comment sections of our news articles have become the devil’s playground. Everybody seems to feel that the ability to hide behind a keyboard and monitor gives them the right to parade their inner douches around and that there will be, and should be, no consequences.

I can’t comprehend why men are so afraid of women who want to be treated equally. We’re all human, right?

I can’t comprehend why anyone would care who is in the bathroom stall next to them. We’re all just in there trying to let our bodies perform their required tasks.

I can’t comprehend why anyone feels it’s their business to choose who can marry who. Why shouldn’t two men (or women) be allowed to get married, have children, and then be torn apart by divorce? Shouldn’t all people have a right to obtain that American dream?

I can’t comprehend why certain people feel that their “religious values” need to be made into laws. It seems to me that those very same people have an issue Sharia law. Let’s face it, the rules of Christianity and Sharia Law aren’t all that different. Sharia Law just has more deadly consequences. I also can’t comprehend why those very same people don’t understand the separation of church and state, religious freedom, or that people who don’t want to be governed by religious beliefs aren’t persecuting anyone.

Were we having coffeh I’d tell you that my misanthropy has me on the edge of leaving the internet again. I get tired of the daily parade of stupidity, cruelty, and depravity I see online. Instead of being encouraged by movements for positive change I’m simply sad that they’re needed. I’m tired of seeing shit about the Kardashians and their ilk. I don’t have a single fuck to give about those people and can’t figure out why they’re constantly in the news.

If we were having coffeh I’d tell you that I’m moving next weekend, and it’s probably one of the reasons I’ve been feeling down lately. I’m moving a town over because the school district there is much better than where I live, and Baby C starts kindergarten this fall. All the packing I’ve done this past month has had me sifting through memories, and many of them leave me sad. I’ve found many a thing of my ex-wife’s while packing. I found our wedding pictures. I found pictures of C when he was a wee lad. I found pictures of the twins tucked a way in a box their mom gave me a couple of years after I left her. I found a picture Baby B drew for me when we got our first place after I left their mother. 20160416_114108

If we were having coffeh I’d tell you that I’m probably going to have to get a second job after moving. Doctor and dental bills for the kids are piling up and I just can’t pay them.

If we were having coffeh I’d tell you that I know I need to see a psychiatrist, but can’t. I don’t have the money to see one. I’d have to get a second job to afford that and if I get a second job then I won’t have the time to see one.

If we were having coffeh, I’d tell you that it was nice to see you and thank you for listening. Then I’d apologize for laying all this bullshit on you and feel guilty for burdening you with my problems and emotional turbulence. I’d likely go home feeling ashamed and we’d probably not see each other again for a long while because I’m anti-social, and I’d fail to reach out again because I’d feel like I’d alienated you with my incessant bitching.

Lastly, I’d peer down into my empty cup and lament the fact that I spent five bucks on one fucking cup of coffeh.

A Brave Farewell

I haven’t written regularly in ages. I haven’t had the urge. Even when I get an idea in my head for a post, a lack of motivation kills whatever ideas I may have concocted. BUT…I’m sitting here a bit buzzed after a long, stressful week at work and decided to catch up on some reading when I saw this week’s FTSF topic: One of my biggest fears I ever had to face…

The biggest fear I’ve ever faced, and overcome, is the fear of leaving the twins’ mother.

What started out as a somewhat normal relationship between myself and a woman four years my senior rapidly turned sour. I realized rather quickly that we were severely different people and that there was no chance we would ever be happy together.

Despite my realization, I put off saying anything to her for a multitude of reasons. She was a single mom struggling to pay her bills. She guilted me into moving in with her because she was having financial trouble. Yes, the decision to move in with her was ultimately mine, but manic breakdowns where she told me she’d have to beg her ex-husband to take her back multiplied the guilt factor ten-fold. So I moved in with her. We are different people, though. While she has socially liberal views, she lives somewhat conservatively and has a very conservative sense of humor. Or, she did at that time. I obviously have no idea what she’s like now. I was foul-mouthed, 20 years old, and not ready for (nor wanting) the type of responsibility she was thrusting upon me.

After about three months of shenanigans, I decided I couldn’t live like that any more.  And I told her so. She flipped the fuck out. She went bananas. She screamed. She cursed. She stormed out the door and told me over her shoulder that she was going to jump off the I-75 overpass and left me there with her sleeping children. Eventually, she came back, but I didn’t end up leaving because I was suddenly afraid.

What if she actually kills herself? Could I live with the guilt? What would happen to me? How would I deal with it? What would happen to her children? Their father moved across the country.

I ended up staying, but things got worse. She was paranoid about me leaving. She was controlling. She was manic. She was oppressive. I knew she needed help, but at the tender age of 20 I didn’t have a damned clue how to help her. I tried to stick it out, but I just couldn’t deal. I told her again I was going to leave…and then it happened.

She actually tried to commit suicide.

When I first told her she tried to storm out of the room. She was going to go jump of the I-75 overpass. I had to physically restrain her from leaving the room. I was not going to let her hurt herself. After a while she seemed to calm down and told me she needed to use the restroom. I moved myself down the hallway far enough so that she could reach the bathroom, but couldn’t make a run for the front door.

It never occurred to me just what we kept in the bathroom. You know, where the medicine cabinet is. For the life of me I just didn’t see it coming.

She came out moments later. She slowly crept towards our bed and laid down on the floor beside it. She calmly gazed towards me, and as a tear rolled down her cheek told me, “When you wake up tomorrow you won’t have to worry about me again.”

She had swallowed an entire bottle of Benadryl.

To say that I was shocked would be an understatement of elephantine proportions. I collapsed upon our bed and wept like a child who’d had his candy taken away. In my horror it never occurred to me to call 911. It never occurred to me to seek help. I was just…shocked. So I wept.

The morning came and we both awakened. Relief swept through me like a tornado through the corn fields of Oklahoma. She was alive, but she spent the majority of the next three days in our bed asleep. It still never occurred to me to call 911 the next morning. It never occurred to me to do anything. I knew she needed help, but the thought of telling her family the reason she was trying to kill herself was because I was trying to leave her prevented me. So I said nothing to no one.

I also decided from that moment forward that I would stay with her no matter what. I was not going to be the reason she committed suicide. I was never again going to do anything to push her towards that ledge. I was never going to do anything to jeopardize our “relationship.” When, months later, she dragged me to the jewelry department and said, “This is the wedding ring I want,” I didn’t object, despite the fact that I had never proposed (nor did I want to). When, a couple of months after that, she told me she wanted another child, I agreed without argument.

Eight months later she was pregnant. Nine months later I was the proud parent of a set of beautiful twins.

Years went by. She spent two years in college. Our boys took our full attention. When they got a bit older and required less of our attention, though, unhappiness began to creep back into my psyche. She was still controlling. She was possessive. Our personalities were still complete opposites. Most importantly, though, I didn’t love her. And never had.

For years I had wrestled with the idea of leaving her, but I never did. I was still frightened by that night. I was still afraid of what she’d do to herself. More, I was afraid of how my children would cope. Would they be okay? Would me leaving fuck them up? Would they hate me? Would things be alright? It was a perpetual struggle.

But I made a commitment. I told myself I would honor that commitment no matter how unhappy I was.

One night as I sat at the computer (doing whatever it was one did at a computer in 2006 – probably MySpace), she came down to say goodnight. The obviousness of my unhappiness was soaked on my face. She asked me what was wrong.

Before I could come up with some bullshit, which was what I always did, I blurted, “I don’t love you.” I have no idea what compelled my mouth to spew those words. In the past I was always able to come up with some lie to tell her about what was bothering me. Maybe my subconscious was tired of my bullshit.

She flew off the handle. I can’t even remember what she said, but none of it was pleasant and all of it was at a decibel high enough to shatter glass. As I sat there, dejected and berated, I decided I’d finally had enough. My limit had finally been reached. The meter was full at last. I wasn’t going to take this shit anymore. I wasn’t going to stay in this façade of a marriage. I wasn’t going give her happiness at the expense of my own. I was finished sacrificing my life.

It was the bravest thing I’ve ever done. I refused to be controlled any longer. Her emotional manipulations fell on deaf ears. Her angry outbursts solidified my resolve.

There was one moment of weakness, though. One night as I returned the twins to her, their tears shattered my resolve. I came back home, but things only got worse. A month later I left again and never looked back.

It’s been nearly 10 years since this all transpired, and none of my fears came to fruition. She didn’t commit suicide. In fact, she finally sought treatment after I left. My boys, though they were initially distraught, have turned into fine young men whom I’m proud to call my sons. They are kind, funny, and compassionate souls and I’m still unsure what I did to make them turn out as well as they have (or even if I had anything to do with it).

Deciding to end a relationship, and a family, may not seem like a brave thing to do, but out of everything I’ve ever faced it was the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do.

I’m A Quitter

I signed on to post once a day every day of November. I’ve done this before, I thought, no problem. I can vomit enough words to post for 30 days straight.

I had things to get off my chest, and I did. Now I’m burnt out again. I just don’t have it in me any more. I’m not a post-a-day guy anymore. I don’t have the desire. What once was a community that gave me strength is now one that has taken as much as it has given.

Some time yesterday evening I realized I hadn’t posted. My first thought wasn’t “I better get something posted.” It was…

zero fucks given

Posting just to say I posted isn’t something I feel like doing any more. Blogging, writing, doesn’t mean as much to me as it once did. So I’m throwing in the towel. I don’t want to post just to post. I want to post when I have something significant to say. Or something I want to say. Not everything I want to say is significant. In fact, most of what I say is only significant to me. Be that as it may, I will post when I feel like it.

So, this time, I’m a quitter. You know what?

i don't even give a fuck

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What’s something that used to mean everything to you but now you could give a fuck less about?

Everything You Didn’t Want to Know About Me

I’m running out of things to discuss. I’ve already regurgitated a couple of posts from my old blog this month and it’s only the 15th. So I’m sort of mailing it in today. It’s a Q&A!! Thanks to Molly for finding all these questions! (By the by…if you’re not already following Molly get your ass over there and click the follow button. You don’t want to miss what she has to say.)

Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?

Open, because my closet door is a pain in the ass to open and close. So I just take the path of least resistance…

Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from hotel?

No. It’s a pain in the ass to use those things.

Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out?

Out. To be honest, the only sheet on my bed is the fitted sheet. I just sleep under my comforter because sleeping under a comforter and a sheet just gets me all tangled up and then I fall out of my bed when I try to get up in the morning.

Have you ever stolen a street sign before?

Not a sign, but I did steal an entire road construction barrel once because I wanted the flashing orange light (which was bolted to the barrel) on the top of it.

Do you like to use post-it notes?

I don’t really feel any particular way about them, but I use them to label all the broken shit in my office at work because I’d forget whose is what and what is wrong to all that shit otherwise.

Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of bees?

Why would I want either? Right now I’m drinking my coffee and all I want is for my cup to refill itself.

Do you always smile for pictures?

If I can avoid having my picture taken I do so. If not, then I try to smile so I at least look like I’m not some grumpy asshole, even if I am.

 

What is your biggest pet peeve?

Jesus, I can’t narrow it down to just one. Right now, the thing bothering my most, though, is that I can’t pick one pet peeve that pisses me off more than the rest. And now I’m irritated. Dammit.

Have you ever peed in the woods?

Of course. Almost every house I grew up in had woods beyond the back yard. I spent much of my childhood roaming through trees (and in them), and I sure wasn’t going to head home just to pee.

What about pooped in the woods?

Hmmm…I think I might draw the line there. I don’t recall ever doing that, because pooping without wiping is just ewwwwwwwwwww…

Do you ever dance even if there’s no music playing?

I’m sure I have, but it’s not something I typically do.

Do you chew your pens and pencils?

Um, no. Why would I do that?

What is your song of the week?

What a curiously timed question. I already spoke about that this week.

What’s your least favorite movie?

There are too many from which to choose, so I’ll just pick the movie I couldn’t even sit through one time. Toys. I left the theater about 30 minutes into that horrible movie.

Where would you bury hidden treasure if you had some?

Why would I bury it? I’m not a dog or a pirate…

What do you dip a chicken nugget in?

Depends on my mood. More than likely it would be Frank’s Red Hot, but sometimes I’m in the mood for BBQ sauce or spicy mustard.

What movies could you watch over and over and still love?

There are plenty, but I’ll go ahead and list the movies I’ve watched the most and still love, and that is every Star Wars movie. Duh.

Were you ever a boy/girl scout?

Pfft. No.

Would you ever strip or pose nude in a magazine?

Um, no. Who would want to see that?

When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper?

About three years ago as an assignment from a marriage counselor. That worked out well, obviously.

Can you change the oil on a car?

I can change the oil in a car, yes. If the oil is on the car you shouldn’t change it; you should just wipe it off.

Ever gotten a speeding ticket?

Oh, yeah, *crosses fingers* It’s been a long time, though. Almost lost my license a couple of times in my late teens.

Ever ran out of gas?

One time that I can think of. That was the suck.

What is your usual bedtime?

On work nights, about 10. On weekends, whenever I get tired.

Are you lazy?

Pretty much.

What is your Chinese astrological sign?

I was born in the Year of the Snake, but if you’re asking what my normal sign is it’s Gemini.

How many languages can you speak?

Just English. I took three years of Spanish in high school, but since I didn’t know anyone else who spoke it I’ve lost it all.

Do you have any magazine subscriptions?

Pfft, no. Everything I want to learn I can find online for free.

Which are better, legos or Lincoln logs?

Legos. Duh.

Are you stubborn?

Fuck yeah.

Who is better, Leno or Letterman?

I can’t stand Leno.

Ever watch soap operas?

Sadly, there was a time in my early teens when I did. *hangs head in shame* But now I can’t stand them. I don’t do drama.

Are you afraid of heights?

Absolutely.

Do you sing in the car?

Are you kidding me? I rock that shit.

Do you sing in the shower?

Are you kidding me? I rock that shit.

Do you dance in the car?

Um, no. I try not smash my car into other motorists.

Ever used a gun?

I’ve held many a gun. I’ve sold plenty of guns. I’ve never fired a gun.

Do you think musicals are cheesy?

Yes! I mean, who the fuck just breaks out to song at random moments? I have never conversed in song before. It makes no sense to me.

Is Christmas stressful?

Not to me. I think people make it stressful. I think too many people get so caught up on finding the perfect gift and forget what the holidays are truly about, which is giving and spending time with your loved ones. And egg nog.

Ever eat a pierogi?

Love them.

Favorite type of fruit pie?

Pumpkin. Is pumpkin a fruit? I don’t even care. That’s still my answer.

Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid?

Baseball player. Then later in high school, a math teacher.

Do you believe in ghosts?

I’m unsure. I mean, I’ve heard some very convincing stories, but I’ve never heard or seen anything that made me truly believe.

First concert?

Some oldies concert my dad took me to at Fulton County stadium when I was a kid.

Nike or Adidas?

Nike, duh.

Cheetos or Fritos?

Cha cha cha cheetos!

Peanuts or Sunflower seeds?

Peanuts. I love Charlie Brown.

Ever take dance lessons?

Nope.

Regularly burn incense?

Nope, but I regularly burn dinner. Does that count?

Who would you like to see in concert?

I’m honestly not much of a live music fan. Of all the bands I’m really into that I haven’t seen, though, I’d have to say Seether would top that list.

What was the last concert you saw?

Avenged Sevenfold, Hollywood Undead, and Blackstone Cherry.

Are you patient?

Depends on who and what the situation is. I’m much more patient now than I have ever been before, though, so I guess age is calming me down.

Which are better, black or green olives?

I love them both. YOU CAN’T MAKE ME CHOOSE!

Can you knit or crochet?

Why would I do that?

Best room for a fireplace?

b756c-beavisfire

Who was your HS crush?

Well, I won’t say her name here, but she was amazing. Now she’s extremely religious, so obviously that worked out for the best.

Do you cry and throw a fit until you get your own way?

No. I get pissed. Rant. Maybe drink. Then move on.

Do you have kids?

All three of them.

Do you want kids?

Well, I want the ones I already have. I don’t want any more, though. I love them dearly, but they are more than enough to handle.

What’s your favorite colour?

Either red or black.

Do you miss anyone right now?

Well…my kids. It’s my weekend without them…sigh.

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Are you participating in NaBloMeFoSho NaBloPoMo? Do you want an easy post idea? Are you going to steal these questions and make them your own?

Redemption

9472065573_2c6abb69c9_bRedemption lurks
In unseen caverns
Elusive
Like a wisp of wind
Craved
Like a warm embrace

I desperately covet
Those liberating words
The words
Which will set my guilt free
The words
Which will release
My tortured heart

“I forgive you”

I sometimes hate myself
Bitter about
My heinous choices
My shameful weakness
My lack of forgiveness
My wicked collapse

My grief
Flows like blood from a wound

My flaws
Exposed as the sun in the sky

My shame
Burns like the Northern Star

My anger
Roils like a deadly storm

Haunted
By the skeletons in my closet


Poem inspired by this week’s prompt at The Reverie.