Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cookies and Messy Kitchens...

So 2009 has pretty much come and gone, and I was lucky enough to come up with the brilliant idea of making sugar cookies from scratch - now don't get me wrong, I am pretty handy in the kitchen, and have an awesome recipe for a Hot Pocket omlette with microwave waffles that will make any hungover individual instantly feel better - but most of the work is done there - this was purely a routine spur of the moment thing to try and come up with some inexpensive gift ideas for folks, (I will get to the inexpensive part later), and to spend some quality time with my two little elves creating Christmas Memories together - and boy did we create memories...

So first - when you are making sugar cookies from scratch, you must go to the web, and you must find the recipe with the least ingredients.  Now, I thought sugar cookies probably only contained three, maybe four ingredients - but no - every Grandmother from here to Missoula, Montana has come up with their respective twist on sugar cookies.  What the fuck is lemon zest anyway - and why would you put something that sounds like dishwashing detergent in a cookie - I was unable to figure that one out - but I imagine that it is a perfectly good cooking item - just one that they don't put in Hot Pockets...

A couple of the strange items that I found that you can add to sugar cookies - peanut butter - why in the hell would you add peanut butter to sugar cookies - does that not make them a peanut butter cookie? Do they have some sort of internal conflict - no, these really are sugar cookies, they just look and taste like peanut butter.  Vanilla Bean seeds - I understand why one would want to use Vanilla Bean seeds after purchasing Vanilla Extract - at the current price of extract, I could afford to actually buy gifts, and not deal with shit sticking to every corner of my kitchen floor.  Lemon Zest - see above.  Mint extract - nothing like having that just brushed feeling after wolfing down a dozen sugar cookies.  Cinnamon - once again - SUGAR COOKIES - pure simple sugar cookies - if you add cinnamon, you have a snickerdoodle - not a damn sugar cookie.  Perhaps on those dictionary websites someone should really set the record straight about what a sugar is, and why you just use flour, eggs, butter, SUGAR, and vanilla - not fruit, liquor, bark, or other spices - it is a sugar cookie. 

Needless to say, I did find a fairly simple recipe, and set off on my journey to find the ingredients and necessary tools to work with my children on these wonderful creations...

Step 1 - You might as well take the Tylenol now.  Going to any grocery store two days before Christmas is pure insanity.  Women and children clogging every artery of the store with shopping carts full of raw turkeys and hams and chips and candy and wine (I don't mind that part) - and that was just the parking lot. 

Step 2 - Make a list.  Make a list of the things you wish you had done right in life so that you could hire someone to make the damn cookies, and you and your kids could be skiing in Switzerland somewhere.  Then, make a list of everything you need.  If you don't, the Grocery Manager will KNOW that you are on a sugar cookie expedition, and that's where the trouble starts.  For some reason, every grocery store (of the three I visited) was out of the cheap plastic cookie cutters - but every single one of them had the copper keepsake cookie cutters.  Yup, now I have two damn sets of gingerbread men and angels, and trees, and doves and bells.  I am going to rent them next Christmas, so give me a call if you need them. 

Step 3 - Stop in the beer aisle, drink one or two, then go back to the baking section.  This not only calms the nerves, but typically gets people off your ass.  If they see you, they know you are having a really bad time at this whole thing, and just need to give you some distance and time.  The women with their little bastards also move further away from you.  (Of course during this entire excursion, my two children were perfect angels - except for the color combinations that we had to list as necessities)

Step 4 - Enter the baking aisle.  Buy Powdered Sugar, Vanilla, Copper Cookie Cutter, Flour, Sugar, writing icing, (hopefully you remembered the butter and eggs after you chugged the two beers in the refridgerated aisle) - and as a man in the baking aisle, be prepared for the disdainful stares and tsk tsk tsk sounds coming from the grandmothers who see your cart and realize you are not going to put Lemon Zest in your cookies.  Oh and don't forget the little candy things, that, when properly placed on a tile kitchen floor, feel just like walking on a bed of nails.

Step 5 - Escape the Grocery, give the kids a dollar for the Salvation Army Bell Ringer, and pray that you just purchased the winning powerball ticket.

Step 6 - Here is where the real fun begins - you mix all of this crap in a large bowl, and you realize you just made something that resembles and tastes like pizza dough.  No problem, just add more sugar until you have sweet pizza dough.  I would recommend taking a shot of the vanilla extract, but expensive tequilla is cheaper - so do that. 

Step 7 - Remind yourself that you should have wrapped everything in Saran Wrap - the couches, the carpet, the utensils, yourself - as little dismembered angels and gingerbread men and bells and doves fly around the kitchen at lightening speed whilst little hands work furiously to create these gifts.  Now, I can understand shoving nickels into a slot maching at breakneck pace while sucking down well vodka - but kids, they can understand rolling dough, cutting dough, licking dough, cooking dough, eating dough, and wearing dough faster than I could ever possibly feed nickels into a slot machine (and trust me, anyone who has seen me in Vegas knows that I am pro-freaking-lific at that).

Step 8 - First batch in the erroneously non-preheated oven.  Note to self - when baking, ignore all instructions about sea level.  I never believed that crap - and the fact that I just watched the cookies until they looked okay seemed fine to me.  Last thing I need is to actually have to be an engineer to bake cookies (even though, based on my experience, it probably will not hurt) - anyway, I digress.  You must continue to cut and shape cookies while the first batch bakes.  This way, your little helpers do not constantly say, "Can we make frosting now, how about now, are we ready to make frosting now, not right now, can we make it in a few minutes, when do we make frosting...." you should get the point.  After cutting about fifteen dozen shapes of mangled innocent cookies - the first batch comes out the oven, and the cooling begins...and the second batch and third batch and fourth batch and fifth batch go in the oven...eventually you will tire of hearing the question above, and you move on to step 9.

Step 9 - Frosting.  You must make the frosting.  These recipes are just as complex as sugar cookies.  Keep it simple.  Add milk, add vanilla, and add powdered sugar.  Done.  Don't add anything else.  Don't add anything else for multiple reasons - first - you already spent $94 on the ingredients to make the simple recipe.  Second - you may not be at sea level.  Third - by the time you get done making fourteen different colors based on the four food coloring bottles that you purchased, you will not have any clean bowls left to handle any additional ingredients, extracts, flavors, booze, grindings, shavings, nuts, fruit, or whatever they make suggest to liven up your cookie frosting.  For Pete's Sake (who the hell is Pete anyway) - they are SUGAR COOKIES.  Anyway, mix the simple ingredients, and watch your children slowly stain their teeth blue and green and red and turquoise and burnt umber etc etc etc - be sure to make two batches - because the first batch generally gets eaten mysteriously prior to making it onto the cookies.  Another reminder - keep the Benadryl handy - this is a safe and effective way to negate the sugar high that both you and your children are experiencing, and it keeps the neighbors from thinking that all of you are amped up on crystal meth and freaking out to Christmas music.

Step 10 - Decorate the little cookies.  Now the amazing thing here is that those mangled chunks of dough, once they swell up in the oven, actually come out looking like little bells and angels, and trees and whatever the hell those copper things were - so you have a pretty clean palate from which to work - and you know - step 10 is the best step - that's when the kids buckle down, and start sprinkling and painting and giggling and laughing and making birds that look like deformed bats and gingerbread men that look like they just got off a three day binge.  Step 10 is by far the best part - they laugh and they are enjoying the hard work you just did - and for about half and hour, you forget about steps one through nine - and hope that they don't remember you saying "Why in the fuck did I just not buy these folks a damn box of Chocolate"...

Now with all of that being said - the real story is simple.  It was great to make a mess, and get my hands sticky and gunked up with sugar cookie dough.  It was fun to watch my little girl gingerly cut out angels, and watch  my son knead cookie dough.  It was a wonderful experience to watch them paint each gingerbread man, and talk to each other about the color of the buttons or the eyes of each of the cookies.  It was a reminder that the season gets into every ounce of their bones.  It was refreshing to me to see my eleven year old son hedge his bets on Santa, and my eight year old daughter eyes sparkle as she wondered what was going to be under the tree this year.  The best part - were the smiles in the photo above - and the joy and pride they felt in making cookies with their Dad for their family - and the pride and joy they will feel when their family bites into them - and knows that every single bite is a little bit of youth and love -

Merry Christmas everyone -


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Where DO I go?

Okay, so it is my lunch break here - and after getting through one conference call, and about to bounce to the next, I looked around my home office (yes, I am actually in Jacksonville this week - and am amazed at how disciplined I actually am with regards to working a full day - sometimes my motivation sucks - but it is much easier to work from here, get my work work done, and avoid doing the things that I should have done last night prior to going to bed at the same time my kids went to bed - i.e. dishes, laundry, more work, exercise, clean, pay bills - so the best motivator for me to stay focused on work is the fact that all of the other crap is just too damn dreary to worry about right now...)  Boy that was a long digression - anyway, I looked around my home office - that consists of a built in cubby space with my computer, three empty Starbucks cups, stacks of correspondence from the ex (I really really really like reading and printing those emails - those are always a good time), legal research, checking account statements, work papers, and a couple of pens that may or may not work anymore - and I decided today that it was about damn time that I find a place more suitable than a freaking apartment for me to live.

I have a two bedroom two bathroom apartment - and as far as apartments go - it is nice - it is a gated community, and is fairly new, and has one of those all purpose buildings, where, if I was not so lazy, could walk over and get free coffee and bottled water, or even use the business center over there to print more shit to stack on top of my already cramped "office space" - my kids share a room - it is decorated and adequate - a little too small for two kids of eight and eleven, but they use it for television and sleeping - and for now - before they hit puberty, they can deal with being in the same place for longer periods of time - I have a kitchen that is comfortably appointed, a screened in patio (that feels more like a prison cell than a patio), and my bedroom is large enough to put everything that I came out of the marriage with into a space (that means I bought new stuff, because I came out with a couch, a loveseat, a broken ottoman, and a broken television stand), and the living room has enough room for the stuff mentioned there, plus some wrought iron furniture that has been converted into a dining room table (of sorts - it hurts your ass to sit on it, so generally, I just eat on the floor and use the broken ottoman as a table - assuming that it is not piled high with folded laundry that I refuse to put away).  The apartment is one of those waiting places - where you have to be for a short period of time until things smooth over - I hate waiting places (reference to another Seuss book) - it is a place to store my crap, have my children, and sleep occassionally when I am home.  In the decorative spirit of Christmas, there are trees and lights and some decorations - but still, it feels like whipped cream on a pile of shit -

So that is the next question - where in the hell do I go - I am dating a girl from Seattle, work in Toronto, am headquartered in Omaha, and have two beautiful children here in Jacksonville - so what to do - you know, I continually toy with the idea of getting one of those POD storage units, putting everything in there, and just moving to one of those daily rent, daily pay places you see along the side of the old US Route Highways - that way, maybe it would not feel so permanent, and I could actually convince myself that I am in between houses right now - or just sell off everything, store my clothes at the parents house, and when I am in town, use some of those accumulating sky miles and hotel points to rent a room the weekends I am home.  There are really not very many alternatives - everyone told me this when I first started to get divorced - and it brings new meaning to "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" (hence the above video....perdy damn good music...), that I needed to protect myself a little better, to hell with doing what I usually did - and get myself a place to live with a backyard ample enough for bar-b-que, beer, fireworks, and falling down - (falling on pavement in my parking lot just is not that great) and let her figure out the rest of the crap - but me, being the intelligent genious that I am just said to hell with it, got a new apartment in the sticks right across the street from the dog track - and ten months later, I still have no earthly idea where to end up.

Do I go to Seattle - the Northwest has more there than any city that I have ever lived in - waking up and driving to the top of the hill in Main Street Edmonds and seeing the Olympics in your window, hiking at Deception Pass, heading for Breakfast downtown with the heroin addicts and night shift workers out for a morning beer, laying at Gas Works soaking up the occassional sun - it offers alot...

Do I go to St. Augustine - Buy the little duplex, rent the upstairs, live downstairs, and wake up in the mornings to the sound of waves and watch the tourists stroll by on their way to the beach.  Spend long nights sitting on the porch, walking in the sand with kids to the Beach Comber, enjoy long nights of beer and blues at Aaron's place -

Do I go to New Orleans - Rent one of Aunt Myrlene's duplexes, and spend my weekends lost in Zydeco and good food and smoke filled bars crowded with other folks looking to hide out for a little while, sipping coffee and chickory and DuMonde while listening to the steam boats blare loud pipe music -

Do I just go someplace else - that's the biggest question - do I throw three darts at a map of the United States, and tell myself that is where I should end up - leave it in the hands of Kharma, and see what choices the petty arm of fate has?  If it works for stocks, maybe it will work for living arrangements as well.

My lease runs out in another two months - and I guess it is time for me to start looking at alternatives - and all of them are churning around in my head - the truth is, I can't stay here - not a good place for staying, a good place for adjusting - but not part of the long term plan in the life of George.  (Hell, long term for me these days has been two weeks - that is about as far ahead as I am able to plan...)

Anyway - that's enough sharing of the confusion that I have right now, besides, lunch hour - it's over, and I need to get back to ignoring those thoughts, and get back to drowning my angst in work...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Not nearly as Prolific...

This year as I was last year, I let the writing go for a little while, there were three active and aggressive acquisitions, things were hot and heavy on the home front, and sometimes I just ran out of material and desire to do any typing...

That does not mean my brain is wired to think somewhat incorrectly - I just have not had the gumption to sit down and pen anything.  Some folks are pretty good about describing situations that happen to them everyday - there is one blog that I read, the dude actually wrote a four page deal on putting on his running shoes - not the emotional part of putting on his shoes, but describing the intracacies of his New Balance sneakers right down to the label on the tongue of the shoe - I suspect there was a lid of weed involved in that thought process, or he really really liked those shoes.  Me, I am more of an abstract thinker (see photo above - that is me - getting ready to rock the house baby) and besides, it makes it a hell of alot easier when no one is really sure what I am talking about - and can form their own damn opinions about what I put here - you know, if I feed you too many details - then you actually may read and picture - consider my blog an exercise for your brains - or better yet, just consider my writing a way for me to pass the time, you just happened to click on the link - (hey, speaking of clicking on the link - I am now up to $6.88 cents in AdSense revenue - at this rate, I am thinking that I may get that first check by February - of 2012- assuming the world does not end in a catastrophic warp of storms and stuff - shameless plug - I know, if I put content in this damn thing that was actually worth paying for,then perhaps I would be getting paid for it - but consider this my contribution to bad literature - and your inspiration to avoid writing at all costs.  It is much easier to steal ideas off the web anyway....)

But I figured it was time for a top ten list...so what the hell, David Letterman puts one together what,once, twice a week, me I ain't so sharp as to know that much, but at least I try...

Top Ten Life Lessons in 2009:

1.The personality profiles on the web are rigged.  I am not an extroverted asshole, asshole - yes, extroverted - no.  Go ahead and take a few of them, and you too can get emails from people just like you.  For a small fee.

2.  Too much fabric softener=skin irritation.  Too much skin irritation = uncomfortable moments standing in front of crowds of people trying to explain system tools to them.  To many uncomfortable moments standing in front of crowds = a wierd sort of ritualistic dance to ease the irritation.

3.  Milk does separate after three weeks in the fridge.  Not a please separation either.  A science experiment like gaseous odiferous separation.

4.  Soup really is good food.  Soup and xanax, well that's good food too.

5.  Living in an apartment is not all that bad.  Living in an apartment with me as your neighbor is only bad when I am here.

6.  Canadian Bacon really is just small slices of ham.  Salty, small, slices of ham.  I can no longer tell the difference between a ham sandwich and Canadian Bacon sandwich. I can tell the difference between swiss cheese and cheddar cheese, but I cannot tell the difference between Canadian Bacon and Ham.

7.  Coffee is good.  Very good.  I mean the kind of good that gives you goose bumps all over. It is really good with soup and xanax too.

8. I like going to Value Village in Edmonds.  I can wear dead peoples clothes for really cheap.

9.  Expense reports in foreign currency suck.  I am good with spreadsheets (someone actually suggested that I become a fan of Excel on Facebook - and I was oddly drawn to it like a bus accident on the highway, but I resisted) but converting and then figuring out the vig the credit cards charge and then putting it in the system and then, and then, and then...it would be easier to invent an algorithim that explains why paint dries.

10.  It is good to have an attorney in the family.  It is better to have an attorney in the family who has been divorced.  It is even better to have an attorney in the family who has been divorced, and who is free.

I give myself a four on this effort - but between smears of peanut butter on my keyboard (yes, I am eating a granny smith apple with low fat peanut butter - it seems to be the only way I can ingest fruit these days - slather cheese sauce, peanut butter, or meat drippings on it) I was slightly distracted. 

Y'all have a good week. 


Saturday, December 5, 2009

The First Christmas...

There are a few things these days that make you want to get a bottle of wine called Serenity - a sweet white table wine with little color - and just sit down and try and figure out where that sinking feeling is coming from - Bovril - the perfect advertisement for right now - unfortunately I have a funny feeling that a meat paste is not going to take away the awkwardness of this Christmas - this is essentially the first time I have been a single person since about 1992 or so - there have been Christmas's in St.Louis, and Kansas City, and Shreveport, and Jacksonville, and Orlando over the past 17 years - married young couple, married young couple with children, middle aged couple with children - there have been parties at houses throughout the Country, there have been fake trees and real ones - but this year, I don't know what there will be at the "other house" but I do know that in the apartment, there is a cheap pink tree with Princess ornaments, a cheap fiber optic tree with sports ornaments, and a cheap family tree with colored lights - I was never allowed to do colored lights - Christmas became a chore, because everything had to be white and pristine - it was silly really to get to that point- that I hated to do the Christmas tree because I had to do white lights.  I remember times when I would put an ornament on the tree, and Christy (she was born on Christmas) would move the ornament to a more proper location - I suppose a more proper location.  I was given a box of ornaments, and of course the expensive, dainty ornaments were not in the box - I mostly got the sports related ones, or the chintzy ones that did not fit into Christy's grand scheme of Christmas - but there were a few nice ones included - mostly the ones my parents gave to us - you know - The White House annual Christmas Ornaments - brass, gold, shiny intricate -they are beautiful, and every one of them reminds me of Christmas Past - and I look forward to a new one that signifies Chrismas future -

I remember the first Christmas with Gabe and Gray, I remember the second Christmas, buying a ring wrap for the engagement ring (a piece of advice - buy diamonds from the pawn shop - selling them there as well isnot a bad idea...) I remember the Christmas Eve parties and the hectic rush of going to six different houses and then changing into pajamas and putting out carrots and cookies - Christy in her new Christmas pajamas - me in boxers - struggling to put some toy together with stickers and more parts than an artificial heart -

It is a tough time of the year - you get that sinking feeling - this was the time of the year that we were actually closest - where there was hope that the things that had happened in the past year were gone - I think that is why I am feeling what I am feeling - I cannot be with Cadence on Christmas morning, but I do get to see the kids faces light up when they come out and see their gifts - I look forward to that - I look forward to the Orlando trip and seeing my brother, I look forward to Disneyworld and dinner and having somewhere that I can be with family -

I don't think that feeling is going to go away anytime soon - asking myself if I made the right decision for me, for my kids, for Christy, well - when you are hanging ornaments that basically cover the only life you know - you ask those questions - and you do miss those good times.  I miss them now - probably only temporarily, I am sure that something will be said that will piss me off, the house will be renegotiated (Christy actually asked if I would "split" the debt with her so she could qualify for a mortgage - I guess I could do that if I could "split" the child support...), that will answer the question if I made the right decision - holding hands with my kids, or Cadence, that let's me know the decision that was made was the right one- but still, there is the reminder that at one point in time, I had a nuclear family, I had a house, in the words of my best friend, I was living the dream.

It was good to put up the tree- it was good to be reminded -


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What I am Thankful for...

Beth's Diner in Greenlake is a great place to stop in and have a six egg omlette dripping with cheese and ham and mushrooms - and to read the posts on the wall of the visitors that come in for just a tourist stop - this was my second visit - so I was now no longer a tourist - I was a real customer - but this little napkin, this close to Thanksgiving - it kind of plucked at me like that out of key piano note that you hear - it reminded me of a year ago - and begged the question - "What has changed since then and now - and why does this napkin seem so foreign - even if I felt exactly the same way a year ago..."

Last Thanksgiving, well, that was another post, but last Thanksgiving sucked.  It sucked for my family, my children, my in-laws, my ex-wife - it just plain out and out sucked - it sucked from the things that I and others had done - and thank god, that was last Thanksgiving - granted, this year will be a little different, but enough water has toppled over the levy to clear away enough of the debris left, the flood of bad things that came last season washed up enough silt and nutrients to start new traditions and a little bit of growth...

There are several things that I am happy that I have - all of which are temporary, fleeting, but they are here today - and that is what counts -

This Thanksgiving:

1.  I am thankful for friends like Aaron and Mike - they listen - and like the song says, there is no need to put quotations around the word friend - whether it is talking about how to proceed with my career, or what to do about some situation, or just pissing off the balcony at three am in between drunken song writing sessions - they actually care - and I am thankful that they do.

2.   I am thankful for our children - these two little things that Christy and I made together are enough to remind me that I do unpleasant things for a reason - I get up, I go to work, I clean the house, I discipline, I rearrange the schedule- just to be able to get the joy that they feel and to give them as much of me as they deserve.  This past year, I am thankful that I have grown and learned into being a real father - and not just a resident.  To see them smile, laugh, talk, cry, and just love - I am thankful for that.

3.  I am thankful for my parents - all four of them - each of them has a different take on life, and the pursuits that I dance around with - but all of them have always given me every opportunity to succeed and have always been there behind me just in case things got a little slippery.  It took this past year to realize that - again, I am thankful that I have.

4.  I am thankful for my health - even though I shovel Pirate Booty and Coors Light into my pudgy frame a little too frequently, there are things out there that can kill you even when you take every minute to be a little more cautious - I am thankful that I have been able to preserve what health I have.

5.  I am thankful for my job - as much as I bitch and moan about it - how many people today get to say that they set a plan out for themselves, worked to that plan - and had a company with the patience and compassion to not only let me grow into the work, but designed work that fit me.  I get paid to do what I love to do - and that is a blessing.

6.  I am thankful to live in the United States.  This country may not be the most liberal country in the world, nor does it have the best health care or the best legal system and, granted, we have some issues with wealth distribution across the lines - but in all reality, none of us would be reading this sentence in some other countries that are out there - and I certainly could not afford a laptop or wireless connections with the tax rates that other industrialized nations have...

7.  I am thankful that all I had to worry about this morning was my timesheet - I did not have to get water, did not have to worry if my kids were safe, did not have to think about how I was going to put food on the table - I consider myself lucky.

8.  I am thankful to have a companion - who knows where that road is going to wander to - but I know that it is nice to have someone to talk with that understands the porridge in my brains - I like that.

Most of all - I am thankful that things are calming down a bit.  It has taken a year to get to a place where I can look back at my actions - and say to anyone who cares to ask - I am not always the best person, and do not always make the best decisions - but I can assure you that none of my actions were ever intentionally designed to make anyone else feel like less of a person - they were selfish, sometimes ridiculous, and perhaps a bit immature - but they happened.  If for no other reason, I am thankful to have had the opportunity to learn a little bit more about myself through those moments.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone - go enjoy your families, friends, or whatever - and the minute you don't think you have anything to be thankful for - just shoot me an email, and I will help you pick a few out.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Something in the way she moves...

Yesterday morning was a rough one, I took this picture sometime Thursday evening, after I had shut down the computer for the day, turned on the Band of Horses CD, and waited for Aaron to show up with the Banjo and Guitar - needless to say, he showed up, we polished off, and I woke up Friday morning in a little bit of pain - but miraculously was able to get through a full day of work including a few conference calls and some hard core number crunching - Thursdays are made for ruining Fridays...and I held true to that - but yesterday afternoon, things got exceedingly better, I picked up the two chuckleheads, and we went and did the obligatory grocery, complete with enough food to last a year - even though I won't be back to the apartment for three weeks come Monday...

This morning I woke up early - not uncommon on these weekends, my daughter and I both fell asleep watching the Wizard of Oz, and my son had wandered off to watch Dirty Jobs - I woke up around 2:00 AM to find him half on the bed, half on the giant red bean bag chair with his glasses hanging precariously off of his head - I shut the television off, moved him into bed, and after a few very tall glasses of cold water, got back in bed - my daughter had rearranged so I ended up sleeping on the last fourteen inches of space (this may sound like alot - but it's not) -

Anyway, I woke up this morning to the two of them playing Beatles Rock Band - it is a nice sound to hear And Your Bird Can Sing at eight am - with the two of them giggling about their inability to move their fingers fast enough - they were eating Ritz crackers (and they knew that we would be at Starbucks before nine am - so the first thing I heard as soon as they saw me was - Let's go to Starbucks Butthorns!)  My son, just a few minutes ago, was singing Something in the Way She Moves - and I was prompted to sit down and type on this thing - we are on our way to a busy day of Soccer and St. Augustine, but hearing an eleven year old voice that has not been beaten down by years of smoking or excessive abuse - that was a catalyst - there is something about watching him sing and enjoy and close his eyes and tilt his head slightly, and say "Something in the way she moves...." that is a great motivator - many people who read this thing don't have children - and me, admittedly, have not been the best Dad in the world in the past few years - but spending more time, taking a few minutes, and letting them be with me when they are with me - seems to be paying off - and the good feelings I get from their growth and smiles and tears and innocence is wonderful.  I am spending more time with them than I have in a long time - and I like it - I always was a little reserved in the past - afraid that I was screwing them up, making them a little crazy, but the fact remains that they are happy, well rounded, and honest - and best of all - they are not afraid of what they are going to get - they know they are going to get a Dad who loves them, and who wants their time and the truth.

Getting to a place where you are comfortable with your own children is a difficult thing to learn - you see I was never really allowed or strong and independent enough to do things the way I saw fit - there was always a question of my ability to parent - I heard it every weekend, every day, and got the looks and the chiding - it was not the right way or the best way or the proper way - and after a while of that - it becomes hard to do anything - it is just easier to follow, and hold their hands when they want you to, and speak when spoken to.   In between Cherry's constant concern, and Christy's constant harrassment about my parenting style (and the never ending conversations between the two of them) - I was not really sure which way to go.  Now, I am pretty sure that I was doing the right thing by just being with them, and I was doing the wrong thing by listening and questioning whether I was good to them -

Seeing them now, and their confidence and smiles, speaks volumes to the parenting that they receive - I see them quite a bit - they are in my house at least ten days a month (significantly more than when I was married - when you hated going home, for any reason, it was easier to ignore) - and over the next couple of months, it is going to be about 50% of the time that I get to wake them up, get them ready for school, pick them up, help with homework, fold their clothes, cook their meals, and most of all, enjoy being their father.  There is nothing in the world better than that -

It does not come with challenges - and I can see in both Gabe and Gray the tweens are starting to set in, and the peace symbols and funky haircuts and wierd hats are starting to come out, along with the tempermental mood swings - but they still want affirmation that they are okay, that things are going to be okay.  I think I can provide that to them - when they are sad or sick or just feeling a little less than zero -

I never knew what it was to be a father until this past year - I never took the time to get out of my head, and into their world - a playful, open, and honest world of raising young strong people who know how to love, how to be a little less critical of things, how to openly explore and be safe.  Much of their personalities comes from Christy - their steadfastness, their approval seeking nature, their temperance, but a good portion of their lust for life comes from me - and I want them to foster that seeker in them, and know that what they are looking for is generally right around the next corner, you just have to be brave enough to keep walking instead of resting and waiting for it to come to you.

Thursday nights are certainly made for ruining Friday mornings, but Friday afternoons at the bus stop or at the pickup line - those days are good days filled with good things...

Until next time...


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I don't like it too slow...

You know, when you have been moving 200 miles per hour for a long time, and things are a blur of paperwork and spreadsheets and coffee and deadlines - it is really hard to get things back into a normal state of affairs when you get back to the forty hour work week - today, I was compelled to re-organize my emails - they looked like my laundry basket - just old dirty emails piled up in the in box, needing to be cleaned, folded, and put away - I looked over endless numbers of 3x5 cards that had notes on them, spent three hours in a conference room organizing my calendar, trying to figure out if Canadian holidays are close to American holidays, spent an hour or two following up on long lost emails, and spent another thirty minutes determining if I should change my flight to six am tomorrow morning, or to stick with Friday morning - indecisiveness sets in pretty good when you go back to doing the normal work schedule, the normal routine, the normal stuff - I don't think I was really built to do normal stuff - either that, or my brain has re-wired itself to misfire when I have to sit around and think about things without having anything beating on me to finish it in an hour, or get it done....I think that is probably the case, I have to somehow teach my brains to work a little differently, maybe fire on different cylinders, or at least fire on a few less (kind of like that new GM thing when you are cruising down the highway, it shuts down two of the cylinders and you just drive on four - why I know that, I have no earthly idea, but I do, and I keep it saved up in my slowly fading memory)...

I tried to convince myself to go down to the gym tonight - but felt a little safer in the hotel room, I was looking forward to some room service, and finalizing the holiday calendar with the ex - now I know why my parents were always stressed out around the holidays - not only did they have to deal with having less money, but they also had to deal with figuring out how the hell to magically teleport children to places that are supposed to feel like home for the holidays...

I reckon that is going to be the hardest thing this year - last year's holidays- well, they sucked - for four people - all of us affected by our own behavior, and some affected by just mine - but they sucked.  Thanksgiving I got to sleep on a couch next to a couch where a homeless guy was sleeping, and Christmas, I got to borrow the house for a few hours in between the different families visiting and making their way through my place.  Funny thing, my place- it is still half my place - and it holds quite a few good Christmas memories - the gifts on the mantle, the half eaten reindeer snacks, opening gifts in the den - fast and furious - just like I like things -

Yeah, I am not too good when I am not under some sort of pressure - not too good when I cannot figure out how to keep the quiet from becoming a little too quiet - and not too good at keeping focused when there are not enough bright lights and stress bouncing off around me - returning to a 40 hour work week - man, I just don't know how to handle that - in the past, there was plenty of Coors Light and streetlamps to visit - but that just got me into trouble, now, I go through several other things to give me something to do:

1.  I walk the halls of the hotel around 10:00 PM collecting all of the the little unused condiment bottles off of the room service trays - not only does it make sure that TSA will sort through my bag, but just imagine how much I have saved on mustard, catsup, and little tiny jars of sweet relish.

2.  I clean my hotel room.  Yup - I actually clean my hotel room.  I mean not like just a straighten it up - I make sure it looks like housekeeping just came in and cleaned it.  Stupid - but I leave the do not disturb sign on my door intentionally to occupy a little bit of time in the evenings.

3.  I watch French Television.  I cannot speak a lick of French, but I can watch French Television.

4.  I see how many sit ups I can do before my back begins to spasm.  Lately, not too many.

5.  I play that stupid damn game Mafia Wars on Facebook.  Why, I am not quite sure - perhaps it is the fact that my facebook mafia wars bank account has billions of dollars in it, or perhaps, it gets really old listening to the air conditioner in the room cycle on and off.

6.  I write a blog.  Some of them less notable than others (you are reading one of those, but thanks for your persistance)

7.  I empty out my briefcase and count how much change I have.  Yesterday, I had close to eight dollars in Canadian and US Currency tucked safely away in my man purse. (About two dollars of it had congealed together with some sticky residue of chewing gum that had escaped its wrappers....)

8.  I read really boring books.  Right now, I am reading The End of Food- and although a long arduous and tedious book - it really is good to know that most of the food I eat is randomly being sprinkled with E Coli and hormones that will give me tits. (That would give me something else to do...)

9.  I try and figure out who is actually reading this damn blog - I have one of those nifty site meters that gives me the IP address of the visitors, and short of folks from Dallas, Omaha, Ponte Vedra, a few from Bothell, a couple from Edmonds, and the occassional "LOCATION UNKNOWN" - it is pretty interesting to see who is reading it, why they are reading it, and when they are reading it.  You know what is even cooler (for a computer challenged idiot like me) is that when it is forwarded - you even can get remotely close to the email text that forwarded it sometimes....very very interesting...

10.  Most of all, I just think.  I think of the kids, and of the future, the past, I think of many things - sometimes they put me to sleep, sometimes the thoughts send me downstairs for a single serve (I hate single servings) of Nyquil, sometimes, they just make the quiet loud enough for me to feel uneasy enough to make a few promises that tomorrow I will do something just a little better...

Maybe that's what the quiet is for, and if my brain could get used to it, perhaps I could too....

Until next time -


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Big Easy, revisited...

I have been to New Orleans several times throughout my life - I remember as a baby going over the old Lake Bridge - with the water lapping from the Ponchatrain at the sides of the railing, an angry brown soup spilling over the white concrete - that bridge is gone now, but I went back again a couple of times in college, driving down the street right behind a Mardi Gras parade with the sun roof open, then again on my honeymoon for a day with Uncle Jugo, and to go by the trailer to visit my Papa and Mama proud with my new bride, again I went when Papa died, and we put him to rest in a simple grave in St. Bernard - I went with my friends after ten years of marriage to celebrate with them, to enjoy New Orleans and the debauchery it had to offer, and after I lost my job in Kansas City - as a much needed break from a hectic forced move and multiple months of separation - and most recently, I went three days after the divorce was finalized, with a new love, looking for a new place, maybe a new start - and I found what I was looking for - I found what New Orleans has always been good for - a new start, a new feeling of being, a refreshing and tiring dip in the well of the best and worst that humans have to offer -

We stood together in Jackson Square, and looked at the cathedral - we went inside and lit votives for those and said our simple agnostic prayers - quietly - we knelt in our pew, we stared at what man has to look for in trying to find something deeper and majestic in that cathedral.  We sat on a rickety street car, and strolled through the garden district, picked up pieces of slate older than we were, pieces of sidewalks that had been worn smooth by millions of feet for hundreds of years.  We went into the resting place of my family, and we cried and remembered, and respected those who had come before us, and those who would come after us.  We sat in Sing Sing and listened the music of the band play loud and simple, just pure music and smiles.  We watched the college kids locked in a kiss have a hard time keep their liquor love from shining through.  We sat and watched the oracle flip tarot cards and read our future, me, the death card - the fear of change - prevalent right behind the Prince of Pentacles - he said something that I did not quite hear in my booze enhanced awe, but we listened and giggled and asked our questions.  We bought miniature gumball machines and beignet boxes, and moved from bar to bar seeking out a darker, louder music venue, and stayed away from those well lit daiquiri joints that took over after Katrina.  We sat and ate pastry and had strong coffee with chickory ast the Natchez played the steam organ in the background.  We got lost amidst the quarter, weaving down the side streets, hiding with those folks who did not want to be noticed, who wanted to be lost and inebriated in everything that old city has to offer.

Knowing why that city has always beckoned me to come, invited me to get lost somewhere in its streets, not fully understanding why it is what it is to me has been difficult - the woman in the picture above said something to me, she noticed, and it made sense, "When you are looking - you are looking for this - I can see it" - and she is right - there is no place like New Orleans.  There is no other place to be when you are there - it has its drawbacks, it has its problems, but it is New Orleans - and the mystic that fills that town, the voodoo, catholic filled energy, the people, the lust for life or death or whatever - that city fills me with what I search for when I stumble down the streets of downtown Seattle, Portland, Kansas City,St. Louis, where ever - when you have a feeling that you belong - you just have a feeling that you belong.

This weekend was the Big Easy - the hardest parts are done.  There are going to be more difficult parts ahead - there are going to be tough choices and the need to decide.  There are still difficult emotions to work through and push through and come to some conclusion with- but the Big Easy was just what it needed to be - a beautiful woman on my arm, a smile and a dance, some blues, and some piece of mind that there is a place where I do belong - and someone that I belong with -

The city has not lost its charm and draw to me after this many years, and I was lucky enough to share that this week with someone who I hope enjoyed it - and was able to breathe in what I am - a little run down, a little extreme, a little charming, a little confusing - but full of love for what it is that makes me -

I am going back to New Orleans - not to mark any other occassion - but because that place is a place I love - and there is no sense in staying away from those things that you love.

Until next time.


Shitty Endings and Blues Music....

St. Roch #1 is in a pretty shitty area of New Orleans - it is about two blocks down St. Roch Street, just off of Claiborne Street - deep in the heart of the part of New Orleans that was not very dry, not very sage, and not very happy during Katrina - but it is also where my real grandmother is buried - in one of those mystic New Orleans graveyards that have old Cajun and German and French names, where the Jewish and Catholic and Lutherans and Baptist all get interred above ground - only to have their bones crushed and compacted in a few years to add another one to the family tomb...my grandmother comes from the Heckmann line- there is not really too much about them in New Orleans history - a typical family, with a typical history, and some blood from Kenner to St. Bernard, and just about everywhere else.  I don't know much about this part of my life, except to say that she died when my Dad was five or six years old of Tuberculosis, if I remember correctly, in the St. James Infirmary, but my Dad would know better than I would - we talked after I placed some new flowers, and swept off the dust, and rearranged some of the plants that had died or dried up - I am sure my PaPa (prounced Paw Paw) would have been proud of me, and I know that my Dad probably called Uncle Freddy and let him know that little George stopped and gave Milieu a kiss...

New Orleans is a great place to start over or to just end up - there were plenty of folks doing a little bit of both - some were obviously not going anywhere else - they just ended up there, and had nothing on their plate except to eventually die a pauper somewhere in the quarter or holed up in a shit smelling alley - those folks mingled in with those who were there to breathe in excess in every shape of the word - and New Orleans unabashedly provides both - you can go there to die - nobody cares, and you can go there to live without fear of reprisal - nobody cares - family runs deep in New Orleans - and always will - I am glad that this is part of my heritage, and I am glad that I went back to see it.

I have been thinking of places to establish a residence - places far away from Jacksonville, but close enough that I can get back to see Soccer Games and Dad/Daughter Dances - and New Orleans would not be too bad of a choice.  I could rent some second floor apartment in one of the older buildings in the CBD - it would not be too much, and would be enough for me to have a place to be away from a town that I have grown to hate.  Let me rephrase that, I don't necessarily hate Jacksonville- I hate the circle that I used to run in - why - because that is what they are - and all they will ever be - and I chose to be a part of that - I actually aspired to be highly thought of in that circle - and to my surprise, it would have taken a hell of alot more to break in, but better yet, it took a hell of alot less to be free of it...

My ex-wife sent an apology card to Cadence this week- that's the Jacksonville I know - where you shit on people, you talk behind their backs, you carry on as if God granted you immunity for transgressions, and you follow it up with a bullshit apology.  I have had just about enough lip service from those folks as I can take, and the best thing about New Orleans - is that they don't care - they will tell you that you are an idiot - but will also let you know that they sing the blues for you....it was nice to be asked where I was from, and why i drove down into the quarter - that city holds a true personality for me - it is made up of good people - mostly poor, many undereducated, but for the most part, overwhelmingly good.  I wish Jacksonville could say the same...

Why so down on Jacksonville - last week was a shitty ending to a pretty shitty marriage.  I used to say that we were the only ones of Christy's friends that survived - and now I know I was lying - Christy and her friends are the only ones who survived - they surrounded themselves with their walled in communities and private school functions and Daddy is going to save me - and let their mothers convince them that they were good and wholesome - I was just a vehicle for that - and apparently, according to my ex, pretty anatomically challenged - (hell, I guess I should tell the story, I find it pretty funny now, and hey, it's true!)

So the daughter was running a fever - and I don't know about you other fathers out there who spend more time on the road than you did a home (not a pleasant commentary - I know I missed a lot more than I should have as a Dad, but I am trying to make up for lost time - the only good piece of advice my father-in-law ever gave me was that life is not a dress rehearsal - so I use that sometimes, and try to make up for past transgressions...)  Well, anyway, 102 degrees, complaining of a headache, and with the son just having the H1N1, and my daughter bawling, I called - and she talked, but somewhere in between beer number three or four - she hung up on her - and my daughter could not understand it - so I tried back - and after the third time, sent a text that would get her attention - and it did'nt  -not until 11:15 - and that's when the fun really began.

I get this call - and was on speakerphone, while she and her friends laughed and caroused at making me the ass of their jokes - it was a simple enough prank - shallow, empty, and pretty well thought of considering the group of folks it came from - it was like being back in high school - I had just signed the papers - was dealing pretty well with my day, and BAM - she and her Jax buddies thought it would be fun to gig me a few times - I give them an A for effort, but certainly, they win the "Talk Out of Both Side of Your Mouth Award" and the empty wishes of "I just want you to get to a happy place" seem to waft above the room like a stale boiled peanut fart (for those of you who have not experienced one of these, please do it by yourself...) - but that was not a big deal - I sent the obligatory emails to the attorneys, the parents, the friends - you see, I never put anyone's business in the streets - and I really don't have too much of a problem with mine being out there - but after Tuesday night, the revolving door zipper joke that I heard in Starbucks about my ex - or the jokes about Cougars on Prowl - looking for horsemeat, or the lack of appetite, or whatever became fair game - now I am taking the high road here - I could go into more detail - but refrain, for the sake of dragging up stupid shit that is not worth blogging about...

So the best part - we have a two hour Skype conference call with the girl that I am seeing now, and for once, for just a brief instant, it was nice to have someone else listen to the inane craziness that I listened to for twenty years - sure, I have made an ass out of myself - many times, and most times I am a little ashamed of it, a little embarrassed - but I have never lied about it - what you see is what you get - but now the reality of the situation is out there - I meant it when I said I have nothing to hide - but some people do - and cannot stay behind that veil of perfection and blame forever.  It was nice to get that closure, just simple, pure victory in a battle where no one really wins - you just try to walk off the battlefield with a little bit of dignity and at least an ounce of respect for yourself...glad to say that through all of this - I gained more dignity and a hell of an amount of respect - the truth will set you free - hell, I would go into everything that was said on the call - but the best part had to be...

Well, I will let you guess what was said - it is probably better that way - on to my next post...New Orleans and New Beginnings..

Until then -


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Okay, so I have earned 1.38 thus far...

And I just went on ebay, and although there are several things that I can buy for a 1.38, I would prefer that a few of you interested readers and followers click on one or two of the links - you don't actually have to buy anything, but clicking on them tells me that I may get a check by December for $100 - and that would make me feel about as an accomplished an author as I suspect I ever may...

Shameless plug for begging for clicks...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Turn out the lights...and lawyers

So that is what you do when you get divorced in Duval County - you walk through these doors - you go through a metal detector, next to the folks who reek of alcohol and benders before they go before the judge and are escorted into custody, you go up an elevator to the fifth floor, and you sit on a church pew in a well lit hallway until they call your name and tell you they are ready (this was ex-parte, so maybe there are differences)

You watch the old boys clubs of lawyers discuss their trips to Paris, and their hard walks up the five flights of stairs, and you get to see their southern charm plaid socks and eccentric bowties that make them a little more scholarly, but most of all, I saw a racket - I mean these folks sit across the table from each other, they demean the folks who pay their bills, and then they smile and shake hands and move on.  I did not quite understand that until today - these folks are just like the boys at the auto repair shop sharing stories about weekend escapades - they may not like each other, but they work together just about every day - and under the guise of representing their client, they keep a sheen of civility that can only be understood bu those schooled in latin, and prepared to do mental battle at an old conference room table.  My respect was increased for these folks, until of course, opposing counsel thought it appropriate to say "Congratulations" - what a jackass - that's like saying "let's party" at a funeral - what the hell was that supposed to mean - congratulations for a twenty year relationship ending in divorce was the true measure of what the past twenty years were about - petty, insensitive, and ill thought comments with little or no value, other than to boost and prop up an image that really, when push came to shove, was window dressing on a litter box.  You can tell I am struggling a little bit with that one - but hell, it is done, and with the exception of having to occassionally go over the house and beg the ex to try and keep the yard looking like folks actually live there - I think things are where they are supposed to be.  I just was barraged by a string of lawyer jokes - and the reason there are so many, is because they are true.  I agree that diplomacy works, but to some degree the shmarmy ass-sucking brand of Southern Diplomacy I ran into today, well, Go Gators!

Now this is the hallway I am talking about - you sit here - and you wait for the Oz to come through the door - and grant you your way home...or a heart, or courage, or a brain...but odds are, that may not happen.  Everyone is belittled in that hallway - while I was sitting there, and you can see it - this is probably the aisle that folks should have to walk down - not the decorated celebratory aisle in some church or rented hall - no party afterwards that could have paid for a house or some student loan debt - just two folks walking down a cheaply government furnished aisle with pews facing them on the sides, and then they enter into this door - and they get the following speech:

1.  You are about to get married.  Odds are, you have about a 30% chance of survival as a married couple.  Think about this, think really really hard, and then wonder if you are going to be the lucky 1 in 3 that stays married until you die.

2.  All of those little nice things that you think are quirky now - well they will annoy the living shit out of you in about seven years.  I mean teeth grating, knees on asphalt types of annoyance.  If you have not discussed this, then turn around, and try living together with no soap and toothpaste for a while.

3.  You may think you two are the only ones getting married.  Wrong.  You are going to inherit a world of folks - many of whom you cannot currently stand, and have very little respect for.  If this is the case, go work out these issues, and if you can't - let's do this when you can.

4.  You will be lied to, stolen from, lambasted, belittled, ridiculed, and all of the other words ending in "ed" - sure, none may be as painful as beatings or adultery or whatever, but after your spouse gains 80 pounds, stops being attracted to you, prefers beer and pretzels and soft core porn, and makes sure everyone knows what an ass you have become - then you will get my drift.

5.  Bodily fluids are a part of life.  Get used to them being everywhere.

6.  Go clean a house together.  If you cannot see doing that every week - together - then you may want to start over.

7.  Love does not conquer all.  Love masks many things - if you have not confronted the garbage and skeletons - don't worry - they will come back around.

If then, and only then, folks can get through these things - and of course this should be taught by a couple of divorcees - then after the pre-nup is signed - and you pre-arrange visitation for your yet to be born children - then they should be allowed to take a razor blade to their palms - and should have to - and become blood.

That way there is some assurance that marriage is no longer as easy as it is - and divorce, well perhaps it would be less common...

I can say that I have learned alot in the past twenty years, but this past year has been the biggest learning experience for me - there are many different worlds out there - and different points of view - but when push comes to shove - there is really only one perception that matters to any of us - and that is what makes the difference between the 1 that succeeds, and the other 2 that were sitting with me in that hallway today.

Go with Peace and Prosperity...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Single serving cups and paper plates...

I like eating off of paper plates.  I like drinking out of paper cups.  It has nothing, and I mean nothing to do with my inherant laziness and aversion to washing dishes, it is just comforting and cathartic to eat a soupy mess of mashed potatoes off of a paper plate - the plate soaks up the flavor, and if you take long enough to eat your meal, by the time you are done, you can actually eat the paper plate, it has become one with the gravy, and the designs have been merged into the mashed potatoes - I know that this may not be considered normal human behavior, but anymore, after seeing a grown man in a speedo in 45 degree weather dressed up as Michael "Bongwater" Phelps, normal human behavior and its definition escapes me. 

Now I do not like single serving cups - they have these new coffee makers where you stick a plastic cartridge into the top, and it spits and coughs like a cat ridding itself of a furball, and out comes the coffee - I like the idea of putting way too many grinds into the top of the machine, and making a 12 cup pot, and then either 1) drinking all of it, or 2) watching the level slowly burn down into a spread for toast.  I have never liked single serve anything - I mean even at sporting events, they allow you to buy TWO beers per identification - so why would they make single serve stuff - don't they know that we are Americans, and one of anything is just never enough to fill our need to have something to do with both hands...speaking of which, my single serve coffee is now empty, so I am going to have to take a break and go listen to the coffee maker, perhaps it will give me just the break I need to make this post have some sort of sense to it...

So, here we are - now that break may not have seemed like much to you, but to me, I had to go into the kitchen, put the cartridge into the machine, select the blinking blue light the corresponded most closely to the container that I was placing under the coffee maker, ensure that the lid was properly sealed, and then listen to it spit out coffee.  It is not an appetizing sound...it brings beer and hot wings to mind...not eating them mind you, but what happens the next day...

I blew off Mass this morning with the parents and great-grandparents - I know my mom would love for me to start going to church again, any church, just so long as it has to do with the little baby Jesus, but I just cannot seem to get myself in those places.  These days, the only time I am in the church is for funerals - there are not too many of my friends getting married (well, maybe re-married, but those usually take place in Cancun or Vegas in a $90 ceremony followed by a $20,000 beer bash and cookout from Fat Joe's Traveling Musicians and Barbeque) and did I mention funerals.  There is enough church on television for me - I have some friends who go to a new church, and they actually watch the sermon on big television monitors being beamed in live from the mothership somewhere in this great United States - I say why go through the hassle - just send in your envelope every month, and click on a channel sometime before 10:00 am on a Sunday morning - VOILA - instant kharma.  You can even drink coffee when you watch it at home.  Sometimes I wish they televise funerals the same way - I hate funerals - I hate saying goodbye and paying respects - those things are meant for when you are alive, and if you can't be there then - there is no sense in being there when the person is gone - I think I have talked about this in great detail in past posts- hello's and the excitement of seeing someone is always followed by a goodbye - always - and those two balance each other - that is what they are designed to do - the minute you stop with the goodbyes, odds are you are dead too - so you should probably look forward to them just as much as you do the rest of the stuff beforehand.  I never was one to spend a large amount of time getting emotionally connected to a large group of people - sort of a single serving kind of person when it came to those sorts of relationships- what you see is what you get - at work, it is defined as "rough around the edges", at school it was "get it done, let's move on", in family "that is why we invite George over" - I mean I go through the normal exchanges of proper manners, and cleaning up after myself - but when I am done with whatever may be happening around me, I get up, I go, I just have had enough of that coffee pot, and prefer to come back to it a little bit later - well aware of the risk that it may have cooked down to a soupy thick black mess, but hell, if you add enough milk, you can still enjoy it.  Family events (or most events) take on new meaning when one of your goals is to get through them without downing half a bottle of Johnny Walker Black followed by a six pack of beer - used to be that is what I had to do to get around all of that stuff, now, it is what it is - and I tend to stray away from the liquor cabinet, and try to engage myself in the things that are going on around me - sometimes, the best comic relief in life is watching friends and family, listening to them, and dealing with the multiple servings of stories and events while waiting for your paper plate to congeal.  Then you head to the whiskey when they start talking about how things are going with you...

I guess I could share some of my social skills with you, these are all true mind you, and probably a good reason why I find myself repairing more relationships than building them, so you can take my advice and use these for either keeping people at a far enough distance that you don't really ever have to share with them, or you can not use them, and hope that some meaningful relationships develop - either way, it's your call -


1. "No, I can't go for a run, I pissed in my suitcase, and have to do my laundry" (Can't really say)

2.  "Well, the other day, I got a little bored, so I made love to the neighbors dog" (To my boss as he asked how things were going)

3.  "I intend to knock your daughter up as soon as I get the chance to get away for a few minutes"  (To my father in law as he drifted off to never never land after asking one of those questions you get out of a self-help book that is supposed to help you develop a relationship with your relatives)

4. "I stomached the first serving, and can't really see the odds being in my favor that I will make it through another one" (This was to the host that cooked the meal...not a good plan)

5.  "No officer, I peed on the kitchen floor because I really really really had to go - the other stuff, well, that was just a whim" (While repairing a few minor damages to my home after a late night)

6.  "Look Doc, I am not sure why my jaw is dislocated, but I am pretty sure it had something to do with me running my mouth and then my mouth running into a fist.  Did they teach this shit in medical school, or am I paying for counseling too" (That one is self explanatory)

7.  "Life is like a box of condoms - just because you have one, does not mean you are really experiencing them" (To my brother, the ordained minister)

8.  "I am not too sure if your kids really are okay." (To my sister, and my godchild)

9.  "No you are not getting heavier, the dress is just improperly sized and was probably made in Malaysia.  Everything is smaller in Malaysia.  I read that in a book somewhere." (To my ex-wife - note ex-wife - probably should have thought a little more before that one came out)

10.  "Sorry, I just can't stand losing to old people" (As I smashed my tennis racquet at Amelia Island on the tennis courts after being schooled by the in-laws)

11.  (Bonus) - "I belong to a social organization called HOBO - it's the Hookers and Blow Society, we do alot for neighborhoods with blight" (In response to a family friend guilting me for not going to more socially redeeming events)

You can use those if feel so inclined - and even typing them, I blush a little bit at the jackass I really became - hence the reason for me staying well clear of the wine rack during family events - or any event for that matter - but I can assure you, each comment you make will leave a lasting impression - and it sucks to think at 38 years old that I am just now getting the point that it is probably easier to not be such an ass, and try to be a little more of a team player.  I hate to think of it as selling out, and in some cases, early on, that is exactly what it felt like, but the reality is, when those thoughts come to my mind in the middle of a conversation, I just smile inwardly that I still have the ability to be a prick, but the maturity to know that if I want to be invited back, that I should probably go back over to the coffee maker, and listen to it sputter another single serving cup...

Let's all enjoy a sunny Sunday -


Saturday, October 31, 2009

No more please, thank you...

Was about all I could say as I was offered my sweet potato french fries - I mean they are good and all, but I figured that frying sweet potatoes removed just about every ounce of nutritional value from them, and the four pounds of seasoned salt that was dumped on top of them probably negated whatever was left...I had the perfect intention of getting on the treadmill, but the grease has congealed in the bottom of my stomach, and the miralax (draino for the common man) needs to loosen up the works before I hit the road...The Gators game is on, and I have absolutely no patience for 'Gid Em Gators" or "Dad Gum You caint let dem due dat to dem der Gators" or my seasonal favorite "Gimee a beer and Go Gators..." - I am not quite sure where my animosity stems from, perhaps it is the obnoxious gaggles of fans that invade Jacksonville every year with their orange and blue hats and skirts and boxer shorts and plaid bermuda shorts accented with pink and blue and orange polo shirts - perhaps it is that it seems like every attorney in Jacksonville went to, slept with, married, divorced, bore children with, or lived in a trailer park with a Florida Gator - maybe it is just that I really have a hard time with the Florida Fans - now I know that lumps them into a category all their own - but for those of you who have not had the honor of strolling through Gainesville on a sunny day, you just have no idea what I am talking about.  Picture a backwards southern town, with a huge school dumped in the middle of it - and I bet if you did the research, that literacy would be seasonal...but in respect for the awesome academic and athletic programs, I say Go Gators - and pray that my children select University of Central Florida as their alma mater...(I just can't imagine the football games with the former in-laws and having to hear my son say "Go Gators")..

So I started this post to talk about those things that I really don't want anymore of - you know, those things that you have hit your limit on - but then I took a break and  toted my daughter off to the nail salon to get a pedicure - I have never had one before, and thoroughly enjoyed having my feet scrubbed, rubbed, massaged, and scraped for about half an hour. They actually feel a bit naked now, the years of funk removed in one fell swoop, I think the grimace on the poor ladies face was enough to let me know that perhaps next time, I should at least try to clip the inch long toe nails before going to one of those places.  I did not partake in the lime green toe nail polish my daughter selected - not enough to drink prior to going I suppose, but maybe tonight I will put on some silk frillies and paint the dogs.  So anyway, things that I don't want anymore of:

1.  I really dont want anymore of those cookies with silk screened decorations on them.  Not only do they taste like they have been wallpapered - but eating pictures of your family or children has a perverse affect on me.

2.  I don't want explanations of why I was a bad husband from the miserable married people.  I KNOW why I was a bad husband - and I also know that the more I watch your overweight spouse shove three been chili dip into their gullet and wash it down with beer, that I am somewhat happy that I do not have to sleep next to or with that gas maker...sure, lonliness does occassionally set in, but that is what facebook and internet porn are for.

3.  I don't want to see anymore credit counseling commercials on cable television.  Why, because if you are that broke, you should probably not have cable, unless of course, you are ingenious enough to back the U-Haul underneath the phone pole, removed the signal block, add a splitter, and somehow get it for free (disclaimer: I am not speaking from personal experience).

4.  I don't want to listen to folks have conversations with their ex whatevers.  I prefer to wallow in my own misery and failure, and prefer not to have to share that very wonderful expression of hatred with you -

5.  I don't want to go to Walmart - ever ever ever.  Fat children being beat by their fat parents as they not only get the latest "Obama Sucks" t-shirts, but also the 144 pack of "Reduced Fat Jello Pudding Packs" is just not for me.  I prefer the thrift store - it seems like the folks there have just enough money to have a little humility, and are a hell of alot nicer.

6.  I don't want toothless carnies attacking my manhood when I can't shoot the red star off the paper card, can't throw a softball into a milk can, or get a ring around a bottle.  You are a carnie for christ's sake - when you finish getting the 31 teeth replaced, come see me, but in the interim, have another Cobra Draft, some funnel cake, and get back to loading the damn trucks.

7.  I don't want anyone to put the cell phone down when they are talking to me.  I would prefer they just hang up, finish shooting their heroin, drinking their beer, whatever - but don't put the cell phone down - just because they are portable does not mean that they are polite.

8.  I don't want to be patronized - just tell me like it is - after 38 years, I am pretty sure I have heard - Youre fired, I don't like you, you smell bad, that was a stupid idea, no green cords don't match with red plaid flannel shirts - enough times to take what you have to say to me - so say it damn it.

9.  I don't want to use hotel toilet paper anymore.  I carry a stash of Charmin with me - four years of constant travel, and the one consistent partner I can count on is a roll of lotion enriched toilet paper (now even softer!)

10.  Finally, I don't want to miss goals being scored, runs batted in, school dances, straight A's, medicine time, bedtime, girl scouts, boy scouts, Starbucks breakfast, mowing the grass, pedicures, or just anything that has to do with my kids.  That's what it comes down to - I don't want many things- but most of all, I don't want to miss the important things....

I don't want to write anymore - I think the miralax is kicking in, and that means there is a window of opportunity to not only lose a few pounds, but potentially clear out my stomach before I have to have another round of sweet potato something or others...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I will now demonstrate…

If there was a nickel in my pocket for every time I heard that from a flight attendant (I don’t know what the politically correct term anymore for these folks is, I am not sure if there is a gender specific term – for example, is a female flight attendant a flight attendess, a male a flight attendant, a hermaphrodite a flight attendantdess) – but to prevent digression and straying away from the real content that eventually will become apparent to you (I hope – it is not yet apparent to me) I will get back on point, and simply say if I had a nickel for every time I was about to go through how to put on an oxygen mask, how to wear a life vest, and how to buckle a seat belt, I would probably have at least ten dollars – and that, plus a couple of those Biscoff crackers would get me through about 3/4ths of an inflight drink. I guess I will digress for a minute – these flights to Canada get a little tiresome – generally, I take the 7:21 flight out of Jacksonville – that flight is easy, it is mostly the seasoned and bored business travelers just ready to get the week underway, and not be bothered – then I sit in Atlanta for an hour – you know the spot, Terminal A, Budweiser Room, but I drink draft Coors Light. I board the 9:32 Toronto flight, a flying cardboard tube that they like to call a Canadair Region Jet 200 – I would hate to have flown on the 100, or perhaps I would have thoroughly enjoyed it, because if they sit us any closer together, then it is an orgy in the skies. I almost feel like I should be able to pull into a rental car lot and ask for the CRJ 200 – and be told that there are upgrades available – but then again, with all of the subsidies that the airlines get these days, I understand how difficult it is to actually provide a little more comfort than a Greyhound Bus in the skies (the really great news is that now I am a Delta Platinum Member – typically, that means you are entering into, well through, or done with a divorce, have a slight to moderate drinking problem, see your home two to five days per month, and may occasionally like to wear women’s clothing. I have not quite figured out what perks it affords me, because I was still stuffed next to the 600 pound tire tread engineer who thought it was fascinating the way that All Season Radials are marketed in the States, and even after moving, I can still hear him chuckling to himself with his brilliant line “All Season Radials mean “No Season Radials” – I hope I did not offend him by going and wedging myself into the bulkhead seat, but then again his arrogance probably comes from a long line Eugenics supporters and his superiority refuses to acknowledge that not everyone is too terribly interested in discussing wear marks in steel belted tires…especially while his stomach bounces into your lap with every slight bit of turbulence…)I guess I should preface those remarks (or finish those remarks) with a little self deprecation – I was sitting on the bed this morning, fresh out of the shower, and coughed, and my stomach moved like a bowl of Jello at a Baptist Revival – it convinced me that taking two weeks off from the gym was probably not the best weight management program, nor did it serve to make me feel any better when I wedged my fat ass into a pair of dress slacks as a test run before packing. I guess this week there will be no room service, I will eat the free mints from the lobby, and boxes of Raisin Bran until the only left to poop is my tongue – (I think we all know what I am talking about here – the Raisin Bran diet is the most effective diet in the world – it is the only enema that you eat) Now that you have that mental image of me shoving a box of cereal up my ass…let’s move on.

Domestic and North American flying has really become a royal pain in the ass. I very rarely meet an employee who looks or even feigns happiness – tonight I followed three flight attendesses with one flight attedantdess (now I am not a homophobe, nor am I expressing any negative connotations or derogatory remarks – hell, I tended bar at a gay nightclub in college) - but this individual should have been waltzing down a runway in the latest avant garde or couture fashion being offered – it was a swishing floating walk with hands and knee jerks and twitches – it was a little bit unsettling) who did nothing but bitch about the way Northwest and Delta rosters were going to be rolled together and they were going to have to find out if they could still fly four days a week to make a living. Now, I am not quite sure what all of that is about, but I can assure you, that if I were to walk into an acquisition and raise hell about the company that feeds my family – that my career would be short lived – but apparently, it is okay for a Delta employee to randomly stroll through Atlanta and complain incessantly about the folks who are paying their bills. Now those attitudes carry over into the swollen ankles that storm their way down the aisles with their drink carts, taking extra care to nail the shit of your funny bone, or the sleeping babies seat – if you are not happy, get another job – if your pissed, talk to your union rep, but in the interim, at least act like you give a shit, and don’t give me that crap that you are there for safety reasons – my guess is that empty cans of diet coke and snack packets are going to do very little as the panicked passengers on a burning plane rush past you through any opening they can find. (Don’t get me wrong, not all of the folks I come across are like this – the folks in Jacksonville, they are extremely nice – and have always been helpful – it is just when you hit the fatherland of Atlanta that you enter into the world of “Go Fuck Yourself – you fly Delta” – and the bad news is, they are the absolute best that I can find – the moral of the story, when offered a pile of shit for dinner, make sure to take the one with whipped cream on top)

Back to travel these days. Not everyone can understand it quite like those folks who do it every day – it is sort of like my marriage was – you just get resigned to the fact that you have no control, that you can make comments and suggestions, but in all reality the planes are going to sit on the runway like the piles of laundry, the help desk folks are going to be just as cold as those half cooked dinners, and you are going to have to just do it yourself if you plan on finding another route or getting laid. It is pretty much the standard these days – maybe apathy in many places has begun to take over much of what we do – I mean the cynic in me (I know you find it hard to believe that I am a cynic) – usually takes over, but I keep my comments reserved to a little read blog in the corner of the web (at last check you all had clicked on three adds, earning my blog a whopping three cents this month – thank you.) Then there is the activist in me that says I should stand up, raise a little hell in a professional way, and demand respect – but the last guy who did that was politely escorted into a little room and came out drooling with a red tag on his wrist. What can you do about it? I have written letter after letter. I have made phone call after phone call. I have even invited management to fly with me, incognito, just as a business traveler – but they are on private jets, and have very little, if anything to do with us folks – it is always nice to get the upgrade, and then watch the staff fiddle around with the inflight entertainment system until finally they realize that no one really knows what they are doing, it is always nice to walk into a clean lavatory and realize that there must have been a run on paper towels, it is nice to ask for a can of diet coke, and get it, along with one or two pieces of semi-melted ice. It is that half-assed mentality that I just don’t understand – give half the service, and hope that there is a plane full of optimists. Perhaps that is just a reflection of society in general. Give half of your best, and see what happens. Apparently, the tire tread engineer will never do that, he is actually talking with someone else about the virtues of good rubber on the road – holy crap, I really feel sorry for those folks back there – I suspect by now, I would have said, “Sir, my father was killed by a Michelin defective tire, and you have dredged up terrible memories. I would kindly ask you to please silence yourself so that I may reflect on the positive things about my loving and caring Dad versus being reminded of the failures of a tire tread engineer somewhere in your world”. I know that probably would have made him feel pretty bad, but it may (it MAY) have just quieted him down enough for me to enjoy the rest of my two hour flight.

I think my ass is asleep, or my backbone is coming through one of my cheeks – is it really weird to fly with one of those rubber o-rings to sit on? Anyway – the photograph, that’s me, and the plane on which I fly – I don’t know if you noticed or not, but my computer is at a 20 degree angle because the tray table is broken – not totally broken- just half broken – it’s a good thing I am an optimistic cynic – one day they may fix the damn thing, but for now, it will just have to do.

Until next time….


Twenty years and counting…revisted..

The paragraphs below, I wrote in March of this year – long before I was really sure what was going on – and what I really felt, and how much I really mattered – I suspected for a long time that the answer to the questions above amounted to very little and nothing – but I still thought it a healthy exercise to write these things down. Seven months later – I am not so sure. You learn a large amount about a person during a trial when there is pressure – you also learn too much about your own limits and boundaries, and occasionally you fall across them in raging and brilliant fashion. You lose your temper, you lose your objectivity, and in the end, you come very close to losing all and any compassion that may have been left. Marriage is a tough trade – Divorce is just as tough – but through both, they test your strength – and from my perspective, you come out the back end much better – anyway – you can read on if you like – they are memories and maybe one day, my kids will read them and know that it was just not a phase or a fad – but that time and distance and apathy can do strange things to two people…most of all they can also do good things to people, and I can confidently say that although the memories below are good ones - the bad ones are there as well - and for the most part, those are the winners, the good ones are too few and far between, but everyone needs a reminder every now and again.

That is a long time. Almost too long to remember many things now that there is a torrent of water that fell under this bridge that I am crossing, now – that I am crossing with and without Christy, and it is certainly got about as much stability as an old rope bridge that you see in those Indiana Jones movies – something always creates the fall, burns the ropes, and a few natives get fried in the process (or run through with really sharp painful jungle weapons). The past six months has been about negatives – all of them are highlighted, all of them have the ability to send me into fits of rage and confusion and pain – but none of them, and I mean none of them, right now overshadow the past twenty years – people grow together, people grow apart, and then people have the ability to destroy one another – and that is an ability that I never realized I had – until recently.

Anger is not a very fair way of dealing with divorce – and even if it is a misunderstanding, it is not the place to seek any refuge. I have, twice now, gone into an evil, dark, disgusting place – and let myself do it – why, because it was easier – and frankly, that’s why I am getting divorced now – it was easier to ignore things, bottle things, distract and confuse – and not face the issues head on – that was the easy way out. Letting my anger take over the parts of me that are good – is where I have been – not where I want to go.

I met Christy (notice I say I met Christy – she had no idea who I was) while I was skinny dipping in her swimming pool the night before the first night of classes at Florida State. She peeked her head over her fenced in porch (where I would later spend a great deal of time) and yelled at all of us butthorns to quiet down – it did not work – but little did I know that I just had my first encounter with my future wife. One of my friends lived in her apartment complex – I don’t know that I would call him a friend, he was a little cheesy, a little weird, and a little too old to still be in college – his name escapes me, but obviously it was not that important – what is important is that we went out one night to Club Park Avenue – a trendy college nightclub – just to do what us community college kids did – waste both brain cells and time – but I met a beautiful girl – she was wearing a black skirt, and a white broadcloth cotton shirt with embroidered black lines on the shoulders, and she came up to me, and we giggled – good giggling – both of us had enough to drink that we were able to get over that initial nervousness and lack of confidence that I had, and we danced – she wasn’t a great dancer, and I was not a great conversationalist – but it worked well, because she asked questions, I told nervous jokes, and tried to make it light and easy. How she could have picked me was beyond me – but we ended up going to my home (which was conveniently and wonderfully located across the street – considering I had no car, no income, and pretty much no future….more on that later) – and she crashed on the couch – I still remember Dru Jensen coming out and saying, “Who is that girl out there on the couch?” – well, little did we know that blonde haired, blue-green-grey eyed girl would be my wife, the mother of our children, my best friend, and now someone that I need to work with and through to get us both to a healthier, happier place.
Tallahassee was a fun time. It was a new time to all of us, I loved going to football games, I loved going to the Late Night Library and dancing and laughing for endless hours – we fell in love in an easier and simpler time, but we did it together – and miraculously, being with her made me a better person.
Moving from Tallahassee to California was a new experience for both of us – Christy was in Fernandina doing her internship at Amelia Island – and taking care of the dog that spent fifteen years of his life with us – and we must have talked for hours on the telephone about what was happening and where we were headed and how things were going to work. Before I left, her parents threw a huge birthday bash – and that was the start of our new life together – I got on a greyhound bus, Christy went to finish her internship, and Bell South was happy to have us as customers…I still have photographs of that puppy and Christy in a gold silk shirt and blue jeans on the dunes at Hannah Park- still one of my favorite photos and memories – our last day for both of us before we moved on, we moved on together, but in completely different places. California for me, was a world of new experiences. I spent six months there living with my parents, going to school, working, trying to get things together, trying to prepare – and it was a wonderful day when Christy moved out there – granted, my Southern Baptist mom charged me every time I stayed out at Christy’s little apartment behind the Wienerschnitzel, but it was worth the five bucks – I got to spend time with Christy and we got to be a couple.
Some of my favorite times were skiing – we drove to Big Bear almost every weekend, the most memorable was the first time – I stood atop a green run that now to me would look more like a speed bump, and pouted, took off my skis and proceeded to storm down the hill – by the end of that weekend, Christy had me skiing like a true beginner – and laughing about my fear – early on, I had easy confidence, but a great deal of fear – Christy had no fear, and some tough issues with confidence – but together, we got through it. We stayed at the Robin Hood Hotel in Big Bear – the Davy Crockett Lodge – complete with coonskin cap – I remember laying in the ice in the 7-11 parking lot and trying to figure out how the hell you are supposed to install tire chains (we, both being the Floridians that we were, eventually figured it out, but not without both of us being soaked to the bone and very very cold…) times were difficult in California, but it was never too difficult to go camping, hang out all hours with Eilleen and Todd, go to the beach, it was just living – almost like a summer camp for older kids – Christy actually worked at a summer camp for underprivileged children in the mountains of Julian, we used to ride up, she would cry about the children who had parents that had less skill than Warren Jeffs at creating a safe environment – we made love in the desert after driving by the Salten Sea – it was eerie – abandoned, but beautiful – one of my fondest memories – and road trips. Christy and I were different then – we were younger, more adventurous, thought we had the world by the balls, and in all reality – we did. California ended about as quietly as it began- Christy moved to Orlando to start a paralegal class at Rollins College, I stuck around for a few more months to finish school – and with Christy’s help and support, I actually made it into a four-year college, found a job, and had my first real taste of responsibility in Orlando….
It was always clear that Christy wanted the best for me, I did not necessarily always want the best for me, I just wanted – but Christy had a gentle way of moving me in the right direction – I have the photograph of us sitting on the infamous love futon (most of our relatives, friends, co-workers, etc at one time or another did the nasty on that futon, I actually still believe it is in my brother in laws house). We had a great little place, Uncle Bud and Aunt Joe – the gay couple, were our landlords and neighbors, we both worked hard, Christy at an Insurance Company, me at the Olive Garden and CF unloading trucks – we made ends meet, we fixed the car when we were broke, we did what we could to have as much fun as we could – we would go to Howl at the Moon at Church Street and Christy would laugh – not a controlled laugh – but big healthy laughter that filled the bar – she could not sing a note – I used to joke that it hurt my teeth – but in a way, it was good to hear her sing – she always smiled when she sang. I played rugby, Christy was patient with that, I worked too much, Christy was understanding of that, I slept most of the other times – Christy was patient with that – I did not have the traditional college experience – but one spring break, she took me to Big Daddy Don Garlitz’s Drag Racing Hall of Fame – to give me a more traditional experience – it was good. Most everything was good then – we were in touch with one another, loved to be together, and were growing closer and closer and closer….Christy and I were worth the time. Christy deserved the time – I saved money in a sock for not the best diamond – but for a diamond – the biggest thing I had ever purchased in my life – too bad the sock smelled like Olive Garden Soup and Salad – but she was worth every penny – we had a life together – I knew it, was confident, and I loved what she was, and I loved the way we felt together. It was a good time in both of our lives – we were in love. Deeply in love, and ready to be husband and wife. We were ready to spend our time together – Christy made me a better person, I made her a better person, and together we were happy, strong, and most of all, we were just together.

First Coast Grill is no longer there, and last time I drove by, the swing on the front porch is gone – but that’s where it happened – that’s where I got down on one knee, and asked Christy to be my wife. I asked for her to be my wife forever, to be my friend forever, to be my companion forever. I wanted and needed that – there was never any force or questioning – we had been together for about three years, and it would be another two before the bells rang – I remember how wide she smiled and that smile, although not there as much – time and pain has a way of taking that away, still takes me back to that day – the reason why I asked – the happiness that we felt together. Even now, with all of the things that have been said and done, there is that smile – and there were plenty of them years ago – we both smiled, we both cared, and simply put – there was a We. That day was one of the most important days of my life – I was afraid, overwhelmed, in over my head – I had a beautiful woman, who loved me more than anything, who was willing and strong enough to challenge me – and was soft enough to work with me – and help –
You know, writing about these things make me happier – makes me stronger – maybe that book I was supposed to write years ago should have been a better book, a more pleasant book, something that I could have reflected on during those times when I asked myself why – but hindsight is twenty/twenty – and much like the twenty years, I can’t change any of those – sure, there are things that I would change – there are things that I would do different – so I challenge myself now to do that – I don’t know the exact time things went wrong, I don’t know when the words above were pushed aside as less important – I just don’t know – that is painful, and even more painful to reincarnate those memories that seem like someone else’s life – not mine –
For now, I have to put this blog down – I need to breathe a little bit – daydreaming about those memories and realizing that in three days I am going to end those memories – not an easy thing to do – they will always be there, and much like moving forward, I want those to be the guide and the gameplan – not ghosts that plague my mind with what if’s and why’s.