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Archive for February, 2011

16 and a Volcano

The birthday boy, and his siblings, have just left and I watched as the rear red tail lights paced out of my view.

It truly was a great weekend. I told my now sixteen year old (!?!?) boy that it was his weekend and he could choose the itenerary for any activity, any show, any meal and basically, whatever he chose. I was the grantor of his wishes.

Two steaks marinated with either a barbecue or ginger sauce, scrambled egg breakfast muffins, a Harry Potter movie, killing Nazi zombies on Xbox, giving him time alone in the apartment while I towed his brother and sister to the mall to buy birthday presents from them, letting him have sips of my beer, allowing him to choose a t-shirt emblazoned with his favorite band’s logo from their official website, taking almost a hundred photos, a very expensive silver neck chain (something sentimental that will last I’m hoping), and ending it with a made from scratch red velvet cake with sixteen blazing and bobbing candles accompanied by a rousing version of ‘Happy Birthday’ while the camera rolled.

I love that boy, that broaching early manhood child of mine. That kid that’s now two inches over his tall father. That kid that possesses a killer sideways smile who still is not into girls yet. Thankfully.

It was also the weekend of a Krakatoa realization. Concerning his mother. My ex. I’ve been thinking …

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Blog Cleanup

No real solid reason, but I just dived into the moment and changed the theme and also added an international flag counter.

I had a flag counter (for a very short while) but for some reason a lot of the visitors here visit from outside of the U.S. and for the life of me I don’t know why. For that matter, why would anyone visit me from inside the U.S?

I’m just glad you visit. Welcome to all.

Categories: Accomplishment

Mental Confetti

Anybody can have, and is allowed, a bad, bad day. But resilience, perspective and determination are formidable tools that have sprung up in the wake of planting seeds and are indispensible to moving forward.

Much like exercise, being in school has the capacity to boost self-confidence. Especially when everyone wants to team up with you because of your grades.

Yes, I did fall off the wagon with smoking. But, I’ve resolved to get back in the ring and overpower the demon.

I am hardly able to fathom that the little boy who fit snugly in the crook of my arm at one time (and who pooped in it) is going to be sixteen on Sunday! He once told me that he’s getting old. Imagine that thoughts that I had as his Father.

No matter how hard I try to keep up, the mail stack on my junk table grows out of control.

I’ve been in my apartment a little over two years and it still looks bare on the walls and naked around the windows. I need inexpensive ideas and a method of making them look something other than walls of white and stark panes. I have a few pictures here and there, but is it because I’m a male that I haven’t even a modicum of decorative flair?

After all this time, I still love to play my guitar. I recently dragged out some old Creedence, Concrete Blonde, Four Non-Blondes, Bad Company, James Taylor, Beatles and a mess of various artists. It’s all pitch perfect and I make a great session player. Ah, the skills I’ve acquired and excel at – all of which can’t make a living!

I’ve teamed up with a lucky woman at work who has a history of winning on scratch tickets. I’m not a gambler and never had the proclivity to spend money on gambling, but we’ve won over $1,300 in three weeks. I’ve got a feeling …

I hardly see re-aquainted girlfriend. We talk every few days on the phone, but with opposite work schedules it’s difficult to have what you would call a relationship.

My ‘secret’ gift of chocolates that I gave to someone at work post-Valentine’s day is no longer a secret. I never see this woman because she’s on an opposing end of the building, works in a different department, has hours that most times are ending at the beginning of mine and only comes to my end infrequently to keep an appointment with someone who needs her. So I haven’t seen her face to face in a few weeks. But yesterday as I was walking down a hall to fetch a cup of coffee, there she was walking toward me! An impromptu conversation ensued, I apologized for the candy-gram if it made her uncomfortable and I hoped that she wasn’t offended. She was not. She was flattered and said that she should have shared it with me. We talked small talk for a few minutes and parted with a ‘see you later’. I turned, took a small step, turned around again, took a big breath and said ‘Wait’! I asked if she’d like to get together for a cup of coffee, or a drink or a trip to Jamaica. She laughed out loud and said she’d like to get that cup. She asked me for my number and I wrote it on a nearby napkin. As I wrote she remarked that she could tell that I never gave my number out at bars. How? Because I didn’t write softly enough to prevent the napkin from tearing in places. I’m looking forward to the call.

I’ve been wakened a lot recently by charlie horses in my left leg. What, I’m going through a second puberty?

I told an eighty-two year old woman in a wheelchair that she was beautiful. She shook her head no. I repeated that she was beautiful to me and she replied “Is it because my lips are so full?”

A bad, bad day

Can’t seem to get going. Simply doing … stagnation imitations.

The X is going away to Vermont with my babies on a long ski weekend. With her boyfriend.

My babies.

Away from Daddy.

My only earthly loves.

My single reason for choosing to continue pumping blood through my heart.

I couldn’t afford to do a ski weekend in Vermont. Child support, taxes, health insurance, school, rent … all dry sponges soaking up what I offer each week.

They’re enjoying time. With someone else.

Depression is winning. Only God could know how badly I need a warm and friendly palm. But even so … unbearably lonely! Difficult to hug alone.

I’m venting, but to who?

Cheer up“, “Things could be worse“, “This too shall pass“, “Hang in there“, “Look to the future” and “It does get better” – recycled thoughts that have lost value.

Pathetic and sad I know. But, my life – the film that no one is watching. Where, oh, where is the inspiration?

Desperate. Alone. It’s so damn cruel.

Write it in the blog because it’s better to let it flow somewhere than to be dizzy from fright. Anonymous is fine. Can I be moving forward if I’m facing backward?

Such a steep dive from smiles and candy hearts to thoughts of desperation and babies being so far away. Much Too Far From Home.

Lonely.

Everyone else has their own issues. I readily understand.

If you could feel the fiber in my being, the way my mind is tremoring, you’d reel back in horror.

The post took over an hour to write. Each sentance an individual iron weight in my head that has my mental muscles burning from the long and torturous workout. But it will be read in less than a minute.

It has made me cry in disgust, in sympathy and in pity. It has made me wring my hands for want of contact. It has made me look in the mirror with disgust. It has made me feel child-like. It vocalizes my helplessness. It has made me feel less of a man. It has highlighted my failures in vivid yellow streaks. But, there isn’t anyone who will be able to do the same.

I feel so vulnerable that if anyone even looked at me, I’d be fighting to hold back the tears? Who wants a man like that?

But, I’m good at pretending.

A bad, bad day.

Categories: Alone Tags: , ,

Monday’s Over

Thankfully!

It’s not that I was annoyed or fed up with hearing and seeing everything V-Day related and the blatent commercialism peering and gloating at me, but it was more about not having that one soul – that one miracle, to join hands or lips with.

There are a few bloggers out there that are going the online dating site method to find that someone unique but not having much luck so far. I did do that for a while but found it bereft of warmth and personality. Maybe that simply means that I had no real luck at it. However, many others have found it a boon and have successfully met mates of great warmth and pleasing personalities. Like anything else, maybe it’s just the luck of the draw.

It’s tough for any of us that are not willing to go to bars spewing seed money at random red dresses, or those of us who have zero interest in a Yoga/Thai cooking class, or feel awkward holding melons and cucumbers in the produce section and with a grin asking a single soccer mom for shopping tips.

Sometimes it does bother me writing about the weariness and the general blasé attitude that comes with continuing the quest of looking for love after relentless searching and restless anticipation. The nights of simply looking down at the city – not necessarily thinking about anything, but bobbing up in the consciousness every so often the thought that it would be so much easier to bear another day and night alone knowing that someone holds you close to their heart and may be looking at the moon at the same time you are.

Or, perhaps they’re wondering, and hoping, that you are thinking of them and softly smiling with eyes closed.

The day after V-Day, when all the candy was on sale at Wal-Mart, I bought fifteen dollars worth of left behind, 50-75% off, odds and ends. I especially concentrated on those boxes of candy hearts with the little sayings engraved on them and made sure that every single woman in the building received a box of them along with a hearty “Happy Valentine’s Day” cheer from me. It seemed to made them all so happy and that, in turn, made me smile.

I did manage to sneak a very small six-pack of dark chocolates to a special someone. The delivery tag said “From – ?”. I’m letting it brew. Hey, you can’t sail if you don’t at least get on the boat, right? Do you have a boat?

Monday the 14th

It’s always such a chilly and barren apartment the day after. I typically feel emotionless but somehow can easily brim up if I dwell on them or look at their pictures on the bookshelf. I’m someone who can walk, I can mindlessly stare out the windows, I eventually eat when the pangs are loud or anxious and very curiously, have a compulsion to leave everything in the apartment exactly in the condition it was when my children leave to go back ‘home’ after they’ve spent the weekend with me.

Today is a dreadful hangover of emotions. I’m painfully giddy when I pick them up but lifeless flotsam the moment their car has turned the corner moving away from me.

The three of us had fun this past weekend. The highlights for me were the menu items I chose and made: Cajun turkey/chicken burgers with spiced fries, scrambled egg muffins, chicken curry and I even bought an electric mixer so I could produce a red velvet cake. They loved it all and I loved all the time I had to spend in the kitchen chopping and mixing and baking and cooking for them.

My oldest didn’t come over.

I remember how hard I cried when he was born – the relief that he was healthy. That morning my heart, that now pumped for him, gave me my first out-of-body experience. I recall how he ran to me and held up his hands with tearful eyes when he was hurt and it took my breath away. The only message that I have retained on my cell phone is from him wishing me a Merry Christmas in his still little boy voice from 2007 – the first Christmas I was forced to spend without my children.

He wanted to spend the time with his friends instead.

Because of this new work schedule I have, I am only able to see them every other weekend now. The same schedule used for someone who couldn’t care less. It’s my only time. My only time face to face. My only too-hard hug until they tell me to stop. My only time of sitting on the couch with him, letting him lie down the length of the couch and pulling his feet on to my lap. My attempt at physical closeness.

My oldest didn’t come over.

I smiled and laughed with such sincerity this past weekend for the sake of my other two, that they never suspected my mental and emotional geography had quaked, ruptured and split.

Just another day after they leave Monday morning made all the more hurtful by the presence of a tribute to falling, or staying, in love.

Another reminder to add to the list of everything I don’t have.

I look at what is surrounding me – the unwashed stack of dishes, the wrinkled and crooked couch, the fluffy and clean pillows that were tossed onto the floor, and note that I have preserved the lovely stage of where happiness was just a day ago in order to gaze upon it and imagine that I’m recapturing and reliving the good feelings for another day or two.

I hear and see  joy thriving outside my window.

Just another Monday.

Tenacious Me (finale)

So far, I’ve for all practical purposes lost the ability to use my LG Chocolate Touch phone that was only ten months old, taken said phone to the local Verizon store only to be ignored and left waiting for a supervisor that took ten full minutes before she showed up and told me she couldn’t help me, watched from my car as the store employees peered at me from their window perch, called Customer Service and talked to ‘Ed’, was forced to tell my full-length story for the fourth time and was left with the information that all I could do was ‘grin and bear it’ by reverting back to my old phone .

I don’t do well with ‘grin and bear it’ when it comes to giving my hard-earned cash to corporations for the priviledge of using one of their products! I’m determined that they be the ones to ‘grin and bear it’ if they have any intentions of keeping my business.

After I came home, I was still seething from the very bad customer service experience I received at the Verizon store, and although I now had a work-around that allowed me to use an old cell phone, I was more than dissatisfied with looking at the husk of my LG Touch. I was determined to receive satisfaction!

I went to the Verizon online site and signed on to my account. I must have spent close to ten minutes looking for the customer service number! Do they intentionally hide it? I think that they might because right around the ten minute mark, a box popped up with a message asking if I would like to chat with a Customer Service representative. I thought “Here we go again!”, but clicked to accept.

  • A moment later ‘Emma’ wrote a line that said something similar to “I’ll be with you in a moment”.
  • Almost a full five minutes of waiting passed before  I wrote ‘Hello?’
  • A minute later a line appeared that said something similar to “I’ll be with you in a moment”.
  • Almost another full five minutes later I wrote ‘Hello?’
  • A minute later a line appeared that said something similar to “I’ll be with you in a moment”. I was about to go through the proverbial roof.
  • I wrote and asked if there was an issue with my account that she had been looking up or if she was on multiple calls at once or what the issue was that caused her to take so very long to at least acknowledge me.
  • A minute later a line appeared that said something similar to “I’ll be with you in a moment”.

At that moment, I found the 800 Customer Service number and dialed it. I had to go through the keypad maze of selections but eventually found my way to ‘Paul’ – a real live Customer Service representative! I immediately clicked ‘Close’ on the so-called conversation I had been having with Emma.

  • I again trotted out my lengthy story – leaving out no detail at all – he got the whole saga
  • I added to the story mye Verizon store experience
  • I added in the work-around of having to use my old phone
  • I added in the online chat with Emma from Customer Service
  • I added in that I’m about to go T-Mobile on them and I’m not sure if he would be able to help me at all!

I must have taken a full 7-10 minutes of ranting (politely, but very firmly, mind you) about how badly Verizon had treated me and because of it how I would buy out my contract, spread the word to everybody at my place of business and to my friends of how poorly I had been treated and how Customer Service was used in name only.

Paul calmly took down each and every word. He took names, he took locations and he took times. He told me that he was there to fix my issue and keep me as a Verizon customer – no matter what he had to do.

Turns out that Paul was as tenatious as I was.

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